What’s Inside? Unboxing SCT’s New Livewire Vision Monitor

When the UPS, FedEx, or USPS guy or gal show up, it’s basically Christmas. It’s no secret that we all love opening boxes with our new parts inside. Although it isn’t Christmas, it sure feels like it knowing our newest unboxing is happening. We talked with our friends over at SCT about the latest coming out of their camp. As expected, it’s pretty exciting.

Quickly shredding through the tape of the cardboard box, I quickly removed the packaging of the latest creation from SCT, the Livewire Vision Performance Monitor. I am beyond excited to see this monitor in person and I am even more excited to get this plumbed up to a truck and try out all of the advertised features.

After talking with Jill Hepp, Marketing Director for SCT, we decided to try a couple of these units out on two different ends of the spectrum. What I mean by that is we’re going to equip this unit to a 7.3-Liter Power Stroke-powered 1999 Ford F-250 as well as a 2019 Chevrolet Sierra 2500 with the 6.6-Liter L5P Duramax.

Contents Inside

After unraveling the flaps of the box, our new monitor was revealed. It was just as glorious as I expected. Pulling it out and doing a quick inspection, I was very impressed with the monitor and it looks to be well-built and features a big enough screen for us to see more easily.

Other items inside include Micro-USB Cable, the OBD-II cable, a window suction-cup mount, and an EGT Sensor And Module Kit (Part #9817). The Micro-USB cable allows you to have your monitor up to date with the latest software SCT has to offer. The OBD-II allows you to read off of your vehicle. The additional parts we got for our trucks are to read and monitor our Exhaust Gas Temperatures.

The SCT EGT Sensor Kit allows us to monitor the EGT levels with this Livewire Vision device and is a super easy installation with a single drill bit and tap. This kit features an RFI-shielded EGT probe which offers a more accurate reading. Exhaust gas temperature is one of the most important parameters to monitor especially on trucks that are hard workers like the ones we’re putting these on.

The EGT Sensor Kit comes complete with everything you will need including sensor, signal amplifier, and the Livewire analog connector.

“Our Livewire Vision Performance Monitor puts your vehicle’s vital stats on display. It’s an easy-to-use monitoring device that includes state-of-the-art data logging capabilities to precisely measure each ride and uncover the vehicle’s power potential,” says Hepp. “With SCT’s free software, Livelink, you can review your vehicle’s data and performance tests.”

As a truck owner or even a dealer, the Livelink feature is a huge plus. You can literally make your own catalog files using Livelink and transfer them into your device. That means if your “box” SCT preloaded files don’t have all of the parameters you want, you can make your own datalog configuration file.

This function makes it 100-percent custom for you truck enthusiasts. As for dealers, this allows you to set your customers’ monitors up for exactly what they need based on their vehicle modifications in which you may have already put on. What this does is takes the guesswork out for your customers. If you, the dealer, have a better understanding of what this individual needs, you can set their monitor up for it beforehand.

Features Galore

As expected, this gadget has all of the bells and whistles you want. If you aren’t a fan of something on the display, not a problem. It’s customizable to your liking. With this monitor, you can display your vehicle’s data and/or data log every move for future reference using the onboard LiveLink software as mentioned above.

Wanting to see what your latest upgrades did for power? The Performance Testing feature allows you to get real-time data such as 0-60mph, 1/8th mile times, 1/4 mile times, and braking testing. Although this is a sweet feature, I would recommend doing this on a safe and unoccupied road. Better yet, find your best road in “Mexico” and that should work.

Say you’re experiencing a problem and you’re unsure of what exactly this engine code is. Not a problem. With the Livewire Vision monitor, we can find out exactly what that code is using its onboard Diagnostic Trouble Code Reader. If you have in fact fixed the issue, you can even clear the code after the fact. This unit is a one-stop-shop for all truck owners.

Tow a lot? If you’re wanting an aftermarket rear-facing camera, this monitor has a Rear View Camera input connector built into the OBD-II cable for easy connection. I know for a fact that using a back-up camera is a huge help when you use the truck a lot.

Workin’ It

1999 Ford F-250 7.3-Liter Power Stroke

Giving this unit and its accessories a good once over, it seems as if this installation is going to be pretty smooth. To start, we’re going to equip this to a 1999 Ford F-250 that we have been tinkering on over the last few months. We’ve upgraded it with a set of EGR window visors, Sinister Diesel cold-air-intake system, and a 2007 Grille, and a Sinister Diesel leveling kit to boot.

As we start to upgrade more and more on this truck, monitoring its every vital sign is important. Insert the Livewire Vision. When it comes to giving this unit power, you just need to get your 12-volt source. In this case, it plugs directly into your OBD-II port. What we’re going to do is route our wiring from our preferred location down to the OBD-II port that way it’s tucked away neatly.

Our install helper, Blake Moore, was also the truck owner and he was eager to get this onto his new-to-him truck. “I bought this truck purely for a working truck. I’ve got equipment and animals that get hauled and I need something I can depend on,” Moore says. “Before this, I had no gauges and was just towing blind basically.”

