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850HP 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500

Our January 2018 Cover Truck Finally Gets a Much-Deserved Feature Article

Chris Tobin
Dec 6, 2019
When most truck enthusiasts go to a salvage yard, they are looking for a specific part to get their rig running or to make a repair or improvement of some sort. That was not the case for Austin Myers back in 2012. Only 18 years old at the time, he went to Jones Auto in Orleans, Indiana, and purchased a complete truck. The '07 Dodge Ram 2500's front end was wrecked and it was in pretty rough shape, but the price was right, so Austin brought it home and went to work on a project that eventually resulted in the truck you see here.
After fixing the damaged frame, he put the truck back together and got it on the road. Then he started to do some basic modifications, and, as the story so often goes, one thing led to another. Along the way, Austin's passion for diesel performance and working on his truck led to his moving from the customer side of the Wagler Competition Products sales counter to the employee side, where he works as a sales associate helping other Wagler customers fulfill their diesel dreams.
When we shot the photos you see here, Austin's truck had its slightly modified original 6.7L Cummins engine under the hood. The cylinder head is machined for Wagler O-rings, and, to keep combustion forces contained, a set of ARP Custom Age 625 studs help clamp it to the block. The head is also enhanced with a set of Trend Performance billet bridges and trunnions as well as 103-pound valvesprings, ARP rocker-arm studs, and Manton pushrods to actuate the valves.
Photo 2/39   |   Austin Myers '07 Dodge Ram 2500 boasts an 800-plus-hp Cummins engine under the hood, making this former salvage-yard truck a street/strip terror that he drives on the street regularly and blasts down the dragstrip as often as possible.
Spent exhaust is expelled through a Stainless Diesel second-generation Cummins T4 exhaust manifold and a 7-inch piping Austin fabricated to send gases directly up and out of the hood through a 7-inch Grand Rock Exhaust hood stack. A Forced Inductions-prepped BorgWarner S476/87/1.0 turbocharger is bolted directly to the manifold. To make room for the exhaust tubing, Austin moved the passenger-side battery to the bed. Fresh air is drawn into the turbo through an S&B Filters open-element cone filter with a short run of piping attached directly to the compressor inlet. The compressed charge air is then channeled to an On3 Performance polished aluminum intercooler through Stainless Diesel hot-side piping. The 'cooler's charge is then fed into the cylinder head through Pusher Intakes cold-side piping then into the company's intake elbow.
Austin has also upgraded the fuel system. A FASS Fuel Systems 220-gph lift pump and filter sends fuel from the stock tank to a pair of high-pressure CP3 injection pumps (one installed in the stock position and the other mounted using an ATS Diesel Performance Twin Fueler mounting kit and controller) to deliver plenty of pressure and volume to the fuel rail. He also replaced the injectors with a set of S&S Diesel Motorsport 65-percent-over pieces. To dial in the combination, he turned to Firepunk Diesel for EFILive tuning, and then installed a CSP5 switch in the dash to easily select calibrations uploaded to the ECM.
Photo 3/39   |   The silver grille shell and bumper blend into the rest of the body while partially concealing the modified diesel. Notice the blacked-out headlight buckets, mirrors, Recon cab lights, and emblem in the grille that really complement the silver paint.
The truck was originally equipped with a G56 six-speed manual transmission. But, since Austin prefers drag racing to sled pulling, he removed the manual gearbox and swapped in an '06 Dodge 48RE four-speed automatic that is better suited for straight-line, eighth-mile racing. Austin knew a stock 48RE would not handle the abuse he planned to dish out or the power the truck was making, so he had Firepunk Diesel build one of its high-performance "Golden Nugget" race automatics.
The transmission features a quad-disc, billet, Diesel Performance Converters torque converter that is linked to the engine through an SFI flexplate. The converter's output is channeled into the transmission through a billet TCS Performance Products Fat input shaft that is joined inside the transmission by billet intermediate and output shafts. Of course, Firepunk also worked its magic throughout the transmission with high-performance clutches and steels to handle the power as well as a custom full-manual valvebody that allows Austin to row his own gears. Gear selection is handled by a B&M Pro Stealth ratchet shifter. To keep the transmission's operating temperature cool, he fabricated a rack in the bed for mounting a pair of Derale 15800 transmission cooler assemblies with integrated fans.
Photo 4/39   |   As if the Grand Rock Exhaust hood stack isn't a big enough clue to the potential of Austin's Dodge, lifting the hood removes any doubt that it packs a stout Cummins and is ready to race at the drop of a hat. The bright blue powdercoating makes the go-fast parts stand out while dressing up the engine bay at the same time.
Power is channeled to the front and rear axles through the stock transfer case and a Driveshaft Specialist Heavy Duty front driveshaft and the stock AAM 9.25 axle assembly. Accurate Driveline and Machine developed the 5-inch aluminum rear driveshaft and safety loop, which Austin fabricated and welded to the frame. To improve braking performance, Austin installed Power Stop dimpled and slotted rotors and brake pads on all four corners. To keep the original AAM 11.5 rear axle from twisting when he mashes the skinny pedal, Austin made a set of traction bars to link the frame to the axle housing with mounts welded in place at each end.
