We all know it's possible with today's common-rail trucks, but last week I got to see something other than Smarty or EFILive make solid numbers on the dyno...
The truck was an ’05 Dodge Ram, single rear wheel 3500 (yes, we know EFILive is only available for ’06 and ’07s right now...) and running a Bully Dog programmer. But the real key to the "budget" was the fact that it was a six-speed manual, which got the South Bend dual disc treatment for a clutch. With just $5,500 (probably less, actually) invested, it's a fun, 510-rwhp rig that's as well-behaved as stock, and still allows the owner to romp through the fields, tow anything he pleases, and get 20-mpg while empty and on the highway. With an automatic truck, you would have $5,500 in a built transmission, alone. Plus, there's nothing quite like a manually shifted, Cummins-powered truck.
509 hp at 2,800 rpm (making 450+ from 2,500 to 3,300)
979 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm (making 900+ from 1,950 to 2,950)
*South Bend dual disc 3850 (a 3250 would've sufficed, and saved a few hundred bucks)
*Fleece 64mm turbo (provided a 15-to-20 hp gain across the board, made 495 hp with stock turbo)