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800hp 2004 Dodge Ram On A Mission

Chasing 10s with one turbo and a single CP3 pump

Mike McGlothlin
Feb 1, 2011
Photographers: David Kennedy
A lot of folks will tell you diesel drag racing is a southern thing. After all, events like the TS Performance Outlaw Race, the Pro Diesel Challenge, and the Redneck Nationals are some of the premier events in diesel motorsports. Add in the fact that a majority of Pro Street's heavy hitters (as well as plenty of bracket and index racers) come from down in Dixie, and you could build a strong case for your argument.
Photo 2/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission front Driver Side Shot
Ashley Black, the owner of Black's Diesel Performance in Adairsville, Georgia, represents the kind of uncompromising competitiveness southern drag racers are known for. Formerly involved in the big-block gas-racing world, Ashley turned his attention toward racing diesels a decade ago. His reasoning was simple: The diesels he modified could withstand constant punishment. "I always pulled trailers and had diesels," he says. "But when I started messing with my truck, it held together and seemed to be a little tougher than the gas stuff, and it went on from there."
Rock-Solid Foundation
Several years later, an 800hp, daily driven, common-rail Dodge sat in his driveway. Ashley purchased the truck with 260,000 miles on the odometer and immediately began turning this '04 Ram into the 11-second rig it is today.
Photo 3/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission passenger Side Shot
The transformation began with a set of forged 12-valve connecting rods (utilizing H1 rod bolts) attached to fly-cut 15:1-compression-ratio pistons inside the common-rail's block. The '04 cylinder head recieved Hamilton Cams valvesprings, lifters, and billet pushrods to work with the Hamilton camshaft installed in the engine. A QSB marine head gasket (thicker than stock) was installed to lower the engine's compression slightly in order to reduce cylinder pressures. Exotic Custom Age 625 PLUS alloy head studs from ARP keep the head gasket sealed and the head fastened to the block.
The Fueling Equation
Part of the reasoning behind the marine head gasket and studs was the injectors the engine uses. Six injectors from F1 Diesel, utilizing its Flux 4.5 nozzles, provide a large amount of flow and lightning-quick injection rates. These injectors have stainless steel bodies, which are said to be much more resistant to cracking at higher pressures. A single CP3 from Industrial Injection feeds the thirsty injectors. The Double Dragon injection pump flows 120 percent more fuel than a stock unit and is the largest volume CP3 Industrial Injection offers. Lift pump duties were left up to a 220-gph FASS Titanium Series fuel system.
Photo 4/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission interior Cabin
4,000-RPM Tuning
The universal tuning tool for the common-rail Cummins is the Smarty programmer from MADS Electronics. Its CaTCHER software provides improved throttle response, quicker spool-up, injection timing tweaks, and torque management. Because Ashley's 5.9L was built to handle higher engine speeds, he uses Smarty's TNT-R software, which allows the engine to fuel to 4,000 rpm without cutback. A Dr. Performance pressure box was also added to keep rail pressure consistent.
Plenty Of Oxygen
To match all the fueling, Ashley runs a single, S400-based BorgWarner turbocharger. This particular turbo, commonly known as an S475, came from the experts at Bullseye Power. A large, 75mm-inducer compressor wheel forces air into a custom intercooler. Compressed air enters the modified cylinder head via a side-mount billet intake manifold from B&B Tooling. A second-generation Dodge exhaust manifold (bolted to a T-4 turbine housing inlet flange) sends the engine's spent exhaust gases into the turbine side of the S475, and ultimately out the stack in the bed.
Photo 5/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission engine Bay
Although Ashley makes fuel-only passes at the dragstrip, a Nitrous Express system is always on tap. The NX system uses a progressive controller that references engine boost to trigger the nitrous. Two 0.125-inch nitrous jets sit in the intake tract.
Race Ready
The job of getting power to the wheels was left up to Goerend Transmission, which sent Ashley a race-ready, full-billet 48RE, which included every upgraded internal component in Goerend's parts bin. From there, Ashley turned his attention to the interior, installing an eight-point rollbar good for 10-second e.t.'s. Custom front racing seats with five-point harnesses were added. Driveshaft loops were also installed to keep bystanders and spectators safe in the event of a U-joint or driveshaft failure. A set of NT420S Nitto tires (mounted on 20-inch XD Monster wheels) gives the truck both streetability and plenty of grip at the dragstrip. The truck's race weight comes in at less than 7,100 pounds-not bad for a four-door 3/4-ton with four-wheel drive.
Photo 6/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission xd Monster Wheels And Nitto Tires
Too Fast For Its Class
One of the hardest things to do in drag racing is slow down. In fact, it seems almost counterintuitive. However, because Ashley's truck runs consistent, low 11-second quarter-mile times, it falls in the middle ground a lot of racers find themselves in: It's not quite ready to compete in Pro Street, but it's too fast for the 12.0 Index Class.
Ashley's decided to stay in the 12.0 Class for now and fight breaking out of his bracket with every pass. So far, detuning the truck hasn't helped. "The slowest it would run this year was 11.39-and that's with the Smarty on Level 1," he told us. "I've tried everything in the world to slow it down-but it's still too fast."
The Benefits Of Having 800 HP
After putting down 791 hp on the dyno, followed by 893 hp on nitrous, we could easily see the truck hitting the 10s with the right traction. The truck's fuel-only numbers have pushed it through the quarter-mile as quick as 11.18 seconds at 121 mph, and it took Third Place in Pro Street at last year's Redneck Nationals. The icing on the cake for this daily driver is that it's very driveable on the street, and Ashley reports it gets more than 20 mpg on the highway.
Photo 7/10   |   1102dp 800hp Dodge On A Mission front Three Quarter
It may surprise you to learn that Ashley recently sold the truck to pursue another diesel project. Rest assured, however, that while the truck may have switched hands, the goal remains the same. Ashley is hell-bent on seeing the truck run 10s, and by selling it to a local dieselhead, he'll be able to help its new owner see to it that the truck accomplishes this feat. You may even be looking at the next Pro Street Dodge common-rail.

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