I developed Pittsburgh Power around a culture of knowledge and innovation – I wanted to be the go-to resource in the field of high-performance diesels. And, after all these years, I can safely say that desire was fulfilled. One of our most valued resources here at Pittsburgh Power is our knowledge of high-performance diesel parts. In fact, our Parts Department staff deserve far more credit for their astonishing level of expertise, so I’d like to give them some.
Our Parts Department has grown tremendously, and it would not have been possible without our two parts managers, Shawn Mangol (see photo) and Don Paulsen. Shawn started here in the fall of 1996 as a janitor, sweeping up the facility after school. Back then, he was attending the local community college studying Criminal Justice. After a few years, he began to help rebuilding fuel injectors and fuel pumps. During this time, he learned a lot of valuable information about the mechanics of a diesel engine. He eventually acquired the knowledge to become our parts manager in 2002. Shawn told me how, when he first started at Pittsburgh Power, he was impressed with the knowledge held by all our employees about performance diesels.
Don Paulsen started at Pittsburgh Power in the fall of 2010 after being parts manager for Kenworth of Pittsburgh. He grew up on a farm in Saxonburg, PA just down the road from our shop. Growing up on the farm, he learned the art of mechanics by having to fix all the machinery and tractors himself. He was drawn to Pittsburgh Power because of our ability to innovate and come up with new and creative solutions for our customers. Inventing parts like the “Dorothy” soot separator, EGR filter, our oil trap and other high-performance diesel parts, are what separate Pittsburgh Power from the competition.
We’re glad our Parts Department can be a wealth of knowledge for our customers. Whether it’s trying to figure out which turbo will work best for a certain application or trying to find an obscure part for an old mechanical engine, Shawn and Don can help you find it.
Moving on to other topics, we receive a lot of questions about oil – questions like how often to change it, how to filter it, and what type to use. There’s no question today’s high-performance diesels require top-quality oil. Finely tuned, high horsepower engines demand a high-quality oil to protect cam lobes, piston linings, crank bearings and so on.
We at Pittsburgh Power recommend D-A Lubricant Company’s products (see photo). We believe it’s superior to Shell Rotella for a number of reasons. The data shows better scuffing protection, better oxidation control and better acid suppression. Our own personal experience servicing these engines tells us it does appear to protect the engine better, and for a longer period of time.
We also highly-recommend the OPS-1 Eco Pur Filter System. It does a fantastic job at filtering both solid and liquid contaminates. Back in the 90s, we tested this filter with a 444 Cummins and saw a reduction of iron contaminates from 52 parts per million (ppm) to 32 ppm, and with a second filter it dropped to 14 ppm. We went from a 10,000-mile change interval to 15,000 miles. Of course, with today’s oils, that interval can be increased even more.
How often to change your oil is a difficult question, because it depends greatly on quite a few variables. If you have a light duty truck with a newer or freshly-rebuilt engine, equipped with D-A oil and an OPS filter, there’s no reason you can’t go 100,000 miles between oil changes, as long as you’re taking samples and changing filters. If you have a slightly-worn engine or are using the truck for severe duty, you may want to change it sooner. Let the oil analysis tell you when to change your oil, and you will save a lot of money, too.
Writing these articles has been a pleasure over the past 16 years, but it is a lot of work and time, too. I would like to thank one of my new technicians, Andrew Wilson, for helping me put these articles together now. He has been a tremendous help and a great resource of knowledge, energy and enthusiasm, and I thank him for that. If you would like to see all the high-performance parts and services we offer, visit www.pittsburghpower.com today. If you have any comments or questions, Andrew and I can be reached at (724) 360-4080.