An overview of the diesel race engine scene
Today’s diesel engines aren’t, well, they aren’t your grand-daddy’s diesels. Today’s Dodge Cummins, GM’s Duramax and Ford’s Powerstrokes are able to pull some very impressive horsepower and torque numbers, both in stock form and with just a wee bit of aftermarket fiddling (air intake, exhaust and engine computer reprogramming). That’s good news for guys who like to play with their trucks, and even better news for racers who need their “pickup” trucks to pull race car trailers (from single-car open all the way to 50-foot gooseneck enclosed monster); by simply adding a few bolt-on pieces (engine control ECM program change, increasing air intake and exhaust output), it’s easy to add approximately 50, 75, 100, 150 or more HP (and added torque in the process). There’s a host of re-programmers out there, from stand-alone boxes to add-on chips/modules. Basically a “re-program” of the ECU alters fuel injector timing and duration and the high pressure oil system (where applicable). Depending on the program, this can really wake up an otherwise stock diesel, and can be tailored to work in conjunction with race-engine mods.