High Fuel Mileage and Great Running Diesel Engines
The good old Big Cam Cummins engines have a place near and dear to our hearts. We are finding that nobody in North America has parts in stock for these great mechanical engines. However, we DO! Now let me say that our average rebuild kit that we ship out is set for 550 horsepower. If you would like more or less, just ask. We keep complete rebuild kits for the BC 2 and 3 CPL 449 and 625. Both are stock 400 hp engines and the pistons in stock are ceramic and teflon coated and they are the high-strength pistons made by Cummins. Many of the features in this piston were designed by a Cummins Engineer who has long since been retired from Cummins and has been working with us for 15 years developing the Pittsburgh Power Performance Computer. We also stock the Premium Gold Heads and just about any part you need to build your Big Cam. Also, the NTC 444 CPL 910, 1210, 1211, and 1280 parts are in stock. The beauty of shipping Cummins parts to you is that you do NOT have to return the liners and pistons like you have to with Detroit and Caterpillar. However, you DO have to return the heads, connecting rods, injectors, turbos, and fuel pumps because they are rebuild-able parts. SO, if you need them, we have them!
For those of you who are not fans of the Big Cam Cummins, it is because you never drove one built OUR way!
Yes, we ALSO love and respect the 425-B Caterpillar and agree it was one of the greatest mechanical diesel engines ever built. I wish we could turn back the hands of time and learn more about this great engine!
The C-15 Caterpillar is another engine that we have made great strides with, and just last month, built two almost identical engines side by side except for the compression ratio, camshaft, and Micro-Blue coatings. Upon competition (between the two AFTER rebuild), the results were shocking: The first engine built with stock 550 hp Caterpillar parts produced 560 hp to the rear wheels with 36 psi of turbo boost, which is 658 hp at the flywheel. The horsepower per pound of turbo boost ratio is 18.27 hp, which is good, ESPECIALLY when you compare it to the stock configuration, which only produced 12.17 hp per pound of turbo boost. Do you see why these engines when they are allowed to breathe gain 1 more mile per gallon?!
As for the OTHER C-15, we changed the compression ratio, camshaft, and Micro-Blued the parts. This resulted in it producing 680 hp to the rear wheels and 800 hp to the flywheel using only 37 psi of turbo boost! That is a whopping 21.62 hp per pound of turbo boost! We did cut this engine back before releasing it to the owner, but not by much. It is a bull-hauling engine, which pulls a 4-axle trailer. We do not have any fuel mileage results as of this writing.
To tell you just how good the 425-B mechanical Caterpillar Engine was, it produced between 19.30 to 21.25 hp per pound of turbo boost.
The 14.1-liter Detroit is another great horsepower and fuel mileage producing engine once it's allowed to breathe and produces 18.55 hp per pound of turbo boost.
I will have some figures on the ISX Cummins once it's been fine-tuned and you will see that it's in the 18 to 19 hp per pound range. This is what it takes to make fuel mileage: The engine has to breathe and produce great power per pound of turbo boost, and YOU, the owner-operator, must drive it by the turbo boost gauge and use only enough horsepower to get the job done. You need to stay below 6 psi of boost on the level terrain to obtain 7 plus mpg. Fuel mileage will always be better running from the north to the south, the way the rivers flow, and from the Continental Divide to the east or west coast.
Please don't waste your time going into your truck dealer’s shop or just about any other shop and start talking about horsepower per pound of turbo boost: They will have no idea what you are talking about. Back in my youth, studying the Big Cam Cummins, I came up with this theory. We are the only shop that I know of in the world that uses this concept to evaluate and compare the performance of different engines and set-ups.
Once you have read this article, I will have turned 64 years of age and I have been snow skiing for the past 50 years, turning wrenches on engines for the past 48 years, have 45 years in the trucking industry and have been building specialty diesel engines for owner-operators for the past 35 years. I guess at this age, there is no sense in changing now. When I was younger, I had no money for cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs: Every dollar I earned went into building and road racing Corvettes. I had wonderful parents who built a beautiful garage for me to use to build these cars, and they charged me NO room or board to live with them for my first 26 years. My mother was an Angel on this earth and we lost her this past January at the age of 93. She is now in heaven with her husband of 69 years, my awesome father who made it to 92 years of age. He was fine until an un-diagnosed brain tumor took him.
I was Hell on Wheels (literally) in my younger years, and to give you an example, I drove to Detroit from exit 38 of the PA Turnpike in a 1969 Corvette in 3 hours and 15 minutes and from exit 48 of the PA Turnpike to New Jersey on my way to Stone Harbor in 3 hours and 45 minutes, and that was down the Schuylkill Expressway through Philly and across the Trenton, NJ, bridge. To do this, I had to try to average 105 mph. In 1975, I ran the entire length of Cape Cod in 55 minutes early in the morning and kept the speedometer at 115 in that same 1969 Corvette. I went by two policemen standing outside their police car and they just looked at me with their arms crossed. I did NOT have a driver’s license at that time. I lost them 4 times, of course from speeding. All of this high speed driving was done on Firestone Radial Tires that some people had problems with blowing apart. I put them to the test and had no failures. The CB radio and, of course, the truckers were my guiding light and God must have loved me! My good friend Kevin Rutherford has had a big impact on my life and on getting me to slow down, and so has my age. Please keep in mind that back in the 1970s, there were only about 25% of the cars on the highway that we have today. On the racetrack at Nelson Ledges in Warren, OH, I drove 140 mph, and at Summit Point Race Track in Winchester VA, I would hit a top speed of 166 mph in my 1966 Corvette. To keep things in perspective, 105 mph was just a nice cruising speed for me. My alcohol, smoke, and drug-free mind was very sharp back then. Now you almost know the rest of the story of how I look at a semi truck's engine!
Written by Bruce C. Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power, Inc.
3600 S. Noah Dr., Saxonburg, PA 16056. Phone (724) 360-4080. Website: www.pittsburghpower.com,