$100K SECOND-GEN

A 750HP ’02 DODGE COMMON-RAIL THAT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY

When you’re a second-gen connoisseur, chances are pretty good you’ll own a few of them. As for Kenneth Donkersgoed, he’s held the title of more than a dozen ’94-’02 Dodges in his time—but none of them have been like this. After obtaining a straight bodied ’02 Quad Cab as a roller from Jake Schlosser of SloshFab, Kenneth did something most second-gen owners never do: he treated his pride and joy to a show-quality, $20,000 paintjob. Then he broke the mold again, this time in ditching all thoughts of a P-pumped 24-valve for a common-rail 6.7L. “I wanted to have the nicest second-gen out there,” he told us. “Something that you can’t just go buy.” After a year of being under the knife at Fleece Performance Engineering, Kenneth’s $100,000 common-rail second-gen is alive—and it’s unlike any other ’94-’02 Cummins you’ll come across.

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6.8L CUMMINS

With the truck being purchased as a roller, there was no 5.9L to pull. However, a new power plant had to be sourced. Turning things over to Freedom Racing Engines, a Stage 2 6.7L-based Cummins was put together. The bored, honed, decked, and blue-printed block is furnished with a factory crankshaft, 9/16-inch main studs, Carrillo connecting rods, and Mahle replacement pistons. Freedom’s fire-ringed performance series 6.7L cylinder head, fitted with oversized valve seats, Manley Performance stainless steel valves and 103-lb Hamilton valve springs, anchors to the block via 14mm ARP head studs.

STROKER CP3 & 100-PERCENT OVER STICKS

To make the truck fun to drive, Fleece and S&S Diesel Motorsport teamed up on the fuel system. Things get started with a PowerFlo lift pump in the factory tank, with one of Fleece’s auxiliary fuel filter and line kits mounted between the lift pump and a single PowerFlo 750 CP3. To take advantage of their quick injection rate and also to provide room for future horsepower growth, a set of 5.9Lderived, 100-percent over injectors were obtained from S&S. Fine-tuning of the engine is made possible through the use of a 5.9L ECM.

SECOND-GEN TURBO SWAP

With the finished product destined to live in Kenneth’s native Wyoming, adequate airflow without sacrificing drivability was a key stipulation in the build. Sizing a turbocharger for a single turbo application that needs to be responsive at 7,500-feet of elevation but that can also support more than 700-rwhp can be a tall order. However, Fleece met Kenneth’s needs with an S463 that makes use of an 83mm turbine wheel and a non-wastegated .90 A/R exhaust housing. Accommodating the BorgWarner charger is Fleece’s popular second-gen turbo swap system, which (in addition to facilitating the use of an S400 on a 6.7L common-rail) includes a T4 Steed Speed exhaust manifold, 4-inch stainless downpipe, and the company’s 5-inch ManTake.

MANUAL VALVEBODY 48RE

The 48RE that’s forced to absorb the common-rail’s abuse is always up to the challenge thanks to being prepped with the baddest Sun Coast parts you can find. The top-shelf components list includes the infamous 1-3/16-inch diameter OM3GA input shaft, larger 300M intermediate and output shafts (along with an NP271 transfer case), a 27-spline, billet stator 2,200-rpm stall converter, and a manual valve body. Shifts are handled by way of a Precision Performance Products shifter. Downwind of the lively Cummins and the full-billet four-speed sits the front Dana 60 with Dynatrac Free-Spin hubs and a rear Dana 80 with 35-spline axleshafts and a spool to ensure all power makes it to the ground.

ONE OF A KIND COMMON-RAIL

As a pipeline welder by trade, Kenneth is around hundredthousand dollar trucks on a daily basis. However, his diesel addiction begins and ends with second-gens. He may have sunk a six-digit figure into his ’02, but between its perfect body panels, metallic red paint, and the common-rail Cummins under the hood it’s one of the cleanest and rarest second-gens you’ll ever see. For most old-school Dodges, the words drivability and 750hp don’t belong in the same sentence. For Kenneth’s seven-red special, it’s all in a day’s work.

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Leaving his VP44 and P-pump knowledge in the past, Kenneth Donkersgoed had Freedom Racing Engines piece together a stout 6.7L Cummins common-rail for his ’02 Dodge. The balanced and blueprinted power plant is graced with 9/16-inch main studs, Carrillo rods, Freedom’s fire-ringed Performance series head, 14mm head studs, and was topped off with the ’03-’05 marine valve cover that’s visible here. Along with overseeing the entirety of the truck’s build, Fleece Performance Engineering’s Jake Richards executed the common-rail swap to perfection.

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Ironically enough, dropping a common-rail Cummins into the old Dodge required Kenneth to run one of Fleece’s second-gen turbo swap kits to achieve the kind of power he was after. The charger spec’d out for his build is an S400 with a 63mm compressor wheel, an 83mm turbine wheel, and a .90 A/R exhaust housing. The S400 breathes through Fleece’s 5-inch ManTake cold air system and is efficiently driven thanks to a T4 exhaust manifold from Steed Speed.

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Making use of some of the most proven fuel system parts in the industry, a Fleece PowerFlo 750 CP3 supports a set of 100-percent over injectors from S&S Diesel Motorsport. While the single 10mm CP3 stands no chance of supporting an all-out effort from the 100-percent over injectors, by running an injector that’s larger than what’s needed, stock-like injector duration can be commanded. This means the truck’s 750-800hp is achieved without the engine having to endure excessive EGT or stress to make it happen.

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If you thought the engine was overkill, Kenneth’s transmission of choice will seem downright bombproof. The 48RE pieced together at Fleece boasts a laundry list of top-of-the-line parts from Sun Coast—including the infamous OM3GA input shaft. Accommodating the larger input shaft is a 27-spline triple-disc Sun Coast converter with a billet stator and 2,200-rpm stall speed, and larger diameter intermediate and output shafts are also present. The bigger output shaft called for sourcing an NP271 transfer case.

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The truck’s exterior might’ve been treated to the works, but inside the cab you’ll find a completely untouched original interior, aside from the aforementioned manual shifter install. Only on a low-mile, garage-kept second-gen will you see an interior this immaculate. The fact that the Laramie trim leather driver seat has just 88,250 miles on it has certainly helped in its preservation.

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Full control over the built 48RE’s shift points is available courtesy of a Sun Coast manual valve body and this Kwik-Shifter I shifter from Precision Performance Products. Fleece whipped up the shifter mount and handled the clean installation.

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Use of an Edge Insight CTS2 monitor and its corresponding add-ons allows Kenneth to keep an eye on EGT, boost, rail pressure, and anything else the ECM sees. Speaking of the ECM, it’s off of a 5.9L common-rail, chosen for calibration purposes.

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A Dana 80 resides in the rear, and it’s been beefed up courtesy of Yukon 35-spline axle shafts and a spool. Both the Dana 80 and front Dana 60 are equipped with a 3.73 ring and pinion from Yukon as well.

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Polished, 20×10 Fuel Forged FF29’s set the truck’s appearance off in a subtle way, while 305/55R20 Toyo Open Country A/T’s work to find traction. Also notice that the factory unit bearing setup has been ditched in favor of a Dynatrac free-spin hub conversion, complete with Dynoloc manual locking hubs.

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