THE UCC TRUCK
AN INSIDE LOOK AT A PURPOSE-BUILT COMPETITION TRUCK
Donavan Harris is the owner of Armor Inc. Diesel & Suspension in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. He teamed with Lenny Reed of Dynomite Diesel Products to build a drag truck capable of hitting the dyno on a regular basis, as well as tackling the pull sled when needed at competitions like the Ultimate Callout Challenge. After the initial build they competed in the inaugural UCC, finishing in the mid to upper range in each event for a Fourth Place overall finish. They came back strong in 2017, finishing in the Top Three in the drag race and sled pull for a second Fourth Place finish. Harris has also won the Edmonton NHRDA Pro Street, as well as the Alligator Diesel dyno day and the Beans Diesel Performance dyno event. Follow along for an unprecedented inside look at this amazing truck.
Starting with a regular cab, longbed '08 Dodge 2500, Harris and his team stripped the truck down before building it back up with reduced weight and a fully fabricated, race-worthy suspension. Up front, they removed the factory coil spring and shock mounts from the frame and axle then replaced them with new fabricated mounts to integrate a pair of Viking double-adjustable coilover shocks on each side to dial in the suspension to match the track conditions and competition requirements. To locate the axle and keep it locked within its travel, they replaced the weak factory control arms with lightweight fabricated chromoly control arms. Dual steering stabilizers help keep the truck pointed in the right direction at speed. To reduce weight, the front fenders, hood, and bumper supports were removed and replaced with a one-piece fiberglass front end and a bumper shell. The hood and bumper are braced to keep them from deforming at high speeds as Harris rockets down the track.
In the rear, the team left much of the factory frame (minus several inches at the tail end) but ditched the factory leaf spring suspension in favor of a custom-fabricated four-link design with a diagonal locator bar. As with the front, Harris relies on Viking coilover shocks to tune the rear suspension. To save weight, they removed the factory steel bed and installed a pair of fiberglass bedsides along with the required bracing and mounts to hold them securely in place. The rear is also home to an aluminum fuel cell and a pair of FASS Titanium fuel pump and filter systems, as well as an Optima Red Top battery. Mounting these in the rear helps with traction to get the truck off the line quicker.
The rear of the truck also helps it run cooler under stressful racing conditions, since the team installed a Mishimoto radiator and a pair of sandwiched BD Diesel transmission coolers in the vacant space behind the cab. Both the radiator and transmission coolers use electric fans to pull air through the cores and keep the engine and transmission cool. A master battery switch is installed near the fuel cell and battery to meet safety requirements. The tail end of Harris' truck is completed with a Stroud parachute to help whoa the truck down from 170mph passes at the top end of the drag strip.
Of course, a potent engine is required to compete at the top levels in the diesel world, and the one Harris, Reed, and the Armor Inc.
team built delivers to goods with dyno proven runs of over 2,000 hp and more than 3,000 lb-ft of torque. Using parts from D&J Precision Machine, Armor Inc. built the Cummins engine up from the 6.7L mill in the '08 truck. A factory Cummins crankshaft swings a set of D&J rods and pistons through the 4.21-inch cylinder bores on a 4.88-inch stroke. A Hamilton Cams camshaft actuates the valves through a set of D&J pushrods. The short block is capped with a factory 6.7L Cummins head that has gone through D&J'S machining, porting, and polishing to optimize the airflow in and out of the cylinder head. They also removed the intake shelf and installed a billet aluminum D&J intake manifold.
Plenty of air is fed into the Cummins engine through a two-turbo compound Garrett setup. The compressed air charge travels from the outlet of the second charger into a custom aluminum intercooler before it is directed into the engine through the D&J intake. To go with all that air, Harris also adds a dash of water/ methanol from a Snow Performance kit along with a healthy dose of giggle gas through Nitrous Outlet solenoids.
