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High Performance Diesels
Power computer

A professional trucker from Williamsport, PA, recently brought this to my attention. Some newcomers to the trucking industry have never heard of a “K” series Cummins engine.

This column features a picture of the special “K” owned by OOIDA member Frank Hieden of Tomball, TX. Cummins released this engine for the truck market in 1974. The engine is 19 liters, 1,150 cubic inches bore 6.25 inches, stroke 6.25 inches and stock settings were 450, 525 and 600 horsepower. The engine in the picture has twin turbos, hydraulic variable timing (HVT), which is very similar to the step timing control of the BCIV 444 NTC. The advantages of the HVT are no white smoke when the engine is cold and retarded timing when using power. This engine at stock specifications is 700 to 750 hp. With a few changes, this engine produces in excess of 1,000 hp. Not bad for something developed in the 1970s. This 700 to 750 hp version engine was not intended to be used in a Class 8 truck. It was developed for off-highway and locomotive use. Today’s version of this engine is computer-controlled.

Frank now has his special “K” A model 1981 extended hood, double bunk, two-sticked Kenworth on the road. When we spoke recently, he commended the technicians at West Texas Peterbilt in Lubbock for the great installation job they performed on his truck.

As far as driving his special “K,” Frank says that when the turbos start producing turbo boost, the hair on his legs and arms stands up, he gets goose bumps, muscles start to twitch and it reminds him of his youth when he drove a bored small block ’57 Chevy, dual quads with 4:56 posi rear end. For you of the younger generation, dual quads mean two four-barrel carburetors. If you want to see the racer come out of Frank, pull up beside him and try to beat him.

Now, on to the Pittsburgh Power computer for electronic engines. As of this writing, many of our customers are experiencing the pleasure of driving high performance N-14 Celect engines. With a turn of the dial they can go from stock horsepower to an additional 175 hp. OOIDA member Tom Davis was driving the test truck on Jan. 10, 2001, hauling a chill coil weighing 80,260 pounds. This gave his W900 Kenworth a gross weight of 132,497 lbs. Tom pulled Somerset Mountain on the Pennsylvania Turnpike traveling westbound at 50 miles per hour with the Pittsburgh Power computer set on level five. At this position, the N-14 Celect was producing 625 hp. Near the top of the mountain, Tom turned the power dial back to zero rendering the engine to a stock 500 hp and the truck slowed to 36 mph. That is 14 mph faster with an additional 125 hp. That’s two full gears higher with the 13-speed transmission.

Frank says when the turbos start
producing turbo boost, the hair on
his legs and arms stands up

As of this writing, there is 100-percent satisfaction with the Pittsburgh Power computer. Currently, one owner-operator is testing the performance computer on an N-14 525 Celect Plus. There are several changes that must be made before the Celect Plus computer is ready for on-highway use. By the time you read this article the changes may already have been made and the Pittsburgh Power computer for the Celect plus engines may be in production.

The next performance computer will be for the CAT 3406 E engine. Anticipated completion of this box is July 2001. For the owner-operators who have the mechanical 3406 B CAT engines, custom high-flow nozzles are available for you. Additional flow rates of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 percent and pop off pressures at 2400, 2500, 2600 and higher are available. You tell us what you want and we will build it for you. Please allow two weeks delivery time for these precision custom flow CAT nozzles. Your old cores will be needed once you receive the new nozzles. These are genuine CAT remanufactured nozzles that will be customized for you. Also high-flow double mapwidth enhanced turbochargers are available for the 3406 B. This turbo is one-third CAT and two-thirds Schwitzer. This turbo will produce six to eight more pounds of turbo boost than the stock CAT turbo. We have never had one of these turbos explode. The workmanship on this hybrid turbo is exquisite. In fact, this turbo is so beautiful you should buy two of them. One for your truck and the second to be used as a centerpiece on a table in your living room.

Do you love skinny windshield Peterbilts?

┬áIf you do, you now have a chance of a lifetime to own some Pittsburgh nostalgia. A beautiful 1971 skinny windshield Peterbilt originally owned by William “Bee” Bursick, a famous Pittsburgh steel hauler, is for sale. Bee purchased this Pete in August 1970.

Our good friend, OOIDA member Dave Fritz, is the owner of this truck. Dave is another Pittsburgh steel hauler, and he purchased this Pete from Bee in 1977 with 430,000 miles on the odometer. Fifteen years later the original single bunk was stretched to 60 inches along with the frame, 212 inches to 240-inch wheelbase. The old Pete was treated to new paint, new felt in the window tracks and rubber seals around the doors. In 1995, a new Recon Premium Plus BCIII 400 engine was installed. All new airlines and engine mounts completed the installation. In 1997, the Pete saw another new paint job and a new Horton fan clutch. This truck is equipped with four six-volt batteries, SQHD 4:33 Rockwell rears, 12-5-13 speed transmission, dark green interior, dual exhaust with mufflers and twin 100-gallon fuel tanks.

A complete diary of every change that was made to this beautiful 1971 Pete is also available. The only fix necessary to put this truck to work is that the air conditioner needs to be repaired. Brakes, drums and wheel seals should be replaced. This truck is not equipped with power steering.

We love this truck! Bee Bursick and Dave Fritz have never worn shoes in this truck. It still has the original rubber floor mat in the cab. Total miles on this Pete are 2,030,000. This truck has never been restored and it’s always had a tremendous amount of tender loving care. By the way, the engine is still stock 400 hp. If you’re interested in owning this skinny windshield Pete, contact Dave through Diesel Injection at 724-274-4080.

Thanks to all Land Line readers who have been asking about my booklet. It is now available for viewing or download on the Internet. The address is Our e-mail address is as follows: Gary: Pete:

If you would like our booklet on high performance Cummins diesels, give Aimee a call at 724-274-4080. There is a $9 charge for shipping and handling. Just call us with your Master Card, Visa, AMX or Discover card number and we will get one out to you. Or send us a check or money order.

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