Robert Patton Bob Vallier Jeannette Vallier Bob Pinkowski
Keep Your Eye On the Ball
Letter from the Editor
6 Letter Exchange
Responses from the Readers
8 10 Back
EGT Gauge Evaluation/First Time
A Look Back Ten Years Ago in the TDR Magazine
CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE
Jim Anderson Scott Dalgleish John Holmes Andy Redmond Jeannette Vallier
Mark Barnes Joe Donnelly Polly Holmes Bill Stockard G.R. Whale
ILLUSTRATOR Bob Pierce
OFFICE STAFF Tina Pardue
Robin Patton Andy Bishop Brandon Parks Wendy Poole Scott Sinkinson
ALL DIFFICULT WORK Pam Rose
24 First Generation
Power Steering/Fan Clutch
28 12-Valve Engines
Bad Gauges/Radiator Fan
34 24-Valve Engines
Members’ Solutions to Members’ Questions Owner-Specific Articles on the ’89-’93 Trucks Owner-Specific Articles on the ’94-’98.5 12-Valve Trucks Owner-Specific Articles on the ’98.5-’02 24-Valve Trucks
38 5.9 HPCR
Won’t Run/48RE Hunting
42 6.7 HPCR
Insight–Cost of Regeneration/Codes
Owner-Specific Articles on the ’03-’07 5.9 HPCR Trucks Owner-Specific Articles on the ’07.5-’09 Trucks
48 Fourth Generation
Cabin Filter/Fuel Dilution
54 Blowin’ in the Wind
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Owner-Specific Articles on the ’10 and Newer Trucks Industry News
TSBs for 2011
A Listing of Resource Materials
66 Ready to Travel
Utah’s White Rim Trail
TDR Member Travel Adventures
A MEMBERSHIP/SUBSCRIPTION TO THE TURBO DIESEL REGISTER IS $35.00 PER SUBSCRIPTION. PLEASE SEND ALL SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION, C O R R ES P O N D E N C E , L E T T E R S , R E N E WA L S , ADDRESS CHANGES, ETC., TO:
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70 Four Whaling
Eyes On the...
76 Motor Minded
Journalist G.R. Whale talks about all things Diesel Reflections on the Human Side with Psychologist Mark Barnes
78 Idle Clatter
A Review of Frequently Asked Questions by Jim Anderson
84 Ranch Dressing
Esoteric Dissertations on Manure Shoveling by John Holmes
90 Polly’s Pickup
A Feminine Perspective by Polly Holmes
Codes, Causes, Concerns New Truck/Rodeos
94 Have Ram Will Travel
Vacuum Pump Seal/Cargo Trailer
102 Back in the Saddle
Joe Donnelly’s Truck and Travel Stories Truck Accessorizing with Scott Dalgleish
116 Outstanding in the Field Upcoming Local Chapter Events
118 Chapter News
Happenings at Local Chapters
Turbo Diesel Perspective on RVs
130 From The Shop Floor
Tips From Turbo Diesel Repair Shops
Vendor Press Releases
COPYRIGHT © 2011. A LL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED.
138 Advertiser Index
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TDR, 1150 Samples Industrial Drive, Cumming, GA 30041.
USPS number 014234 ISSN number 10888241
Event Time Local Contacts Referrals/High Mileage Battery Isolation Maintenance Check New Products How to Contact
ON THE COVER:
The Fourth Generation truck continues to do well in the marketplace. With the abundance of Fourth Generation truck photos we received for our annual TDR Calendar contest, we could not resist this photo from new truck owner Gene Tolliver. Gene has the basics covered with his 2500 4 x 4, no-frills ST equipped truck. With the chain saws in the background I have to assume he is cutting firewood for the winter.
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 3
2012 TDR CALENDAR
THEME FOR ISSUE 74
Enclosed in the cover wrap of the magazine is the 2012 TDR Member calendar. The TDR Calendar was first produced for 2007. We were surprised by the significant number and high quality of entries we received that first year. Six years later, we are pleased to report that this year’s entries were even better. As expected, we had a very difficult time selecting twelve winners from the more than 200 excellent photographs submitted. So we would like to congratulate everyone who submitted an entry; they were ALL winners.
The theme for Issue 74? How about this? This past August the hoopla around debt ceilings and deficits has politicians in an uproar and the economy in limbo. But Joe Average understands what to do. He just keeps his eye on the ball. He remains focused on what is really important. Don’t you wish the politicos could do the same and not just kick the can? So the theme is, “Keep your eye on the ball.” This assignment is not too different from that of Issue 70 when I asked the writers to write about “change” or the assignment for Issue 71, “momentum.” Again, they had tremendous latitude with the topic.
Each year we have a chance to tinker with the format of the calendar. “Format, what format? Aren’t you trying to cover 365 days?” Well, yes, but there is room on each month for a sponsor message, product promotion, advertising copy or technical tip, and it is this area that has seen the format change in the previous five years. This year we have added to that mix an “Owner Spotlight” and a message or two from Cummins about their high mileage recognition program. We’re hopeful that the 2012 TDR calendar finds a place of importance in your office, home or garage. (Or maybe in your truck!) Thanks in advance for your support of the TDR.
For this Issue I offered some ideas: • Keep your eye on the ball – The EPA is after you. • Keep your eye on the ball – The 2016 corporate average fuel economy is 35 mpg. How does a diesel truck fit into the mix? • Keep your eye on the ball – Avoid nonsensical items that do nothing for fuel mileage. • Keep your eye on the ball – Leave the hot rodding to someone else; focus on basic maintenance. As I have come to expect, some incorporated the theme into their manuscript and some ignored the assignment. So, what do I have to say regarding “keep your eye on the ball”? In the issue’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” column there is discussion about new emissions regulations for big over-the-road diesel engines. However, unlike previous emissions legislation whereby the focus was particulate matter (smoke/unburned fuel) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX – a byproduct of heat and thorough combustion), the focus of the new regulations will be aimed at greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, CO2). While I’m not a chemist, my understanding is that a limit on CO2 emissions is the same as saying you have to increase the fuel economy. So, keep your eye on the ball and turn to “BITW,” page 54. Read about and try to understand what will be happening in the world of diesel big rigs because I have no doubt that it will affect the fuel economy of your Turbo Diesel. Perhaps better things are on the horizon? Robert Patton TDR Staff
Pages from our 2012 TDR Calendar.
4 www.turbodieselregister.com TDR 74
SAVED $2000 – NOW A SUBSCRIBER
ALASKA TRIP AND NOTES
Before I owned a Cummins powered Dodge, I subscribed to TDR knowing it would be a valuable asset. Once I purchased a ’02, 3500 dually, with a six-speed manual transmission, it wasn’t long before it was outfitted with gauges—which included fuel pressure—as suggested by the TDR’s members. And, because I planned to travel to remote areas of the Southwest, I also purchased a factory service manual, along with an assortment of spare parts, including a fuel lift pump.
We put our 2007 Turbo Diesel 2500 on the ferry in Bellingham, Washington, and got off in Haines, Alaska, on May 3 for a journey that was 6,000 road miles. We had read “The Milepost” and other magazine articles about the trip, but we found that 99% were just plain out of date and wrong. Other than moose lights and air bags, the truck is in stock condition. I carried a TDR Boonie Box, extra spare tire, tow cable, shovel, hi-lift jack. I needed none of them for the trip. Yes, we did travel on paved and dirt roads. The worst road was the highway between Haines Junction and Beaver Creek due to frost heaving. We opted not to go to Prudhoe Bay due to the heavy truck traffic. However, the road to Circle, the Top of the World and the road to Eagle were all gravel and as good or better than the paved roads.
My friend Bill, who frequently joins me in my travels to remote areas of the southwest, also has a Turbo Diesel truck—his being a ’01, 2500 with six-speed manual transmission. On one of our first trips together I brought along a fuel pressure gauge to check Bill’s fuel pressure. When I connected the gauge to the Schrader valve near the VP44 fuel injection pump, I was surprised to see zero psi when we started his truck. After verifying that the gauge was good by testing it on my truck, we concluded that Bill’s lift pump was bad. It didn’t take long to replace Bill’s bad lift pump with my spare, saving Bill the cost of replacing the VP44 fuel injection pump (cost, about $2000) which would have eventually failed. It also saved him an expensive tow for his truck and trailer. Bill is now a subscriber to the TDR. Don Post Milton, WA Don, thank you for the kind comments. Each quarter we review the TDR’s subscription numbers with a watchful eye for the year model of the members’ trucks. Logically, time changes the mix and we struggle for articles on First and Second Generation trucks. However, we do have Scott Dalgleish writing about his new/used ’98 truck, something that should hold your interest. As always, the challenge is to present something new to further the understanding of your Turbo Diesel truck. With your truck now at eight years old, the chances are you know about all there is to know about your ’02. If time permits, share an article or two with us.
Our major travel resource was our laptop for finding fuel, lodging, road conditions, customs hours and the like. Our driving resource was a Gamin GPS that had been updated with current info prior to leaving. We never used the Milepost once we mastered all of the online resources. A friend works at the Chrysler dealership in Fairbanks and they did a full service before we headed south. They were professional, got us in and out and the cost was very reasonable. Listening to the war stories about mechanical challenges at -60° below zero was scary. The Dodge Turbo Diesel has been the favorite over all the OEM HD pickups and they hope that the mechanical 4x4 shift never goes away. We averaged 21mpg overall, had not one mechanical issue and did confirm that Petro Canada diesel fuel gets better mileage. We run a fuel additive from Stanadyne with each tank. Fuel prices ran about $4.84 per gallon in Alaska and $5 US in Canada and the Yukon. The highest was $7.60 US in Haines Junction, BC, and that was an anomaly. People really need to understand that it is not the lower 48 or even the populated areas of the Canadian provinces along the US border. We heard some irate Americans complaining about fuel not being available at 10pm at night at a place we stayed at. Sorry guys, many places pump from about 7am to 8pm. If we go back to Alaska, BC and the Yukon I will rent a satellite phone as outside of the cities there is no cell phone coverage and there were places where we went for hours and never saw another vehicle. We encountered an accident between Dawson and Whitehorse and drove for forty minutes until we were within 12 miles of Whitehorse before we got coverage. Fortunately it had been reported by a satellite phone user and the aide unit had been dispatched from a town 40 miles the other side of the accident. Mike Ritchey Renton, WA
6 www.turbodieselregister.com TDR 74
I have often lamented that as a society we don’t properly honor the inventiveness and achievement of our elders. So let us give that bygone achievement some proper and regular observance in our pages in the “10 Back” column.
Back to the subject, what was in Issue 34 that bears repeating? Let me stick with the outline of topics that I mentioned. Here goes:
In each installment of this column I will review the accomplishments of TDR trailblazers as I use summaries of the old articles to reinforce that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Here is my look back at what was happening in Issue 34: November, December 2001, January 2002.
The Third Generation body style truck, in this case a 1500 series model, was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February. In July the press was invited to evaluate the 1500 and TDR writer Andy Mikonis filed a two page report on the 1500 truck. As was and has been the case, the 2500/3500 trucks lag one year behind the 1500 introduction.
ISSUE 34 REVIEW
In Andy’s evaluation of the truck he noted that they “took three inches off of a short bed truck and added it to the cabin.” As we now know, we would have to wait for the 2006 introduction of the Mega Cab to have a full size rear seat area, but the extra three inches did make a difference in the Quad Cab’s seating area. Additionally, the extra three inches gave standard cab owners “room for a five-gallon bucket behind the driver’s seat.” The new Quad Cab also featured front hinged doors that open a full 85 degrees and windows that roll all the way down. Andy also noted that “all Ram 1500s now have air conditioning as a standard item. However, four-wheel ABS was still optional.” Relentlessly, Andy quizzed the marketing folks about next year’s 2500/3500 introduction—a Ram-based SUV, a full crew cab, horsepower and torque numbers, driveline combinations—but he was given the standard company response, “I’m not allowed to comment on future product plans.”
Since the TDR is only a quarterly magazine, the previous book, Issue 33, had been mailed in August and the devastation of September 11, 2001 was not mentioned. Our Issue 34 periodical had a brief write up of 9/11 and my editorial mentions that “I found solace in trying to return to a normal routine. Music from the radio was a safe refuge. Patriotic songs filled the airwaves.” And so it was again this past September as the 10 year observance of 9/11 brought out the best of the United States of America. Time to move on to the subject of Turbo Diesel trucks. Each issue when I sit down to write the “10 Back” column I have an outline that I try to follow. The outline looks something like this:
Topics of Interest
Parts Service Problems
Chapter News, Events and Travel
When I went through Issue 34 I looked up at the clock and realized that two hours had passed and I had yet to finish the record-setting 160 page magazine. I made this very same comment in last issue’s “10 Back” about the review and content of the Issue 33 magazine. The staff of TDR writers and the TDR members really provide excellent technical data. My thanks to all for your contributions— then and now.
When I went through Issue 34 I looked up at the clock and realized that two hours had passed and I had yet to finish the record-setting 160 page magazine. 8 www.turbodieselregister.com TDR 74
Mergers and acquisitions: In other industry news, mergers, consolidations and acquisitions continued in the automotive industry. Amid all of the hoopla I found a quote from Automotive News about Chrysler group president Dieter Zetsche that was quite foreshadowing. (Remember it was DaimlerChrysler at the time and the German name Zetsche tells us which of the two business concerns was calling the shots.) The quote from AN: “Chrysler makes money from trucks, and that is what Zetsche will focus on. The automaker will continue to design minivans, pickups and sport-utilities. And it will exploit the Jeep brand by expanding its lineup. But the company will rely on its ties with Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi to develop new cars. Mitsubishi will provide platforms for small cars, while Mercedes will design components for a new generation of large rear-wheel-drive sedans.” And, now ten years later, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger did borrow from the Mercedes parts bin and are successful automobiles. But, amid the 2008 financial crisis, the Chrysler group did not have a worthwhile small-platform automobile.
10 BACK . . . . Continued More foreshadowing: Back in November 2001, AN talked directly about Dieter Zetsche, “Moreover, he (Zetsche) does have one big advantage: His boss, Juergen Schrempp, negotiated the acquisition of Chrysler. And if he wants to be judged a success when he retires, Schrempp must demonstrate the wisdom of the buyout. The charismatic chairman will give Zetsche whatever he needs to revive Chrysler. “It should come as no surprise that Zetsche is one of two candidates being prepared as Schrempp’s possible successor.” In a DaimlerChrysler board decision on July 28, 2005, Juergen Schrempp stepped down as CEO of the then DaimlerChrysler organization. He did not “demonstrate the wisdom of the buyout.” Dieter Zetsche has been the head of Mercedes-Benz since September 1, 2005. He has been Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler-Benz since January 1, 2006. He was/is the successor to Schrempp. Final note: Chrysler was sold to Cerberus on May 14, 2007. News from Ford: Ford’s 6.0-liter engine PowerStroke was in the industry news section of the TDR. Well, actually the PowerStroke engine was not directly talked about, but the “BITW” section of the magazine did discuss Navistar’s new VT365 6.0-liter engine that was slated for their 4200 series trucks. Ten years later we all know that the VT365 was the same as the PowerStroke 6.0-liter engine that was used by Ford from mid 2003 until a change to the 6.4-liter engine for the 2008 model year. Industry News/I Was Wrong Department: In September Cummins introduced its next generation B-series engine to meet emissions standards in the light duty truck (not pickup truck) and bus markets. The engine would be available in July of 2002 and it would have high-pressure/common-rail (HPCR) fuel injection, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). I incorrectly speculated that the Dodge engine would see the HPCR first, followed by EGR and VGT effective with emission legislation that pickup trucks would see in January, 2004. What did we see in January? An engine with no EGR and a regular turbocharger. However, it did have a catalytic converter in the exhaust system. I was wrong. Diesel fuel price: The average cost for a gallon of diesel fuel from the fall of 2001 went from $1.49 in the beginning of September to the post 9/11 crisis low of $1.15 in mid-December.
What did we see in January? An engine with no EGR and a regular turbocharger. However, it did have a catalytic converter in the exhaust system. I was wrong.
FEATURE ARTICLE – EGT GAUGE EVALUATION Are all exhaust gas temperature (EGT) gauges created equal? The folks at Geno’s Garage opened their doors for business in 1996. The business was started when I purchased 25 combination EGT and boost gauges from Westberg Manufacturing (Westach) in Sonoma, California. Why 25 gauges? Long story, short version—I wanted a “combo” gauge so that I could get two pieces of information with one glance of the eye; the gauges had an old-school, aircraft look (Westberg’s claim to fame is light aircraft gauges); and they were the only manufacturer that would do such a small order. Actually, I only wanted one gauge, but I figured I could sell 24 to other TDR members. Father-in-law, Gene, put the other 24 together in a kit and we started selling them from his garage. Again, that was five years prior to our feature article. Back to the question, are all gauges created equal? After being asked that question over and over I vowed to get an answer. The Geno’s folks are in the business of trying to provide credible, straightforward answers, and the response, “I don’t know,” just wasn’t getting the job done. I can’t recall how I found the author, it may have been a lead from the Westberg staff. Regardless, Jim Weir, a self described “Humble Tinkerer” at RST Engineering, had a background in electronics and had done some previous work with EGT gauges for Kitplanes magazine. He submitted an outline for the test. The Geno’s group went on a purchasing spree and ended up with seven different gauges from six different manufacturers. Prior to publication of Jim’s evaluation, I sent a letter to each of the six manufacturers in the test. I asked if there was a counterpoint or alternative method that they would suggest for an EGT test. I made a couple of phone calls to follow up and I did not receive any negative responses from the manufacturers. So, what was/is the answer? Would you believe I can sum up 9.5 pages of text using $2,000 worth of product in three sentences? Here goes, quoting from Jim Weir: “They all are remarkably similar and accurate. It is how you view the mechanical installation and how you like the color of the dial. Operationally there is not a whit of difference between them.” Wow.
Here goes, quoting from Jim Weir, “they all are remarkably similar and accurate. It is how you view the mechanical installation and how you like the color of the dial. Operationally there is not a whit of difference between them.”
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 9
10 BACK . . . . Continued So what did Jim Weir talk about in the 9.5 pages of text? First he covered the mundane: The principle of operation; the testing procedure; making the meter operate; the gauge response test. However, the article was not your typical scientific/boring story, Jim is quite the engaging and entertaining writer. Consider the following quotes from the article: “I’ve seen some comments that go something like, ‘…well, it’s got “Super Series” in the title and costs twice as much, so it must be better.’ That’s a little like saying that if I pour rotgut moonshine into a Black Label bottle, it will taste twice as good. It just ain’t so. “The nice thing about a thermocouple is that it is pretty much a pregnant device. That is, it is or it isn’t. It doesn’t ‘go out of calibration’ or ‘lose sensitivity.’ “Why the ninny that set this system up didn’t use the common convention that red is plus is beyond me, but…what can I say. This one was probably set up by a mechanical engineer, not an elektroniker. “Note that I didn’t say the ‘XYZ Company’s K-couple,’ I simply said ‘K-couple.’ It should NOT make a single whit of difference whether the K-couple is manufactured in Memphis or on Mars, the output voltage should be the same. “I do not like something as simple as an EGT to require battery voltage to operate. For the lights, yes, but some hamhand is sure to connect the battery supply to the very sensitive probe terminals and just beat the meter bloody. Would you care to guess who is going to pay for this meter that Clyde Hamhand bashed? “There is practically no difference between any of these systems, no matter whether they are advertised as the ‘pro’ version or the regular version.” If those quotes don’t entice you to read the Issue 34 EGT gauge exposé I am not sure what will. To make it easy for you to read about the gauges, we added the test at the Geno’s Garage web site (www.genosgarage.com). Go to “Technical Information” and then click on “Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge Evaluation.” You’ll be educated and entertained.
FEATURE ARTICLE – BAJA TRIP TDR writer Bill Swails files his Baja Travel Story – Part II. The 14 page exposé is filled with the story of Baja: the geography, the weather, the places and the people as only Bill can tell a story. With a focus on the mechanicals of his Turbo Diesel, the only item that broke and needed repair was the factory bed mount. It was not strong enough to support his camper. One side broke, the other side mushroomed out. The across-the-border welding repair shop “doesn’t even meet his already low expectations.” His options were nil—two mounts were fabricated, and 1.5 days and a whopping $100 later he was back on the road. At the end of the adventure, Bill puts the trip into perspective: “If, after reading this, you think you might like to visit Baja, I’ll offer my thoughts on the matter. I think Baja is a great place for unemployed surfers who have no money and want to find good beaches to surf. I think Baja is a great place for people in old beat up RVs that don’t care if they have a breakdown and have to leave their RV behind. If you have a nice, big expensive rig, there are many great places in the U.S. and Canada to visit. Yes, Baja has a lot to offer, but even though the prices are low, the costs can be very high. If you do decide to go, don’t take the trip lightly; it is far too easy to get into serious trouble. There are many excellent guidebooks and web sites with a wealth of information from seasoned Baja travelers; read them! I highly recommend traveling in a caravan and bringing along at least one person who speaks Spanish. “I’ve chosen something a little more tame for my next adventure, a fall trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In the next issue of TDR, I’ll have photographs and stories about two of our most beautiful national parks.” I called Bill on the phone and asked if, 10 years later, he still has the same recommendation. His answer, “Yes, unless you are in a big group, steer clear of Baja. For what it is worth, we have our EarthRoamer Owner Rally planned for Grand Mesa, Colorado, this year.” It sounds like close to home is good. This is Bill Swails’ closing sentence from Issue 34, “After driving for over 5,000 miles through the Western U.S. and Mexico, I realize that the most beautiful sight I have seen on the Baja trip is my home – Colorado!”
As a final note to the EGT evaluation, and as a part of the 9.5 pages of text, I added a subjective evaluation of gauges, gauge lighting, pricing and where to install/best location of gauges and pods. If you are in the market for gauges (’89-’07 trucks) the article is an insightful reread. If you are in the market for a gauge package for your 6.7-liter engine (’07.5-current), I would suggest the Edge Insight monitor (Issue 72, page 134).
If you are in the market for a gauge package for your 6.7-liter engine (’07.5-current), I would suggest the Edge Insight monitor (Issue 72, page 134). Scenery from Baja. Wouldn’t you rather be in Colorado?
10 www.turbodieselregister.com TDR 74
10 BACK . . . . Continued TOPICS OF INTEREST – THE TDR BUYER’S GUIDE I cannot recall the number of times I have made reference to the Turbo Diesel Buyer’s Guide (TDBG) document that is a part of our web site. However, I can trace the beginning of the TDBG to a report by Jim Anderson in Issue 34 titled “Looking at the Changes.” In the article Jim made a list of changes for each year of truck production, 1994 through 2001. Jim also authored “Buying a Used Truck.” The year model summary and the used truck tips took up 8 pages. Would you believe that the TDBG is now over 260 pages? Thanks, Jim, for giving us a springboard for the future, and an excellent source for documentation of the past. PARTS/SERVICE PROBLEMS First Generation • Cowl cracks and liftgate latches 12-Valve • Overflow valve • Bad fuel injection pump solenoid • Throttle control cable and throttle linkage replacement recall 970
• TDR writer Scott Dalgleish installs a Luke’s Link ball joint and some mileage induced (100k miles) steering slop was eliminated. • A pulse-type exhaust manifold was newly introduced. It was manufactured by Advanced Turbo Systems (ATS) in Salt Lake City, Utah. This ATS Company (and the pulse manifold) was bought out/merged with ATS Diesel Performance, Aurora, Colorado. Confused? Regardless of who now markets the product, the pulse manifold was new to the marketplace in November of 2001. • Looking in the press release section of Issue 34 I find an announcement by Transfer flow about their 45 and 54 gallon replacement fuel tanks for Second Generation trucks and a 38 gallon after axle tank that went in the spare tire position. Product update: the 45 gallon replacement unit and 38 aft axle units are no longer offered. However, their product line for our pickups has really grown. From replacement tanks (54 and 56 gallon units); to in-bed units (37, 50, 75 and 98 gallon units); toolbox tanks (30, 40, and 50 gallon combo units); as well as units for the Ram-specific chassis cab trucks: Transfer Flow has got you covered. Check them out at www.transferflow.com.
• Lift pump replacement
• The Turbo Tool Tray for Second Generation trucks is no longer offered. The tray was a TDR member “basement enterprise.” However, the price for the item was too expensive. A similar item for ’03-’08 trucks is marketed by the folks at Geno’s Garage for $29.
Back in the day these were newly discovered problems. Today they are all too familiar.
• SPA Technique digital gauges are no longer the rage. They are still in business and you can contact them at www.spatechnique.com.
CHAPTER NEWS, EVENTS AND TRAVEL
If you talk to the diesel gearhead at the fuel island you often come away from the conversation (oops…sometimes it is a monologue) thinking that the owner was kin to Rudolf Diesel and that together they had created the Turbo Diesel truck with a little help from the Dodge brothers. Ah, but I digress.
• The first all-makes Scheid Diesel Extravaganza was held at the new location, Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, Indiana. Prior to the 2001 event the Scheid event was a Dodge-only/TDR event held at their Effingham, Indiana, store.
24-Valve • More lift pump woes
In my examination of the magazine from 10 years ago it is interesting to note when new products were introduced to the diesel aftermarket. Consider the following items first seen in the Fall of 2001: • TDR Webmaster/writer and other TDR members were experimenting with ’98.5-’02 fuel transfer pumps and fuel transfer pump relocation kits to allow the pump to operate like a pusher of fuel rather than a suction design. The transfer pump relocation kit is now an accepted way to modify the ’98.5-’02 truck’s fuel system. • TDR writer Sam Memmolo talks about the GearWrench tools. The GearWrench product had just been introduced at NAPA and Sam’s mention of GearWrench (I love these tools) prompted me to do a search for some GearWrench history (www.gearwrench. com). GearWrench is manufactured by the Apex Tool Group. And the first Gear Wrench tools came on the marketplace a scant 15 years ago. So, what did mechanics use prior to 1996? The GearWrench is a great tool.
• Thunder in Muncie was the event in Muncie, Indiana. It was sponsored by Dave’s Diesel in Muncie and by the Great Lakes TDR chapter. The last Thunder in Muncie was held in 2002. It has since splintered into different events. • The Western Regional May Madness event was moved from the Reno/Carson City, Nevada, area where John and Polly Holmes were the hosts (1995-2000) to Las Vegas/Pahrump, Nevada, where Joe Donnelly was the organizer. The 2001 event was in Vegas at Desert Dodge. The 2002 event would move to Pahrump at Rick Peet Dodge. Joe had December 2001 and May 2002 events planned. • TDR writer Jim Anderson filed a report on his 9600 mile round trip to Washington state and all points in between. So it was “10 Back” – and so it is today. Robert Patton TDR Staff
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I think you will agree with me when I categorize Turbo Diesel owners as independent people who are not afraid to try something new. You are an ingenious membership who reinvents and improves a product to make it better serve your needs. You show a strong willingness to share your shadetree solutions. With your input each quarter, we publish the “Member2Member” exchange to give you a forum to tell other members how you solved a problem. STEERING WOES Introduction by Robert Patton In a staff meeting a Geno’s Garage employee shared with me the latest find from the newsstand. The headline from Diesel-This-AndThat was “Cure for the Dodge Death Wobble.” Wanting to learn about the one-size-fits-all “cure,” he purchased the magazine, hoping to read about the definitive answer. If there is a single part to cure the steering problem, all Turbo Diesel owners would like to know about it. You’ll find that I’m not so bold as to suggest the one-size-fits-all approach, especially considering that we have four generations of trucks to consider. As I read the article in Diesel-This-And-That, I looked closely for the author to give himself an “out.” You know, using words like possibly; maybe; double-check your (fill in the blank); also consider (fill-in-the-blank). If the words were used, I missed them. Their suggested cure was the combination of a steering stabilizer and a replacement track bar, quite an expensive repair.
“ Overview of Suspension Components,” by TDR Writer Andy Redmond “A Comment on First Generation Trucks,” by TDR Writer Andy Redmond “ Is it a simple “Rebuild of the Trackbar?” by Luke’s Link owner Michael Engle “ Comments on ’94-’02 Death Wobble,” by TDR Writer Andy Redmond “ Steering Woes on a ’94-’02 Second Generation Truck,” by TDR member Brent Boxall “ Preferred Alignment Specifications Update” by TDR Writer Andy Redmond Finally, I am fortunate in that I have not had any steering problems with any of the five Turbo Diesel trucks that I have owned. You can chalk this up to the fact that all of my concrete-cowboy needs are met with two-wheel drive trucks. Without the need to tinker with the steering components, I am not qualified to offer advice. However, TDR writer Andy Redmond works on these trucks day-in and day-out. So, throughout the article you’ll find “Andy Redmond responds:” as he adds commentary to the other writer’s material and at the end of this compilation of data, he updates his Issue 53 article with new alignment specification that includes ’03-’09 Third Generation trucks. Let’s get started with Andy’s article “An Overview of Suspension components,” followed by his “Comments on First Generation Trucks.”
AN OVERVIEW OF SUSPENSION COMPONENTS by Andy Redmond
You’ll find that I’m not so bold as to suggest the one-size-fits-all approach especially considering that we have four generations of trucks to consider.
Again, I’m not so bold to suggest a single answer. I would rather share with you the experiences from vendors, TDR writers and TDR members. So in this article “Steering Woes” you’ll find a compilation of correspondence that will get you started in the direction of correcting the problem rather than replacing parts that may or may not help. An outline of this article looks like this:
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The focus of this article on “Steering Woes” is primarily written for those ’94-’02 Second Generation owners. However, I thought I would put a basic table together to show the type of suspension and known problems to cover all years of Turbo Diesel with the 4x4 drivetrain. Owners should note that in 2003 the track bar was redesigned with the introduction of the American Axle for the Third Generation trucks. With the exception of the lesser quality ball joints and hub bearing assemblies, the front suspension on these ’03 and newer, later generation trucks is substantially more robust and durable.
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued YEAR
FRONT SUSPENSION TYPE
Leaf sprung-solid axle—Dana 60
Steering shaft rag joint. King pin wear and perhaps worn bushings in leaf spring eyelets
Link coil (upper and lower trailing links with coilsprung solid front axle—Dana 60). This truck uses a track bar to align the axle between the frame rails.
Track bar wears out quickly (due to ball stud end). Small eccentric adjusters on lower trailing arms allow for insufficient positive caster adjustment. Steering gear that wears over time.
Link coil (upper and lower trailing links with coil sprung solid front axle—Dana 60). This truck uses a track bar to align the axle between the frame rails. There was a design improvement with the dual piston brake calipers, non captive rotors, different spindles, ball joints and larger alignment eccentrics.
Same problems as earlier Second Generation trucks, but now the ability to achieve preferred caster adjustment, due to design changes in the lower trailing arms (larger caster eccentrics). Steering gear that wears over time.
Link coil suspension (American Axle)
Lesser quality ball joints and hub bearings. Much improved track bar design and attachment point (track bar has two eyes, versus the poorly designed earlier style eyelet/ball stud design). A switch to a Delphi steering gear from the Saginaw part. It too suffers some reliability issues.
Link coil design similar to 2003-2009 models
Many subtle changes including larger sway bar links, redesigned track bar, larger steering gear/steering linkages. This steering gear shows promise of being over engineered and very robust!
I know, I know, you want to read about the answer to your steering woes, specifically those woes that pertain to the ’94-’02 Second Generation trucks. We will get to the answer in due time. Do you dare skip ahead to my “Comments on the ’94-’02 Death Wobble” or is it as simple as a “Rebuild of the Trackbar.” Read on!
A COMMENT ON FIRST GENERATION TRUCKS by Andy Redmond As expected, the First Generation truck handled pretty well, although they didn’t ride too nicely. The handling and long wearing front end parts are classic old school—a solid front axle, with leaf spring suspension, tapered roller wheel bearings and manual locking axle hubs. The steering shaft’s “rag joint” is the most common steering issue. Even if the king pin (steering knuckle pivot points), and various steering end links are worn, the leaf springs center the axle (between the frame rails), resulting in a truck that usually drives fairly straight.
The handling and long wearing front end parts are classic old school—a solid front axle, with leaf spring suspension, tapered roller wheel bearings and manual locking axle hubs.
REBUILD OF THE TRACKBAR? by Michael Engle/Luke’s Link Anyone who has experienced steering problems while driving a Dodge pickup truck knows all too well the symptoms: wandering or drifting and/or a shimmy, or even a violent shake when hitting a bump, known as the “death wobble.” When trying to identify the specific problem, most people look to vehicle alignment, worn ball joints, steering boxes, or even tires. However, don’t overlook the real problem: the ends of the track bar. For the novice that is new to four-wheel drive, the track bar is the bar that sits under your differential and runs from the axle to the frame. This bar acts as a stabilizer to keep the truck tracking straight as it travels down the road. From ’94 to ’02 (Second Generation trucks) the track bar had a bushing on one end and a ball joint on the other end. Many people mistakenly replace the entire track bar when the true cause of the problem is simply the ball stud on the driver side end of the track bar. Internally Dodge put a two-coiled metal spring to hold pressure on the ball stud. Once this spring (which is not strong enough in the first place), flattens out, the bar sits on the ball stud and moves up and down. Below is a picture of the spring that wears out. Wandering or drifting occurs while driving because when the steering wheel is moved, the track bar pulls the axle, and that “play” in the bar lets the axle keep moving. This causes the driver to pull the steering the other way and you end up constantly steering the truck. The death wobble occurs when shock or vibration is sent from the axle to the track bar, causing the bar to shake because of the play. The shake is then sent to the frame of the truck which makes the truck shake. Generally you must slow the truck to allow it to regain its “composure.”
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MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued So if you are facing either of these problems, what do you do? Some might think going with a thicker track bar will solve this problem. A thicker track bar (with the same “sloppy” ball stud) will not last any longer than the stock bar. Likewise, regardless of a lifetime warranty that is offered by some manufacturers, it is likely you will be changing track bars every 6 to 12 months. So what is the solution? Luke’s Link of Colorado offers a permanent solution to Dodge pickup tracking problems. At Luke’s Link our line (technically speaking, a ball stud socket collar) was designed to rebuild and convert track bars to a fully adjustable end. With this kit, you remove the ball stud and internal parts and slide a cap or C-clamp over the end. You then install the new modified internal parts with the new modified spring being the main component. Then a large plug screws into the cap to tighten everything down. With this setup, the ball joint will never wear out. If it does, you can adjust it by unscrewing the plug and putting a spacer under the plug to shim the spring down. This only takes a few minutes to adjust. This allows the track bar assembly to last for the life of the truck.
About Luke’s Link Luke’s Link has sold tens of thousands of repair kits in the United States and internationally, and is recognized as a leader in specialty auto products. We’ve been in business for over 25 years. We’ve been prominently featured at many automotive web sites and in publications including Peterson’s 4x4 Magazine. We continue to expand and improve their product line. In addition to this kit working on the Dodge track bar, it will also work on the tie rod ends from ’94-’06 as well as Jeep track bars and most Ford tie rod ends up to ’98. Luke’s Link also has developed a kit for the Dodge ’03-’07 track bar bushings. The bushing kit includes two poly bushings. This set is $36 and eliminates the need to replace the entire $350 track bar. Please don’t confuse Luke’s Link kits with a cheap or temporary fix. Luke’s Link offers low cost solutions because it permanently solves the problems, with no need to purchase expensive or unnecessary parts. See Luke’s Link on the web at www.lukeslink.com or contact us at 1-800-962-4090. “COMMENTS ON THE ’94-’02 DEATH WOBBLE” by Andy Redmond Luke’s Link is a great company with a great product. However, I’ve experienced only marginal success unless the repair kit was installed on a lightly worn track bar. The kit often was not able to tighten the worn parts enough, allowing continued death wobble. Unless Luke’s Link has been updated, their directions state it will not work on the slightly more heavy duty Moog DS1413 track bar.
The Luke’s Link replacement ball stud parts.
The inspection process: • You need two people to complete the inspection, and at least one person should have some fairly good strength. Make sure your vehicle is parked on a solid surface with tires pointed straight forward. Do not jack the truck off the ground.
For the Death Wobble problem on a Second Generation truck, I wrote an article in Issue 46 (November 2004) that covered the installation of a truck bar relocation bracket and a new Mopar ’03-’08 track bar. Since the editor sent this article to me for my review, I went back seven years to Issue 46 to see if my opinion had changed. It has not. As I mentioned, the repair is more involved than the simple rebuild of the track bar with a Luke’s Link. The parts used back then were a track bar relocation bracket from Solid Steel Industries (www.solidsteel.biz, part number DSS0019402-4, $209) Mopar ’03-’08 track bar (part number 52106795AC, at about $250). I still use these parts. Since 2004 other companies have introduced different versions of this kit; specifically, the folks at BD Power offer a bracket and track bar kit (BD part number 1032011, $480). My experience with the BD kit is that it is more difficult to install.
• Have the stronger person sit in the driver’s seat and unlock the steering wheel. Do not start the engine! The other person should be under the vehicle with a flashlight. • The person in the driver’s seat should move the steering wheel back and forth fairly hard. Under the vehicle you should examine the ball stud joint to see if there is any movement up or down. Make sure you are looking at the track bar as well as the tie rod ends. The main objective is to use the weight of the truck against the axle. That is why it is important to leave the truck completely on the ground. If there is movement, your ball stud joint is likely in need of replacement. (Please note that the tie rod ends will swivel and that is normal. The track bar, however, should not move at all.) The entire replacement part kit for this repair is $69.
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The Issue 46 article (pages 154-156) has the details of the SSI bracket with the Mopar track bar.
COLUMN . . . . Continued
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued
STEERING WOES ON A SECOND GENERATION 4X4 by Brent Boxall The problem with steering issues is that they come along slowly. Mine began at about 120,000 miles with a mechanical “clunky” feeling in the steering wheel, and with 141,000 miles on the clock, my 2001 Ram 2500 Quad cab 4x4 had developed a tendency to move around in the lane without driver input. I never experienced the “death wobble” many speak of, but I’m sure I was a DUI suspect from time to time, especially when towing. This wandering steering issue made the truck a handful to drive so I decided to fix it. Below is a description of what I did to fix my truck, beginning at about 120,000 miles and completing the repair at about 141,000 miles. This article is not intended as a how to guide, but rather is a list of the steps I took when repairing my truck. As always, your mileage may vary. I fixed my steering in three phases: one being from the steering column to the steering box; the next from the steering box to the wheels; and finally phase three, the tie rod ends and ball joints. Phase One: Steering Column to Steering Box – Chasing the Mechanical “Clunk” After searching the truck’s steering system for loose motion, I decided that the steering shaft in the bottom of the column felt slightly loose. The best way to check this is to stand next to the left front wheel and reach down below the master cylinder and grab the shaft where it comes out of the column tube. Pull the shaft up and down and feel for mechanical play or loose motion in the column bearing. Remember that a little bit of motion, like 0.002-0.003” can feel like a lot in the steering wheel. To investigate further I removed my original steering shaft that connects the column shaft to the steering gear box. This shaft felt good in my hands when checking for rotational slop, until I realized that I had it telescoped to a different spot in its extension range than where it rode when in the truck. Upon more careful inspection I realized that at the exact point in its extension range where it was installed in the truck it had a slight amount of rotational slop, less than 1 degree, but still noticeable. To fix one of these issues I decided to replace the bearing in the bottom of the steering column with the bushing offered by http:// rocksolidramtrucksteering.com. The instructions supplied with the kit were very straightforward and it appears to be somewhat easier to do on my truck given it is a manual rather than the automatic trucks with the column gear selector. One note worth mentioning here is that any time you uncouple the steering system, the steering wheel is free to turn inside the cab. This must not be allowed to happen as it may bring about the destruction of the “clock spring” inside the column. The clock spring is actually a thin ribbon cable type electrical connection between the portion of the column that rotates and the part that doesn’t rotate. The catch here is that the cable or clock spring is a fixed length so if you connect the steering back up in a different orientation than it currently is, you may run out of cable when turning left or right. The best way to avoid this is to put the truck’s front wheels straight ahead prior to disassembly. Then take a cargo strap and attach it to one of the driver’s seat floor supports, thread it through the steering wheel and connect to the other seat support as shown below:
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This technique makes the steering stay put while you work which avoids clock spring damage.
Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: The bushing offered by “rocksolidramtrucksteering.com” is a worthy modification, more for steering column wear and noise more so than handling concerns. Dodge offers a toe plate bushing for later steering columns in the Second Generation trucks, which is used to solve the problems of column wear and noise (clunking). To replace the steering shaft I chose the Borgeson steering shaft, part number 950. The installation instructions for the Borgeson are straightforward and easy. I highly recommend test fitting the steering shaft and then using Loctite for all set screws and jam nuts. Again, follow Borgeson’s instructions, your steering system is IMPORTANT! While I had the steering shaft out of the truck I removed the steering gearbox to check the play in it. The easiest way to get the steering box out is to remove the hydraulic lines and remove the tie rod end on the Pitman arm. The Pitman arm retaining nut came off easily but the arm seemed not to want to move. I chose not to remove my Pitman arm since it was stuck hard even after soaking with penetrating oil. I put the steering box on my bench and tried rotating the input shaft very slightly to see if I had Pitman arm movement. Using a dial indicator I determined that my steering box had very near zero loose motion in it, so the steering gear box went back in the truck. Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: To adjust the steering box for wear, I use the procedure outlined in Dodge technical service bulletin (TSB) 19-10-97. Where do you find this oldie (written in 1997)? The TDR’s web site has a summary of the bulletin and a web search on “TSB 19-10-97” will uncover the entire bulletin. Every steering gear I’ve tightened has resulted in better steering manners (less steering wheel motion before the truck starts to change directions) after tightening the preload. Please realize that this preload adjustment does not address any side play in the sector shaft that is connected to the Pitman arm.
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued And, although Brent didn’t remove his Pitman arm, I’ve found that before attempting to remove the arm it helps to wire brush everything, followed by a dousing of brake cleaner, chased by some penetrating oil. If needed, try some heat from a small torch. Sometimes a pneumatic impact wrench on the Pitman arm puller is necessary to pull a stubborn Pitman arm. I’ve even broken high quality Pitman arm pullers, “abusing” them in such a fashion. However, I’ve always been able to remove the Pitman arm without Pitman arm or steering gear damage, all with the steering gear on the truck! One problem became readily apparent when I removed the power steering hydraulic hoses. My power steering fluid smelled burned and was unnaturally dark in color. I then decided to take the power steering pump off and check the condition of the pump. This observation fit with the extremely high temperature of the hose fittings near the hydraulic brake assist unit I have observed over the life of the truck. I decided to do something about high temperature of the power steering fluid. So I found an automatic transmission fluid cooler that would fit on the driver’s side of the air conditioning condenser in front of the intercooler. I designed a bracket and mounted the cooler in line in the return hose from the steering gear box back to the power steering pump reservoir.
COLUMN . . . . Continued indication that your pump isn’t providing enough flow. The way to tell if your power steering pump isn’t making enough pressure is during stopping and turning. If the pump pressure is low the power brake assist will be weak requiring more brake pedal pressure to stop and steering effort is increased especially noticeable during low speed maneuvers. West Texas Offroad (www.westtexasoffroad.com) has a good description of the Saginaw pump pressure regulator and how to modify it, which I did, but still couldn’t get enough performance from the stock pump. If I adjusted for pressure, I didn’t have enough flow and likewise if I set up the pump for adequate flow I lost too much brake power assist and slow speed power steering assist. Save a link to the “Tech” section of the West Texas Offroad website. The technique of removing a spacer washer to increase pressure is outlined in the next paragraph. While searching for power steering pumps, I found Performance Steering Components at www.pscmotorsports.com. After talking with them on the phone I learned that our trucks come stock with a Saginaw 1300 Series pump and PSC offers 1300 series pumps as well as a 1400 Series high performance pump. The 1400 requires a fluid cooler, which I had just installed, so I ordered their part number SP1490. After installing the pump and some Royal Purple Max EZ Synthetic power steering fluid, I figured I was set. The pump did great on flow, but required some effort to turn the front wheels in a parking lot and also a heavy foot to stop the truck. Now the information from West Texas Offroad comes in handy on the pump pressure regulator. Take the high pressure hose off the pump and unscrew the pressure regulator per the West Texas instructions. You will notice that the PSC SP1490 comes with two pressure regulation washers on the regulator shaft. Remove one of them and reassemble. After putting fluid back in the reservoir and purging the air out of the system, it was picture-perfect. The steering was one finger, even while stopped, and all the flow you could ask for was there. I tried stopping while turning, which uses both the hydraulic power brake assist and the steering. All worked perfectly. Brake assist during a simulated panic stop was also excellent.
An automatic transmission fluid cooler in its new job as a power steering fluid cooler.
This fluid cooler plumbed into the return line worked like a charm to keep the power steering fluid cool. Even on a 100° day, after driving in traffic, you can put your hand on the return line going from the cooler to the pump reservoir and it is warm/hot to the touch, a major improvement over the “roast your finger” stock system. Problems arise! This new system worked great but the stock pump either did not have the pressure or enough flow to operate the system if I was braking while turning during slow speed maneuvers and/or when the engine’s speed was near idle. This can be attributed to the additional return line back pressure created by cooler and the additional 8-10’ of hose required to get out to and from the cooler. One way to tell if your power steering pump is having trouble keeping up flow-wise, is to turn the steering wheel very abruptly when the truck is moving very slowly. You will feel the power assist “catch-up” a fraction of a second later. This is a major
Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: For 85% of TDR members considering such a modification, they would be smart to order the cooler/better Saginaw 1400 series pump from PSC as a kit. Shimming the pressure regulator can cause exactly what Brent explains; plus, when shimming the OEM pump, I have seen the pump let go internally, leaving you with no power steering (and no power brakes—’97 to ’02 hydro-boost equipped trucks), often within a few minutes of the shimming process. This is a huge safety concern. Shimming a pump is an exact science, particularly impractical without pressure gauges and a flow meter. The Rock Solid column bushing and Borgeson steering shaft fixed the clunky mechanical slop in the steering wheel and the roasted power steering fluid problem was taken care of with the fluid cooler and high performance pump. These changes made the truck steer better than stock!
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COLUMN . . . . Continued Okay, the clunky feel to the steering was gone, but the truck still wandered around in the lane, most noticeably at freeway speeds. My plan to change only so much of the system before proceeding with further changes was tested by commuting in the truck every day for a couple of months. Phase One was complete. Time to start Phase Two.
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued I chose Moog parts for all my front suspension replacements. It is easy to see why the Moog components are better, below is the new Moog track bar lying next to the stock bar.
Phase Two: Steering Box to Wheels – Chasing the Wandering Ram. One of my initial tests prior to beginning any steering work on the truck was to jack up one front tire at a time and try to rock the elevated tire in and out, top to bottom, and left to right, thinking that I could isolate loose motion to a specific ball joint or tie rod end. This test yielded no loose motion no matter how much I pushed and pulled on each tire. This made me wonder if the steering was really bad or if losing my driving skill was part of the aging process! I somehow convinced myself that the track bar must be the problem, and the truck was just too heavy for me to physically detect slop in the track bar. Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: Ahhh…training and experience helps when you are looking for component wear. I and other TDR writers have provided good instructions over the years on identifying loose and worn chassis parts. Our techniques are similar to Michael Engle’s method (the preceding Luke’s Link narrative). The basic test: an assistant sawing on the steering wheel (wheels on the ground) to test track bar and steering linkages. This, followed by a slightly raised tire, then utilizing a long pry bar (while an assistant watches) to check the ball joints and hub bearings. These methods of testing will allow you to see any worn components. I ordered a Moog DS1413 track bar from Rock Auto and installed it. Installing the track bar is a fairly straightforward operation: just remove the bolt from the axle connection on the passenger side and remove the nut from the ball stud accessible from the driver’s side fender well. Removing the driver’s side wheel is a major help. To get the stud to back out of the tapered hole in the frame use some penetrating oil and a small sledge hammer to bump it out. Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: Ahhh…training and experience with too many sledge hammers helps when you are trying to remove tapered ball studs. Before you resort to the hammer method, try a pickle fork, a modified Pitman arm puller or a Miller/SPX tool C3894-A to break the tapered ball stud free. Just in case you missed it from my earlier discussion in “Comments on the ’94-’02 Death Wobble,” my cure-all is a combination of two parts: a track bar relocation bracket and a ’03-’08 Mopar track bar. Installed on a customer’s ’95 Turbo Diesel 2500, his truck has over 150K miles of trouble-free operation. These parts should have been factory installed! Although my kit came from Solid Steel Industries, I have also had occasion to install the kit from BD Power. The BD variant is more difficult to install as it also requires tedious alignment and, in some cases, later drilling holes in the cross member.
