What an amazing industry the diesel engine and trucking business is! You never know who is going to call or stop in, or what they know and/or are capable of. About a month ago a gentlemen called me and mentioned he purchased an older Superliner Mack powered by a Big Cam 350 Cummins. He knew nothing about the truck. However, he wanted it to run well and would work it at times, but the main use was to haul his two pulling Chevrolet pickup trucks to the truck pulls. He then told me his 14-year-old daughter pulls one of them and that she gets 750-hp out of her Duramax Diesel.
The young lady’s name is Jayden, and her Chevy is a 2002 Silverado that her father bought new, which she now uses to pull in the Street Stock class. Jayden says she pulls with the Duramax because it is the strongest diesel engine in the pickups. With that statement I had to tease her and tell her she was in a Cummins shop, so we love our Cummins-powered Ram pickup trucks.
Jayden is also a competition volleyball player – her position is the middle hitter, and she stands at 5’-11” tall. Competing on a traveling team, she has played in seven tournaments in three different states and carries a 3.6 GPA in school. She also rides a 2021 Husky 150 and a vintage YZ125 Yamaha and competes in flat track racing. Keep in mind this accomplished young lady is only 14 years old and a freshman at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville, WV.
Now, back to the 1979 Mack Superliner. With no knowledge of the engine, we noticed the number 1 cylinder had a miss. Upon removing the injector, we performed a compression test. The cylinder was good, so now we entered the combustion chamber with a borescope to get a part number off the piston. The number was not visible, so we installed the timing tool to verify the engine was an NTC 350, however the timing was set for 400 horsepower. The injectors failed the leakage test, so we re-calibrated a set of Cummins Reman 400 injectors, increasing the flow to our 550-600-hp spec.
After taking care of the injectors, the competition turbo was installed, along with a new torsional damper, mercury-filled engine balancer, and a turbo boost gauge. The Mack was also equipped with a pyrometer. We did not remove the fuel pump, just made some changes to it while it was still installed on the engine. Being this is just a toy truck and Jayden’s father Boo Litman would drive it if necessary for their excavation company, we gave it some fuel.
On the dyno, this old Cummins-powered Mack put 570-hp to the ground, and with a 20% loss through the drivetrain, that equates to 712 flywheel horsepower. Not bad for an old 1979 Big Cam 350! This truck has a single stack with a stock muffler, but Boo is planning to install twin straight stacks soon. Jayden and Boo were here to watch the truck perform on the dyno, but Jayden was so impressed with the Mack, she decided to start pulling with it, too. Jayden is one amazing young lady with a great future ahead of her. This is often thought of as a man’s industry, but this shows women (and even young girls!) really can excel in all things trucking related.
Looking for a remote tune? A select number of our tuners will soon be able to program your Detroit DD13/15/16, Paccar, Volvo, or Mack engine. Just check the dealer map on our website. If your local dealer does not yet have that capability, please give them a call and suggest they buy the tools from us. Speaking of our dealer map, we have a new map on our website that combines both the Max Mileage map with the Remote Tuner map. You can also find recommended repair shops if you can’t make it to our shop in Saxonburg, PA. Visit the “Dealer Map” tab on our website (www.pittsburghpower.com).
We are pleased to announce for the 2021 season, Pittsburgh Power and Max Mileage will be the lead sponsor for the Beal Racing top fuel dragster on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Here at Pittsburgh Power, we specialize in helping owner operators increase their truck’s performance, fuel mileage and reliability. We pride ourselves in the engineering that goes into our parts and service. This passion for performance stems from my history with racing. You may not know, but I held a long-standing lap record at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Once the racing bug bites you, it’s a passion for life.
Race cars, like semi-trucks, have to be powerful, reliable and yes, even fuel efficient. A good race car engineer applying their talents to a semi-truck will yield impressive results. We chose to sponsor Beal Racing because they share that same passion for performance. Beal Racing was founded by Chuck Beal in 1962, and is now operated by Beal’s grandsons, Brandon Welch and Tyson Porlas. Brandon is the driver and Tyson is the lead wrench in charge of rebuilding the engine after every pass on the drag strip. Brandon and Tyson are not only very talented, but extremely kind and generous people. Check out the NHRA website (www.nhra.com) to see the schedule for events and what channel to watch them on.