Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • Dyno Tested: aFe Power Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack and Large Bore HD Exhaust

Dyno Tested: aFe Power Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack and Large Bore HD Exhaust

Wake-Up Call

Brian Lohnes
Apr 11, 2017
Photographers: Dave Nutting
The world of diesel-powered pickup trucks is well established and relatively stable, with Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Ram all sharing—well, battling for—overall prominence in the space. As Diesel Power readers, you know Nissan is the first company to enter the diesel-pickup marketplace in a long time, and the manufacturer has done it with not just any preexisting oil-burner, but a turbocharged 5.0L Cummins V-8. With a factory-rated 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque based around a tough chassis, the Nissan Titan XD is beefier than a typical ½-ton pickup but doesn’t quite fall in the ¾-ton category. The engine has its roots in the Cummins ISV5.0 but has been tweaked for the Titan. The biggest change is the addition of a Holset compound-turbocharger setup developed for this application.
Photo 2/27   |   Titan Burnout
AFE Power is the first major aftermarket manufacturer to step into the ring with performance parts and enhancements for the Titan XD, and when presented with the opportunity to test them, we were more than happy to oblige, installing parts and evaluating performance changes on the chassis dyno and experiencing how the upgrades transform the truck’s manners on the street. AFE Power calls its package the Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack, which includes its Momentum HD cold-air intake system and a Scorcher HD programmer. Along with that gear, we’re bolting on the company’s DPF-back, large-bore HD exhaust. AFE Power claims its upgrades improve the 5.0L Cummins’ horsepower by 60 and torque by a very stout 100 lb-ft, in only a few hours of easy installation time.

The Location and Crew

We gathered our ’17 Nissan Titan XD, the AFE Power components, and our crew at DMC Racing in Halifax, Massachusetts. DMC Racing is one of the nation’s premier drag race car constructors, and owner Dennis MacPherson isn’t used to seeing diesel pickup trucks in the dyno area at the back of his building. In fact, it was such a rarity that Dennis called Scott Hovey at Mass Diesel to properly set up the Dynojet chassis dyno to handle the Titan. Last but not least, Sean O’Hara of Street Diesel Performance in Connecticut arrived in the Titan with Tyler Brancifort (Tyler’s ’11 F-350 is featured in our January ’16 issue, trucktrend.com/features/1601-8000-pounds-of-awesome-2011-ford-f-350-super-duty-thats-got-it-goin-on/), having driven the truck 150 miles from their shop to DMC.

Initial Impressions and Baseline Data

As a couple of guys who spend their lives around high-performance diesel trucks, Sean and Tyler didn’t rave about the Titan XD’s stock performance. They say it isn’t terribly impressive on accelerative power either from a standstill or from a roll. However, they agree the truck is quiet, rides nicely, and gets good fuel economy, but in their opinion, the truck lacks power (for power mongers like Sean and Tyler, power is always lacking). In our baseline dyno run, the truck delivered 267 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The numbers align with the factory ratings, once driveline power loss from the six-speed automatic transmission and parasitic losses through the rear axle are taken into account. With a baseline established, it was time to test the merits of AFE Power’s new performance setup for the Titan XD.
Photo 3/27   |   Titan Stock Dyno

Cold Air, More Power

The first component Sean and Tyler are installing is the Momentum HD Pro 10R air-intake system. This upgrade is one of the more popular bolt-ons diesel truck owners add, so for AFE Power, it is important its cold-air system for the Nissan fits and performs well.
Following the supplied instructions makes the installation a snap, with only basic handtools required to remove the stock airbox and associated plumbing. The installed airbox can be used two different ways. A supplied plug blocks a forward-facing (and air-gathering) opening in the system, or you can install the air scoop that is included in the Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack. The snorkel-style scoop (also available as an option) is designed to fit perfectly into a space at the leading edge of the hood and funnel cold air to the large Pro 10R filter.
If you’re deliberate and careful, adding the scoop takes about 30 minutes, especially when swapping the factory sensors from the stock air intake to the Momentum HD. It is a simple process, but any time there is electronic hardware involved, it is always best to treat it with caution.
On the chassis dyno, we tested the new airbox with the plug installed first, then made pulls with the snorkel in place. While the gains without the snorkel are minimal, performance with the scoop is notable. Power rose to 274 hp and torque increased to 441 lb-ft.
Photo 4/27   |   Titan Air Intake

