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I have a Cummins ISC 330 with an Allison 6 speed transmission.  I have heard it's possible to increase the horsepower and torque without an engine change.  The two options I think might be possible are a programming change by the Cummins shop or some aftermarket kits from a company like Banks Power(I believe there might be another company doing similar work but can't remember the name).  Is this a possibility and, if so, is it a good idea?  Are the other components of the drive train strong enough to absorb any extra power.  I have heard for all of the different HP/torque models of ISCs the rest of the drive trains are the same but don't know that for sure.  If so would the cooling system be adequate for an increase in power?

 

I have been towing a 6000# toad but may need to pull about 2500# more in the future.  That starts to push me up towards the tow limit.

 

Ed                       

'05 HR Ambassador 40 PLQ            

2017 Expedition Limited 4x4

 

Edited by saflyer
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I have been wondering this myself. I look forward to hearing the comments from these experts that we have on this forum

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Ed,

Banks no longer makes any add-on device for the Cummins ISC. They did many years ago and it was called the Banks Power Pack system which I have on my Cummins ISC. It takes the HP from 350 to 425 and it went from 1,050 lb-ft of torque to about 1250 lb-ft of torque.

There are companies that sell these "magic" boxes which claim to increase HP but I invested in one called TS Performance MP-8 and had it installed then drove about 25-50 miles with and did not notice any difference plus I was getting a check engine dash light when using it. So I removed it and sold it on eBay.

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I was looking into the AG Diesel Solutions device, I have a 2004 8.3 330 hp Cummings. Has anyone any information on this unit? https://www.agdieselsolutions.com/

 

12100NEW_200625-600x400.jpg
12100_harness_NEW200625-100x100.jpg

12100 – 1998-2005 8.3L & 9.0L with CAPS Pump Cummins – Performance Module

$737.26

Starting at $67/mo with Affirm. Prequalify now

FITS:
8.3L & 9.0L Cummins w/ CAPS Fuel Pump engines

MODULE PERFORMANCE:
Up to 30% Horsepower Increase and 10-20% Fuel Savings

 

 

Edited by Howard
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A guy on another forum put that performance module on his rig and swears it did wonders. Anyone with a rear radiator set up looking for more horsepower should look up Source Engineering and the fans they sell. I put one on my coach 4-5 years ago and I could tell a difference right away. Cummins cannot turn up (or won't turn up) an ISC motor. Here is a link to the fans. The fan doesn't give you extra horsepower, it give you back horsepower that the OEM fan stole.

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I installed the Ag Diesel Solutions device about two years ago on my 2000 Dynasty 36 with ISC-350.  There was a modest increase in power but nothing dramatic.  I have been running it for a couple of years now without problems.  There was also an EXPECTED increase in EGT.  I controlled the EGT by raising the boost.  Raising boost alone absolutely does NOT increase power one iota in an engine already running properly.  Should you choose to install the Ag Diesel product, I suggest you install an EGT gage FIRST.  You will be surprised at how high the EGT can get in totally stock condition, so establish a baseline before you increase the fuel delivery.  There are several EGT gages available now which do not require 35 foot runs of Type K thermocouple wire.  They have an interface module that receives the millivolt signal from the thermocouple, amplifies it, and feeds it to the gage head along ordinary coppper wire.

