Join Date: Jan 2012
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Tuners and heads
I've had lots of issues with my truck which I won't go back through. But I have it now in real great shape. I had the engine completely rebuilt with lots of updated components from ARP's to the full Bullet Proof System. It runs great, probably 20 more HP than stock and the numbers I'm monitoring are dead on perfect. I had the engine built out of state and simply changed out by a friend that is a great general mechanic, but not specifically a diesel guy. So I took it to 3 different well known diesel shops in my area and one dealership to have the truck gone through given this was the third time an engine had been pulled and replaced. I figured a few things might need fine tuning and they did. My truck is been given some pretty solid votes of confidence by these shops.
While at one shop I asked one of the mechanics about adding a tuner to the CTS to pick up a few extra HP's while towing in the mountains. He asked me not to quote him to his boss, but he said even with the ARP's they are seeing trucks blow out head gaskets, almost exclusively when they are tuned. I told him that I had read online that the head studs seemed solve the HG issue. He said 'apples and oranges'. He said I probably am reading about a guy in the Midwest towing 15,000-20,000 lbs farm equipment on flat ground. He said in the Southwest with our heat and major mountain climbs the strain on the truck is way harsher. He said imagine two guys at a football stadium one with a 100 pound backpack and one with an 80 lb pack. The one with the 100# is running back and forth between the goal lines and the other with the 80# is sprinting up and down the stadium steps. He said my truck is on the stadium steps.
He said that when 'they' cut back on the total amount of head bolt locations with the 6.0 that even studs can't fix the issue HG over the long term in these conditions, the heads will heat and flex. In short he said stay stock and just get used to driving in the right lane up the grades. I asked another of the mechanics and his response was "yeah, seen it happen a few times last year".
Have any of you had long term success (or problems) with the head gaskets pulling loads on mountain grades with a mild tow tune? I'm not a right lane kind of driver, but hate being in the emergency land with the hood up either. Thanks for any input.