Edge Pulsar Tuner Review

Comprehensive Review of The Edge Pulsar Tuner For 2017-2019 L5P Duramax Trucks

Are you looking for a tuner for your 2017-2019 Chevrolet or GMC Heavy-Duty truck with the 6.6L L5P Duramax Diesel engine? These trucks came equipped from the factory with an almost impenetrable ECU that makes tuning these vehicles extremely difficult. In fact, the days of simply plugging into the OBD2 port and flashing the ECM are long gone. Now, if you want to tune your Duramax diesel, you have to either swap out the ECM, bypass the ECM, or use an in-line computer tuner like the Edge Pulsar Tuner. I own an L5P Duramax and I’ve wanted to improve performance for a while now. I wanted something I could install myself without breaking the bank. After a ton of researching, I came across the Edge Pulsar and I decided to contact Edge Products to see if I could get an Edge Pulsar tuner to review.

The Edge team was very accommodating and they sent an Edge Pulsar for me to review in about a week. Since I received it, I’ve put over 20,000 miles on my truck. I’ve done everything from heavy towing, long road trips, driving in the mountains and even consistent idling for my day job with this tuner. After everything, I’m finally read to give my readers my full, honest L5P Duramax tuner review. But first, before we get into my review, I wanted to share the Edge Pulsar tuner features that peaked my interest and made me want to install it on my L5P Duramax.

Edge Pulsar L5P Duramax Tuner Review
The Edge Pulsar Tuner is one of the best 2017-2019 6.6L L5P Duramax Diesel tuners on the market. It offers gains of up to 90 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque and is extremely easy to use and to install.

Edge Pulsar L5P Tuner Features

5 Tuning Levels

The main benefit of the Edge Pulsar is that it comes preloaded with 5 tunes, each offering different capabilities. You can switch between tuning levels on-the-fly or while driving. The highest performance gains are achieved on power level 5, up to 90 more horsepower and 156 more lb-ft of torque. The 6.6L L5P Duramax engine is already impressive on it’s own, just imagine what your truck will be like with almost 100 more horsepower. Here’s a chart depicting each of the different power levels and their respective performance gains.

Power LevelMax Horsepower GainMax Torque Gain
0StockStock
119 Horsepower46 lb-ft of torque
237 Horsepower71 lb-ft of torque
352 Horsepower105 lb-ft of torque
467 Horsepower125 lb-ft of torque
590 Horsepower156 lb-ft of torque
These gains are estimated based off of Edge Products internal product testing.

Switch Power Levels On-The-Fly

With the On-The-Fly capability, you can change power levels quickly and easily by simply pressing the + or – buttons on the steering wheel that are used in the cruise control system. That’s right, there’s no auxiliary switch that needs to be added. The Edge Pulsar is an in-line tuner that connects directly to the ECM, allowing it to use factory components to control the Pulsar. It also allows you to still use your factory cruise control system.

When changing power levels, you also aren’t required to turn off the vehicle or even slow down. You can change power levels while actively driving. With many other tuners, you have to re-flash the ECM. It’s very stressful because if your battery dies during the process, or if something else goes wrong, you can damage the ECM. After switching tuning levels however, it is recommended to let the transmission re-learn. It’s best to give your truck a solid 100 miles of driving before really laying into the accelerator pedal.

L5P Duramax Edge Pulsar Tuning Dyno Results. Picture taken from EdgeProducts.com

Pairs with the Edge Insight CTS3

If you read a number of the articles on my site, you’ll find that I strongly recommend digital gauge displays as a must-have for any truck. My favorite digital gauge display, also known as a performance monitor, is the Edge Insight CTS3. The Edge Pulsar can be paired with the Edge Insight CTS3 to gain even more features, and even more control over your vehicle. When using the Insight CTS3 with the Pulsar, you can actually change power levels through the Insight monitor as well. Read our full Edge Insight CTS3 review for a full break-down of all the features this monitor will give you as well.

The Edge Insight CTS3 Monitor pairs well with the Pulsar tuner, offering greater insight into your truck while also unlocking a number of features when the two are used together.

Easy Installation

A key reason I chose the Edge Pulsar is because of ease of installation. I like to be able to do things myself, and when I recommend a product, I like recommending things that truck owners can easily do themselves. It’s cheaper that way, and its half the fun! Because the Pulsar is an in-line tuner, it mounts directly on to the ECM. This is different than other L5P Duramax tuners that require you to remove your ECM and ship, leaving your truck for days or weeks sitting in your driveway. In about 15-20 minutes, you can install the Edge Pulsar tuner on your L5P.

This tuner also doesn’t require any complex wiring. You simply undo three separate plugs, remove a couple of bolts, and you’re ready to remove the ECM. Then you add a couple of brackets to secure the unit to the ECM after pushing the Pulsar flush against the ECM. Then just re-install. The hardest part is just getting the ECM out from under the engine. You may have to push other boots or piping out of the way to do it.

Power Without Compromising Reliability

Unlike old school tuners that add horsepower and torque but often resulted in premature failures and breakdowns, the Edge Pulsar has internal safeguards to maintain your trucks reliability. Safeguards exist for both the engine and transmission. If EGTs get too high, the Pulsar will derate the truck to protect the engine. If the transmission slips, the Pulsar will back down on power to protect the transmission.

Greater Vehicle Control & Customization

Tuning isn’t the only feature of the Edge Pulsar. There are a number of vehicle customization options that this tuner gives you. You can adjust the TPMS system to accommodate different tires. The Pulsar also let’s you adjust tire size to correct the speedometer. There’s a lot more too! Here’s a list of all of the other Pulsar Features.

