Twin-Turbocharged 6.6L Duramax Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Twin-Turbocharged 6.6L Duramax Engine

Enrique Gonzalez, owner of The Diesel Shop Inc., has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with a Duramax engine, earning him recognition in the Duramax world and greater diesel motorsports community. Check out his twin-turbo 6.6L Duramax engine!

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Enrique Gonzalez, owner of The Diesel Shop Inc. (TDI), is not your average diesel enthusiast. With a passion for performance and a keen eye for innovation, Gonzalez has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with a Duramax engine, earning him recognition as a leader in the Duramax world and greater diesel motorsports community.

Duramax truck

Gonzalez’s journey into the world of diesel motorsports began over two decades ago when he transitioned from working on gas cars to specializing in diesel pickup trucks.

“I used to work on Mustangs, import cars, and I ran Porsches,” Gonzalez says. “Then, I got a 24v Dodge and spec’d out a custom turbo from Master Power Turbo in Brazil. With those modifications, plus nitrous, a valve body and a converter, it went 11.80 at 118 mph back in the day, which was pretty good. Then, I had a Duramax pickup that I whooped a couple of Fords with and people started spreading the word around that time.”

Gonzalez fully transitioned over to diesel work a little over a decade ago, opening the doors to TDI in 2011. The 6,000 sq.-ft. facility, complete with four full-time technicians, focuses exclusively on light-duty Ford, Chevy and Dodge pickup trucks. From routine maintenance to high-performance upgrades, Gonzalez and his team handle it all, earning a reputation for quality workmanship and unmatched expertise.

Duramax truck

“The focus of the shop has a lot to do with the economy,” Gonzalez says. “When it was good, I was doing a lot of wheels, lift kits and other accessory upgrades for show trucks – a lot of $150,000-$200,000 really cool builds. Now that the economy is down, I do less accessory and performance-type work and it’s more repair focused.”

Occasionally, the shop will do top-to-bottom builds, including the engine. Gonzalez’s builds have been featured in various magazines and diesel media pages, and one even won second place in the Diesel Power Challenge.

Gonzalez and TDI have gotten a good bit of attention in the motorsports scene over the years for their impeccably built 6.6L Duramax Chevy Colorado. It recently made waves across the internet in late April for its performance at Battle of the Thrones at Civil Wars, a racing event at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, NC. Gonzalez and his team ran the truck in the eighth mile, clocking a 4.68 at 154.22 mph, securing its spot as the fastest Duramax powered pickup in the world.

Duramax truck

You will quickly notice from videos of the truck running how interesting it sounds compared to other diesels, and how with the front cab removed, you might get it confused with an LS motor. That’s mainly because of Gonzalez’s decision to opt for a unique, twin-turbo setup.

“Everyone goes for a Cummins, and they make a lot of power to be fair,” he says. “But honestly, Duramax is way more performance inclined than Cummins. It has a shorter rod and makes a bit less torque, which is fine for drag racing, but at the same time, it’s an engine that doesn’t want to spin – it’s ultimately like an LS engine. I’m spinning 6,500-6,700 rpm on factory parts.

“We went with twin 76mm Garrett G35 turbos for spooling purposes. I never liked compounds, because compounds are finicky and a lot of stress on the engine for no reason. With twins, it’s just as easy to tune as a single. I have to thank Ryan Milliken over at Hardway Performance because we have a MoTeC and he’s done a fantastic job at tuning the truck.”

Duramax truck

The surprising part is Gonzalez doesn’t have a super technically built engine outside of a few components – the engine still has a stock bore, stock head and stock block. The engine features a Straub Technologies camshaft, Carrillo hybrid rods and pistons, and a Callies Ultra billet crankshaft, which all keep the engine reliable under high stress levels.

“For fuel, everything comes from Industrial Injection,” he says. “It has two big CP3 pumps right now, the biggest they make. There’s an Aeromotive mechanical pump behind the dry sump, and we have 600% over injectors.

“I’m running two kits of nitrous right now, but it spools fine even without it. I wanted to make sure we got that right before we move on to any other additions. It’s a 3/4 chassis truck and weighs 3,440 lbs. I think right now the goal is to just make it a bit lighter.”

Duramax truck

What sets Gonzalez’s Duramax engine apart is not just its raw power, but also its versatility. Despite its output of over 2,000 horsepower, Gonzalez’s engine remains surprisingly reliable.

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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