Flipping through the pages of Diesel World can definitely get you itching to hop up your ride. Checking out all the dyno contests and power shops we hit up has to inspire you at some point; however, you might also get discouraged when you hear about guys throwing down 800, 900 and 1,000 hp at all these events. Showcasing fire breather after fire breather can be pretty intimidating (we understand) but you don’t have to break records to own a killer set up for yourself.
That’s why we compiled this article. With practicality and bang-for-the-buck in mind, we’re spelling out seven dyno-proven power combos from real-world, street-driven trucks that can point you in the right direction to get your truck putting down some heftier numbers. Sure, there were higher horsepower trucks in attendance at this particular event—the annual Randall’s Performance Dyno Day & Open House held in Gladstone, Illinois—but the rigs featured here are driven daily, hooked to trailers, only used during winter, and they still make respectable power. The best part is—the following parts combinations can be duplicated without breaking the bank.
Want more horses? Now’s your chance. DW
Owner: Kaden Nelson
Hometown: Joy, Illinois
Truck: ’09 GMC Sierra 2500
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax with Empire Diesel Performance Stage 1 Street Tow cam, Comp Cams 110-pound valve springs, ARP 2000 head studs
Fuel: Exergy Performance 45-percent over injectors, Exergy Performance 10mm stroker CP3, AirDog II 165-gph fuel system
Air: Wehrli Custom Fabrication compound turbos with billet S475 atmosphere charger and Danville Performance 2.5-inch VGT secondary
Transmission: Merchant Automotive MA700 with billet input and output shafts
Tuning: EFILive by Adrenaline Truck Performance with DSP5 switch
Horsepower: 701 hp
Torque: 1,157 lb-ft.
Suspension: Custom-fabricated traction bars, Merchant Automotive stainless tie rod sleeves, PPE pitman and idler arm support kit.
Quick Fact: Kaden uses his GMC to commute to his day job, work around the farm, hit the drag strip and hook to the sled during the summer months. The stock bottom end LMM has survived all the punishment it’s seen so far.
Owner: Tim Svob
Hometown: Canton, Illinois
Truck: ’06 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: Factory 5.9L Cummins common-rail with ARP Custom Age 625 head studs
Fuel: Exergy Performance 60 percent over injectors, Exergy Performance 10mm stroker CP3, AirDog II 165-gph fuel system
Air/Exhaust: Source Automotive compound turbos with cast S475 atmosphere charger and cast S362 secondary, CFM Plus intake elbow, AFE air filter, High Tech Turbo second-gen exhaust manifold, Banks-based 4-inch turbo-back exhaust system
Transmission: Goerend Transmission 48RE with billet-steel input, intermediate, and output shafts, constant pressure valve body, and triple disc torque converter
Tuning: EFILive by Silver Bullet Tuning with CSP5 switch
Horsepower: 698 hp
Torque: 1,234 lb-ft.
Suspension: CalTracs traction bars
Quick Fact: Tim bought his truck brand new in ’06, and because of the venerable 5.9L Cummins under the hood, his low-mile, ultra-clean, crew cab Ram also traps more than 91 mph at the local eighth-mile drag strip (700+ hp at the wheels).
Owner: Josh Todd
Hometown: Milledgeville, Illinois
Truck: ’04 Ford F-250
Engine: 6.0L Power Stroke with ported heads, hardened valve seats, and ARP 2000 head studs
Fuel: 215/75 conventional-style injectors, 165-gph AirDog II fuel system, Driven Diesel regulated return
Oil: Factory high-pressure oil pump
Air: Billet S467 turbo from High Tech Turbo, Irate Diesel Performance T4 mount, ported intake manifold, Banks techni-cooler intercooler, Banks intake elbow, Holderdown Performance hot-side intercooler pipe
Injectable: Banks water-methanol injection system
Transmission: 5R110 TorqShift built by Bud Tegeler with Precision triple disc billet torque converter, TransGo shift kit, Sun Coast clutches, billet input shaft
Tuning: Innovative Diesel via SCT programmer
Horsepower: 685 hp
Torque: N/A (lost tach signal,), 1,150 lb-ft (est.)
Quick Fact: Unfortunately, the downshift happy 5R110 TorqShift wouldn’t allow Josh’s truck to be dyno’d in fourth gear, so these numbers were made in third. The fact that the truck only made 40 psi of boost (45 psi on the street) leads us to believe that this nasty 6.0L could easily be getting 700 hp or more to the pavement. This is a major sleeper, especially with the snowplow mount up front. The best part is that the power adders used to get the truck to this level can be had on a reasonable budget. A work ready, stock appearing, high 11-second 6.0L? Yes, please.
