THE PERFECT DAILY DRIVER

MAY ALREADY BE SITTING IN YOUR DRIVEWAY

In the pursuit of piecing together the perfect daily driver, many of us allow the end goal to control the course of the build. We get so caught up in the final horsepower number that we neglect to realize how well the truck performs after incremental yet completely necessary mods have been made. Not so for Jake Bosie and his ’12 Ram 2500. In the midst of making the necessary foundational upgrades that would help his fourth-gen support 700-750 hp, he took stock of the setup he’d already come up with: a dyno -proven 576hp, 1,166 lb-ft everyday driver. Though not perfect, so far it’s gotten him to work, towed anything he’s asked it to, and even played on the street. Most impressive, over the course of the past three years the factory 68RFE hasn’t skipped a beat.

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The first thing you notice under the hood of Jake Bosie’s ’12 Ram is the fact that the stock Holset HE351VE has been replaced. Thanks to Fleece Performance Engineering’s second-gen turbo swap kit and the 6.7L Cummins’ ability to spool an S400 with ease, the decision to run an S467 was a no-brainer. Internally, the Cummins sports the same internals it left the factory with 112,000 miles ago.

100-PERCENT STOCK CUMMINS—FOR NOW

To date, the 112,000-mile 6.7L Cummins hasn’t been touched other than a quick running o f the valves. And even though Jake knows the four-digit torque number the truck is making and the 40 -plus psi of boost he’s cramming into the engine could eventually yield a blown head gasket, he doesn’t lose sleep at night over it. Should the head gasket go while he’s still rounding up the funds and parts that will complete his 750hp recipe, the head will be pulled, cut for fire-rings, and cinched back down with ARP studs.

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At the heart of the Fleece second-gen turbo system sits a BorgWarner S400. Equipped with a 5-inch (od) compressor housing inlet to accommodate the Fleece 5-inch ManTake intake system, it features a cast compressor wheel with a 67.7mm inducer. The popular 74/83mm turbine wheel is employed on the exhaust side, which makes use of a spoolfriendly .90 A/R housing. By starting with a charger that supports as much as 750-rwhp right out of the gate, Jake saved himself the trouble of having to upgrade turbos later on.

SECOND-GEN TURBO SWAP

Starting with a larger turbo rather than an injector and CP3 upgrade, Jake ditched the factory Holset HE351VE variable geometry charger for a unit that offered more flow and improved reliability. This meant a fixed geometry unit in the form of a BorgWarner S400 was on the table. To make it happen, Jake installed Fleece Performance Engineering’s second-gen hardware kit and sourced an S467 through Fleece as well. The BorgWarner uses an 83mm turbine wheel, a spool-friendly .90 A/R exhaust housing, and mounts courtesy of a T4 divided flange Steed Speed exhaust manifold.

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Opting for Steed Speed’s single piece, T4 divided flange, second-gen style exhaust manifold, the S467 is centrally located within the manifold’s exhaust stream. This offers equal exhaust flow to the turbine wheel, which means you can run a significantly larger turbo without paying a penalty in spool up. A budget-minded build, you can also spot the fact that the factory head bolts are still in place here.

ELECTRONIC EXHAUST BRAKE

Because Jake tows heavily on occasion and hauls an in-bed camper all summer, stopping power is important. Thankfully, he was one of the first customers in line to receive Fleece Performance Engineering’s innovative new exhaust brake. The electronically actuated exhaust brake works in conjunction with a fixed geometry turbocharger, is plug-and-play as far as wiring is concerned, and performs as effectively as the factory brake did. Thanks to this addition, Jake can take advantage of the extra 60 to 70 horsepower and cooler EGT the S467 provides while still being able to bring everything to a halt as quickly as he could when the truck was stock.

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Mounted between the turbo’s exhaust housing and the 4-inch stainless steel downpipe is the discharge pipe included with Fleece’s new electronic exhaust brake. Fully electronically controlled, the exhaust brake controls exhaust flow via a butterfly valve that’s operated by a heavy-duty actuator with a brushless DC motor. There are no air lines, vacuum hoses, belts, or an air pump—it’s plug-and-play and it performs (and sounds) exactly the same as the factory exhaust brake provision did.

