Bully Dog Builds a Diesel Inferno

Bully Dog Technologies, located in Aberdeen, Idaho, designs and develops some great bolt-on power products for the diesel aftermarket. Creating these pieces involves literally hundreds of hours in R&D and design work with some of the brightest engineers and technicians around. But, as you can imagine, it’s fun work.


Picture of Josh Kaylor

Josh Kaylor

Photography by Josh Mishler

These engineers think of every possible way to gain power within the framework of diesel design and operating function, and to accomplish this Bully Dog enlists some of the brightest minds available. When the parts in question are actually ready for use on a consumer truck, which is where the fun factor really kicks in, the engineers at Bully Dog go through the process just as you or I would do on our own trucks. They pull product off the shelves and put it into practical application on a real-world vehicle. Thus began the journey with this 2006 Dodge 2500 4×4. Yes, we said 4×4. 

Diesel Inferno was built to showcase the massive amount of power available for these trucks, and to show that they are capable of being driven on a daily basis with 700-plus horsepower. Diesel Inferno showcases the reliability of a diesel-powered drag truck for the street, and this Dodge is by no means a stripped-down racer. Instead it is a full-blown, ass-kicking machine. Again, this is all part of the fun factor, especially when someone next to you also thinks…diesel?

Phillip Klassen is the proud owner of this Dodge, which he and the skilled team of diesel gonzo guys built in a mind-blowing three short months. Beginning with a brand-spanking-new Dodge is always nice for a project build, and this one started with a modification of the stock but perfectly new Cummins inline-six turbo. In its stock form, the Cummins produces an estimated 325 hp. The internals and turbo of the Cummins were kept perfectly stock, with no modifications whatsoever. The factory injectors were tossed in favor of Bully Dog 80-pound units. A Bully Dog RFI system replaces the stock, restrictive air filter and helps with throttle response and power. The factory turbo produces approximately 30 pounds of boost. Bully Dog has developed some very special electronic plug-and-play setups for the new Dodge, and the Inferno showcases them. 

The Bully Dog Triple Dog downloader has been programmed to help remap the air/fuel mixture, timing and shift points, allowing for incredible power gains. A Fluidampr harmonic balancer has been added to help reduce vibration and to balance things out. A DPPFASS fuel system also helps provide the Dodge with the fuel it needs to produce the estimated 720 horsepower. Yes, you did read that correctly—720 hp! A Bully Dog 6-inch aluminized exhaust is an important upgrade on a diesel, as it is necessary to get the exhaust out as fast as possible and not create a backflow. At the dragstrip or on the street, when that extra boost of power is needed, a Bully Dog propane injection kit, paired with a CT Performance water/methanol injection kit, is used to produce some really serious bursts of speed. Just in case either one of those speed demons can’t get things moving, a Bully Dog Dual Shot racing nitrous kit is on call to help scorch the tires. Ensuring there is enough power to fire the massive battery power is a key issue for diesels, so an Optima deep-cycle battery has replaced the stocker. Cranking power is essential for ease of startup on a diesel and, if low, for starting at all!

Not just any transmission can get this much power to the ground, so the Bully Dog team decided to work with Sun Coast Converters, which built the custom transmission capable of handling anything that’s thrown at it. Again, diesel transmissions, and especially converters, must be up to the additional torque created by a high-horsepower diesel. The power of a diesel can actually burst or balloon a converter and do a lot of destruction internally (lay down fins, etc.). Remember, torque is one of the great byproducts of a diesel—they make lots of it, and they do it right off idle—so whatever the crankshaft is connected to had better be capable of withstanding this power output. It’s not uncommon to actually fry a stock transmission, because the friction plates cannot withstand the loads applied, causing them to slip. And locking them up can also be a problem if you are expecting that the transmission will not knock your teeth out between radically abrupt shifts. Pressure transition between shifts can be critical, or you just won’t enjoy the trans, let alone its dependability. So once you begin playing with diesel power, consider that you will also be playing with transmission power applications. If you don’t you will be replacing transmission after transmission.

The chassis of the Dodge has also received considerable attention. Helping to give the Dodge its stance is a custom set of front and rear leaf springs, which the team at Bully Dog put together. Giving the Dodge a better ride is a full set of front and rear Bilstein shocks, and the 4×4 has been lowered a total of 2 inches, also to improve handling. In order to make this much power stop when you need it, the pros at Baer took a set of oversize rotors paired with extra-large-capacity calipers for the front brakes, while the team decided to stick with the stock drum units in the rear. The fronts will do most of the hauling down, so this combination seems to be working, at least at this point. Covering the huge brake kit is a set of KMC 24-inch-tall Rockstar wheels, wrapped in a great set of Nitto tires.

This being a new Dodge, the comfort level is fine going in, but Becks Embroidery, located in Aberdeen, got the nod to turn the stock interior into a killer custom presentation. Mastercraft seats have been covered in red and gray fabric to match the exterior and feature a set of Mastercraft five-point safety harnesses just in case. The door panels have been covered in the same red and gray material. Black Cat Customs did a great job remaking the stock custom dash. The stock instruments were modified and now show the Bully Dog logo, letting everyone know who built this truck. A set of Bully Dog Outlook gauges now rests within the A-?pillar, allowing the driver to view the vitals of the Cummins at a glance, as heat in such a monster is easily built and must not exceed the safe levels Bully Dog has created for this build. Allowing the passengers listening pleasure are a Sony Xplod head unit, speakers and monitors.

The exterior of the Inferno is just as impressive as the interior. Anderson’s Body & Glass, located in Aberdeen, handled the fitting of the new body panels. A Street Scene Arrow kit, bumper cover and rear rollpan help smooth things out a bit. A Suncoast Creations custom hood gives the truck a serious attitude upgrade. Bushwacker fender flares help widen the fenders and keep the wheels covered to prevent throwing road debris on the new paint. An APC grille insert and taillights give the truck a touch of class and individuality. A Truck Covers USA tonneau cover keeps the bottles that are hidden in the bed out of sight. CAG window tint keeps the drivers and passengers anonymous and the cab cool. When all these great modifications were complete, Kris Horton designed one serious set of paint designs for the Dodge. Anderson’s Body & Glass did an excellent job of spraying the Sherwin-Williams Planet paint on the Dodge.

Now that you’ve seen it you probably want it, because that’s exactly what happened to us. Trucks are hot, especially these bad boy examples. In case you think otherwise, so far the Dodge has run a best of 11.9 at 115 mph in the quarter-mile, and the boys are far from done. This is as stout as a Z06 Corvette, easily one of the fastest high-performance production cars available today. This performance is better than that of most muscle cars and/or hot rods. No offense there, hot rodders, but the times they are a changin’, and this Dodge Inferno built by Bully Dog will surely leave most anything in the dust—along with gaping mouths.


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Bully Dog

4150 Church Street - SUITE 1024
Sanford, Florida 32771

(208) 226-2500

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