Spending sleepless nights worrying about his over-the-top, completely-custom show car, Adam Rhodes, of Williamstown, New Jersey, finally had enough. Adam was quick to tell us, "This truck wasn't built to be a showstopper. It's a daily driver that I can use to pick up supplies at Home Depot, haul a quad or motorcycle, tow a trailer or cruise the strip and go to a show in it." We've never seen a laid-out Dodge on 24s at our local Home Depot, but we're sure he receives plenty of on-lookers as he throws lumber in the bed. Driving it every day, it took roughly 2 years to get his '04 Dodge just the way he wanted it and now that he can cruise just inches off the ground, the Ram's odometer isn't slowing down.
Buying the truck in September of '05, Adam wasted little time getting the Ram on the New Jersey tarmac. Adam teamed up with Matt Gyles, of Haggard Fabrication, in Newfield, where they installed 2-inch McGaughy's drop spindles, raised the upper A-arm mounts, Z'd the frame, lowered the motor mounts and then ordered a set of Michigan Metal Works control arms to narrow the front end. On went Slam Specialties RE7 airbags and Fox 2.0 shocks for a low and smooth ride, which is important when the front is stuffed with 24-inch Rozzi Switch wheels wrapped in 275/30R24 Sumitomo tires. Kyle Dimetrof built front tubs for the engine bay to keep things uncluttered. Out back, the frame was cut and a 'bag- over-axle bridge notch welded in, a parallel four-link with a Panhard bar installed, and RE8 airbags bolted into place. A total of three 3-gallon air tanks were hidden in order to keep the install clean and stealthy, and for quick airbag fill-up or deflation, two Air Zenith compressors are plumbed with 1/2-inch airline and valves. Kyle Dimetrof handled the rear suspension, making sure it was heavy-duty enough to tow Adam's toys with no problems. Rozzi 24-inch wheels were once again bolted up, only this time the color-matched wheels were wrapped in larger 295/35R24 Sumitomo tires. Haggard Fabrication shortened the rearend 3 inches on each side, stuffed the Chrysler 9 1/4-inch pumpkin with Motive 4.56 gears, and filled the axle tubes with Moser axles. Haggard also built an aluminum fuel cell that was bolted into the rear framerails to keep the Hemi supplied with petrol. Speaking of which, Adam wanted a dependable powerplant but couldn't leave his V-8 stock.
Under the Ram's hood lies a 5.7L Hemi outfitted with a modified AEM air intake, Mopar camshaft and valve springs from a 6.1L SRT-8, Zirgo electric fan, Superchips tuner, and Adam also relocated the throttle-body to clear the cowl. Taylor wires, a 180-degree thermostat, and a custom Y-pipe exhaust with a Magnaflow muffler round out the power goodies. Moving to the body, Adam kept things simple, after all it is a driver.
Mark Edmeads, of Blue Collar Customs, in West Berlin, New Jersey, was recruited to color match the door handles, wiper cowl, and mirrors. Mark also shaved the tailgate handle and relocated it to the inside of the tailgate after Adam fabricated sheetmetal rear wheel tubs, bed floor, and walls. Once everything was sprayed Chrysler charcoal, the grille shell was fitted with an SL model honeycomb insert and black headlights were installed. Calling the Ram's exterior handled, Adam switched his focus to the interior where comfort and functionality were key.
Adam chose to bring the red wheel and charcoal body color theme inside as Carl Miller, of Vernon, New Jersey, reworked the factory seats in red Allante vinyl. The headliner and visors were wrapped in matching red Allante and Adam dyed the dash and door panels for a full color swap. An SRT-10 A-pillar is filled with a trans temp gauge and a dual pod housing, complete with air pressure gauges was fitted to the steering column. Cliff Designs components were installed in the factory locations and complete the vibrant interior.
Doing much of the work himself and leaving the rest to good friends, Adam has himself a respectable custom that is equally at home on the highway as it is in a truck show winner's circle. Keeping things simple, while making the truck as low as possible, this truck is a great example of having fun while doing what you love. Adam was quick to thank his wife Sarah for all of her support, everyone who helped out on the build, and his fellow Negative Camber club members.