Diesel Performance – Miracle or Snake Oil
There are so many diesel performance products out there that seem to be just too good to be true and there are too many people out there that are more than willing to take advantage of another’s lack of knowledge. There are also many out there that are willing to play on peoples emotions, you know, the whole “you can have amazing results for practically nothing, and for only minutes a day at no cost to you”. We’ve all heard it before. So what makes diesel performance products, like a chip, or a cold air intake, or an exhaust any different. You might ask yourself, can adding a diesel performance product that small to my vehicle produce as great results as so many people tell me they do? Or will these diesel performance items really pay for themselves in the form of added fuel economy, and reduced wear and tear on my vehicle? It is these questions about these diesel performance products that I am going to address, and at the same time educate, because knowledge is power my friends.
If you were to modify a gas engine for performance, you would be required to install a different camshaft, bore out the cylinders to increase displacement, install high compression pistons and heads, increase fuel intake capability by installing a larger carburetor or injection system, adding a turbo charger or supercharger, adding a chip, and enlarging the exhaust system. But then you are still restricted by emission control systems. On the other hand, diesel trucks and cars are mostly turbo charged, and they already run at a higher compression ratio. Whereas on the gas vehicles you would have to make those changes. If you were to make those changes to a gas engine you would truly have a ground pounding beast, but would lose everyday drive-ability. The Diesels on the other hand are nice to drive around even with considerable modification. With a cold air intake, a chip, more efficient injectors, and a more open exhaust system, the diesels are still a nice ride, but when you really give it the gas, all heck breaks loose. There is enormous power without reducing drive-ability with diesel performance upgrades.
Because of the nature of diesel engines they are designed from the factory to withstand much higher compression ratios than a gas engine. The diesel fuel combusts when it is compressed to a certain point whether or not there is optimum air. By simply shooting more fuel into the combustion chamber you can make more power. When you then improve the air ratio & timing of the fuel you can make dramatic power and also improve engine efficiency. Gasoline requires a spark to ignite it & must have the appropriate mixture of air to burn properly. There is also a lot more energy in a given amount of diesel fuel than in an equal amount of gasoline.
I will now break down the most popular diesel performance modifications and explain their benefits.
1. A diesel performance Cold Air Intake is sealed away from the hot engine air, and is located where it can take in more air. Cold air intakes are equipped with a filter that can take in up to 300% more air. Cold air takes up less space. So there can be more air, more air helps to burn all the fuel, thus giving more power and better fuel economy.
2. Diesel Performance Chips make alterations to how the fuel is delivered to the engine, making it more efficient and more powerful.
3. A bigger exhaust or a mandrel bent diesel exhaust system (keeps the tube round, and the size constant) improves exhaust flow. Getting exhaust away from the engine is just as important in combustion as getting air into the engine. There are exhausts now that will even vacuum exhaust away from the engine, making it so that the engine doesn’t have to do that work.
All of these diesel performance modifications add to the fuel economy of the diesel engine, and will over time actually pay for themselves in gas savings, and will continue for years after they are paid for to keep your money in your pocket. Diesels are the wave of the future and more and more economy vehicles are being produced in diesel versions because they are capable of so much better economy.
Diesel Truck Exhaust Stacks, The Hottest Thing On The Road
Exhaust Stacks are the hottest item in the diesel performance aftermarket. Diesel exhaust stacks look great and are functional. In this Article I will attempt to address the functionality of truck exhaust stacks and the different variations of truck exhaust stacks that are available. First I will address the main companies making exhaust stack systems.
MBRP Inc. is the manufacturer of the MBRP Smokers exhaust stacks. The MBRP Smokers exhaust stacks were designed to give the aggressive Big Rig look and the classic MBRP sound. MBRP has both turbo back exhaust stacks systems and universal bed kits that go through the bed and connect onto the stock exhaust system offering the look at a reasonable price. Both the turbo back exhaust stack system and the universal “T” Pipe bed kit are made of stainless steel. The Turbo back exhaust stacks are mandrel bent and will give maximum exhaust flow, fuel mileage gain, power increase, and minimize the EGT’s. The diesel exhaust stack “T” pipe bed kits are more for looks, although there still will be a performance gain. MBRP offer 4, 5 and 6 inch exhaust stacks and have the options of a straight cut, mitre or angle cut, a curved end or turn out tip, and bull hauler stacks. These stack variations come in either 36 inch or 48 inches long. There is also an aluminum checker plate cover over the “T” pipe in the bed, it give a nice complete finished look and will keep the hot “T” pipe from touching anything.
