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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well...now that Nacho is rolling I can start posting about the next project on deck - "Big Mack". I've always has a love of old rigs, starting with the classic Mack fire trucks my dad used to ride, so somewhere deep down I've always wanted my own big rig...and this is gonna be mine. This'll be a long-term project like the Nacho was, eventually ending up as a pretty big rig, with big power and big capability, and totally built as a long-distance comfortable hauler. Think 'RV' and that'll be pretty close, one that'll pull our big trailers with ease.

So, starting with a really clean '93 Dodge Ram D250 Cummins auto, club cab long bed. Really nice shape - found it in Phoenix about a year and a half ago with 93k miles on it. It was totally stock, now has only 104k miles, and I've already done some mods (of course) - mostly engine and exhaust...and looking forward to the fabrication to come.

Here a decent pic of the rig (towing the trailer...)



First off, I have owned a small business - ASA Modifieds - for several years now focusing primarily on the '1st gen' ('89-'93) Dodge diesels (12v Cummins with the VE-44 pumps). I make Cold Air Intakes specifically for those rigs and have sold a lot of them over the years. Since building and testing the Nacho I have started taking orders for custom bumpers and other custom fabrication jobs, the current job being the "Paddy Wagon" - my friend Pat's '77 Power Wagon on the other thread. We just moved his project into the shop and that is my current focus, along with the finishing touches to the Nacho.
Back in '2003 I teamed up with PDR - Piers Diesel Research, and they are the exclusive sellers for ASA Intakes, and I buy my performance parts from them, and I have been learning along the way about diesel theory and have got a tremendouos appreciation for the Cummins engine and the super simple ways to get very reliable power and effeciency. I had to throw in those props because it is the partnership of ASA and PDR that are making the Big Mack project so much fun to think about, and eventually turn into the real deal.

First thing I did was bolt in some gauges so I can monitor the power and tranny mods to come:

...but had to tear the dash apart to get the guage feeds ran through everything...

Next was upgrading the tranny with a very good converter and bolting on a trans pan and rear diff pan to hold more fluid and handle more heat. My wife Tracy and I did the work with the rig up on a lift on base at the hobby shop - it was a fun day :D

- M2
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Then, of course  8)  time to crank up the power to a decent level, and did that by swapping out the stock injectors for a set of Lucas POD injectors - good power injectors for any 12v Cummins, repalced the stock turbo with a hybrid/modified PDR HX-35 turbo, opened up the exhaust, and of course bolted up one of our own Intakes.

Original turbo and downpipe:

new PDR turbo and ASA downpipe:

I fabbed the downpipe to be a tapered design goiny from the collar to a full 4" exhaust which reduces the turbulance as the exhaust expands coming out the hot side of the turbo housing.

Had to pull the heat exchanger (just below the exhaust manifold) out for the downpipe to fit.  The heat exchanger is used to warm up a tranny, not cool it.  Removing this from the 'system' does not harm the tranny, but it is recommeded to let the tranny warm up in neutral when the engine is also warming up.  Doing so is the consensus way to keep the tranny happy.


Here's one of my own Intakes installed on my own rig:

Pyro gauge feed mounted in the stock exhaust manifold:

Boost (turbo) feed mounted in the designated port just below the intake horn:

Oil pressure feed from the designated port atop the oil filter housing.  The arrows indicate where you will need to cap the coolant ports when removing the heat exchanger.

 

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so just like with nacho..... what is to come on this beast??? lift?? what kind of fabrications??
 

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Maaan yer lucky your ole lady likes to get down and dirty with your projects.i envy you  8)
 

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Glad to see we now have another MM  project to drool over. Looks like you had a pretty clean ride to start with. What are the plans for MACK ATTACK? I know you mentioned RV style towing rig but anything specific? I know youmust have some devious plan in that head of yours. What about Nacho? What's the consensus on that lately? Last thing I knew you were still deciding on the steering for it( as a far as a bigger resevoir goes).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ha haa thanks fellas  ;) - yeah we gotta have something to jam on out here.  This truck is going to be pretty big, pretty tall, and pretty wide.  Actually, the truck pictured is actually not going to be modified much at all, but it is the donor for the truck that is.  I have a whole other 'body' made up from several truck parts (frames, cabs, doors, bed, etc) that will make up the basic body and chassis, and this '93 will provide all of the interior and engine parts.

