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Practical Diesel Tuning: Tuning Considerations

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Tuning Considerations

01.50

00:00 - One of the most important aspects when it comes to diesel engine tuning is considering the way the engine's going to be used after the tuning process.
00:07 Since many of the diesel engines that are popular for modification are fitted to trucks that frequently tow heavy loads, this has a large impact on the reliability of the engine when it's tuned.
00:17 What I mean here is that we could develop a tune for a given truck that offers 25% increase in torque and power and could provide thousands of miles of trouble free running and perfect drivability when the truck unloaded, however that exact same tune could be incredibly dangerous when the truck is used to tow a fifth wheel camper that might potentially weight 15,000 pounds or more up a long steep hill.
00:38 Under these sort of conditions, the driver will be demanding more torque from the engine and the engine will be combustion a richer mixture for a sustained period of time.
00:46 This creates a lot more heat in the combustion chamber and the net result can easily be catastrophic engine failure.
00:52 This makes tuning diesel trucks in particular a little tricky because unless we have a way of varying the tune based on whether the truck is towing a heavy load, we need to err on the side of caution and provide a tune that's going to offer safety and reliability under the worst case conditions.
01:06 This means that when we aren't towing a load, we're almost certainly leaving a lot of potential power and torque on the table, which can be frustrating.
01:11 It can be equally tempting to harness some of that available power but I can guarantee you that damage will occur to the motor quickly if you use that extra power that you're using unloaded and put a trailer behind the truck.
01:23 Depending on the particular vehicle and ECU you're tuning, it's possible that the ECU may have multiple maps or modes based on operating conditions.