Efficiency is what we all want in a diesel, and over the past few years it is what we have come to expect out of our turbodiesel trucks. Having modified and wrenched on both new and old diesels, I can say that the one major advantage the modern powerplants have is their advanced electronics. Nowadays without so much as lifting a wrench or breaking a sweat you can plug in a downloader to your truck's OBD-II port and unlock ridiculous amounts of hidden horsepower and torque from your diesel, while keeping that legendary diesel fuel economy.
Though most programmer companies are tight-lipped about the details of their tuning formulas, the simple fact is each manufacturer has its own way of manipulating engine parameters such as rail pressure, boost, and engine timing that is crucial to know when mapping your engine's computer. Recently we had a chance to test one of Pacific Performance Engineering's (PPE) new Xcelerator programmers for the 5.9L Cummins. Designed to work with the '03-'08 models, it is slated to increase your horsepower potential up to 215 ponies and give you an extra 315 lb-ft of torque. In addition to the power upgrades, the downloader is engineered to provide your truck with greater fuel economy as well as being able to clear trouble codes, dial in tire size, and adjust idle with the PTO feature. PPE is one of those companies constantly looking for new ways to improve your diesel's efficiency. No matter how you use your diesel, conserving fuel and increasing power are two things we can all benefit from.
Plugging into the '06 Dodge Ram 2500's OBD II port, the Xcelerator from PPE is a great way to turn up the power and gain a little fuel economy from the 5.9L Cummins. And for you guys running larger-than-stock tires, don't worry, because in addition to being able to check and clear trouble codes, you can adjust up to a 44-inch-tall tire.
Most programmers suggest an aftermarket exhaust and intake when running the more powerful race tunes. With a 5-inch turbo-back exhaust already installed, we tossed on an S&B intake kit to increase both the throttle response and efficiency of our engine. After logging in some serious miles filled with a mix of towing, wheeling, and our normal commute, we not only enjoyed the new power gains but noticed a gain of 2 mpg. More power and better fuel economy-now that's a program anyone can live with!