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2009 Dodge Ram 3500: Work And Play

This 658HP 6.7L Packs a 15.0L Cummins Big Rig Turbo

Mike McGlothlin
Nov 1, 2010
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
Part of a diesel truck's promise is that even after extensive modifications have been performed, its durability won't be sacrificed. Performance doesn't come at the expense of altering drivability, or usability. This was reason enough for Josh Dellinger to turn his '09 Dodge 3500 Mega Cab into an 8,000-pound hot rod and never worry about whether or not he could tow 20,000 pounds every day of the week. As the manager of an equipment sales and rental center, it's often Josh's responsibility to get man lifts, underbridge platforms, industrial-sized air compressors, and other necessities to construction sites-sometimes even in the middle of the night. So you can bet Josh wanted the option of delivering equipment with his personal vehicle when those 3 a.m. phone calls come in.
Photo 2/11   |   1011dp 2009 Dodge Ram 3500 Work And Play front Driver Side Shot
The 6.7L Cummins was first treated to a round of deletions, including the diesel particulate filter, EGR cooler, and the EGR valve. Then the additions began. An air intake, 5-inch exhaust system, and a Smarty were added-which kept Josh happy for a little while. Then, the truck was taken to Fleece Performance Engineering for some serious upgrades.
An AirDog fuel system was bolted to the framerail, a set of Fleece Performance's 120hp injectors replaced the factory units, and ARP head studs were installed for ultimate head and block fastening. And because the stock CP3 was still being utilized, an MP-8 module from TS Performance was thrown into the mix to help maintain rail pressure under wide-open throttle. Then it was time to find the perfect turbo.
The Cummins 15.0L ISX engine found in Class 8 trucks features a Holset HE451 variable-geometry turbo (also with an exhaust brake function) that is quite a bit larger than the HE351 found on the 6.7L. Adding the HE451 turbo to Josh's truck was something new and unique, and straight from the minds of the folks at Fleece Performance. After all, if it can support the 565hp ISX engine's needs with ease, it would be a good fit for a modified 6.7L. Bolted to a second-generation exhaust manifold, it keeps the truck's spool-up time nonexistent, yet provides enough air to keep exhaust gas temperature and drive pressure manageable and led to a smoke-free truck on the street.
Once all the power-adders were bolted on, a dual-disc clutch from Haisley Machine was added to handle all the newfound horsepower. And with a quick trip over to Danville, Indiana, the truck put down 658 hp and 1,438 lb-ft on Danville Performance's dyno. However, as we've seen in the past with other high-powered common-rails, Josh soon destroyed the stock G56 six-speed manual transmission (grenading Fourth gear). Following the advice of his friends at Fleece, Josh immediately located an NV5600 and had it swapped into the truck. After a handful of sled pulls, hard workweeks, and plenty of hot-rodding around town, the NV5600 has been solid.
The simplicity of Josh's truck defies the trend toward twin turbo and twin CP3 setups on street trucks. It's virtually smokeless, runs cool, and makes more than 650 hp at the wheels. One of the best aspects of the truck is the fact that it spools instantly and still utilizes the factory exhaust brake function that makes the 6.7L so attractive to prospective truck owners. Think of it as a 658hp work truck. It can haul the mail, yank the sled, and tow any type of equipment to the job site with ease.

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