1991 Dodge Ram 2500 W250 - Best In Show
An 850hp, P-pump’d First-Gen
Rust-free, low miles, intercooled, first-gen, Cummins. These taglines are sure to earn the attention of a diesel enthusiast on the prowl for a clean ’89 to ’93 Dodge Ram. Nearly 10 years ago, Matt Youdbulis was that guy, and the northern Indiana native traveled more than a thousand miles to get his hands on this 1991 Dodge Ram 2500.
Originally the property of a sheriff’s department in the Florida Everglades, the Dodge truck led an easy life, with light tow duties being its only regular workload. In 2008, Matt decided to do everything short of a full frame-off restoration on this classic Dodge pickup -- as well as add obscene amounts of horsepower. “Everybody has a second-gen or common-rail Dodge Ram that’s pushing 800, 900, or 1,000 horses,” he told us. “I wanted to do it with a first-gen.”
Matt teamed up with longtime friends Shea Locsi for the 5.9L Cummins’ assembly and Travis Hershberger for most of the machine work, and the block was fitted with a lightened crank; fly-cut, factory-based pistons; ARP main studs; and a Street/Race camshaft from Hamilton Cams. Diamond Engine and Machine cut fire-rings in the head, and it was fitted with heavy-duty valvesprings and titanium retainers and keepers from Haisley Machine. ARP 2000 head studs hold down the fort and stand up to 100 psi of boost.
Bolting on big horsepower, Matt sourced a 215hp P7100 injection pump and had it worked over and bench-tested by Turbo & Diesel Injection in Indianapolis. Injector selection boiled down to proven, 1,000hp-capable 5x18 units from JL Machine, and then Matt pieced together his own competition-ready fuel supply system. At the heart of the setup lies a Carter-labeled Aeromotive A1000, which sends a constant 80 psi worth of fuel to the P-pump.
A quick-lighting, high-boost, compound-turbo arrangement consists of an S362 over an S475. Each unit’s cast compressor wheel was ditched in favor of a billet-aluminum replacement, and the S362 is wastegated. Before jam-packed, superheated air makes its way into the engine, it passes through a modified Hogan intercooler, a CoolerTubz intake manifold, and a custom-machined grid heater delete.
Because the factory A518 automatic wouldn’t have been able to cope with 850 hp and 1,400 lb-ft of torque, Matt switched to a 47RH -- a platform highly supported in the aftermarket. The billet shaft transmission is shifted via a manual valvebody, with torque converter lockup and Fourth gear being controlled electronically.
We think it’s safe to say Matt’s first-gen is a crowd favorite wherever it goes. For instance, he took top show ’n’ shine honors in the Dodge category at the 2013 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza (where 75 percent of all trucks enrolled are Dodge- or Cummins-powered) and was also awarded First Place in the Young Guns Class at the 2013 Mopar Nationals. “There it was up against a bunch of restored muscle cars, so somebody must’ve like it,” Matt says.
But even though Matt’s first-gen is a rolling work of art, don’t let the fresh paint and all the stainless steel, chrome, and translucent red powdercoating under the hood fool you… This classic Dodge has just as much go as it does show. And, with plans to keep the truck forever, we’re convinced Matt’s severe case of first-gen fever isn’t temporary -- it’s permanent.
|Year/Make/Model:||1991.5 Dodge Ram 2500 W250|
|Engine:||5.9L Cummins I-6|
|Fuel:||JL Machine 5x18 injectors, Turbo & Diesel Injection–built 215hp P-pump, Carter (Aeromotive) A1000 lift pump|
|Air:||BorgWarner S362 over S475 with Stainless Diesel billet-aluminum compressor wheels, modified Hogan intercooler|
|Transmission:||47RH with billet shafts, Red Eagle clutches, Spec-Rite triple-disc torque converter, manual valvebody|
|Horsepower:||850 hp (dyno)|
|Torque:||1,380 lb-ft (dyno)|
|Tires:||285/70R17 Pro Comp Xtreme A/T|
|Wheels:||17x8 Pro Comp|
|Fun Fact:||Matt owns an ultra clean, bone-stock '93 first-gen as well, which he used to tow the 850hp '91.5 to our photo shoot.|