A new age is coming, the age of the oil burner, also known as the diesel engine. In the past, diesels have been looked down upon and were often viewed as dirty, industrial and noisy engines. No performance enthusiast would go anywhere near a diesel engine.
Then commonrail injection technology became commonplace in diesel engines. Soon after, turbocharging a diesel engine came back in a big way and soon nearly every diesel engine on the road was a turbodiesel. Commonrail injection technology, when coupled with a turbocharger, turned the once dirty, noisy and industrial diesel engine into a viable performance prospect.
Diesel engines, whether turbocharged or naturally aspirated, differ from petrol engines in many ways, the most significant being that a diesel doesn’t have an ignition system (ie: spark plugs, distributor etc) and they have very row rev limits. This is because the air and fuel mixture in diesel engines is ignited by the intense heat generated by the compressed air and fuel mixture during the compression stroke in the cylinder. This is also why diesels have low rev limits as at high rpms, as the self igniting fuel can’t ignite itself fast enough to cope with high revs.
The low revving nature of diesel engines also means that diesels generate a lot of torque in the lower revs which makes the diesel ideal for pulling heavy loads. The tradeoff is that there isn’t a lot of horsepower at higher revs, but turbocharging has made diesel engines as powerful as they are torquey, even putting some supposed performance petrol engines to shame.
With the popularity of turbodiesel engines soaring, big name companies like HKS have decided to jump on the bandwagon and what they have come up with is the HKS F Con D.
HKS’ F Con D is a piggyback ECU designed exclusively for Toyota’s 1KD-FTV and 2KD-FTV turbodiesel; the 1KD being a 3-litre, 4 cylinder turbodiesel engine (not available here, yet) and the 2KD being the 2.5 litre D4-D turbodiesel engine found in the Hilux and the Hiace vans here.
Vision Auto in Sunway is one of the first tuners in Malaysia to get their hands on one of these things and we also wanted to see what the F Con D was capable of. HKS claims that the 3-litre 1KD engine stands to gain up to 40PS while the 2.5 litre 2KD could gain up to 20PS. Fitting the F Con D is also fairly simple and some wires may need to be spliced and soldered. Now that we know a little more about diesels and the F Con D, let’s see how whether it works as well as HKS claims.
In stock form, a 2.5-litre Hilux pick-up truck churns out 72.95PS and 18.42kg/m of torque at the wheels. With the HKS F Con D and after some fine tuning, this Hilux drove away from Vision with an extra 21.84PS and 2.95kg/m of torque, bringing the final power and torque figures to 94.79PS and 21.37kg/m.
Surprise, surprise, the HKS F Con D performs exactly as claimed, but when those claims come from a company as illustrious as HKS it’s not really a surprise is it?
HKS F Con D piggyback ECU
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Vision Auto – 03-5638 6333