There is always the desire for more horsepower or more torque or just general performance enhancements to any engine. With the Chevy Duramax brand diesel engine, those improvements are obtained by the introduction of a high power performance chip. The instillation of a performance chip, is a good way to achieve significant improvements over factory specifications. Removing the OEM part and replacing it with a new chip only requires a few steps and very few tools. However, it is critical to consult all documentation provided with the chip.
After reading all the paperwork that came with the chip, locate the manual for the vehicle. Use this to help determine the location of the ECU(electronic control unit)for the specific engine model of the vehicle. Typically the ECU is located to the right of the top of the engine near the valve cover. Once the ECU is located make sure the negative terminal on the battery is disconnected. This reduces potential damage due to shorts or surges in the electronic system.
Down to Business
With the vehicle prepared, the main instillation can occur. Remove the current ECU with either hands or use a pair of pliers placed gently on the plastic clips that retain the chip. Firmly press or pry the clips apart and remove the original chip. Make sure that during this process that the ECU is not damaged.
Once the original ECU has been removed, inspect all pins for any signs of wear and tear or damage that may have occurred during removal. When it has been determined that there is no damage, the new performance chip can be installed in reverse process to that of the removal. Performance chips can come with an additional wiring harness. If the chips does have a harness it is important to make sure the harness is installed along with the chip.
Instructions relating to a specific harness should be included in the chip documentation. Now that the new chip is installed, reconnect the negative terminal and start the vehicle. If the vehicle starts and idles smoothly then the chip was installed correctly. Should the vehicle not start or fail to run smooth then removal and another attempt at instillation made, with special care and attention paid to all connections and relays. Save the original chip for future warranty work, as the dealership will potentially refuse service with an after market chip installed.
Photo credit: deltaMike / Foter / CC BY