2006 Dodge Ram - Mega Low
90 Days To Be The Mega Lowest
This entire truck was built from start to finish in just under 90 days. Most people couldn't build a tricycle in 90 days, but Chris Wilkins and his company, Group 5 LTD, took a stock '06 Dodge MegaCab dualie, and made the truck that Dodge should've produced. Sure, it only took 90 days, but that doesn't mean that it was an easy build.
It started with an idea: To build a showcase truck for Dodge for the '06 Sema Show in Las Vegas. After a few meetings and a little bit of work, Chris took possession of a bone-stock '06 Dodge Ram MegaCab dualie. With a rendering in hand, the foundation was laid for the project. The truck was going to be low, lower than any MegaCab had ever been. Not only that, but it would have a NASCAR race truck-style theme with custom rockers and an aluminum wing. Then of course, something had to be done about the bed. For those of you who haven't been by a dealership recently, in 2006 Dodge decided to change the traditional dualie fenders on their heavy-duty trucks with a "throwback" style fender-flare look. In a word, those fenders are ... ugly. Chris needed to come up with a plan to change things.
One of the interesting things about Group 5 is that they're a licensed automobile manufacturer. That means, they can produce cars from scratch and even stamp their own vehicle identification numbers (VIN). After a lot of talk, Chris decided he would modify his stock bed to accept a set of the older-generation dualie fenders. On the surface, that seems like it's an easy task, but Dodge never produced a dualie that was a shortbed like his MegaCab. He debated doing a longbed conversion, but since he was showing the truck for Dodge at the Sema Show, he had to keep the truck the stock length and had to make it work.
With a production facility at his disposal, the bedside dilemma became a little easier to manage. Chris made the new bedsides from scratch, and even made a mold of the product so that later he could sell them. Chris molded the '05 style dualie fenders to a shortbed, but because of the differences in bed lengths, the new fenders hung down a bit low on the truck. To compensate, Chris extended the Sir Michaels roll pan to match the new fenders. He also made the stock taillights look like they were meant to be there with the new, wider rear-end. Chris also shaved off the door handles, antenna, and roof lights. To give the truck a racer look, the team fabricated a set of custom rockers that flare out from the side. It may not be obvious, but the truck had a full color change, too. The entire truck was painted at Earnhardt Autobody, where it received a custom hue called PPG Dark Charcoal Metallic.
The details abound on this truck. Take the tailgate for example, the "MegaLow" name was cut out of aluminum and glued to the freshly shaved tailgate with 4,000- psi glue. Then, the excess glue that was pressed out of the side had to be chiseled off. Another nice detail is in the grille. It's not a stock billet grille; there would be no off of the shelf pieces for this truck. The grille was made from flat aluminum stock, and was cut out with a laser to make the perfect lines. Another fine detail on the grille is the custom-made emblem that replaced the Dodge Ram horns. A piece of stainless steel was polished and glued in place, then a shield-shaped piece of steel with the MegaLow and Mopar "M" cut out of it was color-matched and glued on top of the stainless, which left a shiny logo in its wake. Did the rear wing catch your eye? It was fabricated by Everham Motorsports, which you might know as one of the competing teams in NASCAR. They made the rear wing and set the pitch at 55 degrees, the same setting they'd put in one of the trucks they run down the track on Fridays.
Some of the more interesting modifications to the MegaLow are the ones most people wouldn't notice. Since Chris was hooked up pretty tight with Dodge, he got the line on a set of '06 headlights, as well as the stock bumper for the '07 SRT-10 Viper powered pickups.
To keep his promise with Dodge, Chris had to make sure the truck would lay as close to the ground as possible. To get things going, he took the truck to Arizona Speed and Marine, who have tons of experience with custom suspensions. Using parts from Air Ride Technologies and Slam Specialties, they got the truck down lower than anyone else had before. To get the back end down, Arizona Speed and Marine notched the rear frame and installed a parallel four-link in place of the stock leaf springs. Up front, the coils were replaced with Slam Specialties airbags, and then the shocks were relocated. After bolting up a set of custom powdercoated 19-1/2-inch Budnik wheels, the truck layed substantially lower than it did when it had started out. And now it was all controlled with an Air Ride Technologies ride-height system.
This truck had to be powerful as well as low, to match the race-truck theme, of course. The stock diesel engine was hooked up with a full Bully Dog package. A header, 4-inch exhaust, and a Triple Dog loader boosted the horses up an additional 250 hp at the wheels. For some additional sounds, other than the killer exhaust note, Chris installed a full USAmp setup. A pair of subwoofers were mounted behind the rear seat with an amp in between them. Speaking of the seats, the stock cloth was replaced with a full Katzkin leather kit, with the MegaLow logo embroidered in the seat back.
In just 90 days, Chris took a stock truck with zero miles and turned it into one of the highlights of this year's Sema Show. Of course, none of this would have been possible without help from his sponsors. Chris would like to thank Group 5 LTD, Dodge, Earnhardt Dodge, Everham Racing, Bully Dog, Air Ride Technologies, Slam Specialties, Katzkin, USAmp, Sir Michaels, Arizona Speed and Marine, and everyone who spent long nights at the shop working hard to get this truck done.