WORKIN’ IT

FAST AND EASY DODGE WORK TRUCK UP­GRADES FOR MORE POWER

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

Quick and Easy Work Truck Up­grades for Dodge

A work truck is of­ten one of the most im­por­tant tools in a con­trac­tor's arse­nal and is re­lied on for much more than just trans­porta­tion from point A to point B. Work trucks are portable of­fices, con­fer­ence rooms, work­shops, stor­age spa­ces, tool boxes, mov­ing vans and more that see reg­u­lar use and abuse all across the coun­try. Roy Dorn of Sale Creek, Ten­nessee, is one such con­trac­tor who re­lies on his 2006 Dodge 3500 4x4 du­ally to get from job­site to job­site work­ing on new con­struc­tion and re­mod­el­ing projects. With the fully loaded ser­vice bed on the 204,000-mile Dodge, it will never be con­sid­ered a light­weight truck, es­pe­cially when it's tow­ing a heavy work trailer to or from job­sites.

Dorn has left the truck largely stock, in­stalling only a BD Diesel ex­haust brake sys­tem to help brak­ing when tow­ing heavy and a Corsa Com­mer­cial Ex­haust (see Diesel World June 2012 is­sue) sys­tem to get ex­haust gasses out of the en­gine a lit­tle more ef­fi­ciently. Look­ing to put some more pep in the truck’s step, Dorn turned to the crew at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance in Wood­bury, Ten­nessee, for some up­grades. The crew there will be in­stalling an AEM in­take sys­tem to help the en­gine breathe eas­ier, along with EFILIVE tun­ing and a So­cal Diesel CSP5 switch to se­lect tunes on the fly. They will also dyno the truck be­fore and af­ter the in­stal­la­tion on their Dyno­com chas­sis dyno to track the per­for­mance im­prove­ments.

Af­ter mak­ing the trek north to the BDP shop in Wood­bury, Chase Lunsford and Marty Meraz strapped Dorn’s Dodge to the chas­sis dyno and made sev­eral base­line runs show­ing a peak of 292.4 horse­power with 570.0 lb-ft of torque. Af­ter the base­line dyno pulls, diesel tech Jack Grubb re­moved the fac­tory in­take sys­tem and air­box/fil­ter assem­bly and re­placed it with the new kit from AEM. In­clud­ing our typ­i­cal slow­downs for pho­tog­ra­phy, Grubb fin­ished the in­take swap in less than an hour, and it’s an in­stal­la­tion that nearly any DIYER can do with ba­sic tools.

TUN­ING

Af­ter Grubb fin­ished the in­take up­grade, Meraz in­stalled the So­cal Diesel CSP5 switch and OBD in­ter­face ca­ble, mount­ing the switch in the dash panel on the left side of the steer­ing col­umn. He used a BDP mount­ing plate for the switch that shows po­si­tions 1-5 to make it easy for the driver to iden­tify which tune he or she is in with­out hav­ing to twist it one way or the other and count the clicks. Once the switch in­stall was com­plete, Lunsford used a lap­top and an EFILIVE Flash­scan V2 in­ter­face to up­load five new tunes to the Cum­mins ECM.

In less than an hour, the switch was in­stalled, the new tunes were loaded and the truck was spin­ning the dyno rollers again. Like the in­take in­stal­la­tion, most DIY diesel en­thu­si­asts could per­form the in­stal­la­tion them­selves. How­ever, we do rec­om­mend us­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced en­gine tuner like Lunsford or an­other spe­cial­ist at your lo­cal diesel per­for­mance shop to write the tunes rather than at­tempt­ing to do it your­self, since im­proper tun­ing could lead to cat­a­strophic re­sults for your truck and en­gine. Lunsford sets the tunes up with po­si­tion 1 as an op­ti­mized stock tune and then steps up the power and per­for­mance pro­gres­sively to po­si­tion 5 for the hottest street tune that he rec­om­mends for a work truck like Dorn’s. Lunsford can cus­tom build tunes for any ap­pli­ca­tion as needed.

TEST­ING

Lunsford be­gan an­other se­ries of dyno pulls on the chas­sis dyno af­ter bring­ing the truck back up to op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture. He ran through the var­i­ous tunes, log­ging passes and backup passes with each tune. All of the tunes al­lowed the truck to make more power at higher rpm com­pared to the orig­i­nal stock base­line runs that showed power fall­ing off af­ter about 2,700 rpm; the new tunes were still pulling hard out to 3,200 rpm. The op­ti­mized stock tune picked up about 16 horse­power and 17 lb-ft of torque at the peaks with an av­er­age of al­most 20 hp and more than 20 lb-ft of torque, in ad­di­tion to an ex­tra 500 us­able rpm.

