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Old 02-13-2020, 09:13 AM   #1
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Chipping a 450 HP ISL9

Has anyone heard of Chipping a Cummins 450HP ISL9 Diesel or had any experience in doing so? A diesel mechanic suggested it to me in order to gain some horsepower but more important to gain some torque.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:17 AM   #2
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You have a 100,000 mile warranty on that motor. I’d go to Cummins for an answer. There are diesel mechanics all over that can and will bump up your torque and HP, but will also likely void your warranty.

A co-worker pumped up his duramax and bragged about towing his 35’ fifth wheel up long grades at 70+mph until he stretched his head bolts. Then it wasn’t fun any more.

It’s usually fine to pump up a diesel in a pick up and play with HP but when you put it under load, things get stressed. And a 43’ Dutch Star is always under load.

My pickup came stock with 450hp and 930torque but that same motor in a Thor Omni is retuned to something like 330/750. For good reason. It’s always under load.

Im sure there is more in the ISL, but at what cost?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:21 AM   #3
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Any HP and torque gains will happen only at full throttle. Any specs on your engine were measured at wide open throttle and working at full load.

Do you often find yourself in full throttle, pedal to the floor, situations ?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:32 AM   #4
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I chipped my 2005 Monaco Diplomat with the 400 ISL. It was a German chip called a DIGICR. That chip added 52 horsepower when checked on a dyno. The only thing chipping does is change the fuel curve/timing. The DIGICR chip was adjustable with about 20 settings, but only about three settings were useable (didn't throw a code).

I kept the chip when I sold my 2005 Diplomat and eventually sold it to a friend for his ISL. I later found out that the chip would work on my newer 450. On the 05 400ISL it plugged into an easy to reach plug on the side of the engine. On the newer 450 engines, the plug was BURIED in a harness behind the fuel rail. I never reinstalled the chip, because I jut couldn't access it.

When you use a chip that changes the fuel curve/timing it DOESN'T show up in the ECM (not logged or recorded). The DIGICR came with a dummy plug that could be installed remotely, bringing everything back to stock.

Lastly, even though the chip added 52 HP, it does not increase torque. I was running the VMSpc on my 2005 Diplomat and could see the HP climb higher when climbing, but didn't see any improvement in the torque.

While at Quartzsite, there was a booth selling chips/tuners. I don't recall the brand name, but when asked about results, they had NO dyno numbers to provide.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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This thread is PROOF, that my phone is listening to me, 24/7!!!!

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Old 02-13-2020, 02:18 PM   #6
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"twinboat" reminded me of something I left out of my post. The DIGICR chip was designed to revert to stock settings at wide open throttle, so you didn't blow anything up.

I added that chip after my factory warranty was over. I also replaced the engine fan (rear engine diesel) to a custom fan made Source Engineering. The fan "returned" 25 HP to the coach. That DP was only 32K pounds and was a frickin rocket with the 400 ISL.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:10 PM   #7
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At the Golden Aires rally in Hemet last month there was a gentleman from Redlands Truck and RV hawking such a chip. It was around $2700. The purported gains were quite large and makes me ask why Cummins wouldn't do it at the factory unless it has negative effects. Otherwise, who wouldn't want it?
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BU Bears View Post
Has anyone heard of Chipping a Cummins 450HP ISL9 Diesel or had any experience in doing so? A diesel mechanic suggested it to me in order to gain some horsepower but more important to gain some torque.
I am a professional on this subject I was a major player in the performance Diesel business for 15 years but quit when the DPF systems were implemented, I had no intention of compromising emissions equipment.

Plus I was getting sick of the kids asking me to make the truck roll coal, I wouldn't do it, we can make power without smoke.

450 HP 1250 Torque is the highest setting available for this engine, and the Torque limit of your transmission.

Everything that makes this engine live a long happy life is engineered around this power level, cooling system, Turbo system, intercooler emissions system etc.

This engine can operate at full load continuously at 60,000 GCVWR, until it runs out of fuel and never wimper for a million miles.

When you turn the power up you jeopardize that reliability and put your transmission at risk for failure, engine over heating, Turbo overheating, DPF failures, and the list goes on and on.

