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Old 07-22-2021, 06:15 PM   #121
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I need to get mine in a scale. With bills program and my own allison tuning my bus pretty much drives like a car when it comes to acceleration ..

I went to pass a guy this morning so I could move over a lane and of course he decided to speed up.. I noticed a little vibration in the bus when I got by him and realized I was doing 81… oops! Sure didn’t take long to get there from 60

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Old 07-22-2021, 07:22 PM   #122
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Quote:
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I went to pass a guy this morning so I could move over a lane and of course he decided to speed up.. I noticed a little vibration in the bus when I got by him and realized I was doing 81Ö oops! Sure didnít take long to get there from 60
Chris...

I can't stop laughing at this! This made my day.

Pete...

I can't express how much I appreciate your patience while we got the Comm issues resolved. I'm still kicking myself that I never noticed that NavKal requires you to pull the fuses when flashing the ECM. We could have resolved this a long time ago. Ah well.

It's been really exciting watching this project progress, and it's in no small part to the testers from this group. Thanks to all of you that BETA tested and helped work out the kinks in the software. You all are awesome!
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:14 AM   #123
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Thanks Bill,

You are welcome. Also thanks for the quick turnaround on changes. In my past experience beta testing can be tedious, you were running in real time.

Two items,

1) by bus is 16k to 17k lbs (not 12k as I just forgot).
2) what parameter decides when the Alison 2500PTS should kick down (not due to load, but mashing down on the peddle [passing gear])? ECM parameter? Maybe TCM?

Could not be happier. Autometer is next.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:03 PM   #124
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pete, ive been messing with this quite a bit on my allison.. there is a Kickdown "command" that can be sent from the ECM to the TCM, also the TCM has final say in what it does.. since I program my own TCM i can set the headroom at whatever i want for full throttle shifts.. a kickdown command essentially puts the allison TCM into "full throttle" mode.. in my case if a shift is going to take me over 2400 RPM after downshift at the current speed I disallow it.. I dont know what the program in yours does.. I have found that a mashed throttle almost always results in a Kickdown command being sent to the TCM from the ECM.. and of course the TCM sees the 100% pedal..



at other times kickdowns are issues.. ie if you really start lugging the engine it will toss out a kickdown.. generally Navistar is Lazy about sending kickdowns at part throttle.. my own setpoints almost always triggger a shift before I'll see it come from the ECM. it still seems to be tied pretty heavily to the pedal position.. so ive noticed a lot less kickdowns even at 100% engine load with the tuner as im running lighter throttle positions..



I hodged together a Box that can trigger the command anytime I want just for testing.. and generally the allison is pretty smart and wont really knock my Jaw but I have triggered the kickdown too soon and damn near put myself through the windshield.. so alas why I believe navistar is extra cautious.. 3 to 2 with lockup on can be quite Jarring.. (thank god my trans is made with billet parts or id have likely wasted the C2 hub)..
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Old 07-25-2021, 12:32 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Power Hungry View Post
Well, here goes.

Over the last 12 months we've been developing a hardware/software package that will allow for the end user (via laptop) to reflash their own vehicles with an updated performance application. The application also allows for the user to change any necessary Optional Parameters (Tire Size, Axle Ratio, Speed Limit, etc.).

Currently, we have support for the 1998 to 2004 T444e and DT466 powered vehicles in the 3000 (3000, 3800, 3900) and 4000 series (4200, 4700, 4900). Obviously, this forum would mostly cater to the 3000 series, although there might be some converted 4000 series as well.

Here is a video we made from a visit with one of our beta testers, in case you're interested of what can be accomplished....



All of this to come to the point... We are looking for a few people who would like to be beta testers for our package. The details are as follows:

What we provide (at no cost to you):
  • The Orion USB to J1708 pass-through hardware.
  • The Orion Reflash software package.
  • The customized calibration for your application (including 7 predefined power levels)
  • Direct technical support, should you have any questions or concerns.

