Donavan Har­ris’ amaz­ing Dodge 2500 com­pe­ti­tion beast

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

Donavan Har­ris is the owner of Ar­mor Inc. Diesel & Sus­pen­sion in Red Deer, Al­berta, Canada. To pro­mote his shop's ca­pa­bil­i­ties he teamed with Lenny Reed of Dynomite Diesel Prod­ucts to build a drag truck that would be ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the dyno on a reg­u­lar ba­sis as well as tackle the pull sled when needed at com­pe­ti­tions like the Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge. Af­ter the ini­tial build they tack­led the in­au­gu­ral UCC fin­ish­ing in the mid to up­per range in each event for a 4th place over­all fin­ish. They came back strong in 2017, fin­ish­ing in the top three in the drag race and sled pull for a sec­ond 4th place over­all 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, long bed 2008 Dodge 2500, Har­ris and his team at Ar­mor Inc. went to work strip­ping down the truck be­fore they could build it back up for race con­di­tions by re­duc­ing weight and fab­ri­cat­ing a 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 coilover dou­ble-ad­justable shocks on each side to dial in the sus­pen­sion to match the track con­di­tions and com­pe­ti­tion re­quire­ments. To lo­cate the axle and keep it solidly 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 re­place with a fiber­glass 1-piece 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 build team left much of the fac­tory frame (mi­nus sev­eral inches at the tail end) but ditched the fac­tory leaf spring sus­pen­sion setup in fa­vor of a cus­tom-fab­ri­cated fourlink de­sign with a di­ag­o­nal lo­ca­tor bar. Like the front, Har­ris re­lies on Vik­ing coilover shocks in the rear to tune the 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 as the truck blasts down the drag strip at nearly 170 mph. The rear of the truck is also home to an alu­minum fuel cell along with a pair of FASS Ti­ta­nium fuel pump and fil­ter sys­tems and an Op­tima Red Top bat­tery. Mount­ing these in the rear moves the weight rear­ward and helps with trac­tion to get the truck off the line quicker.

The rear of the truck also helps it to run cooler un­der stress­ful rac­ing con­di­tions since the team in­stalled a Mishi­moto ra­di­a­tor and a pair of sand­wiched BD Diesel trans­mis­sion cool­ers in the now-va­cant space be­hind the cab. Both the ra­di­a­tor and trans­mis­sion cool­ers use elec­tric fans to pull plenty of air through the cores to keep the en­gine and trans­mis­sion cool. A mas­ter bat­tery switch is in­stalled at the rear of the truck 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 its 170-mph 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 the goods with dyno-proven runs of over 2,000 hp and more than 3,000 lb-ft of torque! The Ar­mor Inc. crew built the en­gine with parts from D&J Pre­ci­sion Ma­chine to make the stock Cum­mins into the mon­ster it is to­day. The Cum­mins en­gine is a 6.7L mill from the 2008 truck that has gone un­der the knife for some se­ri­ous tweaks that en­able it to live at out­ra­geous power lev­els. 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 that Har­ris and his team fab­ri­cated for the truck. 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. The fuel sys­tem starts with the pair of high-flow Ti­ta­nium-se- ries FASS fuel pumps mounted on each side of the fuel cell that hand 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 force-fed into the en­gine through a set of DDP in­jec­tors. On the ex­haust side, spent gasses 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 make tons of power safely. To date, the truck has been dy­noed on sev­eral of the best chas­sis dynos across the coun­try and in Canada with the high­est dyno mea­sure­ments be­ing 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 rob­bing per­for­mance in all as­pects of com­pe­ti­tion. With the prob­lem re­paired the truck has picked up 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 send­ing the power from the en­gine to the trans­mis­sion. They also in­stalled a Sun­coast Pcs-con­trolled valve body in the trans­mis­sion to give Har­ris the con­trol over the shift­ing that he de­sires us­ing a PCS 2000 con­troller.

