Chevrolet

Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec (Review & Buyer’s Guide)

Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec (July 2019)

The 6.0 Vortec is a heavy-duty engine produced by GM and was used in several Chevrolet and GMC trucks to achieve as much as 300 to 350 horsepower. It’s been a popular engine known for its power and towing ability.

Although your vehicle already has power-packed features, using a tuner on your truck will give you back the power that could be fading after years of usage. Each truck has a specific calibration set by the manufacturer to give you a targeted output, whether for towing, speed, or fuel mileage. If your truck is not appropriately programmed based on how you use it on a daily basis, it may not give you the performance you actually need. We’ve chosen the best tuners for 6.0 Vortec engines that will help you regain or surpass that performance your truck used to have.

[Want to learn the difference between a tuner and a programmer? Read our Ultimate Guide to Tuners, Programmers, and Chips.]

Why can you trust us? Mechanic Guides is written by experts and 100% reader-supported. We never receive anything from the product manufacturers.

Our Recommendations

Preview
Our Pick
Edge Products 85450 CTS2 Gas Evolution Programmer
Best Value
Jet 15008 Performance Programmer
Connect with your Mobile Devices
SCT Performance - 4416 - iTSX/TSX Wireless Vehicle Tuner - GM Compatible - Android/iOS Bluetooth OBD-II Programmer
Bully Dog - 40417 - GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic and Performance Tuner with 4-Preloaded Tunes
Name
Edge CTS2
Jet Performance
SCT iTSX/TSX
Bully Dog GT
Our Rating
Price
$611.95
$281.17
$399.00
$429.00
Pre-loaded Tunes
Custom Tunes
Touchscreen
No Screen Included
Prime
Our Pick
Preview
Edge Products 85450 CTS2 Gas Evolution Programmer
Name
Edge CTS2
Our Rating
Price
$611.95
Pre-loaded Tunes
Custom Tunes
Touchscreen
Prime
Best Value
Preview
Jet 15008 Performance Programmer
Name
Jet Performance
Our Rating
Price
$281.17
Pre-loaded Tunes
Custom Tunes
Touchscreen
Prime
Connect with your Mobile Devices
Preview
SCT Performance - 4416 - iTSX/TSX Wireless Vehicle Tuner - GM Compatible - Android/iOS Bluetooth OBD-II Programmer
Name
SCT iTSX/TSX
Our Rating
Price
$399.00
Pre-loaded Tunes
Custom Tunes
Touchscreen
No Screen Included
Prime
Preview
Bully Dog - 40417 - GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic and Performance Tuner with 4-Preloaded Tunes
Name
Bully Dog GT
Our Rating
Price
$429.00
Pre-loaded Tunes
Custom Tunes
Touchscreen
Prime

Our Pick: Edge CTS2 Evolution Programmer – Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec

The Edge CTS2 Evolution Programmer has pre-loaded tunes that basically have all the boosts that you need to improve your fuel mileage, speed, and towing capabilities. If you’re not happy with the performance of the pre-loaded tune, the device also allows you to tweak it so it’ll meet your requirements.

A Tuner, Monitor, and Performance Tester

The Edge CTS2 Evolution Programmer’s latest interface has a sensitive touch screen. For better contrast, or if you want to match your screen to your interior, you can change the background color. It also has an ambient light sensor which will automatically adjust the brightness of the screen.

The device comes with 5 pre-loaded tunes labeled in levels to help you figure out which one will give you the performance you want. The well-structured levels are also tied to specific usages to help you decide which one is best based on how you use your truck on a daily basis.

  • Level 1 – Trans Only: Provides firmer shifts for longer transmission life.
  • Level 2 – Economy: The lowest power level specifically tuned to increase your fuel consumption.
  • Level 3 – Towing: Typically used to give you the necessary “pull-power” if you need to tow heavy loads.
  • Level 4 – Performance: The fuel injection and timing are semi-aggressively calibrated to achieve an anticipated power gain.
  • Level 5 – Extreme: The highest power level that aggressively calibrates the fuel injection and timing for fuel efficiency and maximum power.

If you want to add more power on top of these levels, you can always make adjustments to help you achieve the type of performance you want for your truck. You can change the tire size, gear ratio, speed limiter, and more.

[Do you have a Chevy? You can boost it even more with our recommendations for the best performance mufflers for a 6.0 Chevy.]

The Edge CTS2 Evolution Programmer also works as a monitor through its multiple gauge screen setup to help you check your truck’s performance.  You can dictate the screen layout and choose which parameters you’d like to see. This includes the electronically controlled transmission, revolutions per minute, miles per hour, and more. Apart from these, you can also record data logs of how your truck is performing within a specific condition such as when you have to drive over rocky terrains or steep inclines. There’s also live monitoring to ensure that everything under the hood is not overheating nor under too much pressure.

It can also help you see the performance gains in your truck through its Performance Tests. You can run them before, to set a baseline, and run them again after you tune to see the improvements.  This will help you figure out if you want to move up to the next level or not.

