Mike Dalton bought his first truck nearly 18 years ago, back in 2004. At that time, his primary reason for going with a 24-valve Ram was simply to save some money on fuel; if you can believe it, Dalton remembers paying $0.99 for a gallon of diesel.
This was a year after he opened his own shop, Cookeville, TN-based RLC Motorsports. The 13,000 sq.-ft. shop employs seven people and houses 10-12 vehicles at any given time. Alongside general repair, RLC completes suspension upgrades on the 4WD vehicles that come in and on the diesel side, engine, transmission and drivetrain work takes priority.
The Cummins platform was the focus in the early years, but an influx of technicians experienced in different areas allowed for the shop to work on Duramax and Powerstroke as well. Mike says they also handle performance work, but generally stay at the street level with builds below 1,000 horsepower.
A few years after purchasing that first Ram, Dalton began diving deeper into diesel performance and the racing scene. Around 2008, he had made a 12-second quarter mile pass in an ’06 Ram and officially caught the diesel bug. By 2012, he was working with Ryan Milliken and built a 4th Gen truck that put down just over 800 horsepower with a Suncoast 68RFE transmission – a feat that was rather impressive for that time.
In 2015, Dalton decided to take his racing to the next step and built a diesel pro-street truck, the same one he currently races today. For the next few years, he’d campaign the ’12 Ram 1500 with a 1,200 horsepower 5.9L Cummins engine he bought off a friend, but after getting more and more serious about racing and taking on new sponsors, he knew he’d have to build something even crazier.
Dalton’s current truck touts an Industrial Injection Diesel Performance-built 6.4L Cummins engine under the hood. The “Shredder” series engine under the hood is the same one found inside engine builder Shawn Baca’s record-setting “Master Shredder” ’06 2500 truck, which held the chassis dyno world record for a short time with a pull of 2,920 horsepower and 4,000 lb.-ft. of torque.
“The truck has been progressively getting faster and right now we’re down to 5.08 seconds in the eighth-mile at 147 mph,” Dalton says. “The problem we’re having right now is that the power is increasing so much that the transmission just can’t keep up. Once we started breaking the 5.10s and into the 5.0s, we started breaking the transmission after every pass.”
The Shredder engine features an aftermarket filled block bored to 4.130″ with all machine work done in-house at Industrial Injection. The loaded engine has a factory 6.7L crankshaft at the heart that swings CP-Carrillo pistons at the end of a set of Carrillo rods with a Fluidampr balancer to mitigate excessive vibration. The engine is set back 16” from its factory location to create a 52% front and 48% rear balance.
It has a stage 4 factory race head, which has been ported, polished and modified to have a side draft intake. Industrial Injection used oversized Victory valves, Hamilton dual springs and competition cut valve seats. ARP studs and bolts are used throughout to hold every together. The engine is capped off with a Bean Machine billet valve cover.
A single 88mm Garrett turbocharger is employed to produce and maintain healthy airflow. Spent exhaust gasses from the engine are fed to the turbo via a Stainless Diesel exhaust manifold, then channeled out of the hood through a fabricated stainless-steel pipe. Twin wastegates are also employed.
Fuel is pumped from a large fuel cell to a FASS dual lift pump system up to a pair of dual CP3s. From there, large volumes of high-pressure fuel are delivered to a set Industrial Injection King Cobra fuel injectors where it is sent into the engine.
Dalton also employs four kits of nitrous on his passes and tuning was done by Ryan Milliken of Hardway Performance. His Shredder-powered, bright orange Ram is currently putting out around 2,200 horsepower, but Dalton believes he could hit closer to 2,400 horsepower. If you want to take a closer look at Dalton’s build, be sure to stop by the FASS Fuel booth #3857 at PRI, where it will be displayed.