Zeigler Diesel Performance

Inside the Cutting-Edge Technology On Display At U.C.C. 2022

Without a doubt, new ground was broken at the 2022 Ultimate Callout Challenge. Three trucks ran 4-second eighth-miles, seven more put up mid 5’s, and seven competitors cleared 2,300 hp or more on the dyno—including Justin Zeigler’s industry-changing 3,336hp show on the rollers. Then came the sled pull which, for the first time, permitted purpose-built pulling trucks to compete. And all of that took place with the DPI Expo, boasting the biggest names in the business, fully open to the public. With so much cutting-edge technology present in one place, it’s no wonder the atmosphere was electric at U.C.C. 2022.

At this year’s affair, we saw billet blocks enter the fray, common-rail injection (and the role of electronics) continue to rule the roost, supremely well-executed diesel conversions, and massive single, compound, and triple-turbo arrangements make other-worldly horsepower numbers. We also witnessed a Duramax legitimately challenge the Cummins dominance that has been part of U.C.C. since its inception. Even a pair of 6.0L Power Strokes helped to shake up the field. This time, we’re shining a spotlight on the technology that makes an event of this magnitude possible—and how engines, turbochargers, transmissions, and chassis’ survive it.

Above all else, the biggest news from U.C.C. 2022 was Justin Zeigler’s 3,000hp dyno performance. To be more specific, his ’06 Dodge laid down 3,336 hp—the most power ever recorded on a chassis dyno, gas, or diesel. With a massive, 5.3-inch inducer Wimer atmosphere turbo in place for the occasion (and an 88mm GT55 on the manifold), a boost had to be built using the truck’s brakes in addition to the load the SuperFlow dyno provided. In a 1.19-second sweep from 3,100 rpm to 5,725 rpm—during which converter slip measured as much as 48 percent—nearly 6 pounds of nitrous was used, 189-psi of boost was produced, and 3,336 hp and 3,642 lb-ft of torque was registered.
At the heart of Justin Zeigler’s 3,336hp effort on the rollers lies a D&J Precision Machine Cummins. As an Enforcer, the 6.7L sports a deck plate, cylinder sleeves, a crank girdle, fire-rings, X-beam rods, and billet FSR pistons (among other things). However, the fact that it’s an Enforcer engine means it’s still rocking the cast-iron block and factory-based cylinder head. On the dyno, and in the words of Zeigler himself: “This cast-iron block and factory-based head did things a billet engine ain’t done yet!” A hungry fuel system consists of two 14mm CP3’s and 400-percent over injectors from Exergy Performance, with a stand-alone Bosch ECM controlling everything. Credit goes to Firepunk Diesel’s Cody Fisher for the stunning fab work under the hood.

