Getting The Most Of Your Diesel

Getting The Most Out Of Your Diesel From AFE Power

So you bought a diesel truck; right on and welcome to the club! If you’re a guy like me who’s been raised on gasoline-powered vehicles, some of this diesel stuff may seem a bit foreign. Not to fear, though, because most of the same theories apply when it comes to increasing the performance and reliability of your new purchase. The three basic elements of any combustion engine apply to diesels just as they do to gasoline engines: more air in, more ignition control, larger exhaust exiting system. Many overlook these items because they believe the turbo should compensate for engine performance. This could not be further from the truth. The factory settings hold back a ton of potential horsepower, and more importantly, diesel’s best friend… torque.

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Let’s take a look into the hidden power gems locked inside the Cummins engine featured in this Dodge Ram 3500 with the help from the professionals at aFe Power. The power pack starts off with a fresh air intake system, aFe’s Magnum Force intake to help bring in more air. Helping with the flow is a larger Blade Runner intake manifold and heater coil delete. To help the exhaust escape the Cummins, a new exhaust system finishes off the hard parts. To wake up the computer and provide options for towing, performance and mileage, a Scorcher tuner was applied. When all was said and done, the Dodge gained almost 100 hp and 150 lb/ft of torque! DW

Air Intake

[01] This stock 6.7L Cummins Dodge is a virgin to the aftermarket world. Many of the owners of these Dodges never unleash their truck’s full potential. A quick fix for that is a trip to aFe Power to outfit this engine with the latest technology, which will turn this stocker into a shocker.

[02] The first order of business is to remove and replace the restrictive OEM air intake system. Remove the MAP sensor plug and the elbow from the factory air box.

 

[03] Reinstall the MAP sensor into the aFe intake tube on the top, then fit the performance aFe intake filter to the intake tube and tighten down the clamp.

[04] Reinstall the MAP sensor into the aFe intake tube on the top, then fit the performance aFe intake filter to the intake tube and tighten down the clamp.

[05] The first order of business is to remove and replace the restrictive OEM air intake system. Remove the MAP sensor plug and the elbow from the factory air box.

Intake Manifold

[06] Next up on the list is aFe’s Blade Runner multi-directional vane (MDV) intake manifold. The MDV technology maximizes airflow and features five different ports for nitrous gauges and/or other accessories. All of the fasteners are Allen heads for airflow that outdoes the factory intake manifold by 90%.

[07] Removal of the factory intake begins by disassembling the fasteners found on the top of the factory intake. Now let’s take a look at the difference between aFe’s Blade Runner intake and the stock restricted-style intake manifold system. Notice the difference in the sweep of the aFe intake versus the harsh bends of the factory version. Here’s where aFe’s intake increases the air velocity, creating a more efficient air/fuel mix ratio. More efficiency equals more power!

[08] Another blockage that needs to go in order to increase the air/fuel velocity into the engine is this grid heater coil spacer. The heater works well in colder climates where the intake temperature needs to be monitored. The grid heater delete spacer from aFe increases airflow and offers ports for water-meth or nitrous injection. The spacer installs where the factory spacer was located between the intake manifold and the cylinder head.

[09] Clamp the air intake from the turbo back into place.

Exhaust

[10] Moving onto the exhaust, support the transmission in order to remove the transmission crossmember. This is a must-do step because the factory exhaust system cannot be lowered without removing the crossmember.

 

[11] Loosen all of the clamps from the downpipe back and remove the old exhaust system. You may need to cut off some of it in shorter lengths to remove it, especially if you’re doing this at home without the use of a lift.

[12] Start from the down-tube with aFe’s Mach Force exhaust system and work your way back. Use the included clamps and hangers provided by aFe to hold the system in place, then mount the muffler and the rest of the tailpipe section where it exits on the passenger side, just past the rear wheel. Finish it off the right way with aFe’s polished stainless steel tip for long lasting good looks.

Tuner

[13] The last part of the equation is aFe’s scorcher tuner/programmer system. The system reprograms the factory ECU, allowing you to change the factory-set ignition restrictions. After we set the tune by simply plugging into the OBDII port located under the dash below the steering wheel, we wanted to get a look at how much of a power increase we’d gained. The tuner also features a code scanner, tire adjustments and tuning sets for performance, towing and mileage. We placed the truck on aFe’s wheel dyno.

Dyno Results

[14] Numbers don’t lie, as shown here on this before-and-after dyno sheet. The baseline test shows our test truck made 278 horsepower with 505 pounds of torque. After we installed aFe’s performance recipe, the dyno showed the Cummins making 372 horsepower and 655 pounds of torque! That will pull anything uphill without breaking a sweat.