Kevin Armstrong’s Beautiful 3.6-Class Duramax Puller
The Armstrong family is a proud pulling family led by 2-time Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League points champion Kevin with his sons Logan and Dylan following along in his tire tracks competing in their own trucks. The latest addition to the family was a major upgrade to dad’s pull truck “Outta Control” revamping it from a 2006 model to a 2015 model Chevrolet Silverado. While the rebuild technically used the chassis from the 2006 version of “Outta Control” it was completely rebuilt and reworked by the team at HSP Diesel to be a fierce competitor on the pull track while looking like a show truck at the same time.
To give the reborn pull truck plenty of oomph as he drags the sled down the track Anderson turned to Mark Broviak at Danville Performance to build a Duramax engine capable of competing with the big name Cummins competitors. The 6.6L Duramax features a GM crank shaft with a SoCal Diesel Super Damper swinging a set of CP-Carrillo rods and Finger’s oval bowl pistons with a 13:1 compression ratio through the cylinder bores. A custom camshaft controls the valve actuation inside the Wagler Competition Products CNC machined, ported and polished cylinder heads while everything is held firmly together with ARP studs and fasteners.
Forward swept HSP Diesel exhaust manifolds channel the exhaust gases through fabricated tubes to a common inlet to the Precision Turbo competition turbo charger which at the time of our photo shoot was a 3.0 Class turbo but has since been replaced with a Precision Turbo 3.6 Class smooth bore charger. Exhaust from the turbine outlet flows up and out of the engine bay through a large miter-cut hood stack. On the compressor side of the turbo air is drawn in through a large velocity stack and guillotine shut off before the compressed charge is fed directly into a Wagler Competition Products billet intake manifold with an integrated water-to-air intercooler core between the plenum and intake runners.
A fabricated oil pan works with an external dry sump oiling system to keep the engine well lubricated as the power is put down. Rather than run a dry engine it is still water cooled with a custom aluminum radiator mounted to the rear of the weight box along with a pair of electric cooling fans. On the fuel side of things an HSP Diesel front cover is installed on the Duramax block to drive a pair of 12mm Exergy CP3 injection pumps that feed into custom Exergy injectors. The engine is also detailed with custom powder coating by the team at HSP Diesel. A stand-along Bosch ECU takes care of engine controls with Broviak’s custom tuning.
During the 2019 off-season Armstrong turned to Broviak once again to wring more power out of the Duramax. The previous engine made 1,650 horsepower but they knew there was more power to be made. Broviak and his Danville Performance team built a deck plate Duramax block for the truck and has wicked up the output to over 1,900 horsepower with more than 2,500 lbs-ft of torque. Anderson is looking forward to unleashing the deck plate engine on the pull track in the 2020 season in hopes of taking home his third championship.
While Broviak and the Danville team were building the engine the fabrication team at HSP Diesel was hard at work revamping the chassis and detailing it out to a show truck level. A custom Performance Pros AAM 11.5-inch IFS front axle is employed with a custom coil-over suspension using Fox Racing shocks while a fabricated TRB Machine SQHD rear axle assembly bolts into the chassis with adjustable mounts. A Probell Racing Products bell housing and Molinari Racing Products 4-disc clutch send the power from the Duramax to a Profab Machine billet aluminum dropbox and reverser before the power is sent to the front and rear axles. When we shot the truck he was running DOT tires with Nitto tires up front and Goodyear tires in the rear but he has since swapped out for a full set of cuts all the way around to really dig into the track surface and propel the Chevy along its run.
Armstrong purchased a salvage truck to sacrifice the body to the build that would be configured as a one-piece tilt body with an internal chromoly structure to hold the bed and cab together as one unit to lift up and over the smoothed and painted chassis. The team at Straight Line Paint & Body reworked the metal body panels to perfection before slathering on coats of Southern Polyurethane black base and clear coats to give the truck an amazing shine and ultra-deep show-quality finish. Custom PPG pearl red was used on the chassis and as an accent color throughout the build.
The HSP Diesel fabricators configured the interior of the truck to a single-seat center-drive setup with a central control pod for Armstrong to pilot the truck from. He sits comfortably in a Corbeau race seat with a harness to keep him solidly in place as he blasts down the track.
As we write this article the COVID-19 Pandemic has shuttered the motorsports world so Armstrong has not yet had a chance to compete with the latest version of “Outta Control”, but hopefully by the time you read this the pulling season will be underway once again and the Armstrong family will be hitting the track again. Look for the truck at a sled pull near you and if you get a chance to see it in the pits take the time to check out the amazing attention to detail and custom fabrication that makes this one of the best looking pull trucks we have ever seen.