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Old 07-09-2008, 05:57 PM   #1
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Question Diesel Monitor / Gauges ??

As I set up my new Tow Vehicle, I begin to rethink the value of gages and monitoring critical parameters that the stock Ford Dash either does not report or does not report accurately or in a timely manner.

Case in point from reading diesel forums, as well as the one thread below, monitoring of EGT temps is critical in diesels, as an indicator of performance during heavy use or pull.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ure-17757.html

Ford nor the other medium duty pickup truck manufacturers provide this measurement gage on the dash.

I have also known that the Ford transmission gage is somewhat inaccurate, only moving to the "red" once it has already exceeded a temp, giving you little to no warning.

Real time gages and monitoring seems to be a common add on accessory for the diesel pickup market.

I myself am looking to install this from EDGE products. A simple LCD monitor that can display multiple parameters at a time, with threshold alarms.

Edge Products: Product

This product, when installed on a 2008 Ford 6.4L diesel, does not require any drilling for temperature probe as Ford has a factory probe in place already. Another beauty about this unit is that plugs directly into the OBDII (diagnostic) port. No wire splicing, no actual gages to hook up. Plug and play.

And no, it's not a programmer, just a monitor...

And for a price less than $300, seems like cheap insurance to me...


So how many of you (other than Iver or Porky Pig) use a set of gages to monitor critical diesel parameters on your trucks?

Can those of you who have added gages, please tell me what parameters you have decided to monitor, and if you have felt it useful?
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
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I use the Edge Evolution and watch EGT, Engine Oil Temp, Trans Temp, and Boost.

I have set limits on each so the edge sets an alarm if I reach them. The main one I am interested in is EGT and it is set at 1200 degrees.

Last weekend the Edge did advise me when I hit an over boost condition while pulling a hill.

Yes the gages Ford installs might just as well be painted on the dash as they do not react other than to go to the set position and stay there. I can range over 40 degrees on the trans oil temperature and never see any movement on the dash.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:42 PM   #3
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When we had our Ford diesel, I had a pyrometer (exh gas temp), boost gauge, engine temp, and trans fluid temp gauges. You may have to wait a year, but you should be able to get a gauge cluster that will fit in the left A pillar, that will contain 3 of your favorite aftermarket gauges.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:06 PM   #4
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The number 1 most important gauge that U really need is a pyrometer. It reacts almost instantly (if ya watch it) too changes in exhaust tempture , which is directly related to low water, low oil levels,broken fan belts,Malfuntioning Ther-matic Fans,and just plain "LUGIN IT"An engine can live a longtime if the pyrometer is used correctly. I have to fly by the seat of my pants cause I don't have one and wish I did.
Why do I know this? How bout 45 yrs with diesel engines and never lost one.
Overlander I hope they can be install in my 01!
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #5
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I have to agree that a pyrometer is very important. Once your pistons melt, you have all sorts of other problems.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's input. Yeah, I know EGT Temps (what you guys are calling pyrometer) is one of the key items to monitor.

Since the 2008 Super Duties already have a thermocouple probe (for the DPF Regen cycles), I don't have to do any drilling.

Also know that tranny temp is key for us too, anything past 200 is "warning", past 225 is "pull over now" temp....

What I draws me to the EDGE system is that it is a simple stand alone plug and play device, plugging straight into OBDII (diagnostic) port under the dash, so I don't have to run separate gages and wires up to the A pillar.

It's also upgradeable via USB thru my PC, and includes a pretty comprehensive software package to do advanced monitoring logging, and diagnostics.

The whole unit will sit in a pod right over the driver side air vent (see pic below).

Well, since my first posting in this thread I went ahead and ordered it, the monitor and pod for $317.20, free overnight shipping and no tax.

I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

Pics below are the "pod" and the display with a thermocouple EGT probe. I won't need the probe since the 6.4L has one from the factory already.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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hi bandit

it will be nice 2 read how ya like this gadget...

i went through the same process (looking for better gauges) with the 05 during the 'tweak it' phase...

and finally decided on doing nothing...

i agree the oem package is lame...

but didn't like the look of A pillar replacements, which are now available for the 08s.

also didn't want a dash mount package.

the edge product looked interesting, but i got a lotta feedback their customer service was poor.

and didn't want weekly "BUY OUR CHIP" reminders from them...

i've towed a large trailer 60k miles; lots a mountains, the mojave, death valley, and so on...