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This track bar replacement settled the truck down quite a bit and gave it some fairly decent road manners. I drove the truck for several months with it at this stage and decided that while it was tolerable, it still lacked the control and stability it had when new. Since I found the steering box to be good in the Phase One inspection, I decided to look at the steering output shaft and tie rod end. I had an assistant get in the truck while it was sitting in the driveway, engine not running. I had him rock the steering wheel back and forth very slightly while I put my hands on all the joints including the steering box output shaft. It appeared that the steering shaft bearings/bushings inside the steering gearbox were good. I decided that I didn’t like the steering box output shaft sticking out without any support on the “free end” and realized this could be a durability problem, so I decided to order and install a BD steering box stabilizer from Geno’s Garage. The BD stabilizer is basically a steering box output shaft extension and support bearing. You remove the Pitman arm nut and then add the BD shaft extender. Next you remove the four bolts holding your front sway bar to the truck and install the BD stabilizer under the sway bar brackets, using the sway bar bolt locations and longer bolts supplied with the kit. A self-aligning flange bearing is then added to the BD stabilizer to support the newly extended output shaft. Again, follow BD’s installation instructions.
My cure-all is a combination of two parts: a track bar relocation bracket and a ’03-’08 Mopar track bar. Installed on a customer’s ’95 Turbo Diesel 2500, his truck has over 150K miles of trouble-free operation.
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued
The picture below shows the BD steering box stabilizer installation after two years of use.
Spline engagement housing on back side of front axle.
Before you put the truck up on the four jack stands, remove the hub caps and take the half shaft hub nuts off. This requires first removing the cotter pins and then a 1 11/16” socket. Penetrating oil and patience are important components for this phase of the project. In my experience the best penetrating oil you can get is mixture of 50% acetone and 50% automatic transmission fluid. One word of caution is that the penetrating oil isn’t friendly to the clear coat on your aluminum wheels, so caution with runoff is necessary. However, repeated application of penetrating oil over a week’s time prior to disassembly will make the job go much easier, especially with the bearing hubs. The BD steering box stabilizer enhances the truck’s steering system by giving the steering shaft support out past the point of load application which reduces stress on the steering box’s output shaft bearings. It also stiffens the frame rail near the steering box mounting location, reducing side-to-side flexation.
Phase Three: Ball Joints and Tie Rod Ends The ball joints and tie rod ends are the only tasks left! Many will advise putting the truck in four-wheel drive prior to removing the front axle half shafts. Engaging 4WD puts the spline engagement collar (central axle disconnect – CAD) inside the axle housing half on the intermediate shaft and half on the passenger side half shaft. This allows you to remove the passenger side half shaft without the collar falling down in the housing. If you leave the truck in 2WD as I did and remove the passenger side half shaft, the spline engagement collar will fall down in the engagement housing. This is not a major issue at all since you can disconnect the 4WD sensor and remove the four 1/4-20 bolts holding the spline engagement actuator/housing cover. Once removed simply put the collar on the intermediate shaft while reinstalling the passenger side half shaft. Then position the collar on the spline so that the actuator fork engages the collar and you can bolt up the actuator/housing cover. I recommend removing the spline engagement housing cover anyway to wipe the old differential lube and crud out of the sump.
My old Chicago Pneumatic 1/2” impact wrench having a go with a 3/4” socket adapter and 1 11/16” socket. Both nuts are standard clockwise tighten so remember patience and penetrating oil. My impact wrench took about 20 seconds per side and the nuts were off.
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COLUMN . . . . Continued
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued
For working on the front suspension the truck must be up in the air so that you have clearance to work. For pressing ball joints out of the axle you will need quite a bit of ground clearance for the ‘C’ frame press. I had two jack stands with a capacity of six tons each and thought that would be plenty. After using my floor jack and placing my two jack stands under the frame rails just aft of the control arm brackets I decided I had too much weight too high! The truck was fairly steady but it was possible to move it around slightly by pulling on it with my hands. It only took a second for me to decide this wasn’t secure enough for me to lie under so I purchased two additional six-ton jack stands and added them under the axle. The jack stand configuration I used is shown below.
Remove steering damper.
Once the truck is safely up on the jack stands and you are confident it is there to stay, remove both front wheels. The next step is removing the brake calipers. Plan to hang them from the control arm using a wire, a Ty-wrap, or a hook so that the brake hose is not stressed. Never drop the caliper or allow the hose to hold the weight of the caliper. The brake rotor should now slide off to reveal the bearing hub. (Unless you have a ’94-’99, which is a different design.) With the brake rotors off both sides, this is a great time to break this project down into two projects: tie rod ends and ball joints. (Well… maybe four projects. You may want to change the front differential oil while the steering components are out of the way.) I recommend removing the steering damper at the axle, the tie rod end out of the end of the Pitman arm, and the tie rods from each steering knuckle.
With the brake rotors off both sides, this is a great time to break this project down into two projects: tie rod ends and ball joints.
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This allows the entire steering tie rod system to come off in one assembly so the new components can be assembled to match. Care must be taken when handling the entire steering system as an assembly since it is heavy and the tie rods can allow the components to rotate and pinch your finger(s) between the various rods. (Ask me how I know.) With the tie rods and steering damper off, now is a good time to get a drain pan under the front differential and remove the differential cover. To remove the differential cover, remove all the bolts holding it on and use a putty knife to separate it from the differential housing. If your oil needs to be changed, draining it now will limit the amount
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of oil that drips on the floor while the half shafts are removed. Remove all the residual sealant from the sealing surface on the differential housing and differential cover, taking care not to allow any sealant flakes to get into the differential housing. Don’t forget to take a clean rag and wipe the wear particles out of the bottom of the differential housing. Your gears and bearings will thank you.
Tool DHP1 by looking at TDR Issue 69, page 120.
Now for the bearing hubs! With the rotors off, half shaft nuts removed and the tie rod end removed from the steering knuckle, the fun of getting the bearing hubs off begins. Remove the ABS sensor if equipped and tie it back out of the way so the cable and/ or sensor can’t get damaged. Many pullers exist that connect onto the lug studs and push on the end of the half shaft in an attempt to get the bearing hub off. I don’t like these since the reaction force is pushing the half shaft back into the axle. The factory service manual instructs one to back off of the four hub/bearing housing bolts ¼ inch each. Then tap the bolts with a hammer to loosen the hub/bearing from the steering knuckle. Welcome to Fantasy Island! With 141,000 miles on my truck, the bearing hubs didn’t respond to “tapping with a hammer.”
The face of the LIS 39300 is hollow so it won’t beat up the hub/ knuckle bolts. With patience and penetrating oil (and sometimes a little heat) the hubs will come out. With the passenger side knuckle turned to the right you run the impact hammer on the front two bolts, and with the passenger knuckle turned to the left, the rear two get the impact hammer. Opposite for the driver’s side. One thing I noticed is that the housing must be “walked” off evenly. As you run the LIS39300 equipped impact hammer on the front two bolts the hub will come out on the front. Place a putty knife and then screw- driver in this gap so when you begin to hammer on the rear bolts it will help to force the hub out. Once the bearing hubs are off, gently ease the half shaft out of each side and lay them on newspaper. The trick here is to keep the spline and sealing surface of the shafts clean and scratch free.
The solution turned out to be a Lisle (LIS39300) Front Hub and Knuckle Separator from ToolTopia.com and my pneumatic impact hammer.
Use the LIS39300 with your pneumatic hammer on the backed off bolts, maintaining a solid backup behind the impact hammer so the blows work the LIS39300 instead of reacting back into a loosely held hammer.
With the bearing hubs and half shafts out, remove the nuts on the ball joints and the large retaining ring off the bottom ball joint as shown below.
Also note extensive use of penetrating oil, it really does help. Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: I’ve used all the methods for stuck hub bearings and by far both the easiest and best method is the deep socket extension trick or SnapOn Tool DHP1. Use of the Snap-On tool wedged against a loosened bolt and against the axle tube while an assistant turns the steering wheel will pop them loose every time. Alternate the tool between the bolts to walk it off little bits at the time. In fact, I can even do it by myself, although it’s a lot of running back and forth. Most DIY’s don’t have an air chisel or compressor with adequate power for Brent’s pneumatic impact hammer task, plus you don’t ruin what bit of hearing you have left, huh? If you want, you can review my write-up on the Snap-On
The next task is to get the steering knuckles off the ball joint studs. This job can be done easily with your pneumatic impact hammer and the Lisle stepped pickle fork kit (LIS41400) at www.tooltopia. com. Run the largest fork between the knuckle and the axle yoke at the lower ball joint. Then take a sledge hammer and tap the knuckle near the upper ball joint. With patience and penetrating oil (maybe a little heat), the knuckle will pop free. With the knuckle off both sides it is time to remove ball joints. For pressing the ball joints I ordered the QT1065 press set from www. quad4x4.com. This kit had very clear instructions and worked great. The best feature of this kit is that all the different press stubs and receivers are numbered and the instructions list which ones to use for removing and installing both the upper and lower ball joints. Again, patience and penetrating oil will get the ball joints out. This
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 21
COLUMN . . . . Continued is a great time to clean up the steering knuckles, especially the bearing receiver bore. Reassembly Now to put it all back together again. All components should be cleaned and mating surfaces checked for damage. Leave the grease fittings out of the ball joints until after installation, as the grease fittings are easily damaged. The first task at hand is to apply anti-seize to the new ball joints and install them per the Moog instructions. I used Loctite C5-A copper based anti-seize lubricant, part number 51007. Again, I used the Quad 4x4 instructions for operating the QT1065 press. Notice that Moog specifies that the ball joints are to be oriented with the grease relief INBOARD when installing. Take extreme care to get the ball joints started straight so that they don’t ‘dig in’ and scar their receiver bores in the axle yoke. Verify that the lower ball joints are pressed in far enough to allow proper installation of the new snap ring which is included with each new Moog lower ball joint. The boot must be installed on the lower ball joint after installation. This is best done with a 1-1/2” PVC pipe coupling and a small sledge hammer. Make sure you have the correct orientation for the boot, grease relief notch to the inside, and place the boot onto the ball joint and push using the PVC pipe coupling to hold it in place. Take the side of the head of a small sledge hammer and bump the bottom of the PVC pipe coupling and the boot should install correctly. Verify that the boot is installed evenly all around. Install both steering knuckles with anti-seize in the tapered ball joint stud bores; install the ABS cable brackets under the upper ball joint nuts; and torque all nuts per the instructions supplied with the Moog ball joints, paying particular attention to the torque sequence, intermediate torques, and final torques. Make sure to install the cotter pin on each ball joint stud/nut after achieving final torque. Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: Another precaution about leaks: be careful not to put the axle in a bind with an extreme ball joint angle (’94-’99 trucks). A member that read Issue 53 e-mailed recently complaining of axle shaft seal leaks after installing upper adjustable ball joint sleeves. The fix was to use the lower trailing arm eccentrics and the adjustable upper ball joint sleeves in tandem to achieve about four degrees of positive caster versus his chosen value of six degrees. This allowed the spindle and axle to return to a more neutral and centered position, easing the stress on the axle seals. This was the luckiest guy ever. When he returned the adjustments to my recommendation, the seals stopped leaking. This is certainly not typical. Be forewarned: it’s a big job to change these seals. On the driver’s side the differential carrier has to be removed from the axle housing (labor guide—7 hours). The next step involves installing the half shafts into the axle tubes. Visually check on the passenger side by looking down the axle tube to see that the splined collar is in position, which it should be if you shifted into 4WD prior to beginning this project. If it isn’t, you will see that it has dropped down and is too low to engage the passenger side half shaft. If the ring has fallen down, the procedure that follows will get you going again.
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MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued If you left the truck in 2WD, as I did, open the spline engagement housing or central axle disconnect (CAD) housing and place the spline collar onto the intermediate shaft’s spline. You should clean out the housing sump at this time. Leave the CAD open until after the passenger side half shaft and bearing hub are installed. There are two tasks to pay close attention to when installing the axle’s half shafts: one is to get the spline and the oil seal sealing surface super clean and then apply a light coating of grease; the second is to keep it clean during the installation process by rolling up a piece of heavy paper and putting it inside the axle tube. Ideally the paper should be stiff enough to support its shape and wide enough to stretch from the oil seal to outside the tube where it can be grabbed after shaft installation. The object here is to never allow the spline or shaft to touch the inside of the tube since rust or dirt particles could be picked up and deposited on the oil seal lip resulting in an axle oil leak, hence the need for the paper. Once the half shaft is installed the paper is removed by pulling and tearing, you’ll want to verify that all the paper came out. I used the front and back cover off a Bass Pro Shops catalog, which worked perfectly. The next step involves installing the bearing hubs in the steering knuckles. One of my observations when looking the truck over at the beginning of this project, was that while my bearings had no noticeable slop or loose motion in them, they made a clicking sound when rotated by hand. Given the suspicious clicking noise, and the fact that you can’t disassemble the bearing hubs to inspect and repack the bearings, I decided to replace my bearing hubs. I chose the Timken HA590203 bearing hubs from Rock Auto since my truck has four-wheel ABS. To install the bearing hubs first make sure the half shaft splines are clean and coated with anti-seize. Next, coat the bearing receiver bore in the steering knuckle with anti-seize and install the bearing hubs, ABS sensor hole up. Don’t forget the brake rotor shield goes on with the bearing hub. Make sure to get all four bolts on each bearing hub to proper torque incrementally: top front, bottom rear, lower front, top rear. With the bearing hubs installed, the hub shaft nuts can be installed, although final torque can’t be achieved until the truck is back on the ground. Since the half shafts are installed, the front differential cover can be reinstalled and the differential filled with the proper lubricant. Dodge doesn’t use gaskets on the differential housing, but instead uses a gray colored sealant which must be completely removed with a razor scraper prior to reassembly. I chose to put the differential cover back on with a Felpro axle housing gasket, AutoZone part number RDS6095-1 for the Dana 60 front axle, since I’m not a big fan of the gasket-less assembly idea. Now the tie rod end assembly can be replaced. I laid my entire assembly out on a table as it came off the truck and then laid the new parts next to the old ones. Pay particular attention to the amount of engagement the old rod ends have in the alignment adjusting sleeves. The object here is to build up the new assembly to exactly match the old one both with tie rod orientation and lengthwise adjustment. The truck will still require a front end alignment, but it is better to get as close as you can to save on tire wear enroute to the alignment. This is a great time to take a thread file and thoroughly go over each new threaded rod end prior to assembly. I found that the cardboard thread protector tube had come off one of mine inside
MEMBER2MEMBER . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued
the shipping box and had collected some dings in a couple of the threads. These nicks make for hard turning adjustments during front end alignment. Once the new tie rod assembly has been built up it is time to install it onto the truck. Prepare the tie rod stud receiver hole in the Pitman arm and in both steering knuckles by cleaning them, inspecting for cracks or other damage and coating it with anti-seize. Carefully lift the assembly to the truck and install into the steering knuckles and Pitman arm. Verify that everything looks right and then install the steering damper. Install all tie rod stud nuts to proper torque and install the cotter pins. This concludes the assembly of the steering system. Review every aspect of your work to make sure that all components are installed correctly and that all proper torques were achieved during installation. Once satisfied that everything is in order reinstall the front brake rotors with anti-seize on their bores and install the brake calipers. Make sure that the rotors are clean and lubricant free. Install both front wheels and place the truck back on the ground. Now comes the torquing of the bearing hub / half shaft nuts using the 1-11/16” socket and following the Timken installation instructions for proper torque. After final torque is achieved, install the cotter pins. Parts used on this front end rebuild are: Description Steering damper Tie rod end Tie rod end Tie rod end Tie rod end
Manufacturer Monroe Moog Moog Moog Moog
Part number Quantity SC2964 1 ES3526 1 DS1462 1 ES3527 1 DS1460 1
Ball joint Ball joint Track bar Bearing hub w/ABS
Moog Moog Moog Timken
K7394 K7397 DS1413 HA590203
2 2 1 2
Andy Redmond adds to Brent’s story: Many members may also have severely worn upper and lower arm trailing bushings, which can also allow unwanted fore and aft axle movement. Replacement bushings are available from Dodge and the aftermarket to re-bush the trailing arms. This is most easily accomplished by removing the trailing arms, then removing/installing the bushings with a shop press. Urethane replacement bushings (Energy Suspension) are available, but these require periodic grease lubrication to prevent squeaks and may add harshness to the ride. (Urethane does not flex like a rubber bushing.) My favorites are the beefy lower links from Solid Steel Industries. The SSI Lower Adjusting Links are recommended for heavy off-road use and ease of caster adjustment. Modifications are necessary to use these on the ’94-’99 trucks, as the installer must provide inner bushings to bush the link’s inside diameter down to the OEM fastener shanks.
Conclusion Well, gang, does that conclude the correspondence on steering woes and the solution to the Second Generation truck’s death wobble? Since most all of the components were replaced, I would hope the answer is “yes.” Brent Boxall TDR Member Editor’s note: My thanks to Brent for the complete write-up
covering Second Generation steering problems and to Andy for his additional Shop Floor insight. To close out this article, please make note of Andy’s updated alignment specifications for ’94 to current 4x4 Turbo Diesel trucks that is shown below. PREFERRED ALIGNMENT SPECIFICATIONS UPDATE by Andy Redmond YEAR
0 deg. (±.50 deg.)
3.5-4.0 deg. positive
’94-’99 trucks will require an offset fixed or adjustable upper ball joint sleeve to obtain these specifications (caster). Trucks needing camber adjustment will also require sleeves, and the ’00-’02s upper adjustable ball joints.
0 deg. or (+0.10 total toe in)
0 deg. (±.20 deg.)
4.0-4.5 deg. positive
0-2” Leveling kits seem to like about 5 to 5.25 deg. pos. caster.
0 deg. or (+0.020 total toe in)
0 deg. (±.20 deg.)
3.75-4.0 deg. positive
These differences are likely due to these vehicles being used at GVWR capacities.
0 deg. or (+0.10 total toe in)
2003 to present
2003 to Present Cab Chassis
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 23
Coverage of the ’89 through ’93 Model Trucks. Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard and Additional Q&A written by Joe Donnelly.
FAN CLUTCH REMOVAL I attempted to replace the fan clutch on my ’92 Turbo Diesel W250 and could not get the clutch nut to move. I followed the instructions in the factory service manual by using a wrench in between the bolts on the pulley. There isn’t enough room for an open end wrench on those bolts and an adjustable end wrench on the big main nut. I was thinking of taking the fan belt off and putting a strap wrench on the pulley. How is the best way to get it loose? edford Here is a simple way: Place a 3/8-inch or a ½-inch size punch on the driver’s side flat of the nut near the top and try moving it downward with a good smack from a 2-lb hammer. It will break loose and not harm the nut. Before re-installing the nut, place some anti-seize on the threads. DVolk, Clatskanie, OR When all else fails, the hammer and punch method works. If you can’t get it loose with a punch or air chisel, a strap wrench is about the only way. Don’t forget that it is left-hand threads or you will be there for a while. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA My radiator cooling fan fatigued and threw one blade out while towing on the interstate. I bought a new fan to replace it. To loosen the fan nut, I used a chain wrench from Harbor Freight Tools (item number 97073) around the fan pulley. The wrench connects to a ½-inch ratchet or breaker bar. I removed the serpentine belt and placed the chain wrench around the pulley. I only had a 1-1/2-inch combination wrench (Harbor Freight Tools) to use on the nut. It worked, but wasn’t a perfect fit. The fan nut has left hand threads. I turned it clockwise while facing the radiator to loosen it. I used a small scrap of sheet rubber under the head of the chain wrench to prevent leaving burrs on the fan pulley grooves. The large combination wrench was long enough, but I used a cheater bar on the ½-inch ratchet/chain wrench to break the nut loose. After removing the coolant over-flow bottle and the top radiator hose for room to work, I removed the fan and viscous clutch assembly up through the top without removing the fan shroud. The job took me about an hour. RMidgett
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POWER STEERING HOSES I’ve been checking online for replacement power steering hoses for my ’93 Turbo Diesel W250. I’ve found that the pressure/output hose comes with the fittings already attached; however, the suction/return line appears to be only a piece of hose. Where can I purchase the metal line and the fittings for the suction/return line? Is there a set available that is complete? JKreiss, Northern CA/TN Check RockAuto online for Gates part number 363540 return line assembly; 16mm male O-ring x 3/8” I.D. hose x 41-1/4”. Category: power steering return hose. RobFly A quality oil resistant hose will work satisfactorily with two clamps. Gates makes 3/8-inch transmission cooler hose that works great and is available at most auto supply stores. HHhuntitall, North TX I replaced mine a few months ago and it was an easy job. I also suggest that you take the time to do a power steering fluid flush. You will be amazed at what comes out if it hasn’t been done. BSchwarzli, Ontario
WATER PUMP O-RING LEAKING Six months ago, I noticed coolant on the garage floor under my ’91 Turbo Diesel D250. I tracked the leak up to the water pump and could see it leaking where the block and pump join. With 200,000 miles on the original pump, I decided to replace the pump and the sealing O-ring gasket. The new pump and gasket went on without any problems and the mating surfaces appeared very clean and true. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed again that there is a coolant leak from the same location. The gasket held for about six months and then the leak returned. Since I don’t drive the truck very much, will being parked for long periods of time cause the O-ring gasket to shrink? When I replace the O-ring, should I spread some silicone sealer on the edges of the O-ring or silicone seal the metal pump mating surface around the outer edge? Ncostello, IN I see this quite a bit on the older trucks. The little rust that is there will cause the gasket to not seat correctly, or there could be a little grit and/or rust between the block and seal or seal and pump. I usually silicone them just so I don’t have a comeback. It doesn’t take much and it saves me the time of having to redo it. HHhuntitall, North TX
FIRST GENERATION . . . . Continued WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT REPLACING A PINION SEAL The rear differential pinion seal is leaking on my ’90 Turbo Diesel W250. The factory service manual (FSM) does not show the procedure for a pinion seal replacement. However, the FSM goes into detail about the correct procedure for arriving at the correct torque of the pinion shaft nut. Can someone clarify the procedure for me? BSchwarzli, Ontario During initial setup, Dana used crush sleeves to set up gear spacing (pinion depth). It takes between 300 and 400 ft-lbs of torque to crush these sleeves. If shims are used, which is usually only if the differential has been rebuilt by a good shop, it won’t matter. If you are able to remove the pinion shaft, when re-torqueing the nut, don’t go much over 200 ft-lbs and you should be okay. Remove the nut, thread seal, yoke, seal, install seal, wear sleeve (if needed), yoke, thread seal, and nut, and torque to around 200-250 ft-lbs. I usually only go to 175 to 200 ft-lbs with the ¾-inch drive air impact wrench and it’s worked so far. I’m paranoid about the nut backing off the first few weeks, but it hasn’t happened yet. I did a Dana 80 last week, several others since the first of the year, and countless others this way. When you put it back together, check the seal under the nut to see if it is all chewed up. If it is, try to find a replacement locally; however, not many auto parts stores inventory them. I get the seals from Randy’s Ring and Pinion at: www.ringpinion.com or (866)631-0196. My account manager is Ken Knudson, extension 5508, if you decide to order parts. You will probably have to use a light duty socket, since impact sockets won’t fit down into the yoke far enough to engage the shoulders on the nut. I’ve got a cheap set of Harbor Freight ¾-inch drive sockets I use just for that job. Also, you will probably need a slide hammer to remove the yoke if it’s been on there a while. You might be able to use a gear puller. Most auto parts store seals are a single lip seal, so I use either the Dodge part or get them from Randy’s. Mentioning wear sleeves at the local store will usually get you a dumb look. Also, check to make sure the vent tube isn’t plugged. I’ve fixed many wheel seal leaks by blowing out and cleaning the vent tube. HHhuntitall, North Texas That is good information. I just found another project for winter. The differential on mine is a little wet, but I’m not sure how much it leaks. RedRamAndy, Wentzville, MO The pinion seal is replaced. I used a ¾-drive impact and thinner sockets to remove the nut, pulled the yoke off using a rubber mallet, removed the old seal, installed the new one, used the yoke with spline seal still attached, cleaned the exterior of the yoke, and reinstalled it. I torqued the nut to 250 ft-lb and went for a 300 mile drive. It was a very easy job which took about 15 minutes with the right tools. Great information, thanks. BSchwarzli, Ontario
ACCELERATOR PEDAL VIBRATION When accelerating above 70mph, I feel a type of grinding vibration in the accelerator pedal on my ’93 Turbo Diesel D250. As soon as I slow to under 70mph, it goes away. The truck runs fine otherwise. Does anyone have an idea what could cause the vibration? Bluebird, San Bernardino, CA Check the transmission mount. It may be broken or shifted to one side. It could also be that the overdrive section of the transmission is getting ready to fail. Loose planetaries will create what you described as well as a loose idler gear in the transfer case. mysteryman, MD/TN I second checking the transmission mount. They will allow the housing to touch the cross member which creates weird noises and vibrations. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA I looked above the frame crossmember and below where the transmission mounts. The gap did not look very big. Bluebird, San Bernardino, CA
FUEL SENDING UNIT The fuel sending unit is erratic in my ’93 Turbo Diesel W250. Does anyone have a source for a replacement fuel sending unit? RTRAM, Las Vegas, NV They are still available from the Dodge dealer. I purchased one two weeks ago and it cost $250 with employee discount. Fitter48093, Detroit, MI The float and arm/rheostat assembly is also available at the Dodge dealer without the complete module for less than $75. dodgenstein, Hamilton, MO
OIL IN COOLANT RESERVOIR My early ’91 non-intercooled Turbo Diesel with an automatic transmission is blowing oil out of the coolant reservoir. Also, when I checked the oil in the crankcase it was low. I can’t find the oil cooler. Is there a cooler and where is it located? My mechanic removed the head and couldn’t find anything wrong with the head or headgasket. jakecorn The engine oil cooler is behind the oil filter mount assembly. Since the engine oil is low, it’s likely that the engine oil cooler has a leak. cerberusiam, McDonough GA The engine oil pressure is higher than coolant pressure, and when the oil cooler springs a leak, the oil goes into the cooling system. After replacing the oil cooler, use a non-foaming detergent to clean the oil out of the cooling system and flush with clean water several times. Shadrach, Edmonton, AB
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 25
FIRST GENERATION . . . . Continued BUYER”S INFORMATION
HOW TO REMOVE THE ROTOR FROM THE HUB?
After seeing the ’95 Turbo Diesel that I recently purchased, a friend has become interested in Cummins Turbo Diesels and is looking at a couple of trucks from ’93. One is a 250 and the other one is a 350 dually. Both are regular cab, long bed, with manual transmissions and 214,000 and 241,000 miles respectively. I’d like to know if there are any common issues with the First Generation trucks beyond the dowel pin (KDP) and fifth gear issues. What are the gear ratios for each? KBurgoyne, Cameron Park, CA
In the 10 years that I have owned my ’90 Turbo Diesel W250, the rotors have been replaced only once which was done by the dealer. Now it is my turn, and it is not going well.
They are good simple trucks, but oil leaks are common from the gaskets and seals due to age, heat and drying. The KDP is one thing to check. First Generation trucks don’t have fifth gear nut issues, you’ve got that confused with the NV4500 in ’94-’00 trucks. The Getrag five speed transmissions are not the strongest transmissions. Check for defective synchronizers and noise in 1st and 2nd gear. The transmission makes a growling noise if the bearings are failing. If your friend purchases one and the transmission is okay, be sure to overfill it by 1-qt. Available final drive gear ratios are 3.07, 3.54, and 4.10. BSchwarzli, Ontario If the seller tells you they fixed the KDP, ask them if they tightened the gear case bolts on the front of the engine. They hold that case onto the block and can work loose and fall into the gears which happens more often than the dowel pin falling out. Check the body for cab cowl cracks. Some trucks develop cracks in the cab below the windshield at the back of the front fenders that create strange grinding and popping sounds from that area when driving the truck. The cracks are virtually impossible to see with the fenders on. Also inspect the front of the roof cap inside and out. Some rust through with little blisters showing above the gutter line on the outside. If the trucks are 4x4’s, check the frame rail at the steering box for cracks. Some crack if they have seen a hard life.
How do I remove the rotor from the hub? The factory service manual just says “remove.” I had the hub off, but I could not see how the two are separated. Do I press the studs out of the hub? BSchwarzli, Ontario You can press the studs out. I used an aluminum drift and a heavy hammer to pound them out. I supported the hub with some 4x4-inch pieces to avoid warping them. I used the same process in reverse to install the new studs. I’ve had no problems of any kind. I also used this same procedure to help my neighbor install my old rotors on his truck. Make sure that the force is on the stud and not the hub. Bob Beauchaine, Portland, OR I use the hammer and drift procedure regularly on our Ford trucks where I work. An air hammer sometimes makes it a little easier, but the correct procedure is the hammer/drift. dclassens, Traverse City, MI I also always used the hammer and wood 4x4-inch methods. One time, I was replacing the ball joints on another vehicle at the same time. The ball joint press worked perfectly for installing the studs into the hub/rotor. Since the one end of the ball joint clamp has a hole in it, it allows the stud to press right through.
I love my truck and would recommend the First Generation style to anyone. He’ll love the truck, but be ready to tinker a little. RedRamAndy, Wentzville, MO Regular maintenance is the key to it lasting a long time. A little diesel fuel additive is important, too. The Bosch VE injection pumps were designed to be lubricated by the fuel, but today’s low sulfur fuel doesn’t offer the lubricity it once did, so a good lubricity formula additive will help it last a lot of miles. Take care of it, and it’ll last a long time. And with the TDR as a resource, you should be able to take care of most of it yourself and save money. These trucks are well worth what they sell for and retain their value well over time. HHhuntitall, North TX Editor’s Note: For more information about all-things Turbo Diesel check the TDR Buyer’s Guide available online at the TDR website: www.turbodieselregister.com/magazines/ buyersguide.phtml
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ENafziger, Knoxville, TN I agree on the ball joint press. It costs enough and you need to get good use out of it. I’ve also used my ball joint press for pressing in shock bushings. I’ve also used my shop press on the studs. If the studs pull through the rotor too, the shop press seems to work better to seat the studs. I have an old dually wheel I set up on the press for the studs to go through. HHhuntitall, North TX I will do just that. Thanks. BSchwarzli, Ontario
FIRST GENERATION . . . . Continued AUXILIARY TRANSMISSION COOLER
BEST COOLANT FOR MY FIRST GENERATION?
I tow heavy loads with my ’92 Turbo Diesel and wonder if I should add an auxiliary transmission cooler. What auxiliary cooler works well? svsenger
Car Quest Auto Parts sold me Prestone GM Dex-Cool for my ’92 Turbo Diesel today. The more I look at the container, the more suspicious I am that it is not the correct coolant for the truck. This truck is worked hard. What works best? svsenger
I removed the original equipment under the bed cooler assembly from another truck and installed it using new hoses. I modified it to use a manual switch as opposed to the fluid temperature sensor. Since I have a transmission temperature gauge, I can control the fan on/off via a switch and fender-mounted relay. The original equipment fan and cooler is mounted on the cross members of the truck bed in front of the left rear wheel well. If you can’t locate a used one, Summit Racing (www.summitracing. com or 800-230-3030) may have a cooler with a fan that will fit. My cooler is the size of a heater core with a steel box built around it and a plastic shroud on top which contains the fan motor. Greenleaf, Ashland, OH I think Derale (www.derale.com) makes one that is almost a direct replacement for the factory option which would be my choice. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA
Cummins recommends ethylene glycol based anti-freeze. Bob Beauchaine, Portland, OR You should purchase the low silicate green colored antifreeze. I could give you an ASTM number, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t know what ASTM is or if you buy from a WalMart or a “Super Auto Parts Mart”. They sell one size fits all automotive coolant. Go to a heavy truck dealership and get the heavy truck green conventional antifreeze. Greenleaf, Ashland, Ohio Editor’s Note: See TDR Issue 62, pages 42-44 for more information including a chart showing the year model, coolant type, cooling system capacity, normal drain/refill quantity, and the ASTM specifications along with a 13 question and answer discussion. Issue 62 is available in digital form to members.
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 27
Coverage of the ’94 to ’98 Model Trucks (12-valve engines). Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard and Additional Q&A by Joe Donnelly
FUEL GAUGE The fuel gauge in my ’98 Turbo Diesel 2500 moves erratically. As an example, when I went to work last night it was showing three quarters of a tank, but when I got off work this morning it had dropped to just above one half of a tank and by the time I got home it was down to below one half of a tank. I live only three miles from work. Could this be caused by a faulty sending unit in the tank? m1ashooter, ID More than likely, the sending unit is at fault, but rather than just throwing parts at it, there is a procedure in the factory service manual to determine what has failed. GAmes, Kileen, TX Editor’s Note: See TDR Issue 49, page 148, for more information on fuel gauge problems, how to test it, and tips for lowering the tank.
ERRATIC SPEEDOMETER The speedometer in my ’96 Turbo Diesel 3500 goes up and down while driving, causing transmission shifting issues. I have unplugged the speedometer at the transmission and have no more shifting issues. I am using the GPS for a temporary speedometer. Is there a procedure for testing if the problem is the speedometer drive or the speedometer itself? Hootguy, Ontario The speedometer sensor is a small generator that drives the small electric motors in the odometer and the speedometer needle. It is good that you disconnected yours. I let mine continue fluctuating and the electric pulses burned up the odometer motor and I had to replace the speedometer. More than likely your problem is the sensor. Before you remove it, note how it is oriented. The gear shaft is slightly off center so rotating it allows gears of different diameters to engage the worm gear in the transmission. If you position it incorrectly either you won’t get a reading or you will break the small internal driveshaft. GAmes, Killeen, TX
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AN EASY METHOD TO REMOVE A ROTOR Is there an easy way to remove the rotors from the hubs on my ’97 Turbo Diesel 2500? RFULTON Loosen the hub bolts (behind the hub) about ¼-inch. Put a socket with extension on one of the front bolts and use the power steering to push the hub off. You’ll see which one to do. Then use a press to push the studs out. They can be tight and sometimes will let go with a rather loud bang. fest3er, Salem, VA Whether you do this yourself, or have it done, make absolutely sure you re-torque the lug nuts after about 100 miles of driving. Some of them will probably be a little loose. The studs don’t always seat completely when they are re-installed. JoeBioDiesel, Mexico, NY
DRAIN THE RADIATOR What’s the trick to opening the radiator drain valve on my ’96 Turbo Diesel? DrJC It is, and can be, a real problem and the fitting can easily be broken. I siphon the radiator instead. NIsaacs, Snowflake, AZ You have to rotate the plastic valve knob counter clockwise about 180 degrees as you pull outward at the same time. I find this impossible to do without pliers, but do it gently. This movement causes an O-ring inside the valve to move off of a seat, which allows radiator coolant to trickle from the drain. If you rotate the knob counterclockwise without that outward motion, you will shear off some plastic ears inside the valve. Thankfully, replacement valves are available from Dodge and at most local auto parts stores. The bottom line is do not to force it. JLandry, Shoreline, WA I almost laughed when I read your response to siphon the coolant out of the radiator. Fortunately, I reconsidered and used a handheld pump, dropped the suction line straight down to the bottom of the radiator, and easily drained the radiator of over four gallons of old coolant without spilling a drop. I siphoned the overflow tank also. I added new coolant and the truck is ready to go. Previously, I fought that valve, made a mess of the driveway, and a good portion of the old coolant ended up on the ground. DrJC
12-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued RADIATOR FAN The ends of three of the seven blades of the radiator cooling fan broke off on my ’94 Turbo Diesel (410,000 miles). The loose blades tore up the fan shroud but they didn’t harm the radiator. Could it have been caused by metal fatigue? sleon Are the engine mounts in good condition? Only thing I can think of is when decelerating, the engine can rock forward into the shroud. Nyoest, Tipton, MO Fatigue is the only thing I’m aware of. My ’96 Turbo Diesel lost a blade two years ago at approximately 250,000 miles. Similarly, it sliced the shroud, but did not touch the radiator. The fan blades on my truck are aluminum and considering the centrifugal force on them and the number of turns in 400,000 plus miles, I’m not surprised it came apart. RMidgett A replacement fan was unusually difficult to find. There were about six different fans used in 1994. I found the correct replacement on internet for $56. It took about ten minutes to install. Since the fan shroud was cut in half at the top, I bolted the shroud together with a piece of heavy metal 18-inches by 1½-inches. I will eventually replace the fan shroud. sleon Since your fan shroud is broken, perhaps you could do a variance of this modification: The letter in TDR Issue 58, page 7, caught my interest since I have replaced three fan clutches, two water pumps, and a belt tensioner while on the road. It will also make replacing the serpentine belt a lot easier. I finally got around to this modification this weekend. However, I did make a few changes. First, I used a miter saw instead of a hacksaw which resulted in nice straight cuts. I opted for six bolts per side instead of four, which I believe makes the installation more stable. I used T-nuts for the outboard bolts and used J-B weld to hold them in place (homemade nut plates). A word of warning: The T-nuts each have three points that are intended to be hammered into a board. Do not try to hammer them into the plastic of the shroud. (J-B weld repair not shown.) Instead, bend them flat.
Apply a little flat black paint and you have a very nice access panel for the front of the engine.
GAmes, Killeen, TX
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12-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued HEADLIGHT GREMLIN My ’95 Turbo Diesel seems to have developed self-dimming headlights. When first turned on they operate correctly. Usually within a couple of minutes, they will fade out and then fade back on a couple of times. They may stay dim for 5 to 10-seconds. They fade in and out intermittently, but not on and off as using the switch. There is no change in any of the other outside or dash lights when this happens and no change on volt meter (approximately 14-volts). Is there a headlight relay that may be failing? Stmpplr Do you still have the original headlight switch? They were prone to failure and the connections may melt from heat and cause this problem. Nyoest, Tipton, MO Towing a trailer and using the trailer lights causes the switch to overheat and melt the connections. I placed the trailer connections on a separate switch. I had three headlight switches fail before I installed the separate switch and haven’t had a failure in a good while. My headlights would fade in and out similar to yours before they would go completely out. HCannon, Spur, TX I am on the second headlight switch. I replaced it with the original switch so I guess it could be failing. From the replies, it appears it is about to fail again. Is there an alternative replacement, or should I wire in a relay? I have a relay block I was planning to install to add some driving and fog lights. I could wire the headlights to it too since it has four or five circuits. Can I use the headlight switch to trigger two relays; one for high beams and one for low? This requires only splicing the relays into the existing wiring and feeding them power off the battery. Stmpplr Yes, that will work. 1. Prepare two standard relays (same as the larger ones in the Power Distribution Center [PDC] under the hood). 2. Connect B+ to one “switch” pin of each relay. 3. Connect a good ground to the ground pins of each relay control. 4. Find the two wires that go to the headlights (low and high beam). 5. Cut them. 6. Connect the low beam lead from the cab to one relay’s other “switch” pin. 7. Connect its mate to the control input pin of the relay. 8. Connect the high beam lead from the cab to the other relay’s “switch” pin. 9. Connect that lead’s mate to the control input pin of the other relay. Use standard crimp spade/lug connectors. You might solder the high-current connections as well as crimping them. If you’re clever, you can use spare relay sockets in the PDC for the relays. The trailer tow relay handles the running lights for the trailer.
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Done right, your headlights will be powered through the relays and the headlight switch will pass low current to control the relays and the full current for the running lights. If you want to remove all high-current from the switch, you can wire in a third relay to handle the running lights and the dash headlight switch will pass only relatively low current. Alternatively, you could wire the relays under the dash after the multi-function switch, but since everything you need to access is right in the PDC, that is the best place for the relays. fest3er, Salem, VA I wired my headlight similar to fest3er, but with one additional step. I installed a diode between the high and low beam leads so that the low beams get power when the high beams are on. GAmes, Killeen, TX TORQUE PLATE CONTOUR I have a #5 TST fuel plate, and it has a forward angle towards the bottom of the plate. The rocker in the pump can slide along it and go under the plate. Is this a problem, and can I grind the plate to prevent this? Marvin Lee Unless you have adjusted the rocker height in the pump, or put in a stiffer spring governor spring kit, the rocker will slide along the lower contour and possibly under the plate only on cold start, not while running. Later design plates like the 10, 11, and 12 have a different shape to prevent this possibility, but they were intended for the 215hp engine’s injection pump. This pump delivers more fuel and needs a plate with less travel at higher rpm to keep the EGT lower. Using these plates on the 160, 175, and 180hp plates will result in somewhat less fuel and power above about 22002400rpm than would be the case if the single-digit series of plates were used. Grinding on your TST plate will not help you to reach your goal, because the metal is not there on it. Joe Donnelly HOW TO SET P7100 PUMP TIMING I need some tips to help me set pump timing. I have the special tool kit. The Patriot I discussed timing the P7100 pump in Issue 61, page 102. The secret to keeping the pump gear from slipping is to get the tapered shaft and hole in the gear very clean. Mopar discontinued the good solvent, but Wurth still makes a non chlorinated brake cleaner that is mostly heptane and works great. Don’t torque over 144ft-lb; the nose of the injection pump shaft can break off. Gently blow dry while wiggling the gear. Thread in a long M8 x 1.25 thread bolt so you can slide the gear away from the tapered seat and wiggle it to expose all the taper to get all the solvent blown off. Don’t use much air pressure. The front bearing of the injection pump is “open” letting oil drain onto the shaft. Thus, it is best if the truck sat overnight so the pump has had time to drain, and don’t blow air on the taper hard or you can get more oil onto the taper, instead of just drying the solvent off of it.
12-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued The timing blade in the side of the P7100 is only good for +/- 0.4 degrees or thereabouts. I prefer to use the timing pin in the gear case that fits into the camshaft gear. I also use the tool I made (see Issue 61) to turn the pump after getting to TDC. That way I can get exactly the plunger lift I want. I also don’t have to take the engine away from TDC while setting pump plunger lift. There is no need to remove all of the injector lines. Just remove #1 or often you can loosen its clamps and flex it gently away from the delivery valve holder (pump) and use a screwdriver handle to hold it away from #2 injection line near the pump. Joe Donnelly
I’ve been researching replacing the cooler lines on my ’96 Turbo Diesel 2500 and found JoeG’s posts. The cooler lines have rubbed together enough to leak just ahead of the oil pan, as is prone to happen. I like the idea of using hydraulic hose for the job, and I see in the posts that you successfully used brass hose barbs at the transmission.
TRANSMISSION COOLER LINES I tow a fifth-wheel trailer quite often with my ’96 Turbo Diesel 3500 with 135,000 miles. The transmission was rebuilt at 90,000 miles and a shift kit and a high performance torque converter were installed at that time. I remember several years ago some articles in the TDR about the cooler lines coming apart and losing the transmission fluid. I have not worried about it until now, but with the increased mileage and the fact that I am thinking about adding a little additional engine power, I was wondering what is the best upgrade for the cooler line problem? bjarp The cooler line problem was caused by the original factory installed quick release clips. They were plastic and, over time and heat cycles, they would let go when transmission fluid got hot while towing. There are factory replacements with steel spring clips and that is the way to go. If you look where the lines connect at the cooler and see a small ring of plastic, replace them. The clips are used for quick release of the lines. jtwcummins, Minden, NV Additional engine power has nothing to do with the cooler lines problem. The plastic quick connectors just give it up and fail regardless of any modifications. The metal lines also rub together where they cross in front of the transmission pan and can cause a leak. I replaced all the metal lines with hydraulic hose. There is very little pressure in the cooler lines so any hydraulic hose that can withstand hot oil will work with barbed fittings. I have no leaks or other problems with cooler lines and connectors since I changed to hydraulic hose. Joe G., Eureka, CA Joe, how did you tie your new hoses in to the old hoses coming from the cooler? Or did you take the new ones all the way to the cooler? I am ready to do this modification myself. A clamp had worn through a metal line. I cut out the bad spot and put on a compression fitting; however, it leaked too. WilsonF I removed the old hoses, so there are no hose-to-hose joints. That is the hardest part of the job because there was no room to get my hands in there. I also did not cross over at the transmission with one of the hoses so I have a hose on each side of the engine. The hose that goes to the cooler under the manifold has to cross over, but the other one does not. Joe G., Eureka, CA
What inside diameter hose did you use? Will that hose fit well enough over the stock cooler lines with standard hose clamps? Are other parts needed to make the connection at the cooler? RMidgett I too had the metal lines rub together creating a leak. I first bought new lines from Auto Zone, but since they couldn’t get both lines I needed, I went to the dealer. The ones at the dealer felt like they were much better quality. I purchased all the lines from the dealer and returned the one line to Auto Zone. I wrapped the metal lines with rubber hose anywhere they touched and it has been trouble free for three years. JMcCoy I also replaced all the metal lines with ½-inch transmission fluidrated hose from NAPA. At JoeG’s suggestion, I routed a hose up each side of the engine to the front cooler. Connecting the hose at the front cooler is a bit difficult to access, but it can be done without removing any major components (except for a little of my skin). No fittings were needed up front. Just slip the hose over the metal tubes coming from the cooler. I used all AN style fittings from Summit. I made this modification about 30,000 miles ago and no problems. LandShark, Oak Bay, WA I had four pin holes in the original metal tubing caused by the lines rubbing. The biggest problem area on mine was on the driver’s side, near the engine mount. One pin hole left me stranded at night at a filling station in the middle of nowhere, which was enough to make me fix the problem for good. I replaced the metal lines with hydraulic hose as well. I cut the metal lines and used ½-inch compression SAE hose fittings and 3000psi hydraulic hose, not for the pressure, but for the wall thickness. No issues after the hydraulic hose replacement several years ago. Texis, Hurricane Alley, TX
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12-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued REPAIRING BATTERY CABLE TERMINALS When replacing the batteries and battery hold downs on my ’97 Turbo Diesel 2500, I also needed to replace two of the cable end terminals. The bolts in the terminals were corroded and tore the ends out of the soft terminals when I tried to remove them. Should I cut the terminals off of the cable, strip off a little insulation, and attach new ends? I don’t want to make a mistake and end up with cables that are too short to reach the battery posts. CTaylor, Spring, TX I would replace the complete cables. There are quite a few aftermarket cables of adequate gauge and weight to take the amperage load and hold up. Try NAPA or O’Reilly’s. NAPA may have cables that are heavier; however, I’ll go with original equipment. HHhuntitall, North TX I did this:
I did this same modification to my truck. I used the factory cables which were still in good condition, cut the ends off with a hacksaw, and soldered on new lugs. The military style connector shown above is the ticket for easy maintenance and long terminal life. It removes the possibility of over tightening the original equipment style terminal ends, which ultimately leads to failure. I bought mine from McMaster Carr for about $5 each. CCiatteo, Trenton, NJ
UPGRADES AND EGT ISSUES I have a ’96 Turbo Diesel with automatic transmission. The P7100 pump has a TST #10 torque plate and a 3000 rpm governor spring kit and advanced timing. • What is the most cost effective way to reduce my EGT when climbing mountains with a heavy trailer? My local diesel shop recommends a rebuilt HX40 turbocharger; others prefer a modified HX35, or a 16 cm2 exhaust housing on the stock HX35. • Injectors. I have 165,000 miles on the original injectors and now have some smoke and noise issues. Should I get 215hp or 370hp replacements? How about rebuilt injectors? • Should I replace my #10 torque plate with a #5 or #4? Dick Taug • The best improvement would be a bigger turbocharger like the BD Super B, but you will have a little more money in it than in a rebuilt turbocharger. BD and others still offer new 16 cm2 exhaust housings which will help EGT some, about 100-200° lower. With the miles on your turbo, you might want to consider a new or rebuilt one; some rebuilders are a lot better than others. • I would recommend something near in size to 215hp injectors for mileage with some power gain. • The higher rpm area of the #10 torque plate curve doesn’t allow as much fueling with the smaller injection pumps as you can use if you upgrade the turbo for more air; that is why I like the #5, 6, 8 series for the 180hp pump. Joe Donnelly
SOLVENT FOR ADJUSTING TIMING I want to try 15 degrees of timing and I need to get the spray solvent for the tapered shaft and hole in the gear. What change in performance can I expect? Rex McKinney
These are Hummer battery terminals from eBay. They are fairly inexpensive solder on lugs, easy to clean, and they give a few more places to attach accessories. WDixon27, Port Allen, LA
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Do you have the timing tool kit? It costs about $300. Wurth still makes a non-chlorinated brake cleaner that doesn’t have toluene or xylene—it works well. Advanced timing will help with power at higher rpm, but reduce low rpm torque and power. Joe Donnelly
12-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued ENGINE POPPING AT HIGH RPM
WANTS HIGH TORQUE
I have a ’94 Dodge Ram with a five-speed transmission. I added 80hp injectors, high flow delivery valves, ARP head studs, 40lb valve springs, 4000rpm governor springs, and removed the fuel stop plate. The timing was advanced to 18 degrees. When the engine exceeds 3000rpm, it starts popping, although it still has 18psi of fuel pressure to the P7100 pump. What could be wrong? 123beavers
I am seeking maximum torque for my ’96 Turbo Diesel. I have a Banks dual intake, wastegate boost elbow, 4,000rpm governor spring kit, timing set at 16 degrees, and an aftermarket camshaft. I ground the torque plate and adjusted the AFC for more fuel. Turning the AFC for less fuel actually seems to help. Why?
