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Thursday, 7 Jul 2016

Ranger towing figures underline benefits of GSA eight year DPChip use

GSA-DPChip Ranger on kickback campsite..
GSA-DPChip Ranger on kickback

Over the last eight years six GoSeeAustralia vehicles have benefitted from the addition of DPChip.

DPChip is an interactive computer which exploits the full potential of modern EFI diesel engines. Individual programming and re-mapping of the engine management system enables this simple to fit device to increase power by up to 25 percent and torque by up to 35 percent. DPChip alters fuel, timing and airflow characteristics to create smooth power gains.

The DPCHIP uses dual processors (model depending) that control multiple channels digitally. All connection pins are gold plated. DPCHIP comes with a six year product warranty.

In each case with GSA tow vehicles torque gains produced by DPChip have enhanced towing ability and economy in heavy towing and extreme off-road conditions. The result varies from vehicle to vehicle but the main ‘seat of the pants’ difference is a wider power band which means slightly lighter throttle is needed. This enhances proper driving technique which can account for a 30 percent variation in fuel economy. So GoSee believes that there are practical power benefits from DPChip for Electronically Fuel Injected (EFI) diesel engines.

DPCHIP pack for GSA Toyota Sahara diesel Land Cruiser.
DPCHIP pack for GSA Toyota Sahara diesel Land Cruiser.

The DPChip is first and foremost a performance product. Fitting it purely for fuel economy is not recommended.

DPChip provides more torque earlier and longer throughout the rev range.

This allows gear down changes less often resulting in lower engine revs for longer allowing better fuel efficiency.

The DPChip is available for all EFI diesel 4wd's and independently alters both fuel and fuel timing to optimise the entire engine map.

The DPChip comes with a six year warranty. There is a 60 day ‘No Questions’ Money Back Guarantee plus factory backed engine and driveline warranty for the duration of the vehicles existing factory warranty. There is also a 24/7 support hotline.

DPChip works alongside the engine computer system by manipulating electronic control signals.

These control signals have safety tolerances set by the manufacturer i.e. the engines computer draws a ‘line in the sand’. The DPChip is designed to work within these engine computer tolerances i.e. the DPChip is programmed not to cross that ‘line in the sand’.

By doing so the DPChip allows the engines ‘Limp Home’ safety system to stay untouched and operational. This makes the DPChip a  ‘hands off’ system, less intrusive and much safer than most.

The first GSA tow vehicle to get the DPChip treatment in 2008 was a Holden LX Captiva diesel automatic. The most noticeable and measurable gains were made to this Holden Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

The next GSA tow vehicle to be chipped was GSA’s reliable 2005 4WD luxury Sahara Land Cruiser TD 100 Series.

Next was a Holden Rodeo Dual-cab manual diesel and then a 2010 Holden Colorado LT-R VCDI followed by GSA1, our 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 5-speed diesel.

The GSA Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel dual-cab Ute returned 17.5 litres per 100km in give-and-take towing situations.

GSA-DPChip Rodeo rocky  Canning going.
GSA-DPChip Rodeo rocky Canning going.

The GSA DPChipped Holden Rodeo Dual-cab manual diesel returned the best fuel economy of a group of 4WD GoSee adventurers on the Canning Stock Route in August 2009 with a remarkable 12.44 litres per 100km.

The Holden Rodeo is a 2006 LX Turbo Diesel 5-speed manual twin cab utility. It uses a 3.0 litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel inter-cooled engine. Chipping it improved it Nm from 360 to 405.

Its unladen mass is 1850kg but loaded for the Canning trip it tipped the weigh-bridge at 2540kg. The DPChip powered up the Rodeo to 116kw with 350Nm. Generally the engine profile was smoother performance across a broader range than standard.

Spanning almost two thousand kilometres through Western Australia’s remote ‘Inner Space” desert country, the Canning Stock Route is a place where indigenous and non-indigenous histories intersect.

'Canning tough' means the GSA Rodeo's economy should be seen in the context of Canning conditions like:

Day 4 - "Pretty tough work today, 92kms travelled average 19kmh".

Day 5 - "There are more sand dunes and tyre pressures are reduced to 25lbs." "We travelled 135km".

