Josh Ewing’s Rowdy, Single Turbo, 48RE-Swapped ’05 Dodge
Life turned out very differently for this ’05 Dodge Ram 3500 than its original owner probably assumed it would. It still has very low miles on the odometer given its age, but the bright red four-door sports a 6.7L Cummins now, has been 48RE-swapped, and makes five times the horsepower it did when it left the factory. After bringing his spotless, bone-stock, 89,000-mile third-gen home from California five years ago, Josh Ewing quickly made the truck his own. For an Indiana power junkie that meant installing a Smarty tuner and a dual disc clutch right off the bat—which was soon followed by 150-percent over injectors and all the rest of it.
Finally, with the diesel drag racing scene becoming more and more serious—and having attended a few Streetcar Takeovers—Josh made the decision to go all-in. A built 6.7L, big fuel, a bit of nitrous, a 48RE with a full manual valve body, and 1,500 hp says he’s ready for a 5-second timeslip at the track. In fact, as you’re reading this he’s prepping the truck to run the 5.90 Index class, one of the most exciting eighth-mile categories on the Outlaw Diesel Super Series circuit. Luckily for Josh and his future racing endeavors, some of the best names in the business have contributed to his build…
Wagler-Built 6.7L Cummins
Being that Josh is geographically located just down the road from Wagler Competition Products, one of the premier machine shops and engine builders in the game, it didn’t take long to decide who he wanted to piece together his race-ready long-block. Wagler delivered by machining both the block and head to accept fire-rings, anchoring the crank in place via Bean Machine’s gridlock girdle and ARP main studs, installing a set of Streetfighter forged connecting rods, ARP rod bolts, and 0.020-inch over QSB pistons. The cylinder head, also fire-ringed, was treated to considerable CNC porting, equipped with hardened valve seats, Inconel intake and exhaust valves, 105-lb Manton valve springs, and fastens to the block by way of ARP Custom Age 625+ head studs.
2 CP3’s & 300-Percent Overs
With big horsepower in mind, Josh reached out to another Indiana-based company, S&S Diesel Motorsport, for his injection system needs. The two 12mm CP3’s he decided to go with have proven more than overkill, easily sharing the workload and combining to feed a steady 28,000 psi to the ported rail and ultimately the 300-percent over injectors. On the low-pressure side of the fuel equation, a 290-gph FASS Titanium signature series system supplies the CP3’s with 18-psi of pressure. It pulls fuel from a dual-feed Bean Machine sump in the factory tank, while a fuel distribution block from Fleece Performance Engineering does away with the OEM fuel filter under the hood.
On the other side of the 7-inch stack in the hood, you’ll find a GTX5533R GEN II. The big single employs an 88mm compressor wheel, a 1.24 A/R non-divided turbine housing, and bolts to a T6 Steed Speed exhaust manifold. At full tilt, the big Garrett can make more than 55-psi of boost on fuel alone, but Josh isn’t sure what it jumps to with his two-stage nitrous system in the mix. Despite its size, the 88mm charger spools surprisingly well, thanks in large part to being complemented by the perfect converter for his setup and spot-on tuning. During staging, Josh tells us the turbo comes up on boost and is ready to rock ‘n roll within 4 seconds.
Speaking of the converter, it’s a loose-stall, bolt-together unit from Goerend Transmission—and it’s part of a rock-solid combination of parts residing inside Josh’s 48RE. Assembled by his friends at Performance TorqueFlite Transmission in Louisville, the four-speed automatic boasts a Sonnax Smart-Tech big input shaft, a 300 maraging steel intermediate, and a larger diameter billet-steel output shaft, along with Raybestos GPZ clutches throughout and a constant pressure, full manual valve body from Goerend. Trust us, the case is the weakest link in this transmission.
Untouched Axles & Subtle Suspension Tweaks
Amazingly, Josh is throwing all of this power at bone-stock axles. That’s right, neither the rear AAM 1150 or front AAM 925 have yet to be upgraded in any way, and the transfer case is stock, too. The only driveline upgrades Josh did make was upsizing to 1580 series U-joints, along with the addition of traction bars. As for suspension, the truck’s lowered stance comes from cut down KORE coil springs up front, and a reverse leveling kit with drop shackles and all but two leaf springs pulled out of the rear.
1,500 HP…At The Wheels
To date, Josh’s nasty, full weight third-gen has gone 6.31 at 113 mph in the eighth-mile on a 1.5-second 60-foot. According to the horsepower calculator, his 6,900-pound race weight means nearly 1,500 hp is making it to the wheels. In preparation to run the 5.90 Index class and get the truck’s chassis to settle down, Josh plans to install QA1 double-adjustable coil overs all the way around over the winter.
Thanks to his business, 925 Performance, keeping him in the know, his friends at Wagler, S&S, and Firepunk, and his wife Jessica who fully understands and supports his passion, making big horsepower and getting the truck to this point came rather easily for Josh. Now it’s just a matter of dialing in the suspension, adding a cage, shedding some weight, and racking up seat time and he’ll be ready to compete with some of the fastest trucks in the nation.
“Josh made the decision to go all-in. A built 6.7L, big fuel, a bit of nitrous, a 48RE with a full manual valve body, and 1,500 hp says he’s ready for a 5-second timeslip at the track. ”