Want extra power and torque? First
buy a diesel truck, then turn it up! It seems over the last few years
tow rigs and trailers have seem to become the "in thing" for
getting your Jeep, buggy, hotrod or 4 wheeler to the trail or car show.
More recently diesel performance has seen a huge increase in products
and after market upgrades. A few years back I bought a used 1999 Ford
Power Stroke 4x4. I really liked the truck in its stock form and it proved
to be a huge improvement over my 94 Chevy Suburban. Over these last few
years I kept seeing diesels (all makes) with big exhausts, chips and other
mods basically blowing right past me as I cruised along towing to the
trail or driving in traffic. As much as I tried to resist the urge to
"turn up" my PSD I had finally had enough. I wasn't looking
for a speed machine, but I wanted more usable power and better fuel economy
Enter Bully Dog Technologies.
After doing some research of many different diesel performance companys
I contacted Bully Dog. Bully Dog Technologies is one of the most respected
Diesel performance manufacturers in the market and offer simple bolt on
items all the way to full on custom performance packages. We talked about
options for the PSD and Shawn Udy from Bully Dog invited Lance Clifford
and myself to Bully Dog's factory and shop located in Aberdeen Idaho.
Bully Dog was about to awaken my PSD and show me what Diesels can really
do. Lance and I regularly spend countless hours on the road during the
Rockcrawling Competition season so a quick drive (626 miles...1 way) out
to Idaho was nothing but a chance to listen to some tunes.
Bully Dog recommended that
we install the following items be installed:
- 4" Rapid Flow Exhaust
- RFI (Rapid Flow Intake)
- E40D Transmission Shift
- Ford 4 Bank Chip
- Ford Flip Switch
We arrived at the Bully Dog
facility bright and early to meet Shawn and the staff that would be working
on my PSD. Did I mention it was cold as......... Bully Dog's facility
is really clean and there is never a lack of diesels in the shop or parking
|4" Stainless Steel
Rapid Flow Exhaust
The 1st order of business was to cut out the old stock exhaust from the
truck. The stock downpipe on a 1999 PSD is 3" in diameter.
The stock exhaust system removal
is a pretty basic job and can be done in about 2.5 hrs with a sawsall
and airtools, if you have a helper expect 1 hr for the installation and
removal of the old system. Aaron is Bully Dog's chief installation tech,
he makes quick work of the factory downpipe and exhaust system.......Sawsalls
I actually expected my stock
system to look worse, but is was in pretty good shape considering the
truck has 100K on it.
Here is a picture of the stock
system once removed.
Bully Dog recommended that
we install the 4" Polished stainless Rapid Flow Exhaust system. Bully
Dog claims a 14HP to 20HP increase over stock and this sytem can drop
the EGTs up to 200 degrees. Its one of the nicest kits that I have seen
and it easily clamps together with the supplied hardware. This kit also
uses the existing hangers for ease of installation.
You can see in this picture
the new muffler and the old one next to it. Is there really any comparison?
Here's a pic of the soon to be
installed 5" polished tip. Like the rest of the kit, its looks great.
Here are a couple of pics of
the fully installed system. The new downpipe is a snug fit and takes a
bit of wiggling but it's not difficult. The new system is about as straight
as you can get from the downpipe to the tailpipe exit. Bully Dog claims
that their systems have some of the lowest degree angles on bends in the
RFI (Rapid Flow
Bully Dog next moved to installing
a Rapid Flow Induction system. This system replaces the stock airbox that
would been to restrictive with the upgrades that were being installed
on the PSD. The new 4 layer cotton gauze Conical cone filter is inverted
to allow more filter surface area and fits perfectly in the metal heat
shield which is part of the system.
Installing this new filter
system was easy and takes about 20min. with common hand tools.
Here's a picture of the old
K&N filter I had installed. As you can tell the surface area of the
Bully Dog cone is greater than that the factory system.
After removing the stock airbox
Aaron slides in the new RFI system. This installation couldn't be easier.
Here Aaron tightens the last
screws and finishes installing the RFI system.
Here's a pic of the final product
installed. Its a nice clean installation and looks great.
I was told that the Turbo noise
would be more noticeable with this type of system. We shall see...........or
Everyone that has owned a PSD
with an automatic knows of the potential problems with the Ford E40D transmission.
Though some people haven't had any problems I have. I replaced the torque
converter about 10K before this trip to Bully Dog.
I wanted a little more insurance
with the added HP & Torque and this kit was exactly what I needed.
What this kit does is basically
increase the line pressure, which reduces torque converter slip and adds
a solid shift.
This kit is quite easy to install
as well with common tools and should take about 1.5 hours to put in. Make
sure you have a new filter and ATF on hand to complete the installation.
There are only (4) parts to
- (3) New valvebody springs
- (1) New steel valve accumulator
The 1st order of business is
to remove the tranny oil pan and remove the ATF.
After you drop the transmission
pan you can see the filter that bolts to the valvebody. This is why I
said have a new filter before the install of this kit. You dont want to
put back in a dirty filter.
Here's the valvebody with the
channels for fluid transfer.
At this point Aaron removes
the valvebody from the transmission and prepares to install the shift
With the valvebody removed
and taken to a clean area the new springs and valve body accumultor can
installs the new spring "inside" of the factory springs. These
springs are what give the firmer shift that decreases torque converter
slippage. This step is completed 2 more times.
