Author Archive | Diesel Performance Truck

?Ford Diesel Performance

Ford started it and the aftermarket finished it. The Ford Powerstroke Diesel comes from the factory with a lot of power, nice fuel economy and a serious towing capacity. Ford Diesel Performance has been tweaked a lot by the diesel aftermarket, and the Ford Powerstrokes can really be tuned up. We’ll talk today about a few of the common performance upgrades.

The first upgrade that most people do to their ford diesel is the performance chip. Two of the most popular are the Diablosport Predator, and the Edge Juice with Attitude Monitor.These performance chips function in different ways. The Diablosport Predator is a hand held tuner that plugs into the diagnostic port under the dash, and it loads up a new program to the truck. The Diablosport predator has three power settings, on the top setting it delivers 120 hp and on the economy setting can deliver a twenty five percent increase in fuel efficiency to a conservative driver. The Edge Juice is a module that mounts under the hood and the Attitude Monitor is mounted on the dash. The Edge Juice with Attitude Monitor allows you to adjust the power as you drive which is nice when towing. On the top setting it also delivers 120 hp and on the economy setting gives about a twenty five percent increase in economy as well. The attitude monitor also acts as a full digital gauge set up and is used to monitor important engine parameters. These are some of the most popular Ford diesel performance chips.

Another one of the most popular upgrades is the cold air intake. A Cold air intake is a large cone filter and is sealed away from the hot engine air. Cold air takes up less space and the more air you can get into the engine the higher the percentage of the fuel will get burned. This puts more power at the wheels and allows for better fuel economy.

The other major modification that most people do to their Ford Diesel trucks is a larger diameter and less restrictive exhaust. A less restrictive exhaust is important especially when towing heavy loads. If exhaust gas temperatures climb to high, which can happen fast when towing, damage can be done to the engine. A larger diameter exhaust also relieves back pressure on the engine which allows for better fuel economy as well since the engine doesn’t have to push the exhaust away. The Ford Powerstroke diesel really is built Ford tough and there are many ways to make it even better.

?A Car Buying Story – Part Three – Models and Makes

Generally, I wasn’t too happy with the variety of models in Canada. When it comes to family cars, the choices are quite simple – you go for a mini van or, as of lately, for an SUV. No big deal. But I thought that mini van is a waste of money if you have only two kids and don’t run a repair business. SUV has a fun, all-terrain drift to it, but it too is a waste if you don’t use it. What I was looking for is a smaller multi-purpose, single-volume vehicle, and there aren’t many of them here. Domestic makes are better in that respect than imports. I almost got to think that the selection is such that it forces you to either buy a big car or two cars.

I’m mostly saying this because I’ve seen plenty of such versatile models in Europe. For example, you can find a new Civic in 5 door trim — diesel!

Or a highly unusual, but apparently very versatile and practical Fiat Doblo (a wide spacious crossover) that looks somewhat like Honda Element, only it’s a bit smaller and proportionally wider.

Wagons and generally single volume vehicles are very popular in Europe. Half of Fiat’s fleet are such cars. And of course, the diesel option — everybody has it. I was really sorry I did not find a suitable one here.

Anyhow, that is what it is. This is my overview of different models I’ve looked at:

Honda Accord

I drove Accord ’89 for years, and I can testify to its quality. The engine was just great, even with 230,000 km on it. Every year when I need to perform Air-Care, all I’m thinking is: “”Is it going to be slightly better or slightly worse than last year?”” In the first couple of years I used to drive a bit before the air-care to warm up the engine, but later abandoned that practice — it was simply unnecessary. Anyhow, Accord was my first thought, and always a backup plan: “”if I don’t find anything I like, I’ll just buy Accord””.

And the latest Accord (model 2003) was in all aspects a very good choice. Good space, good quality, safety, fuel economy, pretty much everything. It wasn’t that sleek and pretty as I would hope, but that’s really not big a deal. Also, it did not have the perfect safety scores (in couple of tests it had 4 out of 5) — and I was kind of expecting perfection from my favourite make. In the end, the current model was just about to be replaced, the 2008 is completely redesigned, and I was expecting major improvements with the new model. So the current model seemed somewhat an outdated choice.

Honda Civic

Haven’t really thought of Civic before — to me it was a city car for singles or a first family car that you replace quickly. However, the new Civic (model from 2006) made a strong impression on me.

Pros: A lot of new features, some quite advanced. Top safety: impact-absorbing body, all 6 airbags, ABS, sensors, and all of that in the base version. Excellent fuel economy — just slightly worse than Corolla (which is top in that respect). Although a smaller car, it grew over time. The passenger space is very good even for a taller person. I even tried moving the driver seat all the way back and then sitting behind it, and it was ok. It’s quite wide inside — it’s no minivan, so don’t expect wonders, but perfectly acceptable.

Also, the options are created reasonably, so all I had to add was AC — it had everything else. The design is sleek, the interior very pleasant, and very enjoyable for a driver. Driving a Civic (manual transmission) is just a beautiful experience.

Cons: The only flaw I found was small trunk space. Trunk is smaller than most of the cars I’ve looked at. Corolla has 40L bigger trunk which is not negligible especially in smaller cars. The shape of the trunk is good which means you can put in different robust pieces, but the total volume is simply small.

Honda CR-V

A completely new model (2007), bigger than before, and very nicely designed. I generally did not shoot for SUVs, but if I decided to get one, CRV would have been a serious candidate. The only flaw for me was that it doesn’t come with manual transmission.

Honda Hybrid

I have also considered hybrid cars, but gave up generally for one reason: the batteries occupy a good part of the trunk space, and that was already an issue with non-hybrid models. And with the price, I decided to pass on those nice modern things this time.

Toyota Corolla

Towards Corolla, I had similar feeling as to the pre-2006 Civic — seems as a city, young/small family car, only even more than Civic. For my current situation, I was seriously considering it. What I didn’t like was the way it was sold: the base model did not have ABS, only front airbags, and generally some other nice safety features were missing. Now the options are managed in such a way that if you add those things, you also get plenty of those that you don’t need (e.g. sunroof), and it’s not that affordable anymore.

On the other hand it had a lot to offer: good space for a smaller car, the best fuel economy, proven quality.

But I gave up on it mainly because of the lack of safety features.

Toyota Matrix

Similar to Corolla, with very similar and annoying option structure. I mean, it goes up to $28,000 if I add features I want (ABS, Airbags, AC, …). That is because you also get leather seats, sunroof, and some other options.

Now Matrix was conceptually exactly what I wanted — a single-volume, not too big, but practical, multipurpose car. But it has been built on Corolla chassis, and to me it had a certain “”incomplete”” feeling to it. And almost some cheapness as well.

Toyota Camry

I did not like it very much. I mean, it seems to be a great car — it’s big, spacious, amazingly soft and comfortable. It’s a bit heavy which you can feel on acceleration, but again, it’s a bigger car, so it’s no surprise. Generally, Camry is starting to look and feel as a regular 6 cylinder large American car, which is perhaps exactly what they are trying to do. I did not like that much — I like cars such as Accord better; it’s sleeker, more dynamic, a bit harder on the road, more sporty.

Anyhow, except for the fact that I did not need a big limousine-like car, I have nothing really against it.


Nissan is an excellent car that simply did not flare any particular interest with me. This is of course just a personal taste. Altima is in particular very nice, well made and affordable car. Sentra is less so — I found it below similar sized cars. Maxima is a great full sized car — but similar to Toyota Camry it was a bit larger sedan that I’d go for.


