Updated - 9 Torture Proof Builds Of Diesel Power Challenge

Meet The Field of Diesel Power Challenge 2013

The Diesel Power Staff
Jul 16, 2013
Photo 2/81   |   Chevy Silverado Towing Trailer On Dragstrip
Diesel Power Challenge 2013 marks the ninth time we’ve run the event and just the second time we’ve had our readers vote in the field of competitors. To find out more about the trucks you voted in, keep reading.
Diesel Power Challenge is the ultimate diesel event that pits 10 reader-selected trucks against one anOther in seven scored categories: dyno, trailer tow obstacle course, eighth-mile trailer tow acceleration run, heads-up drag racing, driving loop, fuel economy, and finally the sled pull. Whoever holds the most points at the end of the event wins.
Photo 3/81   |   Ford Super Duty Towing Trailer
Returning to Denver, Colorado, for 2013 was last year’s winner, Erik Clausen, ready to defend his championship title. Our competitors battled weather, breakage, and each Other in an all-out clash, resulting in one of the most exciting Diesel Power Challenge events to date.
We’ll be bringing you complete event coverage in next month’s October 2013 issue, which goes on sale 8/27/13. But for now, get to know each of our nine trucks—and what happened to the one that didn’t make it—in the following pages.
Erik Clausen
2008 Ford F-250, 6.4L Power Stroke
With the level of competition present at last year’s Diesel Power Challenge (and the fact that a Power Stroke-powered Ford had never taken home the crown), no one expected Erik Clausen’s ’08 F-250 to come out of nowhere and take the win. Yet that’s exactly what it did. Actually showing up as an alternate Ford candidate, Erik took the place of anOther 6.4L Power Stroke that had suffered a catastrophic engine failure prior to the Challenge. Things are definitely different now, though. This year, Erik is no alternate—he’s the man to beat!
Photo 7/81   |   2008 Ford F 250
"This year, Erik is no alternate — he’s the man to beat!"
Going Bigger
Building on last year’s rock-solid-reliable setup, Erik had the experts at Elite Diesel Engineering build him a complete 6.4L engine with all the latest and greatest aftermarket parts available for the International V-8. Parts like Carrillo forged connecting rods and coated rod bearings, Elite’s 0.040-inch overbore coated and valve-relieved MaxxForce 7 pistons, Stage 1+ camshaft, ceramic-coated (and ported) heads, and cryogenically treated internals should give you a taste of what Erik’s 6.4L brings to the table.
Photo 8/81   |   2008 Ford F 250 Turbo
Stepping up the fuel system, the Super Duty now sports dual K16 high-pressure fuel pumps and 150hp nozzles (vs. a single Dragon Flow pump and 110hp nozzles last year). Since these injection system upgrades can support more than 1,000 hp, a massive, 98mm-inducer turbo was thrown in front of the High Power compounds. The new, three-stage turbo setup relies on a 62mm variable-geometry unit to get things started, a 76mm ceramic ball bearing charger taking care of the midrange, and the 98mm monstrosity hitting hard up top. Erik’s strategy is to compete solely on fuel, with a two-stage nitrous system on tap if a bigger number is needed while on the dyno.
Photo 9/81   |   2008 Ford F 250 Power Stroke Diesel
With this kind of engine work, Erik will no longer be considered a long shot or an underdog. In fact, he’ll probably have a bull’s-eye on his back throughout the event, which he’s perfectly fine with. “I am putting the pressure on myself this year,” he says. “Since everything went so smooth last year, I want to show that I didn’t luck into the win, and that I’m deserving of the DPC crown.”
Photo 10/81   |   Fuel Pump
Better Than Last Year
One thing’s for sure: This time, no one will underestimate Erik and what his ’08 Super Duty is capable of. Look for the big, blue Ford to place at or near the top of the chassis dyno, improve on its 11-second eighth-mile trailer tow and quarter-mile drag race times, and yank the sled even further down the pulling track. Also, watch for Erik’s superior driver skills to once again surface in the trailer obstacle course. Completely prepared to defend his title, Erik had this to say about Diesel Power Challenge 2013: “The year following the DPC has been pretty eye opening. I didn’t realize how big the win was for Ford fans. This alone drives me to repeat, and I will do all I can to get it done again.”
