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Episode Transcript

(LT)>> I am super excited about today. We have our 2016 Ram out of the shop and at the race track. So we're finally gonna see how fast this thing goes. Also a little bit later we're gonna throw it on the dyno and see how much horsepower it makes, and install a couple of cosmetic upgrades. That's all happening today on Truck Tech. ♪ ♪

(LT)>> Hey guys, welcome to the shop. Today we're gonna be working on our 2016 Ram 3500 crew cab dually. Now we've done a whole bunch of work to this truck, and our main emphasis is high performance. We've spent a lot of time underneath the hood working on this six-seven Cummins. We started out with a second gen swap. It's sporting an S-467 turbo. Then we added a second high pressure injection pump and we have a goal of somewhere around 800 horsepower, and later on we're gonna throw it on the dyno and see how we did. But this truck is not just about horsepower. We've actually done a whole bunch in the looks department as well. Probably the most dramatic visual change you can make to any car or truck is your wheel and tire choice, but I think we knocked it out of the park. These are 22 inch American Force Draft super duallies, and they really set off the look of the truck, but we didn't stop there. We also threw on some Road Armor Identity series parts. Their headache rack and bumpers front and rear, which we color matched to the truck, and added some "Illusion Cherry" accents to tie in with the theme underneath the hood. Speaking of the hood we also threw on some custom paint touches. We started out by blacking out the center panel of the hood. Then came in and added some "Illusion Cherry" letters with a little bit of shadow on top. And the last step was to apply some shadows on these factory kind of fake simulated vents. The hood looks great and the front bumper looks great, but the stock grille in between the two just kind of looks plain. So that's where we'll start today. This is a Royalty Core grille. It's made from 304 stainless steel and it's a really high quality piece. Anytime you order a custom grille like this there are a lot of different options you can choose from to fit your truck. We chose gloss black around the border, satin black for the mesh, and some polished stainless steel hardware. And if you have a stock front bumper you can even get a matching lower grill for it. It's really easy to install and it starts by popping out the original grille. ♪ ♪ The first order of business is to remove the stock grille from the truck, which on this 2016 Ram is an easy task. ♪ ♪ This modification will require some surgery. We do have to cut the center of the stock grille. So the old saying measure twice and cut once definitely applies. [ saw spinning ]

(LT)>> A thin cutoff disc makes quick work of the plastic but if you don't have one of those a body saw or a number of other hand tools will also get the job done. With all four cuts made we can flip the grille and unclip the plastic mesh. Then pop up the center cross, which we just cut. ♪ ♪ Now the grille is brought in and we can make some marks for the studs that hold it to the shell. Once we're satisfied with how it fits... [ drill spinning ]

(LT)>> ...we can make a couple of holes. Then the rough edges from the cuts can be smoothed out with an 80 grit flap disc, and the new grill can be set into place. On the back side a bracket goes onto each stud, followed by a washer, lock washer, and finally a nut. Once all the studs are secured several more holes have to be drilled into the plastic grill, and screws and retaining clips hold everything together. Once everything is nice and tight the grill shell is put back onto the truck just like it came off. And with only about a half hours' worth of work the front end of our heavy hauler is totally transformed.

(Narrator)>> Next demystifying diesel tuning, and later she'll run the quarter mile.

(LT)>> We have our Ram 3500 strapped down to the chassis dyno where it's been a couple of times before. We started out with the truck in bone stock condition and it laid down 350 horsepower. That's fine but not enough. So we added all the basic upgrades that diesel guys do. A programmer, cold air intake, and a more efficient intercooler. Now that's great for daily driving but we wanted to go racing. So we tore apart the engine and added a larger turbocharger, a second injection pump, larger injector nozzles, and a whole bunch of other supporting modifications. The last upgrade that we need to do to this truck doesn't involve turning wrenches but electronics. We need to update the truck's computer so it can effectively control all the hard parts that we've installed. And for that we contacted Calibrated Power Solutions in Marengo, Illinois. Along with manufacturing their own turbo components they specialize in custom premium engine and transmission calibrations for emissions equipped Duramax and Cummins common rail diesels. Engineers design tunes based upon your performance modifications that flash directly into your truck's computer, and the result, increased performance and drivability while maintaining your truck's reliability. Guys this is Nick Priegnitz, the owner of Calibrated Power. I sent you an email, a list of all the parts and upgrades that we've installed onto the truck. So what do we really have to do to take account for all those changes, and what changes are we gonna make?

