In our quest for great-running Cummins, Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel engines, we are always looking for ways to eliminate problems and improve fuel mileage and longevity (and increase performance). We now have a new product for the 2003-present ISX Cummins. If your ISX Cummins engine has suffered from numerous VG (variable geometry) turbocharger failures and the engine is out of warranty, then our new exhaust manifold may be what you have been looking for.
We have been working on this new exhaust manifold, which is ported and ceramic-coated, for the past year – and it will fit over the EGR cooler. This exhaust manifold will allow the engine to gain 1/4 mpg, lower the exhaust gas temperature 125 degrees, and allow you to stay with the EGR system utilizing a non-VG, non-waste-gated Holset turbocharger. Now, the expensive ($3,000) VG turbo will be replaced with a trouble-free turbo costing about $1,800 and it will NOT fail you like the VG turbo does. The cost of the new ISX manifold is $1,650 and will be available sometime in July 2012. The ECM will have to be calibrated to accept this new turbo, so it’s not something you can bolt on in your shop – you will have to come to our location in Western Pennsylvania. A word of caution: there are problems with cast iron parts coming from China, so if you are looking at an exhaust manifold that was not made in America, be wary.
On another note, for some reason, many of you owner operators out there do not want to take the time or spend the money to change your crankshaft damper. As I have said repeatedly over the years, this is a wear item that must be changed on or before 500,000 miles. The silicone in the damper will get hard and not allow the damper to function. Two weeks ago, I drove a W-900 KW powered by an ISX 565 Cummins, and the 18-speed transmission sounded like the gears were worn out. There were 665,000 miles on this truck and the original damper was still on the crankshaft. After we installed a new American-made Vibratech damper and one of our mercury-filled balancers, the worn out 18-speed transmission was smooth and quiet. Needless to say, the KW’s transmission was not worn out – but, as I suspected, the crankshaft damper was.
If you purchase a new damper from a truck dealership or the engine manufacturer, they are made in China – ours are made in the USA – and yes, there is a difference. If I take the time to educate you about crankshaft dampers, I sure would appreciate your business. I will admit, it does bother me when I take the time to help someone on the phone and then they purchase the parts somewhere else. It’s the same as me asking you to pull a load of freight for me for no money.
The Detroit Diesel DD4 ECM’s have a battery that holds the memory and, when new, this battery has 4 volts. As the years pass, this voltage drops, and when it gets to about 0.5 volts, strange things will happen to your truck – the cruise control may not work, the coolant temperature gauge will become erratic, mileage logs will go to zero and show January 1, 1985, etc. Once the battery fails, the engine will stop running in about 1 to 2 months. So, if your 1999-2002 DD4 Detroit has any of these symptoms, you need to get another ECM or purchase a rebuilt ECM. We can help you with this problem. Any time we are working on your DD4 ECM, we will advise you of the remaining life of its battery.
Many of you know I use Lucas Oil Products and Forrest Lucas is a personal friend of mine. He has told me that if he can’t make the best of a product, he just won’t make it. Well, last year he made a dream come true for me. I love freshly-waxed vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even my tractor. I have tried many of the spray-on waxes that you apply to your vehicle when it’s wet but have not been impressed by any of them. So, now comes along Slick Mist, a new spray-on wax from Lucas Oil Products, and I have to tell you, this stuff really works! It takes a few applications to really see the shine, but I now use Slick Mist on everything – my cars, trucks motorcycles, snowmobiles, and even the John Deere lawn tractor! I keep this stuff at home by the case and when going to a friend’s house for dinner, I take a bottle of Slick Mist instead of wine. The gearheads love it!
Our quest for great-running (and looking) trucks has led us to many terrific products like the ones mentioned here, and if we can’t find an existing product that solves a problem, we just make our own. It is possible to have it all – efficiency, power and beauty! If you have any questions, I can be reached at Pittsburgh Power Inc. in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.