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?
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 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.
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.
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 is 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.
Pittsburgh Power Inc.
3600 South Noah Drive, Saxonburg, Pa. 16056
We have talked about this in the past few years, and why diesel fuel turns black in your fuel tanks and leaves a black coating in the tank. This coating is extremely hard to remove, we have tried steaming, bleach, parts cleaning solvent, many different types of soaps and liquid cleaners, and the black residue still stays in the fuel tank.
The injector does NOT inject all of the fuel that has been heated and pressurized, and returns it to the fuel tank. The Asphaltene is actually a polymer which is created in the injector tip, then returned to the fuel tank. So even if you install a fuel cooler it WILL NOT fix this problem because of the heat and pressure present in the injector tip where the polymer is created.
The chemicals we have today to add to the fuel, made by Fleetguard and Penray, are to disperse (dissolve) the polymer back to diesel fuel. This problem is most present at refineries where they treat for it constantly and if your engine produces Asphaltene you should run the chemicals consistently as opposed to waiting for a problem. The labor to remove the fuel tanks, have them cleaned and reinstalled is about $1200.00
Internal Engine Cleaning
We spoke about this about one year ago and the program has been very successful. If you own a 2003 or newer truck equipped with EGR, or EGR and DPF, or 2011 and newer with EGR-DPF-DEF, then you should think about this cleaning process once a year when the oil is due to be changed. This process takes about one hour to perform and the process of flushing the engine with a thin oil with 6 times the detergents regular oil.
After the internal cleaning and your oil and filters are then put into the engine and, you will be amazed at how long you can drive and the oil on the dip stick will remain clean. Emissions engine eat a lot of soot, and much of it stays in the engine cavities during an oil change, with the internal cleaning process the engine is pressure washed with the ultra-high detergent oil and the cavities are flushed out. The normal price for this operation is $350.00 plus oil and filters, however for this summer we are having a special, $275.00 plus oil and filters. Try it once and see how much extra dirt we can get out of your engine.
The summer heat is here and so is high coolant temperatures
Owner-operators expect a lot out of their trucks and engines today. Years ago on the very hot days especially in the South, many guys sleep during the day and trucked during the night because they could not keep the coolant temperatures down. Charge air coolers, better radiators and electronically controlled engines have made it possible to drive in the 95 plus degree days. The negative of today’s engines is 190 to 195 degree thermostats. We always install the 180 degree stats because it takes 16 degrees to fully open. So if your truck is equipped with a 190 stat then it’s already 205 degrees before it’s fully open. Please don’t be afraid to manually turn on the fan before getting into the hard pull section of the hill or mountain. It’s easier to beat the heat than trying to cool it off after it gets hot.
The Pittsburgh Power Radiators are always built with as many tubes that we can fit in the confines of the opening of the hood. Think about this, on a 379 Peterbilt equipped with a 500 horsepower Detroit there are 177 tubes to cool the water and 14 fins per inch. The fins between the tubes carry away the heat. If the same truck is equipped with a 550 Caterpillar engine there will be 234 tubes to cool the coolant. Our 379 Pete radiator has 400 tubes and 16 fins per inch. Plus we use a dimpled tube to dissipate more heat from the coolant. Yes this radiator cost about $1,000.00 more than a stock radiator, however you’re getting twice the radiator.
Then install the 180 degree thermostat and your engine will run cool even on the hottest days. Another truck I used to use on the Big Cam 4 Series Cummins with the low flow cooling system was to install an additional coolant tank. I would use and air tank, mount it back in the frame rails near the transmission or where ever there was space, and run a 1” water line to the front of the tank. I would take the coolant from the engine right in front of the black heater and return out of the far end of the air tank back to the water manifold. Then add about 5 more gallons of coolant to the radiator and the results were pretty amazing. The engine would run 20 degrees cooler on a hard pull for 7 miles. If the mountain was longer than 7 miles, than you would have to drop some gears to keep it cool. One of our clients from eastern Ohio mounted a radiator out of a Camaro with an electric fan on it and once the coolant came out of the tank it passed through the Camaro radiator. Problem solved!
Many of the articles compiled here where written by Bruce Mallinson. Attribution to other contributors is given in the specific articles.