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Old 06-17-2015, 05:40 PM   #1
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Anyone using a performance box/chip in their diesel truck

Wondering if anyone who has an older Dodge CTD, mine is a 2000, is running a chip or performance enhancing box. If so which one and how do you like it?
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:12 PM   #2
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You will get much more help with this on the Cummins Diesel forum.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:18 PM   #3
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Chips/programmers are fine, but you won't gain "+100HP" or things like that. You'll run out of fuel to your injectors and pump, or max out your turbo, or melt things. You need to run gauges for EGT for sure. Trans temp is popular for auto transmissions. Boost to make sure you don't "over" do it. Fuel pressure for the low and high pressure systems is a good idea too.

Once you do that and get one, I would not get a Bully Dog, Edge, or any of those. Those programs are meant to work with all trucks, towing all loads, for all drivers. Get something custom tuned to your needs and wants, and they are usually tuned safer as well.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:30 PM   #4
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What is your expectations for a chip/tuner? Are you trying to increase HP and torque or are you trying to improve mileage? Two different answers.

Older model diesels, such as yours, can increase HP and torque but quickly run into other limiting components, such as tranny and drive train. Mileage can also be improved, but it is done at increased temperatures, not usually recommended for towing situation as you can quickly overheat, hit limiting high temps for components (turbo, valving, pistons, etc) - as mentioned above by jesilvas. Increased HP usually is done by leaning out diesel mixtures, increasing combustion/EGT temps.

Newer diesels are usually chipped to remove emissions components, DPF, EGRs, etc. Mixed opinions on the virtues of improved engine performance at the expense of increased emissions (soot,NOX, etc). Don't think that's your reasoning though for chipping.

My $0.02.

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Old 06-17-2015, 09:33 PM   #5
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I'm looking for a little more power when pulling our travel trailer up these grades here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I've been on several diesel forums and most are just leaning toward hot rodding their trucks. Far ore than I am wanting to do or feel the need to do. Few are using for towing. I don't want to get to the point that I need bigger injectors, a hot rod injector pump, twin turbos etc etc. I already have replaced the factory lift pump with a FASS unit before it became a problem. I have all the gauges except an exhaust temp gauge. I have also installed a cooling system by-pass system to aid in coolant flow from the the back of the block/cylinder head. That one thing helped quite a bit, engine temps down 5 to 10 degrees. Right now I'm leaning toward something like a edge EZ tuner. What ever I get it has to be removable when I have to smog it.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:43 PM   #6
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many, MANY options are out there for you...
Never had a dodge, but have tuned just about everything I had and like you, not for the drag strip, just software to get a bit 'more' out of it...

Never had an engine or tranny issue because I did my research and let others be the bleeding edge

But you just have to make sure everything underneath is ready for the increases... most towing programs are just in the 60 hp range, but that's good enough to make the walk over that rise a lil easier and less drama filled!

I would tune my coach if the right tuner came around...
and that's the key, they tuner as in PERSON, not the hardware... go to the dieselstop and you will get all the info you need to just do a bit

My ford 6.7 diesels with just tuning were easily a 150+ hp... when you talked dpf and scr removal then you were pushing +250 safely...
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:29 PM   #7
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Been programmed for 8 years and towing up to 15000 lbs with my 6.0! Ford Diesel. The only problem has been some cooling issues when pushing it at 125 hp increase with my hypertech Max Energy.
8 years ago I chose Hypertech because I could tow in all levels and it does work well with plenty of torque and fuel mileage increase when watching turbo pressure.
The economy comes with low turbo pressure while still holding a good speed while climbing hills.
I will never tow without the programer set on my 6.0l that Ford did a real mess of.
Now Cummins that possibly not required but I am sure Banks or Hypertech can help with more torque with minimum expenses.
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:20 AM   #8
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Best programmers for the cummins truck are the smarty for anything pre-emissions (2006). Check out the cummins and TDR forums... lots of info out there. Be sure you put gauges on to monitor things... esp. EGT when towing while tuned.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:17 AM   #9
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Best mod for your engine is a set of Bosch 275 RV injectors. Your engine is no different than the ones used in Motorhomes except they had 275 injectors.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Hawkins View Post
I'm looking for a little more power when pulling our travel trailer up these grades here in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I've been on several diesel forums and most are just leaning toward hot rodding their trucks. Far ore than I am wanting to do or feel the need to do. Few are using for towing. I don't want to get to the point that I need bigger injectors, a hot rod injector pump, twin turbos etc etc. I already have replaced the factory lift pump with a FASS unit before it became a problem. I have all the gauges except an exhaust temp gauge. I have also installed a cooling system by-pass system to aid in coolant flow from the the back of the block/cylinder head. That one thing helped quite a bit, engine temps down 5 to 10 degrees. Right now I'm leaning toward something like a edge EZ tuner. What ever I get it has to be removable when I have to smog it.
Before you start modifying the engine for more power. I would go to Turbo Diesel Regiest.com and join for $35.00 a year. This will be the cheapest investment you can make before you modify the engine.
Now on the LH side there is a PDF booklet called Turbo Diesel Buyer's guide- all years. Start reading at page 50 so you know exactly what needs to be done to your truck.

