Pulsar LT Inline Control Module Fits 2019 2020 GM 5.3L 6.2L Trucks
An Inline Module to Rival your Old School Tuner
Many Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra owners, like myself, have been looking for an easy way to make modifications to our truck without tuning for years. Now Edge has done just that with their brand new Pulsar LT line for 2019 and 2020 Gas powered GM and Chevy trucks! Full review below the fold, but let me highlight the major points here: disable your DFM (the new version of AFM). BAM! That’s right. Turn Dynamic Fuel Management off without tuning. Throttle Sensitivity Adjustment! Disable Auto Start/Stop! Clear your DTC’s. And increase your top speed limiter, all without rewriting your vehicle’s computer. And that’s not all. Let’s run through the quick bullet points on this innovative new inline module.
Bullet Point Breakdown of the Superchips Pulsar LT Inline Control Module
No time to read this whole article? Just want the quick and dirty dets? “Too long; didn’t read” your fav acronym? Don’t worry. We hear ya. Here’s our Midwest Aftermarket Bullet Point Breakdown of the Pulsar LT:
- Disable Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM)
- On-the-fly Throttle Booster / Throttle Sensitivity Adjustment via Cruise Control buttons on your steering wheel
- All other modifications can be done via the Cruise Control menu while in Run Mode (basically what used to be turning your key back to listen to the radio)
- Adjust your Top Speed Limiter from 82 MPH all the way up to 140 MPH
- Turn off Auto Start/Stop permanently, so you no longer have to hit that button every time you start your truck
- Clear any DTC’s without having to go to the local auto parts shop
- Adjust your TPMS by values of 1 to 99 PSI
- For advanced aftermarket aficionados, replaces your calibration programmer
- Apply Tire Size Correction, from 29” up to 50.9”
- Calibrate Axle Ratio after you upgrade your Axle Gears, including: 2.00 - 6.99 ratios
- All of these great features without actually tuning your computer at all
- Finally, an inline module that does nearly everything a GM truck owner needs without reprogramming your ECU / ECM / PCM
Pulsar LT Complete Review and Guide
When the original Pulsar was released for RAM 2015-2018 trucks and we first got our hands on one, we were blown away. The first question I asked our Edge / Superchips rep was are you all actively working on a module for new GM and Chevrolet trucks? At the time, there were already rumors that new GM vehicles were going to have factory locked ECM’s, but they were just rumors. But I could see where the industry was headed. At the time, my question provoked not a few chuckles from around the room.
Flash forward a few years, and here we are: the Pulsar LT has arrived. And it is everything we could have hoped for and then some. Not only does it retain the main and most important features of the original RAM module, but it adds on some great new features specifically for new Chevy and GM trucks, like disabling that horrible Auto Start/Stop feature, without having to press that button every single time I start the engine, and of course, disabling DFM, GM’s new and “improved” version of AFM.
But before we go there, let’s embark on a journey of foresight. That’s right. Let’s talk about tuning in the 21st century.
Are GMC and Chevy Trucks Tunable 2019, 2020, and beyond?
Can I tune my 2020 Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra?
While nothing is impossible these days, tuning the ECM of a 2019 or newer GM truck, like Silverado or Sierra, is going to involve some work. You’ll likely need a full ECM swap at the very least. GM has made their new computers “uncrackable” and factory locked. However, with Edge and Superchips, we have a work around: the new and improved Pulsar LT for GM trucks!
And here’s where the innovation and foresight of Edge and Superchips really pays off. While some other manufacturers were busy trying to figure out if they really could not crack these new computers, Edge and Superchips had already figured out a clever work around. And it all started on that 2015 RAM back in the day.
Instead of rewriting or reprogramming the ECM / ECU, they would just put a module inline between the dashboard and the computer to intercept and modify the readings.
Can you say, “Brilliant!”
This foresight has allowed Edge to be ahead of the pack as more and more new trucks and cars leave the factory line with locked computer systems. While I have no doubt that an old school computer or PCM / ECM swap will be probable, in the meantime, this work around makes “tuning” your GM truck easier than ever.
In fact, it’s so easy, it isn’t even technically tuning, though it does accomplish many of the things that programming and tuning used to be a good to for.
