Cummins Dyno Day, 12-V, 24-V, Common Rail, & 6.7l, We Test Them All

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In our final installment of our brand-specific dyno days, we finish strong with some of the most powerful trucks we have rolled yet. For those of you who have been following this series, you know that we did a 7.3-liter Power Stroke dyno day when we launched the magazine, and then followed that up with a 6.6-liter Duramax dyno day. Now, we have the all mighty six-cylinder Cummins.

For the first time in this series, we break the 1,000 horsepower mark. We have had a few trucks that should have been able to do it, but for whatever reason they were not able to break into the four-digit realm.

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This is also the first time that we did not hold the dyno day at our corporate headquarters in Southern California. Instead, we headed east to the Lomghorn state (Texas) where we took over Truck Source Diesel’s (TSD) dyno. They were gracious enough to run their Dynojet 224XLC all day for us and play host to five very strong trucks that represent the evolution of Cummins power!

The 5.9-liter Cummins made its way into the Dodge Ram chassis in 1989. This was a major step for Dodge as Ford and GM had been running diesels in their trucks for years. The small displacement engine was running a turbocharger, VE injection pump, and could produce a whopping 160 horsepower at 2,500 rpm.

It is pretty amazing to consider that an engine probably designed, and initially developed in the early ‘80s is actually still in production in the automotive industry. There have been so many changes to the industry that most powerplants have been redesigned and replaced a number of times. While the 5.9-liter Cummins has undergone a number of updates and revisions over the years, the same basic architecture remains the same. In fact, there are a number of parts that can be swapped between different revisions indicating the commonality (in fact, we recently did a story on a 6.7-liter Cummins that was converted over to a VE rotary injection pump from the early ’90s).

The Evolution

2014 Ram Heavy Duty 5.9-liters

  • Bore: 4.02 inches
  • Stroke: 4.72 inches

12 Valve

  • Horsepower ranges: 160 hp to 215 hp
  • Torque range: 400 lb-ft to 440 lb-ft

24 Valve

  • Horsepower ranges: 215 hp to 245 hp
  • Torque range: 420 lb-ft to 505 lb-ft

Common Rail

  • Horsepower ranges: 235 hp to 325 hp
  • Torque range: 610 lb-ft to 850 lb-ft

6.7-liter

  • Bore: 4.21 inches
  • Stroke: 4.88 inches
  • Horsepower ranges: 350 hp to 385 hp
  • Torque range: 460 lb-ft to 900 lb-ft
The initial Cummins is known as a 12-valve due to its two valve per cylinder design. These engines came with a VE rotary injection pump and piston pump (p-pump), depending on the years. The first major revision to the engine came in 1998, when emission regulations started to play a major role in engine performance.

The update/redesign called for a new cylinder head with four valves per cylinder, a rotary injection pump (VP44) with electronic controls, and some other basic emissions equipment. These engines are known as 24-valve engines and they were produced from 1998 to 2002. They are also probably the noisiest of the different generations.

By 2003, Cummins had switched over to a common high-pressure fuel rail and operated the injectors via electronics. These engines received a number of revisions but the fuel rail change gave them a new name, Common Rail. With these engines being fully electronic, they were able to make decent power relatively easy, and have become a popular engine for most street/strip type applications. They were produced from 2003 to 2007.

The current version of the Cummins is no longer a 5.9-liter. It has been bored and stroked to 6.7-liter (this generation is referred to as a 6.7-liter). These engines have a number of emissions equipment and represent the current evolution of the 160 horsepower engine that first appeared in ’88. Now producing up to 385 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque, it is a powerhouse from the factory, and has become a dominate player in the performance industry. If you are interested in the different versions or differences between years, click here for an in-depth article we did on the evolution of the engine.

But enough with the history lesson let’s talk power!

