Bottom Line
High Performance Diesels
Power computer

Bruce Mallinson

Nov. 9, 10 and 11 were three monumental days in our history. We installed the new Pittsburgh Power computer on Tom Davis' 1995 W900L Kenworth. Tom is an OOIDA member from Cheswick, PA. The Cummins engine in Tom's truck was an N-14 Celect, 435 horsepower.

Cummins, in Pittsburgh, PA, reprogrammed the computer to allow the engine to produce 500 hp. As of this writing the engine has 465,000 miles on the odometer and only two injectors were ever replaced.

This KW pulls a 42-foot covered wagon with three axles and is generally more than 80,000 lbs. During the testing of the Pittsburgh Power computer the rig was grossing 89,245 lbs. Route 28 north of Pittsburgh was our test road. The hills on this section of highway have several grades of 6 to 8 percent. That made it possible to give the Cummins-powered KW a good workout. Once the Pittsburgh Power computer was installed, which takes about three hours, we headed for the hills.

Our team of engineers was controlling the performance of the engine while riding in the bunk. Tom Davis was driving; Gary Hoffman, president of Diesel Injection, was monitoring the engine functions with our laptop computer; and I was in the bunk with the engineers laying out our final programming for the new performance computer. For three days we rode, tested and computed the functions of this N-14 Celect engine before we came to the conclusion of how we wanted the engine to perform.

One year ago (November 1999), the work began to develop the performance computer. Many hours of dyno testing had taken place on numerous N-14 Celect engines at Stoops Freightliner in Indianapolis. Peter Turke is the dyno technician at Stoops and is an expert in his field. We really enjoy working with him.

With the turn of a dial, you can change the horsepower output from stock to an increase of 175 hp

After one solid year of work, the Pittsburgh Power computer is ready for your truck. With the turn of the dial, you can change the horsepower output of your N-14 Celect Cummins engine from stock to a total increase of 175 hp. Previously we had the computer set for a maximum of 140 hp. However, after road testing, we increased the power level to 175 hp. The dial that will be mounted in the control panel on top of the instrument panel will have seven positions numbering zero through seven. At the zero setting there will be no power increase. Setting number one will increase the power by 25 hp and number two will increase power by 50 hp. Each setting will continue to add 25 more horsepower all the way up to level seven, which will be an 175-hp increase. Tom Davis has used the computer for one week and loves the additional horsepower and response. The truck was loaded with an 80,249-lb. chill (steel coil) giving the rig a 120,426 lbs. gross vehicle weight. Tom was able to pull the hills one gear higher with the computer set on the number four position adding approximately 100 additional horsepower. He easily out-pulled his good friend JR's N-14 Celect Plus 525 and Rick Thompson's 3406B 425 Cat, which has the fuel screws bottomed out and a turbo from a 3406 E Cat that produces 41 lbs. of boost.

"This performance computer is phenomenal," said Tom. "I love the response. It feels like my old NTC BCIV 676 CPL, which produced 700 hp. I now have to learn how to drive this truck all over again because I only have to rest my foot on the throttle. All week long I kept the power selector on number four because it had all the power I needed."

We at Diesel Injection of Pittsburgh have been developing ways of increasing horsepower with the Cummins diesel engine since 1977. When the electronic engine was released in 1991, we knew that the factory computer could not be hot-rodded. The day of the owner-operator enjoying 700 to 900 hp was over. Regardless of what we tried, the horsepower from these engines would not increase. Finally, in November of 1999, we were able to assemble a group of electrical, mechanical and computer engineers who were willing to work with us to develop an adjustable performance computer for owner-operators who desire more than stock power.

The name of our computer is Pittsburgh Power. This computer is only for owner-operators who demand, respect and deserve a great running truck.

My booklet is available for viewing or download on the Internet at Our e-mail address is as follows:

Gary:; or Pete: If you would like our booklet on high performance Cummins diesels, give Aimee a call at 724-274-4080. There is a $9 shipping and handling charge. Just call us with your MasterCard, Visa, AMX, or Discover card number and we will get one out to you. Or send a check or money order to Diesel Injection of Pittsburgh, 1403 Freeport Rd., Cheswick, PA, 15024.

The above column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or beliefs of Land Line Magazine or Cummins Engine Co.