Turning the power up reduces the time at which you can operate at full load and the amount of load it can pull.

If this engine were in a 10,000 lb vehicle it could easily operate at double the power and live as it will never reach full load.

In my case I had the same engine with a reduced power program of 400 HP 1250 TQ, and I Purchased thee 451 HP 1250 TQ program and 5 year 100K warranty from Frieghtliner/Cummins for $1331.00.

I can travel the country at full GCVWR and not worry

Ted.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the comments. Seems to be more negatives and risk associated with the chipping than I'm willing to take. I'll just have to be content to pull in behind those 18 Wheelers going 40mph up the mountains.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BU Bears View Post
I'll just have to be content to pull in behind those 18 Wheelers going 40mph up the mountains.
Or move to a London Aire or Essex
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie 4369 View Post
I am a professional on this subject I was a major player in the performance Diesel business for 15 years but quit when the DPF systems were implemented, I had no intention of compromising emissions equipment.

Plus I was getting sick of the kids asking me to make the truck roll coal, I wouldn't do it, we can make power without smoke.

450 HP 1250 Torque is the highest setting available for this engine, and the Torque limit of your transmission.

Everything that makes this engine live a long happy life is engineered around this power level, cooling system, Turbo system, intercooler emissions system etc.

This engine can operate at full load continuously at 60,000 GCVWR, until it runs out of fuel and never wimper for a million miles.

When you turn the power up you jeopardize that reliability and put your transmission at risk for failure, engine over heating, Turbo overheating, DPF failures, and the list goes on and on.

Turning the power up reduces the time at which you can operate at full load and the amount of load it can pull.

If this engine were in a 10,000 lb vehicle it could easily operate at double the power and live as it will never reach full load.

In my case I had the same engine with a reduced power program of 400 HP 1250 TQ, and I Purchased thee 451 HP 1250 TQ program and 5 year 100K warranty from Frieghtliner/Cummins for $1331.00.

I can travel the country at full GCVWR and not worry

Ted.
This, dead on correct
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Any HP and torque gains will happen only at full throttle. Any specs on your engine were measured at wide open throttle and working at full load.

Do you often find yourself in full throttle, pedal to the floor, situations ?
Why yes, I find myself with the pedal on the floor fairly frequently. Sometimes for a short time getting up to speed from rest stops & highway entrance ramps. Other times are for several minutes continuous pulling a pass in 3rd or 4th gear. The engine is built to take WOT so I don't hesitate to use it if I need it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie 4369 View Post
I am a professional on this subject I was a major player in the performance Diesel business for 15 years but quit when the DPF systems were implemented, I had no intention of compromising emissions equipment.

Plus I was getting sick of the kids asking me to make the truck roll coal, I wouldn't do it, we can make power without smoke.

450 HP 1250 Torque is the highest setting available for this engine, and the Torque limit of your transmission.

Everything that makes this engine live a long happy life is engineered around this power level, cooling system, Turbo system, intercooler emissions system etc.

This engine can operate at full load continuously at 60,000 GCVWR, until it runs out of fuel and never wimper for a million miles.

When you turn the power up you jeopardize that reliability and put your transmission at risk for failure, engine over heating, Turbo overheating, DPF failures, and the list goes on and on.

Turning the power up reduces the time at which you can operate at full load and the amount of load it can pull.

If this engine were in a 10,000 lb vehicle it could easily operate at double the power and live as it will never reach full load.

In my case I had the same engine with a reduced power program of 400 HP 1250 TQ, and I Purchased thee 451 HP 1250 TQ program and 5 year 100K warranty from Frieghtliner/Cummins for $1331.00.

I can travel the country at full GCVWR and not worry

Ted.
I ran a chipped Duramax in my 2005 GMC pickup; it had a control module with 5 levels. On level 5, that thing would light up all four tires and beat nearly any sports car off the line. I'd always set it to stock when towing a trailer due to overheating (engine and tranny) and exhaust gas temperature issues when towing a 10,000+ travel trailer. It also caused many of the issues listed above long term and I'd never chip a diesel again. I liked it because it minimized turbo lag but that's not an issue with newer trucks.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:37 PM   #14
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I feel like quoting myself...
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