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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

My truck is a 2006 Ram 3500 that runs awesome. My only gripe is that I get a bit of black smoke before boost builds (leaving red lights and such). I live at 7000ft and really only notice this issue above like 4000-5000ft. My truck did not have a catalytic converter when I bought it, just a 4” exhaust with a no-name muffler. Would adding a CAT help with the smoke?
 

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Don't get under the turbo from a dead stop.
 

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Doubt it. If so it would be minimal and only be a degredation to performance so no reason. Make sure your air filter is clean. The ultimate solution would be custom tuning to dial in the fueling.
 

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On the 3rd Gens, Cat still smokes, maybe a bit less than without a Cat.

If the truck is towing, all the suet burn/blows out and virtually no smoke with or without a Cat.

I'm careful not to roll smoke on folks. Still when I first accelerate onto the interstate it smokes some. On the shifts a puff. After that, virtually no smoke.

If someone is impatiently tailgating, I might accommodate them and accelerate. If it smokes, oh well.

Tune can improve this issue to some extent.
 
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I live at 874 ft. elevation. My 05 has 4" exhaust with catalytic converter, but no muffler. I am slow to accelerate as I row through my gears. My truck will put out a little smoke while I get up to speed. It's more noticeable when it's dark outside with headlights from another car behind me.

When I was in Colorado Springs a couple years go, my truck was dumping black smoke while I was accelerating. I thought something was wrong with my truck and checked all the air intake boots, and connectors from the air filter to the intake horn. I was convinced boost was leaking from somewhere. No issues were found and by the time I got down to a lower elevation, everything was fine again.

But you would think that you could reprogram the truck to tell it that it is at a higher elevation.
 
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Hey all,

My truck is a 2006 Ram 3500 that runs awesome. My only gripe is that I get a bit of black smoke before boost builds (leaving red lights and such). I live at 7000ft and really only notice this issue above like 4000-5000ft. My truck did not have a catalytic converter when I bought it, just a 4” exhaust with a no-name muffler. Would adding a CAT help with the smoke?

Any other mods to your engine?

I've had the cat off my truck and then reinstalled it.
I cant recall if the smoke was reduced with the cat installed but the drone and smell definitely were.
With the cat installed, I can definitely throw a ton of smoke if I crank up my Smarty programmer and if I lug the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any other mods to your engine?

I've had the cat off my truck and then reinstalled it.
I cant recall if the smoke was reduced with the cat installed but the drone and smell definitely were.
With the cat installed, I can definitely throw a ton of smoke if I crank up my Smarty programmer and if I lug the engine.
It’s a stock rebuild (60k miles on it now), new stock injectors at rebuild, Glacier Diesel intake horn because the stock one cracked and the GDP intake was the only thing I could find in stock. It has an “optimized stock” tune to reduce EGTs and that helped with the smoke some. Like I said, it only happens at high altitude. Also I change my air filter every oil change.
 

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Any other mods to your engine?

I've had the cat off my truck and then reinstalled it.
I cant recall if the smoke was reduced with the cat installed but the drone and smell definitely were.
With the cat installed, I can definitely throw a ton of smoke if I crank up my Smarty programmer and if I lug the engine.
Mine would smoke like a banshee at 7000' in Mammoth. I almost set it back to stock with my Smarty and it was on #3 default. In San Diego I would warm the engine up thoroughly and make a half dozen runs and blow soot out of the cat. That was with a Smarty. It was reduced with EFI.
 

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The cats on the 97s, like I had, didn't stop the smoke and they would even plug up on stock trucks. Say what you want about chips but the PMCR on my 03 had adjustable hp, tq, rp, timing etc. and I could tune out the smoke and still have good towing and great top end power. Exactly the same with the Ultra on my 12. I'm at 4700' and usually go up higher and I have the low end tuned so I can't make it smoke even if I try. It's kinda like it senses the boost and knows, the way I have it setup. I have to keep my rpm up to ~1900 but it does a great job, then, and I'm not worried about my studs or trans. You need more tuning adjustments to clear up the smoke whether it's custom or something like I've used. I hate smoke!
Another plus is... I can tune for the lowest egt and best mpg.
 

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While its no cure, it will help some... blanket the exhaust manifold and turbo. Once there is heat in the exhaust the turbine will spool up a tad bit quicker which will reduce the smoke some. The other thing you could do is the not so cheap airbox mod v3. Last time I was at 7k feet I had the cheap airbox mod v1, the valve on the bottom of the box. With it closed it smoked so bad up there, so much so I almost turned around. Opened up the vent and smoke was reduced noticeably so I motored on. The V3 version is tied to boost, anytime boost is over ~6 psi the valve opens and flows more air into the airbox. V4 is in the works with a larger valve. Current is 3".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I should mention that I run the 4” Wix air filter in the stock air box. Could that restrict airflow too much and contribute to this issue?
 

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No, wont contribute to it. ONe other thing that will is degraded cam & crank sensors... swap those with OEM Cummins sensors ($25 ea, same p/n). We have seen them degrade and I believe that it is artifically advancing timing. This WILL show up as smoke if they are degraded enough. When I swapped mine, my tune was dialed in prior to the swap. After the swap the timing was off enough for me to have to go back and re-tune it.
 

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The cats on the 97s, like I had, didn't stop the smoke and they would even plug up on stock trucks. Say what you want about chips but the PMCR on my 03 had adjustable hp, tq, rp, timing etc. and I could tune out the smoke and still have good towing and great top end power. Exactly the same with the Ultra on my 12. I'm at 4700' and usually go up higher and I have the low end tuned so I can't make it smoke even if I try. It's kinda like it senses the boost and knows, the way I have it setup. I have to keep my rpm up to ~1900 but it does a great job, then, and I'm not worried about my studs or trans. You need more tuning adjustments to clear up the smoke whether it's custom or something like I've used. I hate smoke!
Another plus is... I can tune for the lowest egt and best mpg.
What's a PMCR?
 

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The TST Products PMCR is what Mark Chappell came up with for the CRs starting in 03. It’s SOTF and the interface module was small enough to mount on top of my steering column. It’s a chip but with adjustment capabilities.
 

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The TST Products PMCR is what Mark Chappell came up with for the CRs starting in 03. It’s SOTF and the interface module was small enough to mount on top of my steering column. It’s a chip but with adjustment capabilities.
I remember now. It's used through '06.
 
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