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  • Tuning with a Smarty S03 Programmer

       (2 reviews)


    Tuning with a Smarty Programmer

    Written by pepsi71ocean




    OK guys, here is the scoop. It has long been know that Smarty S03's burn dirty. But the bigger thing here is the fact that understanding how the smarty works, and base settings to start with seem to be non existence. As a result the confusion created makes the Smarty one of the most confusing programmers on the market. However, I believe that for towing it is one of the more powerful ones when set up correctly.


    There are many advantages to the Smarty S03, mainly that it is plug and play, you unplug it and you don't have extra computers or added wiring to hook up. Plus when being inspected by NJ DOT for emissions I've also passed as well, which may or may not being a big deal in your state if they have smoke tests.

    I have used the Smarty since I bought it in July 2010 with 71,400 miles on the odometer. With over 54,500 miles of Smarty use, and countless experimentation; I have been studying this Smarty for more then 5 years heavily in terms of flashing the ECM with different settings, different injectors, and extensively in reference to Mike on the phone because we were trying to understand what the settings did. In the end this article got allot of help with the thread Smarty S03: Tuning & Testing of Can-bus Fueling, in which with extensive testing we were able to confirm things I long knew, but we couldn't understand what they do. Fell free to read the thread, as this write-up is backed up around how it works. In the end the Can-bus fueling thread help explain and give me the ability to articulate this article.

    Without further blabbering here are my notes (using the information gathered on the Can-bus testing and other threads).

    NOTE: Due to the excessive length of this article (8 pages on my computer) it is broken into sections to make it easier to get to specific areas.

    NOTE: When your programming your smarty you must set your REVO settings first then flash in the SW#. Any changes to the REVO software will require to re-flash your ECM, thus requiring you go back into the SW# and reprogram.


    Section Guide

    1. General Notes

    2. Common Smarty Issues-(Surging, sluggish acceleration etc)

    3. Torque Management

    4. Duration

    5. Timing (includes Over-Advancement WARNING)

    6. SW Settings

    7. REVO

    8. Smoke and Spool Up Control

    9. Smoke Control (alternative method)

    10. Towing and the Smarty


    Section 1- General Notes

    1. Duration should be increased based on the size of the injectors.

    2. The Timing REVO doesn't change your timing at the top, the Smarty locks the timing at 18.02*.

    3. The SW# and the REVO software work independently of one another, meaning that SW9 is not the same as TM6, T4 and D5.(REVO on max)

    4. Your trucks internals make a difference, Turbo Size, transmission type, torque converter stall speed. All play a factor on your abilities to tune your truck here, and in finding you which settings work best.

    5. The Smarty S03's performance bump is only good for use really between 1,200 and 2,400rpm's, but this is the area your truck is using the most.

    6. The S03 locks timing at 18.02*, but the amount of throttle required to lock the timing at that ratio changes based on the Timing level. Example T4 locks the timing at say 60% throttle, rather-wise T3 is 70%, T2 is 80% etc.

    7. The higher the SW level the faster you hit %100 duration in relation to throttle input.  SW3 wont hit %100 until WOT. SW5 will hit %100 duration at %50 throttle input / SW7 Will hit %100 duration at 40% throttle input. SW9 will hit %100 duration at 30% throttle input. In order for timing to lock at 18* you must have %100 duration AKA 4095 on the databus for a fueling command.   

    8. Smoke control can also be controlled by mechanical means, ie raising injector pop pressure.



    Section 2- Common Smarty Issues

    If you have a Smarty and have the symptoms below see the sections for fine tuning.


    • Cruise Control Surge<>See Torque Management

    • Sluggish acceleration<>See Timing

    • Smoke before spool up<>See Torque management

    • Smoke on passing<>See Duration

    • Not enough passing power<>See Duration



    Section 3- Torque Management-----------------------------------------------------

    This setting basically controls the low end response. The larger the Injectors you have the lower this number can be and achieve the same result. The higher the TM# with larger injectors the more smoke you will have on your pre-boost fueling.


    NOTES-If your having issues with cruise control surge, this will help calm down the surging issues as you lower the TM#. With my 100hp injectors I have ZERO cruise control surge issues with my truck.

    With aftermarket injectors you have really only 4 settings to choose from. I consider 3 the lowest number, the closer to stock injectors the higher you can get on the TM#. There are two exceptions to this rule, one is running a compound/twin turbo or one that is a VGT based. The other is higher popped injectors.


    Torque Management
    # 0 - Default<Default for the SW#>
    # 1 – Factory TM
    # 2 – Light TM(you need to adjust TV cable for this)
    # 3 – Good for larger injectors 100hp or greater
    # 4 – OK for larger injectors 75-100hp, depending on transmission TV cable setting.
    # 5 – OK for larger injectors 50-75hp, depending on transmission TV cable setting.
    # 6 – Good for stock Injectors,



    Section 4-Duration-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This setting controls the length of injection. I find it is useful to set accordingly. This setting more or less controls passing power on the freeway. It is quite possible to run out of fuel when passing at higher speeds. For example on #2 I was good for passing at 35-40 mph, but the truck couldn't pass at highway speeds of 65-70mph. If you set this to high you WILL roll coal on the freeway when passing even after the turbo has lite up.


