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  • February 2013 Postal Route

February 2013 Postal Route

Our Readers Write Back!

Feb 1, 2013
This and That
Your magazine is great. Two things:
Photo 2/4   |   1302dp 01 February 2013 Postal Route October 2012 Diesel Power Magazine Cover
1) Great article on 6.0L head gasket repair (Oct. ’12). Snap-on Tools makes a torque adapter tool (P/N srd35), which aids in loosening and tightening the head bolts. It was developed by a Ford tech.
2) In the Diesel Power Challenge story, you state that John Garner is from Mound, Minnesota. Then why does he have Washington state collector plates on his Ford truck? Was there a misprint on where he lives? Thanks and keep up the great work.
Greg McCreery
Auburn, Washington
Our understanding is that John had just moved from Seattle, Washington, to Mound, Minnesota. In fact, he had to drive from Minnesota to Washington to Colorado just to compete this year.
What’s The Year, Again?
If it weren’t for your mag, I probably wouldn’t spend nearly as much time in the “office.” I love it, and I usually read it cover to cover within days. Anyway, I just received the Sept. 2012 issue and noticed that on page 84 the title calls Rocky’s truck an ’07. Although I wish they still made trucks like they used to, they don’t. His truck is a ’97. Keep up the good work. I’m a Duramax guy, but I love reading the stories about all three. No matter which brand you think is best, we all need to stick together to better the diesel community.
Stephen Caudill
Pierceton, Indiana
Geography Test
In the Sept. 2012 issue in the Power Bits section under “Trash To Diesel,” you refer to Fayetteville, North Carolina, in Columbus County. Fayetteville is in Cumberland County not Columbus County.
Jake Martin
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Will They or Won’t They
Hello, I am writing this to respond to news I heard. Do you know if Mazda is going to bring the Skyactiv diesel over to consumer cars in America? I understand it’s racing them in LMP2 Class next year. Thank you, and great work. Diesel is the future.
Pete Guthrie
Raleigh, North Carolina
Currently, Mazda is marketing the 2.0L Skyactiv-G gasoline engine in the United States on the company’s CX-5 crossover, but as you note, the 2.2L diesel is for racers only. That is going to change soon, as we fully expect to see Skyactiv-D diesel engines in the showroom for the ’14 model year.
Banned Substances
I think your Diesel Power Challenge is a great thing. However, I think you need to exclude injectables (except for water). This makes your competition something besides diesel-powered trucks. All the pulling events I have anything to do with are with vehicles running diesel fuel only! Let’s exclude NOS next time and see how they do.
Chris Bandy
Seneca, Missouri
Chris, you bring up a great point and something we debate every year. Currently, we allow “injectables” because it is traditionally one of the most difficult aspects of competition to police and very easily concealed. By allowing it out in the open, we eliminate several potential problems.
Feel Better Now?
I’ve been a longtime subscriber to Diesel Power, but I’m quickly losing interest. I’m tired of all the lame articles of these wannabe everyday drivers you place in your magazine. Real people want to see real trucks doing what they were built for: working. I’m sick of seeing show trucks flaunted about as reliable workhorses. I tow a 17,000-plus-pound skidder with a single rear wheel 1-ton all the time. Is it legal? Probably not, but that’s a work truck. Head out to a farm or ranch and see what they do with their trucks. I want articles on real-world fixes, like the best U-joints, ball joints, etc. What about unit bearing fixes for Ford and Dodge? And who cares about horsepower? What intake system filters the best? Which ones are best for off-road? Give us real trucks, not some lame-ass office worker’s commuter ’cause he thinks his truck makes him look cool. It’s sad that the best section in your magazine is “Readers’ Diesels.” There’s an idea…do articles on them.
Graham Place
The Dalles, Oregon
Hidden Story
Hello, I am a two-year subscriber and have a question about the “This Month Online” department in your October 2012 issue. It lists a 600hp HEUI. Where would I find this on your website? I have tried to search and have had no luck. Any help?
Ryan Mickel
Sharon Springs, New York
On page 218 of the October 2012 issue, the “This Month Online” section says the Diesel Power website has an article on building a budget-friendly 600hp 7.3L Power Stroke with a rundown on all the parts and pieces. I’ve tried using the search function on your website but can’t seem to get to that article. Help!
Dave Daly
Homer, Alaska
We got quite a few emails on the whereabouts of this story. Sometimes, due to space, timing, or last-minute changes, the web stories won’t always reflect what we intended them to when the magazine went to print. However, the web story can be found here:
At this point, the OE cast-aluminum pistons are being coated to stand up to heat, the cam is a Gearhead Stage 1, and the heads are going to be modified by Unlimited Diesel Performance in Bremen, Ohio. It should be ready for assembly, dyno tuning, and a print article later this year.
Blowing Budgets
I have been finding your magazine on the newsstands for the past six months or so and have come to look forward to it. Great article on the supercharged diesel Banks is working on (Aug. ’12) and on your recent issues in general. However, coming late to this hobby and starting with a J-code 6.2L that I want to improve for torque and reliability in underdeveloped countries and remote areas (i.e. no programmers, computers, etc.), I have been having a hard time finding good tech articles these days.
Photo 3/4   |   1302dp 02 February 2013 Postal Route Diesel Engine
Please tell me you have done such a build on something other than a 5.9L Cummins, supercharged ideally (the whole ice, cold water/hot turbocharger thing doesn’t bode well for trip completion in the Canadian arctic). Recently, there have been a lot of 6.2L-equipped ex-military vehicles released and snapped up by budget-limited builders. Many of these trucks are being bought as first-time project vehicles by people more interested in low cost and reliability than stump-pulling power or drag racing.