Jacob Bates 2001 Dodge Ram 2500

Jacob Bates’ 2001 Dodge Ram 2500

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  • Turbo: Silver 62 high pressure and BorgWarner S400 with a 75mm compressor
  • Tuner: Edge Products Drag Comp Tuner stacked with Smarty
  • Fuel: Stock VP44 injection pump feeding F1 Diesel’s Mach 7
  • Best Run: 727 hp and 1,472 lb-ft of torque
We started the day off with Jake Bates’ 2001 Dodge Ram 2500. This truck has been around for a long time and was well-known for laying down big dyno numbers (for the time) in the mid-2000’s. Bates cracked the head doing burnouts and donuts a few years back and parked the truck. After a few years, he decided it was time to bring the ole girl back out.

While the head has been replaced and a factory injection pump was installed, the truck remains relatively the same as it was before. When Bates replaced the head, he sent it to Piers Diesel Research and had them add o-rings. The rest of the 24-valve Cummins is pretty much stock.

The VP44 fuel pump feeds a set of F1 Diesel Mach 7 injectors. To complete the combustion, the air is supplied by an Industrial Injection Silver 62 over a billet S475 low pressure charger. The combination of turbos is able to produce 70 psi. When he wants to give it his all, Bates employs a water/methanol injection system and a single stage Zex nitrous kit.

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Bates was stationed in Hawaii for five years. He picked up this Hawaiian Ikaika Warrior Helmet while he was there. It symbolizes strength and power.

Controlling the delivery and timing of everything, Bates relies on an Edge Products Drag Competition tuner stacked with a Smarty.

Behind the engine is a Goerend torque converter mounted to a 47RE automatic that was built by Gerald Kosub Transmission Services featuring a SunCoast valve body.

The rear of the truck has been lowered three inches and is rolling on a set of 305/50R20 Toyo Proxes ST II wrapping 20×10 Fuel Off-Road wheels.

All said and done, Bates rolled 601 hp with 1,198 lb-ft of torque on fuel only and 727 hp with 1,472 lb-ft of torque with spray. Bates best run to date was last December on this same dyno at Truck Source Diesel when he laid down 809 horsepower. Unfortunately, during this event, his water/methanol system wasn’t working and he couldn’t repeat.

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Kyle Peacock’s 1998 Dodge Ram 2500

Kyle Peacock's 1998 Dodge Ram 2500

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  • Turbo: BorgWarner S400 with a 75mm compressor wheel
  • Tuner: CDS 12mm 215 p-pump
  • Fuel: Industrial Injection 6x.016
  • Best Run: 764 hp and 1255 ft-lbs of torque
Next up for the day was Kyle Peacock. Peacock is a teacher and coach for Frisco ISD during the week and a hell-raiser on the weekend with this 1998 Dodge Ram 2500. This was the only p-pump truck we had in the mix for this event and the lope when it was idling around the parking lot was just plain cool. Today’s electronically-controlled engines don’t have the same grunt to them as the old p-pumps do. It was great that Peacock was able to make the event.

Under the hood of this ’98 is a 24-valve that has undergone some major work. While the pistons, rods, and crank are stock, the factory camshaft was ditched in favor of a Hamilton Cams 181/210. A set of Manning Motorsports billet push rods were installed and the stock rockers have to overcome Hamilton 110 pound valve springs to open up the valves.

The engine was converted over to a p-pump which was built by CDS (Columbus Diesel Supply) and is a 12 mm 215 pump. The pump is fed by an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump and feeds Industrial Injection 6x.016 injectors. The exhaust runs through a Steed Speed exhaust manifold and around the BorgWarner S400 turbine housing (0.91A/R). As the 75 mm compressor wheels spins it sends air through the aFe Power Bladerunner intercooler, which then directs the cooler air through the Bladerunner intake elbow and into the head. If Peacock so wishes, the cooled compressed air can meet with water/methanol thanks to a single stage system.

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Luck was with us today. If TSD didn’t notice the issue, we would have been picking up pieces of the truck off the ground.

Behind the flywheel is a triple disk Diesel Performance Converters converter which sends power through the fully-built Black’s Diesel Performance 47RE transmission. A Firepunk Diesel transmission controls the power sent through the factory transfer case and through the differential(s). The rear end has been upgraded with Yukon Axles and Gear axles. The power is then transmitted to the ground via the 20×12 Fuel Off-Road Octane wheels wrapped in 305/50R20 Nitto 420s.

