1998.5-2002 RAM 5.9 CUMMINS TUNERS - CHIPS - PROGRAMMERS
In mid-model year 1998, Cummins and Dodge released their newest power plant combination, the Dodge Ram featuring a 24 Valve Cummins. This engine featured many of the reputable features of its predeces ... read more
In mid-model year 1998, Cummins and Dodge released their newest power plant combination, the Dodge Ram featuring a 24 Valve Cummins. This engine featured many of the reputable features of its predecessor, the 12 valve, but with the benefit to electronically control fueling and timing, thus making plug and play power a reality! Your 1998.5-2002 Dodge Ram powered by a 5.9L Cummins diesel is capable of producing tons of horsepower, ground pounding torque and remarkable fuel economy all at the same time.
A combination of modifications are necessary to make this happen, but without a doubt the single biggest component in the equation boils down to your choice of chip, tuner or programmer. We offer complete lines from Smarty, Edge, TST Performance, Banks Power, and more! Whether you are looking for a simple installation with big gains through a Smarty S-03, or maybe looking for a performance chip and gauge combination, as in the Edge Juice with Attitude CTS3, or needing tire eating power through the Edge Drag Comp, we've got you covered! If you are unsure of which diesel tuner, diesel programmer or diesel chip is right for you, or need details on which will stack with one another, give us a call or send an email to [email protected] and we will help you determine which one is right for your application.
12 Valve Note: For those of you new to diesels, or to Cummins in particular, model years 1994-1998, termed "12 valve" do not have the ability to be tuned via electronics/chips. These trucks are tuned mechanically through AFC springs, fuel plates, etc. If you own one of these trucks and are looking for performance modifications, see our Fuel Related section specific to the 1994-1998 12 Valves.
Q: What is the difference between a programmer, tuner, and chip and how much power is available from each?
A: A “programmer” and “tuner” are the same thing, just different terms. Both of these would be referring to an electronic device designed to increase the performance of the vehicle by downloading a file through the OBDII port under the dash. A “chip” is also designed to increase performance, but it plugs into sensors and ports under the hood, intercepting signals and altering them as those signals pass through the chip. An example of a performance chip would be an Edge EZ which plugs inline to the MAP sensor and then also plugs into an open ended data link connector on the 24 valves. On these particular trucks, a “programmer” can usually net around 70 additional rear wheel horsepower but will not be adjustable on the fly, requiring the user to re-download different programs while the vehicle is stationary. For chips that only plug into the MAP sensor and data link connector, these will also typically add around 70 horsepower, but have the ability to change power levels on the fly. For chips, such as an Edge Comp Box, that also tap directly into the VP44 injection pump (we’ll get to this later), you can achieve an additional 150+ rear wheel horsepower.
Q: I’ve heard that adding a performance chip that taps into the injection pump will cause the VP44 injection pump to fail. Is that true?
A: As stated above, to really untap the horsepower potential of a 24 valve via electronic means, you have to "tap" into the injection pump. As the term implies, there is a circuit board on top of the injection pump with wires coming out of it which communicate with the ECM. The only way to command the pump to deliver additional fuel is to either tap into the correct wire, or into the circuit board in a specific location. The most common method is using a "T-Tap" into the wire as indicated in the provided instructions, however, long term corrosion can eat into the wire at the splice, potentially causing the injection pump to fail. BD-Power offers what they call a "Stealth Plate" that is a replacement VP44 cover plate with a set screw built into the exact location where you can tap into the circuit board for a more secure connection. The installation involves removing the screws that hold the factory cover plate in place, and replacing the cover with the Stealth Plate. From there, take the wire coming from the performance chip and attach via an eye loop to the set screw. There's very little chance of corrosion being the cause of a failed injection pump.
Q: I’ve heard people talk about “stacking chips.” What the heck are they talking about?
A: Stacking chips refers to the process of using multiple performance chips or programmers on the same vehicle at the same time. In most instances, though, it doesn't actually involve two "chips," instead, its a chip and a programmer. On any vehicle besides a 24 valve, we'd typically strongly discourage this practice, but it works surprisingly well on these trucks. Due to their ECM not being quite as "intelligent" as the newer trucks, there's certain things you can only do via the OBDII port, and certain things you can only do via plugging into the engine bay. That said, you must be extremely careful and do your homework (or contact us) so you don't add a chip that advances the injection timing, and a programmer that also advances the timing. A very popular "stack" is an Edge Comp Box and a Smarty S-03. The Edge, in any setting, will advance timing. The Smarty, however, will only advance timing in even numbered power levels (1,3,5,7, and 9). Thus, if you're going to stack the two and want the most power possible, put the Smarty in power level 8.
Q: I have a stock fuel pump located on the engine block, can I safely add a performance chip?
A: If you still have the stock lift pump on the side of the block, honestly, you can't "safely" drive the truck down the street without any added power! All kidding aside, the stock fuel pump in the original location is the number one cause for injection pump failures. "Back in the day," a common upgrade was to merely relocate it to the frame rail which gave it a surprising increase in life expectancy. Overall, if you're going to add power and especially looking for dependability, we would highly recommend upgrading the lift pump with an AirDog, FASS, Fleece, or other higher quality lift pump.
Q: I have an automatic transmission, do I need to make some upgrades before adding a chip or programmer?
A: Similar to the fuel pump question, a 47RE automatic transmission in stock form leaves something to be desired. Presuming the transmission is in good shape, you can typically add around 70-100 additional horsepower before you're playing with fire. Even small upgrades like an upgraded deep transmission pan, upgraded valve body, and especially a better torque converter can go a long way. The good news is once you address the transmission, the sky is the limit in terms of how much power it can safely hold.