Never Enough: A Wicked, 1,180-HP Mega Cab

While it’s true that achieving horsepower is addicting and that you can never have enough, most enthusiasts—either voluntarily or involuntarily—draw the line at some point. But then, there are diesel heads like Brett Jones. In just four years, he’s outgrown a 650hp setup, an 800hp combo, the 940hp mark and now owns a truck with almost 1,200hp.

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With the family cattle farm (in addition to being a full-time union electrician), Brett wanted a Ram with Cummins power under the hood; he was also fond of manual transmissions, but when he located this ’07 Mega Cab a few years back and it was equipped with a G56 six-speed, plans for a simple family vehicle were left behind.

EARLY MODIFICATIONS

Modifications began with an S475 over-stock compound turbocharger arrangement, head studs, fuel system and clutch upgrade. After living in the 650hp range for a bit, the hunger for more power led to more fuel, which brought the truck up to the 800hp mark. Soon after, however, the factory G56 gearbox met its fate. Brett decided to cryogenically treat his next G56, and realized it was an opportune time to reinforce the bottom end before he pushed things any further.

“…all hell broke loose in the power department. The truck now makes 1,181hp and 1,647 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.”

With a trip up to Midwest Truck Products in Cantril, Iowa, a plan was devised to build a competition-ready 5.9L on a reasonable budget. A set of balanced 12-valve rods got the go-ahead, along with ARP main studs and a Gorilla girdle from Industrial Injection. Cast-aluminum Mahle pistons, sized 0.020-inch over, thermal coated up top and hit with dry film lubricant on the skirts, got the nod as well. The last order of business in the block was the addition of Midwest’s Stage 2 camshaft in place of the factory unit.

Both the block and head were cut to accept O-rings for utmost combustion sealing and street longevity. The head was worked over by Premier Engine Design, and it was ported as far as a common-rail head can be and still retained water jackets. From there, the head was fitted with oversize valves and 110-pound valve springs, utilizing a 24-valve style head gasket and fastening to the block via 12mm H11 studs from A1 Technologies.

Built by Midwest Truck Products in Cantril, Iowa, the 5.9L Cummins in Brett Jones’ ’07 Dodge 2500 is currently producing 1,181hp at the rear tires. The common rail’s bottom end benefits from a Gorilla girdle, ARP main studs, balanced 12-valve rods, and coated 0.020-inch over Mahle cast aluminum pistons. An O-ringed head—fitted with oversize valves, 110-pound valve springs, chromoly push rods, and ported to the hilt—is anchored to the block with A1 Technology H11 head studs.

Built by Midwest Truck Products in Cantril, Iowa, the 5.9L Cummins in Brett Jones’ ’07 Dodge 2500 is currently producing 1,181hp at the rear tires. The common rail’s bottom end benefits from a Gorilla girdle, ARP main studs, balanced 12-valve rods, and coated 0.020-inch over Mahle cast aluminum pistons. An O-ringed head—fitted with oversize valves, 110-pound valve springs, chromoly push rods, and ported to the hilt—is anchored to the block with A1 Technology H11 head studs.

Big power calls for big turbos, so after building the engine, the guys at Midwest Truck Products sized a pair of S400-based BorgWarner chargers and fabricated all of the appropriate plumbing. The atmosphere turbo features a billet 84mm compressor wheel, the common 96mm turbine wheel, and 1.32 A/R exhaust housing and utilizes a T6 flange. The manifold charger is comprised of a 64mm billet compressor wheel, 83mm turbine wheel, .90 A/R exhaust housing, and mounts to an ATS T4 exhaust manifold.

Big power calls for big turbos, so after building the engine, the guys at Midwest Truck Products sized a pair of S400-based BorgWarner chargers and fabricated all of the appropriate plumbing. The atmosphere turbo features a billet 84mm compressor wheel, the common 96mm turbine wheel, and 1.32 A/R exhaust housing and utilizes a T6 flange. The manifold charger is comprised of a 64mm billet compressor wheel, 83mm turbine wheel, .90 A/R exhaust housing, and mounts to an ATS T4 exhaust manifold.

To ensure the atmospheric turbo makes its fair share of boost, a 50mm JGS Precision external wastegate routes exhaust gasses into the S484 to drive it harder under wide open throttle. The S484/S464 compound arrangement makes 75 to 80psi of boost on the street.

To ensure the atmospheric turbo makes its fair share of boost, a 50mm JGS Precision external wastegate routes exhaust gasses into the S484 to drive it harder under wide open throttle. The S484/S464 compound arrangement makes 75 to 80psi of boost on the street.

DODGE

COMPOUNDS AND MORE FUEL

Producing 80psi of boost is a set of S400 compound turbochargers built by Midwest Truck Products. Both turbos feature billet compressor wheels, with the manifold unit getting a 64mm and the atmospheric charger an 84mm. An external wastegate on the exhaust manifold feeds the S484 for a harder drive rather than venting to the atmosphere. Fueling mods initially included a set of 100-percent over injectors and a 12mm CP3 from Exergy Performance.

“Both the block and head were cut to accept O-rings for utmost combustion sealing and street longevity.”

The latter combination of parts yielded 936hp on the chassis dyno. Then, a set of 200-percent over Exergy Performance injectors, a Firepunk Diesel 48RE automatic, a 200-gph AirDog fuel system, and a second CP3 was added, and as you can imagine—all hell broke loose in the power department. The truck now makes 1,181hp and 1,647 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.