What we expect from you:
  • Most importantly - Regular and FREQUENT communications. If you're not going to commit to this, please don't waste our time.
  • Current vehicle modifications and setup (engine mods, drivetrain mods, installed trans, tire size)
  • Feedback on the hardware functionality.
  • Feedback on the software including functionality, intuitiveness, features, and other suggestions.
  • Drivability observations (Acceleration, cruise, smokiness, etc.)
  • Performance gains (above or below expectations)
  • Documented Fuel Economy gains (with load/weight, distance traveled, average speed, traffic conditions, etc.)
  • Any other information that you may feel would be relevant to improving the hardware or application interface.

Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and flexible package to the Navistar communities, and that all initially comes from feedback from our testers. We also continue to address feedback from our downstream customers to make improvements and updates, but beta testers have the most impact on the finished product.

If any of this sounds interesting, if you have the time, and you are willing to commit to the obligations as described above, please PM me and we can discuss any further details.

Also, here's a few screenshots that we've shared...

(Main Screen)


(Parameters Screen)


(Test Bench with Orion Hardware)
2003 Bluebird T444e, AT545 looking to swap in the Allison 2000. Very interested in becoming a tester. 30 year Avionics Technician on commercial aircraft (Boeing/Douglas).
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Old 07-26-2021, 09:28 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by 747mech View Post
2003 Bluebird T444e, AT545 looking to swap in the Allison 2000. Very interested in becoming a tester. 30 year Avionics Technician on commercial aircraft (Boeing/Douglas).
Hey there... We appreciate the interest, but the request was sent out last year. We've already finished BETA testing and have since released the Orion kit. If you are interested, it is available for purchase.

Thanks again and take care.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:04 AM   #127
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Took my rig on a road trip this weekend.. got into some hills with it and wow the Orion performed.. I never had any issues keeping it at 65-70 uphill other than if i were in too high gear I ran the EGTs up a bit.. thing I notice is that the orion seems to do a more efficient use of fuel.. even with my tune set on level 6 my MPG is at or higher than what it was previous.. I also noted that even in 95 degree heat and sunshine my split rad / CAC still never letthe bus even think about getting hot.. I saw 208 a couple times and the fan ran a little more than cooler days but it did super. ill spare the technical details in here and get with Bill offline for some numbers on EGTs and engine load but it sure is working nicely for my shortie bus. I do still plan to gear down.. im having issues finding a 4.10 chunk so I may just have to bite the bullet and go get a reman unit to put in.



my trip was about 320 miles each way.. of course I had the A/C blasting, im not sure the compressor cycled out at all on the trip. the special freon I use kept the vent temp in the low 40s pretty much all the time.



the Lockup allison 1000 never got above 195 the whole time..
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:24 PM   #128
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No worries, What is the cost and is there anything I need to purchase such as a laptop or tablet?
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:48 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Took my rig on a road trip this weekend.. got into some hills with it and wow the Orion performed.. I never had any issues keeping it at 65-70 uphill other than if i were in too high gear I ran the EGTs up a bit.. thing I notice is that the orion seems to do a more efficient use of fuel.. even with my tune set on level 6 my MPG is at or higher than what it was previous.. I also noted that even in 95 degree heat and sunshine my split rad / CAC still never letthe bus even think about getting hot.. I saw 208 a couple times and the fan ran a little more than cooler days but it did super. ill spare the technical details in here and get with Bill offline for some numbers on EGTs and engine load but it sure is working nicely for my shortie bus. I do still plan to gear down.. im having issues finding a 4.10 chunk so I may just have to bite the bullet and go get a reman unit to put in.



my trip was about 320 miles each way.. of course I had the A/C blasting, im not sure the compressor cycled out at all on the trip. the special freon I use kept the vent temp in the low 40s pretty much all the time.



the Lockup allison 1000 never got above 195 the whole time..
Chris,

That is fantastic, man! Glad to hear that it's working well. The fact that you're impressed actually means a great deal to me as you are clearly one of the more technically savvy folks on this forum. (Not to mention one of the most active! )

Get with me when you can about details and whether or not there is any place for improvements. Good is good, but better is better... If you know what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 747mech View Post
No worries, What is the cost and is there anything I need to purchase such as a laptop or tablet?
All the information you need on the Orion stuff is here...

Orion Reflash System for Navistarģ - Power Hungry Performance

You will need a Windows-based laptop to use the system. You can also use a MacBook as long as you're running in a Virtual Windows environment.

