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2006 Dodge Ram 3500 - Tow Missile

700HP Triple-Turbo Cummins Built To Tow At 80 MPH

David Kennedy
Jan 1, 2010
Photographers: David Kennedy
In 2008, the Utah Department of Transportation decided to conduct an experiment. It chose to raise the daytime speed limit on selected parts of I-15 to 80 mph. Sound crazy, or maybe a little dangerous? Nope. As it turns out, the Utah DOT's study on raising the speed limit (from 75 mph) concluded there were no additional accidents and that people did not abuse the new speed limit by driving 100 mph as had been feared. Travelers on I-15 just got where they were going a little faster, and the number of speeders decreased by 20 percent. Jared Dearden's '06 Dodge Ram 3500 dualie wasn't built specifically because of the new highway speed limit—but it's certainly got enough power to take advantage of it! Jared bought his Ram off the dealer lot near his home in Herriman, Utah, and took it to Wide Open Performance in Sandy, Utah, almost immediately.
Photo 2/12   |   2006 Dodge Ram 3500 right Front Angle
Stage One Modifications
As Cummins owners know, the 5.9L mill is an impressive powerplant for towing, but it can always be improved upon. Jared had Zane Koch and Jarred "Moose" Mattingly take the truck and fit it with a Bully Dog programmer, an Industrial Injection Stage II CP3 pump, a Phat Shaft 66 turbo, ARP head studs, 90hp Dynomite Diesel Performance (DDP) injectors, and a FASS 150-gph performance lift pump. The results were impressive, but the EGT could reach the danger zone when towing out of Salt Lake City. The extra mass of the 22.5-inch semitruck tires and wheels probably didn't help matters, nor did the 4-inch Tuff Country suspension lift, but Jared wasn't about to build his truck to go slower.
Three is Better Than Two
So he went back to Zane at Wide Open to see what his options were. For more than a year, Jared and Zane talked about putting three turbos on the Ram. But there were a lot of details to work out before Zane would tear into Jared's truck. Working with turbo guru Pius Eberle of Bell Turbo in Corvallis, Oregon, Zane developed a set of triplets that would be suitable for use on a tow truck, yet still deliver enough air for a race truck. Getting the turbos sized and optimized for the system was the first hurdle, and getting them to package on the passenger side of the engine compartment was another challenge altogether.
Photo 3/12   |   2006 Dodge Ram 3500 left Rear Angle
By looking at the finished kit—that's right, we said kit—Wide Open Performance plans to offer triple turbos to the public. You can tell how many hours of development time went into this system. The two low-pressure turbos draw in air and compress it into a common plenum that feeds the second high-pressure turbo. The high-pressure turbo then routes the intake air forward into the stock aluminum intercooler, which cools the intake charge on its way to the S&B elbow feeding the cylinder head. The exhaust circuit is a little more complex. Wide Open used a three-piece exhaust manifold for a 24-valve engine on the common-rail in order to move the turbos farther forward. The high-pressure turbo is mounted to the exhaust manifold and is wastegated to divert drive pressure around the turbo and into a second exhaust manifold that feeds the two low-pressure turbos. The second exhaust manifold is wastegated as well, to dump drive pressure into the atmosphere.
How Does It all Work?
Each low-pressure turbo moves more than 1,000 CFM of air, yet spools up quick. Zane reports that the turbos are on the bottom of the their map—even at 60 psi. When we went for a drive with Jared, the truck ripped. The Haisley Machine dual-disc clutch coped with the torque just fine, but the G56 didn't shift as quickly as Jared would have liked. It sounded to us like the six-speed's days may be numbered, as Jared is considering a BTS-built Ford 4R100 four-speed automatic. The truck was pretty quiet, and there was very little smoke until Jared loaded the engine down under partial-throttle. On the EGT front, Jared reports it's virtually impossible for the exhaust gas temperature to see more than 1,400 degrees—even when pulling a grade with a fully loaded trailer on I-15 at 80 mph. It sounds to us like Utah might need to add some more 80-mph zones to its Interstate so Jared can find out what his Dodge is really capable of.


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