High Performance Diesel Engines
What an amazing industry the diesel engine and trucking business is. You never know who is going to call, stop in, what they know and what they are capable of. About 1 month ago a gentlemen called me and mentioned he purchased an older Superliner Mack powered by a Big Cam 350 Cummins. He knew nothing about the truck. However, he wanted it to run well and would work it at times, but the main use was to haul his 2 pulling Chevrolet pickup trucks to the truck pulls. He then told me his 14-year-old daughter pulls one of them and she gets 750 horsepower out of the Duramax Diesel. Her Chevy is a 2002 that her father bought new, and she pulls in the street stock class. Jayden says she pulls with the Duramax because it is the strongest engine in the pickups! With that statement I had to tease her and tell her she was in a Cummins shop, and we love the Ram Cummins pickups.
Jayden is a competition volleyball player, her position is the middle hitter, and she stands at 5’11”, competes on a traveling team, has played in 7 tournaments in 3 different states, and carries a 3.6 GPA average in school. She also rides a 2021 Husky 150 and a vintage YZ125 Yamaha and competes in flat track racing. Keep in mind this accomplished young lady is only 14 years old and a freshman at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville, WV.
Now for the 1979 Mack Superliner. With no knowledge of the engine, we noticed the number 1 cylinder had a miss. Upon removing the injector, we performed a compression test. The cylinder was good, so now we entered the combustion chamber with a borescope to get a part number off the piston. The number was not visible, so we installed the timing tool to verify the engine was an NTC 350, however the timing was set for 400 hp. The injectors failed the leakage test, so we recalibrated a set of Cummins Reman 400 injectors, increasing the flow to our 550- 600 hp spec. Next the competition turbocharger was installed, and a new torsional damper and mercury filled engine balancer along with a turbo boost gauge. The Mack was also equipped with a pyrometer. We did not remove the fuel pump, just made changes while it was installed on the engine. Being this is just a toy truck and Jayden’s father Boo Litman would drive it if necessary for their excavation company, we gave it some fuel. On the dyno this old Mack Cummins put 570 horsepower to the ground, and with a 20% loss through the drivetrain, that equates to 712 flywheel horsepower. The torque is 2056-foot pounds. Not bad for an old 1979 Big Cam 350. This truck is a single stack with a stock muffler. Boo is going to install twin straight stacks. Jayden and Boo were here to watch the truck perform on the dyno and now Jayden decides she is going to pull this truck along with her Chevy! Jayden is one amazing young lady with a great future ahead of her. I hope when she chooses a husband, he is an awesome gearhead so he can try to keep up with her. This is often thought of as a man's industry, but this shows women (and girls!) really can excel! When they do, they get respect. And if you do not give them respect, they will just take it from you.
Looking for a remote tune? Good news! A select number of remote tuners will soon be able to program your Detroit DD13/15/16, Paccar, Volvo, or Mack engine. Just check our dealer map and it should say in the description if they have this new capability. If your local dealer does not yet have that capability, please give them a call and suggest they buy the tools from us. Speaking of our dealer map, we have a new map on our website that combines both the Max Mileage map with the Remote Tuner map. You can also find recommended repair shops if you can’t make it to our shop in Saxonburg, PA. On this new map, you can also search for dealers that provide a combination of services. For example, you may want to find a dealer that sells Max Mileage and is also a remote tuner. Please visit the Dealer Map tab on our website.
We are pleased to announce that for the 2021 season, Pittsburgh Power and Max Mileage will be the lead sponsor for the Beal Racing top fuel dragster on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Here at Pittsburgh Power, we specialize in helping Owner-Operators increase their truck’s performance, fuel mileage, and reliability. We pride ourselves in the advanced engineering that goes into our parts and service. This passion for performance stems from our founder, Bruce Mallinson’s history with Corvette racing. You may not know that Bruce held a long standing lap record at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Once the racing bug bites you, it’s a passion for life. Race cars, like semi-trucks, have to be powerful, reliable, and yes even fuel efficient. A good race car engineer applying their talents to a semi-truck will yield impressive results. We chose to sponsor Beal Racing because they share that same passion for performance. Beal Racing was founded by Chuck Beal in 1962, and is now operated by Beal’s grandsons, Brandon Welch and Tyson Porlas. Brandon is the driver while Tyson is the lead wrench in charge of rebuilding the engine after every pass on the drag strip. Brandon, the driver, has to withstand 4 Gs of force when the car launches off the line. Brandon and Tyson are not only very talented, but extremely kind and generous people. Check out the NHRA website to see the schedule for events and what channel to watch them on.
Written by Bruce Mallinson & Andrew Wilson, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 S. Noah Dr., Saxonburg, Pa. 16056 Website: PittsburghPower.com. Phone 724-360-4080
Jayden’s ‘79 Mack and her ‘02 Silverado
Prototype livery for the Beal Racing Max Mileage drag car.