1985 Dodge Ramcharger - The Dare-To-Be-Different Dodge
Now this is what Busted Knuckles is all about. Eric Reinier's '85 Ramcharger is the perfect dare-to-be-different excuse to scrape the skin off your knuckles with some good friends while the sparks fly in your garage. Eric knew that the often-neglected Mopar SUV deserved a better life than most give it and so, after moving on from his S-10 project, he took delivery of this beacon of '80s excess.
With V-8 power under the substantial hood and an almost pristine body and interior to start with, the only drawback to building the Dodge was that it was, well, a Dodge. Aftermarket parts are non-existent, so Eric and the staff of Loadies Kustomz turned to General Motors for help. The plan was to lay this bitch on the ground while maintaining a factory look, so the crew turned its attention to the chassis and suspension.
The stock rails were replaced with a skinnier set and a Chevy C10 front clip. The clip was Z'd, moving the 318ci Mopar powerplant and new suspension upward several inches, thereby allowing the front sheetmetal to sit flush with the ground without a big traditional body drop. The C10 front suspension was reworked with airbags replacing the coil springs, a pair of 2.5-inch drop spindles, and re-angled ball joint mounts on the control arms.
Out back, the 2x3-inch mild steel chassis was kicked upward to give the GM 12-bolt rearend room to roam when the air is released from the Firestone 'bags. For now, the stock C10 shocks, brakes, and 15-inch wheels and tires are holdin' it down beneath the raised floor of the Ramcharger. Air Ride Technologies Big Red valves control flow from Viair compressors, allowing Eric to show off the Ramcharger's stance at will.
The only other mods we found on the tan and brown dragger that was cruising Tex Mex and drawing a crowd were an in-progress thumpin' audio system and a few chrome accents under the hood. The list of mods is short and so is the list of guys who are smart enough to lay out a Ramcharger. This thing could stay a project for the next decade and we'd still think it's one of the coolest rides we've seen in a long time though.