Photo 11/81   |   2008 Ford F 250 Drivers Area
Build Sheet
Name/City: Erik Clausen, Cantua Creek, California
Vehicle: 2008 F-250 Super Duty
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke V-8 built with Carrillo rods, Elite Diesel Stage 1+ cam, cryo’d internals
Turbos: Elite Diesel triple turbos, 98mm atmospheric feeding Elite Diesel’s High Power compounds (98/76/62), No Limit Fabrication intercooler
Electronics: SCT via Gearhead Automotive Performance
Injection System: Elite Diesel lift pump, dual K16 pumps, 150hp nozzles
Injectables: Nitrous Express two-stage system
Intake/Exhaust System: Custom intake, Flo-Pro 5-inch exhaust
Transmission: Elite Diesel Stage 5 with Sun Coast torque converter
Suspension: Four-link coilover front and rear, 8 inches of lift
Tires: 37x13.50R22 Nitto Trail Grappler
Wheels: 22x12 American Force
gearing: 4.30 gears
Other: Free-spin front hub conversion, 300M rear axleshafts, 1480 U-joints
David Heafner
1999 Ford F-250, 7.3L Power Stroke
The die-hard nature of diesel enthusiasts never ceases to amaze us… Just four days before Diesel Power Challenge 2013 was set to kick off in Denver, David Heafner was knee deep in an engine build more than 1,800 miles away. What was the reason for the last-minute scramble to build an entire 7.3L? Weeks earlier, the combination of 400/400 injectors, a 76mm Precision turbo, and more than 800 fuel-only, rear-wheel horsepower finally pushed the stock-bottom-end, forged-rod Power Stroke over the edge. A connecting rod failure occurred while cruising down the highway. Lucky for him, he had just enough time to fix it.
Photo 15/81   |   1999 Ford F 250
"To us, it’s proof that the 7.3L and, more importantly, HEUI, isn’t dead yet."
Solid Foundation
Addressing the weak links, David threw a set of Manley rods in a different block and added a bedplate to tie the main bearing caps to the oil pan rail. With the bottom end secured, the heads were fire-ringed to guarantee contained combustion. The now-bulletproofed engine will handle all the fueling David can throw at it, so we won’t be surprised if he puts up a solid torque number on the dyno (if he can get the big 76 to spool), as well as improve on his previous, fuel-only 800-rwhp mark. One thousand horsepower could easily be breeched with his two-stage nitrous system in the mix, so we expect to see a mid-pack finish on the rollers.
Photo 16/81   |   Precision Turbo
All-Around Performer
Look for David’s F-250 to excel at the dragstrip, too. The lightweight, regular cab Super Duty has the power to click off a 10-second quarter-mile, the right stance and footprint for the eighth-mile trailer tow, and could surprise many during the sled pull. The hard-packed, pavement-like pulling surface in Colorado may just suit the track-friendly Toyo Proxes perfectly. With weight on David’s side, we also expect to see 20 mpg during the fuel economy ride and drive. Like most competitors, David’s strategy for tackling the event is repeatability. “I’m going to just try to be as consistent as possible and not break,” he says.
2010 marked the last time we had a 7.3L compete in Diesel Power Challenge, so it was nice to see David’s ’99 F-250 receive so many votes from readers. To us, it’s proof that the 7.3L and, more importantly, HEUI, isn’t dead yet in the minds of diesel gurus. In an ironic twist of fate, Fourth Place finisher from Diesel Power Challenge 2010—and owner of a 10-second 7.3L-powered F-250—Brian Jelich, is part of his crew. Brian’s past experience competing in our event will no doubt help prepare David for what he’ll face out in Denver. Of course, once the new engine was finished, there was no time to spare. It had to be bolted into the truck, loaded on the trailer, and he and his crew set out on a 29-hour drive, bound for the Rockies.
