Cummins Man?

Published in the August 2008 Issue August 2008 Column, Cummins, PowerStroke

Okay, I admit it. I'm a Power Stroke guy. I know. I know. What's wrong with me? As fellow horsepower junkies, you all look at me and wonder, "Why waste time tinkering with that 7.3L, trying to make it go fast?"

I don't know what the deal is. Blue oval blood just runs in the family (along with a fair amount of stubbornness). So when someone told me I'd never get 500 hp out of my Power Stroke, I guess that Ford blue blood starting pumping (the stubbornness, too) and forced me into proving the nay-sayers wrong.

All my buddies are big on the 12V Cummins power. A set of twins, some injection pump work and 500 hp is merely child's play. Most of my buddies have all got to that 500 hp mark and some even surpassed it-with a lot less cash than I've spent, I might add. But like I said, I'm stubborn.

Well, a few weeks back I was down at Wide Open Performance shooting the breeze with a couple of the guys there when a purple Cummins pulled up to the door. Remembering the truck from the DHRA drag races in Las Vegas over a year ago, I knew the owner wouldn't be leaving the shop without taking me for a spin.

I made a quick search around the shop for a brown paper sack to pull over my head. I couldn't risk letting someone I knew see me in a Dodge. Nothing turned up so I just had to take my chances. I pulled open the passenger door to find a complete roll cage and race seats with full five-point harness belts. It then hit me that this might be a pretty interesting ride around the block.

I sat down, looked over at Casey (the owner of the truck) and said, "Let's go. I was told this truck runs alright." About this time one of the shop mechanics walked up to my passenger window and suggested I buckle that harness up and pull the lap belt tight. I glanced back over at Casey who had started showing a very sly and evil grin on his face.

We pulled out onto the street and he began telling me about the truck. "Well, it's pretty de-tuned right now. Motor's kind of fresh, the pump's turned down as far as it will go and the fuel plate is slid back to the stock position. It's really not all that impressive right now." I then noticed that same sly and evil smirk beginning to appear again on his face.

We made the corner to the I-15 frontage road-no traffic in front of us, which is weird for Salt Lake City during rush hour. Maybe it was fate. He brought the truck up to around 40 mph just kind of cruising and I thought to myself, "What's so hot about this truck?" He then started squeezing the throttle and rolled into it hard, the chargers came up, the tires broke loose, the truck got sideways, the angels sang, and the seas parted.

As I began looking for every grab handle within reach and trying to relocate my eyeballs from the back of my skull, he let off the throttle just long enough for me to regain consciousness. I couldn't believe what had just happened. How is that kind of acceleration possible? No man should have that kind of power on the street (well, no man other than me). He hit a measly 80 pounds of boost and was up over 110 mph when he let out of it and we hadn't gone much more than a city block. Impressive, insane, violent, too much to handle, exciting-call it what you want, it was a blast.

Casey then said, "It runs okay," and smiled at me. It then became apparent what that sly evil smirk was about. It turns out even at the de-tuned level it's in the mid 800 hp range. We pulled back into Wide Open and began the agonizing project of prying my body up out of the seat. I then checked my jeans to make sure I hadn't actually wet myself in all the excitement and told Casey thanks for the ride.

As I left Wide Open that night and started up my truck I thought to myself, "After a ride like that, maybe my love for Power Strokes should come to an end?"

Nah-who wants to wear a brown paper sack all the time?

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