5 More Wild Turbo Combinations: Triplets!
Cramming copious amounts of boost into an engine is par for the course in the diesel world—and in the competition segment triple-turbo arrangements have become all the rage in recent years. Sled pullers, drag racers, dyno queens and street trucks alike have all benefited from having three windmills under the hood, namely in two-stage configurations. As a result of employing these 2-into-1 arrangements—two equal-sized (atmosphere) turbos blowing into a single high-pressure charger—competitors have been able to enjoy triple-digit boost with great reliability. Thanks to the atmospheric chargers effectively sharing the job of compressing air, their workload is relatively light when compared to traditional, two-turbo compound arrangements. As a result—and as the trucks below illustrate—a highly-durable, 2,000-plus hp can be made.
From one ground-pounding, 3,000hp sled-pulling monstrosity to four full-size drag trucks defying the laws of physics, the following triple-turbo arrangements have all pushed the limit in one way or another.
1. Erik Stacey’s Super Stock Puller
Our triple-turbo mayhem kicks off with what is arguably the most extreme example of the bunch: the two-stage trio of turbochargers aboard the one-off Cummins that powers Erik Stacey’s Super Stock puller. While the truck’s triple arrangement has since been relocated to the passenger side of the engine, this image captures the unique positioning of all three turbos out in front of Stacey’s custom Cummins. With plenty of fueling via a Sigma injection pump and John Deere-based injectors, the Holset HX82-based chargers combine to make an incredible 150 psi of boost, while the dry sump engine turns out well north of 2,400hp.
Although it packs a Cummins-based power plant, Stacey’s puller sports an ’06 Chevy Silverado body from GTS Fiberglass. Built for the 7,500-pound, Super Stock four-wheel drive diesel truck class, a tube chassis frame built by Barker Machine is also utilized, along with Rockwell axles, an SCS reverser transmission and quick change transfer case and a four-disc Crower clutch. The truck’s unique engine combination is the brainchild of Bob and Steve Holmes, longtime pioneers of groundbreaking sled pulling technology. A fully counterweighted 5.9L crankshaft spins 6,000 rpm and is located in a billet block that’s void of water jackets. A solid billet 12-valve cylinder head directs 150 psi of boost in-cylinder—but only after the twice-compressed air has been cooled down via air-to-water intercooling and water-injection.
2. Randy Reyes’ 2,100HP Dualie
When you pop the hood on Randy Reyes’ ’06 Dodge dualie, your eyes are immediately drawn to the two hulking 88mm compressor wheels in his triple-turbo arrangement. The big boost trio consists of two BorgWarner S400-based (88mm) snails blowing into a massive (94mm) S500 bolted to the 6.7L-based Cummins’ exhaust manifold. At full song, boost checks in at 130 psi on fuel alone—and 150 psi on nitrous. And what exactly do you get when you combine three turbos with three CP3s and then throw three stages of nitrous on top of it? How about 2,100hp on the chassis dyno!
7,700-Pound Race Truck?!
Incredibly, Reyes’ 7,700-pound third-gen Dodge, coined “Red Delicious,” has run a 9.62-second quarter-mile at 149 mph in six-wheel form. With a drag slick present at each corner, it’s skedaddled through the 1320 in as little as 9.42 seconds while trapping 151 mph. This means that, so far, Reyes has been able to put at least 1,800 of a potential 2,100hp to use on the track. Competing annually at the Ultimate Callout Challenge has only increased this truck’s appeal to the masses, as thousands of spectators have been privy to seeing Reyes’ street-driven dualie do things no dualie should be able to do.
3. Industrial Injection’s Big-Boost Shredder
Without a doubt, the triple-turbo arrangement feeding the common-rail Cummins on Industrial Injection’s ’01 Silverado is a work of art. Make no mistake, in addition to all of its bling, this system flat-out delivers. Turbo sizing is similar to Randy Reyes’ setup, with two S488 BorgWarner chargers feeding an S594 on the exhaust manifold. Based on the 5,400-pound truck’s recent 8.07-second pass through the quarter-mile at 180 mph, the triple-turbo configuration is supporting more than 2,100rwhp. While competing at the 2018 Ultimate Callout Challenge, driver Jared Delekta was also able to glean 2,188hp out of the Cummins-powered Silverado on the chassis dyno.
Duramax Delete Mod = Reliability at 2,400HP
Relying on a sleeved and deck-plated, 6.7L-based Shredder series Industrial Injection engine, the exotic inline-six has proven very durable despite making multiple passes at each event it attends. With triple-digit boost, nitrous and roughly 2,400hp being produced at the crank, it’s no small feat to keep an engine together at this power level—even a Cummins. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that a 48RE four-speed applies all of this power to the ground. Built by Randy’s Transmission with select Sun Coast parts, the Chrysler slushbox that was originally intended to harness 610 lb-ft of torque has been made to withstand the abuse of 2,500-plus lb-ft.
4. Johnny Gilbert’s Five-Blade Triple-Threat
After dominating Index racing classes for years, it only made sense when Johnny Gilbert decided to step up to the Pro Street category. In order to go head-to-head with some of the quickest in the business, he recently stepped up his engine program as well. The truck is now powered by a deck-plated common-rail Cummins and fed air courtesy of three S400s. As the owner of Stainless Diesel, a company that specializes in building cutting-edge turbos, Gilbert opted to run two five-blade 85mm S400s as atmospheric chargers and utilize an S480 on the exhaust manifold.
Low 5s at Nearly 140 MPH
The truck’s quickest pass to date came at the 2018 TS Performance Shootout, where it ran a blazing 5.27 at 137 mph in the eighth-mile. Capable of cutting 1.2-second 60-foots, Gilbert’s nasty Dodge is just about right where it needs to be to run with the top Pro Street rigs (where 5.0s and 5.1s are the norm through the eighth). Last November, the truck laid down a whopping 2,317hp number on the dyno on fuel alone. Power is sent through a stout 48RE put together by the folks at Wilson Patterson Diesel.
5. Brett Deutsch: Three of a Kind
Brett Deutsch’s Duramax-powered Pro Street ’69 Chevrolet C10 is a fan favorite in diesel drag racing. The old-school Chevy is graced with a built LLY code Duramax, enough fueling to support more than 1,500rwhp and is saddled with three equally-sized turbos from Bullseye Power. A pair of 75mm S400s (i.e. S475s) sit out front and serve as the low-pressure stage, while a third S475 resides in the lifter valley and serves as the high-pressure unit. The polished compressor housings and HSP Diesel piping make for a mirror-like finish, and despite having a lift-off race hood for the truck, Deutsch gets so many requests to pop the hood he rarely installs it.
Life in the 8s
Building triple-digit boost and sending roughly 1,500hp to the rear wheels, Deutsch can march his C10 down a quarter-mile track in repeatable 8-second intervals. His best pass to date has been an 8.39 at 168 mph, achieved in the fall of 2016. Currently the truck is under the knife and undergoing work to bring it up to date with SFI 25.6 specifications, which will allow Deutsch to legally run as quick as 8.00. Rumor has it that a full, Wagler-built Duramax will soon make its way into the engine bay, too. We look forward to seeing the finished product—and we fully expect it to be capable of outrunning its chassis certification.
Contributing photography provided by Amy Gilbert of Stainless Diesel