1996 Dodge Ram R/T
Q: Why Did You Build It? A: Because Everyone Said it Couldn't Be Done
Although the entire mill wasnt totally overhauled, the modifications Jasen wanted to perform required hands-on tweaking. No one made performance parts for the V-6, says Jasen. Everything I purchased had to be reengineered and retrofitted.
That everything included the installation of the Powerdyne supercharger, which gives 8 psi of boost. The fabrication trail also included the fitment of 2¼-inch PaceSetter headers, originally intended for 89-91 Dakotas. Also added to the mill were a 3-inch mid-truck-exiting Borla stainless exhaust system, MSD ignition, a Race Icon timing computer, and a K&N air cleaner. The valve covers were done in Krinkle Coat paint, because there were no custom covers available. With the help of his dad and brother, Jasen was able to work all these components and more into the millhouse. MTC Powder Coatings Mark Clevenger of Raymond, Illinois, then applied powdercoating to the pulleys and other pieces.
Besides working many hours on the engine compartment, Jasen spent plenty of time on the trucks appearance. To give more attitude to the Ram, an AAR Cuda-style fiberglass hood was installed and painted by Springfield Welding and Autobody. The unique paint (Mopar painted only 778 trucks Kiwi) was somewhat of a chore to match, but the effort paid off in the results. To beef up the rest of the front, Jasen added a Pro Finish front bumper, billet inserts, clear front corner markers, and a billet antenna. Personalization of the trucks rear was kept to a minimum.
The stance was provided by Chassis Tech 8-inch-dropped A-arms, with Toxic shocks all around and Firestone bags up front. Chassis Techs ladder-bar airbag system was accommodated by the companys Monster C-notch in back.
Once the exterior was finished with a set of Enkei 18s and Sumitomo tires, all that was left to do was the cabin. Emerson tweed buckets provide seating above black carpet with custom tweed, embossed R/T logos. Hy Tech Auto Trim in Columbia, Illinois, beautified the dash with tweed and carbon-fiber kits. And what racers cockpit would be complete without a set of A-pillar gauges? Auto Meter supplied the sporty boost gauge and tach. Jasen then installed a healthy stereo system to keep it all thumping.
What more could you ask for? Jasen has kept his ride tasteful while exhibiting tons of muscle. His Ram is a great example of hard work paying off. But if theres one thing hes learned from building a high-performer like this, its that such projects do in fact require patience. In his words, Nothing is as easy as the directions say.