Cummins ISX-450 upgrades and Paccar, Volvo, and Mack Tuning

Cummins ISX, Dyno Tuning, ECM, Volvo -

Cummins ISX-450 upgrades and Paccar, Volvo, and Mack Tuning

Did you ever think the word MAINTAIN would be so important in your life?  Think about everything you must or should maintain during your lifetime. Your body and health may come to mind, after all, if you’re not healthy how can you perform up to your expectations each and every day? As you read on you will see that your very existence is quite important to a lot of people; you are a very important person. Your truck is a precious vehicle that makes your and your family’s life possible. You and the truck have to make the truck, trailer, mortgage, car, pickup truck, food, clothing, entertainment, vacations, and utility payments each month. Another thing that needs maintaining are your relationships. Your relationships with your spouse, children, parents, relatives, fellow workers, dispatchers, shippers, receivers, DOT and scale house employees, and of course the people that help you keep your truck operating at its peak all deserve your time and respect. 


Thinking of purchasing a used fleet truck powered with a Cummins ISX-450 hp engine? 2012 and newer Kenworth or Peterbilt trucks with this engine will make you a very happy owner-operator if you perform a few necessary maintenance items.  Clean the combustion chamber and the entire emissions system with the Diesel Force cleaning machine and follow with an oil and filter change.  Now that the engine is clean internally, it's time to put the engine on a diet of Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst to keep it clean and working trouble free. Now it's time to reset the valves, injectors, and recalibrate the ECM to a 546 horsepower which will increase the torque by 400 lbs. ft. or up to 2050 ft. lbs of torque. Install a new torsional vibration damper and mercury filled engine balancer and front engine mounts, this is a must do, the dampers are a wear item and are only good for 500,000 miles or 10 years.  Next is the Fleet Air Filter and the OPS-1 by-pass oil filtration system and have the alignment checked preferable with a technician fluent with the MD Alignment system.  If money allows, install the ported and ceramic coated exhaust manifold and intake manifold. The engine will gain response, run cooler, and gain 1/4 to 1/2 mpg in fuel savings.  I would also change the transmission fluid, differential fluid, power steering fluid, and the front axle hub oil using Lucas Oil products. When the time comes for a new clutch, always have the driveshaft rebuilt which entails straightening, balancing, new universal joints, and a carrier bearing.  If you have your truck at our shop we can have our expert technician, Eagle Eye Adam, do a walk around with you and he will list everything he sees and prioritize what he found so you can take care of the items when money and time allow it. 


 We have had phenomenal success with used trucks, yes it costs money, however many of our clients run for several years without a breakdown.  Two weeks ago I was chatting with Cathy Ainsworth about her Volvo 670 powered with the ISX 450 hp engine.  When she came to our shop after having several other shops try to make the engine perform up to her expectations, she left as a very happy owner-operator.  The engineering team did the 96 hp program which increased the torque by 400 lbs. ft.  I asked how the engine was running and if she ever had to push the throttle to the floor.  Her reply was "OMG noooo, I'm very gentle on the throttle starting out and going up through the gears. I never have to run this fire breathing Volvo 670  Cummins wide open!”  Power properly used equates to fuel mileage, longevity and driver owner satisfaction.           

Here’s a scenario you might be familiar with, you visit a diesel truck shop because you’re experiencing a difficult to diagnose electrical issue. The service advisor explains you need a new sensor or even a new ECM to fix the problem, so you tell them to proceed. They install the new part, but the problem persists. So they continue working until they find the cause was something else entirely. When the bill arrives you find they charged you for that expensive sensor or ECM even though your old one was perfectly fine. Understandably, you might be upset having to pay for parts you didn’t need. At Pittsburgh Power we’re always working to serve the owner-operator, which is why the above scenario will never happen to you at our shop. As long as we’re able to safely remove the new part and reinstall your old part, you won’t be stuck paying for unnecessary parts. We also have one of the cheapest labor rates in the country at $115 an hour. Even though our location might be a little out of your way, you won’t be disappointed with our reputable and honest service team. 

If you have a Paccar, Volvo, or Mack and have been wanting an increase in power, we have two great solutions for you. The first option is an ECM tune. The benefits of an ECM tune is that it gives you the ability to fine tune your engine’s characteristics and power output to suit your application and driving style. It also requires no additional hardware. All Pittsburgh Power tunes done in our shop are tested on our Taylor chassis dyno to ensure you’re getting exactly what you asked for. The second option is our Power Module which gives you an instant 25% power and torque increase by simply installing the module. It’s now available for the Cummins ISX with the common rail fuel system, Detroit DD13/15/16, Paccar MX-11/13, Volvo D11/13, and Mack MP8. The benefits of the Power Module are it’s very easy to install and remove, it has a rugged construction and high quality connectors, and it does not interfere with ECM operation or change common rail pressure. For customers who have a new truck still under warranty, this may be the better option. The only downside is if you’re not happy with your stock tune, the power module will not change the tune, it will just increase engine output. So you don’t have the same flexibility as an ECM tune. If you would like more information on our available tunes or Power Module, please give us a call.

Written by Bruce Mallinson and Andrew Wilson

Pittsburgh Power, Inc.  

3600 South Noah Dr., Saxonburg, Pa. 16056