Filter-Back Exhaust Flow

The one “add-on” to our Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack is AFE Power’s Large Bore HD DPF-back exhaust. We’re using the large 5-inch mandrel-bent system with the handsome 6-inch black tip. AFE Power claims this system flows 65 percent more than the stock exhaust and its mandrel bends reduce turbulence and help with maintaining lower EGT, as well as being friendlier in terms of horsepower and torque production.
Obviously, the major restrictions in the exhaust are upstream of what we are installing, so we’re curious to see what gains—if any—are to come from the filter-back system. Since our test truck is brand-new and there are no corrosion or “old truck” problems to deal with, the factory system comes off in a matter of minutes and the AFE system replaces the stock tube in the reverse order.
While we were curious about gains that adding the exhaust promotes, there wasn’t any extreme surprise when Titan’s 5.0L Cummins engine gained only 1 hp (to 275 hp) in its next run on the rollers. However, the engine picked up 6 lb-ft of torque (447). The sound was slightly richer with the larger-diameter pipe as well.
Photo 5/27   |   Titan Exhaust

Plug-and-Play Tuning

We knew going into this project the major gains would be made with the Scorcher HD module. It is a plug-and-play programmer that features a small, single-button controller that allows the user to switch between Stock, Sport, Sport-Plus, and Race options on the fly. There is no cutting and splicing of wires or any alterations made to the factory wiring harness. It can be removed without a trace and the installation process is easy. The Scorcher plugs into the MAP sensor and the fuel-pressure sensor and does its tuning work through them. The MAP sensor is located directly on top of the Cummins’ intake manifold, with the fuel-pressure sensor being a little more challenging to reach, under the EGR valve on the side of the engine. The stock-style connectors work great, and the most time is spent finding a good mounting location for the module and cleanly routing the wires. We were genuinely excited to see how much power the truck would gain with the Scorcher HD module installed, so we began making pulls and saw the following peak results:
Stock: 274 hp and 439 lb-ft
Sport: 287 hp and 459 lb-ft
Sport-Plus: 309 hp and 491 lb-ft
Race: 324 hp and 518 lb-ft
Photo 6/27   |   Titan Scorcher Race Tune

