Starting a Shop

December 29th, 2009

I just bought your second issue of Diesel World, and I have to say, it’s awesome. I will definitely be checking the newsstand until I can get a subscription.


I just bought your second issue of Diesel World, and I have to say, it’s awesome. I will definitely be checking the newsstand until I can get a subscription. I have quite a few questions that I hope you can answer. I live in West Central Alberta, in an oilfield-based town. People spend a lot of money on their trucks, and there is no one within 200 miles that knows anything about diesel performance. I am looking at starting up a performance and off-road shop, but I need some help. The first and biggest problem that we have here is extremely dusty driving conditions. What I want to do is offer customers proven power enhancements that will work with our environment and driving conditions. I am looking for companies that offer different levels of performance upgrades that have been proven to work well together; for example, intake systems, power programmers, exhaust, turbos and injectors. Do you have any recommendations on who I could deal with?

Also, I was wondering who makes good lift kits, or if they are all pretty much the same? I have installed a couple of lift kits and I wasn’t really impressed with all the modifications I had to make. Is that normal?

Another question I have is about injectors. I have seen on several occasions on ’03-’04 5.9 Cummins where injectors are fried because of a power enhancing chip that was installed. Are there aftermarket injectors that should be installed to cure this problem?

I hope you can help me and I will be waiting for your response.

Rixon Keyes
Alberta, Canada

Rixon, thanks for the compliments. Starting your own shop sounds like a challenge to us, but who’s to say-could be easy for you. If it were us, we’d be working with the parts we knew. Some of the best shops have people inside who race, tow, and build diesels, so they get a sense of what works best pretty quickly. That’s where we would bring our truck. Another thing we’d do is attend trade shows, such as the November Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, to get to know the industry and the manufacturers more closely.

Now on to lift kits; they do vary widely in terms of installation ease. We hear that generally speaking, the newer the design, the more precise the parts are likely to be. For older trucks, there are only older kits, and parts that might be generic…which could take more fitting. But we would say, if you aren’t happy with the quality of one supplier, try someone else. There are at least 30 different suspension manufacturers out there.

And for the last question; we notice that lots of racers do have a hard time keeping the injection system cool in high-output situations. You might check in with a company like Dynomite Diesel Performance which specializes in injectors. They will probably be familiar with the parts and tactics that currently exist. We’ve dispatched a tech writer to investigate, but between now and then, you might check in with them at



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