Best Duramax Tuner That You Need To Buy: EFI Live Review

Duramax Tuner Spade Series

Starting at $749.00



Ease of Installation







  • Easy installation
  • Tunes specific to your truck
  • Clean and powerful tunes
  • Fully upgradeable


  • Changing parts on truck that would result in a reburn will be a $125 charge
  • Price point for entry level is high

Best Duramax Tuner on the Market Period!

duramax tuner logoEvery Duramax diesel owner wants to know what the best Duramax tuner is for their truck. Diesel Addict has the definitive answer for you! The Spade series programmer by Duramax Tuner with EFI Live tuning. Duramax Tuner’s attention to detail with their spade series tuner makes it by far the best Duramax tuner on the market. They have done extensive testing on the dyno and thousands of custom tunes for Duramax owners. You know you are getting experience when you get a Duramax Tuner. Their large team of techs make sure that you have access to the right tune for the right job. No matter what you got under the hood, Duramax Tuner has got the Spade and tunes for you! Find out why we think this is the best programmer for Duramax below.

The Tuner:

EFI Live Duramax Tuner

Duramax Tuner Spade series programmer comes in three versions of modules Ace, King, and Jack. Here is the breakdown to pick the one that is best for you.

Programmer Breakdown
jackJack Series: – Comes with five standard tunes (stock, heavy tow, light tow, sport economy, and race). The Jack tunes are aimed at stock transmission and stock turbo uses. Tunes range from 320 rwhp to 440 rwhp. Fuel mileage gains are around 15-17 MPG with in town driving and 17-21 MPG on the highway. This is the tuner that is most popular and fits most Duramax owner’s needs.
kingKing Series: – Comes with the same spread of tunes as the Jack (stock, heavy tow, light tow, sport economy, and race), but they have raised power level for the built transmissions. The King is designed for trucks with built transmissions and basic supporting modifications. The King is designed to max out your stock turbo and stock injectors. Power levels range from 320 rwhp to 530+ rwhp.
aceAce Series: – Completely custom. During purchasing, the purchaser will fill in what tunes they would like built for their truck. The Ace is reserved for custom combinations. The Ace is set up for any combination of injectors, turbochargers, and pumps. Duramax Tuner satisfaction guaranteed. Tuner only for a select few with very special needs.

best duramax tunerThe SPADE series (Standalone Programming and Diagnostic Equipment) makes the highest quality tunes on the market available in a simple to use OBD style flash tool. The tunes represent the best in drive-ability, reliability, and power. The SPADE system is the first hardware to ship pre-loaded with tunes of this caliber. In addition to simplifying the programming process, the SPADE series has the ability to run diagnostics and log data for analysis. In a custom tune refinement situation this logged data can be sent to a rep to facilitate changes or aid with troubleshooting. Updated tuning files can be sent remotely in the same manner as logged data, making the SPADE tunes field upgrade able.

Fits: 2001-2015 Chevrolet Duramax LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, and LML

The complete kit comes with:

  • Spade series tool module
  • Installation hardware

I would say that as far as the best bang for your buck and the cleanest most powerful tunes without damaging anything on the truck, EFI Live tunes by Duramax Tuner are really your best bet. They are vehicle/vin specific for only your modifications. This makes them a superior product in my opinion compared to other tuners that have canned tunes such as Edge.

– Jimmy Raney
EFI Live by Duramax Tuner Expert

efi live logoEFI Live Duramax Tuning:

The spade comes with EFI live tuning. EFI Live is a revolutionary tuning tool for the Duramax engine. The data logging features allow you to record and look at data in great detail.

Tunes Breakdown
Optimized Stock – Power delivery smoother than stock with near stock output. Refined timing tables for lower EGTs and higher efficiency. Cleaned up stock calibration.
Heavy Tow* – +40 rwhp over stock. Refined timing tables for lower EGTs. Throttle pedal revised for simplified low speed trailer maneuvering. Built for towing loads from 8,000 lbs up to gross vehicle weight with turbine braking.
Light Tow* – +60 rwhp over stock. Refined timing tables for lower EGTs. Throttle pedal revised for simplified low speed trailer maneuvering. Built for towing loads under 8,000 lbs with turbine braking.
Sport Economy – +80 rwhp over stock. Best balance of power reliability and efficiency for unloaded daily driving. Low smoke output. Throttle sensitivity increased for less throttle input, quicker shifting and less average RPM in daily driving situations. The one you will be running most of the time unloaded.
Race – +100 rwhp over stock. Maximum horsepower tune for stock transmission. If abused, has the potential to shorten the life of your stock transmission. Typically will run mid 14’s near 93 MPH on a truck setup for drag racing. This will max out the stock torque converter and torque converter clutch without hurting the trans.

As you can see once you go with EFI Live you are getting the best made just for your truck. Having problems or think your tunes could be better? You can do a live data log and record it to send it in for revisions. Duramax Tuner only charges if you do change parts on the truck that need all the tune to be rewritten and it is a $125 charge and the tune is emailed directly to you. Duramax Tuner’s customer support is 2nd to none.

