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2001 Dodge: 918 hp Mechanical Monster

Second Chance

Jason Sands
Dec 19, 2016
Photographers: Jason Sands
It's been said torque is the force that really gets a diesel-powered truck moving. If that's the case, then there are few rigs that move out quicker than Matt Kuehne’s ’01 Dodge Ram 2500. Making an incredible 2,050 lb-ft of torque on an engine dyno, the 5.9L Cummins engine in Matt’s ride is in a class of its own. However, the combination isn't just about torque, as the engine can also rev past 4,000 rpm or churn out 918 dyno-verified horsepower, depending on the situation.
Photo 2/23   |   With a dyno-proven 918 hp and 2,050 lb-ft of torque, this definitely isn't your average 24-valve 5.9L Cummins engine.
As impressive as the Cummins powerplant is, it's just one of the truck’s qualities that make it a showstopper. “Technically, the truck has 235,000 miles on it, but that's just the mileage on the shell and the frame," Matt says. "Everything else is redone." Since it is an ex–work truck, the Dodge Ram already had such niceties as a heavy-duty transfer case and steep 4.10 gears in the axles. And, with his goal being to own a truck that has serious power, Matt also took the time to replace the ball joints, add a Borgeson Universal Steering Components steering box, level the front end, and install twin heavy-duty driveshafts. Matt left literally no stone unturned, as he even added the battery of a decommissioned fire truck to help crank the engine over.
Photo 3/23   |   The one-piece Scheid Diesel Service valve cover hints at the horsepower that lurks inside the 5.9L powerplant. From assembly to performance-parts selection and dyno testing, Scheid performed virtually all the work on the powerful Cummins.
All the work Matt did to the Dodge Ram 2500’s chassis centered on making a lot more power than the factory rating of 215 hp. To get the type of performance he was looking for, Matt found that Scheid Diesel Service is a one-stop shop that could help him in creating the truck he wanted. Scheid completely rebuilt the 5.9L Cummins engine from top to bottom—including a new block—and installed half a catalogue's worth of performance parts. The decision was also made to get away from the stock electronic VP44 injection pump and install Scheid’s 13mm P-pump instead. Airflow was upgraded, as the stock Holset HY35 turbocharger was replaced with a compound-turbo setup that generates an impressive 105 psi of boost at full tilt.
Photo 4/23   |   A ported and fire-ringed 24-valve cylinder head is secured to the block with 14mm ARP studs, which are a huge upgrade over the original 12mm bolts.
To transmit all that power to the pavement, technicians at Scheid built a 47RE four-speed automatic transmission that stands up to the immense power. Internally, the gearbox is loaded with upgraded shafts and drums, along with improved external pieces, such as the transmission cooler. A 2,600-rpm-stall triple-disc torque converter was also installed to make sure the engine builds boost in a virtual instant.
With its frame-off restoration, new interior, and insane torque, Matt's Dodge Ram is quite the handful. "I try and drive it responsibly most of the time, but I also know you can pin the throttle at 60 mph and it'll spin the tires," he says with a huge grin. “I’ve always had muscle cars, and I can honestly say this truck feels a lot faster than pretty much all of them." After more than 200,000 miles as a work truck, one thing is for sure: Matt's rig is enjoying a second life as a play toy.
Photo 5/23   |   2001 Dodge Front

