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I will give a stab at answering your question ColinD. Now I have only had my cummins for about a year and a half, so I am still very new to the diesel world, but have a buddy who's family are diesel freaks, so I will give you my best known simple knowledge and that is, yes tuners and/or injectors are going to decrease the life of your engine and powertrain. I dont feel comfortable giving a yes or no for the VP44 as i am still learning about it. Pretty much anytime you increase HP you are increasing fuel and/or air and you are just adding more stress to the cylinders and the head and its gaskets and also the trans and other drivetrain. Also more fuel and air equals higher egt's which equals more stress on the exhaust manifold. Now I'm not saying adding a smarty or injectors and using them everyday is going to break your truck a week or month later, but our trucks were built to handle a certain amount of HP under normal operating conditions. You add horsepower and now you are not operating under "normal operating conditions". Again I am new to the diesel world myself, so anyone who reads this, feel free to call me on it if I'm completely wrong and I'm just feeding Colin useless info. That's what this forum is for. I just wanted to give you some kind of answer. It sucks when you ask a question and come back like 24 hours later and there's like only 1 or 2 replies. But nevertheless, anyone and everyone call me out if my info is useless. Oh and I would recommend the smarty mainly because it has 9 different levels, one of which is half power which is great if you have a lead foot like me. Another is stock and another is more boost and fuel only. Plus I believe all the levels have a 3 cylinder high idle for cold mornings. And another awesome bonus is that it's a OBDII reader. Edge comp is good also and it's nice to be able to turn the power levels on and off just like that. The smarty takes just under two minutes to update the ECM. I know its all kinda general info but Hope my opinion helps.
thanks jdepuy618, the main reason why I got the cummins is because of the longevity and countless stories of the engines lasting 500k plus with no issues. I've been around horse power since I've been little but I'd like to hear from you guys if these engines hold up well under abuse. Like if a stock engine could last 500k plus what would a modded engine last? 300k 400k or more? Thanks guys. I'm just new to this and want to have my truck around for a long long time.
I am in the same boat as you man. I wanna keep my truck forever. I too constantly hear the long engine life stories and I am a believer. I look at it this way, If you drive it right and pay attention to your gauges, smells, sounds, and feel of the truck, it's gonna last. You can have a pumped up, high HP truck and still have it be a daily driver, just don't treat it like the 500 dollar beater car you bought to thrash in. I do hot rod my truck quite often but there's no engine mods or tuners or anything so it's been fine for me. I bought it at 205k 18 months ago and it's now at 224k. The clutch is just now showing signs of slippage at about 2500-3000 rpm. But again that's from hot roddin it. I don't always drive it nicely ill admit. But so far, with all the abuse I've put it through, the engine has had no problems at all.