High payload capacity. That's the raison d'tre for a dualie and a useful quality for a vehicle such as this. It's not that Kelly Bise's '03 Dodge Ram dualie does heavy-duty hauling of wood or pulling boats. No, this truck has to carry a load of style and imagination with determination and flash. And it does its job well.
Originally, this truck was supposed to be finished and ready for paint in six weeks-just in time for Texas Heat Wave last year. But, the schedule was shortened to about a month, which forced most of the parties involved to work on the truck simultaneously. Kingpin Kustomz in Pearland, Texas, worked on much of the project,with exceptions made for Chris Sandoval at Down South Artworx in Houston, who painted the interior of the truck; Kelly Brown and Matt Cechinni at K&S Customs in Houston, who both laid on the exterior paints; H&H Auto Trim in Houston, which upholstered the seats; Mark Fehrle and Charles Rodgers at Slaughter House in Tomball, Texas, who both worked on the suspension; and DI Performance in Houston, which worked on the engine. Luckily, they all finished the job in time for the truck to drop jaws at the show.
Let's take a look at the end result. Starting from the front, there is a Dima grille unlike any you are likely to see. It looks like it was assaulted by an arrangement of chrome-handled throwing knives. A black-painted insert cuts the chrome down a bit on the front bumper. The rear bumper was replaced by a steel Sir Michaels roll pan, and you might see a Hidden Hitch back there, too, if you squint really hard. Also, the door handles were shaved. The coolest part, however, is the paint, which is PPG Black and House of Kolor Organic Green, Candy Red, Cobalt Blue, and Silver. The black body color was ripped away on the hood to reveal a checkered flag pattern, outlined in lightning. Red, blue, and green tribal graphics were rendered boldly, but sparingly, and trace across the rest of the truck. The motif continues along the doorjambs, underneath the hood, on the engine air intake and other engine components, and on the inner fenders. All of this paintwork took more than 1,000 hours of airbrush time.
The list of suspension mods made to this truck is long. Essentially, the stock front coils were cut off, and the frame was boxed. Stock upper control arm mounts were replaced by fabbed ones 5 inches higher than stock. One-off lower control arms use flipped lower ball joints built by Mark Fehrle, and the stock spindles were modified to accommodate the change. Gabriel front shocks helped to even out the rough spots on the road. In the rear, the hangers were relocated to the underside of the frame. A heavy-duty two-link was custom-built, and a diagonal link was used to keep the rear centered. Then, the rear axle was narrowed 9 inches. The truck was tubbed up front and step-notched in the rear, and then 'bagged with Firestones. Interestingly, the rear upper 'bag mounts were fashioned with chromed spikes, skulls, and tubing that swirl visibly from the Line-X bed, complemented by chromed shocks and a differential cover which completed the effect. Slaughter House also built a tranny crossmember, raised the gas tank 2-1/2 inches, put in two Thomas 337 air compressors, a 7-gallon air tank, four GC 450 valves, a 1/2-inch polished aluminum air line, a Firestone dual-needle gauge, and a smoothed and radiused bed floor with wheel tubs. Alcoa 24-1/2-inch wheels were trimmed by Dima to 24 inches and then wrapped by Cooper Zeon XST tires.
The chrome-studded grille looks dangerously textured.
The factory 5.9L diesel isn't stock anymore. Now, it creates 935 lb-ft of torque!
The 'glassed interior is highly fabbed and colored to match the truck's exterior paint sch
The engine is the factory 5.9L I-6 turbodiesel. However, it was modified by an ATS chromed intake manifold, exhaust system, torque converter, and valvebody. Bully Dog's Triple Dog programmer and Torque Dog pump up more power. The Advanced Flow Engineering (aFe) cold-air intake keeps the engine breathing strong. The result? About 505 hp and 935 lb-ft! And all the while, A-pillar gauges keep the driver informed of the insanity going on underneath the hood.
Wow, so the truck looks cool from the outside, lies lower, and goes faster. But, what about the massive amount of fabrication inside of the cab? Kingpin built the interior to reflect the overall style of the exterior, much like a funhouse mirror. Take a look at the dash. It was gutted and modified to make room for the spiky center piece and a new center console that resembles a liquid-black thundercloud. The HVAC ducts were moved, and the controls were relocated to the ceiling-more on where later. The door and lock controls and Kicker KQ5 EQ/preamp were put into the center console, and a 10.4-inch monitor and Kicker SXRC amplifier controller were installed into the center of the dash. And the whole thing was painted glossy black. Kingpin's audio team packed half of all the A/V equipment into the truck's four door panels. This includes a Kicker SX400.2 amplifier, a set of Kicker RS 6-1/2-inch component speakers, and 10.4-inch monitor into each door. Then, the painter prepped the door panels and painted them with a graphic that matches the body.
The bucket seats in the rear of the cab are what remain of the factory bench, thanks to some custom work using the original brackets. The seats were lined in black suede with alligator skin inserts, much like their counterparts in the front. But really, the seats aren't what grab your attention: it's the row of 'woofers and amps that run along the roof and between the two seats, all menacing overhead like a sonic anaconda. Three Kicker 12-inch CompVR subwoofers, a Kicker XS400.2 amp, and the A/C controls were installed into a joined three-section, black-painted, fiberglass, foam, purple fleece, and MDF console that runs from the back of the center console to above the front row of seats. Meanwhile, three Kinetic Cap Killers and Optima batteries keep the electrical supply primed and ready.
So, that was it for the truck, but the story doesn't end there, as the truncated, truck-ish companion to our pickup is shown in the sidebar. That would be the golf cart that we nick-named Mini Me.
So, what was done to this old-man electrical mobility apparatus? The notes on this are dense and extensive. Can we just say a lot was done? 'Nuff said? Nah. So here we go. The crew at Kingpin Kustoms started with an '04 E-Z-Go golf cart and altered it to look like the dualie's Mini Me. Pretty much everything is custom on this-the frame, body, bed, and so on. To begin, a Ram front clip was added, then a billet grille, and it was crowned by a cut Dodge hood that was perforated by a fiberglass scoop. All of these modifications make no mistake about their brand relationship. And, the dual wheels shielded by the wide fenders scream "dualie" all the way. Also, the wheel hubs were taken from a Kenworth 18-wheeler. There is no roof on the, uh...cab, and yes, the cart does lay out. The body, interior, seats, wheel style, everything mimics the golf cart's bigger sibling.