I don’t know what valve springs you are using. Stock springs are a single straight outer diameter and rated for 35psi back pressure from an exhaust brake. The 60psi springs are barrel shaped, meaning the end coils are smaller diameter, like the 35psi springs, but the middle coils are bigger outside diameter, and are rated for 60psi back pressure. They give a much higher seat pressure; they are the easiest available upgrade valve springs for more rpm. The reason everyone uses them now is that I found the horsepower curve got ragged at about 3200 rpm with the stock 35 psi springs and smoothed out with the 60psi springs. For extended high rpm use, consider flat spring steel dampers in the coils, like many V8 gas engines have used for 50 years. Don’t remove the fuel plate; you can use a flat vertical surface plate like the zero I designed about 10 years ago. You want one in there as a rack stop to protect pump internal parts. Of course, if you are using the stock rack plug at the front of the pump, it will restrict maximum rack travel as well. Many pump shops set your torque plate for a given maximum rack travel and forget that the rack plug and the AFC link also can stop the rack. Joe Donnelly
A friend has a ’97 that is closer to stock but makes more low end power, and has only 13 degrees of timing. Will Stage 2 injectors and bigger delivery valves help the bottom end much? Nyoest The answer: 16 degrees of timing gives best power and mileage over about 2200rpm, but 12-13 degrees is better for power and torque around 1400-1600rpm, enabling the engine to use more fuel efficiently there. Bigger injectors than the 215hp ones that you probably have now will help a bit. I didn’t get any improvement from high flow delivery valves versus the stock 181 delivery valves. Joe Donnelly
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Coverage of the ’98.5 to ’02 Model Trucks (24-valve engines). Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard and Additional Q&A by Joe Donnelly
ENGINE SURGING/BUCKING My ’01 Turbo Diesel 3500 with a manual five-speed transmission had developed an intermittent engine surge. When it happens, the engine is running about 2,000rpm. I can press the accelerator pedal to the floor with no immediate effect on the engine. Gradually, it will increase in speed while continuing to surge and buck. When the surge/buck first occurred, I had no fuel pressure to the injection pump. Since surging and bucking began, I replaced the lift pump with a FASS DDRP lift pump, replaced the Bosch VP-44 injection pump, and the accelerator pedal position sensor (APPS). I replaced the fuel filter when I replaced the injection pump. There is no change, the surging continues. I had the engine scanned and no diagnostic trouble codes have appeared. The fuel pressure holds steady at 10psi while the surging is occurring. Has anyone had a similar problem? drandle I have several questions. 1. H ave you replaced either the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) or camshaft position sensor (CMP)? 2. Did this condition come on suddenly or gradually and did the start coincide with any other maintenance or upgrades? 3. Are you running any sort of add-on performance computer or an ECM program? JLandry, Shoreline, WA No, I haven’t replaced the camshaft position sensor or MAP sensor. Would a failure of either of those sensors create a DTC or can they cause problems without creating a DTC? The problem first occurred one evening while I was driving home from the city. It acts up around 2,000rpm, but if I accelerated hard through all gears it doesn’t happen. I didn’t perform any service or change anything on my truck prior to its beginning. The only modification on my truck is a cold air intake. drandle Those sensors can fail with or without creating a DTC. Since you’ve already replaced the usual suspect parts, it sure can’t hurt to replace the camshaft and MAP sensors also. If there is nothing wrong with them, you’ll have the old ones as spares. Does this occur with the engine both cold and warm? JLandry, Shoreline, WA
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I replaced the engine control module (ECM) with a known good one that a friend had in his garage and the engine runs great, no surging or bucking. I removed my friend’s ECM and reinstalled my ECM and have driven the truck all day without the surging or bucking. By disturbing the wiring harness changing the ECM, could there have been a poor wire connection or loose pin at the ECM connector? I checked the wire harness and connections carefully and found nothing like rubbed wire insulation or a loose fitting pin connection. drandle It sounds like it could have been a slightly oxidized connection on one of the ECM pins. There are very low voltages for the control circuits. Hopefully, this ends your problems, but if it comes back, try disconnecting the 50-pin connector again and spray it with an aerosol electric contact cleaner. After it is thoroughly dry, spray with an aerosol silicone lubricant and then reconnect. JLandry, Shoreline, WA
REPLACE THE AXLE? My mechanic says that the driver’s side ball joint on my ’02 Turbo Diesel 3500 will go in by hand and is too loose. He says the tube is defective and I need new axle. Has anyone had an axle failure like this? I plow snow with the truck. wrichards Did the old one pop out by hand? If not, someone may have damaged something by heating it with a torch and stretching it. Or they have the wrong replacement part. Turbo Tim 1, Glens Falls, NY I have seen that happen where the housing was badly rusted. The old ball joint was pressed out and it took a bit of axle material with it. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA
LARGEST INJECTORS FOR STOCK TURBO? What is the largest injector that is “safe” for towing with a stock HX35 turbocharger? Nascar I suggest not much more than a 40-60hp increase with the stock turbo. You can use a boost control elbow to get more boost, but that will only help EGTs somewhat. Joe Donnelly
24-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued ENGINE CONTROL MODULE/WAIT TO START LIGHT About two years ago my ’99 Turbo Diesel 3500 began to start differently. When I turned the ignition switch to On, the Wait to Start light would not illuminate immediately. (Previously, it would always illuminate immediately when the switch was turned to On.) I could crank the engine, but it would not start until the Wait to Start light illuminated which was usually 15 to 20 seconds after turning the ignition switch to On. By this time all the other lights in the instrument cluster would have run through their test cycle and gone out and finally the Wait to Start light would illuminate, the fuel lift pump would cycle, and the engine would start as soon as I cranked it. Why would the Wait to Start light take so long to illuminate and why would the engine crank, but not start until the light came on? I thought the problem was the injection pump, and after calling around, I found a Bosch authorized diesel shop in Daytona, Florida. They quoted a good price on a rebuilt pump and would install it. After they had my truck for several hours, the technician called me and said there was nothing wrong with my injection pump and that I had an electrical issue. He said he had seen this problem once before and thought it was the engine control module (ECM). There was no power going to the injection pump until the Wait to Start light came on. The injection pump is engine driven, computer controlled, and powered from the ECM. They only charged me a small amount for the labor. When I got home, I checked the cost of a replacement ECM which was around $1,800. The Cummins dealer could get a blank ECM, but he could not program it for me since the ECM is programmed with Dodge proprietary software and requires the DRBIII scanner for programming. I decided to live with the starting issue and keep my $1800. Last month, I decided to fix this problem and a few other small issues with the truck. My local Dodge dealer came close to matching the internet prices I had found so I ordered the ECM from him. When the ECM arrived at the dealer, the new ECM was installed and programmed. When I picked up my truck, there was no change in the time it took for the Wait to Start light to illuminate. I felt that I had just wasted almost $1,700. Since I had good luck with the local Cummins dealer in the past, I let them look at it. After having my truck for two days, the Cummins dealer technician told me there was low voltage going to the ECM when the ignition is turned on. They could find only about 7-volts going to the ECM which requires 9-volts to turn on. They suggested replacing the batteries. I took my truck to where I had purchased my replacement batteries about two years earlier and I asked them to load check my batteries and replace them if they fail. They load tested my batteries to 300-amps and the batteries were fine. The next day I took my truck back to the dealer and told them the problem was not fixed. After two days, the dealer called me and says “We can’t figure out what the problem is, come get your truck. We are not charging you anything”. I called the Cummins dealer and told them it was not the batteries and the Dodge dealer had given up on my truck. I asked if they had any more ideas. Fortunately, one of the technicians recommended an automotive electric repair shop in the area.
I called the automotive electric shop and discussed my problem. They called me back and agreed to take a look at my truck. After a few hours, they called and told me they thought it was a defective ECM. They said it would be less expensive to replace the ECM and rule it out before tearing into the truck’s wiring system. I gave them all the paperwork from the Dodge dealer for the ECM purchase and installation. They arranged for the Dodge dealer to warranty exchange the ECM for a replacement. The automotive electric repair shop installed and programmed the warranty exchange ECM and my truck is fixed. The automotive electric repair shop told me they had received as many as six defective ECM units in a row from another Dodge dealer. Apparently, the Mopar re-manufactured ECMs are not very reliable. The repair shop charge was very reasonable to diagnose the problem, arrange for the Dodge dealer to warranty exchange the defective ECM; and replace, and program the replacement ECM. After two years, my truck is finally fixed. CDrake, Jupiter, FL I am having this same problem with my ’99 Turbo Diesel. I thought I ruled the ECM out when I replaced it and the problem continued. Perhaps I should try another ECM. Nschroeder, Kingsley, IA I was having the same problem with my ’99 Turbo Diesel 2500. However, I had the 53 block and was replacing my engine so I let it go. I replaced the engine and used the ECM that came with the replacement engine and my problem went away as well. Evidently, a faulty ECM is the cause of the no engine start until the Wait to Start Light comes on. Jason707, Napa, CA I had the same issue with my ’99 Turbo Diesel 2500 recently and replaced several ECMs including an original equipment replacement that was defective before finally getting one that worked properly. I got enough experience that I could replace an ECM in less than 15 minutes. Andy Redmond, a TDR member and a regular contributor to the magazine, is a great resource. He is an expert on wiring and ECM issues and is very helpful. TSims, Southeast TX THERMOSTAT HOUSING BOLTS Two of the three thermostat housing bolts stretched and one broke on tightening it to 18ft-lbs. Luckily the end of the bolt came out easily. Someone told me the correct torque setting was only 9ft-lbs. WLowe The proper torque for M6 × 1.0 high grade bolts is about 89 inch pounds (like injector hold down bolts), or about 7ft-lb. M8 × 1.25 thread bolts on our Cummins engines (including the thermostat housing bolts) should be tightened to 18 ft-lb. Most Cummins M8 bolts are grade 9.8 or 10.9; the latter compares to American grade 8. The 12-valve engines use M8 for the thermostat housing, the 24-valve, including HPCR, use M6 bolts there. Joe Donnelly
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24-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued MORE TORQUE CONVERTER INTERMITTENT LOCK/UNLOCK At 37 to 40–mph in third gear and at 52 to 55-mph in fourth gear the transmission in my ’01 Turbo Diesel (351,000 miles) will shift in and out of torque converter lockup repeatedly. I’ve tried the “fixes” suggested by members, but obviously I am missing something. The alternator wires have been wrapped for years. I thought it was a defective ground at the battery since the cable has a non-factory end that was loose which I repaired. I serviced the transmission and found no problems. I replaced the accelerator pedal position sensor (APPS) assembly which didn’t solve the problem. I have run out of ideas to remedy my problem. hammersley, Camas, WA
From my testing this weekend, it appears that the torque converter lock/unlock issue on my ’01 Turbo Diesel 3500 may be solved. I will know for sure in about ten days when I tow my fifth-wheel trailer to the mountains of New Mexico. I received many suggestions on how to correct the torque converter lock/unlock issue and followed up on all of them. Check the battery cables first!
Unwrap the alternator wires, cut the alternator ground wire and alternator charge wires out of the existing harness, and reroute them separately and away from each other. Route the alternator ground wire along the firewall to the four-way split in the harness and the alternator charge wire over the radiator support. Rerouting those two wires has the highest success rate of any fix, so you might as well start with something that works. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA I will try your solution. Do you have any photos of the wire rerouting modification? hammersley, Camas, WA My son did the modification. He actually pulled the ground wire completely out of the harness and extended it so he could route it along the firewall instead of in the engine control module/powertrain control module (ECM/PCM) harness. He routed the charge wire from the alternator in the plastic conduit across the top of the radiator and back to the original termination point by the power distribution center (PDC). cerberusiam, McDonough, GA After nothing else worked, rerouting the alternator charge wire has solved the problem. Why, after 360,000 miles, did the torque converter lock/unlock problem suddenly develop? Years ago, I had the aluminum foil shielding wrapped on the harness near the alternator and no problems. What changed to make the rerouting necessary? hammersley, Camas, WA Deterioration of the shielding in the wire and in the alternator is the usual culprit. The frequency changed just enough to set up a different type of noise that the shielding could not filter. As age deteriorates the PCM’s ability to filter specifically stray noise, it begins to make more of an impact. Unfortunately, the electronics deteriorate to the point where they may not work and the truck may become unusable. Add on filters and tin foil will not stop the problem when the frequency changes enough to impact the PCM as it ages. The ground wire is the usual culprit, but as you have discovered, the alternator charge wire can “dirty things up” also. I’m glad it worked for you. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA
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I followed the advice of TDR member “cerberusiam” and separated the alternator ground and charge wires from the rest of the wire harness. I re-routed the two wires and cleaned all the ground connections. I also installed a Navrone noise suppression filter Model N-25 by Navone Engineering at (http://www.davidnavone.com/cart. asp?24&cat=2 or 800-669-6139) as seen in the photos which may be helpful to other members who might want to use this electrical noise filter. I rerouted the alternator charge line and ground at the same time. After completion of the project, I have driven the truck on the highway and could not reproduce the torque converter unlock/lock issue.
24-VALVE ENGINES . . . . Continued
Photos of final installation with air cleaner housing re-installed.
Silver Ratler, Lubbock, TX Editor’s Note: For more information on the common intermittent torque converter unlock/lock problem and suggested repairs, see Issue 73, page 32; Issue 71, page 35; Issue 70, page 30;
Issue 69, page 30; Issue 62, page 25; Issue 53, pages 10 and 38. One or a combination of suggested repairs appear to have been successful.
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 37
Coverage of ’03 to ’07 Model Trucks Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard and Additional Q&A by Joe Donnelly
ENGINE WON’T RUN While driving my ’04 Turbo Diesel 3500, the antilock brake system (ABS) light and the Airbag light were coming on and off and the chime sounding. Occasionally, the engine would stumble when I tried to accelerate. This morning the engine would start then promptly shut off. I checked for diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and got a P2005 or P2029, I do not remember which. The message was powered off due to data loss. The instrument panel is very erratic. The lights come on when not turned on, the fuel gauge does not work, the low fuel light comes on, and the odometer reads “no bus”. ACoyle, Haledon, NJ “No bus” sounds like an electrical connector is disconnected somewhere. Check the grounds on the batteries and the crossmember, at the block, and to the frame. Check the electrical connectors on the powertrain control module (PCM) on the firewall and the engine control module (ECM) on the side of the engine. Either a connection is loose somewhere or the ECM is failing. Low voltage will create electrical “ghosts” too. Make sure your batteries are in good condition and the cables have good contact to the posts. HHhuntitall, North TX Inspect the wiring harness near the C108 (14 pin) connector. This connector should be at the back of the engine, near the transmission bell housing. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA Try a re-boot on the ECM by disconnecting the batteries for a half hour and reconnecting them. p-Bar, Southern CA My engine started normally, but died backing out of my driveway. It would crank, but not start, and as Bob4x4 suggested, it was the C108 connector. A wire frayed from rubbing against the bell housing. Superglide, Maple Ridge, BC I disconnected the batteries. I noted a lot of white powdery stuff on the negative post of the battery on the driver’s side. After it sits all night and today, I will clean terminals and measure battery voltage tonight before reconnecting the cables.
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I will look for the C108 connector and check the wiring. There is also a fuel leak. When I stop the truck, I can smell diesel in the cab through the heater/AC vents. When I stop the truck, I see a small spot of fuel under the center of the truck in the bell housing engine area. There is no fuel leak when the truck is running and prior to the onset of this problem, there was no power loss or stumbling. Follow up: I let the local garage check for the fuel leak. They found the fuel connection on one of the injectors was only hand tight which caused the leak and this is why the engine stumbled on acceleration. They used brake cleaner and cleaned the oil off the wiring and re-taped the frayed insulation. The engine runs great. Since no one has ever touched the fuel system, I find the loose injector strange. ACoyle, Haledon, NJ The injection lines have some pretty serious pressure pulsing and loosening is not that rare. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA
WATER PUMP I plan to replace the water pump on my ’04 Turbo Diesel. I would appreciate any suggestions from members who have done this job before. p-Bar, Southern CA Loosen the top of the fan shroud. It will collapse enough to allow the room to remove and replace the pump from the top of the engine compartment. steved Remove the air filter box. Remove the tensioner pulley which is one bolt, one nut, and loosen a clamp and there will be plenty of room to work on the pump. cerberusiam, McDonough GA I didn’t loosen the fan shroud, but removed the air filter box. I used a ½-inch breaker bar from underneath to release the tensioner by pulling the breaker bar over the harmonic dampener. I slipped the belt off the water pump and pulled it back out of the way. The rest went easy. Thanks for the help. p-Bar, Southern CA
5.9 HPCR . . . . Continued 48RE “HUNTING” My ’04 Turbo Diesel 3500 with 62,000 miles hunts between 2nd and 3rd gear when towing 10,000 pounds up a grade. I have to back off throttle to stop the hunting and I do that quickly. There’s no problem when not towing. The transmission shifts perfectly. mfrost, Apple Valley, CA If you have over 40,000 miles on the governor solenoid and transducer, change them as a starting point. The 2nd to 3rd gear hunting can have multiple sources. First, verify that front band adjustment is correct. If it does the hunting in relatively single place in the throttle position and gears, you might try modifying the transmission throttle valve actuator/shift controller (TTVA) motor settings for the ’05 and newer trucks or adjusting the throttle valve cable for pre-’05 trucks. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA Would an ’05 show codes if it was a TTVA issue? BGlidewell, St. Paul, TX No, it’s not necessarily a TTVA issue; it’s a timing issue in how fast the TV pressure and governor pressure get set for the real time situation. Subtle changes in throttle position and load will cause indecision if the affected systems are on a knife edge balance. The ECU is trying to influence, not control because it can’t, hydraulic shifting. It’s an electro-mechanical feedback system and there is inherent lag time that does not always get compensated for. Member “mfrost’s” truck doesn’t have a TTVA, but, it still boils down to setting governor pressure to balance TV pressure and there are always subtle errors inherent in this type of system. The only way to cure it is over compensate on one or the other and try to negate the knife edge balance. Advance the TTVA motor 1 tooth or tighten the TV cable to stretch the shift points out seems to help in most cases. The 2-3 shift timing and settings have always been critical on these transmissions and it’s very easy for things to get out of adjustment far enough to throw glitches into the shifting. Band wear, band stretch, pressure leaks, clutch wear, sealing ring wear, TV pressure fluctuations, etc. all can affect the shift timing and you end up with shuttle shift. The 2-3 shuttle can be the most annoying and hardest to fix glitch in these transmissions. cerberusiam, McDonough, GA Wow, that is a lot to digest. I will have to get out my CD version of the Factory Service Manual to get an idea what you are talking about. Is the governor solenoid and transducer external to the transmission? Where can I purchase them and what is the cost? mfrost, Apple Valley, CA
Both the governor solenoid and transducer are internal but are easily replaced after removing the pan. You can buy them here: www.transmissionpartsusa.com/A500_42RE_A618_46RE_ Transmission_governor_p/530-00053397a.htm or 239-790-5401. The solenoid is in the “Accessories/Related Items” panel on the right. The costs are on the page. Don’t overlook band adjustment as it is critical to make the 2-3 shift work correctly. There is an upgrade to the stock solenoid that is built better than the original equipment Borg Warner. A Transtar dealer should be able to source it. The new part number is 51585. cerberusiam, McDonough GA Thanks for sharing this information with me. After I finish my wife’s remodeling project I will round up the parts and start on the transmission. This site is great! mfrost, Apple Valley, CA
SOURCE OF A STRANGE NOISE Last year I asked for some ideas on the cause of a strange rattle or harmonic type noise in my ’05 Turbo Diesel 3500. It only happened under load, especially while towing, from 1500 to 1800rpm. I received a few suggestions, but none worked out. I spent a lot of time under the truck during the past year looking for a loose heat shield or anything that could vibrate. Today I thought I’d try again and spent about 15 minutes under the truck. I was pounding with my hand on the long heat shield that runs above the exhaust on the passenger side and I hit a spot that rattled. I reached in there with my fingers and found a stone. The sound actually started on a trip after going through some road construction with loose gravel. It didn’t occur to me at the time that a stone could be up under the heat shield but it makes sense now. A simple little thing, but a concern while towing around 50mph and listening to a noise that might or might not be an actual problem. Moral of the story: don’t overlook the obvious. Dieselnerd, Eagan, MN/Tucson, AZ
I was pounding with my hand on the long heat shield that runs above the exhaust on the passenger side and I hit a spot that rattled. I reached in there with my fingers and found a stone.
TDR 74 www.turbodieselregister.com 39
5.9 HPCR . . . . Continued COOLANT/TRANSMISSION FLUID HEAT EXCHANGER
NO REVERSE ON NV5600
The transmission in my ’04 Turbo Diesel 3500 began shifting strangely about a week ago. I checked the fluid level and it was low by 1½-quarts. I checked the coolant overflow bottle and there is a red tint of transmission fluid in it. I suspect transmission fluid is getting into the engine cooling system. The only place that I can determine they come together is in the coolant-to-transmission heat exchanger which is located on the driver’s side near the rear of the engine. Has anyone replaced this heat exchanger? Is there a thermostat in this heat exchanger? gathomas, Beaver, PA
Recently, my ’03 Turbo Diesel 3500 with 130,000 miles has started shifting oddly, like the clutch wouldn’t disengage. I’ve placed the truck up on blocks and when I try and shift into reverse, it’s grinding and making noise just like the clutch isn’t disengaging. If I keep pressure on the shift lever, eventually it will go into reverse, but not without some noise. When I am trying to shift it in reverse and it makes the noise, I can leave reverse and come back to any other gear and it slides right in. Occasionally, reverse will go in without any problems. Once when it wouldn’t go into reverse, I tried shifting to 2nd gear, and it wouldn’t go in there either. The shift lever felt like it was locked out. It didn’t make the noise like it does when I try to go to reverse. It didn’t want to go in at all.
The Cummins part number is 4930582 and should sell for about $335. There are two previous part numbers which are 3957532 and 3979534.
I know I probably will have to remove the transmission, but does anyone have any idea what will need to be repaired/replaced? The clutch is original clutch and I haven’t ever abused it nor have fuel boxes or engine power enhancements ever been used. Billy Golightly, Live Oak, FL I think that you have a clutch problem as opposed to a transmission problem. You could have an issue with the reverse synchronizers, but that’s probably not a sufficient reason to go into the transmission. Shut the engine off when shifting into reverse and see what happens. If it goes into gear and works, that would vindicate the transmission. rscurtis, St. Thomas, PA I can shift through all the gears including reverse when the engine is off. I thought clutch as well, but wondered how it can shift into all the other gears with no problem, but grind and make so much noise when shifting to reverse? Billy Golightly, Live Oak, FL It is more likely you have a failed clutch throwout bearing, pilot shaft bearing, or clutch pressure plate, but the transmission will have to be removed. Removing and replacing a NV5600 transmission is not a job for an amateur with a floor jack. The transmission weighs over 400 pounds. It can injure or kill someone if not handled properly. HBarlow, South Plains of TX
mwilson, Lincoln, ME There was a recall part some time ago, but I do not recall the model year it covered. Usually the recall parts are priced better. I found the part number for the recall cooler, CBLAC442, fits 2003-2004 and retails for $176.00. I don’t know why it would not fit more years as the original equipment cooler fits model years 2003 to 2009. sag2, San Francisco Bay Area
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The NV5600 uses a synchronized reverse. However, the lower the gear ratio selected, the more mechanical advantage a dragging clutch or pilot bearing has in a lower gear, and particularly reverse, the easier it is to defeat the synchronizer. This is why it is easier to engage 5th or 6th gear to stop a dragging clutch, and then quickly shift to 1st gear or reverse before the transmission can be brought back to engine speed by the offending clutch. rscurtis, St. Thomas, PA You were right, it was the pilot bearing. After removing the transmission, I found a bunch of little needles lying loose where it seized. Billy Golightly, Live Oak, FL
5.9 HPCR . . . . Continued POWER STEERING CAP BLOWING OFF The power steering fluid reservoir cap keeps blowing off of my ’04 Turbo Diesel 2500. I have replaced several purchased from the local auto supply store. I bought one from the dealer to make sure the caps were the same and they were identical. Has anyone else had this problem? Axekicker, Las Vegas, NV I am having the same problem. I have just put my fourth cap on. A mechanic friend told me I may be over filling the reservoir with fluid which could build up too much pressure and blow the cap off. Elite1, Ventura County, CA Does the power steering system have a vent? RDHamill, NB The cap is the vent. Another member reported this issue a few years ago, and if I remember correctly, they took a cap apart and modified it slightly to release pressure better. steved The power steering reservoir cap on my ’06 Turbo Diesel had a pressure release feature similar to a radiator cap and was keeping enough pressure in to cause leaks. The dealer went so far as to replace hoses, under warranty, but that didn’t resolve the leaking. I did the cap modification referred to above and have had no problems since. danavilla, Manteca, CA I took my new cap and cross-drilled the lower shaft just under the lid, then drilled a small hole through the center of the cap to vent excess pressure. So far it’s worked. When the cap blew off, it did not spew fluid out of the reservoir. It only blew the cap off. Since I have drilled some pressure relief holes through the top, it’s staying in place. The fluid is not foamy which indicates the pump is not sucking in air and after checking all the components in the system, I can find no leaks. Since I’ve posted the original question several months ago, the answer, in my case, appears to be drilling a few holes in the lid to relieve any internal pressure that may build up, allowing the cap to stay in place. Axekicker, Las Vegas, NV
KNOCKING IN INJECTOR LINE I can feel a “knock” in the #1 injector line of my ’04.5 Turbo Diesel. The others only have a very slight tapping that I assume is normal. Should I be concerned? The engine idles smoothly, and starts easily. Ron “zzman” Your #1 injector may be sticking or malfunctioning slightly. That line has not been prone to failure, but the extra unsupported distance and more moderate bends in that line might be contributing to more felt vibration or knocking. I made up a supporting clamp for my #1 line from an old 12-valve clamp. If you make one, be sure it doesn’t flex the line when you tighten it. Joe Donnelly
CHOOSING A BIGGER INTERCOOLER I heard that a Ford intercooler is bigger. Is this a good swap? MBowser I discussed intercoolers in Issue 60, page 92, and in more detail in Issue 68, page 90. A few comments could be added to those discussions. Several companies claim to have the best in the aftermarket industry. Also it is tempting to estimate efficiency by physical size. However, the original equipment (OE) performance standards, which are used by many aftermarket companies as well, are best suited for OE replacement and boost levels. They should do a good job at that level; but they may not be adequate for the temperatures and higher boost pressures seen in the high performance Turbo Diesels. The stock Dodge intercooler is fine with stock power. When John Todd of BD Power was looking for a cooler core suitable for the higher boost levels afforded by their compound (twin) turbochargers, he only considered the extruded core design (Type C in Issue 68) that was used in high pressure industrial applications. These cores are more expensive than the ones used in stock type trucks, at moderate boost levels and inlet air temperatures. The extruded cores are a necessity for high pressure boost air cooling. They are also very efficient and failsafe. Standard cores will work great initially, but over time when using high temperatures and pressures, the owner may notice a rise in engine operating temperatures and blame injectors or turbochargers when the problem is loss of intercooler heat conductivity because of stuffed fin separation from the tubes. The stuffed fins are simply shoved into the tubes during manufacture, and they can move or bunch up later under high boost levels. Joe Donnelly
BACKLASH IN G56 TRANSMISSION My ’07 Dodge 5.9-liter Turbo Diesel has the six-speed G56 manual transmission. There seems to be an unusual amount of backlash in the transmission output shaft or drive train. It can be felt when shifting up through the gears and when on a lift. I have ruled out the driveshaft and was wondering if this is a common issue with these transmissions. Steve Wing The felt backlash can be a combination of (1) clutch disc with sprung hub; (2) transmission gears; (3) differential ring and pinion; (4) differential carrier backlash in gears, etc. However, there have been more instances of wear and parts looseness or misalignment in this aluminum cased transmission compared to earlier ironcased manual transmissions. As an aside, I recommend Pennzoil Synchromesh or Torco RTF in the G56, based on findings by Standard Transmission and Gear in Fort Worth. I had Standard rebuild my iron-cased NV5600 at 124,000 miles, even though it seemed okay. I recommend having them (or another reliable shop experienced with the G56 specifically) check out a G56 at or before that mileage. Joe Donnelly
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Engine Coverage of the ’07.5 to ’11 Model Trucks. Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard
INSIGHT FROM THE INSIGHT THE COST OF REGENERATION For the past two issues of the magazine I’ve given you my observations on fuel mileage using the Edge “Insight” gauge package and the truck’s electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) fuel mileage display. As has previously been observed, I used the Insight’s regeneration-on feature as a trigger to reset the EIVC’s mpg monitor and to reset the odometer. Thus far I have monitored two different types of driving: a total of 1,757 miles of interstate-only/cruise speed 75-78mph no load driving; and 2,415 miles of interstate travel at 67-69mph with a 12,000 pound trailer in tow. For this issue I can add some comments on around town mileage; I can add a 904 mile trip at 70mph pulling a small 4,500 pound trailer (a new category); and 412 additional miles towing the 12,000 pound trailer. When I started the fuel mileage observations back in Issue 72, I gave these driving loops some names to describe the type of duty cycle. I will use the same descriptive: Interstate trip (no load) Interstate trip towing (4,500-pound load)* Interstate trip towing (12,000-pound load) *new category The following are the data from my observations this past quarter. Interstate Trip (No Load) For this issue of the magazine I do not have any new data. In Issue 72 I did some backwards math to determine the “cost of regeneration” during two, no load interstate trips. The data from these no load trips: 713 No-load Trip as calculated 609 miles 104 miles ÷ 13.78 mpg ÷ 16.62 mpg 36.64 gallons + 7.54 gallons = 44.18
713 Ideal trip 713 miles ÷ 16.62 mpg 42.9 gallons
1.27 gallons for regeneration, 1.27 ÷ 42.9 = 3% penalty 1.27 gallons of fuel at $4 per gallon = $4.68 1044 No-load Trip as calculated 961 miles 83 miles ÷ 12.82 mpg ÷ 15.85 mpg 60.63 gallons + 6.47 gallons = 67.1
1044 Ideal trip 1044 miles ÷ 15.85 mpg 65.86 gallons
1.24 gallons for regeneration, 1.24 ÷ 65.86 = 1.88% penalty 1.24 gallons of fuel at $4 a gallon = $4.56
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And now, the total “cost to regenerate”: $4.68 + $4.56 = $9.64 for 1,757 miles of interstate travel. To do some further calculations the cost would be $548 per 100K travelled at $4 per gallon of diesel fuel or .548¢ per mile.
New Category – Interstate Trip Towing 4,500-pound Load This new category is simply the record of the trip that was travelled back in June to the Cummins CMEP Open House event in Columbus, Indiana. It is approximately a 1,000 mile round-trip. The data is presented as follows: On – 9 miles N/R* Off – 117 miles
On – 19 miles 11.1 Off – 175 miles 12.3mpg On – 8 miles N/R* Off – 57 miles
On – 16 miles 10.9 Off – 107 miles 11.3mpg *no reading At this point we arrived at our destination and the truck went into the on-off-on-off cycle that I have described as the “dufus zone.” To try and be more professional with my communication, let’s officially call this the city driving cycle. For the return trip we had a change of drivers and it took about 150 miles before the regeneration dinger chimed in and reminded the drivers to collect data for this article. They reached for the note pad and recorded the following: On – 16 miles 11.1mpg Off – 190 miles 12.9mpg On – 16 miles 9.6mpg Off – 164 miles 12.3mpg On – 20 miles
Arrive at destination. Again, this is not a scientific collection of data, merely an observation using the truck’s EVIC mpg feature. And, admittedly, it is a “lazy” observation in that we aren’t doing a weighted averaging of the mpg numbers. We just add them up and divide by the number of driving cycles. So, the following are the averages from the data we collected: Off cycles 6: total miles 810, mpg 12.18 On cycles 7: total miles 104, mpg 10.88 Percentage of time on 11%, off 89%
6.7 HPCR . . . . Continued For this issue let’s do the same backwards math to determine the “cost of regeneration” when towing the 4,500-pound trailer for 904 miles. The 904 mile, 4,500-pound Towing Trip 904 No-load Trip as calculated 810 miles 104 miles ÷ 10.88 mpg ÷ 12.18 mpg 66.50 gallons + 9.56 gallons = 76.06
904 Ideal trip 904 miles ÷ 12.18 mpg 74.22 gallons
1.84 gallons for regeneration, 1.84 + 74.22 = 2.4% penalty 1.84 gallons of fuel at $4 per gallon = $7.36 And now, the total “cost to regenerate”: $7.36 for 904 miles of interstate travel. To do some further calculations the cost would be $814 per 100K travelled at $4 per gallon of diesel fuel, or .814¢ per mile.
Existing Category – Interstate Towing 12,000-pound Trailer In July I did a short trip with the trailer in tow to Charlotte, North Carolina. The trip covered 412 miles. Putting pencil to paper, this trip was right in line with the previous data that covered three trips totaling 2,003 miles. Previous data for the 2003 miles: Total miles on, 342 (17% of the time) 9.22 mpg Total miles off, 1,661 (83% of the time) 9.53 mpg New data from 412 miles: Total miles on, 56 (14% of the time) 9.23 mpg Total miles off, 356 (86% of the time) 9.65 mpg For this issue let’s do the same backwards math to determine the “cost of regeneration” when towing the 12,000-pound trailer for 2,415 total miles. The 2415 mile, 12,000-pound Towing Trips 2003 No-load Trip as calculated 1661 miles 342 miles ÷ 9.22 mpg ÷ 9.53 mpg 174.3 gallons + 37.09 gallons = 210.4
2003 Ideal trip 2003 miles ÷ 9.53 mpg 210.18 gallons
1.22 gallons for regeneration, 1.22 ÷ 210.1 = .58% penalty 1.22 gallons of fuel at $4 = $4.88 412 No-load Trip as calculated 412 Ideal trip 356 miles 56 miles 412 miles ÷ 9.23 mpg ÷ 9.56 mpg ÷ 9.56 mpg 37.24 gallons + 6.07 gallons = 43.31 43.09 gallons .21 gallons for regeneration, .21 ÷ 43.09 = .48% penalty .21 gallons of fuel at $4 per gallon = 84¢ When you compare the cost of fuel for the ideal trip against the additional cost of fuel during the truck’s regeneration events, I noted that the penalty for regeneration is .58% and .48%.
I think this quote has been used once or twice before, from the engineers at Cummins, “If the truck is being used as intended— moderate to high load in highway travel—the answer is the obvious: the engine’s output of unburned fuel (particulates) is very low, the exhaust gas temperature is high and there is little need to fireup the self-cleaning oven known as the diesel particulate filter. Consequently the mileage penalty is negligible, if any at all.” And now, the total “cost to regenerate”: $4.88 + .84 = $5.72 for 2,415 miles of interstate travel. To do some further calculations the cost would be $236 per 100K travelled at $4 per gallon of diesel fuel, or .236¢ per mile. It makes you wonder how much money the Ford or Chevy owner would have spent in diesel exhaust fluid (DEF or Urea) when travelling 2,415 miles. On a final note, when towing a heavy load we’ve seen that it would be $236 to travel 100,000 miles. One of those fancy programmer units and an exhaust system retrofit will cost you at least $1,200. So the real cost to bypass the truck’s exhaust aftertreatment system: a five year payback; you’ve lost any rights to warranty consideration; and your truck is illegal, subjecting you to a steep federal fine. Ouch. Conclusion Back in Issue 72 I installed the Edge Insight monitor and started to note the “regeneration on” events and their duration. In Issue 72 I wondered why such a report about regeneration-on events had not been filed since the introduction of the 6.7-liter engine four years ago. I can only assume it was because the previous Edge monitor was also sold with a performance package. And, when the owner installed the kit, likely the emissions aftertreatment components “fell off” the truck. Regardless of the lack of reporting, I’m pleased to say that data from the Edge Insight has given me the ability to get us to the bottom-line, the total “cost to regenerate,” which I noted in the three analysis of driving cycles. The cost was .548¢; .814¢ and .236¢ per mile respectively. Now, compare these cost-per-mile numbers to the data on page 52 that gives us the DEF consumption that member “Plefever” is seeing with his 4500 series truck. his usage:
1 gallon (at $4 gallon) for 700 miles = .57¢ per mile or
1 gallon (at $4 gallon) for 900 miles = .44¢ per mile
Next up, I’m going to try to compare our cost to regenerate to that of the Ford or GM engines and their use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Does anyone have a Ford or GM buddy with a new truck that has been tracking their use and cost of DEF? Robert Patton TDR Staff
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6.7 HPCR . . . . Continued CODES PO137/P2A01, WHAT TO DO? I have just begun a four month trip with my ’07 Turbo Diesel 3500 towing a 14,000 pound fifth-wheel toy hauler. I had AutoZone check for Diagnostic Trouble Codes and have PO137 and P2AO1. I had all the recalls done; however, my truck is out of warranty. Can I wait until I return home or will there be a problem if I don’t replace the Oxygen Sensor on Bank 1, Sensor 2? If this is an engine emission problem, would it be covered under the emissions warranty? RDick, Hiawassee, GA If your truck is not past 100,000 miles, your Cummins engine warranty is intact. See the following information on the codes:
PO137-O2 Sensor 1/2 Circuit Low Theory of Operation: The engine aftertreatment system monitors the O2 content in the diesel engine exhaust. The ECM monitors the exhaust gases for oxygen content and varies the rich/lean fuel mixture of the intake air/fuel mixture to adjust the system. This diagnostic monitors the status message broadcast by the Smart O2 sensor module for the downstream O2 sensor circuit. The ECM will set the fault if it receives a FMI (Failure Mode Indicator) message from the Smart O2 Module. The ECM will illuminate the MIL immediately when the diagnostic runs and fails. The ECM will turn off the MIL diagnostic runs and passes in four consecutive drive cycles. When Monitored: This diagnostic runs when the engine is running. Set Condition: The ECM will set the fault if it receives a FMI (Failure Mode Indicator) message from the Smart O2 Module.
derate, the truck will struggle to climb a hill and may start to plug the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and create even more problems. dlmetzger, Cocoa, FL I took my truck to a Dodge dealer and they replaced the downstream Oxygen Sensor and Module, which were under warranty. Researching further on my 2007 Warranty Information Booklet, page 18 and 19, “5.2 Federal Vehicle Emission Warranty 6.7 Diesel Equipped Heavy Duty Truck.” “A. Parts covered for 5 years or 50,000 miles: Oxygen Sensors and Oxygen Control Module.” With 42,000 miles and under five years, my truck’s emission system is still in warranty. Thank you TDR and members. You saved me a lot of time and money. RDick, Hiawassee, GA
EXHAUST BRAKE WHISTLE I hear a high pitched whistle when the exhaust brake is activated on my ’09 Turbo Diesel 2500 with 24,000 miles when it is working hard. Is this normal? Is there somewhere I should look for a leak? I assume I should look for soot. crispyboy, Alexandria, KY It’s perfectly normal. As the opening is closed off in the turbo, the exhaust trying to escape is being forced through a smaller and smaller opening thus causing excessive back pressure and retarding the engine. As pressure builds up, what gets through is going to cause a whistle. Hoefler, Shell Knob, MO Take a look at the back of the exhaust manifold where the EGR cooler bolts up. If you see any black soot tracking, the bolts may have backed off some. sag2, San Francisco Bay Area
P2A01-O2 Sensor 1/2 Circuit Performance Theory of Operation: The engine aftertreatment system monitors the O2 content in the diesel engine exhaust. The ECM monitors the exhaust gases for oxygen content and varies the rich/lean fuel mixture of the intake air/fuel mixture to adjust the system. This diagnostic checks to make sure that the O2 content matches the expected O2 content for the engine operating conditions. The ECM will set the fault if it detects that the actual O2 measurement does not match the expected value. The ECM will illuminate the MIL immediately when the diagnostic runs and fails. The ECM will turn off the MIL diagnostic runs and passes in four consecutive drive cycles. When Monitored: This diagnostic runs when the engine is running. Set Condition: The ECM will set the fault if it detects that the actual O2 measurement does not match the expected value. I would not let this go on for long. Take it to the dealer and have it checked. Many of these error codes can cause the engine to derate if you continue to drive it for a few hundred miles. If it does
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TRANSMISSION LEAK The automatic transmission in my ’08 Turbo Diesel with 20,040 miles is leaking. It has been parked for about six weeks. The transmission pan is wet and there are four or five quarter size spots of oil on the floor under the truck. The warranty expired two weeks ago. The dealer changed the transmission fluid and the filter about 100 miles ago. I think I should check the torque on the pan bolts first. What is the torque? RStiles Do not try tightening the pan bolts. RTV is used to seal the pan and it is very rare for it to leak. Look at the manual lever seal. It is the most likely source of your leak Bob4x4, Riverside, CA I called the dealer and offered to have the truck towed the 25 miles to their location since the computer should show the last time it was started it was under warranty. The dealer told me to drive it in. They said the pan seal was leaking, and they removed and resealed it with RTV. RStiles
6.7 HPCR . . . . Continued CHECK GAUGES AND ELECTRONIC THROTTLE CONTROL LIGHT ON My ’08 Turbo Diesel 3500 has both these lights on, but no diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) are shown. Neither light is flashing. After checking the posts I found on this forum it could be the alternator or batteries, but nothing specific. What should I check? hwebster, Regina, SK You probably have a weak or a failed battery. My ’08 Turbo Diesel 3500 chassis cab had an early battery failure a few months ago and I replaced both. I’ve read of other ’08s with early battery failure. HBarlow, South Plains of TX I just replaced both batteries on my ’08 Turbo Diesel 3500. dlmetzger, Cocoa, FL I solved one half of the issue. I checked both batteries with a voltmeter. One was reading 11-volts and the other 14-volts. I cleaned the battery connections and the Check Gauges light went off. What about the electronic throttle control light? hwebster, Regina, SK Don’t get in a rush to get your truck to a dealer. Lots of those trouble codes will clear after a certain number of start/run/stop cycles. You may have already found and corrected the underlying problem. HBarlow, South Plains of Texas The check engine light (CEL) came on when I replaced the batteries. It was because of low voltage, or something similar, and after a few runs to the grocery store, it went away because the condition had been cured. KLauber, Greenville, SC The electronic throttle control light went out the next day. It was the dirty connection between the two batteries. I will probably replace batteries before the snow flies. hwebster, Regina, SK
NOISE IN THE TURBO AREA I left Las Vegas headed for Denver in my ’07.5 Turbo Diesel which has 103,303 miles. The truck was running good. When I started up Vail Pass in Colorado, I heard a growling sound when depressing the accelerator pedal. When releasing pressure on the accelerator pedal, the sound disappeared. After reaching the top of the pass and beginning to go down I turned on the exhaust brake and the noise returned. If I turn the exhaust brake off, the noise goes away. The check engine light (CEL) came on when I got to Denver. I tried to read the code, but I couldn’t read it fast enough. BEllis Remove the turbo air intake hose. Check for bearing play and look for marks. It sounds like the turbo may be scrubbing a little. Alan Reagan, Kathleen, GA
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Your response got me to looking around the engine and I found some loose bolts on the exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR). I took the truck to a dealership for the CEL. They repaired the EGR, did a diagnostic check on it, checked the turbo, and everything checked okay. BEllis
ENGINE DYING AT IDLE I have a problem with my ’07.5 Turbo Diesel 3500 chassis cab (349,500 plus miles) dying when I slow from highway speed to make a turn or at a stop light. It always starts right back up, but it adversely affects the brakes and steering. I suspect that I had purchased some bad fuel recently and have changed the filters five times which helped for 1,000 to 2,000 miles. Now it is dying again. The only diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) concerning the fuel system are P0148, P000F, and P0087 (see page 85), and at one time P0607. I have replaced the over pressure valve recently. Before I start throwing parts at the problem, does anyone have an idea what my problem could be? The Dodge dealer says I have trash in my fuel tank and it needs to be removed and cleaned. Because of the mileage on my truck, I should have the in-tank fuel pump replaced for around $600. I don’t think fuel pressure is the problem because GM trucks use the same Bosch CP3 high pressure fuel pump without a lift pump. EB, Edna, TX It appears to me that your problem is fuel related, and if your filter is clean and with your mileage, it could be your lift pump as the Dodge dealer has suggested. Drive your truck until the fuel tank is empty, lower the tank, remove the lift pump assembly, and inspect the tank. RVTRKN I talked to Mike Mullenax, a TDR member and a Dodge tech, who also suggested that the lift pump was probably the problem. This makes two Dodge technicians who have the same solution to the problem. Also the Dodge tech I have used before told me the same thing. Follow up: The fuel tank is cleaned and a re-manufactured lift pump installed and all codes were cleared. The fuel tank had what looked like soot in it. Black very fine particles were covering the lift pump and the indentation the pump module sits in. It was easy to see the particles with the white lining inside the tank. I have been on a job with the engine running continuously from 1:00pm to 8:30pm which included several hours of idling with no issues. Hopefully this is the end of this problem. EB, Edna, TX
Coverage of 2010 and newer Model Trucks Web Site Correspondence Edited by Bill Stockard and Additional Q&A by Joe Donnelly
FRESH CABIN AIR AND A HOT BUTTER KNIFE by Robert Patton One of the team in Geno’s Garage was monitoring diesel-related activity on the web, where he came across an owner of a Fourth Generation truck with a problem that at first glance seemed routine and unremarkable: poor air flow from the truck’s HVAC system. In more typical instances of this complaint, such a problem is traced to an underlying malfunction of the vehicle’s HVAC blend-doors or, alternatively, a problem addressed in Recall K17 or L14, titled “Reprogram HVAC Control Head” (see page 64). However, in this instance, poor air flow was traced to air blockage caused by mud (excess dust with excess moisture, for the subject of the posting was a farm truck) accumulated on top of the honeycomb grill that covers the blower motor. The immediate solution was to clean off the mud-crud: the backup solution was to add a cabin filter prior to the truck’s HVAC blower motor box. About the latter procedure, I read a lengthy how-to (but with no pictures) and I almost concluded, “Not worth my time.” But it was a slow day at work, so I went out to my truck to make a visual inspection for what might be involved. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Do I waste my time reading all this stuff only to find an elective project that is too time consuming, too expensive, or too difficult?” My quick answer: It is an easy project; the cost is less than $20 for the Mopar 05058693AA cabin filter; and, if you’re good with a hot butter knife, you can do this job. Are you perhaps now convinced that the cabin filter project is worth doing? Well then, let us proceed! We first need to get access to the blower motor, because the new cabin filter will be installed just above the vanes of the motor, which is located behind the lower glovebox. How do we remove the glovebox? It is an easy operation: pinch the V-sides of the glovebox cradle in on both sides, drop the glovebox, and then lift it right off of its hinge.