(Nick)>> You did, that was an extensive list. A box programmer is not gonna take care of that stuff. So because we changed the turbocharger, the dual fuellers, we've got 80 percent over injectors. We really have to jump in and change a lot of parts on that truck, custom tuning. So first and foremost I'm gonna jump into the air handling system. I'm gonna adjust the intake for the larger intake tube and adjust around that mass air flow sensor. Then I'm gonna change the torque curve of the engine. So the factory torque curve has a shape to it that is built around that 350 horsepower number, and it's built around the factory torque output. What I need to do is let the truck run out a little bit higher. I need to let it run to higher r-p-m, and I need to kind of trim down low so that when it's not making torque, when it's not able to come on top of the turbocharger I'm not getting that black smoke.

(LT)>> So basically we're just telling the computer in effect like how the turbo air flow is modeled?

(Nick)>> Yeah, I need to tell it where it's volumetrically efficient. When you put that bigger turbocharger on it's like putting a bigger cam in the engine. You change volumetric efficiency. You need to change the operating range of the engine.

(LT)>> All right, well that makes perfect sense. What other changes do we need to make?

(Nick)>> So we need to jump into fuel pressure and injection on time. Fuel pressure, adding fuel pressure is going to improve the injector latency. So when you have a stock fuel injector it's running maybe 4,000 to 6,000 p-s-i at idle. What we can do is bump that pressure up a couple thousand p-s-i at idle, and what that's gonna do is make that injector respond better. It's gonna clean up that haze at idle. You see these big injector trucks that kind of haze at idle? We want to get rid of that. We want to get the injector on when it's supposed to be on and off when it's supposed to be off. With the micro-seconds, with the on time we're controlling that big power number too. So as you hear guys turn their trucks up their really turning up the on time. So we go from an on time of 1,850 micro-seconds per stroke up to 2,200, 2,400, 2,600 micro-seconds per stroke to get that extra fuel in the cylinder. You want to jump into the timing curve as well. So we talked about latency on fuel pressure. There's also latency that can be adjusted in timing. Specifically we're gonna add timing in the idle area, which is gonna clean up that haze in the cruise area here, which is gonna help also clean up the haze under light throttle. And then in the bottom right hand corner, which is the high load, high r-p-m section, which is gonna help with that top end power and charge.

(LT)>> Okay, well let's get started. Let's load the tune up in the truck and see what she does.

(Nick)>> All right.

(LT)>> All right man, we got the tune loaded up, she's in position number one. Any guesses?

(Nick)>> A little over 500 maybe, we'll see.

(LT)>> Hold on, 550. ♪ ♪ [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Here we go! [ engine revving ] ♪ ♪

(LT)>> Man that thing sounds awesome. How'd we do?

(Nick)>> That thing sounded tough. 544, and 1,006. Come on out.

(LT)>> Well yeah man, that sounded awesome and some pretty good numbers to boot. What do you think so far?

(Nick)>> The truck sounds healthy, looks good on the log files. So typically I like to have customers start out with the smaller tunes right.

(LT)>> So don't just jump in the deep end.

(Nick)>> You don't want to start out with the big tune, and log those files. So what we're looking for is actual rail pressure doing what we're desiring. Is the pulse width doing what we're asking for? Is the timing number there? Is the truck making the power that we're seeing tune versus dyno or is there something up.

(LT)>> Looking at the log it looks like we're I guess on the money.

(Nick)>> Stuff's tracking like we're asking for. We're seeing the torque number and the pulse width that we're asking for. Man everything looks good to me. I see no reason why we can't go up from here.

(LT)>> All right well do you think we're gonna make that magic 800?

(Nick)>> I'm hoping for you man.

(LT)>> Well let's see what happens.

(Narrator)>> One final run, then we're off to the drag strip.