Unfortunately, once Peacock got on the dyno the guys at Truck Source Diesel noticed a vibration. After a quick inspection they determined that the pinion was loose and it wasn’t safe to run the truck on the dyno. Peacock had TSD fix the truck and they re-dyno’d the truck a few days later. The truck ended up making multiple passes in the 760 range with a best run of 764 horsepower. Unfortunately, the tach pickup on the dyno failed and they didn’t get the torque on that specific run. Earlier, the truck made 764 hp and laid down 1,255 lb-ft of torque. We are so glad that TSD noticed the vibration because it would have been a shame to see such a gorgeous truck kick a driveshaft on the dyno.

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William Ellington’s 2007 Dodge Ram 2500

William Ellington's 2007 Dodge Ram 2500

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  • Turbo: Engineered Diesel S400 with a 69mm compressor wheel
  • Tuner: EFILive tuned by TSD
  • Fuel: 85 percent over Industrial Injection CP3 paired with a stock Duramax CP3 feeding F1 Diesel Flux 4.3 injectors
  • Best Run: 1,036 hp and 1,759 lb-ft of torque
The only third generation Dodge to show up was William Ellington’s 2007. Ellington purchased it new and it was actually this truck that got him into diesels. Over the years he has been racing his truck and slowly building it. He has managed to put together a very simple recipe to produce great power at a very budget-minded price. Over the past few years he has been creeping up to the 1,000 horsepower mark and over the past year, landed into the four-digit range a number of times.

To make that kind of power out of a third generation, Ellington started with a stock rotating assembly. In fact, the only part of the short block that has been upgraded is the camshaft. A Diesel Pro’s Killer B camshaft was installed a few years ago. At the same time, the push rods were upgraded to Smith Brothers and the valve springs were upgraded to F1 Diesel’s.

To make the power the Common Rail does, it all starts with an Engineered Diesel S400 turbo with a 69 mm compressor wheel. The air is compressed up to 60 psi and is sent through the factory intercooler and up into the head via a TSD intake elbow. When the piston is just about at TDC, fuel is injected through the F1 Diesel Flux 4.3 injectors which are fed by a duel PPE CP3 kit. The factory CP3 is an Industrial Injection 85 percent over pump and the top CP3 is a stock Duramax CP3. The timing and amount of fuel is handled by the EFILive custom tuning done by TSD. On dual-fuel only this truck make 843 horsepower and 1,419 ft-lbs of torque.

Not too many trucks running around the streets with full roll cages.

Not too many trucks running around the streets with full roll cages.

Ellington doesn’t use spray on the drag strip, just at the dyno. At this event he did take advantage of the Nitrous Express dual stage kit, which not only cools the air coming out of the turbocharger, but it also feeds the air running into the cylinder head. Holding the power and controlling it is done with a Goerend Transmission.

Ellington runs a set of 20×10 MKW wheels up front and 20×12 in the rear. All are wrapped with Nitto’s 420s 305/50R20 tires for maximum street legal traction. At the track, Ellington has run a best of 11.01 seconds in the quarter mile at 120 mph, at 7,100 pounds still gets 17.6 mpg.

For his second run on the dyno, everything was working in unison and the truck laid down an impressive 1,036 hp and 1,759 ft-lb of torque.

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Chance O’Daniel’s 2012 Ram 2500

Chance O’Daniel’s 2012 Ram 2500

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  • Turbo: Wicked Motorsports BorgWarner S400 with a 68 mm compressor over an S400 with an 84 mm compressor
  • Tuner: EFILive
  • Injectors: twin CP3 pumps feeding 150 percent over injectors
  • Best Run: 806 hp and 1,370 lb-ft of torque
The next truck up was Chance O’Daniel’s fourth generation Ram. Outside of how cool Peacock’s truck was, O’Daniel’s truck was the most talked about. No one really knew what to make of the truck. It has been a work in progress for O’Daniel and he wasn’t sure if it was going to play nice or not. He has been chasing a defueling issue but had the modifications to lay down a number well into the four-digit range.