    Injection duration
    # 0 - Default<Default for the SW#>
    # 1 – Stock duration
    # 2 – Good for Injectors below 75 HP
    # 3 – Good for 75-100 HP
    # 4 – Good for 100 HP
    # 5 – Good for larger then 100 HP



    Section 5-Timing----------------------------------------------------------------

    The term Timing is very miss-leading here. The Timing settings don't change your timing, but they do change when the timing locks at 18.02*. For trucks with larger injectors you should read this section thoroughly and the Over Advancement warning below as well.

    Unlike what is commonly believed here, the Smarty locks your timing once you cross a tps% threshold, and keeps it locked, even if you push your throttle in farther. Now the tps% threshold is dictated by two factors the SW# and the Timing#. In the chart below you can see where the Timing is locked by the tps%. Now the higher your SW# the faster your reaching that 100% tps fueling, regardless of where your foot is on the pedal. When driving with larger injectors this can become an issue when the tps locks so low that you can't spool your turbo, and no amount of Torque Management or Duration will fix this, just exacerbate it.


    When driving or towing, (automatic or manual), you need to find which movement of the pedal is normal for you, How much control you desire is based on the SW#, and then locking your timing can then be adjusted based on your Timing#.



    • When running larger injectors on #4, you need to be careful because it can cause to much timing, adjusting the SW# down by one number (ie 9-7-5) to change this.
      Larger Injectors can run more timing on a lower SW#, but the higher it is the lower the number has to be. This is because the SW#9 setting runs cruise timing at a different rate because it's fooled on the ECM.

    • Running the SW# on an even number results in stock timing, however changing the timing revo will revert the truck back to Smarty timing. Bottom Line Timing on 3 is the same weather your running an Even or an odd SW#.

    • The smarty locks the timing regardless of the Timing # at 18.02*, however the SW# and the higher the Timing can change how fast it gets to that 18.02* and how much pedal is required. Note that to much timing can cause negative torque which I expand on more below when detecting for it.

    • The size of and pop pressure of your injectors also plays a major roll here, as they effect combustion and injection. The larger your injectors the more lag you have with the mechanical timing offset, which can also eschew your numbers.

    Injection Timing
    # 0 – Default<Default for the SW#>
    # 1 – Stock<Stock Timing>
    # 2 - SW Timing for stock injectors(locks timing about 80% throttle)
    # 3 - SW Timing for aftermarket Injectors
    # 4 - SW Timing for aggressive timing(locks timing about 65% throttle)


    Step back table for Timing with larger Injectors and CaTCHER software.





    Not OK


    T2- T3- T4

    T3- T4



    T2- T3- T4

    T2- T3- T4



    T2- T3



    Over-Advancement WARNING: Now we know that the timing is static at 18.02* so why is there over advancement you ask? Its because the Smarty will lock it in to soon. Now with stock injectors this isn't an issue, however with my larger injectors I noticed sever issues with this. There are risks here involved with locking your timing to soon especially if your towing heavy or need spool up.

    So what does it feel like? This is best defined as a lack of acceleration when you push on the throttle, and the more you push down the throttle, it doesn't change anything until you get higher up around 2,000RPM. It should be noted that once it locks the timing it will keep it locked from that %tps onward, so adding more throttle will not pull your timing!!! If you do find yourself experiencing this it's best to back off the Timing 1 notch. Or lower your SW# by a CaTCHER setting.

    This is a game here, Some trucks will run better on a lower SW# with a higher Timing#, others benefit from lower Timing, and Higher SW#.



    Section 6 SW Settings----------------------------------------------------

    The higher the SW# then more aggressive the throttle response from idle up. Remember the gain in HP at the top is the same, however what you are using the smarty for is the low and mid range bump. The higher the SW# the lower the bump moves in RPM. So low that on SW#9 its about right off idle.


    Now there is a trade off here, the higher the SW# the lower the tps is shown to the ECM, as a result you truck runs with better cruise timing. However, you must remember as was covered in the Timing Section, that the Smarty will lock the Timing at 18.02* as well if you get on the pedal. Smoke control is achievable by using a higher SW# because it fuels harder to spool faster, but this can also be achieved with the TM Revo.

    When you start running larger injectors you will notice more benefits from running lower SW#'s because you get better control with your feet when it comes to acceleration and torque. Your gain with running SW9 with larger injectors diminishes with the larger the injector because you are now over fueling, it makes the truck harder to drive.



    • When towing use the lower the SW# the better you have control over towing.

    • Remember that the Even SW# are fueling only, unless you switch the Timing# to something other then the default of the Catcher.

    • Choosing a SW# for towing varies by injector size, turbo spooling, and other variables, but its best to start looking around SW5.


