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Old 11-28-2016, 10:16 PM   #1
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Reprogramming a CAT C13 from 525 HP to 600 HP?

I've posted several threads on the "HP" question and variations of it. But this one appears to be a bit different.

I just spoke with a past owner of a MH with a CAT C13 who states that he brought his MH in to Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI) in St George, UT for service. While there, PDI "reprogrammed" NOT CHIPPED the C13 from 525 HP to 600 HP. When they were through and told him that his engine now puts out 600 HP, they put a "600 HP" metal emblem on the rear - engine door - of this coach! His coach has an Allison 4,000 tranny. He further states that he found no difference in fuel consumption.

Remember that I'm NOT a tech in any stretch of anyone's imagination, but:
1. If you go from 525 HP to 600 HP, wouldn't that additional HP eat more fuel
2. "Reprogramming" and NOT CHIPPING... Can this be done on a CAT C13?
3. Has anyone on this forum done this? If yes, what difference did you find?

Thanks
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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Diesel engines using ECMs can easily be 'enhanced' over stock

But changes in software for increased performance etc can alter emissions, add strain/stress to drivetrain or even cause damage to 'weak' link

The ECM is a computer,,,,,,,,runs on 'programs'
Factory 'program' is restricted by EPA Emissions Regulations so factory programs are compromises to what CAN be programmed.

Aftermarket 'programs' change the factory program OR run a completely different program. Downloaded via a laptop into the ECM

There are various programs available
Economy Tune
Economy with Power Tune
Power/Torque Tune

Remember the ECM is just a computer running program(s) to control parameters of engine controls.
Electronic engine tuning (program) slightly alters injection timing, pressure or a combination of the two
Same thing 'CHIPS' used to do but w/o having to have additional hardware. Program does it by changing software.
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Old 11-29-2016, 04:28 PM   #3
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If it were me, I'd be interested in the other effects he hasn't seen that he should be looking out for. Has his exhaust gas temps risen? Intake temps? How far? To the point of being unsafe? How much boost is his engine setup for stock? What kind of driver is he? Is the engine/transmission immaculate and able to take the upgrade within the confines of the existing engineering specs? If the engine can take the upgrade, but the transmission cannot handle the additional power, it isn't going to last long.

There is always a down side. Usually the down side is engine/transmission longevity... If you're flush with money, then the down side may not be a big deal.

If you aren't, I'd put some serious thought into it before doing it.


Newer/better isn't always better -- tech tidbit/example of the day...
Some Xerox printers (digital presses technically) were/are sometimes able to change print speed in a similar manner by a controller firmware update and a payment to Xerox - lets say from 45 to 65 pages a second. Some tolerate it well, others immediately fan-fold all paper in the paper path... There is nothing like playing hide and go seek with a ream worth of paper - it only takes 1/16" to cause you to go all through the press trying to clean it out all over again. I cringe just thinking of this "upgrade"
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:55 PM   #4
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Another point to look at is what was the gain in torque? I looked at the specs for my Cummins ISL 8.9Lt motor. It's currently at 380 hp and can be programmed up to 450hp, BUT the gain in torque was negligible vs the cost of the reprogramming. End results not worth the time or money to due for such a minimum gain.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:01 PM   #5
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I did just find out after talking with the last owner that not only did he upgrade the engine's HP but he also upgraded the hitch on this coach to support 20k lbs for towing a race car and trailer.

It appears that he has put this coach through its paces in many cross-country trips.

IN GENERAL:: While I am still awaiting the results of this coach's oil and coolant analysis, in your personal opinion, do you think there should be some concern for the use/misuse/abuse of this coach? Or is this coach with a 525 HP (600) C13 and 4000 Allison tranny sufficient to handle this level of use without too much of a strain on the coach?
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:31 PM   #6
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On the coach no issue with the allison 4000 trans. My main issue would be with who and how did he get the hitch upgraded to 20K lbs????? To me this would be a big concern, did Joe Mechanic down the street just weld a 20K hitch on it, or did he take it to a frame shop and have it upgraded there?
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Lindy View Post
On the coach no issue with the allison 4000 trans. My main issue would be with who and how did he get the hitch upgraded to 20K lbs????? To me this would be a big concern, did Joe Mechanic down the street just weld a 20K hitch on it, or did he take it to a frame shop and have it upgraded there?
And, technically, nothing the owner nor shop does will change the rating till the original manufacturer approves and issues the vehicle a "Modified Vehicle" weight sticker as Newmar did with our '02 DSDP when the front axle was changed.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:27 PM   #8
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And, technically, nothing the owner nor shop does will change the rating till the original manufacturer approves and issues the vehicle a "Modified Vehicle" weight sticker as Newmar did with our '02 DSDP when the front axle was changed.
Not sure I understand your above listed comment "...nothing the owner nor shop does will change the rating till the original manufacturer approves...

What does that have to do with the issue of an "owner paid for and shop completed" upgraded hitch and or engine? I don't understand your point.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:09 PM   #9
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"I'm not sure what the max engine output of the C13 is. But it is very possible to set the engine to a higher horsepower through the engine ECM. As far as fuel consumption if you not using the extra horsepower the fuel consumption will not go up. As an example if you are driving down the high way at 70 mph and it takes 350 horsepower to move you at that speed then that is the amount of fuel you will burn. If you change how much horsepower you are using the fuel consumption will go up if using more horsepower and will Go down if you use less horsepower. The horsepower rating is the maximum horsepower you can use. Whether you use it all depends on your foot on the accelerator. Cat rerates engines all the time using just the engine ECM ."

Interesting observation!!!

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:14 PM   #10
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In fact, if the engine was tweaked by a quality/competent outfit (Performance Diesel) and the tow hitch was also competently upgraded, then I am getting the best of both worlds:
1. More HP for no extra cash
2. More towing capacity (Like 12,000 lb on the American Eagles and Heritage) also for no extra cash
3. And since the Allison 4,000 tranny is good up to 2,000 in torq...

This will be one screamin' road machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:55 PM   #11
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It also has NEW Michelin tires all around - the 315 size!!!
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:09 PM   #12
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Did you check with the manufacturer before putting on new tires? Rules are rules.
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Old 12-25-2016, 03:01 PM   #13
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:23 PM   #14
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Did you check with the manufacturer before putting on new tires? Rules are rules.
We decided that there were too many problems with that coach. So we received our deposit back and moved on to another rig.
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