Power out­put from the trans­mis­sion is chan­neled to a stock trans­fer case that has 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 to de­liver the power to the stock AAM 9.25 axle up front and the stock AAM 11.5 axle in the rear. Yukon Gear and Axle gears in var­i­ous ra­tios (Har­ris chose to keep the ra­tios he uses se­cret to not give any in­for­ma­tion

away to his com­peti­tors.—ed.) for each event Har­ris runs are stuffed in each axle assem­bly. Dur­ing drag rac­ing and dyno com­pe­ti­tion he runs the fac­tory dif­fer­en­tial and axle shafts in the front axle with 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 drag strip, 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 he’s hit­ting the dyno rollers the truck typ­i­cally sports Moto Metal wheels wrapped in 305/50R20 Cooper Zeon LTZ tires. Then 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 with four In­terco Truxus tires in the rear and a pair of Nitto Mud Grap­plers up front.

Con­tin­u­ing with the weight re­duc­tion theme, Har­ris and the Ar­mor Inc. build team stripped the cab 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 truck’s orig­i­nal in­te­rior. For safety at the high speeds the truck would be ca­pa­ble of run­ning they fab­ri­cated and in­stalled a Nhra-cer­ti­fied 7.99-sec­ond roll cage in the truck us­ing chro­moly tub­ing. The cage ties into the fac­tory frame be­low the cab and in the bed to strengthen the en­tire chas­sis and pro­tect Har­ris in the event that any­thing bad hap­pens while he is at speed. The fac­tory wind­shield re­mains in the truck, but the side and rear win­dows were re­placed with lightweight acrylic win­dows 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 for more weight sav­ings along with re­mov­ing the fac­tory glass and win­dow reg­u­la­tors. The bulky and heavy fac­tory steer­ing wheel and col­umn was re­placed with a sim­ple col­umn and Driven race wheel on a quick­re­lease hub. With the fac­tory steer­ing col­umn and shifter gone he in­stalled a B&M shifter on the floor to run through the gears on the track. To data log his passes and keep Har­ris in­formed at a glance he in­stalled a TS Per­for­mance In­for­mant Pro sys­tem as well as an ana­log Au­tome­ter Ul­tralite II boost gauge. Har­ris sits com­fort­ably in a Cor­beau race seat and is held safely and se­curely in place with a 5-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 tells us that like most truck projects he isn’t fin­ished with this one and he has big plans for im­prove­ments over the win­ter 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! We'll have to wait to see how it turns out. UDBG

To sup­ply the en­gine with plenty of fuel Har­ris is run­ning a trio of 12mm Dynomite Diesel Per­for­mance CP3 high-pres­sure pumps con­fig­ured with a Beans Diesel Per­for­mance large di­am­e­ter pul­ley kit and mount.

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.

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 his Ar­mor Inc. team opted to use a cus­tom two-turbo Gar­rett com­pound setup that still de­liv­ers enough air for more than 2,000 horse­power.

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 just be­fore our photo shoot.

Donavan Har­ris and Lenny Reed eas­ily re­move the lightweight fiber­glass one-piece hood to re­veal the high-power Cum­mins en­gine be­neath.

ABOVE: Fiber­glass bed­sides con­trib­ute to the weight loss the Ar­mor Inc. Dodge has un­der­gone. 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. RIGHT...

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.

Mov­ing to the rear, it is 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.

The mas­sive AAM 11.5 axle is held firmly in place us­ing a cus­tom four-link sus­pen­sion with a di­ag­o­nal lo­ca­tor bar that the team at Ar­mor Inc. fab­ri­cated. Also no­tice the Vik­ing sin­gle-ad­justable coilover shocks that are used to dial in the re­sponse to...

The front end of Har­ris’ truck fea­tures cus­tom sus­pen­sion to help keep the front end planted as he launches down the track. Har­ris and his team at Ar­mor Inc. fab­ri­cated cus­tom con­trol arms and mounts for dual dou­ble-ad­justable Vik­ing coilover shocks to...

Donavan Har­ris raced the Ar­mor Inc. Dodge to a third place fin­ish in In­di­anapo­lis at the 2017 Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge. His best 1/4-mile pass in the 5,700-pound truck is 8.56 sec­onds at 167 mph—so far!

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 the...

Look­ing in from the pas­sen­ger side of the truck the Nitrous Out­let nitrous ox­ide 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...

Look­ing in through the driver door, the com­pe­ti­tion pur­pose of Har­ris’ Dodge is clearly ev­i­dent with the Nhra-cer­ti­fied roll cage and all the nec­es­sary safety equip­ment for high-speed rac­ing du­ties. No­tice the alu­minum in­te­rior pan­els and bolted-in...

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