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Author Topic: What is the best tuner for the Duramax  (Read 23882 times)

NitroxAZ

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What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« on: July 06, 2011, 09:27:50 AM »
I just got a 2007 3500HD with the Duramax. What tuner is best for the Duramax? I am looking for improved fuel economy and horsepower.

BigLarry

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 04:57:42 PM »
I did a lot of checking before deciding not to add anything to mine.  With the 100.000 mile warranty, I didn't want to take any chances on voiding it if I had a problem.

I also was not able to get good firm data on the increase in MPG I could expect.  I spent several hours on the phone with Banks, Bully Dog and others and all they could guarantee was HP.  I don't need the extra HP and was interested in fuel savings only. By the time I bought their unit, I felt it was pretty difficult to get my money back with the fuel savings.   
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2007 Chevy K-2500 ext cab diesel
2014 Keystone Cougar 19RBE

Ned

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 05:24:20 PM »
More horsepower and better fuel economy are mutually exclusive.  To get more horsepower you burn more fuel, which reduces the fuel economy.  TANSTAAFL.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

salopez

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 05:45:10 AM »
Ned
I am going to have to disagree.  when I added my bully dog power up pup, I was able to hit 25mpg highway, along with an intake and exhaust.  this was with stock tires and suspension though.

right now i am running 20, and 15 towing my 5ver.  an 07 with the 6 speed allison should do even better
2004 chevy 2500hd d/a Bullydogged up
1999 Ford f350 flatbed Powerstroke
1995 Aljo 29ft

Peanutman

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 07:38:26 AM »
More horsepower and better fuel economy are mutually exclusive.  To get more horsepower you burn more fuel, which reduces the fuel economy.  TANSTAAFL.
What Ned said. My Durmax Although  2010 has plenty of power and gets fair fuel mileage.
2011 Heartland Greystone 32RE, Chevy Crew 2500 HD 4X4 Duramax 6-speed Allison.

Peanutman

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 07:40:40 AM »
What Ned said. My Durmax Although  2010 has plenty of power and gets fair fuel mileage.

At least until your warranty is gone.




fixed quote
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 09:56:25 AM by Marsha/CA »
2011 Heartland Greystone 32RE, Chevy Crew 2500 HD 4X4 Duramax 6-speed Allison.

ceemike

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 08:12:19 AM »
Mike & Judy Wagner
From the Keystone State
FMCA F418448
2004 Winnebago Brave 32V, W20 Chassis
2004 Honda CRV
2004 Honda Reflex

Ned

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 08:40:41 AM »
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

If you think the lunch is free, check the price of the beer :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

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ceemike

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 09:14:24 AM »
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

If you think the lunch is free, check the price of the beer :)

 ::) ::)  Of course!  You'd think by now I'd remember that one.  But I did get a free lunch at the Silverton Casino in LV last month.  The DW & I signed up for their club card, got a voucher for a free lunch & $5 to gamble with.  Ate the lunch, (did leave a tip but that was voluntary), blew the $10 at the penny slots (we are the last of the High Rollers) & left.  I guess this is the exception that proves the rule?  ;) 

Mike Wagner
Mike & Judy Wagner
From the Keystone State
FMCA F418448
2004 Winnebago Brave 32V, W20 Chassis
2004 Honda CRV
2004 Honda Reflex

offgridcamper

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 02:48:04 AM »
none ... more fuel, more heat, higher egts.

imho  :-X
96 custom dodge HP 12v cummins dually 4x4
98 30' citation TT reese dual cam hitch
2003 9'6" citation camper

Stewie Griffin

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 08:49:37 AM »
More horsepower and better fuel economy are mutually exclusive.  To get more horsepower you burn more fuel, which reduces the fuel economy.  TANSTAAFL.

