High Fuel Mileage and Great Running Diesel Engines
Our new engineering center is now up and running at Pittsburgh Power, Inc., along with the Taylor Chassis Dynamometer and we have some interesting findings about the DD5 Detroit. We have been repairing these engines for quite some time now and the results have been phenomenal, engine failures have been ZERO, and fuel mileage increases by 1 mpg. Now here is what is interesting: A stock 515 hp DD5 produces 515 hp using 39 psi of turbo boost. Once we tune this engine and upgrade the exhaust manifold, turbocharger, and muffler, the DD5 produces 705 hp to the flywheel and 600 to the ground using only 38 lbs. of turbo boost! This great engine is producing 190 additional horsepower using 1 lb. less boost! This just goes to show what a diesel engine WILL do IF it is allowed to breathe. One of the best engines ever (as far as producing the most horsepower per pound of turbo boost) was the Caterpillar 425-B, which made 19.3 hp/lb. of boost. This 14.1 liter Detroit ranks right up there (once it can breathe) at 18.55, versus the stock configuration’s 13.20. That’s over a 40% improvement. This horsepower number of 705 has been a great setting for all of the owner-operators we have been working with. Keep in mind that almost ALL of these professionals are MORE concerned with obtaining fuel mileage first and made this clear to us. Their satisfaction goes to show how insufficient stock horsepower settings and parts are for today’s applications. However, if you are concerned about making these changes to your truck because you have another driver behind the steering wheel, we can also hold this engine back for you.
The ISX Cummins engine is producing similar numbers to the DD5 Detroit once it is allowed to breathe, and in the coming months, I will have results from the dyno to share with you.
C-12 Caterpillar owners: Here is a chapter out of the lives of Canada’s Zeller brothers Wayne and Darrell. They both have C-12 Cats and both love running them with their Pittsburgh Power Performance Computers. We’ll just say that “more than one” stock 550 C-15 Cat has met its demise on the mountains of western Canada. After one such pull involving some chatting on the CB, the owner of the stock C-15 pulled into the truckstop and, seeing Wayne’s 2000 Peterbilt 379, decided to further his investigation into what had taken place on the hill and parked up alongside him. After opening the hood, he saw that Wayne WAS telling the truth about having a C-12! As his victim walked away trying not to scratch his head in public, Wayne thought to himself that maybe he should have told him about the Powerbox… or not. A couple of months ago, Wayne decided to install our ported and ceramic-coated exhaust manifold and larger performance turbo for his C-12. He and Darrell were amazed at the difference they made. Wayne now runs the Powerbox on level 3 instead of 4. He said that the engine produces 10 lbs MORE boost on level 3 than it did before on level 4, and that his exhaust gas temperatures have dropped from 1050 to 840 degrees!! Well, just this morning we received Darrell’s exhaust manifold in the mail. Being that he had replaced it only a few months ago, he decided to have us use his manifold rather than buy a brand new one from Caterpillar to have ported and ceramic-coated like his brother Wayne’s. When Darrell’s manifold is ready to go, he is also going to have us send him the high-performance turbo. Very soon, there are going to be TWO very hungry “little” Cats prowling the mountains of western Canada! Maybe those stock C-15 Cats should call us for high-performance exhaust manifolds, turbos, and Pittsburgh Powerboxes before they are eaten…AGAIN!
Keep in mind that the manifolds for the C-15 Cats are re-designed from scratch and poured in the foundry right here in the USA, whereas the less-common engines must have a new stock manifold ported and ceramic-coated because there is just not enough demand to go through the development process of creating a new design. Also, we cannot give a warranty on a manifold that is sent to us to be ported and coated, so if yours is old and you want the benefits of a performance manifold, you should probably just let us make you one. Darrell decided to send us his because he had just bought it a few months prior. The stock manifold in general is going to last longer once it is ported and coated because of the 125 degrees by which it lowers the EGTs. The high-performance turbo will also lower exhaust gas temperatures, as Wayne was able to show us by going from 1050 to 840 degrees.
Many times, a person will not want to change their muffler(s) until they rust apart and are ready to fall off the truck. Recently, we had a 2007 Western Star DD5 in the shop for a conversion and the owner felt the mufflers were okay. However, to allow the engine to breathe properly, I insisted that the free-flow quiet performance mufflers be installed. Once we removed the muffler, we could tell is was rusted out, so we cut a window in the side of it. As you can see in the picture, we were shocked at what we saw. The muffler didn’t look too bad from the outside, but the top section of the internal pipe was rusted through and was lying sideways across the incoming pipe, blocking almost ALL of the flow! People almost never remove their stacks to make sure their muffler is okay. By replacing a stock muffler with a quiet performance muffler, you will gain at least ¼ mpg, which generally translates to saving 1000 gallons of fuel for every 100,000 miles driven. This also greatly reduces the amount of soot in the engine’s oil, along with the iron (FE) particles, which are responsible for most of the wear on an engine. Our Fleet-Air washable foam air filters also help the engine to breathe and will gain you fuel mileage and horsepower. Along with the mufflers, they are the first place to start when looking to gain fuel mileage. In most cases, by spending $500-$1000 one time, you can gain ½ mpg or more, gain 40+ hp, and save around $5,000/yr OR MORE!!
Please don’t forget about our annual Owner-Operator Snowmobile Conference; it’s tax-deductible and a tremendous amount of fun! We are meeting February 28th at the Flying Saddle Resort in Alpine, WY. Their phone# is (307) 733-3333, and the price of the room is $69 if you mention that you are with our event. Bring your own snowmobile or rent one in town (they have plenty to choose from!). By the time it comes to an end on March 3rd, you will have 25 new friends: The camaraderie is second-to-none! Just think of what it’s like to be sitting on an 800cc snowmobile at the bottom of a mountain with 24 other owner-operators: Look out, mountain! Here we come!!!