Let me explain that a bit more.
The Tuning of the Future?
As tuning becomes harder and harder to do, some of us feared the industry and the regular old truck owning guys, like myself, were in a tight spot. And while some of us, myself included, might not be too upset if I can’t custom tune my new 2020 Silverado with some racing programming--cause honestly, it isn’t like I’m racing my truck often--all us were concerned about the inability to disable DFM and that annoying and fuel wasting and engine harming Auto Start/Stop feature.
When the average guy, myself included, first embarks on tuning his ride, chances are good we start with something that will turn off old school AFM or new school DFM in your Chevy or GM pickup. These features, long touted as fuel economy measures, often in reality lower your MPG by increasing fuel consumption all at the added expensive of more wear and tear on your engine (if not uneven wear and tear in your cylinders). Couple this together with the horrible Auto Start/Stop feature, and you’ve made my new truck into the exact opposite of what I bought a truck for in the first place.
Auto Start/Stop Fiasco
I remember the first time I was in a rented car and had this feature engage. I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe the lengths that certain vehicle manufacturers would go to to try to appease the EPA, and what they were willing to sacrifice to get there.
Whereas Ford (perhaps, only hindsight will tell, correctly) went with smaller engines with turbochargers stock, GM and Chevrolet opted for advanced computer control of your cylinders and silly features like this: the Auto Start/Stop.
This feature literally turns off your engine when you are stopped for a certain amount of time.
Now I’m no mechanic, but I did play one on the stage in high school, and let me tell you, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you two things about this feature, right off the get go:
- Most of your fuel consumption comes from ignition.
- Ignition is the most violent moment for your cylinders in a gas powered vehicle.
I don’t even think I should have to explain these further than that. In the industry, they are pretty much as basic as breathing and gravity. It’s just a no brainer.
In high school, my first job ever was delivering pizza. Honestly, it was a blast. I go to drive around all the time, listen to music, and people paid me to do this. However, it involved putting a lot of miles on my car and additional wear and tear, so I did a little research and an experiment. After all, I wanted to make sure I was making enough money delivering to actually justify the damage I was doing prematurely to my vehicle.
Realization number 1: if I get less than a dollar tip on a trip over 15 minutes away from the pizza place, I lost money on the solo pizza deliver run. This sucks, but it’s true. Tip your delivery people, ya’ll!
Realization number 2: if taking the pizza from my car to the front door of the house and back again took less than 5 minutes, I was better off leaving my car running than shutting it off.
Now, look. There are safety issues to consider. You shouldn’t leave your car running in a rough part of town while you deliver $20’s worth of pizza to the second story of an apartment building. Obviously! I’m not an idiot.
But most of the time, I was letting my Toyota Supra idle in a driveway for about 2 minutes, and I wanted to know if I was using more fuel by letting the vehicle idle than by just turning it off.
And yes, I was an idiot teenager who was delivering pizza in a sports car. I see the irony now. I should have just had a full sized pickup instead. I would have probably gotten more fuel economy out of my 1985 Chevy Pickup than this ‘83 Supra. I was 16. Give me a break.
The results of my little experiment were pretty shocking, and I’m sure they still hold true today. After all, my Supra 2.8-liter, DOHC, inline six-cylinder is most likely not nearly as efficient as today’s engines. So arguably, the experiment would be even more lopsided today.
The take away is simple: starting your engine wastes more fuel and puts more wear and tear on your cylinders than just letting it idle for a few minutes.
So why do vehicle manufacturers do this?
I already blatantly and bluntly said it: kowtowing to the EPA.
And I get it. You have to hit those fuel economy standards. But here’s an idea, folks: what if you actually do it instead of using crazy experimental standards that don’t actually represent the real world?
Sure in a lab, I have no doubt you can make this argument work. And again, if you’re going to be idling your 5.3 L or 6.2 L engine for 5 minutes or something because you’re stuck in a traffic jam, sure. This probably makes sense then. But for the vast majority of us truck owners, that’s not happening to us on a daily basis. It’s just preposterous!
Long story short: Auto Start/Stop is annoying to the driver, more damaging to your engine than just idling, and it lowers (not raises) fuel economy most of the time.
