It’s not very often that you get to see trucks that are raced, and are still as clean as Adam Aquino’s ’07 Ram. Sure, Aquino’s ride has a roll cage and racing seats, but it also has a stereo system with two 10-inch speakers, a full interior, and still can street cruise with the best of them. He built the truck over a number of years through his shop, AA Motorworks, and his Dodge has seen a number of different engine and transmission combinations as his horsepower needs continued to climb.

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Aquino’s 6.7L Cummins was able to crank out 920 hp and 1,350 lb-ft of torque with a careful selection of parts and pieces that maximized both power and reliability. A Fluidampr, ARP 625 head studs, a fire-ringed head, and selection of valvetrain parts from Hamilton Cams make the inline-6 tick.

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The exhaust side of the Ram’s 6.7L Cummins starts with a high-flowing T4 flange exhaust manifold from Steed Speed, which drives the exhaust side of the turbocharger.

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Aquino built his own intake using an enormous 6-inch Race Day filter from Airaid. The conical filter directs are right into the BorgWarner turbocharger.

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Most of the work in adapting the huge BorgWarner S400 turbocharger was performed by Aquino at his shop. He built the downpipe and intake piping that mounts the 80mm turbocharger onto the Cummins engine. Boost sits at a healthy 55 psi.

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The intake tract was designed with a number of Vibrant Performance clamps that hold everything together under the elevated boost levels.

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While factory intercoolers are good for towing, they can restrict airflow a bit when the turbo is upgraded. Aquino made sure he had charge-cooling taken care of, with an On3 intercooler that would match up well with his turbo choice.

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Made by ATS, this cool Revolver pulley is used to mount a second CP3 pump to make sure plenty of fuel makes its way to the Cummins engine’s injectors. The 12mm DDP pump is controlled by a Fish Tuning CP3 controller.

6.7L Cummins

Aquino started his build with the factory 6.7L/68RFE setup, but that’s not to say that he didn’t make improvements to that platform. The bottom end of the 6.7L is a 175,000-mile stocker, save for a Fluidampr and Fleece Performance Engineering coolant bypass, but the top of the engine has been upgraded extensively. The head has been fire-ringed and fitted with ARP 625 head studs, as well as springs and pushrods from Hamilton Cams. Boost comes in the form of a 2nd Gen swap kit on a Steed Speed manifold, and a big 80mm charger with an 87mm turbine and 1.0 exhaust housing. Aquino built most of the intake and exhaust system himself, which incorporates an On3 Performance intercoole and Turbosmart blow-off valve. For fueling, Aquino didn’t want to fall short anywhere, so he went big right off the bat. A 220gph FASS lift pump sends fuel to a 12mm stroker CP3 from Dynomite Diesel Performance (and the stock CP3), before it makes its way to a set of DDP Super Mental Injectors. Tuning is performed by Silver Bullet Tuning through an innovative 5.9L Cummins ECM swap that was performed with a conversion harness from Fleece Performance.

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When the throttle is chopped, the turbo will still be spinning hard and trying to make boost. To avoid spikes, Aquino incorporated a Turbosmart blow-off valve into the intake tract that vents boost to the atmosphere when lifting off the throttle.

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Virtually all the intake area available is used up by this intake horn from Glacier Diesel Performance, which just clears the second injection pump.

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Aquino didn’t need a huge clutch fan anymore since his truck is now a street-strip beast. The Flex-a-Lite electric fans also can be left on while the truck is in the pits to further cool down engine temperatures.

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After trying (and frying) a number of factory 68RFE transmissions, Aquino finally threw in the towel and switched over to a built 47/48-series Dodge transmission that could handle the power.

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Heat is the enemy of transmission life, so Aquino installed an extra-large transmission cooler from Fluidyne in the bed of the truck, complete with its own fan.

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The dash is another area that is super busy, with a LTD Autosport quick-release steering wheel and a full complement of Isspro gauges that measure boost, drive pressure, fuel pressure, exhaust temperature, and more.

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Aquino built most of the truck’s exhaust system himself, which terminates in this cool 7-inch Titanium exhaust stack.

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Aquino wasn’t one to skimp when it came to safety, with a set of RaceTech seats and Crow Enterprises harness secure him in the driver’s seat as he blasts down the drag strip.

47/48 Transplant

Initially, the factory 68RFE transmission was replaced with an aftermarket unit, but Aquino saw the writing on the wall after the first couple failures, and switched to a 47/48 unit out of an earlier Dodge. The transmission was fitted with all the goodies, including a 2,200rpm triple-disc converter from SunCoast Diesel, a PCS valvebody, and aftermarket 27-spline input, 29-spline output, and intermediate shafts. Aquino didn’t want any “death wobble” at speed, so he took a multi-pronged approach on the front suspension, fitting the axle with Hell Bent Steel control arms, a Carli trac-bar, Thuren Fabrication steering stabilizer, and cutting half a coil off the front spring. QA1 shocks were also mounted on all four corners, and the rear end received custom traction bars from AA Motorworks.

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The 18×11-inch Bogart Racing wheels are some of the lightest on the market, and had to be custom ordered. Behind them are a set of EBC brakes that help with stopping.

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Aquino gets down the dragstrip with the latest
in tire technology, with 325/45R18 Mickey
Thompson DR2 drag radials helping the big
Dodge generate a best 60-foot time of 1.51
seconds.

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There’s a lot going on with the rear suspension, including lowering shackles, QA1 adjustable shocks, and Aquino’s own traction bars. A PPE rear differential cover provides heat dissipation for the factory rear end.

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The expertly welded roll cage was built by Caliber Customs, and is legal to 8.50 seconds in the quarter mile.

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The customization continues to the driveline as well. A lightweight 5-inch driveshaft was whipped up for the truck, along with some Caliber Customs driveshaft loops for safety.

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“AQUINO DIDN’T WANT TO FALL SHORT ANYWHERE, SO HE WENT BIG RIGHT OFF THE BAT”

Never Ending Story

At the time this was written, Aquino was already hard at work on what he considers version 2.0 of his build. With a best elapsed time of 10.47 in the quarter-mile (at 128.5 mph) the 9s were just too close, so he is already hard at work on a full engine build with numerous other upgrades. There’s one thing that’s for sure—we wouldn’t count Aquino out on his quest for single-digit times! DW