-2-3 minutes cool down for all stops while towing.
-full syn 5-40 oil regularly changed.
-lots of filters and 2 tranny services...
-the 5-40 oil is a plus in the winter and reduces warm up time...

none of the issues i've had with the powerstroke would have been altered by better gauges.

and the NEWER obd and code reading SHUTS DOWN the engine or puts it in LIMP MODE for any major issue...

so the days of the driver reading gauge info and reacting don't really apply to the new trucksncars...

there aren't a lot of over heating or toasted turbos or tranny failures reported on these trucks.

so i've been fine without the extra/precise info even though i love gadgets...

what i really wanted (and still do) is a double din sized lcd in the radio space...

with all the engine/tranny parameters easily read, tire pressures and no add on boxes for crooks to see...

still the new edge gizmo is pretty cool.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
hi bandit

it will be nice 2 read how ya like this gadget...

i went through the same process (looking for better gauges) with the 05 during the 'tweak it' phase...

and finally decided on doing nothing...

i agree the oem package is lame...

but didn't like the look of A pillar replacements, which are now available for the 08s.

also didn't want a dash mount package.

the edge product looked interesting, but i got a lotta feedback there customer service was poor.

and didn't want weekly "BUY OUR CHIP" reminders from them...

i've towed a large trailer 60k miles; lots a mountains, the mojave, death valley, and so on...

-2-3 minutes cool down for all stops while towing.
-full syn 5-40 oil regularly changed.
-lots of filters and 2 tranny services...
-the 5-40 oil is plus in the winter and reduces warm up time...

none of the issues i've had with the powerstroke would have been altered by better gauges.

there aren't a lot of over heating or toasted turbos or tranny failures reported on these trucks.

so i've been fine without the extra/precise info even though i love gadgets...

what i really wanted (and still do) is a double din sized lcd in the radio space...

with all the engine/tranny parameters easily read, tire pressures and no add on boxes for crooks to see...

still the new edge gizmo is pretty cool.

cheers
2air'

Hi 2Air...

Always enjoy reading your post/replies...

I didn't do gages on the Excursion, mainly because it was an '05 and felt it was proven and revised 6.0 over the '03s that initially came out. Probably not much different in your thought process when you decided to skip the guages as well. (you have a '06 or '07, correct?)

With that same thinking, since my truck is a first generation model year 6.4 (at least under the Ford logo), I wanted to be able to baseline it with and without the trailer.

I always used 15W-40 dino oil - changed every 5-7K miles depending how much towing I did, and let the engine idle and turbo cool a few min at each stop when towing. No issues and never had oil leaks - in fact her spot in the garage is still clean as when I built the house. I've only had one alternator fail on me on a deserted mountain road in New Mexico, and she still got be back to town.

71K miles later she still runs strong as when I got her at 13K miles. (Now I'm feeling bad about selling her as I type this)

I'll see how well the Edge insight works. If anything, at least I'll be able to see my EGTs and tranny temp.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:10 PM   #9
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forgot to mention bandit...

i do occasionally tow quickly!

this was in wyoming last month air temp about 55,

about 7,000 feet and at cruising speed...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:58 PM   #10
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about 7,000 feet and at cruising speed...

Wow 2air!

2250 RPM and 88 MPH! Must be some tall gears in the rear end!

I agree with the concept of no aftermarket gages as these computer controlled engines are not set up to destroy themselves. The best actions are the 2 - 3 minute cool down and engine and tranny oil changes. I was told by a tranny rebuilder (actually rebuilder, not a replacer) that modern transmissions are set up to shift softly which will burn the fluid more quickly than older or modified trannys that shift harder.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:23 AM   #11
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Kevin
I don't have the luxury of any gauges sept for Water temp in the 01. But I do the "seat of the pants" cool downs everytime I stop. I drove Cummins engines for yrs and they are very sensetive to high temp shut-downs.High shut down temps cook the O-Rings on the liners and destroy turbo-seals. Im retired now but the last Cummins I broke in is still running wiff over a I think a million miles and have never been down. It will use 1 gallon of oil in 10k miles. Thats really good for 855cu in engine. So U can kinda get the idea that special attention to detail and great maintainence pay off.
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:37 AM   #12
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Rivet Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
Kevin
I don't have the luxury of any gauges sept for Water temp in the 01. But I do the "seat of the pants" cool downs everytime I stop. I drove Cummins engines for yrs and they are very sensetive to high temp shut-downs.High shut down temps cook the O-Rings on the liners and destroy turbo-seals. Im retired now but the last Cummins I broke in is still running wiff over a I think a million miles and have never been down. It will use 1 gallon of oil in 10k miles. Thats really good for 855cu in engine. So U can kinda get the idea that special attention to detail and great maintainence pay off.
Hi Kevin and Prim,

