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Power Stroke vs. Duramax vs. Cummins - Vegas Heat

Herbst Dyno Day

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We love dyno events. Mostly, they involve standing around watching diesel trucks blow smoke and run up to more than 100 mph—yet go nowhere. And that’s fine with us. You see, a dyno measures power output, and that’s the name of the game as far as we’re concerned. Perhaps the best part about these types of competitions is the wild variety of vehicles that attend. Everything from brand-new trucks with tuners to race trucks to old, mechanically injected rigs can be seen on the rollers. If you’re curious about someone’s combination, there’s always plenty of time before or after the owner runs to ask questions. Everyone has their own theory regarding what works and what doesn’t, so it’s fun to hear the speculation before the moment of truth.

For our first-ever event, it was an enormous success!
— Newly Tolf, Underground Diesel

For all these reasons (and a little promotion for themselves), Underground Diesel teamed up with Terrible Herbst to host its first annual dyno day in Las Vegas, Nevada. Terrible had just installed a brand-new Mustang dyno in one of its carwash bays, meaning you can get fuel, an oil change, a wash—and see how much power your vehicle makes all in one trip. In order to really put Terrible’s dyno to work, Underground Diesel spearheaded an effort to bring a host of diesel trucks from its shop, along with inviting rigs from all over the Western region. And, despite 100-degree temperatures, there was a lot of enthusiasm as rubber met roller.

Dave Anderson
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2005 Ford F-350
Engine: 6.0L Power Stroke V-8
Mods: S&B intake, Diamond Eye exhaust, Garrett Powermax turbo, Warren Diesel 195/75 injectors, ARP head studs, water-methanol injecton
Horsepower/Torque: 523 rwhp/878 rwtq
Notes: We were surprised by the numbers Dave’s 6.0L put down, considering it had a mild turbo upgrade. He wasn’t too surprised, though, as he’s run 13s in the quarter-mile in a heavy truck.

Nick Tobin
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2008 Ford F-350
Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke V-8
Mods: H&S Mini Maxx, Flo-Pro exhaust, and S&B air filter
Horsepower/Torque: 545 rwhp/1,041 rwtq
Notes: Nick’s Ford is a good example of what 6.4L Power Strokes can put down with a healthy tune. Nick had a friendly rivalry with Anthony Arata, who has nearly the same setup and dyno’d later in the event.

Austin Ouellette
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 1997 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6
Mods: #10 fuel plate, 5-inch exhaust
Horsepower/Torque: 257 rwhp/744 rwtq
Notes: Many people who buy ’94 to ’98 Dodges think there’s something wrong with their truck, because the Rams are so slow in stock form. With nothing more than a fuel plate and some big exhaust piping, Austin added another 100 rwhp to his second-generation ride.

Estey Gamboa
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2004 Chevrolet 2500
Engine: 6.6L Duramax V-8
Mods: Custom intake, Underground Diesel EFILive, PPE Stage 4 transmission and lift pump
Horsepower/Torque: 463 rwhp/1,000 rwtq
Notes: Who says Duramaxes can’t make torque? Estey’s power curve impressed us, and when he gets a bigger turbo on there, we’d expect at least 50 more horsepower up top.

Dana Ferrarro
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2000 Ford F-350
Engine: 7.3L Power Stroke V-8
Mods: Banks intercooler, Edge Evolution tuner, ATS transmission, Diesel Performance exhaust, AFE intake
Horsepower/Torque: 344 rwhp/751 rwtq
Notes: Dana’s 7.3L is a fine example of a truck that was built more than a decade ago yet has been lightly modified to keep pace with newer rigs. Its horsepower and torque numbers are nearly dead-on compared to any brand-new GM, Ford, or Ram.

Anthony Arata
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2008 Ford F-350
Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke V-8
Mods: Spartan programmer, cold-air intercooler pipe, Flo-Pro exhaust, S&B air filter
Horsepower/Torque: 560 rwhp/1,021 rwtq
Notes: We were surprised to see how well the old-school Spartan tuner did on Anthony’s truck. It was clear the 6.4L Power Stroke was making great power (560 to 570 rwhp is usually about the limit we see on tuned 6.4L-powered trucks).

David Lee
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2007 Dodge 3500
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6
Mods: H&S Mini Maxx
Horsepower/Torque: 422 rwhp/1,057 rwtq
Notes: David’s truck was virtually stone stock, other than an H&S programmer, which shows how much tuning can do. The Ram didn’t like 1,057 lb-ft of torque, and the transmission went into limp mode after the dyno pull.

