Regardless of your involvement in the diesel industry, the weekend of the Scheid Diesel Extravaganza catches your attention. You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen videos of it, and honestly, it’s something you want to go to or have been to multiple times. For Cole Turner, a Marshall, Illinois native, he’s only 20-minutes from the chaos. So, naturally, he brought his ongoing build-up to the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, Indiana.
When you’re in the area of this event, it is guaranteed that you will see thousands of cars and trucks. Anything you can imagine, the Scheid Diesel show offers it. With that being said, in the sea of different trucks, Turner’s rust-free, two-tone first gen Ram stood out with the hood stack poking out of that aftermarket RT hood.
For the last few years, I’ve witnessed a ton of trucks coming in and out of that gate, but Turners was something else. It didn’t have the flashy wheels, it didn’t’ have the giant lift, but it had this clean, nostalgic look to it. Naturally, we caught up with him and here we are. This is Turner’s 1992 Dodge Ram W350 dually with a two-tone white and gold finish.
“Unlike others that become attached to a truck build, I never really came up with a name for it,” said Turner. “To be honest, most of my friends have just always called it First Gem.” Even if you haven’t named it, chances are something unintentionally comes along and sticks, you know? “This truck, at 150,000-miles, cost me $5,500 originally but the money that I will spend is endless as long as its keeping this old truck going and getting better.”
As long as I’ve been doing this, nobody has said their build is complete. As this industry evolves and offers more and more new things, truck owners like yourself will never be satisfied. Like most of us, Turner’s build is far from complete. This dually has been on Turner’s mind for quite some time and it’s been long enough that he knows what he wants to do.
Ah, how times have changed, right? When you talk to your parents or older friends they talked about all of the hot rods in high school that they wanted or had and now you take a new generation guy like Turner where it was diesel trucks. “As soon as I got into high school, everyone I hung out with had a diesel truck,” said Turner. “Mostly mildly messed with 12-valve trucks, but diesel power. I immediately was hooked and here we are, you know?”
Turner explained he’s spent most of his time since then keeping up with the evolution of the sport of diesel performance and learning as much as he could. At the age of 15, Turner’s stepfather was in the process of painting this exact truck and basically took him under the wing a taught him a lot throughout the process and little did he know, one day, it would be his.
“Back in the day, when my step-father painted this truck, he also did the pump swap and six-speed transmission swap. It was built to be a clean truck that he could just run around in,” said Turner. “Later on in life, due to family issues, we cut ties and that truck basically disappeared out of my life. Over time, I wanted that truck more and more. After some time, I reached out to him to start fresh and things went great. In fact, within a week, we already negotiated a deal on the truck for me to purchase it.”
Turner continued, “Unfortunately, before we could finish the deal, he passed away and there wasn’t anything that could be done to get the truck bought. After a year or so went by, a friend of mine actually got ahold of this truck which you would think would lure me into wanting it but it just wasn’t intriguing at the time. As the search for another truck continued, I just tucked the dually in the back of my mind.”
When you allow yourself to think about something for a while, you’ll often change your mind. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. Turner, en route to purchasing a 2006 mega cab Ram, was pondering the first-gen again. But, he was already committed to this 2006. “I was halfway to my destination where I was picking up this ’06 Dodge and the seller backed out and decided to keep it,” Turner said.
This had to be a sign, right? Turner said he made the phone call immediately. “I called that friend up with the dually and said get the title ready. I’m on my way,” Turner said. “Yep. I bought it that day. Since then, I’ve been daily driving this truck and it has honestly, even with its age, it’s been the best vehicle I have ever owned. I have slowly brought this thing back to life and plan on taking it far.”
Turner’s favorite part of the truck thus far is the NV5600 transmission swap. The power level it is at now and being a daily driver, it’s a lot of fun to drive as a six-speed. The focus ever since he acquired the dually was just making it easy to drive and reliable. “Trucks this old need a lot of love to be street-friendly and it’s going to take some time.”
Among bringing this truck back to life and really cleaning it up, Turner has other plans too. “You don’t see many fast first gen trucks out there. There are some, but I’m talking fast,” Turner said. “The plan for this truck is to be one fast dually. I plan on showcasing this at Schied 2020. This will entail a fully built engine, a full manual 48RE transmission from Firepunk Diesel, and a horsepower goal of at least 1,000-horsepower.” Dually trucks aren’t usually what you expect to be fast but it is certainly possible.
Engine And Drivetrain
Under the hood of this W350 is a 5.9-Liter 12-valve Cummins engine with a Hamilton Cams camshaft, and a set of aftermarket valve springs and pushrods. It may not look like much under the hood but know it’s hiding some power. Turner uses a Steed Speed T3 exhaust manifold to hang his 58-MM Switzer turbocharger on and a set of 5x.013 Ducky Fuel Injection fuel injectors to match.
Turner’s truck holds the power with a dual-disc South Bend clutch inside this NV5600 but the power thats incoming he will need much more. The new setup will be a 13-MM injection pump offering gobs more fuel and a pair of S400 compounds that will be enough boost to take this dually into orbit.
Turner shoutouts multiple people for getting the dually where it is today. “I just want to shoutout all of my buddies who are willing to jump in and help with anything I ever need. My buddy, Aaron Wilguess, has spent countless hours helping me fix and change things up. Whether it’s just a helping hand with head work or helping weld up the exhaust, he’s always been there and I appreciate it,” Turner said. “Also, Ralph Lovell for always leading me in the right direction. Lovell has always helped me with purchasing parts and more than likely will continue to in the upcoming months as this truck progresses. Also, last but not least, my friend Kayse Hays for all of his help. Any sort of fabrication this truck has undergone was done by the hands of Kayse. Thank you.”
It was already cool to see this truck out and about at this event and to know that it will serve an even cooler and more fun purpose in life real soon is exciting. We can’t wait to see what Turner and his team of friends can come up with here in the very near future. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more on the latest builds, events, and results around.