High Fuel Mileage and Great Running Diesel Engines: There is NO “Chaining-Down” on This DYNO!
Those of you who have not watched chassis dyno operators prepare a semi-truck for testing might not realize that a large chain around the rear differential and 2” wide front tire straps with ratchet binders are all that hold the truck in place during a test. This binding method, which is the standard in the industry, has some associated problems: Firstly, there is no weight on the fifth wheel. If the truck produces high horsepower or has bald tires, there will be slippage on the dyno rollers, making accurate readings impossible. Also, binding the truck with chains is time-consuming and the differential chain will chip the paint on the differential. If the truck has a custom rear bumper that is close to the ground, it may even be impossible to put the truck on the dyno at all!
A good friend of mine, Al Hemerson, a farmer, owner-operator, and great thinker from Iowa, came up with our solution: Why not have a floor-mounted hydraulic apparatus that connects to the fifth wheel through an extendable boom? He made several drawings for us and I took them to a good friend of mine who is a welder-fabricator and told him what I wanted. His name is Jon Anderson and he is another great thinker. Whatever you think you want to build, just give him the plans and come back several days later. After he thinks about it and makes his modifications, it may be entirely different from your original plans, but you will NOT be disappointed with the results! After several months of fabricating, machining, and welding, we now have the world’s ONLY chassis binding system of its kind: The Anderson-Hemerson hitch, or as some around the shop call it, “The Giraffe”. This new “chassis dyno binding system” hooks into the fifth wheel and can pull the truck up onto the dyno’s rollers to the exact spot where you want it. “The Giraffe” can even pick the back of the truck up off the ground, move it to the right or left, and put as much as 100,000 pounds of pressure down on the drive tires. We have found that 3,000 to 4,500 pounds of downward pressure does a great job simulating the trailer and stabilizing the truck for a perfect dyno run. The downward pressure on the fifth wheel simulates a loaded trailer for performance results that are closer to real world results. Parasitic losses in drive tire alignment, tire tread pattern, and wheel bearing losses are more accurately observed with pressure on the fifth wheel.
Even at 800 plus horsepower to the ground, there is no jumping, no lifting of the rear suspension, and no tire slippage. If it weren’t for the noise of the engine and tires spinning, you wouldn’t even notice the truck was doing a dyno run. It takes less than a minute to hitch the truck and get it into position for the test. The Anderson-Hemerson hitch is the first of its kind in the world! It’s also the fastest and most secure way to dyno a semi-truck.
For 35 years, we have always strived to find better ways to make the diesel engine burn cleaner, produce more fuel-mileage and live longer. There is a growing need in the industry to diagnose electrical and ECM hardware problems. We get many phone calls from owner-operators telling us they have a bad ECM and need a replacement. We always ask why, because we hear stories about good ECMs getting replaced when an electrical problem involving a sensor or electrical harness was the true cause of the problem. Once an ECM is installed, very few shops will remove it for diagnosis off the truck. When a technician has gone though all the diagnostic tests he knows and STILL doesn’t find a problem, the ECM is usually blamed. If he’s wrong, you get stuck with a $3,000.00 bill and still have the same problem. We listen to the needs of the industry and our engineering team has found a solution: The engineers at the Pittsburgh Power engineering center are busy developing systems to check the electronics of the semi-truck. Our engineering staff has created a desktop engine simulator (DES) for the DDEC4. The DES allows us to run performance tests on the DDEC4 ECM by simulating the ECM running on the truck. A live set of injectors allows you to hear the injectors firing, even over the phone! It’s amazing to listen to the ECM run the injectors at various engine speeds! Sometimes, there will be a miss from one injector every third or fourth firing, and you can hear it even over the telephone. All engine operating conditions can be simulated: such as high altitude, cold start-up, and high coolant temperature. The engine operating condition where the problem is worst can be replicated to see if the ECM responds correctly or is at fault. This allows us to assess the condition of the ECM and verify the ECM as the problem before recommending a replacement OR confirm that the ECM is NOT the problem. This is the world’s first invention of its kind and only the beginning of how we will be able to help owner-operators solve problems with their trucks. Our three engineers are currently developing desktop engine simulators for Caterpillar and Cummins systems as well.
Always thoroughly diagnose the problem before you start throwing parts at the truck. Remember: It’s MUCH easier to help you when you bring the truck to our shop as opposed to answering so many questions over the phone.
Dave Norris, who is a partner of John Anderson, brought his wife, Mary Lou, and her 1995 Camaro to our shop to run on the pick-up truck/ racecar chassis dyno. This dyno will hold 2500 horsepower. This Camaro has a bored and stroked 350 Chevy, which now has 396 cubic inches and a belt-driven supercharger producing 17 lbs. of boost. At 15 psi of boost, the Chevy was producing 864 horsepower. It was a sight to behold when Dave put the throttle to the floor and this Camaro would try to LEAP off the dyno! We even had to chain the FRONT of the car down to keep the tires on the concrete. This Camaro is drag-raced by Dave’s wife AND it’s street legal! SO, whether you want to dyno your semi-truck, pick-up truck, racecar, or street rod, we can do it in style!
Written by: Bruce Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 South Noah Dr., Saxonburg, PA 16057. Phone 724-360-4080. Website: www.pittsburghpower.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org