Emissions Friendly Upgrades for the 2020 Duramax
There is no denying how well GM has executed these latest generation heavy duty trucks. The 2020+ Silverado and Sierra has been a total success in the market and that L5P Duramax paired with the all-new 10-speed Allison transmission is just flat out impressive. While this truck was a real showstopper in the show room outfitted with the top of the line Denali package with its massive chrome grille, factory 20” wheels, and enough cameras to see virtually everything in a 360-degree radius around the truck, of course it couldn’t be left stock for long.
In the first part of this project, we added a nice roll-up Lorado tonneau cover from AgriCover, a DPF-back exhaust system from MBRP and a high flow intake tube and turbo inlet pipe from Wehrli Fabrication. We followed up those modifications with a 2” leveling kit from ReadyLift, 34” Toyo Open Country A/T’s and some unique gloss black milled 20” Rogue wheels from our Anthem Off-Road. With the truck finally looking the part, it’s time to get back under the hood for some added performance. You may think that Duramax packs enough punch to do everything you need it to, while we can somewhat agree, it’s hard to not mention that laggy pedal feeling GM programmed into the truck. Besides, if you knew how simple it was to add another 130+ horsepower with power adjustability on the fly, we know you’d ask us how. So, we’ll just tell you and save everyone the time of having to talk about.
In 2017, GM took some major steps on the electronics and programming side of things in the L5P Duramax and made it virtually impossible to install aftermarket tuning. Of course, with time, the aftermarket found their way into that locked ECM, but this has meant possibly losing your warranty and your kids college fund as the early tuning options were rather expensive. Edge Products is not a new name in the diesel tuning game and has been known as a leader in the market for more than 20 years now. Through years of experience, their extremely knowledgeable engineering and calibrations teams developed the Pulsar for L5P, a tuning device unlike anything else on the market.
While the competition spent it’s time trying to crack into the ECM and flash tune it like it’s been done for years, the team at Edge Products engineered a stand-alone computer module that simply plugs into the factory ECM to interpret the signals being sent from the ECM to the engine. The all-new, redesigned, Pulsar V3 adjusts four major signals to get more power out of that Duramax safely. By modifying signals like injection pulse width, injection timing, fuel rail pressure, and airflow the Pulsar has the ability to add power and torque without modifying the ECM in anyway. This means the truck can be returned completely back to stock, with no tuning traces for the dealer to see, by simply removing the Pulsar from the truck.
The state-of-the-art device offers smooth integration into your truck with shift-on-the-fly power levels and feature control using your steering wheel controls. Pulsar offers the ability to adjust your top speed limiter, tire size and gear ratio adjustments (all industry exclusives) along with manual DPF regeneration, transmission relearns, and reading/clearing Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Also programmed into the Pulsar are safety features like transmission slip backdown and EGT backdown.
To make Pulsar and the user experience even better, Edge offers even more control when their popular Insight CTS3 is added into the mix. With Pulsar and Insight working together, you get added control over your throttle pedal sensitivity (no need for an extra throttle booster device), High-Idle settings, cold engine protection, and a built-in turbo timer. The Insight monitor obviously gives you extra gauge displays for watching all your engine vitals but gives you the ability to fine tune your Pulsar settings specific to your driving preferences. The package really integrates nicely as one cohesive unit and makes for the ultimate driving and towing experience. And did we mention Edge’s dyno proven 135hp and 291ft-lbs of torque over stock on Level 5? You thought your L5P ran well stock, you’ll be completely amazed by how well it’ll handle a load or the unsuspecting Camaro in the lane next to you.
EFH FILTER KIT
With the power and performance added to this Duramax, we also wanted to investigate better fuel filtration. One simple and effective upgrade for the fuel system is to convert the factory fuel filter setup over to the popular 1R-0750 Caterpillar spin-on style filter. Of course, converting from the expensive internal style factory filter to an old school spin-on will require an adapter of some kind, which is where Extreme Filter Housings comes in. There machined adapter piece makes this conversion super simple and straight forward.
Factory replacement fuel filters can run as much as $60, when the CAT fuel filters can be had for about $20, so not only will the EFH kit offer some cost savings over the life of the truck, the CAT filter offers better protection and is easier to replace when it’s service time. The factory fuel filter bowl is made from plastic, and is notorious for stripping, making filter changes a nightmare. The EFH system will allow you to rid yourself of those troubles forever and offer remarkably simple spin-on filter change, just like you’re doing your oil. The added filtration will also aid in reliability, longevity, and performance of your fuel system and engine.
While we haven’t been able to get this truck on the chassis dyno just yet to test our power gains at the tires, the initial test drive was really all the proof needed to feel the immediate and substantial gains offered by the Pulsar V3 unit. The power comes in smoothly and carries all the way through the RPM range. We’ve found that daily driving on Level 3 offers the best of both worlds with a little extra pep stop light to stop light without being too much to handle. The factory 10-speed transmission took a few days of driving to adapt to the new power, but this combination has turned out to be quite impressive for towing. The adjustable pedal response and added low end torque just makes the truck move more effortlessly, which is hard to believe knowing how well this 2020 Duramax performs in stock form. In our next part to the project, we’ll be looking into some more airflow upgrades and adding some bling under the hood.
Extreme Filter Housings