Out on the drag strip, Zeigler and his 4,430-pound Dodge immediately made their presence known. The truck’s first full A-to-B pass ended with a 4.99 on the scoreboard, even though Zeigler had to pedal it twice. On the track, nitrous backfires (which occurred when he was forced to lift off the throttle) introduced slight valve damage—which was before the truck made its earth-moving 3,336 hp on the dyno. In our opinion, the TH400 deserves the MVP award in Zeigler’s setup though. The Rossler-built three-speed makes use of a Neal Chance converter and routes power through an SCS transfer case.
When Chris Patterson installed his triple-turbo arrangement prior to the dyno day festivities, we got a glimpse at the whizz-bang hot pipe that links his atmosphere chargers together. The wild-looking piece is a computer-designed and simulated component developed specifically for these TDI S476 turbochargers. The hot-pipe assembly features Schedule 10 stainless steel, with its .120-inch wall thickness perfect for retaining heat to help better drive the low-pressure turbos. If you recall, this triple arrangement allowed Patterson’s third-gen Cummins to make 2,614 hp and 3,611 lb-ft on the dyno.
While it’s always fun to showcase what makes some of these 3,000hp engines make the power they do, it’s equally interesting to discover the parts that allow them to live at such insane power levels. Along the driver-side frame rail of Chris Patterson’s ’07 Dodge dually, you’ll find two remote-mounted coolers—and they’re not for transmission fluid. Because Patterson’s block is filled he knew he wouldn’t be able to adequately cool off the bottom of the engine without doing something. These heat exchangers, equipped with fans that operate at 215,000 BTU per hour, serve to keep the 5.5 gallons of 15W40 engine oil cool. It’s no wonder Patterson never turned his engine off between making six back-to-back hits on the dyno—EOT never went higher than 168 degrees F!
In the past, Chris Patterson had experienced chassis issues while sled pulling his dually. At U.C.C., he and his team decided to reinforce the frame significantly. They welded tubes in place that spanned from the hitch past the transmission cross member. The rigid additions ended up working exactly as intended, with the previous frame-twist eliminated and the noticeable gap between the cab and bed no longer developing.
Cutting-edge technology of the highest order was on display in Jesse Warren’s Super Stock puller. Warren was asked to compete in Charlie Fish’s stead on both the dyno and during the truck pull. U.C.C. marked the debut of Warren’s billet-aluminum block 6.0L Power Stroke, an engine program born out of necessity (he was splitting cast-iron blocks). Fastened on top of the block sat a pair of Warren’s billet cylinder heads.
Making use of some of the largest hybrid HEUI injectors Warren ever assembled, along with a 5.3-inch and 4.1-inch compound turbo arrangement, this is a 6.0L like you’ve never seen before. Although electronic gremlins hindered the truck’s dyno performance, at full health we fully expect this setup to produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 hp. After all, that’s what it takes to keep pace in the Cummins-dominated Super Stock diesel truck class.
It doesn’t get much sweeter than triple Precisions, and that’s exactly what the DHD team put to work on the dyno. The two-stage arrangement, which was designed and built in-house, positions a pair of identical Precision turbos above the hood of the ’06 Silverado (and reportedly can be installed inside of an hour). So how did the trio perform? DHD took Fifth Place on the dyno while simultaneously setting a new Duramax record with 2,486 hp. The day before, team DHD broke into the 4’s for the first time.
Isn’t it a shame a front clip covers up the exotic Cummins in Derek Rose’s record-setting third-gen? Shown here in triple-turbo trim, Rose’s all-aluminum Freedom Racing Engines power plant is ready to take on the dyno. Rose has wasted no time putting Freedom’s billet Cummins block through its paces, running a 4.44-second eighth-mile at 4,100 pounds in April and then making 3,084 hp aboard the hub dyno in May. A few weeks later, and even with the engine slightly hurt following nitrous backfire while tethered to the aforementioned hub dyno, Rose’s Dodge still went 4.73 through the eighth (at 4,400 pounds), which was followed by making 2,621 hp on the dyno.
For a tire that’s been out of production for a short while now, Nitto’s NT420S all season remains the tread of choice for most competitors on dyno day. Obviously, this tire was never developed to distribute 4,000 lb-ft of torque to a set of massive rollers (nor was it engineered to be run on heavy diesel trucks), but that’s exactly what Derek Rose uses them for. For whatever reason, their unique sidewall construction seems to survive the stresses imposed on them, and the tread pattern rarely fails to grip the dyno. In 2022, Rose’s 305/50R20 NT420S’s held their ground once again, even with 2,621 hp and 3,677 lb-ft coursing through them.
It might be equipped with parachutes, a fuel cell, a roll cage, and be capable of mid-8-second quarter-miles, but Chris Buhidar’s 2000 model year F-350 still has leaf springs out back. Granted, the number in each leaf spring pack has shrunk, but they’re there nonetheless. Buhidar Super Duty, coined “The Mick,” is now 5,200 pounds, the lightest it’s ever been. Fittingly it went 5.56 in the eighth mile at U.C.C., with Nathaniel Oku behind the wheel. The truck mid-5 was good enough for Eighth Place in the drag race. Not bad for what was likely one of the heaviest vehicles competing.
