Did you ever think the word “maintain” would be so important in your life? Think about everything you maintain during your lifetime. Your body and health may come to mind, because your very existence is important to a lot of people. Another thing that needs maintaining are your relationships with your spouse, children, parents, relatives, fellow workers, dispatchers, shippers, receivers, DOT and scale house employees and, of course, the people that help you keep your truck operating at its peak. Your truck’s health is very important, since it makes you and your family’s life possible. But more on this later.
Are you thinking of purchasing a used fleet truck powered with a 450-hp Cummins ISX engine? 2012 and newer Kenworth or Peterbilt trucks with this engine will make you happy if you address some needed maintenance items. Start by cleaning the combustion chamber and the entire emissions system with the Diesel Force cleaning machine and follow with an oil and filter change. Now that the engine is clean internally, it’s time to put the engine on a diet of Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst to keep it clean and working trouble-free. After that, reset the valves and injectors, then recalibrate the ECM to 546-hp, which will increase the torque by 400 lbs. ft. (or up to 2,050 ft. lbs. of torque). You will also want to install a new vibration damper, mercury filled engine balancer and front engine mounts – this is a must, as the damper is a wear item only good for 500,000 miles or 10 years.
For optimum performance out your ISX, install a Fleet Air Filter and OPS-1 by-pass oil filtration system. If money allows, install a ported and ceramic coated exhaust manifold and intake manifold. The engine will gain response, run cooler, and increase your fuel mileage by 1/4 to 1/2 mpg. I would also change all the fluids using Lucas Oil products. When the time comes for a new clutch, always have the driveshaft rebuilt, which entails straightening, balancing, new universal joints and a carrier bearing. If you have your truck at our shop, we can have our expert technician, Eagle Eye Adam, do a walk around with you, and he will list everything he sees and prioritize what he finds so you can take care of the items when money and time allow.
We have had phenomenal success with used trucks. Yes, it costs money to get them up to snuff, but many of our clients run for several years without a breakdown. Two weeks ago, I was chatting with Cathy Ainsworth about her Volvo 670 powered with the 450-hp ISX engine (see photo). She came to our shop after having several others try to make the engine perform to her expectations, and she left as a very happy owner operator. Our engineering team did the 96-hp program, which also increased the torque by 400 lbs. ft. I asked how the engine was running and if she ever had to push the throttle to the floor, and her reply was, “OMG, no! I’m very gentle on the throttle starting out and going up through the gears. I never have to run this fire-breathing Volvo 670 wide open!” Power properly used equates to fuel mileage, longevity and driver/owner satisfaction.
Here’s a scenario you might be familiar with: you visit a repair shop because you’re experiencing a difficult-to-diagnose electrical issue. The service advisor explains you need a new sensor or even a new ECM to fix the problem, so you tell them to proceed. They install the new part, but the problem persists. So, they continue working until they find the cause was something else entirely. When the bill arrives, you find they charged you for that expensive sensor or ECM even though your old one was perfectly fine. Understandably, you might be upset having to pay for parts that weren’t needed. At Pittsburgh Power we’re always working to serve the owner operator, which is why the above scenario will never happen to you at our shop. As long as we’re able to safely remove the new part and reinstall your old part, you won’t be stuck paying for unnecessary stuff. Even though our location might be a little out of your way, you won’t be disappointed with our reputable and honest service team.
If you have a Paccar, Volvo or Mack and have been wanting an increase in power, we have two great solutions for you. The first option is an ECM tune. The benefit of an ECM tune is that it gives you the ability to fine-tune your engine’s characteristics and power output to suit your application and driving style. It also requires no additional hardware. All tunes, done in our shop, are tested on our Taylor chassis dyno to ensure you’re getting exactly what you asked for. The second option is our Power Module, which gives you an instant 25% power and torque increase by installing the module. It’s now available for the Cummins ISX with the common rail fuel system, Detroit DD13/15/16, Paccar MX-11/13, Volvo D11/13 and Mack MP8.
The benefits of our Power Module are it’s very easy to install and remove, it has a rugged construction and high-quality connectors, and it does not interfere with ECM operation or change common rail pressure. For customers who have a new truck still under warranty, this may be the better option. The only downside is if you’re not happy with your stock tune, the power module will not change the tune, it will just increase engine output. So, you don’t have the same flexibility as an ECM tune. If you would like more information, give us a call.
Maintaining your body, your relationships and your truck are crucial to your survival – literally! Let us help you maintain your truck. Pittsburgh Power, located in Saxonburg, PA, has been serving the trucking industry for over 40 years, and we would love to help you, as well. Call us at (724) 360-4080 or visit www.pittsburghpower.com today. We will always treat you and your truck right!