The next thing you need is some way to monitor the engine out put parameters such as EGT, boost and fuel pressure. This will require either gauges or a OBDII monitor, I am not sure one will work on your year of truck.

I am modified and have been for 6 years now but I used and still do TDR for my resource for changes.

Jim
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:33 AM   #11
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I think that Smarty makes the best CTD tuners for newer trucks. Not sure about tuning a 15 year old one though.
Your tranny or clutch may be at risk.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:14 AM   #12
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I use a Hypertech Max-energy on my 2007 Duramax with good results. (roughly a couple of more miles to the gallon while towing and better performance all around) My advice would be call the tech support of any tuner you decide to go with.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:35 AM   #13
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I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 6 speed. I put an edge chip with three settings on my truck 7 years ago and have had no problems. The increase in torque and fuel mileage have been great. I pull a gooseneck trailer with a 14,000 lb backhoe, a gooseneck horse trailer, as well as a 34 foot fifth wheel trailer. I watch my temperature on a major hill but other than that I have been very satisfied. My truck is now over the 200,000 mile mark.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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Yeah, you need to use TDR as your research media to limit your expense to exactly what will work on your exact engine. But in general, any turbo-diesel engine has the same rules:

1] First is gauges. DO NOT increase the power from your engine with a chip or programmer until you have three accurate gauges.

--- Pyrometer, or gauge for pre-turbo exhaust gas temp (EGT). Be certain the sender (thermocouple) is mounted before the turbo, then never exceed 1.250. Back out of the go pedal and drive by the pyrometer to maintain between 1,200 and 1250 when climbing grades. Look up the melting temp of aluminum pistons to understand why anything over 1.250 is a no no.

--- Turbo Boost gauge. 25 PSI is the red line. Higher boost can blow up a stock turbo. When towing, you probably cannot achieve 25 PSI while staying below 1.250 EGT, but be sure of the relationshiop between EGT and boost on your engine.

--- Tranny temp gauge with the sender mounted to give you sump temp. 225 is the red line. Heat is the tranny killer. If you ever see over about 210 sump temp, then change to full-synthetic ATF and install a bigger oil-to-air (OTA) tranny cooler (heat exchanger).

On a 2000 Ford diesel with automagic tranny, no need to wait to see if you need more tranny cooling. You need it. Dodge might be different.

2] Next is intake and exhaust. Replace the stock intake system with a so-called cold air intake. Replace the stock exhaust system with a turbo-back free-flow exhaust system. Those intake and exhaust mods will allow you to tow more weight at a faster speed up a steeper grade without exceeding 1.250 EGT.

3] We've already mentioned tranny cooling. But be certain you have adequate tranny cooling capacity to pull your load over any mountain pass you may encounter.

4] Chip or programmer (tuner). You want a towing tune of not more than 80 additional horses. The highly advertised tuners from Bully Dog, Edge and others include generic tunes that add some horses, but are not as efficient as a custom tune for your exact engine with your exact mods. If you cannot find a Cummins-specific custom tuner, then your best source is probably Banks. The Banks mods will not result in the most power or the least cost, but they will be safe for your engine and turbo.
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