  • Speed Limiter Adjustment
  • Gear Ratio Adjustment
  • Clear DTC Codes
  • Initiate Manual Regeneration to clear DPF
  • Transmission Re-Learn
  • Built-in Throttle Sensitivity Control
  • High-Idle Adjustment

Now that you have a good idea of all the ways the Edge Pulsar can benefit your truck, let’s get into my actual review.

Edge Pulsar L5P Duramax Tuner Review

Initial Thoughts

After researching all of the available L5P Duramax tuners on the market, the Edge Pulsar stood out for a number of reasons. First, it appears to be one of the easiest L5P Duramax tuners to install. It comes ready to be installed out of the box. The Pulsar also stood out because of its affordability. Custom tuning for the L5P can exceed over $3500 easily because you have to swap out the ECM. This tuner doesn’t require any of the headaches, while only costing $700-$800. The last differentiator is that the Pulsar claims to offer gains of up to 90 more horsepower and 156 more lb-ft of torque, and has 5 power levels that can be switched on-the-fly. Overall, after my research, I was really convinced the Edge Pulsar Tuner would meet the needs of most L5P Duramax truck owners.

2017-2019 Edge Pulsar L5P Duramax TUner Review
Edge Pulsar Tuner shown above. Picture taken from EdgeProducts.com

Performance

After installing the Edge Pulsar on my L5P Duramax, I was stunned. For a box tuner, a tuning device that comes with standard and pre-written tunes designed for the masses, this tuner offers unbelievable pep and significantly better throttle response. In fact, the Pulsar made my truck drive similar to a custom-tuned LMM Duramax with EFI Live I owned years ago.

Edge’s Pulsar for the L5P Duramax comes with 5 tuning levels and I spent time driving with each individual level. Switching between tunes is easy and only takes seconds. If you’ve had tuners in the past that required re-flashing your ECM every time you wanted to change power levels, you will love how easy the Pulsar makes it.

After putting my truck through a variety of tasks like heavy towing, extended high-way driving, and long-term idling I am happy to report that I experienced zero issues, and if anything the tasks were made easier. You just have to be careful towing in the higher tune levels, 4 or 5, because EGTs get high quickly when accelerating or going uphill. Stay in the lower settings for frequent towing. I really enjoy the higher settings for commuting because they offer better throttle response and more passing power. Level 3 is a great compromise for all around driving.

Design

The design of the Edge Pulsar tuner has to be one of the best things about it. It’s an in-line tuner that doesn’t require re-flashing your vehicle to switch power levels. Instead, you get immediate power and quick adjustments by simply using your vehicle’s OEM buttons on the steering wheel.

Another excellent and well thought-out feature are the safeguards that protect your L5P Duramax engine and your Allison Transmission. Many tuners don’t have these same safeguards so while they may give you a noticeable performance boost, it comes at the cost of reliability. The Edge Pulsar actively monitors EGTS and searches for transmission slippage. If either is detected, power is decreased to keep these components safe.

The physical design of the Pulsar is pretty unique and impressive as well. The L5P’s ECM is located right next to the engine where it is exposed to extreme heat all the time. I was a little worried at first that it wouldn’t hold up. I haven’t experienced any problems, and it’s clear that the Edge Products engineers designed this thing to withstand the high temperatures.

Price

At $800, the Edge Pulsar is at a lower price point than many L5P Duramax tuners. Because of the sophistication of the ECM, many L5P Duramax tuners require you to exchange your ECM with one that has been cracked, as well as purchasing a tuner and tunes for your vehicle. This can easily cost more than $3000 if you are working with a quality tuning company. While custom tuning often creates the best results, the cost just makes it very unrealistic for most people. Edge’s Pulsar costs a fraction and offers respectable gains that are more than enough for most people.

Quality

I’ve had trucks with many different types of tuning. I’ve used EFI Live, EZ Lynk, Torque Tech, Bully Dog/SCT tuners with custom tuning, and more. Every single one of these tuning platforms gave me problems one way or another. They were either difficult to install, it was hard to change tunes, or they caused my truck problems once in a while.

Installing and using the Edge Pulsar has been absolutely seamless. I haven’t had a single code pop up, my vehicle hasn’t broken down, and everything is easy to use and change. The quality of the Pulsar is very apparent. It’s given me no problems and I haven’t had to reach out to Edge support a single time.

Overall Thoughts

The Good

My Edge Pulsar Review has definitely been more positive than negative. If you are looking for a quality tuner that is easy to use, this is the tuner for you. The L5P Duramax comes from the factory with over 400 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque. With gains up to 90 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque possible with the Pulsar, this is really all you need for a truck that is capable and fun to drive. The internal EGT and transmission slippage safeguards also give you peace of mind. Overall, the Edge Pulsar is a owner-friendly, powerful, and safe tuner for your L5P Duramax. If you are looking for a tuner for your 2017-2019 Duramax diesel truck, strongly consider giving this one a chance.

The Bad

There are very drawbacks of the Pulsar tuner. My main dislikes are that this tuner is only currently available for 2017-2019 Duramax trucks. If you have a 2020 model or newer, they currently don’t have a tuner you can use. I was also disappointed in my fuel economy gains. Other tunes I’ve used in the past like EFI Live resulted in better fuel economy gains. That being said, because of the emissions devices on these newer trucks and their already impressive MPGs, I think maybe there is less room for improvement. This is especially the case if you idle frequently, which causes more regenerations to occur. Anyways, I only experienced a one mile per gallon increase in fuel economy on average.

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Edge Pulsar L5P Duramax Tuner

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