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  • Wild Dodge Ram 2500 Work Truck: A P-Pumped Cummins That Does It All

Wild Dodge Ram 2500 Work Truck: A P-Pumped Cummins That Does It All

Stealth Upgrades Help Make Anthony Asaro’s 1999 Ram 2500 the Perfect Sleeper

Jason Sands
Jun 8, 2015
Photographers: Jason Sands
Sometimes it's really hard to tell what a stock-appearing diesel pickup’s performance capabilities may be by simply basing your assessment on its exterior appearance. While there are plenty of tuned trucks that really can get out of their own way, stock-appearing rides that actually make respectable steam are few and far between.
When we first saw this white Dodge with fourth-gen Ram wheels on it, we thought Hey, what a nice stock truck. But that’s far from being the case, as the engine, transmission, and even the rear axle of the Ram have all been upgraded by owner Anthony Asaro.
Photo 2/23   |   Although Anthony's Dodge appears stock on the outside, opening the hood reveals a colorful engine bay that is anything but original. Horsepower is a dyno-proven 650 hp, while torque is estimated at 1,200 lb-ft.
The ’99 Dodge was built through the collaborative efforts of Anthony and Drake Swett, owner of Total Performance Diesel, in Santa Rosa, California. Its 5.9L 24-valve Cummins didn't have many miles, so the long-block was left virtually stock, other than securing the head with a set of ARP 625 studs to prevent a blown head gasket and adding 60-pound valvesprings to prevent valve float at higher engine speeds.
Photo 3/23   |   Anthony only wanted to have the head off once, so when the truck received a fresh head gasket, ultra-strength ARP 625 studs were added to ensure coolant and oil don't mix.
While the factory-installed, VP44 fuel-injection pump on ’98½-to-’02 Dodge Rams is a good unit, Anthony and Drake replaced the stock pump with a Bosch P7100 injection pump from an earlier, 180hp 12-valve engine, adapting the more reliable mechanical pump to the later engine with a swap kit from Haisley Machine. During the swap, the pump was also upgraded with a set of 4,000-rpm governor springs and 191 delivery valves and was flowed by North East Diesel. Since the hopped-up P-pump would be flowing a lot more fuel than a VP44, Scheid Diesel’s Lightning II injectors were installed to keep the truck streetable.
One of the main benefits of building a P-pumped 24-valve engine is the increased airflow of the 24-valve head. With the added air, the rest of the engine—from the turbocharger to the intake to the exhaust system—was also optimized. A custom intake was designed using an AFE filter, which feeds a Phatshaft 66mm turbocharger from Industrial Injection. A 4-inch downpipe exits the turbo and continues out the back of the truck. On the intake side, more than 60 psi of air is fed through an ATS Diesel Performance intake horn into the engine.
Photo 4/23   |   To support the type of power that can roast the tires at will, Anthony went with a tough Phatshaft 66mm turbocharger from Industrial Injection. It feeds nearly 60 psi of boost to the 5.9L Cummins engine, and keeps exhaust gas temperatures well in check at 1,400 degrees.
Even though the truck has been turned down to keep it a bit more streetable, 650 hp is on tap to propel the Dodge to warp speeds. With that much power, the rest of the drivetrain has to stand up to the abuse of three times the factory output. Total Performance Diesel built an automatic transmission using Sonnex input and output shafts, a custom valvebody, and a triple-disc torque converter. The truck’s rear end has also been upgraded, with a Dana 80 and 3.54:1 gears replacing the stock Dana 70.
So how fast is this mild-mannered Dodge? Even with a weak 60-foot elapsed time, Anthony's ’99 trips the clocks at 12.43 seconds at 117 mph, which just goes to show the capability of the setup. With the best engine parts of the old and new schools, it should also be a reliable daily driver, racer, and toy hauler for years to come.
Photo 5/23   |   1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Side Shot
Fast Facts
Year/Make/Model: 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Anthony Asaro
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California
Odometer: 163,000 miles
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 with ARP 625 head studs and Industrial Injection 60-pound valvesprings
Fuel: 165-gph AirDog II, Haisley Machine 24-valve conversion kit, Scheid Diesel Lightning II injectors, 180hp Bosch P-pump with Dynomite Diesel Performance 191 delivery valves, and 4,000-rpm governor springs
Air: Industrial Injection Phatshaft 66, Total Performance Diesel downpipe, and ATS Diesel Performance intake horn Exhaust: 4-inch turbo-back exhaust
Transmission: Total Performance Diesel automatic with a custom valvebody, Sonnex billet input and output shafts, Alto clutches, and laminated Total Performance Diesel flexplate
Power: 650 hp
Torque: 1,200 lb-ft
Tires: 285/75R17 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A
Wheels: Stock ’12 Ram aluminum wheels
Suspension: Stock with Firestone air springs
Axles: Stock Dana 60 (front), Dana 80 (rear) with 3.54:1 gears
Fun Fact: Anthony wouldn't let us leave our photo shoot location until he did a smoky burnout!
Photo 6/23   |   1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Front Three Quarter
Photo 13/23   |   Anthony didn't want any huge A-pillar gauges drawing outside attention, so a simple-and-small BD Diesel X-Monitor measures and reports both boost and exhaust gas temperature.
Photo 20/23   |   1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Burnout

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