Limping it to the Shop

2020, Turbo -

Limping it to the Shop

Vibrations can break anything. This is a carrier bearing bracket out of Steve Kron’s 10 miles per gallon DD4 Detroit powered truck.  His rear drive shaft was out of alignment and was causing a vibration. As you can see in the picture, the U-shaped bracket that holds the carrier bearing broke and he was lucky he was going slow or a catastrophic accident would have happened. He was one mile from a truck stop, so he took a 2” ratchet strap and criss-crossed it from each side of the frame under the drive shaft to support the shaft to drive 1 mile.  He had to drive very slow, but he made the mile without calling a tow truck.  The next day he had the driveshaft rebuilt and was on his way, only missing one day.

Honed turbocharger compressor wheels, look at the shiny honed and polished wheel compared to the stock wheel.  The honing process changes the molecular properties of the aluminum wheel and makes it stronger.  We discovered this process back in 1992 when we built a Big Cam Cummins engine for Ken Howard of Burton on Trent, England for truck road racing in Europe. I think they call it a Rally.  Ken wanted 1,000 horsepower and we built it to produce 1200 hp. That resulted in 2 problems, first of all the cabovers they race in Europe are single axles and the tires would spin and go up in smoke even on the straightaways.  The second problem was the compressor wheel of the turbocharger would explode at higher RPM such as 2800RPM’s.  After the 3rd turbo we discovered a company that could hone the wheel and then we no longer had turbo failures.  To this day we still get some of the compressor wheels honed if they are not billet wheels.  The cost to have a compressor wheel honed is $175.00.  Not necessary if your turbo has a billet wheel or the turbo is producing 40 psi of boost or under.  This is something to keep in mind if you do experience blown compressor wheels.

This is a difficult time financially for many owner-operators and small fleets. Many are having to figure out where they can cut costs and or bring in extra revenue. One place where you never want to cut corners is maintaining your truck. We recently talked to Artie Chase, the fleet manager for SST Oil, on what they are doing to keep their trucks running reliably. SST Oil is a small company located in Northern California. They store and transport gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and Diesel Exhaust Fluid. They have about 19 trucks in their fleet. Because they’re in California, all of them have to be newer emissions equipped trucks. A few years ago, Artie was tired of dealing with emissions system problems. He would routinely have to go on service calls to do manual regens on their trucks. These service calls took up much of his time. Once you include shop time to clean and repair various parts of the emissions system, it was costing the company an awful lot of time and expense. Thankfully, Artie heard about the Fuel Borne Catalyst and decided to give it a try. 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. 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. 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. 

For those of you who are customers of our service shop, we’ve been having a lot of “no shows” on the schedule. If you are delayed, please give us a call so we can start working on other projects and keep the schedule moving forward, thanks. 

Written by;

Bruce Mallinson & Andrew Wilson

Pittsburgh Power, Inc.

3600 S. Noah Dr.,  Saxonburg, PA 16056