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2010 ISX has vibration under power is worse at 1250 to1350 rpm.

Vibration is much worse when loaded and pulling harder

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don't think it's fuel filter as it doesn't change after a service. one mechanic thinks it's normal . Not happy with that thought. thanks for your input guys.

by Daniel Joy

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One possibility is fuel starvation. My truck will do that when the fuel filter starts to clog up.

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PDI, bullyDog, DieselSpec, and Jball deletes are horrible! That is your problem ... They have no clue how to re-map the air or charge flow,.... the injection timing is too low for the given torque and RPM, and because they dump fuel in excess to the cylinders without compensating for it to try to make their power like some redneck pick-up truck guy would do,... the result is excess vibration because cylinder pressures are reaching extremes as the engine rolls over TDC. The vibration is actually the pistons hammering the crank. Their tunes cause a LOT more problems, many are unknown until its too late, and if your getting excess vibration, your shortening the life of your engine running around like that.

Its NOT repeating failures of the Actuators, or repeating failures of this and that,... those are THE RESULTS!!!!!!,... of just plain BAD tuning!.

I don't know why, for the life of me WHY there are so many truck owners and shops out there blaming every engine problem those clowns create through their horrible programming on everything but what is actually wrong!!!!,... Their BAD TUNING!

(From Another forum)...

'Big-Boy' ECM Tunes are BAD,... VERY BAD,...

Throughout this document I refer often to 'Big-Boy' Tunes. These are 'ECM Tunes', supposedly from 'ECM Tuner' companies that claim to specialize in ISX engines. Any time you see me refer to a 'Big-Boy' tune, I am actually referring to all the ECM Tuner companies you see advertise on the Internet. They are companies like PDI, J-Ball, Diesel-Spec, Bully-Dog, Pittsburgh Power, Etc. etc. etc,... the list is actually long,... why?,... THEY COPY EACH OTHER'S BAD, BUTCHERED METHODS!!!!!>. I have spoken to many of these 'Big-Boy' d'lete guys so-called Engineers,... argued with a few of them,... and tried to discuss things like Turbo mapping, combustion processes, and/or engine timing cycles,... Their EYES Glassed over!,... It was clear that I was talking way over their level of understanding,... and blatantly obvious that they had NO CLUE how the ISX actually operates.

That being said,...

Lastly, there is the Racing and/or Off-Road Industry. Performing a 'd'lete' is a first step in custom tuning, and/or performing other competition 'mods' to these engines. The 'Big-Name' companies (Think companies similar to PDI, DieselSpec, J-ball, BullyDog, etc...) out there that specialize in this are doing these things, to put it bluntly,... incorrectly for this particular model engine. I have never seen such kindergarten type of butchery inside an ECM, now that I can see and understand what they do. It is obvious that these so-called 'Super Tuner' shops are completely clueless when it comes these newer, more complex engine systems. Looking at their work,... for me,... is like watching someone bash the engine with a sledge-hammer to try and beat it into submission. It certainly does not make them run much better.

Once you open an ECM they have supposedly 'Tuned', or 'Deleted', It is just sickening to observe. You will see hundreds, if not thousands of parameters that have been blindly bashed, beating the engine into submission, it is now riding the edge of its tolerances, struggling to run without something burning up, or blowing out. It baffles me as to WHY such big-name multi million-dollar companies do such horrible work. C'mon,... these are the same guys you see on ESPN!,.. On TV!,.. at the Drag-Racing competitions and such!,...You would think they could afford to actually hire someone who knows how a diesel engine actually works!,...That is why I made this document,... To Open the people's eyes who legitimately need this info!!!

OK Mr. Smart-@%^,... What is so wrong with the 'Other Guy's Tunes?,...

I really could care less who's 'Method' of Tune, or d'lete is better or worse, as long as the goals are met in accomplishing what someone wants from their motor. That being said, when I ask most truck owners that are already shopping around for a 'd'lete', they say that they are looking to pay someone to get rid of all the headaches, errors, problems, and tens of thousands in lost revenue their emissions systems has caused them by simply removing it. They also expect, as a result, the engine to be more fuel efficient and reliable.

Well,... the 'Big-Boy' d'lete companies are certainly able to remove those systems, they have their ways,... But it is the second part of that goal that has always been the problem for the ISX. The argument comes in the form of what someone would consider 'Fuel efficient' or 'reliable'... What is your definition of it?,...

