Last month I filled this page trying to rationalize the practicality of the vehicles in the Bolig stable. At the end of my rant, I expounded the virtues of my '03 Ram, and why I can quite possibly never get rid of it. It's big, it's heavy, and it has the aerodynamic qualities of a cinder block—hence the name. But, none-the-less, it's mine.
Since we had finally gotten the new engine in the old girl, I thought that maybe a good day of tuning would do the truck some good. The guys at Speedfactory worked with Diablosport to get the tune to within a safe parameter, but if things are in a safe parameter, how can I break anything—I guess they do know me… Anyway, I asked the guys at Diablosport if they might be able to take a look at the truck and see if we might be able to get a little better gas mileage, and while we're in there, maybe we could find a little more power. Since I was going to be in the area anyway to visit a couple other shops, they agreed to let me invade their shop.
As soon as Johan strapped my cinder block to the dyno, he found out that the tune was nearly perfect for wide-open blasts, but he did do a little tweaking to some part-throttle parameters to see if an increase in mileage was possible. I know what you're thinking, "this dummy has a 500 horsepower engine in his Ram, and he's worried about gas mileage". Mileage wasn't actually at the forefront of the plan, but any little bit could help.
Johan The Tuner spent some time making adjustments and changes in the tune, and when we were done, the "Block" did actually gain a few ponies—and gas mileage. So there, for all you naysayers, my Ram is now a practical driver. That's right, I have achieved practicality with a blown cinder block, and I drive it every day. The next step though is where I normally get into trouble. Now I need to "test" my cinder block's capabilities on the quarter mile. We all know what occasionally happens when I get to the track, something inevitably goes wrong. So, in the interest of breaking tradition, I think I'll wait until I can—with some certainty, make sure that things will stay together while testing. So far, I have rebuilt the engine, and the rear, that only leaves one thing left to rebuild, and hopefully, I can get to it by the time you guys are reading this. Then, we can prove that a cinder block can get out of its own way.
Hopefully, things won't get too ugly, but with me, stay tuned. You never know what might happen, and how violently it might occur.