The next and final item to
install is the valve accumulator body. The E40D comes from the factory
with an aluminum valve accumulator. Bully Dogs new piece is an upgraded
steel piece that doesn't wear as fast as the aluminum stock unit.
With the factory piece removed
you can see the wear marks. With the 2 pieces side by side you can see
the difference with the steel replacement unit.
After replacing the springs
and new body the steps are reversed for putting the components and tranny
Of course while all of this is
going on Lance is dialed up to the Pirate4x4.com site as you would expect!
Gauge and Chip Install
The next installment that Bully
Dog did was put in a 3 gauge cluster thats consists of Pyrometer, Boost
& Tranny Temp. These gauges are top notch in the quality dept. and
have the Bully Dog logo printed on the face. As you can see in the pictures
this installation takes some time, however Bully Dog's instructions will
lead you through the steps and ease the install.
Here Aaron pulls the factory
cover off of the "A" pillar and starts routing power wires and
the gauge lines.
Next is the gouge pod itself.
and after a quick shot of Ford factory match paint it looks like its a
Once all of the wires are ran
it slips back into place and is held in by clips and the factory rubber
weather strip. Now the gauges get wired up and dropped in the pod.
Here is the finished look of
the pod and the gauges.
The next and final pieces to
install would be the Bully Dog's 4 Bank Chip.
programs, Bully Dog's 4-Bank Chips run the lowest EGTs (Exhaust Gas Temperatures)
in the industry, typically running 50 to 100 degrees cooler than the competition's
lowest horsepower chips. For an additional 50-100 horsepower, simply plug
the 4-Bank Chip into the ECU. To make the chip adjustable on the fly order
the Flip Switch (Part #041105). The 4-Bank Chip works on 1994-2003 7.3L
Powerstroke engines. 1994-1998 max horsepower is 65 HP. 1998.5-2003 max
horsepower is 100 HP.
When installed with the Bully
Dog Flip Switch, this chip allows the following settings: Stock, 50HP,
70hp, 100HP. Bully Dog burns their chips in house and can customize HP
settings to meet your individual driving style.
Here you can see my custom
chip being burned.
This chip is then installed
onto the factory computer. Its a piggy back style chip and not a programmer.
Bully Dog states that the contacts must be clean for a proper connection.
Here you can see Aaron cleaning
the contact surface with a little rub of a Scotch bright pad. Be careful
not to rub hard and remove the contacts!
Here is a picture of the completed
setup consisting of the chip and the flip switch.
The chip is now ready to be
installed on the computer and reinstalled back into the truck.
Here Aaron reinstalls the puts
the chip onto the computer and reinstalls it in the truck.
After a quick check of everything
it was time for a test drive with Aaron to see and feel the changes in
the PSD. 1st off the exhaust sounds great and is really deep. The next
thing I noticed was the immediate turbo noise while revving the motor.
This extra noise is an indication of the RFI filter system.
The 1st pass down the 2-lane
road was in the stock setting. I could tell a seat of the pants difference
right away. I was also rewarded with a solid bang of a shift and not the
normal sluggish sloppy shifting I was used to. I guess the tranny kit
works! Next was the 50HP setting. This was a huge difference in throttle
response and the truck felt like it had a shot of adrenaline! It delivered
very smooth roll-on power. I also noticed a little black smoke out of
the tailpipe, notifying me that fuel was being delivered at a speedy rate!
Onto the 70HP setting......
(Recommended for Off-Road Use Only) ...... Here we go! The truck basically
wanted to smoke my 35" BFG All Terrains right to the cords. I could
also tell the engine sounded different and idled a little rougher. Aaron
explained that on the 70HP setting the timing is changed to account for
additional fuel delivery.
Of course then came the 100HP
setting. (Recommended for Off-Road Use Only) This setting I felt was almost
the same as the 70HP setting. From a standing start the truck would just
want to bake the tires but once hooked up is felt like a rocket ship.
Here's where I was educated on keeping a watch on EGT's. I was doing about
70MPH still dumping black smoke and Aaron said, " Hey look at that
EGT gauge" it was reading 1200*. Time to back out of the throttle!
Its important to note that
Bully Dog strongly recommends that if towing you only use the 50HP setting.
The 70HP and 100HP setting can overpower a stock auto or even slip a 6spd
clutch. Like I have mentioned above the 70HP and 100HP are recommended
for Off Road Use Only.
During the test drive and the
6-hour drive home I can say these mods to the truck far exceeded my expectations.
I did notice a 2 to 3mpg gain while rolling back home to California. This
was recorded while using the 50HP setting. This is about the most ideal
setting in my opinion. It offers great power and some gains in MPG but
is really the most usable and daily driver friendly setting. However the
70HP and 100HP are only a toggle turn away.
I can get used to these kinds
Make sure and
visit Bully Dog's website or give then a call before you purchase your
Diesel performance items. They even offer the most advanced Propane and
Nitrous injection kits available. Bully Dog offers performance parts for
Dodge, Ford, Chevy and even tractors and Volkswagens. Give em a call and
Bully Dog Technologies
2854 W 2200 S
Aberdeen, Idaho 83210