A 1,500-hp Monster of a Drag Truck
When Skyler Oestreich of Spirit Lake, Idaho decided to build a Cummins diesel drag truck, he went all-in. While the Ram would still be configured like a normal diesel (four-wheel drive, stock-style suspension and body) virtually every single part on the ‘07 Ram has been modified for performance, reliability, or power. It takes quite a lot of work to transform a 16-second stocker into a 9-second screamer, and Skyler was nice enough to walk us through the entire build.
The heart of any fast diesel is the powerplant, and Skyler had a good platform to start with in a 5.9L Cummins engine. Since the entire engine would be rebuilt, Skyler started with a clean sheet, just using the block and nothing else. From there the engine was fitted with ARP main studs which secure a 6.7L crank, and give the engine a little added displacement. Diamond Pistons forged pistons were also added, and connected to the crankshaft with rods from D&J Precision Machine. Skyler used ARP 625 studs to secure a ported head to the short block, and the entire camshaft and valvetrain assembly is from Hamilton Cams.
Skyler has a leg-up on the competition in the power department because he builds high performance injectors for Dynomite Diesel Products. This meant he could carefully select the exact pump and injector setup he needed for the truck. Starting with a FASS 290gph lift pump, Skyler then added twin 12mm CP3 pumps from Dynomite Diesel, which feed a set of custom “Super Mental” 250-percent over injectors also from DDP. Tuning for the truck is done through Breakout Performance. For airflow, Skyler relied on the simple combination of a single 80mm turbocharger and a whole lot of nitrous, with a Turbosmart wastegate keeping boost in check at 60 psi.
The Ram makes power–lots of it–but going down a track is definitely different than just running on a dyno. Here Skyler went with an interesting combination of manual and electric parts to achieve success, based around the factory 48RE transmission. For starters, Skyler had Dynamic Transmission replace all three factory shafts with aftermarket pieces from TCS. The intermediate shaft is standard-sized but the input and output are both oversized for strength. Power from the engine is transferred to the transmission via a DPC quad-disc converter that keeps everything locked once engaged. The shifting is quite a clever arrangement, as missed shifts can be common when dealing with the factory computer. To combat this, Skyler installed a manual valvebody from Goerend Transmission that is electronically shifted via a Shiftnoid shifter and through tuning from Breakout Performance. This insures 4,750-rpm shifts every time as the truck goes down the track.
When it comes to the suspension and axles, what’s impressive is what’s not done. Skyler has achieved 1.42 60-foot times with little tricks here and there, but with no radical changes. The rear axle has had Yukon axle shafts and a Grizzly locker added for strength, but retains the factory 3.73 gears. The truck has also been slightly lowered, as coils were cut in the front, and the rear only rides on two leaf springs, but on Viking double-adjustable shocks.
Cummins On A Diet
At more than 7,500-pounds from the factory, Cummins diesels have weight as their mortal enemy. Skyler sought to combat this hindrance too, with a complete gutting of the entire truck. Only bedsides remain of the rear bed, while the cab and front end also feature extensive weight reduction. All of the factory glass was replaced with Lexan, which saved hundreds of pounds. Even with the 8.50-cert full rollcage (that Skyler built himself) the truck comes in at a svelte 5,800 pounds, and that’s with driver.
So the big question is, did all of this add up to performance? You bet it did! With all three stages of nitrous flowing the Cummins diesel has made an impressive 1,564 rwhp on a chassis dyno, and quickly dipped into the 10s, then the 9s at the dragstrip. With a current best of 9.60 at 145 mph, Skyler’s diesel is quicker and faster than many gas rides out there, at nearly twice the weight! Skyler had a goal in mind, and he quickly accomplished it. Next up, the 8s!
AN EVERCHANGING PROPOSITION
When we talked to Skyler last, he indicated that his truck has yet again gone through a transformation. He cut another 400 pounds of weight out of the Dodge by removing the factory sheetmetal and switching to lightweight Wilwood brakes, and 16-inch wheels. A new wrap also gave the truck a new look, and a quick-spooling 88mm Garrett turbocharger was added. We guess he wasn’t kidding about wanting that 8.99 timeslip!