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1997 5.9 12v 3500 Dwr
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I have a 97 5.9 12v 3500 dually 4.10 that I am the 4th owner seems to be all stock minus a 4 inch exhaust and a exhaust brake, . I tow heavy .. 21,000 total gooseneck weight trailer behind me. I take it nice and slow and have the best trailer brakes and brake controller as well as upgraded truck brakes along with the exhaust brake... I am in Texas my runs are 3 hrs to Breckinridge, Tx and 6 hrs to Austin hills here and there in the hill country but mild slopes not too long

my question is I don’t want to overwhelm the truck and want to make some upgrades and got the trailer at such a deal deal 5k off anything else available now due to being in the oilfield area and metal prices being through the roof. That I can justify putting around 2-4k in the truck.


what i already have

4K gsk

Pyro

Boost

Temp gauges

Ordering

A smeding 62/65/14



What is recommended for towing ? Past my 4k gsk springs ?


I’m thinking a 10 fuel plate, although I hear the 100 is better at higher rpms?


along with sliding the afc housing forward, tuning the star wheel and smoke screw.



a cold air intake

Some upgraded injectors staying under $800 total for that. What do I need stage 1-2-3-4? Over hears the marine injectors are great but are 5 degrees off on the spray pattern?



I would like to get a smeding drop in turbo upgrade I see them range from $600-1200 however I do not know if it’s required and that all those numbers mean and which I need.. and do you know if I need to match my turbo to everything else I’m doing meaning that would be my last step?



I want to get a good setup but not spend anything I don’t have to to get the performance to pull that trailer without stressing the engine or breaking anything



then obviously I will

Need an upgrades clutch from southbend



I’ve already ordered a 4K gsk.. The exhaust break that came with the truck was supposed to have 60 pound valve springs put on with that exhaust brace I’m gonna have to pull the valve cover and find a way to verify if they already put the 60 pound valve springs in there or not? does anybody have any recommendations as to how I discern 60 pound valve springs from stock springs

I’ve already ordered a 4K gsk.. The exhaust break that came with the truck was supposed to have 60 pound valve springs put on with that exhaust brace I’m gonna have to pull the valve cover and find a way to verify if they already put the 60 pound valve springs in there or not? does anybody have any recommendations as to how I discern 60 pound valve springs from stock springs



thanks, drew
 

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A 4 inch exhaust gives you about zero additional power and in my case didn't lower EGTs at all.

All the generic terms you used mean little so how about being specific.

A cold air intake? What do you have in mind? All filters are not created equal. I like my AFE Pro Guard 7. I get consistent low silicon numbers in my oil analysis and it flows plenty of air.

There isn't any need for a GSK, it gives you no extra power and you have no reason to spin the engine to those RPM. What RPM does your stock governor springs defuel at? If your engine is like mine (and it is in theory) it will easily go to 2800.

I can't speak to the #10 or #100 fuel plate, I have used neither. I had a #11 for awhile and it worked well. I have a custom ground plate now that I bought in Austin. I dynoed at 313/756. How much power do you think you need?

Stage 1, 2, 3, and 4 injectors means nothing. Injectors are identified by the number of holes, the size of holes and the spray angle. i.e. 5X12, 145 My preference is the stock Bosch injectors that came in the 215 HP engine.

60 lb valve springs are shaped like a barrel. The stock spring sides are more straight up and down.

You only need a bigger turbo if you get bigger injectors, IMO.

I am wondering exactly what you consider "upgraded truck brakes".
 

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1997 5.9 12v 3500 Dwr
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeh sorry just meant new brake pads.. Bosch serve duty.. My understanding is the GSK springs are nice when you have a manual transmission you’re going uphill that gap between third and fourth gear when you shift and lose rPMs from 3rd to 4th you can keep your RPMs..

also how do I pull the valve cover and tell it has an the heavy 60 lbs springs on it? It has an exhaust brake on it but the previous owner said it never worked I got it fixed it was a bad relay however I don’t trust 100% whoever had it before I put the 60 pound valve springs in and would hate to float a valve.

I also talk to smidgen diesel and I’m gonna have trouble fitting the drop in to my exhaust brake so I might leave the turbo I have so it’s stock turbo what are the steps I can take to get the most power out of it for towing any recommendations? if I ultimately have to lose the exhaust break I will.

Any recs for good towing injectors under $700?
 

