We here at Pittsburgh Power have always strived to increase horsepower and efficiency, but not at the sake of emissions. We believe that by allowing more air to flow into the diesel engine for combustion and then allowing the burned exhaust gases to pass freely out of the engine through the exhaust manifold, turbo and muffler, with as little back pressure as possible, the fuel mileage will improve, the performance will increase, and the emissions will decrease. When a semi-truck is properly driven and the driver is paying attention to the turbo boost gauge and the tachometer (and knows what these gauges mean), the above statement is always true. Learning to drive at 58 to 62 mph also improves fuel economy, along with decreasing the emissions, and, somehow, even at these slower speeds, we still get to where we are going.
Our government is very concerned about emissions – and so are many of us in the transportation industry. Being outdoor people, we spend most of our time outside – whether it’s driving, working on trucks with the garage doors open, or enjoying our sports. We at Pittsburgh Power were recently asked by the EPA to test and verify that some of our add-on parts comply with the federal emissions regulations. In an effort to comply, we have set out to test many of our components. Our ported and ceramic-coated exhaust manifolds and high-performance turbos have already passed their test, and just last week our power box for the Detroit DDEC3 and DDEC4 engines also passed emissions testing. As for the Cat box, some minor tweaking will be needed. Testing has not begun on the Cummins boxes, yet. We apologize for all of the confusion that this confusion has caused. It hurts our souls to deny hard-working people the help that they not only need, but DESERVE. We will get there. Patience is important.
The engineers at Taylor Dyno have been working with our engineers, and we will now be able to test all of our products (and yours) for emissions. Testing has already began, and as mentioned before, several of our products have already passed with flying colors. Test results on a stock DDEC4 with a waste-gated turbo showed that knox g/bhp break hp-hr was 4.45. With just our ported and ceramic-coated exhaust manifold, the number went down to 3.68. When our 20% larger turbo was added, the number dropped to 3.16. This test was performed with a Semtech Emissions Analyzer and the report is 1,100 pages per test! This is an actual on-highway California-approved test with a loaded semi-truck.
As you can see by the positive results above, by installing our ported and ceramic-coated exhaust manifold and larger turbo the emissions decreased by 29%. Just think what the results could have been if we would have had the time to install Fleet Air filters and our performance muffler (these two products together would also improve the engine’s fuel mileage by 1/2 mpg) – the emissions might have dropped another 10 to 15%. And remember, we did not even fine-tune this engine – it was just a stock DD4 Detroit.
I think we’re all going to be amazed at what we can do to lower emissions and still have great running trucks in the next few months. Here is something else to think about: by increasing a semi-truck’s fuel mileage from 6 to 7 mpg (or gaining just 1 mpg), 3,571 gallons of fuel will be saved by every truck every 150,000 miles driven. If we could increase all four million trucks in the USA by just 1 mpg, which is possible, the trucking industry would burn 14,284,000,000 less gallons of diesel fuel each and every year. That decrease of 14.28 billion gallons of fuel burned each year could not only eliminate 324 tanker loads of foreign crude oil, but I think that it would also have quite a positive impact on our environment – and that is just with a 1 mpg improvement – just think if we could get a 2 mpg increase for each truck!
At Pittsburgh Power our new engineering center has been open for six months now and great strides have been made with our Desktop Engine Simulator (DES) to find problems with ECM’s. Just a few weeks ago, we tested two Detroit Reman ECM’s and both were defective. Since we were not able to repair them, we returned them to Detroit. With this information in mind, if you have what most shops consider an ECM failure and they install a new Reman ECM but the same problem is still there, then it wasn’t the ECM. If another problem arises, then the new Reman may be at fault. Our new DES has become a wonderful diagnostics tool for the Detroit engines, so we are now in the process of building one for the ISX Cummins and the Caterpillar engines, as well. It’s so much more economical to find the problem first and then fix it, as opposed to throwing electrical parts at the truck that most shops won’t take back, even if the problem persists.
Now for some fun horsepower from cars! Our engineering department now has two chassis dynos – one for semi-trucks and one for pickup trucks and cars. We have had some very unique vehicles on the dynos this past month, including a 1995 Camaro with a bored and stroked small block at 396 cubic-inches that is blown, and at 17 psi of boost, produced 802 hp (this car is owned and raced by a woman). We also had a Hemi-powered Challenger on the dyno, which was also blown, and at 8 psi produced 620 hp, and it is just a weekend cruiser. Another cool car was a class record-holder at the Bonneville Salt Flats – a 1993 Corvette with a 477 cubic-inch big block with two Big Cam 3 Cummins Holset turbos producing 22 psi of boost and 1,382 hp. The speed this car ran at Bonneville last summer was 256 mph. This year, they are hoping to hit 300 mph. If you have any questions, I can be reached at Pittsburgh Power in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or via e-mail at email@example.com.