DUAL PER­SON­AL­ITY

CHASE LUNSFORD’S 2001 DODGE RAM 3500 PRO STREET DRAG TRUCK

Diesel World - - Contents - BY CHRIS TOBIN

When set­ting out to build a go-fast drag truck, most peo­ple start with the light­est pos­si­ble plat­form and work from there to make it even lighter and faster. But Chase Lunsford is not most peo­ple. The co-owner of Kingspeed Race & Re­pair in Bowling Green, Ken­tucky, had been wrench­ing on his 5-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 du­ally for years, im­prov­ing things and mak­ing more power, be­fore he de­cided to get se­ri­ous with it. Lunsford and his team de­cided to go Pro Street racing with the truck and knew they had their work cut out for them.

MICHAEL CORDOVA CUT THE FRAME IN HALF WHILE LUNSFORD WAS AWAY AND THE SE­RI­OUS PRO STREET EF­FORT BE­GAN.

Not long af­ter de­cid­ing to move up to the Pro Street class, Kingspeed part­ner Michael Cordova cut the frame in half while Lunsford was away and the se­ri­ous Pro Street ef­fort be­gan. Lunsford, his wife El­iz­a­beth, Steven Cole, and Cordova went to work on build­ing the truck into what you see here to­day: a pur­pose built Pro Street diesel drag racer that fin­ished sec­ond in the ODSS Pro Street Cham­pi­onship bat­tle for both 2015 and 2016 while tak­ing home wins at the Scheid Diesel Ex­trav­a­ganza and the Rocky Top Diesel Shootout.

SURGERY

The Kingspeed crew per­formed a “back-half” con­ver­sion by re­mov­ing the rear sec­tion of the 3500’s frame far un­der the cab near the trans­mis­sion cross­mem­ber. Chro­moly tub­ing was used to re­place the fac­tory struc­ture and pro­vide mount­ing points for the rear sus­pen­sion. The heavy full-du­ally bed was ditched in fa­vor of a set of SRW bed­sides that are se­cured in place with light­weight tub­ing to main­tain a fac­tory look in pro­file, but from the rear the en­tire lat­tice work of chro­moly tub­ing is easy to see.

For safety and to fur­ther stiffen the chas­sis, Lunsford and his Kingspeed team in­stalled an Nhra-cer­ti­fied 8.50-sec­ond roll cage in the cab with sup­port bars that come down to the rear por­tion of the chas­sis through the tinted Lexan rear win­dow. The in­te­rior was stripped bare to make room for the roll cage; then they in­stalled a Cor­beau FX1 Pro race seat as well as a set of Simp­son 5-point race har­nesses. A quick-re­lease steer­ing col­umn and light­weight racing steer­ing wheel keep the truck pointed in the right di­rec­tion. The build team also used Lexan to re­place the wind­shield to save weight and of­fer a safer al­ter­na­tive for track use. To cap off the body mod­i­fi­ca­tions, the truck was wrapped in metal­lic gray vinyl and treated to gold vinyl graph­ics with the Kingspeed logo and black spon­sor lo­gos on the rear of the bed­sides.

POWER TO PAVE­MENT

Up front, the 4WD truck puts power to the ground with the stock Dana 60 axle as­sem­bly and a set of fac­tory coil springs that were cut down for a bet­ter ride height, as well as dou­ble-ad­justable QA1 shocks. In the rear, the build team in­stalled a Moser Engi­neer­ing M9 fab­ri­cated rear axle as­sem­bly for a huge weight re­duc­tion over the fac­tory du­ally axle. The M9 is lo­cated with a wish­bone link up top and a set of Com­pe­ti­tion Engi­neer­ing lad­der bars on the sides. Ride height and sus­pen­sion tun­ing are de­ter­mined by a pair of Strange Engi­neer­ing dou­ble-ad­justable coilover shocks.

