When John Phillips took early delivery of his '03 Dodge Hemi hauler, the initial intention was to build a flawless SEMA Show project vehicle featuring many new aftermarket components for the new 5.7L Hemi engine. After the word got out that Phillips, who resides in Granite City, Illinois, had purchased the new Hemi-powered screamer, aftermarket companies in the area began to inquire about a possible quick turnaround loan to obtain engine and other fitment measurements for prototyped new performance components. The truck had been absent for seven months and hadn't had any work done on it for SEMA. Would you believe Phillips regained possession of his truck with only four days left until the roll-in date for SEMA?
Once the truck was returned, it was an instant thrash to make the SEMA deadline. The front suspension received Air Ride Technologies pneumatic 'bags and hardware with Air Ride nitrogen shocks. The rear suspension was anchored with an Air Ride four-link pivotal latitude system and a Panhard bar, which eliminates any lateral movement, and when combined with Air Ride pneumatic 'bags, it contributes to the rear suspension agility. The pneumatic suspension system is activated with the flip of a switch. To decelerate the mighty Hemi power, a pair of U.S. Brakes with 15-inch rotors and massive four-puck calipers was bolted in up front. A spinning set of Colorado Customs 22x9-inch polished billet aluminum spools are wrapped with P305/45R22 Toyo rubber.
The '03 345ci Hemi 5.7L engine is a redesign of the earlier Hemi engines of decades ago. These were deep-skirted cast-iron blocks with cross-bolt main bearing caps and cylinders with a 3.93-inch-diameter bore and 3.58-inch stroke. Lighter aluminum alloy cylinder heads use a unique hemispherical dome; the pushrod design uses 16 valves, hydraulic lifters, and roller rockers. A sequential multi-port, electronic fuel-injection system delivers fuel to hemispherical combustion chambers that develop a 9.6:1 compression ratio. The Hemi creates 345 hp at 5,400 rpm and 375 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. At 5,800 rpm, the rev limiter allows for maximum peak engine performance but attains its potential energy. As it enters the ATI ProCharger inter-cooled Hemi supercharger, an AIRAID intake system increases the airflow velocity with fewer restrictions, creating 7 pounds of boost.
An NX system with a 100 shot of nitrous oxide makes for instant neck-snapping excitement. On the other end of the horsepower equation, a set of ceramic-coated Dynatech long-tube headers link up to the MBRP 3-inch exhaust tube voiding the spent gases. For a more responsive bottom-end and quicker shift points, a stock Dana rearend is set up with Richmond 4.10 gears.
Check out this Hemi with an Air Grabber hood. It was offered as optional equipment on the
The exterior received a performance makeover with a Street Scene front aero bumper sporting a lower speed grille opening to force feed the ProCharger intercooler, flanked by a pair of round crystalline auxiliary driving lights. A rear Pro-Finish/Pro-Glass roll pan creates the smoothed following edge. A Xenon fender lip enhancement creates more wheelwell flare, contributing to the appearance of the Hemi Ram. Check out the brainchild of Terry DeLong of Pro-Finish/Pro-Glass -- a completely functional custom Air Grabber induction hood that feeds the ProCharger supercharger. As the mighty Hemi's throttle increases, it actuates the Air Grabber air-intake scoop and channels cool air directly into the AIRAID intake system. A Leer tonneau encases the cushy BedRug bedliner, protecting and securing it from the elements, as well as contributing to the Ram's gas mileage.
Four massive ground-pounding Xtant 12-inch subwoofers divide the cab interior. They are hi
Opening the doors exposed us to the cab's audio sound chamber tuned with a Pioneer 6500 DVD head unit. The rocking concert horsepower is created by an Xtant X604 amp, which powers the MTX Thunder 8000 speakers. The heavy-hitting power comes from two Xtant 1001 amplifiers that drive four Xtant 12-inch subwoofers mounted to an Elite Customs custom-built enclosure, producing the thunderous boom of the beat. The stock bucket seats were removed and reupholstered with four 100 percent leather two-tone black Katzkin Racing seats with silver inserts. The seat guts were built up with lateral supports to help keep the occupants in their natural seating positions while maneuvering those high lateral G corners. A custom-built center console from Pro-Finish/Pro-Glass houses the switches for the NX bottle heater, remote door openers, Air Ride suspension, and Air Grabber hood.
The ironic thing about this Hemi hauler is it was initially to be a simple SEMA project, but once people found out it was one of the only ones in existence during pre-sale in '03, every aftermarket company around came knocking at the door for prototype fitment measurements. An impossible task was performed by the STL 35 Club. Would you believe they were responsible for the four-day, 24/7 thrash that enabled this Hemi hauler project? The paint wasn't even dry when it rolled into the SEMA Show. This four-day miracle accomplished its mission and achieved the ultimate in custom perfection.
The comfort zone features black and silver Katzkin leather bucket seats -- both front and
The Hemi hauler rolls on a set of polished billet aluminum 22x9-inch five-spoke Colorado C
An AIRAID system enhances air intake volume, buffeting, and velocity, while micro-filterin
Instant neck-snapping horsepower in a bottle, an NX system delivers nitrous oxide to the e