If you own a diesel truck, you probably bought it for the extra torque, horsepower, and substantial fuel economy that diesel engines offer over conventional gasoline engines. However, like many diesel truck owners, you may be looking for new ways to squeeze as much power and performance out of your truck as possible. Below are some ways to increase your diesel truck's response, versatility, and handling capabilities through some simple performance modifications.
Improving Your Off-Road Performance
Many people buy diesel trucks with the intention of taking them into intense off-road situations. However, while most diesel trucks are extremely capable right off the lot, there is always room for improvement. Lifting your truck can give your truck a new look, and will increase its ability to handle obstacles and obstructions that may hinder a less capable vehicle.
There are two kinds of lifts available:
- Body lift
- A body lift utilizes spacers between the body and the frame of the truck, allowing for larger tires to be fitted on the vehicle.
- Larger tires raise the axles of the vehicle further from the ground, keeping them free from rocks, bushes, and other hurdles.
- Body lifts are relatively inexpensive when compared to suspension lifts.
- Suspension lift
- A suspension lift involves using longer shock absorbers and springs to raise the actual frame of the truck further from the ground.
- This lift assists in protecting the underside of the truck from damage while off-roading, as the engine, transmission, oil pan, and fuel tank will be further from the ground.
- A suspension lift involves replacing the majority of your truck's stock suspension parts, so don't expect to do this job while low on funds.
While it is entirely possible to install either one of these lifts on your own, the process can be incredibly difficult due to the advanced tools and equipment that are needed to suspend the truck in the air while the suspension is being upgraded. Most truck owners will agree that the best course of action is to take your car into a shop that specializes in lifting vehicles to ensure that the lift is installed correctly.
If you use your diesel truck to tow heavy cargo around town, you probably enjoy how much low-end torque your diesel engine offers. However, you can improve your engine's low-end power by purchasing a set of upgraded exhaust manifolds known as headers. Headers will completely change the sound of your engine, as well increase your truck's ability to get up to speed while towing any amount of weight.
Inside of your diesel engine is a set of cylinders that create and contain small explosions to generate energy for the vehicle. In a diesel engine, that process looks like this:
- A little fuel is sprayed into each cylinder, which is accompanied by a measure of oxygen from the air intake.
- A piston slides upwards, compressing the mixture against the roof of each cylinder.
- Due to the intense heat generated by this quick compression, the fuel/air mixture is ignited.
- The energy released from this ignition takes the form of a small explosion, which in turn pushes the piston back down to the base of the cylinder.
- The exhaust gases remaining in the cylinder are evacuated through a valve; this is where the headers come into play.
In a stock diesel engine, these exhaust gases often have difficulty exiting the cylinder due to the narrow tubing of the stock exhaust manifolds. Headers, on the other hand, feature wider, longer tubing that allows for increased flow of these gases. When you accelerate from a stoplight, the increased flow of the headers increases your low-end power, allowing your truck to get up to speed with as little interference as possible.
Installing headers on your truck can be fairly simple, provided that you have the tools and knowledge to get the job done right.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Diesel Truck
The modifications listed above are two of the most common steps that diesel truck owners take to improve the abilities of their vehicles. While there are many more performance modifications available from businesses such as Pure Diesel Power that can be done to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of your truck, these modifications will get you the most value for your money.