Gears, lockers and some added axle beef.
Our vision for this project seems simple - build a desert-worthy chase truck while demonstrating the value of the Cummins engine through the high-adrenaline exercise known as diesel drag racing. However, turning our vision into reality has turned out to be a much greater challenge than we originally thought.
Maybe it's because the more trips we take to Baja, the more we learn about what it takes to survive down there. Or maybe it's a simple desire to have the "do it all" vehicle. Whatever it is, we've come to realize that despite our project being in its fourth segment, we have a long way to go before we are ready for race day.
For instance, the KORE (formerly T-Rex) suspension system shown in Part 2 of the buildup (Aug. '04) would pretty much take care of any washboard roads we encounter while in Baja. But what happens when the washboard turns into deep sand? How about when that same sandy wash turns into a riverbed chock-full of boulders? What good is a quality suspension setup if you can't maintain traction?
At some point, our open-diff'd Dodge would be left spinning its wheels and quite possibly stuck. We certainly wouldn't want that to happen, so we turned to the pros at Rockstar Engineering of San Jose, California, the Bomber's official build shop. These guys know what it takes to conquer the rigors of Mexico, and with their help, our '99 Ram will eventually have everything it takes to handle south-of-the-border torture. In this segment, we'll focus on axle tech. So follow along as we prep the Bomber's Dana axles with some very high-quality equipment.