SET ON KILL – 1500 Horsepower Ram

A Grudge-Racing, 1,500HP, 48RE-Swapped Fourth-Gen

When grudge racing is your thing, it pays to bring a surprise to the table. After watching a few friends campaign high-horsepower diesels, Karry Latropoulos, who was always into muscle cars, decided to give compression-ignition a whirl. But to get past the weight deficiency that comes with racing a -ton diesel, he did the only thing he could think of: he sourced an engine making stupid horsepower. The 6.7L Cummins under the hood of his fourth-gen is good for more than 1,500 hp on fuel and an estimated 2,000 hp on spray. But that’s nowhere near the whole story. Karry’s ’14 Ram has been caged, four-linked, 48RE-swapped, graced with a state-of-the-art fuel system, and may even serve time as a weekend cruiser when all is said and done.

To power his hefty fourth-gen four-door to 6.70s on fuel and 5’s on occasion, Karry Iatropoulos enlisted LinCo Diesel Performance to build the engine. What he got was an LDP Stage 4 6.7L Cummins that runs as good as it looks—and an engine that helped the ’14 Ram make 1,391 hp on the dyno despite experiencing considerable wheel-spin. The line-honed block has been machined to accept fire-rings as well as 14mm main and head studs, and ARP main studs combine with Wagler billet main caps and a Wagler girdle to secure the 6.7L crankshaft. Weight-matched Wagler Street Fighter rods and forged-aluminum Mahle pistons with thermal coated tops, a Hamilton 188/220 cam, and a LinCo-massaged, Hamilton street performance head highlight the rest of the Cummins’ Grade A parts list.

Shored Up Short-Block

While on the hunt for a reputable engine builder, Karry settled on LinCo Diesel Performance and decided to go with the company’s Stage 4 6.7L Cummins. The factory 6.7L block was line-honed, and both the block and head were machined to accept 14mm main studs and head studs, as well as fire-rings. Wagler billet main caps work in conjunction with a girdle to secure a factory-based 6.7L crankshaft and rule out walk and distortion. They’re fastened in place with ARP main studs. Weight-matched Wagler Street Fighter rods and forged-aluminum Mahle pistons (with thermal coated tops) made the cut in the bottom end as well, along with a Hamilton 188/220 cam. The wet block Cummins also benefits from an electric water pump and a Fluidampr performance series damper.

Helping to drive the S485 and well-suited for the ported Hamilton head is a competition T-6 exhaust manifold from Stainless Diesel. Here, you can also catch a glimpse of the massive head stud nuts that came courtesy of Haisley Machine’s XHD 14mm L-19 head stud kit. The dual breather, billet valve cover is a LinCo piece, as is the custom-fabricated exhaust plumbing routed through the hood.

High-Flow Head & Race-Ready Valvetrain

Fastened to the decked block is a 6.7L street performance head from Hamilton Cams. When it arrived at LinCo’s machine shop it was rated to flow 226 cfm per cylinder (vs. 180 cfm stock), but then underwent porting and a few other proprietary procedures. The 24-valve head is equipped with 1.5-inch diameter intake and exhaust valves, Hamilton’s 110-pound valve springs and high performance OEM style rocker arms with DLC-coated trunnions, and XDP’s chromoly valve bridges. Other valvetrain hard-parts include Hamilton’s 1.45-inch tappets and its 24-valve extreme duty 12mm pushrods.

To rule out any high-rpm, elevated coolant pressure catastrophes, Keating Machine’s O-ring sealed, billet freeze plugs got the call during the engine’s assembly. The billet side freeze plugs shown here, along with Keating’s billet front freeze plug made the cut. A Fleece coolant bypass system also aids the effort by not allowing excessive coolant pressure to be built up.

The Godfather

Going the big single route (along with nitrous), Karry opted for one of the largest turbochargers in Stainless Diesel’s arsenal: the Godfather. The S400 frame charger sports a 5-blade, 85mm inducer compressor wheel, a 5.5-inch inlet bell, a 96mm turbine wheel, and a 1.32 A/R exhaust housing with a T-6 foot. “I went with the S485 to try and beat the horsepower record with it on my truck,” Karry admitted. “I want to see 1,600 hp.” The Godfather hangs from a Stainless competition 24-valve exhaust manifold and crams boost through an On 3 Performance third-gen intercooler.

As far as common-rail injection is concerned, this is one of the baddest CP3’s on the planet at the present time. The 14mm race pump from S&S Diesel Motorsport supplies rail pressure to a set of late 5.9L injectors that’ve been treated to internal body mods and fitted with 350-percent over nozzles. On the backside of the stroker CP3 you’ll find one of S&S’s 3,000 lph-capable (and 3,000hp capable) SP3000 supply pumps, which is paired with the company’s regulated filter head.

