Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • |
  • |
  • 2015 Diesel Power Upgrades For New Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Ram Diesels

2015 Diesel Power Upgrades For New Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Ram Diesels

Level Up! New-Truck Performance Packages

Jul 2, 2015
Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers
One of the most frequent questions we get from the readers of Diesel Power is: “What can I do to improve the performance of my brand-new diesel truck?” People are excited to start modifying their rigs but often don’t know which parts are available, or where to start. That’s why we got in touch with representatives from three established companies to get their opinions on the best modifications for new-generation Chevrolet/GMC, Ford, and Ram diesel trucks. Here are their tips for three levels of upgrades:
1. Budget/Starter ($1,000 or less)
2. Weekend Warrior ($1,000 to $5,000)
3. Competition ($5,000 and up)
’11 to ’15 Chevrolet GMC Silverado Sierra 2500HD/3500HD
We contacted Jason Kuenkler, director of purchasing and logistics for Alligator Performance, to find out about the best products available for building up current-generation Duramax LML-equipped trucks. Here’s his advice:
1 Budget/Starter ($1,000 or less)
MotorOps Autocal Programmer... $799.00
Total... $799.00
“Retuning is one of the best bang-for-the-buck upgrades you can make, and without tuning, most future upgrades can’t be done.”
Photo 2/28   |   MotorOps Autocal Duramax Diesel Programmer
2 Weekend Warrior ($1,000 to $5,000)
MotorOps Autocal With Custom Tuning... $899.00 MBRP 3-inch Downpipe... $188.70
Flo-Pro 4-inch Aluminized Exhaust With Muffler... $378.00
Fass Titanium 150-gph Lift Pump... 611.80
Alligator Competition Transmission... $2,600.00
Total... $4,677.50
“Custom tuning allows your truck to take full advantage of upgrades. Installing a lift pump will help maintain a sufficient volume of fuel to the injection pump for higher performance applications. Also, the lift pump has external filters for better filtration than the stock Duramax filter.
“To remove the additional exhaust your diesel will be producing, a high-flowing MBRP 3-inch downpipe and Flo-Pro 4-inch exhaust can be used to maximize performance, reduce EGT, and improve fuel mileage.
“You can have all the power in the world, but if you don’t have a transmission to transfer it to the pavement, then it’s worthless! The Alligator Competition Transmission is good for everything from stock applications to fully built, 1,000-plus-horsepower applications.”
3 Competition ($5,000 and up)
MotorOps Autocal With Custom Tuning... $899.00
MBRP 3-inch Downpipe... $188.70
Flo-Pro 4-inch Aluminized Exhaust With Muffler... $378.00
Fass Titanium 150-gph Lift Pump... $611.80
Alligator Competition Transmission... $2,600.00
ATS Twin Fueler Kit, Including CP3 Injection Pump... $2,517.50
SDP Add-A-Turbo Compound Kit With S475... $3,850.00 Total... $11,045.00
“The ATS Twin Fueler kit adds a CP3 to the fueling system. The stock CP4 system is designed for higher pressures for better atomization, but it lacks the volume the CP3 has. Adding a CP3 to the mix provides the volume of fuel the injection system needs for keeping up with aggressive tuning and/or bigger injectors.
“The Screamin’ Diesel Performance Add-A-Turbo compound kit retains the stock turbocharger for maintaining variable-geometry functionality for overall better usability. The kit adds an S475 turbo for the $3,850 price, but SDP also offers other options, such as different S480 or billet-wheel upgrades. With this list of power mods and stock injectors, the Duramax LML can make 650 to 700 hp, and bigger injectors would obviously increase this horsepower number.”
’11 to ’15 Ford Super Duty F-250/F-350/F-450
To learn about the best upgrades for 6.7L Power Stroke–equipped Ford trucks, we consulted John O’Brien, the technical support manager for XDP. Here are his suggestions for each level of performance:
1 Budget/Starter ($1,000 or less)
Edge Products EvoHT 16030 Programmer... $349.00
AFE Magnum Force Stage-2 Pro 5R Air Intake System... $356.25
MagnaFlow 4-inch Filter-Back Aluminized Pro Series Exhaust System... $206.02
Total... $911.27
“Providing maximum fuel flow and engine protection while increasing performance and fuel efficiency are some of the main goals of late-model, 6.7L Power Stroke owners. The Edge EvoHT enables users to optimize an engine’s performance across the rpm band. The tuning on the Edge EvoHT is personalized for performance, economy, and towing with power gains up to 109 hp and 234 lb-ft of torque.
