Case of The Mondays: Nitrous-Boosted Cummins Explodes on Dyno (Videos)


Some days, you’re just better off staying in bed. Famed diesel tuner Shawn Baca was knocking on the door of 1,500-horsepower with his nitrous-fed Cummins-powered “Silver Pearl” Dodge Ram when disaster struck in 2014. Baca had racked up multiple 1400-horsepower dyno runs, and even a handful of 10-second 1/4 mile passes (not to mention also being abused as a daily driver), but during this fateful dyno session, Shawn’s engine block couldn’t take the abuse. A cracked block would put most people out of commission, but not he.

Because competition between friends is always the fiercest, Shawn figured “how bad could it get?” With a ludicrous goal of 2000 horsepower, Shawn filled the injured block with cement, installed a huge set of injectors and the biggest turbo he could find. The video below is of Shawn’s third attempt to spool up the big turbo. According to the video’s description, he was already at 4,600rpm and barely pushing any boost when he hit the big stage of nitrous, resulting in a catastrophic huge fireball.

But Shawn’s story doesn’t end there. Less than a year later, Shawn’s Silver Pearl Ram showed up at NADM’s dyno event (National Association of Diesel Motorsports) with his newly rebuilt motor. There, he put down an impressive 1,869 horsepower (with nitrous, of course) and a solid 1500 horsepower without the bottle. The twin-turbo Cummins spooled quickly, and after a few adjustments, Shawn maxed out the dyno at 2,000 horsepower.

Pretty impressive, right? That’s what we all thought, but Shawn Baca wasn’t satisfied. Shawn returned later that year to the “Dyno Carnage Weekend” on the Edge Dyno Event and Northwest Dyno Circuit and ripped out a staggering 2,168 horsepower right before his Cummins exploded. That’s right. Another motor gave up the ghost in the pursuit of horsepower glory. Mind you, these are all chassis dynos, so the numbers you’re seeing are rear wheel horsepower, so take into account for drivetrain loss when figuring how much flywheel horsepower that Dodge is roaring out.

Oh, and one last thing; Shawn’s miserable luck continued when he lost control of Silver Pearl and put it into a row of parked cars. Again, sometimes its best to quit when you’re ahead…

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching Mopar Connection Magazine. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story. He's also the co-author of "The Chrysler B-Body Restoration Guide."

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