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Old 08-25-2015, 02:58 PM   #1
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Cat C7 power upgrade

Ok guys and gals,

I have a Cat C7 at 300 HP and 860 Ft Lbs of torque in my 2005 Alfa DP. Allison 3000 6 speed transmission. Wet and loaded my coach is right at 27K lbs, pulling a Jeep Wrangler that is close to 4K so I am right at 4000 lbs below my max weight for the coach. Coach pulls great with the torque but seems a little short on power and acceleration. W/O the Jeep it is good enough to hold 70mph+ with no problems.

Been looking at the plethora of available power boost alternatives out there and now I am confused and a little worried that I might hurt the little guy by overheating or impact the transmission. If I choose to go with say a Bully Dog or Platinum Power Group mod will I need radiator upgrades or anything else?

Thanks in advance,

McFarlin AZ, Alfa 36FD, Cat C7, Allison 3000MH, Jeep W toad, 3 dogs and a wife as co pilots
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:30 PM   #2
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I don't know what terrain you are pulling on. In flatland Illinois, 70 mph is a walk in the park for my 3126 CAT 300 hp. Coach is 25k and enclosed trailer is 9k lbs. Stick a long grade in front of me and it's going to be a different story though. Does it get up to speed as quickly as my wife's Impala? No.
There really aren't all that many options for power increases in these CAT engines. And those who have gotten them have mixed reports about their results. I'm a hotrodder at heart. But I haven't found a good way to rewire these things. CAT may have a reflash for yours, but they are NOT cheap. And the torque may be about the same with only an rpm range extension.
There is a CAT section on this board. Lots of good reading there for sure. And folks that are more expert than I!
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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I would call CAT, give them the model/serial number of your engine and ask them if there is a diffrent factory tune for your engine. It will be pricey and you may not get much more torque but you may be able to get the 330 or 350hp tune, but again only CAT can tell you.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #4
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I installed the MP-8 Power Programmer from TS Performance on my C7 a long time ago. It gave me a noticeable boost in power. An increase in power can also mean an increase in exhaust temps, so I also installed a pyrometer to keep an eye on them. While the MP-8 did give me me more hill pulling power, I'll admit that I am not always able to use all that added power in real hot weather based on my exhaust temps. All in all, a great upgrade IMO.

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Old 08-25-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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We had the 3126 300 hp in our 2000 Dutch Star. I looked into boosting it through CAT. They wanted something over $2000 to do it if my radiator was big enough (it was since it was a side radiator, most rear radiators are too small). The only thing was that I only gained 30 hp and no extra torque. And the torque was what I was after. Never went any further with it as we traded the rig on bigger unit with and ISC 350/1050 which I later added a Banks to (435/1200 then)
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McFarlin AZ View Post
Ok guys and gals,

I have a Cat C7 at 300 HP and 860 Ft Lbs of torque in my 2005 Alfa DP. Allison 3000 6 speed transmission. Wet and loaded my coach is right at 27K lbs, pulling a Jeep Wrangler that is close to 4K so I am right at 4000 lbs below my max weight for the coach. Coach pulls great with the torque but seems a little short on power and acceleration. W/O the Jeep it is good enough to hold 70mph+ with no problems.

Been looking at the plethora of available power boost alternatives out there and now I am confused and a little worried that I might hurt the little guy by overheating or impact the transmission. If I choose to go with say a Bully Dog or Platinum Power Group mod will I need radiator upgrades or anything else?

Thanks in advance,

McFarlin AZ, Alfa 36FD, Cat C7, Allison 3000MH, Jeep W toad, 3 dogs and a wife as co pilots
McFarlin AZ,
Well Sir, we have a very similar setup. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, Allison MH3000 trans, is cruising on down the road right at, 26,120 lbs. That's dripping wet with full fuel, full water, a ton of tools and "what if" stuff, and both of us and the dog. The toad we pull is an '11 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 4x4 tipping the scales at 5,300 lbs. In its bed is a Rampage Motorcycle lift weighing very close to 275-300 lbs. And finally, in that lift/carrier is, an '08 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing weight right close to 900 lbs.

So, we're dragging along behind us, right close to 6,500-6,000 lbs. Now, our C-7 is no rocket motor by far. But, it does actually very well with all that weight. If the coach sees a grade coming, it starts to slow down. All in all, I'm actually quite satisfied with the power. As you, me, and every other diesel pilot would have it, we'd all like, AS TIM ALLEN WOULD SAY, "MORE POWER".

