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2007 Diesel Buyers Guide

Posted in Features on September 1, 2007
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We're glad to see diesels making such a strong comeback in the United States. After a couple diesels in the '80s (which shall remain nameless) soured our country on the whole idea of high-compression-and-no-spark-plug powerplants, it took years for our country to catch up to what the rest of the world figured out years ago: Diesel engines are considerably more efficient than gasoline ones, and we can use that to our advantage. In the next few years you'll see diesels in many popular vehicles that only offer gassers right now. And we're guessing that eventually diesels will be the majority powerplant in passenger vehicles you drive every day. So this buyer's guide is devoted to all you ahead-of-the-game diesel drivers.

Smoothing Out the Bumps
Diesel trucks are a bit rough-riding in general. They're built for high-load capacities and on the tight budget the manufacturer's bean-counters put on their engineers. Lorenz Industries has the solution to Dodge owners' woes with its different levels of suspension kits to give your bucking bronco a Caddylike ride. Lorenz has just added a 2.25 Sway-A-Way system that comes at a good price for a great ride. The kit comes with everything you see here, from the infinite-rate coils and 2.25 SAW shocks to the mini packs and limiting straps. If you want to step up to something more aggressive, Lorenz has dual-purpose load-carrying leaf packs, billet arms, and 2.5 SAW shocks as well. Information: Lorenz Industries,

A Shot to Your ECU
Banks has a new Bullet in its arsenal: The Bullet entry-level tuner and boost gauge is a low-priced upgrade to juice your diesel with. It has three power levels-Stock, Tow, and Sport-and can be changed from one to another on the fly. You can also upgrade your Bullet with an optional thermocouple kit, which will give you EGT readers and safety limits built into your tuner. Information: Banks Engineering, 866.602.4312,

Duramax Driveshafts
Lifting your Chevy or GMC Duramax? You might get some vibration out of that driveline, so it's a good idea to add Pro Comp's CV front driveshaft to your ride. The CV front 'shaft will account for the drop in your differential height and will make sure that your ride is kept as smooth as possible. Information: Pro Comp Suspension, 800.776.0767,

Go Go, Power Puppies
Bully Dog Technologies has come up with a new type of downloader for all of the Big Three's new diesel releases this year. It's called the Power Pup and provides a user with additional power, performance, and fuel economy while safely downloading into the ECU of your Ford 6.4, Chevy LLM, or Dodge 6.7. The Power Pup also doubles as a DTC reader and can adjust a factory speedo should you do something crazy like putting bigger tires in place of those little pizza-cutters treads. Information: Bully Dog,

Diff Cover For Dodges
Would you like a diff cover for that brand-new axle under your '03-and-later Dodge 2500 or 3500? Check out PML's line. The company has just released one for the AAM 9 1/4 front axle under your 4x4 Dodge that holds a half-quart more than a stock cover and gives you a check and drain plug to boot. The gasket flange on the cover is 3/8-inch thick to ensure a leak-free seal to the axle, and the cover even comes with an undrilled boss just in case you want to throw a temperature sender on your rear axle. Information: PML, 310.671.4345,

Big Bumpers
Need an appropriate bumper to put on that monster diesel truck of yours? Outfit it accordingly with a bumper that will take down a mountain should you run into one. Fab Fours has bumpers for Chevy, Dodge, and Ford fullsize trucks, including the new '08 Super Duty. They're available with a variety of options and can provide maximum protection for you and your truck. And with 1/4-inch centersections and 5/16-inch winch mounting plates, these beefy bumpers will take quite a beating before you see them distort. Information: Fab Fours, 866.469.9058,

Intake Elbows
Fastcore has taken a look at the Ford 6.0L intake elbow and come out with an improved CFM+ elbow that introduces Flo-CV technology, which, from what we've gathered, basically reduces inner wall vacuum and outer wall stagnation. We're not sure if you'll notice the gain in torque or horsepower or even fuel economy, but we'd be willing to give it a shot since a smoother intake usually leads to better engine efficiency. Information: Fastcore, 760.598.2478,

Breathe In
Got a new Power Stroke 6.4L and looking for what you can bolt on first? Check out Advanced Flow Engineering's new cold-air intake system for the '08 Ford Super Duty. It is said to give the '08s up to 10 hp at 1,750 rpm and a little more torque to boot. And now AFE is offering its intake systems with three filter media, including a new oil-free reusable filter that seems to be the ticket for you overoilers. Information: Advanced Flow Engineering, 951.493.7100,

