As gearheads, we all love power and we will do nearly anything to get more power. Fortunately for us, in most diesel trucks (especially modern computer-controlled trucks where a simple programmer and free flowing intake and exhaust can bump you up to around 500 hp or more) getting more power is relatively easy. My own 2001 Duramax project truck, with over 360,000 miles on it, has pretty basic bolt-ons and EFILIVE tuning and it has dynoed at more than 540 horsepower through the massive 37-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/RS.
But really big power numbers have traditionally been more elusive and harder to come by. But recently I have noticed more and more 700+hp trucks driving to and participating at events. In fact, at the DNR Customs Outlaw Diesel Event in Milan, Michigan (see page 102 for the event coverage article), 30 of the 98 dyno runs made over 700 horsepower, 20 made more than 800 hp, 14 were over 900 hp, and eight were over 1,000 hp. Many of the trucks were driven to the event and then drove back home! Yes, street-driven trucks with four-digit horsepower are now a reality.
Competition diesel trucks are taking power to extremes, with dyno competitors popping off 1,5002,000+hp dyno pulls on a regular basis and sled pull and drag race competitors are making well north of that, with reports of 3,000 or more horsepower circulating. At the 2016 UCC event, most of the trucks competing made more than 1,500 hp on the chassis dyno and we are very confident that competitors will be reaching much higher in 2017.
Will we see a 2,500hp dyno run? Is 3,000 hp possible? In just a few short months we’ll be in Indy to find out.
This past December I made it up to the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis and was very pleased to see performance diesel companies well represented throughout the exhibit halls. It was good to see many of the traditional companies that are not normally associated with diesel engines or diesel performance had diesel representation in their product offerings and displays. There were several diesel race/competition engines on display in various booths, including Valvoline, which had two high-performance diesel engines displayed on stands.
With horsepower coming easier these days and expanding support for performance diesel products, it’s a good time to be a diesel enthusiast. Whether you are building a fire-breathing competition diesel machine or simply want some more power for your tow rig or daily driver, there are plenty of options out there to help you reach your performance goals no matter what they are. We’ll continue to put together a magazine to help you get the most from your truck and show you what other diesel gearheads have done to their trucks.
Last issue I talked about working on some of my projects over the winter, but I’m sad to say that so far I haven’t had time to turn many wrenches. Hopefully in the coming months I’ll be able to put in some shop time. What about you, have you been able to do any upgrades or make changes and improvement to your diesel? Drop me an e-mail and let me know what you’ve done or what you plan to do. Hopefully you’re among the many that are making more horsepower these days and will continue to do more and more. In the meantime, keep it shiny side up while you’re cruising town in your high-horsepower monster, and have fun.
TOP: Aaron Rudolph’s new 2WD drag truck grabbed a lot of attention in the Vibrant Performance booth at the PRI show in Indy. I can’t wait to see this monster run down the track and catch it in my Canon’s viewfinder! ABOVE: Another hot ride that turned heads and grabbed a lot of attention was the gas-powered Nova seen here. In fact, it caught enough attention from Ryan Milliken that he sold Mini-wheat and purchased the car. This doesn’t mean he’s turning his back on diesel drag racing; to the contrary, he is putting the Cummins from Mini-wheat into the Nova with plans to eventually run a billet aluminum Cummins in the lightweight rocket ship. I look forward to shooting this one too!