Gone are the triple turbos once employed on Chris Buhidar’s Cummins-powered Ford. Instead, the proven Garrett GT55 (this being a 94mm version) is combined with nitrous to achieve the same power. Buhidar also controls his Freedom-built common-rail with a MoTeC M142 ECM from S&S Diesel Motorsport. A BTS 4R100 continues to handle the shifts and absorb all the Cummins’ punishment. On the dyno, Buhidar’s Super Duty cleared 2,368 hp and 3,146 lb-ft of torque, a combined total that earned him a Sixth Place finish on the rollers.
While cut tires certainly don’t represent a new form of technology in diesel truck pulling, they were new to Brian Shew’s 3.0 smooth bore truck at U.C.C. A regular front-runner in the Limited Pro Stock field, the Quality Diesel Performance Dodge known as “Iron Maiden” took its maiden voyage on cuts during the sled pull. With nothing else changed (we’re told that not even the gears in the quick change transfer case were altered), Shew drove the cut-tire second-gen out to a 308.9-foot finish—a distance that wouldn’t be beaten.
It doesn’t get much better than a muscle car with a  modern diesel stuffed in the engine bay, and fans of this type of swap were in for a treat at the Exergy Performance booth. There they were greeted with a Duramax-converted ’69 Camaro Z/28, a car that’d had much of its work done at Firepunk Diesel (yes, for custom fabrication jobs they will even work on the Duramax!).
Under the hood, a Duramax controlled by a stand-alone Bosch ECM is graced with twin turbos that blow through a No Corners Cut Fabrication intercooler. The packaging alone will make working on the V-8 a much easier task than it would be with a more common compound arrangement in the mix—but we’re sure the parallel setup will perform. In fact, it’s rumored that the goal for the build was 1,100 to 1,200 hp.
How about a classic Chevy pickup with modern diesel propulsion? Keith Porter’s ’52 barn find of a Chevrolet 3100 is the perfect mix of old and new. The chopped Chevy sits on the front and rear independent suspension systems out of a C4 Corvette benefits from full air-ride and houses an L5P Duramax under the hood. Keen eyes will notice that the truck’s box has been shortened (roughly 6-inches) and that the doors have actually been stretched (again, 6-inches).
Squeezed tightly between the frame rails of Keith Porter’s ’52 Chevy 3100 sits an L5P Duramax. In order to get the late-model common-rail to play nice in the old truck, the project spent considerable time at S&S Diesel Motorsport in the care of Andre Dusek. In his care, Dusek was able to get both the L5P and 10L1000 Allison to perform flawlessly by designing his own Allison control package (which is not yet available to the general public). Trust us, this is one of the more cutting-edge conversions you’ll come across.
KC Turbos’ Charlie Fish is basically the comeback kid of the diesel world. While traveling to U.C.C. from Arizona in 2021, his race trailer was rear-ended in Texas (causing damage to his race truck), but he still managed to make it to the event. During testing a week before U.C.C. 2022, nasty nitrous backfires literally blew up his 6.0L Super Duty. Days, before he had to be on the road and bound for Indy, the front clip, windshield, turbo piping, dash, and intercooler, were all replaced. On top of that, with the engine ingesting pieces of intercooler shrapnel it was completely rebuilt before leaving. Once at U.C.C., Fish struggled to put it all together at the drag strip, but kept at it and eventually pulled off an impressive 5.56-second pass at 126 mph.
On the night of the world’s worst nitrous backfire, this is what one of the end tanks on Charlie Fish’s intercooler looked like. At U.C.C., his fresh Kill Devil Diesel 6.0L Power Stroke never skipped a beat—even when converter issues were allowing the engine to see 6,000 rpm, nitrous backfires were still on the menu, and all kinds of horsepower were being thrown at it. By the end of U.C.C. weekend, Fish and his Ford reclaimed the 6.0L Power Stroke eighth-mile record, going 5.39 at 127 mph.
When Jim Rose’s son was ready to get his Jr. dragster back on the track but parts shortages made it impossible, he decided to put the two-cylinder Kubota Z482 diesel engine sitting in the corner of his shop to good use. A bit of head scratching, welding, and custom-machined parts later his son’s dragster is diesel-powered. Better yet, it’s turbocharged and looks like it belongs in the ’99 Spitzer Jr chassis. It’s proof yet again that thinking outside the box and having access to a machine shop can make virtually anything possible.
As far as performance goes, the dragster got started with an rpm-limited 16.00-second eighth-mile, but with a little more engine speed the dragster turned in a 13.00 in no time. One last tweak resulted in a 12.60, which is closing in on the 11.90 they’re after (the limit for the class). Perhaps the best part is that after a full night of racing at the track, Jim reported the Kubota had consumed “maybe a coffee cup’s worth of fuel.”

Nearby Jim Rose’s booth (i.e. Rosewood Diesel Shop), sat the folks at Firewire LED’s with their 7.3L showpiece. In 2021, owner Brian Rogers decided to transform his family-owned 1948 Ford 8N tractor into a 7.3L-powered masterpiece (it’s called “Stroked-N”). And if the fact that a 7.3L Power Stroke sitting in a tractor isn’t enough of an attention-getter, the twin-turbo configuration should definitely do the trick (twins are a real rarity in the 7.3L camp). Rogers topped off his creation with Super Swamper TSL tread out back, too. Predictably, it’s already earned several trophies at various truck and tractor shows.


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