It’s not hard to see the vast amounts of dedication people have in the diesel community – look for more than a few minutes and you’ll find guys and gals all over the place who have fought tooth and nail to build up their diesel passion to wild levels. Many start from a young age and build their lives around diesel trucks and engines, and we think that’s pretty cool to see.
We recently came across Aaron West (@pb_24v), an individual who doesn’t really have a background or training in the diesel industry, but nonetheless, taught himself the basic skills needed to build his dream diesel truck. Much of his progress came from YouTube videos and trial and error.
“I remember going to a diesel event with my dad when I was around 13, and ever since, I’ve been really invested in it,” West says. “I own a landscaping business that I started 7 years ago, and the whole reason I started it was to hopefully one day afford this hobby because it’s an expensive one.”
He’s done a few smaller scale builds to date, but he recently finished up a “Frankenstein” truck that is pretty impressive. The body is a 1990 Dodge D150, while the chassis comes from a 2003 Dodge 2500 4WD that was shortened to fit underneath. As for the powerplant, West purchased a running truck from a seller in Wisconsin that had a partially built up 5.9L Cummins, which he dropped into this creation.
While West does plan to potentially use the vehicle for racing in the future, right now it stands as mainly a show truck that he also uses to drive around town. Nonetheless, he wanted a good amount of power in tow, so the engine makes around 1,000 horsepower in its current form.
“The truck has a standalone ECM wiring harness from Firepunk to run the engine, and I did a full harness strip and rebuild myself,” he says. “There’s a relay box and custom key on panel inside the truck.”
The 5.9L block was bored .020” over, and sitting on top is a 6.7L fire-ringed cylinder head. As for hard parts, it features Hamilton springs and retainers, 7/16” diameter pushrods, XDP valve bridges, a 188/220 Colt camshaft, a Gorilla girdle, and ARP 625 studs.
The fuel system boasts a single 12mm CP3 pump, 300% over injectors, and a 2200 bar rail sensor, all from S&S Diesel Motorsport. On the air side, the Dodge features a single Forced Induction S476 98 1.15 turbocharger driven by a Steed Speed T6 competition manifold. West is also running a Black Sheep Industries wastegate.
The engine is paired with a 48RE full manual valve body with a DPC triple disc 2600 stall torque converter. And, while the current role of the build is that of a show truck, West envisions a future on the drag strip once the setup is perfected. Plans for a roll cage, race seats, nitrous and additional enhancements are on the horizon.
“I’m sure it’ll keep snowballing and getting more upgrades,” West admits. “In the future, I’d also like to build an overland style four-door first Gen. That might be the next big goal, but it’s hard to narrow things down.”