Also, prior to installing the Ag Solutions device, I added a FASS fuel pump, the Titanium model with two fuel filters.  This mod has NOTHING to do with increasing power.  It was simply insurance to hopefully extend the life of my CAPS injection pump.  The CAPS injection pumps include a gear-driven pump as its "primary" section.  That gear pump sucks the fuel from your fuel tank through a very long hose and supplies the fuel to the injection side of the pump.  There will be (of course) a negative pressure (vacuum) at the fuel entry to the CAPS pump.  Cummins says their CAPS pumps can tolerate as much as Negative 5 PSI at the entry to the CAPS pump. There are quite a few documented cases that point to failures of the ($2000-$5000) CAPS pump being due to inadequate fuel flow THROUGH the pump.  In theory, the gear pump supplies considerably more fuel than required for injection, and the excess is returned to the tank through a manifold in the stock lift pump and a hose from the lift pump manifold to the fuel tank.  By design, this excess fuel is used to cool the CAPS pump.  When fuel filters become clogged (or any other condition restricts fuel flow) the amount of fuel available to cool the CAPS pump is reduced.  When filters are so clogged that you experience power loss from the engine, the amount of cooling fuel has become zero.  The FASS (or any other brand) fuel system supplies a POSITIVE pressure to the input section of the CAPS pump and insures there is always excess fuel passing through the pump, thereby cooling and lubricating it adequately.  Is this NECESSARY?  Obviously not.  Look how many CAPS pumps have survived high mileage with no problems.  But I think the evidence supports the fact that frequent, repeated fuel starvation can cause problems for the CAPS pump.  The FASS (or other) pump prevents fuel starvation.  Lastly, the FASS pump "bypasses" a very large quantity of fuel (approximately 95 gallons/hour) through a dedicated return line to the fuel tank after passing it through its two fuel filters, so your fuel is being constantly "polished" (filtered) any time the FASS pump is operating.

Along with the installation of the FASS fuel pump, I installed a fuel pressure gage.  My reason was initially that I simply wanted to see that the FASS pump system was working properly, since if it ceased functioning, the CAPS pump would have to suck even harder to draw fuel through the long line AND the internals of the FASS pump.  But there has been a really useful side-benefit to the fuel pressure gage.  During normal operation, even under WOT (wide open throttle), the fuel pressure is 15 PSI.  If it ever drops, even to 10 PSI under WOT, there is a fuel filter that needs changing.  So now I only change filters when necessary, not on a time-based schedule.  Also, the FASS pump becomes a "priming pump" so that it is not necessary to pre-fill fuel filters, even though that is a habit for me that I do not care to change.

Before asking questions, it will help you to read the several posts in the Cummins Engine forum on iRV2.  There is a lot of good information that will help you if you are considering modifications like these.  Of course there is a lot of BS there from over-enthusiastic, non-technical types, and you need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Example: 1) Someone replaces their ignition switch and now the coach runs better, idles smoother, and has more power. 2) A new low-restriction exhaust system has increased power noticeably.  3) Adding the FASS pump alone has increased power of the engine noticeably. 4) A self-proclaimed "expert" warns that increasing boost can cause a DIESEL engine to burn pistons due to "lean mixtures".  5) Increased boost pressure has resulted in dramatic power increases.

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Thanks Vanwill52. I have read a lot on IRV2 but your explanation pulled a lot of it together.  “Wheat from chaff”? At least one poster there discussed changing the coolant fan led to power improvement. Your thoughts?

Ed

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I know it's common to gain some power on rear radiator coaches by replacing the fan with one which uses less of the engine's power.  I'm not aware of any similar way of improving side-radiator coaches, but it's possible.

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8 hours ago, vanwill52 said:

I know it's common to gain some power on rear radiator coaches by replacing the fan with one which uses less of the engine's power.  I'm not aware of any similar way of improving side-radiator coaches, but it's possible.

Any power or economy increase from a fan change is going to be very minimal.  The vendors that tout a 30 or 40 hp savings are full of BS.

The fan probably only uses around 10-20 hp when engaged, and any replacement large enough to cool the engine will require similar power.

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  • saflyer changed the title to Can I increase Cummins ISC power?

Admittedly, I’m way out over my skis here, but my BIL (who is very knowledgeable about diesels) told me to make sure you stay within the torque and HP specs of your tranny. The Allison trannys in our coaches are rock solid, but when I wanted to tinker with my ISL-400, he advised against it because the 3000MH tranny was close to its limits. He said we could change it to a 4000, but that would be really involved. 
 

His recommendation if I *really* wanted more power was a Dynasty, Exec, or Sig of similar vintage with a bigger engine. 😂 My darling wife flatly said no, and told her brother to quit meddling, she likes her coach...

