Edge Products offers its Duramax power-adders in two parts. First, Edge has the Juice, the underhood box that BD Power private-labels as the EZ Amp Box. However, the Juice version is modified to work in conjunction with Edge's Attitude in-cab controller (also available through BD Power or other Edge dealers).
Instead of using the bracket supplied by Edge, we glued and velcro'ed the Attitude to the
The dash-mounted Attitude offers you on-the-fly control of the black box's five power levels while driving, plus several other features. First and maybe foremost, the Attitude reads and displays EGT from a probe that goes into the exhaust manifold. (The "before turbo" location is a better indicator of true turbo temp than one installed in the downpipe.) Boost pressure is also displayed on the Attitude's LCD screen, as are the Juice power level selected, the true road speed when using a non-stock tire diameter, the engine temperature, the percentage of engine load, and the percentage of Allison transmission slippage.
The system also has a few powertrain safeguards. For starters, cold-start protection delays the Juice power levels from being used until the Duramax is at proper operating temperature. Speaking of temperature, Edge's EGT back-down allows you to set a maximum turbo temperature. When it's reached, the Juice/Attitude system cuts back on the fuel to prevent the temperature from climbing higher, and also chimes a warning sound. The system protects the automatic transmission too: the Attitude monitors and displays the percentage of slippage when the torque converter is locked, and reduces power if any slippage is detected. Subsequent power increases are limited during shifting to further control slippage.
And the Attitude's built-in 0-60 mph and 11/44-mile elapsed timer let you compare performance gains at the different power levels. That's a lot in such a small package.
Naturally, the Juice module with Attitude monitor/controller costs more than the Intimidator, but you get more features, most notably the ability to switch power levels on the fly. For those who already have a Juice (or Amp) Box, it can be factory retrofitted to work with the Attitude controller.
We made a long-distance trip with the truck unloaded with the Attitude at the Number 1 setting, hoping for some better fuel mileage, but it actually dropped nearly 2 mpg from the factory stock setting. This disturbed us a bit, and we are still not quite sure what caused the loss as nothing had changed other than our fuel source. We even consulted with the Edge engineers without a clear-cut answer. A number of times, we've found that the quality of fuel-both in Cetane rating and the percentage of paraffin wax-will have a pronounced effect on both fuel mileage and performance. More testing is in order as, according to Edge's engineers, mileage should have been better. When the truck was loaded (and the fuel came from a different source) and working like a truck should, with the Attitude at the Number 1 setting, fuel mileage stayed the same as it was in the stock setting, with an increase in performance. It's pretty simple to just punch up to a higher setting when we want more power on hills or in passing, but we are definitely keeping a eye on EGT at the higher setting. We save Number 5 for showing off with short bursts of power and unsuspecting Mustangs.
The Attitude box is what controls the "new" Juice box, plus a lot more. Note the extra plu
The BD Intimidator is less money up front than Edge's Juice "black box" and Attitude controller/monitor. The Intimidator offers the ability to read and reset trouble codes. However, power-level changes require that the motor be shut off for reprogramming (not quite as convenient), and the Intimidator doesn't offer any powertrain monitoring or safeguards.
Although more expensive, the fuller-featured Juice With Attitude might actually be a better value since it saves the mounting hassle and approximate $350 cost of the aftermarket gauges it replaces if you don't already have them: pyrometer (EGT), turbo boost, transmission temperature, and oil temperature. This system also includes safeguards for cold-start protection, auto transmission slippage, EGT back-down, and boost control-potentially saving costly drivetrain repairs. "Push-button" power levels on demand is convenient, and the only Intimidator feature the Juice With Attitude lacks is the code-reader. However, the code reader and clearing ability is definitely a valuable asset as higher boost pressures, exhaust brake backpressure, and such will often set off an unnecessary trouble code.
The diesel motors-be it in a Chevy, Dodge, or Ford-seem to handle the extra power produced by these electronic wonders without any problem. Especially so if boosts are under 25 pounds and turbo EGTs-below 1,350 before turbo and 850 in the downpipe-as well as keeping rpm at factory redlines. However, only time will tell. Just keep in mind, there are only just so many horsepower-hours available in any motor.
Aluminum turbo housings start to melt down at 1,450 degrees Fahrenheit, so it stands to reason that the exhaust temperature should be kept below that number. Duh! Edge recommends 1,350 degrees as the maximum EGT.
But just where should we measure EGT? The easiest location is in the downpipe, past the turbo. It's simple to drill a hole and weld in a bung for the probe. In fact, BD Power preinstalls this bung in its aftermarket exhaust. But gases start to cool after they leave the turbo, so how hot is the turbo itself? We've always been told that there is up to 500 degrees in difference between before and after turbo temperatures, and we use a conservative 850-degree EGT as maximum read-out on our X Monitor. This also depends on how far down the exhaust pipe the probe is installed.
Edge's Attitude also reads EGT, and they recommend installing the probe in the Duramax's right exhaust manifold. This means drilling and tapping the cast iron. Kind of a scary thought at first. We did it with our engine running to blow out any metal chips.
What did we find? Cruising down the interstate with no turbo boost there was about 100 degrees difference, but this would change depending on throttle opening and the load put on the engine. While under 22+ pounds of boost at full throttle and full load, there was darn close to 500 degrees temperature difference. This puts it right at around 850 degrees at the down pipe. Safe enough.