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ONE FIERCE 1,000HP CALIFORNIA PULLER

It takes some guts to turn your average, sedate daily driver into a sled puller, but that’s exactly what California’s Tyler Brownlee did. Pulling a 40,000-pound sled isn’t easy on any truck, so virtually every part of the ’06 Dodge 2500 has been re-worked to handle the stress of sled pulling.

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The engine that powers Tyler Brownlee’s Ram is some serious business. The bottom end (save for a camshaft) is stock, but the rest of the engine has been heavily modified to produce an estimated 1,000 horsepower and 1,800 lb-ft of torque.

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An Engineered Diesel turbocharger provides the air, and is based off an 80mm S400 from BorgWarner with an 87mm turbine wheel, T4 exhaust flange, and 1.10 A/R exhaust housing. The turbo has been further modified to meet 2.6 (66mm) rules.

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To keep the air charger cool and dense, Brownlee installed an intercooler from Mishimoto, which is both higher-flowing and stronger than the stock charger air cooler.

The factory frame and suspension are still there, but a few modifi cations were performed to keep everything happy. The front suspension received a long-arm kit from Dodge Off Road, along with 3-inch Thuren springs that would help clear the meaty 33×13.50 Mickey Thompson MTZ tires. The rear pretty much remained stock, aside from bump stops and driveshaft loops from Dirty Hooker Diesel and a dual-rear-wheel setup with four 33×12 BFGoodrich K02 tires.

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Fleece Performance and Glacier Diesel Performance (GDP) were big helps in the air and fuel department. Seen here is the second CP3 that helps keep rail pressure up, and the intake horn that reduces restriction as the air enters the cylinder head.

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To keep the truck as cool as possible, Brownlee installed electric fans as well as an electric water pump from Jeg’s. This way he can keep the coolant circulating even if the truck is switched off.

Where things really picked up steam is the engine, which Brownlee estimates to be pushing close to 1,000 horsepower and 1,800 lb-ft of torque. The plan was to keep the engine revving high in order to avoid too much cylinder pressure, which meant he was willing to risk making that kind of power on a stock bottom end. That’s right— the block, crank, rods, pistons… all stock. The one concession to performance in the short-block is a 194/220 degree camshaft from Hamilton Cams.

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At this point it’s been pretty much proven that dual rear wheels will help traction on virtually any track. For pulling, Brownlee runs 33×12-inch BFGoodrich tires to give the rear axle plenty of grab.

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Brownlee runs a set of slightly more aggressive 33×13.50 Mickey Thompson MTZs on the front, which match up nicely with the rear BFGoodrich tread.

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To help handle the weight of the pulling box and the height of the tires, a Dodge Off Road Extreme Long Arm kit and a set of Thuren Fabrication 3-inch lift springs were added to the front suspension.

Brownlee also had some work done to the cylinder head, which was rebuilt and fire-ringed by Haisley Machine and secured with ARP studs. The valvetrain got some high-rpm help in the form of 7/16 pushrods, bridges, and trunnions from Manton Pushrods. Additional cooling help also came in the form of a bypass kit from Fleece Performance and a Jeg’s electric water pump, which helps control high-rpm coolant pressure. With a good foundation for performance, Brownlee moved on to the air and fuel systems, which feature almost zero factory parts.

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Front end hop can be an issue with modified suspensions, so these long front arms work just like traction bars to eliminate any wheel hop.

From the tank, Diesel HPR (a special high-cetane synthetic diesel fuel) is sent through a high-flow 220gph FASS lift pump. When it gets to the engine, the flow is ramped up dramatically, as the fuel system runs a 6.7L-style dual CP3 kit from Fleece Performance with 10mm and CP3K pumps and Fleece’s distribution block and lines. The final piece of the fuel equation is a set of very large 250% over injectors from Exergy Engineering.

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Blacked-out headlight covers give this Ram a unique look and are part of the reason for the Dodge’s nickname (The Panda).

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The rear suspension has been locked-out for sled pulling with a set of bump stops from Dirty Hooker Diesel and fitted with traction bars to keep the four rear tires planted to the ground.

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Safety is a major concern for sled pullers considering the driveline stress, so Brownlee also acquired driveshaft loops from Dirty Hooker Diesel that he installed both front and rear on the truck.

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The Dana 80 rear end has been fitted with a ring and pinion from Yukon Gear and Axle as well as a locker. The front end also received an air locker from ARB.

Brownlee modified his fuel system from front to back, so it would make sense he’d do the same with airflow. The cornerstone of the build is an 80mm S400-based turbo that was massaged by Engineered Diesel and clipped down to 2.6-inch inducer rules. The ED charger is mounted on a T4-flanged Steed Speed manifold, and exhausts through a hood stack build by Stahlhaus Metals. On the compressor side, boost is sent through 3.5-inch Pusher Intake tubes and a Mishimoto intercooler into a Glacier Diesel Performance intake horn. The entire engine combination is tuned by Les Szmidt at Silver Bullet Tuning.

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The filters on the FASS 220 are just barely peeking below the truck. The big pump was selected to ensure that Brownlee’s Dodge had plenty of fuel to make 1,000 hp and beyond.

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A custom exhaust stack just barely sneaks through the cool ram-air style carbon composite hood, which came from RK Sport.

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With four-digit power to contend with, the driveline had to be beefed up just like the rest of the truck. Sled pullers need a very loose converter to be able to spool up, so Brownlee went with a wild Diesel Performance Converters quad-disc torque converter for his Ram. The transmission is a stout Firepunk Stage 2 unit that was further modified with a full manual valve body from Muldoon’s Diesel Performance and controlled with a TCI ratchet shifter. The fore and aft axles were also fitted with rings and pinions from Yukon Gear, and a (front) ARB locker.DW