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Auto blogSat, 24 Aug 2013 20:00:00 EST
For nine years, Diesel Power magazine has run the Diesel Power Challenge, this year's grindfest being "a week-long torture test that features seven events, nine trucks, 8,000 horsepower, and nearly 15,000 pound-feet of torque." The road to being crowned "the most powerful truck" starts with a dyno run, and then continues through the completion of a CDL-style obstacle course, an eighth-of-a-mile drag race while towing a 10,000-pound trailer, a quarter-mile drag race without a trailer, a fuel economy test in the mountains and finally a sled-pulling test through a 300-foot-long packed-mud pit.
What kind of trucks get into such a fight? Last year's winner, for instance - who upgraded his truck this year to prove he didn't "luck into the win" - drives a 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty with a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 upgraded with a custom intake, Elite Diesel triple turbos and a two-stage nitrous system. Another competitor has a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 powered by a 5.9-liter Cummins inline-six, upgraded with Garrett turbos, dual-stage nitrous, a seven-inch exhaust stack and twin fans built into the bed to cool the Sun Coast Omega transmission. The numbers on that truck: 1,255 horsepower, and 2,063 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. Naturally, as the image above might suggest, things don't always end well.
You'll find all five videos covering this years challenge below. A scene in the dyno video sums it all up perfectly: a competitor leaves his nitrous on too long and the crew is treated to some ominous poppings, he leans out the window, throws both hands up and shouts, "Amer'ca!"
Chrysler is issuing a recall for the 2009 and 2010 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks due to improper installation of the rear axle pinion nut. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 44,300 trucks are affected by the recall, and there have been 12 confirmed incidents including one crash.
The issue on both trucks is that the pinion nut is loosening on some trucks due to a lack of thread adhesive, and it is causing the rear axle to lock up resulting in loss of vehicle control. NHTSA's recall notice says that eight incidents occurred at speeds over 35 miles per hour and most also exhibited driveshaft failures as well since the loss of the pinion nut would cause the gear to separate from the driveshaft. In one complaint, the driveshaft separated from the rear axle and punctured the gas tank.
Chrysler will begin sending out recall notices to affected owners in November, but scroll down to see the official NHTSA notice.
If you're an enthusiast, and you don't know that Dodge spawned another Hellcat this week, you really must have been living in cave. The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is probably the biggest news for enthusiasts since the reveal of, well the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
But, there are some things you might not know or might have missed about the new Charger and Challenger Hellcats. For starters, reports that the Hellcat production would be limited to a low volume are not true.
"We have not capped the Hellcat on either the Challenger or the Charger," Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said.