See How to Select the Right Tunes for Your Duramax Below:

See Breakdown of Different Tunes for LML Duramax Below:


Information You Will Need to Know:

Like mentioned every spade is made and tuned to the specific truck that it is put on. The tunes are made for you! Likewise, information about your truck that you should have on hand are listed below. Plan on making modifications in the future? No problem! The spade is fully upgrade able and new tunes can be sent to your email to put on your tuner. This gives you peace of mind and makes sure you are going down the road with the best tunes at all times.

  • VIN number
  • Tire size
  • Turbo
  • Injector
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Other modifications

You should also be clear about how you use your truck. Things like do you tow often, truck mileage, where in the world you normally drive your vehicle, and how long you plan on keeping your truck are all important things that you should keep in mind. No one knows your truck better than you so share this information. Being clear and upfront about how you use your truck will help make for better tunes. The more information you can give the better.

The Installation:

This install is pretty easy. It is pretty much just like any programmable chip. This kit comes with a DSP5 switch which is an added bonus, but does add to the install time. Installing your Duramax Tuner should realistically take around 1 hour with fairly easy difficulty.

See an Overview of the Spade Jake by Duramax Tuner:

Best Duramax Tuner Conclusion:

So now that you are equipped with more information, do you think this is the best Duramax tuner? We know it is pretty controversial, but hopefully this gives you some insight into what you might want out of your programmer. Diesel Addict thinks you should at least highly consider the Spade for the best on the market currently. The EFI live Duramax tuning on a Duramax Tuner is perfected however, the price for this unit is pretty high. This is the only knock we can come up with for the Duramax Tuner Spade. However, they have years of experience in Duramax tuning and offer the best tuner for the money (even if it is on the high end). Trust us. It is worth the money though. Fully upgrade able and custom tunes for your truck makes this the best programmer for Duramax on the market to date in our opinion! Got more questions about this Duramax programmer or just want to chat? Give us a call toll free at 1-866-737-4966.

shop now at Thoroughbred Diesel



  • Vincent says:

    But if I want more power like 180hp can you reprogram that for me

  • tbreddiesel says:

    Any tuning upgrades that you will need you will have to work directly with Duramax tuner on.

  • Jake Combs says:

    I am interested in getting a turner for my 2012 duramax. I am thinking about deleting the EGR and DEF systems first. Any conflict with ordering a turner after those modifications have been made?

  • tbreddiesel says:

    Those modifications will require tuning before you are able to remove the components. You will need the tuning to “turn off” the emissions actions as well as the SES lights that are associated with the systems being removed.

  • rick says:

    I purchased a vehicle with a EFI single tune loaded on it. EGR deleted, DEF deleted, exhaust modified. EGR block plates installed. My problem is that the speedometer is off 3 MPH and I would like to adjust it and also the tune if desired. Truck came with no handheld or information on the tune. Can I do anything with this other than buy a new tuner?

  • tbreddiesel says:

    No, at this point you will have to go with a different EFI live tuner (or any other programmer) and overwrite what you have in the truck. If you can find the previous owner of the truck and get your tunes changed that will be the easiest and most cost-effective avenue. Good luck!

  • Trker says:

    I’m looking for better towing capabilities for a 2017 Chevy Colorado with the 2.8L Diesel. I’m currently pulling a 26′ travel trailer camper 4700lb empty and probably pushing 6500lb maxed out. Looking for the best option for my set up without having to upgrade to a $70K 2500 pickup truck! suggestions/recommedations on a tuner as I see a couple different ones available? Spade vs Scrocher? Only want to buy a tuner once and hopefully the best! lot of hype out there!

  • maister says:

    I want to get DT tunes, but can they turn off the DPF and EGR too?

  • tbreddiesel says:

    As far as tuner goes, both are good options, but the EFI Live offering gives you the ability to read and clear diagnostics codes and a few other diagnostic capabilities. Towing, as long as you are not exceeding the GVWR you should be fine POWER wise, but towing a camper with a “mid size” truck takes some getting used to from the stability side of things.

  • tbreddiesel says:

    Give us a call and we can help! 866 737 4966

  • Mahlon Nolt says:

    I have a 2.8 Duramax in a Chevy Express. Will the Spade Jack series work with that? I am interested in the additional fuel economy. Chikn Farmer

  • Ed Bitner says:

    I bought new, a 2011 GMC Sierra with a Duramax 6.6 engine. Everything is still stock and nothing has been deleted. I’ve read where tuning the truck first is a great option to deleting. If that’s the case would the Jack tuner work great for my truck. I already get 15mpg to 17 mpg in town and 21mpg over the road. Towing over the road nets me 15 to 16.
    Trying to decide if tuning is a way to go verses deleting. Advice would be great.

  • tbreddiesel says:

    Great question. Tuning is going to get you a much better overall driveability of the truck. Increased HP and TQ in these tunes (among other factors) really work to make the truck overall more efficient and can totally be accomplished with emissions equipped truck. We don’t generally advertise MPG increases as all trucks are different and respond differently to tuning given their current condition. Calibrated Power does a great job with their tuning and you cant go wrong with their product.

Leave a Comment