Why should you buy it?

The Edge CTS2 has an innovative approach, specifically on the seamless navigation and touch screen display, that will really be an advantage. If you’re someone who likes to closely monitor your truck’s performance and find ways to push it to the limit, then this device is a good choice. The fact that it’s a 3-in-1 device (tuning, monitoring and performance testing) allows you to really get your money’s worth. You can also take advantage of the different levels of tuning capabilities so you can match how you program your vehicle according to how you drive your truck on a regular basis.

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Pros
  • Customizable screen layout
  • Touch screen
  • Multiple gauge screen setup
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Cons
  • More expensive than other options

Budget: Jet Performance Programmer – Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec

If you’re on a tight budget but you want to increase the power of your truck, the Jet Performance Programmer is a great option. It provides that needed boost through its EZ Tune Programmer or by manually altering the parameters. It may be a small device (almost half the size of your smartphone) but it really does a great job.

Jet 15008 Performance Programmer
27 Reviews
Jet 15008 Performance Programmer
  • 3 different performance tunes
  • Modify rev limit and speed limit
  • Correct speedometer for tire or gear changes
  • Built in trouble code scanner
  • Easy to use. Note : Refer to the PDF attached below in Technical Specification for Compatible Vehicles " Other Content "

Install The Tune and Manually Adjust Parameters Easily

When you attach your device to your OBDII port, it will automatically show your VIN and ID, which confirms that the connection is successful and uninterrupted.

Installing a tune is easy and straightforward. It has one pre-loaded tune which increases your mileage and performance based on your fuel grade selection. To ensure that your aftermarket parts work well, you can manually tune the parameters too like the gear ratio. With these adjustments, you can experience improvements in areas like a stiffened suspension, better braking, and improved steering.

Clicked the wrong option? You don’t need to worry because it’ll let you re-do the options before you overwrite the stock tune. Or, if you already loaded it up and you need to change something, you can always go back to stock and re-do the process.

[Need recommendations on the best supercharger kits? We got you covered.]

Get Smoother Revs and a Speed Limit That Works With Your New Tires

It can also change how your Automatic Transmission shift reacts by increasing or decreasing it based on your speed by changing the Wide-Open Throttle (WOT) shifting points. With these changes, you can experience smoother revs and seamless push whenever you need to drive on steep hills. You can also change the factory speed limit if you’ve changed your tire size.

Why you should you buy it?

The Jet Performance Programmer is probably the most affordable tuner on the market for the 6.0 Vortec. But in spite of its price, it can still deliver the needed power, speed, and fuel efficiency for your vehicle. It may not have the monitoring features like some of the other tuners on this list, but if you’ve purchased some aftermarket parts, the manual calibration will make sure that your tune will work smoothly with everything that you’ve installed. Plus, it gives you control over your shift point so you can get better drivability and increased power.

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Pros
  • Shows the VIN and ID of your truck
  • Great for manual tuning
  • Most affordable tuner
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Cons
  • No special features apart from tuning

SCT iTSX/TSX Wireless Tuner – Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec

Don’t want a lot of devices on your dash? The SCT iTSX/TSX is great because it connects to your smartphone or tablet, minimizing the number of gadgets in front of you. This wireless dongle works with both Android and iOS devices and guarantees a fast interface. Just download the SCT application, connect it via Bluetooth and voila! You’re ready to start tuning your 6.0 Vortec.

SCT Performance - 4416 - iTSX/TSX Wireless Vehicle Tuner - GM Compatible - Android/iOS Bluetooth OBD-II Programmer
4 Reviews
SCT Performance - 4416 - iTSX/TSX Wireless Vehicle Tuner - GM Compatible - Android/iOS Bluetooth OBD-II Programmer
  • WIDE MODEL FIT - Fitting a wide array of GM Models 1996 and newer, both gas and diesel. Enter your vehicle above to verify compatibility.
  • WIRELESS VEHICLE TUNING - Increase your vehicle's performance in minutes with pre-loaded tunes for the most popular vehicles.
  • MOBILE MONITOR - On-screen mobile or tablet interface shows virtual gauges with adjustable warning lights.
  • QUICK INSTALLATION - Wireless OBD-II interface connects to your mobile device through Bluetooth. Low profile, not wires.
  • CODE CLEARING - Reads & clears PCM diagnostic trouble codes.

4 Pre-loaded Tunes and Monitor Up to 6 Parameters

The SCT iTSX/TSX comes with pre-loaded tunes for the 6.0 Vortec, which include 93, 91 and 87 octane, and economy. If you’ve added nitrous, blower or turbo parts – be careful – you need to have a custom tune made for you to make sure that your truck’s computer will account for your aftermarket additions. To get a custom tune made is easy though. You just send your stock file via email, along with the specs of your aftermarket parts to SCT or a trusted local tuner.