In the end, the truck will be a 1-ton dually 4x4 megacab.  The list of mods include but not limited to:
- Megacab conversion; 4-door crew cab with club cab grafted onto the back side (old-school 'megacab')
- Stretched frame; 2x '93 CTD frames grafted together gaining ~3 feet of length (truck will be about 23 feet long total)
- 4wd conversion; Dana 60 dually front axle, 3.54 gear
- Dana 80 dually rear axle, 3.54 gear
- NV5600 6-speed conversion w/ 29-spline NP205 t-case
- Tilt front (naturally... 8))
- Stacks (of course)
- Class 5 hitch

This is going to be a seriously large truck, about 2.5 feet longer than a long bed club cab 1st gen Ram...which really isn't that much more to deal with over the already large truck.  I have to park in the 'back 40' anyway...but we will most likely build a RV addition to the garage to keep it indoors.
The engine will have around 300 hp and 700 tq, more with the water/meth kit yet to be installed, and will pull any trailer we can find.  We like to travel in style with total control and comfort, and that will (Lord-willing  :D) be with a couple kids and a couple dogs.  The interior will have a pair of matching 40/20/40 split bench front seats from a 2nd gen Ram (one behind the other) for all the peoples/kids, then the club cab for 'stuff', luggage, etc, then the 8-foot bed (with a nice vented topper) for the pups to lounge around in while we're travelling.
I want to do 19.5 medium duty Rickson wheels and A/T tires.  It'll take a long time to save up the $ for this one, but we have it in the budget and we have the time.
For now I am finishing the Nacho, doing Pat's '77 PW, and after that we'll most likely start fabbing the cab and chassis, fitting the axles, etc.
I have decided not to go with air bags and go with modern Ram leaf springs, the nice long ones. 

So that's the basic plan - been dreaming it up for years.

Here's a photo hack of what I think it'll more or less look like:

Should be a fun build  8)

- M2





 

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jungle said:
8) 8)
and
8)

I know it will be another rig to look up to!!
Both literally and figurativelythere Jungle!
 

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I can't wait to see this build, I still remember the first time I stumbled on the the nacho build and then to see it in person was totally awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
57plymouth said:
Why are your posts so addictive?
;D he hee, dunno - ...but it might be because I try to pull off some crazy stuff...that about sums up how I got my call sign ;). Heck of a compliment tho - thanks dude ;).

These last two days have been a lot of fun - we just got back from a big charity dyno event up in Greeley, CO at GAM Motorsports. Took the diesel, and blasted out a couple of hot hammer runs. I'm now offcially in the '300hp club'!! ;D {beer} 8)

Last April the truck was in the mid 200's, but after installing a couple X-mas gifts (to the truck) it kicked the engine over the edge.
I already had big injectors and a sweet aftermarket turbo, plus a couple other things, but yesterday I swapped out the stock exhaust manifold for a monster ATS Pulse 3-piece manifold - basically a huge header for the engine, and swapped out the 16cm exhaust collar for a 14cm wastegated unit. The difference is easily a 300* decrease in exhaust gas temperature (engine exhaust heat measured at the manifold exit, pre-turbo), and a 5 psi increase in boost to a total of 40 psi. It pegged the 35 psi boost gauge by about 5, which is exactly where I set the wastegate.

Here's the old set up:

Here is the new (probably final) set up:

Heat is the power killer, especially on a diesel. Getting the heat out of the head is directly proportional to how much throttle you can give it. The more throttle, the more fuel, the more heat. Let the heat out and you can stay in the throttle. Let the heat out AND make more boost and you have a good setup.Â
Do do it, I pulled off the factory manifold and replaced with a killer big-port ATS unit. The exhaust manifold gets super hot and it wants to grow(expand), but it's all bolted up tight, so ATS designed a 3-piece 'expandable' unit that can allow the head to grow wothout losing any exhaust seal, and eliminates breaking off bolts. The factory unit was totally stock and un-ported. The ATS unit came with a factory port job which wasn't bad but had a couple short lips insode the port area and I did some porting by hand to blend in the runners and help facilitate flow. It ALL adds up.