From top to bottom, Brett’s Dodge was built to handle the whopping amounts of horsepower and prevent catastrophic failure to the engine: Adding front and rear lockers, stronger axle shafts, 1550 series rear U-joints, and a Firepunk Diesel 48RE helps push out four-digit horsepower safely. While it’s never safe to say any 1,200hp truck is indestructible, we’re pretty confident that Brett’s Mega Cab is as close as it gets. DW

Out of a reinforced BD Diesel intercooler, a high-flowing side-draft intake manifold from Joker Fabrication directs 80 pounds of boost into the ported common-rail head. This photo was taken prior to the truck being fitted with a second, belt-driven CP3.

Out of a reinforced BD Diesel intercooler, a high-flowing side-draft intake manifold from Joker Fabrication directs 80 pounds of boost into the ported common-rail head. This photo was taken prior to the truck being fitted with a second, belt-driven CP3.

1,180-HP Mega Cab

Tying all modifications together was left in the hands of Zach Fuller at StarLite Diesel. Through use of EFILive software and five tunes available via a CSP5 switch, Brett has a truck that makes incredible power, is street friendly, and can still knock down 16mpg on the highway.

Tying all modifications together was left in the hands of Zach Fuller at StarLite Diesel. Through use of EFILive software and five tunes available via a CSP5 switch, Brett has a truck that makes incredible power, is street friendly, and can still knock down 16mpg on the highway.

Thanks to a second CP3, Brett is able to take full advantage of the 200-percent over Exergy Performance injectors he’s running. A 12mm Exergy pump resides in the factory location. With the belt-driven Sportsman pump (also from Exergy) in the mix, more than 200 additional horses were gained over running just the 12mm unit.

Thanks to a second CP3, Brett is able to take full advantage of the 200-percent over Exergy Performance injectors he’s running. A 12mm Exergy pump resides in the factory location. With the belt-driven Sportsman pump (also from Exergy) in the mix, more than 200 additional horses were gained over running just the 12mm unit.

1,180-HP Mega Cab

 “I had the G56 internals cryo’d and was told it would hold 1,000hp—but I knew I was eventually going to be making more than that.” —Brett Jones.

Originally equipped with the G56 six-speed manual, Brett knew it was time to switch to an automatic once the truck was on the verge of making four-digit horsepower. So, he had the guys at Midwest Truck Products yank the hand-shaker and swap in what has become arguably the toughest Dodge transmission in the industry: a Comp 3 48RE from Firepunk Diesel. A B&M shifter makes good use of covering the hole left in the floor from the G56, and it bolted right up to the 48RE transmission’s case.

Originally equipped with the G56 six-speed manual, Brett knew it was time to switch to an automatic once the truck was on the verge of making four-digit horsepower. So, he had the guys at Midwest Truck Products yank the hand-shaker and swap in what has become arguably the toughest Dodge transmission in the industry: a Comp 3 48RE from Firepunk Diesel. A B&M shifter makes good use of covering the hole left in the floor from the G56, and it bolted right up to the 48RE transmission’s case.

Sending a steady stream of diesel to the CP3’s is a 200-gph fuel system from AirDog. Brett keeps an eye on lift pump pressure via an Isspro fuel pressure gauge mounted along his A-pillar.

Sending a steady stream of diesel to the CP3’s is a 200-gph fuel system from AirDog. Brett keeps an eye on lift pump pressure via an Isspro fuel pressure gauge mounted along his A-pillar.

Once in the cab, most folks immediately notice how nicely done the leather seats are (they were reupholstered by leatherseats.com). However, the first thing we spotted was the radar detector sitting on the dash. After all, if you own a truck that makes 80psi of boost, more than 1,100hp, and is capable of running 10’s, you might want to know when the boys in blue are nearby.

Once in the cab, most folks immediately notice how nicely done the leather seats are (they were reupholstered by leatherseats.com). However, the first thing we spotted was the radar detector sitting on the dash. After all, if you own a truck that makes 80psi of boost, more than 1,100hp, and is capable of running 10’s, you might want to know when the boys in blue are nearby.

Beefing up the driveline is a 5-inch heavy-wall aluminum rear driveshaft from Columbus Joint & Clutch out of Grove City, Ohio. This serious piece of hardware incorporates 1550 series Spicer U-joints, which are typically only seen in the truck-pulling world.

Beefing up the driveline is a 5-inch heavy-wall aluminum rear driveshaft from Columbus Joint & Clutch out of Grove City, Ohio. This serious piece of hardware incorporates 1550 series Spicer U-joints, which are typically only seen in the truck-pulling world.

With the main goal behind the build being to make gobs of horsepower, a secondary mission was to minimize breakage. An Eaton ELocker up front and a Grizzly locker in the rear help maximize traction, while chromoly 38-spline axle shafts from Yukon strengthen the AAM 1150 out back. The front AAM 925 was also fitted with chromoly axle shafts.

With the main goal behind the build being to make gobs of horsepower, a secondary mission was to minimize breakage. An Eaton ELocker up front and a Grizzly locker in the rear help maximize traction, while chromoly 38-spline axle shafts from Yukon strengthen the AAM 1150 out back. The front AAM 925 was also fitted with chromoly axle shafts.