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I have the fan from Source Engineering in my RR 2004 Diplomat 8.3, 330 HP.  Like it most of the time except for downhill driving.  I am talking Colorado and other western state downhill passes.  Seems like I have less engine braking then with the original fan.  Anyone else with a Source fan notice a difference? 

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1 hour ago, seadoo200hp said:

I have the fan from Source Engineering in my RR 2004 Diplomat 8.3, 330 HP.  Like it most of the time except for downhill driving.  I am talking Colorado and other western state downhill passes.  Seems like I have less engine braking then with the original fan.  Anyone else with a Source fan notice a difference? 

I've had the Source Engineering fan for about 5 years. I have not noticed a difference going down 6% grades, but I am quite conservative on my downhill speed and rarely exceed my 'Jake brake's' ability to hold the speed down. It's possible my comfortable downhill speed is decreased slightly with the new fan, but I have not noticed.

Another benefit of the fan is that it is much quieter than the stock fan. BTW my fan is always on, no fan clutch.

 2002 HR Endeavor, ISC 330

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On 3/11/2021 at 3:32 PM, vanwill52 said:

I installed the Ag Diesel Solutions device about two years ago on my 2000 Dynasty 36 with ISC-350.  There was a modest increase in power but nothing dramatic.  I have been running it for a couple of years now without problems.  There was also an EXPECTED increase in EGT.  I controlled the EGT by raising the boost.  Raising boost alone absolutely does NOT increase power one iota in an engine already running properly.  Should you choose to install the Ag Diesel product, I suggest you install an EGT gage FIRST.  You will be surprised at how high the EGT can get in totally stock condition, so establish a baseline before you increase the fuel delivery.  There are several EGT gages available now which do not require 35 foot runs of Type K thermocouple wire.  They have an interface module that receives the millivolt signal from the thermocouple, amplifies it, and feeds it to the gage head along ordinary coppper wire.

Also, prior to installing the Ag Solutions device, I added a FASS fuel pump, the Titanium model with two fuel filters.  This mod has NOTHING to do with increasing power.  It was simply insurance to hopefully extend the life of my CAPS injection pump.  The CAPS injection pumps include a gear-driven pump as its "primary" section.  That gear pump sucks the fuel from your fuel tank through a very long hose and supplies the fuel to the injection side of the pump.  There will be (of course) a negative pressure (vacuum) at the fuel entry to the CAPS pump.  Cummins says their CAPS pumps can tolerate as much as Negative 5 PSI at the entry to the CAPS pump. There are quite a few documented cases that point to failures of the ($2000-$5000) CAPS pump being due to inadequate fuel flow THROUGH the pump.  In theory, the gear pump supplies considerably more fuel than required for injection, and the excess is returned to the tank through a manifold in the stock lift pump and a hose from the lift pump manifold to the fuel tank.  By design, this excess fuel is used to cool the CAPS pump.  When fuel filters become clogged (or any other condition restricts fuel flow) the amount of fuel available to cool the CAPS pump is reduced.  When filters are so clogged that you experience power loss from the engine, the amount of cooling fuel has become zero.  The FASS (or any other brand) fuel system supplies a POSITIVE pressure to the input section of the CAPS pump and insures there is always excess fuel passing through the pump, thereby cooling and lubricating it adequately.  Is this NECESSARY?  Obviously not.  Look how many CAPS pumps have survived high mileage with no problems.  But I think the evidence supports the fact that frequent, repeated fuel starvation can cause problems for the CAPS pump.  The FASS (or other) pump prevents fuel starvation.  Lastly, the FASS pump "bypasses" a very large quantity of fuel (approximately 95 gallons/hour) through a dedicated return line to the fuel tank after passing it through its two fuel filters, so your fuel is being constantly "polished" (filtered) any time the FASS pump is operating.

