2012 Ram 2500 6.7L Super Sleeper - Diesel Tech
Adding 203 hp and 349 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels
Sometimes people want a lot of power from their diesel without advertising it to the world. This 2012 Ram 2500 is used for light duty, daily driving, and towing a car trailer, so it’s not meant to turn heads by being flashy. In fact, it’s perfectly capable of staying under the radar with its white paint, stock wheels, and street tires—although we predict an upgrade to the rolling stock in the near future after seeing this burnout. Here’s how the team at Banks Power transformed this 6.7L Cummins-equipped truck from bone-stock into a super sleeper with the same tools you probably have in your garage.
Baseline Basics Before any upgrades were added to the Ram, it was strapped down to the chassis dyno to see what kind of power the truck was making. The 6.7L Cummins engine was introduced for the Ram 2500 and 3500 for the 2007½ model year. The extra displacement when compared to the 5.9L was part of a strategy to meet new federal emissions requirements while staying competitive with Ford and GM during the torque wars that are still raging today. With all the stock parts in place, this 2012 Ram 2500 was able to put down a very respectable 304 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Not bad at all for a completely stock ¾-ton pickup.
Breathing Easy The first steps to perking up the Cummins engine were removing the restrictive factory airbox and improving the flow of the exhaust system. The Banks Ram-Air cold-air intake for the 2007 to 2012 Ram is designed to flow up to 50 percent better than the stock intake while working seamlessly with the factory engine computer. The intake has a high-flow, washable air filter element; a streamlined interior design; and a flexible, 4½-inch bellows to prevent anything from coming apart due to engine vibrations from the large, six-cylinder engine. The 4-inch, diesel-particulate, filter-back Monster exhaust system is available in four configurations: side-single outlet, side-single with dual outlets, dual-side outlets with single tips, and side quads with two tips on each side of the truck. To keep the mostly stock appearance of this sleeper intact, the single-side outlet design was chosen and fitted with a fairly low-key, 5-inch polished round tip. Once the stock intake and exhaust had been replaced, the Ram was able to make 319 hp and 667 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. That’s a gain of 15 hp and 42 lb-ft of torque with the stock engine calibrations.
One of the first steps for the sleeper buildup was to get rid of the restrictive factory airbox and air filter. Even with a fairly dirty air filter in place, a session on the chassis dyno proved the stock 2012 Ram 6.7L Cummins was capable of making 304 hp at 2,650 rpm and 625 lb-ft of torque at 2,250 rpm.
The Banks Monster exhaust for the 2012 Ram 2500 replaces everything from the diesel particulate filter back with a 4-inch-diameter, mandrel-bent tube. This setup retains the DPF, so the truck should have no problem passing a California smog test. The owner chose the single 5-inch round exhaust tip to maintain a low profile.
The exhaust kit chosen for the 6.7L sleeper is a single-side exhaust, but the Monster exhaust is also available with dual tips on one side of the truck, a single exhaust tip on both sides, or dual tips on both sides of the truck. With the intake and exhaust upgrades, our dyno test showed gains of 15 hp and 42 lb-ft of torque before any upgrades were made to the computer programming.
Programming for Power With the new hard parts in place, the next step was adding an AutoMind engine programmer and a touchscreen iQ 2.0 display. The programmer comes pre-loaded with tunes and has the ability to change vehicle functions such as adjusting the engine rpm limiter, changing the cooling fan’s activation temperature, or adjusting the shift points in the 68RFE transmission, along with tons of other features. The iQ 2.0 and AutoMind work together seamlessly thanks to a network hub that tucks away inside the side panel of the dash. Once everything was wired, the Ram was put on the dyno to find out how much power it would make with the improved breathing and engine programming to take advantage of the intake and exhaust. This setup resulted in a best dyno run of 402 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque, which is a bump of 98 hp and 149 lb-ft compared to stock that’s available with a few button presses.
To take advantage of the improved airflow of the intake and exhaust, the Banks AutoMind programmer was used to recalibrate the ECU. Behind the dash panel, a Banks network hub was installed to make sure everything works in concert. With the engine tuning in effect and no fluid injection, the 6.7L Cummins was able to make 402 hp at 3,000 rpm and 774 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm.
Spray Down While that power rating would be fine for most people, the team at Banks wanted to see what could be accomplished with a healthy dose of water-methanol injection from their Double-Shot system. Three ports were drilled into the intake for the nozzles that are fed by two solenoids, which each have a maximum output of 300 psi. The Straight-Shot controller was mounted to the inside of the windshield next to the iQ 2.0. To get an idea of how much power the water-methanol adds to the sleeper setup, the engine programmer was set to the stock calibration before the water-methanol test. When the truck was pulled back onto the dyno, the results were 422 hp and 869 lb-ft of torque, which is a jump of 118 hp and 244 lb-ft compared to the factory the configuration.
The delivery pump for the Double-Shot water-methanol injection system was mounted on the transmission crossmember, where it should be protected from road hazards.
Three holes were drilled and tapped in the intake for the water-methanol injection nozzles.
Multipurpose oil was applied to the tap before the injection holes were turned to assure the threads would be smooth.
For this application, nozzles with flow ratings of 7, 10, and 14 gph at 100 psi were used. Teflon pipe tape was wrapped around the threads to make sure the nozzles had good seals.
As the name implies, the Double-Shot has two stages of progressive water-methanol injection, which are operated by two solenoids mounted to a bracket on the firewall. When the Ram was tested with the water-methanol engaged but without any engine programming in play, the 6.7L put down 422 hp at 3,050 rpm and 869 lb-ft of torque at 2,250 rpm.
A 7-gallon water-methanol tank was installed in the pickup box and filled with Banks PowerBlend fluid, which is 50 percent water, 49 percent methanol, and 1 percent additives to prevent corrosion.
You don’t have to remove the intake to make holes for the water-methanol injectors, but doing so makes it easier to drill and tap them straight. Plus, the technician, Erick Palma, predicted that the intake gasket was compromised—and he was right.
Erick said he’s seen the same problem on multiple other 6.7L engines, and it was always the left side of the gasket, just like you see here. From the look of the EGR soot buildup inside the intake, it appears the left side does not flow as well, causing the relatively hot EGR gases to build up and wear out the gasket.
Waking the Sleeper With all the upgrades in place, it was time to wake up the 6.7L Cummins engine and see what it could really do. Dyno runs with the programmer, water-methanol, cold-air intake, and exhaust upgrades resulted in 489 hp and 941 lb-ft of torque making it to the rear wheels. That’s a gain of 203 hp and 349 lb-ft of torque over stock. That makes smoking the rear tires quite easy, but you’d never know just by looking at the truck.
With all the upgrades in place, the 2012 Ram 2500 was pulled back onto the dyno for a final set of tests. With the water-methanol system engaged and the engine tuner on, the truck was able to spin the dyno drum with 489 hp at 2,800 rpm and 941 lb-ft of torque at 2,350 rpm. That meant this 6.7L super sleeper picked up an impressive 203 hp and 349 lb-ft of torque with upgrades that don’t require the use of any specialized tools for installation.
|Stock||Stock||Intake & Exhaust||Intake & Exhaust||Intake & Exhaust+ Tuner||Intake & Exhaust+ Tuner|
|Intake & Exhaust+ Water-Meth||Intake & Exhaust+ Water-Meth||Intake & Exhaust+ Tuner + Water-Meth||Intake & Exhaust+ Tuner + Water-Meth||Difference||Difference|
Banks PowerAzusa, CA 91702