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Calibrated Power Solutions Dyno Day

When you think of Chicago, Illinois, a few things come to mind, such as Michael Jordan and his 6-time NBA championship winning Bulls, the 106-year drought (since the Cubs have won the MLB World Series) and the 1,451-ft tall Willis Tower nestled in downtown, which is the second tallest building in the country. But what Illinois has that goes unseen to many is a strong agricultural economy due to some of the country’s best growing soil and vast farming communities. With farming, come hardworking men and women who rely on mechanical expertise to stay busy during the winter months. With that knowledge and time, you can rest assured that some pretty impressive diesel performance builds and sled-pulling trucks can be found within Illinois.

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The CPS chassis dyno room is used almost daily for testing new products and creating new tuning for customers all over the country, but for one weekend a year, the doors are opened to the public, and the bleachers are setup to help prove where bragging rights for the highest horsepower truck belong.

While some mid-morning rain showers and overcast skies rolled over Marengo, IL, during the event, it didn’t keep the spectators and competitors off the dyno. The crew from Calibrated Power put together a great event with plenty of their products and shop projects out on display.

Kyle Novak of Machesney Park, IL, strapped his 2001 GMC Sierra down to the dyno to see where his hard work and bundle of aftermarket parts helped him get to; with 623 hp to the ground, it’s safe to say wherever he’s headed to next, he’ll get there quick.

Calibrated Power Solutions may not be a name you’re familiar with, but if you follow the performance Duramax or Cummins scene you’re sure to have heard of DuramaxTuner and CumminsTuner, some of the most popular and successful EFI Live custom tuning companies in the business. Calibrated Power Solutions (CPS) is the official name of the business, as the names CumminsTuner and DuramaxTuner may limit the public perception to what they actually do. CPS specializes in performance tuning for many applications including: GM Vortec gas, Jeep CRD Diesel, Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, Volkswagen Jetta Diesel, and most recently have expanded into the agricultural market with tuning for the John Deere platforms. While these are relatively small markets, the 2006+ Cummins and 2001+ Duramax trucks are obviously where the bulk of CPS’ business comes from. They’ve helped tune and build some of the strongest running trucks in the country. On May 16th, owner Nick Priegnitz and his crew put together a customer appreciation day and dyno event at their headquarters in Marengo, Illinois.

Unlike some dyno competitions, the day wasn’t so much about who was better than who, but more about owners getting a chance to see what their hard-earned cash and countless hours in the shop tinkering on their trucks had accomplished.

Unlike some dyno competitions, the day wasn’t so much about who was better than who, but more about owners getting a chance to see what all their hard-earned cash and countless hours in the shop behind the house tinkering on their trucks had accomplished. There were no classes made for Stock, Single and Compound trucks, as the event was just a way of saying thanks to customers and friends while giving everyone an excuse to talk trucks for the day. Calibrated employees were talking to spectators about different products and options to help improve their trucks, from basic Spade tuners to drop-in replacement Stealth turbochargers out on display.

The 1958 Chevrolet Apache truck, dubbed “Apache Max” is the latest Duramax-powered truck to hit the DuramaxTuner fleet of competition vehicles and will soon be seen in the local sled pull Work Stock classes. This vintage Chevy has been outfitted with a fully built LB7 engine, all new DT Stealth turbocharger, custom air to water intercooler, plenty of injector and a ZF-6 manual transmission. The truck has been a 2-year work in progress with a complete frame-off restoration job with all new paint, upgraded axles and drivetrain.

Jim Rendent’s 2006 5.9L Dodge isn’t just built for show and definitely had what it needed to snag overall high horsepower numbers for the day. With a pair of big polished turbos and plenty of fuel, the Common Rail 5.9L was more than 300 hp above second place; this nasty
little hot rod came in at 1,173 hp and over 2000lb-ft of torque.

No, it wasn’t the best looking rig at the event, but this diesel-powered 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit owned by Mitch Wherli was proud to take home the low number on the day with a not-so-earth-shattering 32 hp and 121lb-ft of torque.

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you; that indeed is an emission legal LML Duramax with an S475 compound turbo kit. As the DuramaxTuner LML test bed, this 2011 2500HD Denali produces 640 hp to the rear tires while maintaining a fully functional EGR, DPF and Urea system.

It takes a keen eye, but looking closely, you can see not two but three S400 turbochargers hanging off the side of that Duramax engine. Owned and built by Jason Wherli of Wherli Fabrication, this LB7 Duramax has a host of custom parts that have helped push it to be one of the highest horsepower trucks to ever cross the DuramaxTuner chassis dyno.

Over the course of the past year or two, Calibrated Power Solutions has branched out into the agricultural market with their new John Deere tuning calibrations that can offer better PTO horsepower, better pulling power, and even moderate fuel savings. Their most recent purchase is this unique mobile PTO dyno that can be taken out into the field or to agricultural expos for on-site tuning.

Just a month before the CPS Dyno Day event, the DuramaxTuner crew had this LB7-powered drag truck outfitted with its Corvette-killing attire and tried its hand at The Texas Mile. Running over 172 mph, you’re looking at the fastest diesel-powered truck to ever hit the Texas Mile track.

It wasn’t an official “Show-n-Shine” contest, but there were plenty of trucks on hand proudly showing off what was under the hood. The custom twin and triple turbo kits by Wherli Fabrication and monster 1000+hp LML Dually build by Empire Diesel were a few of the crowd favorites.

Taking home the highest horsepower numbers for the day was Jim Rendent’s 2006 5.9L Cummins sporting a massive set of compound turbos, dual CP3s and just about every supporting mod you could think of. As the current record holder on the CPS dyno, Rendent was hoping to beat his previous numbers this go around, setting the record even higher, and at 1,173hp and 2015ft-lbs of torque, he did just that. Second place was another Cummins powered truck at 828 hp and 1341ft-lbs torque, owned by Justin Lilley of Princeton, IL. The bright green Dodge proved it wasn’t just built for show. The third place numbers were put down by Chuck Dilley’s 2007 GMX Duramax with 817 hp and 1513ft-lbs. DW