The Cowboy

January 2014 Feature Michael Deulley

In the world of diesel, the truck has to be as diverse and multi-tasking as the owners who drive it. Some drivers simply love diesel and make theirs a daily driver. They find there is nothing more incredible and therapeutic than coasting around town in their Power Stroke, Duramax or Cummins, watching the street signs blur by as black smoke whirls in a cyclone behind them. Some drivers transform their truck into a competitive gladiator. The lights and cheers of the arena are in the blood of these owners. Each truck shows its mettle, pulling the sled while super chargers spin and engines roar. For some drivers, such as JB James, a truck that works tirelessly to pull and tow, the proverbial work horse, becomes the vital asset necessary to perform each of the challenging tasks James demands of it.

The Right Tool

James is a pro-rodeo team roper who travels through the country to professionally compete against some of the greatest cowboys for the title of fastest team roper and he needed a truck capable of towing his prized horses from place to place. James' 2010 Dodge dually was the truck needed to answer the call.

"I've had the truck for about a year now," says James. "It pulled the horse trailer just fine before, but I just wanted a little more power out of it."

James understood that not just any truck could pull the weight of the trailer around and even though the Dodge had the torque to easily pull his horses while being completely stock, there was never any harm in overhauling it. The seed of performance was sewn and the race to get his truck some serious power begun. James' busy lifestyle kept him from being too involved in the build, so finding the perfect shop to get the 6-wheeled titan upgraded was his first priority. Fortunately, Five R Trucks, located in Golden, Colo., specializes in diesel performance and had what James needed.

"My dad always went up there to get work done. I did a comparison between shops, but they were just the best place to go," says James. "Everyone knows them and they take the best care of you."

The Build

James had a good idea of what he needed done to get his dually the power he wanted and Dave Moore of Five R had everything James was looking for. Moore and the team at Five R wasted no time getting James' build underway. The first thing to change was the suspension. The need for a strong suspension system was necessary for James' horse trailer, so a stock height Kelderman Air Suspension in the front and a 4 Link in the rear was the perfect change-up and gave the Dodge the resilience and durability needed to pull the massive weight of a full trailer. The old wheels were tossed to the side and a full set of 22-inch American Force Evo wheels were fitted in. After the wheels, a 4-inch MBRP Turbo back exhaust was installed.

The outside work was wrapped up after some of the finer details, such as the powdercoated Ram decals, as well as adding a set of Recon headlights, tail, fender, brake and cab lights. The next set of upgrades addressed the power changes James wanted. The real work to get this Dodge some serious power was finally underway and Five R wasted no time.

While James was on the road headed to his next rodeo, Moore and the rest of the team at Five R were installing the first performance upgrades to James' Dodge dually. To get the ball rolling, Moore installed an H&S Mini Maxx tuner, which was attached comfortably to a rearview mirror mount. After the tuner did its job of monitoring and calibrating the available power in the stock equipment, it was time to get some hands dirty and get some extra torque and horsepower out of the Ram.

An Industrial Injection Compound Kit was next on the list. Once the new turbo accessories were installed, an Air Dog 150 system, a set of 60 horsepower Industrial Injection nozzles and ARP head 

studs were installed to balance the fuel air mixture and keep the power increase more stable.

Too Much, Too Fast?

These upgrades increased the power, but came at a cost. While the Dodge was stock, the engine ran smoothly at 413 horsepower and 860 pounds of torque. This kind of power was efficient enough to do the job, but the upgrades would provide mind-numbing results in power. This new power was disrupted when it came time to dyno.

"We put the truck up to get the dyno results after the last install," says the frustrated Moore. "The transmission was starting to slip so badly that the results were a lot lower than we were looking for."

Diesel truck owners know there is a certain level of give and take when a truck goes into the shop for a performance overhaul. In the case of James' 2010 Dodge, the power increase was so aggressive and sudden, the tranny couldn't handle all of the extra push coming from the engine. At the end of the dyno test, the Dodge's power rating came in at a shaky 522 horsepower at 1065 ft/lbs. of torque. Moore brought the news to James, who didn't seem to be concerned about the new development.

James had learned over the last year of working with Five R Trucks that they definitely had James in mind when it came to the build.

"You're usually pushing people to get what you want, but the guys at Five R Trucks are there for you," says James confidently.

There was little time to waste to get the performance out of the Dodge that James desired and Five R was already in the works of securing an ATS Stage Four transmission upgrade to remedy the cringing feeling of the tranny slip. The Dodge dually had come into Five R a little more than a year ago. Each time it entered the shop, it left with one more upgrade and set down the road with a little more power under the hood. The stock transmission eventually lost the capacity to handle the new power that was being amassed, which sent it into a slip that would eventually get worse and completely ruin the automatic tranny. Luckily, James knew what was happening to the truck when he left the shop and Moore knew what to do to fix it. With the new transmission firmly installed, it was back to the dyno. This time, the Dodge growled out 643 horsepower at 1200 ft/lbs. of torque. Moore and his team at Five R were put to the test to power up James' Dodge, and it's safe to say that they got the job done.

Saddled Up

James needed a strong truck to take care of his horses while towing his trailer around and the 2010 Dodge dually was exactly the driving platform he was looking for. The extra stability inherent in the dually's design and the power of its diesel engine were necessary for the type of commuting James was doing. In the year that he worked with Five R Trucks, James took his Dodge and gave it a massive power upgrade. Although the performance overhaul proved to be too much for the passive transmission, the ATS Stage Four took a more aggressive approach to the power and James finally found his perfect towing truck. In the end, James went into the build of his Dodge in much the same way he goes after a calf when he's roping: by the horns.


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