(LT)>> Welcome back to Truck Tech. Our 2016 Ram is on the dyno and it just made 544 horsepower on only the first tune, and we have three more to go. All the data looks great. The truck is delivering exactly what's being asked of it. So we're gonna turn up the heat a little bit and do a run in the second tune. I don't know if we're really gonna make 800 or not, but if we doubled our original power of 350 I'd be stoked.

(Nick)>> Tune number two looks like 630, 1,253.

(LT)>> During each run we record data from the truck's computer using the EFI Live scan tool and review it afterwards. This is called data logging. We're basically checking to make sure the fuel system is doing what it's told and comparing that data to the dyno number. Everything still looks good. So now we crank it up to the fourth tune, which is as high as it goes. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> The Ram laid down a strong number, just shy of 700 horsepower. So we did one final run to get a good solid average and the Cummins gave us all it could. [ engine revving ]

(Nick)>> All right man, we got two at 700 now.

(LT)>> Well consistency, I guess that tells us kinda that's just where we're gonna be I guess. I mean 700 horsepower, nearly 1,450 pounds of torque. That'll still be a pretty peppy setup.

(Nick)>> It's a strong truck and I think now is the time where you've got to be realistic. We've got to look at the dyno numbers, look at the log files, say is the truck doing what it's supposed to be doing? I mean we've got good fuel pressure, we've got good fuel load as evidenced by the soot coming out of the tailpipe and the e-g-t's. I mean the truck clearly is air limited. If this was my truck I wouldn't want to push it any further than it is right now.

(LT)>> So let's say we did want to push it further though. What would we do? Maybe compound it, add a larger turbo in front of the 467?

(Nick)>> A compound set would really be nice for maintaining the spool up and the response time that you have with the 467 right now. You wouldn't lose any of that but you would get that top end charge. That extra 200, 300 horsepower probably on the top end, 488, that'd be nasty.

(LT)>> Yeah it'd be fun but unfortunately you have to wait until next time cause we have an appointment at the race track. Thanks for your time man. I appreciate it, and can't wait to see how this truck feels.

(Nick)>> It's been fun, look forward to it.

(LT)>> Massive torque curve right through there. ♪ ♪ So this is a brand new build for us and doesn't have any street miles on it. We just came from the dyno actually. Now the last thing that you want to do on a truck like this that has a smart or a learning transmission is get to the track without doing any testing, crank it up to the highest tune level, and just start making passes. The transmission needs to go through and learn all the fluid volumes of each individual clutch pack in the transmission. So what I'm doing now is I'm just on the access road and I'm just making some easy acceleration runs. Slowly going through all the forward gears, letting the transmission shift and kind of figure itself out. Once we do that a couple of times, maybe four or five acceleration runs all the way first through sixth. Then we can go to the starting line, put in the lowest tune, start making passes. And today we're piggy backing with the Buick GS club of America here at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. They rent the drag strip each year so members can race their Buicks down this quarter mile straightaway. We did get a few wide eyed looks pulling in cause it's not every day that you see an 8,900 pound dually enter the starting box. So right off the bat we're in tune number one. I'm not gonna go crazy until I get a feel for the track and a feel for the truck. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Do a quick burnout. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> A little wheel hop.

Like the first set of stage lights. All right, tune number one, pre-stage, gets a little foot brake and off we go, easing into it. Man that thing locks up and it pushes. She's going hard! That feels good! Woo! Looks like just about 98 or so on the speedometer. Let's see what the time slip says. Oh, feels good! A little slow off the line but once that turbo starts cooking man we are in business.

( )>> One of the faster diesels I've seen come through here.

(LT)>> It's probably the only one today though right? ( )>> Today yeah, I work here a lot though.

(LT)>> All right well, is this us, right lane? Yeah, 101, not bad. ( )>> Most of them run about 80. You're up there.

(LT)>> In theory it's got a little more on the tuner. So we'll see, thank you. ♪ ♪

(Narrator)>> Next LT hammers down on the four ton.

