Modifying the engine intake for any kind of internal combustion engine is a well-known tactic for changing the available power output from the engine, maximizing fuel efficiency, and generally improving it to suit the driver.
It’s no different when you drive diesel, it’s just that your modifications need to approach the issue with this fuel source in mind. What does that mean? Well, for starters, the performance of diesel fuel is highly dependent on the temperature of the environment.
The fuel becomes an amorphous gel that no longer operates like liquid fuel when the temperature gets too low, but it doesn’t need to be cold enough to cause that kind of trouble for you to notice an efficiency drop-off. One way to help maintain fuel efficiency even during cold snaps? An intake heater.
Temperature, Pressure, Ratio
The way your engine behaves depends on a lot of factors, but the big ones you can control are the temperature and the ratios. Which ratios? For starters, the compression ratio of the engine. Diesel requires high compression to operate properly, and downward shifts in temperature don’t just change the way the fuel flows, they also change the way air compresses. Keeping the air at an ideal temperature helps maintain a consistent air pressure across different operating temperatures, which helps maintain that compression ratio.
The fuel/air mixture is also a ratio, and that can also be modified to make a difference. Additionally, opening up the intake can help you get more air to the engine, which allows you to feed the right amount into the reaction more quickly, operating at higher engine speeds with ease.
Save Money on Fuel With Performance Parts
If you’re running diesel as part of a commercial operation, efficiency is probably front and center in your mind. Stock parts are never quite as high performance as they could be, because the manufacturer is designing for a trade-off point between quality and price. That means you can get a little more out of your engine with the right modifications, including a little more mileage out of each gallon of fuel. Over the life of a truck, that can really add up.