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2006 Dodge Ram 2500 - Special Agent

Part 5.9L, Part 6.7L, All Awesome

Jun 28, 2013
Our story starts like so many others. When Johnnie Lupton was a child growing up in Southern California, his father owned an early ’90s Ford F-250 with the 7.3L diesel engine. It was a great truck: tough, dependable, and could tow anything. Fast-forwarding to 2002, Johnnie’s father purchased another diesel truck, this time an ’03 model year Dodge Ram 2500 with a Cummins engine. Being old enough now, Johnnie would drive this truck from time to time and eventually borrowed it for an extended period when he found himself temporarily out a set of wheels. It was driving this truck that solidified the want of a diesel of his own. In 2010, Johnnie picked up his ’06 Ram 2500 and never looked back.
Photo 2/20   |   2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Special Agent Driver Side Front Three Quarter
The Quest For Power
The power bug had bitten Johnnie when he was little. His first truck was a four-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma, which he then supercharged. So it was no surprise that immediately after purchasing the Ram he started throwing parts on it. First to go was the transmission, before the power level was even increased. With big power plans in mind, Johnnie had the transmission rebuilt with all the billet parts he could find, a Delaine triple-disc torque converter, North American Powertrain Components heavy-duty overdrive housing, Alto clutches, and a Hughes Performance deep pan.
"Soon I realized that I wanted to build my truck to be purposeful, fast, and functional. I started by frying my stock transmission. — Johnnie Lupton"
With the new transmission in, Johnnie added a Smarty TNT programmer to the mix and installed an array of DiPricol gauges to monitor the truck’s transmission temperature, EGT, boost pressure, fuel pressure, and fuel rail pressure. From there, Johnnie added a 66mm Silver Bullet turbocharger and 100-percent-over-stock injectors from Industrial Injection. The head was sent off to Scheid Diesel to be ported and fire-ringed and was re-installed with a set of ARP 2000 head studs, an ATS two-piece exhaust manifold, and a Wilson Manifolds Thrasher intake manifold. This combination worked great for a long time, until finally an unrelated issue with the stock bottom end had Johnnie thinking seriously about doing a full 6.7L swap.
Photo 3/20   |   Professional driver, private property, please attempt.
5.9L Meets 6.7L
With so much work already done to the top end of the engine, a full 6.7L swap sounded cool but just didn’t make practical sense. While reading through an issue of Diesel Power magazine, Johnnie stumbled on an article about Purdue University’s diesel club’s dyno day, during which Korie Nealis brought out his ’06 Ram 2500 with a 6.7L bottom end mated to a 5.9L head and cranked out an impressive 1,029 hp. This sealed the deal, and Johnnie began the work to install the new 6.7L bottom end, while keeping his modified 5.9L top end in tact.
Photo 7/20   |   Making big power requires a lot of fuel. Johnnie went with the proven performance of PPE’s Dual Fueler kit paired with the factory 6.7L (lower) and 15-percent-over (upper) Bosch CP3 injection pumps. A dual feed line from Industrial Injection routes the high-pressure fuel from the pumps to the rail.
Johnnie acquired a 6.7L short-block from Joe Salas at NTG Racing and outfitted it with myriad performance parts before slapping his existing 5.9L head on and dropping it into the truck. Among the parts were a Hamilton Cams 188-200 camshaft, 110-pound Hamilton Cams valvesprings, and Haisley Machine heavy-duty pushrods. Future plans include new connecting rods and pistons, but for now the engine runs great, is super reliable, and puts down great power.
Fast Facts
Year/Make/Model: 2006 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Johnnie Lupton
Hometown: San Diego, California
Odometer: 96,732 miles
Engine: 6.7L/5.9L hybrid Cummins I-6
Aspiration: Industrial Injection 66mm Silver Bullet
Fueling: AirDog II, PPE Dual Fueler with 15-percent-over upper CP3, Industrial Injection dual feed line, and 100-percent-over injectors
Horsepower: 641 hp
Torque: 1,056 lb-ft
Transmission: 48RE automatic
Tires: 35/12.50R17 Toyo Open Country AT2
Wheels: 17x9-inch Weld beadlock
Suspension: Thuren Fabrication short-arm kit
Shocks: King 2.5-inch race shocks
Fun Fact: Johnnie purchased the truck with an 8-inch lift, 22-inch wheels, and 37-inch tires.
More Power
The quest for power is never ending and all consuming. At the time this article was written, Johnnie’s truck had been on the dyno one time and put down an impressive 641 hp and 1,056 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t good enough for Johnnie, who is confident that with a little custom tuning the truck will lay down more than 700 hp to the wheels, and we would agree. Looking ahead to his future plans, combined with the current setup, we feel with the addition of a larger turbo or two this engine could easily crack the 900hp mark on fuel alone.
Photo 20/20   |   2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Special Agent On Dyno