Now this is a puzzle. Sonata has a beautiful and very elegant style. It looks fairly high-end by appearance. And it has excellent features and plenty of them. For example, a latest trend — Shiftronic transmission or CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) that pairs the best attributes of manual and automatic mechanisms. I’ve heard that the fuel economy with CVT is almost as good as in the manual one; actually Volvo claims that in one of their models, on a highway, CVT performs even better than manual. But to me, driving a car with CVT was not that impressive experience.

Hyundai obviously has a lot of latest features for a highly affordable price. And although it does look good, you can still tell that it’s an affordable car. When Hyundai entered the American market it was known as the worst car — people say it would last you for about a year. But in the past 5 years they have made such a good progress, that in some independent ratings (Such as Consumer Report’s) they rate better in some aspects than Honda or Toyota.

All in all, I did not spend much time on it, although I’ve considered both Sonata and their SUV Tucson as an option.


I was looking mainly at Mazda 3 Sport. By the way, the name is completely misleading — for a long time I did not even consider it because I simply thought it’s a sport edition not suitable for a family. But when I did looked at it, I was surprised to learn that it actually isn’t — the term “”sport”” apparently came up only because “”hatchback”” was too “”boring””. Silly — I don’t think they really thought this one through well.

Anyhow, I learned it has almost all I needed, and on test drive it felt really good. The dealer told me they sell mostly manual versions because it’s a performance car. I doubt this is really true, but it is true that the car is pretty sporty — very responsive, fairly strong, and in general a pleasure to drive. Nevertheless, it has good space inside, and generally is suitable for a family.

But the trunk was small, i.e. narrow. The width of the trunk is virtually the same as the width of the trunk door. This I simply don’t understand — seems as if they purposely did not use all the available space.

In addition, its crash ratings (from the tests) were not the best. And as a smaller flaw the seat covers felt a bit unpleasant.

But it is generally a very good car and I was considering it very seriously

Mazda 5 also caught my attention because it was a bigger family car, yet not a mini van. I was comparing it to Matrix. However, it looked to me that the goal with an unusual “”crossover”” design was not really achieved (or completed), at least to my personal taste. The third row is too small for anyone except kids to use for any longer drive. With the third row up, the trunk is too small. Although not a mini van it is still fairly heavy and “”lazy”” on the road.

It’s generally a very interesting vehicle, worth looking at.


Ah, Subaru…

Subaru was the most pleasant discovery for me. I didn’t know much at all about this make, only a few vague facts. But after I learned a bit about it I figured that this make is simply excellent. And they have recently been gaining more and more popularity. Then I went to US for a weekend and saw that there are as many Subarus (mostly Outbacks) on the road there as there are Honda Civics in Canada. Every other person owns it!

So I explored the models a bit and figured that Forester and Outback are most appealing. Forester as a smaller and cheaper option and Outback as a bigger and more expensive. Impreza was too small and a bit too much sporty — it’s a performance car used for racing. Legacy, built on the same chassis as Outback and very similar as well was ok, but Outback simply looks better.

I took Forester on a test drive — although it has older look, and is boxier, jeep-like, I liked it somewhat better than Outback. Actually this comparison is a bit like comparing apples and oranges — both look very nice and are conceptually different in exterior design. Perhaps I liked Forester a bit better exactly because it looks like a small SUV. It drives just beautifully. It’s not really an SUV, because it’s smaller and lower than, say CR-V, but it does feel like one because you sit higher above the road than, say, in a sedan. This gives you an excellent visibility of the road in front of you. The space was good, but not too good — in particular the shoulder and hip room is comparable to even Corolla and Civic. So two car seats and an adult can fit in the back, but it wouldn’t be too comfortable on a longer, hour%u2019s long trip. Other dimensions including the trunk size are just fine.

An interesting little side feature of the Boxer engine (horizontally opposed pistons): When you turn the ignition on, Forester “”shakes”” just a wee bit, just as if you were sitting in a truck. This is not too noticeable, but it gives you a bit of a nice feeling of strength.

Security with Subaru vehicles is the one of the strongest points. Their cars have straight 5 on all tests (front impact, side impact and rear impact). This is not accidental — they have systematically developed this quality. They’ve been known in the past to put a lot of effort in security, so much that even they admitted they did it on account of the style. Thus, even the Forester that does not have the curtain airbags at all, protects rear passenger better than some vehicles that have the curtain airbags. However, I found that lack of those airbags was too serious flaw for me — as I mentioned, my first priority was safety and I did not want to compromise in that respect even a bit. Outback on the other hand has all 6 airbags, but it’s also considerably more expensive.

Another security feature resulting from the engine design, i.e. the Boxer style, is that it has very low center of gravity, lower than ordinary engines. For this reason, the risk of rollover with Forester is comparable to a sedan, rather than any SUV.

Subaru vehicles are not true gas-savers. Specifications claim they spend 10.7L/100km. I drove Outback for 24 hours, and it spent 12L/100km. This is understandable; you’ll never get the fuel economy from the spec, especially with brand new car. However, compared to Corolla’s 7.1 or Civic 7.8, it is almost 50% more.

I didn’t choose Subaru for a couple of reasons, although I was so close to buying one. Forester does not have curtain airbags, and new Forester model is planned for 2009. Outback is not cheap — with taxes and PDI and the rest of the fees it comes up to $38,000. Buying Outback in US would cost me somewhat above $30,000. Forester would be somewhat below $30,000. So, I’d have to pay good money, and wouldn’t be happy with either lack of airbags or not the best fuel economy. But I think my next car might easily be a Subaru.


No need to say it’s a great make, and one of my personal favourites. However, affordable or close to affordable Volvo’s (such as S40, V50) are small, and larger ones (S70, XC70) are expensive. If it wasn’t for the price I think I wouldn’t even analyze it — I’d just go and buy it.


I know VW was always a good car — when I was a kid half of my hometown was driving VW. I know features of Golf models from Golf I to Golf IV. And I drove it a bit too. But my main interest in VW was that I was looking for a diesel car. I was disappointed to find that VW dealers in Canada do not sell plenty of diesel models. There is TDI (here and now it means Jetta TDI) — that’s it.

Then I also discovered that City Golf and City Jetta are amazingly affordable — they are cheaper than Civic and Corolla. And they are good cars! I almost decided to go for one of them!!

But Golf is small for a Canadian family, in particular, the trunk is too narrow — I can’t even put the kid’s stroller in straight, but have to incline it a bit. I started wondering how did the half of my hometown raise kids with a Golf? (And the other half of the town drove smaller cars.) But those were different times…

City Jetta is better in that respect, but not too much. It is an old Jetta model, first designed several years ago. It’s still the same with all the small improvements made over the years, but nothing major.

Major redesign of Jetta went into the Jetta model (without “”City””) that is some 8 grand more expensive and looks more like a Passsat (actually so much so that on the road I have trouble telling Jetta from Passat). Jetta is an excellent car, has excellent security features, lots of space (very, very comfortable inside). And there is diesel (TDI) option.

Generally, an excellent option — only a summary of all features and price decided against it, and not by far at all.

