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.

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.

DW-2005-DGRED-02
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-03
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-04
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-07
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-09
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-08
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-10
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-13
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.
DW-2005-DGRED-11
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.

DW-2005-DGRED-14

You May Also Like

Project (OBS)essed: Buckboard Delete

Part six of the major update and overhaul of this 1996 F350 we’ve dubbed Project (OBS)essed will focus on finally doing something about that horrendously rough riding, outdated, buckboard…

Head Gasket Failure: 6.7L Cummins

No matter the power plant, the natural design of the internal combustion engine—where the cylinder head(s) bolts to the block—lends itself to eventual head gasket failure. While not…

Cummins Swap: Duramax-Powered Chevy Silverado

In the diesel industry, Cummins swaps are nothing new. The B series inline-six has been the engine of choice for sled pullers, drag racers, rat rods, and (of course) Ford trucks for more than…

Cummins Upgrades You Can’t Live Without

If you’re a Cummins owner, you know that performance and reliability go hand-in-hand. In terms of serviceability, durability and aftermarket support, the…