(LT)>> We're back at Beech Bend Raceway with our first quarter mile pass down the drag strip. Let's see how we did. So our very first run, it went okay. We did a 15.9. That's pretty slow for an e-t but we did 101 miles an hour. So there's definitely some potential there. I messed up. I forgot to put it in tow/haul mode. So it didn't lock the converter quite as soon as it should, and I should have boosted a little bit more off the launch. But that's okay, it was the first run. The truck felt great. So I'm ready to keep going and see if we can improve that 15.9 and bring it down a little bit. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> All right, so we're gonna change things up a little bit this time. What I'm gonna do is try to do a little bit of a boosted launch. Basically what that involves, I'm gonna put my foot on the brake at the same time as I put my foot on the accelerator. Try to build up just a little bit of boost in the turbo before I let it launch. Hopefully that gets a better reaction time, better e-t, and a little better mile per hour. Five pounds, here we go! Spinning bad! [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Back half feels good. Still gotta work on that launch. ♪ ♪ Woo! ♪ ♪ Big heavy truck, a lot of mass to get off the line. ♪ ♪ Well we did a little better. Not better, but we're getting in the right direction. That was a 15.4 at 102 miles an hour. Now I tried to do a bit of a boosted launch. I just ended up spinning the wheels off the line. So I kinda had to reset and that threw things off a little bit, but the truck felt great once that converter locked and once we started getting down the track. So I'm gonna tune it up to tune number two now. See if we can do a little bit better. ♪ ♪ [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> It kinda hopped around a little bit there. So this time I'm gonna try feeding the power in a little bit smoother instead of just floor boarding it. [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> We've got a really loud drag car over there. I'm sure he's gonna blow my doors off. That's all right! ♪ ♪ A little boost, three, two, one, go! ♪ ♪ Well of course he's out of here. ♪ ♪ Woo, I tell you what though. That converter locks she pulls hard. Oh man! On the brakes! Just got smoked by a muscle car. I guess I kind of expected that though. ♪ ♪ Felt a little faster, I don't know. ( )>> Reaction time's better.

(LT)>> 15.0. ♪ ♪ So we're down to a 15.0. Still not very impressive. Actually it was a little bit slower for mile per hour too. It was 100 miles an hour. I'm just having trouble getting this big truck off the line. I'm putting the foot down. It's just not there. Gotta get at least into the 14's. We're gonna give it a fourth and final run. Just as our dyno passes fell short of my 800 horsepower goal we still did generate an impressive 1,450 pounds of torque, and so far putting all the torque to the ground hasn't been the easiest thing to do here at Beech Bend. And I think the Buick guys got a kick out of seeing this four and a half ton six wheel behemoth running down the track. We don't have that many runs left though. So I'm just gonna go for broke, turn it all the way up, and see what happens. Hopefully nothing breaks. ♪ ♪ [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Really the burnout doesn't really do me a lot of good. We're on a street tire. I've got four of them back there. So as far as traction goes we're actually doing pretty good. ♪ ♪ So we're in the highest tune level right now. Creeping up to the line. Basically what I'm gonna do is just kinda try to ease into it. Try to get that first half of the track just a little bit quicker cause that's really where we're struggling. ♪ ♪ [ engine revving ] ♪ ♪

(LT)>> Feels good! Come on truck! Yeah! ♪ ♪ Not bad at all. ♪ ♪ I've had a blast getting this big ole truck down the quarter mile. It's not a bad day at work. Now it's not the fastest thing out there, that's for sure. I'll just come out and say it. The best time on the hottest tune 14.82 at 103 miles per hour. This is gonna sound like I'm making excuses so just bear with me for a little bit. There are three reasons this truck isn't very quick in the quarter mile. Number one, we put it on the scales and it weighs 8,950 pounds. Number two, this has a 3.42 gear in the rear end. Third, and probably the biggest deterrent to running a good time, this has the AS-69 transmission. Currently there is no t-c-m tuning available for it and we're getting killed with torque management off the line. Based on the weight of this truck and the dyno proven horsepower it should be running somewhere in the low 13's. Our mile per hour, it's spot on. This truck back halves really well but it's still a fun truck even though it's not the fastest thing out there.
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