That's not true with diesels, gas yes diesels get better fuel economy with stronger tunes. My 01 7.3 gets 16 on the highway in the stock setting, it gets 17 in the tow setting of my edge evolution and 19 in the race setting which makes the truck extremely fast, the programmer has an "extreme" setting but ive never used it, the race setting is good enough for me. I am close to spending the coin to hire Host Tiptoe (DP tuned) to tune my truck for optimal performance. The benefits of having a dies professionally tuned ate far greater than a tune in a box. That is what I recommend the OP do, a tuned can burn 10th different chips onto one chip and since its a "shift on the fly" style (anymore they all are) you can change settings while youre rolling down the road. They can change your transmission's shift points, make you air conditioner blow harder and they can even burn you a tune that will quiet the truck to the point where you don't have to shut it off in a drive through (my 7.3 is a little noisier than your D-max). Look online on some of the performance pages of the many duramax forums to see what/who they use to tune their trucks. 07 is a good year, the emissions isn't choking the engine as much as the 08 and newer trucks. Good luck.
2008 F350 Crew Cab Lariat Longbox 6.4 PSD
2001 F350 Crew Cab Lariat Shortbox 7.3 PSD sold
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2008 GMC 3500 crew cab longbox 6.6 d-max
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Poppys 5th Wheel

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2011, 07:11:28 PM »
To the OP .... in regards to your Duramax, there are no "chips". You need to either purchase a "programmer" which you plug in to you on board port and it just uploads a generic "tune" overwriting the factory tune or the BETTER option to have your actual PCM (on board computer) tuned by a professional based on what you want to achieve. These diesels are nothing like gas powered engines. More HP will improve mpg under certain conditions. I have been researching the same thing and have norrowed down my options to a tuner from Arizona named Michael who's company is KillerBee Performance,
http://killerbeeperformance.com/custom-tuning/what-is-it/, or Diesel Addiction at http://www.dieseladdiction.com/vehicles.html?part=GM%20Duramax%206.6L%2006-07%20LLY/LBZ or a guy who goes by IdahoRob at http://www.atptrucks.com/category.sc?categoryId=39

The tune I will be getting adds about 80 - 90 HP but more importantly will improve mpg and provide a turbo brake, which my 2007 Classic Duramax / Allison does not have. You can either send them your PCM to tune and return or they will send you a tuned PCM and charge a core charge which is refunded when you send back your stock PCM. Some have the option allowing you to keep your stock PCM if that is important to you.

These things always get a little testy on these boards, some believe in modifications that will improve or optimize your vehicle's performace and some who just insist it's not possible. I am of the first group.

Buyer beware and your mileage may vary. If you want to wait a bit, I will be getting my truck tuned in the next couple weeks and then leaving on a 1,500 mile tow and will report back my findings.
Paul "Poppy" Cervone
2009 Cadillac CTS
2007 Corvette Z51
2007 Silverado 2500 HD 4x4 CCSB Duramax / Allison
2011 Cougar High Country 299RKS

BigLarry

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2011, 10:20:28 PM »
I'd appreciate it if you would keep some good records and report back every 6 months or so.  It'd be best to keep track with a running total of miles driven vs fuel used from now on.  That will get an overall mpg figure.  Total miles driven divided by total gallons of fuel used.  I've got a book on mine and have kept track of every gallon I've used since it was new.  It now has 98,000 miles on it.  Also keep a log of miles pulling your trailer.   

If you need to do any repairs, keep track of those also.  Over time, that would give us enough data to determine the value of the modifications.

After the time I spent 3 years ago doing research on the subject, this is the only data over a several year period that will convince me of the value of the expense.

Good Luck,
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2007 Chevy K-2500 ext cab diesel
2014 Keystone Cougar 19RBE

carolinacamper

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 09:15:25 PM »
From what I understand nearly all "tuners" just turn up the juice a little bit. That's all. The mechanics of the engine is unchanged. Same stroke, bore, same amount of air, same RPM, just more fuel. You can feather the throttle all you want to get whatever number you like. I can do that with my stock Cummins and make my mileage vary between 16 to 26. But that's not typical. I'm with Ned here. More power requires more fuel. As far as noisy older diesels made quiet the injection process on ultra hot air creates an explosion, hence the typical noise. By the same token a "tuner" could lean the fuel at idle a little, and retard timing to reduce noise some, I suppose. But again the mechanics of the system remains the same. The newer "quiet diesels" like my '05 Cummins uses a common rail injection system with some pre-injected fuel before the main shot causes a smoother combustion process. My engine is so quiet you can't hear it running with the windows up. You are not going to duplicate that with a "tuner". Now with all that said more fuel creates more heat. Too lean equals more heat. Then EGT have to be monitored. Too much heat will kill the best engine out there. With all the torque and horsepower available stock and 50% better mileage than a gasser, what more could you want? I guess just gotta have more power...