Impressions on the Overall Package

In our test, the Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack and Large-Bore HD exhaust delivered the exact power gains AFE Power claims. The products install easily and everything we accomplished (with the exception of dyno testing) can be completed by the average truck owner in his or her driveway in just a couple of hours. According to Street Diesel Performance’s Sean and Tyler, the package makes the truck a lot more entertaining to drive, without compromising any of the things that make the Titan XD the well-regarded rig it is. The guys say the cruise back to Connecticut was far more impressive in terms of power than the ride to the shop was. When they finally calmed down and rolled in stock mode, the truck delivered the same levels of economy it did at the outset of the project.
In the past, old-school diesel enthusiasts had to bleed and spend long hours under or on top of their rigs to add 60 hp and more than 100 lb-ft of torque. In this modern era of the hobby, all we needed were a couple of fun hours with our buddies to make this Titan a lot more capable and fun to drive—and we did it all without emitting a single soot cloud in the DMC Racing dyno cell. AFE Power has developed a solid package that meets our expectations in every way.
Photo 7/27   |   Here’s the collection of AFE Power parts we hope will wake up our ’17 Nissan Titan XD. The AFE Momentum HD air intake, Scorcher HD module, and large-bore, post-DPF exhaust are set for making our 5.0L Cummins-powered truck a lot more fun to drive.
Photo 8/27   |   We strapped the truck down to the Dynojet chassis dyno at DMC Racing in Halifax, Massachusetts, and recorded a baseline of 267 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. When a 15 percent adjustment is made for the truck’s drivetrain (transmission, driveshaft, and rearend), the numbers support Cummins’ engine-dyno ratings of 310 hp and 555 lb-ft.
Photo 9/27   |   This is the AFE Power Momentum HD air-intake system. Everything here is included when it is purchased as part of the Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack. The snorkel-style ram-air scoop is optional. The filter is an oiled Pro 10R element that flows 1,000 cfm.
Photo 10/27   |   The truck’s stock sensors are removed and retained for reinstallation with the Momentum HD intake. Basic handtools are necessary and anyone with a driveway (or even a parking space) and general mechanical skills can perform this job.
Photo 11/27   |   AFE Power provides clear and detailed installation instructions with all its products. Directions are also available online in the event you misplace the paper copy. There are plenty of photos included that can help guide you if you ever get stuck.
Photo 12/27   |   In this photo, Street Diesel Performance owner Sean O’Hara has the Momentum HD system set in place and is checking the fitment of the tubing before locking down the clamps. The air filter resides in the large airbox with a clear top.
Photo 13/27   |   Note the plug in the front of the airbox. That’s where the ram-air-style snorkel fits. The snorkel is included with the Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack. However, it can also be ordered individually.
Photo 14/27   |   Here’s a better look at that snorkel we mentioned and the instructions for properly locking it down. We saw small power gains with the air-intake system alone and then a far more significant increase with it. A new total of 274 hp and 435 lb-ft has us on our way to making the Titan XD more powerful.
Photo 15/27   |   This is how the snorkel looks installed. As good as the power gain we recorded on the dyno is, we can imagine that on the highway at 70 mph on a cool day, you’ll really feel some additional scoot.
Photo 16/27   |   This 5-inch, mandrel-bent, stainless steel tubing flows more than 65 percent better than the stock pipes, according to AFE’s engineers. We’re adding the cool 6-inch black tip as well.
Photo 17/27   |   Sean O’Hara of Street Diesel Performance removes the stock exhaust system as one piece. Using a brand-new truck makes the exhaust removal and installation process incredibly easy.
Photo 18/27   |   Here’s a comparison between the factory exhaust and AFE Power’s much larger exhaust system. While we are working “downwind” of the DPF, the larger-diameter pipe should enhance the engine sound.
Photo 19/27   |   The new exhaust includes high-quality clamps and hardware. The tailpipe hanger mounts in the stock rubber frame receiver, making installation a snap.
Photo 20/27   |   Factory-style locating notches are incorporated in the exhaust tubing to ensure it is properly aligned.
Photo 21/27   |   Finished off with a 6-inch tip, the AFE Power exhaust setup definitely looks much better than stock. It also sounds better, and it actually does make a little more power over the original exhaust pieces. We picked up 1 hp and 10 lb-ft over the stock system.
Photo 22/27   |   This AFE Power Scorcher HD module is the key to unlocking the full potential of the 5.0L Cummins V-8. Designed to install with no cutting or permanent link to the truck, the programmer features four separate power settings.
Photo 23/27   |   After locating a spot in the engine bay for securing the module, Tyler Brancifort of Street Diesel Performance runs the Scorcher HD module’s small wiring harness to the MAP and fuel pressure sensors.
Photo 24/27   |   The stock-style connector plugs in between the MAP sensor and the plug. With the MAP sensor on the top of the engine, this is the easier of the two connections to make. OEM-style connectors on the Scorcher HD module’s wiring harness ensure the connections are weather-sealed and will last for a very long time.
Photo 25/27   |   The one-button controller can be mounted virtually anywhere and allows the driver to switch on the fly between Stock, Sport, Sport-Plus, and Race calibrations.
Photo 26/27   |   This light on the controller indicates which performance setting is being used. We saw our ’17 Nissan Titan XD’s power leap from 271 hp and 439 lb-ft of torque with the module set in the Stock mode to more than 324 hp and 532 lb-ft in Race mode. Sport and Sport-Plus also provided solid gains over the truck’s initial baseline of 267 hp and 428 lb-ft.
Photo 27/27   |   With just a few hours of work under our belt, we had transformed this Titan from a rather mundane stocker to a very fun to drive rig that has more torque for towing and hustles down the road at lot better than it did before we started our project. The AFE Power Momentum Scorcher HD Combo Pack and large-bore exhaust lives up to our expectations.

Sources

AFE Power
Corona, CA 92879
951-493-7155
http://www.afepower.com
DMC Racing
Halifax, MA 02338
781-294-7200
dmcracing.com
Mass Diesel Performance
508-657-1951
massdiesel.com
Street Diesel Performance
860-250-6082
streetdieselperformance.com

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP