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TST = More Ram 12V Diesel Power!

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What is the TST kit? TST power curves TST kit details and photos
My comments Joe Donnelly's Comments Other TST Rammers
TST and Transmission strength Cummins Power upgrade Q's Diesel Power Links

So, you think that you need more power for your Ram...

There are two basic approaches to adding fuel for power.
    1.   Install larger fuel injectors.
    2.   Increase fuel rack travel in the injector pump by moving the torque plate, using a richer torque plate, and/or adjusting a screw from the back of the governor. From Joe Donnelly: "I like the TST torque plate approach because it selectively richens fueling vs. rpm to control egt. Non selective richening at all rpm, or too much at any rpm, can cause excesive egt. TST also includes a boost control to raise turbo boost levels to burn the extra fuel efficiently."

NOTE: Any time more fuel is added, the boost must be increased proportionally to control EGT. Simply raising the boost pressure without additional fuel WILL NOT increase engine power output.

What is the TST kit that everyone talks about?

The TST power enhancement kit is the most bang-for-the-buck available at this time for 1994+ (12 Valve)  Rams.The $350 power kit was designed by Mark Chapple, a retired Cummins engineer who operates TST inc. TST kits consist of a new Injector Pump cam plate, a cam plate alignment jig, a wastegate adjustment fitting, and instructions. Installaton is simple, requires about two hours to complete, and a typical kit boosts engine output from 160 HP/ 400 Lb-Ft or 175 HP /420 Lb-Ft to 230 HP/605 Lb-Ft (or more if you chose). The downside of the TST kit is that it voids the engine and drivetrain warranties.

Many have claimed that the B5.9 Cummins turbodiesel installed in the Dodge Ram pickup is easily capable of producing much more power than it does in the Dodge truck. For years, several companies have made power upgrades while the official Cummins policy was "These changes would be cost-prohibitive and void your vehicle's warranty". In November of 1997, Cummins introduced a new $2500 power upgrade for 1994+ Rams to upgrade the engine to 230hp/605lb-ft. This put to rest the contention that increasing the power of the 175 to 215hp engine used in the Ram would lead to premature engine wear or failure. The Cummins upgrade retains the engine warranty, but will void the drivetrain warranty.

How does the torque plate work?

Posted to the TDRoundtable by Joe George :  The torque plate is the throttle stop. Think of a piece of wood under your loud pedal. The thinner the piece of wood the more throttle you have. It's the same thing with a torque plate. ALMOST! The throttle position at WOT (Wide Open Throttle) is determined by a "feeler" piece of metal that contacts the torque plate. Where the complication comes in is that the feeler contacts the torque plate at different places depending on the RPM at WOT. Thus the torque plates have a shape ground into them. Since the feeler comes from the rear to contact the plate you can achieve more fuel at WOT by just moving the stock plate forward in it's adjustment slots. However, the stock plate shape is not all that good for operation in that position because of Exhaust Gas Temp (EGT) problems.

 
  copied from the TST page See their site for more details, installation instructions, etc.


TST Kit details   The TST kit increases engine power by installing a new fuel injection pump torque plate and a wastegate adjustment valve. The kit includes detailed instructions and a video.

 bottom vew of torque platesside view of torque plates
two views comparing the torque plates (click for larger image)
TST plate on the left of each picture, stock 175-215hp plate is on the right

More torque plate pictures 640x480 (35kb):      side view    top view1      top view2     bottom view

NOTE: My TST plate was one of the first made, and is relatively crude compared to the new versions. Newer plates look more like this photo from the Banks Power site.

Total time for a DIY who is familiar with tools is about two hours. The hardest job is removing a "tamper proof" break-off screw. For this job, a hand impact driver with a T10 torx bit and a 6" long 1/4" socket extension is the easiest method.

Pictures 800x600 (90kb):
injector pump - air horn has been moved, the AFC must be removed
injector pump - with alignment jig installed, no torque plate
injector pump - with TST plate installed
AFC  top view - with TST wastegate fitting installed
AFC bottom view - in case you are curious

The TST site has installation instructions, tech info, FAQ's, etc  Installation involves:

NEW   TST's AFC Adjustment Kit

Date:     Sun, 24 Jan 1999 16:37:51 EST
From:    Drdonnelly@aol.com
Turbo Diesel Mailing List - http://www.tstproducts.com

The TST AFC Spring Kit allows you to achieve a good compromise of minimal smoke under acceleration with responsiveness.  It includes medium and light AFC springs for the P7100 pump, Allen screws, Allen wrenches, and break-off screws.  Instructions are included, of course.  The kit goes into the same AFC housing that is removed to install the TST Power Kit.  The AFC Spring Kit is recommended for 215 hp engines at any power level, for higher power kits in the other Ram diesels, and for engines with the 16 sq. cm. turbine housing.

Joe


My TST experience so far...

On Nov 11, 1997 with 50485 miles on my Ram, I added the 230hp/605 Lb-Ft TST kit. The truck has a slide-on camper and GVW runs between 8500 and 9200 pounds , depending on how "packed" the camper is.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly the governor throttled the engine back. Previously it took conscious effort to reach the governor because acceleration was so slow, while the TST kit will put the engine against the governor almost instantly in the first three gears.

Subject: Re: TST kit is in the Ram
From:    KI4CY <my email address>
Date:     Tue, 02 Dec 1997 16:36:30 -0500
To:         RTML

Diesel Rammers,

    Two weeks ago, I installed the TST power kit in my '94 Ram/Cummins. After adjusting out the bugs (mainly with the throttle cable) I must report that I am pleased with the results.
     The wastegate is set to peak at 30 PSI and the truck accelerates quickly with 30 PSI of boost from 1700 rpm to 2400 rpm where the boost begins to drop, falling to 22 PSI at 2500 rpm.  I remember reading something in an old TDR about the fuel lines in the 94 trucks being too small, with a 1/2" overlay kit available from Dodge. I guess I am probably running out of fuel flow at 2500 rpm.
     At 1500 rpm the boost maximum is about 25 PSI (I can't find a load/hill big enough to hold the engine at 1500 rpm long enough to get a boost reading!) The engine blows some dark gray smoke below 1500 RPM with heavy throttle.
     The filter minder moves for the first time since the truck was new. With a new Dodge air filter, I get 10" of restriction. Next, I will put my K&N filter back in, and see how much restriction it produces.   Update Feb27, 1998 - the K&N pulls 7.5" of restriction at 30 psi.
     The rear wheels will break loose on wet pavement in 4th gear if I mash the throttle at 1600 rpm.  This happened several times yesterday on wet I77 on-ramps where the ramps were straight but climbing uphill. At first I thought the clutch was slipping because the engine would speed up, then slow even though the truck was still accelerating. After a few experiments, I determined that it was the rear breaking traction. Not bad for a truck and camper weighing 8700 pounds. I haven't found a grade (7.5% max so far..) that requires a downshift from overdrive. Oh yes, my LockRight induces some serious torque steer on wet pavement as the tires fight for traction.
     The EGT appears to run cooler with the TST kit.  I had expected to see at least 800 degrees at 1600 rpm (58 mph) in OD based on past experience with the stock engine. So far, I haven't seen anything over 700 degrees.  I am not sure why the EGT is running cooler than before, but it may be because the boost on a long uphill cruise will idle at around 10 psi with an occasionally pulse up to 22 psi, where before it would sit for long periods at 12 psi (57MPH/1550RPM) or 16 psi (70MPH/1940RPM). Also, the engine doesn't spend a lot of time at full power because it accelerates through the gears much more quickly. Maybe it's just cooler weather! The sound of my engine changes as the boost climbs above 20 psi, and the drivetrain noise increases dramatically also.

Anyway Joe, Jeff, Vikki, John, Tim, JV, Stan, you all were right - I love it!    Dave



Subject:    Re: [RAM]diesel exhaust, TST tests
Date:        Wed, 28 Jan 1998 20:02:00 EST
From:       Drdonnelly <Drdonnelly@aol.com>
To:           RTML

I have tried several setups and can make some comments that you may or may not like :)

    The stock stuff is not so bad on 94-up with stock power level.  Just don't idle too much especially in the cold, and don't use mouse milk fuel additives like ATF.  These two things plug the catalytic converter.  In general, gains are not great until you up the power a lot and then exhaust work pays off.
     Now, let me comment that TST is getting some dyno work done on the 180 AT engine to compare exhaust with and without the "restrictions" one at a time, at three power levels--stock, 250 hp, and 280 hp (rear wheel values).  TST plans to offer 4" exhaust from the turbo on back for those who need it, but will do dyno testing to determine what the real gains are before trying to sell everyone stuff that does not work for them.  Their tests are planned for the next month or so.
     The $349 TST kit gives a lot for not much money (for example, for the 180 AT like yours, they have a 230 hp/605 ft lb kit (that dyno'ed at 251/558 rear wheel) and bigger like the one that dyno'ed at 280/695, which requires a shift kit and torque converter lock up switch to work well.  Anyway, their philosophy is that power gains should cost what they are worth, and they don't try to get you to buy a bunch of other stuff that is not needed.  That is why they are testing the truck at three power levels to see what the gains are. For example, the exhaust backpressure at stock power is not bad, within Cummins specs, but with the power increased, backpressure can double even with a medium uprate.  This is sure to cost some power, but how much?
     Check their web site www.tstproducts.com for updates.  After I hear, I will post the results.  Meanwhile, I would hang loose and not spend the big bucks for the 4" cat-back stuff.  If you gotta do something, get the Walker 21468 3" glasspack to replace the stock muffler, or just run the cat con and straight pipe after it.  The gains will be small, based upon my seat of the pants testing, but might be worth something for you.  I found that if the cat-con is plugged, power suffers.  The Walker can lower the exhaust gas temperature, and help acceleration a bit.  Using either a muffler or a cat-con to reduce noise is probably the way to go, because the exhaust gets pretty loud with only 3" pipe.  I am waiting to hear about the dyno test results before I spend money on bigger exhaust.

Joe

Subject:       Re: [RAM] CUMMINS UPGRADE
Date:           Fri, 20 Feb 1998 21:28:49 EST
From:          Drdonnelly@aol.com
To:              RTML

    A number of folks both on the list and off it have the TST kits.  All are very happy and feel the power increase is great at a very modest cost.  I have seen a number of TST equipped trucks dyno tested before and after the kit.  I personally knew the owners, know the trucks were totally stock before, and installed the kits myself so I know nothing else was done.  The gains advertised by TST were met or exceeded.  Seldom these days do you get more than you pay for.
     For example, a stock 98 Quad Cab 4x4 automatic gave, if I recall, 178 hp/405 ft lb _ at the rear wheels_ against advertised stock _flywheel_ ratings of 180/420.  This is consistent with most Cummins giving more than advertised. Several TST kits were tested,  and one gave 280/695 again, at the rear wheels, and on a 4x4 at that.  Other kits gave less power, like 251/558 at the rear wheels, exceeding the 230 hp advertised, and right on or above the 605 flywheel rating once that number is adjusted to rear wheel numbers.  Such a smaller kit would work better with the stock transmission.  These figures are just to show you that you can get the kind of power others advertise for upwards of $3000 by spending $349 on a TST Power Kit.
     Banks is a reputable company, but IMHO tends to sell you a lot of stuff that does not seem to be needed to get the uprate you seek. I have personally tested some stuff that is heavily advertised like exhaust mods, and found that not all worked out for me as advertised, so to speak.  I would  prefer not to post comments on BD.

The above is IMHO, and based on my experiences and some of other folks who have told me what they found.  YMMV

Joe

Some power upgrade threads from the TDR forum:

Note: the old links quit working when the TDR site was upgraded. Links to threads do not work because the thread number changed when the board software was upgraded. To find these, you will have to use the search engine.

More power vs. Transmission Strength

Subject:       Re: [RAM] 5 speed, strength, TST
Date:           Mon, 19 Jan 1998 00:02:24 EST
From:          Drdonnelly <Drdonnelly@aol.com>
To:              RTML

The automatics are descendants of the 727 Torqueflite, a fine transmission that still sees use in such drag racing applications as the Super Stock/A Automatic Hemi Cuda.  In the trucks, it is not beefed like the drag racers do, of course, and the overdrive module is not as strong as the rest of the transmission.  I can speak mostly about the diesel applications, and they do challenge the torque handling capabilities of the transmissions.  It happens that TST has tested both kinds of transmissions and determined their practical limits for street usage with modest upgrading, in the process of developing uprate kits for the diesels.

It is not unusual for the diesels to deliver more power than advertised, unlike most gas engines.  For example, dyno testing of a v10 Viper yielded rear wheel hp/torque of 363/440 vs. advertised flywheel values of 450/490. This lower power at the rear wheels is typical.  On the other hand, a 180/420 diesel automatic yielded 178/405 at the wheels.  This means that the diesels are challenging the automatics more than it seems from looking at the paper specs.

TST has been uprating the diesel engines for a while now and has found that the automatic in stock condition can held about 600-630 ft lb (rear wheel torque).  With better clutches, shift kit, torque converter lock up switch, and stronger torque converter, it can take 700 or a bit more at the rear wheels.

Now on to the NV4500 5 speed.  Cummins Recon found that the 5 speed took the 890 estimated torque of their land speed record winning truck, if a stronger clutch was installed.  TST recently tested a prototype heavy duty clutch and found that it slipped between 925 and 950 ft lb (rear wheel).  The NV4500 performed well with that level of torque.

From what TST has found, it appears that Dodge is providing us with pretty good transmissions, so long as we do our part regarding maintenance and reasonable use.

Joe
 
Subject:  Re: DiRT: 47rh/re torque rating
Date:      Thu, 13 Aug 1998 21:38:38 EDT
From:     Drdonnelly@aol.com
To:         DiRT

> does anyone know the torque rating of the 47rh/re auto trans? is there a
> better way to beef it up than a trango kit or anything that can be added
> to trango.

This tranny holds up to diesels with 800 ft lb torque at the rear wheels with the trans go or TST shift kit.  The TST clutch packs also help, but may not be essential.   I think I would prefer them for heavy towing.

Subject:   Re: convertor lock up mystery switch
Date:       Fri, 27 Feb 1998 11:02:36 -0500
From:      Brian Roth <74763.45@compuserve.com>
To:          cummins

There has been some chatter about locking up the clutch on the 47rh/re transmissions.  We are releasing a little kit including some relays etc that will engage the lockup when the exhaust brake is engaged.  This does put a demand on the lock up clutch fiber but the amount of retarding power developed though close to the limit we find the stock fiber will hold. We of course do recommend that our convertor be installed which has a Kevlar fiber which has a higher coefficient of friction and will handle this retarding hp much easier.

We are taking a stand on the convertor clutch lock up when used on acceleration though.  The amount of torque available at 1700 rpm on the stock engine can cause the stock fiber to slip and burn. If you are developing more than 500 lbs ft of torque consider it burnt toast.  Our convertor clutch warranty will not cover this type of lock up function for acceleration.  We have had many customers with extremely high torque values pour the coal in at the 1700 rpm level and though the Kevlar fiber is very durable it can't handle the high torque and low transmission pressures which occur at 1700 rpm.

We suggest to keep below 20 psi boost when below 2000 rpm, and look for a competent transmission shop to fine tune the trany for high pressures.

Brian Roth

BD Engine Brake & Valley Fuel Injection
Sister Co's in Diesel Technology
home page  http://www.bd-vfi.com/valleyfuel.html

Subject:       Re: [RAM] CUMMINS UPGRADE
Date:           Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:46:04 -0500
From:          KI4CY <my email address>
To:              RTML

> If anyone has added any products (Banks, TST, BD, etc) to their
> engine please let me know the following:
>
>         4.  Any problems with/after installation?

4) No problems here other than some dark gray smoke with a heavy foot at less than 1500 RPM. I have been to lazy to get out in the sloppy weather and adjust away the smoke. I may just leave it that way to discourage tailgaters.

Update August 1998 - I slid the AFC housing back about 1/16" and most of the smoke is gone.

Some people have reported trouble with the 5th gear nut on the NV4500. If the engine is frequently lugged, the TST kit will develop enough torque to spin the retainer nut and OD gear loose. It isn't a catastrophic failure, but does require some disassembly of the transmission to tighten the nut and restore OD.

Join us. Feel the power of the dark side.   Dave
--

Subject:   Re: [RAM] CUMMINS UPGRADE
Date:       Tue, 24 Feb 1998 11:40:30 EST
From:      Drdonnelly@aol.com
To:          RTML

Don't worry too much about the 5th gear nut loosening on the NV4500.  Just
don't lug it with substantial loading below about 1500 rpm.  I have heard of
folks going through several transmissions with stock power who commit this
abuse frequently.  The NV4500 will take a lot of torque in 5th gear if you use
it prudently.



Other TST Rammers (from DiRT, RTML and Cummins Lists)

Larry McNamara <mcnamara@netcom.ca>
wolfrider@gorge.net (Lance Kirk)
PowerMaster@dodgeram.com (Stan Steele)
Drdonnelly@aol.com (Joe Donnelly)
John Donovan <jdonovan@vivid.newbridge.com>
Tim Sielski <tsielski@idsonline.com>
HAMMAKEJ@mailgate.navsses.navy.mil (Hammaker, Jeffrey)
JV Franck <sonny387@pipeline.com>
"vikki" <sybill@gate.net>
Steve Lane <lane17@llnl.gov>
 <Eric >EBogusch@QualityRepair.com


WARNINGS, ETC

TSB 14-07-97 details what and where to look for to detect any tampering with Cummins fuel injection pumps that they inspect, service, or replace in the field. You have been warned!  TSB runs some 8 pages with drawings and such...


Cummins Power Upgrade Q's

Cummins Offeres several levels of power upgrade for Dodge Ram B engines. These upgrades DO NOT void the engine warranty. Drivetrain ratings will be exceeded for some power levels, which would void any remaining drivetrain warrany.

Subject:  Re: Cummins upgrade kits
Date:      Fri, 9 Oct 1998 14:20:30 -0500
From:     j.e.berman@metc.cummins.com
To:        cummins

Q: As most people know, Cummins offers 2 factory upgrade kits for the 12V B-series engines. For the 94-95 autos, there is a kit that adds about 20hp to the stock 160 I believe. It costs about $700. For the rest, there is a kit that takes you up to 230 hp but it costs about $2400. My question: why the huge price difference?

Q: I am considering having cummins installing their Incereased horsepower and torque kit in my 1995 Dodge 2500.  I  have asked at different Dodge dealers and they are giving me mixed answers as to them maintianing  the warrentee on the automatic transmission and the rest of the drive line.  Please let me know what you know!!!

The 230 HP kit is more $ because it includes a _new_ fuel pump, while the 175 HP kit only requires a recalibrated injection pump (your original pump can be recalibrated, or you can have a ReCon recalibrated pump in exchange for your pump; no $ difference). Both kits are only for 1994-1998 trucks (with P7100 fuel pumps).

The Dodge vehicle & engine warranties are not affected by this installation of the 175 HP kit. However, the 230 HP kit is another story:

(this statement is included in the kit)

CAUTION
-------
THE INSTALLATION OF THIS KIT IS CONSIDERED TO BE A MODIFICATION TO THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER'S VEHICLE DESIGN, AND MAY VOID THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER'S VEHICLE OR PARTS WARRANTY, SO YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE OR COST OF REPAIRS IF A PART FAILURE IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE INSTALLATION OF THIS KIT.

HORESEPOWER AND TORQUE PROVIDED BY THIS KIT CAN EXCEED MANUFACTURER'S RATINGS UNDER CERTAIN OPERATING CONDITIONS!!  FOR BEST OPERATING RESULTS, AVOID THE EXCESSIVE USE OF HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE EXPECIALLY ON STEEP GRADES OR WHEN TOWING HEAVY LOADS. FOLLOW ALL MANUFACTURER'S GUIDELINES FOR PROPER VEHICLE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, ESPECIALLY RELATED TO MAXIMUM VEHICLE CARGO AND TOWING CAPACITIES.

However, Cummins (not Dodge) will cover the entire engine (but NOT the driveline or truck parts)
1) up the end of the standard 5yr/100,000 mi warranty, or
2) if the truck/engine were out of warranty when the kit was installed, for 1 year and unlimited miles after installing the 230 HP kit.

        I hope this info helps,

        -Josh Berman


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