Mike Wendell
Hometown: Beaumont, California
Truck: 2003 Chevrolet 2500
Engine: 6.6L Duramax V-8
Mods: PPE programmer and lift pump, Garrett GT4094, Inglewood Transmission Stage 5 trans
Horsepower/Torque: 518 rwhp/976 rwtq
Notes: Mike was just starting to get his new combination dialed in and later found out his fuel filter was clogged. With a new filter in place, power jumped to 570 rwhp.

Mitch Hanberg
Hometown: Vernal, Utah
Truck: 2004 GMC 2500
Engine: 6.6L Duramax V-8
Mods: 80mm S400 turbo, Industrial Injection 60-percent-over injectors, J&G transmission, head studs, EFILive, FASS lift pump, PPE up-pipes
Horsepower/Torque: 650 rwhp/1,088 rwtq (nitrous)
Notes: Mitch had barely done any tuning at all and wasn’t the happiest with his initial 543-rwhp pull, so a nitrous bottle was broken out and sprayed into the intake, resulting in an easy 100hp gain.

Brandon Wood
Hometown: El Mirage, Arizona
Truck: 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6
Mods: PPE dual CP3 kit, S&B intake, MBRP 5-inch exhaust, Mass Flow Engineering 100hp injectors, BD exhaust manifold, 64mm turbo, Sun Coast Converters transmission, EFILive, FASS 150-gph lift pump, AFE intake elbow, Turbosmart blowoff valve, TCS Suspension lift
Horsepower/Torque: 659 rwhp/1,334 rwtq
Notes: Brandon’s Dodge impressed the heck out of us with the power it was able to make with a little, 64mm turbo. It’s been in the 11s in the quarter-mile with nitrous. This is a truck anyone would be happy to own.

Tyler Richard
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Truck: 2006 Dodge Ram 3500
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6
Mods: Industrial Injection PhatShaft 66mm, 150hp injectors, Banks intake, 0.020-inch-over pistons, Hamilton cam, main and head studs, EFILive, MBRP exhaust, FASS fuel system, 85-percent-over CP3, Sun Coast Converters transmission, NX nitrous system
Horsepower: 695 rwhp
Notes: Breaking into the 600hp range on fuel and then hitting nearly 700 with nitrous, Tyler was piloting one of the harder-hitting Cummins-equipped trucks at the event—all with a single, 66mm turbo.

Colin Brazze
Hometown: Unknown
Truck: 2007 Dodge Ram 2500
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6
Mods: Dual CP3 pumps, 200hp Exergy Engineering injectors, FASS 260, Hellmann intake, H&S tuning, 75mm BatMoWheel turbocharger
Horsepower/Torque: 772 rwhp/1,111 rwtq
Notes: Colin’s big-turbo Dodge had a heck of a time spooling on the dyno, leading to an insane amount of smoke and a low torque figure. But boy, once it got rolling, did it make power—putting down 772 rwhp out of a single turbo.

Dan Grant
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Truck: 2005 Chevrolet 2500
Engine: 6.6L Duramax V-8
Mods: 80mm Garrett GTX turbocharger; modified PPE Hot+2 E.T. Race programmer, up-pipes, and Dual Fueler; Socal Diesel heads and camshaft; ARP head and main studs; PPE Stage 5 transmission built by Inglewood Transmission; Mahle racing pistons; Exergy Engineering injectors
Horsepower: 930 rwhp
Notes: Since Dan grudge races his truck, he wouldn’t give us any specs on any internal engine parts of his high-hp build. But whatever the rest of his combination is, it sure works, as evidenced by the highest horsepower of the day—930 rwhp on fuel only!

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169 comments
Lane Sutterby
Lane Sutterby

Ok, EVERYBODY LISTEN UP. you may like your Duramax, and you may think your Powerstroke is the best engine ever built, but think about this: what engine do they put in tractors, bulldozers, semis, and Army deuce-and-a-halves? That's right, Cummins. And the light-duty pickup version, the one they put in the Rams, is simply a scaled-down version of this engine. Therefore, CUMMINS IS BEST. now, before you go arguing, remember; have you EVER seen a semi with a Powerstroke? Have you ever seen a Pwerstroke swap, in the first place, other than into another Ford? Didn't think so. Facts and statistics, boys and girls, facts. And. Stats.

