JACOB NEUENSCHWANDER’S 963-HP 11-SECOND SHOW STOPPER
The story behind Jacob Neuenschwander’s 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 is quite the winding story. Originally built by Michael Freeman out of Lakeland, FL, the Ram was Jacob’s dream truck, and also the first time he ever had to get a loan to buy something. His dream quickly turned into a nightmare, after he wrecked the truck after a hydroplaning incident on wet roads. Fortunately for him, Jacob owns Railroad Customs out of Lima, Ohio, a custom paint and body shop. This meant he could rebuild and improve upon the build; adding numerous interior touches as he performed the reassembly. Then he met the guys from Firepunk Diesel.
“The Go and Show license plate really came about because of the Firepunk guys,” says Jacob. “Because it’s a show truck, people think that’s all it is, but guess what? It’s also fast!” We’re not kidding either, as Jacob regularly runs the ODSS 7.70 class in eighth-mile drag racing, which hints at 11-second quarter mile potential. It’s made a whopping 963 horsepower on a chassis dyno set on kill, although Jacob backs it off a little for drag racing. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to the wreck.
While rebuilding a vehicle that used to be running and driving fine is often a taxing experience, Jacob used his lemons to build up the truck just like he wanted, and add some horsepower. “I had a lot of help from Don Anderson, especially on the interior,” recalls Jacob. The outside paint scheme was continued on the inside of the truck and in the door jambs, “…probably something I’ll never do again,” says Jacob. The headliner (a not often modified part) received a huge flamed Rams head that was airbrushed by Don. “Now we just needed the power to match the flamed Ram’s looks,” laughs Jacob.
Adding power comes naturally to the robust Cummins engine, as is evidenced by the factory bottom end. The top of the engine featured a host of improvements however, like a ported, polished, and machined head from Enterprise Engine. The valvetrain also got upgraded with a set of 104-pound valvesprings and Hamilton Cams pushrods. For fueling, Jacob went with a 150-gph FASS lift pump, which feeds a PPE Dual Fueler kit, and a set of 100-percent-over injectors from Exergy Engineering. Where Jacob really went crazy though is the airflow side of things, as nearly every single part received an upgrade. Starting with a Second-Gen Swap Kit from Stainless Diesel, Jacob moved compressors up to a wild Tater Built 69mm S300 turbo, a polished On3 Performance intercooler, and a CFM intake elbow. The monster engine setup is tuned to more than 1,700 lb-ft with the help of HP Tuners and Firepunk Diesel.
Jacob felt like the undercarriage of the truck could use the same continuation of the paint as the interior. This meant the front and rear axles were powdercoated the same white, lime green, and baby blue as the rest of the truck, and then topped off with differential covers and 4.11 gears. A set of Flight Fab traction bars keeps axle wrap at bay, and a set of Rough Country steering stabilizers keeps death wobble at bay. The altitude adjustment is also courtesy of Rough Country, which supplied a 5-inch lift. The only deviation of color on the underside is the bright gold Firepunk transmission, which has been outfitted with a revised clutch count, billet shafts, a performance valvebody, and triple-disc torque converter.
Not one to leave any part alone, Jacob ordered basically the entire Firewire catalog for lighting on the inside and outside of the Ram. This meant cool blue interior lighting, as well as LED interior lights, rock lights, head lights, and bar lights. If there’s any truck that’s lit up, it’s this one. If the diesel isn’t loud enough, there’s also a thumping stereo system that has a Pioneer head unit, as well as twin 12-inch Kicker subwoofers under the back seat. The final touch came in the form of 22×14-inch American Force Flux wheels and 325/50R22 Cooper Discovery STT Pro tires, which provide the gleaming chrome, and fill up the fenders.
What’s so cool about Jacob’s Dodge is he actually makes the rounds with it. He’s been to UCC, he’s drag raced it at the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, and he’s even made the trip out to Las Vegas where it was in the SEMA show. Although the truck has been in “hibernation” for a time while Jacob focuses on his growing business, he has plans to make the rounds again sometime soon. Question is: will it be the show truck circuit, or a drag racing points series? Hey Jacob, how about both?