Along with the installation of the FASS fuel pump, I installed a fuel pressure gage.  My reason was initially that I simply wanted to see that the FASS pump system was working properly, since if it ceased functioning, the CAPS pump would have to suck even harder to draw fuel through the long line AND the internals of the FASS pump.  But there has been a really useful side-benefit to the fuel pressure gage.  During normal operation, even under WOT (wide open throttle), the fuel pressure is 15 PSI.  If it ever drops, even to 10 PSI under WOT, there is a fuel filter that needs changing.  So now I only change filters when necessary, not on a time-based schedule.  Also, the FASS pump becomes a "priming pump" so that it is not necessary to pre-fill fuel filters, even though that is a habit for me that I do not care to change.

Before asking questions, it will help you to read the several posts in the Cummins Engine forum on iRV2.  There is a lot of good information that will help you if you are considering modifications like these.  Of course there is a lot of BS there from over-enthusiastic, non-technical types, and you need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Example: 1) Someone replaces their ignition switch and now the coach runs better, idles smoother, and has more power. 2) A new low-restriction exhaust system has increased power noticeably.  3) Adding the FASS pump alone has increased power of the engine noticeably. 4) A self-proclaimed "expert" warns that increasing boost can cause a DIESEL engine to burn pistons due to "lean mixtures".  5) Increased boost pressure has resulted in dramatic power increases.

I installed a FASS pump after the third replacement of my injection pump at 100K miles. At the same time I installed a fuel pressure gage and an exhaust gas temperature gage. I placed the EGT probe just downstream of the #6 cylinder exhaust port because that cylinder runs hottest in ISC 330s

At the same time I had a AG Diesel RV Power Module installed along with a K&N air filter and a free flowing muffler. I think I noticed a small increase in power, but It is possible that it was just in my mind because of expectations. Unfortunately the AG Diesel RV Power Module failed shortly after installation. I chose not to replace it partly because I lost confidence in it , and partly because the difference it made was minor. (I received a refund)

I have spoken with Cummins about reprogramming my ISC 330 to 350. They said it was possible, but they recommended against doing so. 

2002 HR Endeavor, ISC 330 CAPS, towing 3500 lbs

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Hmm,  Why couldn't those of us with a side hydraulic fan come up with a modification to turn the fan up as high as possible when needed?    This could increase engine braking when on steep grades.   I know my temp gauge goes to near zero when descending Wolfcreek pass so my fan must be barely turning.

Come on engineers & others out there, would this be worthwhile?  Who among us couldn't us more braking on those mountain passes?

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16 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

Hmm,  Why couldn't those of us with a side hydraulic fan come up with a modification to turn the fan up as high as possible when needed?    This could increase engine braking when on steep grades.   I know my temp gauge goes to near zero when descending Wolfcreek pass so my fan must be barely turning.

Come on engineers & others out there, would this be worthwhile?  Who among us couldn't us more braking on those mountain passes?

If possible, an additional benefit might be the ability to turn the fan to high at the bottom of a hill, thus extending the time you could be at full throttle on a hot day.

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41 minutes ago, bikedavem said:

If possible, an additional benefit might be the ability to turn the fan to high at the bottom of a hill, thus extending the time you could be at full throttle on a hot day.

Disclaimer:  I have not done this, nor have I ever contemplated it.  (Shades of Bill D looking over my shoulder and asking, "You've got personal experience with that, right?  Otherwise you would not be posting?") 😁

But here goes my OPINION (not substantiated by experience, Col. Duckwitz).  My 2000 Dynasty with ISC-350 was originally equipped with the "wax valve" type main radiator fan control.  When replacing it, the instructions clearly said (and many with EXPERIENCE have stated) that unintentionally reversing the hydraulic lines to the wax valve would result in the radiator fan running WOT all the time.  Based on that, I would OPINE that a one-way (either OFF or ON) solenoid valve in one of the lines to the wax valve would cause the fan to run WOT.  Perhaps someone who has actually done this will chime in.

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2003 Signature

3 years ago the Solenoid Valve that operates the cooling fan failed causing the Cooling Fan to run continuously. This happened while heading north from Sioux Falls SD to Saskatoon SK bucking a severe head/cross wind all the way. The significant effect was a giant sucking sound as the fuel gauge needle plummeted towards empty.