Day 7 - "Consumption looks like 12lt/100 in the Rodeo".

Day 16 - Well 41. "Official placement of GoSeeAustralia's most remote decal".

"Fuel consumption at the half way point is better than expected.

Toyota Hilux SR5 15.8 lt/100, 2000 Hilux 14.8, Defender 13.8, Rodeo 12.3".

The DPChip fitted to the GoSee Holden Rodeo gave excellent reliable service. Fuel saving was great and power on the dunes came in from 1500 revs upwards, with real torque benefits.

Editors Note: The Canning Stock Route should not be attempted without extensive outback travel experience and a reliable and capable vehicle that has been specifically prepared for remote, long distance, desert travel.

GSA-DPChip rig enjoys the view.
GSA-DPChip rig enjoys the view.

The GSA Ford XLT Super, P/U HR 3.2 diesel DPChipped Ranger has been towing on the road as part of a full-time travelling office for two years now. So we are in a position to offer practical experience based on carefully compiled numbers. Its performance is satisfying.

Drivers Pam and Alan report comfortable, reliable towing. Pam likes the Ranger's driving position and easy handling for its type.

The GSA 2014 Ford Ranger XLT Super P/U 3.2 auto 4x2 follows the now well established pattern and is DPChipped. The 5-cylinder diesel improves from a standard 470Nm to 525Nm, the DPChip website says.

The Ford 4x2 choice is a break with GSA’s long-term use of 4WD and AWD tow vehicles which is based in vehicle design, weight, engine and gearing with towing as a first priority.

Australia's limited options where capable, warranted tow vehicles are required skews the buying decision process toward 4WD specifications.

But the move to 4x2 saved $8000 on the Ford Ranger’s purchase price and has cost nothing in the Ranger’s towing ability in front of a 21ft Blue Sky caravan of about 2500kg (ATM).

The caravan  is now GSA’s full-time home and office on the road.

Another direct cost-saving DPChip benefit when the Ranger took over the full-time on-road towing role was the chip used in the Colorado could be easily removed and re-programmed to suit the Ranger at a cost of about $200 which covers a wiring loom. This is a direct save on buying and fitting a new DPChip priced at $1,495 to the Ranger.

Vehicle changeover with DPChip is only offered if the next vehicle is compatible.

DPChip says the upgrade service may include a different harness custom software for the next vehicle and relevant installation instructions. If DPChip identifies changeover is possible between vehicles the cost range is $150 to $200 plus $20 postage.

GSA-DPChip Ranger and 21ft caravan.
GSA-DPChip Ranger and 21ft caravan.

Since July 5 the free GSA Fuel Calculator reports the Ranger’s fuel log consumption is in the 18 and 19 litres per 100 km ranges when GSA travels in high winds and with full caravan water tanks.

Other times travel has been with low water levels in the caravan's twin  tanks in good weather. Between July 5 and September 9 over 3,975km average fuel use is 14.54 litres per 100km.

The Ranger used 577.8 litres of diesel which cost $879.52 at an average cost per litre of $1.52 between July 5 and September 14.

Towing from Pinaroo into strong head winds on July 29 pushed fuel use to 19.12 litres per 100km.

Gale force winds towing from Bordertown to Stawell on September 14 produced 17.14 and 18.20 litres fuel consumption figures.

The GoSee free Fuel Calculator is available to TravelSmart Club members. The option button to join free is on the left of the Home Page. Follow the prompt to access extra TravelSmart benefits.

Andrew Leimroth settles Holden Captiva on  AWD dynolog Berrima.
Andrew Leimroth settles Holden Captiva on AWD dynolog Berrima.

Of GSA's DPChipped tow vehicles the Captiva improvement was the most marked with an immediate power gain and significant improvement in turbo lag and improved fuel efficiency.

After a DPChip AWD dyno evaluation with the chip fitted the results were 136Kw and 381Nm at 2570rpm. (90kmh) compared with Holden's rated standard of 110kW at 4000rpm and peak torque of 320Nm at 2000rpm.

The 2007 Holden Captiva LX Auto Diesel and the GSA 16ft 5in Jayco Discovery pop top caravan were driven from Geelong, Victoria to DPChip’s Berrima, NSW base via Canberra so Andrew Leimroth could reprogram the Captiva’s DPChip for maximum performance.

