We here at Pittsburgh Power have heard your cries about poor performance, low fuel mileage and the frequent EGR problems that the Volvo D12 and D16 have become known for. Many Volvo engine owners have asked us why we don’t have anything to help them with these problems. After all, the owners of Cummins, Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel engines can drive into our shop and three days later leave with improved power, reliability, and an average gain of 1 mpg. So why don’t we help the Volvo diesel engine owners with their problems? Well, we are trying, but we need your help.
We at Pittsburgh Power would love to help the owners of Volvo trucks equipped with Volvo engines, but we need the help of just one progressive-thinking Volvo dealership that would be willing to help. We will need parts (lots of them) and we will need to be able to buy them at a discount so we can pass that savings on to you. We will also need some technical assistance from this dealership, including the ability to look at ECM programs and part manuals. So, if you’re a Volvo owner with a Volvo engine and you know of a dealership that would be willing to help, please ask them to contact us – of course, their name will remain anonymous. If you Volvo owners do your homework and help us with this, then we will be able to help you and all of the other Volvo truck owners out there.
I have a new-found respect for the Volvo company. This past year I was in need of a four passenger all-wheel drive mountain car that could haul four pairs of snow skies and boots inside the car and I found it in a 2005 XC-90 Volvo SUV with a five-cylinder turbo engine (I spend a lot of time in Colorado in the winter). I must say, I love this car. This Volvo is solid as a rock, has great ride quality and good power (I’m working on making the power even better). I already have the new larger performance turbocharger, performance exhaust and an ECM program upgrade, and it still gets 20-24 mpg! I hope to improve the mileage even more with a few additional upgrades. This Volvo SUV has added more joy to my mountain life, but when I return to Pittsburgh, I no longer have a car to drive.
Back at home in Pennsylvania, my daily driver is a 1996 Dodge dually pickup. It’s a great truck for pulling trailers, but it’s not a good everyday driver. Last month I was looking online at used cars and I found a 2007 S-60R Volvo in Greensboro, North Carolina, so I called Wayne Autry, a small fleet owner who uses many of our products, to see if he would check out this car for me. After looking at the car, he told me that it was fast and in perfect shape. The car had 109,000 miles and the engine had been recently replaced and was completely new. Now, when you pull up to my shop, you will see the red S-60R parked right beside my office.
The “R” cars from Volvo were made to compete against other high-performance cars from companies like Mercedes, Audi and BMW. The S-60R has a five-cylinder turbo engine that makes 300 horsepower, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and three settings for the suspension and ground effects. It’s really a great car, and at only $15,000, it was less than buying a new Harley. So, for those of you who own Volvo trucks with Volvo engines, you know what to do – get someone from a forward-thinking dealership in touch with us. If you have a Volvo truck that is equipped with an N-14 or ISX Cummins or a Caterpillar engine, we can already help you.
Many times throughout the day we get phone calls from owner operators that have had their trucks worked on at another shop but are still having problems – their shop either can’t find or can’t fix their problems. When you call us, it’s very hard to fix the problem over the phone and usually we will tell you that you need to bring the truck to our shop so we can properly diagnose it. Most of the problems with today’s trucks can be found in the EGR, DPF or VG Turbo systems. We can fix those problems. And, if you have a DDEC V (and are very mechanically inclined) we may be able to put together a kit for you to do your own upgrades. But please note, do not try to do this job in your driveway over a weekend – it’s a three-day job and you will want us to be available via the phone for your questions. Also, when coming in or calling us about your ECM problems, it is very helpful if you have a written list of all the strange things your truck is doing so we can address all of the issues at one time.
Owner operators who own the 430-hp 3406E Caterpillar engine have been told to improve the performance of their engine they will need to change the pistons, injectors and the turbocharger. All of these changes are not necessary if you install the Pittsburgh Power Computer or send us your ECM. Your turbo options vary, but this choice will be determined by how much power you desire. Right now I’m in the process of improving the performance of a 430 Cat that is being used to pull 225,000 lbs. Next month, I hope to have the results for you on this interesting project.
On a final note, we are now making the final plans and taking reservations for the 2012 Owner Operator Snowmobile Conference, which is scheduled for February 25-27 at Togwotee Mountain Lodge in Togwotee, Wyoming (just 45 minutes from Jackson Hole, WY). For the last several years, we have organized this informative and fun event to educate and entertain our owner operator friends and business associates (but everybody is welcome) about the latest and greatest performance items out there. Centered on snowmobiling in the day and talking truck at night, this is a must-attend event for anybody out there who is serious about power and efficiency – and loves to snowmobile (or wants to learn). For the latest information or to reserve your spot, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at Pittsburgh Power in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080. It will be a fun event, and we hope to see many of you there!