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High Performance Diesel Engines

By Bruce Mallinson

September, 2016

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Do you have a favorite mechanic in your hometown that does the majority of work on your truck, however, he is NOT able to tune your ECM, program the ECM or diagnose problems via the ECM? Pittsburgh Power can now help you and your mechanic. We have briefcases equipped with all the necessary equipment for him to plug into the data port on your truck and then give us a call, we will be able to remotely enter the ECM and help you and him to repair, tune, increase horsepower or torque, or change any of the parameters you so desire. WE WILL NOT do any deletes of emissions equipment: However, we can increase the horsepower and torque, diagnose any emissions-related problems and instruct him on how to repair the faulty equipment. If the check engine light constantly comes on, we will help your mechanic or you, as to the proper way to repair the problem that is causing the check engine light to turn on. We are making this service available because so many of our clients do not travel to the northeast. For some strange reason, many owner-operators just want to stay on the I-5 corridor on the West Coast, or in the state of Texas. Now the electrical engineers at our facility can share their knowledge with our clients regardless of where they live and operate. All that is needed is the briefcase with the necessary equipment and a telephone.

Variable Geometry turbochargers on DD3 and DD4 Detroits and some ISX Cummins. I have to admit that I did NOT like variable geometry turbochargers because of the failure rate. I did like the concept, and would like to have on my 12-valve 1995 Dodge Cummins pickup; it’s just not possible because this engine is not equipped with a computer. However the failure rate of the variable geometry turbo was quite high on the early 2003 and newer diesel engines equipped with EGR. Most of the failures were the variable geometry vanes would get clogged with soot from the EGR system, however the DD3 and most of the DD4 Detroits did not have EGR systems so there is no soot to lock the variable vane into one position. We have installed several of the VG turbos and the results are amazing, out of a 12.7 liter engine we were able to develop 1800 ft. lbs. of torque at 1200 rpm and 600 horsepower without building excessive exhaust temperature. The advantage of the variable geometry turbocharger on 12.7 Detroit is not only the fuel mileage increase, but also the drivability of the engine, especially in cities, traffic, 2 lane back roads especially if there are hills involved, and varying altitudes. There is always constant power horsepower and torque under your right foot! As of this writing we are installing a variable geometry turbocharger on an ISX, this is the first one and so I have no results to tell you now, I will next month.

Taking a product or engine that was prone to failures and making it a great product or engine is something we have been doing at Pittsburgh Power for the past 39 years.

RUNNING FREELY: Does your truck run freely across the interstate? If you remove your foot from the throttle does it slow down drastically, when you look in your mirrors do you see one side of your trailer and not the other? Many trailers trail to the right side of the highway, this is telling me the axles of the trailer are not in line with the tractor. How can this tractor-trailer obtain great fuel mileage if it’s not running in the same line? Out-of-alignment, bad tires or tires of high rolling resistance, restrictive mufflers, small turbochargers, restrictive exhaust manifolds, leaking charge-air coolers and loose clamps or hoses connecting the turbocharger to the charge-air-cooler and then to the intake manifold or the hose going to the air compressor from the intake manifold are ALL places where turbo boost is lost. Think about a chain only being as strong as the weakest link: An engine’s air supply is the same, and those are ALL LINKS. A free running truck will be able to cruise along a level interstate at 2 to 8 psi of turbo boost, the lower the boost during cruise, the better the fuel mileage will be. Your job as the driver and owner is to operate the truck in this manner and to install the necessary items on the truck to make this possible. The easier the truck cruises, the longer the engine will live and the better the fuel mileage. The 264 rear gears are a huge plus in building a freely running truck. We have in our inventory most of the items to be able to help you obtain a freely running rig.

SOOT from an ISX EGR-DPF engine: Take a look at this picture: Most all EGR engines have an excessive buildup of soot in the air-intake manifold. We have a cleaning process that will pressure-wash the inside of the engine, then we physical clean the air-intake, doser valve, EGR-valve and any other item emissions-related items so they will work as good as new or better. Please don’t ignore the emissions systems: It’s much better to have us clean and maintain them every 200,000 miles (it’s only a day’s labor) as opposed to waiting for a failure and shut down.

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