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I realize the gap between 3rd and 4th is a problem, but it can be adapted to. I've have about 700,000 miles of experience with the NV4500. The GSK I had for a short period of time didn't alleviate the problem at all. I just resigned myself to the fact that once I was down to 3rd gear I would have to stay there until the top of the hill.

To pull a valve cover off only requires a 15mm wrench. I haven't had a cover plate for over 20 years so I don't remember what size those nuts are.

Again, how much power do you think you need? Stock injectors can put you over 300HP with little effort. Removing the exhaust brake is a bad Idea IMO.

Here is my recommendation. Save your hot rod money for repairs. A 21,000 pound trailer will take it's toll on the drivetrain, especially the NV4500. I went through 12 of them and I never towed that heavy. Most of the trailers I hook up are between 8000 and 12,000 pounds. A set of tools and a transmission jack will be good investments.
 

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In terms of the plate, I ran both the 10 and the 100. I prefer the 100 towing but it does run just a tad hotter for me. The 180 pump in my 97 defueled at 2300 rpm and was super annoying when towing up hills. In my particular case the 4gsk make a huge difference. But like mentioned above if you can already rev towards the 3k mark then you may not see any benefits.
 

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1997 5.9 12v 3500 Dwr
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I realize the gap between 3rd and 4th is a problem, but it can be adapted to. I've have about 700,000 miles of experience with the NV4500. The GSK I had for a short period of time didn't alleviate the problem at all. I just resigned myself to the fact that once I was down to 3rd gear I would have to stay there until the top of the hill.

To pull a valve cover off only requires a 15mm wrench. I haven't had a cover plate for over 20 years so I don't remember what size those nuts are.

Again, how much power do you think you need? Stock injectors can put you over 300HP with little effort. Removing the exhaust brake is a bad Idea IMO.

Here is my recommendation. Save your hot rod money for repairs. A 21,000 pound trailer will take it's toll on the drivetrain, especially the NV4500. I went through 12 of them and I never towed that heavy. Most of the trailers I hook up are between 8000 and 12,000 pounds. A set of tools and a transmission jack will be good investments.

also at 3k I’m at 65mph with the 4.10 do I need to leave it there towing that much or can go to 75 at 2750 rpm .. my last 97 had no power with 13k in 5th couldn’t get it to climb to any more speed in 5th than what I shifted out of when I maxed out in 4th, however it was a 3.55
wow so you have the knowledge I don’t have a go goal in mind just wanted to make it easier on the truck .. I’m stock right now I would like to just get a little more power I don’t Want it I was just thinking I would need it to pull 20k once a month 12-14 hrs.. if I do need more than stock power and wanted to throw 1k or so out of it short of a south bend updates clutch where would you go IF needed?

Thanks
 

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To start I recommend you try a 10 plate, position up to you but I would start in the middle. Increase the timing to 15 and tune the AFC which has been covered quite a bit. Beginners Thread - Read First! If that makes the clutch slip, and it very well might, then is the time to plunk down the money for a SB clutch kit. I use this kit for timing. Snap-on Store and I'm shocked at how much the price has gone up. There is probably a less expensive vender. Many members use this with success. Power Driven P-Pump Timing Kit | Power Driven Diesel instructions and guidance advancing timing with blue point timing tool Keep in mind that the farther you get from stock the less dependable the engine is.
 

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1997 5.9 12v 3500 Dwr
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To start I recommend you try a 10 plate, position up to you but I would start in the middle. Increase the timing to 15 and tune the AFC which has been covered quite a bit. Beginners Thread - Read First! If that makes the clutch slip, and it very well might, then is the time to plunk down the money for a SB clutch kit. I use this kit for timing. Snap-on Store and I'm shocked at how much the price has gone up. There is probably a less expensive vender. Many members use this with success. Power Driven P-Pump Timing Kit | Power Driven Diesel instructions and guidance advancing timing with blue point timing tool Keep in mind that the farther you get from stock the less dependable the engine is.
Awesome thank you I see some wild differences in the number 10 fuel plate some label them as industrial fuel plates others just normal fuel plates plates but they’re all from big online diesel retailers ranging from $70-$170 is there a difference in these prices in quality?
 

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Somewhere on these pages is a picture of the different profiles. If you have access to a bench grinder you can make your own out of the stock plate. If you feel you have to buy one I recommend TST. They did all the testing and design way back when. 94-98 Dodge Ram TST Power Kit Once again, prices have jumped dramatically in 10 or 15 years. Not long ago I gave away an 11 plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Somewhere on these pages is a picture of the different profiles. If you have access to a bench grinder you can make your own out of the stock plate. If you feel you have to buy one I recommend TST. They did all the testing and design way back when. 94-98 Dodge Ram TST Power Kit Once again, prices have jumped dramatically in 10 or 15 years. Not long ago I gave away an 11 plate.
Wow yeh I have all the tools I will grind thanks !!
 

