2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins - Fortifying the 48RE

Inside A 1,655 Lb-Ft Proof Transmission

Steve Temple
Dec 1, 2006
Photographers: David Kennedy, Steve Temple
Photo 2/20   |   2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins rear View
With all the performance mods available for diesels, producing big power can be a fairly straightforward job. What's not so obvious, though, is how all that extra torque affects the drivetrain components. The factory automatic transmissions are up to handling stock power levels, but when you start adding engine upgrades that double its torque you're asking for trouble from your transmission.
North American Diesel Power (NADP), a company known for both diesel engine and transmission upgrades, has built a reputation for making big power with diesel engines and building transmissions that will stand up to the colossal torque. As a drag-racing enthusiast, NADP's Barry Voltner knows firsthand what a bad-boy diesel can do to a weak-sister transmission and, thus, developed the Heavy Hauler Series. He feels that, in most cases, the stock unit is incapable of handling extreme power loads and demands of drivers putting high horsepower to the wheels.
The Heavy Hauler Series of transmissions are not merely for racing trucks. They're also able to meet the demands of daily-driven vehicles, trailer towers, and delivery trucks. They are upgraded with quality parts to tolerate extreme performance loads, each one labeled as either a "300," "450," or "Race." These designations mean that the 300 can handle up to 300 hp at the wheels, the 450 can handle up to 450 hp at the wheels, and NADP claims the Race can handle as much as 750 hp. Since we were in the market for a transmission that would hold up behind our 860 hp common rail Cummins engine in Project X Diesel, NADP spec'd out one of its 48RE Race transmissions to take the beating.

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