Like many project builds, Dale Robertson's odyssey began with a ride in the shotgun seat. "A friend and business acquaintance of mine purchased a black SRT truck, took me for a ride, and then we discussed modifications he wanted to make. The more I watched his progress, the more I liked the truck. So I decided to purchase one and send it directly to a tuner for a battery of modifications. Regretfully, my friend Dave Olsen died unexpectedly in his sleep and we were never able to compare and play with our toys."
Soon after purchase, Dale's toy, a Flame Red 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10, was set on a course for four-digit power. The Dodge's 60-day fitness program is headlined by Racing Solutions' SR-TT 800 twin-turbo package for the truck's already imposing Viper V-10. The Racing Solutions twin-turbo kit features a trick exhaust manifold that funnels exhaust gases from the 10 cylinders to a pair of Garrett GT35-RL turbos. The turbos, positioned behind the headlamps in the engine bay, run a .82 A/R compressor housing for quick spool-up. The rest of the system consists of TiAL Sports adjustable wastegates, custom Racing Solutions front-mount intercooler, three-inch turbo back exhaust and a TiAL Sports blow-off valve.
I regret I do not have any time slips on the truck, but traction is a real problem."
The power equation for the modern engine consists of two vital components—hard parts and software. The potential of the hard parts is only realized when the engine has the software to make the most of them. Alex Racz of Carburetor and Fuel Injection Connection in Kirkland, Washington, was the project's savior. Alex used an SCT XCAL-2 tuning programmer to access key tuning parameters in the Dodge's factory ECU. Alex says piggybacks offer tuning "generalities," but the CMR setup delivers precise control of off-boost behavior as well as dynamic control of in-boost performance that the stock ECU was never programmed to recognize. "All we had to do was a add a 2-Bar Map sensor sourced from the factory turbocharged Dodge Neon SRT4 and were able to meter for positive pressures. From there, learning the boost characteristics and approaching full throttle carefully was a big key to success," says Alex. "The truck would accelerate so quickly that it would be easy to damage the engine before you realize it. Also, test-driving it on the street was a handful because it would pull so hard that maintaining a proper trajectory was challenging. We build and tune all kinds of forced induction cars, so we have a specific test area and tune sequence we use to get it done safely and without police intervention."
There are 1,318 reasons the final results were worth the wait. On the Carb Connection Dynojet, Dale's Ram flexed its muscles to the tune of 1,318 wheel horsepower at 15 psi on race gas. After stretching the Viper V-10's legs, Alex set-off to tune on pump gas. He delivered two tunes; a 13-psi, low-boost program that pounds out 817 whp and a more aggressive 15-psi, 964-whp setting with an eye-popping 1,023 lb-ft of torque.
As one would expect finding adjectives for the Ram's motoring experience is difficult. "The driving experience is quite exhilarating," quips Dale. "For a 5,000-pound truck to accelerate like this Dodge is quite amazing and after the recalibration of the engine controller it is truly streetable. I regret I do not have any time slips on the truck, but traction is a real problem. I am in the process of working with SSBC to put a smaller brake system on the rear to allow 15-inch wheels and slicks to be installed, as only 20-inch wheels will fit now. Even with the 16-inch-wide Mickey Thompson tires if you hit the gas in Third gear at 55 mph, as soon as the turbos spool up the tires go up in smoke. At first glance, the truck still looks stock, so that is quite a surprise to bystanders."
We'd love to be in on those scare tactics, but with this Ram Rod's ability to annihilate rubber, we shudder at the thought of Dale's yearly rear tire expenses.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 2004 Dodge Ram SRT10
Owner and City/State: Dale Robertson • Carnation, Washington
Type: Viper V-10
Heads: Racing Solutions Competitive with 2.02 intake valves and 1.6 exhaust
Cam: Racing Solutions custom spec by COMP Cams
Pistons: Forged JE pistons on forged rods with forged crank
Induction: Racing Solutions Garrett GT35-RL twin-turbo
Exhaust: Racing Solutions custom turbo exhaust manifold, 3-inch exhaust
Cooling: Electric fans, Racing Solutions intercooler
Fuel System: Racing Solutions twin pumps, 120 lb/hr injectors
Engine Management: SCT XCAL-2 computer tuned by Alex Racz
Output: 1,318 rwhp and 1,223 lb-ft on 110 race gas
Built by: Racing Solutions • Houston, Texas
Transmission: T56 six-speed
Rearend: Dana 60
Front suspension: Factory SRT10
Rear suspension: Art Morrison four-link with coilovers
Brakes: Factory SRT10
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x11 & 20x15 Budnik Velocity R
Tires: Pirelli up front & 31x18R-20 Mickey Thompson S/R in the rear