Most people believe that to get power out of their diesel truck, we need to rip off all that emissions stuff. Well, there was a time when that was true, but with the latest technology in ECM programming and emissions equipment, we are seeing good numbers without touching anything but the OBD2 connector.
Flashing Emissions on Tuning in a 6.7L Powerstroke
Whether you had a Duramax, Cummins, or Powerstroke truck, it was all the same, the OEM DPF and EGR systems were horsepower robbing, fuel sucking, and problem causing components that had to be removed if you wanted any hope of seeing pre-2008 fuel mileage and reliability. When 2008 hit and emissions laws came into effect Ford, Dodge, and GM were forced to install these emissions systems and the tuning market was quick to react. Emissions off tuning and delete kits to remove the DPF & EGR quickly became the new norm in the diesel industry. After deleting the truck, it returned the reliability, efficiency, and responsiveness consumers had come to expect from their trucks, alternatively, leaving the truck stock would lead to constant issues, poor mileage, and expensive repairs.
Once the systems had been in place for a few years, the manufacturers knew they had to do something to battle the constant issues and poor performance that the diesel industry was plagued with. In 2011 GM and Ford, followed by Dodge in 2013 had released the DEF systems, this new style of DPF/SCR systems used fuel in conjunction with DEF fluid to burn out the filters. The DEF equipped systems worked more efficiently and provided improved fuel mileage than the previous versions. Within a few years of the release of these DEF systems, aftermarket tuning companies realized that they could unlock a ton of power in these trucks without removing the OEM components.
It has already come into effect in the USA and we know that Canada won't be far behind, there will be a time when the only options available to us are emissions compliant tuning. Aftermarket Manufacturers are starting to feel the pinch with companies getting fined, banned, and pushed off the market by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This has forced the market to adapt and tuners are hard at work producing new emissions-on tuning that retains your OEM components but still gives your truck the responsiveness and power consumers are looking for.
Companies like PPEI, Proven Diesel, and Coopers Custom Solutions are now offering their emissions on tuning and rightfully so, most people have been a bit skeptical of the power gains that are claimed with these tunes. We decided to test it out ourselves on our personal vehicles and we're seriously impressed with what we've seen.
Strapping Down our 6.7L with Emissions On Tuning
We wanted to see the real world results, so, we took a stock 2018 Powerstroke and installed an EZ-Lynk Auto Agent 2.0 and flashed it with the PPEI Emissions ON 35hp Tune and strapped down our first Emissions On victim to the dyno and let it roll. After running our baseline tests, we found the smallest PPEI tune of 35hp actually increased our power by 50hp at the wheels! We only tested one of their tunes but it's impressive to note they offer up-to 150hp tunes for the 6.7L with emissions on. Also, not only did we find 30% more power than what was claimed, but the Regen cycles have significantly dropped. The tuning is so clean that the truck is now only regenerating about 25% as often as it used to and the EGR cycles are barely ever occurring.
This refined tuning means we can now take a BONE STOCK 6.7L Powerstroke and melt the tires off it while getting fewer regens, and lower EGR cycles! Along with this, the truck is a tiny bit better on fuel. We don't have any specific numbers because we didn't do any hard testing for mileage but it is slightly better than it was from stock. This isn't too surprising since deleting today's trucks won't get you the massive mileage gains they used to in the early DPF years. It's very impressive when all we had to do was take 10 minutes to flash the ECM without even having to get our hands dirty!
So other than getting that deep diesel exhaust rumble, which yes we know is a nice option, do you really need to remove your emissions system to get the power you want out of your truck? It’s a question we get asked every day, and there was a time when it was a no brainer, but nowadays we wouldn’t be afraid to tune a truck and leave the DPF and EGR intact. If we are building a truck for the track, then that’s a different story, as we are trying to stuff as much air and fuel into the engine we can, but in those cases, we aren’t worried about compliance, fuel mileage or warranty from the manufacturer. So not to steer you one way or another, we just wanted to shed a little light on what’s out there for options if you are wanting more power out of your new diesel truck.