If you have any specific questions, please PM me or call our office. We can get them answered for you.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:41 PM   #130
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Bill - PeetinSF and I have been co-building our busses. I have a 2006.5 CE300 - DT466 at 220hp.

If you need a late model 2006 to test with, I'm available for that.

Details are:
2006/07 CE300 with an 06 engine and tranny
Allison 2500PTO 5sp (does not have a 6 sp valve body)
Regeared the rear end to 4.88 from 6.13.

empty after gutting it weighed in at 15K. I have scale nearby I can weigh it now that it's all finished

Went from a screaming 2450 @ 65mph to 1950 @ 65mph
MPG went from 8.5 to 11ish (8ish when towing a jeep ~5Klbs)

Due to the regearing, I experience the following:
sluggish start (especially on a slope with the Jeep in tow)
35-40mph over the Tehachapi's
215-225f on grades. Sometimes it will get to 230 and then the fan kicks on and it drops to 170. Normal cruise at 65 it runs between 170-190.

I have an EGT ready to install - so I could get base level numbers before any changes.

Anyway - if you need a test vehicle, I'm available.
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:43 PM   #131
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Chris I have been having the same results are you with the Orion I canít be happier with the performance. I ran it this weekend over a few good long windy mountain pulls where you have to back out of it while still pulling a hill and get back into it. Iíve been running mine on level 4 and the hottest my EGTs got when I was lugging it up a hill in 6th gear was 1000 degrees which is nothing at all engine temp also stood at normal running temp. The Orion makes my bus actually very enjoyable to drive you are not pushing it to the max to try and get enuff speed to up shift. In 2 weeks I will be towing my trailer with my mud truck 3 hrs one way and I fell way more confident now with this power
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Old 07-28-2021, 04:44 PM   #132
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Have a little more functionality in the Orion today! We can now Read and Clear DTCs.



I'll tell ya... Trying to find any sort of documentation on this stuff is like pulling teeth, but we got it working.

Latest version is v1.01.0050 and you can download it here:

https://orionreflash.com

Enjoy.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:37 AM   #133
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Good morning!

We had a couple folks who recently contacted us to let us know that they were interested in BETA testing.

I just wanted to take a second and inform everyone who may not already be aware, BETA testing was completed in May and we are no longer considering any testers. We appreciate your interest and may have opportunities in the future for other related products as they go through development.

As for those who were part of the Orion BETA test program, let me say...



You guys are awesome and your feedback has helped to improve the quality and functionality of the Orion software.

Take care.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:53 AM   #134
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this is fantastic being able to read and clear DTCs! This device is turning into a diagnostic tool as well as a tuner.. thats an awesome thing to have!!
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:32 AM   #135
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so this "system" is $900?


wow

def gonna pass
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:19 PM   #136
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this is fantastic being able to read and clear DTCs! This device is turning into a diagnostic tool as well as a tuner.. thats an awesome thing to have!!
It'll be really cool once we get the datalogging portion done. That's going to be a huge help. Once we get everything sorted with the datalogging, we're going to start working on the TCM. That'll be a massive benefit.

After that, we're going to start working on the standalone programmer that can be dash mounted. Basically, take everything we've learned and developed, and put it in a handheld device. ECM, TCM, DTCs, Datalogging, and a digital display. Gonna be cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolesvilleMarina View Post
so this "system" is $900?


wow

def gonna pass
You should look into what International charges to bump the power up just 20 HP.

Considering that we not only provide the ability to add up to 100 HP to the T444e (even more on the DT466 and DT530), we also provide the ability to adjust the vehicle parameters as well as basic diagnostics. Combined with the fuel economy benefits (as reported by early BETA testers as well as current customers) along with improved driveability and power, we feel the price is more than fair.

It all comes down to value and what someone feels something is worth. Clearly, what this package provides is not something you feel is worth the price. For many others, it's a bargain. But, to each his own.

Either way, it's a shame because I e-mailed you several times about getting your address so that we could ship you the BETA kit, but I never heard back. Life's full of missed opportunities, eh?