After repairing the chassis damage at the front of the truck, Austin installed new steering components, including Carli Suspension ball joints, a blue-top steering box, and brace. He also installed new spherical ball-joint end links on the sway bar and a Bilstein steering stabilizer to go with a full set of 5100-Series shocks installed front and rear. Original coil springs up front and leaf springs support the rear, while a 2-inch leveling kit gives the truck a great stance. Rolling stock on the truck is comprised of 33x12.50R20LT Cooper Discoverer STT tires wrapped around black 20x12 Moto Metal 962 wheels.
Photo 5/39   |   Austin's Dodge rolls on 33x12.50R20LT Cooper Discoverer STT tires wrapped around 20x12 Moto Metal 962 wheels. Through the spokes you can catch a glimpse of the Power Stop dimpled and slotted brake rotors Austin installed, along with a set of performance pads to help whoa the truck down at the top end of the dragstrip.
Despite having more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, the truck's gray cloth interior is in good shape, so Austin left it stock with simple additions of a Pioneer stereo head unit and WeatherTech floor mats to protect the carpet. The other interior modifications are performance related, including five Isspro EV2 factory-matching gauges. Three of the gauges are installed in an A-pillar pod to monitor lift-pump fuel pressure, exhaust-gas temperature, and turbo boost. The other two gauges are mounted on the steering column to monitor transmission-fluid temperature and line pressure. Additionally, he has an Edge Products CTS2 monitor mounted on the windshield near the A-pillar to keep tabs on fuel-rail pressure and other OBD II-based parameters.
While Austin hasn't passed this combination across the rollers of a chassis dyno, he has run it at Wagler Motorsports Park's eighth-mile dragstrip many times, with a best e.t. of 7.60 seconds and best speed of 92.5 mph. With the truck weighing 7,000 pounds, those performance numbers indicate the engine is making somewhere around 800 to 850 hp. But, like most gearheads, Austin says he thinks his project will never be "done," and he is in the process of building a new engine for the truck.
The new engine will use Wagler Competition Products' Street Fighter connecting rods along with a Wagler ported cylinder head (in addition to some other goodies). Austin's goal is to put down 1,000 to 1,100 hp while keeping the truck fun on the street. With help from friends, coworkers, and, of course, his supportive wife, Summer, Austin built a street/strip 7,000-pound rocket ship, which the couple thoroughly enjoys at diesel races, shows, and events throughout the Midwest.
Photo 6/39   |   A Stainless Diesel second-generation Cummins exhaust manifold feeds spent gases to the lone, big, turbocharger: a BorgWarner S476 prepared by Forced Inductions. Large volumes of air are ingested through the S&B Filters open-element air filter.
Photo 7/39   |   The polished-aluminum On3 Performance intercooler replaces the stock 'cooler while a Far From Stock air-conditioning condenser cover gives the front of the engine bay a clean look when the hood is raised.
Photo 8/39   |   Austin installed an ATS Diesel Performance Twin Fueler system to give the engine a second high-pressure CP3 injection pump that delivers plenty of fuel to S&S Diesel Motorsport 65-percent-over injectors. The compressed intake charge is channeled into the head through a Pusher Intakes cold-side intercooler pipe and intake elbow that are also powdercoated bright blue.
Photo 9/39   |   007 850hp 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Engine
Photo 10/39   |   008 850hp 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Engine
Photo 11/39   |   The polished-aluminum valve cover looks so much better than stock plastic covers but requires external venting, which Austin accomplished by plumbing a pair of stainless braided hoses over to the fender where his custom breather and catch-can assembly is mounted.
Photo 12/39   |   010 850hp 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Engine
Photo 13/39   |   Not too many street trucks sport a stack protruding through the hood, but Austin's Dodge Ram is a unique machine. Notice the Grand Rock Exhaust 7-inch pipe is secured to the hood with polished 12-point ARP fasteners.
Photo 14/39   |   Austin did a good job of cleaning up the chassis after the frame was straightened. Then he rebuilt the suspension using Bilstein 5100-Series shocks teamed with Fleece shock-tower deletes to tame the ride while Carli Suspension ball joints, spherical sway bar end links, a blue-top steering box, and brace combine with a Bilstein steering stabilizer to make sure the truck stays pointed where intended.
Photo 15/39   |   014 850hp 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Front Suspension
Photo 16/39   |   The silver paint and black accents give Austin's truck a slick look without going over the top, as this is still a daily driver that regularly sees track use.
Photo 17/39   |   Stock cloth upholstery provides a comfy seating surface for Austin and his wife, Summer, as they drive to and from diesel events and races. WeatherTech floor mats protect the carpet from dirt, mud, and track debris whenever they climb into the truck.
Photo 18/39   |   017 850hp 2007.5 Dodge Ram 2500 Interior
Photo 19/39   |   Factory-matched Isspro EV2 gauges are installed in the A-pillar as well as on a steering-column-mounted pod to monitor lift-pump fuel pressure, EGT, boost, transmission temperature and line pressure. Austin also has an Edge Products CTS2 for additional monitoring and a Pioneer receiver to replace the factory radio and dish out the tunes.