So Edge’s new Pulsar LT has saved us from this silly “feature” that looks more like a bug. Thanks, Superchips for giving me the power to drive my truck how I want to and actually improve my gas mileage by turning these systems off.
DFM is the New AFM
If you’ve been skimming through our blog articles here at Midwest Aftermarket for any amount of time now, you’ll already know that I really hate AFM or Active Fuel Management. And I know, many of you agree with me on this. Ever since GM started down this road of trying to meet EPA standards via tone-deaf computer modulation of cylinder use, we Chevy and GM truck owners have been groaning and begging for them to stop.
There’s so much literature out there on how AFM damages your engine over time and actually does little to increase fuel economy, and in many cases does the exact opposite, that I don’t really need to say much more than this.
So GM came out with a new and improved version of AFM and renamed it DFM (Dynamic Fuel Management). And is it any better? Sure. And are there ways in which it is way worse? Oh, yeah.
This new and “improved” version of AFM is torque based, for instance. This is interesting, and allegedly means that you will no longer feel that strange lag or like the engine just doesn’t want to get up and go when you’re gunning it from say 35-40 MPH up to 60-70 MPH. And in the lab, I have no doubt that this worked out just as expected.
This new system allows for less cylinders to be active most of the time when you’re driving your truck. AFM had a more hard jump, from full 8 cylinders down to only 4. Now you could potentially be rocking anywhere from 1 to 8, so the curve should be more gradual.
However, let’s not forget that one of the key issues with AFM was uneven wear on your cylinders, so that’s no going away any time soon with this new system.
Secondly, your 5.3 L or 6.2 L Small Block V8 was designed--wait for it--to use all 8 cylinders! So why not use them.
Again, these “features” are designed to reach EPA standards without doing full engine redesigns. And I get it. This saves money, still let’s truck owners like myself have a full powerhouse V8 under the hood, but it’s like castrating the bull and then still calling it a bull, man!
If you’re buying your truck to be your daily driver and commuter vehicle only, and that’s a big “if,” then maybe--just maybe--this might make sense for you. But even then, the possible small improvements of fuel economy, which may not even be there for most of us, will unlikely outweigh the added wear and tear on your engine.
Yet again, how many of us Chevy and GM truck lovers out there bought their pickup just to commute. Even if you do drive it on the daily, you bought your truck for the horsepower, to haul heavy loads, to tow, to get up and go.
No one ever bought a Prius because they liked how fast it got from 0 to 60. But many of us enjoy driving our trucks for the acceleration.
Just say no to DFM.
I rest my case.
The New Edge Pulsar LT: Throttle Sensitivity Booster
These throttle boosters have been all the rage the last few years. Ever since the first module hit the market, they’ve been flying off the shelves like hotcakes. And after playing around with many of them, the Pulsar included, we can see why.
While I’m a numbers guy, and I’ve been tuning for nearly a decade now, and I’m comfortable with programming, what most of us really want out of our truck’s engine is more get up and go. And ramping up your throttle sensitivity does just that.
And yet again this is what makes the Pulsar LT so versatile and perfect for the 21st century truck market. It has everything we really want, and a few great added calibration features on the side.
You can turn off the stock “features” like DFM and Auto Start/Stop that most of us hate for all the reasons listed above, and you can step up your throttle sensitivity for more acceleration control, while increasing your top speed limiter, so you can drive your truck how you want too, not how the EPA and the manufacturer says you should.
Who doesn’t want that, really?
And with the ease of use and install, it’s hard to think of a scenario where I’d need more than this and want to do it in my home garage.
The Pulsar LT really is the Chevy and GMC truck owners dream “programming” device from 2019 going forward, and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t actually reprogram anything. Edge really has done it. This is the inline module to end all for GM trucks.
Operation and Install Video Guides Straight from Edge / Superchips for the Pulsar LT Inline Module
Shout out to the pros over at Edge / Superchips. Not only have they designed an excellent inline module that is above and beyond anything a humble Chevy truck owner like myself could have asked for, but they did two short videos showcasing it’s features, how to install the product, and how to operate the Pulsar LT all via your steering wheel’s cruise control buttons.
How easy is it to install the Pulsar LT? This easy:
How easy is it to operate the Pulsar LT? You can do it all from your steering wheel:
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