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  • Building A 500hp Daily Driver Ram Cummins

Building A 500hp Daily Driver Ram Cummins

It's Easier Than You Think

Mike McGlothlinApr 1, 2012
In the age of mega-powered diesels, where horsepower numbers like 600, 700, and 800 are kicked around so often, it’s easy to forget about the little guy on a budget. It seems like 400 and 500hp daily drivers have nearly been forgotten. But we can assure you, 500 hp is still nothing to scoff at—especially if it’s done right. We recently found one such truck, an ’05 Dodge Ram 3500 owned by Justus Poteet, built with both power and versatility in mind.
Photo 2/7
Thanks to a manual transmission, which required a clutch upgrade, Poteet has just $5,500 invested. Recently, we watched his careful parts selection pay off while on the dyno, as the Ram made more than 500 hp and almost 1,000 lb-ft at the rear wheels. If this proves anything, it’s that even with a monthly truck payment and other bills, you can still have a rock-solid, reliable workhorse capable of towing anything you need to, get 19 to 20 mpg on the highway, and be a force to be reckoned with on the street.
Photo 3/7   |   The ’05 Cummins common-rail test mule was tuned courtesy of this old-school, Triple Dog Power Pup downloader from Bully Dog. As many of you know, the Power Pup was discontinued and replaced with the Gauge Tuner (which allows you to tune, monitor powertrain vitals, and run diagnostic checks, instead of just reprogramming the ECM), but it still gets the job done for this truck owner.
1204dp 07+building A 500hp Daily Driver+parts List
Turbo and AirDog =15hp Gain
Previous Dyno Test
Stock turbo boost: 47 psi
Stock turbo EGT: 1,550 degrees
Lift pump: Stock
Horsepower: 495 hp (DynoJet dynamometer)
*While it may seem minimal, a 15hp gain from a turbocharger is actually quite respectable (especially when the gain is constant across the entire power curve). The fact that the same tuning was used before and after makes it even more impressive.
Photo 7/7   |   Having a manual transmission truck is a blessing in disguise. Although it can be detrimental on the street or at the dragstrip, it’s ideal for putting all your power to the ground. Plus, a good clutch is a lot cheaper than a built 48RE automatic. An aftermarket clutch and manual transmission combo also allows you to run any gear you want while on the dyno. We chose to use Fifth gear for all our runs at Randall’s Performance (starting at 45 mph and ending at 90 mph).
Current Dyno Test
64mm turbo boost: 39 psi
64mm turbo EGT: 1,400 degrees
Lift pump: AirDog 150-gph
Horsepower: 509 hp (SuperFlow dynamometer)
*Not only did the turbo cool down the truck’s EGT by 150 degrees, but it lowered peak boost to less than 40 psi. This will ensure the stock head gasket remains sealed and rules out the need for head studs.
1204dp 08+building A 500hp Daily Driver+dyno Chart

Sources

MBRP Performance Exhaust
N/A, AK
888-636-7223
www.mbrpautomotive.com
K&N Engineering
Riverside, CA 92507
800-858-3333
www.knfilters.com
Bully Dog
940-783-9914
www.bullydog.com
CFM Plus
Vista, CA 92081
760-598-2478
www.cfmplus.com
South Bend Clutch
Mishawaka, IN 46545
800-988-4345
www.southbendclutch.com
AirDog
Jefferson City, MO 65109
573-635-0555
www.pureflowairdog.com
Fleece Performance Engineering
North Salem, IN 46165
855-839-5040
http://www.fleeceperformance.com
Randall's Performance and Accessory
Gladstone, IL 61437
309-627-2500
http://www.randallsperf.com

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