When it comes to reliability and fuel efficiency, the act of removing a clogged up DOC/DPF, turning off that Doser injector, keeping it from spraying fuel into the exhaust pipe, and swhiching off the EGR, allowing the engine to operate on clean, oxygen-rich air, will definitely improve the engines fuel efficiency all on its own. It does not matter how good or bad of a job they did to achieve this, there is ALWAYS SOME SLIGHT GAIN!. So whats the problem?,.. it IS more efficient,..., but that in itself IS the problem. It masks the fact that those same 'Big-Boy' Tunes are now completely unstable AND that they are no where near as efficient as they should be. What you end up with is poor combustion, excess charge pressures (over-boosting), tons of excess heat loss, an engine that can eat VG turbo's like candy, and because of over-boosting, the risk of dropping a valve and cracking the head is highly increased. Their attempt of adjusting the timing is done so poorly, that the pistons are hammering down onto the crank, and there is now a constant risk of excess cylinder pressures, just waiting for that hot, dry, summer day to cause a head or engine block to crack and fail.

At this point, these are just a bunch of hollow words to most people, and since this document is all about the technical details of these same things,... lets take a look at the last 'Big-Boy' Tune I encountered, shall we?...

I will call this guy Tom,... Tom's truck is a 2009 Pete 387 with the 475 CM871 ISX. He told them he wanted a d'lete, but keep his existing turbo. When they were done, it still had the VG turbo, along with all the hardware on the engine, they installed a couple of blocking-plates, and the DPF/DOC was hollowed out by the shop that did his d'lete. He knew his truck well, and after the d'lete, he knew it didn't sound quite right when idling, and it overheated easily when climbing mountains. At idle, he described it sounding almost like a 'Leaf Blower' at the exhaust compared to before,... He could tell that it definitely had much more air/exhaust running through it. They told him it was because the DPF was hollow and it had better exhaust flow. The reality of it was that the turbo was out of control, and providing boost at idle. Except in the extreme cold to pre-load the engine to create excess heat, DIESEL ENGINES DO NOT NEED BOOST WHEN NOT UNDER A TORQUE LOAD, ESPECAILLY NOT AT IDLE !!! . Soon after the d'lete, the turbo failed due to over-heating and over-spin.

Another poor sap, we shall call him Jack,... got his d'lete by a well known sponsored shop, and was very happy with it at first. He could certainly tell it felt like it had more power,... and it even had a bit better fuel mileage, but there were a few problems. First of all, his Exhaust temps were way too high. The engine was producing 1100+ degree exhaust temps, where they should have only been in the 900 degree range maximum. A properly tuned ISX CM871 can easily produce 700 horsepower without the EGT's ever exceeding 900 degrees. The second problem was that it had lower than normal boost. After a while, he would notice that the engine sounded like it would strain when power was needed, but he was not sure what that was, and assumed it was part of the extra horsepower they added. One very dry, hot summer day, moving across a desert highway, just st the crest of a long, hard pull, jacks truck loaded with freight, the engine suddenly gave out with no warning whatsoever. The engine block cracked and it blew a hole in its side. After much headache and downtime, Cummins Engineering got involved bacause Jack still had a warranty on the engine. It was determined that the pistons had been hammering the crank due to a poor timing map, and that there was no control of combustion pressures by the ECM anymore. Normally, I would have just passed this off as an excuse for them not to pay for the repair, but what they found was in fact true. It also could have totally been avoided if the ECM programming had been correct, even AFTER the d'lete was performed. I guess Jack got what he paid for,... No more EGR problems, but a busted block instead.

Looking back at Toms' truck, it was apparent that several serious mistakes were made. It was Supposedly (I was not there) a PDI-sponsored shop that butchered his ECM,...AND they charged him $8,000 dollars,... He actually thought that if he paid Big Bucks to a Big-Boy shop, they would absolutely do it right... Even I would have thought they were better than this...

Here are some of the parameters they set, and their values...


Name From To Comment


C_VGT_Enable 1 0 Flag for enabling VGT commands.

C_Turbo_Speed_Sensor_Installed 1 0 When 0, disables the tubro speed (sensor) processing

C_TurbochargerSpdEnable 1 0 Indicates to the tool whether the Turbocharger Speed Sensor is enabled in the ECM.

C_VGA_DL_StatusLB_Fault_Enable B9FF 0000 Bit mapped parameter used to enable faults from J39_VGT_Status.