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Pinch in both the V-sides, drop the glovebox down and then pull upward. The box lifts right off of the hinge.
The next step is not entirely necessary, but it helps with your line of sight. If you choose, you can remove the upper glovebox. The glovebox compartment on the ST-trimmed trucks is held in with a series of spring clips and a 7mm bolt in the back left corner. Remove the bolt and pry the compartment outward with a plastic pry tool. Push from behind and the six spring clips will release. If you have a truck with an upper glovebox door, the removal of the glovebox compartment (although it is a different part than that of the ST trim) is the same: First, open the door and remove the four 7mm bolts that hold the glovebox door in place. Next, remove the 7mm bolt from the backside of the compartment and push outward to release the six spring clips. With the upper and lower boxes removed it is easy to see how simple the “hot butter knife” work will be to perform. In the picture below I have taped over the “mail slot” plastic that will be removed to allow us to slip the Mopar cabin filter (05058693AA) into place. The template was made by cutting masking tape as it was stuck to the side of the Mopar filter. Matter of fact, since there are plastic indents in the HVAC ducting box that match the outline of the Mopar filter/template, one has to wonder why the folks at the factory did not make this modification. However, my job is not to second guess, my job is to modify and report.
FOURTH GENERATION . . . . Continued SINCE I WAS ALREADY IN THERE (Is it Worth $212.80?) Good grammar, eh? Since I was already in there with the fresh cabin air and a hot butter knife project, I started wondering how difficult it would be to add a glovebox door to the good ‘ole ST-equipped truck. Short story, not difficult at all, call your Mopar parts guy and spend $212.70 for the following three parts: Door 1NM00BD3 $169.75 Glovebox 1RF251DVAA $32.85 Latch 68050731AA $10.20
The masking tape template is in place. Time to cut the edges with the hot butter knife. (Didn’t we all build plastic model cars?)
I cut the plastic with the hot knife and further trimmed the area with the hot knife. I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of the blower motor’s blades. Since the first week of ownership I have had a Geno’s Garage cab fresh filter kit installed over the exterior air inlet and I’m pleased to see that the product works well. (Reminder to self: at the next truck wash, remove and rinse out the cab fresh filters.) Back to the project at hand, with the plastic removed, slip the Mopar 05058693AA into the filter mail slot. Now it is time for the shadetree and unprofessional final touch to this project: I used screamingyellow duct tape to give the area a half-decent seal. The long story, what started as an easy, “I think I’ll add a door” (albeit expensive at $170, I thought that it would be the only part necessary) turned out to be a lesson in “order this and return that.” I’m thankful that my Mopar parts guy is patient. To add a door (1NM00BD3), requires a different glovebox (1RF251DVAA) as well as a latch (68050731AA) and some bolt hardware. The installation is simple, but it requires some common sense. First off (just as in the cabin filter project), remove the bottom glovebox. Next, stand on your head to see what keeps the existing glovebox in place. Answer: two 7mm bolts in the top corner and six metal expansion clips. Remove the two 7mm bolts and, from behind the glovebox, push the glove box outward to remove it from the cavity. Put the new door into place. Nothing says “professional installation” like screaming yellow duct tape.
Project refinement: I know, I know, I’m killing you with my lack of workmanship. Let’s finish this project the right way. Purchase a filter door from Mopar, part number 68052292AA price $11.70. The filter door clips right into place. Next, go to NAPA and purchase a charcoal-activated cabin filter (part number 4578) instead of the Mopar 05058693AA. The NAPA filter is even less expensive at $12.49. Or, since this is such an easy/should be on every Fourth Generation truck project, you can purchase a Mopar door and NAPA filter kit from Geno’s at $23.50.
With the cavity open it is time to test fit the door. What? It will not fit into place. Upon close inspection with the flashlight, the factory folks have some little tangee-doos/plastic fingers that are in the way. Cut them (I think there were four pieces of plastic in the way) and the door slips into place. Secure the door with the 7mm bolts. Bolt the latch into place; install and bolt the glove box into place and you’re done with the $212.80 project. Robert Patton TDR Staff
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FOURTH GENERATION . . . . Continued INTEGRATED BRAKE CONTROLLER I have an issue with the integrated brake controller on my ’11 Turbo Diesel. It locks the brakes on my 14 foot cargo trailer no matter where I set the boost, and intermittently the percentage will jump all over the place with a steady amount of pressure on the brake pedal. When I hooked up to my 13,500 pound fifth-wheel for the first time and with it set at 8.5, the percentage never got past 30 no matter how hard I pushed on the brake pedal. Should I take my truck in for the dealer to check or could I be setting brake controller incorrectly? sdriv If you are having problems on two different trailers, most likely the problem is with the integrated brake controller. When you call the dealer to take your truck in, ask if they need the trailer connected to the truck to duplicate the problem. domehead FUEL IN THE ENGINE OIL I have owned my ’10 Turbo diesel 3500 with 17,000 miles for a year. The engine has been “making oil” since it was new. Until recently, the oil would never get more than about a half inch above the full mark on the dip stick. I had the oil analyzed about six months ago and the analysis showed about 3 percent fuel dilution. Recently when I checked the oil, it was about an inch above the full mark which was higher on the dip stick than it has ever been. I took another oil sample and sent it in for analysis and found out there is 7.4 percent fuel dilution. The truck is not showing any codes, so the dealer told me there was nothing they could do. I use my truck to tow a 15,000-pound fifth-wheel trailer and to tow a 10,000-pound 24-foot trailer loaded with my tractor occasionally. The rest of the time I use it for my daily drives of 50/50 highway and city. I don’t let the engine idle except at stop lights. It is my understanding that it is fairly common for the engine to dilute the oil to 1 to 2 percent with fuel. However, I don’t think 7.4 percent dilution would be good for the engine. How do I find out what is causing this problem? My guess is that it could be a faulty injector(s), but it could also be that the rings have not seated yet. What I don’t understand is why it is getting worse unless it is a faulty injector(s) that is getting worse. Unfortunately, there are no good diesel technicians at the dealerships in my area. roberthall0 You haven’t mentioned your oil change interval, which is very important on the 6.7-liter engine. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA I should have reported the oil changes. I have been changing the oil each time I get an oil change message on the electronic vehicle information center (EVIC). The first three messages were at 4,200 mile intervals. The fourth message was at 3,700 miles. The oil samples I had analyzed were taken during the second and fourth oil change. roberthall0
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I have done dozens of oil samples on 6.7-liter engines and the oil change light usually comes on in the 5 percent range, but I have seen as low as 3 percent and as high as 8 percent. Your truck is doing exactly what it is designed to do. The amount of oil dilution is mostly due to do your driving conditions. Light duty service equals high fuel dilution, heavy duty service and towing equals low fuel dilution. Drive and enjoy your truck. Change the oil within 500 to 800 miles of when the light comes on. sag2, San Francisco Bay Area
LUBE THE CARDAN JOINT? Recently, I lubricated the front drive shaft on my ’11 Turbo Diesel 2500 while doing a tire rotation. I read on the TDR discussion forum that a lube needle could be used to slip in and inject the lubricant. I bent a perfectly good one trying that. I found one of my old lube tips with the rubber end and was able to hold it tight enough to force the lubricant in. I would like to find a more suitable lubricating needle that will fit properly in the dimple. Alan Reagan, Kathleen, GA You need a stem about ¼-inch in diameter with a cone shaped tip. Purchase an Alemite adapter part no. 6783, available from any industrial supplier. RCorbeil I have never had any trouble lubing the driveshaft on any of my Dodges. Purchase the correct needle and it is a simple job. Also purchase some Q-tips to clean the dimple out before lubricating to prevent forcing grit into the cavity. DHuffman, IA
SPEEDOMETER RECALIBRATION Is there a gear I can replace to correct the speedometer on my ’11 Turbo Diesel 3500 when I install larger diameter tires? CAbelmann Gears aren’t used anymore. It’s all done with electronic speed sensors and computers. RonD
WEBSITE FOR TRACKING A TRUCK ON ORDER Does anyone know of a website where I can track my order for a new truck? I recently ordered a ’12 Turbo Diesel 2500 and the dealer mentioned that some customers have found a website where they can track their orders through the assembly line and to the rail depot. hogsty There is no way to check the actual order except through DealerConnect. sag2, San Francisco Bay Area
FOURTH GENERATION . . . . Continued LOOSE LUG NUTS AND AN OIL SEEP
HARSH SHIFTING FROM FORWARD TO REVERSE
While preparing for an upcoming trip, I decided to rotate the tires on my ’11 Turbo Diesel 2500. The lug nuts appeared to be torqued to only about 50 ft-lbs. I am glad I haven’t done any towing.
Occasionally when I shift the automatic transmission in my ’10 Turbo Diesel 2500 with 18,000 miles, I hear a harsh “clunk.” I wiggled the driveshaft and it is tight, so don’t think the U-joints are an issue. I don’t hear any unusual driveline slack when changing speed and no strange rear axle noises. The truck does moderate towing and normal city/highway driving.
When checking for any possible leaks under my truck, I discovered a light amber colored oil, similar to mineral oil weeping from the inspection plate on the transmission. It hasn’t been dripping. I removed the inspection plate and found the oil covering the mating surfaces between the plate and the transmission. I cleaned it and began looking for the source. I looked using a flashlight and mirror. The flywheel and torque converter were completely dry. I pushed a clean towel up in the opening and it came out completely dry. I presume it was residual cooling fluid from the machining process. Has anyone else noticed the oil weeping from the transmission inspection plate? Alan Reagan, Kathleen, GA I noticed the same wet spot on the bottom of the inspection plate on my ’10 Turbo Diesel 3500 too. It eventually dried up and has not reappeared after 30,000 miles. sno_bound, Central Ontario I had the same thing on my ’10 Turbo Diesel 3500. I think it was protective coating used during the manufacturing process. I wiped mine clean and have not seen it again in a year. craiggo, Redwood City, CA
EXHAUST GAS TEMPERATURE? I have a question about my ’11 Turbo Diesel 3500. I see the exhaust gas temperature up as high as 1250°, but most of the time the temperature runs from 850 to 1150°. Is it normal to see the exhaust gas temperature this high? LMcCallister I understand it is normal temperature for the Cummins 6.7-liter engine. Simplysmn, CA If the engine is stock, quit looking at the gauge. It is what it is, and it is not too hot. It will last forever at those temperatures. sag2, San Francisco Bay Area The engine has a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty, so with this one, I just hitch up the fifth-wheel and go. If the computers can’t protect it, then Dodge can replace it. RustyJC, TX That was my biggest mistake on my ’04 Turbo Diesel 2500. I installed four gauges on the stock engine. I had gauge fixation and became afraid to drive the truck. With my ’10 Turbo Diesel 2500, I drive it and let Dodge worry about any problems that might develop. It actually feels good pressing the accelerator pedal while climbing a hill towing my fifth-wheel. Tryingit, Central NJ
Is this a common characteristic or should I have the local dealer techs have a look? AHarris, Northwoods of WI My ’11 Turbo Diesel does it too with only 1200 miles. It was one of the first things I noticed when driving my new truck. When I shift from Drive to Reverse, clunk, or vice versa, clunk. AKorner, Los Angeles, CA If you shift while rolling, the torque on the driveline is tremendous and it will be very noticeable. You should be shifting only while completely stopped. If I’m completely stopped, I don’t hear it. However, when I get lazy and shift directions while moving, yes, it is harsh. Hoefler, Shell Knob, MO It will be harsh because the driveline is being “wrapped” in Drive and is still somewhat “wrapped” up when stopped. When shifting into Reverse, it “unwraps” and quickly wraps the opposite direction. When shifting from Drive to Reverse or vice versa, try stopping momentarily in Neutral which allows the driveline to relax before wrapping the opposite direction. It works for me. LarryM Callahan, FL
FACTORY SPRAY-IN BEDLINER VERSUS LINEX What has been the experience with the factory spray-in bed liner? The invoice for factory spray-in bed liner is $404. My local LineX dealer charges $500. However, LineX has a lifetime guarantee. BHolland The factory spray-in bed liner looks awesome. I haven’t seen enough of them abused yet to know how well it will hold up. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA I have a family member with the factory spray-in bed liner and so far it has held up as well as the Line-X in my ’10 Turbo Diesel 3500. He abuses his truck more than I do and so far he really likes it. 6Shaker, AB I had the Line-X on my previous ’02 and have the factory spray-in bedliner in my ’11 Turbo Diesel 3500. Right now, it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other as far as I’m concerned. Both have done fine. RustyJC, TX
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FOURTH GENERATION . . . . Continued FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL
4500/5500 WITH UREA
When is the release date for a factory service manual (FSM) for the ’11 model year? I want to order a FSM for my ’11 Turbo Diesel 3500. I called the number listed in my the Owner’s Manual lists and they reply that they don’t know when the new manuals will be released. It sounds odd to me since the ’11 model year has been out quite a while now. I received the FSM for my ’00 Turbo Diesel the week after I bought it. LarryM, Callahan, FL
I am considering purchasing a ’11 Turbo Diesel 4500 chassis cab. I drove one recently and really liked the truck. However, the added urea system makes me a little nervous. Does anyone have experience with that yet? I am curious about problems, fuel mileage, how often to refill, etc. JWey
I don’t see the paper FSM making a return. They got so expensive that dealers stopped buying those years ago. The dealers have always been the biggest market and no demand always means no supply. In previous years (example: 2007) the print version was $450. The aftermarket manuals have always been a poor substitute for the FSM, and with the much more highly technical vehicles, they have an even harder time keeping current. Very few vehicle systems can be tested or repaired without the use of expensive equipment which is out of the budget of most do it yourselfers. The other systems, such as brakes, driveline, etc. normally will not require the FSM. Bob4x4, Riverside, CA
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I just picked up my ’11 Turbo Diesel 4500 4x4 from Dave Smith, Kellogg, Idaho, and drove back to California and got between 13 and 14mpg. I would like to relocate the urea tank and coolant lines so I could install Amp Research running boards. JSawtelle, Santa Cruz County, CA Don’t worry about the urea. I forget my ’11 Turbo Diesel 4500 4x2 has the urea system. It uses about 1 gallon per 900 miles and as much as 1 gallon per 700 miles driving it hard and towing a lot of weight. The exhaust is clean enough to eat a sandwich out of the tailpipe. The side of my trailer is also clean. The fuel mileage is as high as 15 to 16mpg driving empty at 70 to 75mph. When towing 12,000 pounds the mileage is about 11 to 12mpg and towing 25,000 pounds with a gross weight of 35,000 pounds, it’s 8 to 9mpg. Engine power has never been an issue. If you buy diesel emission fluid (DEF) on sale, the operating cost is less than $0.01 per mile. Tires wear out faster than that. PLefever
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL Preface: Have you ever served in your local government? A home owners association? A church board member? Were you the president of your high school class? A volunteer with the local Boy Scouts? The point of these silly questions: likely you would have noticed that a governing entity can get bogged-down in minutiae. Likely you also discovered that there can be several ways in which a governing entity can accomplish the same objective. Closer to our concerns in the TDR world, here is a case in point: The “Proposed 2017 Combined Tractor Standards” announced in August. These standards are essentially the first fuel economy mandate for heavy trucks. It was this announcement that gave me the idea for this issue’s theme, “Keep your eye on the ball.” So, to follow that lead, I will focus my sights on regulatory developments that bear significantly on heavy-duty truck, involving technology that undoubtedly will be adopted in upcoming Turbo Diesel pickups. Yes, keep your eye on the ball.
THE FUEL ECONOMY PROPOSAL I have a file folder labeled “EPA Stuff/MPG Stuff.” The file folder is about 1” thick and it has press clippings and internet information stashed away for reference. In August when I read about the heavy-duty fuel economy standards, I knew that there was something on the subject in my tattered file folder. Keeping my eye on the ball, here is information that had preceded the August 2011 announcement, cited from the November 2010 issue of the trade publication Diesel Progress: “On January 1 of this year, a lot of heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers probably breathed a sigh of relief and thought, ‘mission accomplished.’ “On that date, US EPA’s 2010 emissions standards, the last (and most stringent ‘dirty air’ related) regulatory hurdle in a nearly twodecades-long march toward cleaner air, were fully in force, the thousands of hours of research and development and the billions of dollars of investment in fuel systems, aftertreatment and fuel formulations were essentially complete.
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“Yet any thoughts that the industry might get a developmental breather were dispelled in late spring of 2010 when the Obama Administration issued a presidential memorandum calling on the EPA and the US Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to jointly develop greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel-efficiency standards for virtually all types of vehicles operating on the nation’s roads. “The agencies issued the passenger car and light-duty standards in early September and in the waning days of October, the heavy-duty shoe dropped as the two agencies issued the first national GHG and fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. “The standards would be phased in from 2014 to 2017 and would achieve from 7 to 20% reduction in emissions and fuel consumption from affected tractors over the 2010 baselines. “For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the agencies are proposing separate gasoline and diesel truck standards, which phase in starting in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 10% reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15% reduction for diesel vehicles by 2018 model year.” Now, remember the question I posed by way of the introduction, about your local government, HOA, church board, etc.? From the same Diesel Progress article, here is some organizational minutiae to bog you down and complicate the task of keeping one’s eye on the ball: “The most significant of these compliance flexibilities is one familiar to those in the diesel engine emissions world—averaging, banking and trading (ABT) programs. The proposals call for an engine ABT program, as well as a vehicle ABT program, both of which would allow for emissions and/or fuel consumption credits to be averaged, banked or traded within each of the regulatory subcategories. “In addition to the general ABT programs, EPA is proposing to allow engine manufacturers the added option of using CO2 credits to offset CH4 or N2O emissions that exceed the applicable emissions standards based on the relative global warming potentials of these emissions.” Hello! Do you understand how the “compliance flexibilities” will work? Neither do I. However, remember my comment about your local government, HOA, church board, etc.? From the same Diesel Progress article here is an example of two ways to accomplish the same objective:
Hello! Do you understand how the “compliance flexibilities” will work?
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND . . . . Continued PROPOSED MODEL-YEAR 2017 COMBINED TRACTOR STANDARDS NHTSA Fuel Consumption Standards (gal./1000 ton-mile)
EPA Emissions Standards (g CO2/ton-mile) Low Roof
Day Cab Class 7
Day Cab Class 8
Sleeper Cab Class 8
EPA and DOT’s combined greenhouse gas emissions and fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks.
When I finished reading the Diesel Progress report, the only thing I was sure of was that there was new legislation coming; and I was hopeful that someone could explain the details to me.
THE LEGISLATION AND THE POSITIVE REACTION Now that you are thoroughly confused by the minutiae and the two ways to look at the heavy duty standards (EPA CO2 emissions or would that be NHTSA fuel consumption?), let’s take a look at the August 2011 leglislation announcement. From Transportation Topics, “Obama Sets Fuel Standards”: “On August 9, President Obama set heavy-duty fuel-economy standards for the first time, unveiling regulations that mandate a 20% cut in fuel use and address the complicated broad universe of vehicle sizes and applications in a plan that both operators and manufacturers applauded. “The regulations, which the administration drew up in collaboration with the industry, received immediate, nearly unanimous support from trucking, truck and engine manufacturers, environmental interests and others. “The Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Group, an ad hoc coalition of motor carriers and manufacturers that has pushed for the regulations since April 2010 also praised the standards.”
WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU Well, what do the fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks mean to you? After all, ours is a Turbo Diesel pickup, right? Yes and no. Let me see if I can further confuse the issue. Here is a quote from Light & Medium Truck that should explain the legislation: “All on-road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds and more are included. Exceptions are those cars and light trucks above that weight covered under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for model years 2012-2016. They include some sport utility vehicles, vans with less than a 13-passenger capacity and half-ton pickup trucks.” The confusion comes from the fact that our ¾ and 1 ton pickup trucks do have a GVWR of over 8,500 pounds. However, prior to the August legislation our trucks were in a different category known as “Tier 2, Bin 5,” as administered by Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules for the purposes of defining the allowable exhaust emissions of particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX). The Tier 2, Bin 5, category had nothing to do with fuel economy. Although automobiles and ½ ton pickups that are under CAFE guidelines do get an “EPA mileage estimate” on the vehicle’s window decal, our trucks have never had this information. Confused?
So, we have new legislation and reaction from government, trucking industry and manufacturers that is favorable. Although I’m still looking for someone to explain the details to me, I’ll try to relax a bit knowing that there is not disagreement within the involved interest groups.
“The Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Group, an ad hoc coalition of motor carriers and manufacturers that has pushed for the regulations since April 2010, also praised the standards.”
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BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND. . . . Continued Let’s move on to, “what it means to you.” First, the pickups will move from CAFE emissions standards for PM and NOX to standards that apply to heavy duty/above 8,500 GVWR engines. This is a moot point. Why? Recall the line I cited from Diesel Progress: “On January 1, 2010, a lot of heavy-duty truck and engine manufacturers probably breathed a sigh of relief and thought mission accomplished. On that date the EPA’s 2010 standards, the last (and most stringent ‘dirty air’ related) regulations, were fully in force.” Most importantly, to you it means that down the road there will be fuel economy standards that the truck will have to meet. And now this fuel economy standard will be dictated by a heavy duty, over 8500 GVWR governing entity (the EPA/NHTSA) rather than the car and light truck entity which is CAFE. So, whether measured by the EPA’s CO2 exhaust emissions or NHTSA’s fuel consumption, you can look for a truck that gets better fuel economy. Finally, it means you will see some different, some new, and some greater use of existing technologies to reach the fuel consumption goals. The following are quotes from Transportation Topics, “OEMs Detail Design Innovations to Meet New Greenhouse Rules”: “Truck and engine makers last week outlined some of the engineering innovations they will have to develop and put onto highways over the next six years to meet recently unveiled federal heavy-truck greenhouse-gas regulations. “With no large, obvious, single solution to the problem, engineers said they will work to combine the benefits of improved aerodynamics, weight reduction, materials, science, petroleum chemistry, software and sensors, mechanical and electrical engineering and waste-heat recovery. “On the road to 2017, the first checkpoint for truck makers will be 2014. “Rich Freeland, president of Cummins’ engine business, attended the White House meeting with President Obama to discuss the standards August 9. Cummins said in a statement that it would meet the 2014 standards a year early, in its 2013 model engines. “Cummins will use its existing technology, including selective catalytic reduction, to meet the standards without extensive research and development. “The Columbus, Indiana, manufacturer also said that onboard diagnostic sensors mandated by earlier anti-pollution regulations on nitrogen oxides and particulate matter might also be used to control carbon dioxide output, said Stephen Charlton, chief technical officer of the corporation’s engine business. “‘SCR is the cornerstone of what we’re doing. We took a big step with it three years ago, but it’s not static. Think of the 2010 engines as the first generation of SCR; 2014 as the second generation; and 2017 will be the third generation,’ Charlton told Transport Topics. “Charlton said Cummins management is so confident in meeting the first phase of the rule that the company anticipates making the technology available in January 2013, a year before it is due. As for the second phase, Charlton said research is being done now.
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“While truck makers may pursue aerodynamic body designs, Charlton said, Cummins will look at friction reduction, greater efficiency in combustion, air handling and waste-heat recovery. He described the engine’s variable-geometry turbocharger as being particularly important. “‘The VGT is our Swiss Army knife. There are quite a number of systems it has to control very accurately,’ said Charlton, adding that the component has effects on SCR, braking and exhaust gas recirculation. “Another potential for increasing energy efficiency that is not intuitively obvious is less viscous engine oil. The more viscous the lubricating oil in a bearing, the more energy it takes to turn an axle.” Conclusion In the preceding 2.5 pages I’ve given you the entire fuel economy story. It takes a bit of concentration to follow the bouncing ball that will be the set of regulations that will govern our trucks in the future. I’m still not sure what the bottom line “numbers” will be. Regardless our truck will move to fuel economy standards for vehicles over 8500 GVWR that will be administered by EPA or NHTSA. The trucks no longer fall under the car and light truck standards as administered by CAFÉ guidelines.
“TDResource” is a listing of resource materials for Turbo Diesel owners
Have we not all heard comments by those unfamiliar with the Ram Turbo Diesel (a prospective buyer of either a new or used truck, or a visitor on the internet or at the truck show) that “the Turbo Diesel certainly has its share of problems”? To them, no doubt, the grass looks greener on the other side. However, thanks to the TDR membership group and the support from Chrysler and Cummins, we are equipped with answers and solutions, rather than the dismay and isolation that would exist without a support group.
WHAT DO THE MODEL CODES MEAN? Throughout our summary pages you’ll see model codes listed for the various Dodge trucks. The following is a chart of the model code meanings. Series ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 2500 Pickup DH DH DJ DJ 3500 Pickup D1 D1 D2 D2 3500 C/C DC DC DC DD 4500 C/C DM DM DM DP 5500 C/C DM DM DM DP
THIS YEAR’S TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETINS Each year as a service for the TDR membership I purchase a subscription to Chrysler’s online service and data system (www. techauthority.com). New for this year, the TechAuthority site offers an index of factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been released in the past year. I scroll through the index and print those bulletins that are pertinent to all Turbo Diesel trucks (all years, all models with cab and chassis included). With the bulletins in hand, I summarize the bulletin for publication in the magazine. Should you need a complete copy of the bulletin, you can contact your dealer with Issue 74 in hand, or armed with your truck’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and a credit card you can log on to www. techauthority.com and, for $29.95, you can view/print all of the TSBs that apply to your vehicle. The $29.95 buys you three consecutive days of access. However, for 2011 I found theTechauthority website to be cumbersome to navigate. More on this later. In an effort to consolidate the TSBs for the magazine, we’re going to use the same index system categories as Chrysler. Below are the index categories. 2 Front Suspension 3 Axle/Driveline 5 Brakes 6 Clutch 7 Cooling 8 Electrical 9 Engine 11 Exhaust 13 Frame & Bumpers
14 Fuel 16 Propeller Shafts and U-Joints 18 Vehicle Performance 19 Steering 21 Transmission 22 Wheels & Tires 23 Body 24 Air Conditioning 25 Emissions Control 26 Miscellaneous
A note concerning the TSBs and their use: The bulletins are intended to provide dealers with the latest repair information. Often the TSB is specific to the VIN. VIN data on the Chrysler service network helps the dealer in his service efforts. A TSB is not an implied warranty.
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NEW RELEASES Again, with the service at www.techauthority.com we’ve gathered information on Ram Technical Service Bulletins that have been released only during the past year. If you wish to review all of the TSBs for Third or Fourth Generation trucks, we have archived those as well as this update at the TDR’s web site (Site Features: TSBs). Also, TDR Issues 66 and 58 have larger listings that allow the Third Generation owner to review the TSBs issued from 2003 to 2009. Likewise, using Issue 70 as your resource, you can review the TSBs that were issued in calendar year 2010.
TECH AUTHORITY STUMBLES I have long sung the praises of Techauthority. Not so for this year’s review of technical service bulletins. In my previous yearly updates the system would ask for your VIN and the VIN number would unlock a world of information. This year the “search by VIN” resulted in “no items matching your criteria.” And that was only after 10 attempts to log-in, and after 10 attempts to purchase the $29.95 subscription. (Okay, I’m embellishing with the “10 attempts,” but you get the message, it was not an easy shopping experience.) And, ask my wife, I am good at purchasing items using the keyboard and the computer. For 2011, Techauthority proved to be a real time-waster. However, that is part of the reason you’re reading the TDR, right? You trust the TDR’s writers and staff to sift through the minutiae and bring you only the important details. I’m hopeful our yearly TSB summary is helpful to you.
TDReSource . . . . Continued
’07-’10 DC/DM ’11 DD/DP
High coolant temperatures on vehicles equipped with snow plows. Customers that operate their vehicle with a snow plow attached to the vehicle may cause the airflow passing through the radiator to be disrupted resulting in higher than normal engine temperatures. The Cummins ECM is equipped with software that can fully engage the fan clutch to allow an increase of airflow through the radiator. Customers can initiate the fan clutch operation by performing the following button sequence: • Turn the ignition key to the run position or start the truck. • Simultaneously press and release the Cruise Control “Cancel” button/lever and the “Exhaust Brake” button. Repeat this sequence four times within five seconds. The chime will sound twice as an audible indicator that the function is engaged. • To disable the function, repeat the same procedure. The chime will sound four times as an audible indicator that the function is disengaged. Note: ’07-’09 truck engine ECMs were not equipped with the fan engagement software. These engines would require the latest software update (18-020-10) in order to have the fan-on capability.
Transmission cooler hose weepage. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with the Cummins engine and an automatic transmission built between September 20, 2010, and January 17, 2011. Some of the listed vehicles have been built with a transmission cooler hose that may experience fluid weepage. Inspect the upper transmission cooler hose (“Hot” side line that runs near the battery) for date code 2440. If the upper transmission cooler hose has date code 2440 on the hose, verify whether or not the hose was built between 21:14 – 23:16 (Time Stamp). The date code may be on the lower side of the hose. It may be necessary to use a mirror or rotate the hose. This bulletin involves inspecting the upper transmission cooler hose for a specific date code and time stamp. If found within the suspect range, the transmission cooler hose must be replaced.
Radio locks up. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with a radio with sales code REN, REZ. The problem may be that the radio will not change stations or frequency intermittently. The only function that will be available is volume control. The repair involves upgrading the software of the REN/REZ radio.
08-026-10 Rev. A 12/18/10
Park assist system for message clarity and false messages on 4x4 models. This bulletin applies to vehicles built with the Parksense Rear Park Assist (sales code XAA). Customers may not understand the EVIC message display “Blinded”. This indicates that the Parksense Rear Park Assist sensors require cleaning. The EVIC flash will change the display to indicate “Clean Sensors”. The EVIC may display the message “Press 4 Low” when a shift into 4x4 is not allowed. This message has no meaning on these vehicles. The EVIC flash will prevent this message from being displayed. This bulletin involves reprogramming the EVIC with new software.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued
08-028-10 Rev. A 11/2/10
RBZ radio software enhancements. This bulletin applies to vehicles built with a radio that has a sales code RBZ. The customer may experience one or more of the following problems: • The display may appear to be dimly lit when in backup camera mode (if equipped). • Screen fonts too small or unclear. • Video playback, display too bright. • Audio playback, sound quality/frequency response could be improved. • Hands free call information does not display caller ID. • Bluetooth streaming audio information is incomplete. The repair involves upgrading the software on the RBZ radio.
08-001-11 Rev. A 3/5/11
Radio software enhancements. This bulletin applies to vehicles built with a radio/navigation units with sales codes RER, REW or REP. The problems experienced: • The radio may lock up when a U-Connect call ends, this may cause battery drain. • Intermittent/no sound from audio system. • Repeated “Updating Channels” message when in satellite radio mode. • Losing Bluetooth connection intermittently and not displaying accurate caller ID information when using U-Connect. This bulletin involves upgrading the software on the RER, REW, or REP Radio.
08-003-11 Rev. B 3/17/11
’10-’11 DD/DJ/DX/D2 Exterior mirror courtesy lamps stay on longer than the customer desires. ’11 D2 This bulletin involves checking the software version and, if necessary, flash reprogramming front door control modules with new software. This bulletin supersedes bulletin 08-003-11 revision A. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with exterior mirror courtesy lights (sales code LEC) built between January 1, 2010, and December 13, 2010.
08-018-11 Rev. A 7/1/11
Static, squeal, no sound, or intermittent sound from speakers. This bulletin applies to DJ and D2 vehicles built between July 15, 2010, and November 30, 2010, equipped with 9 amplified speakers w/subwoofer (sales code RC3) or 9 amplified speakers (sales code RCZ). This bulletin also applies to DJ, and D2 vehicles built between July 15, 2010, and February 28, 2011, equipped with Premium I speakers (sales code RCK). The repair involves removing and replacing the amplifier.
08-024-11 Rev. A 7/1/11
Flash: Intermittent no start or intermittent RKE function. This bulletin applies to DD, DJ, and DP vehicles built before April 7, 2011, equipped with remote keyless entry (sales code GXM). This bulletin involves flash reprogramming the wireless ignition node (WIN) with new software. The service flash corrects the following conditions • Intermittent no start. • Intermittent RKE. The above conditions may be caused by a software lockup in the module. The lockup condition may be cleared by removing the reinserting fuse M27. Flash reprogramming the WIN will correct these conditions.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued
Loss of communications with the hands free module (HFM). If there is a loss of the hands free module function the service bulletin involves performing a USB service flash of the hands free module.
Intermittent diagnostic trouble code P0201 – Fuel injector 1 circuit open/closed. This bulletin applies to a small number of vehicles equipped with the Cummins engine built between March 1, 2011, and March 11, 2011. Suspect vehicles may intermittently set DTC P0201 – Fuel injector 1 circuit open/closed. This bulletin involves replacing terminal number 26 from the powertrain control module (PCM) 76-way connector.
’11 DJ/D2/DD/DP/DX Front overhead ambient light intermittent operation or inoperable. This bulletin applies to vehicles built between February 11, 2011, and March 9, 2011. If there is intermittent or no operation of the front overhead light this bulletin explains how to remove and repair the light.
CATEGORY 9 09-004-10 11/11/10
CATEGORY 13 13-001-11 5/13/11
CATEGORY 14 14-005-10 9/21/10
ENGINE Incorrect engine oil level indicator. Cummins engines are equipped with an engine oil level indicator that identifies a “Safe” region on the end of the indicator. Some vehicles were equipped with an engine oil level indicator end that had “Add, Cold, Hot, and Do Not Add” increments on the end. These engine oil level indicators will need to be replaced. This bulletin involves inspecting the engine oil level indicator and replacing it if found to have an incorrect indicator end.
FRAME & BUMPERS Front axle skid plate to oil pan contact. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins engine and TRX package (sales code AMW) built after September 1, 2009, and built prior to September 23, 2010. The front axle skid plate may contact the oil pan during extreme off road usage. The repair involves inspection of the oil pan and if necessary replacement of the front skid plate and oil pan.
FUEL SYSTEM Fuel filler housing pops out of sheet metal. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with a single wheel rear axle only built before August 9, 2010. The customer may notice that the fuel filler housing has popped out from the body on one side or the other. This bulletin involves removing the fuel filler housing to file some material off of the tabs that will not lock into place. If tab(s) are broken it will be necessary to replace the fuel filler housing and it still may be necessary to file some material off of the tab(s) that will not lock into place.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued
18-004-11 Rev. A 2/18/11
Diagnostic and system improvements. This bulletin applies to trucks equipped with a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel. The bulletin describes a number of software improvements/enhancements that are available: • P046C – EGR position sensor performance • P051B – Crankcase pressure sensor circuit range/performance • P0101 – Mass air flow sensor “A” circuit performance • P2002 – Diesel particulate filter efficiency below threshold • P2196 – O2 sensor 1/1 out of range low • P245B – EGR cooler bypass status line intermittent • P2262 – Turbocharger boost pressure not detected – mechanical • P2271 – O2 sensor ½ out of range low This bulletin involves selectively erasing and reprogramming the engine control module (ECM) with new software.
Engine systems and PTO enhancements. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with a Cummins engine built before January 1, 2011. These cab chassis trucks have a number of software improvements available. This latest service bulletin will include: Improvements to prevent unnecessary malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) illumination for: • P0524 – fault for low oil pressure, set during low ambient temperatures. • P051B – fault for crankcase pressure. Enhanced diagnostics for: • Variable geometry turbocharger. • Fuel level sensor. Other updates: • Low diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) level EVIC messaging strategy changes. • Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system tampering EVIC messaging strategy changes. • Oil change monitor – updated for easier reset (same basic procedure, easier to reset). • Scan tool display updates. • Enable mobile PTO capability. • Correct operation of remote PTO. • Correct EVIC messaging related to DEF level reporting. • System robustness improvements. • DEF tank level reporting erroneously at high DEF tank level. When DEF tank is overfilled, the EVIC may display low fluid level (20-22%). This bulletin involves selectively erasing and reprogramming the engine control module (ECM) with new software.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued
19-001-11 Rev. A 8/9/11
’08-’10 DM ’11 DP ’10-’11 DJ/D2/DD ’06-’09 DH/D1 ’07-’09 DC ’05 DH ’03-’04 DR
Tie rod ball stud housing alignment procedure. This bulletin describes the proper procedure to ensure parallel alignment of the right and left steering tie rod ball stud housings. The bulletin applies to 4x4 models of the 2500/3500 pickup truck and to all 3500/4500/5500 Cab Chassis trucks which have a solid front axle. The overview of this repair procedure: The right-to-left tie rod ball stud housings must be aligned parallel to one another and not exceed +/-3 degrees of combined parallelism. This procedure is required any time service is performed to either the tie rod or when performing a front end alignment or toe set procedure. Failure to properly perform the parallel alignment procedure may lead to tie rod damage.
’10-’11 DJ/D2 ’11 DD
Steering honk and/or groan sound during low speed parking lot maneuvers. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins engine built prior to November 23,2010. The customer may experience a honk and/or groan sound coming from the steering system during low speed parking lot maneuvers. This bulletin involves inspecting and, if necessary, replacing the power steering gear. This bulletin applies to 4x4 models of the 2500/3500 pickup truck.
CATEGORY 20 23-024-11 7/12/11
’11 DD/DP ’10-’11 DJ/D2 ’09-’10 DM/DC ’09 DH/D1
CATEGORY 25 25-002-10 9/22/10
BODY Whistle and/or high pitch windnoise at door near windshield A-pillar. This bulletin applies to vehicles built before April 18, 2011. The customer may experience whistle and/or high pitch windnoise at door near windshield A-pillar. This bulletin involves installing a foam stuffer block into door weatherstrip.
EMISSIONS CONTROL Misassembled diesel exhaust fluid engine coolant control valve. This bulletin applies to vehicles equipped with the Cummins engine built between March 3, 2010, and July 19, 2010. Some trucks may have been built with a DEF engine coolant control valve that may be internally misassembled which may not be able to completely shut the flow of coolant passing through the coolant tubes in the DEF tank. This allows the DEF temperature to rise above its normal operating range. DEF that has been exposed to elevated temperatures can cause the DEF to degrade. This bulletin involves replacing the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) engine coolant control valve assembly. Some of the involved vehicles may also require draining and adding DEF.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued RECALLS ISSUED IN 2010/2011 SAFETY RECALL K08 WIRELESS IGNITION NODE RECEIVER Date: August 2010 Models: ’10 (DJ) Ram Truck (2500 Series) ’10 (D2) Ram Truck (3500 Series) This recall applies only to the above vehicles built at Saltillo Assembly Plant (“G” in the 11th VIN position) equipped with an automatic transmission from January 6, 2010 through February 16, 2010. This recall also affected other Chrysler vehicles. The Wireless Ignition Node (WIN) receiver on about 8,900 of the above vehicles may experience a condition where the Frequency Operated Button Integrated Key (FOBIK) may be removed prior to placing the automatic transmission gear shift lever in the “PARK” position. This could result in unintended vehicle movement and cause a crash without warning. To correct this condition, the Wireless Ignition Node receiver must be inspected and replaced if necessary. The new WIN must be programmed and all FOBIK transponders must be programmed so they are able to interface with the new WIN receiver.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION NOTIFICATION K17 REPROGRAM HVAC CONTROL HEAD AND INSPECT/ REPLACE ACTUATORS Date: September 29, 2010 Models: ’10 (DJ) Ram Truck (2500 series) ’10 (D2) Ram Truck (3500 series) This recall applies only to the above vehicles built through May 22, 2010 The HVAC mode door actuator gears on about 52,000 of the above vehicles may break and result in the inability to fully control the HVAC functions. To correct this condition, all involved vehicles must have updated HVAC control head software installed and the mode door actuators must be tested and replaced as required.
SAFETY RECALL K28 LEFT TIE ROD END Date: February 2011 Models: ’08-’10 (DM) Ram Truck (4500/5500 series cab chassis) ’11 (DP) Ram Truck (4500/5500 series cab chassis) This recall applies only to the above vehicles built through September 02, 2010. The left outer tie rod end on about 15,500 of the above vehicles may fracture due to a misalignment condition. Under certain driving conditions, this may lead to a weakening and eventual fracture of the left outer tie rod ball stud. A fractured tie rod end could cause a loss of directional stability and a crash without warning. The left outer tie rod end must be replaced, toe-in must be set, and the tie rod ends must be aligned.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION NOTIFICATION L14 REPROGRAM HVAC CONTROL HEAD Date: April 12, 2011 Models: ’10 (D2) Ram Truck (2500 series) ’10 (DJ) Ram Truck (3500 series) This notification applies only to the above vehicles built with Manual Temperature Control (MTC) from March 18, 2010, through June 24, 2010. The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) control head software on about 10,330 of the above vehicles may cause the mode door actuator gears to make noise and/or break. This could cause the inability to fully control the HVAC functions. To correct this condition, the HVAC control head must be reprogrammed with new software.
SAFETY RECALL K33 POWER STEERING RESERVOIR CAP Date: February 1, 2011 Models: ’10-’11 (DC/DM/DJ/D2/DD/DP) Ram Truck This recall applies only to the above vehicles equipped with a Cummins engine built at the Saltillo Assembly Plant (“G” in the 11th VIN Position) through October 05, 2010. The power steering reservoir cap on about 11,300 of the above vehicles may cause excessive vent pressure levels in the power steering/hydraulic brake booster system. This may cause the vehicle to have brake lights that remain illuminated for an extended period of time after the brake pedal has been released. Brake lights that are slow to turn off could increase the risk of a crash. To correct this condition, the power steering reservoir cap must be replaced.
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TDReSource . . . . Continued EMISSIONS RECALL K34 REPROGRAM ECM – EGR DIAGNOSTIC Date: February 8, 2011 Models: ’10 (DJ/D2) Ram Truck (2500/3500 series pickup) This recall applies only to the above vehicles equipped with a Cummins engine built from October 1, 2009, through June 24, 2010. The Engine Control Module (ECM) on about 1193 of the above vehicles may have been built with a software error that prevents the EGR cooler bypass valve diagnostic from running after detecting a pending fault, disabling deNOx without illuminating the MIL. This may cause the vehicle’s exhaust emissions to exceed the allowable limit for oxides of nitrogen. To correct this condition, the Engine Control Module (ECM) must be reprogrammed (flashed).
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION NOTIFICATION L03 DOOR LATCHES Date: March 2011 Models: ’11 (D2) Ram Truck (3500 Series) Pick up ’11 (DD) Ram Truck (3500 Series) Cab Chassis ’11 (DJ) Ram Truck (2500 Series) Pick up ’11 (DP) Ram Truck (4500/5500 Series) Cab Chassis This notification applies only to the above vehicles equipped with power door locks (sales code JPB) built from July 01, 2010, through November 23, 2010. The right front door latch, right rear door latch and/or swing gate latch on about 35,000 of the above vehicles may develop a ratcheting sound while using the power door locks. The right front door latch and right rear door latch must be inspected and replaced if necessary.
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UTAH TRAVEL ADVENTURE Our Reason for Choosing Four-Wheel Drive: Putting it to the Test on the White Rim Trail What reason would you give for choosing 4-wheel drive in a Ram Turbo Diesel pickup? Readers of the TDR know several persuasive reasons based on the 4x4 advantage in traction and control. The truck’s surefootedness in snow and bad weather; its prowess as a tow truck to haul trailers of all descriptions and to pull really big fifth wheels; its controlled power as a work truck in construction and on farm and ranch—wherever there is a demanding job to be done. Over the years TDR magazine has told the story.
the trail drops immediately a thousand feet, down the hair-raising Shafer switchbacks to the second layer in this imaginary super cake, the “White Rim,” a layer of erosion-resistant sandstone which forms a kind of shelf midway between top and bottom, the very ledge on which our trail rides through nearly a hundred miles of wild and spectacular backcountry, winding first southward above the Colorado river gorge, then around and northward up the Green river side of Island In the Sky. You could think of the White Rim formation as the frosting on the mid-layer of our mountainous cake.
But then Issue 73 published a letter from William Ryan who wrote that, with all its unrivaled coverage of the Ram Turbo Diesel pickup, the magazine has not yet told the full story of its advantage in offroad adventure—adventure such as he has experienced in many years of driving his 4x4 diesel into backcountry and wilderness. Ryan said that he’d like to see more attention to this part of the diesel story. On reflection, we must admit that William Ryan has a valid point. There is more of that story yet to tell. Bob and I have written several travel stories for the magazine, but they featured our trailering adventures: we have yet to recount our main reason for buying this truck with 4-wheel drive. So we decided to redress the perceived neglect. We had already planned an-off road expedition in late June to drive Canyonland’s famous White Rim Trail (WRT) in southeast Utah. We would use this trip to tell our story and so respond to Ryan’s request.
The Shafer switchbacks spiral from the top of Island In the Sky down to the WRT. Much improved since use as a cow trail in the ’40s; an old cowboy dryly said of it, “When a cow fell off, we just left it there.”
Canyonlands National Park is located in southeastern Utah in a vast rugged area centered on Moab, the world capital for slick-rock biking and off-road driving. The National Park region is divided into three areas: the Needles to the south, the Maze to the west, and The Island In the Sky in the north. While all three areas have off-road trails ranging from kid-stuff to mind-blowing world-class challenges, the most acclaimed is The White Rim Trail, a bona-fide four-wheel-only obstacle course which winds for a hundred miles around the lofty mesa called The Island In the Sky. To visualize The Island In the Sky, imagine a three-layer wedding cake rising 1600 feet high, each layer narrower and more lofty than the one beneath. The bottom of this colossal cake is at the level of the two rivers, the Colorado to the east and the Green to the west, wedged in the angle north of where they converge. The trail traces an arc above their confluence at about 5000ft elevation, below Island In the Sky. The top layer of our humongous cake is a plateau at 6000ft elevation, with dizzying overlooks glowering down at the trail below, their views reaching to the far horizons. Up on top is the Visitors’ Center, where you get your backcountry permit, about a mile from the head of the four-wheel trail. At tip-off,
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The Turbo Diesel takes its ease on the margin of the White Rim sandstone over the Colorado River gorge. “Slickrock” isn’t slick; in fact it sticks like sandpaper, allowing safe driving that would be impossible on other surfaces.
