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  • ATS Diesel Performance Gauntlet Challenge: Carnage!

ATS Diesel Performance Gauntlet Challenge: Carnage!

When diesel pickups are pushed to their performance limits, hard parts tend to break...in SPECTACULAR fashion!

Mar 18, 2020
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"Power finds the weakest link " It's a credo that most diesel-truck enthusiasts fully understand. And, for the most part, it's a concept that hardcore enthusiasts live by, as they're in the group that modifies engines to make—and hopefully support—ridiculous amounts of horsepower and torque.
Although improving a diesel's performance is fairly lined out at this point (increase cubic inches, hang larger and/or multiple turbochargers, enhance fueling, ECM calibration, etc. ), technology isn't advanced to the point pf being perfect, where engine or drivetrain hard parts are 100 percent fail-proof. The further the performance envelope is pushed, especially with respect to various pressures that are imposed on an engine—and the force of torque (yes, more than horsepower)—the greater the chances that parts will fail, sometimes in spectacular fashion.
Photo 2/13   |   001 Carnage At The Gauntlet Challenge
All of this was validated at the 2020 Gauntlet Challenge and Let It Roll dyno events, which were held in early March at ATS Diesel Performance in Arvada, Colorado. In the Gauntlet, carnage ran the gamut from destroyed fluorescent bulbs (overhead lighting in the dyno cell was no match for the exhaust discharge of Diesel Power Challenge Class of 2019 alum Steven Lucero's 2006 Dodge Ram 2500), a blown intercooler boot (on Kody Pulliam's event-winning 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD), to an annihilated turbocharger (Dynomite Diesel Products' 2007 Dodge Ram 2500). And in the event's most impressive display of how massive torque can affect hardened Grade 8 fasteners, Todd Welch's 1998 Dodge Ram 1500's triple-turbocharged 5.9L Cummins literally shearing all of the bolts connecting torque converter to flex plate (thanks to 2,448.2 lb-ft of twist).
Photo 3/13   |   009 Carnage At The Gauntlet Challenge
Yes, carnage happens every year, and it pretty much "comes with the territory" at diesel competitions large and small. Thankfully, at the 2020 ATS Diesel Performance Gauntlet Challenge, the destruction only resulted in damaged parts and hurt feelings. No one was injured when things went "boom."