Photo 20/39   |   Austin built a panel for the center console to house the B&M Pro Stealth ratchet shifter used to bang through the gears of the fully manual valvebody in the Firepunk Diesel 48RE four-speed automatic transmission. Notice the BD Diesel Performance Launch Control staging limiter mounted alongside the console.
Photo 21/39   |   Austin originally released the Launch Control with a button on the shifter but realized he was losing a little time to his competition. To help quicken things, he integrated a switch into the center of the brake pedal. Now, as soon as he lifts his foot, the launch control is disengaged and the truck blasts off the line and down the track at full throttle.
Photo 22/39   |   An EFILive CSP5 selector switch is located in the dash on the left side of the steering wheel so Austin can select the Firepunk Diesel ECM calibrations with a quick twist of the wrist.
Photo 23/39   |   While Austin's Dodge Ram shows a few wounds from its previous life, it is still a great looking ride from any angle.
Photo 24/39   |   The bumper was ditched in favor of a painted roll pan, and the stock taillights and third brake light were replaced with Recon LED lights.
Photo 25/39   |   The '07 Dodge Ram 2500 still has a usable bed, even if a little space is taken up by the relocated passenger-side battery and the transmission coolers.
Photo 26/39   |   Knowing heat is the number one enemy of an automatic transmission and that racing and street driving both create a lot of heat in a transmission, Austin built a rack that holds a pair of Derale 15800 fan-cooled transmission coolers that are plumbed to the Firepunk Diesel 48RE four-speed gearbox through stainless braided lines. The dual coolers keep the transmission happy under any racing and driving experiences Austin has thrown at his truck.
Photo 27/39   |   Like the front, a Moto Metal wheel and Cooper tire combination puts the power to the ground on the track or while cruising down the highway.
Photo 28/39   |   Austin replaced the stock rear shocks with a set of Bilstein 5100-Series dampers and installed a G2 Brute Force differential cover on the axlehousing for additional fluid capacity and better cooling. The custom traction-bar mounts are welded directly to the axle tubes to properly locate the axle and prevent it from twisting as he mashes the loud pedal.
Photo 29/39   |   The traction bars' forward mounts are welded directly to the frame, as is the driveshaft safety loop.
Photo 30/39   |   Looking through the driver-side rear wheelwell, you can see the 220-gph FASS Fuel Systems lift pump and filter system that feeds the twin CP3 injector pumps.
Fast Facts:
Year/Make/Model: '07 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Austin Myers
Hometown: Shoals, Indiana
Odometer: 130,751 miles
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6, Fluidampr harmonic balancer, Cummins cylinder head, Wagler Competition Products O-rings, Trend Performance billet rocker bridges and trunnions, 103-pound valvesprings, Manton pushrods, ARP Custom Age 625 head studs, rocker studs
Fuel: FASS Fuel Systems 220-gph lift pump, ATS Diesel Performance Twin Fueler dual CP3 high-pressure injection pumps, S&S Diesel Motorsport 65-percent-over injectors
Air: BorgWarner S476/87/1.0 turbocharger prepared by Forced Inductions, PTP turbo blanket, On3 Performance intercooler, Pusher Intakes cold-side intercooler piping, intake manifold, Stainless Diesel hot-side intercooler tubes, TurboSmart Big Bubba wastegate
Exhaust: Stainless Diesel T4 second-generation exhaust manifold, 7-inch Grand Rock Exhaust hood stack
Tuning: EFILive; CSP5 selector switch, tuning by Firepunk Diesel, BD Diesel Performance Launch Control staging limiter
Transmission: 48RE four-speed automatic by Firepunk Diesel, fully manual valvebody, B&M Pro Stealth ratchet shifter, billet TCS Performance Products fat input shaft, billet intermediate and output shafts, SFI flexplate, billet quad-disc Diesel Performance Converters torque converter, dual Derale 15800 transmission coolers
Horsepower: 800 to 850 hp
Torque: Lots
Tires: 33x12.50R20LT Cooper Discoverer STT
Wheels: 20x12 Moto Metal 962
Suspension: Bilstein 5100-Series shocks, stock coil and leaf springs, custom traction bars, Carli Suspension ball joint,; blue-top steering box, steering-box brace Driveshaft Specialist HD front driveshaft, Accurate Driveline and Machine 5-inch aluminum rear driveshaft, custom front and rear driveshaft-safety loops
Axles: Factory 3.73 gears, Power Stop slotted rotors, brake pads
Body: Color-matched grille shell, black door and tailgate handles, black aluminum fuel-filler door, Recon LED taillights, third brake light, color-matched roll pan
Interior: Stock cloth interior upholstery, Isspro EV2 gauges, Edge Products CTS2 monitor, Pioneer audio receiver
Fun Fact: Austin's beautiful rig graced the cover our January 2018 issue, without an accompanying feature article. The move was Diesel Power Editor KJ Jones' effort to stress the point that the Readers' Diesels section is a great platform for "getting your truck in the magazine." For Austin, it worked—at the highest level possible.

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