Diesels Rule,
CarolinaCamper
Darrell & Cindi Burgess        (Maggie too)
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually Cummins manual six speed
2007 37' Grand Junction 5er & 2002 Lance 1130 truck camper
2008 Kawasaki 900 Vulcan Classic LT
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threeful

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 11:48:08 AM »
I have a 2004.5 Dodge 5.9L and just bought a Smarty Jr.  Has three "programs", one adds 45 HP, 65HP, and 100HP and all have adjusted timing and torque for each of the settings.  I began getting between 3-4 mpg increase in setting #1 (economical setting) and 2-3 in #2 setting (towing). The programmer can also customized timing and torque and power can be decreased in each setting.  I have not used #3 setting...a little scary adding 100HP...keep having a vision that I will see my my truck's rear end still at the stop sign while I am going 60mph!

What I researched made sense to me.  The engine has a computer and it is programmed for emission purposes and not fuel economy.  Cummins when building a stock engine had to "compromise" fuel economy for emissions control (due to govn't regs)  but these programmers tune the engine for fuel economy sacrificing emissions control.  The question in my mind is what was posted previously...how much heat is generated in tranny and engine since that will pretty much wipe out any benefit of the programmer. 

Smarty has stated it keeps both w/i limits but they won't warrant that!!! I have friends who are mechanically inclined and all say you will see immediate benefits but it will depend on how you drive as to whether you will damage the engine...whatever that means!!
Bill T
Central PA
2003 Sierra Fifth Wheel
2004.5 2500 Dodge 4x4

lone_star_dsl

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2011, 10:15:31 PM »
In all the reading I have done, EFI Live is the best tuner for the Duramax, hands down. http://www.efilive.com/

In regards to what other have said regarding more fuel = less MPG, that idea has been proven wrong time and time again.  Here is how it works, with a towing or economy tune:

Fuel injection timing is advanced and lengthened resulting in more fuel into the combustion chamber, that fuel is burned resulting in more exhaust gases, more exhaust gases drives the turbine side of the turbo faster resulting in more boost.

With more HP and torque created, your transmission will have to downshift less meaning your engine can operate in it's power band longer which equals better fuel mileage.

Tuners are notorious for increasing exhaust gas temperatures (EGT's) beyond 1,250 degrees (considered by most to be the red line) which is why it is recommended that a full set of aftermarket gauges, intake and exhaust installed.
2001 Thor Wanderer 240 RK
2002 Ford F-350 SRW Lariat 7.3 PSD
Colorado Springs, CO

lavarock1210

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 12:08:16 AM »
First if you drive posted speed limits and speeds safe for your trailer tires I am sure your stock Dmax will have all the power you will need.  If you do go beyond with a tuner then you will most likely get into EGT problems and transmission problems in that you will exceed the torque ability of your Allison.

carolinacamper

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 06:12:38 PM »
First if you drive posted speed limits and speeds safe for your trailer tires I am sure your stock Dmax will have all the power you will need.  If you do go beyond with a tuner then you will most likely get into EGT problems and transmission problems in that you will exceed the torque ability of your Allison.