Zex Your Diesel
Looking for the ultimate nitrous hit? ZEX has a fix for you. The company offers race-diesel nitrous systems now capable of 50-600 additional horsepower. The kit comes with everything you need, from a patented TPS switch to the 10-pound bottle to hold the laughing gas. The kit fits all EFI diesels and is the perfect complement to your overfueled diesel-dragger. Information: ZEX, 888.817.1008,

Cold Diesel Shoulders
BD has a new Cool-It intercooler to give your modified diesel engine an appropriate means of keeping its temperatures cool. With 57 percent more surface area and a 33-percent thicker core, the Cool-It ensures cooler temps at the intake than the factory air cooler provides. By lowering the air-intake temperature, you'll increase the life of your motor and gain horsepower to boot. Information: BD Power, 800.887.5030,

Separate the Good Stuff
Ramco has just introduced its FloMax 300 filtration system that separates fuel and water in your lines. It's capable of almost ridiculous flow capacities-over 300 gph-and has an extremely low fuel flow restriction. It's machined from solid billet aluminum and stands at only 4 inches tall. It has a replaceable filter element and will keep your diesel free of fuel contamination. Information: Ramco Performance Mfg., 701.476.1320,

Diesel Fuel Tool
Keep your diesel running clean. Check out Justice Brothers' diesel Fuel Tool. It temporarily connects to your fuel lines (after they're unhooked from the tank) and runs a proprietary solution from its canister to your engine. The solution is run through your engine at around 1,200 rpm and is circulated through the fuel system. Information: Justice Brothers, 626.359.9174,

Helping Tranny Hands
Are you a diesel-dragger? If you are, then we bet you've blown through more than one transmission. If you're swapping trannies more often than the average Joe, you should take a look at the Trans Jak adapter that greatly simplifies tranny R&R. It'll work with almost any 2-ton floor jack and is easy to use, inexpensive, and can be carried along in your bag of goodies to any diesel event. Information: Rtech, 865.977.8656

Raise Your Duramax
Looking to get your IFS Duramax truck up in the air? Check out BDS' 6-inch suspension kit to let you throw 35s on your Chevy/GMC. The kit works with two one-piece crossmembers and replacement steering knuckles that allow you to keep the upper A-arms in the factory location and maintain proper ball-joint and steering angles. It's recommended to take your truck to a local 4x4 shop to install the kit, but if you insist on doing it yourself, you're looking at around 10 hours of installation time. Information: BDS Suspension, 517.279.2135,

Dryflow for Dodges
AEM has gone back to the engineering room and brought out a new Workhorse HD intake system for your hardworking Cummins truck. It comes with the new Dryflow oilless element that ensures that you won't be getting any sensor codes from a bunch of filter oil dripping all over the place. The element is a ginormous 28 inches round and stands over 9 inches tall to give up to 1,950 cfm if your engine ever needed that. Information: AEM, 310.484.2322,

Fantastic Ford Kits
Do you want to get your '05-'07 Super Duty up in the air while smoothing out the ride? Check out CAGE's Deuce Bar system, one of the most thought-out suspensions designed for guys who drive and use their trucks every day. The kit replaces the factory radius arms with 12-inch-longer, 2-inch by 5/16-wall tubing connected to new 3/8-inch laser-cut brackets. With adjustable caster built into the arms, you can go from just a few inches to 9 inches of lift. The Deuce Bars can be ordered as a complete suspension system or by themselves as an upgrade to match your other suspension components. Information: CAGE Off Road, 866.587.2243,

Ram Air
It's not just a truck model, it's what you want to do with the incoming air for your engine. The more air you ram into your Cummins diesel, the happier it will be and the better your Dodge will run. Banks' new Ram-Air Intake is said to improve airflow by 62 percent, leading to cooler, denser air being shoved into your engine. This is also said to lead to lower exhaust gas temperatures while producing less smoke out the tailpipe, at the same time improving fuel economy. Information: Gale Banks Engineering, 866.825.6710,

ZZ's Manifolds
Are you interested in just about the trickest Cummins 24-valve manifold you'll ever find? Check out ZZ Custom Fabrication's custom-built manifolds, which bolt onto your 24-valve head after the factory cast area is machined off. They allow and complement some major head porting for substantial horsepower gains. The ZZ manifold can even be fitted with "direct port" nitrous or water methanol spray bars to give a more precise and equalized squirt to each cylinder. And by the time you read this, ZZ will have 12-valve manifolds for the older Cummins as well. Information: ZZ Custom Fabrication, 940.337.4275,

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