Fast Facts

Year/Make/Model: ’01 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Matt Kuehne
Hometown: Mount Carmel, Illinois
Odometer: 235,000 miles
Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 balanced, blueprinted, and assembled by Scheid Diesel Service; new block, 14mm ARP main studs with block girdle, shot-peened 12-valve Cummins connecting rods, fly-cut and coated 24-valve Cummins pistons; Scheid Pro-Street Puller camshaft and valvetrain; polished and ported cylinder head with 14mm studs and a milled side intake; and a Fluidampr harmonic balancer
Fuel: AirDog 250-gph lift pump, Scheid 13mm P7100 injection pump, quick-rate pump cam, oversized lines, and Scheid Lightning injectors
Air: 62mm and 75mm BorgWarner turbochargers, Spearco intercooler, and a ZZ Custom Fabrication individual-runner intake manifold
Exhaust: Steed Speed exhaust manifold, and a custom 4-inch system with a polished 7-inch stack
Transmission: 47RE four-speed automatic by Scheid Diesel Service, high-stall torque converter, billet shafts, valvebody modifications, Mag-Hytec pan, and an external cooler with fan
Power: 918 hp (engine dyno)
Torque: 2,050 lb-ft (engine dyno)
Suspension: Front leveling spacers; Triple-B Sales custom stainless steel traction bars, and Bilstein shocks
Tires: 35x12.50R 20 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ
Wheels: 20x10 Ballistic Outlaw
Axles: 4.10 gears
Body: Stock
Interior: Completely reupholstered original interior, A-pillar-mounted triple-gauge pod, and overhead gauge pod with AutoMeter Competition Instruments gauges Fun Fact: Unlike a chassis dyno, which measures an engine’s horsepower and torque output through a vehicle’s drivetrain, an engine dyno calculates power directly by measuring the amount of torque that’s required to keep an engine running at a set rpm and then calculating horsepower based on the torque figure and engine speed (horsepower = torque x rpm/5,252). Since it measures torque directly, an engine dyno gives the most accurate estimate of how much power an engine makes.
Photo 6/23   |   A custom front cover allows access to the pump gear and facilitates making timing changes without removing the cover. To clean up the engine compartment and allow lots of airflow at slower speeds, Flex-a-Lite’s dual-fan kit was also added.
Photo 7/23   |   An ultra-high-performance 13mm P7100 injection pump was added in place of the stock VP44 pump. Capable of running with 5,000-rpm engine speed and moving massive amounts of fuel, it's a big step up from the rotary pump. The original throttle and cable are retained to ensure the transmission shifts properly.
Photo 8/23   |   The extra fuel definitely allows the compound turbochargers to spin to the moon, with a peak boost reading of 105 psi. The top ’charger is a 62mm BorgWarner S300, and the bottom is a 75mm S400, also BorgWarner.
Photo 9/23   |   Since stock intercoolers can split at high boost levels, a braced Spearco unit was added, not only for its cooling ability, but also for its strength.
Photo 10/23   |   Scheid Diesel Service made the most of the 24-valve cylinder head’s airflow potential by adding this slick individual-runner intake manifold from ZZ Custom Fabrication.
Photo 11/23   |   The 47RE four-speed automatic transmission is heavily fortified to handle the power and torque of the Cummins engine. Built at Scheid's location in Effingham, Illinois, the unit is equipped with several stout internal upgrades, a high-stall torque converter, and a Mag-Hytec transmission pan.
Photo 12/23   |   An external transmission cooler and fan replace the stock heat exchangers, which were removed when the rebuilt engine was installed.
Photo 13/23   |   An AirDog 250-gph lift pump is mounted along the framerail, just as you would see on most trucks. This big pump is common on Class 8 semis and is plenty capable of supplying the P-pump with fuel.
Photo 14/23   |   The mysterious box behind the bed houses the truck's dry-cell battery, as well as a 5-gallon tank for water-methanol.
Photo 15/23   |   Matt's attention to detail and affinity for custom parts such as this polished, 7-inch exhaust stack, is evident throughout the entire truck.
Photo 16/23   |   After retiring the ’01 Dodge Ram 2500 from work duties and to achieve a better ride, Matt installed Bilstein shocks at all four corners. The rearend houses the stock limited-slip differential and 4.10 gears.
Photo 17/23   |   The interior was upgraded to like-new condition for the Dodge Ram’s second coming. In addition to the upholstery, there are five AutoMeter gauges that measure boost, inter-stage boost, fuel pressure, exhaust gas temperature, and transmission temperature.
Photo 18/23   |   In addition to the shocks, the front suspension is also fitted with leveling spacers and a Borgeson Universal Steering Components steering box. Wheels are 20x10 Outlaws from Ballistic, and the tires are 35x12.50R 20 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ.
Photo 19/23   |   Custom stainless steel traction bars are other examples of Matt's over-the-top thinking, and they’re qualities that help put his ’01 Dodge Ram 2500 in a class by itself.
Photo 20/23   |   2001 Dodge Side Front
Photo 21/23   |   2001 Dodge Side
Photo 22/23   |   2001 Dodge Front Three Quarter
Photo 23/23   |   2001 Dodge Rear

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