Owner: Randy Queckborner
Hometown: Milledgeville, Illinois
Truck: ’01 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins with Hamilton 188/208 cam, MaxSpool chromoly HD push rods and dual valve springs, fire-ringed head, ARP 2000 head studs
Fuel: Dynomite Diesel Performance 150-hp injectors, FASS 150-gph fuel system, Industrial Injection Hot Rod VP44, .093 injection lines
Air/Exhaust: Industrial Injection PhatShaft 64mm S300 with 14cm turbine housing, Steed Speed exhaust manifold
Transmission: 47RE built by Performance Transmission of Clinton, Illinois, with triple disc torque converter
Tuning: Edge Juice w/Attitude with Hot Unlock
Horsepower: 567 hp
Torque: 1,106 lb-ft
Suspension: LazarSmith traction bars
Quick Fact: Randy’s Dodge does a little bit of everything. It hooks to the sled, runs low ‘13s in the quarter-mile, tows regularly, and gets used like a truck. Careful part selection has yielded solid horsepower and torque numbers. This is a great power recipe for the VP44 crowd.
Owner: Justen Shelman
Hometown: Hillsboro, Iowa
Truck: ’02 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins 24-valve with ARP 2000 head studs
Fuel: Dynomite Diesel Performance 150-hp injectors, Industrial Injection Hot Rod VP44, FASS 150-gph fuel system
Air/Exhaust: BD Super B Special turbo (64.5mm), Spearco intercooler, Flex-a-lite electric fans, stock air box and intake elbow, BD exhaust manifold, Silverline 4-inch turbo-back exhaust system
Transmission: Goerend Transmission 47RE with triple disc torque converter, billet-steel input, intermediate, and output shafts, BD billet FleX-Plate
Tuning: Edge Juice w/Attitude with Hot Unlock
Horsepower: 547 hp
Torque: 1,110 lb-ft
Suspension: One Up Offroad traction bars
Quick Fact: This truck is a real head turner, and we guarantee it’s one of the cleanest second gens you’ll find. Justen told us that his low-mile (94,000) Dodge is garage kept and only sees salt when he needs four wheel drive in the winter. Justen has used the same dyno since he started modifying the truck, and claimed that after making 535hp at his last visit, the addition of Flex-a-lite fans and a Spearco intercooler gained him 12 more hp and a whopping 80 lb-ft.
Owner: Brock Connor
Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa
Truck: ’99 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins with ARP 2000 head studs
Fuel: Farm Boys Diesel 150-hp injectors, standard output VP44, AirDog 100-gph fuel system
Air/Exhaust: Industrial Injection Viper PhatShaft 63mm S300, Pusher intake manifold
Transmission: Sun Coast 47RE with triple disc torque converter
Tuning: Edge Comp box
Horsepower: 467 hp
Torque: 871 lb-ft.
Quick Fact: After owning this second gen for two years, Brock fixed the Dodge’s body and had it repainted Mercedes-Benz Bahama Blue Metallic. Then, last summer, he had to perform a few “forced” upgrades, as the head gasket needed replaced (and ARP studs added) and the factory Holset failed (enter 63mm PhatShaft turbo). While Brock likes the respectable power numbers his VP44 Ram laid down; he told us a P-pump conversion might be in the truck’s future.
Owner: Zach Meyers
Hometown: Pekin, Illinois
Truck: ’08 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Fuel: FASS Titanium 150-gph fuel system, stock injectors and CP3
Air: Stock turbo, Wehrli Custom Fabrication 3-inch Y-bridge and 3-inch passenger side intercooler pipe, MBRP 3-inch driver side intercooler pipe, S&B Filters cold air intake
Transmission: Allison 1000 with TransGo shift kit
Tuning: EFILive by Duramax Tuner with DSP5 switch and built transmission tuning
Horsepower: 452 hp
Torque: 741 lb-ft
Suspension: Rare Parts Gen2 tie rods, Kryptonite upper control arms, Cognito Motorsports pitman and idler arm braces
Quick Fact: Zach is living on the edge of what the factory Allison can handle, but he knows that, hence the built transmission tuning from DuramaxTuner. While some slippage could be seen on his dyno graphs, these are still pretty impressive numbers for an A1000 still sporting the factory torque converter and clutches.