Build Sheet
Name/City: David Heafner, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Vehicle: 1999 F-250 Super Duty
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 7.3L Power Stroke V-8 built with Manley rods, bedplate, Hypermax fire-ringed heads, H11 head studs, stiffer valvesprings, chromoly pushrods
Turbos: Precision Turbo & Engine 76mm
Electronics: TS Performance six-position chip tuned by Swamp’s Diesel
Injection System: Fuelab lift pump, Swamp’s Diesel Gen 3 high-pressure oil pump, Swamp’s Diesel 400/400 hybrid injectors
Injectables: Progressive Nitrous Express two-stage system, Snow Performance Stage 2 water-methanol
Intake/Exhaust System: Custom intake with AFE filter/custom 4-inch exhaust with 7-inch stack
Transmission: Twisted Diesel E4OD with Sun Coast triple-disc torque converter
Suspension: Stock with Rancho shocks, TDP traction bars
Tires: 32x11.50R18 Toyo Proxes
Wheels: 18x12 Pacer
Gearing: 3.73 gears
Tony Rizzi
2004 GMC Sierra 3500, 6.6L Duramax
Once selected to compete, most competitors opt to step up their game a little more. Sometimes it’s bigger turbos, injectors, or anOther stage of nitrous. In Tony Rizzi’s case, he replaced the BorgWarner S480 atmospheric turbo in his compound arrangement with a giant S510 from Bullseye Power. The new primary charger has a much larger compressor wheel, which measures 88 mm. On the flip side, however, Tony and crew made an executive decision to downsize the truck’s injector size at the same time. This was in an effort to make the truck more street friendly, and to limit breakage. Still, the 150-percent-over-stock injectors from Bosch Motorsports are nothing to scoff at. In fact, we suspect Tony could still crack the 1,000-rwhp mark on the dyno.
Photo 23/81   |   2004 Gmc Sierra 2500
"Our 60-foot times will surprise you… —Tony Rizzi"
A Conservative Approach
The less-is-more strategy is a good one, considering how hard heavy trucks (especially dual-rear-wheel ones) can be on transmissions. Tony’s game plan going into each event is the same: “Finish! Honestly, not try to tear it up. We’re not swinging for the fences and trying to go all out on every pass; we want to be consistent,” he says. “We’re actually going to tune the truck down a little.” The main objective for Tony is to find a consistently reliable, consistently fast calibration to help his Sierra survive each round of eliminations during the quarter-mile drag race. With ATS handling both the ECM and TCM tuning, Tony’s ATS-built Allison 1000 should be in good hands.
Photo 24/81   |   2004 Gmc Sierra 2500 Duramax
Hometown Advantage
While Tony’s dualie has some inherent weight to it, he says it doesn’t hamper anything at the dragstrip. “Our 60-foot times will surprise you,” he says. As an experienced drag racer who’s piloted the truck to an 11.34 at 128 mph in the quarter-mile, we have to take him at his word. His tread of choice, the Nitto Terra Grappler, will no doubt shine on the pavement, and his combination of a heavy truck, CalTracs traction bars, beefed-up front end, and plenty of horsepower will all work in his favor during the sled pull. As a veteran sled puller, Tony won the local National Sled Pullers Association (NSPA) 3.2 Super Street Class points chase in 2012. And he’s pulled on the same track we’ll be using in this year’s Diesel Power Challenge, so it goes without saying he’ll be at the top of his game for our last event.
Photo 25/81   |   Alcoa Wheel
Living just an hour north of Denver, Tony is within safe driving distance of several parts trucks. And even though he’ll be bringing a spare transmission, turbos, and Other miscellaneous items with him each day, he has the ultimate backup plan. Lucky for Tony, his wife drives an identical truck to his, so we’d say he’s covered in the event something fails. No matter what happens, Tony is ecstatic to get the opportunity to represent the GM crowd. “I feel fortunate to have been voted in. We’ve wanted to compete in the DPC for a long time.”
Build Sheet
Name/City: Tony Rizzi, Johnstown, Colorado
Vehicle: 2004 GMC Sierra 3500
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 6.6L Duramax V-8 built with Carrillo forged rods, LB7 cut and coated pistons, ported heads, ARP custom age head and main studs
Turbos: BorgWarner S366/S510 compounds (66/88), air-to-water intercooler
Electronics: EFILive via ATS Diesel
Injection System: Twin AirDog lift pumps, ATS Twin CP3s with two Exergy Engineering LBZ 10mm stroker pumps, Bosch Motorsports 150-percent-over injectors
Injectables: Custom Nitrous Express system, Snow Performance Stage 3 water-methanol kit
Intake/Exhaust System: AFE filter/5-inch exhaust to 8-inch miter-cut stacks
Transmission: Built Allison 1000 with ATS Five Star torque converter, billet shafts, ATS Co-Pilot, and Fleece Performance tap shifter
Suspension: Bilstein shock absorbers, CalTracs traction bars
Tires: 295/75R17 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 17x7½-inch Alcoa with 2-inch rear spacers
gearing: 4.11 gears with front ARB Air Locker
Other: RCV Ultimate IFS CV axle set
Willie Lewis
2008 Chevy Silverado 2500, 6.6L Duramax
Throughout the life of the Diesel Power Challenge, there has been one common factor amongst competitors that consistently do well in the competition: They bring a proven truck they are familiar with. Once potential competitors get the call that they have made it into the Challenge, they often try to step up their game by making major—and often last minute—changes to their engines. This was not the case for Willie Lewis.