Lane Sutterby
Lane Sutterby

Kyle Blouvet I hope you know a Chummins is a CHEVY with a CUMMINS

Lane Sutterby
Lane Sutterby

Yeah Luis Garcia, when you can't afford the Ford repair bills, you buy a Dodge because they don't have NEAR as many issues.

Brian Akin
Brian Akin

If Snoop Dogg would hurry up and leave then maybe we can see what's going on in this pic

Carlos Clark
Carlos Clark

Duramax too many electronics service will bankrupt you...

Carlos Clark
Carlos Clark

Well you got to look at it this way..Chevy has never really made a strong anything most of Chevy stuff is just pretty. The Silverado's are just that pretty trucks also with Chevy you either get a good motor but a bad tranny or shitty axles that's the Chevy story in a nut shell because Chevy stuff has always been cheap in price that's all..Ford has good stuff and they didn't take any bailout money from the GOV but they make to many variations of the same thing look at the Cleveland and Winsore engines or the 351/400 modified why make two different engines when the Cleveland was the most desired one now the Powerstroke motors are sorry to many injector problems the list goes on gas engine which have been converted to diesel just don't work how about their Navastar motors all crap..Now Dodge there 70, 80 and up to 93 were the best most powerful and strongest trucks around from top to bottom the engines are cast thicker then any other company, the Dana axles indestructable, tannys the same the frames are heavier..Now the Cummins engine and Dodge comb was a match made in heaven..1st Gen motors are the envy of all. The new Dodge trucks need more work don't really care for them...PS a diesel engine will always perform better with a standard tranny behind it auto just won't do...

Troy Thompson
Troy Thompson

Cummins is #1 I'm sorry the numbers don't lie.....if you don't agree get one you'll love it

Chuck Sepesi
Chuck Sepesi

V ten baby they don't smoke at all and just as much power as them stock

Dave Mac
Dave Mac

Wow Mike you must think having a cdl is a big deal. Well it's not.... Dodge Cummins all the way.

Clayton Yount
Clayton Yount

In order... 1. Powerstroke 2. Duramax 3. Cummins.

Mike Baumgardner
Mike Baumgardner

How bout hook your pickup to 80,000 pounds and tow it everyday for a week

Frank Trost
Frank Trost

Haha. It all comes down to who has the deepest pockets. One brand isn't necessarily better then the other when it comes to high HP trucks.

Keith Harlan
Keith Harlan

Gas fumes can cause run away in a diesel that's why you need to keep a C0 2 fire extinguisher handy to spray in the intake. I have had 2 Cummings and they both were solid trucks

Andrew Gingerich
Andrew Gingerich

Troy Stallsmith the reason the allison holds up so good is because they don't have the power of a cummins to tare them up lol

Andrew James Wood
Andrew James Wood

#Cummins Sorry but i want to make it home in an awesome sounding beast.

Brian Bauman
Brian Bauman

It probably is the least likely, but it actually happened. So take that!

Marty Levin
Marty Levin

Just rember cummins does it with 6 slugs not 8 cummins all the way.

William Ellison
William Ellison

nice try but NO. The duramax is the LEAST likely to win this competition! lol

Mike Noyes
Mike Noyes

Cummins is a fantastic engine. Too bad they put in trucks that routinely fall apart.

Justin Perez
Justin Perez

Cummins, powerstroke... An never a duramax lol

Tyler B. Overholser
Tyler B. Overholser

Haha only 2 years??? Send them to central ohio and see how they stack with the big boys dmax #1

Jason Moore
Jason Moore

More like duramax and dodge choke on the psd, who has won the dpc 2 years running

Michael Cook
Michael Cook

Cummins or Duramax rather walk than drive a power stroke chances are I'd end up walking anyways

Lloyd Koppes
Lloyd Koppes

Screw the nitrous, boys. Let's see who can pull a ten thousand pound trailer up to the Eisenhower tunnel the quickest.

Kyle Blouvet
Kyle Blouvet

Lol at all the people posting their brand loyalty. Read the article.... Duramax owns this battle. So you can chummins and powerchoke till your blue in the face. Numbers don't lie

Troy Stallsmith
Troy Stallsmith

What good is a engine without a strong tranny behind it ? Duramax/Allison. #1.

William McDonald
William McDonald

I love my ford but I can't say much since every motor since to 7.3 is a ticking time bomb