“Intake systems are one of the most common and least expensive performance modifications. The AFE air intake setup packs a solid 26 additional horsepower and 80 lb-ft of torque by outflowing the factory intake by up to 64 percent.
“Performance exhaust systems increase exhaust flow by eliminating the restrictive stock muffler, replacing crimped factory bends with smooth mandrel-bent tubing, and increasing the overall pipe diameter. The MagnaFlow Pro Series is a muffler-less aluminized steel design that allows for some customization, while keeping your factory emissions in place.”
2 Weekend Warrior ($1,000 to $5,000)
SCT 5015P Livewire TS+ Performance Programmer... $599.00
Banks Power Double-Shot Water-Methanol Injection System... $1,098.00
Mishimoto MMICP-F2D-11KBK Intercooler Pipe and Boot Kit... $540.00
MBRP XP Series 4-inch Filter-Back Exhaust With Downpipe... - $554.99
AirDog II-4G 165-gph Air/Fuel Separation System... $739.00
BD-Power Staging Limiter... $422.00
Total... $3,952.99
“The SCT 5015P programmer offers up to 88 hp and 101 lb-ft of torque on ’11 to ’12 applications and up to 135 hp and 151 lb-ft on ’13 to ’15 applications with shift-on-the-fly power level adjustments. The Livewire also offers a full-color, 4-inch touchscreen display that allows you to monitor more than 30 PIDs, read/clear DTS codes, and data-log your truck’s performance.
“The Banks Double-Shot system allows a user to map water-methanol injection directly to the demand of the engine for fuel efficiency along with increased power output. The kit comes with everything needed to increase horsepower, reduce EGT, and help improve one’s fuel economy on the street.
“This intercooler pipe and boot kit by Mishimoto eliminates restrictive bends in the factory pipe, allowing for improvements in airflow, power, and EGT. The kit also replaces the problematic factory cold-side intercooler pipe. The factory intercooler pipe is known to be very brittle and can literally burst while you’re driving down the road and leave you stranded.
“The MBRP 4-inch, stainless-steel, filter-back exhaust with downpipe has proven to lower exhaust temperatures and increase horsepower and torque without removing a truck’s stock emissions parts.
“The AirDog II-4G air/fuel separation system for the ’11 to ’15 Ford 6.7L Power Stroke is the next generation in the fuel delivery system. The compact AirDog II-4G provides the most effective technology designed specifically for diesel pickups to remove water, particulates, vapor, and entrained air from diesel fuel, all while increasing power and performance—and it supports 500 to 800 hp.
“BD Power’s Staging Limiter eliminates over- or under-boost launches. This easy-to-install module allows you to preset your best turbo boost or engine rpm launching parameters so you can focus your eyes on the lights. Keep holding your accelerator pedal on the floor then release your brake pedal for consistent launches.”
3 Competition ($5,000 and up)
AFE Mach Force XP 5-inch Race Exhaust System... $698.25
ARP 250-4301 Diesel Head Stud Kit... $718.26
Industrial Injection 6.7L Compound Kit... $4,250.00
Total... $5,666.51
“These upgrades are in addition to the ones already mentioned, considering those would already be in place at this level. The AFE Mach Force XP 5-inch exhaust is constructed of mandrel-bent, 409 stainless steel. This system is the perfect fit for someone who plans to unleash the full potential of his or her 6.7L Power Stroke.
“The ARP 250-4301 Diesel Head Stud Kit is a must-have upgrade for your ’11 to ’15 Ford Super Duty. The extra heavy-duty studs are rated at 220,000-psi tensile strength and provide the clamping force required to keep a 6.7L Power Stroke’s cylinder heads from lifting due to higher combustion pressures.
“The Industrial Injection 6.7L compound kit was the first setup to hit the market for the 6.7Ls. By complementing the factory turbocharger with an S474 turbocharger and everything needed for installation, all the engine’s airflow problems are resolved and open the truck up for some serious fueling upgrades. This kit works in a wide variety of configurations, from the everyday street truck to the all-out competition or race truck. Pair this with a set of Industrial’s upgraded injectors and high-performance CP4 injection pump, and you’d have yourself one heck of a powerhouse.”
