Tuner Shootout: Hypnotic Xcal2 vs FocusPower's Predator - REVIEW - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus SVT > SVT Performance (2002-2004)

SVT Performance (2002-2004) The place to chat about any 2.0L SVT DOHC Zetec engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply




 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-22-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
Focus Addict
 
SVTmonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Fan#: 9482
Location: Canada
What I Drive: 04 CD Silver SVT Focus

Posts: 1,261
FF Reputation: 2 SVTmonkey Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (4)
Tuner Shootout: Hypnotic Xcal2 vs FocusPower's Predator - REVIEW

Ok, I'm not sure if people are still out there buying these tunes, but I decided to finally post a full review on these two products. Please remember that these are solely MY opinions from having tried both tunes, if you disagree with anything that's fine, remember that everyone's car is different and you might have had a different experience. Sorry for the length.

Now for some history:

I originally wanted to buy Tom's Predator tune, but at $500+US at an exchange rate of 1.45 or so it was going to cost me almost $800CDN. Thus, I hesitantly went with Wayne's Xcal2 tune going on all the great reviews. I drove on Wayne's tune for almost 2 years (during which I upgraded from xcal1 to xcal2). Since Tom lowered his prices, and the exchange rate is about 1.1 now, I sold the xcal2 and suffered some losses to order Tom's tune. I've been driving with this tune for 2 weeks or so and felt I could now fairly compare the two, so here goes:

WAYNE'S TUNE (XCAL2):

The first tune Wayne sent definitely lived up to the hype. The power down low was unmistakeable. After the original giddyness wore off, I began to notice that the tune wasn't very "smooth" and I felt power gaps in between 2k and 3k rpm. Wayne promptly sent a replacement that improved things. After upgrading to the xcal2, I did some datalogging in the hopes of really smoothing out the tune. Wayne did just that and I finally felt like I had an almost perfect tune. It seems though that the smoother the tune is, the more power you lose. Oh well, can't have everything right?

One major issue for me was the startup during cold starts. After the initial spike to 1500rpm (during start), Wayne's tune immediately dropped the rpm to 1000rpm (or idle). This really made it difficult to warm up the car during some of our colder days here, in fact, the car could sit idling for 5 mins and the temp gauge wouldn't move. Wayne tried hard to fix this problem to no avail, all I got was tunes that sent the rpms past 3k and skyrocketed to 4k when the clutch was pressed. From what I understand, this had more to do with the SCT software than anything. In the end, I learned to live with the "cold" startup.

Hardware: The xcal1 is a box so I won't even mention it here, the xcal2 is slightly more sophisticated and was useful in reading trouble codes. Other than that, you need a laptop to do any datalogging, which is kind of a pain, as you can imagine driving hard with a laptop sitting on the passanger side. SCT kept promising onboard datalogging along with other features, but after time I just stopped expecting anything from that company. The tune takes about 15min to download (download stock/upload custom tune). The display is simply a text display 2 lines high.


TOM'S TUNE (Predator):

The first thing I noticed is that the startup with the predator tune was exactly like stock (without any high rpm spikes), and most importantly stayed at 1500rpm until the car warmed up, and slowly dropped as the car got warmer. This is EXACTLY what I wanted, so immediately I was happy. My first impression was that the tunes were similar down low, but this tune pulled a lot better throughout the entire band, right to the redline. After 4 days of learning, the car only got faster and faster. The power is there from 1.5k rpm right to redline and is unbelievably linear and smooth. There are NO "coughs" or lag spots anywhere! Impressive!

Hardware: The predator is definitely a nice piece of hardware. Installing the tune is a breeze and the predator guides you the entire way through. Tune takes about 7-8 min to load, including time to download stock tune. The predator has a nice large display that allows you to datalog right on the unit itself.


COMPARISON:

TUNE: As far as power goes, below 3000rpm, the tunes are very similar. Past 3000rpm, Tom's tune is definitely stronger, pulling harder and more smoothly than it's counterpart. The big difference I noticed, and what is most impressive to me is how smooth and "perfected" Tom's tune is through the entire band. Yes, the power is similar down low, but the evenness of Tom's tune can't be matched. What's better is that it took datalogging to fix the gaps in Wayne's tune, but Tom's tune is better on the FIRST try; impressive. You can definitely feel the dyno time put into the tune. That being said, Wayne's tune is no slouch, the gaps I refer to are NOT major issues, they are simply tiny hesitations you can barely feel. Power wise, I would suspect that the numbers would be similar down low, and Tom's tune would take over from 3000rpm up. Again, I can't emphasize enough how smooth Tom's tune is.

As mentioned before, a huge factor for me was the startup, and I couldn't be happier with the car starting exactly like it should be (exactly like stock).

I haven't had an opportunity to test out the TC disabling on Tom's tune, but I'm sure it works, as it did on the xcal2 tune.