Reed and his team at Dynomite Diesel Products developed a fuel system capable of keeping up with the airflow and injectables. It starts with the pair of high-flow Titanium-series FASS fuel pumps mounted on each side of the fuel cell, handing off the #2 diesel to a trio of 12mm Dynomite CP3 high pressure pumps. One CP3 is installed in the factory location with the additional two mounted with a Beans Diesel Performance large-diameter pulley drive kit and machined drive pullies with Dynomite Diesel logos machined into the faces of the highly polished billet aluminum. Highly pressurized fuel is then fed through a set of DDP injectors. On the exhaust side, spent gases exit the engine through a Steed Speed
exhaust manifold before pushing through the Garrett turbos and exiting the hood through a stack alongside the small diameter wastegate outlet stack.
Jarid Vollmer of Breakout Tuning handled the custom tuning for the truck using EFILIVE. To date, the truck has been dynoed on several of the best chassis dynos across the country and in Canada with the highest dyno measurement of 2,033 hp and 3,021 lb-ft of torque. Harris’ current dyno numbers are considerably higher than measured at either of the UCC events after the team discovered a simple mistake that was robbing them of lockup and performance in all aspects of competition. With the problem repaired, the truck has picked up both power on the dyno and speed on the track.
The Armor Inc. team built a Dodge 48RE transmission to back up the potent Cummins engine using a TCS billet Fatshaft input shaft, billet intermediate shaft, and Fatshaft output shaft, as well as additional billet TCS internal components and Raybestos clutches to handle the high power demands of diesel competition. A BD Diesel Sfi-rated billet flexplate is used to link the crankshaft to the billet Diesel Performance Converters quad-disc torque converter. They also installed a Suncoast Pcs-controlled valve body in the transmission to give Harris the control over the shifting that he desired using a PCS 2000 controller.
Power output from the transmission is channeled to a stock transfer case that’s been modified to accept the larger diameter billet Fatshaft TCS transmission output shaft. From there, power is handed off to a set of factory drive shafts and to the stock AAM 9.25 axle up front and the stock AAM 11.5 axle in the rear. Yukon Gear & Axle gears in proprietary ratios are used in each axle assembly. During drag racing and dyno competition Harris runs the factory differential and axle shafts in the front axle and an Eaton
locker and stock axles in the rear. For sled pulling, the Armor Inc. team swaps out the front differential for an Eaton Detroit Truetrac differential with Yukon gears and axle shafts. In the rear they swap out for a Yukon spool, gears, and 38-spline axle shafts.
Putting the power to the dragstrip, dyno rollers, and pull track is highly important if you aim to win diesel competitions, so Harris has a wheel and tire combination for each discipline. When hitting the dyno, the truck typically sports Moto Metal wheels wrapped in 305/50R20 Cooper Zeon LTZ tires. For drag race competition, the Armor Inc. team swaps out the tread for a set of 16-inch M&H drag slicks mounted on Raceline wheels for great traction and light weight. To handle the slick dirt surfaces of sled pulling, the team mounts up a set of six 35/12.50R17 tires on Fuel wheels, four Interco Truxus tires in the rear and a pair of Nitto Mud Grapplers up front.
In the cab, Harris and the Armor Inc. build team stripped it of the factory seats, door panels, side and rear windows, dash, headliner, and other trim, leaving the factory carpet as one of the only remnants of the original interior. They fabricated and installed an Nhra-certified, 7.99-second roll cage using chromoly tubing. The cage ties into the factory frame below the cab and in the bed to strengthen the entire chassis. The factory windshield remains in the truck, but the side and rear windows were replaced with lightweight acrylic to save weight and allow the rear tubes to run through the rear window into the bed.
The team installed a new lightweight aluminum fabricated dash panel complete with their “Say No To Slow” motto cut out of the top of the dash panel. Aluminum panels also replace the factory door panels and the factory glass and window regulators were
removed. The bulky and heavy factory steering wheel and column was replaced with a simple column and Driven race wheel on a quick-release hub. With the factory steering column and shifter gone, Harris installed a B&M shifter on the floor. To data log his passes and keep him informed at a glance, Harris installed a TS Performance Informant Pro system, as well as an analog Autometer Ultralite II boost gauge. He sits comfortably in a Corbeau race seat and secured in place with a five-point G-force Racing Gear harness. The cab is also home to the Snow Performance water/ methanol tank and pumps, as well as the Nitrous Outlet nitrous bottle.
