Certain manufacturer warranties can be voided by using aftermarket tuners however, the Return to Stock option allows you to safely return your truck's computer to its factory settings before taking it into the dealer for service. Here's how it works.

When you plug it in, Hypertech's Max Energy downloads and saves the stock tuning program, then uploads your customized Power Tuning program. Before taking your vehicle into a dealership for service, you simply choose the Return to Stock setting and you're good to go.

The Max Energy Power Programmer comes with a USB cable and a CD containing software that allows you to quickly update the programmer via the Hypertech website. The CD also contains an installation video and a printable version of the instruction manual.

Using the Max Energy Power Programmer is so simple it's ridiculous. If you can plug in a light and answer yes or no questions, you can add up to 114 horsepower to your truck. No joke, it's that easy.

Our subject for this test is a 2010 base model F-350 dualie; nothing fancy, just your basic utilitarian work truck. It sports a 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 Turbo Diesel Engine that rates 735 lb-ft of torque and 390 hp at the flywheel. At the wheels, that translates to 306 hp and 526 lb-ft of torque at 3,050 rpm. That is already a stout combination for towing race car trailers around, but it could be better-a lot better according to Hypertech.

The company offers published dyno data on all of its applications for the Max Energy programmers. This data is gathered on state-of-the-art equipment at its Tennessee headquarters. Hypertech says that we should expect an increase of up to 114 hp at 3,350 rpm, and more than 188 lb-ft at 2,950 rpm depending on which stage we choose.

We wanted to verify that data for you, so we headed over to Ramsey's Performance in Lutz, Florida. Owner Dennis Ramsey was kind enough to give the CT crew a little time on his in-ground Dynojet chassis dynomometer. We have our own Dynojet chassis dyno in the newly refurbed Source Interlink Media Tech Center in Tampa but that dyno is on a lift, and at more than 105 inches wide, the truck wouldn't fit on it. So it was off to Ramsey's.

When we rolled the big white dualie onto Dennis' dyno, the outer tires hung off of the rollers. Getting the rear of the truck centered over the dyno rollers turned out to be a bit of a time consuming process, which in retrospect actually took longer to accomplish than tuning the motor with the Max Energy programmer.

Another problem we ran into was that neither dyno we had access to had the correct diesel sensors. These specialized sensors are designed to gather torque data from a diesel engine. Most dynos use spark from the coil to gather torque data, but since diesels do not have coils we were outta luck. Even so, we could still verify Hypertech's horsepower claims and then infer that the torque claims were accurate as well. Horsepower being a function of torque, we were just working backwards.

Figures 1 through 3 are from the Hypertech data. As you can see from Figure 4 (on the following page), we achieved peak horsepower of 293.83 with the stock tune. We arbitrarily decided to put on the Stage 2 tune and let 'er rip. We netted 364.05 horsepower, a gain of more than 70 ponies. Compared to Hypertech's published numbers of an 80hp increase, we were right in the ballpark. Remember, we're on a different dyno that, while under cover, is outdoors so ambient air temperatures and humidity weren't controlled.