Custom 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 - Large and In Charge
Making the Most of Everything
Jeff Kelderman is an enthusiast, an engineer, and maybe most importantly, an originator. Instead of copying other builder's ideas, he somehow comes up with some of the most unique looking, functioning, and performing trucks in America. He is responsible for beds lifting and lowering motorcycles, one of the first air ride-equipped lift kits, and perhaps even Dodge's new Mega Cab. Back in 2004 Jeff had a cool idea of adding more legroom to a standard Dodge dualie 3500 4x4. His idea included cutting the cab and extending it 12 inches and shortening the bed the same length. Funny how fate works, two years later Dodge offers the new Mega Cab exactly like Jeff's idea. In order to pull off such a crazy task, super-talented people need to be on board on the project, and Jeff went straight to the best.
After contacting Alton Truck Manufacturing of Pigeon, Michigan, the new Dodge was delivered and stripped down for customization. After removing the body from the frame, 12 inches of extra bed was cut down and the bed welded back together. To accommodate the extra room on the frame, Alton Truck extended the back wall a full foot, and with the large space in the rear, the team was able to move the seats back for unparalleled legroom. Completely seamless, the bodywork was perfect on the truck and was now ready to grow up instead of out.
Growing trucks is a daily occurrence for Jeff. As Vice President of Kelderman Air Ride, he and his company lift and lower trucks using state-of-the-art engineering and the smooth ride of air at each corner. For his daily-driven Dodge the crew at Kelderman installed a fully adjustable lift kit that can raise the 4x4 5-13 inches, and with that much adjustment the truck is the perfect tow toy. Using chrome trailing arms, a chrome Panhard bar, and a huge 1-3/8-inch chrome sway bar, the dualie can easily drive around with 10 extra inches of lift and still drive smoothly. Filling the newfound fender gap are Alcoa Peterbuilt 22-1/2x8-inch wheels with Yokohama tires wrapping all six wheels.
Keeping plenty of power on tap to tow whatever needs to be hauled, Jeff installed a Bully Dog power chip, air intake, and 4-inch stainless exhaust. The transfer case was indexed 10 degrees, and the longer front driveshaft and one-piece rear are responsible for the 392 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque. Five yellow-top Optima batteries keep everything charged, and whereas five may seem excessive, once you open the doors a more clear understanding is realized.
Jason Chounlamany of Kelderman Manufacturing showcased his talent with fiberglass and audio knowledge by installing a complete Kenwood audio and video system. Starting up front, Jason wired the KVT-915 DVD head unit, Sirius satellite radio, and 10GB Kenwood Music Keg. Each of these signals is sent to 18 speakers throughout the cab, including separates and components in each of the doors, dash, and two 11-inch Kenwood subs in the custom-built center console. The four Kenwood amps are mounted to a plexiglass board cut and fitted to the headliner, complete with red LED lighting shining through.
A Sony PS2 plays games on two 7-inch monitors in fabricated fiberglass headrest covers and two 7-inch Kenwood monitors in the cab extension. Even the custom fiberglass shifter housing is home to speakers and cup holders for good measure. Finishing off the truck is a computer-designed vinyl wrap by Ape Wraps in San Diego, California. Front to back, Jeff and his team didn't skimp any corners and built a perfect weekend warrior or everyday driver. Check it out all over the Midwest, as the Kelderman crew are always out showing off their talent.