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Old 01-26-2019, 06:04 PM   #1
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Cummins ISL After market programming

We were at an RV show recently and were looking at the PDI (Performance Diesel Inc) programmer. Does anybody have any experience with this company?
I am more interested in increasing torque. They sales pitch says that this programmer is approved by Cummings and will increase torque by as much as 200 lbs. They say it can be reversed back to factory settings without leaving a footprint and doesn’t just pump more fuel into the engine. What say everybody?
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:14 PM   #2
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If it's approved, why is it important that it can (allegedly) be removed and leave no trace?

Call up Cummins and ask them who they've approved to uprate their engines.

Did PDI give you their claims in writing?
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:18 PM   #3
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Your transmission may not be rated for another 200 ftlbs of torque.
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:30 PM   #4
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The alison trans are rated for their specific application. An isl will make 1250ft/lbs the same as the 3000 trans is designed for.

https://www.allisontransmission.com/...rsn=18b1e21d_2
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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Which engine are you talking about? An ISL max is 450 horse I believe, maybe less I can't remember. All Cummings engines have a max tuning as I recall. Torque is a function of bore x stroke, and there are not many variables there. More fuel may increase horsepower, not sure about torque. Not sure 200 more lbs. of torque would be worth the money, not sure you would notice it. I looked into some of these "tuners" but found that the ISM500 I have is already maxed out at 500 horse. Check with Cummins, they're pretty honest about these things.
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Old 01-26-2019, 11:52 PM   #6
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"Desertduo28"....I'm guessing that you saw their booth at Quartzsite. I looked at their tuner, but NONE of their info talks about how they intend to improve torque or HP. I think that would be the first thing a website should talk about. However, they heavily push how the tuner let's you read settings......not what I want from a tuner.

As stated by others, Allison has a max torque allowed by their 3000 transmission, which is 1250 pounds. If you need more torque, an Allison 4000 is installed and typically comes with an Cummins ISX attached.

On my 2005 Monaco Diplomat with a 400 ISL, I added a Parleys Diesel tuner, called DIGI CR which upped the horsepower by 52 horsepower as tested on a dyno. It made my 2005 Diplomat a rocket. It advanced the fuel timing, but reverted back to stock under WOT (wide open throttle) so you didn't blow up the engine. I also saw a .5 mpg increase.

I removed it when I sold the Diplomat and found that it's usable on the newer 450 ISL's. I was going to install it on my 2014 Dutch Star, but they moved the location of the plug on the Cummins to a spot that is almost impossible to access. Consequently, it sits in the garage.

I believe their is another tuner, that makes one for gas and diesels (can't think of the brand name right now) that will fit an ISL, but just advances the fuel timing, which is really all you want to do.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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The guy at Q said $2200 for the "upgrade". Lots of $$ for a 200ftlb gain
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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Another thing to watch about these torque or Hp increases is the rpms where it occurs, and what happens at other rpms to get it. There's no free lunch here, so the shape of the curve (torque & hp plotted vs rpms) is what changes. You gain in some places and lose in others. When Cummins themselves alters programming to get more Hp from the same engine, the rpms at which peak torque or hp occurs shifts. You can view their graphs for the 370, 400, 425 and 450 hp versions of the engine to get a picture of that.


Since the relationship between torque and hp is fixed, more torque ought to give you more hp as well. However, rpms is part of the equation too (Hp = torque x rpms/5252). If the torque is delivered at a lower rpm as part of the change, then you might actually get less hp at the lower rpm. And the torque may fall off at what was the peak as well, reducing hp there too. It is not a given that more torque equals better performance, whether you want quicker acceleration or better cruising economy. You always have to consider how much torque at the rpms where I can operate effectively?


The other variable is turbo boost, making sure that enough air is delivered to support the additional power.
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Old 01-27-2019, 01:00 PM   #9
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To get more HP you've got to use more fuel. This also reduces reliability. More strain on rest of drive train.
How often do you need more power?
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:43 PM   #10
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A ISL mated to a Alison 3000 has a flat 1200 ftlbs torque curve from 1200 to 1600 rpms... the MAX a 3000 can handle. A 400 ISL is already capable of almost 1300 ftlbs BUT the 3000 is NOT. You are only asking for trouble and if you talk to anyone it should be Alison, not Cummins.

$2200 to maybe get to the top of the mountain a minute sooner On a hot day I could run out of engine cooling before getting to the top with my ISL 400.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:05 PM   #11
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In October 2018 I was at a rally where a Cummins shop had a booth set up. After talking to them they sent a technician out to my coach to see if a factory update was a possibility. After checking things out I was told that an increase from 400 to 450 hp was possible. I had them perform the software update and they turned my coach from a 400 to a 450. Others at the show had there coaches checked and it seemed the only ISL there they could reprogram was the 400. This cost just shy of 1K. The factory warranty is unaffected as this is a Cummins update. Mileage has stayed about the same, less shifting on overpasses and greatly improved climbing on my coach.

Depending on what year and model ISL you have Cummins may well be the best place to start looking for a performance upgrade.

The performance charts for the ISL for my engine on the Cummins web site show both the 400 and 450 peaking at 1250 Lbs Tq. The 400 peaks at 1400 rpm and then the TQ immediately starts going down, The ISL 450 peaks at 1400 rpm and 1250 Tq but holds that for several hundred rpm before the TQ starts to drop. That TQ increase above 1400 rpm is noticeable.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:16 PM   #12
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Any TS Performance MP8 users? I have an 8.9 ISL 425HP with the HEST system. No DEF. They claim it's compatible with 30% HP gain and 10% MPG improvement. Thoughts?
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:37 PM   #13
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The TS is considerably less also.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadmiester View Post
Which engine are you talking about? An ISL max is 450 horse I believe, maybe less I can't remember. All Cummings engines have a max tuning as I recall. Torque is a function of bore x stroke, and there are not many variables there. More fuel may increase horsepower, not sure about torque. Not sure 200 more lbs. of torque would be worth the money, not sure you would notice it. I looked into some of these "tuners" but found that the ISM500 I have is already maxed out at 500 horse. Check with Cummins, they're pretty honest about these things.


You dont think you would notice 200 ft. lbs of torque?
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