The I port-matched the ATS to the new, smaller exhaust collar (hot side of the turbo)

Using steel gasket for porting template:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Then I ported the exhaust collar to match the manifold:

The trick is getting the heat out and/or balancing the heat with lots of boost...all while trying to balance the engines craving for both fuel and air.  The engine came factory with an 18cm exhaust collar, which I replaced with a nice 16cm unit, which gave me quicker spool up, and mated with a bigger turbo also gave me more boost sooner.  A good set up, but I still was retaining too much heat inside the exhaust manifold, so the ATS unit had to go in.

The smaller 14cm collar accomplishes two things:  faster spool-up, and it has a wastegate.  A wastegate functions just like a rev limiter only instead of limiting rpm it is limiting/preventing overboost.  Inside the hot side of the exhaust collar is a flapper valve which is controlled by a boost diaphram on the cold side that opens when boost reaches a preset level, which I have set at 40 psi.  When the cold side reaches 40 psi it pressurizes the boost diaphram which opens the flapper valve.  When it opens it creates an exhaust bypass from the pre side of the hot impeller to the post side, thus reducing the amount of hot, expanding exhaust gas available to spool the hot side of the turbo.  This in turn creates a maximum exhaust level which, in turn, prevents the turbo from making any more boost.

This is a pic of the exhaust collar, wastegate controller solenoid, and flapper valve.  You want the flapper valve very, very tight against the inside of the collar so exhaust gas won't leak past, robbing boost prematurely.  To get a good tight seal you have to bolt the solenoid in place with negative pressure (pull) against the rod and valve - IOW, you have to pull the rod out a bit, set it, and release it with pressure against it, keeping the valve tightly closed.  Doing this keeps the valve closed until very high boost, in my case 40 psi. 
The wastegate solenoid is connected to the turbo outlet flange via a 1/4" rubebr hose.  The solenoid can be adjusted to open at nearly any psi you desire - very low boost or very high, which is determined by where the arm is threaded up or down on the rod.
To make it easy, and using technical advice from Josh at PDR (thanks dude!) I made a little air pressure gizmo that I could use to simulate high boost.  Simply pressurize with an air chuck and the rod easily extends to hook it on the valve arm.  Once hooked, release the air pressure and the solenoid will try to close making the valve arm nice and tight...but you still have to measure the psi at which it becomes loose and bleeds exhaust pressure.  So, hit the regulator with an air chuck, and based on how far the rod arm is threaded in or out will determine how much pressure is required to move the arm - the more it is threaded in the tighter the seal will be and the more boost will be required to open it, and vise versa.  The further away the rod the looser it will be and the less boost required.   
You adjust the rod arm in or out.  On mine, at 40 psi the valve begins to loosen and open, thus bleeding off some exhaust pressure from hot side of the turbo (limiting the hot side from spooling any further) and preventing the cold side from making any more boost, saving your valuable head gasket. 
So, pressurize, set the rod, depressurize, measure the pressure, adjust to your desired boost psi.  Without boost on it the solenoid keeps a very tight pull against the flapper valve which makes a good seal inside the exhaust collar.

Turbo and collar assembled and wastegate plumbed in

With all of that assembled the engine gained tremendous exhaling capacity which allowed it to handle more fuel, or at the very least allowed me to not have to lift off the throttle because the heat gauge (pyrometer) was nearing red.  It easily runs 300* cooler (crusing at ~600*-700* on the highway) wheras before it would be 800*-900*, especially under mild to heavy throttle.  The beautiful part is under heavy throttle, say passing someone - the boost builds faster because the exhasut gas builds quick (smaller collar) but with the bigger manifold it can handle so much more volume that the heat actually gets out easier, so, I got mroe boost, with less heat, and way more power because I don't have to lift.  At full throttle, on the dyno today, it still gets very very hot (around 1600*), and it pegged the boost gauge right around 40 psi...right where I set the wastegate.  But under normal driving conditions it never went over 900* even approaching 30 psi, and the rig was haulin'.  There is a huge amount of power available and it comes on right NOW.  Cruising on the highway I'm guessing the rig only needs about 100-150 hp to maintain speed, but the other 150 hp is available for those times when you need it.  It might make more boost, but much more than 45 psi and I run the risk of head gasket failure...and I don't want to pull the head any time soon.

