I love the art of the ride, the thrill of the throttle, the love of movement, and the thrill of acceleration while going uphill! I know my mind can work in strange ways, but this is what I feel, especially after being at a motorcycle rally and riding the Harley for six straight days, being at the Owner Operator Snowmobile Conference and riding the Turbo Ski Doo for three to four straight days, and after a long road trip pulling the trailer with my Ram 3500 or my T600 KW. When my body has been in motion for several days, it just wants to keep going. Is that true for you, too?
My feeling is that many of you owner operators feel the same things and can relate. There is another aspect of these feelings and that is, the better the vehicle runs, the more the addiction of the ride becomes. Once I realized these feelings several years ago, I figured out why many owner operators can only stay home for about three days until they’re itching to get back on the road.
I have been helping a young man by the name of Ben in Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) improve the overall performance and drivability of a 2007 Mack powered with a Mack engine. We had no way of increasing the power with fuel, so we looked at the exhaust system, and what a mess it was. Mack got very creative and put a small resonator outside of the frame rail on the right side of the truck. Then, with a series of 90-degree bends, they brought the exhaust back under the cab and, through a very restrictive Y-pipe, connected it to the dual exhaust stacks.
I had never seen this Mack truck, just pictures, as Ben was doing the labor himself. I shipped him a Pittsburgh Power 30-inch shorty performance muffler and a Fleet Air filter. Ben converted this Mack into a weed burner (with the exhaust underneath the truck), eliminating the horrible OEM system, and the results were truly amazing. The Mack engine produced 25 PSI of turbo boost stock, but after the exhaust modification and the installation of the Fleet Air filter, the turbo boost climbed to 35 PSI, making the truck much more responsive and now fun to drive. It’s not always fuel that is needed to improve the performance of a diesel engine, it can also be air intake flow and exhaust flow. A 10 PSI gain in turbo boost equates to a 250-degree drop in exhaust gas temperature.
Switching gears, literally, let’s talk about the most desirable gear you should be driving in – DIRECT! Get her out of overdrive and into DIRECT gear. We have talked about this subject many times over the years, but we always said if you are a heavy hauler, out in farm fields, running on soft dirt, gravel, or sand, the 2.64, 2.53, 2.47 and 2.28 rear gears may not be for you. Well, now we have a change to this thinking.
Gary Johnson (67) hauls farm equipment out of the Dakota’s with a 379 Pete fitted with an Acert Cat with the Pittsburgh Power Tune, an 18-speed transmission, and 3.36 gears. Gary listens to The Pittsburgh Power Hour on Kevin Rutherford’s radio show on Tuesdays at 11:00 AM on his phone. Gary decided to try the 2.64 gears, even though he is grossing around 117,000 pounds. Our concern was that the first gear would not be low enough to start out, so we never recommend the high gears for heavy haul.
Being the first to try this, Gary is very happy with the results. While grossing 117,000 pounds, the Caterpillar-powered Peterbilt had no problems starting out in first gear, in fact, he says he has more power going up through the gears than he did with the lower 3.36 gear configuration. So, think about this, with the 2.64 he will be making two less shifts, because he will be cruising in 16th gear, which is his direct gear. There is also about 240 more pound-feet of torque available to him now.
With the taller 2.64 gears, he will be in the lower gears about two seconds longer, thus allowing the engine to continue to pull. With shifting less, the engine is pulling more. On the level, he was able to cruise at 5 PSI of turbo boost, and on grades, where he usually used 30 PSI of boost, he now uses only 18 PSI. With 12 less PSI boost, that equates to using 144 less horsepower to pull the grade with the Acert CAT. Gary Johnson says he wishes he would have made the conversion to the 2.64 gears years ago.
If you want to talk to Gary, feel free to give him a call. His phone number is (605) 661-7316. He also runs our Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst in his diesel fuel to keep the entail side of the head clean. The actuators actually allow exhaust to enter the intake ports, leaving behind what Caterpillar calls “Acert Snot” (which is carbon and soot). Acert CATS greatly benefit from the Max Mileage catalyst. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by our shop in Saxonburg, PA, call us at (724) 360-4080, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s wishing you a fantastic Holiday Season! We will see you in 2023!!