2002 Dodge Ram 1500 - Relaxed Ram
Erik Harbour Takes His '02 Dodge Ram To A New Level
Erik Harbour has at least two things that would make any truck builder envious. One is this badass '02 Dodge Ram, and the other is the reason the truck is in its present condition: good friends.
You might remember this truck from '07 SEMA Show coverage, laying body and looking like a million bucks, which is an awesome thing, but it's not all fame and glory like some would have you believe. In fact, it goes something like this: Most SEMA builds consist of a two- to three-month tornado prior to the show in which you can almost count the hours of total sleep on one hand. Since time is of the essence, there's no way to go step by step and ensure that all is done exactly the way you want it-there are always unforeseen problems and delays. If it wasn't for Erik's friends stopping by to lend a hand, the truck on these pages might never have been. They showed up, most of the time with twelve-pack in hand, ready to spend hours wrenching.
The first stop on the customizing tour was 714 Motorsports, where Todd Faulkner pulled out all the stops to lay the truck out hard over a set of 24-inch rims and rubber. He first ordered the adjustable suspension components needed to hammer the contemporary Mopar to the ground: four Slam airbags, two reserve air tanks, 1/2-inch air line, two Viair 280C compressors, and the four-link, step notch, and all the brackets from Devious Customs. Todd began cutting, notching, and relocating, and ended up ditching the stock front A-arms for a set from DJM. He bridge-notched the rear framerails and installed a rear four-link to complete the suspension structure. The Slam 'bags were mounted forward and aft and plumbed with 1/2-inch line, 1/2-inch electric valves, and Todd's little joke of air restrictors, so it goes down as fast as paddle valves fed with 1/8-inch airline so Erik can't harm the truck. For reserve air, the truck uses two 5-gallon reserve tanks and two compressors replenish the air supply.
Since the truck was destined to wear an extra-large set of rims and rubber, Todd flared the rear fenders about 6 inches before welding a set of wheeltubs from Grant Fabrication in the bed. To gain more room under the truck, the original gas tank was ditched in favor of a 20-gallon fuel cell from Devious. Erik and Todd performed the necessary modifications to install the fuel cell and make it functional with a custom filler neck in the bed. After a whole lot of notching, cutting, relocating, and fabricating, Erik was finally able to mount the 24x9 Lexani chrome wheels encased in Toyo rubber and lay the truck out. All the work became worth it the moment the fenderwells swallowed up the massive 24s and the rails successfully hit the tarmac.
After Todd finished dialing in the suspension, a few tricks were performed on the Dodge's skin. Todd busted out his welder and shaved everything-there wasn't a body panel left untouched.
Once Todd was satisfied with the smoothness of the metal, the truck was immediately taped off so Todd could lay down the Kinetik Blue basecoat. But that turned out to be a lot of blue, and Erik and Todd both agreed it needed something more. Going on little sleep, Erik and Todd were running out of ideas and called upon Jeff Mersey of Merzees Paint & Body. Jeff helped by putting tape to body panels with a few different designs before a theme was decided upon. Once the design had been laid out on both sides of the truck, it was time to put the real deal into motion. Jeff started by laying down the Orion Silver that creates the beltline around the entire truck. Then, he pulled a few tricks and put down his secret wispy graphics on the lower half of the truck.
The interior is a mix of fiberglass work, paint, and a whole lot of classic hot-rod influences with a little technological twist. The factory front bucket seats were reskinned with dove-gray leather and ash-white perforated suede inserts. The rear seats were cut up and modified to create another set of bucket seats wrapped in the same fashion and a center console that houses eight, count 'em, eight Alpine amplifiers. Another techy feature is the head unit. It has a custom-built, Windows-based computer that is used to play and store all music, movies, games, and more. It sends the signal to the 17-inch LCD screen mounted in the center of the dash and to the impressive stereo setup throughout the cab and rear compartment. Behind the rear seats is a trio of 12-inch subs in a custom-built, slot-ported enclosure. The back cab wall was removed, and the box was slid into place.
In the 90 days that it took Erik to build this incredible vehicle, he accomplished more than just creating another show truck: He has without a doubt made his mark on the custom map. If this is the standard of design we can expect from Erik, then we look forward to what the future holds.
