Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - —Chris cto­bin@en­gaged­me­di­ainc.com By: Chris Tobin


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...

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