INSIDE WAGLER’S 3,000HP GAME-CHANGING DX500 DURAMAX
Diesel engines have been around for more than 100 years, but they have made leaps and bounds in the last decade. Sled pullers have nearly doubled in horsepower, dragsters have gone from 8s, to 7s, to 6s in the quarter mile, and street trucks that are 800-1,200 horsepower are now all over the country. So what’s next? You might be looking at it. With a Nitrous Express nitrous system, twin 102mm Precision turbochargers, and a mammoth C rotor PSI screw blower all on top of a 500 cubic-inch Duramax engine, Wagler Competition Products didn’t pull any punches when designing this monster. The crew is aiming at a mind-bending 3,000 horsepower and chassis-bending 6,000 lb-ft of torque, provided the engine doesn’t twist the dyno right off its platform.
RACE ENGINE FROM THE GROUND UP
When Wagler set about building their new Duramax-based pulling engine, they started with a clean sheet—virtually every idea was on the table. It was this approach that led them to design something different than anything else out there: a modular engine. The block comprises three pieces instead of just one. There is an aluminum center section that makes up the bulk of it, to which all the drives and accessories are bolted. However, the bottom of the engine houses a steel bedplate that’s tied into the center section and secures the bottom rotating assembly via 28 ARP main studs. The final piece to the puzzle is the cylinder “jug,” a removable section of four cylinders and Darton sleeves (one jug per side) that allows a quick repair of a single cylinder without having to send the whole engine off to a machine shop.
Moving on inside the engine, there’s a “who’s who” of performance companies. The 9/16 ARP head studs and Winberg crank are Top Fuel dragster hardware, the rods are Wagler’s own design, and the 12.5:1 pistons are from Ross Racing. Roller bearings were fitted into the block, which allow the 0.700-inch lift Competition Cams camshaft do its thing in conjunction with Trend Performance pushrods. Other tricks were incorporated into the block itself, including a massive oiling flow upgrade, smaller base-circle cam bearings, and a taller 11.313 deck height. The entire thing is a “dry” engine, which means it runs no coolant and has no coolant passages.
The innovative short block is topped off with a set of Duramax-based aluminum heads from Wagler Competition Products. These heads are also dry, and have been fire-ringed (as has the block) for maximum sealing. A set of Competition Cams valve springs were added to match the camshaft, which bumps a set of 38mm valves out of ductile iron valve seats. The flow is also unparalleled, as its 380cfm intake and 300cfm exhaust numbers are more than double the factory flow rating.
THE CREW IS AIMING AT A MINDBENDING 3,000 HORSEPOWER AND CHASSISBENDING 6,000 LB-FT OF TORQUE, PROVIDED THE ENGINE DOESN’T TWIST THE DYNO RIGHT OFF ITS PLATFORM.
6500CFM OF AIR
While the bottom end of the engine is doing most of the hard work, it’s the top half that gets all the attention. With a massive 210-series screw blower and twin 102mm turbochargers from Precision Turbo and Engine, the DX500’s induction is an example of overkill at its best. At lower engine rpm, the blower starts things off with a huge hit of boost that feeds into the engine through a valve setup of Wagler’s own design. As the turbos come on, the valves will allow more and more air from the turbos into the engine until peak rpm, where both the turbos and the blower will both be utilized to move enormous amounts of air. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a nitrous oxide injection system to up the power even more, and a custom water-methanol injection system designed to keep the blower’s rotors from overheating and touching the case. One thing’s for sure— there’s nothing out there quite like it.
PUSHING THE SPORT FORWARD
The question, of course, that everyone asks is: How much power does it make? The short answer is that it should be well over 3,000 horsepower at the crankshaft, along with close to 6,000 lb-ft of torque. A similarly prepped single-turbo engine has already made 2,700 horsepower and 4,000 lb-ft of torque, so we’d say Wagler’s estimates are a bit conservative, if anything. “We will be learning along with everyone else just what this engine is capable of,” admits owner Jeremy Wagler, and he notes that “Its ultimate power number will be anyone’s guess.” With a smile, he also adds, “This isn’t an engine that’s just going to sit on an engine stand or in a dyno cell; we’re going to be trying some new things with our company race vehicle as well, and we’ll see you at a pulling track and dragstrip sometime soon.” With its innovation and advanced technology, we’re willing to bet you’ll see a lot more of the DX500 very soon. DW
PRECISION TURBO AND ENGINE
S&S DIESEL MOTORSPORT
WAGLER COMPETITION PRODUCTS