Absolutely not! Bama Performance does not turn off knock sensors; however, for those vehicles equipped with knock sensors (yes, believe it or not the majority of the vehicles we tune do not come equipped with knock sensors) we do make modification to the knock sensor logic, in our Race Tunes, to ensure maxim power during race use.
One of the significant changes we make is to the Global or Individual sensor retard logic but we do not reduce the sensitivity. Ford relies heavily on ultra sensitive knock sensors as the base of knock control and spark logic; however, using sensor frequency Ford can determine which cylinder is actually knocking and retard timing from just that cylinder (or all). If timing is retarding "globally", this means pulling timing from all cylinders regardless if knock is present. If timing is being pulled "individually", this means it is only retarding timing from the cylinder(s) that are knocking. Ford does this with all of their Ford Racing calibrations in addition to the production release of the Ecoboost Mustang calibration to provide maximum horsepower and torque. Remember, if it was not safe, Ford would not do it and neither would we!
We can still determine if the vehicle is knocking from your datalogs because we developed the tunes and we know exactly what the delivered timing should be at a specific load, lambda, temperature and rpm. If we see a difference in delivered timing .vs. what we are commanding we can determine if knock is present and make adjustments.
We have a combined 35+ years of experience tuning cars without knock sensors - we kind of know we we are doing ;-). We use our experience in addition to the tools and data provided to offer the safest, most reliable tunes with the highest power output. Using advanced OEM grade tools, external knock devices, race gas and experience we have the ability to determine if the knock we monitor during development is false or not (if the sensors are too sensitive, or if false knock is registering because of external factors).