?Fire Trucks and Tow Trucks

The fire engines were initially used in the mid-nineteenth century and were compliance before the introduction of fire trucks. By the end of century, they changed from automobile version or horse-drawn to hand water pumps mounted at the rear. The first engine was used in the year 1850 by Cincinnati Fire Department. They actually represented large shift methods of fire fighting including bucket lines. Most of these engine models are found in urban cities and as they are in limited demands, the trucks manufactured from 1900 to 1960 were very limited to distinctive designs from local producers. There were not only fire trucks, but also some competitive departments in local areas. Because of expensive paint color, most of the manufacturer began painting their trucks red and black.

Fire trucks became more popular in the market by the turn of century as lots of towns switched from volunteer to professional departments. The cities filled with crowd needed advanced technology with excellent water pumps. Till late 1920s, fire departments decided to use fire powered engines and the Cincinnati, Ahrens-Fox Manufacturing Company became very popular for replacing fire horse-drawn engines with these trucks. The main manufacturer of these fire trucks is Mack Trucks who started in the year 1911 and has gained a good reputation in the market till today. In 1960s, there was some fire diesels trucks manufactured which were the modernized trucks with enclosed cabs for crew.

Tow trucks are basically a vehicle which is used for transporting motor vehicles from one place to another. These services are mostly offered by emergency road service operator. The first tow truck was invented by Ernest Holmes in the year 1916 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was initially a garage worker; an improved design which resulted him to produce wreckers. There are lots of different kinds of tow equipments such as boom that are fitted with most of the trucks. These trucks are most of the times operated by private firms except for toll roads and major highways. Those organizations who are involved in operating huge fleet of vehicles often own one of these trucks and school bus companies.

There are lots of government departments who use two trucks such as departments of public works, fire departments, transportation authorities and police departments. There is a tow truck act in one of the Australian states called New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Tow trucks have been in the market for a very long time and most of the times they are used for hauling cars and automobiles. These trucks are designed as long iron bar with hitch on one end and dual wheels on other end. Gottlieb Daimler was the first automobile manufacturer who produced and launched this tow truck in 1890s. There are other manufacturers in the market who are involved in producing these trucks such as Ford, International, White, Chevrolet, Dodge, Jeep, Federal, Diamond T, GMC, Nash and Studebaker. These trucks are quite ubiquitous on highways which are often not noticed while passing. Overall they are quite beneficial in towing vehicles.

?Spend Nothing on Gas – Convert Your Vehicle Into an Electric Car

If you are having a headache on your old-fashioned combustion-powered car, then it is time that you do something creative, such as converting your car into a electric-powered vehicle, that gives you much of the benefits.

Many people in the United States have been dissatisfied after series of gas price hike occurred in the world market. Their wages are only good enough to be spent on fuels alone, rather than to be spent for food, family leisure, and in buying their wants and needs for everyday living. The same situation can be pointed out on people across the globe, who are also getting frustrated on the high cost of diesel and gasoline.

Some of the solutions being proposed by several nations are alternative fuels for diesel and gasoline. For instance, they have suggested and experimented on using liquefied petroleum gas or LPG and biofuel from plants that can potentially produced the same quality of fuel energy. Other people from other countries even conducted a test on the viability of using water and recycled cooking oil as an alternative fuel to power a car’s engine.

But many of these proposed alternative fuels are yet to be tested and proven to be safe. Another possible issue that can be pointed out is that there are not enough raw materials to be used for these, such as for biofuels.

In the United States, many people have long been experimenting on converting the car’s internal combustion engine to run on electricity. The results of the research study and the series of test lead to the approval of big companies to consider manufacturing electrically converted cars, or put up for sale electric car conversion kits that will aid citizens to transform their car in order to save money on gas fuels. In fact, in the United States alone, there are hundreds of companies selling converted cars, and thousands of hobbyists who are very fond of doing the process for customers who are willing to get rid of that old-fashioned combustion engine.

The process of converting a car to run on electricity involves the elimination of the entire internal combustion engine, and installing an electric motor. Batteries are then added, and a wire system is connected on essential parts of the vehicles that need to be powered by electricity. The entire process will cost for about US$ 7,000 and above, but there is a guarantee that the car owner will be able to save much money after diesels and gasoline are eliminated in the picture.

There are electric car conversion kits available, and it comes in two types. The custom kit that is specially made for a specific type of vehicle, and the universal type that can be used on any type of vehicle, like cars and light trucks. Each type of conversion kits comes with different tools, depending on what type of car is to be converted. Just like with the universal type, the tools that are usually included are advance DC motor, adaptor, contractor, controller, pot box, circuit breaker, fusible links, amp gauge, volt gauge, shunt, charger, cables, and the rechargeable batteries.

If you will be installing the materials without an aid of an expert, it would be best that you would purchase and secure a copy of an online guide on how to convert the car into an electric automobile, in order to properly assemble the parts and avoid any faulty set-ups.

?Finding A Truck To Tow A Toy Hauler

So you got yourself a new ATV or fun runner, but you are wondering how in the world you are going to find a truck that can stand the weight of your toy hauler. This is a common dilemma for new owners of these big toys. This article shows which trucks are able to tow a toy hauler; including features, weight capacity, and other pertinent information.

Ford F550 4X4 Hauler

The Ford F550 4X4 Hauler is a good choice for transporting a toy hauler over long distances. The F550 has been in a class of pickup trucks that have been the best in America for 24 years and running. Some features of this powerful and durable truck are the fact that it is not only tough, but has an attractive body frame. The truck has a 6.4 liter Powerstroke Turbo diesel engine. The GVWR is 17,950. It includes dual fuel tanks, so you can travel long distances without having to stop for a fill-up. It also features a Tow Command System with a high capacity trailer tow package. Other interesting features about this truck include heated captain chairs, all weather floor mats, plus many other appealing features.

Chevy Silervado 3500HD L2

The Chevy Silverado 3500HD L2 model is perfect for hauling a toy hauler. It costs considerably less than the Ford F550 mentioned above, and can do just about the same job. Some highlights of the 3500HD include a 6.0 V8 engine, automatic transmission with a tow haul mode, and can pull up to a maximum of 18,500 pounds. Other nice features about this truck include your choice of extended or crew cab options, as well as an integrated trailer breaker control. This vehicle has won its share of awards for its outstanding performance.

GMC Sierra 2500HD

The GMC Sierra 2500HD costs about the same as a Chevy Silverado 3500HD. It was voted the Best Pickup Truck in 2007 by Motor Week. The truck comes in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and can pull a load of about 13,000 to 16,000 pounds, which is usually sufficient for hauling an ATV or fun runner. Other pertinent features of this truck include 6.0L SFI V8 engine, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, as well as fog lamps and 17-inch wheels. Safety features include the On-Star system, air bags, and a theft-deterrent system.

Dodge Ram 3500

The Dodge Ram 3500 is an excellent choice for pulling a toy hauler. It can haul up to 16,350 pounds easily. The truck packs a 6.7L turbo diesel engine, along with an option for four-wheel drive. The Dodge Ram also has other interesting features, such air bags with side-impact protection, options for a four-door or two-door model, and many other features to meet the needs of the individual purchasing the vehicle.

As you can see, there are quite a few options when it comes to finding a truck to pull your toy hauler. A lot of what you choose to buy will depend on price, whether you want to buy new or used, and what other features besides pulling capacity are important to you. Folks have been happy with each of the models of trucks listed above, so now it is time for you to start researching what truck is best for your needs.