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Several years ago I had a friend (now deceased) who had a Mercedes 2D diesel car he made into a mini pickup. He was a Mercedes mechanic so was qualified. One of his modifications was homemade propane injection. It was well done, cute (so much so it was stolen within weeks of completion), and he said it gave more power and raised his fuel economy. Not sure such a modification would work on a computerized engine as it would self adjust. You should do more research before doing this, could make your engine into a bomb if done incorrectly. There are several outfits selling kits, here is one: http://badgerlandperformance.com/products/propane-injection-kits-semi-trucks/

I'd be interested if anyone has any experience with their rigs.

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Ed:

There has been a lot of mis-information over the years about boosting the ISC from 330 to 350.
First of all it is not a a re-chip process. The entire change from 330 - 350 is done with a lap top that is running
  specified Cummins software.

Secondly what many RV'ers do not know is that not all 330's can be boosted. It all depends on the ECM model your coach has. There are several types of ECM's for 330's. My 05 Ambassador cannot be boosted because it has a transit bus ECM which is locked in at 330 HP for life. My son, a certified Cummins tech and an ECM expert sat down one day and connected to my ECM and found the ECM was a transit bus type. It cannot be boosted to a 350.

I asked him about the banks kit and he told me to leave the engine alone. I have discussed this with other Cummins techs that are friends of mine and they said the same thing. I wanted the extra HP because I was going to be towing our show trailer. Turns out I didn't need it. Our trailer is 26 ft and I did a trip out West with it and when I ran across the scales I weighed 8,500 #. I had no issues in the mountains and used strategic shift points to climb grades. Since you are a retired 747 Captain think RTTO's ( Reduced Thrust take off's ) and max power TO's. The trick with the 330 is to squeeze all the torque you can from the engine by gear selection and maximizing your RPM range. Always strive for a minimum of 2,000 RPM's. This is where the 330 will produce the max torque plus give you max cooling.

Back to the 330/350 issue. The problem with boosting HP is it will do little in regards to pulling power. More Torque is what you really need and our Ambassadors are pretty much limited in torque by the transmission. The whole 350 HP ISC and 330 HP was nothing more then a marketing ploy used by the manufacturers. It was a way to separate different model coaches such as the Ambassador/Endeavor and get more money. The ISC, simply put, is an ISC. The only difference between the 330 and 350 is the programming in the ECM. For those who did end up with 350's all they got was 20 more HP. They got no increase in torque. A 330 and 350 produce the same amount of torque.

Just a little bit of history. Shortly after HR released the 350, Cummins shops started to offer an upgrade for the 330 HP owners. For $ 250 they would reprogram your ECM and give you 350 HP. This was offered in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 Cummins discovered when they " flashed a 330 to 350 it created more emissions. To keep the EPA off their backs they quit offering the reprogramming service and refused to boost any more 330's.

My advice is to leave your 330 alone. In its current state it is the most reliable engine Cummins ever built. There have been no issues with them whatsoever. Before you start looking at performance enhancements consider an in-frame rebuild for a 330 is $ 20,000. A new engine is $ 28 - 30 K. A new Allison is $ 8 K. Do you want to roll the dice for 20 more HP & zero torque ?

As I stated my Ambassador routinely pulls 8 - 9000 lbs without a problem. I am currently at Perry with my trailer and I ran across the scales on my way here. It weighed 8,700 loaded. Not one issue towing that much weight. My concern has never been engine HP but rather hitch ratings. I am getting close to max hitch ratings and I will probably have my hitch upgraded just to give me a warm fuzzy feeling while I am driving. I probably will never have a hitch issue but would rather be safe then sorry.
 
--

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20 hours ago, bikedavem said:

I've had the Source Engineering fan for about 5 years. I have not noticed a difference going down 6% grades, but I am quite conservative on my downhill speed and rarely exceed my 'Jake brake's' ability to hold the speed down. It's possible my comfortable downhill speed is decreased slightly with the new fan, but I have not noticed.