Photo 17/28   |   ARP Diesel Head Stud Kit
’13 to ’15 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty
We talked with Josh Ullrich, onsite marketing manager for Diesel Power Products, and asked him for suggestions on upgrading ’13 to ’15 Ram diesels with the 6.7L Cummins engine. Here are his tips for each performance level:
1 Budget/Starter ($1,000 or less)
BD Power 68RFE PressureLoc... $95.00
Sprint Booster... $299.99
ATS Boost Fooler Kit... $66.27
S&B Cold-Air Intake System... $329.00
Total... $790.26
Photo 18/28   |   Sprint Booster Diesel
“The Sprint Booster uses a simple plug-and-play installation and reduces the throttle response lag notorious in most ‘drive by wire’ systems. It features a dash-mounted touchpad for three on-the-fly levels of adjustment. It enhances the throttle input signal directly at the throttle position sensor (located at the pedal in the cab) and doesn’t alter fueling, timing, or rail pressure.
“The BD Power 68RFE PressureLoc is a simple plug-and-play module that increases the main line pressure at idle and wide-open throttle to prevent slippage.
“Just as the name implies, the ATS Boost Fooler tricks the factory computer to allow for higher levels of boost. It easily plugs inline and does not require any ECM flash because it merely tricks the signal as it passes through the device.
“The S&B cold-air intake system works with factory Ram Active Air and includes an Active Monitoring Light that alerts you when the Ram Active Air is open. ISO 5011 test results show it provides a 54.6 percent improvement in airflow with both front and side inlets open, and it uses a cleanable, reusable filter. The increases in airflow result in improvements in horsepower, torque, and fuel economy, as well as reduced engine operating temperatures.”
Photo 19/28   |   SB Air Intake 6 7L Cummins
2 Weekend Warrior ($1,000 to $5,000)
Fleece Performance Engineering Injectors/Nozzles... $1,211.25
FASS Titanium Series 95-gph Fuel Air Separation System... $654.55
ATS Co-Pilot Transmission Pressure Controller... $1,116.25
Edge Juice With Attitude CTS2... $979.00
Glacier Diesel Power Fuel Filter Eliminator Bracket... $39.00
ARP Head Stud Kit... $470.74
Wicked Wheel 2 Turbo Upgrade... $229.00
Total... $4,699.79
“Even with the best tuning, the factory injectors are only capable of flowing so much fuel, resulting in a plateau of power building. Depending on the integrity of the factory injectors, you may be able to merely upgrade the nozzles with Fleece parts to attain the same benefits of complete injectors. Each injector/nozzle is balanced as a set to ensure they flow equally. They are available in 50hp-, 100hp-, and 200hp-over-stock, and the 50hp and 100hp will also typically result in an increase in fuel economy after some of the ‘fun’ wears off.
“The FASS Titanium offers greater fuel flow capability in comparison to a stock in-tank lift pump. It’s available in 95-, 150-, 220-, and 260-gph rates depending on fuel demand. The FASS separator removes entrained air for consistent fuel delivery and increased fuel economy and comes with a lifetime warranty.
“With the addition of the FASS fuel system, you can now rid yourself of the unsightly and bulky factory fuel filter by installing the Glacier Diesel Power Fuel Filter Eliminator Bracket. It bolts in the stock filter location and allows you to screw the factory return lines into each end to avoid having them merely zip-tied out of the way after the stock filter is removed.
Photo 20/28   |   Edge Attitude CTS2 Diesel Programmer
“The ATS Co-Pilot dynamically raises and lowers transmission line pressure for optimal shifting in any given situation (low or high load). This prevents notorious broken cases by keeping the low Reverse clutch engaged until Second gear (factory settings have this disengaging at 12 mph, and the sudden force is what typically causes the breakage).The Co-Pilot will not allow the torque converter to lock too early, causing excessive engine load, resulting in low boost and high EGT. It has four settings allowing on-the-fly adjustments for varying driving conditions and will prolong transmission life by lowering transmission temperatures and reducing clutch slippage.
“The new Edge Juice with Attitude CTS2 offers gains of up to 150 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque with six power levels of on-the-fly adjustability. The module also increases fuel economy and includes ‘Mileage Coach’ software that pairs with a brand-new, 5-inch, full-color, high-resolution touch-and-swipe screen that emulates the latest smartphone operation. The 5-inch monitor is not only a full monitoring system—it can be used as a backup camera or accelerometer, to run performance tests or data-log, and soooo much more!
