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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum, but read a lot of threads on here and decided to just post my own to get some answers.

I have a 1996 dodge ram 3500 5-speed 12 valve cummins. Only 150k miles on it, and everything about it is completely bone stock. I believe with it being bone stock for this year, it only pushes about 215 hp.

I know it is easy and completely doable to obtain 300-350 rwhp without doing too many modifications.

However, everywhere i look always has slightly different things to do and some say theres going to be weak links and others say there wont. I was hoping you guys could give me a good list of modifications to perform in order to achieve my 300-350 rwhp goal. I want the truck to remain a good reliable driver, just be able to have more guts.

Look forward to hearing all of your responses, thanks!!

Jake
 

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Only thing I can’t comment on would be the AFC. I skipped a plate and added AFCL from PDD quickly. But my goals are shy of 700 when all said and done.

I would do a solid air filter. BHAFs are a nice quick, cheap upgrade. Lots of people run them. Just include a pre filter.

You COULD upgrade your injectors, but I don’t think you have to considering what power level you’re looking for.

Biggest things would be an exhaust, air filter, and a plate of sorts. Then learn all you can about the IP. Lots of power you can get out of it. There should be a sticky here with “free” mods you can do to the pump. I think it’s in the beginner’s thread.


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Oh, and gauges. Because it’s a 5 spd, I’d do boost, EGT, and fuel pressure.


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Basic maintenance, gauges, then the "free" mods in that order. Check the stickies in the Performance board.
 

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300hp is easy, you can do it with just replacing the stock plate with a #10 or #11, or several others. You don't need a 4inch exhaust, a different air filter or anything else. There are ways to optimize the added HP with timing, cat delete, straight thru muffler, muffler delete, a good air filter (BHAF is a generic term, they are no all created equally). The weak link, if you tow often, is the 5 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well my original post was a little misleading, i do have an aftermarket MBRP 4 inch turbo back straight pipe and a K&N air filter system. but thats what i have been reading, that the clutch may have to be upgraded to keeep up with the horse power upgrades? i definitely plan on doing some towing with it.

The recipe i have been considering is:
KDP fix
3000 GSK
BHAF
adjust the pre boost screw
turn star wheel
change fuel plate (not sure to which one yet im still learnign about it)
mack rack plug (first i ever heard of this in my research so still learning too)
boost elbow
gauges

and then this recipe also claims to upgrade the clutch... but i have no idea to what. i was looking at south bend and i guess upgrading it to a 400hp rated clutch would be fine? I assume this recipe is putting me somewhere around 300 horse?
 

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Have you confirmed your motor and pump or only assumed it’s a 215 because it’s a 96? Early 96 5spd trucks were 175 and late 96 5spd trucks were 215, if yours is the 215 I don’t believe you need a rack plug.

Clutches depend a lot on how you’ll use the truck and added power, and if you’ll be doing more upgrades down the road. I prefer Valair clutches as their customer service tends to be better then south bend but that’s personnel preference.
 

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That should do it. You could adjust the pump timing up a bit and add some more HP easily there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
nuljas23

i was assuming it was 215 because it was a 96. i guess i could check the vin to tell whether or not its an earlier or later model? or how would you go about it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
cheeze

yeah i was reading in the beginners thread about adjusting timiing and what not. im guessing with all of the mods i listed above, i could also adjust the time and add a few more hp as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
nuljas23

as for the clutch, i do plan on using the truck for some heavy hauling, but not every day, i feel that a clutch upgrade might be necessary, more or less to have piece of mind when i am hauling.
 

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There’s a tag on the motor, I think on the timing case but the last 3 digits in a number sequence on your side pump tag will tell what it is
 

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You’ll need a new clutch regardless of hauling or not, stock ones don’t hold up to even small power increases very well. Valair’s Kevlar/ceramic single disc is a good clutch but it’ll be a little grabby backing a trailer up
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nuljas

ohhh ok, well thank you, i was looking for a definite answer on whether a stock clutch would hold up or not. some people say they will, some say they wont. i mean just from what i read about the stock clutch, it definintely doesnt sound like it would hold up so i just wanted to get another answer. thanks man big help!
 

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At the power you’re after there’s no doubt you’ll need a clutch. If you call Valair they’ll tell you what clutch will best suit your needs. An organic dual disc is another good option if you don’t do any boosted launches or sled pulls
 

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grabby clutch in reverse can be cured by a 2wd low kit that locks out front wheel drive in low. No more clutch in/ clutch out... it will crawl back at about 1.3mph unless you give it fuel.
 

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Since you are thinking of ditching the K&N (good plan) I suggest you get a base oil sample before you switch to whichever BHAF you choose. Silica is the death of these engines and not choosing an efficient filter will cut the life of the engine in half.
 

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You’ll need a new clutch regardless of hauling or not, stock ones don’t hold up to even small power increases very well. Valair’s Kevlar/ceramic single disc is a good clutch but it’ll be a little grabby backing a trailer up
I disagree...I've done the free upgrades, added fuel plate, boost elbow and had no issue with stock clutches at over 200k....It's your right foot or towing heavy that will dictate needing to upgrade. Certainly when you need a new clutch, pick something north of stock, but I would not replace a good clutch unless you drive with a heavy foot
 

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I disagree...I've done the free upgrades, added fuel plate, boost elbow and had no issue with stock clutches at over 200k....It's your right foot or towing heavy that will dictate needing to upgrade. Certainly when you need a new clutch, pick something north of stock, but I would not replace a good clutch unless you drive with a heavy foot
My experience has not been the same. I personally would replace it, he says he’ll be towing and the last thing you want while towing a load away from home is to lose a clutch or have mechanical problems of any kind. Why risk it?
 
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