Photo 32/81   |   2008 Chevy Silverado 2500
In the six months between Willie submitting his entry form to when he received word he had been voted in, the only changes made to the truck were swapping to a new turbo arrangement. Originally, the Duramax sported a compound-turbo setup that utilized the stock Garret VNT turbo and a BorgWarner S475. However, the entire setup was upgraded to an S366 over S480, both with billet compressor wheels. Eventually, the S480 got the boot in favor of an S483 charger, to add just a little bit more airflow right in time for the competition to start.
"I plan to push my truck as hard as I can until the competition is over, or my engine is in pieces. – Willie Lewis"
Learning Curve
Willie is no stranger to performance diesels. His love began in 2000, when he bought his first diesel truck: a second-gen Dodge with a 12-valve Cummins. Over the next few years, he continued to tinker with and build up the Cummins until he got bored with it and decided it was time for a change. So, in 2009, Willie passed along the Cummins and picked up an LMM Duramax, wrapped in an ’08 Chevy Silverado.
Photo 33/81   |   2008 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax
Much like his previous Cummins project, the Duramax started innocently enough, with a simple intake, exhaust, and programmer. Then the horsepower greed took over, and Willie decided to completely build the engine and transmission—and to do it himself in his own shop. Once plucked from the truck, the Duramax V-8 received Carrillo connecting rods and Mahle Motorsports racing pistons, and the heads were ported, polished, and outfitted with SoCal Diesel intake and exhaust valves and valvesprings. The block was taken to Kotzur Racing Engines in San Antonio, Texas, for machining and balancing, and a completed short-block was returned to Willie to be assembled and shoehorned back into the Silverado.
To fuel the new animal, Willie installed a set of 100-percent-over stock injectors from Exergy Engineering. Feeding the injectors a steady supply of number 2 is an ATS Diesel Twin CP3 kit, and ensuring an ample amount of fuel reaches both of the CP3s is an AirDog II 165-gph lift pump, mounted along the truck’s framerail. A nitrous kit from Nitrous Express adds that little extra punch, and every modification is tied together thanks to EFILive and the tuning gurus at Duramaxtuner.com.
DPC Prep
With nearly 8,000 miles on his truck’s current engine setup—and feeling pretty good about it—prepping for Diesel Power Challenge was pretty painless for Willie and his crew. After rounding up a good selection of spare parts, including driveshafts, axleshafts, and a transmission, they headed off to Denver. With only a few quick tuning adjustments to compensate for higher altitude, the crew from central Texas was ready to take on the competition.
Build Sheet
Name/City: Willie Lewis, Cresson, Texas
Vehicle: 2008 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax V-8 built with Carrillo connecting rods, Mahle Motorsports cast-aluminum racing pistons, and ported and polished heads
Turbos: Bullseye Power S366 over S483 compounds with billet compressor wheels
Electronics: EFILive by Bob Petersen of Duramaxtuner.com
Injection System: AirDog II 165-gph lift pump, ATS Twin CP3, 100-percent-over Exergy Engineering injectors
Injectables: Nitrous Express two-stage system, Snow Performance water-methanol injection
Intake/Exhaust System: Custom intake with AFE filter/5-inch custom exhaust system
Transmission: Allison 1000 built with Sun Coast 1056 torque converter and billet shafts
Suspension: 6-inch ProComp lift kit with ProComp shock absorbers and traction bars
Tires: 35x12.50R20 Nitto Trail Grappler
Wheels: 20x9-inch XD Outlaw
Gearing: 3.55 gears
Other: Heavy-duty tie rods, custom coolant overflow, Auto Meter gauges
Banean Woosley
2005 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L Cummins
Diesel Power Challenge affects people in different ways. Many see it as an impressive and entertaining display of raw power, while others find it to be an inspiration. The latter was the case for Banean Woosley of Boston, Kentucky. After picking up the October 2007 issue of Diesel Power magazine and reading about DPC, Banean knew this is what he wanted to do someday.
