w/ Attitude Monitor
Making the Duramax Rock
By Jim Bigley
"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.
The best selling Duramax performance module is now available with the Attitude monitor. The Edge Juice has set the standard for reliable and honest power gains seen at the rear wheels, and now the Attitude monitor takes this power-increasing technology to a higher level by offering real-time engine/drivetrain monitoring capability. Follow along as we install an Edge Products Hot Juice with Attitude monitor in our Duramax Project truck.
In addition to two illustrated instruction pamphlets, you'll find everything shown here inside the box. This is a complete kit, requiring only basic hand tools, a 1/8" NPT (pipe thread tap), drill and drill bits.
The Attitude monitor is a digital display module that allows the driver to monitor a combination (up to four parameters at a time) of exhaust temperature, boost pressure, power level setting, engine temperature, RPM, % engine load, gear selection, speed, throttle position, torque converter clutch status, transmission clutch slippage, and percent back-down due to high EGT. In addition, the number and location of displayed parameters can be customized to suit the driver, and a host of additional setup and operational characteristics can be selected/modified on demand.
Boost pressure and exhaust temperature can be displayed as either digital numbers or represented as bar graphs. The Attitude monitor's bar graphs are virtually as fast to interpret as an analog gauge.
Attaching the Attitude monitor to the dash (see previous photo) or optional A-pillar molding is pretty straight forward. Edge includes a couple of small screws that can be used to reinforce the double-stick tape that secures the included pod mount to the dash. Once the pod mount had been positioned, I marked then drilled two small holes in the dash for the screws. The Edge instruction sheet indicated that the double-stick pads on the pod mount could release their grip over time. Rather than wait for that to happen, just go ahead and install the two screws in the dash or acquire an A-pillar mount - your choice.
The optional A-pillar mount shown in this photo for the Attitude monitor is available from the dealer listed below, which can be painted to match the trim color of your interior.
Once the Attitude monitor has been installed, route the wire to the door opening, then forward through the gap between the fender and the cowl, and then into the engine compartment. This follows Edge's instructions, and is certainly easier than trying to route the wire through the firewall.
The included pyrometer comes with adequate wire length to reach from the passenger side exhaust manifold to the driver's side Juice module mounting location.
The 1/8" NPT brass pyrometer fitting included in the Edge kit is smaller than the ¼" NPT fitting used in most other pyrometer installations. I had already drilled and tapped the manifold for a ¼" NPT fitting, so I bought a brass adapter from a local hardware store to fit the smaller 1/8" fitting supplied by Edge.
Drilling and tapping the passenger side exhaust manifold is easy once the wheelhouse liner has been removed. With the engine idling in a well-ventilated area, start with a 1/8" drill bit in the location shown, then increment up to 21/64". Once completing the 21/64" hole, run the tap in part way, and check fit of the brass pyrometer fitting. A pipe thread tap is tapered. Running the tap in too far could cause the brass fitting to fit too loosely. An idling engine will expel most metal particles as you drill/tap.
The EGT pyrometer probe wiring is attached to the Juice module using eyelets and nuts/screws, followed by heat-shrink tubing. The screws and heat-shrink tubing are included in the kit. A match or lighter can be used to carefully shrink the tubing, but a heat gun makes it a lot easier.
Installing the large electrical connectors is a snap. There are two large connectors on the upper driver's side of the engine. To unplug the connectors, squeeze the locking tab on both sides (see photo), then lift the locking bail. This will separate the male/female connectors, and allow you to insert the new Edge Juice connectors.
This photo shows one set of male/female connectors. While separating the connectors, you'll hear a "thwunk" as the silicone seal releases its vacuum, and there will normally be a moderate amount of smooth resistance when either extracting or reconnecting the harness connectors. If something feels wrong, stop and separate the connectors so you can examine the pins.
The Juice module can be attached to the 2001 or newer fuse panel lid using the included Velcro strips. In our hot-rod conversion, I chose to attach the Juice module to the re-located TCM cover.
Installation complete! Now comes the fun part - experiencing the new power and ability to monitor the engine and drivetrain like never before.
One of the first Attitude monitor adjustments I made was for tire size. This truck is currently equipped with 3.42 gears and taller than stock tires, which combine to produce a 17% speedometer error (60 indicated is really 70.4-mph). For now at least, I'm using the Attitude monitor to accurately display vehicle speed, in addition to the all-important exhaust temperature, boost pressure and power level setting.
Note: Tire size adjustments made using the Attitude do not affect the vehicle's speedometer - only the speed displayed on the Attitude. The 0-60 and ¼-mile performance calculations performed by the Attitude need to have the correct tire size for best accuracy.
When using stock powertrain programming for 300-hp, our lightweight diesel Hot-Rod will blast through a 0-60-mph at an even seven seconds and will run the ¼-mile in 15.3-seconds at 98.5-mph. However, the Edge Hot Juice set to level-5 adds some serious attitude to an already hot truck. Quarter-mile times drop to 13.9 seconds at 109-mph when run in two-wheel drive, and 13.7 seconds at 107-mph in four-wheel drive. We may be able to shave a couple of tenths off those numbers by refining our launch techniques.
In closing, we recommend the Edge Juice/Attitude. While not designed for the serious race crowd, it does give a Duramax owner all the fuel and resulting power that might be useful on the street or while trailering. The ability to monitor the engine/transmission while simultaneously varying the power levels on-the-fly provides the driver with excellent control over the additional power. TDP
Caveats: Yes, there are always caveats. There is a full page of disclaimers in the instruction pamphlet, with additional cautions sprinkled throughout the detailed instructions. Mostly, these pertain to exhaust gas temperature (EGT) warnings, and that your diesel engine can be damaged by excessive temperatures. Luckily, the Attitude monitor allows you to set a max EGT point, where the Juice module will begin pulling fuel to prevent the exhaust temperature from exceeding whatever limit you feel comfortable with. The default setting is 1350° F. Also, please note that any performance modification could complicate or void your engine/drivetrain warranty. A discussion about power mods with your servicing dealer could help avoid a future warranty denial should a problem develop for whatever reason.
The Duramax performance community has pretty well established that the Allison automatic can handle up to approximately 90 additional horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque before slippage occurs. While both the Edge/Attitude and the vehicle computers monitor and reduce power when slippage is detected, repeated slip events can produce a cumulative effect on transmission durability. Because of this and to help limit EGT, we recommend that you only use power levels 0, 1 or 2 to tow, and reserve the higher power settings for when driving unloaded. Also, note that the hot-doggers out there could eventually need to upgrade their Allison. We can point you toward some of the best aftermarket Allison upgrade companies to help satisfy your need for speed should you decide to take the next step. Now, if I could just get a better warranty on my tires...
For a complete story of the Duramax 6600, please visit the following link for a preview of the
Edge Juice w/Attitude retailer:US Diesel Parts
2400 Palmer - Missoula, Montana 59808
Call: 1-800-823-4444 -- Fax: 1-406-721-5097
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