2002 Dodge Ram - Ram Reborn
A once-worthy Ram reincarnated to ride again
In our hobby, there are quite a few trucks that reach a certain point in their lives where they just seem lackluster in the eye of the beholder. Be it time or money, the day comes in which the decision is made to simply start anew with fresh components. A smaller percentage of trucks reach that point and become recycled-reincarnated, if you will. After all, the truck is most likely already shaved, lowered, and powered up with some aftermarket engine goodies. So, why go through all of the added expense and trouble to build an entirely new truck when what you have is already a fabulous beginning? Like buying a new wardrobe for yourself, it's the feeling of being reborn.
Dennis Phillips had his truck featured in our fair publication once, and he basked in the warm glow of success for a time. That time halted and Dennis saw his truck was no longer the entertainment package it once was. Akin to a houseguest you just can't get rid of, the '02 Ram had overstayed its customization and needed to receive an attitude adjustment. The slammed Ram was still sporting its prior Houston, Texas, based Ekstensive Metalworks dramatically dropped suspension. Slam Specialties airbags front and rear, along with a two-link, ensured the big Dodge was knocked to a more respectable roof height, so no changes were needed there. Instead, the original 22-inch wheels were slipped off only to be replaced by a more appropriate set of 22-inch Eagle Alloys. Kumho tires snugly hold the tarmac with a footprint laid down by their 265/35R22 dimensions. Toxic Shocks damp the humps and bumps and a 15-gallon stainless fuel cell ensures plenty of ground grabbing clearance.
Chrysler products have been garnering more and more attention, thanks to the company's aggressive marketing campaign; but we have our own beliefs. Our opinion says power is the key and Dodge is bringing home the bacon. Dennis didn't want to be left in the dust, so his truck's 360ci 5.9L V-8 has a bit more oomph in the go department. Adding pleasurable ponies is a cold-air intake, an Airaid throttle-body spacer, and a Flowmaster exhaust. Getting all cylinders to fire just right is a Superchips programmer, which gives the stock computer the Pinocchio treatment. Dennis can mash the pedal and rock his way to a ticket from 0-oops in 2.5 seconds.
Last go round saw the Ram with a weld-on Sir Michael's roll pan, a shaved tailgate, a fuel filler door, and an antenna, Xenon fender flares, and a Reflexxion cowl-induction hood. Going a step further than that, the Dodge was chiseled down a bit for its new fighting look. The door handles were removed, stock taillights were shaved, and the stock mirrors were set aside to make room for Street Scene mirrors. The owner himself laid down the House of Kolor Cinder Red, which was broken up by bold black graphics with a hint of red flake. We loved the original custom paint scheme Dennis ran way back in September '03, but the current rendition is a blend of styles that just looks so right on the Ram's freshened skin. Adding that extra je ne c'est quois is a bit of traditional flair in the form of hand-laid pinstriping on the hood and tailgate. JBM billet grilles fill all of the front openings in the grille and the bumper.
Inside of the Quad Cab, what once was, is still, only better. Both front bucket seats and the rear seating arrangement have been slathered in Cinder Red and black ostrich leather appointments. Exterior matching plastic trim on the doors, dash, and handmade center console add plenty of color to the massive expanse. Last at bat, the Billet Specialties Chicayne steering wheel was sporting a black leather wrap; but in the name of new flavoring, the leather has been changed to better match the new accoutrements. Matching the billet steering wheel are billet dash knobs, pedals, and a rearview mirror. Taylor's in Vossburg, Mississippi, is awarded credit for the interior stitching.
Making driving better for both driver and passenger alike, a little music pipes in from the flip-face Alpine head unit. With full surround sound and XM satellite radio, the Alpine unit feeds signals to two Alpine amplifiers for signal boosting. Rockford Fosgate component speakers fill the doors and a 10-inch JL Audio subwoofer stares down the rear passengers from its home in the one-off center console. As if that weren't enough, an Alpine DVD player, Sony Playstation, and a 12-inch overhead monitor add their twist to the entertainment portion of the Doge Ram experience.
If you have ever questioned what a good 'bag job can do, then this truck is your testament. Since originally getting air suspension from Ekstensive back in '02, Dennis has hammered more than 100,000 miles on the customized system. The truck spent some time languishing on the back burner while Dennis was busy getting married and buying a new home. With the support of his new wife and daughter, Dennis has revamped and given rebirth to his truck. To make it a family affair, the new wife has her own toy-a Dodge Charger, which is also sitting low to the floor on airbags. To us, it sounds like a match made in a fairy tale.