This Incredible Diesel Streamliner Goes 300+ MPH with Garrett Turbo Power and Salty Box Racing Ingenuity
By Ainsley Jacobs
Salty Box Racing’s incredible diesel-powered Streamliner runs 300+ mph on the salt flats with a compound Garrett turbo setup.
After the success of racing a Cummins diesel-powered 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 on the salt flats since 2012, Tim Boyle and the Salty Box Racing crew decided to go all-out and put together a radical diesel-powered Streamliner to race on the salt flats.
Every year, the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah hosts events of legendary proportion. In land speed racing, the Streamliner class is the pinnacle of performance as the unlimited category is unrestricted in aerodynamic shape.
In late 2019, Salty Box Racing purchased their “Thunder in the Morning” Streamliner which longtime land speed racer “Fast Freddie” Dannenfelzer had constructed around 2015. Built from 1.75” DOM steel with a rigid-mounted front axle and rear differential, the chassis features no suspension and is shrouded by hand-formed aluminum.
First, the innovative group focused on converting the Streamliner to run on common rail Cummins diesel power and getting the Cummins 48RE transmission – which had been built to the extreme with billet shafts, a full manual valve body, shorty kit, and triple-disc billet torque converter by Randy’s Transmissions – to output the engine’s potential to the Liner’s rear end.
The engine itself is a virgin bore 5.9-liter 2006 Dodge Cummins inline 6-cylinder diesel with a stock stroke and filled with Carrillo connecting rods. Both the block and crankshaft were massaged by Sean Cleary of SLS Performance & Diesel, while the cylinder head was CNC-ported and topped with a billet side draft intake from D&J Precision Machine. Boyle and Cleary worked together on the overall assembly, but the heart of the build is the fantastic compound turbo setup.
With one turbo feeding into the other and a large air-to-water intercooler situated between the two, a Garrett G57-3000 turbocharger with a 106mm compressor inducer serves as the atmospheric turbo while a Garrett GTX5533 turbocharger with an 85mm compressor and twin-scroll turbine housing takes over the high pressure functionality.
Both Garrett turbos feature the latest in aerodynamic advancements to maximize power output for the Cummins-powered Streamliner, and PTP turbo blankets and exhaust wrap further assist in keeping the exhaust gasses flowing while potential managing heat soak. Additionally, a second, even larger air-to-water intercooler is located between the second turbo and the engine to further optimize the air before it reaches the diesel engine’s combustion chambers.
Salty Box Racing debuted its incredible diesel-powered “Thunder in the Morning” Streamliner in the September of 2021 at the Southern California Timing Association’s World Finals event with Hardway Performance’s Ryan Milliken was on hand to manage the tune up of the Cummins’s EFILive platform using nothing but pump diesel and lots of good air.
Racing in the C/DS (C engine, Diesel Streamliner) class, the Salty Box Racing Streamliner clocked a best official average speed of 314.73-mph with a GPS-timed peak speed of 321 mph. The data logger from the run showed that the Garrett turbos had produced an impressive sustained boost pressure of 96 psi for 40-seconds, with a peak of 113-psi.
Making an estimated 1,150-horsepower and 2,000-lb-ft of torque, “Thunder in the Morning” has two high-speed parachutes as well as one low-speed ‘chute to help slow it down after each astounding high-speed run. Salty Box Racing’s faith in the Cummins diesel platform and the compound Garrett turbo configuration have proven that the future of diesel performance looks bright… and fast.
VEHICLE: 2015 C/DS Diesel Streamliner
ENGINE: Dodge Cummins 5.9-liter diesel
TURBO: Garrett G57-3000 and Garrett GTX5533 compound turbochargers
TRANSMISSION: Randy’s Transmissions 48RE
USED FOR: landspeed