Perfection, patience, and pleasure are all words attributed to the world of truck customizing. Each of those three words, however, are easier said than done and in the case of Dennis Phillips' '02 Dodge Ram, without each of these phases of the truck customizing world his rig would not be the picture of beauty seen here. As an auto painter by trade, the Stonewall, Mississippi, resident is accustomed to using his patience everyday in order to create paint perfection, and later having moments of reflection resulting in pure automotive pleasure. When it came down to perfecting his own ride, patience was the key to achieving the proper show-look while maintaining everyday functionality.
Through the eyes of the custom-truck lover, the truck must either tuck rim and lay frame, or be so high in the air a forklift is needed to enter and depart. Dennis chose to go with the lowrider look as soon as he saw the new body style of the '02-and-later Rams. To achieve the lowered stance, the truck was driven to Ekstensive Metal Works, in Houston, Texas, where the entire suspension setup was prepared and installed. Up front, the nose is closer to the asphalt, thanks to a set of Firestone 'bags, and out back an Ekstensive Metal Works two-link suspension along with a set of Firestone 'bags keeps the rear low. Special wheelwells were made to tuck big wheels out back, and a center cross-section was raised over the bed floor to compensate for the airbags. A 15-gallon custom aluminum fuel tank was also installed to keep the scraping to a minimum. As an added bonus, the air suspension system is remote controlled for those moments when Dennis wants to draw some attention to his ride. With 14 inches of total drop, attention is not a problem. Suspension completed, it was now time to move on to rolling stock.
Whereas the stock wheels were nice-looking, no custom truck owner could leave the factory wheels on the truck. After a quick look through the Vision Wheels catalog, a set was chosen. Vision 165 wheels measuring 22x9.5 inches were mounted on each corner wrapped in Pirelli P265/35R22 rubberbands.
Ride height and wheels by themselves do not result in custom-truck perfection, and with a little more patience it was time to bring the truck to Dennis' home shop, Rolison's Paint and Body, of Quitman, Mississippi. Once the lowered truck drove into the bay, he proceeded to shave the antenna, fuel-filler door, and tailgate handle. Next up, Dennis bolted on a set of Xenon fender flares, a Reflexxion cowl-induction hood, a Sir Michaels roll pan, and a Gaylord's tonneau. The fuel filler was relocated to the inside of the bed, and the bed was then treated to the appropriate bed coating. Happy with the body mods, Dennis turned his attention to his skill with a paint gun.