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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly certain that this has been asked before, but I haven't been able to find an appropriate thread so decided to post up my own question.

I purchased a '16 ST3, and have recently installed the Injen cold air intake, cpe stage 2 RMM, and MBRP 3" cat back exhaust.

After reading many forums I'm getting ready to purchase the Cobb access port, but would like to know who, in everyone's opinion, has the best off the shelf tunes for the ST?

I've looked at Cobb, Mountune and Stratified but can't decide which vendor to go with.

Any input will be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
None of the above. Panda or Freektune get a custom tune.
Okay. Now tell me why.

I have only had my ST since December and haven't had a ton of time to research different tuners so only looked into the 3 I listed in the title.

Since I had never heard of the tuners you listed until now, tell me what they can do that, in your opinion, makes them stand out.
 

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Stratified. COBB gives you good off the shelf maps, but Stratified will include a free flash tune. You tell them about your intake (that's the only possible part you have that will effect the tune) and they will configure your tune to the parts you have and the fuel you run. I have never heard of Panda and only heard of freaktune a couple times so I can't speak to how good or bad or different their tunes are but Stratified is well known, well spoken about, and very well respected around here and also in the mazdaspeed forums.
Any part you add to your car in the future, engine wise, would include an update for your tune too. Head over to thier forum page and do some reading and then make your decision.
 

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Panda, Freektune, Stratified, and Mountune are all top tier ecoboost tuners who won't blow your engine. I worked with stratified quite a bit with custom tunes and the experience was great and tunes have been performing in a word perfect. However I will be going with Panda for BT install and dyno tuning this spring. Only live a few hours from them and really want a dyno tuning along with a quality install.

Unleashed tuning is another top tier if going the SCT route. Not sure if he does accessport.
 

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If you are going with off the shelf just go with cobbs. But off the shelf is not good for your car as every car is different and acts different to mods. I had freektune on my bt setup. I have nothing but good things to say about them. Car ran great performed even better. Ran 12.2 in the 1/4 mile. He also has most of the records for the madza speeds. Also look into SCT unleashed, which i have now. Its cheaper and you get custom tunes that suite you car and needs

Also I had mountune. Terrible tuner in Randy Guy was also A douche
 

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For a first tune I would say go with stratified. You can even add the crackle pop to your tune for a few extra bucks. Watch out if you have a stock downpipe though, itll cook the cat in about 1000-2000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input. Now that I know about tuners like Panda and Freektune I've had a chance to read up on them and have decided to purchase my access port from Freektune with the full tune.

I'll be running the stock downpipe through the summer, but after reading quite a bit about Freektune on the ST and Mazda forums, it sounds like I'll be in good hands.

And it didn't hurt that the cost of the access port with a full e-tune through Freektune is less expensive than Panda or Stratified.

Cheers.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for all the input. Now that I know about tuners like Panda and Freektune I've had a chance to read up on them and have decided to purchase my access port from Freektune with the full tune.

I'll be running the stock downpipe through the summer, but after reading quite a bit about Freektune on the ST and Mazda forums, it sounds like I'll be in good hands.

And it didn't hurt that the cost of the access port with a full e-tune through Freektune is less expensive than Panda or Stratified.

Cheers.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
Good choice you'll be in good hands. Custom tune for your car is just better all around. OTS will be for a semi stock car but with mods just get a custom tune. Your car will thank you in the end.
 

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For a first tune I would say go with stratified. You can even add the crackle pop to your tune for a few extra bucks. Watch out if you have a stock downpipe though, itll cook the cat in about 1000-2000 miles.
How do you figure, I ran the loud crackles and pops for 12,000 miles and my cat looks great.
 

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How do you figure, I ran the loud crackles and pops for 12,000 miles and my cat looks great.
Should've put a "your mileage may vary" in there. It depends on how much you use the pops. I would make mine pop repeatedly any time i was off the throttle. I started throwing Cat deficiency codes after about 2000 miles. Either way, dumping unburnt fuel into a catalytic converter and having it detonate inside your exhaust system is not good for it.
 

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Which tuner is best is sometimes like which vineyard and vintner is your favorite. I would like to preface my comments with that I have had Steeda, Mountune, Stratified and Ford Racing tunes on my ST. With that said, regardless of the tune or tuner happiness is going to be predicated upon the sum of parts they are tuning. I think that all the tunes and tuners mentioned in this thread are good people. I have had the good fortune to get to know some of them personally. I also have great respect for the others members providing replies. Stomper has been invaluable over the years with some of his wiring wisdom. Regardless of the tune you are looking into, I would suggest at least reading his thread on ground terminals and wiring harness first.

So again I can I can only go on my own experiences. In order of my own preferences from best being # 1 it would be 1. Stratified, 2. Mountune 3. Ford Racing 4. Steeda. While I have an extensive list of Mountune parts (which I love) I find Stratified tuning to be at the top of the tuner class and exceptional people.

Remember these are just the ones I have personal experience with and the other replies are by some very qualified forum members.

Double D
 
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Should've put a "your mileage may vary" in there. It depends on how much you use the pops. I would make mine pop repeatedly any time i was off the throttle. I started throwing Cat deficiency codes after about 2000 miles. Either way, dumping unburnt fuel into a catalytic converter and having it detonate inside your exhaust system is not good for it.
That is not how the tune works so I am sorry to have to correct you. "This tune does not add any more fuel after lift than it would otherwise. Have a look at your cat temps with the tune that does not have the crackles and you should see similar temperature numbers." @[email protected] feel free to chime in here if you would like.
 
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Do only Cobb and Stratified have Traction Control tunes?
My only experience is Stratified and the COBB OTS. I started with COBB as a sort of baseline and I thought the tunes were decent. They have a "sprinty" feel to them. Then I decided to go with Stratified based on the huge amount of positive feedback I found. I LOVE the stratified team. Their turn around time is fantastic, their dedication to their craft is fantastic, the power curve feels great, and they are always active in the community to answer questions and really get you dialed in. I am looking forward to upgrading my RMM and tires soon to get better traction, but as far as the tune, Stratified gets my vote. I have heard great things about Panda and Freaktune as well though so I feel like any of these 4 I mentioned would be great.
 
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