?8 Reasons Your Next Truck Should Be Powered by a Diesel Engine

Better Fuel Economy: Diesel engines use compression ignition instead of spark plugs to start the combustion process. Using compression as the ignition source, combined with the higher energy content of diesel fuel, provides a much more efficient engine which requires less fuel to operate than a gasoline engine. A diesel engine is also able to operate at peak torque at lower RPM, like you would typically see at cruising speeds, further boosting fuel economy.

More Power: A turbodiesel engine can produce much more peak torque than a gasoline engine of equal size, and maintain peak torque over a broader RPM spectrum.This provides for much more power throughout the operating range, less downshifts for improved fuel economy, and increased payload ratings.

Higher Towing Capability: Due to the stout structure and additional torque of a diesel engine, payloads on diesel powered trucks are much higher than those on similarly sized gasoline V8 powered trucks. If you have something large to tow, a diesel will make the task much easier and provide the best fuel economy possible while loaded.

Aftermarket Support: Diesel powered trucks are receiving much more attention from the aftermarket than gasoline powered trucks due partly to the fact that diesel engines are easy to tune for more performance. Where a few simple bolt on parts may increase your gas powered truck’s performance by 50-75 horsepower, the same parts could take your diesel to extreme performance levels. How does an additional 200-350 horsepower sound? (Based on performance testing of a tuner, cold air intake, and exhaust system; the three most common and readily available engine modifications.)

Driving Experience: If your any sort of automotive enthusiast, or just like a truck that can run through the gears fast, diesel is the way to go. Just remember to hang on once the turbocharger spools, because you will be in for one wild ride. Diesel engines produce gobs of torque at low RPM, which pushes you back in your seat as the truck takes off when you start getting into the throttle.

Engine Longevity: Diesel engines operate at lower RPM and have much stronger engine parts than comparable gasoline engines. This translates into increased engine life, with diesel engines generally lasting up to 2x longer than gasoline engines before needing an overhaul or major repairs.

Cleaner Emissions: New technology has cleaned up the diesel combustion process, reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse emissions and virtually eliminating diesel soot from the exhaust.

Alternative Fuel Solutions: Supporter of alternative fuels? Then you may like the future of diesel fuel. Biodiesel is currently becoming readily available across the United States and its popularity is growing. A great characteristic of biodiesel is that it can be made out of many different items, including corn and other vegetation, used vegetable oil, garbage and waste material, and even algae. Biodiesel is a growing solution to the fuel crisis, and it burns clean. However, you will not be putting this in your gasoline powered vehicle anytime soon.

?Extreme Chevy Truck Accessories – Not for the Weak at Heart

So here we go guys today I will be covering some of the Extreme Chevy truck accessories. The accessories mentioned below generally go beyond the normal every day truck owner and enter a realm of power and torque. You will find I have chosen what I believe to be the top 5 performance upgrades for Chevy trucks. I hope you find this information valuable when building your next Extreme Chevy truck.

Extreme accessory #1 – Power Programmers. Okay guys there are two different power programmers I recommend. The first being for Diesel owners and that is the Bully Dog Triple Dog Outlook combo. This programmer is top of the line and gives you the ability to adjust horsepower on the fly. Bully Dog is the best choice for Diesel trucks. Now if you own a gas truck I recommend the Hypertech HyperPAC. This tuner is versatile and will do everything you need including diagnostics. This is considered the world’s first performance automotive computer.

Extreme accessory #2 – AEM Brute force air intakes. I know every one is always talking K&N when it comes to filters and intakes, however the AEM Brute force intake is what I recommend hands down. The AEM Brute force is top of the line allowing the most airflow you will find. Throw on a throttle body spacer and you have really made some improvements to your stock system.

Extreme accessory #3 – Borla exhaust system. When you make the other mods it is essential to do the exhaust to get the best performance out of your truck. For the Chevy I recommend the Borla system. Borla is a stainless steel mandrel bent exhaust system that increases horsepower by increasing air flow. Remember what comes in must come out. The concept of tuning your truck should start with airflow and your exhaust system is a vital part of this. Borla will perform the task well and will also give your truck a nice deep sound.

Extreme accessory #4 – Procomp lift kits- Now not everyone is looking at lifting their trucks however if you are we recommend the Procomp lift kit for your Chevy. This kit is complete with shocks, springs and hardware and is one of the most popular kits for the Chevy trucks.

Extreme accessory #5 – Flex-a-lite fans. Not everyone thinks about cooling however when you are tuning your truck for more horsepower cooling plays a vital role. We want to protect our investment so it is common sense to do something fairly simple to keep our motor cool. The Flex-a-lite Syclone fan moves up to 2500 cfm’s of air and only drawing 17 amps. Not bad at all for protection in my book.

Okay so there you have it. Listing only 5 I missed a few accessories such as upgrading your braking systems. I tried to stay with the most basic and not go overboard so I hope this information was helpful on your journey to building your Extreme Chevy truck. By doing your homework ahead of time you will find the right accessories. Remember when talking about tuning that Airflow is vital and the fact that what goes in must come out.

?Put Some More Muscle in Your Diesel

Diesel engines are vastly untapped when it comes to horsepower. Prime example–the 2006 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel. This truck ships from the factory with a respectable 325 horsepower. But now, thanks to the Edge Juice Performance Module with Attitude In-Cab you can jump to over 425 at the push of a button.

Along with ungodly gobs of power, you’ll also enjoy a full compliment of gauges including Boost PSI, Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT), Barometric Pressure, Speed (MPH), Engine Coolant Temp, Intake Temp, Load %, Slip %, Transmission Temp, Throttle %, RPM and Backdown % due to excessive EGT or Boost. You can view any combination of four variables at once on the Attitude Monitor.

Another feature I like is the built-in turbo timer. This option will increase the life of your turbo by running the engine after you turn off the truck until a specific EGT (set by you) is reached.

Installing the Edge Juice and Attitude Module

Overall, installation is fairly easy. There are quite a few connections associated with the gauges, but the kit comes with detailed instructions and pictures coinciding with the various stages of install.

One of the most difficult tasks is installing the EGT probe. For this, you’ll need to drill and tap your exhaust manifold to accept the threaded end of the probe.

All the other wiring is pretty straightforward with connections necessary at the injectors, MAP sensor, OBDII data link, ignition (for turbo timer), power and ground.

The kit comes with a mounting bracket for the Attitude in-cab module, but I thought it looked a little cheesy, so I opted for an A-Pillar Gauge Pod. You can pick these up for around $75 and they give a nice finished look to the install.

Power Levels

Although Edge claims 5 different power levels, there are actually 7. Level 0 for stock settings, Level 1 for 25 HP, Level 2 for 40 HP, Level 3 for 60 HP, Level 4 for 80 HP, level 5 for 100 HP and Level 6 for 160 HP.

To get level 6 you have to contact Edge directly and get what they call a “”hot unlock code”” which you enter right into the Attitude module. According to Edge “”There is a cost associated with accessing level 6 and a release liability waiver must be signed.”” This last part makes me think level 6 could do bad things in the wrong hands…namely mine, which is why I haven’t “”unlocked”” this feature just yet.

Safety Features for Your Diesel Engine

One of the biggest reasons I purchased the Edge Module was the safety/engine protection features it offers. Along with the diesel turbo-timer that prolongs turbo life by allowing it to cool down properly, the Edge Juice has an audible alarm system that alerts you when dangerous conditions are present. You can preset alerts for EGT, Boost Pressure, Engine Temp, Trans Tem and speed.

