Diesel trucks have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. If you purchased a truck more for go than for show, you brought home a vehicle that you want to pull its weight, and then some. While types of diesel offer increased torque and better gas mileage than their gasoline counterparts, you still may want to consider adding a few upgrades to maximize its performance.
Bring in More Air
The diesel parts that will more cost-effectively massage engine performance are those that can move air more efficiently. Stock air filters are constricting, so replace yours with a cold air intake unit designed to increase your engine’s breathing.
Reprogram Your Engine
Reprogramming or replacing your truck’s engine control module sounds complicated, but doing so is not difficult. This unit, which modulates fuel flow and other engine functions, is generally programmed conservatively at the factory. Change your module or reflash it to fit the way you want to drive; also you will see improvements in efficiency after the change.
Feed Fuel More Effectively Into the Chambers
Car engines have come a long way since cumbersome carburetors mixed air and fuel, eventually replacing these with fuel injection systems. Diesel engines have historically relied on this more precise process of metering the air and fuel mixture, squirting it directly into the combustion chambers or intake manifolds. Because the pistons compress the air and fuel mixture thousands of times each minute, changes to the delivery system can lead to dramatic improvements. Best left to a good mechanic, replacing your fuel injectors may give you a 50 horsepower boost, or more.
Speed Up Vital Air Compression
One of the sensory delights of a diesel engine is the spooling up of the engine’s turbocharger. Forcing air effectively into the engine’s high-compression combustion chambers is critical to a diesel engine’s operation; adding a higher-performance unit will improve upon the original and pay huge dividends.
Remove Spent Gases Efficiently
Improving airflow into the engine will only get you partway there. Getting the used stuff out is important, too. Stock exhaust systems are designed to restrict the engine’s output in the name of noise reduction. Adding a high-performance exhaust system will increase air-removal efficiency, and, consequently, increase horsepower. As a benefit, your truck will sound meaner.
Aftermarket engine additions and changes will add to your diesel truck’s performance and efficiency. Performing these upgrades one-at-a-time will ensure you enjoy each incremental improvement.