2001 Dodge: 918 hp Mechanical Monster

It's been said torque is the force that really gets a diesel-powered truck moving. If that's the case, then there are few rigs that move out quicker than Matt Kuehne’s ’01 Dodge Ram 2500. Making an incredible 2,050 lb-ft of torque on an engine dyno, the 5.9L Cummins engine in Matt’s ride is in a class of its own. However, the combination isn't just about torque, as the engine can also rev past 4,000 rpm or churn out 918 dyno-verified horsepower, depending on the situation. 

As impressive as the Cummins powerplant is, it's just one of the truck’s qualities that make it a showstopper. “Technically, the truck has 235,000 miles on it, but that's just the mileage on the shell and the frame," Matt says. "Everything else is redone." Since it is an ex–work truck, the Dodge Ram already had such niceties as a heavy-duty transfer case and steep 4.10 gears in the axles. And, with his goal being to own a truck that has serious power, Matt also took the time to replace the ball joints, add a Borgeson Universal Steering Components steering box, level the front end, and install twin heavy-duty driveshafts. Matt left literally no stone unturned, as he even added the battery of a decommissioned fire truck to help crank the engine over.

All the work Matt did to the Dodge Ram 2500’s chassis centered on making a lot more power than the factory rating of 215 hp. To get the type of performance he was looking for, Matt found that Scheid Diesel Service is a one-stop shop that could help him in creating the truck he wanted. Scheid completely rebuilt the 5.9L Cummins engine from top to bottom—including a new block—and installed half a catalogue's worth of performance parts. The decision was also made to get away from the stock electronic VP44 injection pump and install Scheid’s 13mm P-pump instead. Airflow was upgraded, as the stock Holset HY35 turbocharger was replaced with a compound-turbo setup that generates an impressive 105 psi of boost at full tilt.

To transmit all that power to the pavement, technicians at Scheid built a 47RE four-speed automatic transmission that stands up to the immense power. Internally, the gearbox is loaded with upgraded shafts and drums, along with improved external pieces, such as the transmission cooler. A 2,600-rpm-stall triple-disc torque converter was also installed to make sure the engine builds boost in a virtual instant.

With its frame-off restoration, new interior, and insane torque, Matt's Dodge Ram is quite the handful. "I try and drive it responsibly most of the time, but I also know you can pin the throttle at 60 mph and it'll spin the tires," he says with a huge grin. “I’ve always had muscle cars, and I can honestly say this truck feels a lot faster than pretty much all of them." After more than 200,000 miles as a work truck, one thing is for sure: Matt's rig is enjoying a second life as a play toy.

Fast Facts

Year/Make/Model: ’01 Dodge Ram 2500

Owner: Matt Kuehne

Hometown: Mount Carmel, Illinois

Odometer: 235,000 miles

Engine: 5.9L Cummins I-6 balanced, blueprinted, and assembled by Scheid Diesel Service; new block, 14mm ARP main studs with block girdle, shot-peened 12-valve Cummins connecting rods, fly-cut and coated 24-valve Cummins pistons; Scheid Pro-Street Puller camshaft and valvetrain; polished and ported cylinder head with 14mm studs and a milled side intake; and a Fluidampr harmonic balancer

Fuel: AirDog 250-gph lift pump, Scheid 13mm P7100 injection pump, quick-rate pump cam, oversized lines, and Scheid Lightning injectors

Air: 62mm and 75mm BorgWarner turbochargers, Spearco intercooler, and a ZZ Custom Fabrication individual-runner intake manifold

Exhaust: Steed Speed exhaust manifold, and a custom 4-inch system with a polished 7-inch stack

Transmission: 47RE four-speed automatic by Scheid Diesel Service, high-stall torque converter, billet shafts, valvebody modifications, Mag-Hytec pan, and an external cooler with fan

Power: 918 hp (engine dyno)

Torque: 2,050 lb-ft (engine dyno)

Suspension: Front leveling spacers; Triple-B Sales custom stainless steel traction bars, and Bilstein shocks

Tires: 35x12.50R 20 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ

Wheels: 20x10 Ballistic Outlaw

Axles: 4.10 gears

Body: Stock

Interior: Completely reupholstered original interior, A-pillar-mounted triple-gauge pod, and overhead gauge pod with AutoMeter Competition Instruments gaugesFun Fact: Unlike a chassis dyno, which measures an engine’s horsepower and torque output through a vehicle’s drivetrain, an engine dyno calculates power directly by measuring the amount of torque that’s required to keep an engine running at a set rpm and then calculating horsepower based on the torque figure and engine speed (horsepower = torque x rpm/5,252). Since it measures torque directly, an engine dyno gives the most accurate estimate of how much power an engine makes.

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