Using our supplied suction cup mount, we placed it while attached to the monitor, to the windshield. Now you’re ready to fire it up. We then turn the truck onto the “ON” position and the monitor powered up. As you can see, with it powered up, we can thumb through each of the sections and get the lay of the land.

With our monitor set up as we want, with Exhaust Gas Temperatures included, there was only one problem. Our EGT reading was stuck at 0. Thank goodness they sent us this new EGT probe kit so we can finally monitor those temperatures on and off-road. Using a few simple tools at the shop, we’re going to find our spot and drill/tap for our EGT probe and make our connections.

For the 7.3-Liter Power Stroke trucks, EGT probe placement isn’t that critical but you don’t want to put the reading somewhere too far from the heat resulting in inaccurate data. With that being said, we chose to place it on the driver side exhaust manifold just before the up-pipe flange. Using our drill and 21/64″ drill bit, we drilled the hole in our mark.

In the instructions, it reads you'll need a 5/16" drill bit and 1/8" NPT tap for your port. The 1/8" tap is correct, however, the 5/16" bit was wrong. In case you've got an early order on one of these and the instructions haven't been fixed yet, make sure you remember this.

There are a few different ways to prevent debris from getting into the insides during your drilling. Some like to use vacuums or magnets during drilling but we used grease on our bit to catch the majority of flying metal. Once our hole was there, we took a tap and threaded our hole making it possible to thread our EGT probe port into the pipe.

It is as simple as that. Once you’ve got your port tight, you can thread in the EGT probe, plug your EGT harness in and plumb it back to the Livewire Vision wiring for its connection. With the connection made, you can see now that our EGT’s are finally getting readings among hundreds of other parameters that are now available.

This sensor is plug & play and easy to install, featuring a stainless steel EGT probe and is RFI-shielded for accurate monitoring. Exhaust Gas Temperatures can be one of the most important parameters that you need to monitor on your turbocharged engine. It warns the driver of situations that are potentially damaging to the engine, and it can also be used as a guide for optimizing fuel economy.

“Overall, this monitor was beyond my expectations. Seeing how I’ve never had a monitor or gauges before, this was like a Cadillac for me. I’ve got all of these different readings that I can watch, put maximum and minimum intervals down so it will warn me if there is an issue, and most importantly, my EGT levels,” Moore said.

As a matter of fact, we wasted no time hooking the big tractor and trailer up and giving it a ride just to see how this monitor would react and sure enough, she was reading everything.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 6.6-Liter Duramax

Like the F-250, the monitor was just as easy to install. However, on the newer model trucks, the exhaust gas temperatures can be read on multiple on-board sensors. What that means is that we can just make our OBD-II connections to the truck and we’ve got multiple EGT readings ready to rock and roll. Also, like the Ford, we’ve got hundreds of parameters to watch.

Something we decided to try out with the new Duramax-powered machine was the Livewire Vision’s Performance Testing section. As aforementioned, it will relay your 1/8th and 1/4-mile times, 0-60mph times, estimated horsepower, estimated torque, and top speed. Coming in at 6,840-pounds, what are your expectations as far as performance goes for this Silverado?

How does 15.40-seconds at 90.72-mph sound? Based on the weight and analytics of the test, the Livewire Vision estimated our power output to be in the 384.4-horsepower range followed by a 798.3 lb-ft of torque rating at 2,529-rpm. I don’t know about you, but that is pretty impressive given the size of the truck.

The owner of the Duramax, Brent Havins, was also very pleased with the performance of his Livewire Vision monitor. “This Livewire compact unit was extremely simple to install. It took me only ten minutes to mount the display and route the cable,” Havins says. “No matter if you’re towing a trailer, racing, or just going for an evening cruise, being able to toggle through the truck’s diagnostics on a 4-color touch screen is awesome.”

Havins continued, “After we found the performance test, it was only a matter of time (a few minutes actually) before figuring out what the 1/4-mile times of my ’19 Chevrolet 3500. Needless to say, we managed to have fun while burning some extra fuel.”

Closing Thoughts

One thing I did notice on the Power Stroke was that the coolant temperature reading was -50-degrees. Obviously it’s the middle of June, that isn’t correct. I talked with the team at SCT and turns out is something they are working on. It is only an issue with the 7.3-Liter trucks but I am sure they’ll have this resolved very soon.

In an arena like this, it takes a great product to stand out. Based on what I am seeing here, in my opinion, there is no reason at all that we can’t trust this Livewire Vision monitor. It has all of the bells and whistles, it has a sturdy structure and is easily mounted for our viewing pleasure, and it’s a super competitive price. For me, I am all in.

Thank you again to the entire crew at SCT for working with us here at Diesel Army and making this all happen. We’re excited to get this plugged up to both trucks and see what they’re made of. For more information about SCT and their newest monitor, be sure and check out their website here. What do you think about this new monitor? Are you excited to get your hands on one? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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