Newer doesn’t always mean better – especially in the world of high-horsepower diesels. But that isn’t the fault of the builder. Newer Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks definitely look flashier and more streamlined than the pickups of old, but they are often more of a chore to upgrade.
There are a few different reasons why we don’t often see upgraded engines in these newer trucks, including the difficulty of finding applicable components and fitting those components into a tightly packed engine bay. But most of all, owners are usually wary of making modifications in fear of causing warranty issues.
Despite these issues, we still occasionally find builders with sick modern trucks and powerful engines hidden under the hood. While walking through the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH during the Piston Powered Auto-Rama, we ran into one.
The owner of the 5th Gen Ram that caught our eye was none other than Zach Carpenter, the founder of Twisted Customs LLC in Columbia Station, OH. For three years now, Zach and his wife/business partner Taylor have built Twisted Customs into a reputable diesel customization shop offering top-of-the-line truck builds.
Twisted Customs offers a myriad of services, including general repair from ASE-certified mechanics, wheel and tire installation, car and truck customization, car and truck audio system upgrades, fleet repair and maintenance, and towing. On the customization side, the shops handles everything from lift kits and winches, to engine upgrades, shift kits and even Starlight headliners.
The Ram Carpenter brought to the Piston Powered Auto-Rama was fully decked inside and out, including a 6.7L Cummins engine that produces around 650 horsepower.
“This truck’s special simply because it’s so new,” Carpenter says. “In 2019, we wanted to try out the new generation of Cummins, but at 56,000 miles the motor let go on us. It’s got a hydraulic lifter design and one of the lifters failed. Well, we couldn’t get any parts, so we ended up putting a salvaged motor from another vehicle in it.”
The new engine is fitted with Manton high tower valve springs and Manton 7/16ths pushrods to be able to push higher RPMs and keep the valves tight.
“We did the Wagler Competition conversion kit, so we got the conventional lifters now, and being that we tow with it a lot, we ended up going with the Stainless Diesel five-blade S467 turbo. We also did a FASS lift pump on it to provide the correct fuel and filtration to the CP4.2 injection pumps, which is a common failure in these.”
Carpenter uses the truck for drag racing and pulling a trailer just about every other week, along with driving cross-country to truck shows. In the future, he plans on adding a 12mm stroker pump, 250% over injectors and doing a CP3 conversion on it. The plan is to make 750 horsepower by this summer.