Photo 40/81   |   2005 Dodge Ram 2500
Banean’s first diesel truck was his ’05 Dodge Ram 2500, which he purchased bone-stock in 2007. A Smarty programmer was his first modification, and from there it all spiraled out of control—but in a good way. Over the next several years, the quest for increased performance and quicker times at the dragstrip led Banean to install a pair of Maximized Performance Garrett 71mm and 94mm compound turbochargers. All the newly available air from the compounds required that fueling be stepped up a notch also. A pair of Arson CP3 injection pumps from Motorsport Diesel were installed with a PPE Dual Fueler kit, the injectors were upgraded to Flux 7.2 units from Formula 1 Diesel, and fuel is routed from the tank by way of an AirDog lift pump.
"We had a borrowed engine, transmission that was rebuilt while the engine was going in, and eight borrowed nitrous bottles. — Banean Woosley"
Supporting The Power
Building big horsepower requires some stout parts to back it up. The Dodge’s 48RE automatic transmission received the full Sun Coast Omega treatment, complete with the company’s billet shaft kit and triple-disc torque converter. A Goerend manual valvebody gives Banean full control over gear selection, and he shifts via a B&M ProRatchet shifter mounted to a custom center console. A pair of large coolers equipped with electric fans is mounted in the truck’s bed to keep the transmission’s fluid temperature in check.
Photo 41/81   |   5 9l Cummins
No Rest For The Weary
Before the Diesel Power Challenge voting issue even hit newsstands, Banean’s Ram was already under the knife. While he was working to install an upgraded head with larger valves, a Hellman intake manifold, and a port and polish job, the engine was found to have bent all six connecting rods to some degree. Banean replaced the bent rods with new Carrillo units, and the new head was installed along with a fresh camshaft from J&D Machine. Everything was going well until, on the first hard testdrive, the head gasket blew due to a poorly machined head.
Photo 42/81   |   Turbo And Intake
With the head issues sorted out, the week before leaving for Diesel Power Challenge the engine spun a rod bearing, scarring the crankshaft. Banean and his crew worked tirelessly to swap the now damaged short-block with a fresh one that was graciously lent to them for the competition by the owner of J&D Machine. Working three days straight, the crew got the borrowed engine installed and running just in time to load the truck on a trailer and drive nonstop to Denver, Colorado.
Build Sheet
Name/City: Banean Woosley, Boston, Kentucky
Vehicle: 2005 Dodge Ram 2500
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, towing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 built with a J&D Machine 190/230 camshaft, Hellman intake manifold, and a ported and polished head with oversize valves
Turbos: Maximized Performance Inc. Garrett 71mm/94mm compounds
Electronics: Smarty SSR
Injection System: PPE Dual Fueler with Motorsport Diesel Arson dual CP3s, Flux 7.2 F1 fuel injectors, and an AirDog lift pump
Injectables: Nitrous Express dual-stage system
Intake/Exhaust System: Custom intake with a K&N filter/5-inch custom exhaust, exiting through a 7-inch stack
Transmission: Sun Coast Omega 48RE automatic with Goerend manual valvebody
Suspension: Stock suspension with Bilstein 5100 series monotube shock absorbers and CalTracs traction bars
Tires: 285/55R20 Nitto Dune Grappler
Wheels: 20x10-inch Helo 835
gearing: 3.73 gears
Other: Bed-mounted transmission coolers, ISSPRO gauges, B&M ProRatchet shifter, and a six-point interior rollbar
Chris Hillison
2004 Dodge Ram 2500, 5.9L Cummins
Chris Hillison of Casper, Wyoming, is a convert to the cult of Cummins. As a young teenager, Chris began his love affair with diesel and purchased a new-to-him 7.3L Power Stroke. The modifications began to flow quickly, and soon the truck had a new intake, exhaust, and stacked boxes. The modifications to the old Ford continued hot and heavy until one day, towing up a pass in Colorado, his hopped-up Power Stroke got passed by a bone-stock common-rail Cummins. It was that experience that led Chris to put the old Ford out to pasture and purchase his ’04 Dodge Ram 2500.
Photo 49/81   |   2004 Dodge Ram 2500
Keeping It Simple
With the additional power the common-rail Cummins provided, Chris took a conservative approach to modifying this new truck—for a while. The newness eventually wore off, and the lust for more power took over. The bottom end of the engine remained relatively simple and received a girdle and a set of 12-valve Cummins connecting rods. The Cummins’ head received a well-thought-out power recipe that includes a full port and polish job and was fire-ringed by Industrial Injection. A ZZ Custom Fabrication side-mount intake manifold, Diesel Pro camshaft, chromoly steel pushrods, and a set of Industrial Injection 110-pound valvesprings with titanium retainers were also added. ARP head studs round out the mix.
