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Diesel Challenge Build-Off - Part 2

Posted in Project Vehicles on January 9, 2014
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Photographers: Dennis Ruegger

Last time we left our intense Diesel Challenge Build-Off, the stage was set and the trucks were defined. Both builders are taking this competition very seriously, and some manufacturers are lining up to get involved. This build-off will test the builders and the limits of some aftermarket parts. Some of the components, from the gearbox to the coil springs and even the axleshafts, will be supplied by competing manufacturers to see which brands stand, which ones shine, and which ones snap. A friendly race at a massive mega truck park is the only way to pick a clear winner. So with the plan in place and the parts on order, Adam Pela and Robert Pigue can get to building two killer mud trucks.

The ERW tube chassis for Adam’s ’07 Duramax has been hand-fabricated by Dennis Ruegger at All-Out Performance without the use of any jigs or templates. This chassis will give Adam a 140-inch wheelbase measurement. 20 full inches of suspension travel will be possible thanks to a set of nitrogen-filled shocks from Dan Patrick Enterprises. These high-end shocks will be needed since Adam is planning to hit the largest jumps in the park, at full throttle, with around 800 hp. A five-position switch in the cockpit will give the driver the ability to switch engine tunes in the middle of a race if he feels it’s necessary thanks to EFI Live. A custom 16-inch Cyclone reverse-geared transfer case will be used since the motor is being installed in the rear of this mega truck.

Adam’s 2½-ton axles have been stripped of the original brakes and thoroughly cleaned. Dennis also added heavy-duty shock brackets and gussets for additional strength.

The All-Out Performance–designed chassis has been fabricated out of four full 24-foot sticks of 1¾-inch ERW tube. DOM (drawn over mandrill) tubing is used for the link bars. DOM tube is a stronger due to its seamless construction, unlike ERW (electric resistance welded), which is flat steel that has been rolled and welded. ERW is also much more economical steel and is very common material used in the building of race truck chassis like Adam’s truck.

Removing the factory brakes, fabricating new gussets, and four-link brackets are currently the only modifications Dennis has made to the 2½-ton axlehousings. Before launch day, Adam will add Yukon differential lockers to the front and rear axles for traction. The Lockers not only add traction, but they automatically disconnect from one axleshaft in the corners, giving a smooth transition to the next part of the track. Simply welding the rear axle gears will create drag around corners on the outside wheel, causing slower lap times. Eight-lug hubs and splines from Ouverson Engineering are the final piece the axle puzzle. These hubs are not only lighter and stronger than factory, but they will also give Adam the option to bolt on a set of factory Duramax wheels or a set of custom 24-inch aftermarket wheels for driving on the street.

A 16-inch, reverse-rotation transfer case from Cyclone Gearbox is ready to be installed along with eight-lug Ouverson hubs and 24-inch American Force wheels. Naturally Adam will be using Superior Traction tires.

The plan with this rig is to drive it to the event, throw down one hell of a race, and drive it home. Sure, it won’t necessarily be street legal, but that only matters if he gets caught! In the next issue we will show you in detail the drivetrain design, including the Pela Motorsport–built 6.6L twin-turbo Duramax motor, Suncoast Converters 4R100 transmission, and custom-built Cyclone reverse transfer case.

The competitor that will be lining up next to Adam’s rig is Robert Pigue from Plan B Fab. If you read the last issue, you know the Rob is building a completely different style of mud truck. His 5-ton, Cummins-powered Dodge Ram will stay completely stock from the frame up. Massive wheels and tires will push his diesel to the limits along with setting the cab at nearly twice the height of Adam’s rig. A drag race, a Hill N Hole race, a bounty hole, and a tug-of-war will be the challenges, and Redneck Yacht Club will be the proving grounds. This is going to be one intense competition, so be sure to stay up to date with this build-off by following us online.

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