Even though the Dallas show’s attendance overall was down slightly, our booth was filled with owner operators. There is a tremendous amount of interest growing in our ability to equip you or your favorite shop with our remote tuning suitcase. In this briefcase is a laptop computer and all of the necessary equipment to connect to Cummins, Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel engines so we can program and troubleshoot, regardless of where you are located, via remote access. The ability to do this troubleshooting has benefited several small fleets running both new glider kits and new trucks. As a result, now, when a “Check Engine” light comes on, you no longer have to take the truck to a truck dealership. Just give us a call. Typically, we will just instruct you to plug the computer into the data port and we will then tell you what the problem is and what you need to do in order to make the necessary repairs.
Do you need more horsepower and torque? There’s no problem there, either! You are just a phone call away from us, wherever you are. We have dealers set up in Chicago, Phoenix, North Texas, Orlando, Kansas City and Oregon. So, very soon, those of you not geographically close to our shop near Pittsburgh will have more locations where you can find more of what we have to offer. Our custom computer programming, designed and tested by our engineers (original engine manufacturers’ programs will also be available), will soon be available to you without having to travel to Western Pennsylvania.
The variable geometry (VG) turbochargers we’re building and testing on the 12.7-liter DD4 Detroits are not only gaining tremendous power, but the fuel mileage is up about 0.75 miles per gallon, too. Horsepower at 1,200 rpm, you ask? How about 600 to the ground, which is 705 flywheel horsepower, and the torque is 1,800 foot-pounds! That is a remarkable achievement for a 12.7-liter engine. Even though we can give you that much power at such a low rpm, you should still pull the hills and mountains above 1,400 rpm. As always, your boost gauge and pyrometer will tell you where you need to be. This is not a cheap conversion (somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000). But, at an increase of 0.75 miles per gallon, the payback time will be about one year at today’s fuel prices, and that time-line shrinks if prices rise. Basically, this is a result of the VG turbo’s ability to offer both the quicker spool-up of a small turbo along with the higher output of the larger turbo.
For owners of the DD-15 Detroits, our “powerbox” is now available for your engine – and this is truly a plug-and-play setup. In fact, the computer mounts under the hood, so the only hole required in the firewall is for the remote control. The computer has 7 power settings and produces 25 horsepower per setting and 50 pound-foot of torque for a total of 175 hp and 350 additional pound-foot of torque (on the max level setting of 7). The beauty of the powerbox has always been the fact that you can change the horsepower and torque as you drive on-the-fly, and you can also turn it back to stock horsepower if you’re in snow or ice. If you have to put a driver in your truck, you can turn it to zero or power level 1 (or any other level) and unplug the remote. Without the remote, the setting cannot be changed by the driver. The operator will only be able to choose to leave it on its current level or switch the unit off, rendering the engine back to stock (or level 0). You can also take the box to another truck, provided it also has a DD-15 or DD-16 engine.
Another DD-15 performance enhancement developed by our engineering staff is our emissions-compliant performance tune (programming). The horsepower can be set up to 600 horsepower to the ground, which equates to 705 horsepower to the flywheel, and 1,950 foot-pounds of torque to the rear wheels, which is 2,294 foot-pounds of torque at the flywheel. If you don’t need this much power, all you have to do is tell us what it is that you desire. It’s your truck and your decision, and our engineering people are very flexible with their abilities. The advantage to the powerbox versus the performance tune is the fact that you can adjust it while you drive. The performance tune is adjusted with your right foot only. Either way of gaining power and torque, along with fuel mileage, will put a smile on your face, and you will have a deeper appreciation of your truck. When you think about your life with your truck, isn’t that what you want – a good running truck that is legal, gets great fuel mileage and does not break down.
Now that we are able to improve the reliability of the emission systems on the newer trucks, increase the response, horsepower and torque, along with improving fuel mileage, you can feel comfortable purchasing a brand new truck equipped with a Cummins, Detroit or PACCAR engine. Now, you will start to see the prices of used trucks prior to 2008 decline, because the 2008 to present trucks are now able to become more reliable, powerful and efficient – with our help! If you have any comments or questions, I can be reached at Pittsburgh Power in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or visit us online at www.pittsburghpower.com today.