You are exactly right. Leave it stock and the whole drivetrain will last until the wheels fall off, literally. Now if you have to get to 75 MPH faster than anybody else, go to a tractor pull and see what they do to those diesel engines and get water injection to keep the pistons from melting! The only tuner my diesel truck will ever have comes from the middle of the dash. I will see 300,000 easy. Engines all "tuned" up,  I'm not so sure?
Darrell & Cindi Burgess        (Maggie too)
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually Cummins manual six speed
2007 37' Grand Junction 5er & 2002 Lance 1130 truck camper
2008 Kawasaki 900 Vulcan Classic LT
RVers since 2000

lone_star_dsl

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2011, 12:30:54 PM »
First if you drive posted speed limits and speeds safe for your trailer tires I am sure your stock Dmax will have all the power you will need.  If you do go beyond with a tuner then you will most likely get into EGT problems and transmission problems in that you will exceed the torque ability of your Allison.

I wouldn't say that's exactly true.  I agree about driving the posted speed limits but sometimes those speeds put the engine out of it's effective torque and horsepower bands.  Engine tuners can change injection timing and other parameters to move those powerbands up or down in the RPM range.

I tow at 70 mph which is about 2k rpm's.  My tuner adds HP and TQ in that region which keeps the truck from having to downshift as often as it did when it was at stock power levels.  Given that, my fuel mileage has increased substantially.

Yes, you do have to modify other areas of the vehicle to support a tuned engine but in my opinion, it's well worth it.

I look at tuning vehicles the same as tailoring a suit.  Everyone sells a size that is close to what you need, but to get the perfect fit it has to be modified.    I know a few hot shot drivers that have well over 500,000 miles on a tuned engine with no ill effects attributed to the tuner.
2001 Thor Wanderer 240 RK
2002 Ford F-350 SRW Lariat 7.3 PSD
Colorado Springs, CO

Haggs

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2011, 01:03:39 PM »
Boy lots of info for you.  Honestly I would go to a Duramax forum and ask the question over there, you're gonna get really good information from people that have done some serious mods to their trucks.  Now as for the more fuel=more heat= less MPG, that is false.  You make more power just by changing the timing, cool your EGT's, and get better mileage as a by product.  I have increased the RWHP on my truck by over 150HP, have lowered EGT's when towing, and gained 1mpg across the board.  A lot no, but figuring all I have done it is impressive.  What I have noticed is a lot less hunting with the tranny with the power.  The tuners that are added alter all sorts of parameters to make your engine more efficient.  If you add a small tune to your truck, you will find a more capable tow rig for sure.  Be aware though, you have to "pay to play" for every mod that you do, whether a chip (yes they have chips for D-Maxes, quadzilla or Edge to name a few) or program it you will need supporting mods such as turbos, tranny mods, head studs, etc.  For a small tune you should be fine, but I wouldn't tow on it without gauges and beefing up your tranny. 

In answer to your original question, EFI live is the best tuner for your truck, and tranny BTW.  Next I would say is PPE (Pacific Performance Engineering) They both specialize in D-Maxes.  Good Luck
2006 Dodge Megacab
2012 Heritage Glen 346QBUD 5th Wheel

nuffsaid

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2011, 05:31:43 PM »
You asked what is a good programmer for a duramax. PPE excelerator is a very good programmer that can increase fuel mileage if driven lightly, but don't even think about adding a programmer or EFI live or any type of performance mod without first installing gauges. Then, if you plan on more than 75 rear wheel hp, you need to install a transgo jr. shift kit to keep the allison auto happy. Then you can up the hp a little more as long as you keep the exhaust gas temps in check and under 1300 degrees. The higher hp tunes tend to deliver better fuel economy if you drive with an egg under the throttle and the reason is due to the addition of more timing. Not all trucks react the same with the same tuning, some get better mileage on one and others don't, but power always goes up and gets addictive as does replacing rear tires.
2002 Silverado HD 2500 CCSB LT Duramax/Allison 285/75/16 Cepek Fun Country II   Flatbed with custom fuel tanks PPE HOT+2 ET programmer set on level 8 Boost and EGT gauges Transgo Shift Kit 12K winch  Curt 16K fifth wheel hitch 2001 Holiday Rambler 30RKD Alumascape 5er  ASE MASTER TECH

Mopar1973Man

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2011, 10:12:14 AM »
I beg to differ with the more power mean less MPG's... I'm living proof of that being wrong. I've taken my stock 02 Dodge and went from 228 HP to 381 HP then gained from 16-17 MPG to 20-22 MPG empty. On trailer towing I'm right around 13-14 MPG. As for the Edge Comp module I'm running I've learned how to drive with it turned up to the highest setting and keeping the MPG's high. There is a trick to it though. Its all about the boost pressure because as the boost pressure rises the timing starts to retard (VP44 injection pump) this follow the auto-ignition temperature laws (which diesel engines are designed on).