Photo 50/81   |   2004 Dodge Ram 2500 5 9l Cummins
Pushing air into this beast is a compound turbo setup from Industrial Injection. Fueling is handled by a set of Industrial Injection 65-lpm fuel injectors while a FASS lift pump keeps the CP3 injection pumps primed with plenty of diesel. A MADS Smarty SSR programmer gets the most out of the truck’s parts combination.
To transfer all this power to the ground, Chris had the Dodge’s 48RE automatic transmission built from the ground up. A set of TCS billet input, intermediate, and output shafts were paired with an ATS torque converter and JD Performance valvebody. A set of Nitto Terra Grappler tires mated to BMF Novakane wheels ensure all the power transferred to the ground doesn’t just go up in smoke.
Step It Up
As Diesel Power Challenge approached, Chris made the decision to up his game just a bit. First, Chris swapped out his single injection pump for a Dual CP3 kit from Industrial Injection. With more fuel available, the current turbo setup was changed up in favor of a massive BorgWarner 104mm S510 atmospheric charger feeding an S480. Industrial Injection outfitted both units with its billet compressor wheels. A relatively small nitrous kit from Cold Fusion was installed, utilizing a single, 50hp jet, injecting before the intercooler.
Photo 51/81   |   Industrial Injection Turbo
While the suspension on his Ram was left factory, a set of custom-fabricated traction bars was added to keep the rear end planted under hard acceleration. Chris also added a custom “third link” to the traction bar setup. Mounted to the top of the differential, this additional support helps prevent unwanted axlewrap. Rounding out the DPC prep, a set of Firestone airbags was installed to help support the rear of the truck, while keeping the front planted during the sled pull event (since our rules don’t allow hanging weight).
Build Sheet
Name/City: Chris Hillison, Casper, Wyoming
Vehicle: 2004 Dodge Ram 2500
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag racing, sled pulling, wrenching
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 built with 12-valve connecting rods, rod bearing girdle, ZZ Fab side-mounted intake manifold, Diesel Pro camshaft, chromoly pushrods, Industrial Injection 110-pound valvesprings, and a fully ported, polished, and fire-ringed head
Turbos: Industrial Injection S480 80mm over S510 104mm compounds with billet compressor wheels
Electronics: MADS Smarty SSR
Injection System: Industrial Injection dual CP3s, 65-lpm fuel injectors, and a FASS lift pump
Injectables: Snow Performance water-methanol injection, Cold Fusion nitrous oxide kit
Intake/Exhaust System: AFE air filter/custom 6-inch exhaust
Transmission: JD Performance-built 48RE automatic with ATS torque converter and TCS billet shafts
Suspension: Factory suspension with upgraded shocks, custom traction bars, and rear airbags
Tires: 305/55R20 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 20x9-inch BMF Novakane 8
gearing: 4.10 gears
Other: Custom “third-link” anti-wrap bar, dual bed-mounted Optima YellowTop batteries, bed-mounted transmission coolers, ISSPRO gauges, driver-side racing seat
What Happened to Shilo Ellingford?
We know a lot of you were disappointed that there were only two Duramaxes representing camp GM this year, and many more of you are wondering what exactly happened to Shilo Ellingford’s triple-turbo’d ’06 Chevy Silverado. The best answer is: A combination of things kept him from making it to Denver. First, just two days before the dyno day, one of the truck’s stroker CP3s failed. The following day, converter issues surfaced, which circulated debris throughout the rest of the transmission, trashing it. “We went four days nonstop trying to make it there, but there just wasn’t enough time,” Shilo told us in a phone conversation following Diesel Power Challenge. Despite immense pressure to compete (and win), Shilo made the right decision to throw in the towel. We cordially welcome him to enter his truck for Diesel Power Challenge 2014 and look forward to the prospect of seeing him and his truck next year.
Photo 58/81   |   Shilo Ellingfords 2006 Chevy Silverado
Paul Cato
2007½ Dodge Ram, 6.7L Cummins
If you’re the gambling type, it’s a good idea to bet on a compound-turbo truck winning Diesel Power Challenge. After all, compound-turbo trucks have won it for six years running, regardless of powertrain or engine size. Paul Cato is here to change all that. His combination of an 80mm single turbocharger and 6.7L of Cummins power means an estimated 800-plus hp on fuel, and then, of course, there’s always nitrous. Bring a fearless driver into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for a serious competitor.