C_VGA_DL_StatusUB_Fault_Enable FFFF 0000 Bit mapped parameter used to enable faults from VGT_Actuator_Status.

C_AIP_CompInTmptrLLim 23 0 The lower limit of the raw value for the compressor inlet temperature sensor before a fault has occurred

C_AIP_CompInTmptrULim 1015 9000 The lower limit of the raw value for the compressor inlet temperature sensor before a fault has occurred

T_AIP_CompInTmptr_Ovrd_En 0 1 This enable allows the global value of Compressor_Inlet_Tmptr to be set to C_AIP_CompInTmptr_Ovrd_Val.

C_AIP_CompInTmptr_Count_Incrt 4 1 The increment step for compressor Inlet temperature oor error counter

The result of this is that now, even though he still has his VG turbo, and told them he wanted to keep it, they swhiched it off completely along with any sensors that would give an alarm if it were to over-spin or over-boost. As well, the turbo is now unstable, creating boost improperly, and is moving to positions that it should not be. The engine also cannot determine if the Turbo is overheating,... bad enough,... But also, that the engine can no longer determine charge inlet temp into the engine. This not only effects combustion efficiency, but ALSO sets up dangerous conditions for the motor, as well as producing the excess heat Tom was seeing when climbing mountains. The ECM can no longer compensate for changes in cylinder pressure based on how how/cold the air is, nor control the charge pressure. The 'BOFORE TOP DEAD CENTER' (BTDC) Cylinder pressures can vary by hundreds if not thousands of PSI based on these intake temps. It is a disaster waiting to happen on a very hot summer day, but even in cooler whether, the engine is internally fighting with itself to overcome this. The result is excess temps under high engine load, and 8 – 15 Horse-Power of internal engine load at idle.

OK, maybe they made a mistake,... Maybe they thought they could sell him their after-market turbo?,... They did tell Tom, that he would be back in short order when his turbo failed to get their so-called 'Superior' after-market fixed-vein turbo. They told Tom things like,... “Yup,.. they all do it”,... “they all fail”,... “Holsets are junk turbo's”... “We see it over and over”...

They also tried to convince him that it is the only way to do a d'lete on an ISX, and it run right afterwards. They told him Holsets were poorly designed and that they couldn't handle a d'lete. Of course IN REALITY, they failed to tell him that they themselves were the ones that caused this. WHY DO THEY DO THIS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS!!!??? … THEY DO THIS VERY VERY OFTEN!!!!... I HAVE SEEN THE BIG-BOY TUNER SHOPS DO THIS OVER AND OVER!!!,... AND, THEY ARE COPYING EACH OTHERS BAD, BUTCHERED WORK!!!. THESE BAD TUNES AND d!let'es SPREAD LIKE A VIRUS amongst the ECM Tuner crowd.

Both Tom and Jacks trucks were also victims of heavily modified timing tables. This would not be so bad, but it is clear that they do not know what they are doing. Toms truck was corrected before too much damage had occurred, but jack truck suffered the full brunt of this poor style of re-programming. I have seen cases just like Jacks over the past 3 years. I was asked recently by someone why ISX engine blocks fail after a Big-Boy d'lete. This was roughly, my response...

Most blocks that I have seen fail, do so in the area just below where the ECM is mounted. Every one I have personally seen do this tho, had a bad d'lete in them. Any more than about 1 - 1.5 degrees overall shift in the factory timing tables can easily start to cause problems. The 'Big Boy' d'lete companies, for some unknown reason, perhaps out of sheer ignorance always butcher the timing maps in the ECM. In the last several 'Big Boy' (think PDI), Tunes that I have had to correct, they blindly altered ALL the timing maps by a full 5 degrees across the board,... and for all engine modes. I will assume that they perhaps used a Dyno to come up with this,.. giving them the benefit of the argument,... but it must have been done in Northern Canada, on a damned cold, winter day, when they got these numbers,... who knows,... All the Dyno testing in the world will not compensate for ignorance I guess...