Take care and God bless.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:18 PM   #137
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$900 is Cheap for power-adding. (trust me on that.. getting 100HP out of an engine for that price and no wrenches turned is a BARGAIN!.. ive been building hot rods and modding motors for years..it gets easily into the 1000s for power-adding.)





I have more than that in that EFIlive you guys have seen me use multiple times for tuning my TCM.. plus the countless hours i have in tuning my own TCM..


if you buy an Orion not only do you get the software and device and ability to change the parameters you would need to buy a Nexiq or Clone device and then obtain the right software).. ie you can even change the Transmission type that is needed to make the allison swap so many are doing.. you cant do that with the free servicemaxx..


you also get the tuning.. ready to go.. plug it in download it into your computer in a matter of minutes, start your bus and go.. no 3 laptops, no hours and hours of tuning for things you likely have no idea how work.. Pulse width, HPOP curves, ignition timing.. and in the case of the VT-365 and 2004+ DT466E you have a VGT turbo..



I stand by the fact that this system is a great value..



P.S. i write software for a living.. anyone else who does will understand the hours and hours of development, test, debug, and fixes and updates and more development hours because something doesnt work..


when I release a product a good portion of that price is the software ...


an even more special talented group are those who's software cotnrols a tangible hardware device.. its one thing to write a desktop app like a website or an accounting program but to write software which interacts, corrals, controls, and operates pieces of hardware is an even tougher feat...



and yes this is a RANT!! and it comes out when anyone decides that my or anyone elses TALENT isnt worth sometimes..



had I not been in the beta program I sure wouldve been first in line to order an Orion at price and use it...





so now lets do some math..


1. you want to be able to read and clear your own trouble codes on your navistar..


you need a nexiq ($600) or clone($275 on average)


the Orion does it without that device.



2. you want to change a protected Parameter like an RPM limiter or transmission type or throttle type, or speed sensor type.


you need the hardware device above..
then you need either a god-mode servicemaxx or you need a typical $300 shop labor charge to reprogram the ECM for such parameter.. if they will do it.. some dealers wont do it..



the orion can do it..





so you have already saved yourself a decent chunk of the Orion cost..





Bill please correct me if ive said something that Orion cant do.. ive perosnally changed parameters with mine instead of my Nexiq lately to test and use the orion as much as possible..
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:00 PM   #138
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Wow, first time I've seen this thread. I guess not surprising because when it started I was heavily into working on Leavuntaun hoping to get on the road by 11/20 - I failed - SIGH!

I'd have loved to participate in the Beta but since I hadn't driven my bus yet I wouldn't have appreciated the magic the Orion performs. I'll likely go out this winter with the bus stock just to see how much of a slug it is but I intend to buy the Orion once I get some miles in on the bus.

I'm curious, how much of a fuel mileage increase did folks see during the beta testing? If it's significant, fuel savings alone could pay for the Orion.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:18 PM   #139
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Chris,

No... I'd say you pretty much covered it.

I've been in the automotive industry for nearly 40 years, with almost 25 years in the performance tuning industry alone. I've worked on some amazing projects and have tuned some really cool vehicles.

I get that people balk at pricing for certain things, especially when it comes to tuning. I think the reason is that tuning is not something tangible, and that makes it hard to quantify. People will go out and spend $10k on wheels and tires or a stereo system and not even think twice about it. Yet these same people would balk at $75.00 for a custom tune on their car or truck, or complain about $125.00 an hour for dyno tuning. I would eventually have to explain just what is involved and what the risks were. I'd tell them that the $10k they spent on wheels wouldn't likely leave them stranded on the side of the road, but if I wrote a bad tune it could easily destroy their engine and/or transmission. I'd then ask them if this is really where they'd like to cut corners?

