BLUE BETTY

THE IN­NER WORK­INGS OF A 900+HP RAM 2500

Diesel World - - Contents - BY JA­SON SANDS

It’s not very of­ten that you get to see trucks that are raced, and are still as clean as Adam Aquino’s ’07 Ram. Sure, Aquino’s ride has a roll cage and rac­ing seats, but it also has a stereo sys­tem with two 10-inch speak­ers, a full in­te­rior, and still can street cruise with the best of them. He built the truck over a num­ber of years through his shop, AA Mo­tor­works, and his Dodge has seen a num­ber of dif­fer­ent en­gine and trans­mis­sion com­bi­na­tions as his horse­power needs con­tin­ued to climb.

6.7L Cum­mins

Aquino started his build with the fac­tory 6.7L/68RFE setup, but that’s not to say that he didn’t make im­prove­ments to that plat­form. The bot­tom end of the 6.7L is a 175,000-mile stocker, save for a Flu­idampr and Fleece Per­for­mance En­gi­neer­ing coolant by­pass, but the top of the en­gine has been up­graded ex­ten­sively. The head has been fire-ringed and fit­ted with ARP 625 head studs, as well as springs and pushrods from Hamil­ton Cams. Boost comes in the form of a 2nd Gen swap kit on a Steed Speed man­i­fold, and a big 80mm charger with an 87mm turbine and 1.0 ex­haust hous­ing. Aquino built most of the in­take and ex­haust sys­tem him­self, which in­cor­po­rates an On3 Per­for­mance in­ter­coole and Tur­bosmart blow-off valve. For fuel­ing, Aquino didn’t want to fall short any­where, so he went big right off the bat. A 220gph FASS lift pump sends fuel to a 12mm stro­ker CP3 from Dynomite Diesel Per­for­mance (and the stock CP3), be­fore it makes its way to a set of DDP Su­per Men­tal In­jec­tors. Tun­ing is per­formed by Sil­ver Bul­let Tun­ing through an in­no­va­tive 5.9L Cum­mins ECM swap that was per­formed with a con­ver­sion har­ness from Fleece Per­for­mance.

47/48 Trans­plant

Ini­tially, the fac­tory 68RFE trans­mis­sion was re­placed with an af­ter­mar­ket unit, but Aquino saw the writ­ing on the wall af­ter the first cou­ple fail­ures, and switched to a 47/48 unit out of an ear­lier Dodge. The trans­mis­sion was fit­ted with all the good­ies, in­clud­ing a 2,200rpm triple-disc con­verter from Sun­coast Diesel, a PCS valve­body, and af­ter­mar­ket 27-spline in­put, 29-spline out­put, and in­ter­me­di­ate shafts. Aquino didn’t want any “death wob­ble” at speed, so he took a multi-pronged ap­proach on the front sus­pen­sion, fit­ting the axle with Hell Bent Steel con­trol arms, a Carli trac-bar, Thuren Fab­ri­ca­tion steer­ing sta­bi­lizer, and cut­ting half a coil off the front spring. QA1 shocks were also mounted on all four corners, and the rear end re­ceived cus­tom trac­tion bars from AA Mo­tor­works.

Never End­ing Story

At the time this was writ­ten, Aquino was al­ready hard at work on what he con­sid­ers ver­sion 2.0 of his build. With a best elapsed time of 10.47 in the quar­ter-mile (at 128.5 mph) the 9s were just too close, so he is al­ready hard at work on a full en­gine build with nu­mer­ous other up­grades. There’s one thing that’s for sure—we wouldn’t count Aquino out on his quest for sin­gle-digit times!

Aquino’s 6.7L Cum­mins was able to crank out 920 hp and 1,350 lb-ft of torque with a care­ful se­lec­tion of parts and pieces that max­i­mized both power and re­li­a­bil­ity. A Flu­idampr, ARP 625 head studs, a fire-ringed head, and se­lec­tion of val­ve­train parts from Hamil­ton Cams make the in­line-6 tick.

The in­take tract was de­signed with a num­ber of Vi­brant Per­for­mance clamps that hold ev­ery­thing to­gether un­der the el­e­vated boost lev­els.

Most of the work in adapt­ing the huge Borg­warner S400 tur­bocharger was per­formed by Aquino at his shop. He built the down­pipe and in­take pip­ing that mounts the 80mm tur­bocharger onto the Cum­mins en­gine. Boost sits at a healthy 55 psi.

Aquino built his own in­take us­ing an enor­mous 6-inch Race Day fil­ter from Ai­raid. The con­i­cal fil­ter di­rects are right into the Borg­warner tur­bocharger.

The ex­haust side of the Ram’s 6.7L Cum­mins starts with a high-flow­ing T4 flange ex­haust man­i­fold from Steed Speed, which drives the ex­haust side of the tur­bocharger.

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