READY TO TRAVEL . . . . Continued We use the term “off road” to mean routes off public roads in rough country where low-gear four-wheel drive is required for safe and prudent driving. In our practice, “off road” is not a license for crosscountry penetration without any regard to constraints of land form or good sense—for which the only appropriate rig is probably an oil-explorer’s Unimog or a gold prospector’s burro. We have driven most of the off-road trails in Canyonlands, from those classed as “real easy” to “real rough.” But since 1994, when we switched our drive from a beat-up Ramcharger to a Ram Turbo Diesel, we’ve been more conservative, to protect our investment. Some of those cracks and holes are fit only for fanatics or teenagers driving somebody else’s truck. These days when we return to Canyonlands, we stick to “medium” trails suitable to vehicles of our size. Of all these medium trails, the perfect one for our purposes is the White Rim Trail. While it is best to have had some off-road driving experience before tackling it, on this trail you don’t need to be a pro. In our five-day circuit on the White Rim Trail we drove all or parts of the way with four other off-road type vehicles. These included a ’86 CJ7 driven by our son Keith who had traveled from Tennessee to rendezvous with us. The WWII army-surplus Willys “jeep” was the original four-wheel rig for exploring the backcountry of the West, particularly in Canyonlands during the feverish search for uranium in the 1950s. So Keith’s CJ7 (which was still built in the old Jeep tradition) provided a time-honored baseline to measure our performance against—mile by mile across slick-rock, through sand, up and down barriers.
We met the second of our four challenges on the morning of the fourth day, approximately 5 miles beyond the turnoff to White Crack campground, where we’d spent the previous night. Here the trail climbs abruptly up overlying shale with characteristic cracks and stair-steps. The height of the actual ascent here is modest, but the path is steep and tortuous, with a difficult turn to the left on its shoulder, which would make demands on vehicle power and driver finesse. This is “Horrible Hill.” As we approached the climb, we saw that the passage at the top was blocked by—strange sight!— the aforementioned stranded VW Van. To further complicate the picture, above the stranded van was an idled Toyota Series 40 Land Cruiser. The only solution was to wait for a beefier vehicle with a tow strap to approach from the other direction. Of course the VW Van should never have been there. But we all made the best of it. Drivers of the Toyota pitched a tarp for shade at the foot of the hill. The German tourists in the van produced a cold chest with cheeses, bread, and ice-cold Alsatian wines. Soon no one was regretting their miscalculation and mishap, merely bemoaning the appearance of a truck at the top of the hill, which handily wrenched the VW to the side and lowered it to the foot of Horrible Hill. As the Toyota made the first run through, we could see that his vehicle was liable to “bump steer,” resulting in directional instability—a tendency over which our vehicle would have a definite advantage. We made the next run, rather grandly I think, kicking up only moderate sand and stones. In a sweaty situation, our truck was cool. However, we had to suppose that any truck much longer than ours would have had problems in the turn.
Besides having the CJ7 to measure ourselves against, we drove for the better part of a day with a well-worn Chevy gasoline-powered three-quarter-ton long-bed, the driver of which maintained that although his rig had spent most of its life on construction sites, it still stirs up the trail dust with any truck in its class. In the same impromptu mode, for a couple of days our little convoy included a ’96 Dodge 1500 gasoline 4x4 pickup. And at a particularly tough challenge in the route, which we long ago christened “Horrible Hill,” we talked truck for a couple of hours with the driver of a Toyota 40 Series, and quite unexpectedly, with a German couple hung up there in a strayed WV Van. We even had a chance at the beginning of the expedition to compare notes with the driver of a Unimog! Finally, our last night on the trail, we were joined around a campfire by riders of three motorcycles, admittedly an altogether different class of wheels, but useful for a really global perspective on the pluses and minuses of a Turbo Diesel as off-road recreation vehicle. Because the real plot of this story is to tell about the trail-worthiness of our 4x4 Turbo Diesel and its advantages off road, we won’t talk about the four nights we camped under the stars, or about the astounding scenery. Rather, we’ll focus on four particularly arresting “test challenges.” Six miles from the foot of the Shafer switchbacks, after a stretch of trail that probably could have been driven in two-wheel drive, we confronted the first of our four challenges in descending the five-mile gorge of Lathrop Canyon, down a precipitous spur trail to the Colorado river, its only access from the WRT. On the climb out, inching our way in granny gear, we had occasion to use the snatch strap we always carry, to assist a stalled ’08 Ford Explorer the final fifty yards back to the main trail—a Good Samaritan Moment which showed us the reserve power and sure traction of our vehicle in no uncertain terms.
A VW Van that ought never to have ventured this route got hung up and blocked the way at Horrible Hill, calling for an emergency conference among motorcyclist, ourselves, and drivers of the Toyota.
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READY TO TRAVEL . . . . Continued
Impromptu picnic in an improbable place, sharing four-wheel lore, bread, cheese and wine at Horrible Hill, awaiting a vehicle to chance from the north. Jeannette at left, Bob at right.
We met the third of our four test challenges an hour down the trail at Murphy Hogback, looming ahead in a ragged ridge with steeply sloping sides, resembling the high, knobby spine between the shoulders of a hog. The climb is the longest and steepest grade on the entire WRT, perhaps the steepest sustained grade we’ve ever driven, a challenge to the power and stability of any vehicle. In situations like this Bob does the driving, I do the teeth gnashing. As everyone who rides the passenger seat knows, the toughest job is just sitting there, hanging onto thin air and stomping the floorboard where the pedals ought to be. I got out and climbed “shanks mare” (as the Scots say). Bob made the summit a full half hour before me, but I had maintained my good disposition. The ascent of Murphy Hogback established the important advantage of our truck’s power and stability. Its peak torque in low range and its no-nonsense stance fastened it surely to the trail and never let up, in a straightforward, albeit quite slow, grind. The Chevy had trouble holding its gearing and stalled on a couple of scary occasions. Everybody made it safely to the top, including me on foot, but Bob was the only one who didn’t break a sweat.
Our son Keith and his CJ7 at the foot of Murphy Hogback, approaching a steep, rough and demanding one-way ascent of several hundred yards to the top and the campsite.
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When you hit a challenge as awesome and as much fun as the climb up Murphy Hogback, it’s hard to be a mere passenger, so Jeannette ascends the trail in her own way and Bob can cuss all the way up in peace.
The next day was a long and slow progress through monumental landscape, with frequent stops to consult with our trail buddies and to take pictures. By nightfall the trail had gradually descended to the very banks of the Green River at Potato Bottom. Here we camped under a cottonwood and prepared ourselves for our final day and our last big challenge: the climb along the flank of Bighorn Mesa and the descent to Hardscrabble Bottom on a path that was precariously balanced and treacherously sandy, with stretches inching over loosely piled stones. This was probably the spookiest section of the entire trail. I felt as one might feel driving over an abandoned wooden suspension bridge with half the planks missing and sheer disaster yawning below. Along this stretch Jerry in the Dodge gasser lost his running board on the passenger side. It could be pointed out that a running board is inappropriate for off-road driving; but the real lesson here has to do with the categorical need for adequate clearance. We can appreciate the high mount of our truck, which we have never needed to modify. As the trail crawls the bottoms along the Green River, the white rim of sandstone on which we’d driven for five days finally disappears beneath the very level of the river. (Technically, the geology in the region is pitched downwards to the north in a very gradual monocline, a geological structure in which all layers are inclined in the same direction.) Here at Mineral Bottom the trail turns eastward and climbs out of the canyon, up a set of switchbacks every bit as dizzying as the Shafer Trail on which we had descended at the beginning of our venture. All the way up the corkscrew our gauges read steady. At the head of this climb out, we shifted into two-wheel drive over the graded Mineral Bottom Road east across Horse Thief Mesa twenty miles to the BLM campground where we had left our travel trailer five days before. We cranked up our nifty 2KW Honda generator, took showers, had a pizza, and settled down in our queen-size bed.
READY TO TRAVEL . . . . Continued five-speed transmission, standard cab, long bed, factory trailer package, heavy-duty suspension, four-wheel drive, BD exhaust brake, 150,000 miles and counting. At 90,000 miles Joe Donnelly did a preventive fix on the Killer Dowel Pin and replaced the exhaust manifold. At 145,000 miles Frank Pfeiffer at Desert Diesel in Tucson did a preventive replacement of the clutch. Everything else is standard OEM. If you have an equivalent truck, you ought to be able to do with your Turbo Diesel whatever we do with ours—and in particular, on the WRT in Canyonlands.
Between a wall of rock and a step-off into the Green River: after exploring sandy Taylor Canyon we dubbed our truck “King of the (off) Road”, paraphrasing Roger Miller’s old anthem to the hobo life.
Having the other vehicles as trail companions gave us a better appreciation of our 4x4 Turbo Diesel. The Jeep has advantages not put to the test on the White Rim: most obvious is that it is so small and narrow that it can squeeze through passages impossible for a full-size truck and negotiate turns too tight for a single run by any longer vehicle. It passed the test of Horrible Hill with relative ease; however, throughout the five days it did not excel in any particular individual challenge. Not surprisingly the Chevy lacked the power and mechanical stamina for its weight in maintaining momentum on steep inclines, as demonstrated at Murphy Hogback. The Dodge 1500 performed as a gentleman’s 4x4: it managed the expedition satisfactorily, but even on this moderate trail it was clearly out of its class. The Toyota is undoubtedly a star performer in more remote sections of Canyonlands where its particular merits could be appreciated, and Bob would love to drive a little 1980s Land Cruiser into the Maze backcountry; but on this trail it would have offered us no advantages. In summary, we had to recognize that no vehicle is “best” for all trails and all situations. But the bottom line is that on the White Rim the Turbo Diesel did very well indeed. This brings us to the final brag we’ll make on our Turbo Diesel. It is the haul truck for a little home-away-from-home, our 19ft Pioneer— first it pulls our whole “traveling circus” to the fields of play, and then it performs as our off-road recreation toy in the backcountry. This is something the motorbike certainly couldn’t do for us; but neither could the venerable Jeep nor the neat Toyota. Although the Dodge 1500 could pull a trailer, we’ve proved to ourselves that it’s a poor cousin on the trail. Undoubtedly the old Chevy could pull our trailer, if that’s all we wanted—but, at the very least, it’s a poor second when it comes to comfort. “Comfort”? Yes indeed; why be uncomfortable just to have fun? For us ladies at least, that’s the Turbo Diesel 4x4’s off-road ace in the hole.
There is a bonus advantage if you do take your 4x4 Ram off road like we did in Canyonlands: in the backcountry you will prove not just your machine but yourself. It’s like no other kind of driving, as William Ryan knows: when everything works together, you and your machine become One. As our motorcyclist comrade said on the last night in camp down on Potato Bottom: “Riding the trail today is Nirvana!” —motorcyclist-talk for the blissful state of being in absolute control and totally in tune with machine, trail, nature, and one’s inner self. I’ve heard drivers call their transit of the White Rim Trail a “spiritual experience.” Bob says that may sound “sappy” to the uninitiated, but when you’ve run the course, you should come away with a transformative respect for both your truck and your self. That’s no small reason for choosing a four-wheel drive in a Ram Turbo Diesel pickup. Jeannette and Bob Vallier TDR Writers
SIDEBAR The Island In the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park Visitors Center (+38° 27’ 35”, -109° 49’ 15”), is 32 miles from Moab, Utah. In Moab you can get fuel, drinking water, provisions, lodging, and amenities. There is no fuel and no drinking water available in the Island district. Provide a gallon of water per person per day—summer daytime temperatures hover at 100°F. Provide reserve diesel: play it safe and figure on consuming diesel by a multiple of two. High-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles and only street-legal motorcycles are designated for the WRT; ATVs are not allowed. No pets and no ground fires. Whatever you pack in, pack it out. “Be a TDR Traveler, not a tourist!” Backcountry permits are required for any overnight trip, and are obtained at the Visitors Center, a mile from the trail tip-off. For overnight backcountry camping you must get reservations by mail addressed to National Park Service Reservation Office, 2282 South West Resource Blvd, Moab, Utah 845323298. Camping space on the WRT is extremely limited and competition is very keen, especially in peak seasons, spring and fall. Reservations are assigned in the order that requests are received after the second Monday in July for the following year. You may request reservation information from canyres@ nps.gov. Bob and I are glad to respond to your email about backcountry travel in Canyonlands and southern Utah: vall@ dakotacom.net.
Note that our truck is almost entirely stock, a ’94, 12-valve, manual
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Trucking Adventures with Automotive Journalist G.R. Whale
EYES IN THE SKY I believe the Kuril Islands are on the horizon out my port-side window and I’m merely trying to keep my eyes open, never mind on the ball. I’ve followed this automotive ball to Korea and come away thinking that in Volkswagen’s quest to become the world’s largest car maker their primary competition won’t come from Detroit, Japan, or China. It will come from Korea, a country with less than half the area of Michigan, mostly mountainous and full of people in constant, frenetic motion. I may be out on a limb, but hell, I’ve got no parachute here and it was 28 years ago the Soviets shot down a Korean airliner a few hundred miles from where I’m at, so why not. Hyundai and Kia are on a binge, one that plays well in rough economic times and, based on what I’ve driven lately, they have less expensive cars almost fully sorted-out and the luxury division’s are not too far behind. Consider my conundrum wheeling to my departure airport in a 2012 Honda Civic EX. A solid compact car, it has been for many years a benchmark. It does what it’s supposed to while getting good fuel economy and seemingly running forever. With the ’12 redesign the back seat is big enough for me too, fixing a major gripe of many regarding the outgoing version. The engine’s smooth and free-revving as you expect from Honda, nicely complemented by a really logical five-speed automatic and able chassis, and all in all it was a very competent, moderately fun-to-drive car (remember we’re talking 140hp sedans here). But, Hyundai’s Elantra has the same size engine with a bit more power, a six-speed auto rather than Honda’s five, and appears readily able to compete with the Civic on performance, fuel economy, comfort and room.
Elantra (light) and Civic (dark) have near-identical price, mileage, performance, but Elantra includes Laramie-grade trim the Civic doesn’t.
This may be irrelevant to truck people, but we can all understand relative value. For about $75 less than that Civic, the Hyundai includes all the Civic’s features that interest today’s entry buyers more than how a car drives, plus noteworthy things the Honda doesn’t: Larger 17-inch wheels (a plus or minus depending on your perspective), leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat, heated seats front and rear, and a base warranty longer by 2 years and 24,000 miles. I will not be the only one that notices that, and I think more people will notice the Hyundai’s styling than the Civic’s. EYE ON THE BALL FOR THUMBS ON THE WHEEL I got a modicum of grief over driving to Cummins’ Columbus party last summer in a Scion coupe: it’s not a truck, not a diesel, not a Dodge and certainly not a Cummins. However, I did find it capable if not awe-inspiring, it did well when TDR staff turned it into a van replacement and it was good on gas. But the most lasting impression was one of ergonomics in which someone at Toyota finally looked at their own thumbs instead of a CAD representation of them. Car companies have been using steering wheel redundant stereo controls for twenty years and they’re still learning. I’ve liked some better than others—Chrysler’s finger buttons on the back of the horizontal wheel spokes and Audi’s click-and-rotate thumbwheel come to mind, but Scion has a great interpretation of the typical up/down rocker switch.
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FOUR WHALING . . . . Continued people a dying driving skill. Mini has a new campaign that promises “We’ll make a manual out of you” in deference to the dwindling number of people who know how to drive a manual transmission. They will, presumably only in Minis, “provide professional stick-shift training, sound advice about the benefits of the manual transmission and provide enticing rewards to commemorate the milestone that is Manualhood.” Mini has a reputation for amusing and April Fools press releases but this one is serious, showing that at least one company besides Dodge/Ram still has an interest in the complete man/machine interface. Chevrolet has announced that they will have a diesel version of their compact Cruze in North America for the 2013 model year. In other markets the Cruze is offered with a two-liter turbodiesel of about 160hp and 265lb-ft of torque, and fuel economy figures translate to an average around 40 US mpg. That matches the highway rating for the most efficient gasoline Cruze model that accounts for only a small percentage of Cruzes sold here, and it would likely drop slightly because of emissions changes and heavier North American market cars. Perhaps you are using your thumbs to hold this magazine much like you do a steering wheel. If your thumb moves like mine it arcs outward as you lift it, closer to the edge of the page. It’s basic geometry with the pivot point at your hand. And the volume and track controls on the Scion were angled about 30 degrees northwest, which meant my thumb followed them perfectly and I didn’t have to rotate my hand around the wheel rim to make one adjustment or another. Yes, it’s a little thing, but it was certainly welcome…I hope others catch on. EYES ON REALITY When I was in high school I learned how to use a sextant to navigate and one of my professors knew how to work an abacus; if you complained about a grade he would happily run the numbers on a calculator, but no one improved their score that way. Technology marches on and more people every day are being relieved of having to think for themselves.) To wit, all the car commercials promoting how the car saved them because the driver never saw traffic stop. (“I’ve got to thank my Mercedes.”) Isn’t that what windshields are for? While this goes on, at least one company prefers to teach
Technology marches on and more people every day are being relieved of having to think for themselves.)
Some years ago I was driving an Opel Astra diesel around GM’s proving grounds. It was capable of hybrid acceleration, effortless cruising, and ridiculously good mileage (the trip computer showed 75mpg at a steady 50mph). When I returned to the staging area a GM staffer walked up and said, “Whaddya think?” I looked at him, the car, back at him and muttered drolly, “Well, duh.” Apparently that helped keep them guessing for about eight years…now all they need is the V-6 diesel Silverado they wouldn’t open the hood on at that event. That should light a fire under some product planners at Ram, don’t you think? Now that manufacturers have mastered ways around it, it’s time for Washington to dump the “chicken tax.” When chicken imports to West Germany rose at an alarming rate in the early 1960’s Europe put a big tariff on chickens. In response, President Johnson responded with a tariff aimed at German-built Volkswagen trucks by placing a tax (currently 25%) on imports of foreign-made trucks. Subaru got around the problem with its Brat by putting two plastic chairs in the bed. Defining “truck” became a problem. In the late 1980s and early ’90s most Japanese manufacturers began selling four-door SUVs in addition to, or instead of, two-door versions. That was done to avoid a tariff, so even though a four-door Pathfinder had all the same dimensions inside and out, an extra two doors in hardware, and the same chassis and running gear, it costs a lot less than a two-door. Similar things happened with the 4Runner, Montero, Trooper— though the latter two were clearly different chassis on two-doors. The tariff on cars, which is what a van with lots of glass, seats and seatbelts qualifies as, is 2.5%, a tenth of that for trucks. I think Mercedes gets around it by bringing Sprinter components and bodies here…a shell without any wheels, suspension, brakes, engine or transmission is hardly a truck. With the Transit Connect Ford brings in only passenger versions, some of which are sold that way, but all the others go straight to a warehouse where the rear seats and windows are pulled out, the latter covered with steel panels. And Ford does this because it’s cheaper to do that than pay the heftier tariff. People disassembling perfectly good vehicles, which I suppose
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FOUR WHALING . . . . Continued does add a couple of jobs, seems quite wasteful to me. EYE ON THE BOUNCING FUEL STANDARDS BALL Washington tried to take the spotlight off the debt ceiling debate in late July by announcing new fuel economy targets for cars up through 2025. That approach flopped—political bickering was still the lead-off story on major news. The car standard approximates a doubling of today’s standards and a 20mpg bump from 2016’s target. EPA and CAFE numbers are rarely the same and I’m sure my old pal and fuel economy engineer Dave Perrine could outline all the differences if he had an entire TDR issue page count to do so. The plan is 62mpg for cars, 44 for trucks—and remember the government’s absurd definitions of trucks. However, with all the fine print factored in, expect an out-the-showroom average of 40mpg. Big deal…I can do that in a current version of at least ten U.S.-market cars and myriad choices overseas today. Editor’s note: Greg, it is a big deal. I remember the same rebuttal that I had to the announcement about the 2016 standards back in May 2008, Issue 60, page 60. The quote: “Who doesn’t want 35mpg? Obviously, dear reader, you don’t. “No, I’m not kidding. If you really wanted 35mpg, you would have a compliant vehicle already sitting in your garage. The cars are available. Do a web search under ‘Volkswagen Diesel’ on Autotrader.com. Late model (’98-’06) VW Jettas, Beetles, and Golf TDIs abound.” Likewise, in that same magazine on page 63, you commented, “All the new regulations will do is encourage new loopholes until people realize that driving a Peterbilt isn’t worth the ever-rising cost of fuel.” So, it is a big deal. Americans do not want to move to a smaller vehicle platform. We agree, let the price of fuel exceed $4.50 to $5.00 and you will see the demand. Until such time will Joe Average Guy still purchase beyond his needs? My eye-on-theball tells me to purchase and budget wisely. These will eventually be footprint based standards in which part of the calculation involves track width and wheelbase. Small cars will have higher targets, and in theory a short-bed regular cab will have a higher standard than a long-bed crew cab, even with the same engines. Do you think anyone might just make their truck bigger to ease into a lower mileage bracket…and we’ll end up using more fuel rather than less? Editor’s note: See previous Greg Whale quote from May 2008 about loopholes and Peterbilts. Greg’s nailed it, again. Washington estimates hybrid sales will reach a level roughly 17 times higher than today; the target will save us $8,000 in fuel over the car’s lifetime, cut OPEC imports, and add just $2,100-2,600 to the price of a new car. The Center for Auto Research puts the price premium at $6,000-$9,000: Are you optimist or pessimist?
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Right now you can buy a Ford F-150 with four engines, the stoutest a 6.2-liter V8 at or near 411hp and 434lb-ft of torque, and 13/18 EPA numbers in 2WD. You can also get a twin-turbo, direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6 with 365hp and 420lb-ft, earlier in the rev band than the 6.2 brings it, and 16/22 EPA numbers. Given the 70-odd configurations offered in F-150 it is hard to pin down an exact price difference between the 3.5 and the 6.2, so let’s be charitable and say that the 3.5-liter engine is $500 more ($1500-2000 beyond the base 3.7 normally aspirated V6). If the twin-turbo adds 3mpg to the city and 4 to the highway ratings for $500, I don’t see more than doubling mileage for $2,500. But enterprising people, science and basic survival have proven me wrong before. General Motors and Chrysler were among the car companies endorsing the process; recipients of substantial funding less than three years ago, they are in no position to argue. Some companies undoubtedly keyed in on the “single national standard” (no California specials) while others played the PR card because they already have vehicles to meet the standards, see loopholes, or because the rules hadn’t even been finalized. Two automaker comments stood out in my eyes. BMW agreed with the proposal, but noted in their statement that they’ve made a 30% reduction in CO2 (which correlates directly to less fuel use) in the last 15 years. In the next ten years they will have to better that gain by a factor of three or four. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, which have spent plenty of R&D budget on various alternatives and sell diesels in the US, did not endorse the proposal. With US headquarters across the street from Dulles Airport and 20 miles from central Washington D.C.—VW Group of America issued my favorite statement: “Volkswagen does not endorse the proposal under discussion. It places an unfairly high burden on passenger cars, while allowing special compliance flexibility for heavier light trucks. Passenger cars would be required to achieve 5% annual improvements, and light trucks 3.5% annual improvements. The largest trucks carry almost no burden for the 2017-2020 timeframe, and are granted numerous ways to mathematically meet targets in the outlying years without significant real-world gains. The proposal encourages manufacturers and customers to shift toward larger, less efficient vehicles, defeating the goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. If one-third of the vehicles on the road today were clean diesel, the US would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day. Yet there is no consideration in the current proposal for the positive impact clean diesels can have on fuel consumption here in the US.” Note that “light trucks” in these car rules are ½-ton pickups, most SUVs, and many vans. This reads as a veiled reminder that Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules have been an utter failure, propelling the country into thirstier vehicles rather than saving any fuel, and that regulatory partiality to one type of technology over another is misplaced. Respected trade publication Automotive News characterized it as Detroit’s pickup makers winning a “major plum” with the proposal.
FOUR WHALING . . . . Continued THE BIGGER BALL About a week after the “car” standards came out, the heavy-duty regulatory announcement happened. (The eight-pages can be read at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f11031.pdf.) In their need to justify these standards it states right up front, “Setting fuel consumption standards for the heavy-duty sector will improve our energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which has been a national objective since the first oil price shocks in the 1970s.” Okay, blah, blah, blah, haven’t we heard this before? Let’s review: The original Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules were enacted by Congress in 1975 in reaction to those “oil price shocks,” to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. After 30 years of CAFE the US was importing roughly three times more oil than when CAFE was introduced. That’s an abject failure in my interpretation, and it is why I’m skeptical of Washington’s ability to save or reduce anything. Might that earthquake shake them up a bit? The new heavy-duty program covers vans of 13+ passengers, pickups >8500 GVW and virtually everything heavier, Uncle Sam is seeking a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and similar improvement in fuel economy between 2014 and 2018. As of this writing the standards have not been finalized, and you may not recognize them when they are. Miles-per-gallon is finally out, the requirements given as grams per mile of GHG by the EPA, which currently regulates things that way and, this being Washington where every agency has their own agenda, NHTSA will supply gallons per 100 miles for fuel consumption. At least they agree the standards will be based on the whole vehicle. That’s the case for pickups. For “vocational vehicles” (everything from cement mixers and buses to motorhomes and fire apparatus… essentially anything that does not leave the chassis manufacturer as a complete vehicle) and tractors, it will be grams per ton-mile or gallons per 1,000-ton mile. The upcoming standards will be built around “work factors” like two or four-wheel drive, load and towing capacity, and gasoline or diesel propulsion. I couldn’t find hybrids specified and don’t know if they will go by the internal combustion fuel or a yet different set of regulations. Cost per vehicle estimates vary as widely as your mileage, though most estimates increase substantially between 2014 and 2018 model years, and could conceivably add five percent to a 2018’s base price. Since the rules apply to entire vehicles—an engine’s true measure of efficiency, BSFC, will be only part of the equation— testing will have to be done on chassis dynamometers.
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Washington suggests the $6,000-plus in added purchase cost will net a savings of more than $70,000 in lower fuel costs over the life of a big tractor. Rich Freeland, Cummins engine division boss, says, “This one lines up really well with what customers want. And they want fuel economy.” Truck and engine alliances think the standards could be met by reducing weight, rolling resistance, aero drag and less idle time. This leaves me slightly confused. Every trucker I know, fleet or otherwise, is concerned about fuel economy since it’s usually their biggest cost. It has to be balanced against time, downtime and so on. I once queried a fleet manager buddy why a single-drive axle tractor and small bobtail had a Cummins Signature 600 in it, and the reason was because it went “over the hill to Bakersfield” (California’s I-5 “Grapevine”) every day and it would add too much time if they used smaller Cummins displacement engine like the similar tractors had.
But reducing weight seems counterintuitive: My observation says any trucker sees weight reduction as more payload, so reducing weight suggests a smaller truck would be better. But reducing weight seems counterintuitive: My observation says any trucker sees weight reduction as more payload, so reducing weight suggests a smaller truck would be better. That may even have lower aero drag, but certainly there are economies of scale in larger ones. Five years ago, a Ram diesel brought 325hp and 610lb-ft to the table, with a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Now it brings 350 and 800 with a six-speed auto that can handle more torque, or 350/610 with a manual. Twenty years ago, it was 160hp and 400lb-ft regardless of transmission, but the truck weighed a ton less and max tow was about 10,000 pounds less. McDonald’s apparently wasn’t the only place that supersized. We could get more horses and the same 400lb-ft that got the job done for years in a 4-5 liter engine, put a couple more gears behind it and get better mileage, but you might not pass SAE’s new towing tests with 25,000 pounds behind you. So towing is up and emissions are way down, even lower than five years ago, but fuel economy on a 2011 is no better than in 2006, and the 2006 was no better than 1989’s. Will the work based system of the new rules increase fuel economy or merely create new interpretations to get around them? Is the Obama administration engaging in social engineering, or are these rules designed to scare the public into buying big stuff now and jump-starting the stagnant economy? Will anyone in D.C. ever have the chutzpah to create a fuel tax, one that limits fuel imports, improves the roads (which will last longer with lighter vehicle ground loading) and that the leaders of most major automakers have already endorsed? I have no idea and my crystal ball is no clearer than the clouds that frequently hover over D.C. But this bouncing ball is just part of politics, which becomes more like a game or athletic contest every day. And until we get better umpires and referees, who knows?
FOUR WHALING . . . . Continued Today I passed 100 miles in the car I picked up a few days ago, and I’ve burned (to the nearest tenth) one gallon of gasoline. It won’t do 0-60 in five seconds, yet I’ve never felt short of power. Most important, it doesn’t give up much to any other car of similar performance: It’s air conditioned, quiet, rides and handles well enough, has four seats that fit two adults and two kids, and alongside the usual selection of navigation, entertainment and safety electronics, I can check its status and start it from my smart phone. Alas, I still think the option to start anything, without being in it ready to drive, circumvents any credibility in fuel economy requirements. At least in this car, starting it doesn’t equate to burning any gasoline. The downside of course is price: About $40,000, though you could get tax breaks approaching $8,000-10,000 if you have the means to generate a tax bill of $8,000-10,000. There seems to be a disconnect in Washington between selling hundreds of thousands of cars and the relative few that can afford them. However, it does prove there are more choices every year in efficient transport, and even better, the car I’m driving right now is built in the US by a US based company. G.R. Whale TDR Writer Postscript: I called Greg as he had piqued my interest, “Hey buddy, what are/were you driving?” His answer, “a Chevy Volt.”
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Reflections on the human side of the man/machine relationship by clinical psychologist and motojournalist, Mark Barnes, Ph.D.
IS THAT REALLY SO? To ass-u-me makes an ass of you and me. Despite my respect for the wisdom in this old adage, I’m going to assume that every reader can cite numerous examples from personal experience in which it proved all too true. I want to go beyond the obvious here and take a look at some ways in which this saying is most definitely not true, as well as some ways in which it is true, but not so obviously. We’re talking about assumptions, after all; by definition, they operate behind the scenes. To even just catch a glimpse of them, we must look closely and keep a watchful eye… First of all, there’s simply no way to function in even the most limited and circumspect way without making a multitude of assumptions. When I so much as put one foot in front of the other to cross the room, I assume that both the floor and my skeletal system will support my weight. How often do we really check air pressures, fuel and brake lines, or any of those other items worthy of inclusion on pre-drive checklists? How many other things do we assume are fine every time we leave our garages? And, every time we do put forth the effort to check and find them in good condition, we have even less motivation to check them again. I don’t test every chair I’m about to sit in to see if it might collapse. And, even if I did conduct such tests, I’d be assuming those tests would yield reliable predictions about what would happen if I were to plop down on the seat. Given a chair with no apparent defect, the only reason I’d feel compelled to perform a preliminary check—that is, to not assume it would hold me up—is if I’d previously had this assumption proven wrong. We all play countless probability games all the time. We base the odds, consciously or unconsciously, on our histories of personal experience, or on others’ histories that we’ve vicariously appropriated. If I watched someone else fall through a chair, I wouldn’t wait to fall through it myself before taking extra precautions. But, since the overwhelming majority of my experience with chairs suggests they don’t fail, the possibility they might doesn’t even cross my mind. And so it is with vast swaths of life. Our finite attention would be completely overwhelmed, and we’d be utterly paralyzed, if we had to assess every item and event we encountered with no pre-conceived ideas. Instead, we learn to take innumerable things for granted. Doing so allows us to focus our attention on novel details for which we have yet to develop a clear and dependable set of assumptions.
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That doesn’t mean our assumptions are always correct, but it certainly falls far short of making everyone an ass. There’s just no denying that it’s immeasurably more efficient to operate this way and question our assumptions only when they run afoul of new evidence. (Of course, we can avoid doing it even then!) All this is just as true regarding other people as it is with chairs. We assume others who speak our language mean the same things when they use common words. We assume familiar people will retain their respective personalities from one day to the next. And we assume that drivers who slow down to merge into highway traffic are cowardly idiots that shouldn’t be allowed to drive on public— WHOAAA!! Here’s an example that proves the ass-u-me adage correct—at least the “me” part. The afore-mentioned merger scenario is one of my own road-rage-inducing pet peeves. I hate how this “strategy”—presumably employed in the interest of safety—clogs up entrance ramp/merger lane traffic and makes the process harder and more dangerous for everyone involved. But, when I analyze my incendiary reaction, it becomes apparent that my fury isn’t based entirely on these objective drawbacks. There’s an implicit assumption in my outrage that the person gumming up the merger process could actually do better. I wouldn’t get angry at someone with broken legs for taking longer to climb stairs. Anger usually assumes (there it is, another assumption) the other person could do it differently, but chooses not to. I don’t really believe the slow-merging driver is an idiot; I imagine they’re a mentally competent individual who’s merely acting idiotically. If I really believed they were a genuine idiot, I wouldn’t expect them to behave more sensibly. We don’t live in Lake Woebegone, where—according to Garrison Keillor—all the children are above average. Fully 50% of the drivers with which we share the road are below average on any given ability; the bell-shaped curve deposits half of us on each side of center. It’s probably at least as dangerous for me to assume that the drivers around me are all mentally competent as it is for someone to slow down while merging.
Fully 50% of the drivers with which we share the road are below average on any given ability; the bell-shaped curve deposits half of us on each side of center.
MOTOR MINDED . . . . Continued Or, if it’s not a matter of some cognitive deficit (including ignorance about the dangers to self and others involved in slowing to merge), the driver in question could indeed be scared and unable to bring themselves to go faster. I know they could do so in theory, just as someone at gunpoint has theoretical freedom of choice, but the practical reality is that fear limits a person’s range of options. Can I really fault such a person as “cowardly” for having this normal human reaction?—especially given that I’ve caught myself reflexively slowing when I’ve been unsure of some aspect of the immediate situation? Again, my outrage assumes the other person isn’t truly afraid, but is instead just inconsiderately indulging their preference to poke along. So, it turns out I made some rather questionable assumptions about the driver in my example. It would be a much surer bet to assume my anger had a deleterious effect on my own thoughts and actions on the road. Unavoidably, we all make assumptions about others around us in traffic. We may assume they’re paying attention, or that they can accurately judge our distance and speed, or that they’re insane and trying to commit vehicular homicide. But we cannot know any of these things for certain, at least not in advance. We have no choice but to play the odds. We will inevitably do so on the basis of our own experience—unless we stop to question ourselves. Just because the majority of the people I interact with are bright, competent and reasonably confident individuals, I can’t take for granted that the person slowing down to merge is. They
could easily be limited and frightened and doing the best they can, even if they don’t meet my expectations. Today, as I finally/angrily got past a slow-merging vehicle, I saw the worried face of a teenage boy behind the wheel, a fatherly man coaching him from the passenger seat. I wound up feeling glad he was scared and exercising caution in the only way he knew how; that’s much better than typical adolescent invincibility and impulsivity. He wasn’t a cowardly idiot at all, but I was certainly an ass for having assumed it. And I’ve been a fool at other times for assuming someone wouldn’t turn left in front of me, or would look before changing lanes into mine, etc... While it’s statistically efficient to make our usual assumptions, efficiency and safety are not the same thing. Values come into play. Is it worth the inefficiency of checking brake lines that are actually fine in order to further reduce the already tiny chance of catastrophic failure? If so, how often? Such choices are often quite arbitrary, since we can’t really know for certain. Aircraft inspections, which are far more rigorous and redundant than what any truck manufacturer would suggest, still miss things on occasion. As drivers, we gamble with high stakes. It’s important for us to examine our assumptions, carefully and deliberately deciding which ones to suspend in the interest of self-preservation and the safety of those around us. Assuming others are competent, or that all our equipment is in good working order, can have worse consequences than making us asses. Mark Barnes, Ph.D. TDR Writer
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I am also available to answer your questions. Call the TDR offices and they will relay the message. I can best be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and will promptly respond.
needs to change lanes. That’s easy to say and hard to do, but is the only way sometimes to keep out of a wreck or a fight. Smile if someone raises a fist with one finger extended to tell you that you’re number one with them. Some jurisdictions outlaw the use of cell phones while driving. Even when using a hands free device, your attention is more on the phone call and less on the road. And holding a cell phone to your ear means the peripheral vision on that side of your head is lost to an arm and an elbow blocking your line of sight. I’d hate to be the one driving beside you as you weave around in your lane or perhaps stray into mine while yakking on your phone! We have all seen examples of bad driving. It is becoming increasingly harder to view good examples. Keep your eyes on the ball. Don’t get distracted.
NEW MEMBERS, NEW TRUCKS
The theme assigned by the editor for this issue is entitled “Keep your eye on the ball,” and this subject can be interpreted in many ways. He suggested that when adding performance goodies to your truck, it may be wise to keep your eye on the EPA or whatever agency polices the pollution laws where you live, especially if you live in California where ever-changing CARB rules give diesel owners heartburn.
Several new Turbo Diesel Register members who have bought new trucks and want to learn more about them and have contacted your scribe for information. Often this is their first diesel-powered pickup truck and they realize they need to learn more about the care of this different animal, and that is why they joined the TDR. Let’s all do our best to help these new folks learn.
Another possibility for discussion would be Congress’ deliberations about raising the debt limit. Do you think they were keeping their eye on the ball while doing their posturing and parading like peacocks before the TV microphones? Were they looking out for us? Will we remember their shenanigans on election day and what their arguing did to the morale of our country? We’d better keep our eye on the congressional ball. Some say we are entering a second recession because of the sour mood Congress put the people of the US into. This was reflected by several economic indicators and a stock market that fell almost 1,500 points in just a few days as investors lost confidence.
A Review of Previously Discussed/ Frequently Asked Questions by Jim Anderson I have been appointed (elected, selected, condemned?) to write a column dedicated to member questions. Member questions range from old users with new problems to new members who are unfamiliar with the care of their pride and joy. The column reviews frequently asked questions and member feedback to deliver the best solutions. We decided to call the column “Idle Clatter.” If you don’t get my meaning, go stand next to your truck when it’s running.
We TDR writers long ago received orders from the editor to write specifically about Ram trucks without straying far afield. That makes sense, since your interest in this club and magazine centers around your truck and your quest for good information that you can use—without a lot of fluff. We do include the occasional personal insight, though, just to let you know we writers are humans and not automated computers! Another good way to “keep your eye on the ball” is to drive defensively and carefully. As traffic density increases every year, driver patience decreases, and this often leads to driving mistakes and bent sheet metal. We’ve all seen cases of road rage or simply folks who have an attitude of “me first and to hell with everybody else.” When traffic is heavy, we all need to drive ever more conservatively and be ever more polite when someone beside us
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More than one member wanted to know why the engine oil in his new truck gets so black in such a short time. Is this a problem with his engine? In order to meet the latest emission control standards that became effective on January 1, 2007, engine makers use multiple fuel injection events over more degrees of crankshaft rotation to lessen combustion chamber pressure and therefore cut emissions of oxides of nitrogen. Through exhaust gas recirculation strategies, engine makers have also cut combustion chamber temperatures as another way to cut oxides of nitrogen emissions. Both strategies, working together, tend to put more carbon byproducts of combustion into the engine oil as combustion gases blow by the piston rings. This causes oil to quickly turn black, and the latest CJ-4 diesel engine oils have been reformulated to hold in suspension up to seven percent of volume in carbon particles. The accumulation of carbon particles in the engine’s lube oil is the primary reason that oil change intervals for later engines must be strictly adhered to. Cummins specifically recommends against using extended oil drain intervals, even if using full synthetic lube oil and/or a bypass oil filtration system. For more information on oil filters and their ratings, refer to Issue 71, page 60. I’ll save you the trouble of doing the back issues search on the TDR website and tell you that the Fleetguard brand and the Mopar brand (made for them by Fleetguard) are the top quality choices. Fleetguard oil, fuel, and air filters are more than
IDLE CLATTER . . . . Continued competitively priced in your Geno’s Garage catalog. Stay away from Fram filters. In the Fleetguard lineup, use the more expensive FS16035 Stratapore filter, as it offers finer filtration to trap more oil contaminants. All lube oils that carry the CJ-4 API rating(see the donut symbol on the container) will meet the lubrication requirements of all 5.9-liter and 6.7-liter Cummins engines. Petroleum based oils are rated as 15W-40 and full synthetic oils are rated as 5W-40. 5W-40 synthetic oils can be useful if you have to start your engine in temperatures below 0°. Otherwise, the less expensive 15W-40 oils will work just fine using normal oil and filter change intervals.
FUEL DILUTION Another member tested the oil in his engine and the results showed more fuel dilution of the engine lube oil than in previous trucks he had owned. While this can be an indicator of a faulty fuel injector (or more than one), on a new engine, this is not as likely as it would be on a high mileage engine. Your dealer or specialty diesel engine shop can perform a cylinder power contribution test to determine if all fuel injectors are working properly. This test uses an electronic box that is plugged into the OBD II diagnostic port located under the dashboard, and takes less than five minutes to perform. There are other more detailed tests that can be done if the power contribution test indicates that possibly one or more fuel injectors may be faulty. It is suggested that oil sample analysis be done on a new engine following a 10,000 mile break-in interval to get a baseline reading and then once a year to spot any impending problems. Of course, if you suspect an engine problem, an oil sample analysis should be high on your list of diagnostics. These kits are available in the Geno’s Garage catalog. Another possible contributor to higher than normal concentrations of unburned fuel in crankcase lube oil is short trip driving, especially in colder weather. But, here is the bottom line on fuel dilution with the 6.7-liter engine: it happens. Again, the TDR chapter and verse can be found in this issue on page 50. The short story: Be aware that unburned fuel is injected after the combustion event. This unburned fuel gets ignited in the truck’s diesel particulate filter to burn the collected soot. However, some of the unburned fuel can get past the piston rings and into the lube oil.
DRIVE IT RIGHT A good way to avoid fuel injector problems with any diesel engine is to avoid prolonged idling, and fully warm the engine up before shutting it down by driving several miles at highway speeds. Driving around town for a few miles doesn’t fully warm the engine, even though the temperature gauge reads at normal operating temperature. These newest engines are efficient only when working at higher speeds and against a considerable load. Member experience has shown that when driving around town or at light loads, the diesel particulate filter goes through a regeneration cycle much more often than it does when operating the truck under a load or on the highway. See editor Robert Patton’s article in Issue 72 beginning on page 32 as well as page 45 for more detailed information about DPF regeneration cycles, their frequency, and the effect on fuel mileage.
REAR AXLE LUBE CHANGE Another new member asked, after reading his Owner’s Manual, why the manual says that on the American Axle brand that comes with all newer trucks, axle lube oil should be changed every 15,000 miles, and asked if this is a misprint. It is not a misprint. The synthetic lube oil in these axles can get very hot when working under heavily loaded conditions. Members have determined through extensive use of their trucks that a 30,000 mile axle lube oil change interval is sufficient in most cases if you use a high quality full synthetic 75W-90 (specified in the manual) or 75W-140 (suggested by your writer if continuously operated under maximum GVW or GCW conditions) gear oil. The more expensive Ester-based synthetic lubricants, with their better tolerance of high heat conditions, can meet this extended drain interval. Adding an aftermarket finned aluminum differential cover will help the differential run cooler through better heat dissipation and through increased lube oil capacity. The aftermarket cover looks better, too!
THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION! Why does my new truck get less fuel economy than my earlier truck(s)/others’ trucks? First, new trucks are heavier, and normally have more options which add weight. The 6.7-liter engine weighs more than the earlier engines. The transmission is bigger and heavier, too. More truck weight takes more fuel to move it around. New trucks can carry and tow more weight, too. And, remember, the 6.7-liter engine offers 350 horsepower. This is more than twice the original ’89’s engine (160hp) or the first 12-valve engine in 1994 (160hp and 175hp). The next factor is the exhaust emission control system. When the diesel particulate filter goes into its regeneration cycle, raw diesel fuel goes through open exhaust valves to burn in the exhaust system, first in the NOX catalyst and later in the DPF. The fuel lights off, raising the exhaust system’s temperature over 1,000° to burn accumulated carbon and other harmful combustion products. The exit of the exhaust pipe emits only nitrogen, water, and a bit of burned ash. But, this diesel fuel that is burned in the exhaust system’s piping does no work to make power and thus move the load down the road. Editor’s note: Use diesel fuel or DEF: see page 43 for a quick comparison of cost. Therefore fuel economy is lower. This is true for all new diesel trucks, including the big rigs. A few owners have removed all of the exhaust after-treatment systems, but constantly wrestle with check engine lights and in some cases power reduction of the engine. Installing a programmer download or electronic box that changes the engine’s fueling seems not to help fuel economy in the long term, and certainly can affect your engine warranty. Removing the download or programmer prior to a dealer visit for an engine related complaint won’t help, since it has left “tracks” in the engine computer that will tell a technician that Dodge-authorized software was previously modified by an unauthorized means, and you will most likely get to pay for any work or repairs that are done.
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IDLE CLATTER . . . . Continued EXHAUST BRAKE, ON OR OFF?
I SMELL FUEL!
More than one member has asked about when to use the built-in engine exhaust brake on the 6.7-liter engine. Of course, when your truck is heavily loaded or towing, you should always use the exhaust brake to help avoid overheating the truck’s (and trailer’s) service brakes. Member experience has shown that using the exhaust brake even when unloaded avoids problems from carbon buildups on the sliding nozzle in the turbocharger. Your writer therefore recommends using it all the time. Your writer also recommends that an exhaust brake be added and used on earlier engines if you tow anything heavier than a utility trailer.
A number of new owners have inquired about smelling raw diesel fuel after they had the fuel filter changed. Of course, the tech who did the work may not have sufficiently tightened the fuel filter and there is a leak. This can usually be observed by raising the hood and looking at the filter housing. Either fuel is coming out of the top or the bottom of the filter when the engine is running.
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT With the increasing complexity of new trucks, the check engine light comes on more often. Usually after shutting the engine down and restarting it, the light will not come back on. Remember that there are not only many sensors on the engine, but also the automatic transmission, the HVAC system, and the body electrical system. There are also sub-computers that report conditions to the Engine Control Computer which monitors all vehicle systems, not just the engine. With increased complexity comes the increasing chance that a sensor will temporarily malfunction or otherwise not properly report a signal to the computer, and you get a yellow light on the dashboard. Whenever a check engine light comes on and stays on, a trouble code is set in the computer, and downloading that trouble code will indicate in which area there may be a problem. Using a simple and inexpensive hand-held device called a scan tool that is plugged into the OBD II port under the dash is the fastest way to retrieve trouble codes, either reported on the tool’s screen by a code number or in plain language so you can determine how serious the problem may be and where it lies. The scan tool can also be used to erase trouble codes. In most cases when there is an actual problem, your truck may still be drivable, perhaps at reduced power output, but drivable. You can also download most trouble codes by turning the ignition key on and off quickly three times, ending in the on position. The code or codes should show in the odometer window. See Issue 64, pages 46-48, for a list of code explanations for the 6.7-liter engine. Also see issue 66 pages 56-71 for more codes, and issue 66 page 90 for still more codes explained, and Issue 72 page 66 for the latest updates. Finally, page 84 has yet another engine code update. Your writer has copied these lists and carries them in the glove box of his truck.
Finally, page 84 has yet another engine code update. Your writer has copied these lists and carries them in the glove box of his truck.
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The more likely case is fuel that was drained from the filter housing before changing the filter got on front suspension parts. When the truck is stopped and the engine is running, sometimes the odor of raw diesel fuel is pulled into the cab air intake vents. You can prevent this condition by installing a self-made plastic extension hose on the plastic fuel drain line on the underside of the filter. Fuel can then be drained into a pan without coating the surrounding suspension parts. Problem solved.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES On the newest trucks, installation of an electrical goodie can cause trouble. In one case, the owner who was looking for a power source for an aftermarket electrical item, inadvertently tapped into wiring for the anti-lock braking (ABS)system. The ABS computer module soon burned out, costing this owner a big repair bill. Circuit panels for wiring aftermarket devices are readily available, and proper wiring instructions and wiring tips were last covered in Issue 72 beginning on page 128. Auxiliary fuse panels and Painless wiring kits work wonders on these newer trucks.