This is also a clear indication that absolutely NO consideration was made for the fact that the engine's optimum timing and fueling runs on a logarithmic curve,... AND,... there is NO compensation for excess charge pressure or intake temp variations. These guys seriously ARE clueless,... The pistons are now hammering the cam as it is, the excess boost they stuff in by an over-spinning, now unstable turbo causes extreme cylinder pressures, even before the TDC is reached, and the fuel starts to ignite too early on. This is bad enough in cold, or cool whether, operating limits are reached, but get the truck out in a hot desert on a 110-degree day,... add the fact that the turbo is starting to overheat from excess spin,.... or just simply a slightly dirty CAC,... that increase in intake air temp can easily add an additional 300, but more likely 700 - 1000 more PSI in the cylinder(s) as they approach TDC,... engine already under high limit strain because of bad timing, and BOOM!!!!,... that nice window in the side of the block is the result. Altering the timing tables directly, also results in the ECM calculating these same cylinder pressures incorrectly. The ECM now has no clue the engine is about to be destroyed.

Most of these same styles of d!let'es also disable the air Altitude, Ambient and Inlet temp sensor too. This results in the ECM not being able to compensate, nor calculate cylinder pressures very well at all. It has no clue any more if you are in hot or cold whether, so cylinder pressure can rise or fall by hundreds, or even thousands of PSI.... nothing controlling it any more. Some could argue that it is part of an attempt to increase Horse-Power, and maybe that is what they did, but I can tell you first hand, that the same, or more, HP has been achieved with far less damaging results.

- Sooo,... that is why I cringe so badly when I see or hear a d'lete Shop bragging that they edit the timing tables on these motors. There are many other compensations that must be taken to maintain stability so that the engine operates safely, and to get the ECM to calculate cylinder pressures correctly again. They do get away with such kindergarten hack-job offsets most of the time, but I haven't met one yet, that could do it right.



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Very good read! I have a 06 870 with 1 200 000 miles that the head has never been off. I run around everyday at 140 000 pounds. This was deleted 700 000 miles ago by pdi with stage 1 turbo. Have I gotten a good tune, been lucky maybe I dunno? Dynoed 640 rwhp when deleted. What could I expect if I had u re tune this ecm?? Tks

by Travis

I am sorry to hear that you have such a horrible delete... On your motor,... the CM870 ... the problems they made were a bit less than the CM871 problems I described above. For that motor though, They didn't have as many turbo issues because the company that did your delete, that your so proudly bragging about left the engine in permanent silent derate out of sheer ignorance!.... With a stock turbo they get low boost and high EGT's at high torque, and with their turbo it is a bit better, but still way off. Your fuel mileage probably only went up slightly as well (likely in the tenths),... and not a full 1.5 - 2 MPG like it should have been. Your oil is likely still black all the time as well. A very well mapped CM870, CM871, CM2250, and CM2350 will NOT turn the oil dark for about 8,000 - 12,000 miles at a time when well mapped for good efficiency, and even then,... it turns darker brown,... NOT BLACK!@.,... What color is your oil?? ... They don't even know how to switch off the Aux Emissions Control after killing the EGR valve,... that is why your CM870 is in permanent silent derate, and to cover it up,... and make back more power,... They blindly add a bunch of fueling to the Fuel to Time conversion tables with no regard for it throwing off everything from injection timing, to the cylinder pressures -- to the calculation of the fuel mileage in the dash of the truck itself. Of course,.. most drivers would thing they gained a lot, because they look at their dash to get fuel mileage numbers, instead of actually doing it by the pump. ================= There are soo many hidden things they neglect and butcher that its not funny!. Just because you don't notice some of them, does not mean it does not create problems! BTW: a stock 525-HP CM870 (or CM871) can make 950+ horsepower all day long on a competition dyno with only 900 degree exhaust temps, leaving room to break 1,000 HP easily. This is WITH THE STOCK HOLSET TURBO, and after an actual well-mapped delete with NO HARDWARE CHANGES WHATSOEVER outside of hollowing out the cans and a block-plate on the intake manifold. Bragging about a palsy 640 HP is an insult to that engine if your trying to make competition power. ------ I am NOT going to continue this discussion here. I am only trying to help and warn people about how bad some of these companies really are, nothing more. You can believe that the roses are red from those clows all day long to try to justify the money you wasted to yourself, but the reality is more along what I speak of,... so If ANYONE still wants to disagree with what I have stated then so be it,.. Your more than welcome to go off and live in that fantasy world they have created for you. There will always be those people who will refuse the truth simply because they do not know any better, and they have not seen an actual well-mapped, deleted engine. ... That is also why I do NOT normally participate on this site,... too many KR and PDI, Pissburg power worshipers that refuse to see past their own noses and go do some actual research. ... I am not trying to promote some else's work,... I am not trying to talk them down to sell anything,... I am simply stating the very obvious when looking at their programming straight out of many hundreds of peoples engines that they Pissburg Power, DeiselSpit, Jbll, BullyDud, and a few dozen other companies who copy each others work do.

