Have you ever stepped into your Duramax powered Silverado truck and just wished all those power adders had more meaning? Are you a mechanic who knows if air gets trapped inside of diesel fuel for too long how many things can go wrong? Or are you the person who has read countless articles on “Duramax” and have come across a lift pump many times? Personally I am all of the above and I really wanted to see what all the hype was about to adding an Air Dog lift pump to my fuel system. I ordered the kit from a retailer to begin my journey down a road of better filtration and airless fuel.
With all the options to choose from I decided to go with an Air Dog 2 165. A price tag of 670 USD knocked the wind out of my sails, but the item arrived next day so I had until the weekend to recover. For those of you who do not know about the older Duramax setups they are driven by a pump on the front of the motor. The pump pulls fuel from the tank and dispenses it much faster and harder into the injectors. It is the in-between the two actions where things can go wrong. As the fuel is being moved there is no guarantee it will be a steady stream of pure fuel because there is no pressure; it is pure vacuum. Tiny little air bubbles inside a system of fluid being pushed to thousands of Psi can be fatally damaging to expensive components like fuel injectors in the Common Rail Fuel System. Along with the purging of air pockets the system also introduces a better filtering system which includes: A 2 micron fuel filter, and a larger more controlled water separator with a much easier release valve. The water separator benefits are self-explanatory, but as far as the filter is concerned; it is what the system should have been designed for all along. The factory fuel injectors were designed to flow fuel containing the minimum of the 2 microns, but instead the factory spec required to make a fuel filter for a Duramax is 10 microns! Now before we march on GM’s doorstep and demand blood I just want to say that a micron is very small. Too small to make such a large fuss about considering the miles it would take to accumulate any real damage. In a business point-of-view I can see the reasoning behind the decision to make the standard higher to reduce costs to make; especially if you are a struggling company. These reasons, in a nutshell, are the reasons I decided to make my purchase of a better fuel preparatory.
My kit came with almost everything I needed to install the Air Dog 2 onto my 2002 Silverado 2500HD. I say almost everything because of course they do not give you tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, and a very handy quick disconnect tool of which if you do not have you cannot complete your installation, period. The instructions are very detailed with pictures and even two ways to do just about everything. In my honest opinion the only problem I ran into (other than the quick disconnect tool!) was the fuel line coming out of the tank going into the Air Dog system. After I had used all of the blue hoses that were provided I was left with a double female connection that could not be completed. Supplied in the kit are three hose connector nipples that are designed to connect two bare hoses together in a low pressure system so that was my first clue as to the direction I intended to follow. Going by this I knew I could use a simple nipple and clamp approach to solve my problem; I just really wish I did not have to cut that pretty blue hose. The electrical aspect of the entire system is a big cake-walk as far as I am concerned. I’ll have to hand it to the team that put it together; well done. All connectors are provided and put into place including a relay for a pressure sensor that can be added later per your choice. The wire going into the fuse box is supplied with a setup to slip directly into the place where the fuse once was and has two fuse holders on the unit to replace the fuse you just removed and added a nice 2 amp fuse to boot. I decided to mount the ‘constant hot’ power wire to the alternator(as described in the instructions) because of the simple fact that it will not corrode and leave me stranded on the side of the road somewhere during a load. Before you know it you are done with your install; it really is that easy. I will say that I left all original lines hanging in their factory locations just in case something did happen while I was on the road with a heavy payload. If need be I can always use my trusty quick disconnect tool and re-run the fuel lines back to the stock setup and make it where I need to be.
Overall score: 9.5/10. It would have been a perfect 10 had it not been for that pesky connector problem I had. Granted I could have rerouted the entire setup straight to the fuel tank instead of the line I plugged into and it would have worked perfectly, but the instructions never pointed me in that direction. Not everyone is willing to pull their bed off to install this lift pump so the easier way will most usually be the preferred way. I can tell a huge difference in the sound of the truck and the way it starts up. I also notice LESS smoke if you can believe it, which tells me my engine is running extremely efficient and instead of losing power on an improper combustion; I am extracting everything out of what fuel I do use and should be saving on fuel.