Winning Combination: How A 750HP Cummins Dominates the Dirt
When you’ve been in the truck pulling game as long as Eric Loy, you tend to know a thing or two about how to get the iron sled down the track the furthest. We’ve seen his 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 dually take first place at countless events in recent years (most notably in the central Illinois Work Stock Class). But, believe it or not, Loy had to learn a thing or two about losing before he ever put together a winning combination. “Everybody thinks they have to win when they pull, but once they start to lose they get out of it” he told us. “It took me a lot of years to win a truck pull, but [now that I’m winning] I’m sure I’ll be truck pulling for years to come.”
For Eric, the truck pulling addiction took hold 20 years ago, when he was just 16 years of age. Over the course of the last two decades, he’s transformed several trucks into competitive pullers. The truck shown here, which was purchased to tow his purpose-built Ford puller to events, has been his most successful, and most recent venture. Not because it’s making the most power or has had crazy amounts of cash thrown at it, but because it’s a culmination of putting everything he’s learned throughout the past 20 years to good use. We think you’ll be surprised how simple Eric’s parts combination is.
After burning a hole in a piston with just 17,000 miles on the clock (thanks to stacking two devices which both ramped up injection timing, excessively), Eric’s engine was rebuilt in 2006 and the long block has since remained untouched. The 5.9L Cummins benefits from a street cam, fire-ringed cylinder head, and 110-pound valve springs from Scheid Diesel. During the rebuild process, the block was also machined to accept 14mm head studs. Despite those upgrades, the inline-six sports a factory crank, connecting rods, and OE-spec’d pistons.
A big key to Eric’s success lies in this turbocharger from High Tech Turbo. It’s based on a BorgWarner S300 chassis, incorporates a 66mm compressor wheel (inducer), 73mm turbine wheel (exducer), and a T4 mounting flange. The secret snail bolts to a T4 flanged, three-piece exhaust manifold from ATS Diesel.
This is another reason why Eric’s Dodge runs so well. It’s a 12mm CP3 injection pump from Exergy Performance, which is capable of supporting up to 1,000-rwhp. Bolting this pump into place—along with adding custom Smarty UDC tuning from Firepunk Diesel—took Eric’s truck from finishing mid-pack in 2014 to being the truck to beat in 2015. So far, it looks like more of the same in 2016, as his Dodge remains a step ahead of the field at most events.
Providing consistent fuel pressure to the thirsty 12mm CP3 is a 200-gph AirDog II lift pump system. As for injectors, Loy equipped the stock bodies with 180hp nozzles from Industrial Injection many years ago, and hasn’t changed them since.
Thanks to being an early ’05 model Ram, Eric avoided the problematic G56 gearbox offered on ’05.5 models and still rocks the factory NV5600 six-speed. When hooked to the sled, you’ll find the transmission in second gear and the NV271 transfer case locked in 4-Hi. A street puller, dual disc clutch from Haisley Machine is used for efficient power transfer.
For added bite via a larger footprint, Eric told us that he typically runs 25 psi of air in the front in the front tires. A tried and true foursome of half-worn all-terrain tires get the job done in the rear, and check in at roughly 50 psi.
Eric, with the help of friend Tony Brown, built the sled stops that grace the truck, as well as the traction bars, bumpstops, and hitch receiver. Knowing how to build vital components like this (or at least, on the cheap) are what make Eric’s success story so unique. When you take into account that many truck pullers spend upwards of $10,000 in upgrades each offseason, in comparison he’s spent very little money to get the truck where it’s at today.
Work Stock Class
With an optimized final drive ratio, good horsepower being made at 3,500+ rpm (what the Cummins spins going down the track), and an uncanny ability to read a track, Loy and his Dodge are quickly becoming favorites to win anywhere they go. So far this year, he handily won the Work Stock Class season opener, and then took Sixth Place in the Open Class, where trucks with large single and compound turbos making in excess of 1,000-rwhp are allowed to compete.
Year/Make/Model: 2005 Dodge Ram 3500
Odometer: 85,000 miles
Engine: 5.9L Cummins common-rail with Scheid Diesel fire-ringed cylinder head, 110-pound valve springs, A1 Technologies 14mm head studs, Scheid Diesel street cam
Injection System: Exergy Performance 12mm stroker CP3, Industrial Injection 180hp injector nozzles, AirDog II fuel system
Turbo/Air: High Tech Turbo S366, ATS three-piece T4 exhaust manifold, Spearco intercooler, ATS Arc Flow intake elbow
Tuning: Smarty UDC custom tuning from Firepunk Diesel
Transmission: NV5600 with Haisley Machine street puller dual disc clutch
Torque: 1,400 lb-ft
Suspension: KORE leveling kit with 5100 series Bilstein shocks, homemade traction bars, bump stops, and sled stops