The 411Owner/Hometown:Erik Harbour / Huntington Beach, California
Year/Make/Model:'02 Dodge Ram 1500
Engine/Drivetrain:4.7L PowerTech V-8 / four-speed 45RFE automatic transmission / chrome Weapon*R Secret Weapon air intake / Hypertech computer system / Gibson exhaust / MSD ignition / Kinetik HC800 Power Cell / Devious Customs fuel cell / all electrical wiring except the obvious spark-plug and alternator wires have been rerouted and hidden using all factory wiring and rerouting plugs and harnessesBY: Ryan Parma, Todd Faulkner, Erik Harbour, 714 Motorsports, and Rod Milton, Westminster, California
Rims:Front & Rear: 24x9 Lexani Dagger
Tires:Front & Rear: 305/35R24 Toyo Proxes S/T
Suspension:Front: DJM control arms / custom upper bag mounts / Slam Specialties RE-8 air springs / Toxic shocksRear: Devious Customs triangulated four-link / Slam Specialties RE-6 air spring / Toxic shocksAccessories: Eight EasyStreet 1/2-inch chrome 300-psi solenoids / 1/2-inch DOT air line / two Viair 280C air compressorsChassis: Z'd front frameclip / Devious Customs step notch / SSBC Force 10 Tri-Power three-piston aluminum brake kitBy: Todd Faulkner at 714 Motorsports, Westminster, California
Body Mods:Shaved doors, antenna, taillights, third brake light, cab seams, and gas door / Grant Fabrication taillight fillers, rear wheelwell tubs, tailgate, and roll-pan combo / '08 front-end conversion / 3-inch body drop / Street Scene Speed Grilles and sport mirrorsBy: Todd Faulkner, Scott Seratta, 714 Motorsports, Erik Harbour, Galen Armenta, Kevin "Captain" Kuenzie, Louie, and the staff at Merzees all helped get the body straight
Custom Paint:Alsa Paint Corp. Kinetik Blue and Silver / One Shot Candy Green and OrangeBy: Todd Faulkner and Jeff Mersey of Merzees Paint & Body, Norwalk, California
Interior:Modified factory front bucket seats with ash-white and dove-gray seat covers from Roadwire Automotive Innovation / rear bench was cut into buckets and wrapped in the same material as the front seats / custom-built dashpad and a custom-mounted 17-inch LCD monitor and center console built by Brent Davidson at Alpine / custom-built door panels wrapped in leather with blue suede inserts / ash-gray carpet / painted overhead console and headliner wrapped in ash-white suede / Nu Image brushed-aluminum gauges
By: 714 Motorsports, Merzees, Todd Faulkner, Brent Davison, Louie, "Big" Bill Watson, Galen Armenta, Rod Milton
By: 714 Motorsports, Merzees, Todd Faulkner, Brent Davison, Louie, "Big" Bill Watson, Galen Armenta, Rod Milton
Audio/Video:Custom-built Windows-based computer / Alpine PXA-H701 / Alpine RUX-C701 / Alpine Type-X speakers: two SPX-13REF 5-1/4-inch in dash, four SPX-17REF 6-1/2-inch in doors / two Alpine PDX-4.150 four-channel amplifiers / Alpine SWS-1043D 10-inch under front of center console, three Alpine SWX-1243D 12-inch in the rear in a ported cut through enclosure / six Alpine PDX-1.1000 monoblock amplifiers / StreetWires cables, wire, and distribution / 17-inch Sony HD LCD panel / eight Kinetik High Current Power Cells: HC800 for starting the truck; HC2400, HC2000, HC1800, HC1400, HC800, and two HC600 for audio support / AutoPage RS-1000 OLED two-way multifunction remote start, which opens doors and rolls windows up and down / Ohio Generator 200A stainless alternatorBy: Brent Davison of Alpine Electronics, Erik Harbour and "Big" Bill Watson, Torrance, California
Special Thanks From The OwnerWow, where do I start? First off, I'd like to say thanks to Kevin Aguilar for giving me so much crap about my Expedition not being able to drag that it inspired me to make sure this build could drag and then some! But seriously, on to the special thanks.
Todd Faulkner, thanks for building yet another great ride, and thanks for being a friend all these years and putting up with my crap throughout the builds.
Big thanks to Manny, Allen, Big, and the crew at 714 Motorsports for letting me house and build the project there and for cranking out one super-clean interior.
Brent Davison, what can I say? Wow, what a console! Thanks for everything you did on the project, and thanks for letting me use your truck and trailer to get this thing out for people to see it.
The gang at Alpine, thanks for letting us work in your bay-it truly was an honor.
Kinetik, thanks for understanding that I was coming out hard with one heck of a Kinetik showpiece and knowing that it would take some time off to get it done. And of course, none of it would work without the awesome power of Kinetik!
Grant Kustoms and Devious Customs, thanks for making the parts we needed in such a short time. They work and look great!
Ryan Parma, thanks so much for driving two hours every day to help me on the electrical system and making it so clean and clear of junk we didn't need. Kevin Kuenzie, thanks for coming over, bringing the beer, and grinding away.
Big thanks go out to Jeff Mersey and the gang for letting us finish up the bodywork and paint at his shop. Thanks for all of the help and knowledge you brought into the paint and body.
Louie, I can't thank you enough. You were there to the bitter end helping me and making sure this project got to SEMA looking 100 percent. Scott, thanks for lending a hand yet again on the bodywork. You always seem to come through every time we build something representing the lollipop kids all over the world!
Galen Armenta, thanks so much for all of your help and encouragement through the rough nights and even helping Todd while I was out of town even though you had a project of your own to deal with.
"Big" Bill Watson, thanks again for coming all the way from Mississippi to make sure this project made it to the show. I know I can always count on you! Rod Milton, thanks to you too for coming all the way from Tennessee to lend a hand in the final days.
Tom at Billet & Acrylic, thanks again for the awesome billet. Stan at Toyo, thanks for the tires-they fit great and ride clean! Frank and the crew at Lexani, thanks for the last-minute drilling so I could ride on your chrome. Gus and Tom at Ohio Generator, amazing products and thanks for getting the alternator to me so fast. Tim at HushMat, wow, great products-made the audio sound even better! Thanks to Mark at SoCal Detail for coming in late at night to clean the truck for the shoot. It looked great.
Big thanks to all of my sponsors. Without your help, this never could been possible. You have always been there for me, and I hope to be able to return the favor sometime soon!