On the trip to Berrima over 1,021 kms at an average speed of 81kmh 14.75 lt/100km was used.

On the return trip from Berrima direct to Geelong, over 854 km at an average speed of 83 kmh 13.5 lt/100km was used.

During a GSA Tow Around Tasmania adventure in the Captiva with the Jayco Discovery pop-top in tow GSA often met challenging, steep, winding, hilly going.

This was particularly so towing from Hobart to West Coast Strahan over the High Plains via Derwent Bridge.

The power boost from the DPChip to the Captiva turbo 2 litre diesel was outstanding.

The serpentine nature of Tasmanian roads, particularly on the run to West Coast Strahan, means that many steep climbs must be tackled on a tight curve from a slow speed low gear approach. The DPChip provided a significant torque boost in this critical area of the Captiva's towing rev range for this task.

The Captiva is a SUV designed to carry people. It is a soft-roader. SUV’s with AWD should not be confused with big heavy duty 4WD vehicles and the strength, gearing, ground clearance and off-road entry and exit angles which are built into them for serious rough stuff.

The other GSA tow vehicles all have truck-like design elements in their specifications. This includes the 4x2 Ranger, which is a smooth drive by working Ute standards, but is truck enough for heavy towing work.

GoSee 23ft Jayco and tug at  Halls Gap Lakeside TP.
GoSee 23ft Jayco and tug at Halls Gap Lakeside TP.

The GSA luxury 4WD experience is 'Old-reliable', the 2005 GSA Toyota Land Cruiser Sahara TD six-cylinder 100 Series. Its torque improves from 430Nm to 528Nm with DPChip fitted.

The GSA towing team has used various reliable Toyota Land Cruisers for towing since 1992. The second of our Sahara 4.2 TD automatic Land Cruisers, the 5-speed auto has been with us nine years but as we cannot do better at an attractive price we have not changed it.

With the company Jayco Sterling 23ft caravan on the Heavy Duty tow bar the Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of the total Sahara-Sterling rig is 6160kg. Towing on a 3,746km touring run in 2013 the DPChipped Sahara averaged 16.6 litres per 100km. The GSA Flagship Sahara had 219,086km on the clock at the time.

We are confident that the Toyota is capable of 800km in highway work between fills (it has 2 tanks) towing the Jayco 23ft Sterling in give and take conditions.

GoSee is biased about the Sahara TD 100 Series 5-speed auto. It is an outstanding tow vehicle and an effortless, efficient diesel cruiser, with high levels of comfort and equipment.

GSA-DPChip Jeep Grand Cherokee  4x4 ideal tow tug.
GSA-DPChip Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 ideal tow tug.

GSA1 is a Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel Laredo 3.0-litre turbo, direct-injection V6 diesel 4x4 with five-speed automatic transmission.

GSA opted for a big, careful option selection which picks the eyes out of the mid-range Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd fittings. Careful analysis of the Grand Cherokee models and options by our best numbers  man Bob 'Polly' Farmer yielded major cost benefits in the Jeep purchase.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 5-speed diesel develops 177kW/550Nm in standard trim. Like the Toyota Sahara TD and the Ranger Ford XLT Super, P/U HR 3.2 diesel the Jeep Grand Cherokee is rated to a maximum trailer weight of 3500kg and 350kg maximum ball weight.

Auto Club figures show that it is the most economical of the big 4x4’s available in Australia to run.

As GSA reported on short acquaintance in 2012 as a tow vehicle the Jeep instills confidence.

In your correspondents opinion there is no practical reason to give the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel more power. But it has been DPChipped and now delivers about 597Nm of torque grunt from about 1800rpm.

The best that GSA can offer  is it was DPChipped because we could. There is also an improvement in the Jeep’s turbo lag in standard trim. Also the DPChip can improve pulling power right throughout the rev range which allows full use of the correct gear thus not overworking the vehicle in low gear/high revs. This can result in a good improvement in fuel economy.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has returned fuel use figures of just under 8 litres per 100km when not towing in ideal flat windless highway touring in cruise control up to 106kmh.

