The Long-Lost Tale of the Truck Guru’s 2013 Ram 2500 MegaCab
Every now and then, it happens. In the tossing of a cover truck file from one editor to the next, a gust of wind mysteriously sweeps it under a stack of papers, then onto the floor, and eventually into a trash can. That’s metaphorically speaking, of course. Translated into literal terms, the feature files never leave the confines of the computer, and the truck never gets featured. It’s a tragic affair, to be certain, and never our intent here at 8-Lug.
Such was the situation with the ’13 Ram 2500 4x4 MegaCab belonging to Cris Payne. This SEMA truck was slated to be on the cover many issues ago, but it just didn’t happen—until now. While Cris has since passed the keys over to a new owner, the recounting of his first diesel truck build comes with great enthusiasm and fond memories. This elegant 6.7L Cummins-equipped Ram represented RBP right outside the South Hall during the 2013 SEMA show. If that doesn’t trigger anything, maybe the customized golf cart atop its tonneau cover rings a bell. That’s right, a golf cart was “stacked” on top of the truck. This was the first stacking job for “The Truck Guru” Cris Payne and really marked the beginning of his signature style in designing and building project trucks. His Truck Guru business was really gaining momentum during this time, and now, when you see anything stacked on the beds of trucks, it’s probably a Truck Guru design—or copy.
In addition to its SEMA accolades, the blue-accented Ram has another claim to fame. Of the thousands of trucks that could have been seen as fit for the part, it was selected to be in the seventh film of the Fast & Furious franchise, Furious 7. Even though the drama was over the top, cars don’t really make “those sounds” in real life, and you felt like a bit of a sellout seeing it, odds are you know which movie we’re talking about. During the Race Wars scene in the first 10 minutes of the film, the MegaCab can unmistakably be seen parked in front of a 4 Wheel Parts semi-trailer. It’s a pretty cool gig, considering the enormous success of the Furious 7 movie: the fifth highest-grossing opening of all time, the third highest-grossing film of 2015, and the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. Bonus, for better or worse: It is allegedly the second most illegally downloaded film of all time.
A MegaCab has a prominent stance at stock height, so adding a 12-inch Bulletproof Suspension lift kit and Sway-A-Way shocks made the truck tower over its surroundings even more. Interestingly, Bulletproof used this truck to develop the kit, so it took about three months of building, tuning, and testing to get it perfect. The rest of the build took 12 days. The huge, 40-inch Interco SS-M16 tires and 20-inch RBP Assassin wheels look right at home beneath the big lift. The rest of the exterior has all the bells and whistles we've come to expect from these builds: Iron Cross front and rear bumpers, plainANsimple custom-built headlights, Hornblasters Shocker train horns, R1 Concepts brake rotors and brakes, Bushwacker fender flares, an RBP RX4 custom grille, and more than a dozen Offroad LED Bars. The blue powdercoated suspension pieces and other blue color-matched accessories add the perfect touch to the white truck. It's subtle, yet strikingly crisp, classy, and confident.
Although it doesn’t take much to spruce up the interior of a Laramie truck, Cris found ways to bring in some of the exterior cues, most strikingly through the blue vinyl-wrapped interior pieces. The wrap, complete with sponsor logos like RBP, came from ECD Customs, while Cris did the actual wrapping of the pieces. The addition of an Ultrasuede headliner adds a touch of understated refinement. Tunes come courtesy of JK Audio equipment.
Sone trucks are so well done—so naturally pleasing to the eye—that they almost appear underwhelming in pictures. They just look right, like something the manufacturer should have designed and offered as a custom package. It's quite the compliment, really. A truck build is more than throwing parts at a truck. It's an art, a delicate blending of what makes the most sense for the overall theme and what best suites the owner’s personal preferences. Few trucks are clean enough to pull this off, but this Mega from The Truck Guru nailed it.
Year/Make/Model: ’13 Ram 2500 4x4 MegaCab
Owner: Cris Payne
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Engine: 6.7L Cummins I-6
Transmission: 68RFE six-speed automatic
Induction: RBP cold-air intake
Exhaust: 5-inch MagnaFlow with RBP chrome tip
Engine Management: Edge Insight CTS
Suspension: Custom powdercoated 12-inch Bulletproof Suspension lift with Sway-A-Way remote-reservoir shocks
Interior: JL Audio system; Toray Industries Ultrasuede headliner, pillars, and sub box; and custom trim wrap by ECD Customs
Exterior/Accessories: Iron Cross Automotive front and rear bumpers; plainANsimple custom-built headlights; Spyder Auto taillights; G2 differential covers; Viair compressor; Hornblasters Shocker train horns; R1 Concepts brake rotors and brakes; Bushwacker fender flares; Westin floormats; Monster Hooks; TransferFlow fuel cell; RBP RX4 custom grille; RX3 custom steps; more than 14 Offroad LED Bars and mounts; UnderCover SwingCases; UnderCover bed cover; BedRug; and Candy blue and white powdercoated track bar and sway bar
Wheels: Custom powdercoated 20x12 RBP Assassin
Tires: 40x15.5R20 Interco SS-M16
Fluids: Royal Purple
Special Thanks: Friends, family, RBP, Prismatic Powders, Bulletproof Suspension, and everyone else who made this build possible.
Fun Fact: Besides the lift, which took around three months to fine-tune, build, and test, the truck took about 12 days total.