Diesel World - - Contents -

When your job is to keep an eye on and report the lat­est and great­est stuff in the diesel in­dus­try you can get de­sen­si­tized pretty quickly. Only the re­ally, re­ally cool stuff seems to im­press me any­more. Don’t get me wrong, I still en­joy just about ev­ery­thing diesel; it just takes a bit more to get me re­ally wound up. But I guess that’s to be ex­pected af­ter 16 years in the in­dus­try. Seems like lately there’s been a ton of in­no­va­tion and a ton of re­ally cool things pop­ping up left and right. It’s an ex­cit­ing time of the year, right be­fore race sea­son starts. All the crazy stuff we saw at PRI and SEMA, plus all the things kept un­der wraps, are just now start­ing to show their faces and are be­ing put to the test.

Last month we shared Jeremy Wagler’s in­sane DX500 en­gine that’s (very loosely) based off a Duramax. This thing is NUTS! Just about ev­ery­thing on it is ma­chined from a sin­gle piece of alu­minum— not much Duramax left. Ac­tu­ally, the more I look at it, it looks more like a Top Fuel Drag­ster en­gine. It’s de­signed to be bro­ken down and re­built in the short times be­tween runs at the drag strip. Sorta makes me won­der what prompted the Wagler crew to cre­ate it. Sure, do­ing things just cause you’ve al­ways wanted to is great by me, but a project this large costs more than most peo­ple’s houses, and the mar­ket that could af­ford one of these en­gines (let alone put it to use) is ex­tremely small. So, and I’m spec­u­lat­ing here, does that mean some­one like John Force Racing knocked on Wagler’s door ask­ing for a new Top Fuel en­gine? Would that then mean the NHRA is think­ing of open­ing up a diesel class? I’m sure we’ll all find out what Jeremy Wagler’s in­ten­tions are for the DX500 plat­form soon enough.

In­ci­den­tally, the Wagler DX500 “Shop Truck” will be at Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge. I can’t wait to see how it does. We’re still giv­ing away tick­ets to UCC. Send me an email (dw-ed­i­tor@en­gaged­me­dia.com) with what you drive, your full name and that’s it, you’re in the run­ning. Six passes and a stack of t-shirts go to the win­ner. Only a few days left till the event; it starts April 21, so get on it!

Triples are an­other thing I’m ex­cited to see grow this year. Last year was sorta the first year for triples in the diesel pickup world (pullers aside). It threw a bunch of dyno event pro­mot­ers off as now the “com­pound” class was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent an­i­mal than be­fore and rule books ended up chang­ing to fit this new de­sign. It re­ally was more of an un­lim­ited class setup than one to run with the com­mon com­pound guys. (Wow, I guess it’s come to that; yeah, I just called them com­mon.) This year ev­ery­one seems to be go­ing for three and I’m sure we’ll see more on just how im­pres­sive triples can ac­tu­ally be. Af­ter all, you don’t just hit it right out of the park your first time out. It takes a while to work out all the bugs.

An­other thing that’s im­pressed me lately has been watch­ing ev­ery­one step­ping up their game. And speak­ing of triples, Lavon Miller has a new en­gine that’s cur­rently be­ing tested. The few dyno runs I’ve seen so far look in­sane. Yes, it has three tur­bos; what size we don’t know yet. What’s nuts is how they’re set up: two mas­sive at­mo­spher­ics out front with a su­per-long hot pipe run­ning back to the high pres­sure. I as­sume this is to keep the charge air in close prox­im­ity to the in­ter­cooler and ice boxes now that I think of it. Ei­ther way the thing looks im­pres­sive and sounds straight pissed-off. On top of that, the en­gine is now set so far back in the frame the valve cover could dou­ble as an arm­rest. The Fire­punk crew re­ally is step­ping up their game, year af­ter year. Can’t wait to see it run.

And yet one more rig that’s been on my mind lately is Ryan Mil­liken’s new Cum­mins-pow­ered Nova. Like Mini­wheat and what we’ve come to ex­pect from Ryan and the Hard­way crew, it’s ex­tremely mean and all busi­ness. And it just ran a 5.14-sec­ond eighth-mile pass WHILE DRAG­GING A PARA­CHUTE. The chute failed and de­ployed at launch and amaz­ingly only took maybe 0.25-0.50 of a sec­ond off his time. And this is all with only a few runs on a brand-new car (well, it is a used car, and a new car to him, but with a 100% new en­gine and trans). Yet an­other project that is go­ing to be so much fun to watch this year.

See you out there.

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