In the age of mega-powered diesels, where horsepower numbers like 600, 700, and 800 are kicked around so often, it’s easy to forget about the little guy on a budget. It seems like 400 and 500hp daily drivers have nearly been forgotten. But we can assure you, 500 hp is still nothing to scoff at—especially if it’s done right. We recently found one such truck, an ’05 Dodge Ram 3500 owned by Justus Poteet, built with both power and versatility in mind. The ’05 Cummins common-rail test mule was tuned courtesy of this old-school, Triple Dog Power Pup downloader from Bully Dog. As many of you know, the Power Pup was discontinued and replaced with the Gauge Tuner (which allows you to tune, monitor powertrain vitals, and run diagnostic checks, instead of just reprogramming the ECM), but it still gets the job done for this truck owner. The ’05 Cummins common-rail test mule was tuned courtesy of this old-school, Triple Dog Po Thanks to a manual transmission, which required a clutch upgrade, Poteet has just $5,500 invested. Recently, we watched his careful parts selection pay off while on the dyno, as the Ram made more than 500 hp and almost 1,000 lb-ft at the rear wheels. If this proves anything, it’s that even with a monthly truck payment and other bills, you can still have a rock-solid, reliable workhorse capable of towing anything you need to, get 19 to 20 mpg on the highway, and be a force to be reckoned with on the street. Sitting in the factory location is an S300-based turbo from Fleece Performance. It features a 64mm compressor wheel inducer, a 71mm turbine wheel exducer, and a 14cm turbine housing (64/71/14). Upgrading from the factory turbo yielded much less smoke on the top end, less overall boost pressure (39 psi vs. 47 psi on the street), and a 150-degree reduction in EGT. The one tradeoff was a slight increase in turbo lag at lower rpm, but with stock injectors and a manual transmission, that’s to be expected. Sitting in the factory location is an S300-based turbo from Fleece Performance. It feature A K&N air intake with an oiled filter element and a CFM Plus intake manifold free up airflow restrictions before and after the factory intercooler. The boost line for an A-pillar-mounted boost gauge taps directly into one of the three tapped ports on the backside of the CFM Plus intake horn. A K&N air intake with an oiled filter element and a CFM Plus intake manifold free up airfl To rule out any fuel supply issues, the most recent bolt on was this 150-gph AirDog system. The constant 16 psi of air-free fuel supply will help keep the stock CP3 and injectors in tip-top shape, as well as increase their lifespan while running a performance tune. To rule out any fuel supply issues, the most recent bolt on was this 150-gph AirDog system Having a manual transmission truck is a blessing in disguise. Although it can be detrimental on the street or at the dragstrip, it’s ideal for putting all your power to the ground. Plus, a good clutch is a lot cheaper than a built 48RE automatic. An aftermarket clutch and manual transmission combo also allows you to run any gear you want while on the dyno. We chose to use Fifth gear for all our runs at Randall’s Performance (starting at 45 mph and ending at 90 mph). Having a manual transmission truck is a blessing in disguise. Although it can be detriment Turbo and AirDog =15hp Gain Previous Dyno Test Stock turbo boost: 47 psi Stock turbo EGT: 1,550 degrees Lift pump: Stock Horsepower: 495 hp (DynoJet dynamometer) *While it may seem minimal, a 15hp gain from a turbocharger is actually quite respectable (especially when the gain is constant across the entire power curve). The fact that the same tuning was used before and after makes it even more impressive. Current Dyno Test 64mm turbo boost: 39 psi 64mm turbo EGT: 1,400 degrees Lift pump: AirDog 150-gph Horsepower: 509 hp (SuperFlow dynamometer) *Not only did the turbo cool down the truck’s EGT by 150 degrees, but it lowered peak boost to less than 40 psi. This will ensure the stock head gasket remains sealed and rules out the need for head studs. SOURCES MBRP Performance Exhaust N/A AK 888-636-7223 www.mbrp.com South Bend Clutch 709 W Jefferson Blvd Mishawaka IN 46545 800-988-4345 www.southbendclutch.com K&N Engineering 1455 Citrus Street Riverside CA 92507 800-858-3333 www.knfilters.com AirDog 1412 Creek Trail Dr Jefferson City MO 65109 573-635-0555 www.pureflowairdog.com Bully Dog 940-783-9914 www.bullydog.com Fleece Performance Engineering 2463N 625W North Salem IN 46165 855-839-5040 www.fleeceperformance.com CFM Plus 1451 Engineer St Suite B Vista CA 92081 760-598-2478 http://www.cfmplus.com/ Randall's Performance and Accessory RR 1 Box 134 Gladstone IL 61437 309-627-2500 www.randallsperf.com By Mike McGlothlin Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!