Photo 59/81   |   2007 5 Dodge Ram 2500
"Big cubes are awesome for spooling. —Paul Cato"
Spare Everything
When we first saw Paul Cato, he was taking his spare 75mm turbocharger off the truck and putting the 80mm back on. He also admitted he just rebuilt the entire engine then fired up the truck and put it on the trailer for Diesel Power Challenge. The knowledge to rebuild an entire engine and bring along a lot of spare parts, meant Paul had the know-how to keep going if something broke.
However, Paul didn’t bring a knife to a gun fight; he came packing plenty of power, too. Dual CP3s with 60-percent-over injectors up the fuel rate way past stock, while EFILive software tweaks the tuning. The aforementioned 80mm turbocharger and a Nitrous Express nitrous system handle the air part of the equation, while a Sun Coast Converters 48RE transmission with upgraded shafts, a billet flexplate, and stand-alone valvebody with PCS controller transmits the power to the ground.
Photo 60/81   |   Nitrous Express Tanks
The ’07½ Ram is also no slouch in the suspension department, as lowering the truck in the rear can often help control axlewrap and bouncing. Since Paul’s truck is lowered 1.5 inches and also has a set of CalTracs traction bars, we expect him to hook up well in all the events, but especially the asphalt events, where his Nitto Terra Grappler tires will be an advantage.
Making it Happen
“Whatever happens, I’m not giving up,” Paul says. With the 80mm turbo coming on like a light switch, Paul’s never-lift mentality should match up with his truck combination quite well. The fact that it is medium weight and has a large displacement coupled with Cummins reliability means he will be one to watch, both in the drag race and the trailer tow. With the big single, we’re not sure how he will do on the dyno, but the sled pull should be a strong event as well. No matter how the challenge goes for Paul, he’s definitely not playing to lose.
Build Sheet
Name/City: Paul Cato, Carterville, Illinois
Vehicle: 2007½ Dodge Ram 2500
Driver Experience: Drag, tow, wrench
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6, A1 Technology head studs
Turbos: Bullseye Power S480 BatMoWheel
Electronics: EFILive
Injection System: Dual CP3s, 60-percent-over injectors by Shiver Diesel, FASS 165-gph lift pump
Injectables: Nitrous Express nitrous-oxide system, Snow Performance water-methanol injection
Intake/Exhaust System: Fleece Performance ManTake/ Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold, Flo-Pro Performance exhaust with 7-inch carbon-fiber stack
Transmission: Sun Coast Converters 48RE with a triple-disc torque converter, PCS controller, and billet flexplate
Suspension: Lowered 1½ inches in the rear with CalTracs traction bars
Tires: 305/55R20 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 20x10-inch Eagle Alloy Series 64
Gearing: 3.73 gears with stock limited slip
Matthew Doyle
2011 Ford F-250, 6.7L Power Stroke
Every time a new make, model, or engine combination comes out, there is plenty of conjecture about how it will live up to the legacy of the brand. With the new all-Ford 6.7L Power Stroke taking the place of the previous International-made engine, plenty of folks were waiting for someone to step up and see what a 6.7L could do. One such Ford die-hard was Matthew Doyle, who had the stones to enter one of the newest trucks in the competition, without a parts list he could duplicate for success.
Photo 67/81   |   2011 Ford F 250
"I think this 6.7L will surprise a lot of people."
More Displacement, More Turbos
One thing that separates Matthew from the rest of the 6.7L Ford pack is that he ditched the stock three-wheel turbo for a compound turbocharger system designed and fabricated by Snyder Performance Engineering. Fuel was also bumped with a set of 40-percent-over injectors from Snyder Performance Engineering (although the factory lift pump was retained and maintains fuel supply just fine), and tuning is handled via H&S Performance’s MCC software.
The rest of the drivetrain is an interesting combination of stock, and not, with a near-stock Ford 6R140 transmission being an untested part of the drivetrain. The suspension, however, has been upgraded with a four-link front suspension, leveling kit, traction bars, and bumpstops for the sled pull. Matthew also has a secret weapon up his sleeve: He’s running all-terrain tires, the tire of choice for many Diesel Power Challenge winners.