Case in point: I had a customer with a heavily modified 2001 F-150 Lightning that actually got mad at me (quite literally cussing me out) because we charged $125.00 per hour for dyno tuning with a 2 hour minimum. He had almost $8,000 in mods (modified Eaton Supercharger, 50# Injectors, Modified Throttle Body, Coil Packs, Exhaust, Pulleys, etc.). Basically every bolt-on you could throw at it, and yet he told me I was a ripoff because he knew a place that only charged $50.00 per hour for tuning. I wasn't upset about it. I just told him that he should go with whomever he felt comfortable with and that was that. 5 months later I get a call from the very same customer who was oddly apologetic. After some conversation, he explained to me that the shop he took his truck to charged $50.00 per hour for the tuning time. However, they neglected to inform him that they also charged $75.00 per hour for the dyno as well as another $50.00 hour for a dual wideband O2 setup. He was pissed, but at that point he was already there. Four hours into it, they finally told him they were done. He spent $700.00 for the tuning, drove home and then 2 weeks later scattered the engine. It took him 4 months to put the new engine together which ended up costing him almost $15,000k. It was at this point he contacted me again.

What was the ultimate cause of the failure? The dyno they used was an inertia dyno (Dyno Jet) and did not adequately load the engine the way you would see on the street. If it did, they would have noticed that the fuel pressure was dropping off above 18 PSI boost causing a sudden lean spike that destroyed 5 of the 8 pistons so badly that it broke 2 rods and sent them through the block. So in an effort to save a few bucks on dyno tuning, it ended up costing him more and ultimately cost him his engine.

Moving forward...

Yes, the development time on a project like this can be (and was!) quite immense. Starting a new project from scratch continues to be one of the most daunting things I've ever undertaken, and I've done it 6 times in my career. However, in past projects I have had the benefit of so many shoulders to stand on and take examples from. For example, documentation of the CAN protocols and hardware layers are abundant and complete. SAE, ISO, and other standards groups have alone made the development process considerably less complex.

However, unlike my previous projects, to do this on the Navistar platform has been a completely different ballgame. There was no relevant prior work to observe. Documentation is all but non-existent. Short of the NavKal utility (which was extremely helpful, if I'm going to be honest), there was nothing else that I could really base off of. To go from a concept to a fully functional package (hardware, software, tuning, documentation, and testing) in just 18 months with almost nothing to go on but hardcore reverse engineering is an impressive feat in ANY engineering circles. For a single engineer to accomplish something like this is almost completely unheard of. In the past, I've had development teams of at least 3 people and as many as 7 working on a project with well documented protocols, hardware examples, and pre-existing tuning, and it still took 18 months or more to complete a project.

Now I don't say this because I expect any sort of congratulations, appreciation, or respect for what I've accomplished. It's what I do for a living and I love it. I love the working in the automotive performance industry. I love cars. I love trucks. I love bikes. I love engines. (I don't love bodywork... ) I love the smell of race fuel and diesel and burning rubber at the track. But most of all, I love the smiles that people get on their faces when they run my products or tuning. And yes, you can absolutely hear the smile one someone's face over the phone! To have a customer fall in love with their vehicle all over again (or for the first time) is the ultimate form of thanks.

So if someone feels that what we charge for a product is too high, that's fine. To be honest, those people usually don't understand the time and effort that goes into it or the value of it, and ultimately they don't fully appreciate it. At the end of the day, it's their loss.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:37 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldyeller View Post
I'm curious, how much of a fuel mileage increase did folks see during the beta testing? If it's significant, fuel savings alone could pay for the Orion.
Keep in mind that this is anecdotal. I don't have the actual fuel records from anyone, just a recount of their fuel economy gains.

One customer stated that he achieved 1.1 MPG better fuel economy, even though he was running about 5-7 MPH faster than his previous trip. This was also on a tune that was making 50 HP over stock.

Another customer stated that he picked up about 2 MPG running just the bus (19,000# alone) and a little over 1 MPG when running with a trailer (24,000# combined).

Other customers have indicated in the area of 1.5 to 2 MPG. It's enough of a gain to notice, but you'd have to put the miles on before it would pay for itself just with fuel savings. It's the combination of economy and performance that make it worthwhile.

I currently only have 0 to 60 times on my bus, but when I have some time I'm going to do a 305 Mile round trip on both the stock tune and the Level 4 tune, just so I can get some verifiable fuel economy data. This way I can fill up from the same pump, on the same day, and run the same route. I've already scaled my bus and it sits about 20,200#, so that'll help others with expected economy values based on their weight.

I'll be sure to post up results as I acquire them.
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