Engine Specs & More!


Please take five minutes to learn what engine you have.  There should be a tag or a plate on the engine that will give you information about the engine, like the model number and its factory specifications, including horsepower, torque, and RPM.  In order to better serve you when you call us for technical assistance, it helps to know what engine you have, including the factory horsepower rating.

If you’re looking for a tune, we need to know what horsepower you have now and how much power and torque you would like to have.  If you have an engine rated at 450-hp, it may not be able to take the same amount of power as a factory 550-hp engine.  I realize you may not know what torque your engine produces, however if you know the horsepower, we will know about what the torque is.

These engine tags are often missing, so you may also find the engine serial number or call the truck dealer with the last six numbers of your VIN and they will tell you the engine serial number.  If it is a Cat, we need to know the first three letters or numbers of the serial number, such as 5EK, 6NZ, or MXS.  Detroits are DDEC3, DDEC4, DD15, or DD13.  Cummins engines have a CPL number such as 625, 1844, or 2392, and the ISX goes by CM570, 870, 871, 2250, 2350, or 2450.

In addition to knowing the specs on your engine, it also helps to know more about the truck you’re driving.  The best tool for the job is a VIN decoder website.  Here is the website for the one we like to use (https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/decoder/).  It’s easy – just type in your VIN and you’ll get some basic specifications on the truck, as well as any recall information.  There is also sometimes information on the engine and how the truck was equipped when it was new.  It’s always good to have your VIN available when calling to schedule a service.

Here’s something to think about: horsepower accelerates on the level.  Race cars need horsepower and semi-trucks need torque.  Torque is what pulls your truck and trailer up the hill.  Our goal when performing a tune is to increase the torque by about 300-foot pounds.  On average, a diesel engine will produce 3-foot pounds of torque per horsepower.  The 14, 15, and 16-liter engines can be as high as 4-foot pounds of torque per horsepower.  On the 12.7 DD3 and DD4 engines, sometimes we need to increase the horsepower higher than requested by the owner to obtain the additional 300-foot pounds of torque.  Remember, it’s not the horsepower, it’s the torque a semi-truck needs to run like a thoroughbred on the mountains.

Let talk about fuel mileage.  With the 14-hour rule and electronic logs, truckers are driving faster to meet their delivery schedules.  Butspeeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour are hard on fuel mileage.  With rear gears of 2.17, 2.21, or 2.47, and running in direct gear, along with low rolling resistance tires, it can be possible to run at 70 miles per hour and still get decent mileage.  You will need to drive by the turbo boost gauge and keep the boost under 8 psi.

Most new trucks do not come with a turbo boost or exhaust gas temperature gauge.  However, it’s imperative to have them and know what they mean to operate the truck efficiently.  For troubleshooting, these gauges are a must.  If the turbo boost decreases and the exhaust gas temperature increases, then there is a boost leak, a problem with the air filters or turbocharger, the hoses and/or clamps to or from the charge air cooler, or the hoses going to the air compressor.  If the turbo boost decreases and the exhaust gas temperature decreases, then it’s a fuel problem.  First item to change is the fuel filter, then check the fuel pressure, fuel restriction, and then the ECM settings.  Keep in mind, it takes fuel to make turbo boost.  If the fuel is restricted, both power and turbo boost will decrease.  Fuel makes heat, and turbo boost controls the heat.  If there is a boost leak, the heat will climb.

Summer is here.  It’s time to take out your Harley Davidson for a ride and/or your boat, and both engines love our Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst product.  The mixture rate is 1 cc per gallon or 1 ML, per gallon.  Harleys gain 7 miles per gallon with the catalyst and the engine will run quieter.  Most gasoline engines are quieter with the Max Mileage fuel catalyst.  Mid-sixties muscle cars love the catalyst, too.  All older engines were not designed for today’s gasoline, so the catalyst can help by acting as a lead substitute.

Attention all Cummins Q-Series off-highway engine owners.  Increase your power, efficiency, and productivity with one of our custom tunes!  Get the job done faster with extra power and torque.  That also means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.  If you have a tractor, harvester, chopper, or sprayer, having one of our tunes is a no brainer.  The Cummins Q-Series engines are commonly equipped in Versatile, John Deere, New Holland, and many other ag equipment manufacturers.  Cummins Q-Series tunes can be done at our shop or at one of our remote tuners.  Call us at (724) 360-4080 or visit our website (www.pittsburghpower.com) for more information.

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