While these charts show the torque and horsepower produced by the Intimidator, the Juice/A
The oil vapor from the K&N air filter bothered the mass airflow sensor and sent a trouble code, and the exhaust brake's backpressure exceeds a normal reading, causing a series of trouble codes to be stored. These lit up the "service engine soon" light. This totally mystified the service technician at our uncooperative Chevy dealer. We had them clear the codes and took our truck home running just fine. The "light" will periodically come on when using the exhaust brake but then will reset itself.
However, one day the light came on, stayed on, and fuel mileage dropped by 2 mpg, along with black smoke on start-up. Back to the dealer (with the Amp Box removed), where they refused to work on the truck unless we had a GM stock air filter (not even an auto-parts OEM-style replacement) as well as the GM-installed exhaust system. After reminding them that they would be in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, several "heated discussions," and many letters and phone conversations with GM's Customer Service (which was a total joke), we were getting nowhere. Then I contacted SEMA, as well as K&N. The right letters to the right people, and within the month, the service manager called to say that there was a "misunderstanding" and they would be glad to work on our truck.
Funny thing is the local GM truck dealer has no problem at all with the intake and exhaust modifications, but this Chevy dealership (who is also a GM performance dealership and even sells aftermarket air filters and exhaust for diesels) won't work with customers once the products are installed. Go figure! Other people tell me that they have no problems with their dealers.
In a word, yep! However, we would perhaps skip the air filter and 4-inch exhaust system due to the high cost and relatively low gain. Might just also make it easier down the line with any warranty problems-but then again, we would lose some horsepower and torque, and maybe have to back out of the throttle sooner to control EGT. The exhaust brake is a definite keeper, and the Amp Box is an almost unbelievably quick way to make fantastic gains in horsepower and torque. The X Monitor is a very useful tool to make sure you don't exceed certain parameters. The bottom line: wow! It sure beats pulling a load with a small-block gas engine. With the truck empty, it's Mustang-hunting time.
The Intimidator from BD Power is a handheld programmer that plugs into the diagnostic port
While there's nothing wrong with the EZ Amp Box (made for BD Power by Edge Products), BD has a new Duramax offering called "the Intimidator," which is an alternative to the underhood-mounted EZ Amp Box that we had been using. The Intimidator instead plugs into the diagnostic port under the dash and reprograms the factory curves. First, the factory settings are stored so that they can be reinstalled in case the truck needs to go to the dealer for warranty work. Then, the Intimidator programs the fuel/timing curve to any of the four settings of horsepower/torque (55/110, 80/200, 100/205, or a whopping race-only 170/350). These are BD's actual average rear-wheel-dyno horsepower and torque figures.
The Intimidator also eliminates the rpm/speed limiter for more driveability, plus it reads any engine trouble codes and clears them if need be. Running taller tires? No problem: The Intimidator can reprogram the speedo to display actual road speed to compensate for just about any tire-diameter or gear-ratio change. It's simple to plug in the Intimidator, make whatever changes you want, unplug, and drive away.
One thing that we noticed right off (and for some reason hadn't experienced with the EZ Amp Box): the engine seemed to have more of a "rattle" sound than stock. This was likely due to timing changes, and we just didn't notice it with the EZ Amp Box. At the Number 1 setting, performance and pulling power seemed to almost equal the EZ Amp Box's Level 2 setting. Any setting above 1, and we had to keep an eye on EGT-on several occasions at a full-throttle pull, EGT exceeded our conservative preset maximum on the X Monitor gauge. It may seem a bit strange, but fuel mileage under a load seems to stay right in the same range, whether on the 1 or 2 setting or stock.
With the truck bed empty and free of its trailer weight, we just had to try the top level of performance. Damn, if it wasn't scary! Really impressive was the 65 mph to "much too fast on the truck tires" acceleration. And, yes, we went looking for a Mustang or Camaro to challenge, but perhaps fortunately for our DMV driving record, didn't find any takers. Fuel mileage sure did suck, though, with the lowest recorded figure of 15 mpg. If you want to play, you got to pay.