Diablosport Predator to Trinity Upgrade

Since its introduction, the Diablosport Predator tuning system has become a favorite with owners and tuners for its ease of use and flexibility. Untold thousands of late-model cars have been reflashed with Predators, and the system is a cornerstone of the EFI tuning world. Like every bit of technology, there’s always something new and improved on the drawing board though, and Diablosport is no exception. But how do you follow a legend like the Predator? It takes a lot to exceed the high standards already set, and Diablosport has done just that with the Trinity.

Both the Predator and the Trinity offer similar capabilities in terms of uploading standard and custom tunes, but the Trinity takes the user interface to a new level. “The Diablosport Trinity is, simply put, one of the most advanced tuning devices in the market, with the capability to tune, log and record data, display and customize virtual gauges, and read and clear trouble codes,” says Diablosport’s Max Wymann.

In place of the Predator’s monochrome LCD display and push button interface, the Trinity offers a high resolution 320×240 full color touch screen. In addition using this screen to navigate through the tuning options, Diablosport has upped the ante by adding customizable virtual gauge displays for real-time monitoring of dozens of different parameters, a built-in diagnostic tool that allows you to read and clear trouble codes, and extensive datalogging capabilities. “With over 100MB of onboard memory devoted solely to recording and playing back diagnostic PID/DMR data, it allows users to record hours and hours of continuous data streams directly from the vehicle’s PCM/ECM,” explains Wymann.

On the Trinity, the Predator’s serial PC connection (and separate power supply) has been replaced with a USB cable that provides both communication and power, and allows the Trinity to interface with the provided DS Downloader software.

The Trinity also parts ways from the Predator in the fact that one part number (the T-1000) covers every supported vehicle, instead of just a few. While that’s definitely good news for dealers who will only have to keep a single SKU in stock instead of several, it’s also a benefit for the end user – you can trade in your old car (after flashing it back to the stock tune, of course) and move the Trinity over to your new ride.

All of that’s great if you’re in the market for a new tuner, but what if you’re one of the many people who already own and use a Predator, loaded with custom tunes? Fortunately, there’s a simple process for moving your existing data from the Predator to the Trinity, and that’s exactly what we’ll show you with our 2007 Dodge Magnum R/T project car.

We’ve done a lot of work on this HEMI-powered long-roof, including adding a Vortech supercharger and the Diablosport CMR required to make it run the way we want it to. Follow along as we show you how easy it is to upgrade from the Predator to the Trinity.

Step 1: Backup Your Tune

Like any Diablosport tuner, the Trinity must be paired with the vehicle you’re tuning. This one-to-one bond with the vehicle stores your stock tune as a backup. This is convenient because we can easily put the vehicle back to its stock tune if necessary simply by pressing a button. We need to restore our Magnum back to its stock programming in order to allow the new Trinity to pair with it, but first, we need to make sure we have a backup of our existing custom tune file in order to transfer it from the Predator to the Trinity.

To back up your tune from the Predator, you’ll need to connect it to your PC using the serial port (and in our case, we used a serial-to-USB adapter cable, since like many current laptops, ours lacked a serial port) and make sure the appropriate drivers are installed. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re running the latest version of DS Downloader, available on the Diablosport website.

Use the DS Downloader to communicate with the Predator and proceed to follow the instructions for downloading your tune onto your computer.

Step 2: Restore Vehicle

After you’ve downloaded the tune on to your computer, you can then return your vehicle to its stock tune. Connect the Predator to the vehicle’s OBD-II port and select “Restore Vehicle” from the Predator’s menu.

Your PCM will return to its original stock state. For our Dodge, we use a custom CMR tune that’s necessary to even start the car since it’s been so highly modified, so we made sure to park it in a place that didn’t require us to move before we could load the custom tune back on using the Trinity.

Step 3: Paring the Trinity

Now that your PCM is in its stock state, you can pair the vehicle with the Trinity. Plug in the Trinity using the supplied OBD-II cable and the Trinity will power right up. It will take you through a series of steps to pair it with your vehicle.

Select your vehicle year, make, and model. You can then choose a performance tune to begin the pairing process. The Trinity will back up your original tune, which is necessary should a future firmware update to the Trinity require you to put your ECU back to stock in order to implement it.

Step 4: Load Custom Tune

Next, you’ll want to load the custom tune file you backed up from your Predator onto the Trinity. Connect the Trinity to your computer and load up the DS Downloader software. It will detect the device and ask you to select the model. Choose Trinity T-1000 from the drop down box and continue to the main screen.

Now you’ll want to select the “Send File” option. It will ask you to locate the tune file you saved earlier. Select the tune and send the tune to the Trinity.

Step 5: Tune Your Vehicle

The final step is to load the tune file back onto your vehicle using the Trinity. Plug the Trinity back up to the OBD-II port and follow the steps to select the tune file. The Trinity can hold up to 5 custom tune files.

Once the Trinity has finished loading the tune file back to your PCM, you’re ready to go. You can now enjoy the many new features the Trinity offers such as real time data logging, digital gauges, and a drag racing simulator.

If you’re already a Predator user, you know what a great tool it is, and the Trinity is a terrific upgrade. The touch screen makes the already simple process of tuning your car even easier, and the color display brings a new dimension to Diablosport’s already impressive hardware.

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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