Grand Rock truck exhaust systems make chrome exhaust stacks for trucks and big rigs. Chrome exhaust stacks are also very durable and have the mirror finish that many look for. Grand Rocks Chrome exhaust stacks come in 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 inch sizes. Grand Rock also offers their chrome universal Powerflow “T” pipe bed kit for those who are just looking for the big rig look and a small performance gain. They also offer a turbo back chrome exhaust stack system for those looking for all out performance and looks. Chrome exhaust stack systems are very durable and are a lot less expensive. Chrome exhaust stacks look great and are a great value.
Most people that buy truck exhaust stacks have them for either looks or performance gains and maximum exhaust flow. Some though have exhaust stacks for functional reasons. Imagine having a flatbed that you use to haul things day in and day out. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the exhaust up above everything you are working on so you aren’t constantly choking on exhaust fumes. In conclusion, truck exhaust stacks are functional and look great, and above all, add to performance, economy, and help keep temperatures down so that your expensive truck will last longer than you need it to.
Darwins Theory of Diesel Performance!!!
If Darwin himself were alive today I dare say that he would be driving a diesel. No other engine out there has more perfectly illustrated his theories of evolution than the diesel. Now as true as it might be that diesels were once known for being the “slow and smelly” vehicles on the road car makers as well as several performance companies have set out on a mission to put an end to that reputation. With the additions of a turbo or multiple turbos (i.e. ’08 Powerstroke) and intercooler(s) as well as intakes, chips/modules and exhaust systems the reputation once held by diesels is now evolving, Darwin would be so proud.
So why Diesel Performance? In the past there never really was a question as to which “species” was more dominant when it came to performance. It has not been until recently that there has even needed to be a debate as to which is better, gas performance or diesel performance and even today you will have people try to argue that gas performance is where it is at but I am here to say that not only is there more horsepower available for the money when it comes to performance products for diesels but you will have longer engine life as well as maintain if not increased fuel mileage.
One of the strongest points in the argument for Diesel Performance is the fact that you can add engine mods to a diesel engine and it won’t harm the engine or make it burn hotter to the extent of damaging the engine permanently. Don’t get me wrong you can still fry your engine but diesel engines are built much stronger and much more durable. One of the main reasons that diesel engines are so durable or will last longer in general is the way that combustion occurs in the engine. Diesel engines “fire” or “combust” differently than gas engines mainly because of the type of fuel that is used. In gasoline engines a spark plug is used to combust the fuel but in a diesel combustion occurs mainly due to the temperature of the compressed air which causes the fuel to ignite. Because of this diesel engines are built more durable because they have a higher compression ratios (20:1 for a typical diesel vs. 8:1 for a typical gasoline engine) it is being built to withstand this higher compression that makes these engines more ready for performance modifications straight from the factory.
As the diesel engine has evolved over the years turbo chargers have been added to increase power as well as efficiency, this has made way for huge increases in horsepower both stock as well as with the addition of after market products. One of the main reasons that diesel performance is so much more viable is the fact that because the engine is built for a higher compression ratio anyway so it is going to be able to withstand the boost that is created by a turbo much better than a gasoline engine, also allowing the addition of performance modifications without shortening the life of the engine as usually happens with gasoline engines when performance mods are added.
Like it or not diesel performance is here to stay, and whether or not you believe in evolution it’s happening and will continue to happen in the diesel performance market. Don’t be surprised when you see good old Darwin himself roll past you on the street in his tweaked out diesel.
Diesel Performance evolution starts with a strong base of upgrades; not just any Diesel Performance Part will do.
