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Big-Power Common-Rail: Part 2

The Power Upgrades!

Jason Sands
Apr 1, 2013
Photographers: Jason Sands
In part one of this two-part series, we took a look at what was needed to take a stock common-rail Dodge and build it up for insane yet reliable power—we’re talking 800 to 1,000 hp here. The kicker was that it only took the crew at Brown’s Diesel in Riverdale, California, a day to complete part one, so the next step of the build would be concentrating on actually making 800 to 1,000 hp. As it turns out, a second day of wrenching was all that was needed to make the big numbers.
Photo 2/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 dodge Ram Burnout
The weird part was that it wasn’t even that hard. Sure, we “cheated” with nitrous, but the truck still made more than 600 rwhp on fuel and spooled ultra-quick with the 63mm BD Diesel Performance Killer B turbocharger. What was even more surprising was what was missing from the build. No external wastegate, huge injectors, or swamp-draining lift pump. No crazy intake piping, aftermarket intercooler, or even second CP3 pump. No camshaft, or valvetrain parts. Sure, all those fancy parts help, but what occurred on a limited time and dollar budget was pretty amazing. The power-adding parts were deceptively few and simple, but boy, did they work. Read on to see how the Brown’s Diesel crew faired on the dyno and during some real-world abuse at the local sand drags in Lemoore, California.
Photo 3/10   |   Aside from the mammoth AFE intake, the engine bay looks deceptively stock— especially since it has a near-900-rwhp 5.9L Cummins in it.
"880 hp…not bad! — Erick Brown"
What it is: Industrial Injection 85-percent CP3 pump ($1,850)
Photo 4/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 cp3 Pump
Why you need it: To keep rail pressure at a rock-solid 26,000 psi with a big tune and upgraded injectors, a higher-flowing CP3 pump is the hot ticket and saves on cost as compared to dual pumps. Industrial Injection supplied a single pump that flowed 85 percent more fuel than stock to keep rail pressure where it should be.
What it is: BD Diesel Performance Killer B 63/65/14 turbocharger ($1,640)
Photo 5/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 bd Diesel Turbo Charger
Why you need it: Since this was to be a multi-use vehicle, a relatively small 63mm Killer B turbo was selected. This meant quick spooling but also enough air to break 600 rwhp on fuel.
What it is: F1 Diesel 100hp injector nozzles ($900)
Photo 6/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 diesel Injector
Why you need it: You can only increase injector pulsewidth so much before you just start blowing energy out the exhaust. Larger injector nozzles from F1 Diesel increase the amount of fuel that gets delivered on the combustion stroke and do so in an amount of time that translates directly to more power.
What it is: Custom three-stage nitrous ($700)
Photo 7/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 nitrous Injectors
Why you need it: While the Ram makes good power and torque on fuel alone, it’s hard to beat the horsepower gains involved in a big nitrous system. Cobbled together from various parts around the shop, the system uses three NOS solenoids along with a -6 feed line. Power is boosted from 613 hp to 880 hp with the bottle activated.
Dyno Testing
With some extra fuel from the nitrous tune, the little Cummins that could made 613 rwhp with 31 degrees of timing and 40 psi of boost. It could also peg the 1,600-degree pyrometer in a hurry, so we knew it needed a whole lot of nitrous to get the EGT level to drop. With all three stages (0.080 jets) online, the truck put down 880 hp to the rear wheels! That’s just a few horsepower shy of last year’s Diesel Power Challenge-winning truck. For something you can drive every day (with “only” 600 hp), we’d say that’s not too shabby.
Photo 8/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 dyno Chart
In any build, there’s always the question of cost. As it turned out, we were able to sneak under the $30,000 mark with this truck—and that’s including the purchase price! While it’s not a budget build in the sense of junkyard parts, it is a very reasonable amount for a driveable, reliable, 880-rwhp truck that’s also capable of low 11-second quarter-mile times.
Used 2006 Dodge 2500: $15,000
Day one parts: Supporting hardware
Rebuilt transmission with Goerend valvebody and Alto clutches... $1,750
Goerend triple-disc torque converter... $1,200
Sonnax 300M input shaft, TCS 300M output and intermediate shafts, and Sun Coast billet flexplate... $2,400
Raptor 100 lift pump... $395
ARP 625 head studs... $1,200
EFILive tuning... $650
Performance gauges... $300
Aftermarket exhaust... $700
Air intake... $395
Intake horn... $285
Intercooler boots... $240
Day two parts: Performance modifications
Industrial Injection 85-percent CP3 pump... $1,850
F1 Diesel 100hp injector nozzles... $900
BD Diesel Performance Killer B 63/65/14 turbocharger... $1,640
Custom three-stage nitrous... $700
Two Day Total... $29,605
The Sand Drags
There’s a lot to be said for dyno numbers, but boosted four-wheel-drive launches in the sand says a lot, too—especially when you’re talking drivetrain. Even after about five or six passes within an hour, the truck was holding strong, from the front of the engine’s damper to the back of the transmission’s output shaft. The fact that the Dodge was able to put a purpose-built, 572ci Chevy C10 running alcohol on the trailer was simply icing on the cake. Keep in mind that this is a truck that’s detuned to 400 hp and loaned out to customers on the weekdays.
Photo 9/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 dodge Ram Car Pulling Trailer
800-Plus Fuel Only
Since we know you’re going to ask, we decided to answer the future question of “What if I don’t like nitrous?” Well, you’ll be glad to know that 800 hp at the wheels is no big deal without the silly spray as well, it just requires a larger, or second, turbo. If it were us, we’d throw an 80 to 88mm S400-based turbocharger under the 63mm BD Killer B, which would add about $2,000 more to the purchase price but keep the owner from having to refill nitrous bottles at $4.50 per pound all the time.
Photo 10/10   |   big Power Common Rail Part 2 custom Cummins Engine


Industrial Injection
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
BD Diesel Performance
Sumas, WA 98295
Brown's Diesel
Riverdale, CA 93656


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