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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.