Nathan Mueller was looking to build his next diesel project after selling his 1960 Cadillac de Ville powered by a 5.9 Cummins with a NV4500 five-speed transmission. Nathan was still after big diesel torque but wanted the recipient to be a little younger with modern interior comforts.
After searching for a while Nathan had found all he needed for this next project. He purchased a 2006 Dodge Charger roller (without an engine), a low mileage 1997 5.9 L 12v Cummins inline-six and a rebuilt NV4500 five-speed transmission. Within four weeks Nathan had the car rolling out of his garage and in doing so put around 1,500 hours into it.
Fitting the engine into the bay required the sub-frame to be cut and notched. Then the rack and pinion steering was lowered to allow the engine to sit low enough for the factory hood to close. With some 0 Fuel plate and cranked star wheel the engine produced 307 horsepower and 720 lb-ft of torque. Since then the engine was upgraded with a 4K rpm governor and valve springs, 7×14 injectors, and a HX40 turbocharger.
The hardest part the build wasn’t swapping the motor but converting the Charger from automatic to manual transmission. Nathan used a Wilwood hanging clutch and custom shifting linkage that connected a Mustang T-5 shifter to the actual transmission shifter further forward in the car. This was all covered by a custom center console.
Nathan used a Ram truck driveshaft which was modified with a custom Gwebo joint that connects a 4 bolt u-joint to the 3 bolt flange on the differential. The Charger still runs the factory rear end which has held up well for over 13,000 miles. To see more photos of the build and read all the modifications Nathan had to perform please view the project’s website.