    Here is the SW Table


    SW# 1 : Fuel Saver
    SW# 2 : Only more fuel and Boost fooling
    SW# 3 : Like # 2 + added timing
    SW# 4 : “Soft” CaTCHER no added timing
    SW# 5 : Like # 4 + added Timing
    SW# 6 : Mild CaTCHER no added timing
    SW# 7 : Like # 6 + added Timing
    SW# 8 : CaTCHER no added timing
    SW # 9 : CaTCHER with Timing



    Section 7 REVO-----------------------------------------------------------------

    Now that we have a good understand of how the interact with each other, this is the best way to get your adjustments in. Understand that each SW power level will require a different input form the REVO side. The results you see will be based on the injector size, turbo size, and other modifications you have. I've found it best to have a notepad handy and take notes of observations. When testing you want to go through the broad range, and NOT do WOT tests as they will not give you an idea of how your truck will drive with the different settings.

    When adding in your revo settings its best to find a good mix of them all. In this case I've found that the SW5 and SW7 levels work great for towing use. And even with larger injectors the lower the SW# the better it is. My 100's run great on SW5 for towing, She has good throttle range for towing use, the Smarty ramps up hard higher up in the rpm range, to where you need that for spool. Towing from 1,600-2,300rpm is much better.



    Section 8 Smoke and Spool up Control--------------------------------------

    When you start using the CaTCHER software, its best to start planting your TM and Timing and Duration based on the tables I wrote up above, and make adjustments as necessary.


    NOTE:If you want more low end response raise the TM# up one notch.

    NOTE:If you want to add more passing power raise Duration up one notch.


    Its best to find the limits of what you need. For example with Duration I found that 5 made smoke on passing, and 3 I ran out on the high way, so backing to 4 was ideal. The pyrometers will be effected by this, as the injection duration is in blocks, You can't make finite adjustments, however the extra fueling between 3 and 5 is enough with 100hp injectors to get passing power smoke.


    Torque Management will work in a similar fashion, the low end rolling boost is proportional to the TM# and injector size. When I had TM set to 6 I couldn't even use cruise control and had smoke if I pushed the pedal to fast, lower the TM# and the issues went away. And even so the cruise control and smoke issues got less as I dropped the TM from 6 to 4, and found that 2 was unusable, but 3 worked best for me. I still believe that the smaller the injectors the higher you can raise the TM# without these effects.

    Even so the two are still connected, you can still roll coal with TM#6 with duration on 2 or 3 with larger injectors. Because the TM will still control the spool up on the passing side of the turbo. This is important to note as this can confuse people when it comes to tuning for smoke control.



    Section 9-Smoke Control(alternative method)-----------------------------------------------------

    All of this is designed to help with smoke control and tune-ability so that you can get a good running truck. However, if you find yourself in the a situation where you have low end smoke and your running out of passing power, you may want to check and get your injectors popped. I advise a base of at least 300 if not higher based on injector size. I set my 100's to 322 BAR and have no smoke even after making tuning adjustments.


    Section 10-Towing with the Smarty

    Towing with the Smarty can turn your truck into an towing beast. This is where I believe the smarty shines. For me I have found that the lower the SW# the more control you have, especially if you find yourself towing heavy routinely. Now what makes your settings unique is determined by the size of injectors, your turbo charger size, transmission type, and upgrades to your transmission. Its best to run a lower SW# either 3-5-7. As you raise the SW# the response will rise. If your towing you will want to prevent the Smarty from locking the timing at too low of a %tps, Understand that the torque put out by the Smarty is not RPM dependent, but tps dependent.

    When towing, or climbing in mountains you will see more benefit from the lower SW# because it gives you better control with your feet when towing/acceleration control. The larger the injectors the less of an offset you will need for pedal movement to get that added HP/TQ. When you do reach the lock up tps% for timing its better to have it at a higher throttle percentage for this reason. The 18.02* of timing is very safe and stout for 1,800rpm's but it is actually not enough at 2,400rpm's. Which is the reason why the Smarty gives you the torque you need farther down.

    The larger the injector the harder it fuels the higher the SW, so extra smoke is just wasted fuel, In these cases its better to have the torque at a higher throttle percentage especially for slipper/wet/or wintry roads!

    When towing if you find yourself running out of passing power, or climbing hills where you need more boost increase your Duration by a click. If you are finding to much oomph on SW9 turn the TM back a bit, or raise your TM# and lower the SW#. Either can get you there. But understand the effects of the timing locking.




    I know this was very drawn out, but it should give you a really good understanding of how the Smarty works. If you have questions about tuning feel free to send me a PM and ask questions.


    John Armstrong Jr.

    Revision 1.3   Date 2-3-2019


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    User Feedback


       3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

    Your article is very much appreciated.  I have never understood why there is so little operational information given by the manufacturer.  I have always liked the Smarty S03 because I tow a fair amount. 


    For me, you have shown that different SW settings can significantly change how fast the TPS signal ramps up with the same foot pedal effort.  I don't think I would have ever figured that out.  Just that one piece of information alone should help a lot of people get their trucks tuned better - I know it has made a big difference for me.


    Thank you,

    - John

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       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    Very much appreciated; great article as it sheds some light on a tuner with surprisingly little research into it, despite being so common. 

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