Diesel Tuner's Blog

'03 Duramax in a '58 Apache, ApacheMax Build Thread 1

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 23, 2017 9:43:00 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in LB7, apache, build thread, apachemax

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ApacheMax Build Thread, 1


This 1958 Chevy Apache pickup started life in Michigan.  Eric Kock had bought the truck new in 1958 and drove it daily while logging in the UP.  

While Eric owned the truck it had a hard life, being worked on logging trails and used like a truck everyday.  However, he took great care of it and actually did a frame up restoration twice while he had the truck. 

In 2013 it made it's way to DuramaxTuner.com with the original paint  scheme still intact. 

The original plan for the truck was to swap the body onto a GM 2500 HD chassis and throw an LB7 Duramax motor and driveline in it.  It sounds simple right? Originally there were no plans on doing a fully built motor and since it was going to mate up to a ZF6 the plan only included an aftermarket clutch.  In the end, it turned out to be "Something the Terminator would drive" (Nick Preignitz).

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3 Things Your 600HP LB7 Build Must Have

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2017 8:50:00 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in Duramax Performance, dsp5, EFILive, Duramax Power, LB7, SPADE, Fass, Lift Pump, CTS2

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Your 600HP Duramax Needs These 3 Things:

There are a lot of part combinations that can take your 2001-2004 Duramax to 600HP.  No matter what selections you make, there are 3 things you have to include if you want to keep your truck healthy and making power.

Here are some other articles about LB7 trucks:

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'85 Square Body fitted on a 640HP Duramax

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 1, 2017 4:00:00 PM / by Paul Wilson posted in LB7, Stealth, Scottsdale

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Scottsdale Duramax

This 1985 Scottsdale pickup truck started life with a 6.2L diesel motor.  That's right, the non-turbo, under-powered, over weight regular cab had a dismal 130 horse power from the factory.  

We love the body lines and nostalgia of these trucks.  The swap being partially done prior to it coming to us DuramaxTuner.com was an appealing feature to this build.  This provided a solid head start on a project truck we intended to use for testing.  


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Schedule a DYNO appointment today!

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 27, 2016 4:13:41 PM / by Danny Voss posted in dsp5, LLY, LML, Diesel Tuning, LBZ, LB7

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What is the the best tool a diesel enthusiast could ever ask for; a Mustang 4WD Chassis Dynamometer.  Why is that?  An 4WD Chassis Dyno gives you the ability to see exactly what your truck is capable of.  It also provides tuners the safe and controlled enviroment required to test calibrations and dial in your truck to best running condition.  Which in turn, gives you a truck that not only makes big power, drives as smooth as possible and gives you insight to when and how your truck performs at it's best.  

  • Find your PEAK Horse Power and Torque
  • Get the smoothest running truck possible
  • Gain insight into how and when your truck performs it's best

Many people have estimated horse power and torque numbers based on what someone else has told them.  A Chassis Dyno gives you the ability to know exactly how much power you have at the wheels.  No guessing or estimating involved since a dyno is a measurement tool at it's core.  

Beyond peak power, there is drive-ability to consider when you have a heavily modified truck.  Any tuner can make the peak power number, the difference between them is how the truck drives on the street.  Smoke output, shift points, throttle response and so much else can be dialed in when you are strapped to a dyno for testing.    

Diesel truck owners often want more RPM.  The logic here is that RPM equals power.  However, a chasis dyno gives you a clear picture of where and when your truck makes peak power.  When it comes to competing with your truck, this is crucial!  Diesel guys know all too well how close sled pulling or drag racing can be, so every possible edge really matters.  


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LB7 Duramax Turbo Upgrade!

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in Stealth 64, LB7, Stealth

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  • What is your power goal?
  • How do you use the truck?
  • Is there a sled pull class you would like to compete in?
  • What are your future plans for the truck?
  • Are your mechanical skills up to par for installing it yourself or are you taking it to a shop for installation?
  • What is your budget?
With so many options on the market, it's very hard to determine which is the best choice for you.  Of course you can always call each manufacturer and discuss what options they have, however you will still need to ask the right questions. I hope to save you time, money, and the headache of weeding through all of the hype out there and point you in the right direction in  how to select the right turbo for you!

What are your Power Goals?

Clearly defining your power goals will help you establish a game plan. No one wants to buy a turbo that will not work with their future goals for the truck. However there are some baselines that you need to set first; like are you going to build the motor?  On an LB7 we know the rods cannot handle more than 650HP.   So if you're not going to invest $15k-$25k on a motor build, there's no point in purchasing a turbo that is 800 HP capable.  On the flip side, if you are going to do a motor build in the future but want something more suited for the stock truck, consider a valley charger that will still work-in a twin kit.  This is a great way to maximize your dollar-per-horse-power. Below you will find a list of just a few chargers and their peak horse power. 


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The Cleanest and Meanest LB7 Dually I Ever Drove

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 12, 2016 11:06:32 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in Stealth 64, LB7, Stealth

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This LB7 Dually Killing It

I had a customer come into the shop with a pair of up-pipes and a down-pipe he wanted installed on his LB7 dually.  I told him that it would not be a problem and to come by the shop early one morning.  I happened to be near the front door when the the truck pulled in and my jaw about dropped when this thing came barreling down the road and whipped into the parking lot.  

After a brief discussion with the truck owner I found out this unit had just 89k miles on it and everything was original.  This gun metal gray paint had no fading or scratches and free of any noticeable chips or short comings.  The interior had no cracks in the plastics, the charcoal gray interior was mint, even the white paint on each button could still be seen clearly.  I think what really set it off was the 22.5" semi tires wrapped with 37" rubber.  Other basics had been done as well, all the trim was tastefully done, headlights and head unit upgraded and so on.  Looking back, each individual piece was fairly standard and readily available.  However, when put together on this 4 door dually; it just worked perfect!  



After our previous conversation of the truck, I found myself getting as excited about the potential for how cool this thing could be.  However, as any truck build story goes we ran into a few small hurdles that we needed solutions for.   Bolts broke while removing the up-pipes and the turbo had to come out.  It left us with an opportunity to replace the stock IHI with our Stealth 64 LB7 turbo.  Now we knew that because of how the owner used his truck that the transmission was going to need attention down the road . . . . shortly down the road.  It ended up being very shortly down the road.  Once the truck had a  DT750 built transmission we decided to install a few supporting mods.  

Request More Information about the Stealth 64 Turbo

  • DuramaxTuner.com Jack DSP5 Tuning
  • Lift Pump
  • Traction Bars

After the truck returned to it's daily life as a highway driver/midnight tollway race truck, it was not too long until we had another obstacle to overcome....

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6 Things To Know Before Upgrading Your Duramax Turbo!

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Paul Wilson posted in Duramax Performance, LLY, duramaxtuner, LML, LBZ, Turbo, Stock Turbo, Stealth 64, Turbo Wheel, LB7, Stealth

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Stock Duramax Turbo Upgrades!

Duramax owners are generally proud of how their stock turbos perform.  They spool quickly, run hard and are capable of over 500 RWHP (once you tune it and make a few supporting modifications to handle the power).  However, after driving your truck around 520 RWHP for a while, the addiction will creep in and you may find yourself shopping for more power.  We all do it!  For some, it may not even be about more power, it may be about EGT control under load, or it may just be the factory turbo had an issue and needs to be replaced.  If you are anything like me, you will not want to replace it with the factory components if there is an upgraded, after market, charger available. 

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