Most experienced diesel technicians can use their sense of hearing to diagnose things like a misfire, but do you know a tech who can hear things like minor liner scoring on cylinder 5, a head gasket leak on cylinder 1, or an injector releasing too much fuel in cylinder 3? We have some exciting new technology that measures pressure changes, to diagnose even the smallest mechanical problems, saving technicians hours on disassembly and diagnosis – it’s called the Engine Polygraph, and it uses highly sensitive microphones to record sound waves coming from the oil fill tube and exhaust. It identifies the sounds coming from each individual cylinder and computes a score based on how much extra scraping and rumbling it detects.
Certain mechanical problems typically make the same sound no matter what brand of engine. For example, improperly seated piston rings create a high-pitched frequency. This new device combines all the data points and gives you an overall score of your engine’s health. The scale is from 1-10, and the lower the score the better. The Engine Polygraph is an amazing tool and takes much of the guesswork out of diagnosing an engine for possible problems.
We have tested this new machine out on a few trucks already. One was a brand-new truck with a Detroit DD15, and we found it was getting blow-by, which was likely caused by piston rings that were not properly seated. Another was a 2008 Cummins ISX15 with 500,000 miles that ran particularly well. It didn’t have any major issues, so we decided it would be a good candidate to run some of our Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst in and see if anything changed. We took samples at both idle and at a 30% load. Scores for both idle and load tests showed improvement, proving again that our Max Mileage product allows your engine to run smoother and quieter. One highlight from the test was a 20% improvement for upper cylinder score at idle.
There are so many possible uses for this new Engine Polygraph tool, including pre-purchase inspections, which could help you to determine if you are looking at a solid truck or a lemon before you buy it. We will be conducting additional testing at the Pittsburgh Power facility and are anxious to see what we find! Stay tuned.
Switching gears, I’d like to introduce you to a very special old school owner operator from Mississippi named JR Hillhouse. JR’s beautiful black 2007 Peterbilt 379 is powered by an NXS Caterpillar that he gets his hands on every Saturday. You see, the old school way of trucking was to drive for 5 days and then work on your truck the 6th day. This is what JR does. He changes his own oil (Mobil 15-40), greases, replaces the brakes, tires, washes and waxes the truck, all himself. This Peterbilt gets hand washed at home every Saturday, waxed every two months with McGuire’s, and gets an F-11 topcoat with every wash (I personally use Lucas Slick Mist on my vehicles with every wash). JR’s strong Peterbilt produces 626 horsepower to the ground (or 736 horsepower to the flywheel).
Every time I talk to JR and ask him how the Pete is running, he smiles and says, “She’ll do anything you ask her to do.” JR even has his own 4,000-gallon above ground fuel tank at home and usually buys 3,500 gallons of fuel at a time, which he then treats with 1.25 gallons of our Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst. His previous overall fuel mileage average was 6 miles per gallon, but once he started using the catalyst, it jumped to 7.2 miles per gallon, before settling in at 6.8 to 7.0 mpg. He feels it is time to set the valves and injectors.
One might wonder why JR saw the big jump in miles per gallon with the catalyst, which is really just meant to burn the soot and carbon in the combustion chamber. It may be that the catalyst is having a catalytic effect on the warm fuel, while sitting in the tank, above ground in the Mississippi heat. JR also commented that the soot that used to come out of his stacks each morning when he started the engine is now gone, and that is very important to anyone that loves a clean truck. This Caterpillar has 1,078,000 miles on her and has only had one set of injectors installed at 973,000 miles.
The oil analysis of JR’s engine is very clean, running at 12 parts per million on iron, zeros and 1 part per million on all the wear metals, and 3 to 4 parts per million on the silicone, which is ingested dirt getting past the air filters. These oil samples are impeccable, and this NXS Cat, with the care that JR gives her, will likely run in excess of 2 million miles! It just proves that if you take care of your engine, it will take care of you. To learn more about our products and services, call us at (724) 360-4080 or visit www.pittsburghpower.com today.