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1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 - Stomper Staten Island

Posted in Features on May 1, 2001 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Randall Jachmann

If you have ever been to New York City, you would know there is not much room on the streets for anything besides rusted-out economy-size cars, taxi cabs, and bike messengers. Vince Carrabba ventures through NYC in his highly modified '98 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 - a city traffic stomper. Vince finds that driving his 4x4 helps him cope with the chaotic traffic on the New York City streets.

Vince Carrabba, a security company owner, purchased his '98 Dodge 2500 because he needed a towing vehicle for his other show trucks. Vince lives in Staten Island, New York, and is an avid off-road truck show enthusiast. Over the past seven years, he has owned several show cars and trucks including a '93 Ford Bronco, a '97 Ford F-150, and an '89 Mustang drag car. Vince, overwhelmed by his passion for modifying vehicles, decided to turn his tow vehicle into a Mopar monster. It's funny how plans get out of control when it comes to building 4x4s.

As a member of the Grizzly Four-Wheel Drive Club, Vince called on his fellow club member David Venti from Madison, New Jersey, to build the chassis of his soon-to-be-large Dodge. Since Vince had a set of 39.5x18 TSL Boggers to be installed, there was a need for some serious fender clearance. To do this, the Grizzly fabricators designed a custom four-link front suspension system. In the rear, they fabricated custom traction bars. Valley springs were mounted on each corner and were complemented with a set of nitrogen-charged Skyjacker shocks. Once the fabrication was done, Vince had the body removed from the chassis and the chassis painted with a coat of Black DuPont paint. All of this allows the 39.5-inch tires to fit under the fenders like a new pair of shoes.

The Dodge, now with a modified suspension in place, needed some help from under the hood to push the new, oversized tires. To start with, Vince installed a Dana 60 rearend with a limited-slip differential and 5.80 gears. Now the truck could easily pull the new tires. However, Vince was in a search of even more power and decided to go straight to the lungs of the engine. The '98 Mopar V-8 was in store for some serious headwork. The iron heads received a porting followed up by a three-angle valve job and a well-deserved port polishing. To enhance the new headwork, a bumpstick from Competition Cams was installed into the powerful equation. A set of custom headers and a Flowmaster exhaust were bolted on, and Vince was satisfied with the newfound power. Now he was ready to focus his energy on other aspects of the truck.

With all of Vince's desired mechanical advantages taken, it was time to enhance the appearance of the soon-to-be show favorite. He had the truck painted an intense blue by the local Collision Center of Staten Island. He also had them paint the door handles and the dashboard to match the intense blue exterior. Auto Meter gauges were installed in the freshly painted dash. The graphite-colored upholstery would be protected by the newly tinted windows. His one-time towing vehicle was now complete - at least for now.

The truck evolved into much more than just a towing vehicle. In fact, Vince made the journey in it to Indianapolis and Vermont truck shows. He collected awards from both shows and continues to display his hobby at other local events. Vince builds trucks out of his love for the sport. Over the past seven years, he has been a valuable asset to the East Coast show truck scene, traveling and sharing his creations with generations of off-road enthusiasts to come. We are pleased to display this 4x4 and look forward to seeing his future creations.

SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle : '98 {{{Dodge}}} 2500
Owner/hometown Vince Carrabba/Staten Island, New York
Engine : '98 Mopar {{{Magnum}}} V-8
Suspension Grizzly Fabrication
Wheels Weld Road Hawk 16.5x14
Tires : TSL Bogger 39.5x18x16.5
Other : Auto Meter gauges; an Alpine stereo;
Skyjacker shocks; a Competition Cams’ camshaft; PIAA headlights; Flowmaster exhaust; an Ameriguard bedliner

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