Power Box for DD15, Paccar and Volvo, Safe-T-Plus, Shure Step

2019, DD15 -

Power Box for DD15, Paccar and Volvo, Safe-T-Plus, Shure Step


We have good news for the owners of DD15 Detroits, Paccar, and Volvo engines. We have been working with a European company to develop a performance enhancement computer that will add up to 20% more horsepower and 300 plus pound feet of torque.  This is a new product for Pittsburgh Power so the first couple of computers must be installed at our facility in Saxonburg, PA. where we can dyno the truck to verify the horsepower and torque. It will NOT void the warranty on new engines, everything fits under the hood, no holes have to be drilled, and it’s plug and play.

Another new product for Pittsburgh Power is Safe-T-Plus Steering Control. Actually it’s not a new product, back in the mid 1980’s I sold and installed many of these on semi-trucks.  We were circle track truck racing with GATR (Great American Truck Racing) around 1984 and this product was mandatory on all racing semi-trucks. It’s a steering stabilizer that puts all of the force from a blown front tire right into the steering axle, and the driver only needs one hand on the steering wheel to maintain control of the truck.  The stabilizer is spring loaded and requires 270 pounds of force to move it from center. If your truck is equipped with power steering you will never notice the extra force required to move the steering wheel. Here are the benefits of the Safe-T-Plus, it holds the steering wheel straight, removes the shock in the steering wheel when hitting bumps or uneven bridge overpasses, on grooved highways the truck will go straight and if another truck passes you, the counter steer is eliminated, and when you are coming out of a sharp curve all you have to do is let go of the wheel and accelerate, the steering tires will come back to center.  If you do blow out a tire, your truck will continue in the direction you are holding the wheel. If you drive a car hauler, this product is a necessity. Those front axles aren't designed for the extra weight of a car on top of the cab and steer tire blowouts often have disastrous results. I have one installed on my 1989 T-600 Kenworth and while traveling across the Ohio Turnpike I wanted to see how far the truck would go without me holding the steering wheel, I went 9/10ths of a mile, not touching the steering wheel, before I came to a curve in the road. The reason we quit selling them in the 1980’s was because of the price, they are not cheap. The cost of the unit and installation kit is $699.00, the driving pleasure and piece of mind is priceless.  

The best tools are the ones you don’t have to think about, because they just plain work. One tool you will see around our shop makes working on big trucks possible, the step stool. Without it, the simplest tasks like removing a valve cover would be extremely difficult. There’s one step stool we’ve replaced all our other steps with. The Shure-Step appears to be just a simple plastic step, but it’s actually a very clever design. First, they all have rubber pieces on the bottom so the step doesn't slip out from underneath you as you lean over the truck. Second, they’re tapered on the top so the weight is focused in the middle of the step and it’s less likely to topple over. Third, they have a grippy top, so you’re not slipping on any liquids that may have spilled on the step. Since we’re a very busy shop, we’ve tried and tested all the different steps out there, but there’s only one that really works. I’ve met David DuPont, the owner and inventor of ShureStep. He’s a real mechanic who set out to create the best step stool after he realized other step stools were not practical and sometimes dangerous. Injuries from falling or slipping while working on a big truck are surprisingly common. Stop using milk crates and boxes to stand on, buy yourself a good step and save yourself a trip to the Emergency Room. The Shure-Step is now available for sale by Pittsburgh Power for $105.97 and comes in black and yellow.

In our quest to make the newer “emissions” engines trouble free, produce great fuel mileage, and eliminate the soot from the EGR gasses we have developed the Dorothy, a cyclonic soot trap.  Now, to help improve the efficiency of those engines Pittsburgh Power has a new fuel catalyst that is added to the diesel fuel. Jane Gates is the chemist and brains behind this product and the next paragraph will be her explanation of how it works.  If you’re not a chemist you may not understand it, so in my mechanical mind I want it to augment the Dorothy and eliminate soot, and by doing this the horsepower will improve and the fuel mileage will increase slightly, by 4% to 14%, and we have seen this on our dyno.  But for a moment, let’s forget the better fuel mileage, which you may or may not see depending on how you drive and other variables. Most importantly, this fuel borne catalyst is proven to eliminate most commonly experienced DPF/DEF emissions equipment and DPF “regen” problems.  We think that the use of the fuel catalyst along with Dorothy will give you a trouble-free running engine for 1,200,000 miles…just like the old days. Yes, at $220 per gallon it sounds expensive, but one gallon of fuel catalyst treats 3200 gallon of diesel fuel. So, this adds only $0.07/gallon to the cost of your fuel and you more than get that back through a combination of fuel savings, reduced maintenance expense, and better engine uptime. Since the product is measured as 1 ounce per 25 gallons of diesel (4 ounces for every 100 gallons) you will need a way to measure the catalyst.  We will have the 2-stroke oil beakers for sale along with the 1-gallon jug of fuel catalyst to help you with that.

MaxMileage Fuel Borne Catalyst - How it Works: The fuel catalyst is safe to use and proven to be very effective.  When added to fuel it is activated in the engine by the extreme heat and pressures in the piston-cylinder. The general nature of any catalyst is to increase the speed of a chemical reaction. In this case we are talking about the combustion reaction.  Simply put, you get a faster, more complete burn of fuel during the power-stroke of the engine, while the piston is still moving. This is where it counts because after the piston hits its maximum range of travel and stops, the exhaust valve opens and any incompletely burned fuel goes out as waste heat and unwanted emissions.  The catalyst helps convert roughly 10% more fuel into heat energy before the exhaust valve opens. This direct effect on improving combustion has been verified by independent laboratories and validated many times over using controlled engine tests in the field. From an engine design stand point, the role of a fuel catalyst is to increase the thermal efficiency of any diesel engine beyond factory-rated performance, with or without the emissions after-treatment equipment. The benefits for a “pre-emissions” engine are better engine performance and longer engine life. Additional benefits for “emissions” engines are drastically lowered “engine-out” soot emissions to keep the DPF free from clogging and enhance DPF regen performance.

Any increase in thermal efficiency increases the engine hp and/or miles driven for the same amount of fuel burned. So, you can either save on your fuel expense or haul a heavier load at the same speed or get there faster – the choice is yours depending on how you drive, how your engine ECM is tuned, and the gear ratio of your truck. Additionally, the catalyst will lower the “burn-off” temperature of accumulated soot and carbon in the engine and exhaust system by approximately 250 degrees F.  This means the fuel catalyst assists in helping your DPF system regenerate faster and can extend the regen interval by hundreds of miles. This means less fuel burned, less DEF consumed, less thermal stress on the exhaust-side components. Best of all, soot and carbon deposits will burn off at normal EGT (exhaust gas temperatures) as you drive, resulting in a cleaning effect of the EGR, EGR cooler, sensors, DPF, and exhaust turbocharger. These components work better and last far longer without soot build-up – the result is far fewer trips to the shop and less lost revenue from down time and repairs.  We estimate this to be in the range of $8,000 - $15,000 per year per truck with emissions after-treatment, 2007 or newer. So, if you spend $120 per month on the fuel catalyst, you can see that in actual fact it pays you. If you get an increase in fuel economy of only 2.5 %, then the cost of the fuel catalyst is covered*.

*this example assumes 10,000 miles driven per month at 6 MPG and a fuel expense of $3.00 per gallon.


Written by Bruce Mallinson, Ethan Fortuna and Andrew Wilson

Pittsburgh Power Inc.  3600 South Noah Dr. Saxonburg, Pa. 16056

724-360-4080  Pittsburghpower.com