The Louisville truck show is over – and what a show it was! I want to thank all of you wonderful owner operators that spent some time with us in our booth. It’s like a reunion to see each of you every year. We had the CL8 Engine Cleaning System there, along with Eric Wheeler from Diesel Tek, explaining how it works. Eric will be with us at Kevin Rutherford’s CMC Live event in Kansas City, MO on May 4-8, demonstrating the benefits of using this cleaning system.
Power boxes for the DD15 Detroit are now ready, and the box for the DD16 will be ready very soon. The week before the Louisville show, we were able to add 500 ft. lbs. of torque and 150 additional horsepower, while actually lowering the emissions even more than we expected. It’s amazing to think that we can fine-tune a diesel engine and still reduce emissions by as much as 28%. So, if you own a DD15 or 16 Detroit and would like to have an additional 500 ft. lbs. of torque available to you at the touch of a button, give us a call and we’ll ship you out a box, just as soon as it passes a few more tests.
And now, a word from our electrical engineering department. The standard 12-volt LED test light can be a very useful tool, if you know its limitations. When working on these new electronic-controlled engines, knowing the exact voltage is often the only way to know if you truly have a circuit issue. New trucks have both 12- and 5-volt circuits on them, and both circuits can illuminate an LED test light.
In the engineering lab, we conducted an experiment using the mechanic’s LED test light. A circuit was built that allowed the voltage to be varied from zero to twelve volts. At zero, the LED light was off; at five volts the LED light was on; and at twelve volts the LED light was on. Visually, the LED test light showed no noticeable difference in light intensity that could be easily seen. With this fact in mind, a multimeter is the tool of preference, and with one, we were able to see any voltage we put to it. Also, a test light can add extra load to a sensitive circuit or device and can potentially damage it. Use a multimeter when testing electronics – it has been designed not to interfere with sensitive circuits or devices, such as timing circuits, and it is more accurate.
As most of you know, we at Pittsburgh Power prefer you to extend your oil drain intervals by installing the OPS Eco-Pure oil filtration system, but we don’t want you to eliminate oil changes altogether. When it’s rebuild time, and we are taking apart the engine, it’s very evident by looking at the wear on the camshafts, who changes their oil often enough and who doesn’t.
I have been involved in by-pass oil filtration and oil analysis since 1981, and the first two items I look at is the FE (iron) wear particles and then the SI (silicone), which is dirt that has gotten past the air filter. The higher the silicone, generally, the higher the iron particles. Silicone, or ingested dirt, creates liner bore polish, which means that the cross-hatch on the liner is worn off. Excessive oil consumption will result because of liner bore polish. That is why the Fleet-Air filters we sell will extend the life of the engine – because of their ability to trap the fine dirt (you just have to keep the outer wrap washed and oiled).
About 18 years ago, there was a product that trapped the iron particles inside the spin-on oil filter and it was called FILTERMAG. I purchased them for my 1995 Dodge Cummins for the spin-on oil filter and the transmission oil pan, and they are still on my Dodge today. This year, while walking through the Louisville show, I was thrilled to see the FILTERMAG product back again.
When you think about what wears out your engine the fastest of all wear items, it’s the iron particles. One to three micron by-pass oil filters work great, but if we can improve on the filtration on the main full flow filter by trapping even more iron particles, why not do it? The FILTERMAG uses powerful, heat-resistant alloy magnets – 24 of them per set – and they are held in place by a patented Fluxcon shielding technology that directs the magnetic current into the oil filter. Not even a paper clip will stick to the outside of the FILTERMAG, which proves that all of the magnetic field is channeled to the inside of the filter. We now have a demonstration of this technology at our shop, so the next time you are here, please ask to see it.
I must tell you, there are two negatives to the FILTERMAG: first, it’s tough to get it off of the oil filter (you must slide it down the filter and off the bottom – you can’t pull it off – and these magnets are really strong). The second problem is that they are expensive. But, like the saying goes, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.” The magnets are very high quality – I’ve had mine for 18 years now. By removing the iron particles from the oil, the engine should live 30% to 60% longer. The price is $299 per set, and it will take one set per engine. I was a little shocked at the price, too, but if the engine runs an additional 200,000 miles or longer, or you don’t wear out the camshafts on an ISX Cummins, than the price becomes very reasonable.
I’ll leave you with this: the FILTERMAG is a product for an owner operator that wants the best for his engine (and you know how I feel about that). Enough said! If you have any comments or questions, I can be reached at Pittsburgh Power Inc. in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or via email at email@example.com.