Performance and Accessories 2nd gen only Talk about Dodge/Cummins aftermarket products for second generation trucks here. Can include high-performance mods, or general accessories.

Towing with a 24 valve automatic........... what more can I do?

Old 06-02-2019, 05:47 PM
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Question Towing with a 24 valve automatic........... what more can I do?

Hello! I wanted some opinions on what more I can do to make my 2nd gen Dodge more towing friendly for the highway. I have a 2500 lb slide-in camper that I haul and planning to pull a small dirt-bike trailer behind it. This is my current setup:

1999 Dodge Cummins SRW (250,000 miles), Edge-EZ, stock HX-35, DDP1 injectors, 4" exhaust, AFE intake, Airdog 100 lift pump
47re automatic (unknown miles, appears to be rebuilt at some time) has GM governor solenoid upgrade and double deep aluminum pan
Gearing is 3:55 with upgraded Dana 80 1-ton rearend, 285/75/17 Toyo AT2's
Truck is equipped with Pyro, Trans, boost, and fuel gauges

When I drive the pickup towing an empty 5x10 enclosed trailer, the truck hazes a lot of smoke going over mountain passes @ 55mph. The Edge-EZ is set on level 3. My fuel pressure always runs between 10-11 psi on my gauge. It is my understanding that the VP44 needs 10+ psi to survive. My future plan is to also add on an exhaust brake for stopping when towing.

Bottom line......... what would it take to boost my power for towing, create less smoke, and retain most of the components I already have? I do not plan to sled pull or race, this is a daily driver truck that tows on the weekends.

I feel that I have a decent amount of things done to my pickup...........but its still not enough to keep up with traffic and climb grades efficiently IMO. I don't expect it to perform like a 3 or 4th gen........ but it shouldn't be too far behind.

I am looking for suggestions and parts combinations that work.


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Old 06-02-2019, 11:10 PM
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Dump the EZ and get a Smarty......that's my plan anyway.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:30 AM
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Which gear are you in while towing these grades, what does your boost and EGT say while doing it?
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:56 PM
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On my 01 I had rv275 injectors, a smarty(run on the no additional timing levels) and an edge ez then later a juice with attitude to replace the ez and a built DTT trans. In 01 the autos came with the smaller hy9 turbo. I had upgraded it to a 35/40 hybrid with a 12cm housing from Piers Diesel (it spooled faster than a stock hx35 but not quite as fast as the HY35 but the hy just couldn't handle the additional power without barking even at trans shifts under power) along with an afe intake and exhaust as well as a stage one cam. Multiple dyno runs over the years showed 395hp and 900ft tq. From a stop at 7k elevation I could black out the sky if I just mashed the go pedal at 9 or 10k hardly any finesse with the go pedal could keep it from smoking good from a stop or acceleration from a slow speed. Turbos certainly help without a doubt but they dont eliminate the need for more air up high. If it is smoking then it has fuel just not enough air to burn all the fuel As Alpine mentioned what is your boost level and egts at those times? Could be you need to drop down a gea or lockout overdrive to get the rpms up which should increase the speed of the turbo thereby increasing airflow into the cylinders or perhaps a cam that breathes a little better.

Our fifth only weighs about 10k loaded so not overly heavy never had a real issue with keeping the speed up though when towing, smoke under acceleration yes, sometimes depending on conditions I had to manually shift the trans or lockout overdrive though to keep the egts in check. This is all in mountains here. I was always surprised when I did make a trip down to lower altitudes how much less or less easily the truck smoked.

I cant remember the order of the ez is 3 full fuel at 0 boost or is that level 1. If level 3 is full fuel at 0 boost try switching it to level 1 you still get full fuel but not until boost is above 15 or 20psi cant remember now. So you have it if you need it but not if you don't (or even level 2 which I think is full fuel at 10psi boost)
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AlpineRAM View Post
Which gear are you in while towing these grades, what does your boost and EGT say while doing it?
When I hit the mountain grades I always have OD locked out, (4th gear). The truck will steadily climb the mountain pass @ 50mph, while in 3rd gear (locked)..........trans temp @ 145 degrees, boost @ 14psi, EGT's around 980-1100 degrees. All while maintaining 2100 rpm.