Already Broken In
Before the event, Matthew had dyno’d at 671 rwhp and a stout 1,403 lb-ft of torque, indicating his truck should be a player. The Ford’s low-end should be an advantage in the sled pull as well as the trailer tow, and the smallish turbos and large displacement should be an advantage on the trailer obstacle course. One thing is for sure: All Ford fans will be keeping an eye on the one truck in the competition that has that new-truck smell.
Build Sheet
Name/City: Matthew Doyle, Iberia, Missouri
Vehicle: 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag, tow, wrench
Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke, Snyder Performance Engineering-built and internally balanced with Carrillo rods, Stage 2 heads with SPE valvesprings, pushrods, AFM porting, and treated valves
Turbos: SPE compound setup (80mm atmospheric, 63mm high-pressure)
Electronics: H&S Mini Maxx using MCC software
Injection System: Snyder Performance Engineering 40-percent-over injectors, dual CP4.2 pumps, custom lift pump
Injectables: Ny-Trex nitrous oxide system, Snow Performance water-methanol kit
Intake/Exhaust System: SPE intake/AFE 4-inch exhaust
Transmission: ATS 6R140 TorqShift automatic with aftermarket clutches and Sun Coast triple-disc torque converter
Suspension: 1-inch leveling kit, custom traction bars, and bumpstops
Tires: 275/70R18 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 18x9-inch Fuel Hostage
Gearing: 3.55 gears with stock limited slip
Wesley Beech
2008 Ford F-250, 6.4L Power Stroke
We got a surprising amount of hate mail over Wesley and the stock-ness of his truck. Hey, you guys gave him enough votes to be an alternate, and he stepped up his game a little as well, so if there is a dark horse this year, it could be Wesley and his ’08 Ford. Notable changes right before the event included a built transmission, a bigger atmospheric turbocharger, and a little more spray.
Photo 74/81   |   2008 Ford F 250
"This truck has a very interesting turbo setup, with a stock VGT over an 80mm atmospheric."
Stock in All the Right Places
One advantage Wesley has over the rest of the competition is that his rig retains the stock VGT turbocharger (albeit with an upgraded compressor wheel), which means very good throttle response as compared to the rest of the competition. His atmospheric turbocharger is now an 80mm version of an ITS turbo, which, along with some nitrous, 110hp (60-percent-over-stock) injector nozzles, and an Industrial Injection Dragon Fire high-pressure fuel pump, should mean 800 to 1,000 hp, easy.
Reliable, Too
Right before the challenge, Wesley performed a round of upgrades to his 6.4L-powered Ford to ensure it would last through the competition. The 5R110 TorqShift transmission received a full rebuild with Sun Coast Converters parts, while a custom four-link front suspension along with rear traction bars was installed to keep the tires planted to the pavement (or dirt, or dyno rollers). If there is a keep-it-simple truck, this is probably it.
Photo 75/81   |   2008 Ford F 250 6 4l Power Stroke
The Challenge
With Erik Clausen’s win last year, everybody knows 6.4L Power Stroke-powered Fords are the real deal and have what it takes to win. With upgrades to the engine, transmission, and the rest of the drivetrain, look for Wesley’s big Ford to do well in the sled pull (where its weight will help), the trailer tow (traction and torque), and the trailer obstacle course, where its VGT turbo should be a big advantage. While there are bigger power trucks in this year’s challenge, Wesley Beech’s Ford is very well rounded.
Build Sheet
Name/City: Wesley Beech, Akron, Ohio
Vehicle: 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Driver Experience: Dyno, drag, tow, wrench
Engine: 6.4L Power Stroke V-8
Turbos: Factory VGT with Bullseye Power BatMoWheel, ITS 80mm atmospheric
Electronics: H&S Mini Maxx via MCC software
Injection System: Beech Performance dual K16 high-pressure fuel pumps, race ported fuel rails, 60-percent-over injector nozzles, FASS Titanium Series 220-gph lift pump, XDP fuel sump
Injectables: Single-stage nitrous
Intake/Exhaust System: Custom intake elbow/K&N filter, ported intake manifold/6.0L exhaust manifolds with V-bands, 5-inch Flo-Pro to 7-inch Grand Rock prototype exhaust stack
Transmission: Billet Stage 4 5R110 TorqShift automatic with River City Diesel triple-disc torque converter
Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country lift kit and custom four-link with traction bars
Tires: 325/65R18 Nitto Terra Grappler
Wheels: 18x10-inch Raceline Renegade
Gearing: 3.73 gears with stock limited slip up front, Detroit TrueTrac rear
Other: Custom hitch and receiver from Ammo Motorsports



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