5 Ways You Can Improve the Performance of a Diesel Powered Truck

Diesel Powered Truck

Diesel pickup trucks are workhorses and they are typically built to last an extended period of time. However, upgrading certain performance issues with diesel pickup trucks not only can help extend the life of the truck itself, but make its operations more fuel efficient and affordable. That’s why there are 5 Diesel Truck Performance Modifications that owners of diesel pickup trucks may want to consider.

Cold Air Intakes

Perhaps the easiest upgrade on a truck is replacing stock air intakes with cold air intake units. This upgrade is simple, but it can dramatically improve a pickup truck’s horse power and fuel efficiency. Basically, the combustible engine is a complicated air pump. The more air that gets pushed into the motor, the more efficient it will be with fuel usage and the more horsepower the engine will produce. Upgrading stock air intakes to cold air intake systems allow a better flow of air into the motor.

High Flow Exhaust

Exhaust systems help move engine exhaust from the exhaust headers through the various pipes, through a muffler and out the tail pipe. These systems help to eliminate excessive amounts of back pressure where exhaust flows back into the motor, which can hurt performance. The problem is that stock systems include thinner exhaust pipes with various bends, which can promote excessive back pressure. By customizing the exhaust system with larger diameter pipes that are straighter, exhaust can flow freely from the engine to the tailpipe, thus improving engine power and efficiency.

Torque Converters

There are many different moving parts within a transmission for a heavy-duty diesel pickup truck. Because of the hauling and towing requirements, as well as the high end level of horsepower, there are many different plates and clutches in a standard diesel pickup truck’s transmission. However, one aspect of the transmission that can take a beating over time is the torque converters.

Because of high levels of horsepower and the stress of towing or hauling excessive amounts of payloads, the torque converters can begin to slip. This slippage produces excessive heat, which can cause the torque converters to literally implode. Upgrading torque converters constructed out of billet steel can not only help avoid slipping, they hold up better in high heat environments.

Turbo Chargers

The concept of turbochargers is very similar to cold air intakes, only at a much higher level. Turbochargers pump excessive amounts of air into the motor, which improves horsepower and performance. The difference between these units and a cold air intake system is that turbochargers use a turbine to create the air. It also uses a compressor to pressurize and forcefully feed the air into the engine. Many diesel pickup trucks already have turbochargers installed. If this isn’t getting the performance needed, it may be time to install a programmable box to adjust the boost the turbocharger provides. Either that or it may be time to upgrade to a new and more advanced turbocharger unit.


Most diesel pickup trucks come replete with a series of gauges to allow the operator to monitor the operation of the vehicle. However, with different upgrades, new gauges may need to be added. Excessive exhaust gas temperatures can ruin a diesel motor. Since most diesel trucks aren’t equipped with an EGT gauge, one may need to be added. If the diesel truck has been retrofitted with a turbo charger, a boost gauge to show the efficiency of the turbocharger is important to ensure that enough boost is being provided.

Lastly, the transmission of a diesel pickup truck is vital to its operation, which is why some owners choose to add a transmission temperature gauge. This helps to monitor the internal temperature of the transmission and can prevent overheating the transmission.

Many people think about upgrading truck equipment like body skirt kits, performance rims or extra lighting, but mechanical upgrades can help a vehicle perform better and be more fuel-efficient. In addition, these upgrades can help a truck enjoy a long and productive life span.