A 600HP 24V Cummins To Be Worried About

Published in the April 2009 Issue April 2009 Build, Cummins, Feature

No, you couldn't buy a Dodge 24V with factory compound turbos and a trick interior like this truck has. But you'd never know it by looking at this 2001 Cummins. You'd swear this stuff came from the dealer as OEM equipment and you'd be hard pressed to find a cleaner and stouter running 24V anywhere in the country.

Nathan Black of Puyallup, WA, bought this truck new back in 2000, but it's safe to say it's in better shape now than it was sitting in the showroom that day he walked in and bought it. Originally purchased as just a daily driver that would be used for towing his camp trailer around on the weekends, the truck has slowly turned into a very impressive and consistent bracket truck in the Pro 1 NHRDA racing series. It's still used to tow though, of course, because what good is a truck like this if you can't use it, right?

In 2005 Black made his first attempt at bracket racing in this truck and has been hooked ever since. Apparently bracket racing just comes natural to some folks; he ended the 2005 race season sixth in points in the NHRDA's Pro 2 Bracket Class. The following season his driving skills and this Cummins took him right near the top where he finished second in points. Anyone who has ever tried bracket racing knows it's not easy to stay competitive and consistent race after race. Good reaction times and a reliable truck are a necessity when it comes to bracket classes. Fortunately, Black has both.

For most folks, it's hard to believe that building a rock solid reliable 600 hp truck of any make or model is even possible. Somehow Black has managed to do it though, all while keeping this one of the cleanest trucks to ever run in Diesel Tech.

Enough small talk though, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. This 2001 5.9L 24V Cummins has been meticulously built up using some of the nicest pieces on the market. There are even a few custom pieces Black built himself using his machinist skills. The truck is still on the original block and internals. The head was cut for o-rings and ARP head studs are used to keep the boost from Source Automotive compound turbos in the cylinders, where it belongs. Incoming air runs through the stock intercooler and an AFE Blade Runner intake has been coated and fully polished. After going through an HTT exhaust manifold and being spun through both turbines in the compound charger setup, exhaust is sent through a Source Automotive full turbo back 5-inch exhaust system. The top of the motor is also topped off with a stock valve cover that Black machined smooth and polished himself.

Fuel is fed into the straight six starting with an Intelligent Engineering Mitusa fuel pump where it meets a Source Automotive modified VP44 injection pump. Supplying enough fuel for those compound chargers is a balanced high flowing set of F-1 Diesel Mach injectors. A Quadzilla Adrenaline and a BD Power RAD box supply electronic control over the injection series for daily driving and towing. At the drag strip Black uses an Edge Drag Comp box for its maximum horsepower and reliable consistent performance.

Black has also added an Intelligent Engineering water by-pass kit, which helps keep the motor running at perfect temperatures. Improved coolant flow to the number five and six cylinders should really improve the life of this engine, especially at this performance level.

Handling the 600-plus horsepower on a daily basis is a fully-built 47Re transmission from Dave Fleenor at Ultimate Transmission in Boise, ID. The transmission uses all Opie fat shafts along with about every trick or modification Ultimate could think of. The tranny in this `01 Cummins is stout enough to support more than 1000 hp. Black depends on this truck for driving to and from work and making consistent low-12-second passes at the track. So a shoddy transmission build was not an option. No expenses spared here. The factory Dodge transfer case has also been replaced with a much stronger NP 271 unit, again for strength and reliability.

As for the stance, we all know stock wheels and tires won't cut it. Black opted for MB Motoring Shaker wheels in 18x8.5 inches. The wheels are wrapped with Nitto Terra Grapplers in 325/60r18. Offering great on-road manners and decent off-road traction, they also hook-up great at the drag strip. The suspension under the truck was modified with Skyjacker D25 front springs to add clearance for the 35-inch Terra Grapplers. Black also installed a DT Pro Fab track bar to eliminate any issues in handling those larger tires. DT Pro Fab +1/2-inch trailing arms and traction bars were also added to improve handling and traction, whether at the track or towing that camp trailer on a rough gravel road.

The interior is nothing short of amazing with a custom-built subwoofer enclosure and very trick center console Black fabricated himself. A complete set of Autometer Ultra-Lite gauges were installed so Black could keep an eye on transmission temperatures, boost, and egts. Black also molded the gauge cluster into his factory dash to hold his Quadzilla Commander and two more Autometers. The custom center console houses his DVD player and toggle switches for various electrical equipment on the truck.

Just like any other diesel addict's truck out there, it's always a work in progress and Black is still continuing to be a competitive front in the NHRDA Bracket Classes. He ended up winning the 2007 Division 1 Points Championship and placed second in the Pro Bracket 1 Division 1 during the 2008 NHRDA season.

There aren't many 600 hp VP-44 powered Cummins trucks out there these days and even fewer that are in this kind of shape. If you happen to pull up next to this truck on the street, do yourself a favor and don't test your luck. It's fast. And if you happen to find yourself lined up next to it at the track, well, you're about to get treed.

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