Drive Test

In a word: Wow. The performance gains are incredible all the way through the power band. Low end, middle, top end…all show marked improvement over stock. On the freeway you’ll find yourself doing 80 with plenty of pedal left. The only drawback I’ve seen is an increase in smoke…not really a big deal, but it does piss other drivers off sometimes.

At the higher power settings, fuel economy did not increase or decrease. At power level 5 you can expect the same mileage as stock. At lower levels (1 & 2) I went from 14.9 MPG to 16.5 mixed highway and city driving.


I give this product a serious thumbs up. I picked up the Edge Juice with Attitude Module for $899 and the A-pillar gauge pod for $75. So for less than a grand I have all the horsepower I could want, a whole set of digital gauges and an automatic turbo timer to boot.

?Enough Hybrids – Lets Go Diesel

Last summer’s gas crisis made people wake up and realize that economic cars that get good gas millage and are less harmful to the environment are going to become more of a necessity in decades to come. Hybrids are all the rage, but they have plenty of downsides such as relative high costs, expensive to maintain, and well most of them are pretty lame. So what can we do to get good fuel economy and have cars that don’t suck? Get more diesel cars and make them affordable.

Do a search on cheap diesel cars and you will pretty much find a couple rabbits and Mercedes 300D’s and not much else in the US. New cars are coming out and some of them are actually pretty cool. Volkswagen is leading the trend with cars like the TDI Jetta and the Audi R8, while American car companies of course don’t have much of anything but large and quite expensive trucks.

While I still think electric cars can be the future for the time being Diesel engines provide us the ability to have crazy good fuel economy, solid reliability, and most of them utilize turbos which can make the potential to have more power and more fun easy to achieve.

The rest of the world has had a large selection of diesel cars for years and some even produced by none other than American car companies. So question is why can’t we get these? Maintenance and operating costs of diesels are relatively low and they tend to have the uncanny ability to rack up thousands of miles and take lots of abuse. If you do not agree just take a quick look at the average milage of the still running examples of the first two cars I mentioned before from VW and Mercedes. Chances are you can easily find several clean and perfectly good running examples with 300K plus miles.

So my call to the big three is take advantage of some of the cars that we have given to the rest of world and bring them here. If we don’t then I’m sure companies like Toyota and VW will lead the trend and leave us behind once again.

?8 Reasons Your Next Truck Should Be Powered by a Diesel Engine

Better Fuel Economy: Diesel engines use compression ignition instead of spark plugs to start the combustion process. Using compression as the ignition source, combined with the higher energy content of diesel fuel, provides a much more efficient engine which requires less fuel to operate than a gasoline engine. A diesel engine is also able to operate at peak torque at lower RPM, like you would typically see at cruising speeds, further boosting fuel economy.

More Power: A turbodiesel engine can produce much more peak torque than a gasoline engine of equal size, and maintain peak torque over a broader RPM spectrum.This provides for much more power throughout the operating range, less downshifts for improved fuel economy, and increased payload ratings.

Higher Towing Capability: Due to the stout structure and additional torque of a diesel engine, payloads on diesel powered trucks are much higher than those on similarly sized gasoline V8 powered trucks. If you have something large to tow, a diesel will make the task much easier and provide the best fuel economy possible while loaded.

Aftermarket Support: Diesel powered trucks are receiving much more attention from the aftermarket than gasoline powered trucks due partly to the fact that diesel engines are easy to tune for more performance. Where a few simple bolt on parts may increase your gas powered truck’s performance by 50-75 horsepower, the same parts could take your diesel to extreme performance levels. How does an additional 200-350 horsepower sound? (Based on performance testing of a tuner, cold air intake, and exhaust system; the three most common and readily available engine modifications.)

Driving Experience: If your any sort of automotive enthusiast, or just like a truck that can run through the gears fast, diesel is the way to go. Just remember to hang on once the turbocharger spools, because you will be in for one wild ride. Diesel engines produce gobs of torque at low RPM, which pushes you back in your seat as the truck takes off when you start getting into the throttle.

Engine Longevity: Diesel engines operate at lower RPM and have much stronger engine parts than comparable gasoline engines. This translates into increased engine life, with diesel engines generally lasting up to 2x longer than gasoline engines before needing an overhaul or major repairs.

Cleaner Emissions: New technology has cleaned up the diesel combustion process, reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse emissions and virtually eliminating diesel soot from the exhaust.

Alternative Fuel Solutions: Supporter of alternative fuels? Then you may like the future of diesel fuel. Biodiesel is currently becoming readily available across the United States and its popularity is growing. A great characteristic of biodiesel is that it can be made out of many different items, including corn and other vegetation, used vegetable oil, garbage and waste material, and even algae. Biodiesel is a growing solution to the fuel crisis, and it burns clean. However, you will not be putting this in your gasoline powered vehicle anytime soon.

?DPF, What and Where Is It? How Does it Work? Should I Buy a DPF Delete Kit?

This is a question we get a million times a day. Since 2007 all Dodge Cummins 6.7, Ford Powerstroke 6.4, and Chevy Duramax 6.6 trucks come from the factory equipped with a particulate filter to meet tougher emissions standards. A diesel particulate filter (DPF) is a device that traps the soot and unburnt fuel from diesel combustion. You may have noticed if you have one the 07+ diesel pickups that it never puts out any black smoke at all. The DPF will capture 90% or better of all harmful diesel emissions. Once the DPF has become “”full”” of soot, it will need to have a regeneration cycle in order to burn all the soot out. You may have noticed a light on your dash from time to time that alerts you that the DPF is in “”regen”” or “”cleaning filter.””

Basically what is happening during this process is that the engine’s computer has decided from the information that it receives from the sensors installed in the exhaust that the DPF has filled up past it’s acceptable limit. The computer then opens the EGR (exhaust recirulation valve) introducing hot exhaust into the intake to help get get exhaust gas temps higher and also injects a small shot of fuel into the cylinders when the exhaust valves are open. The raised exhaust temps and the small amount of fuel then burn out the particulate (soot) that the DPF has collected since it’s last regen. Once the computer gets readings from the sensors in the exhaust that the filter is flowing an acceptable limit again, it ends the regen cycle. The frequency of this cleaning cycle is different from vehicle to vehicle depending on use, mileage, and engine condition.

Myths about the DPF system:

1. The lines on the side of the exhaust are fuel lines that dump fuel directly into the filter and the other connections are glow or spark plugs that ignite the fuel to clean the filter.

Not at all. As I stated above, the fuel needed for cleaning the dpf is entered into the engine cylinders by route of the regular fuel injectors during the exhaust stroke of the engine. A small shot of fuel is pushed out with the rest of the exhaust gas. The metal lines everyone sees on the side of the DPF filter are for a pressure sensor that is usually attached to the side of the transmission or frame. They have the long metal tubes on them to get the temperature of the exhaust they are measuring down before it reaches the sensor. Again, I don’t care what the tech at the dealership says about those lines, if he says they are fuel lines (which I hear all the time), he is an idiot and you should remove your truck from there as quickly as possible. The other wires you see going to the exhaust before and after the DPF filter are not spark or glow plugs. They are thermocouples that measure exhaust temperature. The computer uses exhaust temperature and pressure before, at, and after the dpf to measure how plugged the dpf is and when it’s time to perform a regen.

