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Old 12-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
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Diesel engines and gauges

Here is a question for people towing with trucks with diesel engines. Has anyone installed after market gauges? Pyrometer, Boost or transmission temperature gauges. Has anyone actually saved their engine or tranny because they had these gauges installed?
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:36 AM   #2
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Let me ask another question, how many do you know that have died because they didn't have gauges to warn them? Don't get me wrong, I'm a mechanic, and gauges are great, but the manufacturers don't put them in because in most instances the computer is doing the monitoring and will trip a light somewhere. Ford used to flash the OD (overdrive) light for tranny temp. Not sure on current models, as I am retired. If you have the money and wan to put them in, sure, go for it. I don't think it is needed, but it is your checkbook you are using.

One other note, diesel exhaust temp will be fine, unless you alter the computer program, and change the boost pressure. Then you might want the gauges.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
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Most of the info you want is available via the OBDII port, just get either a good reader or something like a Diablo tuner and you can use it as a monitor.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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It would help if you let us know what truck your inquiring gauges for.
The 2 responses so far are for newer diesels, 96-up OBDII compliant. My pre-computer aged diesel survives on gauges. EGT's being the most valuable, coolant temp, turbo boost psi, followed by trans temp. Pulling any long grades require monitoring and adjustments of the accelerator to keep all the numbers where I want them.
If you have a chip or more commonly an aftermarket programmer, you want to monitor your EGT's. Running the engine over 1200*f EGT for a period of time will deteriate and melt the top of the pistons.
For fuel economy, if you monitor your boost pressure keeping it low as possible saves fuel.
Most of your trucks with "idiot lights" are warnings that in reality it is to late to resolve the problem.
To wrap it up, a stock truck would probably be fine w/o gauges, any mods like programmers the gauges may save you from a melt down and a huge repair bill. I'd recommend on a newer diesel a programmer that offers a gauge display.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=87CrewDually;149461]It would help if you let us know what truck your inquiring gauges for.
The 2 responses so far are for newer diesels, 96-up OBDII compliant. My pre-computer aged diesel survives on gauges. EGT's being the most valuable, coolant temp, turbo boost psi, followed by trans temp. Pulling any long grades require monitoring and adjustments of the accelerator to keep all the numbers where I want them.

It is a 2008 Ram Cummins 6.7 liter. EGT--deleted. Stock exhaust--deleted. 5" exhaust from turbo back, with FloPro muffler. Smarty programmer, running SW#2 (towing), with all options on default.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
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Copy from post #2 "One other note, diesel exhaust temp will be fine, unless you alter the computer program, and change the boost pressure. Then you might want the gauges. "

Since you have altered things, you may want/need the gauges.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #7
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Depends on your truck.

My 98 is OBDII.

It does not monitor EGT's, nor does it care about ECT.

You can run it up to 1200+F in egt's and scorch past 220F in coolant on the stock PCM hauling up hills. Mountains can be worse, it'll top 1400 easily. Stock.

While the engine won't drop dead at first, you cut the life cycles of the engine by over temping them.

The generally accepted sustained values for my truck is 210 ECT and 1100 F egt.

My powertrain is not stock anymore either. The list is far too long to itemize here.

My modified truck manages towing and egt's better than the stock setup. But I've modified my truck for towing, not lots of power.

Here's my interior:



The lower console is a photochop of when I was working out the layout.

IN the upper dash is boost and EGT.

The lower console is lift pump pressure, trans temperature and engine oil temperature.

There are actually only three gauges in the lower console. the 4th gauge spot is where my Devils Own water injection controller is mounted:



That's the closest picture I currently have of it's finished state.

I also built a repeater panel with warning lights controlled by the gauges:



Again, that's a photochop. Closest picture I have to the finished one:

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e2...l/DSC03887.jpg

The warning lights tick off a light for items such as EGT (comes on at 1050F) so I don't have to look down to know I'm reaching a limit. Some other ones are low level in my water tank, WIF on my prefilter, over boost, etc....

Lastly, my brake controller which also displays volts:



Currently thinking of places to get IAT, differential temps, transfer case temps, etc into the interior as well.

The touch screen is a back up camera, but it will soon display a car computer which will be hooked up to an OBDII interface. I have a program called "DASHCOMMAND" which will let me create my own guages and display whatever PID I define, as long as my truck supports it.

I fly helicopters for a living, I like to know exactly what my machines are doing......
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:31 PM   #8
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Gauges

Great white, that is an impressive interior. The problem I would have with your set up is when I started my engine and finished checking all the gauges it would be time for a nap! I do understand where you are coming from though. Being a helicopter pilot you know the importance of gauges and what they are protecting, then climbing into a truck with minimal gauges must leave a vulnerable feeling in your stomach.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Very nice job great white, looks very professional.

Something simple for you Bill would be to go with an Edge Insight, I've heard good things about them.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:58 AM   #10
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Scan Guage II is the best bang for the buck in my opinion. Can be found at Amazon and most Auto Zone's. Provides more than enough data to keep you informed. Trust me, I have a Ford 6.0 PSD. This thing needs constant monitoring.
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