After enjoying some quality seat time in the new '09 Dodge Ram during our Truck of the Year contest, we just had to get our hands on one to make it look and perform even better. Starting with a loaded Laramie Ram, we had the perfect truck for an awesome daily driver, especially when the 390hp Hemi box was checked on the invoice. Our only dilemma was time. When we received our '09 Ram, parts were scarce and companies were still designing and building parts for Dodge's latest and greatest. Fortunately, several manufacturers were able to ship us their first off-the-shelf components for the Ram.

Ground Force was sourced for its new 2/4 lowering kit featuring drop coil springs, tuned shocks, and new bumpstops. Whereas the 20-inch factory wheels looked nice, nothing equals a drop kit matched with a big wheel and tire combo. We picked up the phone and ordered a set of 24-inch Giovanna Berlin wheels in matte black with Koko Kuture bezels. With the '09 Ram having a new coil spring suspension with increased handling, we wanted to get the most out it with a performance tire. Toyo Tires answered that call with its new Proxes ST II tires sized 295/35R24. Helping to get even more power from the already-stout Hemi is a high-flow intake system from Airaid and a hot-rod sounding exhaust system from MagnaFlow. The combination of more air in and out of the 5.7L Hemi paid dividends on throttle response, overall power, and increased MPG.

It's hard to turn the wrenches and take the photos at the same time, which is why we drove to The Custom Truck Shop, located in San Dimas, California, for the install. Having a 10-year relationship with the crew at The Custom Truck Shop ensured we would have knowledgeable and friendly service. Needing only six hours to transform the new Ram, the crew had our Dodge rolling in style fast. Check out how easily we modified the '09 Ram and turned it into a legitimate show truck driver.

Editor's Note:
We did not mention the other extensive modifications our Ram underwent during the same time as our Fantastic Four. For the record, the Dodge wasn't custom painted, but rather the factory plastic and chrome pieces were painted body color by L&G Enterprises, also located in San Dimas. For more info, check out landgenterprises.com.

From the Driver Seat
This install was one of the easiest Fantastic Four tech stories we've done. Thanks to the new coil suspension on the Ram, lowering one is fast and the overall look was spot-on. Ground Force did its homework with this kit and we would recommend it. Our Ram handles great and the ride wasn't negatively affected. Our only trade-off was difficulty getting the new '09 Ram alignment specs perfectly straightened out. The Giovanna wheel and Toyo Tire combo is one that we're constantly receiving compliments on. The look really sets the truck off and the 295/35R24 is the perfect size for the drop kit. Rain traction was drastically improved with the new Proxes ST II. Airaid has some of the best instructions for an intake air system and this kit went on easily, though the filter itself did take some convincing. MagnaFlow may want to come out with a new box that has a "scratch and hear" option, because if you hear our Hemi's rumble, the sound can be addicting. Special thanks to The Custom Truck Shop for getting us in and out with zero problems. Got a new Ram? Want it to look and perform on a whole new level? Give these companies a call and tell them we sent you.

Your Questions Answered

Time Spent Working: 6 hours
Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate (air tools sure speed things up)

Tools Needed:
Air impact, metric sockets, metric wrenches, 5/16-inch nut driver, hydraulic jack, jackstands

Parts Used:
-Airaid air intake for '03-'09 Ram 300-192 (price from autoanything.com) $219.95
-Giovanna Wheels 24x10-inch Berlin in matte black with Koko Kuture bezels (price from superbuytires.com) $3,332.00
-Ground Force 2/4-inch lowering kit 9863 (price from autoanything.com) $799.99
-MagnaFlow performance dual exhaust system 16869 $875.00 (est.)
-Toyo Tire Proxes ST-II 295/35R24 (price from buywheelstoday.com) $1,399.96

Total cost: $6,626.90
(price does not include tax or installation)

SOURCE
AIRAID
Scottsdale
AZ
800-498-6951
www.airaid.com
L&G Enterprises
882 W. Cienega Ave.
San Dimas
CA  91773
landgenterprises.com
Custom Truck Shop
846 W. Cienega Ave.
San Dimas
CA  91773
customtruckshop.com
Leer
800-967-5337
Dodge Magnaflow
Giovanna Wheels
wtwcorp.com
Toyo Tires
6261 Katella Avenue, Suite 2B
Cypress
CA  90630
8-00/-678-3250
www.toyo.com
Ground Force
724-430-2068
groundforce.com
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