Compound Turbo VP44 5.9L Cummins Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Compound Turbo VP44 5.9L Cummins Engine

Cole Sojka's diesel truck journey began at the age of 16 when he bought a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 as a farm truck. Over the past eight years and 100,000 additional miles, he's transformed the truck, including building up the 5.9L VP44 compound-turbo Cummins engine. Check out the build!

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Cole Sojka (@colesojka) has a lot on his hands at any given time. Not only does he own a detailing business (@sojkadetailing) where he does metal polishing, paint correction, ceramic coatings, and interior/ exterior cleaning, but he’s been busy building a super-clean show truck on the side.

2001 Dodge Ram 2500
Cole Sojka’s 2001 Dodge Ram 2500

He’s been passionate about cars and diesel trucks since his childhood days spent at the drag strip. With family and friends deeply rooted in racing, it was only natural for Cole to channel his enthusiasm into a build – deciding to transform his one-owner farm truck into a high-performance street marvel.

The life of his 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 began on his parents’ 20-acre farm. The truck had 260,000 miles on it when he purchased it at 16 years old, and it was put right to work towing silage wagons. Eight years and almost 100,000 miles later, the truck has completely transformed into something new.

5.9L Cummins engine
The truck features a 5.9L VP44 Compound-Turbo Cummins engine.

“I was always out there using it so much that I naturally started building it up and making power,” Cole Sojka says. “It was a slow process, but I think I finally got it to a pretty nice point.”

Over the years Sojka had owned the truck, he had also teamed up with a friend to manage a high-traffic diesel truck page called @2ndgen_cummins_only. As you probably guessed, it’s a haven and heaven for 2ndGen Cummins trucks. The page get submissions regularly and reposts owners’ truck builds both mild and wild.

Most of the featured trucks aren’t race oriented or necessarily high horsepower, but everyday builds that guys take from stock to street-strip level. Big and lifted show trucks also turn up on the page occasionally.

Dodge Ram 2500
This truck has 360,000 miles on it.

Sojka’s own Ram 2500 build included enhancements such as stylish lights and wheels and a transmission rebuild. The heart of the truck is the original 5.9L VP44 Cummins block, untouched with an impressive 360,000 miles on it. The cylinder head is a remanufactured unit with o-rings, complemented by Hamilton 103-lb. valve springs, Fleece Performance Stage 2 heavy-duty pushrods, and ARP head studs.

For fueling, Sojka enlisted AirDog, which also sponsors the truck. He runs a 165 4G fuel lift pump that provides improved throttle response and increased power and torque. For the fuel injectors, he went with Ducky 6×0.016s with 0.93 injection tubes.

5.9L Cummins engine

“I kind of just fixed the stuff that broke over the years, and it snowballed from there,” Sojka says. “I built the 47RE transmission and started with a big single turbo, but eventually got bored of that and did a couple different setups. Eventually, I landed on compound turbos and a full manual valve body.”

The compound turbos consist of an S364/73/.80 SXE on the manifold charger and an S480/96/1.32 on the second charger. Cole’s hands-on tuning expertise, done through Quad Zilla, has resulted in remarkable performance figures. The truck laid down an impressive 707 horsepower and 1,323 ft.-lbs. of torque on the dyno.

compound turbos

The truck’s chassis remains stock, but modifications include 3” springs in the front, a Flight Fabrications Series II four-link kit, 72” traction bars in the rear, and 2” drop shackles. The exterior showcases 24×12 Fuel Forged wheels, giving the truck an aggressive and commanding presence on the street.

Just like any good diesel truck guy, Sojka is already planning the next engine upgrade for the future – this time opting to increase the truck’s competitiveness with a full common rail build that is sure to take his Ram 2500 to new heights.

Common rail Cummins engine
The beginnings of Cole’s common rail Cummins build.

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].

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