The Diesel Page
Product Reviews

Updated July 21, 2014


Phaser
Dual-Idler 6.5L Gear Drive Timing Set

This product review first appeared here in The Diesel Page in 1998. Many product reviews have come and gone since that time, and we sometimes forget just how important these can be to owners of the 6.2L and 6.5L diesels. Available for nearly 20 years, the Phazer Dual-Idler gear drive timing set for the 1994 and newer 6.5L Turbo Diesel replaces the stock chain-driven timing set and the original reluctor wheel used for the crankshaft position sensor. Advertising claims at the time said: "Our "Phaser" performance kit allows 3-5 degrees of timing advance right off the crankshaft, which we found to increase fuel economy, produces cleaner starts, and improves throttle performance." We'll install the Phaser, and independently test the ad claims.

Banana Pan
Cast Aluminum Oil Pan for the Duramax 6600

Cast aluminum differential and transmission pans have been popular products among diesel owners for many years, but the engine oil pan has been largely forgotten by the aftermarket. Till now. A new lower oil pan was introduced recently for the GM Duramax 6600 by www.Go-Truck-Yourself.com. The Banana Pan was developed to allow a complete oil drain when changing the engine oil and make it easy to add an oil pan heater. The design of the stamped-steel sheet-metal OEM oil pan prevents 1 or 2 cups of old oil from draining at the time of service. The Banana Pan changes all that. Let's have a look.

Verizon Wireless Fivespot
3G Mobile Broadband Hotspot

I envy those who live in areas supported by digital cable, DSL or another wired high-speed Internet service. While Montana offers many lifestyle advantages, one deficit is access to high-speed Internet, especially those who live outside the primary coverage areas. Nearly everyone finds The Diesel Page through the Internet. Anything that makes access easier is better for everyone, and the Verizon Wireless Fivespot hotspot provides instant broadband Internet access to The Diesel Page both at home and while traveling. I believe the new Verizon Fivespot is a worthwhile addition to your diesel tool box. Let's have a look at it.

Hydrogen Generators
Improving Diesel Fuel Economy

Hydrogen gas has been used to augment diesel fuel for many years, proving it can both extend the driving range between fillups and increase average fuel economy. Here's a hydrogen gas generator specifically developed for use as a motor fuel supplement.

MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust Systems
Do you really need to install a performance exhaust system before adding power?
Does an aftermarket exhaust system really make a difference in dyno or towing performance?
Real-life testing is the best way to answer these questions.

Factory exhaust systems have improved considerably though the years, with mandrel-bent 3-1/2" or 4" tubing now being the norm. You've probably read quite a few exhaust system reviews through the years, and saw the rear-wheel horsepower improvement following the installation of a performance exhaust system. The installation photos were nice and the dyno numbers usually reinforce the notion that an aftermarket exhaust system allows the engine to make more power and help to provide a safety margin when installing performance products. What's the real story?

Automotive CAN OBD2 Code Scanner
Model - T50e

Product review: Being able to read and erase trouble codes is a basic necessity these days - especially for anyone owning a GM diesel truck that is out of warranty. Even if your truck is still covered by the factory powertrain warranty, knowing what that "service engine soon" light means and how serious the problem might be can help you when scheduling service or can help you gain some insight into what the problem might be. The inexpensive T50e can can help you save money on vehicle maintenance.

Extend Oil Life & Engine Life
Amsoil Dual Bypass Oil Filtration

A dual-bypass oil filtration system and synthetic motor oil can extend drain intervals by at least 8 times when compared to conventional oil and filters, and can extend the life of your engine. Follow along as we show you how to install Amsoil's Dual By-Pass oil filteration system and show you the analytical results of cleaner oil.

2001-2007 2500HD/3500
NVG-261/263

Transfer Case Leak Prevention

For several years now, we've been hearing reports of transfer case fluid leaks due to a wear-through on the rear case half. If not caught before a leak develops, the transfer case could suffer complete failure due to a lack of lubrication. The most reliable solution includes installing an aftermarket part that prevents a case wear-through from happening. Follow along as we show you the problem and describe what it takes to produce a permanent solution.

