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Dodge Ram 1500 With No Lift and 38.5s Wheels Rausch Creek

Zach Zeran proudly thrashes his (mostly) stock half-ton in the rocks and mud.

Jered KorfhageAuthor, Photography

When asked about his Dodge Ram 1500, Zach Zeran told us it has "plenty of oil leaks and very little horsepower." We laughed, he laughed, and then we watched him attack obstacles within Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, with reckless abandon.

Zach explained how the 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 had been owned by both his girlfriend and before that, her father. Now it's his, and with Zach's Jeep project sitting on jack stands, he needed something to wheel—and the Ram's bolt pattern just happened to match that of his Jeep.

"So, the cutting began," said Zach, because those 38.5-inch Super Swampers weren't about to fit in the wheelwells with the stock suspension. After surgically removing most of the rot, Zach deemed the Dodge Ram 1500 ready for the hardest trails of the East, as well as commuting chores in between the off-highway romps. He reminded us the Ram gets driven to each wheeling destination, and back.

Engine
Under the hood of Zach's Dodge Ram 1500 is the 5.2L Magnum proudly showing 250,000 miles on the clock and sporting leaky manifolds. His 46RE four-speed auto is exactly as it came on the truck from the factory and was "never rebuilt and definitely hurting."

Can I Fit 38.5s on a Stock Dodge Ram 1500?
Yes, all you gotta do is cut. The shocks, leaves, links, and coils you see here are all stock.

Wheels and Tires
Zach's Super Swampers measure 38.5x14.50R15 and are clamped to a set of 15x9 TrailReady beadlocks.

Axles
From the factory, the 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 was equipped with a Dana 44 frontend, Chrysler 9.75 rear axle, and both diffs held 3.55:1 gears. "The rear kinda acts like a limited-slip if you left-foot-brake it," is how Zach described his traction-adding devices.

Why This Ram?
Not only do we love seeing fullsize trucks turning mammoth meats, we enjoy watching drivers with no-fear attitudes when it comes to pointing their machines at obstacles. Zach took what could have been another deposit into the scrapyard and turned it into a rock-crunching trail truck.