Shot in the Ram

Our Dodge finds new life with AFC Live…and a few other tricks

Published in the March 2018 Issue May 2019 Feature Trevor Mason

Build It Up

The combination of the different injectors and delivery valves will allow us to pick up probably another 100hp. The delivery valves allow more fuel to get to the injectors, and of course, the injector with bigger holes in the nozzle will allow more fuel to get into the engine. Bumping the timing allows more time for that fuel to burn inside the combustion chamber, allowing you to decrease the EGT and pickup horsepower and fuel economy. We’re bumping the timing from 12.5 degrees to 18, so only about a 6-degree bump.

With the fuel package installed, we were ready to install the new clutch. The South Bend clutch supports 425hp, which is more horsepower than the factory turbo can support. For this particular build, it’s a great option. Installation is pretty simple: take out the transmission with a transmission stand, remove the clutch plate and old clutch, slap the new one in, and button everything back up.

With the clutch installed, now we were ready for the exhaust. It’s funny; it seems like stock exhausts are specifically designed to not let you get them out without destroying the thing in the process. With every stock exhaust we’re ever removed, we had to just cut it apart. This was, of course, no different. This MBRP exhaust also has a muffler, so we’ll get higher flow, which allows decreased EGTs, and make a better sound.


Double Or Nothing

All in all, installing these modifications wasn’t too painful a process. Now it was time to see what kind of increases we had actually achieved. To our surprise, we cleared 300hp. We just cracked 300hp with 300.3 exactly, with torque at 890.2 lb/ft., which is a HUGE increase. We’re limited from going much higher by the stock turbo. If we went hardcore with our tuning we could probably get another 20 or 30hp with this turbo. But doing that kind of hurts the street friendliness and towing characteristics. Dean was ecstatic at the doubled horsepower and the tripled torque, so we’d say mission accomplished.

“This is an entirely different truck,” Dean says. The difference was immediately noticeable to him just in doing some driving around town, but he wasn’t prepared for how much difference it made on the highway. On his way down to Power Driven, he says his top speed was somewhere around 65 mph, because the truck just struggled and couldn’t seem to get past that mark. In his experience, that’s how it has always been. On his way home, he was able to hit 80 mph with zero trouble. His fuel economy increased as well. He fueled up in Cedar City, drove around town with Todd for a while to get a feel for the truck’s new characteristics and newfound liveliness, then made the 460-mile trip home with just under a quarter left of his 24-gallon tank to spare. Not bad!

Dean really likes driving the truck now, because he doesn’t feel like it’s holding back anymore. Whereas he used to dread pulling any kind of trailer because it struggled so much, he almost looks forward to it now because he knows his old 12-valve can handle it. In fact, he’s looking forward to putting it to the test.

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