First two pulls were in overdrive, from about 50 to 104 mph:  Max power 255.8 hp and 516.8 tq actual numbers at the tires, at 6000+ feet.  Crank numbers are a corrected 297.3 hp and 600.5 lbs of torque

The second pull was just slightly under that.  The third, however, we did in 3rd (1:1), and that kicked it over to it's all-time best of 308.0 hp and 620.9 tq (corrected) and a rear tire numbers of 265.1 hp and 534.4 tq

Bottom line - diesels don't suck  8).  Now if I can just get the non-lockup automatic tranny out of there and get the 6-speed in...

- M2



 

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Nice job Sam, I'm jealous. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
8)  when we doing yours Dave???  ;)

The injection pump in Trevor's '99 Cummins crapped out and we hauled it up to ATS in Denver this afternoon.

We yanked it onto the street and then using a snach block we used the Nacho's winch...for the first time...and winched it up onto the flatbed.  It worked great and the winch and suspension performed perfectly {cool}.

Then, we hauled it 1.5 hrs North to Denver behind my '93 Cummins, which was up in Denver yesterday for a dyno gig at GAM Motorsports, where it slapped down a nice 308 hp and 620 tq, and thanks to a new ATS manifold and 14cm wastegated collar (installed Friday...the day before the dyno) it pulled that truck and trailer uphill like it was half the weight.  18,000 lbs...up Monument Hill...60 mph...in overdrive...1100*-1200*...and 30-35 lbs of boost...rollin' right along - I'm lovin' it.

- M2
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have decided to go with leaf springs vs air bags as the main suspension syetsm for the truck.

I'm thinking of using a set of Chevy 56" springs up front (verse the stock 48" front springs), and a set of '05 Dodge 64" rear springs in back (verse the stock 53" rear springs).  That gives me a gain of 8" of spring length in front and 13" increase in back.  That should equate to a pretty forgiving ride and great weight carrying capacity, don't y'all think?

Thoughts?

- S
 

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Sam. 52" front spring weren't too bad to get under my RC, but I think 56" might be rough due to the rear shackle and body mounts. What about using the 2nd Gen front suspension as a basis? Just an idea.

Can't wait to see this one!
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
aspoonhour said:
Sam. 52" front spring weren't too bad to get under my RC, but I think 56" might be rough due to the rear shackle and body mounts. What about using the 2nd Gen front suspension as a basis? Just an idea.

Can't wait to see this one!
Andrew
Hmmm, Andy you mean go with coils? {think} Hmmmm, hadn't thought about that. Hmmmm, have to break out the Crownometer and think about that.

Oh yeah - we played musical cars the other day :) We sold our '05 Magnum R/T and picked up a super clean '73 Dodge Dart Custom, a really clean 42,000-mile original survivor car and it's now 'my' daily driver {cool}.











It is 100% complete and in fantastic shape. It needs nothing, and we found it very close to our area (bonus). It's a little slant-6 (leaning tower of power {cruise}) automatic, with pwr disks, pwr steering, and A/C. The interior is in terrific shape :)
We don't miss the Magnum at all. It was a great car but what we really want is an AWD version. It was still very clean and running perfectly and still worth a good price, and we ended up selling it to my buddy Keith and his family (Keith did the wiring harness for the Nacho) - they love it and it is great for their family, and he has always wanted a new Hemi car 8).
The Magnum was a lot more car than we needed right now and we were able to put the $ towards much more important things. I didn't want to beat up the diesel by driving it every day, and because I really like Mopar A-body's we figured a little Dart would be a great choice. So down the road we'll maybe pick up another Magnum but it'll be AWD, or maybe something else, but for now we're just happy with what we have and very thankful for it all.Â
We were very lucky because this Dart needs nothing to be a daily driver. It's not the fastest or newest thing around...but it really doesn't need to be. Way down the road I'll most likely make it a little more fun and a little more sporty looking, probably a repaint, etc, but for now we're just kickin' back and working on other things. It's nice to throttle back a little, especially during the silly season ;).

- Sam Â
 
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