But, with a CAT, it's really not going to happen. I made a somewhat dumb mistake in changing mufflers to that dumb-a$$ Aero 5050XL Stainless Steel straight through muffler a while back. Well, all it got me was a LOUDER MOTOR. I've driven that coach on numerous grades, pulling everything I described, with a bone stock muffler and, noted the way it performed.

Then, I did the muffler change. Absolutely NO CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE WHAT SO EVER. Just a bunch of extra noise. I enquired on the CAT side of this forum about the infamous MP-8 Chip and, well it's been with mixed reviews. And, some even reported "Check Engine" lights etc. coming on when using it at full potential. As the previous poster stated, even exhaust temps can be affected and, that's really not a good thing.

So, my thoughts, leave it alone. For some odd reason, CAT, in it's infinite wisdom, refuses to allow Banks Engineering to be able to fit a kit on their engines, like Cummins does. I've got a buddy who's got a '98 Fleetwood Discovery, 36' with the 275 Cummins in it. He installed the Banks kit and, it's been in there for half a dozen years and, he's incredibly hard to keep up with, even towing a 5,000 lb. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

The CAT is a good engine. They just don't want it messed with.
Scott
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:51 AM   #7
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Thanks Bucky,

Lots of hills and mountain grades where we go. The coach is just fine from a torque standpoint. Downshift and take it easy pulling grade. I may just leave it alone and enjoy the ride, heck we aren't in a hurry and from what I read about programmers etc. I am only looking at a 40HP increase max. Coach will do more than 70 woithout a problem once I am at road speed. I was just curious if I could get better acceleration from a stop without too much trouble.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:00 AM   #8
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McFarlin AZ,
Well Sir, we have a very similar setup. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, Allison MH3000 trans, is cruising on down the road right at, 26,120 lbs. That's dripping wet with full fuel, full water, a ton of tools and "what if" stuff, and both of us and the dog. The toad we pull is an '11 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 4x4 tipping the scales at 5,300 lbs. In its bed is a Rampage Motorcycle lift weighing very close to 275-300 lbs. And finally, in that lift/carrier is, an '08 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing weight right close to 900 lbs.

So, we're dragging along behind us, right close to 6,500-6,000 lbs. Now, our C-7 is no rocket motor by far. But, it does actually very well with all that weight. If the coach sees a grade coming, it starts to slow down. All in all, I'm actually quite satisfied with the power. As you, me, and every other diesel pilot would have it, we'd all like, AS TIM ALLEN WOULD SAY, "MORE POWER".

But, with a CAT, it's really not going to happen. I made a somewhat dumb mistake in changing mufflers to that dumb-a$$ Aero 5050XL Stainless Steel straight through muffler a while back. Well, all it got me was a LOUDER MOTOR. I've driven that coach on numerous grades, pulling everything I described, with a bone stock muffler and, noted the way it performed.

Then, I did the muffler change. Absolutely NO CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE WHAT SO EVER. Just a bunch of extra noise. I enquired on the CAT side of this forum about the infamous MP-8 Chip and, well it's been with mixed reviews. And, some even reported "Check Engine" lights etc. coming on when using it at full potential. As the previous poster stated, even exhaust temps can be affected and, that's really not a good thing.

So, my thoughts, leave it alone. For some odd reason, CAT, in it's infinite wisdom, refuses to allow Banks Engineering to be able to fit a kit on their engines, like Cummins does. I've got a buddy who's got a '98 Fleetwood Discovery, 36' with the 275 Cummins in it. He installed the Banks kit and, it's been in there for half a dozen years and, he's incredibly hard to keep up with, even towing a 5,000 lb. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

The CAT is a good engine. They just don't want it messed with.
Scott
FireUp,

Thanks for reply.

I am probably gonna leave it alone since it is really just fine as is. I don't want to take chances with it. I was hoping (you know what they say, "wish in one hand...) for a simple quick upgrade. I guess you know what I got "in the other hand" LOL
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
We had the 3126 300 hp in our 2000 Dutch Star. I looked into boosting it through CAT. They wanted something over $2000 to do it if my radiator was big enough (it was since it was a side radiator, most rear radiators are too small). The only thing was that I only gained 30 hp and no extra torque. And the torque was what I was after. Never went any further with it as we traded the rig on bigger unit with and ISC 350/1050 which I later added a Banks to (435/1200 then)
Thanks D,

$2000 is way more than I want to spend to get just a little more power and then have exhaust temps to watch AND a probable radiator swap. I have a rear radiator of course) so that said, wave as you go by buddy!
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by McFarlin AZ View Post
FireUp,

Thanks for reply.

I am probably gonna leave it alone since it is really just fine as is. I don't want to take chances with it. I was hoping (you know what they say, "wish in one hand...) for a simple quick upgrade. I guess you know what I got "in the other hand" LOL

Leaving it as is, is the safest route!!