Diesel Performance Chips- The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
Diesel Chips have evolved over the last decade or so that they have been in use, and have vastly gained popularity. The reason for their evolution and following is because the diesel performance chips are able to dramatically increase power and I mean dramatically. There are diesel performance chips that can increase power as much as 230 horse power and 400 foot pounds of torque. That is almost as much power as some of the diesel trucks come with bone stock. There are three ways that diesel performance chips are able to create power and improve economy.
The first way that I will discuss that the diesel performance chips are able to increase power and economy is through duration. Duration means that the injectors are held open longer so that more fuel can be injected into the cylinder. More fuel equals more power. Diesel performance chips that use duration are not a good choice for a fuel mileage gain, but it does create large amounts of power.
The second way is timing. Timing means that the fuel is injected earlier. Timing when used correctly also adds a great amount of power and adds to economy. The goal of timing on diesel performance chips is to get the fuel in the cylinder at a more efficient time. If that is accomplished then more power is extracted from each molecule of fuel.
The third way that diesel performance chips increase power and economy is through pressure. Pressure means that the fuel rails line pressure is increased, so more fuel is injected which creates more power, but at the same time having more pressure to the fuel when it gets to the injector helps it to create a finer mist or atomize as the fuel exits the several little holes in the injector tip. This improved atomization also helps the fuel to mix better with the air that enters the cylinder and is able to extract more power out of the fuel.
Many of the diesel performance chips, modules, boxes, and tuners use a combination of two of these techniques, and some use all of them. So essentially by adding more fuel and improving the way the engine burns the fuel and especially the increased amount of fuel, the diesel performance chips can dramatically increase power and economy.
Duramax vs. Cummins vs. Powerstroke – A Matter Of Sexuality?
Duramax vs. Cummins seems to be the question on everybody’s mind. Let’s be honest – Duramax vs. Cummins has never been the real question; neither has Duramax vs. Powerstroke or Cummins vs. Powerstroke in any of these debates. For the most reasonable answer to these questions I look back to the teachings of a wise professor. A Philosophy teacher I once had was discussing what he had found to be the main causes of homosexuality after years of being a counselor for school districts and at the local prison, he said that they were genetics, environmental and hormonal. Might I be so bold as to say that it really doesn’t matter who makes the truck or how durable the components are in the truck are but the real answer to the question Duramax vs. Cummins or Powerstroke vs. Cummins or Duramax vs. Powerstroke is what did your father drive (genetic) where did you grow up, what did the people around you growing up drive, what do your current friends drive (environmental), and what body style really “does it” for you (hormonal).
Another factor into the question Duramax vs. Cummins or Powerstroke vs. Cummins or Duramax vs. Powerstroke that my professor went over was the fact that men are attracted to form rather intellect, so just as some men are attracted to women that chew (Powerstroke Owners) men will be attracted to different trucks based on how they look to them. Another factor that I think can fall in line with the question Duramax vs. Cummins or Powerstroke vs. Cummins or Duramax vs. Powerstroke is how does the truck make the man look to the ladies? Have you ever noticed how when you are in a parking lot and you see a huge Power Stroke pull into the parking lot with a 12 inch lift and 35 inch Super Swamper Boggers on it and then it will park and out pops the 4’5" driver in his wranglers and a belt buckle that is almost as tall as him. Then you catch a glimpse inside the cab of the truck just before he closed the door and you can see the seat up as far as it can go and sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I swear I see a stack of phone books. I don’t know what it is but it is the strangest phenomenon, I think that factors into the whole form thing as well, the fact that the men need to feel secure about themselves, maybe they missed the memo that the new Jeep Liberty’s have a nice little diesel in them as well, and they wouldn’t need a ladder to pull themselves up into it.
Now I hope you don’t think that this is it and that I am going to leave you hanging in the Duramax vs. Cummins or Powerstroke vs. Cummins or Duramax vs. Powerstroke debate. You know I would never do that my friends. I will be back soon enough with some factual base and research that has been done over the past several years I will include dyno results for max horsepower, shop transcripts for history of what make had which problems etc.. But for now stick with my theory of the three degrees of Trucksuality.
Posted on: April 3, 2023