Climate Change: The Triple-Turbo Tractor Engine’d Diesel Pro Mod Truck
There’s an oddball in every bunch, but blazing a different trail can be very rewarding. At a time when most diesel-powered Pro Mods seem to be powered by single turbo Cummins powerplants benefitting from electronic common-rail injection, the Royalty’s are doing it with a massive triple-turbo arrangement and mechanical injection. Just look in the bed, you’ll find two of the truck’s massive snails back there... Their old-school way of doing things isn’t wrong, it’s just simply what they know—and it works. Meet the welcomed aberration in diesel drag racing’s second-fastest class: the Climate Change Pro Mod Dodge Dakota driven by Steve Royalty.
At Warren County Diesel in Franklin, Ohio, Steve, his father Merit and his son (and crew chief) Tyler, live and breathe diesel. And on the weekends, they take their freakishly-fast diesel to the track. The 2000 model year Dakota body from GTS Fiberglass conceals the Gary Taylor Race Cars chromoly tube chassis frame and a four-link rear suspension—complete with Strange coil over shocks and a narrowed Ricky Jones Ford 9-inch—do everything they can to plant the truck’s power. But how about the powerplant under the fiberglass front clip and the poor transmission that has to endure its 2,500-plus horsepower? See all that and more below.
Billet Block, 12-Valve Head and Torrents of Fuel
When Scheid Diesel builds a competition Cummins for race purposes, it’s going to turn out pretty exotic. A Scheid billet-aluminum, 6.7L dry block, factory-based 6.7L Cummins crank, R&R billet rods, Arias pistons and one of Scheid’s billet-steel camshafts highlight the bottom end, while one of its done-up 12-valve heads resides up top. On the fuel side of things, a 14mm P-pump (also a Scheid piece), capable of flowing 1,100cc’s of diesel and equipped with an Ag governor, sends fuel to a set of Scheid triple-feed injectors, which have been fitted with massive 5 x 0.030-inch nozzles. Given the unorthodox turbo system (more on that below), a lot of piping is routed to and from the engine. Exhaust makes its escape route through a tubular exhaust manifold fabricated by Gary Taylor Race Cars.
Two in the bed and one riding shotgun. That’s the best explanation we’ve heard for the Royalty’s wild triple-turbo setup. Technically speaking, the triple-turbo setup is of a two-stage configuration. Dual 82mm atmosphere units positioned above the rear coil over shocks take the engine’s first bite of air. These low-pressure turbochargers produce 30 psi of boost apiece (first stage) and send it toward the high-pressure unit for further compressing (second stage).
103mm, 100+ PSI of Boost
To say the Royalty’s wild ride produces triple-digit boost would be an understatement. At full tilt, the data logger shows a combined effort of 168-psi between all three chargers. But it’s the high-pressure turbo from Keating Machine (shown above) that’s responsible for the lion’s share of boost. The 103mm charger builds more than 100 psi on its own, which warrants the safety-mandated metal scatter shield positioned directly above it. To keep intake temps in check amid the highly compressed, super-heated air leaving the turbos, the Royalty’s rely on a combination of nitrous and water-injection rather than an intercooler to keep incoming air dense.
The Effects of Violent Horsepower
At 168 psi of boost, 2,500 hp and more than 3,000 lb-ft of torque, things are going to move… Combined with a bit of inevitable chassis twist, the hot-pipe that links the high-pressure turbo to the rear atmosphere chargers has been forced into the back wall of the cab a time or two. This is just a small glimpse into the dozens of obstacles the Royalty’s have faced over the years in getting their Pro Mod to go straight under full power.
After switching from a four-speed Lenco to a three-speed version (along with automated shifting) for 2020, Climate Change has gotten progressively quicker and smoother about getting down the track. Power transfer from the mighty, triple-turbo Cummins to the Lenco begins with a four-disc Molinari Racing Products clutch. The lightweight drag racing clutch dwells inside a Probell bellhousing.
Painted, Not Wrapped
Like a lot of drag racers, monster truck owners and truck pullers, the Royalty’s sourced a fiberglass body from GTS Fiberglass Body & Design. The ’00 Dodge Dakota wrapper tips the scales at less than 130 pounds and the hand-crafted front clip features a massive cowl on the integrated hood. Cuz’s Custom Body & Paint (nope, it’s not a wrap) shot the body and applied the air-brushed graphics and pin-striping. If you’re at an event and spot the yellow JEGS canopy shielding the Climate Change Dakota from the sun, stop by and say hi. The Royalty’s are one of the friendliest groups of racers you’ll find in the pits.
Though Steve and his team are still working out the consistency bugs in the truck, it recently managed a best-ever 60-foot hit. That 1.09-second number you see here represents one of the quicker 60-foots we’ve seen out of a diesel Pro Mod—and it’s more like dragster territory rather than what you’d expect to see from a 3,600-pound truck.
Hauling the Mail
When conditions are right, Climate Change has proven capable of blasting into the 4’s in the eighth-mile, including a 4.79 at 154.9 mph. On that pass, we calculate just shy of 2,100 hp making it to the racing surface, but we know the Scheid engine has more on tap than that. And although the truck is yet to match that E.T. so far in 2020, it is getting more consistent and noticeably smoother each time out. It’s only a matter of time before Climate Change moves into the mid 4’s and begins seeing 160-mph trap speeds.
Curious what makes a diesel Pro Mod a diesel Pro Mod? Click here to find out.