Scott and I know each other some from other boards, as well as here too. Both of us are ex Bounder owners, and both of us were from the Southern California area.

Scott is detailed on his research, and on his modifications. And has posted some great aid pictures of his projects along the way. (One of my favorites, was when he took care of his generator, and a broken temp sensor!)

We did email some on the pro's/con's of MP-8's. And, I did also install the Aero Turbine XL-5050 exhaust too.

On my coach, the exhaust helped a bit in the bit faster spooling of the turbo. Not a push you back into your seat change for sure, but 3rd, 4th gear at 1100 to say 1750 RPM, I bit quicker on accelerations. Like at onramp situations.

My coach is a Country Coach, and has the ISL CAPS era engine. So, apples to apples to Scott's application. As I'm sure you are aware, each coach manufacturer is responsible for hanging the plumbing and exhaust related to their specific rigs. On ours, we have no choke points in the exhaust flow plumbing, with IMO, the Exhaust Manifold providing the most restriction. And on our coach, we have the same clean plumbing on the intake side too. Our air cleaner is the same one that is used by Country Coach to feed the BIG BLOCK Cats, so we have abundant CFM air flow from that side.

So what? When looking at exhaust plumbing and muffler changes, the specific coach involved can make a big difference on the outcome of the modifications.

MP-8? Well it would between this and the DIGI if I were to do a mod. As the Banks is not available for the ISL. I think I would go with the MP-8, with the Cockpit Control ability to control things. I think I'd run the majority of the time with it set to 'zero', or off. Then when approaching a hill, or passing situation, notch it up to point where I'd have previously experimented with my coach, to not push the temps to high. And, I would for sure install an EGT sensor and dash gauge to monitor.

As mentioned, if you watch the EGT temps, you'll know how your engine is doing.

Now, I've been saying 'if' - as frankly, I have not yet decided to make this mod at this time. 99% of the time, our heavier then Scotts coach (37-39K when running down the road) treats us well. Yep, I will slow down on the hills, not as slow as some and for sure not as fast as some either! But, that is OK. Why would I want more power? I feel the ability to have reserve power, provides a safety edge. Might get me/you out of trouble by being able to go a bit faster!

Now 5 years with the coach. We have a 2007 CRV AWD that keeps going, and going. But, when I replace it, I think we'll go with a 4x4 truck and shell, and yep, carry more things in the back of that truck too. So, will be adding a good 3-4K lbs. I may at that time, go with the MP-8.

Best of luck to you, and a Shout Out Hi to Scott!
Smitty
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:38 AM   #11
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Cat C7 power upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
....I made a somewhat dumb mistake in changing mufflers to that dumb-a$$ Aero 5050XL Stainless Steel straight through muffler a while back. Well, all it got me was a LOUDER MOTOR. I've driven that coach on numerous grades, pulling everything I described, with a bone stock muffler and, noted the way it performed.

Then, I did the muffler change. Absolutely NO CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE WHAT SO EVER. Just a bunch of extra noise. I enquired on the CAT side of this forum about the infamous MP-8 Chip and, well it's been with mixed reviews. And, some even reported "Check Engine" lights etc. coming on when using it at full potential. As the previous poster stated, even exhaust temps can be affected and, that's really not a good thing.
I'll second that on the Aero muffler, complete waste of money. Something I didn't realize until after the swap was that my OE muffler had an integrated catalytic converter. While some may like the idea of eliminating it, removing it created an extensive amount of heavy diesel exhaust fumes that weren't present with the OE muffler. This is in addition to the unwanted exhaust noise level. I will say that it did lower EGT's at tad, but it wasn't enough of a benefit, at least for me. Like Fire Up, I saw zero performance gains. This is contrary to the MP-8 which I still enjoy and still stand behind. I'm a modder by nature, so I can never leave anything alone, LOL!

Craig
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:00 AM   #12
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On my previous coach with the 3126 330hp I did the MP 8. Now this is not anecdotal or seat of the pants but real numbers. Dyno I got 396HP and 1000 plus torque with a rear radiator. No heaating but would go from 190 to 200 on long hard climbs and from 3rd gear and 38 mph to 4th or 5th gear and near 60, did try to keep the RPM on climb at the 2200 best cooling temp towing a 4-runner on a trailer. Only gauges I added was the Scan Gauge D so I could h ave real numbers from trans boost and radiator.

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Old 08-27-2015, 08:41 AM   #13
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Thanks to all who have replied. I guess the old adage of "don't fix it if it aint broke" holds true here. Think I'll just leave well enough alone and enjoy the ride!
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