February '17

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36 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 PERFORMANCE EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the latest in a series of articles highlighting the upgrade of a 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel pickup. The idea is to showcase build options, parts and accessories popular with typical diesel truck enthusiasts that shops can offer their local diesel customers. W e are making more improvements on the 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 3/4-ton diesel pickup with over 250,000 miles on the original engine. We've already made significant perfor- mance improvements in several areas— except for one that's needed attention all along. The diesel lift pump is the diesel truck's bane. If it goes bad, it starves your injection pump, which is quite expensive to replace. That's right—failure of a $150 OE replacement part can take out your $2,000- $3,000 injection pump without much notice. Now, it's a little tougher to notice on an old 12v, because the pump pulls so hard since it is a mechanical pump. However, because it is mechanical, when you go adding performance parts to your engine and drivetrain, the old mechanical pump cannot keep up. It was only rated for basi- cally a 150-hp engine. When engine upgrades triple that, it is still only pumping what the OEM has set it up to pump to the injection pump. So, if you are feeling lag at higher rpms, then you need to make a change. Your system is starving—the injection pump and the injectors need more fuel. A STEP UP For the past 10 years, there's been a choice between an OE replacement or a couple of gerotor pumps that are fairly similar because they came from the same family. These are good pumps and have serviced many diesels throughout the years. However, the gerotor pumps for gas motorsports were dropped many, many moons ago. So, why are the new perfor- mance diesels still using this technology? Maybe because it has been the norm for years. However, there is a new pump designed just for performance diesels that is an electronic wet lift pump. What do I mean saying it is a wet pump? That means the fuel is actually pumped through the pump and helps cool the variable-speed motor. The motor is controlled by an electronic computer chip with more than 4,000 lines of code. This allows a more constant pressure coming out of the pump, with Diesel upgrades require a pump that keeps up. By Ron Knoch The old mechanical fuel pump is on the side of the block on the driver's side. The Fuelab Velocity 100 with hose outlets and wiring harness ready for connection.

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