MORE POWER Member Scott Walker of Michigan wrote asking if his 2002 truck’s engine would gain more power by switching from his existing box that modifies fueling by timing advance and injection duration to another brand of box that adds fuel pressure, too. Higher fuel rail pressure will certainly add more fuel during an injection event, but users of such boxes have had lots of trouble with fuel rail excess pressure relief valves and increased injector wear. At some point, enough fuel is injected into the engine’s cylinders that not enough air exists to burn it all, and heavy smoke is the result. The smoke, being unburned fuel, doesn’t produce more power. Therefore, changing to a larger single turbocharger or a set of twin turbos would be the next step. The stock turbo will supply enough air to a stock engine, but won’t support much in terms of power increases through more fueling. With more power and a bigger turbocharger to move more air, comes the need for upgrading the driveline so it can transmit the added power to the ground. It’s a circle with no end except when it encounters broken parts and an empty wallet!
COLUMN . . . . Continued TRANSMISSION FLUID CHANGE TDR member Robert Gartley inquired about what type and how much fluid to use in the six speed manual transmission of his truck. The number one answer: check your Owner’s Manual first, since the NV5600 manual transmission uses a specific type of 75W-90 gear oil, while the later G-56 transmission uses ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid. The NV5600 transmission benefits from overfilling it by a quart or two of gear oil since one of the bearings gets starved for lubrication during long climbs under load. The G56 transmission should be filled with a normal fluid fill as outlined in the Owner’s Manual. Overfilling this transmission hasn’t yet been explored by member experience. In the case of both manual transmissions, you can add supplemental aftermarket coolers in place of the power takeoff covers(PTO) that will not only aid in cooling the fluid, but also adds lubricant capacity.
12-VALVE THROTTLE LINKAGE A Canadian member inquired about a better place to buy the linkage pieces that mount on the side of the P7100 fuel injection pump and connect to the throttle cable on ’94-’98 trucks. These ball and socket linkages wear out over time and must be replaced before the linkage falls apart. He has replaced these linkages three times in nine years and each time his local Dodge dealer’s price has been much higher. The latest quote was $98 for two ball sockets without the linkage rods. Since these parts are a part of the Cummins engine, it is likely his local Cummins distributor can supply them at lower cost. The needed parts have been revised at least two times over the years to improve quality and longevity. Aftermarket supply stores such as NAPA and big rig truck suppliers also may offer these parts at even lower prices, since these linkages are made for several different truck applications.
A NEW RECORD? In a conversation with long time TDR member Carl Mogermann of New York, he mentioned that his 2001 Ram with 63,000 miles on the clock still has its original batteries. Your writer is amazed, as the original equipment batteries usually last about five years. Carl says regular maintenance of the cable ends is all he’s ever done for them and the batteries recently were load tested and the results were like new ones, with available power being nearly equal between the two batteries. He always parks his truck in an insulated garage to avoid frigid starts during those cold New York winters, and his truck otherwise leads a very pampered life. Carl’s must be a record when it comes to extended battery life. While on the subject of batteries, when replacement time comes, be sure to replace both batteries as a matched pair, with capacity at least equal to the old ones. Operating a new battery in a system paired with an older one will lead to boiling over of the new battery as the alternator will overcharge it while trying to overcome the greater internal electrical resistance of the older battery. In addition to keeping the battery terminals clean and the cable ends clean that attach to the batteries, be sure to clean the other ends of the cables, too, as a complete electrical path from positive to negative through the loads is essential in any
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IDLE CLATTER . . . . Continued electrical system. Rust or corrosion in any electrical connection is an enemy, and green goop appearing on a battery terminal is a sure sign of impending failure. Battery terminal and cable clamp cleaning and then recoating with dielectric grease should be a part of your annual maintenance on any vehicle. In testing, a fully charged battery should show 12.7-12.8-volts at rest and is considered to be dead at 12-volts. A quick way to load test your batteries is to turn on the headlights for 15 minutes with the engine off. During this time you should monitor the battery voltage using a volt/ohm meter. After 15 minutes, a fully charged battery should still show 12.45-volts at the end of the test. In a dual battery system, you should check each battery. If one shows lower than 12.45-volts, you’ll need to use a load tester to further diagnose any possible battery ills. Most auto parts stores will load test a battery for free. Electrical load while starting your engine are these: Intake manifold heater100 amps. Starter-300 amps. Engine computer-10 amps. The batteries must supply these loads simultaneously for up to 15 seconds while starting a cold engine. If battery voltage falls below 10.5-volts during the engine starting cycle, the engine computer won’t function and your truck will not start (’99 and later engines with electronic engine controls).
HAPPY HOLIDAYS Since this issue will likely occupy some of your reading time during the holiday season, I want to wish you a happy holiday season and remind you to give thanks for family and friends. In my case, Christmas came early while I was at the TDR rally in Columbus, Indiana, where I saw many old friends and met many new ones. In my many years in the TDR family I feel I have received much more than I have given! I too will spend some of the holidays with family and friends.
MORE “KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE BALL” A friend called recently to recite his tale of misfortune after he plowed into the rear of a car while driving his new truck in city traffic. The damage to both vehicles was considerable and his truck would be out of service for several weeks while repairs are being made. Thankfully, only egos were injured. I asked, of course, what caused the wreck and he told the story of this breathtaking gal in a short skirt and high heel boots walking down the sidewalk. He was so busy checking her out he forgot he was driving! He was still able to give me a very detailed description of the “eye candy”. His wife, who was riding with him, understandably took a very dim view of the whole situation! He said that for a few days after the wreck he had a hot and cold relationship with his wife—that’s hot tongue and cold shoulder! I’m reminded of the old song from the ’50s where the line went “keep your eyes on the road (ball), keep your hands on the wheel”… Jim Anderson TDR Writer
Esoteric Dissertations on Manure Shoveling by John Holmes
THEME “Keep your eye on the ball,” so says the editor. Well, I’ve tried to do that somewhat in my columns by following the latest corporate shenanigans in Detroit/Italy. In these tough economic times, with accompanying debt ceilings, deficits, unemployment, bond rating downgrades and other assorted good news, be sure to keep your eye on the ball. Keep that Ram running. Like in my wife’s profession, the three things she says to remember in real estate are “location, location and location.” With your Ram, you need to keep three things in mind: maintenance, maintenance and maintenance! Granddad told me, “Son, remember, politicians, preachers and doctors—they’s all agin ya!” Moving up to today, it’s all of those acronyms that are against you: EPA, CAFE and NHTSA. We’re approaching a point where you can’t commit suicide by letting the engine run in the garage because the engines are so clean. How much further can we go? The Feds say we have to get to 35mpg on our vehicles by 2016. Have you ever seen a Ram 3500 with a styrofoam body? Focus on your mileage. The price of fuel is only going to go up, if not based on the price of a barrel of oil, it’ll be by government slapping on more taxes or regulations. We’ve got lots of the black gooey stuff here, but we can’t drill for it. Road taxes are going for things like bike lanes. Makes perfect sense to me! Due to the lousy economy the price of crude is down as I write this. Meanwhile, the Kiplinger Letter warns of a possible rule change on sulfur spelling trouble for refiners, and of course, us motorists. The EPA is now considering more tough new regulations on fuel that would force the refiners to drop the current 30 parts-per-million ultra low sulfur standard. The change would cost the refiners billions to upgrade. There’d be lots of equipment retrofitting too. Getting the sulfur out is a very energy-intensive process that will boost the cost of a gallon around 25 cents. Couldn’t come at a better time. Expect the EPA to propose this change at the end of the year and try to adopt it after the election in 2012. Any hope here? Yeah, I bet a change in the White House might scuttle that plan. Think about all of the little things that can keep your rig rolling down the road while consuming less of that smelly stuff. Tire pressure – keep it up to where it’s supposed to be. Friction – synthetic lubricants can help. Weight – do you need to tote around all of the junk in the bed? Aerodynamics – keep your trailering mirrors in when you aren’t towing. Big bug screens and grille guards don’t help either. Use a camper shell that conforms to the contours of the truck’s body. Keep your eye on the ball and you’ll keep more greenbacks in your wallet.
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CODES, CAUSES AND CONCERNS – CONTINUED The editor called me and requested that I do an update on this subject from my article in Issue 66, pages 90-91. Issue 66, hmmm, that is a good two-years ago. In the article I talked about some of the most common check engine light (CEL); or malfunction indicator light (MIL); or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) light—you choose the correct jargon—problems that we were seeing at Carson Dodge. Good idea, let’s update the article. Some of the codes on the older trucks tend to disappear over time due to driver education, Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) updating software, recalls, etc. Now that I’m no longer on the front lines, a has-been if you will, I asked those who are still turning wrenches everyday on our rigs for input. The last time, Dario Scafidi, one of Carson Dodge’s top-notch diesel techs, teamed up with me on the article. However, the State hired Dario away from the dealership to keep all of their huge snowblowers going up and down the Sierra Mountains, to and from Lake Tahoe. Now he gets a lot of time off during the summer, but disappears for days when the big storms hit in the winter. To keep this gig going, I contacted Eric Benson, one of the best techs I’ve ever known, who sent me his comments from Carson Dodge on what he sees coming into his stall regarding the late model trucks. Quoting what Eric said, the most frequent diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) popping up now are: P0101-Mass air flow sensor “A” circuit performance. There was a TSB issued for 2010 and early 2011 trucks to re-flash the ECM. Also, I have found several cases of aftermarket air filters (K&N or Airaid) that have been causing a DTC to set. P046C-EGR position sensor performance/P049D EGR position exceeds limit. I’ve been running into these DTCs very often lately in hot weather. It’s caused by the EGR valve not responding to the ECM command to move within a set amount of time. Usually cleaning the EGR valve assembly corrects these faults. However, occasionally EGR valves (mechanically) or the solenoids (electrical) have failed. This will require the EGR valve assembly to be replaced. P2262-Turbo boost pressure not detected. We’ve been dealing with this fault since the 6.7-liter was introduced. New waves of check engine lights (CEL) have been showing up on 2010 and 2011 trucks. A TSB was also released to update the ECM for this fault. It seems to be working and I haven’t had any repeat visits on newer trucks. P226B-Turbo boost pressure not responding. I’ve had several trucks come in lately with this DTC. It’s caused by the turbo module, on the turbo itself, not responding to a command for a boost increase. This code happens while the truck is operational. The diagnosis has been indicating a failure of the turbo module. The fault has been confirmed as being heat (ambient temperature) related. In all cases, turbo replacement has been required.
RANCH DRESSING . . . . Continued P2563-Turbo boost control position sensor performance. This DTC has been setting along with P226B and the diagnosis has been the same—with the same repair required. Occasionally it sets alone. Another DTC caused by heat/soot. This code happens at start up when the VGT does a diagnostic sweep in and out. P242F-Diesel particulate filter restriction-soot accumulation. This DTC has been around ever since the 6.7-liter was released. It’s usually caused by a plugged DPF. The root cause usually ends up being excessive soot and the soot is caused by excessive fuel, coolant or oil in the aftertreatment unit. Usually requires DPF replacement. After getting the Nevada feedback on this matter, I switched over to Kerrville, Texas, to see if the same problems are popping up down here. Crenwelge Motors’ diesel tech, Brian Conner, conned me out of a free lunch to pick his brain. It was well worth it. After reading the section in Issue 66 about codes, he added some really good comments. He was fascinated at some of the differences in what he saw and what Eric was seeing in the shop in Carson, Nevada. First, he pointed out one more category of codes, in addition to those outlined in the first article. Communication codes are classified as “U” codes. Good point!
As we concluded our lunch, he pointed out that a puff of black smoke on the 6.7-liter engines usually means a cracked DPF— pay attention. Also, buy fuel from a high volume station so you’re getting fresh diesel. Don’t skimp on oil changes. Fuel contamination is a big problem with the 6.7-liter. Keep your eye on the ball—maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. So much of what we talked about reminded me of the items I used to cover in my class, “Diesel 101,” at Carson Dodge. Brian made me realize how much I miss my old job. How to Check Your Code? I knew you were going to ask. Old TDR magazines are excellent reference material. The following is a reprint from my article in Issue 66. The technique for code retrieval is prone to confusion. However, the procedure is the same as it has been since 1994. (I think it is that long ago.) Here is a diagram from your Owner’s Manual so that we’re using the same words.
Brian went on to say he sees P0087-Fuel rail pressure too low, which is usually a dirty fuel filter on a 6.7-liter engine. He emphasized how important it is to religiously change fuel filters. The other code that comes up from plugged filters on a 5.9-liter engine is P0148-Fuel delivery error. The other category that frequently arises in his service bay is in the EGR valve on the 6.7-liter engine being dirty: P0402-EGR flow excessive detected, P0404-EGR position sensor performance and P042E- EGR control stuck open all tell you to clean your EGR valve. Grandma used to tell me, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Brian went on to talk about an impor tant J35 recall for reprogramming of the ECM that brings late model trucks upto-date. He emphasized the need to stay current with the latest “flashes.” Remember, we’re all driving around in 7000-pound computers. He said to be sure you’ve got the TSB on exhaust wrapping done on any ’07-’09 trucks. He cautioned about those who recommend flushing the EGR cooler into the exhaust pipe. Overloading the DPF with more junk isn’t a good idea. Along with using ultra-low diesel, you’ve got to use low-ash oil (CJ-4) to avoid problems with the DPF. Brian continued to “unload” on me about the things his customers do to screw up their rigs. He said, “Stay away from those permanent oil-type air filters and react immediately on any waterin-fuel light.” He pounded the table when talking about how it’s very important on 6.7-liter engines to follow the recommended interval for EGR service and replacing the crankcase filter. He had a very animated description about sitting in the truck, with the engine idling, and talking on the cell phone. After a long conversation, you’ll probably trigger another regeneration action for that diesel particulate filter…and then wonder why your fuel economy is so bad. He said he’d never seen a stock engine “blowed-up” when properly maintained, but he’s seen lots of them ready for the junkyard with a “chip” installed on them. Melted pistons don’t work well!
Using Dodge’s vernacular, here is the method: • Insert key • Move it from Lock to Off, pause • Move to On/Run • Back to Off • Move to On/Run • Back to Off • Move to On/Run and stop The three movements from Off to On/Run should be done in less than, say, 5-seconds. Read the codes where the truck’s odometer shows total miles (not trip miles). Make note of the code(s) and continue your research as you look up the codes and their meanings. The underlying question that neither I nor the service techs can answer: “How serious is the code to the continuation of a trip to the convenience store or a cross-country journey?” The cop-out answer, “Mr. Turbo Diesel owner, it depends on the code and the nature of the problem.” We do not know the answer.
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RANCH DRESSING . . . . Continued Here is a conclusion from Issue 64... What have we learned? • In the future DTCs will continue in greater numbers and scope. • You can retrieve DTCs using the “key trick.” • There are two pages of 6.7-liter trouble codes printed in Issue 64 (pages 47, 48). Copy and carry them with you. • You have a judgment decision to make should you encounter a DTC. • If your problem is minor and does not reoccur the MIL light will turn off (four drive cycles) and the code will be cleared from OBD memory (40 drive cycles).
LAST ISSUE Earlier I was talking about fuel mileage and an example of good mileage: did you see that Chevy has announced that they will offer the European diesel version of the Cruze here in 2013? Yep, this is one way to get that corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) up. I just wish they’d bring the diesel Jeep Liberty back again. Ours has been great! It gives us 27-28mpg day in and day out. It hits 30-31mpg on trips. Yeah, I know it’s the US emissions standards that are the problem. Maybe Fiat will find something in their collection that’ll fit. Heck, Cummins has a great little fourcylinder model. I was ready to buy the Cummins light duty V-6 or V-8 in whatever Dodge put it in. Then they went broke. How do we motivate the Chrysler engineering bunch to investigate that possibility? I had to fly back to Nevada to bring down our ’02 Ram and the much needed dump trailer. I loaded both of them to the maximum. Foolishly, I drove straight through, stopping only for fuel and food—46 hours! Given the extreme heat, and my interest in trying out the new bridge at the Hoover Dam, I decided to run north on I-40 for a lot of the trip and stay away from my normal southern route on I-10. As it was, I still saw 111° in the Vegas area and a low of 52° at Flagstaff, Arizona, where you get to around 7200 feet. Then dropping down toward sea level going through Roswell, New Mexico, headed for I-10 at Ft. Stockton, Texas, it got back up to 105°. Toasty! I kept the cruise set at 65mph out of respect for the trailer tires (now 10 years old). With the Ram’s 3.54 gears, that kept the revs way down in the economy range (around 1750rpm). Our ’02 is the one that has the complete Banks setup. They had it at their place in Azusa, California, back in ’02 for over a month where they dialed in all of their “deep breathing” stuff. My wife has always referred to it as the “hotrod.” Well, it does pretty well on mileage too, thanks to some of that Banks equipment. It averaged 18.6mpg for the trip! You won’t do that with a 6.7-liter and 4.10 gears! When you look at the Ranch Dressing logo, you see a picture of our old ’94 pulling a load of hay in Nevada on our big ole flatbed. Well, in this picture you see the same trailer behind our ’02, pulling a load of hay in Texas. I wonder how many tons it has hauled since 1998? Some things never change. Keep your eye on the ball: maintenance, maintenance, maintenance.
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I’m still working on the LED conversion kit concept with a local business. So far, nothing to report. Nobody seems interested in doing the research necessary to build manufacturer-model-specific packages that the vehicle owner can simply substitute a LED unit without causing the dashboard to light up like a pinball machine. One more quick thing before I launch into the merger thingee… Did you know how safe your old Turbo Diesel is? The older the model, the safer (noisier) it is. The Feds have announced that the new all-electric cars are too quiet and pedestrians don’t hear them coming. They are considering requiring the manufacturers to make them noisy! Holy Cow, that’s a great opportunity for someone. Just record a good ‘ole 12-valve idling and put that on a CD. Put a little speaker under the hood and then insert the disc in the dash radio. You could spice it up by adding an 18-wheeler air horn now and then! My wife says I have mental problems. Chrysler continues to dominate the Corporate News section of the Wall Street Journal. The May headlines indicated, “Chrysler Nears Bailout Repayment.” Then comes, “Fiat Has US Share Deal.” That would buy out the Fed’s stake in the company. Next, they would be obtaining the portion held by the Canadian government. Then there’s a big chunk owned by the United Auto Worker Union’s health-care trust fund. By the time President Obama appeared at a Jeep assembly plant in June, the deal for the US stake had been completed and Sergio Marchionne was in talks with Canada. He said there was no need for a Chrysler initial public offering (IPO) now. When July rolls around, CEO Marchionne is saying he’s going to appoint a single management team to run both companies, as Fiat prepares to merge with Chrysler. Then Sergio completes negotiations with Canada, which puts Fiat’s holdings at 53.5% of Chrysler. Surprise, surprise, Mr. Marchionne announces he’ll dump the five directors that were appointed by the two governments when they bailed out the company. Next came the announcement that the new combined management team would come mostly from Fiat’s own ranks. Here we go again. Like the Germans, the Italians certainly know better how to market vehicles to Americans than US executives do. That, in light of figures showing that Chrysler’s sales in the US, under the old Detroit crew, are up 21%, while Fiat’s European sales fell by 12.7% over the same period. Hmmm.
RANCH DRESSING . . . . Continued At this time, the only thing left up in the air is the portion owned by the union trust fund. In the meantime, Marchionne says he’s thinking about retiring in 2015 and he’s looking for a successor from within the company. At his last news conference he talked about the Chinese threat. Currently they are producing mainly for their local market, but what happens when they start exporting? Look at history. First it was the Japanese, and then came the Koreans. Both started out a little shaky in this country, but have gone on to develop top-notch automobile companies, kicking Detroit’s vehicular butt along the way. Wanna bet on what will happen with the Chinese? I started off talking about the regulatory environment we live in and mentioned the EPA as one of the things to keep your eye on. There was an interesting article recently about how the EPA blew it by neglecting to review its program on chemicals that pose the greatest risk to children. Although the program has been in effect since 2009, the agency didn’t achieve its goals to assess and report on the safety of chemicals on children. How much did that cost? How are they doing on their other projects? Another ar ticle in Newsmax jumped all over the Obama Administration for pushing the 54.5mpg mileage standard for 2025. The caption read, “Fuel Economy Standard Kills People.” It went on to say that the standard is designed to save thousands of dollars in fuel costs, but critics say it will cause a rise in vehicle deaths due to making cars smaller and lighter. The Washington Examiner says, “So prepare to say goodbye to SUVs, pickups and minivans, the very vehicles millions of American families and businesses must rely upon every day.”
Another super tech tip came from Four Whaling. Greg’s articles are always good, but one thing really jumped out was his discussion on trailer braking (page 67). I recently did a brake overhaul on our flatbed. I figured after 13 years it wouldn’t hurt. The brakes have always been weak. Do I need to change out all of the magnets? That’s an expensive and major job. The wire gauge problem that Greg discussed made me wonder if adding another 10-gauge lead down the other side of the trailer to parallel feed current to the brakes would help. That’s a lot easier and cheaper than the magnets. I’d already added a second ground to the frame, since that so often causes a problem. I’ll let you know how it goes in the next issue. (It’s at the top of my “round-to-it” list.) I’d like to add a comment to Jim’s Idle Clatter section on page 78. He did a great job on the installation of the AMP bed step. However, I found out that over time, the bed step on our ’03 kept coming lose. The interval kept shortening between the times I had to break out the tools. It appears that the difference in expansion/ contraction of dissimilar metals, plus a lot of vibration on dirt roads, caused said step to become very shaky. Problem solved by using some “threadlocker” goop (Permatex or similar product) on the assembly bolts. There are different strengths for the stuff. The medium strength (blue) did the job. I was afraid the red might require a torch if I ever wanted to take it off!
2012 TDR CALENDAR PHOTO SUBMISSIONS
“By far the worst result, however, will be the fact that thousands will die because Obama, fanatical Big Green environmentalists, and their allies in the federal bureaucracy care more about removing micro-amounts of emissions than they do about the safety and convenience of people on the roads.” Ouch! Why didn’t they say what was really on their minds? A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study in 2003 estimated that for every 100 pounds of weight removed from a car under 3000 pounds, the death rate rises more than 5%. The article goes on to point to another study by the government’s own Fatality Analysis Reporting System which concluded that 7700 people died for every one additional mile per gallon attributed to CAFE regulation. Now don’t you feel much better about getting good gas mileage?
Bruce Fagan’s 3rd Generation Quad Cab.
Another study they cite is one on eliminating DDT. It outlines the deaths from malaria in developing countries and how the US is being invaded by super bedbugs, all of which can be attributed to the ban on DDT. As the TDR editor says, “Keep your eye on the ball.” Do the benefits outweigh the negative aspects? Does the “chip” improve your mileage or just give you more power along with lots of smoke. Before I move to the end of my column, I want to comment on the excellent articles in Issue 73. Did you read Your Story? Very well done. It outlines the pros and cons of modifications. I’ll sure be keeping those comments in mind going forward as Polly and I upfit a newly ordered 2012 truck. I especially liked the picture on page 59 showing the changes in the look of the “Mr. Schwarz” truck over time.
On vacation with Richard Boettcher’s 2nd Generation truck.
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RANCH DRESSING . . . . Continued FINALLY Have you gotten a letter with a trinket in it from Tina at the TDR’s office lately? Well, it’s evident you aren’t out there handing out the TDR flyers to get new folks signed up. The referral thank-you letters are a nice touch. Let’s hear three cheers for Tina! Hang on…I think we might have done something really dumb. Yep, we’ve got a new truck on order, a 2012 3500. It’s been nine years since we last ordered a new Ram. I guess the wife deserves a new one, but $60,000! Yikes! Thank goodness you don’t have to pay the full MSRP. Even with a factory incentive there’s still the Service Contract and let’s not forget sales tax and license fees. I’ll keep the ’02 as “mine.” It’s a man’s machine. It’s so noisy that when it fires up in the morning you know all of the neighbors are now awake! It blows out a big puff of stinky diesel smoke when started. It’s got a really great turbo stall that sounds like there’s a little animal living in the glovebox that just belched, and when you shut it down the ‘ole serpentine belt howls loud enough to be heard in the next county. It’s definitely a man’s truck, whereas the Fourth Generation units are disgustingly quiet, there’s no smoke and they ride like a passenger car. Heck, they’re a feminine truck! It’ll be Polly’s truck. I want to thank my old General Manager, Steve Christian, at Carson Dodge for running me through a course, via the Internet and phone, about ordering a truck that ain’t even out yet. That sure helped me sound halfway intelligent when I went to see Jim Villcheck, Sales Manager, at Crenwelge Motors here in Kerrville, Texas. He and Mel Watts, Sales Representative specializing in trucks, were just great in making suggestions and nailing down the order for our next rig. One thing I learned a long time ago is to buy the options that the general public likes, even if you aren’t particularly interested in them (GPS, BlueTooth, etc). For years I bought a tilt wheel, and never used it, because it raised the trade-in value more than what I originally paid for it. Today, the options go on for pages and pages for everything but a flush toilet in the rear seat. I’m not kidding, the list for this truck is five pages, single-spaced. By the way, what is MPL Black-Out Tape? Why do I need it? Help! Seriously, let us know if there’s something that you want the TDR’s writers to check out on the 2012 model. We should have it sometime in September. I’ll be working with Geno’s Garage and other suppliers to see if they changed something from the ’11s to the ’12s. Does all of the good stuff still fit? We’ll go step by step as we equip it to haul goats, sheep, hay and manure. Like the last truck, it is a 3500 SRW, Crew Cab, 4X4 short-bed automatic. Looks like the price jumped about $1200 from the 2011. They’ve also rearranged a lot of the “packages.” Like I said, you have to be careful when ordering. Sometimes you’re better off upgrading to the next model up to get a particular item where it’s standard rather than an extra. A couple of things I caught: The High Output engine is no longer an extra – all automatics come with it. In 2012, they’ve changed the standard axle ratio from 3.42 to 3.73, with the 3.42 being a no-cost option. I want the 3.42s for the lower revs on the highway (better mileage). Yeah, it’ll down shift more often pulling a trailer, but after having a couple of trucks with 3.54s and a couple with 3.73s, overall, year in year out, the 3.54s were consistently about
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two miles per gallon better. That whole High Output/auto tranny package is standard on the new Longhorn, along with a bunch of other stuff. At first it looked like that model was about $4000 more than a Laramie, so I initially said NO WAY. However, when you equip a Laramie with similar options (like automatic, running boards, etc.), you wind up with less than an $800 premium for all of the fancy Longhorn stuff. It even has a factory sprayed-in bedliner. Of course Polly likes the fancy upholstery and the two-tone paint job on that model. I reminded her that it was three times what our first house cost! I don’t care so much about that color stuff, but I’m very interested in the mechanical heavy-duty stuff that isn’t that much more expensive, while giving you a longevity margin (hopefully). We ordered the dual transmission oil cooler (new in ’12 and costing $345); cold weather group ($90 for a block heater for when we’re in Nevada); snowplow option which includes the transfer case skid plate (that’s the protection group) plus 180 amp alternator (instead of the standard 160), all for $135; the off-road tires cost $200 and I like the clearance lights for $80. Whew—now to wait about six weeks. Since there has been a lot of discussion about axle ratios, let me explain my position. Think about how you’re going to use your truck. We don’t tow all of the time. When we do, we’re usually jerking about 10,000-pounds behind, or running a maximum of around 20-21K gross combined weight. When I go the 20 miles into town to pick up some supplies and do errands, I’m turning 2300rpm with a 3.73 axle, at the Texas speed limit of 80mph, that’s ridiculous! I don’t tow at that speed, but I recently pulled a 32’ office trailer 110 miles back to the ranch. I don’t know its weight, but it has a bathroom and is 12.5’ tall with outstanding wind resistance. Rolling through the Hill Country at 55-60mph, with our ’03 rig, equipped with a 3.73 axle, it never once kicked down out of overdrive with the old four-speed automatic, even on 7% grades. It probably would have kicked down on our ’02 Ram with the 3.54 or the new one with a 3.42. So what? That isn’t an everyday chore. If I have to tow something like that again with the 2012, I’ll try out the “towhaul” switch and run in fifth-gear. Jim Anderson says that doesn’t always work out like you think it should. I guess we’ll see once we get it out there on the Interstate, dodging deer, skunks, possums, porcupines and “road gators.” Over the six years that I worked at Carson Dodge they never ordered 4.10 axles except when the customer specifically ordered and paid for that option. With the exception of the owner that continually operated his truck at maximum loads, they all had regrets about their decision. Anyway, I promise to keep good records and track exactly how this new sucker performs. I’ll keep you informed of my findings so you can make the right decision on what you should order to meet your driving needs. Nuff said. Oh, by the way, Polly’s ’03 is going just around the corner to our friend, Kerr County’s Constable, Gene Huffaker. Yeah, he’s a TDR member. He’s always liked that rig and now it’ll be towing his horses to roping events…driven by law enforcement! Gene says with each arrest he makes, he’ll give out a TDR flyer, and then tell the “perp” that the judge will go easy on them if they subscribe. Keep your eye on the ball—increase the TDR’s membership! We’re sure gonna miss that reliable ole rig. John Holmes Ye Ole TDR Writer
A Feminine Perspective by Polly Holmes
KEEP YOUR EYE ON SMALL BUSINESSES A small business started up between Kerrville and Ingram, Texas, called Scrap Solutions. They started buying all kinds of scrap metal. They put ads on the local radio station and they have a mascot called “Scrappy” to get folks to remember their business.
just a connector thingee that fits into a slot like a USB port on a computer…then there’s GPS, Sirius/XM radio, and on and on. I sure hope it has a good Owners Manual! This is all before it gets its goodies from Geno’s Garage. The list has been made up. I’ll have to take the Diesel 101 Class. My truck, Hubby says…I may get to drive it once in a while. Hmmm.
When I took my first load of aluminum cans in, I was impressed at how nice the employees were to me. They helped me unload and promptly paid me for my cans. At that time, one person was up front and there was one in the back of the shop. However, I just made another run to their place, and now there are four guys working like crazy in the back and another one driving a forklift unloading metal from a long line of vehicles. All of the guys had on shirts with the Scrap Solutions logo. This didn’t require an expensive government stimulus package. It was somebody with a good idea who started a business. It’s taken off! This little business has created jobs by finding and filling a need. I was talking to the Kerr County Environmental Constable, and he loves them. He is seeing the County getting cleaned up. The word is out…you can sell all of the junk in the backyard. We need our government to keep its eye on policies that encourage small businesses, not strangle them with excessive regulation, or increase their operating costs to prevent them from growing. The economy needs a lot more jobs. It’s nice to see a good example of that happening right here locally. WELL…IT’S ORDERED I guess I should have realized something might be in the wind, when Hubby mentioned that coming out later this year was a new “High Output” engine in the Dodge Ram trucks. Having been married to a gearhead for about 44 years now, I know something like this makes his eyes light up. The lists started forming, pages of options, phone calls to get the latest scoop. Which model? Maybe a Laramie, then add options, or a Longhorn with most of the options included. Color, white for sure, due to the heat and limestone dust, but a gold strip along the bottom? Not sure about that! Many discussions latter, it was ordered…six weeks in the making according to Crenwelge Motors. We’re keeping an eye on the progress, and at the last check, it had been assigned a VIN, plus it was scheduled for assembly. Thankfully, this truck will arrive before kidding season, since the newborns arrived just about the time our previous new truck was ready for delivery, and I was up to my eyeballs in baby goats. I understand that it takes at least two hours just to go over all the do-dads: can you believe that THERE’S NO IGNITION KEY…
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Polly Holmes and Gene Huffaker.
Our neighbors, the Huffaker family, bought my faithful ’03 3500. It was supposed to be Gene’s truck to pull his trailers. It will deliver better fuel economy than his Chevy gas rig. At first, his wife, Dene, wasn’t too sure about getting a heavy-duty diesel. She didn’t want some noisy, rough riding truck. (She has an almost new ½ ton.) After Gene had driven the Ram, and had come back with this great big grin on his face, I suggested Dene try driving it. She returned with comments like, “It rides really smooth” and “You’d never know it’s a diesel—it’s very quiet.” Then there was the discovery of the adjustable pedals, the flat floor feature in the rear seat area, plus she loved the feel of the leather. She tried out the four-wheel drive knob and that really did it. Her comment, “That’s so much easier than the floor shift.” The final indication of what was going to happen came when she said she wanted me to leave my little lighted makeup mirror on the driver’s sunvisor. You can see that this is going to cause a family problem. It’s supposed to be his truck, but it seems she’s got other ideas. The first morning after they got it, I saw her commuting to work in my ole 2003. Psychologists refer to this as “Truck Trauma.” It’s very sad to see a Ram come between a man and his wife. I’m sure the Huffakers can overcome this problem by simply purchasing another Dodge Ram diesel.
POLLY’S PICKUP . . . . Continued SURPRISE, SURPRISE
When the dust all settled, we counted 12 Vipers and 22 people. Phyllis and Melton Keller.
I drove out west of Junction, Texas, to look at a colored goat that had suddenly turned up in a white herd. Who’s been fooling around? Then there was another surprise. When I drove into the rancher’s yard, there sat a new 2011 Ram Diesel High Output Longhorn. Since we had just ordered ours, I got to talk with the folks about their new truck. Melton and Phyllis Keller were very pleased with their new rig, but they were still learning how to work all of the options, such as the backseat TV. Melton told me he had hooked up the new truck to one of his trailers, put on some large hay rolls, and then took off up hill at 80mph, with no problem. I think he is still trying to wipe the smile off his face. Way to go Melton! I keep an eye out for Rams…both those with four hooves as well as those with four tires.
SNAKE INFESTATION John suggested that if the Viper Club wanted a drive out into the Hill Country, they could come to visit us. They quickly accepted the invitation. Most of the members live in the Austin or San Antonio areas. So we had a week to get ready for an infestation of snarling, V-10 powered “snakes” and their drivers. We arranged a special luncheon at Mountain Home’s only “Five Star” restaurant, The Lone Oak Store. (You can call it Five Star since it’s the only restaurant.) We coordinated with Anita so she wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the mob. It worked out great. There was lots of parking, very little traffic to bother the cars and really great hamburgers. After everybody was stuffed with a big burger, it was off for a cruise around the Hill Country, which eventually ended up at our ranch. For a change, the conversation switched to mohair, wool and four-footed critters, from the usual four tires, six speeds and ten cylinders. They had fun playing with our crazy bottle babies. Some wanted the motorhome tour, some wanted to see the modifications on our diesel trucks.
ICE TEA SUMMER Usually the church signs have the latest Bible verse for the week, but now they say, “Pray for Rain.” It has been at least in the high 90’s ever since the end of May. Little rain has fallen since last fall. Pastures are gone and crops have dried up. The main discussion any time two or more livestock producers get together is, “Where are you getting hay and how much is it?” Pastures that used to have livestock stand empty. Livestock have gone to auction in record numbers. Wells are starting to fail, so folks are hauling water to what little stock is left. I had to bring home some of our bucks that I had on pasture at a friend’s place because their pasture had dried up. Right now water is more precious than gold. The drought causes you to focus on what’s really important in life. I have been going through gallons of ice tea this summer. To beat the heat you do things early in the morning and then just as the sun goes down in the evening. Wildlife is also affected by the heat and drought. Deer, birds and other animals are unable to feed their young. Abandoned fawns are all over these parts and are being brought in to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. When they arrive they are emaciated and dehydrated. They are having to be bottle fed and rehydrated. The feeders we have out for the humming birds have to be changed every three days as the sugar-water in the feeders spoils due to the heat. I know our stock tanks have become giant bird water-troughs. There’s no water in the streams or the ponds, so we have lots of doves and cardinals getting daily drinks. Recently, our resident road runner came into the yard and stopped to drink out of Panda’s (our yard dog) water dish…and, yes, they are really like the movie cartoons…big, fast runners, with incredibly long tails that they flip up and down. It has been so dry that you can see the trees beginning to show signs of dying. If they don’t die from lack of water, they get stressed so that any virus or insect that comes around can hit them and take them down. We’ve lost a pretty Red Bud tree. It was too far to get a hose to it and was weak before the drought started.
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POLLY’S PICKUP . . . . Continued I want to get another one, but not until it cools down, and hopefully, rains this winter. Air conditioning is critical here in South Central Texas. Due to the long hot spell, with the units running steady, equipment is breaking down. A/C technicians are the most sought-after folks in town. Last summer our house unit quit, and before I could do anything, the house was up to 90°. It took a long time to cool it down after the technician finally got it repaired. We try to be very conservative by setting the temperature at 80°. A/C isn’t an option on vehicles either…it’s critical. As soon as you start the engine you crank it up to MAX. If that A/C isn’t working, I just drip, and the heat really saps my strength. Recently, I had a situation while on a trip when the A/C didn’t put out nice cold air. At first, I thought I’d hit the wrong button, but after fiddling around with the controls, I realized something was wrong. I found out the refrigerant was low and that caused the unit to ice up, thereby preventing the flow of cold air. After the dealer serviced it, all was well, and I was again cruising in the cool. The only nice part about the heat is that I have been doing solar drying and washing. Just put the fiber into tubs with clear tops out in the sun, and then let Mother Nature do all the work. At night, the water is still very warm to the touch. This saves the energy to heat the water and helps the electric grid, which has really been strained to the limit. Got to keep your eye on the electric bill!
Four of the Schlandoer’s vehicles.
Jim Bob and Karen Schlandoer have a nice local hay business. Due to the drought, they have been frantically trying to find hay and hauling it in from all over…New Mexico, California, wherever. For the big loads they use 18-wheelers, but for the local deliveries and to get into smaller areas they use Turbo Diesels. It’s the only truck they have found that will economically hold up to hauling hay, day-in and day-out. So they have ten Ram diesels! They range all the way from a ’94 to a 2011. The ’94 Dodge is fast approaching 400,000 miles. All of the working rigs are 3500 standard cab duallies.
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I couldn’t get a picture of all ten at once because they are constantly on the road delivering hay to hungry critters. Karen advised me that right now their day starts at 6:00 a.m. and ends at midnight, seven days a week. She has her own Ram to haul her horses to events, when she gets time. The day I was there, taking the pictures, she said they had 150 calls for hay. The guys are restoring a rare Dodge “Little Red Express Truck,” plus they were excited about finding an all original ’95 2500 with 15,000 miles on it that they use as their “feeder” truck around their ranch. It was funny, when Karen pulled her horse trailer out of the barn for the photo, her horses got all excited because they thought they were going for a ride! She told me about all of her relatives that also drive Dodges. I guess a family reunion looks like a TDR event! Another reaction I got was when I told Jim Bob about us ordering a 2012 Ram High Output. As he pulled out with a big load, he said, “Bring it by when you get it.” Those folks keep their eye on the ball, in this case, maintenance and fuel costs. Controlling costs is essential in a small business like theirs, and Dodges help them reach their goals.
WESLEY – NEW DOG Another sad side to the mortgage and housing downturn is all of the pets that are being abandoned to shelters or just being left behind. Wesley belonged to neighbors that had to move due to a foreclosure. No one wanted a large, scruffy looking, old dog, blind in one eye, with mange, and we discovered later, heart worms. We were told he was good with goats, sheep and chickens, so we took him over to our property around the corner as a guard dog. Well, that lasted about one week, then Wesley decided he would much rather be with us than all by himself with the critters. So he dug under the fence and around the corner he came…barking at our gate to let him in. They were right; he doesn’t bother the goats, sheep, chickens, our old dog Panda or even Fizz the cat. He has seriously taken on the role of guardian of our homeplace. The collective opinion is that he is mostly yellow lab with who knows what else thrown in. One thing is for sure he is BIG. Anyone riding a horse or walking by is subject to much barking. Panda isn’t too sure about this new dog addition, but has taken it pretty well overall. I’m buying dog food in LARGE bags, as Wesley really likes his chow. You put it down and it’s gone. I just wish I had before and after pictures of him. His coat is shiny now; the bald spots where he kept scratching are all gone. He has tremendous energy and runs like the wind. Amazing what a little TLC can do. Hubby is really special to Wesley; he looks at John with his whole heart in his eyes. He loves to either ride in, or run along side of our golf cart, as we go back and forth between the lots to feed the critters.
POLLY’S PICKUP . . . . Continued RANCH RODEOS Rodeos are king here in Texas. I didn’t realize that there are different types of rodeos. Recently, we went to a “ranch” rodeo. It consisted of teams of five riders from different local ranches. They compete doing things that ranchers have to do every day: Steer Doctoring, Double Mugging (2 steers), and Wild Steer Saddling (well, maybe not that one routinely). I really enjoyed the Rescue Race. Each competitor raced his horse over a blue sheet, that represented water, and raced to a barrel to rescue another cowboy. First of all, the horses had to ignore the big plastic sheet as they raced over it, and then be prepared for another rider to climb on board. Then there was the Calf Branding, with a branding iron covered in paint. The steers used in the event had special horn wraps for protection and were sleek and sassy. They made it even harder for the cowboys to work with them, in addition to their normal all sorts of get-up-and-go. The Calf Scramble had the kids, 12 and under, trying to get a ribbon from the tail of a calf for a little prize. The calves were fast, and the youngest kids didn’t stand much of a chance, but all seemed to have fun. I enjoy watching the horses, having had one for a number of years. They make my ole Black Jack look like a slow poke. The amount of training that has to go into developing one of those competitive animals is hard to imagine.
Polly Holmes and Glen Kaiser.
I hope, by the time you get this issue that it finds all of us with some positive news for a change. Keep those diesels rumbling along. Polly Holmes TDR’s Female Writer
This event started with the County Fair Queen candidates parading by on a celebrity float. The tow vehicle? A Dodge Ram, complete with a big grille guard, naturally. In fact, it seems that Dodges and rodeos go hand-in-hand, especially in the PRCA circuit. That’s why I can’t figure out why the company dropped the Dodge truck purchase coupon program with the Farm Bureau. You Detroit guys better keep your eye on the ball…the customer…the farming and ranching customer.
SKIRTING THE ISSUE Glenn Kaiser is another example of a small business with a working Ram. We got to know him when a windstorm took some siding off the house. Glenn, dba Kaiser Aluminum, does siding, windows, skirting, etc. He puts around 60,000 miles per year on his rig. When we first met him he was thinking about getting a newer Dodge. John talked him out of a used ’07 and suggested checking out a new 2010 Ram. That’s what he purchased. John called him recently to get his help in anchoring and skirting our office trailer. He arrived in his red 3500, now almost one year old. He said he loves it and was really glad he got it rather than the used ’07. With almost 60K on it, I was surprised to hear him say the mileage was good in spite of the tales we hear about the 6.7-liter. He said he hadn’t needed any repairs either. In a weak economy, he, like most businessmen, is keeping his eye on his expenses. Having a dependable, economical truck is a must in his line of work. By the way, the skirting came out nice!
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Joe Donnelly’s Truck and Travel Stories
THEME The theme for Issue 74: Joe Average understands what to do. He just keeps his eye on the ball. He remains focused on what is really important. Since the editor listed some different topics, I’ll give you a brief thought about each one. • Keep your eye on the ball – The EPA is after you. Years ago I cautioned TDR members to avoid adding to, and applauding the Great Smoke Show Stories that were on the forum. The EPA has noticed, and we are paying the price: several thousand dollars in emissions equipment added to new trucks, with tighter state inspections when we go to license our Turbo Diesels. For a while we hoped for some reasonableness, such as Europe has applied to diesel emissions requirements. Unfortunately, our fearless legislators in Washington write laws with numbers picked out of a hat, and demand that engine/car manufacturers do whatever they have to do so that the tighter emissions numbers are met. Cummins has done a great job, but the “power, mileage, emissions” triangle is getting skewed considerably by the ever tightening emissions regulations, and costs are going up greatly. • Keep your eye on the ball – The 2016 corporate average fuel economy is 35 mpg. How does a diesel truck fit into the mix? We are using small cars more and more for daily driving, saving our expensive Turbo Diesels for tasks where they are best suited, such as heavy hauling and towing heavy trailers. • Keep your eye on the ball – Avoid items that hurt fuel mileage. These days most of us avoid greatly oversized tires, and big lift kits that increase wind resistance. We limit the towing of very heavy trailers with huge frontal areas, and moderate our speeds, even if just by a few miles per hour.
was going to begin costing a lot of money for no logical gain; (3) since I used high power only on the dyno, I was better off building the engine to the power level I might use “in the real world” and making the engine more durable within that range. I found that 550hp was plenty and chased after parts to help make more of that power usable. To that end, the biggest improvements I made to my 2004 were the BD compound turbochargers and BD intercooler. Getting the fuel was the easy part—Stage 1 injectors with a Smarty programmer and/or TST PowerMax-CR, Edge Juice box, etc. The air system of our Turbo Diesels is the expensive system to upgrade, but critical to engine longevity. I now have a truck that is very capable of pulling my trailers while getting reasonable fuel mileage.
FOR THIS ISSUE In this issue, we will discuss repairing the oil leak at the First and Second Generation Turbo Diesel’s vacuum pump with the seal kit from Geno’s Garage as a basic maintenance item. We will discuss selecting a cargo trailer for use with our Turbo Diesels—even if in the future we have to drive 35mpg cars most of the time.
VACUUM PUMP SEAL KIT Jim Anderson discussed this topic about five years ago (Issue 55, page 64), when he had a professional diesel shop do the work. Then, in Issue 65 ( page 24) a few tips were added. Jim gave us good photographs and a thorough discussion of the pump, but when I performed the job recently, I wanted to find out if this was indeed something we could do under a shadetree and whether it was easy or difficult to do correctly. The basic steps involved include: • Remove the vacuum pump and power steering pump from engine • Separate the pumps • Disassemble the tail housing from vacuum pump
• Keep your eye on the ball – Leave the hot rodding to someone else; I will focus on basic maintenance.
• Replace the O-rings and seal
I bought my Third Generation 2004 Turbo Diesel eight years ago, and retired from the horsepower race. I had taken my ’97 Turbo Diesel (named “Sickly” because after a couple weeks with a new power toy it always seemed sickly again, and needed yet more power) up to 800hp. Streetability had diminished around the 600hp mark. I recognized that (1) I had learned what I wanted to gain from building horsepower; (2) continued “chasing the elusive power goal”
I found that the procedures for changing the seal and O-rings in the pump were well documented both in Issue 55 and in the instructions that are included with the kit. Both the written pages and the video will enable most people to perform this repair well. The biggest difficulty for me was removing the pump. The pump is not located in an easily accessible location, and special tools make the job much easier.
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• Reassemble the pump, reinstall into the truck
HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued First, remove the boost pipe and air intake to gain easier access to the vacuum pump. Hopefully you have the special deep-well socket for removing the oil pressure sending unit. Its shape is the same as that used for many gasoline engines, but a deep-well socket is needed here. Access is tight to reach it behind the power steering pump reservoir. Loosen the four retaining nuts (15mm) between the two pumps, and remove the stabilizing bracket between the pumps and the engine block. The two bolts (15mm heads) holding the vacuum pump to the gear housing are usually very tight. Because the power steering hoses are generally hard to remove from the pump after all these years, I elected to leave them attached, and to separate the pumps after lifting them up to fender level. If the original gasket between the pumps and the housing is not damaged, you can clean it, coat it with Ultra Black or similar RTV sealer, and re-use it. Getting the pump gear meshed inside the housing, and the pump aligned so the bolts will go back in, will be more challenging when it is time for re-assembly due to the difficult access within the engine compartment.
