Dynamometer’s With Maverick Diesel: A Toy Or Tuning Tool

Over the last work week, I had the pleasure riding shotgun in the passenger seat of a 2007.5 6.7-liter Cummins-Powered Ram 25o0. The truck is owned by Paul Cato from Maverick Diesel and what we were about to do here has probably never been done. We’re en route to Florida from Southern Illinois for the Horsepower Laboratory, a class that’s held at Hardway Performance and Suncoast Performance and finish off the trip with a stop at Emerald Coast Dragway for Diesel Thunder’s Spring Break season opener.

Afore our departure to the sunshine state, Cato drummed up an idea that caught my attention. “What if we hit different dyno’s on the way down to Florida?” said Cato. “We can determine how much of a horsepower variation on my truck on several different dynos and different areas of the country.” Intrigued, we agree to set up these dyno sessions while on our way down.

For this test, we would only be looking at the horsepower, as torque can be all over the place depending on how early or late the dyno run is started. If the timing is not perfect every time the torque number will never be the same. With the truck having a stock bottom end, we are intentionally keeping torque out of the truck. We would be starting runs a bit higher than most would normally start the run.

As we arrive in Florida, we had to stop in at the beach for a few photos of the truck. Stay tuned for a feature of this ride.

Cato’s truck has plenty of upgrades. These upgrades include Midwest Truck Products S475/87 .90 2nd Gen Swap Kit, stock injector bodies with 180hp Industrial Injection nozzles, Fleece Performance dual cp3 kit with CP3K, ARP 2000 head studs, Fass 150 Titanium lift pump, Maverick Diesel built 68rfe, Maverick Diesel custom tuning (engine/transmission), and a stock bottom end.

The first dyno would be Maverick Diesel’s Mustang MD250. Our second stop would be at Bean’s Diesel Performance to strap the truck down to their Dynocom 2WD 15000. The third stop would be at Hardway Performance to see what the truck would do on a Dynojet 224XLC. Our final stop would be at the Diesel Thunder event, where Diesel Doctor would have their Dynocom 2WD 15000 Trailer Dyno. 


Each of the dynos we operated in this test was equipped with load cells (eddy current brakes) which use electricity to produce resistance against the tested vehicle. This loads the truck up and forces the engine to make peak performance and spin the roller. A load is a prerequisite when dynoing a diesel truck because the engine doesn’t produce power without boost pressure.

Without boost a load on the engine, you will struggle to make the desired boost pressure you need to get that horsepower and torque number you’re after. The only variance between all of the dynos tested is that the Dynojet224XLC at Hardway Performance is powered by dual eddy current brakes while all others are only single eddy’s.

Stop 1 – Maverick Diesel

Maverick Diesel has a Mustang MD250 dyno that Cato does all his testing and tuning on that he used for his baseline. It’s known to him that his dyno consistently reads 10 percent low based on track times from several trucks that have been turned on it and then later went to the dragstrip and posted times that reflected a good bit more power than his dyno had read out.

As the baseline, his truck made 893 horsepower on the Mustang dyno. With the baseline done, it was time to set out on our trek to Florida.

Stop 2 – Beans Diesel Performance

Ryan Bean instructs Cato on when and how to be in the throttle on his dyno.

The Beans Diesel Performance Dynocom 2WD 15000 has been around for a while. Many trucks have been on it, as they host an event every year that has many high-profile trucks swing it out to see who the top dog for horsepower is. We arrived after lunch and Ryan Bean, the owner of Bean’s Diesel Performance, was kind enough to let us strap the truck down on the dyno.

We made three runs on the truck, the highest of which resulted in 912 horsepower. This was already an interesting start to the trip, as we were starting to get the results we need. After squaring up with Beans, we were en route to our next destination, Hardway Performance.  

Stop 3 – Hardway Performance

The inground dyno at Hardway Performance was a nice setup and we were excited that we got the chance to use it.

We arrived in Florida the following day, after stopping for the night for some rest. We got to Hardway Performance around 4 pm and they were just finishing up their Horsepower Laboratory session for the day. Ryan Milliken, Owner of Hardway Performance, was willing to let us throw the truck on his Dynojet 224XLC to see how the truck would perform on his dyno. 

He was interested in the results, as not many people have thought to test multiple different dynos with the same truck. We made a quick hit on the dyno, and one hit was all we were able to get as the passenger side intercooler boot decided it wanted no more. “This didn’t affect the results, though, as the truck was already starting to fall out of peak power at the point the boot let go,” said Cato. “The run resulted in 924 horsepower. A 12 horsepower variation from Bean’s Dyno, which in my opinion, is consistent from one dyno to another.”

Stop 4 – Diesel Doctor

Even at over 900-horsepower, this truck runs at wide open throttle with very minimal smoke. Clean tuning is good tuning.

After spending the week in Florida at Hardway Performance and Suncoast Performance, it was time to head to Emerald Coast Dragway for Diesel Thunder Spring Break. Diesel Thunder had brought in Diesel Doctor’s Mobile Dynocom 2WD 15000 dyno. “Anxiously, I quickly signed the truck up for the dyno and it wasn’t long before it was my turn to see what it made,” Cato said.

We only made two runs, as that’s all we needed to get the information we needed. The truck made 1026 horsepower on this dyno. “I was a bit shocked at the horsepower gain, considering nothing was changed other than the dyno,” said Cato. This reading seemed to be the opposite of what Paul’s Mustang Dyno read, which was interesting.

Cato and the crew at Diesel Doctor Dyno discuss their gameplan for the upcoming dyno run.

After testing all four dynos, together we’ve come to a conclusion. “At the end of the day, the numbers that come up on the screen don’t mean a thing,” Cato said. “All we are looking for, as tuners, is the change that each adjustment makes on the power output of the truck. When it comes to dyno events, they are fun and everyone enjoys them. Can you use the power reading as gospel, probably not, but on that day, everyone is on the same playing field so the numbers still don’t matter because it’s a constant that doesn’t change.”

This has been an extraordinary test, as we believe nobody has done this sort of thing and it’s been a great experience to finally bury the hatchet. Stay tuned as Maverick Diesel and Company will be continuing this test throughout the country on different brand dynos to see how it all pans out. What’re your thoughts on the test? For more information on Maverick Diesel, check out their website and Facebook.

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About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds as well as sled pulling competitions.
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