O’Daniel’s truck is his daily driver that has been turned into a beast. The internals of the engine are stock, but air and fuel have been tweaked. It all starts with the custom set of compounds by Wicked Motorsports and Kustom Fabrications. The compounds start with an 84 mm BorgWarner S400 low-pressure charger feeding an S400 high-pressure with a 68 mm compressor wheel. Believe it or not, this large set of compounds lights very easily and O’Daniel is able to tow effectively with this combination.

With this much air, the stock intercooler was upgraded to a Mishimoto and the intake was upgraded to a Pusher.

For fuel, two stock CP3 pumps are mounted on the engine thanks to a dual CP3 kit from Industrial Injection and the whole system is controlled by EFILive tuned by Done Right Diesel Performance.

Chance_4Spinning with the flywheel is a Valair clutch held in place with a 3850 pressure plate. The rest of the running gear was stock. The truck is running on a set of Toyo Open Country 33×12.5R20 tires mounted on Fuel Octane wheels.

As we all watched O’Daniel roll the dyno time and time again, we all could hear the truck limiting and defueling right around the 2,600 rpm mark.Unfortunately, after a few different tunes and some tweaking, the issue wasn’t fixed and O’Daniel was only able to roll 806 horsepower. The best horsepower run he did have, the tach pickup lost its reading and we weren’t able to register a max torque on that run. In an earlier run, he was able to put down 1,370 lb-ft of torque. After this dyno day, O’Daniel put the truck back on they dyno for more tuning and the truck to date has made over 900 with the same modification but still has a lot left in it. Hopefully they will get it figured out and this will be a four-digit truck in the near future.

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Ray Ross’ 2014 Ram 2500

Ray Ross’ 2014 Ram 2500

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  • Turbo: Engineered Diesel S400 with a 69mm compressor wheel
  • Tuner: H&S Performance Mini Maxx
  • Injectors: 85% over CP3 from Industrial Injection feeding 125 hp nozzles (stock bodies)
  • Best Run: 751 hp and 1393 ft-lbs of torque
The last up was Ray Ross. He bought an ’06 Duramax a few years back and after he broke his Allison, he was hooked and just wanted more. His current daily driver is a 2014 Ram 2500. Originally, this was the tow truck for his Duramax but plans have changed and now it is his daily driver and toy.

Like O’Daniel, the engine is relatively stock. The valve springs were upgraded to F1 Diesel’s and the stock intake horn was replaced with a BD Diesel Performance. The injectors were removed and the nozzles replaced with 125 hp from Industrial Injection’s. The injectors are fed by an 85 percent over CP3 pump built by Industrial Injection.

The fourth generation exhaust manifold was replaced with a second generation manifold from PDI with a T4 flange. Bolted to that flange is an Engineered Diesel S400 with a 69mm compressor. The charger to produces 60 psi on the street. The tuning is done by TSD through an H&S Performance Mini Maxx.

Behind the engine is a South Bend 3250 dual disc clutch and stock transmission. The remainder of the driveline is stock but the truck is rolling on a set of Ultra 22-inch wheels that are wrapped in 305/45R22 Toyo Proxes ST II.

Ross’ truck ended up being a last-minute fill in and he ended up staying up all night trying to get the truck ready for the day. We appreciate that, and he should be happy with the 751 horsepower he laid down with 1,393 lb-ft of torque.

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While we weren’t trying to pit any of these trucks against each other, instead we tried to get a good sample of what is running the roads of Texas and the country. These are great examples of what each generation of Cummins is able to produce. Sure, there are lots of trucks making less and even more power than these guys, but this is a good sampling.

Stay tuned as we start pitting competitors against each other in future dyno stories!

About the author

Chad Westfall

With diesel running through his veins from childhood, Chad has more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry. From editorial work to wrenching, there isn’t much he hasn't conquered head-on. When he’s not writing and shooting trucks and tech, you’ll find him in the shop working on turning the ideas floating around in his head into reality.
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