High Performance Diesel Engines

Bruce Mallinson
February 2017

WOW, do we have some good news for owners of 2003 and newer trucks with engines equipped with EGR systems. However, before I get to the good news I want to tell you about why we build engines the way we do. During this past year we have had 4 trucks in our shop that are only getting a little of 100,000 miles out of their main bearings. The reason for this is the engines are NOT being lined bored and the crankshafts are NOT being magnafluxed, straightened and polished. When you’re building an engine out of the chassis these are the first two steps of building a good foundation for your engine. Once the crankshaft is placed into the main bearing saddle and the bolts are torqued, you should be able to turn the crankshaft with one hand. Those of you who were at Kevin Rutherford’s CMC in Council Bluffs Iowa last summer had the opportunity to turn the crankshaft of the Signature engine we built during the conference. When the line bore is correct and the crankshaft is straight the main bearings will last 1 million or more miles. If you think crankshafts are straight after running in a truck for 2 million miles you really need to think about this, the block does warp and twist and the crankshaft will follow the bore of the block. The worst Detroit Series 60 crankshaft we have straightened was bent .028 and the worst Caterpillar crankshaft was .021 bent. This might not sound like a lot to you, however when you know the clearance in a rod and main bearing of a semi-truck pulling a hill is ½ of a micron, a bend in the crankshaft of 21 thousandths is huge! When the engine is on the floor and it’s going to be rebuilt, this is the time to make sure the foundation of the engine is perfect.

One of my pet peeves is when I return a call to an owner-operator and his voice mail is not set up or it’s full and I can’t leave him a message, he thinks nobody wants to return his call. This is not true; I always try 3 times to return a call, however when there is no mailbox, I can’t leave the message. Please take care of your phone, it’s a very important part of your business and have a voice mail so we can communicate.

Now for the good news, we have been building a soot separator for newer trucks equipped with EGR engines. The first soot separator was installed this week on a 2014 DD15 Detroit. The first 1650 miles the owner operator says he only used 170 gallons of diesel fuel, which is 9.7 miles per gallon. The device separated 8.5 ounces of soot from the EGR stream before it entered the intake airflow. According to the scan gauge and the ECM on the truck, the calculated exhaust gas temperature was reduced by 150 degrees, which will also lead to a reduction in NOx emissions. This truck is NOT equipped with one of our EGT or Pyrometer gauges so the next time the truck is in our shop we will install one to get an accurate reading of the exhaust gas temperature. By removing the soot, the fuel mileage increased by 1.6 miles per gallon, sounds too good to be true, we agree, however time will tell and next month we will have a soot trap on a new 2017 ISX Cummins. According to Cummins, the ISX EGR-DPF-DEF engine of today will eat 6 pounds of soot in 30,000 miles. In an average year of 150,000 miles the engine will have consumed 30 pounds of soot. It’s incredible that the engine can live under that circumstance, just think how long it will run if we remove 95 % of the soot and dump it in the trash can where it belongs. Next month we will have more news on the Pittsburgh Soot Separator and you will hear us talk about it on the Kevin Rutherford radio show Power Hour.

The new Full Tilt Intake manifold for the 2014 and newer ISX Cummins engines not only improves the fuel mileage by 3 to 5 tenths, the engine responds quicker and pulls smoother. It's going to be interesting to see even more improvements once the Pittsburgh Soot Separator is installed with the Full Tilt Intake Manifold. Great things are coming, along with having a businessman as President! I have said for years we need business people in political office, it's finally going to happen!

Written by Bruce Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 South Noah Dr., Saxonburg, Pa. 16056. Phone: 724-360-4080 Website: Pittsburghpower.com