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Old 07-15-2012, 09:48 PM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
Dodge Ram Forum Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western N.C.
Age: 63
Posts: 240
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 1998.5 Dodge 2500HD 4x4
Trim Level: SLT Laramie
Color: Black
Engine: 1998-1998 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 24-valve Diesel I6 235hp 420lb/ft (manual), 215hp 420lb/ft(auto)
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Originally Posted by KR15 View Post
according to the stats ive read, my 01 2500 cummins is around 210-230 i believe (less than 300 guaranteed). i was wanting to up my total horsepower output to around 400 to 475ish tops.

what are some safe options for someone on a tight budget?
K&N air filter, free-flowing exhaust, Edge boost elbow.

or at least what would i be looking at costwise to achieve that kind of HP gain? how much (if any) mpg's will i loose? and will it shorten the life span of something like the injector pump, or anything else vital or extremely expensive?
You're #1 problem is the Bosch VP44 injector pump & if yours hasn't already failed it will -- it's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when & I recently got my 3rd (I said 4th in an another earlier post but that was a mistake). All 1998.5 thru 2001 24-valve Dodge/Cummins trucks came with those pumps -- in 2002 they changed the fuel system completely & did away with that pump. Yes, you can switch to the newer system -- last I checked it would cost around $4500 (& that was several years ago).

But lucky for us there is now a solution -- you've no doubt seen the long, high-roof Freightliner "Sprinter" vans (also sold by Dodge & Mercedes) -- FedEx & other companies use 'em & they came with a 3.7L Mercedes V-6 diesel, but with the very same VP44 piece-of-junk pump. The problem is heat cycles & vibration on the computer & the fact that the Gov't. outlawed lead in solder -- the computer part of the pump heats up / cools down over & over again as you use your truck & the solder joints start to break loose. There's no way of fixing that problem either.

However, when the Freightliner vans started breaking down all over North America, evidently they gave Bosch an earful & Bosch re-designed the computer, making a "heavy duty" version for Frieghtliner that would withstand heat & vibration -- 2 killers of electrical circuits. To the best of my knowledge you cannot get the upgraded pump from Dodge but you can get it from Blue Chip Diesel in New Hampshire & there are probably other vendors / rebuilders who sell them (no affiliation w/ Blue Chip, just a happy customer). The top-of-the-line version is what I got & it costs $2150 -- yes you can get a rebuilt stock unit for about 1/2 that, but then you'll be right back where you started -- with a pump that you KNOW will fail someday.

Now then, once you get the injection pump issue taken care of, you can get larger injectors from different sources & I'm going to get the ones for the motorthome (275 HP) engine direct from Cummins rather than aftermarket -- my truck lasting another 14 years & longer is a lot more important to me than tire-smoking HP. Last I checked those injectors run about $600.

Then you can get a larger turbocharger & of course change the exhaust, the best trick there being a new turbo outlet / wastegate setup with a 4" outlet -- not a 3" outlet then sticking a 4" (or larger) pipe on, but a bigger outlet to begin with. Since exhaust speed is even more important than flow & for now I really don't need more flow, I just took the stock exhaust off from the front pipe back, put on a 3" straight-thru muffler & with two 45º mandrel-bent elbows, turned the exhaust out the right side in front of the rear tire -- that's the least restrictive & easiest to make setup for the stock turbo -- adding a 4" pipe really doesn't do anything as the turbo itself limits the flow, but you can speed it up.

I also have the Edge "boost elbow" which allows more boost (to the intake manifold) & makes it come on quicker too -- a nice simple part change for $27 that actually works! Also, there are replacement necks for the intake manifold -- to smooth out the flow from the intercooler hose into the manifold -- that's next on my list & since they cost about $300 I'm going to make one.

and last, but not least, are they things that someone with general mechanical know how could do or would i need a professional to install them?
The injector pump is a pain to work with but if you've got some good tools & general mechanical / electrical experience you can replace that yourself -- you'd want to change the "lift pump" too & that's not a big job -- as long as that pump is external (mine is) & not inside the fuel tank. The injector change is quite a job & that one you might want to have done, but I think everything else (exhaust, intake, etc.) is pretty straightforward.

Cummins pulled 1100 HP from an ISB Cummins stuck in a Dakota & run @ the Bonneville salt flats (world's fastest stock-bodied truck - well over 200 mph several years ago) so going crazy with the engine can be done, but it helps when you've already got a factory full of parts & engineers handy! But realistically, unless you can afford to replace the injector pump often, or spend $4500 to do away with it, going to a "common rail" setup, with the upgrade Frieghtliner pump & a setup that will hold together for a long time, I think 375-400 HP is realistic & if I end up with 350 HP / 700 tq. I'll be happy. More HP gets you from 60 mph to 100 (or more) -- torque is what gets you from 0-60, up the long hill, pulls the trailer, etc.
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"One of the problems with 'majority rule' is the majority is usually wrong." -- Thomas Jefferson

Last edited by ArtNJr; 07-15-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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