You can also monitor the parameters with the help of this device. You can set up gauges to show real-time data for up to 6 parameters. You’ll see how your driving habits are affecting the engine and the fuel efficiency of your truck, among other things.

Performance Test To See Your Gains

If you want to get data on the performance gains from a tune, you can run a few different tests included in the device. This includes 0-60, quarter mile, or a break-in test. If you run these tests before tuning you’ll get a baseline to work off of to figure out how much power you’ve gained after all your calibrations.

Note: the device is not a legal purchase or use for pollution-controlled vehicles.

Why you should you buy it?

You probably have a dashcam, a phone, and a GPS mounted to your dash. If you to minimize all that stuff, the SCT iTSX/TSX only uses your phone or tablet to do the tuning, monitoring and performance testing. If you’re unsure whether it’s the perfect device for you, you can download their app where you can test out an interactive demo to see why it is one of the best tuners for 6.0 Vortec. (Search for “iTSX” on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.)

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Pros
  • Can be connected to both Android and iOS mobile phones or tablets
  • Wireless
  • Pre-loaded with tunes
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Cons
  • Not legal for sale or use on pollution-controlled vehicles

Bully Dog GT Performance Tuner – Best Tuners for 6.0 Vortec

The Bully Dog GT Performance Tuner is a 4-in-1 device. You can tune your truck’s computer, monitor the parameters, run a performance test, and clear trouble codes. Even though it doesn’t have a touchscreen, with these full-packed features, this device has made its way to become one of the best tuners for 6.0 Vortec on the market.

Bully Dog - 40417 - GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic and Performance Tuner with 4-Preloaded Tunes
293 Reviews
Bully Dog - 40417 - GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic and Performance Tuner with 4-Preloaded Tunes
  • Wide make & model fit - Fitting a wide array of Ford, Dodge, Nissan & GM Gas Models. Enter your vehicle above to verify compatibility. Please contact Bully Dog support for assistance.
  • Fuel economy - Enjoy fuel saving preloads for long-haul and around town driving. As well as other downloadable features
  • Heads up display - Monitor over 15 performance parameters at a glance with a dynamic LCD display mounted on a pillar, window, or dash
  • Pick your power - Utiliize multiple preloads and up to 10 custom tune files to match your vehicle and performance needs
  • Code Clearing - Diagnose and clear trouble codes to ensure proper engine operation

Driving Coach and Performance Testing to Achieve Optimum Performance

The Bully Dog GT Performance Tuner is known for its Driving Coach. It’s a specialized program that assesses your driving habits and scores you afterward. It’ll give you detailed guidelines, either on the screen or through a beeping sound, if any of your habits are seriously damaging your engine, or if you’re not making the most out of your fuel efficiency.

The device also allows you to do performance testing. With these tests you can figure out if the tune you installed matches your daily needs, if you need to change more parameters, or if a custom tune is better.

Clear Trouble Codes Instantly

If you’re seeing a red warning light on your dashboard, you can use your GT to figure out the source of the problem. This will save you a ton of money and time since you won’t have to visit your dealer or mechanic for actual testing.

Monitors Up to 10 Parameters at the Same Time

Get real-time updates through different gauges, which include boost in PSI, coolant temperature, intake air temperature, and so much more!

Why you should you buy it?

Bully Dog is known for its exclusive Driving Coach feature that allows you review your driving habits to maker sure that you’re getting the most out of the tuner. You can make adjustments on your style that will help keep anything under the hood in its best condition. It is a 4-in-1 device so you’ll also get a lot for what you paying. You can use it for tuning, reading and clearing DTCs, monitoring and performance testing.

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Pros
  • Monitors and grades your driving habits
  • Monitor up to 10 parameters simultaneously
  • Performance testing to make sure your tune is doing what you want
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Cons
  • Not touchscreen

Tune Your 6.0 Vortec Today!

Improve your truck’s current performance by purchasing one of our recommended best tuners for 6.0 Vortec. These popular brands have created innovative solutions that deliver top performance for truck owners.

If you have the budget to splurge, you’re getting your money’s worth with the Edge CTS2 since it gives you several features that most tuners don’t have. That includes tuning, monitoring, performance testing and clearing of DTC codes. Now, if you’re already spending a lot of money on your truck and you want to go with something that’s priced a little nicer, get the Jet Performance Tuner, especially if you know what parameters you want to change. If you’re not happy with the screen that typically comes with a tuner, or you want to minimize the devices mounted on your dashboard, the SCT iTSX/TSX is your best option. It works seamlessly with an iOS/Android mobile phone or tablet. Last, but not least, if you want thorough guidance on your driving habits after tuning, the Bully Dog GT gives you assistance on how you can maximize your truck’s performance and fuel efficiency.

If you want your truck to work like new again, these tuners can undoubtedly give you that boost and can even help you surpass the limits of the manufacturer. Why settle on a single feature when you can actually bag a ton of benefits in just a few clicks?