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2009 Dodge Ram 1500 - Project Black Sheep

Posted in Project Vehicles on May 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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2009 Dodge Ram 1500 - Project Black Sheep
The Black Sheep was finished just in time for the '08 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Not only did it garner lots of attention, it also won a Chrysler Design Excellence award for the best-looking '09 1/2-ton Ram at the show. Let the back patting begin! The Black Sheep was finished just in time for the '08 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Not only did it garner lots of attention, it also won a Chrysler Design Excellence award for the best-looking '09 1/2-ton Ram at the show. Let the back patting begin!

Our first 4-Wheel & Off-Road show truck in the history of the magazine (or at least in recent history) is just about finished. We've been building Project Black Sheep, an '09 Dodge 1500 Ram over the past three issues, and with this installment, we're wrapping it up. But let's not forget that a show truck from this magazine is still more go than show. In fact, this truck will quickly make it into the dirt, sand, and mud just as soon as we sneak it out of the show circuit it's destined to run.

In the past issues we told you how great the Dodge rode with its coil-sprung rear suspension and powerful Hemi engine during the purchase and drive of the truck home from Detroit. Then last month we upgraded the suspension with new Edelbrock shocks, coils, and air bumpstops. We upgraded the rear suspension links to chromoly units from Spidertrax with Currie Johnny Joints. The new suspension will lift the truck to clear 37-inch Mickey Thompson Tires on Pro Comp Extreme Alloy wheels. To add even more to the great ride, we upgraded the interior with leather seat covers from Mopar and Katzkin.

This month we add some tube work, a few more Mopar amenities, and a super-slick paintjob by KC Customs in Santa Rosa, California. The truck may seem finished, but in reality we already have some other upgrades in the works. But that is stuff for better off-road performance, which you will see in a future issue. If you want to check out the truck in real life, it will be on display at the Moab Easter Safari, the Tierra del Sol Desert Safari, and other events we'll list on our website.

131 0905 03 z+2009 dodge ram 1500+remove front bumper

1. We removed the front bumper of the Black Sheep to help make room for the bigger tires and improve the approach angle, but this left it looking pretty funny. We also needed a place for some big off-road lights and a good front skidplate. Randy Ellis Design in Phoenix has been building awesome 4x4s for years, and we recruited them to help us outfit the front of our truck with a desert/utility-style front bumper. First we headed to Industrial Metal Supply for some DOM tubing, and then we started building with steel plates coming up off the framerails. The headlights needed substantial protection so we added tubing that wrapped around the corners of the truck but still allowed plenty of approach angle in front of the tires. This truck isn't designed as a rockcrawler, but it will see trails, and you never know what type of obstacle might pop up in front of it.

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Sources

Miller Electric
Appleton, WI 54912
920-734-9821
www.millerwelds.com
Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880
714-528-6957
http://www.currieenterprises.com
Poly Performance
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
805-783-2060
www.polyperformance.com
Kawasaki
Santa Ana, CA 92799
800-661-7433
http://www.kawasaki.com
Randy Ellis Design
Phoenix, AZ 85017
602-803-1122
www.randyellisdesign.com
Spidertrax
800-286-0898
www.spidertrax.com
LightForce
888.64.FORCE
www.lightforce.com
KC Customs
707.585.8233
www.kccustoms.com
Golling Chrysler Jeep Dodge
877.233.6493
www.gollingchryslerjeepdodge.com
Katzkin Leather Interiors
800-842-0590
www.katzkin.com
Desert Powder coating
602.253.7875
desertpowdercoating.com
Industrial Metal Supply co.
818.729.3333
www.imsmetals.com
Pro Comp Extreme Alloy
866-232-0665
www.procomptires.com

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