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  • Sand And Smoke - Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke Invade Idaho

Sand And Smoke - Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke Invade Idaho

Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke Invade Idaho

Stephen Clark
Mar 16, 2007
Photographers: Stephen Clark
Photo 2/19
Recently, Premier Performance (www.premierperformanceinc.com) rounded up 16 trucks for a day of fun in Rexburg, Idaho. The majority of these 16 trucks are owned by employees and customers of Premier who use their pickups as daily drivers.
Dune Blasters
The madness began when the trucks arrived at the St. Anthony sand dunes. This 10,000-acre mass of beautiful sand is located a few miles from the town of St. Anthony in southeast Idaho and is open for recreational use. Although it's uncommon to see fullsize trucks blasting through the sand, it's legal. The only stipulations are that a safety flag must be used and vehicles must stay within designated routes or on the open sand. It's amazing how well a moderately modified diesel truck will get around on the sand. According to local Troy Sakota, it's best to run smaller wheels with larger tires so that they can be aired down to improve traction. In early December the sand is relatively hard because of the fall rains and low temperatures, so it was easier for these hefty trucks to stay afloat.
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All 16 diesels were positioned for a photo shoot, and after it was over the testosterone began to flow-along with the black smoke. Kirk Abegglen and his '03 Dodge made the highest mark while climbing one of the larger dunes. Damien Reese was able to climb fairly well (considering he was limited by running less aggressive all-terrain tires), but having more than 900 hp available under his right foot definitely helped. Aeros Mackay from Titan Tanks is renowned in the area for being the most daring duner in a pickup, but he had the misfortune of blowing up a transmission in his Power Stroke on the sand earlier in the day. He didn't want to miss out on the excitement, so he rode with Sakota in his '03 Duramax.
Sakota was testing a PPE Hot+2 ET Xcelerator downloader stacked with and Edge Juice module and had been climbing the dunes all morning, handling the sand well. Sakota disappeared from sight for a few minutes and later appeared in the distance with his truck pointed horizontally across the top of a large dune and at an angle pointing roughly 30 degrees downhill. From where we were standing, the onlookers could only see three white rectangles from the hood, roof, and bed. It looked as if we were looking down on the truck from above. "All I could see was sand out of my window and blue sky everywhere else. Not a good feeling," Sakota said.
As Sakota traversed the dune, he hit a patch of soft sand that stuck the truck. He admitted, "I was sure the truck was going to roll." Fortunately for Sakota, the large number of spectators helped him get the truck out. Reese brought his Dodge to the top of the dune and hooked a tow rope onto Sakota's Chevy to keep it from rolling. Sakota put his truck into two-wheel drive to slide the back end around to face downhill. This process took quite a while because the sand had to be dug out from under the truck. After about an hour of digging and pushing, Sakota was unstuck and backed the truck down the dune. He was lucky to get away with nothing more than a broken sway-bar link.
Burnouts On the Down Low
In the afternoon, a few trucks went out to some quiet country roads to do a few drags and burnouts. Premier's marketing manager has some connections and arranged for some help to block off a rarely traveled back road. The trucks were not allowed to exceed the 55-mph speed limit, so they were limited to burnouts and short launches off the line, but no racing. Abegglen did some huge burnouts in his Dodge and said, "I just got my tires rotated yesterday" while looking sadly at his almost bald 35-inch Copper STT tires. At more than $300 per tire, the burnouts can get pretty expensive. Of all the trucks out at this "down low" event, Reese's Dodge was definitely the quickest. Damien's '01 Dodge has an B1 turbo, 225hp injectors, Snow Performance water methanol, a dual stage TS Performance nitrous kit, and many other modifications.
Premier Performance's day of horsepower-filled madness was not an official event, it was just a bunch of guys who support the industry getting together to do what they love: having fun with extremely powerful diesel trucks!
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Breaking 900
A few of the participants from Premier's event traveled down to Bully Dog Technologies in Aberdeen, Idaho, to test the power and torque on their chassis dyno. With two different trucks breaking the 900hp mark, the numbers were very impressive. James Brendle from Custom Auto put down a strong 966hp in his '05 LLY Duramax. This lowered beast's engine has been built to the max with upgraded pistons, cam, rods, dual ATS CP3 fuel pumps, three-stage nitrous system, and custom electronic tuning via EFI live.
Damien Reese recently cracked the water jacket on his engine block and is in the process of building a replacement motor for his '01 Dodge. He was not concerned about damaging the engine, so he removed the nitrous jets and sprayed as much nitrous as possible. A healthy dose of fuel from a Hot Rod VP44 fuel pump and 225hp injectors matched with plenty of nitrous were enough to spin the rollers to 924 hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque. Reese was pretty certain something would break, but the trusty Cummins handled all he could throw at it and he even drove it home.
Johnny Ramirez from Treasure Valley Diesel showed up with his lifted '06 Dodge mega cab featuring a Hitech 66 LP Turbo, Bully Dog Triple Dog downloader and Torque Dog, FASS Fuel System, Dynomite Diesel Perfomance Injectors, and nitrous kit. This combination was good enough to make 761 hp and 1,528 lb-ft of torque.

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