They say everything in Texas is bigger. Frankly, I believe that’s true after hearing about Tim Bowman’s race-ready Ram. Bowman is a diesel mechanic out of Dickens, Texas, and his passion for diesel performance wasn’t initially planned. This is how it all went down.
Over the course of a few years, Bowman has transformed this 2004 Ram 2500 from a high-mileage daily driver into a 10-second head-turner. The truck isn’t like anything most are used to seeing. It’s been stripped down and cut out to become lighter to inevitably become a drag racing machine. Like most of us, the interest comes from an event they’ve seen like tractor pulls or drag racing.
“I bought this truck with an intention of a daily driver, with the occasional sled pull here and there,” Bowman said. “After a few bolt-ons, I was surprised at how quick the truck was. So, I decided to scratch the idea of sled pulling and see what it could do on the track.”
He didn’t just “see what it could do,” though; he’s gone all-out and is not turning back. Bowman currently runs the 10.90 index and the Super Street category in the NHRDA (National Hot Rod Diesel Association) throughout the year when he isn’t working at his day job.
What Funds The Fun?
During the week, Bowman wrenches on light-duty trucks for multiple different dealerships in the surrounding Dickens area. The career choice was highly influenced by the purchase of his Dodge Ram. After seeing what the trucks were capable of, it made sense for him to continue to his knowledge in other engines’ platforms.
The White Shadow
During the transition, Bowman didn’t remove the engine. In fact, he left everything intact (minus the transmission) to prepare for the build. The truck has been running on the drag strip for eight years now and still has the factory engine, with zero upgrades to the bottom end.
This is one of the few trucks still using stock parts and going fast. “The truck has a stock engine in it and it has run all the way from 13 seconds to mid-10s in the quarter-mile for eight-plus years,” said Bowman. “It has been doing well even with all of the extra modifications that have been adding stress to it”.
Two Pacific Performance Engineering stock CP3 injection pumps (controlled by a Pacific Performance Engineering twin fueler kit) feed a decent amount of fuel to this 5.9-liter Cummins engine. These twin pumpers get fuel from the bed-mounted fuel cell and supply the 100-percent-over stock fuel injectors from Exergy Performance.
Knowing he would need the air to match the fuel, Bowman went with a pair of Stainless Diesel S468 secondary turbo over an S483 primary turbo. The combination hangs off of a Stainless Diesel T-4 exhaust manifold that’s harnessed to the cylinder head. The boost is contained in the engine by a set of ARP 2000 head studs.
Aiding the engine is a 2,500-rpm stall torque converter that rides inside a James Transmission Technology-built 48RE transmission. “I went with the oversize shafts in the transmission,” said Bowman. “Adding the oversize shafts gives me extra insurance that they won’t disintegrate under maximum traction and torque.”
The traction is applied by a set of 14-inch wide M&H Tires slick tires mounted on a foursome of 16-inch lightweight wheels and decelerated by the shaved-down factory brakes. The brakes only allow down to a 17-inch wheel, so the braking components required alterations to function.
Racing competitively means that Bowman was forced to have the required safety equipment. To make this an honest race truck, Bowman stripped the interior and added an S&W Racecars 8.5 roll cage kit that certifies him to run no faster than 7.99 in the quarter mile.
While shooting down the track, Bowman is comforted by a Corbeau A4 racing seat and held in by a five-point safety harness. In eye’s view, Bowman has all of his gauges mounted to monitor parameters while racing down the strip. Also, an ARC control switch panel controls the fuel, ignition, fan and lights.
Bittersweetly for Bowman, he broke his personal best elapsed time in 2017 – but at a cost. At the NHRDA World Finals, in Ennis, Texas, his stock 5.9-liter Cummins engine finally decided enough was enough. After eight years of high boost and low-end torque, White Shadow lost a cylinder.
With his head held high, Bowman is optimistic about rebuilding better and faster and looks to improve his personal best elapsed time to a 9.50-second quarter-mile time. What will he come up with next?
“I would like to give thanks where thanks are due,” Bowman said. “Special thanks to Daniel Pierce at Truck Source Diesel, Nelson, at Energetic Motorsports, Ryan at Hardway Performance, John at Stainless Diesel, James at James Transmission Technology, and Gecovey Coffman at Coffman Customs.” Stay tuned as Bowman sets himself up for an unforgettable 2018 season making even more power.