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2009 Dodge Ram 2500 - Keep It Simple

This truck’s 6.7L Cummins makes serious power with a small turbo and one lone CP3

Jason Sands
Feb 23, 2015
Photographers: Jason Sands
We’re sure many of you have heard the phrase “technology marches on.” We agree with this thought—for the most part. However, in the diesel culture, many people are hesitant to embrace technology and modify newer trucks, thanks to their ever-increasing complexity, as well as (in some cases) parts that are weaker than their predecessors.
But none of this deterred Matt Campbell when he started building his ’09 Dodge Ram 2500 for maximum power. Matt used a surprisingly simple combination to make more power than a truck like his “should make.” When he tells people the Ram’s 6.7L Cummins engine has made 697 hp and broke the 2:1 torque ratio with 1,434 lb-ft, they expect to hear it’s loaded with a horde of add-on aftermarket parts. But that’s simply not the case.
Photo 2/19   |   Matt’s beast has been on numerous dynos and always comes away with horsepower numbers of 650 or more. Onlookers are usually surprised at how clean the Cummins operates—especially when that type of power is taken into account.
For starters, the ’09 has the advantage of being factory-equipped with the newer, larger-displacement 6.7L engine, which is a torque monster compared to the 5.9L engines in previous-year Rams. Matt also bypassed the weak 68RFE automatic transmission by purchasing a rig with the much stronger G56 manual gearbox.
After going through a couple of dual-disc clutches that didn’t hold up thanks to more than 1,400 lb-ft of torque, Matt finally tried a Valair Street Triple, and the three-disc clutch has been bulletproof so far.
Matt wanted to see how far he could push the Cummins, using just a single CP3 injection pump and one turbocharger. He figured that even with those limitations, the engine should still make plenty of power. Boy, was he right.
Photo 3/19   |   2009 Dodge Ram 2500 Side View
Before making the air and fuel modifications, Matt upgraded the 6.7L with a set of Hamilton Cams 110-pound valvesprings (for high-rpm shifts without valve float). He also installed a set of H11 head studs to help prevent a blown head gasket. Tyler Sewell at Tyler Sewell Innovations also ported the head while it was off for a bit more flow.
The first performance upgrade the Dodge received was an H&S Mini Maxx PCM calibration, which was soon followed by a 165-gph AirDog II lift pump, a shimmed fuel rail with a PPE rail plug, and 100hp injectors from Industrial Injection. Since the stock turbo was incompatible with bigger injectors, a Stainless Diesel second-generation swap kit was installed. The system adapts a BorgWarner S300/S400–style turbo to the third-generation (Ram/Cummins) platform. In addition to the swap hardware, Matt added a T4-flanged Steed Speed exhaust manifold that was mated to a Bullseye Performance forged- milled wheel, 67.7mm BorgWarner S400. The custom turbo features an 83mm turbine wheel along with a 0.90 A/R housing. Although the intercooler is stock, airflow improvements continue as the air enters the engine with an intake horn from Pusher Intakes.
Photo 4/19   |   Matt Campbell’s ’09 Dodge has come tantalizingly close to the 700hp mark with only a few select performance modifications. The truck’s 6.7L Cummins is also a torque monster, putting down 1,434 lb-ft—which is very important for staying in the powerband after manual gear changes.
In addition to the drivetrain upgrades, the Dodge’s exterior was modified as well. The rear spacer blocks were removed as an inexpensive way to level the truck, and homemade traction bars were fabricated by TSI. The stock wheels and tires were also replaced with 20x12 Moto Metals and 33x12.50R20 Atturo Trail Blade M/Ts.
While Matt’s truck is a reliable daily driver and tows 18,000 to 20,000 pounds worth of industrial equipment on a regular basis, you might think its manual transmission prevents it from being very quick from a roll or at the dragstrip. As a matter of fact, Matt can shift with the best of them and has an 8.34-second eighth-mile timeslip (at 85.73 mph) to prove he can indeed keep up with the automatics.
As much fun as the Dodge is now, Matt has plans to make even more power by installing a dual fueler kit and trying some custom tunes. He’s also worried about the aluminum G56 and plans to install a torque brace to help prevent the transmission’s case from flexing. As his project marches on, one thing we can be sure about is that Matt will continue to push the envelope with his ’09’s 6.7L Cummins and prove that sometimes simple modifications can yield impressive results.
Photo 5/19   |   The interior of Matt’s Dodge is pretty much stock, but that’s going to change, as fuel-rail pressure, boost, and other gauges will be added after he installs dual fuelers.
Fast Facts:
Year/Make/Model: ’09 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Matt Campbell
Hometown: Jonesborough, Tennessee
Odometer: 72,656 miles
Engine: 6.7L Cummins, H11 head studs, Hamilton Cams 110-pound valvesprings, head ported by TSI
Fuel: AirDog II 165-gph lift pump, PPE rail plug, 100hp Industrial Injection nozzles
Air: Stainless Diesel second-generation swap kit featuring Bullseye Power’s 67.7mm S400 turbocharger (with a forged-milled compressor wheel), Steed Speed exhaust manifold and Pusher intake
Transmission: Factory G56 with Valair Street Triple three-disc clutch
Horsepower: 697 hp
Torque: 1,434 lb-ft
Tires: 33x12.50R20 Aturro Trail Blade M/T
Wheels: 20x12 Moto Metal 962
Suspension:Rear block removed, Tyler Sewell Innovations traction bars
Axles: 3.73 gears with factory limited-slip differential
Fun Fact: Matt insists that having a clutch is just more fun than an automatic—especially for Fourth gear rolling burnouts!
Photo 6/19   |   Matt’s rig bucks the current trend of high-performance automatics by being equipped with a G56 manual transmission and a Valair Street Triple three-disc clutch.
Photo 19/19   |   Since the Ram sees its fair share of dirt and gravel roads with trailers, tires are a rather aggressive 33x12.50R20 “Blade M/T” by Atturo. Matt reports that the Trail Blades are actually fairly quiet going down the road as well.

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