Harris still has big plans for improvements that will be unveiled at the 2018 Ultimate Callout Challenge. After finishing in Fourth Place overall for the past two years, Harris and Reed plan to take the truck to the next level in hopes of not only reaching the podium, but to be standing on the top step.
Donavan Harris raced the Armor Inc. Dodge to a Third Place finish in Indianapolis at the 2017 Ultimate Callout Challenge. His best quarter-mile pass in the 5,700-pound truck is 8.56 seconds at 167 mph—so far.
Moving to the rear, it’s easy to see that this truck is built strictly for competition with the rear mount battery, fuel cell—and of course, parachute—all taking up residence at the rear of the truck.
From ground level we can see that Harris’ Armor Inc. Dodge is ready to take on the world.
The front end features custom suspension to help keep the front end planted as it launches down the track. Harris and his team at Armor Inc. fabricated custom control arms and mounts for dual doubleadjustable Viking coilover shocks to properly locate and control the front axle for any track conditions encountered on the strip or pull track.
To keep the engine cool, Harris relies on a rear-mounted Mishimoto radiator with dual electric cooling fans. The transmission benefits from a sandwiched pair of BD Diesel coolers with a single electric cooling fan.
The massive AAM 11.5 axle is held firmly in place with a custom four-link suspension with a fabricated diagonal locator bar. Note the Viking singleadjustable coilover shocks used to dial in the response to various track conditions.
Here you can see that most of the factory Dodge frame was retained, while Harris and team fabricated completely new mounts and strengthening tubing for the frame and rear suspension.
Harris’ truck has an intimidating facade with the bold insert-less grille shell, blackened headlight graphics, and highly polished custom fabricated intercooler.
The custom graphics on the CW Wraps finish on the Dodge help Harris to promote his sponsors while looking good at the same time.
Strapped down and revved up, Harris’ truck took home the win in the Unlimited Class on the dyno at the Beans Diesel event last fall.
Donavan Harris and Lenny Reed easily remove the lightweight fiberglass onepiece hood to reveal the high-power Cummins engine below.
Fiberglass bedsides contribute to the weight savings. When running on the dyno, Harris relies on a set of 20-inch Moto Metal wheels wrapped in 305/50R20 Cooper Zeon LTZ tires to put the power to the rollers.
To supply the engine with plenty of fuel, Harris runs a trio of 12mm Dynomite Diesel Performance CP3 high-pressure pumps configured with a Beans Diesel Performance large-diameter pulley kit and mount.
With the hood removed, the glory of Harris’ DDP/D&J Precision Machine 2,000+ horsepower Cummins engine is easy to appreciate.
In an age when triple-turbo configurations are becoming commonplace in big power trucks, Harris and Armor Inc. opted to use a custom two-turbo Garrett compound setup that still delivers enough air for more than 2,000 hp.
Peeking behind the CP3 mount you can see the long-stroke CP3S, as well as the D&J Precision side-draft intake manifold on the D&J ported and polished cylinder head.
The truck’s competition purpose is clearly evident with the Nhra-certified roll cage and all the necessary safety equipment for high-speed racing duties. Note the aluminum interior panels and acrylic safety windows.
Rather than having a whole host of analog gauges, Harris chose to keep the cockpit simple and effective with a Driven race wheel, single analog Autometer boost gauge, and a TS Performance Informant Pro data logger and gauge package to monitor performance.
We caught this shot of Harris blasting down the famous Lucas Oil Raceway drag strip in Indianapolis during the 2017 UCC, where he finished Fourth overall with a Third Place finish in the drag race.
With extra weight hanging off the front end and grippy Nitto and Interco tires wrapped around Fuel wheels, Harris and his team converted the truck from a fast drag racer to a stout sled puller and finished in Second Place on the pull track at the 2017 UCC.
The Nitrous Outlet bottle and Snow Performance water/methanol injection tank and pumps dominate the interior, along with a B&M shifter for Harris to bang through the gears as he flies down the strip.
Lenny Reed and Donavan Harris (center) accept the second place UCC sled pull trophy from Alligator Diesel’s Chad Hall.
The slogan cut into the top of the fabricated dash panel sums up the team’s racing philosophy in four simple words!