THE UCC TRUCK

AN IN­SIDE LOOK AT A PUR­POSE-BUILT COM­PE­TI­TION TRUCK

Diesel World - - Contents - BY BY CHRIS TOBIN PHO­TOS BY CHRIS TOBIN & KYLE TOBIN

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!

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