One of the events I am super excited to be back at this year is the Diesel Power Challenge. This is the diesel truck guy equivalent to Drag Week that pits some of the nation’s hairiest street-legal diesel trucks against each other over the course of a week in multiple competitions and contests. I was there for the deal last year and it was an eye-opener for sure. When you are in the building with street diesel trucks making 1,200hp at the wheels and 2,000+ lb/ft to boot is really something else. The dyno portion of the event is particularly intense because of all the noise and thunder these big engines make in the small chassis dyno cell. I was amazed at how furious a Cummins sounds spinning north of 4,000 rpm and when you start thinking of the forced involved both with rotation, boost pressures, and everything else inside a beefy diesel, you can understand why I wasn’t interested in standing next to or even very close to trucks while they were working as hard as they could on the rollers.
These videos made me think of the Diesel Power Challenge because the engine that suffers the busted cam here is a Cummins. This engine belongs to a guy named Chase Lunsford who drag races a big Dodge pickup and it moves out to the tune of 9-second elapsed times. For a rig that weighs 6,000+ lbs, that is really something else. What is even nuttier is that even these ultra high effort engines can have a road tune that trims fuel back to the point that MPGs of 20+ are possible. I saw this with my own eyes in the Rocky Mountains last year.
Anyway, in these videos an engine destined for Lunsford’s truck is being spun pretty hard in an effort to see how much power it’ll produce on the dyno. At about 4,200 RPM you’ll hear the thing lay down a little, you will see a fog come from the front of the engine and then BOOM! Boost pressure was well over 100psi when the engine quit being happy and when you see and hear it all escape instantly it is pretty jarring. We’re not sure if there is a huge single turbo on this or an ever popular compound setup. We tend to thing it is a compound setup to get those boost levels. You can really hear the ‘chargers come on hard just before the boom happens. As mentioned in the title, everything was going great until the billet camshaft failed and the rest was history.
We have two vantage points of the same pull for you below. The first is sitting next to the dyno operator and the second is the vantage point of standing at the other end of the dyno cell. Both of them capture the “OH S&^T” moment and the “BOOM” very nicely.
PRESS PLAY ON THE VIDEOS BELOW TO SEE A SERIOUSLY HOT RODDED CUMMINS DIESEL GET INSTANTLY UNHAPPY ON THE DYNO –