Excellent points from 2air too. I tend to agree that you probably don't need the aftermarket set of gauges, you have a lot of truck and not really that big a trailer. It sure is a nice one, though. I have followed your posts.

I ran a turbocharged big-block Plymouth for years with only a vacuum-boost gauge. I kept an eye on the spark plugs to see what the combustion chamber temps had been.

Still, that is a sweet set of gauges. Thanks for sharing the info!
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:55 PM   #13
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Got them installed.

Well, I got them installed and I ended up not using the "pod". I have it Velcro'd on the dash. All of 3 minutes for the whole install.

Soo.... I agree maybe I don't need them, but it sure felt good to know what was going on. This was the first gages I have every used, so it was kinda neat.

Came in handy this weekend. I ended up leaving town Thursday night, after being fed up with work and stress.

Got to camp for a day or 2, and popped open the hood to change the headlights to the supposed "brighter / whiter Sylvania Silver stars". Noticed right away there was a white spotty residue all over the positive battery terminal cover, and over the coolant reservoir, as well as the wiring harness under the reservoir.

I looked closely at the cap, and saw that the oil change monkeys at the dealer must have loosened the cap and never tightened it back all the way as the collar on the reservoir was covered in residue from leaking coolant under pressure...

I saw I was WAY low on coolant. Below the "cold" line.

Keep in mind this is Saturday at 7 PM when I discover this in a small Texas town.

You know how nearly impossible it is to find Ford "Gold" coolant in a small town on Sat night? Local Ford dealer closed. Compatible or Equivalent "Zerex G-05" is also impossible to find....

So, I can't find any coolant and end up buying distilled water "just in case", but never poured it in the reservoir. Just had it as backup...

I was mildly concerned for the predicted upper 90's weather on the Texas hill country roads pulling a trailer, but figured I'm just barely over half of 1/2 of the load capacity this truck can take...

I get on the other Ford diesel forums and read my manual to determine what "worst case" scenario would be, and what temperatures "limp mode" would kick in. After all, I can now monitor the temps in real time....

So, net of the story is that the Tranny temps never passed 180, engine coolant never passed 208, and EGTs were well below 1200 most of the time. I even had one regeneration cycle as we drove, but felt no impact on the pulling power and saw no impact on engine temps either.

Now I have a baseline, (even with low coolant), and will understand better what to look for should I get into a heavy pull or long steep grade. In addition, it allows me to monitor conditions if I need to manage certain parameters before they get to critical levels, like watching the engine temperature knowing I was low on coolant in the Texas summer pulling a trailer...

So, Was it worth the $300 bucks? Probably not. Does it give me a bit more info to watch and with that some piece of mind? So far, I'd say yes just based on my latest experience, but only time will tell...

It is kinda cool to watch the numbers change in real time... reminds me of the digital dashes cars had in the 80s.... Kinda "Knight Rider"-ish....
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:56 PM   #14
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Looks good up there. I wouldn't think it would hamper your vision either. It's rite there in the corner of your eye. Nice Job. When U begin climbing grades U will defineatly see how it works. It sounds like the stinger is one the "hot side" of the turbo. I prefer it to be on the cool side. Which is behind the turbo. These things get really hot(stingers/probes) and I have seen them fail and the stinger go thru the turbo which destroys the fans. The only difference is about 200 degrees U just have to take that into consideration with on a pull and U see 1000 degrees U know thats to hot and back out of the throttle or drop a gear.Also Kevin U use it to know when the engine is cool before any shut-down its not like a gas engine u just pull in a shut it down. I think the exhaust temp should be around 350 to 400 degrees. I have never had a pryometer on my 7.3 so Im just guessing on the temps, I usually idle 2 -3 minutes before any shut down even when not towing.
I have 70K miles now with no problems.
Roger
I think I will look into getting a setup like that. Thanks Kevin
Roger
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