Blast From the Past 359

2020, Big Cam Cummins, Catalyst, Peterbilt -

Blast From the Past 359

A BLAST FROM THE PAST - Last week we had a 359 Pete in our shop with a Big Cam Cummins 700+ horsepower engine we built years ago. This engine had our High Lift Camshaft and MVT (mechanical variable timing) system so there is no smoke at idle and the timing retards at high power to increase the life of the pistons. The pistons are a high strength Cummins piston that were ceramic and Teflon coated, which we still do.  It also has our performance turbocharger and oversized gear pump on the fuel pump which measured 1.25 inches vs the stock gear pump of .75 inch; the volume of fuel delivered to the injectors is amazing with the larger pump. Here is the difference, the stock gear pump registers 1175 pounds of fuel at 2100 RPM in 1 hour, whereas the 1.25-inch gear pump puts out 1200 pounds of fuel at 1400 RPM, that is 700 RPM lower, yet more fuel is delivered.

The new owner of this beautiful 359 said the truck had been sitting for over 7 years. Just listening to the sound of this engine I knew I had to take it for a drive; wow did it feel good!  It was so nice to look at the Corvette style dashboard while driving down the highway. The power, sound of the straight stacks, the Jakes, everything just felt good like days gone by. It was a nice reminder of our history and what we used to build.

When was the last time you had your DPF (Diesel Particulate Filters) cleaned? Most manufacturers recommend you have it cleaned every quarter million miles. If you ever look closely at a DPF, it’s made up of a honeycomb looking structure designed to heat up and burn particulate matter. The problem with this design is that over time the structure fills up with carbon and ash deposits and exhaust flow is drastically reduced. Your truck goes into a “regen” mode when it senses exhaust flow is being restricted from a clogged DPF and heats up the exhaust to a high temperature to burn off that excess carbon. Now a DPF, like an engine block, can only take so many heat cycles in its lifetime. Eventually the ceramic structure breaks down and cracks, which is when you will need a new DPF. I talked to a customer last week who said his truck was going into regen mode twice a day! At that rate, his DPF won’t last very long at all. Along with using Max Mileage, which will prevent DPFs from becoming clogged in the first place, you also want to maintain your DPF with a good washing. Unlike many other DPF cleaning systems, ours was designed to be gentle on your DPF to avoid damaging the inner honeycomb structure. Imagine an hour long  jacuzzi soak for your DPF, that’s basically what it is. We then heat up the DPF to make sure it’s fully cleaned up and dried out before it goes back into service. It’s impressive seeing the amount of damaging materials that came out of the DPF while draining our wash tank. Our DPF cleaning service is convenient, affordable, and is a great thing to do while you’re at our shop for other repairs. 

Some of our customers have been using the catalyst consistently for years now with good results. We recently talked to Artie Chase, a fleet manager for SST Oil. They store and transport gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) out of Reading, California. Artie discovered the Fuel Borne Catalyst in 2017 after reading about it in a trucking magazine. He was tired of going on service calls and traveling for hours to service trucks with emissions system related issues for their 19 trucks. Because they are located in California, which has the strictest emissions regulations in the country, buying a fleet of pre-emissions trucks was not an option. Since using the catalyst, Artie estimates that shop time for the fleet is down by roughly 70%, he no longer needs to go on service calls for the trucks, and he’s never had one of his trucks fail a DPF opacity test. In addition, the exhaust coming out of the stacks is noticeably cleaner. Artie says the best way he can describe the product is, “It works.” He doesn’t worry about spending the money on a five gallon pail because it’s far less expensive then one trip to the shop. He also said the catalyst has changed his mind about emissions systems in general, and that it’s totally possible to have a new emissions equipped truck to run like a pre-emissions truck without any modifications. If you are in northern California and are interested in buying fuel or DPF fluid in bulk give them a call at (530) 241-1167. 

Next time you’re at our shop in Saxonburg, PA. Don’t forget to walk across the street to Long Haul Custom Detailing. They do some great detailing work and are very professional with great customer service. Let’s be honest, many of you could do with a good detailing to start the summer. Why not have it all done at our one stop shop here at Pittsburgh Power? See some of their work at 

Written by:

Bruce Mallinson and Andrew Wilson

Pittsburgh Power Inc.

3600 S. Noah Dr.  Saxonburg, Pa. 16056