The autoignition temperature or kindling point of a substance is the lowest temperature at which it will spontaneously ignite in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition, such as a flame or spark. This temperature is required to supply the activation energy needed for combustion. The temperature at which a chemical will ignite decreases as the pressure increases (Or boost pressure increases) or oxygen concentration increases. It is usually applied to a combustible fuel mixture.
 
Autoignition temperatures of liquid chemicals are typically measured using a 500 mL flask placed in a temperature controlled oven in accordance with the procedure described in ASTM E659.

Here is a timing map of the injection cycle for the 98.5 to 02 Dodge
http://tinypic.com/m/fbaixx/4

So knowing this the Duramax is going to very simiular in design (its a diesel!) I hope this tidbit of Dodge knowledge help ya... (Shrug smiley)
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
http://articles.mopar1973man.com/members-rides/17-mopar1973man/27-2000-jayco-eagle-296-fbs
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer

BigLarry

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 12:28:31 PM »
Too much work for me.  I'll just drive what I got and I don't have to worry about anything except buying fuel!   I like it just fine the way it sits.
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2007 Chevy K-2500 ext cab diesel
2014 Keystone Cougar 19RBE

Cooptroop5

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2013, 11:46:46 AM »

Ok, guys, just put in the duramileage CPM, and as of right now, I am impressed!
The low end power is smooth and strong! The off idle is much more responsive.
Mileage from the DICS before was 19-20 on the freeway flat ground for 30 miles.
Same exact route yesterday was 24-28! Mpg.
This was at 70mph rpm was about 17-1800.
The truck feels like it is coasting down the freeway at 70mph?
Truck runs much smoother? I like it very much so far.
Heading to flaming gorge towing my travel trailer and atv trailer, loaded!
I will give you all the hand calculated numbers when I get back.
But as of right now, the fuel needle is not moving as fast to the empty side!
And I like that!




Cooptroop5

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2013, 11:47:40 AM »
Ok, just got back from my trip to Flaming Gorge!
Last year 8.0mpg. This year, with much more power! 9.8mpg, DIC said 10.0.
So far around town and back and forth to work 30 miles freeway, and 8 miles city driving per day and one week average = before 17.0 to 17.5mpg average per week, and now 21.0 to 22.0 mpg average per week!.
So I would say for the amount of power and drivability and fuel mileage savings, it was well worth it, I won't be going back to the stock ECM.

BigLarry

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2013, 10:45:44 PM »
Hey guys, I think there is a problem with Cooptroop5's post.  When I did a google search on the Duramilage CPM, I was directed to several sites that all have this identical post.  Do the search and you'll see.
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2007 Chevy K-2500 ext cab diesel
2014 Keystone Cougar 19RBE

Tom

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2013, 07:49:33 AM »
Larry, a number of our members participate on other forums.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

driftless shifter

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2013, 08:02:30 AM »
July 28 2013 @ 12:46:46 pm cooptroop states " headed to Flaming Gorge ".
July 28 2013 @ 12:47:40 pm cooptroop states " just got back from Flaming Gorge ".
That must be some chip, less than a minute to complete the trip! Warp drive? Ludicrous speed drive?

Bill
Bill & Nan
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couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
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Tom

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2013, 08:17:34 AM »
They look like copy/paste from his posts on other forums, where they weren't posted on the same day  ???
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

driftless shifter

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Re: What is the best tuner for the Duramax
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2013, 08:37:25 AM »
OK, I can go along with that, benefit of the doubt.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.