Tom's Tune vs Randy's Tune; My Review - Focus Fanatics
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:22 PM   #1
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Tom's Tune vs Randy's Tune; My Review

I know this is a vendor review per se, but I feel it would be more relevant in this section. I want to start this review out by saying that there will be no bashing of either Randy or Tom. I know these two have a history and I donít care and that history is irrelevant to this review. If I deem a post to be derogatory towards either one, it will be deleted and infractions will be issued. Now, with that being said, this is my review of comparing Randyís Tune vs Tomís Tune. Actually, I will be comparing a lot more than just the tunes themselves. Remember, this review is MY OPINION.

Tuner/Customer Interaction:
While not knowing much about the tuning process, I have to go off of the words of the subject matter experts (SME). When I was tuning with Randy, I would follow his instructions until he would say I was good to go. Tom is the same way for the most part, but with a lot more tuner/customer interaction.

While Iíve been with Randy for the first few years of being boosted, weíve only interacted through emails minus one or two actual phone calls, which I initiated. While tuning instructions from Randy were pretty straight forward and easy to understand, getting feedback from him or having him ask for feedback was few and far between.

In the short time Iíve been working with Tom, however, the interaction was increased almost 100%. With every email he sent me, he provided feedback to me and would even tell me about some of the adjustments he made. Tom and I have spoken many times over the phone and he gives and asks for plenty of feedback. Before he started the actual tuning process, he asked me to send him a data log to diagnose some issues I've been having. When he reviewed it, he called me and we went over that log over the phone and computer for about an hour while he explained the howís and whyís of the log.

Tune File Turnaround:
While I know that both Randy and Tom have other customers to deal with, Randyís turnaround for sending me an updated tune file to try averaged about 24 hours, unless it was on a weekend. Then Iíd have to wait until the following Monday. Tomís turnaround time averaged 3-5 hours, even on the weekends. There have been a few times I even got two updated tune files to log within a 24 hour period, depending on how fast I turned my log in.

The Tune:
Hereís the big difference Iíve noticed with the tune itself. When I upgraded my inlet manifold, I asked Randy for an update to my tune. During this process, I kept getting a couple of codes for the intake manifold runner controls. I brought this up to Randy, but he wasnít able to get rid of it, even though the runner systems had been deleted both physically and electronically. Since Iíve been working with Tom, I have not received any CEL. Tom also found out that the tune I was running at the time (from Randy) had the knock sensor turned off and the timing was adjusted so as to not to trip the knock sensor, as well as running too lean at WOT. With Tomís tune, I have less turbo lag and more power at the ready when I need it. I havenít had the chance yet to compare MPGs, yet, but will update this post as soon as I do.

As far as the tuning process, it is my opinion that Tom has a more practical process. Once again, I donít know much about the tuning process other than following the instructions. For example, Tom would instruct me to do a 3min idle, 5min cruise. When he felt it was time to make the adjustments for wide open throttle (WOT) it would be 3min idle, 5min cruise with a WOT run from 2500rpm to, say, 5000rpm while paying attention to the air fuel ratios(AFRs). Anything over a certain AFR, let off. Tom would want this all in one file, which is much more convenient to me. I feel this is more practical because for many of us these are our daily drivers, so getting feedback on the tune when you are simply driving to work or the store under normal driving conditions appealed to me.

Randy would instruct me to do 4min idle, 1min 1500rpm, 1min 2000rpm and so on all the way up to 6500rpm and each in a separate log, which can be a bit cumbersome. When things were adjusted, Randy would instruct me to do a WOT run. This way of tuning seems fine if you track your car a lot, which I don't. Randy didnít ask for any cruising log, so, to me, he wasnít able to get a look as to the cars behavior with the tune under normal driving conditions.

My Overall Assessment:
I harbor no ill will or regrets with either tuner, after all, both have successful businesses for a reason. My opinion between the two has to go with Tom, and this is not a biased opinion of being a Moderator on Focus Fanatics, as even my son has noticed a positive benefit when driving my car with Tomís tune. This is my honest assessment. With Tomís interaction, turnaround time, feedback, tuning process and being able to assess some mechanical issues, I am left with a more confident feeling that my carís tune was looked at, measured and handled from all angles.

Iím not saying Randy is a bad tuner. As Iíve said, Randy met my tuning needs for the first few years I was boosted. However, with Randy being the only tuner Iíve ever dealt with, I had nothing to compare it to, until now. So, the choice of tuners is up to you, the customer, to get what you need for your application. Thanks for reading.

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Old 09-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Having used both as well I can mirror your statements for the most part, though I am n/a and didn't have no where near as much tuning to do.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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Thanx Carl, for your feed back on your tune, (or shall I say tunes)
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Carl good write up man I never tuned with randy but am impressed over the year and a half with tom
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:35 AM   #5
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Getting a great tune is one thing, but having that good interaction is key.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:34 AM   #6
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Great write up brother, I too can mirror these comments. I do not have the Grey Focus anymore as I have since traded it in and gone to the new ST. But the same holds true for me. The first few years Randy's tune was great for what I needed, I tuned with Tom and also had a great interaction with him and he helped diag and fix a mechanical issue.


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Old 09-25-2013, 08:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the review, i am glad we have more than one choice when it comes to tuning...especially since Tom and Randy have so much experience with our cars. I have yet to pull the trigger on a tune since I am n/a and only I/E but this will help if i decide to go with a is always nice
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:41 AM   #8
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I think what surprised me the most about Focus-Power, was how often after the tune, I would get emails asking how everything was going and if I had any additional input. Topnotch customer care and service!

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Old 09-30-2013, 07:22 AM   #9
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100% agreed with everything said here. i ran a focussport tune for several years and was fine with it except that it never felt like a very personal experience. you just feel like a number, but with tom he will get right into the thick of it with you on a man to man level and make sure that you are happy with it before he is done even if you aggravate the piss out of him like i did.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:31 PM   #10
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I have never dealt with Tom so I cannot make a statement there. I have been tuned by Randy and it seems fine. No issues or anything. That personal connection is missing and I think your right there. It basically comes down to this is what I have done and ok cool heres you a tune. It almost seems a little off the shelf. I dont know much about Tom but I assume also that is because Randy works at a big shop where they have to deal with thousands of people and maybe Tom doesnt. So there fore he can interact with his more. I could be wrong there. Either way I havent had any reason to switch from my current fswerks tune as it seems fine.
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