BIG NEWS! We finally have the Volvo (and Western Star and International) heavy duty exhaust manifold for the 12.7 Detroit in stock. This manifold replaces the stock manifold with the part #2351-6107 (the center section). I know that many of you have been suffering for a long time from the poor quality of the OEM manifold, which results in leaky joints, cracking, boost leaks, high EGTs, “diaper kits” and poor performance! We typically hear that our heavy duty, high-performance, ceramic-coated (inside and out), and made in the USA exhaust manifolds add a solid one-quarter-plus mpg, along with much lower exhaust gas temperatures and, of course, plenty of extra horsepower (around 35-50, depending on the engine’s programming and other exhaust components). The fuel savings alone will pay for this investment in the first six months (not to mention eliminating all the aggravating and expensive downtime caused by the OEM manifold). After that, consider it a permanent pay raise!
This manifold has been in engineering, design, mold-making, flow bench testing and, finally, production, for about two years now. It takes a tremendous amount of time, engineering and money to bring these high-quality exhaust manifolds to you. Call to order yours today. But, please, plan in advance to replace yours and call to make sure it’s been shipped prior to dis-assembling your existing exhaust system (you don’t want to be down and waiting for a part that’s on backorder). Also, if you tell us that you have or plan to buy a Powerbox, let us know and we will drill and tap the manifold for the pyrometer’s thermocouple, free of charge! Of the five manifolds we’ve received, two are already gone, and both were drilled and tapped for a thermocouple.
Since I started writing in 1989, I have talked about the subject of liner protrusion many times, yet every owner operator that gets his engine built by other shops never asks what the mechanic set the liner protrusion to. Liner protrusion is what holds the head gasket and prevents premature head gasket failure. Just recently we had a phone call from a 6NZ Cat owner who had blown his head gasket shortly after an in-chassis rebuild by a Peterbilt dealership. He asked us, “Why did it blow?” Well, we did not build the engine, so we asked him what the liner protrusion was set to. Of course, he did not know, so he called the dealership and asked them, and they said, “None of your business – and it doesn’t matter, because you can’t change it anyway.” None of his business? My gosh – this is what holds the head gasket! And yes, it is his business – it’s HIS engine and HIS livelihood – and yes, it can be changed (you just have to be willing to spend the money for the upper counter bore cutter for every engine you work on). Yes, it is expensive, but so is pulling a head every year to replace the head gasket, and they are not covered under warranty. The cutting of the counter bore is the first step in building an engine that will last, and it is very important for you to ask the shop if they have the proper cutting tool and know the right spec. If they don’t, get out of there and find another shop to build your engine.
We recently had an owner operator who was upset because the exhaust pipe flange (which holds the pipe to the turbocharger) failed a few months after we converted his exhaust to a “weed burner” system (a horizontal system under the truck). We did not change the pipe coming from the turbocharger, so it was his original flange that failed. Contrary to popular belief, this flange is a wear item (we do change many of them when installing a new turbo because they crack). Every time you accelerate, the engine torques to the right and tries to rip itself from the engine mounts. Thus, the torque of the engine twists the exhaust pipe flange. This flange has to hold up the exhaust pipe until it gets to the first exhaust hanger, which is sometimes located back alongside the transmission. As you can see in the photo, this flange takes a lot of abuse, and that is why there is flex-pipe in all exhaust systems – to help absorb the torque of the engine. This is yet another reason why we teach people to drive as though they have an egg between their foot and the throttle. So, remember to replace this often-overlooked part of your exhaust system from time to time.
This past year, we have seen quite an increase in the number of Big Cam Cummins engines coming back to the highway. In fact, we have a client who has 16 beautiful A-Model Kenworths, all powered with Big Cam Cummins engines, and he is doing quite well (his trucks stay close to the city and he tries to run no more than 500 miles from home). At this time, we stock more Big Cam parts than any other diesel engine shop in North America. Sometimes our local Cummins distributor comes to us for parts! Someone from the Mobil Chemical Company once told me, “If you can’t make it in this world with a Big Cam Cummins, you just won’t make it.” As unreliable as the “emissions engines” have proven themselves to be, it only makes sense that glider sales are through the roof, junkyards are crowded with customers, and formerly-retired trucks with B-models and Big Cams are getting the love they have always deserved. You just can’t beat a classic! If you have any questions, contact me at Pittsburgh Power in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.