2. I can just remove the DPF filter and put a piece of pipe in there.

Sorry, no. If you remove the DPF filter and make no adjustments to the engine’s computer, it will enter either a limp mode or a constant state of regen. Simply put, all the sensors and the dpf have to be in perfect working order when running the stock vehicle’s programming or else your truck will go haywire and you will not be able to drive it.

Common problems with the DPF system:

1. Poor Fuel economy – This is the number one complaint we get from customers who have trucks equipped with a DPF. Most customers who traded in their pre-07 diesel pickups have been completely unhappy with the lack of fuel mileage that used to enjoy. The average fuel economy we hear people report on the DPF equipped trucks is usually 12-14 mpg. Many of these folks traded in trucks that did 18-22 mpg and are completely disgusted.

2. Excessive regens – Many of our customers who use their trucks for work complain about very frequent regens that kill their fuel mileage and performance. Many customers who work outdoors in the winter were used to leaving their old diesels run all day while they were on the job site. The DPF equipped trucks don’t handle this very well. The cooler idling temperature of the exhaust gas will soot up the DPF on an accelerated rate. It is not uncommon for these customers to be on their second or third filter change because the truck went into constant limp mode. The usually dealership response is: “”You can’t let these new trucks idle.”” Which goes over pretty well with guys who are stuck at a job site five miles back in the woods all day and the temperature never gets above ten degrees.

3. High replacement cost – If any of you have had to pay for a DPF replacement out of warranty, you probably had a heart attack when you got the bill. A replacement DPF (which isn’t available aftermarket yet) runs roughly $2000-$2600 for the just the filter alone. And hears the scary part. DPF life is estimated between 120,000 and 150,000 miles. If you plan on keeping your new diesel pickup for a few hundred thousand miles better start a DPF fund.

4. Restricts performance modifications – With the new diesel pickups, the potential for horsepower improvements is tremendous. We have taken all three brands of pickups to close to or over 500 rear wheel horsepower and 1000 ft/lbs of torque with just intake, exhaust, and programming modifications. Never has so much performance been so easy and affordable while still maintaining street manners. The only problem is anything past a small tow type tune will aggravate the particulate filter. Turning up the engine will produce more soot which will plug the dpf sooner causing more regens. Many customers who run a 100 horsepower program report very poor fuel mileage and constant regens.

What can be done to extend DPF life and limit regens?:

Since we are not allowed by law to remove the DPF system, we are stuck with it if you want to comply with Federal emissions and keep your truck legal. Here are a few tips to help mileage and DPF life:

1. Use the right fuel – It is absolutely crucial and necessary to use ultra low sulphur fuel in any vehicle equipped with a particulate filter. High amounts of sulfur in the fuel will plug the DPF immediately. We get lots of questions from farmers about the red fuel. As far as we know you can’t buy high sulfur fuel commercially anymore. We have a refinery roughly ten minutes from the shop that refines diesel. Both fuels are exactly the same, their is just red dye added to the offroad fuel. It won’t hurt anything to run the low sulphur red fuel. The other question we get asked is about additives. Our advice is to only run products that were made for diesel fuel. Power Service, K100, Standyne, and Flash Lube for example are brands that we see no problems running. DO NOT add any sort of homemade fixes. Adding a quart of saw oil, atf, or anything else probably isn’t a good idea. It will burn dirty and may clog the dpf.

2. Use the proper engine oil – Make sure you are using an engine oil that is rated properly for your truck. Some engine oil gets burnt up in combustion no matter what. If you are running oil that is not formulated for a DPF equipped vehicle, it will soot up the filter sooner.

3. Keep idling to a minimum – Simply put, idling contributes to dpf problems. Period. Keeping the rpm’s elevated during will help. Keeping idling to a minimum is best for these trucks.

4. Run it hard once in a while – Don’t be afraid once in a while when going up a hill to matt the throttle for a few seconds. Running the truck hard and getting things nice and warm will help clear out soot deposits.

I want to remove the DPF. What can I do and what will be the benefits?

First thing, it is absolutely against the law to remove or disable any emissions device for any vehicle that is going to be operated on the public highways. If you decide you want to remove emissions equipment for any reason, it is solely up to you and your mechanic to decide what is safe and legal for your application. I do not condone nor advise removing the dpf or any other emissions device. All the examples I speak about below were tested off-road and the mileage tests were performed on our Superflow chassis dyno that simulate the load the truck has alone and when towing.

We have done some testing on all three brands of trucks to see what results could be achieved by removing the dpf filter system. There are many products available for off-road and competition use that will disable the dpf system. You have to run some sort of aftermarket device to disable the system or there will be problems when you remove the DPF. There are several options that will allow the removal of the DPF without any horsepower increase and also several options that will add up to 250 horsepower along with removing the DPF.

Here are the test trucks we have done controlled tests on our chassis dyno with:

Truck #1: 2007.5 Ford F-350 6.4 PowerstrokeMods: S&B Cold Air Intake, Edge Race Evolution, DPF Delete pipe (rest factory exhaust)Stock RWHP: 285After Mods RWHP: 471Average Mileage stock: 11.8 mpgAverage Mileage mods: 17.4 mpg

Notes: Very basic delete package. Overall mileage jumped 5.6 mpg on simulated highway driving. Horsepower levels range from 40HP increase to 185 hp increase on the EDGE Race Evolution. Stock air box would pull filter restriction gauge with clean factory filter on even lower levels. Air box upgrade a must for this package.

Truck #2: 2008 Dodge 3500 6.7 CumminsMods: Full 4″” DPF and Cat delete exhaust, Flo-Pro DPF electronics packageStock RWHP: 294Mod RWHP: 311Average Mileage Stock: 12.1 mpgAverage Mileage Mods: 18.9 mpg

Notes: We were really impressed with this package. The Flo-Pro electronics only disable the DPF system and add absolutely no horsepower. The free flowing exhaust showed some horsepower gains. Mileage test was simulated highway driving with a truck weight of 8700lbs. Great mileage gain of 6.8 over stock. Inexpensive delete package for off-road work trucks.

Truck #3: 2008 F-550 6.4 Powerstroke

Mods: DPF delete into dual 5″” exhaust, S&B Cold Air Intake, Power Hungry Performance Gryphon programmerStock RWHP: 268Mod RWHP: 447Avg HWY Mileage Stock: 9.2 mpgAvg HWY Mileage Mods: 17.3 mpgAvg TOW mileage Stock: 6.4 mpgAvg TOW mileage Mods: 14.2 mpg

Notes: This is a package that we put together to simulate the gains possible on one of the hard working trucks that tows alot. The horsepower increase was dramatic, but the mileage gains were tremendous. We simulated a truck weight of 11,500 lbs for the highway tests and a trailer weight of 12,000 lbs for the tow test. The highway mileage tests of the mods showed a 8.1 mpg gain while the towing test also showed an amazing 8 mpg gain.

Truck #4: 2009 Dodge 2500 Cummins 6.7Mods: 5″” straight DPF/Cat delete exhaust, S&B Cold Air Intake, H&S XRT programmerAvg HWY mileage stock:14.6 mpgAvg HWY mileage mods:21.2 mpg

Notes: We only did simulated hwy mileage tests on this truck. We just used the XRT programmer to remove the DPF functions from the computer and left the horsepower stock. The XRT has horsepower increase levels of 60, 120, 175 horsepower. It will also shut the egr system off as well.

