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2006 Dodge Ram 2500 - Powerful Legacy

1,000hp, Triple-Turbo, Street-Driven Cummins That’s A Tribute To The Men Who Made It

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A lot of our projects carry with them a certain sentimental value. Whether you’re thinking outside the box, breathing new life into an old vehicle, or pursuing a horsepower goal, it’s easy to get attached to the project you’re working on. For Brian Randall, his goal was to achieve all these things, and after more than two years of planning, wrenching, and testing, he’s hit his mark.

The long back story associated with this ’06 Dodge Ram 2500 begins with a young man named Dennis Fritz, nicknamed Tunk by those who knew him best. Known locally as somewhat of a speed freak, Tunk was always into ATVs, Mustangs, and generally anything that could haul the mail. Needless to say, he was anxious to turn up the wick on his brand-new Cummins. After just two days and 200 miles, the truck made a stop at Brian’s shop, Randall’s Performance, to get outfitted with an air intake, exhaust, and a programmer. The modifications progressed from there, and soon a set of compound turbos was needed to match the fueling mods, a built 48RE was required to harness the 5.9L’s power, and Tunk had his sights set on making 1,000 hp.

Throughout the truck’s initial buildup, Brian and Tunk got to know one another pretty well—so it came as an enormous shock when Tunk was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and, tragically, passed away at the age of 20. As a way of keeping Tunk’s memory alive, Brian purchased the truck and continued to modify it and compete with it. “He’s the reason I own the truck—and why it’s where it is right now,” he told us.

Competition Rebuild
Although some piston damage in the summer of 2009 sidelined the truck from action, Brian was far from done with it. In time, he would transform it into an indestructible version of its former self. Starting with a competition long-block from Industrial Injection, the balanced rotating assembly consists of the factory 5.9L crank (secured with 14mm main studs and a crankcase girdle), followed by Crower billet-steel connecting rods and 0.020-inch-over Monotherm (one-piece, steel) fly-cut pistons from Mahle. A Diesel Pro camshaft replaced the factory unit, and an Industrial Injection ported and fire-ringed cylinder head equipped with upgraded valvesprings and billet-steel valve bridges was secured via Custom Age 625 ARP head studs.

Triple-Turbo 5.9L Cummins
With big fuel plans on the table, Brian traded in the compounds for a triple-turbo arrangement. Designed and fabricated by Midwest Truck Products, two 63mm Schwitzer S300s act as the atmosphere (or primary) units, while a 66mm S300 bolted to an ATS third-generation Dodge exhaust manifold acts as the secondary charger. The two-stage turbo system sends compressed air through a High Tech Turbo intercooler, and 90 psi of boost enters the engine through a side-entrance intake manifold from ZZ Custom Fabrication.

Injection Equation
An AirDog II system mounted along the framerail kick starts the fuel supply process and feeds two CP3s. The top-mounted CP3 is from Industrial Injection and flows 85 percent more fuel than stock, while the bottom pump is stock and came from an LBZ Duramax. Once the pressurized fuel makes it to the rail, it’s fed to six Exergy Engineering injectors. The injectors were fitted with new nozzles that flow 150 percent more fuel than stock, providing an extra 300 hp.

EFILive Tuned
Once the truck was up and running, it responded by making 870 hp on the dyno using Smarty’s SSR software. Soon after that, Brian sought out Nick Priegnitz of Calibrated Power Solutions, who tuned the truck courtesy of the newly released (for ’06 and ’07 Cummins engines) EFILive. The result was a 60hp bump in power, followed by a few more tunes, culminating in a best of 1,049 hp at the rear wheels. Perhaps even more impressive, the truck makes at least 1,000 hp or more from 3,200 to 4,000 rpm.

Full-Billet-Steel 48RE
Goerend Transmission was entrusted with making sure the automatic transmission could absorb four-digit horsepower and safely distribute it to the wheels. The 48RE is laced with billet input, intermediate, and output shafts, an upgraded constant pressure valvebody, and a triple-disc torque converter. With a relatively tight converter, the lower stall speed helps get the triple chargers lit quickly.

During the last two years, it’s been a project driven by the memory of a fallen friend. Now, Brian is enjoying the finished product, yet just as Tunk would’ve done, he still continues to push the truck to new levels. After reaching his goal of 1,000 rwhp on fuel, his next task is to find better traction at the dragstrip and click off a 10-second pass in the quarter-mile. We think Tunk would be extremely proud to see how far the truck has come, whether it’s playing king of the dyno, showing off on the street, or chasing down tubbed muscle cars at the dragstrip.

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