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2005 Dodge Ram 3500 - Overfueled

1,150HP Cummins Built For Sled Pulling

Jason Sands
Mar 1, 2009
Photographers: Jason Sands
Photo 2/15   |   2005 Dodge Ram 3500 left Side Angle
Sled pullers are a fanatical bunch, and Joe Occhipinti is no exception. With only 21,000 miles on the clock, Joe made the decision to completely disassemble his '05 Dodge Ram 3500, and turn it into a dedicated pulling truck. What you see here is the result of lots of welding, fabricating, and hard work. And in only a few months, Joe turned his stock Dodge into a competitive 3.0-inch inducer class puller.
When Joe first bought his Dodge, he started with basic upgrades such as a programmer and injectors. Then he added a turbo, then, well, he got a little carried away. When the transformation into a serious sled puller began, the first big change was the engine. The electronically controlled motor was ditched, and a 5.9L 12-valve Cummins was dropped in its place.
The engine was built by Mass Diesel, and has made a whopping 1,149 horsepower on an engine dyno. So perk up your ears, because we're going to tell you all about it. From the oil pan up, the engine features a balanced and blueprinted bottom end, and a stock 12-valve crank swings a set of shot-peened rods. Arias racing pistons were used, and give the engine an incredibly low 11.5:1 compression ratio. For durability purposes, the engine received 14mm head and main studs from Haisley Machine. A Scheid billet cam was used, and the head was ported and polished by A&M Machine, then assembled with parts from Haisley.
With a strong foundation to support plenty of power, and a cylinder head and cam that promote airflow, it was now up to the turbocharger and the injection system to provide the air and fuel. And boy, do they ever. A Nippondenso 13mm injection pump with a 7,000rpm governor provides the fuel, while a turbocharger from Haisley Machine forces air into the hopped-up Cummins. While we found out the pump was set to 1,000 cc of fuel, we couldn't get any specs on the turbo other than it moves enough air to produce a whopping 92 psi of boost.
Photo 9/15   |   2005 Dodge Ram 3500 left Front Angle
That kind of power is useless in sled pulling if you can't get it to the ground, so the chassis, suspension, and front and rear axles were either reinforced, or replaced. The chassis was modified with a ladder-frame section toward the rear, which makes the truck far more rigid than stock. Next on the chopping block was the factory transmission, which was replaced by a Pro Fab reverser, a Haisley four-disc clutch, and a Lakewood transfer case. The front axle has upgraded axleshafts and an ARB locker, while the rearend was ditched completely in favor of a 2 1/2-ton Rockwell rearend. Both front and rear axles house 4.88 gears.
While the truck still looks a little like a stock Dodge (if you squint) it sure doesn't pull like one. At the 2008 4x4 Jamboree in Indianapolis, Indiana, (which was an invitation-only pulling event) Joe's Overfueled Dodge finished Second Place in a very strong field, and was only 10 inches shy of winning the whole thing. While many people may be shocked that Joe turned such a low-mileage ride into a sled puller, you can't argue with success. DP


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