Truck #5: 2008 Ford F-350 6.4 PowerstrokeMods: 4″” DPF delete pipe, 5″” MBRP dpf back exhaust, S&B cold air intake, Innovative Diesel custom tuned SCT LivewireStock RWHP:289Mod RWHP: 536Stock MPG: 11.6 mpgMod MPG: 17.4 mpg

Notes: This truck was an animal! The custom tunes were some of the smoothest shifting of any of the options we have tried and the power was crazy. There was a 247 rear wheel horsepower increase over stock on the highest level and the rear wheel torque was over 1000 ft/lbs! You would think there would be a serious drop in the mileage department, but we were surprised to see the truck gain nearly 6 mpg at even this horsepower level.

In conclusion, if you are looking for some serious horsepower for the drag strip or the pulling track, these new common rail diesels make serious horsepower with very little modification once the dpf is out of the way. Also, if you only operated your truck off-road there are some extremely impressive fuel economy gains to be had by removing the dpf filter. It is really too bad that we couldn’t run the trucks on public roads with the dpf removed. We truly would have incredibly powerful trucks that get great mileage and have wonderful street manners.

Thanks for reading,John Anderson

?Nissan – Quality Equal To Ford, Toyota

According to a study conducted by the suburban Detroit RDA Group market-research firm, the quality of Nissan Motors Co., Inc. is equal to the Ford Motor Co. and the Toyota Motors Corp. Ford and Toyota have already etched a trusted reputation in the global automotive industry for several decades now.

The study conducted for Ford revealed that the Honda Motor Co. turned out the best overall results. Still, ‘It’s a big improvement for us,’ said Ford global quality Vice President Bennie Fowler. In the said study, RDA asked 31,000 new-vehicle owners to write down any problems they encountered in the first 90 days of ownership of their 2007-model cars and trucks from all major automakers.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles had 1,456 problems per 1,000 vehicles, as compared with 1,457 for Nissan and 1,453 for Toyota, RDA said. Honda was found to be the best in new-car quality, with 1,313 ‘things gone wrong’ per 1,000 vehicles, RDA noted. Ford’s quality improved 8 percent, compared with the overall industry’s two percent improvement.

The Ford Fusion beat the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord with 1,066 problems per 1,000 vehicles in the midsize-car segment. On the other hand, Mercury Milan scored 910 and that is the lowest score for any Ford product, RDA revealed.

The Nissan turn signal is flashing positive vibes. Lately, the Japanese automaker has been busy testing new strategies and coming up with fascinating innovations. At present, Nissan is testing a pedestrian-detecting system which is designed to warn drivers if someone is about to walk into the road.

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is equipped with mobile phone technology and GPS (global positioning satellites) to send data to the car on the pedestrian’s location. Nissan is currently concentrating on researching which type of data is most useful to prevent road accidents, including the direction of travel of the pedestrian relative to the vehicle, and corresponding speeds and distances. It is also studying whether to visual alerts or audible warnings. The most appropriate alerts are expected to be integrated to the car.

Nissan has also announced its partnership with the NEC Corporation to make latest-generation lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are believed to be more efficient and environment-friendly than some of the present power sources. They will be used to enable a new series of electric cars and hybrids.

The Japanese automaker is also planning to unveil a production fuel cell car and an electric vehicle early in the next decade. Nissan also intimated its plan to make its petrol and diesel engines ever-cleaner. These vehicles are expected to arrive by 2012. “”This is too difficult; a very, very high level,”” said the Nissan head of technology Mitsuhiko Yamashita. “”We will ultimately have to meet this, but 2012 is too aggressive. The timing is too tight,”” Yamashita noted.

?Dodge Diesel Performance

The Dodge Cummins diesel is a favorite of many diesel enthusiasts because of how many modifications can be done to it. The Dodge Cummins diesel comes stock with great power and fuel economy and can be tweaked to get diesel fuel mileage in the upper twenties and some even report low thirties in mpg. That is phenomenal economy for a truck. They can also be turned into ground pounding monsters. Today we will take a look at a few of the modifications that can be done to make the vehicle either more economical or more powerful.

First the most popular modification for any diesel is a performance chip. These come in chips, modules and programmers. All have the same basic functions although they will all alter the fueling in slightly different ways and have a variety of safety features. Generally for a conservative driver, with almost any diesel chip about three to four mpg increases can be achieved. Most of these chips add about 120 horse power on their top setting. There are some extreme chips though that will add about 230 hp and over 400 torque to the dodge Cummins diesel.

Probably the second most popular modification for the Dodge Cummins Diesel is performance diesel fuel injectors. Upgraded injectors can also add economy for a conservative driver. The injectors come in stages that range from 50 hp to 150 hp over stock, and even more extreme injectors can be custom made. 50 hp injectors would be for someone looking for a little more power and better economy. 150 hp injectors would be considered extreme. They also come in complete injector replacements or just nozzle or injector tip upgrades.

For any diesel that is being modified, a higher flow exhaust should be added to help it keep exhaust gas temperatures down and to relieve engine stress. Most people upgrade the size of the entire exhaust from the turbo. Others use the Aero Exhaust which is a muffler replacement only. The design of the Aero Exhaust increases the speed of the exhaust like a jet would as the exhaust flows through it. On the 2005 Dodge Cummins diesel the Aero Exhaust adds 19 hp and 38 dyno tested torque by just replacing the muffler.

Another popular modification is the cold air intake which allows more air into the engine which helps to combust a higher percentage of the fuel. This gets more power to the wheels instead of out the tail pip in a big black cloud.

?5 Secrets to Increase the Fuel Economy and Mileage of a Diesel Pickup

This is probably the number one asked question we get every day. More so with the new trucks coming out. They have enough power to satisfy the owner’s needs, but the high price of diesel fuel is keep fuel economy front and center in everyone’s mind. The following tips apply to all diesel trucks including Ford Powerstrokes, Dodge Cummins, and the Chevy/GMC Duramax. They are very basic steps that you can do for little or no money that may help you gain a few miles per gallon. There are many other expensive things like programmers that will dramatically increase horsepower, but we are just looking at relatively inexpensive things the average guy can do to increase his mileage a little without spending a bunch of extra money.

1. Maintenance:

You would think this may be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the number of trucks that pass through our shop that run completely different after we give it a full service. If you want the most efficiency out of your diesel pickup, you need to make sure every vehicle system is working properly. I can not stress enough how important clean fuel and air filters are to the proper operation of your truck. If either of those filters are not up to full capacity, your horsepower will suffer. You will have to run the truck much harder to do the same work. A plugged up air filter can rob 15-50 horsepower. Likewise, oil that is way overdue for change loses it’s lubricity and causes extra drag. It simply isn’t doing as good of a job as fresh new oil will. This extra drag robs power. This is also true for transmission, transfer case, and differential oils. If your gears have to spin through thick, broke down sludge, it will rob a little horsepower which in turns lowers the efficiency of the truck as a whole. So in short, get on a maintenance schedule that includes all fluids, filters, and service items. If your truck has 75K+ miles on it and you haven’t ever changed the trans or dif oils, it may be a good time to do a little extra maintenance.