by Terry

Terry I love your advice only problem still don't know who I should use to get more horsepower an deletes done by someone who knows what they are doing could you refer someone thanks

by Jrkids4

I am not trying to promote another website or anyone else here,.. just pointing out a place for some really good info on bad deletes,... Lookup "rawze bad de;lete" on google. Be sure to include the spelling mistake (semi-colon) in the word delete. That is one hard-core forum that is all about helping drivers who own ISX engines, but they discuss custom tuning, deletes, etc. on other motors heavily too. --- Don't believe anyones testomony,.. read and research the dark underworld of deletes before you spend a dime. here is some related info... It is titled "ISX EGR d!let'es -- Educate yourself... "

by Terry

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I have the same problem, but my vibration starts at 1150rpm. If you back off the accelerator to less than 50%, the vibration goes away. Does sound like a starvation problem, but have a Cummins shop run diagnostics that center on the injectors, and check the connections.

Changed the low-pressure filter, but found out it did little to change the vibration.

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I have been living with a similar problem for two years with my 06 ISX450.

On my truck the “choppy” running condition is very noticeable above 1000 RPM but feels worse between 1200-1300 RPM. I feel it when the truck is parked or anytime the throttle is applied while driving down the road. If you back off the pedal it goes away. It is also worse with heavier loads or in hard pulls.

I have taken the truck to Cummins many times to fix this and It always turns out to be a bad metering or timing actuator. These actuators are paired together on each side of the shut off solenoid located on the IFSM (integrated fuel system module) which is bolted to the driver's side of the engine where the fuel filter screws on. There are two metering and two timing actuators in total. These electronically controlled actuators allow the ECM to advance timing and fuel to the injectors. The front pair controls the front injectors (#1,#2,#3) and the rear pair (#4,#5,#6.)

Here’s the bad part: The dealer will replace the bad actuator and the truck will run smooth for a month or two then it will start running bad again. After the 4th stay in the shop for the same problem I decided to invest in the Cummins software (Insite) so I could diagnose the problem myself and bypass the dealer. I am convinced now that the bad actuator is not the problem but the symptom of something else. I have replaced the ECM and soon will replace the wiring harness because I have gone through 11 metering actuators and 6 timing actuators to date.

I’m not saying that this is what is wrong with your truck but I think mine might not be the only one doing this. Unfortunately If this turns out to be the same problem for you, I don’t have a fix yet and neither does Cummins. I have been in contact with the senior customer advocate with Cummins corp. and they have had several experts look at my truck and they can’t figure it out either. I was also told that they will not invest a lot of time on this problem because this is an obsolete system as the new 2012+ ISXs have abandoned the IFSM for a common rail system.

Here are some additional things thoughts:

These “NEW” actuators are actually re-manufactured by Cummins. They call it a “recon”

Problem gets worse in warmer temps(75F+)

Actuators usually go bad in pairs (metering+timing on same bank)

Actuators never fail outright so no codes are ever generated.

4 new(recon) actuators have leaked fuel from the connector when new.

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sounds exactly what mine is doing. I have the PDI delete kit. Cummins is giving me a hard time about diagnosing anything, saying take it to the shop that installed the delete kit. Of course he doesn't have the equipment to diagnose or test most parts. PDI went through the ECM everything is as should be. I'm getting 7.6mpg. Happy with that, the vibration/stuttering is irratating more than anything. You know it's not normal, and is it symptom leading to something more serious.

by Daniel Joy

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Unplug ur fuel temp sensor check engine light comes on but vibration goes away tried changing sensor didn't help nobody can tell me wats wrong

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I also have the PDI delete !%% well with the same problem. Unpluged the

fuel temp sensor and smoothed the engine right out. Runs much better. Check engine light is on but doesnt seem to be derating engine.

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I am not trying to promote another website or anyone else here,.. just pointing out a place for some really good info on bad deletes,... here is a running list of bad deletes from PukeDeletes, PissPoor Power, Junk-Ball, dieselSpit, and a whole lot more! --- These companies are truly butchers!!!

by Terry

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Daniel Joy will be eternally grateful.

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