This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue.
When we talk about persistence and perseverance in pushing to make a name for herself in the diesel universe, here we have a girl who’s doing such an amazing job. Meet Samantha J. “Sammy” Ball of Langley, B.C., an eastern suburb of Vancouver about a half hour north of the U.S. border. The western Canada native, who goes on Instagram as @sammyj24v, has a mean, green, fighting machine, literally!
As a forest green pearl mid-1998 24-valve 5.9L Cummins-powered Dodge RAM 2500 with a sport swapped front end, this thing is a beast in terms of looks and performance, and it’s quite fitting for the atmosphere where it lives: an area full of evergreen trees. Sammy enjoys the great outdoors and has a lot of fun with her beast there.
Sammy’s Cummins is her daily driver which she also uses for truck shows, and she’s even starting to use it for drag races and sled pulls. Sammy is quite a courageous girl.
Sammy’s truck is among the first of the electronically-controlled 5.9Ls, and it’s still in the beginning stages of high performance, but it has already come a long way for what Sammy has done to it so far. “It’s got a couple different goodies going for it,” the truck owner says, though those are more than just a “couple” goodies. “My truck isn’t perfect, but it’s been my dream truck since I was a kid.” Clearly she knows that her project is a big challenge, but she’s motivated and so far from down on herself about her performance game. It’s a long road for the young Sammy, considering the amount of future mods she has on her list, but we know she’ll keep up the hard work she’s done so far, and she can only expect good things to come for her in the near future.
Sammy really made big moves on her truck within the last year, and those mods started with the engine. The 100hp Ducky Fuel Injection injectors provide an excellent power boost for the daily driver diesel enthusiast who’s trying not to break the bank. They’re also a great start for a tuned engine with no turbo mods (though she plans to address that soon). The tuner is an Edge Juice with Attitude, a venerable tuner that’s been a staple in the diesel world for years. With improved throttle response, overall drivability, power, and even safety like no other, the tuner is a no-brainer. Of course, a competition truck like Sammy’s wouldn’t be a competition truck without a high-performance lift pump, which is a FASS 95GPH offering an adjustable 1-20psi of fuel pressure for race customization.
An S&B cold air intake provides a 36.88 percent airflow improvement over the stock intake and features a fully-enclosed air box that protects the filter from dirt and engine bay heat, really giving the girl’s Cummins the air it deserves. Topping off the engine side is a 4-inch turbo back exhaust with dual octagon 8-inch stacks from Swanky Steel and a BD Diesel Performance exhaust brake. With that exhaust, the truck really does sound like a monster! “I absolutely love it!” she says excitedly. She calls these power upgrades “small,” but they sound like they’re leading up to something big in all systems on the engine!
To get her truck jacked up, Sammy turned to T&S Suspension in Port Kells, B.C., which gave her a fully custom 5.5-inch four-link long arm lift with latter bars that uses FOX shocks and Fabtech coil springs. “Following the power upgrades, I looked at suspension setups and at this local shop in Port Kells,” she says. “T&S Suspension really helped me out getting the lift in it and powder coated it all perfectly.” T&S is a premium suspension shop and does quality custom fabrication. The shop surely put a big lift on her truck, and the truck is definitely built to get noticed, combining that monster lift with the giant black rims and tires.
The rims are 20-by-12-inch Ions, and the tires are 35-inch Nitto Terra Grappler G2s, providing a nice, comfortable ride on the lift and making the vehicle a great balance among a competitor, daily driver, and off-roader. “I ended up going with those tires and wheels to complement a little more,” Sammy says. The black rims definitely complement the truck’s color well, as they help to provide the color scheme symbolizing the great outdoors with a touch of toughness. Again, that’s perfect for where she lives, as she’s only a 40-minute drive from the mountains. “I try to get to the mountains as much as I can,” she says. “Usually doing truck stuff though: lots of places for pictures and such up there!”
Onward & Upward
This Cummins build is, without a doubt, far from complete, but it’s certainly impressive what Sammy has been able to get out of this big, mean green machine so far. “It’s difficult being a female in the diesel industry, but I have high hopes for myself and my truck,” she says. Looking ahead, at the top of her list is compound turbos, which will work better for amping up the fuel system and injectors even more, and she does plan to use Industrial Injection injectors. With that, she’ll change the tuner to a Quadzilla to get even more custom tunes out of her truck. All of these mods would of course end up being too much for her stock automatic transmission and powertrain to handle, so she plans on installing a race transmission, deep transmission pan, and differential covers all from BD Diesel Performance. The rest of the mods she plans to implement include an exhaust manifold, intake horn, head studs, and intercooler piping. “Everything will be powder-coated,” Sammy adds. It’s a lot of work, but she’s a tough girl with serious determination. With every new mod she adds to her truck, she’s making significant improvements at performance events every time.
BD Diesel Performance
Ducky Fuel Injection