The truck rolls on Hoosier 29x13.50x15lt Quick Time Pro drag tires that are wrapped around light­weight 15x10-inch Holeshot racing wheels at all four cor­ners. In ad­di­tion to the Nhra-man­dated para­chute mounted to the rear of the chas­sis, Lunsford re­lies on up­graded wheel brakes with Wilwood 6-pis­ton calipers and ro­tors up front and dual 4-pis­ton Moser calipers and ro­tors on each side in the rear to whoa down the 4,560-pound truck at the big end of the track.

Af­ter the chas­sis mod­i­fi­ca­tions were com­plete, the Kingspeed team needed a po­tent pow­er­plant to push the truck down the track. Start­ing with a 2008 Cum­mins block, they built a 6.7L high-com­pres­sion, com­mon-rail race en­gine. The heart of the en­gine is a Cum­mins crank­shaft that swings Kingspeed con­nect­ing rods and 20:1 Di­a­mond pis­tons that were built to Kingspeed spec­i­fi­ca­tions. A Kingspeed roller cam ac­tu­ates 1mm over­sized valves in the Kingspeed Com­pe­ti­tion cylin­der head with the in­take shelf milled off and re­placed by a Kingspeed billet alu­minum ma­chined in­take man­i­fold.

The orig­i­nal VP44 fuel sys­tem would not keep up with Lunsford’s go-fast plans, so he went with a com­mon-rail op­tion for the truck. It starts with a me­chan­i­cal low-pres­sure pump that draws fuel from the rear-mounted alu­minum fuel cell and then feeds into a pair of Fleece Per­for­mance Engi­neer­ing Pow­er­flo 750 CP3 high-pres­sure fuel pumps. Then the high-pres­sure fuel is fed into the fuel rail and handed off to a set of Dynomite Diesel Prod­ucts Su­per Men­tal fuel injectors. To en­hance the en­gine fur­ther, the truck has two nitrous bot­tles and three kits of nitrous to boost per­for­mance on de­mand.

Rather than go with a com­pound turbo setup, Lunsford and the Kingspeed team chose to keep it sim­ple with a sin­gle Borg­warner S400 88mm turbo that’s fed hot ex­haust from the en­gine through a Steed Speed Com­pe­ti­tion T6 ex­haust man­i­fold. A pair of large Tur­bosmart waste­gates is em­ployed to keep boost pres­sure in the de­sired range. Spent gases from the turbo and waste­gates are di­rected up through hood stacks, while the com­pressed charge from the turbo is fed into a Mishi­moto 6.0L Ford in­ter­cooler be­fore re­turn­ing to the en­gine through a Cum­mins in­take el­bow. Lunsford uses EFILIVE tun­ing to con­trol the en­gine and es­ti­mates that it is mak­ing around 2,000 hp and 2,500 lb-ft of torque.

AROUND 2,000 HP AND 2,500 LB-FT OF TORQUE AT THE CRANK.

47RH TRANS

To han­dle all that power, the Kingspeed team built a com­pe­ti­tion­ready Dodge 47RH trans­mis­sion that is linked to the en­gine through an Sfi-ap­proved ATS flex­plate and Diesel Per­for­mance Con­vert­ers billet torque con­verter with a 3,800rpm stall speed. A B&M trans­mis­sion cooler mounted be­hind the cab near the fuel cell helps keep the trans­mis­sion cool, while a B&M Pro­ratchet shifter han­dles gear se­lec­tion. The com­bi­na­tion has run a best quar­ter-mile pass of 8.61 sec­onds at 166 mph and a best eighth­mile run of 5.41 sec­onds at 136.8 mph.

Since the time we shot the truck at the end of the 2016 sea­son, Lunsford and his Kingspeed team de­cided to make changes in the race team and opted to sell the truck to make room for the team’s new build—a Pro Mod tube chas­sis truck that they plan to cam­paign through the 2017 sea­son and be­yond. We look for­ward to see­ing the new ride and will bring shots of it to you as soon as we can, but don’t for­get about this former du­ally; we ex­pect to see the new owner Seth Hig­gins tear­ing up the track with it on a reg­u­lar ba­sis!

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