This article originally featured in the June 2022 issue.
When Gator Fasteners went looking for a truck owner to test its new Competition Series Head Studs, they clearly stumbled upon the right guy for the job. Through trial and error, you might say one of Kody Pulliam’s hobbies is finding the weak points in trucks and this especially includes pushing the limits on his 2004 Chevy Duramax. With his sights set on breaking the 2,000 horsepower mark at the upcoming Ultimate Callout Challenge event, Kody’s truck is always up for a test.
If Gator would have taken out a wanted ad, they probably wouldn’t have found a better fit for a true test of durability since Kody’s Duramax is reaching legendary status. His current horsepower record is 2,071 and he plans to top that mark at the UCC, the first weekend in June during the AMSOIL NWDC fan dyno challenge. He’s currently on his fourth engine and third transmission after countless catastrophes in his endless pursuit to top the 2K horsepower mark once again.
When Gator Fasteners, reached out to Kody earlier in the year about testing its new head studs, the diesel technician at Custom Auto in Idaho Falls, Idaho, gladly accepted the challenge. The mechanic knows his way around an engine, but Kody may be best known as the “dyno guy” for his role on the Northwest Dyno Circuit as well as at the Ultimate Callout Challenge.
“I’ve been running the UCC competition dyno for the last three years and I’ve definitely had my share of blow-ups every single year,” says Kody. “A lot of the trucks will be going for 3K this year so it should be really intense. It’s going to be a fun time, but I’ll be in my full protective gear for sure.”
Building A Winner
Kody’s truck includes Borg Warner S369 and S488 turbos, but following the UCC when he has a little more time to work on his own truck, he plans to go even bigger with S483 and 122mm comp turbos. Other key ingredients to his successful build include 300 percent over injectors from S&S Diesel, Carrillo rods, Industrial Injection heads and a dual CP3 kit, Manton Pushrods, and a turbo twin kit and transmission from Screamin Diesel Performance.
“I also have the Edge Insight CTS3, a FASS lift pump and I went with PPE for the front end,” adds Kody. “I also added traction bars from Siskiyou Diesel.”
The list of aftermarket companies Kody reached out to for his build is extensive and includes companies well-known in the diesel industry. Gator Fasteners is a young company but is quickly growing in popularity thanks to an impressive list of top dealers who also believe in their head studs.
The list of online retailers where you can purchase Gator head studs include KT Performance, JeliBuilt, Alligator Performance, Blessed Performance, Daily Driven, Pure Diesel Power, Rudy’s and others. With so many aftermarket distributors, more and more truck owners are investing in the head studs and you can count Kody as one of the believers.
“I’ve used Gator head studs in other trucks, but I think their new Competition Series is going to find their way into a lot of high horsepower trucks now that the word is getting out about them,” says Kody. “I like to find the weak points and so far these head studs have been a great fit for my build.”
See What Happens
At each diesel event Kody pushes his truck a little more, but admits he wasn’t nearly as aggressive this spring leading up to the UCC. With not a lot of extra time he didn’t want to push too hard, but plans to “go all in” at this event.
“If we can get close to 2K on fuel only and then 2,200 or 2,300 with one kit of nitrous we’ll grab both kits of nitrous and see what happens,” says Kody with a big grin. “I’ve been running these new Gator head studs without any problems. I reached over 1500hp at the first event this year, but blew the intercooler pipe off while drag racing at Siskiyou. I’m just getting started, but after the UCC I’ll have a better feel for the head studs along with all of the parts on my truck as they will be put to the test.”
The drawback to being so determined to reach new heights with his build is he’s lost track of how many times he has had to pull the engine. The mechanic is so comfortable doing it he’s to the point where he could practically pull it while blindfolded. Yet despite starting over so many times, he’s never considered going with a different truck.
“This is the truck that I have and I just go with it,” says Kody. “I want to keep pushing it and it’s helpful that I have a lot of leftover parts for this truck and that comes in handy when I’m putting it back together.”
The truck’s humble beginnings – at least as far back as Kody’s history with it is concerned – began when he and his Custom Auto co-worker Jeff Call talked to a farmer about buying his old truck. The fuel filter housing was cracked and the engine made a weird ticking noise but after pulling the engine and replacing two cracked pistons it was back and running again. Kody bought the truck from Jeff who is the general manager at Custom Auto, and he instantly had a plan to build up the 6.6L Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, although he probably couldn’t have envisioned just how far he’d be able to take it.
Besides a trail of broken parts, Kody has competed in and won some of the industry’s biggest events including being named the DPC 2018 champion and the 2020 ATS Diesel Performance Gauntlet Challenge Champion. With his knack of not only finding weak points but fixing them, we could be looking at the future Duramax horsepower champion. If it can be done, Kody will find a way.
Custom Auto Diesel Performance
Northwest Dyno Circuit
Pacific Performance Engineering
S&S Diesel Motorsport
Screamin Diesel Performance
Siskiyou Diesel Performance
Ultimate Callout Challenge