Step­ping up to the per­for­mance-minded tune set­tings re­ally woke up the truck. In po­si­tion 2, the truck jumped up to peak horse­power of 383.6, nearly 90 more horse­power than stock, to go along with a boost in torque to 759.1 lb-ft. The power and torque curves were both very smooth and will pro­vide plenty of grunt for Dorn when­ever he’s heav­ily loaded and tow­ing. Step­ping up to po­si­tion 3, we mea­sured an­other in-

crease in power to 456.6 hp and the high­est peak torque read­ing of the day at 901.8 lb-ft. Po­si­tion 3 also pro­vided our high­est mea­sured av­er­age horse­power at 411.4 and torque at 853.5 lb-ft, mak­ing this a good tune for his daily driv­ing needs. Mov­ing up to po­si­tions 4 and 5 con­tin­ued to pro­vide mod­est power in­creases of around 5 and 10 horse­power, re­spec­tively, but torque dropped off in each case from the peak in tune po­si­tion 3. Lunsford at­trib­uted the falloff and smaller gains to find­ing the lim­its of the truck’s orig­i­nal fuel sys­tem and says there’s more power and torque wait­ing to be un­leashed with some fuel sys­tem up­grades.

Lunsford kept the hot tunes rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive as well since Dorn’s G56 six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion is still us­ing a stock-style clutch. In his ex­pe­ri­ence, the stock clutch won’t han­dle much more power than that with­out slip­ping, es­pe­cially un­der heavy loads. Next is­sue, we’ll ad­dress the clutch as the crew at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance in­stalls a new clutch and fly­wheel and will also re­place the hy­draulics.

Dorn has def­i­nitely no­ticed the ad­di­tional power when driv­ing and ap­pre­ci­ates the ex­tra “go” he now has avail­able un­der his right foot. Fol­low along on these pages to see how the BDP crew gave this old Dodge work truck about 60 per­cent more power and torque in less than two hours. Then head over to your lo­cal diesel per­for­mance spe­cial­ist or call up Beans to set an ap­point­ment to wake up the sleep­ing horses in your truck. Just be sure to tell them your friends at Ul­ti­mate Diesel Builder's Guide mag­a­zine sent you. UDBG

Roy Dorn’s 2006 Dodge 3500 has been a faith­ful work truck, but he knew he could get more per­for­mance out of the 5.9L Cum­mins so he turned to the crew at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance. The truck made 292.4 hp and 570.0 lb-ft of torque dur­ing the base­line...

3 Grubb next re­moves the turbo in­let tube and muf­fler assem­bly from the turbo.

2 Jack Grubb starts the in­stal­la­tion by dis­con­nect­ing the MAF sen­sor har­ness and loos­en­ing the hose clamps on the turbo in­let tube be­fore un­bolt­ing the fac­tory air­box and lift­ing it out of the truck.

1 The AEM in­take sys­tem comes with every­thing you need to in­stall it ex­cept for the tools. It uses a Dryflow syn­thetic wash­able/re­us­able air fil­ter along with a man­drel-bent alu­minum in­take tube and steel heat shield.

4 Next, Grubb pre­pares the heat shield fol­low­ing the in­stal­la­tion in­struc­tions to in­stall the mount­ing hard­ware as well as tree­lock zip-ties.

11 Grubb next in­stalls the new in­take el­bow on the turbo in­let (see ar­rows), but does not tighten the clamps un­til later when the fi­nal fit­ment is com­pleted.

12 The alu­minum in­take tube can now be slid into the el­bow and mounted to the heat shield with the sup­plied hard­ware.

8 Af­ter re­mov­ing the sen­sor, Grubb cleans it with MAF sen­sor cleaner to re­move any dust or de­bris that has ac­cu­mu­lated over the truck’s 200,000 miles of use.

10 The fil­ter min­der is also re­lo­cated from the orig­i­nal air cleaner assem­bly us­ing a sup­plied adap­tor. It’s in­stalled in the in­take tube with a twist­ing mo­tion so as not to tear the rub­ber.

7 The fac­tory MAF sen­sor needs to be re­moved from the orig­i­nal air­box to be used with the AEM sys­tem.

5 The rub­ber trim mold­ing was then in­stalled on the edges of the heat shield.

9 He then in­stalls the sen­sor in the alu­minum in­take tube us­ing the sup­plied Allen-head mount­ing screws.

6 Mov­ing from the work­bench back to the truck, Grubb po­si­tions the heat shield and in­stalls the mount­ing bolts fin­ger tight to hold it in po­si­tion.

16 The com­plete AEM in­take sys­tem was in­stalled in less than an hour and looks great on the Cum­mins en­gine. It’s also easy for Dorn to give the open-el­e­ment fil­ter a quick vis­ual in­spec­tion for clean­li­ness each time he lifts the hood.

14 Then the Dryflow fil­ter can be in­stalled on the in­take tube with the sup­plied clamp and se­cured to pre­vent un­fil­tered air from en­ter­ing the turbo and en­gine.

17 The So­cal Diesel CSP5 switch al­lows the op­er­a­tor to switch be­tween five EFILIVE tunes loaded into the truck by com­mu­ni­cat­ing through the OBD pass-through ca­ble adap­tor.

15 Even though Dorn lives in an area that does not cur­rently per­form emis­sions test­ing on diesel trucks, Grubb in­stalled the CARB OE la­bel in an highly vis­i­ble lo­ca­tion in case reg­u­la­tions change or a fu­ture owner lives in an area that re­quires...

13 Af­ter every­thing is in­stalled and ad­justed for proper fit, Grubb tight­ens all the mount­ing hard­ware for the heat shield and in­take el­bow.

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