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  • December 2009 Postal Route - Letters to the Editor

December 2009 Postal Route - Letters to the Editor

Blackhawk Crew Chief Looking For A Weekday Warrior, Biodiesel Statements, & More!

Diesel Power Staff
Dec 1, 2009
To all our readers, we thank you for your comments and compliments. Keep those emails and letters coming. Write to: Diesel Power, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, or email us at
Daily Driver For a Weekday Warrior
I am a Blackhawk crew chief in the U.S. Army and i'm currently stationed overseas. Prior to moving, I owned a '99 F-350 with the 7.3L Power Stroke. I installed a K&N air filter and Edge Juice performance module. I was getting up to 23 mpg on the highway. When I got my orders for overseas duty, I decided to sell the truck rather than store it for 21/2 years. I am looking to buy a new VW Jetta TDI with a manual transmission upon my return to the States. Do you have any plans to feature this vehicle in your magazine with an article or two dealing with aftermarket performance parts? I know there is a lot out there for these cars, and I would love to see a few articles about the TDI. This vehicle gets great fuel economy, and I would love to see how much more it can get with the right parts-as well as how much more power it could produce!
SPC Steven Gallaher
Blackhawk Crew Chief
Photo 2/4   |   diesel Power december 2009 Postal Route black Hawk
P.S. The UH-60 Blackhawk has two GE T-701 turbine engines that run on JP-8. Each turbine produces more than 1,600 hp.
Photo 3/4   |   diesel Power december 2009 Postal Route diesel VW
We'll be launching a Diesel Car department next month, and our first installment will deal exclusively with VWs.
Biodiesel Correction
In your Oct. '09 issue, you have a story titled "Tactical Biodiesel" in which you feature some of the work Organic Valley Farm is doing with biodiesel. You ran a picture of a BioPro 380 automated biodiesel processor, but you incorrectly indicate Utah Biodiesel Supply makes the machine. It does not. The BioPro 380 is made by Springboard Biodiesel ( in Chico, California. We are the only manufacturer of the BioPro line of biodiesel processors. We work hard to build our trademarked product and corporate brands, and this mistake is an unnecessary obstacle to our consistent marketing efforts.
Mark Roberts, CEO, Springboard Biodiesel
Chico, California
Bio(Fat) Fuel
I read the article "Tactical Biofuels" (Oct. '09) and found it very interesting. I wanted to share another company name with you that you may, or may not be aware of. Changing World Technologies converts meat processing plant waste into diesel. Its website is I just wanted to throw this out there for a possible future article. I drive an '01 Dodge Ram with a 24-valve Cummins, and ever since owning a diesel, I couldn't care less if I never buy gasoline again.
Michael Niles
Manlius, New York
The Good of The Many
Given all the frivolous lawsuits concerning air pollution, I think it is pretty irresponsible of Diesel Power to continue to feature photos of trucks belching out plumes of black smoke. You should be encouraging people to run clean, or just don't show the pictures of the clouds. Follow the principle of out of sight, out of mind, or the next thing you know, Big Brother is going to clamp down on our industry. Don't help the few ruin it for the many.
Seattle, Washington
Black, smoking diesels are quickly becoming obsolete for two reasons: because they can, and because they have to. Diesel Power's position is that we all need to run as clean as possible for the most power and the best fuel economy.
Go Easy On Us
I love your magazine, but I have to bust your chops on a few things in the Oct. '09 issue. In your "Big Sky Nationals" article you said Industrial Injection helped you fix a tire on your loaner car. Why were you driving that beater Honda in the photo in the first place? Second, why don't you have a fuel pressure gauge installed in your 24-valve Cummins truck ("Midwest Tour: Stop Three")? That should be one of the first modifications on any performance diesel. Third, The "50 Reasons Diesel is the Ultimate Fuel" has many redundancies and repeats. You could have boiled it down to two reasons: diesel's performance and efficiency kick ass!
Jim McCabe
Cape Coral, Florida
Small Diesels Return
I picked up the Oct. '09 issue, hoping to see a preview of the new Mahindra pickup but instead saw the Smaller is Better letter in Postal Route. I have to say I totally agree with Mr. Lawrence Neuser's letter. We will see diesel get big when the vehicles and engines get small. Your response to the letter also caught my attention. You said that the Mahindra would be the first small diesel pickup sold in North America. Have you forgotten the VW oil-burner from the '80s?
Jeff Bequette
Via email
3,100 hp?
In your "Show 'n' Race" article (Oct. '09) there is a picture of the Smoking Gun drag semi. The article says it has a 3,100hp 8V92 Detroit Diesel engine. I work for a Detroit Diesel dealership in Alberta, Canada, and a few of the guys at work can't see this as being as good as it sounds. We were wondering if you had any build sheets or dyno charts on this truck? We're a little skeptical that the engine is making that much power.
Kevin McKenna
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Photo 4/4   |   diesel Power december 2009 Postal Route detroit Diesel
Technically, you're right. We got more than a few letters from readers pointing out the small diesel pickups that were, in fact, sold in the United States in the '80s. We were referring to the launch of modern diesel compact pickups. And trust us, when you drive the new trucks, you'll gladly forget about every compact diesel truck sold here 25 years ago.
Our resident drag racer, Jason Sands, agrees with you that 3,000 hp seems on the high side, even for an 8V92. When we contacted the Smoking Gun's owner, Mr. Gord Cooper, he was gracious enough to give us some details on the build. He explained that there's no way for him to dyno the engine, so he's estimated the power output based on the amount of fuel and nitrous he's injecting.
Fear No Biodiesel
I own an '05 Ford F-250 with a 6.0L Power Stroke diesel. I'm concerned that the fuel stations in this part of the country may be mixing biodiesel in with regular diesel fuel. I'm never sure what I am getting and fear the fuel I'm buying could be as much as 5 to 20 percent biodiesel. My Ford dealer says not to use more than 5 percent biodiesel. What kind of changes would have to be made on my truck to use higher percentages of biodiesel fuel?
Phil Coffman
Lemont , Illinois
You don't need to change anything. It seems that the reality of biodiesel is that as long as you are buying a commercial-grade diesel fuel product, your engine and injection system won't know the difference if the fuel contains up to 20 percent biodiesel.
Diesel H.O.
Last week a buddy and I were discussing the new ZR1 Corvette and threw around the idea of a factory-tuned twin-turbo nitrous-injected performance diesel option direct from the factory. I am a Duramax guy at heart, even though I currently own a moderately modified '04 6.0L Power Stroke. But the idea of having Ford, Dodge, and GM produce a performance-oriented diesel pickup is phenomenal. I understand there is something to be said about building a performance truck yourself, but to be able to order one from the factory would be all it takes for those who do not have the time or knowledge to personally modify their pickup. I think an option like that could excite quite a lot of buyers.
Matt Atkinson
Clinton, Wisconsin
That's a great idea, and one that we've been pushing on the OEMs for almost four years now. The auto industry crash slowed a lot of those types of performance programs, but fear not, our engineering contacts are still excited by the possibilities of diesel performance.
More 6.0L Problems
I worked as a technician at a Ford dealer for sometime, and we had several (and I do mean several) cases where customers would bring in 6.0L trucks with broken crankshafts. It seems like all of the engines had about 150,000 miles on them when the cranks failed. All of the trucks appeared to be stock, and all were fixed under warranty, but I felt it was an issue that your readers would probably be interested in. I'm a Ford enthusiast, but the 7.3L had far fewer problems than the 6.0L, and reliability makes up for extra noise and lack of power in my book.
Thomas Gillispie
Bassett, Virginia



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