All of these numbers seem respectable and not out of control, but how do I increase my road speed? I'd like to be climbing closer to 60mph, rather than chugging @ 50mph. Pressing the "go pedal" only makes more noise and increases smoke......but not much speed increase.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SIXSLUG View Post
Dump the EZ and get a Smarty......that's my plan anyway.
SIXSLUG,

I have always wondered if the Smarty is more superior over the Edge EZ? I have read alot of threads comparing both, people say they are very close in power (65hp add on).

The interesting thing is how many people claim one is better than the other vis versa. I can see how the Smarty would be handy for stacking with another programmer. It's my understanding that the Smarty creates a very sensitive lower rpm throttle response.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Albino99 View Post
When I hit the mountain grades I always have OD locked out, (4th gear). The truck will steadily climb the mountain pass @ 50mph, while in 3rd gear (locked)..........trans temp @ 145 degrees, boost @ 14psi, EGT's around 980-1100 degrees. All while maintaining 2100 rpm.

All of these numbers seem respectable and not out of control, but how do I increase my road speed? I'd like to be climbing closer to 60mph, rather than chugging @ 50mph. Pressing the "go pedal" only makes more noise and increases smoke......but not much speed increase.
The boost seems very low- I would expect at least 25 psi at a steady climb you describe and a rush up to 35 psi when stepping on it.

Since more go pedal produces only noise, heat and smoke, you lack the air to convert dinosaur juice into power.
I'd check the wastegate first, then the intercooler plumbing for boost leaks.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:42 PM
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I agree, very low boost #s.
I would check the lower boots for cuts from the inner fender well. I have seen many 2nd gen boots get worn out there.
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by oliver foster View Post
I agree, very low boost #s.
I would check the lower boots for cuts from the inner fender well. I have seen many 2nd gen boots get worn out there.
I will check the boots tonight. They are the original boots with close to 250,000 miles of service on them. As a side note: going home tonight from work, I mashed the throttle on the on-ramp and got the boost up to 24psi. A huge cloud of smoke behind the truck. If I do have a leak, I imagine it's small and showing symptoms as higher boost levels.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:35 PM
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You'd be surprised how much boost can be lost with leaking boots. If you can, try pressure testing your intake and then swab the boots with soapy water. You'll probably find pinhole leaks that you'd never see just by eyeballing them.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:04 PM
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Yep, boost leaks are a bit crazy.

You'd imagine that a hole of less than 1 /1000ths of the diameter of the tube would be nothing.... but still it does influence power output and fuel consumption.. not only measurable on a dyno, but in real life.
Also the air filter plays a crucial role, if it is plugged with pollen you do not see the problem, but still about 25-30% decrease in fuel economy isn't too shabby.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:30 AM
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All good options as noted above. You have basically the same truck I do.
Put a turnbuckle and spring on the wastegate to help keep it closed. The HX35 max "useable" air flow is going to be around 35psi..anything over this is just pushing hot air and pretty much the limit of this turbo. I would also expect your boost #s to be higher around 20-25psi. Like mentioned, checking for boost leaks is a good idea... I should prob do the same
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Albino99 View Post
SIXSLUG,

I have always wondered if the Smarty is more superior over the Edge EZ? I have read alot of threads comparing both, people say they are very close in power (65hp add on).

The interesting thing is how many people claim one is better than the other vis versa. I can see how the Smarty would be handy for stacking with another programmer. It's my understanding that the Smarty creates a very sensitive lower rpm throttle response.
My friend's like the wider range of settings with the smarty so I am interested in trying it, just not a real priority. My EZ is rough when towing on 3 and not recommend IIRC. 2 is where I keep it. Mine is the old one that you move the little jumper between positions, not the dial one....Never have tried it on 1. I need to get my injectors in.........
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:16 AM
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Something ain't right. My 01 is basically stock with the exception of an HX replacing the HY. As far as my truck is concerned, my 7K lb box trailer is just a passenger along for the ride. EGT on an excellerated climb never exceeds 1100 and it's impossible to make make it smoke more than a puff on throttle up.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SIXSLUG View Post
My friend's like the wider range of settings with the smarty so I am interested in trying it, just not a real priority. My EZ is rough when towing on 3 and not recommend IIRC. 2 is where I keep it. Mine is the old one that you move the little jumper between positions, not the dial one....Never have tried it on 1. I need to get my injectors in.........
My Edge EZ has the 3 position jumper inside the box. I changed it recently from 3 down to 2.............much better on smoke control! The power is still good, happy with it for now.
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