Another benefit of the fan is that it is much quieter than the stock fan. BTW my fan is always on, no fan clutch.

 2002 HR Endeavor, ISC 330

Thank you for your answer because I was thinking of going back to the original engine fan that came with the rig.  My fan is always on too being a rear radiator.

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On 3/13/2021 at 12:32 PM, vanwill52 said:

Disclaimer:  I have not done this, nor have I ever contemplated it.  (Shades of Bill D looking over my shoulder and asking, "You've got personal experience with that, right?  Otherwise you would not be posting?") 😁

But here goes my OPINION (not substantiated by experience, Col. Duckwitz).  My 2000 Dynasty with ISC-350 was originally equipped with the "wax valve" type main radiator fan control.  When replacing it, the instructions clearly said (and many with EXPERIENCE have stated) that unintentionally reversing the hydraulic lines to the wax valve would result in the radiator fan running WOT all the time.  Based on that, I would OPINE that a one-way (either OFF or ON) solenoid valve in one of the lines to the wax valve would cause the fan to run WOT.  Perhaps someone who has actually done this will chime in.

Van, on my coach the fan speed is directly controlled by the engine ECM via a hydraulic control solenoid on the fan pump.  As it turns out, there is an ECM setting that can be enabled that will run the fan at high speed when engine braking is activated.  Monaco has that featured turned off.

One interesting ECM feature I did enable is the automatic engine braking when when using the cruise control.  When speeds get 5 mph above the set cruise control speed the jake brake will engage on the low setting.  If more than 8 mph above it will engage the jake high setting.  Then once down to the cruise set speed, the cruise control will automatically reengage.  

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How do I learn about this for my coach? As far as I know the engine brake function is disabled when using cruise control.

Ed

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22 minutes ago, saflyer said:

How do I learn about this for my coach? As far as I know the engine brake function is disabled when using cruise control.

Ed

Ed, the only way you would know what features are available to change is by either having a cummins dealer connect the Cummins Insite software up to your engine ECM, or to find a local garage with that software. 

I happen to have the software and found a number of ECM engine parameters that I wanted changed or that Monaco had disabled.  Having the jake brake auto braking with the cruise on is an option I liked.  I experimented a bit with the speed set points and was most comfortable with low Jake at 5 mph and high Jake 8 mph over set cruise.

But, each engine and model can be different with different features.  The only way I know to find out is to read the engine ECM Features and Parameter settings table programmed into the ECM software.

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Ed:

 

Like Frank and I both said there are various ECM models for these engines. I believe the 330 has 3 or 4 ECM variants and none of them apply to RV"s. Transit Bus is one, OTR, Trash trucks and I forgot the other application. Monaco seemed to use all of the variants in their coaches. I do know that since your coach was made ( 2005 )  there have been 6 upgrades to the software. Those changes were very minor by the way.

You would be surprised what can be changed in the ECM. Like Frank said many parameters can be changed. Even the brake light deployment can be changed in regards to the Exhaust brake. You can switch the brake light to be off when the exhaust brake is on ( not advisable ) or leave it on. Your best bet is to take it to a Cummins facility and have them plug into the ECM and check your ECM model, update your software and be sure and ask them to do a data dump with print out for you. That in itself is very interesting. It has a host of information and gives you full operating data from the first time the engine was fired up and started its life. Max speed, max temps, hours in first gear, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. Averages of fuel burn, etc. The information is endless using the data dump feature. It is great to have if you ever sell your coach to show prospective buyers your engine was never hurt or abused.

I believe Cummins charges $ 200 - 250 to access your ECM and make changes and give you a data dump. There are other changes that can be made in regards to engine function but I advise against letting just any Cummins tech making engine operating changes. Those changes can impact a lot of different things such as EG temps, fuel mileage, etc.. The last thing you want is a poor performing engine or a burnt valve. Frank and my son are the few I know who have a good grasp on engine operation and how different parameters effect performance. In other words they know how to tweak an ECM without hurting your motor. Not all Cummins techs are created equal.

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