Diesel Trucks are an ever growing part of the automotive segment. While they used to be just for farms, construction, or people who needed to haul large things; they have become rapidly become a statement. As with anything everyone wants to have their toy be the biggest baddest and fastest out there. Thus Diesel performance sprouted up every where like wild fire. Whether you have a Ford Powerstroke, Chevy Duramax, or a Dodge Cummins, there are performance products out on the market that can turn your truck into a fire breathing hot rod. The amount of power that you can get out of a diesel engine today is staggering with numebrs as high as 1000hp and 1600 ft. lbs of torque.
How is this done? How do you add power to diesels? Diesel engines throttle on fuel, which is unlike gasoline engines that throttle on air. With diesels, the richer the mixture (more fuel), the greater the power. A diesel’s power is ultimately only limited by exhaust gas temperatures and smoke. Excess EGT and smoke may be acceptable for short periods of time, but beyond that, they kill the engine. And that’s no smoke.
Most people believe all you need to do is plug in a diesel computer tuner and that’s it. Well, that’s not it. The informed solution is the correct combination of fuel flow and airflow.
As mentioned, the factories quickly recognized the need to increase airflow and density. Proper increases of additional boost, improved air ducting, and greater charge air-cooling are essential when adding additional fuel flow with a diesel computer tuner. In short, if you don’t deal with airflow in a serious manner–I’m talking more than with a larger exhaust and a low-restriction air filter element–then adding serious amounts of fuel without air is nothing more than putting your engine on kill–not to mention the fact that you’re leaving stunning amounts of horsepower by the side of the road in the form of black smoke and soot.
Turbodiesels are the performance option for trucks. I predict the same for cars in the near future. A new generation of performance turbodiesel engines is being engineered right now for trucks (and cars) in Detroit as you read this. Some will even be diesel-electric hybrids. All will have a tremendous untapped reserve that can be hot-rodded. Racing turbodiesel-powered vehicles is the final frontier. You can get out there and really have fun and be on the leading edge of technology, because the turbodiesel is the engine of the future. Here now.
Through this series of articles we will take a look at specific upgrades and motors and diesel performance solutions. The next article will be on diesel computer tuners, covering chips, handheld tuners and complete ecu’s also reviews of the major manufacturers Edge, Superchips, Diablo, Banks, Bullydog and so on.