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I used to talk to Mark Chappell and Joe Donnelly a lot when I had my 97 215. Joe developed the #10 for Mark for the 215... IIRC, 300hp at 2k rpm. I was afraid to have that much lo end fuel so I did the AFC and 3k kits and zero air and star wheel adjs. The 3k kit made more problems than it was worth. RPM went nuts until the fuel ran out... it didn't stop anywhere near 3k. I moved to Az. and they have a snap throttle e test,... put the peddle to the metal and hope it doesn't swallow a valve. It's better to fix the narrow power band and dismal top end power with the plate and other adjustments.
I used the recommended #11 plate and I ended up grinding off the upper, defueling hump, and slid it forward a little and I had a super clean and crisp runner and lots of top end, to redline+, w/o needing the 3k kit. It dynoed 292/812 at 6200' elevation and I never met a Hardley Ableson or ricer I couldn't embarrass. When on the dyno, they couldn't keep the exhaust hose on the tailpipe and they were very surprised that there was NO smoke, anyway. All the other trucks would black out the shop.
Towing turbos were a big improvement on ALL my CTDs. I used a Piers Diesel (PDR) HX 35/40/14 on my 97 and timed it to 17... muy bueno! An II PS 62/65/14 was terrific of my 03 HO.
 
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Joe Donnelly installed the #11 plate I used to have. Full forward it dynoed 293/611. I don't recall if I had advanced the timing back then, but if I did it was the only other mod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I used to talk to Mark Chappell and Joe Donnelly a lot when I had my 97 215. Joe developed the #10 for Mark for the 215... IIRC, 300hp at 2k rpm. I was afraid to have that much lo end fuel so I did the AFC and 3k kits and zero air and star wheel adjs. The 3k kit made more problems than it was worth. RPM went nuts until the fuel ran out... it didn't stop anywhere near 3k. I moved to Az. and they have a snap throttle e test,... put the peddle to the metal and hope it doesn't swallow a valve. It's better to fix the narrow power band and dismal top end power with the plate and other adjustments.
I used the recommended #11 plate and I ended up grinding off the upper, defueling hump, and slid it forward a little and I had a super clean and crisp runner and lots of top end, to redline+, w/o needing the 3k kit. It dynoed 292/812 at 6200' elevation and I never met a Hardley Ableson or ricer I couldn't embarrass. When on the dyno, they couldn't keep the exhaust hose on the tailpipe and they were very surprised that there was NO smoke, anyway. All the other trucks would black out the shop.
Towing turbos were a big improvement on ALL my CTDs. I used a Piers Diesel (PDR) HX 35/40/14 on my 97 and timed it to 17... muy bueno! An II PS 62/65/14 was terrific of my 03 HO.
so at the end of the day all you did was put that modified number 11 plate on put the PDRHX 35/40/14 .. Timed your Stock? injectors to 17?? And then played with your star wheel? i’m guessing by zero air you mean you didn’t add a cold air intake or any air upgrades short of the turbo?

If so that sounds like a great starting point for me if you did not use stock injectors do you have any recommend.

my only problem now is I was looking at this turbo in the smeding turbo but both companies just say I’m going to have hell getting the exhaust brake on the backside of my turbo now to match up with the new one gonna have to get a special adapter because apparently they’re different output sizes.. haven’t been able to find one yet..
 