Here a deep well special socket is on the oil pressure sender to remove it.
The accompanying photos summarize the procedures for replacing the two O-rings and the seal. Be sure to grease the seal lips, the shaft it bears upon, and the O-rings. Of course, it is a priority to clean everything and avoid introducing dirt into the pump. Of particular note is that you must get the cross coupler positioned exactly and meshed with the drive ears of the vacuum pump before and during the operation of pressing the sleeve back into the rear housing. Read the instructions that come with the kit, and it may be worthwhile to watch the video as well if you are not experienced in such work. The pump bolts and nuts are tightened to about 22 ft-lb, and the two bolts going into the gear case should be lightly greased and tightened somewhat more, to around 50 ft-lb, in steps going back and forth between them so the pump “ears” are not strained.
In this underneath view, a flex head wrench is on one of the nuts that holds the vacuum pump to the power steering pump. This nut also holds the stabilizer bracket going to the engine block. The 9/16” open end wrench is on the oil pressure feed line nut that oils the vacuum pump. The flex head ratchet with socket is on the lower (of the two) 15 mm head mounting bolt that holds the vacuum pump to the engine gear housing.
The vacuum pump is in the left bottom corner of the photo, with the power steering pump in bottom center. The yellow cap for the power steering pump makes it easy to see. The wiring harness going across the pumps and behind the power steering pump reservoir leads to the oil pressure sender in the engine block.
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HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued THE CARGO OR CAR-HAULER TRAILER (Joe Makes a Purchase) Here we will discuss some of the critical design features for a cargo trailer. It is easy to forget the basic design underlying a travel trailer as we compare “amenities” such as component placement, sleeping berths, wood veneers and carpeting. A cargo trailer is a simple box, and major design differences among the various brands are brought more easily to the forefront in making an informed decision. Frame: The strongest and lightest frame, for the various modes of flexing experienced by trailers, is made of box tubing, followed by I-beam, and with the weakest, but least expensive, being C channel laid on its side.
The vacuum pump rear housing, that mounts the power steering pump to it, is in the center, with the main body of the vacuum pump to the right. The PVC pipe tool supplied with the Seal Kit is in position to press the seal, cross plate, and sleeve out of the vacuum pump rear housing. The right side (in the photo) of the rear housing is supported on a piece of 3/8” thick steel since those two “legs” are shorter than the other two. A new O-ring is on the pump main housing with the old O-ring to the top right. At the right, middle, are the two bolts that hold the two halves of the pump housing together. Bottom right are a new O-ring and seal whose placement will be seen in the next photograph.
The PVC pipe driver tool has knocked the seal and inner sleeve out of the pump housing. The old seal is still in the sleeve, with the new seal and its PVC plastic driver above. On the left are the new O-ring for the sleeve and top left is the cross-plate that engages the vacuum pump shaft and the power steering pump shaft. When reinstalling the sleeve, be sure the cross-plate is properly positioned to allow the sleeve to be driven fully into place.
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Traler frame designs: box tubing, I-beam, and C-channel
The only significant disadvantage to box tubing is that it can rust inside the box if the steel is not painted or protected from the weather.
HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued Axles and Brakes: To give the smoothest ride for the contents and the best tracking, a trailer should have torsion independent suspended axles, large brakes on all wheels, and self-adjusting electric brakes for convenience. Electric brakes are preferred for ease of hook-up, smoothness and consistency of application. Leaf sprung axles tend to give a very stiff, rough ride which can be partially overcome with good shock absorbers. If you ever have to make a quick lane change or other maneuver, you will appreciate torsion suspension. Most states require trailer brakes and breakaway braking on trailers over about 1500 pounds in weight. Dexter Torflex torsion axles are an industry standard and are advertised as follows: • Independent wheel suspension • Self-damping action • Cushioning eliminates metal-to-metal contact • Less transfer of road shock helps protect cargo • Heat-treated solid steel inner bar • Forged torsion arm for maximum strength • Rubber cords compounded for dependability • Axle can be used as a load carrying cross member • Easy installation with less overall maintenance • Single or tandem axle assemblies • Five-year limited warranty on suspension system What is the Torflex suspension system? The Torflex suspension system is a torsion arm type suspension which is completely self contained within the axle tube. It attaches directly to the trailer frame using brackets which are an integral part of the axle assembly. The Torflex axle provides improved suspension characteristics (relative to leaf spring axles) through the unique arrangement of a steel torsion bar surrounded by four natural rubber cords encased in the main structural member of the axle beam. The wheel/hub spindle is attached to a lever, called the torsion arm, which is fastened to the rubber encased bar. As load is applied, the bar rotates causing a rolling/compressive resistance in the rubber cords. This action provides the same functions as conventional sprung axles with several operating advantages including independent suspension.
Tires and Wheels: There have been a lot of problems with trailer tires. Almost all of them are now made in China, including previously USA-manufactured Goodyear Marathon trailer tires. They seem to be slowly improving in quality, but there remain at least three major factors contributing to their premature failure. First: Overloading and under-inflation put severe and permanent stresses on the tires. Furthermore, although your trailer is within its GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), it may have one or more tires overloaded because of uneven weight distribution. Typically recommended inflation pressures run from 50psi for 13-, 14-, and 15- inch diameter load range C tires, to 65psi for 15” load range D tires, and 80psi for 15” and 16” load range E tires. Second: Trailer tires are designed for 65 miles per hour. About five years ago, Goodyear published a bulletin recommending that their tires be overinflated as much as 10 psi for higher speeds (PSB #2006-06 dated March 6, 2006). “Based on industry standards, if tires with the ST designation are used at speeds between 66 and 75 mph, it is necessary to increase the cold inflation pressures by 10 psi above the recommended pressure for the load. • Do not exceed the maximum pressure for the wheel. • If the maximum pressure for the wheel prohibits the increase of air pressure, then the maximum speed must be restricted to 65mph. • The cold inflation pressure must not exceed 10psi beyond the inflation specified for the maximum load of the tire.” Some other sources dispute this recommendation, but it is more or less universal that they recommend fully inflating the tires cold to the maximum inflation on the side of the tire.
Except for periodic inspection of the fasteners used to attach the Torflex axle to the vehicle frame, no other suspension maintenance is required on Torflex axles. They are, of course, subject to the maintenance and inspection procedures regarding brakes, hubs, bearings, seals, wheels, and tires as outlined in their Operation Maintenance Service Manual.
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HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued Third: Hitting or running over curbs, deep potholes, and other common-sense abusive practices should be avoided. Running tires under-inflated is a major problem, whether they are under-inflated intentionally (or through neglect to check them), or because a tire picked up a nail or other foreign object that punctured the tire. Recently, one of my trailer tires picked up a piece of metal in a truck stop and, if I had not noticed it, the tire would have been ruined, along with possible damage to the trailer fender, etc. Trailer wheels should be a fairly simple topic. Make sure they are rated for the weight capacity of the tire and trailer. Don’t use wheels when the tapered lug holes have “wallowed out” or otherwise damaged. Many older trailer wheels do not have safety beads that help to retain the tire bead in the event of partial tire failure. I replaced all four of my wheels on my open car trailer with newer Dexter wheels having safety beads. The old wheels are used for spare tires. Of course with the current tire issues, I carry a minimum of two spare tires/wheels. I think of it this way: let’s say I just had a flat, and changed the tire to my spare. Now what do I do? If that was my only spare, I am just doing Vegas gambling that no other problem might occur. I have heard that people taking a trip to Alaska will carry four spares, and often have to use two or three of them on the trip. Hitch Ball Size: This topic should not require much discussion. About the heaviest ball you can commonly get in 2-inch diameter is rated for 5,000 pounds. The trailer standard is 2-5/16” with balls commonly rated 7,000 to 25,000 pounds. You can also easily find simple ball mounts rated for 12,000 pounds to 16,000 pounds. Be sure your receiver hitch is strong enough, and the mounting bolts are big and strong. I like to be “too safe” rather than hoping “it’s good enough.” I got some of this stuff at Amazon, and my Reunel rear bumper hitch is rated for 15,000 pounds. Equalizer hitches and sway controls are options to consider if needed.
A 16,000 pound rated forged steel ball mount with standard\ height ball mounted in it, and a 2” extra rise ball sitting above on the winch fair lead.
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Entry Door Placement and Configuration: The rear door access to the trailer can commonly be side-hinged doors, or a bottom-hinged ramp-type door. The latter allows easy loading of heavy cargo or a car, but is a bit less convenient to use than side-hinged doors. Offsetting the slight inconvenience of a ramp door, you can get “personnel” access doors (30, 38, or 48 inches wide) on the side, usually near the front of the trailer. If you might want to put a golf cart or all-terrain vehicle into a car-hauler trailer at the front, consider its width in selecting a side door. On the other hand, the side wall will be slightly more rigid if a narrower door is chosen. I selected a 36” wide side door for the right side of my car-hauler and cargo trailer. Particularly for car haulers, it is virtually impossible to exit the car (unless it is a very small car) when it is in the trailer. If you want to drive the car into the trailer (as opposed to winching it into the trailer), or if you just want access to get into the car while it is in the trailer, definitely get a four foot wide “escape” door on the left side of the trailer, above the wheels. Such a door would be difficult and expensive to engineer and install correctly after the fact, but is fairly inexpensive to order as an option.
Driver’s side “escape” door for exiting a car that is inside the trailer.
Trailer Dimensions: Some people recommend getting the biggest trailer you can afford. I don’t. Get enough for all anticipated needs, but the bigger unit will be harder to turn and park. It will weigh more and therefore cost more in fuel usage by the tow vehicle. In most states, you will need an advanced class driver’s license if the trailer is rated heavier than 10,000 pounds GVW. Enforcement personnel at inspection stations will notice (and perhaps pursue if you didn’t stop, even if you are non-commercial) long trailers, goose-neck designs, and those with triple axles. I chose a “tag” (bumper pull style) trailer with a nominal 24’ box, and not over 28’ total length. Some states “target” any trailer over 28’ for additional restrictions and fees. Research the regulations in states where you might travel before making a final selection. As a side comment: if the cargo you are hauling can ever make any money, the inspectors will call it commercial. For example, you are carrying a race car. If there is a “purse” at some races, or contingency money for winning with products whose stickers are affixed to the doors or fenders, all of a sudden you are “commercial” and that opens a new bag of snakes, Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements, log books, and on-and-on. It won’t matter to them that you are always operating at an overall “loss.” More and more states have budget deficits and are looking for revenue. While they are applying the clamps for operating a commercial vehicle, what do you want to bet someone is checking your fuel tank for “red” off-road diesel fuel, and fining you $10,000 for avoiding the road tax on your fuel?
HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued Most cargo trailers and car haulers are 8.5’ wide, measured from the outside of the tires/fenders. This width is legal in almost all places, but check local ordinances if you will be traveling on narrow roads. Extra height, usually in six-inch increments, can be ordered as an option. I ordered a standard height trailer, which gives about 6.5’ of head room inside. Even with a low profile fluorescent light (if I add one later), that is enough for me. The car I plan to haul is only about 4.5’ tall, but is a bit over 6’ wide, and 17’ long. Taller trailers have more tendency to side-sway from cross-winds, and more constant wind resistance from the frontal size. Here again, get what you need and don’t be talked into “too much is just right.” Sheet Metal: The standard thickness for the aluminum “skin” of a cargo trailer, meaning its outer walls and roof, is .030” thick. I recommend getting a thicker aluminum sheet option if possible. Some manufacturers such as Wells Cargo offer .040” thick, and a few even offer .050” aluminum. Of course, weight does go up with the thicker material, but I feel that the extra rigidity, resistance to getting “wavy,” and resistance to hail damage favors at least the 0.040” thickness. After all, the skin of the trailer is part of the structure, not just a rain and dust barrier.
Car haulers usually include a winch, which can be mounted on the floor or in a compartment under the floor. I plan to use a winch only if the car is not drivable, and I also don’t fully trust electric motors, batteries, and seldom-used accessories of that type. I have gotten over 30 years of faithful service from a Dutton-Lainson hand-operated 2500 pound capacity winch on my open car trailer Although the car weighs 3300 pounds, I am not lifting it into the air, and rolling resistance, even uphill, never taxed that winch. I don’t even use the 17.3:1 gear reduction feature, just the 5.4:1 crank position. Thus, I bought a new winch of the same capacity and style for the enclosed car hauler. I made a pedestal for it, since the crank handle swings below floor level; if the winch is mounted on the tongue of an open trailer, there is plenty of clearance, but an 8” pedestal allows easy operation of the crank in an enclosed trailer. I also welded D-rings to the pedestal for convenience. Two leaf spring type U-bolts will saddle the frame rail, come through the floor and anchor to the floor of the pedestal. In the photo, a piece of 2x6” wood mimics the placement of the U-bolts around the trailer’s frame rail.
On some trailers you can specify smooth sides, meaning that the skin is glued to the aluminum vertical framing members. I prefer the old-fashioned screws because they are less subject to imperfect application of the glue. Additionally, if a panel gets damaged and must be replaced, it is much easier to remove a screwed-on panel. I much prefer an aluminum framework over wood for strength over the years, and resistance to failure from road vibrations. Interior Features: Some high-end trailers have upgraded wood or aluminum sheet metal floor, walls and ceiling, or a vinyl covered wood or insulation for the walls and ceiling. Others, in the midprice range, have 1/4” thick pressed wood or plywood siding, with some brands offering 3/8” or thicker plywood as an option. Some offer pressure-treated plywood sides and flooring for additional water resistance. Low end cargo trailers may have uncovered walls and ceiling. Most cargo trailers have either ¾” plywood or aluminum floors. A variety of floor coverings are available with many brands of trailers, such as epoxy paint, vinyl tile, aluminum stair-tread, rubber with raised “coin” shaped buttons, and spray-on liner similar to Rhino and Line-X for truck beds. I chose the upgraded 3/8” plywood sides and standard 3/4” plywood floor. I will paint whatever plywood isn’t painted from the factory, using regular latex based paint. One reason why I chose the thicker plywood walls is to give better anchoring for D-rings to strap cargo such as furniture to the walls. The plywood should give some insulating properties without spending the rather high price for the optional insulation packages. I will probably use a light gray paint for the interior, since white is easily stained and shows any trace of dirt.
Home-made pedestal for hand winch, with mounting U-bolts at the bottom.
Spare tires and the placement of them have endless possibilities. I plan to hold them to the wall with D-rings and 1” wide ratchet straps. You can get optional under-floor compartments, but inevitably there are heavy items covering the hatch when the spare is needed. I did order two spare tires and wheels, and hope I never need them. Workbenches and cabinets are options on many trailers. They are practical on car haulers that are significantly longer and/or taller than needed to simply hold the car. I avoided the temptation of the overly long trailer, and the extra cost. I am trying to keep my eye on the ball, to use our editor’s expression, and buy what I need, not everything I can imagine ever wanting.
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HAVE RAM, WILL TRAVEL . . . . Continued Car and cargo hold-downs are typically D-rings, either exposed or recessed. A higher-end option is an E-track system with receptor slots every inch or so along a long track screwed and/or bolted to the floor or walls. I would be nervous about strapping down a heavy car to tracks that are mostly or fully just screwed to a plywood floor or wall. I prefer 12,000 pound D-rings anchored to the frame. Special straps and D rings are available to snap into the slots. Here again, I will opt for the inexpensive D-rings and 1” Harbor Freight ratchet straps, and put the rings where I end up needing them. For heavier cargo, I will mount the D-ring to a framing vertical member, not just the plywood. Search the Internet and you will find inexpensive sources for many of these products, as I did. Be aware that the working load limit (WLL) for such equipment is 1/3 the minimum breaking strength (MBS). Some vendors advertise products by the latter. I got various items from: www.amazon.com; www.etrailer. com; www.uscargocontrol.com; www.ratchetstraps.com; www. shipperssupplies.com; www.ebay.com. If you are going to spend significant time in the trailer, you might consider options such as roof vents, heating, and air conditioning, along with the insulation packages. You can order the trailer pre-wired and framed for a roof air conditioner, but that option is fairly expensive and may not save you all that much effort if you later decide you “need” air conditioning. It would be better to sort out such issues. In my case, the trailer will be unused if the car is outside, or the doors will be open. It might serve as additional garage space at times, but for storage only. With the ultraviolet light in the desert Southwest, plastic roof accessories like vents probably would have short lifetimes. Once again, I left the money in my pocket.
Roof rack and ladder options might be of interest to some buyers, but wind resistance will bring lower fuel mileage! Tongue and stabilizer jacks can be manual or electric. The latter costs more, and I mentioned my bias and suspicion earlier in the paragraph on winches. Stabilizer jacks are typically only at the rear of the trailer, so you can load or unload heavy cargo or a car without upsetting the trailer if it is unhooked from the tow vehicle. Awning options are popular for sun and rain protection, but if you are in a windy area, they can get damaged rather easily. A good coupler lock is an essential to help keep your trailer where you left it. I have used the Master coupler lock for thirty years, and was lucky to find one quickly on eBay. And, now, to bring this investigation of cargo trailers to an end, I decided on a Wells Cargo brand, and ordered one from Lex Hubbard Trailer Sales in Dewey, Arizona. How do you like it? www.wellscargo.com; http://hubbardtrailers.com
Various lighting options are available, and once again, decide what you need. Adding a light later is easy, except for running the wiring and fuses. Exterior Features and Options: Different priced trailers may offer conventional bulbs or light emitting diode (LED) stop lights and running lights. The latter have a better reputation for longevity, brightness, and resistance to vibration. Generators are favored by automobile buffs who plan to work on a race car, etc. in or next to the trailer, or will be dry camping in the trailer. A few trailers even offer living quarters, from small and rudimentary, to larger and of conventional RV quality and style.
Joe Donnelly TDR Writer
2012 TDR CALENDAR PHOTO SUBMISSIONS
This is John Jacobs’ 3rd Generation truck.
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Eddie Wingertsahn’s truck in the shade.
Truck Accessorizing with Scott Dalgleish
THEME: EYE ON THE BALL I’m taking this topic literally. Recently I went in for a routine eye exam and had a big surprise. When the doctor blocked the vision from my right eye I found I was not able to focus using my left eye, regardless of the corrective lens options offered. I knew I was in trouble. As it turns out a very small growth that I have had for over 30 years (Pterygium) had grown and was beginning to cover the iris. The good news is, if I have it surgically removed now, the potential scar tissue should not impede my vision in the future. And by grafting some tissue from another part of my eye to the spot where the growth is removed, the chances for reoccurrence are all but eliminated. This explains a lot about recent difficulties I have been having with activities that involve hand-eye coordination and speaks to the power of the brain for compensating. Now that I know the growth exists and if I shut my right eye I can see how compromised I really am.
would make for a good refresher. There is lots of good information in the article regarding exhaust gas temperatures (EGT’s) and where to measure them, the importance of proper positioning of the cam plate, usable power, and the melting point of aluminum. I am amazed at the misinformation that still exists surrounding cam plate modifications. When I contacted Mark he told me about an article he read recently in Diesel Power which advocated the removal of the cam plate and operating the engine with no limit or control to the fuel delivery. While it is true the engine will run without the cam plate stop in place, and the power will be increased, it is also true the increased power will not be enjoyed for long if you leave your foot in it (see Issue 26, page 43). Wanting a power gain that could be felt in the seat-of-the-pants, I selected TST #10. Mark still makes them and, contrary to what some would think, there are many Cummins 12-valve engines that have never been touched. Such was the case with my engine. The TST kit includes everything you will need to make the modification, including great instructions and a very necessary template for proper positioning of the new # 10 plate.
When things like this happen, it causes one to refocus (pun intended). The thought of losing all or part of my vision is enough for me to take one step back and look at the current heading on my compass. I like to call it a reality check. Forget about hitting the home run; just keep your eye on the ball. Be thankful for what you have…make the most of it every day. If I stop and think about it, most of what I really need in life I already have…Debra… family… friends…our dogs…everything else is just the icing on the cake. FUELIN’ AROUND With the ’94-’98 12-valve engines that use the Bosch P7100 injection pump, modifying the full-load rack stop (also known as “cam plate”, “fuel plate” or “torque plate”) or its position within the pump, has been the most common method to increase fuel delivery for years. Early on, Mark Chapple, TST Products, Inc., set the standard for modified cam plates in this industry. Mark, a retired Cummins engineer, has been responsible for many of the Cummins performance related products that have made owning a Turbo Diesel so much fun. Many have claimed they have “invented” cam plates (actually Bosch was first in the P7100 …it is their pump) but the truth is most, if not all, of the aftermarket companies and suppliers purchased their plates from Mark and some went on to make their own, copying or modifying Mark’s designs. So when it came time to modify the fuel delivery of my Bosch P7100, TST was the place to go. I had used a TST cam plate in “2Timer” back in Issue 26, page 43 and, if you have not read the article, it
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The TST # 10 plate kit.
Since I was going to open the P7100 injection pump to modify the cam plate, it would also make sense to modify the governor at the same time and allow the engine to turn a few more RPM. Increasing the engine’s RPM is an easy way to take advantage of the increased power. Piers Harry came up with the kits years ago, one kit (3K GSK) will allow the engine to spin at 3,000rpm and the other (4K GSK) will go all the way to 4,000rpm. I selected the 3K GSK as a comfortable increase for everyday driving and towing. The kits are available from Peak Diesel Performance, Inc. and they use Bosch parts. I bring this up because like so many of the good aftermarket products for Turbo Diesels, these kits have been copied and the copies do not use Bosch parts.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued The kits supplied by Peak Diesel Performance, Inc. come complete with springs, retainers and a good set of instructions. Harry Kelleher has been a good friend and a great supporter of many of my projects. If you have not visited his web site, you owe it to yourself to do so. He can be found at: www.peakdieselperformance.com. Peak’s inventory is extensive, the pricing is very competitive, and the service is knowledgeable and courteous.
The 3,000rpm governor spring kit comes complete with well written instructions.
The governor spring kit is a different story.
OEM 180 hp plate on the right, the TST #10 plate on the left.
When it came to the installation I called on my good friend Piers Harry to do the honors. Although living a more secluded and relaxed lifestyle in British Columbia these days, Piers has worked on more P7100 pumps than anyone I know. Besides, it was a good excuse to get together and swap lies.
The “Master,” Piers Harry makes short work of the 3,000rpm governor spring kit.
Piers installs the TST #10 plate… he makes it look easy!
Piers made short work of the cam plate installation. The governor spring kit is a different story. The process involves compressing the existing governor springs, carefully removing the existing retainer and springs and reinstalling the new springs and retainer. While this may sound easy, consider the following: Access to the retainer and springs is a very small port on top of the P7100 pump and the tools required include a magnet on a handle. Picture the arcade game where you pick up the toy with the claw and drop it down the chute, except you don’t want to drop the parts into the pump. For sure, it is a finesse job.
The power increase from this modification is very predictable and well documented. As a baseline, my stock rear wheel horsepower was approximately 145. After the TST #10 plate was installed the rear wheel horsepower was measured at 235! I gained approximately 90hp to the rear wheels with my EGTs spiking to1350° and leveling out to 1270° under full throttle and maximum boost (29psi). This is just as advertised. I took care of the killer dowel pin (KDP) and rebuilt the vacuum pump on that same day. The KDP repair has been addressed, covered and written about many, many times in the TDR print and web forums. If you own a ’94 through ’02 Turbo Diesel and are not aware of this potential catastrophic problem, I suggest you go to the TDR website and download a copy of the “Turbo Diesel Buyer’s Guide” and read all about it (pages 213-215).
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BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued BOOST ON A BUDGET – ATS AND TURBO RE-SOURCE The time-honored equation for more power is: Fuel + Air = Power. With the addition of the TST #10 plate I have the fuel portion of the equation covered, but I need more air to balance the equation. Without adding more air, I am wasting the additional fuel (seen as black smoke) and creating EGTs that will limit the usability of the additional power.
If you have not seen the KDP kit installed, this is what it looks like.
The vacuum pump rebuild will be covered in a future issue. Fortunately for Turbo Diesel owners, Gould Gear and Electric (available at Geno’s Garage) has come up with a very cost effective solution. Not only will their vacuum pump reseal kit take care of the oil leak, but it also provides all of the parts necessary to rebuild your vacuum pump to better than new condition. Piers and I finished the day swapping stories and discussing future modifications. On my next trip to Canada I will be headed to visit Rob Marlikowski, Summit Performance Transmissions; Steve Marshall, TCS Products (transmission products); and Geoff Bardal at Colt Cam. Rob and Steve have built a top quality performance transmission and torque converter for my ’98 “Cherry Bomb” and Geoff will be providing one of his camshafts dubbed the “Big Stick.” I installed one of Geoff’s cams in my ’05 Turbo Diesel back in Issue 54, page 120 with very favorable fuel economy results. The cam I plan to use in my 12-valve Turbo Diesel should provide equal, if not better, results. By the time you are reading this issue, all of these products will have been installed so there is more to look forward to in the next TDR magazine.
I introduced the membership to Tom Spichtig of Turbo Re-Source back in Issue 56, page 100. Tom has spent a lifetime specializing in turbochargers, so it was only natural I would go back to him to look for a cost effective solution for a turbo for Cherry Bomb. Reading back through Issue 56, and again in 58, Tom commented that the OEM Holset turbos (HY35 in this application) do a good job of supplying the engine’s need for air. Acting on the suggestion from close friend Piers Harry, Tom put together a modified HY35 using a 58mm compressor (OEM is 56mm) and compressor housing and changing the 12cm wastegated housing for a non-wastegated version. This combination has some great advantages. Not only will it flow more air, approximately 870 CFM (see map and see Issue 58 page 115 to learn how to read the map), it spools up quicker with the 12cm outlet. The entire combination is a direct drop-in replacement for the OEM HY35. This means no modification is necessary to the exhaust system and, if you tow or have need for a turbo-mounted exhaust brake, everything fits! Evan Beck at Evergreen Diesels did the honors for this straightforward installation. Evan has helped me with many projects over the years and has been involved in diesels since before the Glenn Thomas days back in 1995. Recently Dan Wales, Evan Beck and Peter Orr (formerly of DDP) opened their own shop. The trio (tres hombres) has the talent and experience to do the job, be it maintenance or modification and fabrication. If you are in the Monroe, Washington, area, stop in and say hello. Since my old exhaust manifold was showing signs of fatigue and because I wanted to maximize the exhaust flow capabilities, I had Evan remove the OEM one-piece manifold and install an ATS three-piece exhaust manifold. Since 2001 (see “10 Back,” page 11) ATS has been the leader in the aftermarket three-piece manifold design for Turbo Diesels. For those who are unfamiliar with the design, the OEM design is a one-piece manifold, which is subject to expanding and contracting with heat/cold. In time a manifold of this design is prone to cracking or breaking the bolts that attach it to the head. By adding expansion joints to the manifold (threepiece), the manifold has room to expand and contract, relieving the potential for cracking. Additionally, ATS has improved the manifold’s ability to flow the exhaust gasses, enhanced the cast material used for improved life, predrilled an EGT port (in the correct location) and coated the entire assembly with an attractive high temperature coating. In their kit, all of the necessary hardware is supplied, and it fits!
The team from the left: Mike Nichols, Geoff Bardal, Scott Dalgleish, Piers Harry and Harry Kelleher.
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There are a couple of different approaches to the removal of the exhaust manifold and turbocharger. One is to remove them as an assembly; the other is to remove them individually. Evan likes the two-piece approach.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
Evan elects to remove the turbo and manifold separately.
With the turbo and manifold removed, Evan quickly cleans and dresses the exhaust post machined surface on the head.
The existing studs are removed and installed on the new ATS manifold.
To make the installation of the manifold easier, Evan screws in two studs evenly spaced into the upper bolt holes above the exhaust ports to hang the new ATS manifold on while aligning and starting the new supplied bolts.
A quick pass with a power brush cleans the head for proper seating of the new gaskets.
Next the turbo mounting studs are removed from the OEM exhaust manifold and installed on the ATS manifold.
The use of stud hangers makes the install a lot easier while starting the new bolts.
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BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued Next the oil supply and return fittings are removed from the OEM turbo and installed onto the new Turbo Re-Source HY35. The new turbo is then installed and the exhaust, oil supply and return lines are connected. The new turbo was already properly clocked so that everything bolts up the same way it comes apart.
The new ATS manifold comes pre-drilled and tapped for an EGT probe and with the probe installed and the air box connected, I was ready for a road test in just a little over three hours from the time we started. Prior to installing the new turbo, I measured the horsepower and recorded the EGTs with the TST #10 plate installed. As I previously mentioned, I gained just a little over 90hp to the rear wheels with the EGTs spiking to1350° and leveling out to 1270° under full throttle and maximum boost (29 psi). With the Turbo Re-source HY35 turbocharger installed I gained approximately 20hp. The EGTs spike to 1300° and then hold at a comfortable 1170° at a maximum boost of 39 psi. Driving under everyday conditions the new turbo is responsive with slightly more turbo whine (I like that) and it is a very cost effective addition. How so? The retail price for the new Holset HY35 turbo upgrade is $912. If you want to send your HY35 turbocharger to Turbo Re-Source and have it rebuilt with the upgraded components (including new bearings and balancing) the price is $759.
The oil fittings are removed from the old turbo and installed on the new HY35 from Turbo Re-Source.
With pricing like this, and performance matching or exceeding most of the competition’s offerings, this part from Turbo Re-Source is a wise purchase decision for those looking to upgrade. 2012 TDR CALENDAR PHOTO SUBMISSIONS
Eric Nafziger’s clean and lifted 1st Gen truck.
The HY35 from Turbo Re-Source fits like a glove, requiring no modifications.
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In the field with Kevin Slechta’s truck.
COLUMN . . . . Continued
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
BITCHIN’ HITCHIN’ AND GAUGES The Edge Insight CTS (color touch screen) has been written up a couple of times now in the TDR by both Robert Patton in Issue 71, page 146, and Jim Anderson in Issue 72, page 134. Both write-ups talked about using the Edge Insight with the ’07.5 and newer Turbo Diesels. What you may not have been aware of is the Insight is designed to work with 1996 and newer OBDII enabled vehicles. Having installed many different analog gauge combinations in my various Turbo Diesels, I decided this time it would be nice to try something different (read: more technologically advanced). Using Insight instead of analog gauges would give me the ability to house all of the necessary gauges commonly used in a Turbo Diesel (turbo boost, EGT, transmission temperature, engine coolant temperature) with the addition of a Turbo Timer, a color Back-Up Camera (making for “Bitchin Hitchin”) as well as providing the ability to read some of the values in the ECM (manifold temp, percent power, etc.) all within one 4.3” full-color, high resolution touch screen.
The EGT EAS makes for a simple and complete install.
Let’s go forward with the installation of the Insight monitor. This is a straightforward process accomplished by plugging the unit into the Turbo Diesel’s OBDII port. It is that simple, no worries about power connections or backlight dimming. However, adding additional accessories via the Edge Accessory System (EAS) involves pulling and installing the appropriate wires and sensors just as you would for an analog gauge. A key sensor that I added was for exhaust gas temperature. Notes on the installation: when drilling and tapping the exhaust manifold, remember to use a small amount of grease applied to the tap to assist in collecting the metal chips that might otherwise find their way into the turbocharger. The Edge sensor comes as a unit and “daisy chains” along with the other EAS devices selected. I used an existing port in the intake manifold to install the boost pressure sensor.
The EAS for boost installs neatly in the existing manifold port.
The addition of the EAS Turbo Timer and Back-Up Camera are equally simple. The Turbo Timer involves installing two jumper circuits in the Turbo Diesel’s fuse boxes. The Back-Up Camera is housed in the license plate frame and installed with tamper resistant bolts. Again, these EAS devices are daisy chained on the engine side of the firewall and a single connector is plugged into the Insight monitor. The top connector is the EAS connection, the middle connector is the OBDII and the bottom is for the Back-Up Camera.
A little grease on the tap and drill bit will assist in picking up unwanted metal chips in the manifold. Two taps are installed for the EAS Turbo Timer; one under the hood and one in the cab.
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BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued Before I completely gave up, I decided to plug the device into Debra’s car to see if it would work with another vehicle’s ECM. Since the car is not a Chrysler, Ford or Chevy, I needed to select “OTHER” from the Insight’s menu. When I did this, I observed something I had not previously seen the Insight do. It searched and attempted to use a half dozen different popular computer protocols in an effort to “talk” to Debra’s car’s ECM. The Insight found the proper protocol and began to communicate. Seeing this work, I thought to myself, what if I selected “OTHER” instead of “Chrysler/Dodge” when I plugged it into my truck and forced it to look for the proper protocol…worth a try…I did…it worked! I now have all of the necessary gauges that I want: boost, EGT, transmission temperature, engine coolant temperature, corrected MPH as well as the Turbo-Timer and Back-Up Camera.
The Back-Up Camera is mounted in the license plate frame.
Using the Edge Insight is intuitive. The color touch screen will walk you through the menu and gives you the options to select the screen’s display arrangement: set the background (there are several preprogrammed in the software included or you can download your own picture to use); set the high point alarms for critical boost or temperatures; set Turbo Timer’s set points either via EGT or time; and provide the information required for Insight to display the truck’s corrected MPH. (I will install bigger wheels and tires.) Updates are available via the internet and software provided. A PC is currently required, with a MAC version in the works. (Hurry up!) I have found The Edge Insight CTS to be a great addition to this Turbo Diesel. It is easy to read and use with the Back-Up Camera and Turbo Timer being two of my favorite accessories. Now I can see the hitch and ball line up via the Back-Up Camera! (No more hand signals from a frustrated spotter.) I opted to use the optional mounting pod and painted it to match my Turbo Diesel’s dash with Mopar paint from Geno’s Garage.
There are three connections to the Insight CTS: top is the EAS, middle is OBDII, bottom is the camera.
After two days of pulling wires, drilling, taping, and installing sensors, my Edge Insight monitor repeatedly froze when attempting to communicate with the truck’s ECM. Several calls to the Edge tech line revealed that the Insight was probably not compatible with the 1998 Dodge ECM. This would mean finding another source of instrumentation, removing everything that was installed and reinstalling another brand’s wires and sensors.
I thought to myself, what if I selected “OTHER” instead of “Chrysler/Dodge” when I plugged it into my truck and forced it to look for the proper protocol…worth a try… I did…it worked!
Using the optional dash pod makes for a clean install and is positioned so it is easy to read.
Editor’s note: Scott is an enterprising guy who can make most anything work. In this case it is the Insight monitor that is communicating with his ’98 OBDII system.
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COLUMN . . . . Continued
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
In our experience at Geno’s Garage with the Insight on pre ’07.5 trucks, we have found the data that is available for monitor display is lacking. For example, for the ’07.5s ECU/OBDII the Insight can monitor up to 20+ data items. In pre ’07.5 trucks we cannot tell you how many ECU/OBDII data items are available for viewing. Scott made his monitor useful by wiring in sensors using EDGE’s EAS probes. The take-away from all of this rambling: The Insight is a plugand-play item for ’07.5 and newer truck. The Insight for ’96-’07 trucks is only as good as the data points that are available or that are given to it by EDGE’s EAS sensors.
NEW WHEELS AND TIRES – TURNIN’ AND BURNIN’ No purchase of a used vehicle is complete until new tires are added. I installed a set of 285/70/17D BF Goodrich All Terrain T/AKO tires on the truck. (Did he say 17’s?) Yes, I also purchased a set of used OEM forged aluminum wheels from a ’06 Turbo Diesel to go along with the new tires. The combination bolts right up, fits proper, and has the geometry to work with the OEM suspension. This is the same size supplied on the new Power Wagon models. This tire happens to be my favorite for a number of reasons, not the least of which are tread life, relatively low road noise, excellent ride capabilities and good traction (rains and snows here in the Pacific Northwest). Couple all of that with a six-year warranty (see: www.bfgoodrichtires.com/tire-selector/name/all-terrain-ta-ko-tires) and you have a winning combination. When properly inflated, I prefer the ride of the D rated tire over the E rated tire. Comparing the load capacities between the D version and the E version, there is a minimal difference. The 285 D tire is rated at 3,195 lbs. at 65 psi, the OEM tire is rated at 3,415 lbs. at 80 psi. Since the GVWR of the ’98 Turbo Diesel is 8,800 lbs., the D rated tire poses no compromise in the rated load capacity of this Turbo Diesel (4x 3,195 = 12,780 lbs.). This 285 D tire is 32.8” tall.
Proper fit and clearance.
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Proper offset means clean efficient handling and braking, not to mention keeping the body clean.
A key factor, often overlooked in obtaining improved fuel economy from a larger sized tire, is the addition of weight. The OEM tire weighs 54 lbs. each and the 285/70/17D tire I selected weighs 56 lbs. or an increase of 2 lbs. per tire. By contrast, some of the more popular E-rated mud terrain type tires (BFG as well as Toyo) being used on Turbo Diesels today weigh as much as 70.6 lbs each in a comparable size, with the 35” version weighing 82.7 lbs. each. The addition of unsprung weight will have a detrimental effects on fuel economy, ride quality, and stopping ability, as well as the OEM suspension components. Using the manufacture’s website or a good resource like Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com), be sure to look carefully at all of the tire’s data before selecting an upgrade. In the past, I have installed the next tire size up (305/70/17D) which is just a tad taller (34.5” tall for the 305 and 32.8” tall for the 285) and that +1.7” difference requires installing some type of lift or leveling kit to the front suspension. I did not want to go that way this time. I know there are those who will say 305’s fit. (They rub slightly when the steering is locked one side or the other… that does not constitute a proper fit.) I will agree that a lifted truck definitely has the “cool looks factor” in its favor, but I would prefer the ride and handling of the OEM suspension to cool looking. That’s just me.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued economy. Knowing where to have this occur is important and this is the formula I use. I know this 12-valve’s maximum torque is developed between 1680 and 1750rpm (“Sweet Spot” as described in Issue 73, page 73 and 84) verified on a Mustang 1750 DE dynamometer. Using this tire with a 3.54 gear ratio, and the 47 RH transmission will put me in the “Sweet Spot” at approximately 65 to 70mph, providing optimum highway fuel economy at the speed I like to cruise.
No lift is required with this set up.
In obtaining the best ride quality, I subscribe to the 80% rule for tire inflation as a starting point. That is to take 80% of the maximum inflation pressure (65 psi for the tires I selected) which would be 52 psi (cold) as a starting point. Then adjust the pressure up or down depending on the Turbo Diesel’s weight or intended load. The theory works on the assumption that the rated load capacity of the tire adjusts up or down with the pressure change (80% x 3,195 lbs.). It is very helpful to take the time to go to a truck scale and weigh in the various configurations you use most often (empty, hitched to your trailer, etc.). Be sure to weigh the front axle, rear axle, and combined. The revolutions per mile (RPM) difference between the OEM tire (265) and the tire I elected to use (285) is approximately 7% (678rpm versus 634rpm). This will effectively lower our engine’s revolutions per minute by the same amount, providing better fuel
This time I used one of the many features in the Edge Insight to provide corrected MPH for the increased tire size. I just entered the new tire size into the Insight via the touch screen and the correct MPH are displayed. This has proved itself handy on numerous occasions foiling the likes of the Radar Revenuers’ traps. Another option to change the speed of your speedometer and odometer is to use the scan tool at your local dealer to make the correction in the ECM so that the speedometer and anti-lock brake systems work properly. Selecting the “other” mode from the tire size menu, the scan tool permits you to enter the number of revolutions per mile for the tire you have selected. Programming in the ECM will take care of the rest. So much for the turnin’, what about the burnin’ that I alluded to in the title? Following these guidelines I have documented approximately a 7 to 8 % increase in fuel economy with the new engine set up (TST #10, Turbo Re-Source prepped HX35 and ATS exhaust manifold) and taller BFG tires. Combined town and highway driving yields a consistent 20 to 21mpg.
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COLUMN . . . . Continued 47RH TRANSMISSION MODIFICATIONS Back when I first started writing for the TDR, I owned a ’95 Turbo Diesel with an automatic. The 47RH transmissions gave me nothing but trouble. Granted, to a degree, some of it was self-induced, but at that time there were no good options to modify the Turbo Diesel’s automatic transmission. I had a modest trailer that weighed approximately 6,000 pounds, and had increased the engine’s horsepower by adjusting the Bosch P7100 fuel pump’s cam plate. I could slip the transmission and torque converter at will via the right foot. After trying literally every shift kit and torque converter available at the time, I had come to the conclusion that it was not a question of if the transmission was going to slip, but when.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued With the per formance criteria established, Rob built the transmission for the ’98 Cherry Bomb using the best of products. The new transmission would feature a Dunrite shift kit and a torque converter from TCS. Rob uses the Dunrite shift kits instead of valve bodies so that he can “tune” each valve body he builds to the intended application.
Thoroughly disgusted, I purchased a NV4500 five-speed manual transmission and NP241 HD transfer case and became one of the first to swap the automatic for a manual transmission. I vowed to never own an automatic Turbo Diesel again. Never say never. As I mentioned in Issue 73, the numbers of pre-owned Turbo Diesels to consider for purchase are greatly increased when considering those equipped with automatics. Now, 16 years later, the aftermarket has had the time necessary to research, develop and test a plethora of products that, when skillfully incorporated to a 47RH or 47RE automatic transmission, can provide an owner an automatic transmission that approaches the “bullet proof” stamp of approval for a given performance level. When it comes to taking advantage of what is best in today’s aftermarket transmission products, Rob Marlikowski of Summit Performance Transmissions is the go to guy in my area. Rob has been building quality performance automatic transmissions for over 20 years and, with his shop just a few hours away in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, it was a no-brainer.
The valve body is custom built to suit each customer’s needs. Quality shift kits by Dunrite allow shifting in lock-up in all four gears.
The Dunrite shift kit will allow for the transmission to shift while in “lock-up” in all four gears. With the addition of a lock-up switch, it is possible to either allow the transmission to lock-up using the programming in the ECM or to mechanically force lock-up. This is a very handy feature for a number of driving situations (performance acceleration, use of an exhaust brake, downshifting for speed control). Another benefit of manual lock-up is lower transmission operating temperature, as the converter’s clutch is not allowed to slip. The TCS converter Rob used in my transmission is the 89H. TCS is also located in Langley, British Columbia, and while Rob was removing my old transmission, I had an opportunity to meet with Steve Marshall and Brent Veitch and take a tour of the TCS factory. TCS is a family owned business with a 35-year history of being a leader in high performance transmission parts. From billet input and output shafts, to performance torque converters, TCS has a reputation for producing solid performing products. The TCS employees know who they build for, and the TDR decal on this machinist toolbox out on the CNC production floor says it all.
Each Summit Performance Transmission is meticulously finished inside as well as out.
Rob starts the project by taking the time to understand what the customer needs. There are many levels of performance and use. The customer’s answers determine which components Rob uses in the build. I asked for a transmission that would be able to stand up to 450hp, mostly street driven, and tow up to 12,000 pounds on a recreational basis.
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The TCS 89H will be the converter used in my custom built 47RH.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued
Diesel output shafts are among the many high performance Turbo Diesel products produced by TCS.
If you ever wondered what “furnace brazed” looks like, here is an up close look.
Products for Turbo Diesels by TDR members… how good can it get?
Each converter is fully welded and includes a drain plug.
The 89H converter features 89% efficiency, a high stall speed of 1,800 rpm, single clutch and a steel stator. Every part that goes into the make-up of the TCS diesel performance converter is manufactured at the TCS facility “one off” for each application. While TCS manufactures billet, non-billet single and dual-clutch converter applications, I left the final decision to Steve and Rob for my Turbo Diesel’s application.
Only “high energy” friction materials are used (left).
A custom built steel stator (left) is one of the many advantages to top performance of the 89H converter built by TCS.
The balance of the internal components Rob uses in the performance transmission build are the result of his years of experience building diesel performance transmissions. Starting with one extra clutch for overdrive and third gear, then adding a high energy band for second gear, Rob begins the process of beefing up the internal components. He then adds a custom machined
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COLUMN . . . . Continued
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
Torrington bearing in place of the brass thrust washer. If you have ever serviced your automatic, the bushing is the source of brass filings found in the pan.
It’s easy to see the upgraded difference between the OEM (top and thicker band strut (bottom).
“High energy” bands are the mainstay.
A Torrington bearing replaces the brass thrust washer.
The upgraded servo (bottom right).
The clutch materials used are “high energy” as opposed to the lighter material used in the OE clutches. Rob also upgrades the band struts, replaces the servo with a newer design incorporating an O-ring, and adds a Borg Warner solenoid.
A better performing solenoid is built by Borg Warner (right) and used in all of Summit’s performance transmissions.
Once again, “high energy” is the name of the game. The clutches used are also made from this upgraded material.
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Each transmission Rob builds is meticulously built to the customer’s needs. I had Rob install my Mag-Hytec pan. The Mag-Hytec option is one regularly used on Summit Performance Transmissions. Top it off with a fill of ATF+4 and we are ready to go.
BACK IN THE SADDLE . . . . Continued
ATS Diesel Performance, Inc. Mag-Hytec 5293 Ward Rd., Unit 11 14718 Armenta St. Arvada, CO Van Nuys, CA 91402 866-209-3695 818-786-8325 www.atsdiesel.com www.mag-hytec.com
The Mag-Hytec pan puts a finishing touch to my 47RH built by Summit Performance Transmissions. I have monitored transmission temperatures and highway use in lock-up runs between 118° and 132°.
Rob installs each transmission, then begins a test procedure that includes verifying that the proper line pressures are achieved; verifying that the proper RPM is obtained in each gear; checking to be sure that the lock-up functions occur as designed; and then Rob follows with a thorough road test. Shift points and firmness are fine tuned before the job is complete. The results…I honestly never thought I would say I like an automatic transmission, but with a little over 6,000 miles of driving time now, this automatic rocks! Did I just say that? Yep. The diesel performance transmission built by Rob Marlikowski of Summit Performance Transmissions has exceeded my expectations and made a believer out of this Turbo Diesel owner. Summit is a small shop so they build transmissions one at a time by appointment only. Make one. You will not be disappointed.
Summit Transmissions TCS Products Rob Marlikowski Langley, BC, Canada Langley, BC, Canada 604-539-2386 778-545-0067 www.tcsproducts.com
Peak Diesel Performance, Inc. TST Products, Inc Harry Kelleher Columbus, IN Langley, BC, Canada 812-342-6741 www.peakdieselperformance.com www.tstproducts.com
Evergreen Diesels Turbo Re-Source Inc. 17404 147th St. Tom Spichtig SE #H 885 Kiowa Ave. Monroe, WA 98272 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 360-217-8114 928-505-4610 www.evergreendiesels.com www.turboresource.com
Scott Dalgleish TDR Writer
2012 TDR CALENDAR PHOTO SUBMISSIONS
Kelly Reed’s 2nd Generation truck with 500hp tag.
Fred Michaud’s truck had lots of company.
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The “Outstanding” column highlights upcoming Turbo Diesel events and gatherings of special interest. My thanks to those TDR members, friends and companies that spend countless hours preparing to host the TDR membership at the various events.
EVENTS LISTINGS Realizing that many TDR members like to attend motorsports/ open house/seminar/rally events with a common theme of Turbo Diesel ownership and camaraderie, we have put together a listing of upcoming events. The calendar includes events tailored specifically for Dodge/Cummins Turbo Diesel owners. Such events are sponsored by a variety of business and club entities. The events may or may not have a charge for admission. Please check the listings closely for details. Because we are writing this article in mid-December, the information presented is subject to change. Please realize that many people and groups—including Dodge, Cummins, TDR chapters, Dodge dealerships, Cummins distributors, independent shops—will be your hosts and are working to make it happen, and in some cases complete event details are not available at this time.
