Here at Engine Builder, we’ve seen our fair share of rat rods over the years. In fact, we’ve featured a few badass rat rod builds just in the last six months that immediately caught our attention.
In June, we looked at Premier Performance’s custom-built ‘32 Dodge cab sitting on a 2001 Duramax chassis. Later in October, Jason Bliesner’s chopped and lowered ‘41 Chevy school bus took a spot as our Diesel of the Week. Those two awesome creations had more in common than just a bunch of rusted sheet metal on a modern chassis – both featured a compound turbo 5.9L Cummins engine.
There are many reasons why the 5.9L is so common in builds – durability and vast options for customization are chief among them – and that sets the Cummins apart from the competition.
This week, we’re featuring another 5.9L Cummins-powered rat rod that is sure to draw attention on and off the drag strip. Introducing ‘Burnie,’ Robert Berry’s ‘45 Chevrolet pickup powered by a 5.9L HO Compound Turbo Common Rail Cummins engine built by Industrial Injection.
‘Burnie’ has gained a lot of publicity over the years, piggy-backing off Berry’s lofty goal of building the world’s fastest street-legal, diesel-powered race truck. Much of that also comes from the name, which was decided upon after the old truck’s interior caught on fire during its build at Berry’s Builds.
Years of building, rebuilding, tests and upgrades have led the truck to being a formidable opponent in the racing scene. Berry races his truck at a variety of events, including HOT ROD Drag Week, UCC and Outlaw Diesel Revenge. In September, the truck made sub-10.00 second quarter-mile passes look easy.
In September, Berry competed in Rocky Mountain Race Week where he recorded an 8.90-second pass in Tulsa, OK at 140 mph.
Much of the performance success is thanks to the high-output engine built by Industrial Injection, one of the biggest names in performance diesel engine building – a shop we’ve also featured in a Diesel of the Week last year. The engine was dropped into Berry’s truck early this year and greatly increased the overall power.
Before Robert acquired the engine from Industrial Injection, ‘Burnie’ struggled to make 800 hp. The race truck now makes 1,283 hp with fuel only (no nitrous) after installing the new engine and adding some extra components.
The engine has a stock 5.9L Cummins block, Carrillo rods, ARP studs, and a girdle to stiffen up any movement. On the bottom end, the custom crank was balanced and blueprinted to fit the needs of the engine.
A Hamilton 221 camshaft, updated rockers, and a billet flexplate were also added, along with a Steed Speed billet exhaust manifold and external 45mm wastegate to help to funnel exhaust from the cylinders.
CNC-ported Stage 2 cylinder heads from Industrial Injection control the air flow and heavy fuel deployment. A FASS dual CP3 12mm fuel pump paired with 450% over injectors equate to an extreme amount of fuel intake and flow.
When the engine was first dropped in, it boasted a single 88mm Garrett GT55 turbo. After constant problems with getting the engine to spool, Robert decided to upgrade the turbo system and added a 72mm Industrial Injection 7378 turbo that takes exhaust from the motor and feeds it into the GT55.
That compound turbo setup helped fix the spooling problem on the single GT55 and aids with air compression and the cycling process to help increase the overall horsepower.
‘Burnie’ also features a Nitrous Express nitrous system with 46-136 jetting, a Goerend built 48RE transmission with manual valve body, and a Moser M8 fabricated rear end with 45-spline axles. Everything adds up to a super impressive rat rod build that could be vying for some of the fastest ETs around!