2. Synthetic Lubricants:

Ok, to be honest I have always be skeptical of many of the claims that come on the side of the synthetic lubricant bottles. I have probably had at least two hundred Amsoil salesmen telling me about how great the oil is and if I just swap out all the truck’s oil, I could pick up two or three miles per gallon. Now, I can’t knock either Amsoil or Royal Purple. I have used both for years in many of my performance vehicles and they provide excellent protection. I have no doubts on their superior lubrication abilities in demanding conditions. But what about these mileage claims? Well, believe it or not, they are true! We have had many customers over the years who will bring their truck in for a complete switch over. We changed every bit of oil in the truck to synthetic oils including: engine oil, trans oil, transfer case, and both front and rear differentials. I was finally convinced of the mileage increase when we switched over a few of our customers who run hot shot truck companies. These guys rack up crazy miles every month and wanted to switch to synthetic to be able to extend oil life along with the added protection for such hard working trucks. They also are meticulous about keeping track of mileage. On average, they all picked up two miles per gallon after switching to synthetic. The synthetic oils just do a better job of lubricating the moving parts of the truck therefore providing less drag. Any time we can free up a few horsepower to use to move the load, fuel economy will go up.

3. Check Your Boost:

This could probably go under the maintenance topic, but it is so important, it deserves it’s own area for discussion. A lot of people seem uninterested in the boost level of their engine. I hear all the time, “”I don’t need a boost gauge. It serves no purpose, it’s just fun to watch.”” While that may be true most of the time, the real purpose of a boost gauge isn’t just to see how much boost you are making in a performance application. Boost is very important to a turbocharged diesel’s performance. It varies from truck to truck, but boost is in direct relation to how much power your truck is making. Very simply put: more boost = more power. So, why have a boost gauge? If you know your truck for it’s power level is suppose to have 20 psi of boost, you can catch small problems that go unnoticed by most. These small problems are bleeding off boost somewhere in the system and lowering the power output of your engine. The average driver is not going to notice the difference in the seat of their pants between 18 psi and 20 psi.

So many folks will continue to drive around wondering why they aren’t getting as much power and mileage as they used to. If they had a boost gauge they would have a clue to where to start looking. Perhaps there is a loose clamp or torn intercooler boot. Maybe a slight leak in the exhaust piping that drives the turbo. Or perhaps the air filter or fuel filter is starting to get dirty. A loss in boost pressure always is a sign of a problem somewhere on the engine. If you are always keeping an eye on it, you can catch these little problems long before you would normally and consistently have a great running truck. It is not unusual for a truck to come into the shop with the complaint of low power or bad fuel economy and we find it is only making half of the boost it should. Further probing may find a dirty air filter, bad turbo, or a host of other problems. The sad part is the customer has driven the truck around like that for a couple of months because they didn’t really have an idea that they had a problem. It just didn’t seem to run as good as it used to and the problems usually get worse so gradually that they don’t think to start checking for problems. If they had a boost gauge they would have known long before it made it to us.

4. Keep Your RPM’s Down:

As diesel pickups become more popular and more used ones are out there, there are more people than ever switching over from gas engines. The big problem is they are still driving them like a gas engine. And if you want to drive that way, you will not hurt the engine at all, but your fuel economy will suffer. For best fuel economy, diesels in general just like to loaf while doing their work. While the newest trucks are making some impressive horsepower up in the higher rpms, low end torque is where it is at for ultimate fuel economy. If you are trying to scratch out every last mile per gallon, go easy on that throttle pedal. Use only the minimum amount of throttle to get to your desired speed. As quick as you can get your truck in overdrive and let the torque move the load down the road, the better the fuel economy you will get. We have a customer who has a really nice 7.3 Powerstroke that we take care of. He drives the truck very easy and to be honest, you would think the throttle pedal was made of glass and he was afraid of breaking it by pushing to hard. He constantly get 25-26 mpg with that truck. If his son takes it, he can get no better than 18 mpg. Of course his son drives it with a little more spirit than dad does. πŸ˜‰

5. Let It Breathe:

So in conclusion, if you were to follow all five of these steps outlined above, I would not be surprised to see a two to five mile per gallon gain depending on the present condition of your truck. Perhaps you already are following these steps right now. If you are, good for you. You are in the minority of diesel owners. If you are not, there is not time like today to get started!

To improve the efficiency of the engine, we need to get more air in and more air back out. For a bump in fuel economy I suggest doing a little work on the fresh air intake side of the engine and the exhaust side as well. Now I know I said we were not going to try to spend a bunch of money here trying to get more fuel economy and you’re probably wondering about this one. I would also like to let you know that we carry a full line of performance exhausts and cold air intake kits for all diesel trucks from many different manufacturers. (shameless I know) But to be honest, if you are looking to help out a completely stock truck you may not need to go to all the expense to see some improvement. Don’t get me wrong, a 4″” free flowing exhaust and cold air intake is definitely the best way to go if you have the scratch, but a little diy work may show you some benefit.

First and foremost, any diesel truck that has a catalytic converter will almost always see better performance from removing it. (check your local emission laws first) There are many ways to do this. The cheapest would be to remove it and beat the material out of it. The second would be to cut it out and install a section of the same size pipe you buy from a truck shop. Just getting that out of there will usually net you a mile per gallon or so and a better running truck. For extra credit, you could remove the muffler as well. That also will help a little if you don’t mind the noise. On the intake side, just adding a K&N style free flowing air filter will help out tremendously. These filters will flow more air which usually will lower your exhaust gas temperatures and increases horsepower. We have had customers report a one mile per gallon increase by just doing this swap. It makes sense money wise since you can usually buy a reusable filter like the K&N or S&B for one and half to two times the price of a regular air filter. The second time you would have to change the regular air filter, the performance one is paid for. You are saving money from there on out.

?Diesel Trucks – How Far They Have Come

Diesel trucks these days are not really what they were way back when they were
first built. Be it in terms of performance, look or popularity, they have
endured a long journey in the automotive world as they constantly evolved with
During its time of creation many decades back, the diesel truck was created
with the sole purpose of being a utility vehicle able to transport heavy loads
for long distances with the option of a diesel engine chosen for the sake of
economical purposes. As it grew throughout the years, much of its purpose is
still the same but almost every other thing about it is either new or
Of course, one notable change diesel trucks experience is the one in the looks
department. Then again, which vehicle does not change its design and styling as
the years go by? The more notable changes in diesel trucks are how they perform
today as compared to years back and how they are being used.
These days, a diesel engine simply isn’t enough. Despite its roots indicating that diesel trucks were made to be as
efficient as possible in doing their simple task, these vehicles have grown in
stature and are not only fitted with the technologically advanced common rail
diesel engines but are also turbocharged to give that extra kick in performance
as though their big engines are not good enough.
With more performance inclined diesel trucks available, these vehicles are
being used more widely in off-road activities, an area dominated by SUVs not
that long ago. In fact, diesel trucks have come such a long way that there is a
category for them to compete in the world renowned Dakar Rally.
Apart from the major transformation in terms of performance throughout the
years, diesel, or should they be called turbo-diesel trucks have become
vehicles of fancy. Trucks like the Dodge Ram for example do not sell only on
their insanely huge and probably unnecessary 5.9 liter engine but also their
image, an American muscle image to be exact.
Because of its use or more specifically misuse in this era, diesel trucks are
now in a category of vehicles suffering from a large amount of criticism
because of their efficiency and emissions. If people who only had themselves to
carry stop this trend of using a truck just for the sake of liking it, this
would not be the situation.
Yes, diesel trucks have come a long way indeed. Despite certain changes in what
runs them and how they are utilized, they still are in essence the same kind of
vehicle it was when it first tasted tarmac. For this reason alone, diesel
trucks still have a long road awaiting them ahead.

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