Diesel’s Unstoppable Drive

Mar 11, 2013

A bastion of strength and brute force, today’s diesel pickups offer as much power potential as any vehicle rolling off a dealer’s lot today.

Add in a growing competition market-including drag racing, sled pulling, dyno runs and more-and even the beginnings of a small-car diesel arena, and there’s a real opportunity for aftermarket professionals to build horsepower in this dynamic market.

There are important regulations to be aware of concerning products that affect emissions, and it’s true that steep initial prices and long-term warranties may have some new truck owners wary of jumping into aftermarket additions right away.

But insiders agree that it’s more than made up for by an enthusiastic customer base outfitting trucks coming of warranty or entering into the motorsports side of the market.

To learn more about the products and opportunities available, we checked in with a handful of product manufacturers. One thing they all agree on is that diesel is currently showing an unstoppable drive.

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Fuelab
Litchfield, Ill.
Brian Paitz
President

Our hottest new diesel products are…

…diesel lift pump systems.

Its best features include…

…electronic brushless motor technology with no shaft seals.

The biggest issue currently facing the diesel market from a shop/retailer standpoint is…

…as a manufacturer, we will speculate that having knowledge of the products available in this ever-expanding market must be tough.

New technology is affecting the diesel market by…

…having choices in the modifications of their systems, greatly enhancing diesel performance capabilities.

The biggest misconception shop professionals have regarding diesel products is…

…that “diesels can’t perform, or that they are incapable of high power,” or “diesel products only have limited effect on performance.” Neither of these is true.

Shops should be excited about the potential of the diesel market because…

…of the expanding potential with these systems, both in enhancing performance as well as enhancing reliability for an ever-expanding market.

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PPE (Pacific Performance Engineering)
Fullerton, Calif.
Eric Sempson
Marketing

Our hottest new diesel product is…

…high-flow exhaust manifolds with up-pipes.

Its best features include…

…they are CARB-approved (E.O. D-701-1), cast in Hi-Sil Moly iron and offer a high-flow manifold construction. They are designed to reduce drive pressure and accelerate turbo spool-up while maintaining reliability, and the up-pipe bellows are high-flow, internally sleeved and aircraft-grade.

The biggest issue currently facing the diesel market from a shop/retailer standpoint is…

…I would list three things-product awareness (advertising), product availability and price.

New technology is affecting the diesel market by…

…increasing power and efficiency.

The biggest misconception shop professionals have regarding diesel products is…

…that diesels are too complicated to work on, and that there’s limited product support. PPE offers performance solutions with tech support five days a week.

Shops should be excited about the potential of the diesel market because…

…there is substantial growth in the diesel pickup market, and a great number of trucks were produced from 2001-2010.

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K&N Engineering
Riverside, Calif.
Lucio Tapia
Marketing

Our hottest new diesel product is…

…we continue to expand our offerings of K&N Air Intakes and High-Flow Drop-in Air Filters for the latest diesel trucks and cars. We have recently released a washable and reusable oil filter that covers many diesel applications.

Its best features include…

…the filter housing, bypass valve and call plate are CNC-machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum. The oil filter is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and will provide a substantial increase in oil flow when compared to a standard disposable oil filter.

The biggest issue currently facing the diesel market from a shop/retailer standpoint is…

…in my opinion, the biggest issue that retailers face with the diesel market are emissions laws and regulations. There is a big push overall to offer performance upgrades that are 50-state legal.

All K&N High-Flow replacement air filters are 50-state legal and many of our diesel air intake systems have an EO number that ensures the kit has been tested to comply with emissions standards.

Shops should be excited about the potential of the diesel market because…

…the diesel market is a booming market. The aftermarket support for diesels continues to grow with the popularity of new vehicles. The diesel market is no longer dominated by big trucks that are mostly used for hauling or work.

K&N has focused on rising markets such as the VW TDIs and Jeep/Mercedes models. We have been offering replacement air filters for diesel cars and SUVs along with the light-duty trucks.

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PowerBond
Meridian, Miss.
Doug Smith
Vice President North American Sales & Marketing

Our hottest new diesel product is…

…SFI Race Series Diesel Performance Harmonic Balancers. We have 14 new part numbers that offer diesel customers the ultimate in harmonic balancer quality and performance at an affordable price.

Its best features include…

…strong billet steel ring and hub construction featuring a high-pressure, long-cure injected rubber bonding process that is 10-times stronger than OEM-quality inserted rubber. The balancers have a durable, mirror-like gloss black finish, and meet and exceed SFI 18.1 standards. Ready to compete on any track, they are shipped in a strong wooden, reusable shipping box.

The biggest issue currently facing the diesel market from a shop/retailer standpoint is…

…the availability of quality performance products in the aftermarket at an affordable price. Our balancers offer the ultimate in strength and performance and will not break your customers’ budget.

New technology is affecting the diesel market by…

-¦ just like in the traditional V-8 market, rotating assembly parts are becoming more popular and engines are working harder to make more horsepower. These race situations stress the engine components and create harmonics that are detrimental to the engine’s performance and can possibly cause premature failure.

With a PowerBond Diesel Performance Balancer, customers can ensure that their engines will perform at their best and last longer.

The biggest misconception shop professionals have regarding diesel products is…

…(not recognizing) the growing availability of quality engine components in the aftermarket and not having to pay OEM dealer prices for stock-performing products.

Shops should be excited about the potential of the diesel market because…

…the customer base is loyal and well-educated. They will choose quality over price and return to a dealer and brand that they had a good experience with.

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Hypermax Engineering
Gilberts, Ill.
Jerry Lagod
Owner

Our hottest new diesel product is…

…a turbocharger targeted at the diesel tractor pull market.

Its best features include…

…it offers high airflow at an extremely high pressure ratio.

The biggest issue currently facing the diesel market from a shop/retailer standpoint is…

…as far as road vehicle use, it’s the EPA regulations on emissions. Legally you cannot remove or modify any emissions-related equipment on the newer diesels. A lot of companies have been selling DPF/EGR delete kits. The customers will say it’s for off-road use, but it’s really not, so you have to be careful.

It’s tough to get a product to market that meets these regulations (for street use).

New technology is affecting the diesel market by…

…we are always developing new technology for our products. We have the latest CNC equipment and use whatever rapid prototyping is available in the marketplace in order to get product to market as quickly as we can, because things change so fast.

We have a full development facility, including two dyno cells, so we spend a lot of money on R&D to stay current and ahead of the market. We also manufacture an entire engine for motorsports. We put together a diesel dragster utilizing this engine that set a record for its class in the first season that it was campaigned.

The biggest misconception shop professionals have regarding diesel products is…

…people associate diesels with smoky, loud vehicles. The new diesels aren’t like that at all. Line up next to a new diesel at the stoplight, and you’ll get your doors blown off. They are true performance machines.

Shops should be excited about the potential of the diesel market because…

…the cost of new diesels is around $60,000 and they come with a 100,000-mile warranty, so people are thinking twice about modifying their new trucks. What that means is that sales of trucks out of warranty are bound to pick up, and people are much more apt to take a truck out of warranty and modify it.

We’ll see more business with older trucks every year. The older 7.3- and 6.0-liter diesels are affordable, and lots of people are setting them up for pulling and other competitions. There’s currently a lot of excitement with these older diesels, and the engines are extremely durable.