2004.5 Dodge Ram Quad Cab Desert Racing Truck - Great WhitePosted in How To on September 15, 2006
Lately, we've been seeing Dodge Ram trucks working very well off-road at rates of travel that are unbelievable. This is amazing since the Dodge Ram is certainly no lightweight, especially when equipped with the Cummins Turbodiesel. Kent Kroeker, CEO of KORE, a company which specializes in high-end suspension systems for Dodge trucks, has done very well in the Stock Full class in trucks equipped with KORE suspensions. Others equipped with KORE suspensions are also doing well with their own trucks.
Kent introduced us to Greg Boardman, owner of Desert Racing Concepts in Twentynine Palms, California. Greg is well known for having built many Dodge Rams for famous industry people as well as other magazines. Greg also owns his own Ram, "Big Red," the cover truck on the last issue of Diesel Power magazine that you'll be seeing in these pages in a few months too. We talked with Greg about building the ultimate Dodge Ram 4x4. "Ultimate" to us meaning that the Ram would work great on-road and off-road. It would have manageable (not overwhelming), reliable horsepower and torque, as well as a world-beating suspension. We'll let Greg tell you about it...
Desert Racing Concepts is dedicated to building trucks that work off-road. Really work. When we first talked about building this '04.5 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4, we had a vision from the start. Let's build the baddest Dodge Ram Turbodiesel truck on the planet - a 400hp desert assault vehicle. With a vehicle like this, you'd be able to travel off-road (or on-road) at high speed, over the roughest terrain, for hours on end.
At DRC, we're not into big bling; awesome performance is our thing. We build trucks for the real world and for real people - truck people! From Unlimited suspensions to manageable power to looks that kill, we know where to bend a stock truck into a Great White! The shark, that is. A desert shark. So smooth, so fast, and so stealthy that you don't even see it coming. Then, out of nowhere, it flies by in a blur of white and black. With the style of desert racing and the aggression of the diesel, this truck will be perfect.
The first thing we did was call Kent Kroeker and KORE, manufacturers of well-engineered, high-end suspensions for the Dodge Ram truck. Kroeker has been racing in the desert for years and is a Baja veteran. His experience in the off-road world is evident in his company's products. The KORE Unlimited Series, the top of the KORE line, was the only suspension choice for a truck this bad.
Second, we called a buddy of ours, Fred Swanson, owner of Desert Diesel Parts in Phoenix, Arizona. We have been learning from Swanson for years and knew he was the man for the performance upgrades. He's also the best transmission builder in the West, having built trannys before for our personal trucks without failure. Fred is the man!
We decided on old-school power not new-kid PDAs. An Edge EZ and stage-two injectors, Jammer BB turbo, Scotty intake, and Diesel Dynamics 5-inch exhaust are guaranteed to pack a punch and last for years. Add a built DTT auto trans with double-deep pan from Mag-Hytec, and the Shark is taking shape. To help get the power to the ground, we enlisted the help of Jason Hughes of Differential Systems in San Diego, California, to install 4.56 Precision Gear gears front and rear, an Eaton E-Locker up front, a helical-gear TracRite limited-slip diff in the rear, and our exclusive DRC front axle truss.
It was time to step it up a notch. Weld Racing Commando Pro beadlock wheels, the same wheels running on many Trophy Trucks, and 37-inch Toyo Open Country A/T tires require a special hand to massage into the Dodge wheel opening. We knew exactly what to do: Keep the truck low and add huge DRC/Glassworks fiberglass fenders and bedsides. We've done excessive work with fiberglass, so it was a no-brainer. Add some specialty items from DRC, hang some HID lights, and button it all up.
Putting all of these pieces into one truck produced an amazing ensemble - something that turns heads just standing still. The suspension works flawlessly, the truck looks tough, and the power is huge. The performance off-road is even better. Eating up 18-inch whoops at 80 mph becomes second nature after a while. Moshing over cattle grates at 90 has little effect. How fast can we really take a truck like this? As fast as we want! That's the whole idea at DRC. Make a truck that can go faster, fly farther, and be safer than any truck on the road. Adding the ability to haul your toys to the desert and back is an added bonus. Some even leave the toys at home, opting to drive the truck instead.
The Great White Dodge Ram really is good. Going above and beyond was our focus. Landing on the moon is where we ended up.
Greg is colorful. He gets into his work and it shows. The Great White '04.5 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4x4 pickup works better than any truck we've ever driven off-road. Its high-speed dirt performance is stunning. Its crawling performance is superb! With the 4.56 gears, E-Locker, and helical-gear LSD, the truck goes anywhere it fits. Also amazing are its great on-road manners. In the next two months, we plan on two more features detailing the build of this truck from the suspension and powertrain to the fiberglass and accessories that have been molded together in a synergy of pieces that are greater than their sum.