MAFIA EDITORIAL-SPRING 2013
Performance Parts: MPG-Driveability-Reliability the BossMan Speaks. It’s just about the hottest topic out on the showroom floor here at CSM World Headquarters in Joplin, Missouri! For years, us truckers were somewhat satisfied with OEM ’factory’ settings that the engineers in Peoria, Columbus and Detroit designed into our engines. After all, not long ago it seems like if we had 350 horsepower, we were ‘fat cats’, then when we had 425 horses available -we were bulletproof, and as of the late 1990’s- those of you with 550 ponies under the hood were King Of The Hill!
Thru the late 90’s and early 2000’s, you could spend $500 and get a ‘smoke’ module to ‘wire up’ under the hood which let you blow black smoke with your electronic engine……that was the gain-BLOW A LIL’ BLACK SMOKE (which was not seen very often in the electronically controlled engines)…………and LOOK COOL!
Fellers, today is a WHOLE NEW GAME. There a host of really advantageous engine upgrades that will pay you back in several ways. I will try my best to walk you thru the basics-this is the BossMan speaking from experience- ‘down & dirty’ version! I wouldn’t throw it out there if I hadn’t received years of good solid feedback, not to mention my first hand experience on our own trucks.
If you are running factory mufflers, swap them out with performance mufflers with a ‘baffle-less’ straight thru design, straight chrome pipes with ‘quiet spool’ stacks or straight pipes with a performance muffler that can be mounted under the truck. The reduction in back pressure on the exhaust side of your engine, will slightly enhance performance and fuel economy. It’ll be slight-but measurable.
A high output turbo is up towards the top of the list for improved performance. A good aftermarket turbo will ‘spool up’ quicker than stock and provide good boost pressure for a longer duration to increase your pulling power with fewer downshifts or delayed downshifts. Take note that on several of the late model engines, a turbo upgrade will also require an ECM tune to be done at the same time.
Upgrading to a ‘extrude honed’ performance exhaust manifold is like putting a set of headers on the small block chevy that was in your old Camaro! By offering larger and smoother passageways for your exhaust gas to travel quickly , and with less restriction from your cylinder head to your turbocharger, this upgrade pushes your turbo harder and faster for better response and drive-a-bility.
A Fuel Air Separation unit is another ‘step in the right direction’. This gadget removes all air from the fuel that is delivered to your injectors, eliminates water in the system and provides pressurized fuel to your injectors or injection pump. NO AIR = enhanced response and drive-ability + increased mpg , NO WATER = longer injector life (injectors are Dog-Gone expensive these days!), PRESSURIZED FUEL = enhanced performance.
This is the #1 means to improve efficiency, enhance performance and see some substantial fuel mileage gains with one simple step. Tuning is available for most all engines and takes very little time in the shop. By reconfiguring the codes and settings in your factory ECM, the overall personality of your engine is ‘night and day’ different! With reasonable, responsible and prudent driving practices, we have seen no decrease in life of your engine and see no signs of harming to the engine components. While improved fuel economy is nothing that can be ‘promised’ with an ECM tune-I can tell you that the lowest reports I have had is .4 mpg increase and the best reports as high as 1.4mpg increase. If you can only budget for ONE upgrade out of all the ones listed above-DO THE ECM TUNE. You won’t be dis-appointed!
CUMMINS ISX OWNERS: There is one ‘easy’ upgrade worth mentioning for you fella’s. There are Intake Manifolds available that allow for approximately 20% more air to enter your engine versus the OEM manifold. More air always means more engine efficiency! These manifolds are fairly low cost and easily installed in your driveway in just a few minutes.
Wrapping up…………… This entire line of products and the technological advances are ever-changing. Next year may bring a whole new arsenal of performance parts and we will keep you informed. Most of the upgrades mentioned here can be done in ‘stages’. Perhaps you can budget for mufflers or pipes this month, fuel system in another month and an ECM tune and turbo next spring….or, if you can do it all at the same time-Even Better! Regardless of your time-line, each and every upgrade will make your rig a lil’ more fun to drive. Who among us doesn’t want a “lil mo’ power”? Every item discussed will also help with fuel economy, Savings can be very substantial, especially if you ‘drive smart’. And rest assured, if you drive with common sense, watch your temperature gauges, and take care of that engine that is providing your income stream-I have not seen signs of shortened engine life with any of these enhancements.
So………………………….What are ya waiting for? Let’s get together and make drivin’ FUN AGAIN!
Bryan ‘Bossman’ martin
Posted on April 26, 2013