An Old Dog With New Tricks: Greg Alberalla’s Done Up First Gen Ram

For the majority of us, trucks are just trucks. Some modify them more than others and some simply leave them alone. For Greg Alberalla, trucks are his life. If you’re here and you’ve heard of YouTube, chances are, you’ve heard of Greg or seen him on his YouTube channel. This year at the 2019 Rudy’s Fall Truck Jam event in North Carolina, we got to catch up with Alberalla and see one of his most popular projects, The First Gen.
Although Alberalla has many different projects going on at this time, the first-gen is what made the trip to Piedmont Dragway for a day of racing. While this 1993 Dodge D250 is just an old truck, if you’re familiar with anything of his, it’s beyond its original form. In fact, this D250 is much more powerful than Dodge ever intended it to be.

The First Gen was originally purchased for $3,000. After seeing the truck in person, it really is in good shape for that price. Nice find, Greg. So, if you want to replicate this build, how deep are you digging into the pocketbook? “The cost to build is ten times the cost of the truck,” a laughing Alberalla said. “I’ve been digging into the first-gen for going on two years now and we aren’t done modifying yet.”
Personally, when I sink money and time into something, you almost get scared to tear it up and scratch it, you know? Well, for Alberalla, that is the same thing he was thinking. “After building a lot of newer trucks and making them faster or nicer, I just wanted something a little more budget-friendly that I didn’t necessarily care about as much or care to tear up,” Alberalla said.
He continued, “I wanted something mechanical injected to have just that old truck feeling that I could hop in and have fun with and not worry about if it gets scratched. I came across this truck on Craigslist nearly nine hours from me in South Carolina and went for it. The old man I bought it from said it was in his family since new. It was perfect. Straight grandpa status.”

As expected, he’s been into it ever since he came home with it. It’s been 300 to 400 horsepower, and now, it’s 800 horsepower. This chassis was already surprised by the new power but it has no idea what it is in for in the future.

When the truck was purchased, it was known that the odometer said 350,000-miles. Knowing that Alberalla already anticipated he would be replacing and upgrading different items. What he didn’t know was that the odometer stopped reading at 350,000-miles so who really knows the mileage on this ole truck. Regardless of the mileage, this old dog was about to learn new tricks whether it liked it or not.
“My first goal for the truck was to make as much power as possible with the original VE injection pump. After some pump work, aS363 turbo, a Muldoon’s Diesel Stage 4 48RE swap, and ratchet shifter, we were able to squeeze out 411 horsepower,” said Alberalla. ” After that, things really got out of hand fast. Over the course of the last year or so, we transformed this into its now current state.”

A truck that is almost 30 years old with an engine bay that looks this good is unheard of. Alberalla picked a perfect color to powder coat all of these parts with.

He continued, “We’ve replaced the VE injection pump with the far superior Farrell Diesel 12-MM P-Pump, a set of Stainless Diesel 5-Blade compound turbochargers, and swapped a Dana 80 rear differential into it. At this level, she is cranking out around 800-horsepower and has a personal best track time of 11.24-seconds in the quarter-mile.”
So, you’ve got an 800-horsepower “grandpa truck”. What’s next for the first-gen? “The plans for the truck are to continue to push it to higher power. I want to continue racing and dynoing the truck and see how far we can push this 350,000-mile-plus stock bottom end,” he said. “We’ll utilize a better cylinder head from Hamilton Cams and trade in our 12-MM injection pump for a 13-MM and see if we can’t dip into the 1,000 horsepower range. Who knows, maybe we’ll throw in some nitrous too.”

On the outside, it doesn’t seem like much but the mixture of the patina look, roll pan, and 20-inch American Force wheels, it looks pretty damn tough.

Under the rustic hood and hiding under that hood stack is the fun stuff. This high-mileage 5.9-liter Cummins engine has been band-aided with a set of ARP 625-head studs to hopefully keep that resurfaced cylinder head held down. Inside the walls of this inline-six is a Hamilton Cams camshaft, tappets, pushrods, and valve springs.

Thanks to Banks Power, the first-gen is fed with super cool air via their upgraded plumbing and intake system.

Hanging off the side of this engine is a pair of Stainless Diesel 5-Blade S468/480 compounds and a Steed Speed exhaust manifold. They are matched with the 640cc capable Farrell’s 12-MM pump and 5×25 fuel injectors. Keeping these injectors and pump fed with fresh fuel, Alberalla trusts a custom-built Air Dog lift pump.
Backing this powerplant is the Muldoon’s Diesel Stage 4 48RE with a Suncoast stubby Output Shaft. Alberalla controls it’s every move with a full-manual valve body and ratchet shifter. The rest of the driveline is held in tight with custom 1480 U-joints and driveshaft and kept cool with a Derale transmission cooler. For suspension, the first-gen uses the Dana 80 swap with a spool, SCS Gearbox axles and drive flanges, and a set of Calvert Racing traction bars.

With a TCI Automotive ratchet shifter, Alberalla is able to control this trucks every move including lockup of the torque converter.

Hop into the driver's seat and you're riding in comfort. Alberalla's interior consists of a pair of Corbeau Racing seats, GM center console, black carpet, and headliner, and a custom gauge pod with ISSPRO gauges.

I’m glad we got to catch up with Greg and discuss the future plans for the first-gen and look forward to catching all of the other projects soon. Greg wanted to thank everyone who played a pivotal role in this build in particular and that includes Power Driven Diesel, Garofalo Enterprises, Muldoons Diesel, Banks Power, Stainless Diesel, Mishimoto, Steed Speed, Hamilton Cams, Kingspeed Race and Repair, PTP Turbo Blankets, and PureFlow Air Dog.
For more information on this build and the others, be sure and check out Greg’s YouTube channel here. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more features on gems like this one. Are you a fan of the old school Ram trucks? What would you do to one if you had one? Let us know in the comments below.

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.
Read My Articles

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