Decade in the Making: The 9-second Triple-Turbo Duramax

We’ve seen it once, we’ve seen it a dozen times: a street truck that gradually gets faster and faster until it eventually morphs into an all-out drag racer. This was the course of events for Matt Misner and his ’05 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD.

Although Misner was never into drag racing, his first pass down the local eighth-mile—Crossroads Dragway in Terre Haute, Indiana—was all it took to get him hooked. In the years that followed, he would slowly yet steadily transform his standard cab Bow Tie into one of the most consistent 12.0 Index trucks in the country. Most recently, and in conjunction with securing a sponsorship from Fleece Performance Engineering, Misner’s truck was graced with a triple-turbo arrangement, a lot more fuel, a full roll cage, and a DuraFlite transmission. Soon after that, Misner found himself blazing through the quarter-mile in 10 seconds flat, followed by mid-9s.


When the truck took a turn toward serious in 2015, the decision was made to stick with the mildly-built LLY that had been solid reliable while competing in the 12.0 Index class. But, while the engine survived a season and a half worth of abuse, it eventually cracked a piston on a 141mph pass. Almost immediately, the Duramax was pulled, the bare block ready for machining, and the truck was up and running again in less than two months’ time. The stock (albeit keyed) crankshaft swings a set of Carrillo rods topped off with 0.010-inch over, 15:1 Diamond Racing pistons. A keyed 3388 SoCal Diesel camshaft compliments a set of Fleece Performance ported heads fitted with SoCal Diesel beehive valve springs, billet rocker bridges, and utilizing Merchant Automotive chromoly pushrods. With the engine seeing more than 100 psi of boost, ARP Custom Age 625+ head studs keep the heads fastened to the block.

Pushing 6,000 pounds of steel through the quarter-mile in 9 seconds requires a lot of power—and big power calls for a strong foundation. Beneath the unmistakable triple-turbo system up top lies a competition-ready Duramax built by Freedom Racing Engines. A keyed factory crankshaft, ARP main studs, Carrillo rods, 15:1 compression forged-aluminum Diamond Racing pistons, and a keyed 3388 SoCal Diesel camshaft round out the high notes in the bottom end. A set of Fleece Performance Engineering ported heads with SoCal Diesel beehive valve springs and billet rocker bridges reside up top and anchor to the block via ARP Custom Age 625+ head studs. The engine pumps out well over 1,300 hp at the crank.
Acting as one large atmosphere unit, a pair of S300- based turbochargers breath through Airaid Race Day air filters. The turbos feature Fleece’s billet 68mm compressor wheels and incorporate T4 mounting flanges.
The triple-turbo arrangement gets its start with a Fleece Performance Engineering billet S480 in the valley. The big charger utilizes a 96mm turbine wheel, mounts via a Turbonetics T4 pedestal, and is fed exhaust thanks to a set of HSP Diesel’s billet manifolds and up-pipes. All other exhaust piping and intercooler pipes were fabricated by Fleece Performance Engineering.
In order to make plenty of power, run short duration, and provide room for future growth, 225% over injectors from S&S Diesel Motorsport are put to good use. The job of keeping the rails chock full of fuel is left to a PPE Dual Fueler system employing two 10mm PowerFlo 750 pumps from Fleece
Ample low-pressure fuel supply comes by way of a 260gph Titanium series FASS system. It draws fuel from a Fleece-fabricated, 20-gallon fuel cell mounted under the bed.


Triple-digit boost numbers are produced courtesy of a two-stage, triple-turbo configuration. Designed, fabricated, and installed at Fleece Performance Engineering, the system makes use of a billet S480 in the valley and a pair of billet S368 chargers consuming the passenger side of the engine bay. Compressed air passes through a Banks intercooler and a Dirty Hooker Diesel Y-bridge on its way into the heads, while HSP Diesel’s billet manifolds and up-pipes open up exhaust flow.


