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High Performance Diesel Engines

By Bruce Mallinson

December, 2016

Our new Full Tilt ISX Cummins intake manifold for the 2014 and newer ISXs is doing just what it was designed to do; improve air flow and evenly distribute it to all 6 cylinders, especially cylinders 1, 5 and 6. The stock intake manifold doesn’t distribute the air evenly, so 3 of the 6 cylinders are starved for intake charged air. Did you ever wonder why it’s always the number 1, 5, or 6 piston and liner that have problems in this great engine? It’s all in the intake airflow. For years now, Full Tilt has been working on the exhaust manifolds to improve exhaust flow, increase turbo response, improve fuel mileage, and lower exhaust temperature. While testing exhaust manifolds on the dynamometer, it became apparent the numbers 1, 5, and 6 cylinders were not receiving as much turbo boost as cylinders 2, 3, and 4, so apparently there had to be some restriction in the intake manifold, and there was (is). Now, it’s back to the drawing board and building plastic models of intake manifolds to test on the flow bench. Some companies try to build airflow management equipment for diesel engines without the use of a flow bench: Gentlemen, it can’t be done. Well, it can, but without a flow bench, you’re basically just flying blind (guessing). Many of you reading my articles were just like me in our younger years: We built hot rods, performance cars, were racers of some sort, etc., so we all know the name Edlebrock and Ofenhauser intake manifolds, Headman Headers, glass packs, and Dart Heads (and the list continues!). To build these products the owners of the companies had to purchase Flow Benches and know how to use them! Our sister company, Full Tilt Performance is the only manufacturer of intake and exhaust manifolds for class 8 trucks in North America that has and knows how to use a flow bench. Watch our video on our Pittsburgh HYPERLINK “http://power.com” power.com website to see the Improved air flow of the Full Tilt ISX Cummins intake manifold, and you will see why we gain 1/3 to 1/2 a mile per gallon in fuel savings and eliminate a possible scoring of cylinders 1,5 and 6. This product is a big deal for the ISX.

Many of our owner-operators who get great fuel mileage from the various products we offer can park their trucks for January, February and March to travel to warmer climates for the winter such as Florida, Arizona, Costa Rica and Belize. Just think about how relaxed their minds are when they come back to their trucks and the snow and cold weather are gone. Unfortunately, they are missing the Owner-Operator Snowmobile conferences at the end of January and February. Would you like to be able to take the winter off from trucking and relax for an extended period of time? I’ll bet you would! So, let’s work together and build trucks that get great fuel mileage and you too can enjoy the winter months! We can build you a great truck: However, you must drive it properly and leave the cruise control off unless the terrain is dead level and light on traffic. Watch the turbo boost gauge or the Kevin Rutherford Scan Gauge and keep it steady: Diesel engines are more fuel efficient at a stable output, not riding the throttle up and down. Using cruise control on rolling hills will rob you of ½ a mile per gallon, and will just BEAT on your engine in the hills!!

WARNING: Cummins Reman ISX short blocks, long blocks, and engines: If you have purchased one of these and the time comes to rebuild it, be very careful of the cylinder liners in the block. Many of them left the Recon Plant with standard liners, which measure 150 millimeters, however the blocks were machined for 152-millimeter liners. This means you can’t go by the liner number in the engine! You must get with your Cummins Engine parts supplier and read the technical service bulletin TSB 110277. If you put the standard 150 mm liner in a block that was machined for 152mm liners the engine will run for about 200,000 miles, and then you will get coolant into the oil pan. This is only a problem associated with the recon ISX blocks, short or long blocks, and engines.

Pittsburgh Power has another new product for Caterpillar Engines: It’s a simple product, however, it will eliminate a serious problem. We have taken the factory exhaust manifold gasket with the built-in tin sleeve that sticks into the exhaust port of the head and redesigned it to eliminate the tin shield. This thin shield often breaks off into pieces and wipes out the turbine wheel of the turbocharger. Sometimes, the sleeve will break off and just become lodged in the manifold, which is obviously horrible for exhaust flow. We love our new gasket for its thickness and the fact that it will compress to seal uneven surfaces, so we have it made without the tin sleeve and the result is a better-sealing gasket without the problem of blowing a turbocharger or just restricting exhaust flow.

ACERT Caterpillar Diesel Engines: When you or your mechanic remove and reinstall the twin turbochargers on the Acert Cat Engine (such as when installing our manifold, SS studs, and custom gaskets mentioned above), make SURE they pressure-test or smoke-test the entire twin-turbo intake system for intake leaks. The “bellows” that connects the twin turbos together very hard to seal and many times leaks, resulting in a loss of charge-air to the engine and a loss of fuel mileage and power. We pressure-test every engine that comes into our shop and find that 80% or more have a turbo boost leak and many times it’s right after they had their engines worked on by another shop. To obtain optimum fuel mileage there must be no leaks of the charge air system.

Written by: Bruce Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc.

3600 S. Noah Dr. Saxonburg, Pa. 16056

Phone 724-360-4080 

Website: Pittsburghpower.com.