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Turbocharged 2006 Ram 2500 Build

A ‘Factory’ ’06 Ram 2500 that Stands Out and Competes

Photos by Mach1Media

We know what you’re thinking—while it may be a very clean looking 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, since when does Diesel World feature stock-ish trucks? Well, we don’t; and despite appearances, this beautiful Ram, owned by Daniel Hargrove, is anything but stock. In fact, as “factory” as it may seem, this truck not only competes, but also stands out at Outlaw Diesel Super Series and Ultimate Callout Challenge events, not to mention puts up some seriously steep competition at local dyno events.

Haling from Charlotte, Tennessee, Daniel works as a diesel mechanic, giving him the ultimate platform to know the ins and outs of diesel performance. And what better way to show your prowess and passion in the diesel world than to build the ultimate street and strip sleeper?

With the help of a number of diesel-pro buddies, Hargrove was able to put this rendition of his truck together in just 6 months, but the build has been a never-ending project.

“I purchased the truck in 2017 – bone-stock, one-owner, old-man truck,” Daniel told us. “Within a month, it had a Comp 48RE, 200 percent-over S&S injectors, a dual-pump kit, and made 900hp. I drove and raced the truck like that for four years and had a blast.”

Now, 900hp may sound like the tip-top of performance for some, but after four years of competing below the 1K threshold, Daniel opted to elevate the truck’s game considerably.

The Ultimate Build

Putting massive amounts of power to the pavement is the first objective of any competitive diesel, and Daniel accomplished this for his truck starting with a swapped 6.7L Cummins inline-six. On top of that sits a large single S485 turbo from Stainless Diesel pro Johnny Gilbert.

Adding even more performance to the Cummins are a Hamilton Cams 178/208 camshaft, fully ported Wagler Competition Products big-valve cylinder head, ARP 625 head studs, a Kingspeed LLC intake manifold, and a full S&S Diesel fuel injection system with 450 percent-over fuel injectors and a 14mm CP3 pump. The bottom-end was upgraded with Wagler connecting rods, Mhale Motorsports coated and cast pistons, Total Seal rings, and a 12mm girdle and main studs.

The exhaust system for the inline-six was also upgraded, making use of a Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold, custom V-banded 5-inch exhaust piping, and a 5-inch downpipe exiting under the truck.

While Daniel played a pivotal role in choosing every component that went into the engine build, it was Jeff McCord of Linco Diesel Performance who was entrusted with the ultimate build of the diesel.

Backing the built engine is a Dodge 48RE transmission with a Suncoast billet triple-disc torque converter equipped with a 2600 stall, Sonnax 35-spline input shaft, Sonnax billet intermediate shaft, and a Sonnax billet fat output shaft, all compliments of Logan Epling of Epling Motorsports. When it came to the transfer case, the Dodge’s stock 271 T-case was utilized and tied to large front and rear driveshafts, compliments of Derek Rose of DNR Customs. Both front and rear axles are fitted with 3.73 gears, while braking power comes from second-generation Ram brakes due to size restrictions related to the truck’s competition wheel and tire combination.

The goal of the build was to get somewhere in the area of 1,200 to 1,300 horsepower on straight fuel, with a three-stage nitrous system utilizing a Nitrous Express Maximizer 5 progressive controller, 375 solenoid and two .99 jets, pushing the diesel to an impressive 1,700 to 1,800hp. The results, however, were a bit grander than Daniel and his team thought they would be, with the truck putting down over 1,400hp on straight fuel, and just over 2,000hp on nitrous.

A Strong Foundation

Now you can’t build a highly competitive diesel without also upgrading the chassis and suspension system, so Daniel entrusted Keaton Samples of Samples Performance Fabrication to upgrade the truck’s undercarriage. In addition to modifications to the rear section of the frame, Keaton equipped the Ram with Firepunk lowering coils and Bilstein 5125 shocks in the front, while modifying the truck’s factory leaf springs in the rear to make use of just two leafs in each pack, and adding Afco coilovers with 200-pound springs to the mix.

The whole chassis sits atop 22×12-inch Forgiato Ventaglio wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes 305/40/R22 rubber.

Street and Strip 

When it comes to body and interior modifications to the truck, Daniel opted to do very little, wanting to keep his truck as versatile as possible. Outside, the truck maintains its original white paint, chrome trim, badges and bed. Inside, the truck maintains a similar factory look, right down to the standard heated leather seats, intact heating and air conditioning system, and even a functioning back seat thanks to the singular interior addition – a full rollcage built by Paul Cato of Maverick Diesel, which has removable tubing in the rear section.

As Daniel told us, he may not be taking it to the hardware store to get a load of 2x4s, but he likes the idea that if he needed to, he still could in this truck. Plus, it’s extra comfortable to take on a drive-to-drag trip, which Daniel hopes to do in the near future.

A Never-Ending Project

Remember when we said that Daniel’s truck had been a never-ending project right from the start? Well, that continues to be so today. As of December 2023, the truck was once again torn down and in the midst of another full rebuild in order for it to be more competitive in the 2024 Ultimate Callout Challenge season. Among the upgrades for the new version of the ‘06 Ram 2500 are a deck plate 6.7L diesel engine, compound turbos, and additions to the nitrous system, including two more 375 solenoids and another bottle. This would give the truck a full four-stage nitrous system to make use of. Additionally, Daniel and his team were said to be redoing the wiring, tacking in some new firewalls, and reworking the piping.

The goal for the 2024 competition season is to put down numbers in the range of 2,500hp. We certainly can’t wait to see just what massive marks Daniel and his Ram throw down in the world of competitive diesels in the future.


2006 Dodge Ram 2500

Owner

  • Daniel Hargrove
  • Charlotte, TN

Chassis & Suspension 

  • Modified stock frame to accommodate rear coilovers
  • Firepunk lowering coils
  • Bilstein 5125 front shocks
  • Stock rear leaf springs with two left in the pack
  • Afco coilovers with 200lb springs
  • Lowered two inches

Wheels & Tires

  • 22×12-inch Forgiato Ventaglio-T tires
  • 305/40/R22 Toyo Proxis Tires

Engine & Drivetrain

  • Cummins 6.7L inline-6
  • Stainless Diesel S485 turbo
  • Wagler Competition Products connecting rods
  • Mahle Motorsports coated cast pistons
  • Total Seal rings
  • 12mm main studs and girdle
  • Hamilton Cams 178/208 camshaft
  • Wagler fully ported big-valve cylinder head
  • Kingspeed LLC intake manifold
  • S&S Diesel 450 percent-over fuel injectors
  • S&S Diesel 14mm CP3 pump
  • Fluidampr
  • Nitrous Express Maximizer 5 progressive controller
  • Nitrous Express 375 solenoid
  • Two .99 nitrous jets
  • Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold
  • Custom wastegate tubes
  • Custom V-banded 5-inch exhaust
  • Custom 5-inch downpipe exiting under the truck built by Samples Performance Fabrication
  • ARP 625 head studs
  • Dodge 48re transmission
  • Suncoast billet triple-disc torque converter with 2600 stall
  • Sonnax 35-spline input shaft
  • Sonnax billet intermediate shaft
  • Sonnax billet fat output shaft
  • DNR Customs large front and rear driveshafts
  • 3.73 front and rear gears
  • Second-generation brakes

Interior & Stereo

  • Stock heated leather seats
  • Full AC/Heat still intact
  • Not stripped of any weight from factory aside from the on-board spare tire
  • Custom rollbar with removable rear tubes built by Paul Cato at Maverick Diesel