A career as a skilled heavy equipment mechanic makes it easy to center one’s life around a passion for diesel-powered vehicles. Koby Kisner of Carmi, Illinois dove right into the deep end when it comes to diesel performance. But with big plans, which include a heavy dose of fun, he shows no sign of slowing up when it comes to racing.

Everybody has their exciting part of their life, that one thing that gets them excited about doing it. For Koby, its drag racing. Drag racing is an adrenaline rush. For most, all it takes is that single ride down the strip and you’re hooked. Fortunately for Koby, he was bitten by the racing bug.

Off to college Kisner went, while meeting new people and building new relationships. Growing close to his friends, it sparked his interest when riding in their trucks. “My friends from college had diesels that had a little bit done, and from there I became interested,” Kisner said. Shortly after his run-in with the world of torque, the search for his own truck was on.

The aggressive stance that silver has, may intimidate the other lane.

After searching for the perfect truck, Koby finally found the truck of his dreams, but the dream truck came with a price. On the other side of the country, in West Virginia, he found his silver 2007.5 Dodge Ram four-wheel drive. This quad cab, short bed truck is exactly what he was looking for, but the distance between him and the truck was unjustifiable.

Being mindful of the distance, Kisner spontaneously drove all the way to West Virginia. Fortunately for him, the truck was just as good in person as it was in pictures. Making a decision to drive that far and purchase a truck sight unseen, wasn’t easy, but Koby is sure glad he did. “I’m glad I got this truck,” Koby said. ” It’s safe to say this truck is my life.”

Street Life To Drag Life

Starting out as a normal truck that was intended to stay a daily driver has changed a bunch over time. As the passion began to overflow, the truck is become better and better. “It began with just a few bolt-ons and exterior dress-up mods, but my drag racing passion began to grow,” Koby explained. “Therefore, my parts list became more drag racing oriented.”

The truck since day one has had a cab light out. “It has been out since I bought it,” Koby continued. “That’s the significant thing about this truck and everyone knows it by. I’ve never considered fixing it.”

Keeping all of the temperatures and pressures in check, Koby has a dash full of ISSPRO gauges.

Silver is equipped with the standard 6.7-Liter Cummins engine. With the future aimed at drag racing, Koby has replaced the factory cylinder head with a stage-1 D&J Precision Machine performance cylinder head, harnessed down by ARP 625 head studs.

“This cylinder head has been the difference in performance overall,” Koby said. With a better flowing cylinder head, it made the spool up time on a big single turbocharger easier; Quick lighting and fast acting is the name of the game in drag racing.

Not only is the exterior of the truck clean, but Koby has also got the engine bay cleaned up as well.

Mounted to the side of this engine, is a Steed Speed T4 polished exhaust manifold, which carries an Engineered Diesel S475/87/1.0 turbocharger. This turbo flows enough pounds of air to support over 1,000-horsepower. With that in mind, Koby insured his fast truck goal, by matching his other mods to meet that horsepower.

Knowing he would also need the fuel to spool the charger, an ATS dual CP3 kit and an AirDog 165 4G were installed to establish enough volume of fuel to the injectors. Fueling this larger size turbo is a set of Exergy Performance 200 percent over stock injectors. Now, to get it the power to the ground.

Koby enjoys the flames that shoot out of his Grand Rock Hood Stack.

Manual To Manual 

Now that Koby has what it takes to make all of the power he needs to race at the desired level, he reached a dilemma. The truck was equipped with a six-speed manual G56 transmission. Not that a manual transmission can’t be fast, but it’s not exactly the go-to drivetrain. What Koby did next is his favorite part of the entire build so far.

Purchased to swap, was a Firepunk Diesel Comp 2 48re transmission. The golden nugget transmission obviously wasn’t suppose to work on this truck. The computers in the truck don’t recognize it because it’s not what was equipped originally. After swapping the driveline and adding a custom B&M shifter and a standalone computer for the transmission, a manual valve body transmission was born.

The Anteater is a controller for the 47-series and 48-series (618) Dodge Ram transmissions. It takes the place of a factory PCM and gives total control over the transmission’s shift patterns. The main controller is contained in a weatherproof enclosure and the wiring harness exceeds OEM specifications. It also includes an in-cab wired remote that allows the end user to disable overdrive as well as choose between three separate shift tune tables.

The transmission is controlled by a Firepunk Engineering Anteater System. “This was by far my favorite part of the swap because of the in-depth customization it takes to complete,” Koby said. After seeing the ratchet shifter in the truck, it’s hard to not want to have one of our own.

Buying a truck sight unseen, unordinary, but worth it. This truck was straight as an arrow.

He’s modified everything that he intended to, but why stop there? He continued by adding a set of 16×10 Raceline Wheels, wrapped in M&H Racemaster 30×14.5R16 drag slicks. For those of you who don’t know, to use a 16-inch wheel on these third-generation trucks, you must remove the braking system and install second-generation style brakes. The calipers on a gen-two Ram are small enough that the wheels will clear.

Koby has driven his truck down the 1/8 mile track nearest to him at a best of 7.24 at 94 mph. With that elapsed time, that puts Koby nearing the low 11-second mark in the 1/4-mile. While still pleased with its performance, Koby plans on going even faster with his truck. What could you possibly do next?

Traction is key when it comes to consistency and dialing the truck in to run the number.

“I’m hoping to do a 6.4-liter Cummins platform build and run the 6.70 index class,” Koby said. “I’m wanting to be able to have enough power on tap for the mid six-second range in the 1/8th mile.” Getting a truck of this size down the track at over 100 mph isn’t easy, but Koby strives on challenges. We look forward to seeing what he comes up with in the months to come.

An aftermarket fuel cell was installed in the bed of Silver for less weight. Also, additional cooling for the transmission is mounted to the front of the bed with auxiliary transmission coolers.

It’s been five years in the making, and this truck has noticeably changed Koby’s life. He’s learned more than he ever expected to and built many relationships with people in the industry over this time period. As the truck continues to get faster, be sure and look out for him in the next few years. He’s coming!

What do you think about this truck? Are you thinking about building a similar style truck? Let us know in the comments below!

We met Koby Kisner at Maverick Diesel for a dyno tuning session. Koby was getting the truck dialed in for the 7.70 index class.