The Modded Mega: A 2012 Ram 2500 Packing the Right Upgrades.
Throughout North America, auto enthusiasts from all walks of life rely on diesel pickups to tote their toys to and from the track. In recent years, these hobbyists and semi-professional racers have begun to realize that their tow rigs can be significantly modified with very few negative side-effects. Take R.C. Ellis for example. After using the ’12 Ram 2500 Mega Cab shown here to haul his 1,100 hp LS-powered Camaro for several years, he learned that the truck’s horsepower and torque could essentially be doubled without sacrificing fuel mileage, functionality or overall durability.
Armed with the knowledge that the 6.7L Cummins wouldn’t break a sweat with some extra fuel and air in the mix, R.C. got started with an aftermarket programmer, exhaust system and intake manifold. Then, a BorgWarner S400 turbo and high flow exhaust manifold were added, a FASS fuel system was installed and a 3-inch Carli Suspension lift was bolted on. The truck’s appearance was further amplified with a set of 20x9-inch BMF Novakanes mounted on 35-inch Nitto Ridge Grappler tread. Check out the full rundown on R.C.’s modded Mega Cab below and decide for yourself if it’s the perfect tow rig.
The 31,000-mile 6.7L Cummins under the hood of R.C. Ellis’ ’12 Ram 2500 is bone-stock, aside from being treated to several airflow improvements. Most notably, a BorgWarner S465 turbocharger and Stainless Diesel T4 exhaust manifold sit in place of the factory components. The upgraded turbo and manifold combination yields stock-like spool up and considerably more mid-range and top-end pull. And thanks to the S465’s fixed geometry design, the engine sees less drive pressure (reducing the chances of a blown head gasket) and the vain-sticking issues associated with the factory HE351VE VGT Holset turbo have been eliminated.
Increasing Intake and Exhaust Flow
Opening up airflow between the cold side of the intercooler and the cylinder head is a high flow intake manifold from H&S Motorsports. The gloss black powder coated manifold is a very popular, bang-for-the-buck add-on in the Cummins world and it vastly improves flow over the restrictive factory piece. On the exhaust side, a 4-inch aluminized-steel downpipe connects to the back of the S465 turbo, while a 5-inch diameter system routes exhaust gases out the tailpipe.
Stock Slushbox, For Now…
Although the 68RFE six-speed automatic has been left alone up to this point, R.C.’s future plans entail installing a beefed up, full-billet version—if not a full-on 48RE swap. So far, the untouched, low-mile slushbox has had no problem harnessing the extra power being produced by the S465 and aftermarket tuning.
Mini Maxx Monitor
An H&S Mini Maxx monitor mounted on the lower driver side windshield allows R.C. to keep an eye on exhaust gas temperature (EGT), boost, transmission and coolant temp. Once the stock injectors are fitted with larger nozzles and the CP3 is stroked to 10mm, R.C. will be contacting an aftermarket vendor for custom, Maxx Calibration Control (MCC) tuning.
Carli Suspension Lift
A Backcountry 2.0 suspension lift from Carli Suspension provides approximately 3-inches of additional ride height up front. The high-end kit replaces the factory coil springs with taller, lighter-rate units, features internally gusseted, high-clearance control arms (equipped with notched recesses to reduce the possibility of tire rub) and two pairs of Carli-tuned Fox 2.0 remote reservoir shocks.
Diesel-Rated Rear Spring Packs
A full replacement spring pack (spec’d specifically for diesel-powered Rams) sits in place of the factory stack and increases the rear ride height by roughly two inches. According to the folks at Carli, this spring pack minimizes axle wrap and wheel hop, yet also softens the initial spring rate at ride height.
The Death of Death Wobble
R.C. also opted for Carli Suspension’s torsion sway bar and dual steering stabilizers. The dual purpose torsion rate sway bar features heavy-duty, chromoly arms and end links, and also incorporates 5/8-inch heim joints. The T-style dual steering stabilizer kit is fully adjustable (for all tire configurations) and is tied into Carli’s 1/4-inch thick front differential guard. An adjustable track bar combats the lift’s natural tendency to shift the front axle toward the driver side by forcing it toward the passenger side of the truck.
Nitto Ridge Grapplers
Choosing a 35-inch tire with sound street manners yet plenty of off-road bite, R.C. settled on the 35x12.50R20 Nitto Ridge Grappler. Nitto’s groundbreaking hybrid tire combines the off-road capabilities of a mud terrain with the comfort, quietness and longevity of an all-terrain. The Ridge Grapplers are mounted to 20x9-inch BMF Novakane wheels, which with their Machine Black finish complete the truck’s sleek black look.
With plans to eventually upsize injector nozzles and install a higher flowing CP3 pump, R.C. made the call to be proactive on the low-pressure fuel supply side of the equation. Doing away with the factory lift pump and in-tank pick up, a 150-gph Titanium series fuel system from FASS was installed (top, right), along with a Beans Diesel Performance fuel tank sump. Capable of supporting as much as 900 hp, the FASS system will be there when he decides to pull the trigger on a bigger set of injectors and CP3. As for the sump, it will ensure plenty of fuel volume is always on tap for the FASS lift pump.
A Well-Rounded Package
In its current 500-to-550 hp state, R.C.’s Cummins-powered Mega Cab is the perfect tow rig for his Camaro and one heckuva fun daily driver. The quick-spooling S400 lends itself to great streetability, the Carli Suspension lift and steering upgrades make the truck a pleasure to drive and the BMF Novakane/Ridge Grappler wheel and tire combination give the truck the aggressive appearance it deserves. In the future—and knowing that with the right mods in place the 6.7L can be leaned on even further—R.C. plans to push the truck into the 650-to-700 hp range.