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 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 feature
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
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.
MBRP Performance Exhaust
South Bend Clutch
709 W Jefferson Blvd
1455 Citrus Street
1412 Creek Trail Dr
Fleece Performance Engineering
1451 Engineer St Suite B
Randall's Performance and Accessory
RR 1 Box 134