STOCK FUEL & GOOD TUNING

From the outset of adding the Fleece second-gen turbo kit and S400, Jake had plans to “just deal with” the truck’s pending turbo lag until the bigger injectors and stroker CP3 went in. What he didn’t count on was Motor Ops knocking the tuning out of the park on the first try. Having spent time behind the wheel ourselves, we can honestly say the S467 spools extremely well, even on stock fuel. When running the hottest file in the truck ’s arsenal, the S400’s responsiveness is nearly comparable to the stock VGT. Exhaust gas temps are better, too, with the S467 cooling peak EGT down by more than 200 degrees. Jake’s one fuel-related mod included the installation of Fleece’s Powerflo in-tank lift pump, which with its ability to support 800hp was added to aid his future horsepower goal.

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You would never know it thanks to its lack of noise and being concealed in the factory tank, but Jake upgraded the truck’s lift pump, too. Instead of bolting one of the popular chassis-mounted systems along the frame rail, he went with the PowerFlo in-tank lift pump from Fleece. Flowing nearly 170-gph and rated to support 800 hp, the PowerFlo will have no problem handling Jake’s future injector and CP3 upgrades.

68RFE SECRET SAUCE: TCM TUNING

Believe it or not, Jake’s Cummins has been sending just shy of 600 hp and 1,200 lb-ft through the stock 68RFE for a couple of years now. His secret? Allowing the minds at Motor Ops to infiltrate the transmission control module to optimize its shift points, improve converter lockup, and ramp up line pressure. To be sure, a built ’68 is on Jake’s list of things to do, but for now the combination of good tuning and driving sensibly (no boos ted, four-wheel drive launches) has kept the factory automatic in perfect working order.

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Although tearing down and beefing up the 68RFE is next on Jake’s long list of future upgrades, the stock automatic continues to handle its current 1,200 lb-ft workload in a trouble-free manner. Jake attributes the spot-on TCM tuning from Motor Ops with keeping his six-speed alive this long. The transmission’s revised shift schedule yields optimized shift points, shorter shifts, improved lockup events, and the increased line pressure it sees offers much improved torque holding capacity.

THE NEXT STEP(S)

Though Jake still intends to press forward with his 700-750hp build, the present parts combination has made his ’12 very fun to drive. It spools quick , runs exceptionally clean, and makes respectable power. The next step, building the 68RFE , will be his largest expense—but it’s one that will afford him the ability to enjoy the additional 150hp he plans to make with the truck for years to come. Once a rock-solid six-speed is in place, it’ll be time to fire-ring the head and add head studs. After those insurance items are in place, Jake will throw a set of 60-percent injectors and a stroker CP3 at the engine, along with a tuning revision. If you’re looking for the perfect blueprint for power for your 6.7L Cummins project, this is the way to execute it.

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In searching for the perfect wheel to set the truck off, Jake settled on a set of polished 22×12- inch B02 Trax SS wheels from American Force. Their -40 offset and 4.93-inch back-spacing offers the exact stance he was after. Four hybrid terrain, 33×12.50 R22 Nitto Ridge Grapplers offer plenty of bite with low road noise.

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Very little wear and tear is present in the truck’s now eight-year-old interior, with Jake treating his truck to frequent detail work, inside and out. Attached to the A-pillar, an Edge CTS2 monitor displays rail pressure, transmission temp, EGT, coolant temp, and any other vital he needs to see.

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Transmission re-calibrating isn’t the only tuning that’s been performed on Jake’s fourth-gen. The 6.7L’s ECM has been optimized through the use of EFI Live. Five on-the-fly tuning files are on tap courtesy of this CSP5 switch, with each calibration producing more than sufficient spool up, great drivability, and (of course) added power. In conjunction with the S467, EFI Live is a big reason why Jake was able to push past the 520-rwhp that 6.7L-powered Rams usually produce and make more than 570hp on the dyno.

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As proof of what good tuning can do, the truck’s EGT’s peak at 1,330 degrees on the hottest file. Also notice the cool, 152-degree transmission temp, which has definitely helped the 68RFE live while harnessing more than twice the factory power output.

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The truck looks excellent and is surely a contender among the diesel truck community. Most of the modifications are relatively hidden and help preserve its subtlety as a street truck.

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To keep the aforementioned Ridge Grapplers planted and the rear leaf springs from getting out of shape, a set of Flight Fabrications’ traction bars quell axle wrap. Coined its single tube traction bars, they’re constructed from 1.75-inch DOM tubing, mount to the frame and rear AAM 1150 via ¼-inch thick laser-cut steel brackets, and make use of forged steel (fully greaseable) Johnny Joint rod ends.

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PacBrake rear air springs offer added stability and load leveling capability when Jake hooks to the trailer. An avid outdoorsmen, their services are also appreciated when he drops the in-bed camper into place.