1993 Dodge W250 - Flawless First-Gen
A Twin-Turbo'd, VE-Pumped, Old-School Attention-Getter
It's official. Josh Ayers' '93 Dodge W250 is the cleanest first-gen we've ever seen. It was a long road to get the truck to this level, especially since Josh was a high schooler on a shoestring budget when he built it. Once a rusty work truck, his W250 was originally used to haul hay around the family farm. When Josh's father handed him the keys, they came with a simple set of rules: "You can do whatever you want to the truck—as long as you don't spend any money."
Growing up on a farm (where he tinkered with a collection of John Deere tractors) familiarized Josh with how to work on diesels, so taking on the 5.9L Cummins project was a no-brainer. Throughout high school, Josh invested quite a bit of time, money he'd saved, and effort in his first-gen—but the true payoff was doing most of the work himself and learning along the way.
Aside from a Helix 2 camshaft swap, the short-block is completely stock with 181,000 miles. A set of 60-pound valvesprings was added to match the cam, and 12mm head studs from ARP keep the head secured to the block. Although a P-pump swap would have been in order for some, Josh loves a challenge—which is why he stuck with the rotary VE injection pump from Bosch for his fueling needs. His inspiration was simple: "The quest was to get more power out of the tiny VE, and the fact that most people say big power can't be had with it."
Josh's VE pump is anything but stock. It uses a 14mm pump head calibrated by Scheid Diesel, which flows some serious fuel to a set of 6x16 Scheid injectors. An Aeromotive fuel pump gets fuel up to the monster VE, and a regulated fuel system keeps fuel delivery as consistent and efficient as possible.
Bringing air into the equation was a vital part of Josh's buildup. You see, unlike P-pumped engines where power can be made at very high rpm, the VE pumps deliver more fuel at low speeds and are spent by 2,700 to 2,800 rpm. Knowing that the VE injection pump would only provide a brief power window, Josh wanted as much air as possible—and needed it delivered precisely within a 200-to-300-rpm range. After trying out several different combinations, he settled on his current twin-turbo setup: a massive HT4B low-pressure unit being spun by an S300 high-pressure unit behind it.
On the street, Josh says the truck spools incredibly well and can build 74 pounds of boost in a heartbeat. On the dyno, the old Dodge made 516 hp and 959 lb-ft, a number he says could be higher with a little more tuning, and getting the chargers completely lit.
Unfortunately, for '89-to-'93 Dodge owners, addressing rusting body panels, doors, and the undercarriage is a mainstay, and Josh's first-gen had its fair share of Fe2O3 gremlins. But with the help of local auto body gurus Chad Unger and Shane Gumbert, the worst spots on the driver-side front fender, rear fenderwell, and bedside were fixed. Then the truck was repainted using the factory red from Dodge, and a unique metallic silver to enhance its two-tone paint scheme.
At just 19 years of age, Josh has made making big power with a VE-pumped, 12-valve Cummins look easy, but he’s not done yet. An air-to-water intercooler will be added this winter to help the compound setup spool even quicker, and if all goes well, you may even see his truck hooked to the sled. "If I get more than 600 hp with the twins, I'll pull them, have an S400 built, and give the VE a go in the 2.6 Class," he told us.
Today, you'd be lucky to bump into a first-gen Dodge as flawless as Josh's, and even if you did, it probably wouldn't be making more than 500 hp—with a VE injection pump. It's the perfect example of a classic diesel: old-school technology that works, and attention-getting looks.