Our New Daily Driver Built For All-Around Service
You may have followed our Great White Dodge Ram project that, with all its modifications, became quite a truck. We loved it, but wives, 88-year-old moms, etc. refused to drive or ride in it because it was "too wide (fender flares) and too high (suspension and tires)." It wasn't too wide or too high, but this wouldn't do for one of the family's daily drivers. We decided to build another truck with no lift (except slightly larger tires and a few modifications) that would make the vehicle an easy-to-live-with, all-around workhorse.
We chose to go with a silver '06 Dodge Ram Quad Cab shortbed 4x4 with an H.O. Cummins diesel and automatic transmission. The Dodge has the SLT trim level with Big Horn option group that includes aluminum wheels, trailer tow package, Sirius satellite radio, and other desirable items. The Dodge has a strong hydroformed frame, which no longer allows the bed to flex into the cab when off-roading, and a small turning radius. The 5.9 H.O. Cummins needs no introduction and is a fabulous diesel mill, not only for light trucks, but also for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, albeit in different states of tune. We used to say that the Cummins would last a lot longer than the truck that it was in, but that's no longer the case. There are plenty of old Dodges still going strong with unbelievable miles on the clock and the Cummins under the hood. Our truck also has an 11.5-inch AAM rearend with a TracRite helical-gear limited-slip.
On our F-150, we used an A.R.E. cap and Bedrug bedliner. These products impressed us so much that we decided to use both of them again for our Ram. We again chose to use a Z-Series cap from A.R.E. The Z-Series is a very strong, well-built cap that features soft, rounded lines which match the truck's. The rear door on the Z-Series is curved to match the styling of the cap and give the truck an SUV look. The third brake light, which is required by law, is recessed into the fiberglass and curved to match the cap's styling for a great look. The Z-Series features rotary "slam action" latches that allow you to open and close the door with the same motions as you use to close the truck door. A comment about slam action: If you slam the glass rear door of the Z-Series, it won't latch all the way. If you gently close it, it latches tightly and easily. In our opinion, "slam action" is a poor name for this quality latch. The OE-quality lock features a double-sided key just like the truck's.
We had a few options installed on this Z-Series cap. We again went with the tilt-down, front sliding window for easy cleaning. We also added a battery-operated interior light, an interior clothing-hanger rod, and a Yakima Control Tower rack that will allow us to carry bikes, equipment, a kayak, or just about anything else we can think of on top of the truck.