Lets call the concept “Reliable Power,” not “Maximum Power” or “Pulling Power.” I’m sure it would be a well-received article!
Ken Lawson-Williams
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Great idea, Ken. This is something we’ve seen more and more interest in lately and an idea we just might explore in the future. There is a company in Australia that makes a diesel blower setup for the 6.5L and Duramax 6.6L diesels. Maybe they can help you with your project. Check out
Filtering To The End
I’ve noticed that on the Doomsday truck project, you all decided to use a K&N air filter. Wouldn’t a water-washable dry-media filter be a better and more “end of the world” friendly choice? I wouldn’t want to have to break out the K&N cleaner and oil then have to let it dry for 30 minutes. With the dry filter, it can be rinsed off with fresh water and shaken dry relatively quickly. Jake Miller
Iota, Louisiana
Great point, but we went with the K&N filter because it features proven, reusable filter technology.
Aussie Needs
Hi guys, I just sold my ’05 LLY Duramax-equipped Chevy 3500 dualie. My previous truck was a ’96 GMC 3500 with a 454ci petrol engine that was just too expensive to run. Now I am waiting for an ’11 LML dualie I ordered (we have to wait for conversion and all the jazz that goes on in Aus.).
We haul a 33-foot fifth-wheel at 5.3 tons running air brakes fed from an auxiliary system on the truck (it’s the law of our land). Because of the remoteness of Australia, I only run safe bolt-ons to trick up my truck, such as a Banks cold-air inlet or K&N and extra lighting. Can you suggest any other goodies without compromising the reliability? I plan to leave the DPF on and buy the juice. Is this a fair plan? I don’t want to poison the planet. How else can I increase the mileage?
Getting bolt-ons sent to Australia is tricky and expensive. Come on, America. There is a big market waiting. And while you are reading this, produce some righthand-drive trucks –we can’t get enough! The conversions here are generally poor and expensive but accepted at great extra cost. Hope this little ditty is of interest to you, cheers.
Doug McIntosh
Moonta-Bay, South Australia
Doug, very interesting to hear about how you guys use your trucks in Australia. One of the items not listed that we would recommend checking out is a water-methanol injection kit, such as the ones sold by Snow Performance ( Snow Performance tells us the company designed the kits to provide a noticeable boost in fuel economy.
Transmission Swap
Flipping through the July issue, in the “Dare to be Different” article, the owner of the 6.4L Power Stroke claims that the 4R100 is nearly a bolt-in swap with no adapters. How is this possible? A TorqShift cannot be put behind a 7.3L, so how can a 4R100 be put behind a 6.4L?
Shane Herold
Coarsegold, California
Anything is possible if you have the electronics to communicate between the two. And that’s what the PCS stand-alone transmission controller does. In high-horsepower applications, the 4R100, which has a great reputation when built up, is a great swap behind the 6.4L Power Stroke and could possibly become more and more common. Check out the PCS website:
And, to completely throw you through a loop, the 5R110 can be used behind the 7.3L. Just check out our friends at DeStroked: Not Stoked On Stroke
I read an article on the 6.0L Power Stroke, but can’t find the magazine. I have replaced head gaskets three times already and the last was with a special gasket that had stainless steel O-rings. I also have studs and an EGR cooler delete and need some real help.
Howard Gardella
Detroit, Michigan
Seems to us that you need to check the block surface and get the heads planed during these head stud installs, as it sounds like your block may not be straight. If that’s the case, you are looking at a new block. We’ve noticed that many shops don’t machine down the heads when doing this type of install, but it’s a MUST.
Big Ideas
I am a short-time subscriber to Diesel Power magazine and am interested in understanding more about diesel engines as they pertain to smaller vehicles. We take for granted that over-the-road trucks and heavy-duty pickups used for towing and hauling greatly benefit from both power and fuel economy by using diesel engines. My interest is in smaller vehicles, such as the proposed light-duty diesel in the Ram 1500 pickup and the upcoming BMW SUV, as well as many others.
Photo 4/4   |   1302dp 03 February 2013 Postal Route Tdi Badge
Much of what you publish in Diesel Power is for the more hardcore owner looking to maximize their truck’s performance, and this is fine for those people. However, I would really like to see an article or series of articles for the layman regarding the pros and cons of a small diesel, what to look for when purchasing one, what preventative maintenance is required vs. a gas engine, and something about determining if a diesel is really the best choice vs. a gas engine. More or less, I am looking for real info to help us consumers make an intelligent choice about our next vehicle.
I’m thinking of a new Ram 1500, if the small diesel is on the way, but I don’t know enough to make an intelligent decision whether or not this is a good choice for me instead of a gas engine. If this is something you have already done then please let me know what issues these stories were in and I can read them.
Bob Reed
Via email
You are really going to like what we have in store for 2013, as we are currently working on many of the things you are specifically asking about in your letter. There will be more basic tech, more light-duty stories (including cars, such as the Porsche Cayenne Diesel and Volkswagen Passat TDI), and more buyer’s guides to help you make an educated decision. While Diesel Power will still cater to our hardcore fans, overall you will see a slight shift, with the magazine going to exactly the places you suggest in your letter. The changes won’t come overnight, but you should have begun to notice a new feel with the magazine over the past few issues.
To all our readers, we thank you for your comments and compliments. Keep those emails and letters coming. Write to: Diesel Power, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245, or email us at


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