The fuel system responsible for creating big boost entails a set of 225% over injectors from S&S Diesel Motorsport and twin PowerFlo 750 CP3s from Fleece. A 260gph Titanium series FASS system supplies diesel to the CP3s and pulls fuel from a fabricated 20-gallon fuel cell mounted under the bed. The job of tying everything together for a powerful yet reliable finished product is left in the hands of Brayden Fleece and his expertise with EFI Live software. Thanks to the massive injectors (and a properly supported fuel system), the ECM calibration that yields 9-second passes ironically uses the same duration (pulse width) commanded on a bone-stock truck.

For quicker shifts and utmost reliability, the decision was made to scrap the Allison in favor of a 47REbased DuraFlite from SunCoast. The four-speed automatic is fitted with a 27-spline billet input shaft, a billet intermediate, and a Big Daddy output shaft. A 3,000rpm stall, triple-disc torque converter handles power transfer, a full manual valve body controls shift points, and a PPE performance transmission cooler keeps the DuraFlite from seeing excessive heat. The transmission case was doused in pink courtesy of good friend and fellow prankster Jacob Richards, one of the lead technicians at Fleece, who put the DuraFlite together.
The factory IFS is reinforced thanks to tie rod sleeves from Fleece, a straight center link from PPE, and pitman and idler arm support braces from Dmax Store. An adjustable Rancho 9000 shock absorber resides at each corner of the truck.
A set of CalTracs traction bars from Calvert Racing Suspensions keep the rear axle from wrapping and the leaf springs from twisting. The only rear suspension tweak came in the form of two leaf springs being removed on each side (the overload and top spring).


Quicker shifts, reliable power transfer, and less overall weight sum up the benefits of using a DuraFlite transmission over the Allison 1000. The transmission swap alone was good for knocking several tenths off the truck’s elapsed times. Designed by Sun Coast, the 47RE-based four-speed automatic is reinforced by a 27-spline billet input shaft, billet intermediate shaft, and a “Big Daddy” output shaft. Shifts are controlled via a full manual valve body, and power transfer begins with a 3,000rpm stall, triple-disc torque converter.

Thanks to a set of Hoosier DR2s, the truck rockets out of the hole—often to the tune of 1.4-second 60-foot times. Misner told us his four-wheeldrive launches entail leaving the line at 25 psi of boost. The drag radials mount to matte black, 18×10-inch Raceline Renegade 8 wheels.
Up until the conclusion of the 2015 race season, Misner’s truck sported a full interior as well as the factory A/C system. But for 2016, the truck was put on a stricter diet. Among many things, the factory dash and passenger seat went by the wayside, and the roll cage was redone in lightweight, chromoly tubing. Misner handles driving duties from a CR1 Corbeau race seat.


ECM tuning is performed by Brayden Fleece and tunes are navigated via DSP5 switch. Thanks to having 225 percent over injectors in the mix, big power can be made with ultra-low duration being commanded. For instance, the truck’s all-out race file only calls for 1,600 microseconds of pulse width, yet sends the truck through the quarter-mile in mid-9- second intervals.
With triple turbos onboard, a boost gauge that read triple digit is par for the course. A typical pass down the track yields roughly 120 psi of boost, and according to Matt’s data log info the engine’s boostto- drive pressure ratio checks in at 1:1. How’s that for a properly spec’d triple turbo arrangement!


While the weight of Misner’s steel-bodied Silverado makes it a mid-pack contender in the Outlaw Diesel Super Series’ Pro Street field, a slight detune can make it the truck to beat in the 10.50 Index class. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for Misner to compete in both categories throughout the course of a racing season, along with mixing it up in the NHRDA’s Super Street class on occasion.

With a reluctance to gut the truck completely and turn it into a dedicated Pro Street rig, Misner will continue to campaign his Silverado in its current, multi-class state for the foreseeable future. But no matter what class he signs up for, rest assured it will be impressive to watch this decade-in-themaking Duramax storm down the track. DW



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