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It’s become a bit of a tradition when the Engine Builder team is at PRI to make sure we stop by the Wagler Competition Products booth. Why? Because the mind and engineering of Jeremy Wagler is always something worth covering. The 2021 PRI Show was just another example of why we love checking in with Wagler. And this time, we also got Farmtruck and AZN, who have a knack for turning mundane cars into performance beasts.
As we approached the Wagler booth this year, we were scratching our heads at what we were seeing. It looked old. It looked beat up. It was enormous. It turned out to be a 1958 Cadillac Hearse that belongs to Farmtruck and AZN of Street Outlaws fame. The Hearse is already being nicknamed both the Haunted Hearse and Farmaldehyde.
Of course, this Hearse originally had a gas engine in it, but you probably guessed by now by virtue of the car being in the Wagler booth that it got swapped to a Duramax diesel set up.
“Farm Truck and AZN came to us several years ago looking for an engine powerplant for this crazy build,” Jeremy Wagler says. “It had a gas engine in it originally back in ‘58, but they wanted to have some more power. They wanted four-wheel drive. Basically, it’s sitting on a 2006 GMC four-wheel-drive truck chassis. The wheelbase is perfect. It fit right on here with no modifications needed on that.
“It’s got a 9-inch Quick Performance front and a 9-inch Quick Performance rear. We’ve got our CV joints in the front, basically trying to build it to where he can go drag racing and drive it on the street. It’s one of a kind, as you can see. There’s even a song about you never see a Hearse with a trailer hitch. Well, this one’s even got a trailer hitch.”
If you follow Wagler Competition, you know Duramax builds are their thing. For this unique project, Jeremy built up a 6.6L Duramax with a compound turbo setup as well as enough nitrous to wake up the dead.
“This Duramax we’ve had built for four or five years now,” Wagler told us. “It’s been a long process getting the car all built and everything. The engine is our race kit – it has a Callies crank, a Wagler rotating assembly, a GM block, ported GM heads, and a bunch of our add-ons to make it a strong build. He’s wanting it to be 2,000-2,500 horse and this thing weighs 7,800 lbs. It still has coolant because he wanted something that he can drive and put some miles on it.
“The engine has our custom-built rockers on it. The valve covers are cool because you can see through the valve cover and watch the valvetrain, the injectors, the rails – everything inside. The engine has a Precision compound turbo set up. It’s got the 7685 over an 8891, so it’s a huge, decent-sized turbo set up on it, and S&S injectors help deliver the fuel.
“Jeff Lutz helped on all the roll cage and interior piping, but you see the intercooler design is like a V shape. You hardly ever see radiators built like this, so it’s definitely one of a kind. It has a Nitrous Express plumbing kit with eight solenoids and 16 jets of nitrous. It has six bottles of nitrous in the casket. We have plenty of nitrous.
“As far as the exhaust system and everything, it’s all custom. He still uses the factory fins on the back bumper. That’s where the exhaust comes out. He wanted all that to work. It even has unique factory hub caps on custom wheels. They had to do some bolt-on hub caps to make sure it’s legal to go racing.”
The 6.6L Duramax should crank out anywhere from 1,500-2,000 horsepower on the compound turbo setup, and Wagler says 2,500 hp should be attainable with the nitrous system added in.
“It has a Rossler Turbo 400 transmission with a Neil Chance Converter,” Wagler says. “It has an Atlas billet transfer case with a 9-inch front and rear, so it should hold all the power. It’ll just be a heavy sled coming down the drag strip, but he has good brakes and parachutes out the back to help him stop.
“We just got the car to the track and made a couple little test runs on it. It hasn’t made a full, hard hit yet, but he’s ready to start turning it up and making some passes.”
Diesel of the Week is sponsored by AMSOIL. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]