REGIONAL/LOCAL TURBO DIESEL EVENTS
MAY 2012 What: 18th Annual May Madness 2012 – Pahrump, Nevada When: Monday, April 30 - Sunday, May 6, 2012 Host/Where: TDR member Joe Donnelly and his crew invite you to join them in Pahrump, Nevada, at the Pahrump Nugget for a fun-fillled week of seminars and activities. More Information: The following write-up has more information about the 2012 event. Mark your calendar and if you can make it to May Madness 2012, we suggest that you secure your room or RV park reservations now.
WRITE-UP FOR MAY MADNESS MAY 2012 The 18th Annual Turbo Diesel Register (TDR) Western Regional Rally, “May Madness” 2012 The 18th Annual May Madness will be held on April 30-May 6, 2012 in Pahrump, Nevada. Other brands of diesel trucks will be welcome in addition to Cummins powered Dodges. We plan to hold most events at Saitta-Trudeau Dodge, at the nearby Pahrump Nugget (the host hotel), and at Preferred RV (the host RV Park). The rally will again include the vendors’ “Hall of Gottahavits,” technical talks, dyno, and drag racing. We are working to get a sled pull as well. There will be a Best Dressed/Show-n-Shine Truck contest, and a Ram Rodeo with a Ram Roundup for all attendees. Diesel Specialists of Las Vegas and BD Power will hold a Dyno Day with their high inertia, wide roller Dynojet, for TDR member attendees of May Madness. Pre-registraton for the Dyno Day is being made so Diesel Specialists and BD power can plan their event. Include $30 with your May Madness registration and the dyno pre-registration information and funds will be forwarded to them. BD will give the first forty who pre-register a $30 gift certificate (at the Dyno Day event) good for any BD manufactured product at BD directly; this certificate may also be redeemed at Diesel Specialists for $50 on the Dyno Day, a bonus of $20 from them. The Pahrump Nugget (866-751-6500; www.pahrumpnugget.com) is the host hotel and is conveniently located in the center of Pahrump and close to Saitta-Trudeau Dodge. The banquet, Vendors’ Hall of Gottahavits, and Vendors’ Friday/Saturday Seminar series will be held at the Nugget. Hotel rate will be about $70 ($80 weekend). You MUST reserve your room giving the “May Madness” group identifier, and specify the dates early, as the number of rooms is limited. The host RV Park is Preferred RV Resort (800-445-7840; www. preferredrv.com). This RV Park is across the side street from the Pahrump Nugget. They are once again giving us the special rate of $15.49 including tax. Be sure to tell them you are with “MAY MADNESS.” Their clubhouse holds 130 people and will be the site for the seminars up through Thursday. Other options include the Best Western Hotel and RV Park (775727-5100), and Saddle West Hotel/Casino/RV Park (800-433-3987, www.saddlewest), both in Pahrump. It is VERY IMPORTANT to register for May Madness 2012 early so you and we can plan for a better rally. We need a good idea of how many will participate because we have to guarantee numbers for the hotel, banquet, etc. Note that the registration cost is MUCH lower if you are an “early-bird.” Our planning and reservation processes begin a year before the rally. If you need vendor space or special accommodations, contact Joe Donnelly for arrangements: 505-8581966 or Donnellyj@msn.com.
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OUT STANDING IN THE FIELD . . . . Continued
COLUMN . . . . Continued
18th ANNUAL WESTERN REGIONAL “MAY MADNESS” RALLY April 30 - May 6, 2012 REGISTRATION FORM
[PLEASE stick on an address label if you have one—it is easier to read!]
Name of driver: _________________________________________
(assigned by staff)
Co-Pilot or guest/s:______________________________________ Address: _____________________________________ Cell Phone: ___________________________________________ City: _________________________________________ E-mail: _______________________________________________
Early event registration through November 15, 2011, will be $75 for driver, passenger(s), and truck. This fee includes registration for all members of the party, one shirt, one goody bag, one banquet ticket, and all activities without a price tag. Note that some activities have entrance fees that you must pay, such as the Speedway, your individual dyno runs, and access to state/national parks. From 11/16/11 to 12/31/11 registration is $80. From 1/12/11 to 2/8/12 the price is $85. From 2/20/12 to 4/16/12 registration is $90. After that, registration will be at the door, $100. Allow three days for receipt of mail by the above dates. There will be no “partial week” registrations although “one day” registrations with or without banquet or shirt will be available at the door for $45. Year of truck
Basic registration, which includes one banquet ticket (see above for cost vs. date) Shirt size for the one shirt included in registration (circle): M L XL XXL Additional shirts (fill in numbers): M; L; Additional banquet tickets for 5/5/12 Dyno Pre-registration ($30)
XL XXL XXXL
@ $14.00 each @ $15.00 each @ $16.00 each @ $35 each
Total Enclosed for Registration. Make check or money order out to May Madness (not to Joe):
$ $ $ $ $ $
Please send completed registration and check or money order to: May Madness c/o Joe Donnelly 12101 Coronado Ave NE Albuquerque, NM 87122 LIABILITY RELEASE: The Undersigned releases the Turbo Diesel Register, its officers, writers, volunteers and staff; Pahrump Nugget; Preferred
RV; Saitta-Trudeau Dodge; Clark County, Nye County, the State of Nevada, any sponsors or vendors and all others connected with this event, from all known liability, property damages, injuries or losses, judgments and/or claims resulting from entrant’s participation in this event. Entrant also relinquishes any rights to any photos or videos taken in connection with this event.
DATE: Questions: Joseph Donnelly at Donnellyj@msn.com
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A forum for posting TDR Chapter activities.
TDR LOCAL CHAPTERS—WHAT AND WHO ARE THEY? The following members have expressed an interest in kicking off a local chapter, meeting at a local pizza or steak house on a regular basis, discussing or cussing experiences, organizing local events, and/or telling lies to one another. These members have volunteered to be contact persons in their respective geographic regions. If you have a question about your Turbo Diesel, you now have a local point of contact. Please note that I italicized “volunteered.” These are very good people who are offering to be friendly. Respect their sanity and their evening hours with family. Work with them to get your local chapter up and operational.
California Area (San Jose) TDR Ramrunners Blair Pine • 4465 Lonardo Avenue • San Jose, CA 95118 (408) 266-1333
East TN/South KY Area TDR “Dodgers” David Wheeler • 790 N. Cedar Bluff Road, Apt. 2801 • Knoxville, TN 37923 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Area Rocky Mtn TDR Sam Ayers madmax@ASAModifieds.com
Mid-Tennessee Mid-Tennessee TDR Wade Patton • 591 Petty Gap Road • Woodbury, TN 37190 (615) 542-1957 • email@example.com
Connecticut Area (New England) New England Turbo Diesel Power Tim Taylor • 120 Fairfax Drive • Stratford, CT 06614 (203) 375-1453 • ToolManTimTaylor@aol.com www.newenglandturbodieselpower.com
Texas Area (Houston) Lone Star TDR Curtis Harris • 2404 Colleen • Pearland, TX 77581 (832) 256-8730 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Idaho/Eastern Oregon Area Idaho Bombers L Muddy Thompson • PO Box 652 • Parma, ID 83660 (208) 739-2520 • email@example.com www.idahobombersforum.com Maryland/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Area Mason Dixon TDR Jim Peter • 785 Zarger Road • Greencastle, PA 17225 (717) 816-3224 • Rams-n-Hogs@comcast.net New Jersey Area South Jersey Pinelands Chapter Bill Mancinelli • 19 Millstone Drive • Shamong, NJ 08088 (609) 367-4725 • firstname.lastname@example.org Upper New York State Area Upstate Bombers Chad Taylor (607) 863-4812 • email@example.com Pete Toombs • 6009 Webb Rd. • Willet, NY 13863 (315) 656-8123 • firstname.lastname@example.org Ohio Area Cincinnati Area TDR Paul Odegard • 150 Farragut Road • Cincinnati, OH 45218 (513) 825-8338 • email@example.com South Carolina Area South Carolina TDR Gary Croyle • c/o Perfection Clutch • 100 Perfection Way • Timmonsville, SC 29161 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Virginia Area (Roanoke) Blue Ridge TDR Chapter Gerald W. Tobey • 275 Autumnwood Lane • Troutville, VA 24175 (540) 992-5840 • email@example.com Washington State/Western Oregon/N. California Area “Rottin” Rhonda Kelly • PO Box 254 • Poulsbo, WA 98370 (425) 269-0029 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.nwbombers.com
CANADA Ontario Ontario Dodge Diesel Owners Robert Schwarzli • RR #3 • Mount Albert, ONT, Canada (416) 605-4154 • email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL Sweden TDR Sweden Dick Tilander • Finspangsgatan 43 • 163 53 Spanga, Sweden (46) 8 6470560 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.tdr.se
Thank you for your help in increasing the TDR membership. Your efforts via discussions, copies, and brochures handed out to other Turbo Diesel owners are noted each time a new owner joins us.
How do you participate? It’s easy. On the TDR brochures that you pass out in a “grassroots photo-copy membership drive,” or on an original TDR brochure, be sure to include your name and subscription number. As new subscribers join us, we’ll check the application for a referral name/number. Then, we will recognize TDR members for their participation in the “TDReferral/Recognition/ Reward” column each quarter.
This referral program is ever more important. In the early years, the TDR has had support from Chrysler in the form of new truck owner information. With internal changes at Chrysler, this information is no longer available. Thus, the TDR membership has to be self-reliant in its marketing initiatives. Many members have asked for additional brochures and have commented about their work distributing the material. For the efforts put forth, you would expect a higher number of responses. Don’t be discouraged!! Your positive discussions may not immediately net a new TDR member. Many people have the intention, yet find it hard to part with dollars. Referral The subscription number listed on the top of your address label is a valuable tool that the TDR uses to keep track of subscriptions and to recognize/reward those TDR members who are active in new subscription referrals.
TED BRONDOS ELLIOTT BROOKS VICTOR BRUDI STEVE CAMERER KYLE CASKEY RICHARD CLIFTON DANIEL R. COBURN TED CONDRON WILLIAM DAVIS MICHAEL DELEHANTY CLAY DICKERSON MARK DILLING GREG DINGMAN NELSON DROSENDAHL JASON DUBIEN LARRY DUNCAN RON ESPELL DEAN GAMELIN COLIN GORDON THOM GOURLEY
Reward Recognition is great, but how about a WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? How does this sound? For your help in expanding the membership of the TDR, we will send you a Cummins Diesel Power cab plate. I love incentives, don’t you? Let’s give away some money. It’s fun to get a surprise cab plate in the mail. But we would like to add a bit of excitement to the TDR/R/R program. Here is the deal. For each referral, we will put your name into a hat for a quarterly prize of $100. Obviously, numerous referrals per quarter increase your chances of winning. Our winner this quarter is Steve Camerer.
TRENTON GRANT CLIFF HORNADY PETER HOSHYLA DAVID HOSTETLER TOM HUNSAKER NORMAN HUNT JERRY JASON CAL JONES ANDREW KORNER J.K. LACEY BENNY LANGFORD EMORY LASSETER ROBERT MACKNIS EVAN MARTIN ED & EARNIE MARTINDALE DOUGLAS G. MILLER KENT B. MORRISON DAN MUELLER SCOTT NOPPEN DOYLE PEARSON
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RYAN PELZ DONALD Q. PETERS DAN REICH STEVE ROUNDY JOHN SANDERS JOE SCELSO KIM SCHUMACHER BUD SEYLER TERRY SHEAHAN JESSE SHORT MATTHEW SHUMAKER STEVE SKINNER MR. RAYMOND F. SKORSKI DONALD W. SPRAGUE KY STURGES SETH TEICHERT CARL A. THOMASON JOHN WATSON TYSON WHEAT SAM WHITE
TDR/R/R . . . . Continued HIGH MILEAGE RECOGNITION In Issue 22 (Fall ’98) we started a program to recognize/reward high mileage Turbo Diesel trucks. We developed a TDR milestone tag to commemorate mileage achievements. The tags are sent at no charge to members. Proof of mileage by a photo of the outside of the truck and a picture of the odometer is appreciated. (If you can’t get a good focus on the odometer, we’ll trust you.) If you would like a high mileage tag, please send in your photos. Include $5 in postage or cash to cover shipment of your no- charge tag. Tags are given out at 100,000 mile increments, i.e., 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500K miles. Over 500K miles? Sorry, we’ve not yet developed a tag, but we’ll send additional 100K tags to collect and display. While we would like to use every owner’s picture sent to us, please realize that a photo of your truck may or may not be in the magazine because of page layout and spacing constraints.
This quarter we sent 200K tags to: Mike Anson Gilbert, AZ
Charlie Bishop Gaffney, SC
Richard Boettcher South Beloit, IL
Ben Brauchler Hernando, MS
Mark Dilling Anoka, MN
Kevin Dohm Lake Ann, MI
James Green Cleveland, TX
Kyle Hoover Abbeville, SC
Robert Mueller Waxhaw, NC
Andrew Odquist Huntington, IN
John and Judy Ross Jacksonville, AR
Mark Ryan Wagoner, OK
Russell Smith Bethel Park, PA
Kendra Strnad Portales, NM
Jacob Throndsen Kongsberg
Dean Tippie Greenville MI
Lee Watson Indianapolis, IN
This quarter we sent 100K tags to: Anthony Bahl Port Angeles, WA
Denny Bowen Blair, NE
Paul Bruner Antigo, WI
Rick Butler Penngrove, CA
Harvey Cohen Cornwall, NY
Eric Gebhart Littlestown, PA
John Hansen Sandy, UT
Dave Hirchert Ketchikan, AK
Tim Hodgkins Napoleonville, LA
Klaus Holthaus West Hills, CA
Dan Kent Mesa, AZ
Richard Koeppel Peyton, CO
Diana Irrgang Livingston, TX
John Linsley MacClenny, FL
Norval Larson Pahrump, NV
Carl Lovelady Mc Calla, AL
Dean Michalscheck Meridian, ID
Ron Ruyle Stanwood, WA
Don Tipping Savona, BC
Bruce Palmer Silver Springs, NV
Anthony Peretti Vineland, NJ
Anthony Reeves Lakeland, FL
Benjamin Sappington Raymond Skorski Marysville, WA Coventry, RI
Roger Smith Rocanville, SK
Rob St.John John Day, Or
Randy Steck Hayward, CA
Jay Thorsten Waukon, IA
Harvey Walden Collinsville, MS
Marcus Wenthold Ossian, IA
This quarter we sent 300K tags to: Brian Rosselott Mt. Orab, OH
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TDR/R/R . . . . Continued EARN YOUR STRIPES Sparked by old 1960s vintage Dodge advertisements in the book Classic Muscle Car Advertising, the TDR staff created the Super B character in 1996.
This quarter we sent 400K tags to: Thomas Goodwin Wylie, TX
Dean Hendrickson Chatsworth, CA
Next, we developed a TDR license tag to recognize the horsepower achievement attained by dedicated B-series engine builders and owners. If you would like a super B/Earn Your Stripes license tag, please send in a copy of a dyno sheet from your dyno run. Please include $5 in postage or cash to cover shipment of your no-charge tag. If you send in a photo of your truck, we will try to include the photo in the magazine. Likewise, if you have a story to tell about the lessons you’ve learned, money you’ve spent, fuel you’ve used, vendors you would recommend, etc., please send the story with your other materials.
This quarter we sent 500K tags to: Hector Elmore Gordonsville, VA
Benjamin Sappington Marysville, WA
Tim Svob Canton, IL
Hector Elmore 500K
Dutch and Diana Irrgang 300K
Paul Bruner 100K
Dean Hendrickson 400K
Don Tipping 300K
Roger Smith 100K
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TDR/R/R . . . . Continued
Brian Rosselott 300K
John Linsley 300K
Ronald Ruyle 300K
Andrew Odquist 200K
Ben Brauchler 200K
Charlie Bishop 200K
Jacob Throndsen 200K
James Green 200K
Kendra Strnad 200K
Kevin Dohm 200K
Richard Boettcher 200K
Robert Mueller 200K
Russell Smith 200K
Anthony Bahl 100K
Bruce Palmer 100K
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TDR/R/R . . . . Continued
John and Judy Ross 200K
Dean Tippie 200K
Lee Watson 200K
Kyle Hoover 200K
Mark Dilling 200K
Mike Anson 200K
Mark Ryan 200K
Ben Sappington 100K
Eric Gebhart 100K
Rick Butler 100K
Richard Koeppel 100K
Harvey Walden 100K
Thomas Goodwin 400K
Tim Hodgkins 100K
Raymond Skorski 100K
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TDR/R/R . . . . Continued
Anthony Peretti 100K
Carl Lovelady 100K
Anthony Reeves 100K
Daniel Kent 100K
Dave Hirchert 100K
Dean Michalscheck 100K
Denny Bowen 100K
Harvey Cohen 100K
Jay Thorsten 100K
John Hansen 100K
Kaus Holthaus 100K
Marcus Wenthold 100K
Rob St.John 100K
Randy Steck 100K
Norval Larson 100K
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WEATHERING THE STORM
companies will endlessly discuss which company should pay what, while you endlessly wait for your claim(s) to be handled. Talk with others who have coverage with that company and ask how speedily claims were paid. The price of the coverage is important, but timely service in the event of a problem is also important. I had not done the necessary research on the company I went with and later paid the price in poor service.
Sooner or later, no matter whether you travel occasionally or fulltime, you will experience damage to your truck or trailer, or both. In Issue 73 in this column your writer outlined extensive hail damage to his 2010 truck and 2004 RV trailer. The insurance company appraised the truck damage to be over $7000 while damage to the trailer exceeded $9700. It is doubtful that the truck can be repaired for the price of the appraisal. Some of the trailer damage is not repairable because certain body panels are no longer available from the manufacturer. Fortunately, these panels are not structural and the damage doesn’t show from ground level. All other damage can be fixed, and all damage to the truck is also repairable. If you are faced with such a situation as this, here are some things you will have to deal with.
The short story is that the company dragged its feet for several weeks in getting a claims adjuster to write up an appraisal, and there was a delay of several more weeks during which promises of payment were made but no checks issued. It finally took a letter to the insurance company president, with a copy to the selling agency, stating the facts of the case and citing that a legal and binding contract existed between the buyer and seller that wasn’t being honored, to break the log jam. The selling insurance agency put pressure on the insurance company to settle the claim, too, and the checks were finally issued, a full 11 weeks after the claim was made. Again, do your research before buying a policy to ensure good service after the sale in the event of a loss. I can’t say if my experience with that company was unique or common.
First, survey the damage with an eye toward making the unit(s) usable again. Document everything with pictures. Can the truck be driven? Can the trailer be made safe and inhabitable, or will you need a place to stay that night? In your scribe’s case, replacement of all the plastic items on the trailer roof, including the air conditioner cover, ceiling vent covers, and holding tank vent covers would again make the trailer waterproof. A survey of the interior showed damage was limited to some water entry through the broken ceiling vent covers, and this was soaked up using towels, rugs, and a shop-vac. By late the next day the replacement plastic items had been installed and the roof was made waterproof again, just before the next rains came. Whew! There were no broken windows and the trailer’s fiberglass end caps were surprisingly undamaged, considering some of the hailstones were hardball size. The rubber roof also appears to be undamaged.
In this case, the insurance company mentioned above offers a specialized full-timer’s RV insurance that is widely advertised in RV oriented magazines through their selling agency. The insurance company website advertises in glowing terms their unique offerings. The offered coverage does appear to be better. But, be advised that in this writer’s experience, their service leaves a lot to be desired.
The TDRV column focuses on towing with your truck for work or play. It covers towing accessories and products, related technical discussion, and TDR member experiences. And, just as you’ll find in some other TDR columns, we’ve incorporated some of the Q&A from the website. TDRV is edited by Jim Anderson and Bill Stockard.
All damage to the 2010 truck is to sheet metal, with no windows broken. The insurance estimate shows the truck will be in the shop (and out of service) for 40 days for the restoration to original condition. Next, contact was made with the insurance carrier to report the loss. They assured me they would get on the case right away. That turned out to be a lie, and also offered a lesson. When contracting with an insurance company for coverage, do some research beforehand and find out about their claims payment history. Be sure to insure both your truck and trailer with the same company to avoid a situation called divided responsibility where the two insurance
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What’s next? Now that the money is in hand, both the truck and the trailer will be in line for repairs. The wait for the truck to get it into a dealership’s body shop will be another 8-12 weeks due to the backlog of other hail damaged vehicles in the area. Fixing the remaining damage to the trailer will be somewhat simpler as the backlog at RV repair shops is less. The two units, again bright and shiny, should be finished in time to make a nice New Year’s present for your scribe! Then a diligent search for a new insurance company, one that pays claims in a timely manner, can begin.
When contracting with an insurance company for coverage, do some research beforehand and find out about their claims payment history.
TDRV . . . . Continued BATTERIES If you store your RV during the winter months, be sure to remove the battery or batteries and store them in a heated area for the winter. It is recommended that you trickle charge them once a month to keep them at full charge. Trickle charging periodically actually helps batteries live longer, as a deeply discharged battery that has been unused for months will deteriorate. Fast charging a deeply discharged RV/marine battery can be very detrimental to its life as high charging heat can warp internal lead plates. One or two amp trickle chargers are best for maintaining a battery at peak performance. These inexpensive chargers are called “battery maintainers”.More expensive computerized chargers can be left connected for extended periods since they turn on and off as needed to maintain a 100% charge. At the very least, if you don’t use your RV during the winter storage period, disconnect the negative cable(s) of the battery(ies) and tuck them out of the way. If batteries are left connected, the small electrical draw of fire, propane, and carbon monoxide detectors will completely drain a battery in less than a month. A dead battery will freeze and the case will break. Then you get to buy at least one new battery, and you also get to clean up an acid spill. If your RV has more than one battery and replacement becomes necessary, always replace multiple batteries as a matched set to ensure equal charging and top performance. Also remember that starting batteries and RV/marine batteries are constructed differently to serve their intended purpose. RV/marine batteries are constructed to allow deep discharging at slow rates while starting batteries are constructed to give a large shot of power without deep discharging. The so-called “combination” batteries that are sold for dual purposes won’t do either job well, so save your money.
Fellow TDR writer Scott Dalgleish is presently upgrading a used truck he recently bought to meet his needs for a lot less than the cost of a new ride. You can read about his project truck in his column “Back in the Saddle,” beginning in Issue 73 on page 96. Needless to say, Scott is enjoying his new ride, even while he upgrades it with a long list of modifications and accessories. Keep on keepin’ on, Scott!
TRAILER TIRES TDR member John Pfennig, whom I’ve met several times over the years, wrote asking about replacement of his fifth-wheel trailer tires which were showing their age. He wanted to replace a couple of tires but not all of them at one time. I recommended he replace the oldest tires first, including the spare, and put the new tires on the same axle. The spare, even if unused, can deteriorate over time, so timely replacement is essential, even if it has never been on the ground. Replacing the oldest tires first makes sense as they would be the most deteriorated tires. The codes stamped on the tire sidewalls will indicate the week and year of production, and even on new trailers, the codes will often be different between tires. Always replace trailer tires due to age, not miles. Trailer tires are rarely dependable if they are more than five years old, even if the treads look good. Buying new trailer tires costs much less than repairs to the damage to trailer sidewalls and wheel wells when a tire shells out while traveling. Your writer has experienced tire blowouts and tread separations on tires that were only three to four years old. Jim Anderson TDR Writer
GETTING THE RIGHT TRUCK
AIR BAGS WITH A SLIDING HITCH
TDR member Jack Vincent had a nice truck and a nice trailer. He sold both and purchased a motorhome, which turned out to be a sour experience. Later he wanted to get back into the RV lifestyle and wanted to duplicate the rig (fifth-wheel trailer and truck) that he formerly had. Fortunately, he was able to buy back the trailer he formerly owned after much negotiation with its owner, but what to do about another truck?
I plan to tow a 30 foot fifth-wheel trailer with my ’98 Turbo Diesel 2500 with a short bed. In order to install a Pullrite sliding hitch, and according to the instructions, I must remove the rear air bags I had previously installed. How necessary are the air bags when towing a fifth-wheel with about 2200 pound pin weight on the rear axle? ed9824v
We discussed the pros and cons of various truck models that would fit within his budget while Jack looked far and wide for a good used truck. After much searching and a few false starts, Jack was able to buy just what he wanted for the right price, and there is a lesson here for us all. With late model used trucks being plentiful in the marketplace, if you are thinking of upgrading your ride, now is a good time to do it. The selection of well-maintained low mileage Dodge/Cummins trucks has never been better. Most are fairly nicely optioned, many have owner installed upgrades, and you can easily be the proud owner of a newer truck if you have some money to spend.
With my ’95 Turbo Diesel 2500 towing a 32 foot fifth-wheel trailer, I used the air bags to maintain the rear ride height. Without the bags inflated the headlights wouldn’t light the road when driving at night. They probably helped steering too. FParisi, Santa Paula, CA I installed the Pullrite sliding hitch and it was one of the first times everything fit properly and did not require me to fabricate, alter, or adjust the parts. I called Pullrite previous to installing the hitch and was told the air bags would not fit. However, they fit just fine. ed9824v
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TDRV . . . . Continued TRUCK TO RV BATTERY ISOLATOR This installation is for a truck camper application on my ’05 Turbo Diesel 3500 where I had to provide a new 7-way RV receptacle in the bed close to the forward bulkhead. The 12-volt battery charging circuit to the newly installed 7-way receptacle is an 8-gauge wire run separately from the batteries. I needed larger wire for charging the camper batteries. However, I wanted to prevent discharging the truck’s batteries when the engine is running.
I used the keyed side of the vacant number 37 fuse. I routed the wire out the side of the PDC through a slot that I cut with a hacksaw blade and smoothed with emery cloth.
To prevent discharging the truck’s batteries I used a Tekonsha Model 7000-S continuous duty relay wired through a 30-amp automatic reset circuit breaker. I routed the 8-gauge wire in spit loom from the relay down the fire wall and under the cab to the bed to the new 7-way receptacle, securing it with wire ties.
The keyed 12-volt lead is routed from the PDC in split loom, secured with wire ties, and connected to the proper post on the relay. I used a waterproof fuse holder and a 10-amp fuse to protect the circuit. The relay allows me to fully charge my camper batteries and prevents discharging my truck batteries when the engine isn’t running. fkovalski, CO
I tapped a 12-volt key-on power source to operate the Tekonsha relay by cutting a crimp type ring terminal in half to insert into a vacant slot in the Power Distribution Center (PDC).
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TDRV . . . . Continued HOW TO SANITIZE RV WATER SYSTEM? I purchased my first trailer in 1994. My how-to? I dump two cups of household bleach and add about five gallons of water to the tank. I operate the water pump to circulate the solution through the system, drain it, and flush the system with fresh water. Recently, I have looked at some of the products for sanitizing fresh water systems at Camping World and wondered if they would be any better. Is there a better way? MVieira, Dixon, CA
I recently sanitized my fresh water system using the above technique. I formerly used a charcoal filter to remove chlorine from the fresh water, but mold developed in the supply line to the pump due to neglect and non-use. I no longer use the filter and use the city water complete with the minute amount of chlorine. We only use the water for showers and washing dishes and drink bottled water. Regcabguy, San Diego, CA I’ll be using SBall’s well detailed instructions and that was what I was looking for. Thank you everyone. I appreciate the advice. MVieira, Dixon, CA
My Lance Camper Owner’s Manual suggests the following: 1. Prepare a chlorine solution with one gallon of water and 1/4-cup of household bleach. 2. Pour one gallon of the solution for each 15 gallons of fresh water tank capacity into the tank. My fresh water tank is about 30 gallons and I use two gallons of the solution. 3. Fill the tank with fresh water. 4. Turn on your pump and open each faucet and water heater relief valve until water flows evenly. Then close all valves and turn pump off. 5. Allow the solution to stand for three hours. 6. Drain and flush with fresh water. To remove any chlorine taste, fill the tank with one quart of vinegar to each 5 gallons of water and let it set for several days. This is an optional step. SBall, Earlville, PA The object is to obtain a chlorine level of 5-ppm (parts per million). Let it soak (health departments recommend 24 hours for fresh water systems), and flush until the water is clear and no smell of chlorine remains. Hoefler, Shell Knob, MO
TRAILER BRAKE WIRING CONNECTOR How do I disconnect the large white trailer brake connector in the factory wire harness on my ’96 Turbo Diesel 3500? I need to replace the Tekonsha brake controller, but I haven’t been able to disconnect the connector. It’s located in a tight spot, which doesn’t help. Jack Mears, Concrete, WA If the connector is the same as on my ’06 Turbo Diesel 3500, there is a small clip on the side of the male end that laps over the edge of the female end which must be pried up to release the connection. I can’t get both hands up in there to release it. It appears that I would need a tool like a small flat blade screwdriver bent into a U shape on the end to release the clip. B.G. Smith, Port Neches, TX There is a little red safety clip that is perpendicular to the plug that has to be backed out before pulling back and lifting the latch that holds them together. Usually, the red clip is pulled out and left out. DGamelin, UP of MI This is a photo of the controller side of the connector on my ’02 Turbo Diesel 3500.
We basically use the same procedure as SBall, only we leave the chlorine solution in the system overnight. Flush with fresh water, add the vinegar solution, flush with more fresh water, partially fill the tank, and go. We begin preparation about a week before our first trip of the season by sanitizing the tank, turning on the refrigerator, running the air conditioner, checking the air in the tires and water in the battery, etc. If there is a water filter inside the RV, don’t forget to remove the cartridge before sanitizing, as a carbon type filter will attempt to remove all the chlorine. Install a new cartridge and flush it after the chlorine and vinegar treatment is done. TLane I use two cups of bleach in my 40 gallon tank and leave it in for about 30 to 45 minutes since the bleach solutions may be detrimental to certain plastic tanks and plumbing. AH64ID, Kuna, ID
My ’98 was the same. Road Dog, Langley, BC
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In previous TDR magazines we’ve had input from repair shop locations and we’ve scattered the articles throughout the magazine. In this issue my thanks again goes to Andy Redmond. Andy operates a one-man, specialized repair shop in the north Dallas, Texas, suburb of Plano. I’m hopeful you’ll enjoy the insight that Andy brings to the magazine.
• Remove the two Phillips screws at each end of the bottom inside of the door trim; one screw behind the door handle; and one at the top corner. • Remove the 25 Torx bolt that retains the door handle. • Remove window regulator handle/crank (non-electric windows).
RESET “SERVICE DUE” ON ’07.5-NEWER EVIC I am frequently asked how to clear the “Service Due” message. So I have included the instructions for doing so on the ’07.5 and newer electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) display. If yours is a Third Generation truck (’07.5-’09) the EVIC display is on the overhead console. For Fourth Generation trucks the EVIC is in the center of the dash. The steps:
• Use a plastic trim pry bar to remove the window/door lock switches. • Reach behind the suspended panel to disconnect the power window switch connectors if so equipped. If you are simply servicing the power lock or power window switch, the bezel will slip loose from the door panel without panel removal. • Lift straight up to allow the male panel strips to disengage from the stamped slots in the door.
• Turn the ignition switch to the ON position. (Do not start the engine.) • Press and release the brake pedal two times. • Fully depress the accelerator pedal slowly two times within 10 seconds. • Turn the ignition switch to the OFF/LOCK position. The message should now be erased. You can also do your favorite dance afterward! 3G – REMOVE THE DOOR PANEL Often I’m asked on how best to remove an interior trim panel. Although your service manual provides step by step instructions the following may supplement the manual with a few short cuts and will show you how easy it is to remove a door panel from a Third Generation truck.
To remove the door handle you have to use a 25 Torx driver.
Four Phillips head screws hold the door panel on. Two on the bottom, one behind the door handle and one in the top corner of the plastic door panel.
A plastic trim stick removing power window/lock bezel from door panel.
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FROM THE SHOP FLOOR . . . . Continued TOOL TIME It makes sense to buy good tools. Sometimes if you do a job yourself you can purchase a specialty tool and still save money compared to paying the “man” to perform the particular repair. Even though I have a good tool selection, I too like a bargain. I will occasionally visit a Northern Tool or Harbor Freight for an inexpensive tool that is purpose modified as a one time use specialty tool, but for frequent use the timeless cliché rings true—“you get what you pay for.” Time is money and I automate by using cordless tools wherever practical. Examples are seldom used screwdrivers. I love the sets of 1/4 or 3/8” drive sockets with insert bits pressed into the socket. I have sets in metric and SAE hex (allen keys), torx bits, tamper proof torx, apex bits, phillips, flat etc. costing a small fortune— perhaps $600-1000. Although Craftsman makes a good tool, I have found Snap-On to have a superior insert bit (pressed into the socket), as the bit both fits the fastener better and lasts much longer. I recently purchased this Matco insert bit holder 3/8” drive to 1/4” and now have been purchasing popular size bits, a la carte from Snap-On. The bit holder has a very sturdy lock ring to prevent the bit from falling out. I’m sure we’ve all tried to use a 1/4” socket to hold a 1/4” drive insert bit and been frustrated when it falls out of the socket—not any more!
Although you have to remove the bits to remove/install fasteners of differing size or type, you can match my set by purchasing the insert bits a la carte in your favorite sizes or lengths—saving yourself hundreds. Be organized in your bit storage or your savings will be short lived as they will become lost or frustrating to find in the bottom of your tool box. In fact, a small clear divider case from the fishing department of your sporting goods store will well serve to keep your bits organized. BOOST CHECK
Recently a customer called and complained of high EGTs, low power and less than normal boost on his A-pillar gauge. Several intercooler boots were about to split open from chaffing, but my handy-dandy hardware store parts tester (Fernco sewer pipe coupling) showed the major leak to be an intercooler core tubing split near the bottom right side. The split occurred where several tubes are welded into the tank end of the cooler. To test for a leak(s) of the intercooler and its piping you pressurize the air at the turbocharger. As seen in the picture, I use a regulator to slowly build the pressure. I regulated the air psi to a maximum of 20-25 psi, which was more than sufficient to locate the leak. This “tool” can be dangerous, secure it with a ratcheting strap (not shown) and cover the tester with a heavy moving pad.
Matco Impact bit holder # BP86DA, MSRP $ 17.00 (location bottom center of photo, black oxide color) Matco Impact bit holder # AP86DA, MSRP $ 12.00 (1/4” to 1/4” drive, black oxide color not shown in photo) Snap-on (Blue Point) # BLPTMBS3814 (chrome 3/8” to 1/4” bit holder)—not shown Snap-On insert bits (example: Torx T-40, part # SDMT440). $4.90. Compare this bit to one already in a bit holder at $ 26.00 (neither are shown). Various insert bits and insert bit/integral sockets are shown from various tool manufacturers including Snap-On, Matco, Craftsman, Lisle, Stanley/Proto etc.
Last, but not least, you can usually find the leak using the low (relatively speaking) 10-15psi air. Be aware that at least one, likely two of the intake valves will be partially open and there will be air escaping the “intercooler test area” as it blows into the engine. So, in effect, the escaping air gives a safety relief to a system that would otherwise be a 10-15psi pressurized vessel. If you cannot isolate a leak of the intercooler piping due to lack of pressure or too much background air noise, you’ll have to remove the last intercooler pipe-to-intake plenum hose and add a 4” blockoff cap to the intercooler pipe. Add your safety cover and retest with the regulated air. Finally, my thanks to the TDR members that previously told me how to make this “pressure test tool.” Reference Issues 43, page 46, and Issue 58, page 30, for additional information as needed.
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FROM THE SHOP FLOOR . . . . Continued DISCO FEVER TOOL Another invaluable tool for fluid leaks is dye and a black light. The world comes alive with engine oil leaks, A/C leaks, fuel or transmission fluid leaks (differing dye part number by fluid/ application) when viewed through the amber safety glasses while a black light is fixed on the suspect leak area. Due to the large oil capacity on the Turbo Diesel, it is necessary to add three, 1-ounce bottles of dye for proper luminescence. A kit similar to mine in a storage case runs about $100. www.tracerpro.com
New serpentine belt.
BELT CHECK Turbo Diesels are equipped with serpentine drive belts to turn the various engine accessories. The aftermarket standard for belt and hose replacement is four years/48,000 miles. (Note, this is an aftermarket service standard. How long do you drive before thinking about belts or hoses?) The serpentine belt was typically replaced on this time/mileage standard or when the belt had excessive cracking or stripping (missing areas from the inside of the belt). Most serpentine belts are now EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) construction versus the neoprene construction of early belts. It lasts substantially longer, but can be worn to the point of replacement without the cracking or other wear indicators consistent with neoprene based belts. So, how do you check your serpentine belt? Meet the belt wear gauge, which will be sent to you free of charge if you contact Gates here: http://www.gatesprograms.com/beltwear. Likewise, the Geno’s Garage folks have the Gates “toothpick,” and they will gladly send one to you at no charge.
Used serpentine belt.
The photos show both a well used and new belt. Notice that the used belt’s grooves are shallow, exposing more of the orange belt gauge. Dayco (MarkIV Automotive) has their version of a similar belt wear gauge called BeltaWEARness. Similar to the Gates, it goes two steps further by allowing the technician to check side wear in between the ribs and also a window of which crack can be counted in an approximate inch/by inch area (less than four cracks/splits). When a serpentine belt is inspected or replaced, carefully inspect the tensioner pulley for bearing wear. If the belt shows edge wear, it likely means the pivot in the tensioner is worn allowing it to side load the belt which can cause excessive wear and belt noise. While the belt is removed, this is also a good time to check the bearings in the alternator, A/C clutch, fan mount, water pump and power steering pump for bearing wear/noise. The 1989 to 2002 Turbo Diesels have a 3/8” drive square boss in the tensioner for a long ratchet or serpentine belt tool. These belts are most easily changed from the top of the truck. The 2003 to present Turbo Diesel use a slightly different tensioner with a 1/2”drive square boss and the tensioner/belt replacement is most easily performed from the bottom side of the truck. Andy Redmond TDR Writer
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FROM THE SHOP FLOOR . . . . Continued Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation Form 3526, September 2010
2012 TDR CALENDAR PHOTO SUBMISSION
1) Publication Title – Turbo Diesel Register 2) Publication No. – 1088-8241 3) Filing Date – 9/15/11 4) Issue Frequency – Quarterly 5) No. of Issues Published Annually – 4 6) Annual Subscription Price - $35.00 7) C omplete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Not Printer) – 3144 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041 8) C omplete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher (Not Printer) – 1150 Samples Industrial Drive, Cumming, GA 30041 9) Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor – Publisher, Robert Patton, 3139 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041 – Editor, Robert Patton, 3139 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041 – Managing Editor, Robert Patton, 3139 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041 10) O wner – Robert Patton, 3139 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041, Robin Patton, 3139 Neal Court, Cumming, GA 30041, Gene Warren, 101 Commons Drive, Easley, SC 29642, Martha Warren, 101 Commons Drive, Easley, SC 29642 11) K nown Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities – None 12) N/A 13) Publication Name – Turbo Diesel Register 14) Issue Date for Circulation Data Below – November 2011 15) Extent and Nature of Circulation Average No. Copies Actual No. Copies Each Issue of Single Issue During Preceding Published Nearest 12 Months to Filling Dates a. Total No. Copies
b. Paid and/or Requested Circulation
c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation
d. Free Distribution by Mail
e. Total Free Distribution
f. Total Distribution g. Copies Not Distributed
h. Total Copies
i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation
16) This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the November issue of this publication 17) Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner
Seth Teichert’s 2nd Gen looks terrific in this setting.
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TDRelease is a quarterly column that features press releases from Turbo Diesel vendors
DODGE TRANSMISSION PAN FOR ’89 TO ’07 TURBO DIESEL TRUCKS With the abundance of transmission pans that are available for your Dodge/Cummins Turbo Diesel truck, it is a challenge to develop something new. Enter Dave Goerend and his staff at Goerend Transmission. They have been modifying Dodge Turbo Diesel transmissions since the days of the first truck (way back in 1989). They had some ideas they wanted to incorporate into the design of a transmission pan and the only way to do it was to design their own pan.
AURORA 5500 TURBOCHARGER BY ATS ATS’s new Aurora 5500 provides big airflow for top-end power, while maintaining the responsiveness needed for a street-driven truck. The exhaust housing design of our Aurora 5000 turbo was combined with a new, specially designed compressor section which yields impressive results. This turbo is capable of generating 10-second quarter mile drag runs, full (sled) pulls, and massive airflow, while retaining its good manners around town. Two versions of the Aurora 5500 are currently available; our standard 3.0” compressor wheel, and a “clipped” 2.6” compressor wheel. The 2.6” version of this charger allows the Aurora 5500 to be used for sled/truck pulls and competition, where regulations limit the size of the compressor.
So they did. Their transmission pan features the following items: • Sloped floor resulting in 100% drainage (patent pending) • Tapped hole for easy installation of temperature sender • Magnetic drain plug to remove any metal particles • Copper sealing ring to create a leak proof seal • CNC machined • Constructed of light weight cast aluminum for efficient heat dissipation and durability • Holds 2-1/2 quarts more transmission fluid than stock • Billet aluminum lowering block to position the filter in the optimum position • Gasket also included • Limited lifetime guarantee • Competitively priced at $250
Goerend Transmission, Inc. www.goerend.com 119 North Main Street St. Lucas, IA 5216 563-778-2719
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ATS Diesel www.atsdiesel.com 5293 Ward Road Arvada, CO 80002 866-408-7914
TDRelease . . . . Continued PRESSURE CONTROLLER FOR DODGE 48RE TRANSMISSION
AFE RELEASES THE BLADERUNNER TURBOCHARGER FOR ’03-’07 5.9-LITER ENGINES
Prevent torque converter shudder and clutch slippage on the 20052007 Dodge Turbo Diesel with 48RE transmissions by installing the BD 48RE Pressure Controller. The controller easily plugs inline with factory sealed connectors to the 48RE transmission throttle valve assembly (TTVA) motor on the driver’s side of the transmission making for a clean installation.
Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe Power), an industry leader in performance cold air intakes, filters, intercoolers, intake manifolds and exhaust systems is pleased to announce the release of their new BladeRunner Turbocharger for the ’03-’07 5.9-liter turbo Diesel engines.
With performance modules for the Turbo Diesel’s 5.9-liter diesel engine, the increase in horsepower tends to make the driver apply less throttle to obtain desired vehicle speeds. In turn, the less APPS applied causes lower mainline transmission pressures to be developed causing potential shudder and slippage. The Pressure Controller compensates for lower APPS and brings the pressure up to a level to protect the transmission and converter. How does it operate? The Pressure Controller’s rotary switch has three different levels that can be selected to increase mainline pressure by mimicking a higher throttle positions thus preventing mid-range convertor shutter and clutch/band slippage. The Pressure Controller is designed to eliminate shuttle shifting with light throttle and, as an added feature, this unit slightly holds or delays shifting to prevent lugging, reduce shift flare and gear hunting.
aFe Power’s new BladeRunner turbocharger delivers over 100hp, 200 ft-lbs of torque and reduced EFTs by 150°. These gains are achieved by aFe’s optimized compressor and turbine design. Wastegate operation is controlled by the black anodized CNC billet aluminum wastegate actuator. The turbocharger retains the use of all factory controls and piping, resulting in a simple, straightforward installation. This turbo features 360-degree thrust bearings and plain journal bearings for a zero maintenance, long life turbo. The flow optimized compressor wheel (58mm/76mm) is in a ported shroud housing that eliminates surging and turbo bark. BladeRunner Turbos retail for around $1,395. For more information on this or any other aFe product, please visit our website at www.aFepower.com or contact our Power Professionals at 951-493-7155.
The Pressure Controller’s pressure increase is at its greatest during light throttle positions and ramps towards stock pressures as the pedal gets closer to full throttle when the extra pressure is no longer needed. Compared to some of the competition on the market, the BD 48RE Pressure Controller has higher pressure, more elaborate control and easy factory plug-in installation. Another reason to think BD when looking for your Turbo Diesel transmission needs. Dodge 2005-2007 48RE Controller (part number) 1030348 - $325
aFe Power www.aFepower.com 252 Granite St. Corona, CA 92879 951-493-7155
BD Diesel Performance www.dieselperformance.com A10-33733 King Road Abbotsford, BC, Canada V2S 7M9 800-887-5030
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“STARTING FLUID” COFFEE MUGS FOR CHARITY While having dinner at a local Mexican restaurant in the fall of 2003, my husband and I noticed the owner of the restaurant had issued a challenge to his customers. For every order of cheese dip purchased, his restaurant would make a contribution to a local charity. That single gesture made us realize that it was time for us to give something back to the community. Using the restaurant’s idea, we initiated a program to sell novelty items (specifically T-shirts) to generate money for a charitable organization It is rewarding to note that the total amount from the past seven-years of giving has exceeded over $40,000. Credit for the contributions goes to you, our customers, and our employees who work diligently to mail the products during the busiest part of their work year.
Again this year we will continue with the charity project. Instead of the T-shirts we’ve ordered 1,000 coffee mugs/stainless steel tumblers to sell. We think you’ll like the inscriiption on the side – STARTING FLUID. Can you help us with our philanthropic project for 2011? The mugs are priced at $7.95 for one, or the real-deal, two for $11.95. And, just as in previous years, all of the purchase price goes to charity (Make-a-Wish for children). Thanks in advance for your help, Robin Patton Geno’s Garage (800) 755-1715 Toll Free • (700) 886-2500 Direct 1150 Samples Industrial Drive Cumming, GA 30041 www.genosgarage.com
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Advertiser............................................................ Page Number Airaid........................................................................................... 5 Association of Diesel Specialists.............................................. 75 ATS Diesel Performance........................................................... 81 BD Diesel Performance............................................................ 53 Borgeson Universal Co........................................................... 107 Centramatic Wheel Balance................................................... 133 Diesel Injection Services.......................................................... 47 Diesel Performance Parts.......................................... Back Cover Diesel Performance Products (FASS)...................................... 73 EGR Brakes.............................................................................111 Edge Products............................................................ Inside Front Excelsior Works........................................................................ 93 Garmon’s Diesel Performance.................................................. 77 Geno’s Garage.........................................................................119 Industrial Injection................................................................... 101 Larry B....................................................................................... 52 Luke’s Link................................................................................. 65 MBRP........................................................................................ 83 Mag-Hytec................................................................................. 57 PPE........................................................................................... 45 Pacbrake................................................................................... 89 South Bend Clutch.................................................................... 15 Stanadyne................................................................................. 15 Standard Transmission and Gear............................................... 7 Stan’s Headers.......................................................................... 33 Suspension Maxx...................................................................... 75 TST Products............................................................. Inside Back Transfer Flow, Inc...................................................................... 27
Editorial Comments, Letters and Photos: TDR/Robert Patton 1150 Samples Industrial Drive Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: (770) 886-8877 Fax: (770) 886-8811 email@example.com Missing/Damaged Issues, Change of Address, Subscription Problems: TDR/Tina Pardue 1150 Samples Industrial Drive Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: (770) 886-8877 Fax: (770) 886-8811 firstname.lastname@example.org Technical Questions and Discussion: Jim Anderson 1150 Samples Industrial Drive Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: (770) 886-8877 email@example.com Advertising, Print and Web Site: TDR/Brandon Parks 1150 Samples Industrial Drive Cumming, GA 30041 Phone: (770) 886-8877 Fax: (770) 886-8811 firstname.lastname@example.org Website: email@example.com
The Fine Print
Business Referral Page.......................................................... 136 4x4 Tech Inc. Amsoil Auto Wurks Diesel Blue Chip Diesel The Diesel Store Gillette Diesel Service
Goerend Transmission Gould Gear & Electric JH Diesel Performance Liberator Performance Redmond Enterprises
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