Daman Perry has built a lot for himself in the short time he’s been in the diesel industry. The Orange County native moved to Fort Dodge, IA in 2011 and quickly earned his diesel technology degree from Iowa Central Community College. He began working for a company called Highway Truck Equipment where he’d complete welding, wiring and fabrication work on plow trucks and other vehicles.
On the side, Perry started working on co-worker’s diesel trucks in the parking lot. As more and more requests came in, he borrowed a friend’s driveway to complete more work. It eventually got to the point where Perry was working past midnight most nights after his full-time job, so he promptly left his place of work and opened his own business.
DP Customs opened its doors in 2019 and Perry hasn’t looked back. The shop does everything from oil changes to brake jobs to head gasket work and Allison transmission builds. Many of the guys that walk through the door are looking for performance upgrades for their drag racing and pulling trucks. Perry uses his personal truck as a sort of “mascot” to show what can be done at the shop.
He’s owned his 2003 LB7 Duramax since he was in college, and the truck has gone through a number of changes over the last decade.
“Back in the day it was just a stock motor with a drop-in turbo, dual stock pumps and stock injectors,” Perry says. “I upgraded some things after that and then bent all my rods a few days later. I sent the motor over to Dirty Hooker Diesel and they went through it and sent me pictures of all the bent rods and the three spun main bearings.”
DHD was imperative to the refresh of the engine, which came back as an LML block bored .020″ over with an LB7 stock crank. It features Fingers FOBCP oval bowl race pistons, billet mains, SoCal Diesel street rods and a 6480 alternate firing camshaft.
“We added a SoCal girdle, billet crank, flywheel, pushrods and rocker studs, and it has Kill Devil Diesel Stage 2 heads,” he says. “Everything’s bolted together by ARP 625 head studs. It’s also got a high RPM water pump from DHD, which has been awesome and super helpful to run. Then, to dress it up a bit, I have some other things like an HSP manifold, valve covers and up-pipes.”
For fueling, Perry utilizes S&S Diesel LB7 250% over injectors paired with dual S&S 10mm CP3 fuel pumps. On the air side, Perry is running an S400 80.96 T4 turbo from a private builder with a custom DP Customs S400 piping kit.
A Nitrous Express Maximizer 5 is used to control the nitrous supply. Perry is currently running a 93 solenoid but has plans to throw on a 125 this season. He explained that last year was sketchy because he was running it with no gate, but a new product he’s introduced for the industry will alleviate that this year.
“Anyone in the Duramax performance industry knows the struggle of finding a quality T4 pedestal that won’t crack, won’t require LB7 intake runner mods, or require a spacer block,” he says. “These same people also know that there isn’t an easy way to run a wastegate on a single S400 Duramax truck without welding or making other modifications. So, I created a billet pedestal with a built-in, truly divided gate provision. Bolt on a 44/45mm gate and go – this is something that hasn’t been done since 2001 when these Duramax’s first came out.”
With all the upgrades, Perry’s Duramax is making somewhere along the lines of 1,400-1,500 horsepower, with a long-term goal of adding a compound-turbo setup and getting closer to 1,800-2,000 horsepower on fuel only.
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].