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my only problem now is I was looking at this turbo in the smeding turbo but both companies just say I’m going to have hell getting the exhaust brake on the backside of my turbo now to match up with the new one gonna have to get a special adapter because apparently they’re different output sizes.. haven’t been able to find one yet..
Is your HX-35 faulty? Also, be advised that even with 16 degrees of timing I hated the turbo lag, even when not towing. I tried several different settings and found 15 worked best for me. The trick is to find the happy medium for getting the truck off the line with a trailer attached and the setting for cruise speeds while on the road. If you plan on hauling at 2300 rpm a higher setting than mine is what you need. I operate at 1800-1900 rpm while towing and 2000-2100 when empty. If I never pulled a trailer and didn't have to drive in town, or had an automatic, then 16 or 17 would probably give me better mileage. Your 4:10s and heavier trailer makes your needs different. If your turbo is good I suggest you save your money until you see what a modified fuel plate and a timing change gives you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is your HX-35 faulty? Also, be advised that even with 16 degrees of timing I hated the turbo lag, even when not towing. I tried several different settings and found 15 worked best for me. The trick is to find the happy medium for getting the truck off the line with a trailer attached and the setting for cruise speeds while on the road. If you plan on hauling at 2300 rpm a higher setting than mine is what you need. I operate at 1800-1900 rpm while towing and 2000-2100 when empty. If I never pulled a trailer and didn't have to drive in town, or had an automatic, then 16 or 17 would probably give me better mileage. Your 4:10s and heavier trailer makes your needs different. If your turbo is good I suggest you save your money until you see what a modified fuel plate and a timing change gives you.
I see that was my reasoning for the 4K springs in the first place because I already have the 60 pound valve springs for the exhaust break is because in 4th at 3000 RPM I’m going 65, and begin defeuking at 2700 and in fifth at 75 I’m doing 2750 rpm... makes towing hard without getting a plate that restricts defueling are getting governor springs...

So you’re saying that I’m better to modify the plate and leave out the springs then to get the springs and slide the AFC housing and fuel plates stock all the way up?
My turbo is fine but the previous owner disabled the wastegate because he said the diaphragm around the wastegate had all rotted out so I’m installing gauges this week I don’t know what kind of boost I’m making with him having bypassed the wastegate
 

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Wait! You said " I take it nice and slow ". Now you are towing a 21,000 pound trailer at 75? I can't give you any advice there.

My advice (after you install the gauges) is to install a fuel plate, in the middle, and advance your timing a little. Adjust from there. My wastegate is blocked off due to a failed actuator too. Since I never see a need to operate at WOT it makes no difference. I rarely see the need to go over 20 psi of boost. If you want your NV4500 to last you won't either.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wait! You said " I take it nice and slow ". Now you are towing a 21,000 pound trailer at 75? I can't give you any advice there.

My advice (after you install the gauges) is to install a fuel plate, in the middle, and advance your timing a little. Adjust from there. My wastegate is blocked off due to a failed actuator too. Since I never see a need to operate at WOT it makes no difference. I rarely see the need to go over 20 psi of boost. If you want your NV4500 to last you won't either.
yeah I know I will be taking it nice and slow I’ll be at fourth at 65 but that’s still putting me at 3000 RPM which is at the defueling range you know every now and then you got a kick up to 75 to go around someone who’s on and off of their cruise control slowing down speeding up kind of making it difficult on you on the highway... however my understanding is so you’re saying you can get around the defueling with the fueling play instead of the 4K governor springs?
 

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No matter which fuel plate you have the governor will defuel at the same RPM. I drove back from North Dakota in 4th gear when my 5th gear came off. To maintain 65 mph (3.5 rear gears) the engine noise drove me nuts. Most of the drive was at 55-60. I hated operating at those RPM. As a result I went through another 11 NV4500s because I towed in OD. I still tow in OD but the G56 can handle it. My towing speed is 57-60, very seldom do I tow faster. I can't think of one instance where I was compelled to exceed 70, or get close to 70 for that matter.

Before spending the bucks on a GSK you could try tightening the stock springs a click. if you like the results try another click.
 

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I regret the 3k kit cuz I didn't know where the red line was anymore. I made a longer pump linkage so I could do the snap throttle test w/o worrying about blowing it up... it would easily hit 3500rpm and no telling when it would level off.
I did the AFC spring kit and zero air is another one of the pump adjustments. I should have let Joe talked into the 10 plate and slide it back if it was too much. I think he said it was 300hp at 2k rpm, in the stock position. I already had the 14 housing from a banks kit, which proved to be an expensive bust, and then I got the PDR turbo to use with it. The 3k kit DID improve the power band and that might be how I got the 812 tq. but I still wouldn't use a governor kit again and fix the power band with the plate instead. There wasn't a 100 plate at the time... I no nothing about that one.
I also lived in the Denver area and rarely went lower when I timed it to 17.
I had GOOD top end power with the 11 but I wanted more. I believe in hitting 1400* WOT/high rpm to make them run the way I like for the street and then watch the pyro when towing... I've done my other CTDs the same way. I ground off the defueling ramp on a surface grinder and I got the 11 to do exactly what I wanted but that was still with the 3k kit, so I can't tell you how to do the same thing w/o the 3k kit.
 
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