“For those not quite ready to make the plunge to a complete replacement turbo or compound turbo kit, we’ve had great success with the Wicked Wheel 2 billet compressor wheel upgrade. This compressor wheel features a revised design that’s able to ‘grab’ more air than the factory wheel, forcing it into the engine. The lighter overall rotating mass also assists in low-end response to really get things moving when paired with the factory VGT function.
“With all this added performance, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way. A set of tried-and-true ARP head studs can mean the difference between a good day and a very bad day spent sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.”
3 Competition ($5,000 and up)
Hardway Performance Compound Turbo Kit... $4,250.00
Fleece Performance 10mm PowerFlo 750 Stroker CP3 Pump... $1,800.25
Hamilton Cams 178-208 DPF-Friendly Street Camshaft... $599.00
Hamilton Cams Valvesprings $399.00...
Fleece Performance Distribution Block With Regulated Return... $599.00
BD Power Staging Limiter... $422.00
ATS Twin Fueler Kit With CP3 Pump... $2,232.50
South Bend Clutch SFI-Rated Competition Dual-Disc Clutch... $1,940.00
BD Power 68RFE Performance Transmission With Billet Input Shaft... $4,575.00
Total (G56 manual transmission)... $12,241.75
Total (68RFE automatic transmission)... $14,876.75
Photo 24/28   |   BD Performance 68RFE Transmission Diesel
“The Hardway Performance Compound kit allows you to retain the factory variable-geometry turbo, meaning you keep your factory exhaust brake and the factory exhaust manifold can be retained. The kit adds a built Fleece Performance 72mm S400 turbo to the factory system. It’s easy to install compared to many other compound kits, because it doesn’t even require the factory turbo to be removed. For those demanding even more airflow than what this kit is capable of out of the box, you also have the option of upgrading the factory turbo utilized in this kit to something similar to the Fleece Cheetah VGT for superior airflow, while still retaining full VGT function to include exhaust braking.
“The Fleece Performance 10mm PowerFlo 750 Stroker CP3 pump starts life as a brand-new Bosch pump, not a remanufactured unit. It eliminates factory fuel restriction above 3,000 rpm and provides sufficient rail pressure to support 750-plus horsepower.
“The Hamilton Cams 178-208 DPF-Friendly Street camshaft is designed to drastically reduce exhaust gas recirculation by increasing incoming airflow. This leads to lower EGT, better mpg, and the cam profile is built specifically for a 6.7L. Valvesprings from Hamilton Cams use a beehive design and are a great complement when upgrading to an aftermarket camshaft.
“If you’re taking a manual-equipped Cummins to the next level, then you’ll need to upgrade to a clutch that can get you there. This SFI-approved Competition Dual Disc from South Bend features a 3,850-pound lever-type pressure plate for superior clamping force. Twelve Feramic buttons per side, coupled with the bronze/feramic-inserted flywheel, ensure maximum resistance to heat and slippage. This clutch is ideal for extreme sled pulling and is capable of supporting 900 hp and 1,400 lb-ft of torque.
“For automatic owners, BD has done extensive research to identify the failure points of the factory 68RFE and has engineered solutions to these issues. The transmission includes a billet input shaft, a heavy-duty finned transmission pan, and a ProTech68 control module.
“The Fleece Distribution Block with Regulated Return is the ultimate component when building a custom fuel system for high-performance needs. What this does is allow you to run a high pressure from your lift pump, but then regulate it before it reaches the CP3, giving you the ability to maintain fuel pressure, even at wide-open throttle. Without a regulated-return system, you have to run a higher idle pressure than typically desired, just so you can maintain your desired fuel pressure once you do reach WOT.
“The BD Power Staging Limiter allows for easy and consistent launches every time. It’s very simple to operate: you either choose your desired boost or rpm that you wish to launch at and program that into the Staging Limiter. Once the light changes, simply release the brake and you gain full control over the throttle.”
’14 to ’15 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
We get lots of emails from readers asking about performance modifications available for the new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, so we talked to Josh at DDP about the latest upgrades and this is what he told us:
“I spoke with Matt Snow, the owner of Snow Performance, about the company’s all-new Power-Max water-methanol injection kit for the EcoDiesel. Matt says the system is good for 50 additional horsepower and up to 2 additional mpg. The new high-definition OLED gauge looks great, uses the latest technology, and fits into any standard 2 1⁄16-inch gauge pod for a really clean installation.”
Photo 28/28   |   Snow Performance Water Methanol EcoDiesel Ram1500 Diesel


Xtreme Diesel Performance
Wall Township, NJ 07727
Alligator Performance
Diesel Power Products