1,500 HP Worth Of Fuel

Karry didn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel when it came to the common-rail’s injection system, but the folks at S&S Diesel Motorsport did build him a set of injectors custom-tailored to his engine. Based on late 5.9L injectors, they’ve seen extensive internal body modifications and been fitted with 350-percent over nozzles. A 14mm race pump (also from S&S) keeps the rail full of high-pressure diesel and a 2400 bar relief valve keeps things safe. The stroker CP3 sees ample low-pressure fuel supply courtesy of an S&S SP3000. The gear-driven fuel supply pump pulls fuel from a G&R sump in the OEM tank, and through 5/8-inch hose. A CM849 ECM, along with a complete engine harness sourced from Firepunk Diesel, allows Karry’s Cummins to be fine-tuned on a proven platform.

The aforementioned CP3-married SP3000 lift pump pulls fuel from the factory tank thanks to this billet-aluminum sump from G&R Diesel. A massive 5/8-inch fuel hose ensures zero restriction exists in supplying the gear-driven SP3000.

48RE Swap & Manual Valve Body

The truck’s original 68RFE six-speed was ditched in favor of a 48RE right after Karry took ownership. Firepunk supplied a comprehensive kit to pull off the task, with LinCo recently freshening up the four-speed with a host of Sun Coast parts. For utmost strength, a Sonnax 35-spline oversized input shaft kit with a billet stator got the call, as did a 2,600-rpm stall triple disc converter, also from Sun Coast. Further reinforcements include a billet direct drum and forward band, a billet flex plate, and Raybestos GPZ friction clutch plates. The ‘48s manual valvebody came from Muldoon’s Performance Transmissions.

Just above the freeze plugs, you get a partial view of the sizeable turbo Karry is running—an S485 from Stainless Diesel. Coined the Godfather, it boasts a billet, 5-blade 85mm compressor wheel, a loose 1.32 A/R exhaust housing, and a 96mm turbine wheel. A Stainless turbo blanket facilitates quick spool up, a custom intake with a giant filter keeps the intake side happy, and BD boot locks make blown intercooler boots a non-issue. The Godfather sends boost through an On 3 Performance intercooler.

Racing With And Without A Scoreboard

With big power comes big plans, so while Karry fully intends to continue to indulge in grudge racing with his fourth-gen monstrosity, he’s also committed to running the Outlaw Diesel Super Series circuit. Detuned and with the nitrous turned off, 6.70 index looks like a tempting category, but the prospect of only using 60-to-70 percent of his available power isn’t exactly Karry’s style. “If I can go faster, I’m definitely gonna go faster,” he told us. So look for the spray to get some use and the truck to possibly take a stab at 5.90. That, or look for the dark blue four-door to make a splash on the local grudge race scene. Either way, sanctioned event or not, Karry’s true blue pearl Ram will be one of the nastiest fourth-gens in North America.

The rear AAM 1150 is all stock for now, although Karry hasn’t ruled out the possibility of adding a few upgrades or even switching to a smaller axle to save weight and run smaller brakes. A four-link suspension Karry installed at his place of business—Dragon’s Lair Garage in Rolling Meadows, Illinois—keeps the 14-bolt axle from wrapping under the truck’s 1,400-plus hp. Cut-down coil springs (front and rear) brought the truck several inches closer to Earth, and an appropriate length Bilstein shock was added at each corner.
A two-stage nitrous system with a progressive controller from Nitrous Express allows N2O to enter the bloodstream via the Banks Monster Ram intake elbow. For 6.70 passes, an easy (and de-tuned) 1,000hp will suffice, but when Karry decides to join the ranks of 5.90 or make a few hero passes he’ll be relying on an all-out effort from this NX kit to add several hundred extra ponies to the mix.
If you were wondering where the batteries went, they’re in the bed with the transmission cooler and the nitrous bottles. LinCo Diesel Performance built the mount that secures both Super Starts, a BD Xtrude double stacked transmission cooler and fan, and the ZEX and Nitrous Express bottles.
This is a familiar sight for most high-powered ’07.5-present Rams: no 68RFE to be found. Instead, a 48RE stuffed with some of the most proven parts in the industry is tasked with getting power to the axles. The build list entailed a Sonnax 35-spline oversized input shaft kit with a billet stator, a Sun Coast triple disc converter with a 2,600-rpm stall speed, a billet forward band and direct drum, Sun Coast’s billet flex plate, GPZ clutches, and a manual valve body from Muldoon’s Performance Transmissions.
In order to keep things legal on the drag strip, a full roll cage was a necessity. That work was performed at Maverick Diesel, a company with a low-5-second Pro Street truck in its stable. While a full interior, complete with the factory dash, windows, door panels, center console and everything else is present here, since our photo shoot Karry tells us this is no longer the case. In prepping the truck for the upcoming ODSS race season, he stripped the interior, added Kirkey Racing seats with 5-point harnesses, and even gutted the bed.
Finding traction, even in four-wheel drive, might be a chore for Karry’s fourth-gen—reason enough to believe him when he says he may switch to full-on slicks at some point. For now however, street-friendly Nitto NT05R drag radials are being campaigned. The DOT-compliant drag radials measure P305/45R18 and are mounted to 18×10-inch M0970 Moto Metal wheels.
To the right of the factory gauge cluster, a Nilight 5 gang rocker switch panel is present. The panel controls the engine fan, transmission fan, the electric water pump, arms the nitrous system, and also purges it when it’s time to stage.

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