Along Rich Mountain Road near Cades CoveRV Adventures Across America

Traveling with Jim and Elaine - Our Truck Modifications
Our Dodge Truck is a 6-speed, HO Cummins 5.9 diesel that needed just a wee bit MORE POWER.  We sometimes tow a Jeep or tractor on a Featherlite aluminum trailer behind the camper and the added weight had us struggling a bit on some of the steeper mountains.  After doing some online research at various diesel sites, I decided on adding an Edge Juice with Attitude.  To take full advantage of this electronic fueling box, you really need to get more air into the engine and more exhaust out so I decided to go with the MagnaFlow stainless steel lifetime warranted  4" exhaust system and the K&N air intake system.



Step #1 was to remove the old restrictive air cleaner, air cleaner box and air intake tube.












Step #2 was to install the new K&N air cleaner, air cleaner heat shield and air intake tube.  This setup allows the engine to take in quite a bit more air.











Step #3 was to remove the old, starting to rust out exhaust system and install the new MagnaFlow stainless steel 4" exhaust system from the turbo back.  This new  system includes a straight through 7" polished stainless steel muffler.










Step #4 was to hang the new stainless steel 4" tailpipe with it's 6" polished tip.  The complete system used all of the original hangers for a simple installation.










Step #5 was to take a lunch break and admire our handy work thus far.  That big polished tip looks good!  Went for a test drive to see how it all sounds and it sounds great; not loud at all.








Step #6 was to tackle the Juice installation which I've read is a simple 30 minute plug and go install. Yeah Right!!!  Don't believe it!!!  We spent 5 hours routing wires through the firewall and throughout the engine compartment to places that were only accessible to one hand.  Try plugging two wires together with one hand.  Maybe they meant 30 minutes per wire to install?  We got down to two wires which were the transmission temp unit and the EGT or exhaust gas temp unit and called it quits for the day.  The transmission temp gauge involves draining the standard transmission and removing a cover plate on the side then drilling and tapping a hole for the temperature sending unit and refilling the transmission with fluid.  The EGT sending unit involves drilling and tapping a hole into the exhaust manifold. 








We fired up the truck and found fuel pressure on the Attitude monitor reading 2 pounds at idle and zero when you step on it... this is not a good thing!  Sounds like the lift pump is bad!!!  This is a common problem for the Cummins diesels and many people never know it until they install a fuel pressure gauge like we just did.










Step #7 was to find and install a new lift pump.  I located a BD fuel pump that is a frame mounted replacement for the original pump and is supposed to be a much better unit.  This involved cutting out a section of fuel line along the frame and mounting the new pump in line.  The old pump was removed and the new pump feeds directly into the original fuel filter.  Fuel pressure at an idle is now 13 pounds and at full throttle is still 10 pounds.  Much better!!!








Step #8 was to install the EGT sending unit which  involved drilling and tapping a hole into the exhaust manifold.  I let the truck idle while drilling a pilot hole of about 1/8" then stepped up drill sizes till I got to the 21/64" required for the 1/8" pipe tap.  The chips all blew out of the hole and it worked out fine.  I then coated the tap with heavy grease and tapped the hole to the required depth for the probe fitting with the engine stopped.  The grease caught the chips and none fell inside of the engine.  Started the engine to do a final blow out of the hole then installed the fitting and probe.










Step #9 was to install the Attitude monitor on the dash with the provided bracket that slips into the seam of the dash.  A simple programming of some functions and it's ready to test drive.  Zoom Zoom Zoom...






Step #10 was a test drive down the road.  There is a local bridge that is rather tall and long that provides a good test of the pulling power uphill.  Since the camper was already on the truck, this was a good test of the new modifications.  Once over the bridge in stock mode and the truck barely held it's own while climbing the hill.  Turn around and set the Juice up to level #2 which is the towing mode and back over the bridge.  This time we were able to accelerate quite a bit while climbing the hill.  YEAH, MORE POWER!!!  I'm quite happy with the modifications and believe they will allow us to tow our trailer and whatever is on it with ease over the mountains.  The Juice has five levels; level one is for mileage and gives a 40 HP gain, level two is for towing and gives a 60 HP gain.  These are probably the only levels I'll ever need unless maybe I come across a Ford or Chevy truck trying to pass me going up a hill.  Levels 3, 4 and 5 are 80, 100 and 120 HP gains.

I'll try to resist using them except for emergencies.

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to Jim and Elaine
jim.canoer  at  gmail  dot  com