Turbocharged 5.9L Cummins Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Turbocharged 5.9L Cummins Engine

As an industrial millwright, Devan Leeds has a lot of knowledge and skills with his hands. He's also a thrill seeker when it comes to high-speed vehicles. Case in point, his '03 Ram 2500, which features a rowdy, turbocharged 5.9L Cummins engine under the hood. Check it out!

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Devan Leeds is a guy who has done it all when it comes to high-speed vehicles. He’s driven performance-built cars and trucks, motorcycles, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, jet skis, and speed boats – he’s a thrill seeker to say the least. He’s also a certified industrial millwright who works for Honda Canada Manufacturing, so he knows a thing or two about working with his hands.

2003 Ram 2500 quad cab
2003 Ram 2500 quad cab

For the past 8 years, Devan has been operating a small fabrication business out of his garage called Leeds Fabrication. He builds intakes, exhaust setups, turbo setups, tractions bars, and more for local customers, and mainly for diesel vehicles. He’s also amassed a list of personal trucks he’s upgraded over the years.

“I’ve been doing diesel trucks for a while now,” Leeds told us. “I started with an OBS 7.3L Powerstroke and had that for about two years before trying the Duramax platform, but I learned quickly that it wasn’t for me. Then, I moved onto a 12-valve and built that up with compounds to 660 horse and 1,300 ft.-lbs. I eventually sold that and built a P-pump 24-valve with a big single and a full manual valve body, but a buddy offered me a really good price for it, so I sold that and now I’m onto my current truck.”

5.9L Cummins engine

For the past three-and-a-half years, Leeds has been upgrading his ‘03 Ram 2500 quad cab, which has an upgraded 5.9L Cummins engine under the hood. The Cummins engine receives its marching orders from a set of tunes done by Hardway Performance. It features three modes – a 50-hp tow mode, a 100-hp street mode, and a 150-hp tune – each provide a dynamic driving experience, complemented by a hard limiter set at 4,500 rpm for optimal control. Leeds noted that while he’s taken it to the track once, this is primarily a street/show build, not a race truck. ARP head studs support the OE head gasket.

For fuel, Leeds uses a Fleece Performance 12mm high-speed injection pump and a Fass 165 lift pump. The system incorporates an S&S 2700 bar fuel pressure sensor and a plugged fuel rail to ensure consistent and accurate fuel delivery, along with S&S 100%-over injectors that further contribute to the optimal combustion required for increased power output.


Leeds’ turbocharger selection is equally impressive, with the ball bearing PSR PTG series 73/82 1.0 turbocharger taking center stage. Paired with a turbo oil feed and drain lines, it ensures a reliable and consistent airflow for enhanced power. Devan fabricated his own 3.5” stainless intercooler charge pipes with vanjen clamps.

The exhaust system, featuring a 2nd Gen swapped Steed Speed T4 manifold and a Turbosmart external 45mm hyper wastegate with 26-lbs. of spring pressure, provides both optimal flow and precise control over boost levels.

fabrication work

The attention to detail extends to the intake setup, where Leeds Fabrication’s 5” stainless intake, along with a WC Fab air filter, ensures a clean and steady flow of air. The charge pipes, downpipe and exhaust, all crafted by Leeds Fabrication in stainless steel, not only contribute to the engine’s performance, but also add a touch of aesthetic to the build.

The engine works in conjunction with a fully built transmission that features a billet triple-disc torque converter, a Sonnax billet input shaft, 1/2” AN braided trans lines, and a B&M deep aluminum trans pan.

While Leeds hasn’t dyno’d the truck yet, he expects the Cummins engine to have around 950 horsepower. With plans to spray nitrous and add upgraded valve springs and pushrods, this number should be higher in the near future.

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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