ATS Allison Extreme
Performance-Built Transmissions

Product Review: The Allison 1000-Series 5/6-speed transmissions are simply the best and most durable automatics to ever have been installed in a pickup truck. When using stock power, it's practically impossible to hurt the transmission or exceed its torque handling capability. As good as the Allison is, however, it's still possible to exceed its torque handling capability when using a power adder. Most Allisons will hang onto the power up to at least 75 additional horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, but living on the ragged edge can take a toll on long-term durability. This is why installing a performance-built Allison can increase the fun!

Custom Programming
the LLY Duramax ECM

Last month we showed you how to update the 2001-2004 LB7 Duramax ECM with one programmed for more power & better fuel economy. This month, we look at the 2004.5-2005 LLY Duramax ECM.

Custom Programming
the LB7 Duramax ECM
More Power - Better Fuel Economy!

The various electronic power products have done a remarkable job of increasing Duramax diesel performance, but till now, we've had to accept whatever programming or tuning options were offered by the aftermarket. The recent appearance of custom ECM (Engine Control Module) programming has increased the number of options for nearly every truck owner, whether they're looking for a few more miles per gallon, a safe towing program or a killer track tune. Kennedy Diesel is now offering custom ECM tuning, which provides for a host of additional programming features.

Universal Auxiliary Fuel Filter
For the Duramax 6600

Fuel Quality can determine whether your diesel fuel injection system provides typical service or whether you are plagued with frequent visits to the dealership. GM recently upgraded the factory fuel filter element in an effort to help protect the Bosch high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system used by the Duramax 6600. Trapping more and smaller particles in the fuel can improve both fuel quality and injection system longevity. Lubrication Specialist Greg Landuyt has developed an easy to install and cost effective auxiliary fuel filter kit that can add a significant safety margin to the diesel fuel you're using.

KD Fuel Pressure Gauge
for the Duramax 6600

As diesel fuel injection systems become more complex and more sensitive to fuel quality, owners have become more tuned-in to the nature of diesel fuel systems. Being able to check fuel pressure (vacuum) can help an owner diagnose a future problem or allow him to monitor the condition of the fuel filter in an on-going basis. This not only can save you a lot of frustration in the high-stakes game of vehicle service, but can save you money on fuel filters by not replacing them till the fuel restriction gauge tells you it's time.

Got Boost?
KD Boost Valve for the 2001-2004 LB7 Duramax 6600

There's an old saying that says "offer a great $5 part that installs in 5 minutes, and you'll sell a million of them." Well, the KD boost valve might be a little more than $5, but it is still inexpensive, installs in minutes, and offers a lot of bang for the buck. This simple device increases maximum boost pressure about ~5-8 psi, and makes the factory LB7 turbo a lot more responsive under all operating conditions. Combine this with any one of a variety of Duramax power mods, and you'll see an even bigger improvement in power than what a power mod by itself delivers.

Nitrous Oxide
How to make really big power!

Making big power these days requires help to burn all of the fuel provided by the power modules and programs used in competition, and nitrous helps burn that fuel and make more power. If you're after the most Duramax diesel performance, all roads lead to nitrous oxide.

Got Gauges! - Reloaded
Gauge & Gauge Accessories

The number of different gauges and gauge accessories has grown considerably since our 2002 gauge install piece. I recently stopped by to see the folks at USDieselParts.com, and got acquainted with what's new for those looking for gauges and gauge accessories. Let's have a look.

Performance Tuning/Flash Programmer Roundup
Press "YES" for More Power!

Performance tuning/flash programmers appear to be carving out a market with the Duramax performance crowd - and for good reason. Programmers offer a number of unique features that make them a "must have" for any Duramax owner. Here is a brief summary of five Duramax power programmers, and a list of features available for your Duramax.