GSA is still compiling towing figures for GSA1.

The heaviest fuel consumption recorded by GSA towing with a Grand Cherokee without DPChip  is 17 litres per 100km into a strong headwind. The lowest fuel use was 13.2 litres per 100km with a tailwind.

These figures are with our first Grand Cherokee towing a loaded (2500kg) 21ft Jayco Sterling between Sydney and Canberra.  Fuel use ranged from 14.2 litres per 100km in the flatter highway running to 14.9 litres per 100km in steep, hilly sections. In flat towing with no wind the Grand Cherokee Laredo returns 14.1 litres per 100km.

While the Jeep Grand Cherokee is not as refined in finish as the Toyota Sahara, it is (depending on the model and options choices) about half the Toyota's new purchase price, which make minor shortfalls easy to forgive.

As a heavy caravan hauler it holds its own with the Toyota Sahara.

DPCHIP spins Dynolog numbers on Holden Captiva.
DPCHIP spins Dynolog numbers on Holden Captiva.

At 90kmh with a 2640kg caravan behind hooked to the Hayman Reese Heavy Duty drawbar the GoSeeAustralia Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel impressed on a demanding evaluation towing section of the Geelong Ring Road which Vic Roads says is - "The steepest (sustained grade) we want to go".

The 5 per cent section of about 2.5km from the end of the Hamilton Highway on ramp to the crest high above the long run down to the Waurn Ponds intersection sorts real 4x4 heavy haulers from the SUV pretenders.

On test the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel came out of the blocks from a full stop at the Hamilton Highway on ramp lights.

Diesel grunt leveled the hill in 3rd and 4th gear and as 106kmh filled the speed read we backed off in recognition of the 100kmh Ring Road limit.

Options selected for GSA1 are Off road Adventure Group ll - Fuel tank, transfer case, underbody and front suspension skid plates, Quadra Drive ll 4WD system, rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), 3.45 axle ratio, 230mm rear axle, GSA1 has Michelin P265/60 R18 boots on 18 x8-inch polished aluminium wheels and is fitted with a sun roof.

It has Quadra lift Air Suspension. This raises the vehicle up to 104mm higher for a maximum ground clearance of 271mm or lowers the vehicle 38mm for easier entry, exit and loading.

The system also raises the vehicle from back to front to help keep headlights safely focused downward at the road ahead. In towing the GoSee Grand Cherokee Laredos cruise at 95kmh (about 1900rpm).

Chrysler requires a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) for towing loads which exceed 2268-2270kg.

GSA gets the Colorado DPchipped at Berrima.
GSA gets the Colorado DPchipped at Berrima.

Editors Note: Berrima Diesel Service began exploring the possibilities of diesel performance tuning modules about 15 years ago.

Some initial experimentation was done and some custom built tuning chips were made. Quite probably the first EFI diesel tuning modules used in Australia, these early Diesel Power Chips were a specialist product at the time, however the results from fitting these to various vehicles was evident and the interest in diesel tuning chips grew.

AWD Technologies was formed as a division of Berrima Diesel in order to further develop these powerup modules as well as other cutting edge automotive products.

AWDTECH Pty Ltd has 50 years of experience in the diesel automotive industry.

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
DPChip plug and play GSA Toyota Sahara.
DPChip plug and play GSA Toyota Sahara.
GSA-DPChip Rodeo in Canning sand dunes.
GSA-DPChip Rodeo in Canning sand dunes.
GSA-DPChip Rodeo crawls through Canning.
GSA-DPChip Rodeo crawls through Canning.
GSA Jayco and Captiva at Launceston Holiday Park, Tas.
GSA Jayco and Captiva at Launceston Holiday Park, Tas.
GSA Rodeo and DPChip Canning Stock Route.
GSA Rodeo and DPChip Canning Stock Route.
GSA-DPChip Colorado and Westport Lake Beaufort.
GSA-DPChip Colorado and Westport Lake Beaufort.
GSA-DPChip  TD  Sahara and Jayco Sterling.
GSA-DPChip TD Sahara and Jayco Sterling.
Andrew works on GSA Toyota Sahara diesel Land Cruiser.
Andrew works on GSA Toyota Sahara diesel Land Cruiser.

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