CONCLUSION:

Now that the Predators are the same price as the xcal2's, to me the choice is clear. Tom's predator tune, in my opinion, is clearly superior. The tune is better, the hardware is better and owner's have had a lot less problems with Tom's tune. In the end, by switching from xcal1, to xcal2 and then to the Predator I lost over $250. Was it worth it? Hell YES!!

Happy tuning!


__________________
"Real revolution starts with learning. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."

Last edited by SVTmonkey; 10-24-2006 at 01:15 PM.
SVTmonkey is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-22-2006, 04:21 PM   #2
Michael J. Caboose
 
JohnMichael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Fan#: 21469
Location: Hammond, LA
What I Drive: Black Hemi Ram & Honda Shadow VT600

Posts: 6,512
FF Reputation: 7 JohnMichael Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
NICE write up, bro! How ya been, Monkey? Haven't seen you as of late, just wondering how's things have been going for ya...
__________________
Cap America and Deadpool walk into a bar, Cap orders a glass of milk, because he's Cap. DP orders a glass of Human Crap, because he's Deadpool.

O'er Pirates from the Black of Pitch
JohnMichael is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 04:52 PM   #3
Focus Addict
 
SVTmonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Fan#: 9482
Location: Canada
What I Drive: 04 CD Silver SVT Focus

Posts: 1,261
FF Reputation: 2 SVTmonkey Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (4)
Thanks! I've been excellent; travelling Europe for 3 months...so I can't complain
__________________
"Real revolution starts with learning. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."
SVTmonkey is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 04:59 PM   #4
GreyRice WOoT!
 
Klondike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Fan#: 25991
Location: Tempe, AZ
What I Drive: GI, '07 zx3 LG

Posts: 10,786
Points 33,306, Level 100
Points: 33,306, Level: 100 Points: 33,306, Level: 100 Points: 33,306, Level: 100
Level Up 0% Completed
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 53 Klondike Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (26)
good comparision, lots of people are gonna use this is choose which tuner to go to
__________________
Focus Nation
Focus Revolution
Chrenron 1 of 3
Velveeta Lover Shell#1
LOTH 00!
Klondike is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 05:29 PM   #5
Focus Fanatic
 
pspringe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 17992
Location: Knoxville
What I Drive: 95 Metro, 03 Sonic Blue SVT

Posts: 1,725
FF Reputation: 5 pspringe Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
There's a choice? Wayne is still taking people's money?
__________________
Hofstadter's Law
"It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."

Kariertes Hemd und Samenstau, ich studier' Maschienenbau.
pspringe is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 05:41 PM   #6
Focus Addict
 
SVTmonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Fan#: 9482
Location: Canada
What I Drive: 04 CD Silver SVT Focus

Posts: 1,261
FF Reputation: 2 SVTmonkey Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (4)
Quote:
Originally posted by pspringe
There's a choice? Wayne is still taking people's money?
Dunno, been gone for 3 months...
__________________
"Real revolution starts with learning. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."
SVTmonkey is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 05:50 PM   #7
Focus Enthusiast
 
focusxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Fan#: 25771
Location: ST.JOHN Indiana, United States
What I Drive: 2002 SVT,03ZX3STREET STOCK RACER

Posts: 342
FF Reputation: 4 focusxc Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (9)
Very nice write up!!!
__________________
Svt Squad 120
#2430

Nice guys finish last, lets change that
focusxc is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 06:24 PM   #8
Focus Fanatic
 
SpeedOften's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Fan#: 2139
Location: NH, NY, ME and VA (NAVY), VA
What I Drive: E90 335i, 2002 E53 X5 4.4i

Posts: 2,257
FF Reputation: 28 SpeedOften Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
This is the difference between Tom's and Wayne's Tunes w/ both being on the Xcal 2.

Tom's is the one that mad 154whp, 137tq, Waynes being the lower one. The was done at Tom's dyno this summer on a 90+ degree F day w/ a pretty high humidity also..




The Torque right from the get go is unbelievably noticable.
SpeedOften is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 06:31 PM   #9
Focus Enthusiast
 
Achilleus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Fan#: 30461
Location: Ontario
What I Drive: 2003 Dark Red ZX5

Posts: 161
FF Reputation: 1 Achilleus Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Is it still possible to buy the predator/sctII tuner with the tunes from Tom? Or do you ahve to buy it separate and then Tom will send it?
Achilleus is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2006, 06:39 PM   #10
Focus Enthusiast
 
EurosilverSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Fan#: 38700
Location: Michigan
What I Drive: 2004 Competition Orange Mustang GT

Posts: 487
FF Reputation: 7 EurosilverSVT Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
this is awesome, very informative.... i was debating which tuner i wanted to get... i'm pretty well sold on the Diablo... thanks
__________________
Greg
Power: It's a Mustang GT... need I say more?
EurosilverSVT is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What I Drive
Year, color, and model of your car. Example: 2003 Pitch Black ZX3
Name
Your real name.
City
State
Country
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:54 AM.


Copyright 2002-2015 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.





Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1