Performance Traction Bar System

Product review: Big power can stress unmodified chassis and suspension components in ways that limit overall truck performance. Pushing quarter-mile times into the 13's is relatively easy. Going faster requires more power, more effort and more attention to chassis setup. The recent installation of Kennedy Diesel's traction bar system in our Duramax Diesel hot-rod is a step toward the 11's.

Randy's Ring & Pinion
Rebuilding GM's 9-1/2" Corporate Rear Axle

Product Review: We had to dump the Project truck's original half-ton 10-bolt rear axle. The 8-1/2" diameter ring gear and 1330 U-joint pinion yoke were deemed not up to the task when twisted by a Duramax 6600 producing more than 600-horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque. Without going the custom (expensive) route for a stronger replacement, we chose the GM 9-1/2" 14-bolt semi-floater for this six-lug application. Once acquiring the axle, we visited the experts at Randy's Ring & Pinion for a professional rebuild.

Edge Juice w/ Attitude Monitor
Making the Duramax Rock

Product Review: You hold in your hands one of the most remarkable power upgrades available... So begins Edge's product description on the back of the box. After having spent some time with the new Juice/Attitude, I tend to agree. In addition to the 5-level 0-150 horsepower increase (depending on model) available at just the touch of a button, the Edge Juice with Attitude monitor combine to produce a truly comprehensive engine performance package for the Duramax diesel.

Magnum Force
Performance Air Intake Systems by AFE

for the Duramax Diesel

Product Review: Squeezing the last bit of performance out of a turbo diesel involves improving exhaust flow and intake airflow. Performance air intake systems are the best way to help your engine breathe, and AFE produces a line of products to help achieve maximum intake air flow. Documenting performance improvements using a chassis dyno helps answer many questions, and we thought you might be interested to learn what we discovered after installing an AFE Stage II performance air intake system on our 2001 GMC 2500HD equipped with the Duramax/Allison.

Mega Fuel Filter Kit
for the Duramax 6600

By Mittie M. Dragosljvich

Product Review: General Motors' 6.6L Duramax turbocharged diesel engine was introduced in the 2001 model year 2500HD/3500 pickup trucks and chassis cabs. Along with the new engine came the Bosch high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system. Fuel pressures as high as 23,000-psi demand much from the high-pressure pump and solenoid-controlled fuel injectors, and the less than stellar quality and cleanliness of the available diesel fuel here in the US may present some durability and longevity challenges for these components. Supplemental fuel filtration may be required.

Uni Foam
Racing Air Filters
With applications for the 6.5L & Duramax 6600

By Jim Bigley

Product Review: Today's performance air filters must excel at two vitally important and yet polar opposite functions. First, they must allow the engine to breathe without unnecessarily restricting airflow. Second, today's performance air filter is also judged by its dirt capturing ability. Truck owners in the know demand an air filter that allows an engine to perform up to its full potential yet stops virtually 100% of all harmful dust and other airborne contaminants. Creating the perfect blend of unrestricted airflow and maximum dirt stopping ability is the goal of today's performance air filter manufacturers.

Bilstein Shock Absorbers
For the 2500HD/3500

Sometimes you don't know what you've been missing in your truck's ride quality till you install a new set of shocks. The factory-installed shocks had just 28,000 miles on them, and given the fact that this is a 9200-lb GVW pickup truck, I thought the original shocks were doing an OK job. Installing a new set of Bilstein shocks let me know what I was missing.

Electric Lift Pump and Racor Filter for the Early Diesels
and a Performance Update
By Lee Swanger

To continue with the technical improvements to my 6.2L truck, I have added an electric lift pump to assist in starting, to be an on-board backup to the engine-driven mechanical lift pump, and to easily reprime the Stanadyne fuel filter on the firewall after routine (or emergency) fuel filter changes. The electric fuel lift pump installation also allows me to complete (and document) the performance improvements I saw after the last performance upgrades. This article completes that story.


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