Sgt. Ainsley Smart, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, in the United States Army, doesn’t like driving a truck that looks, handles, and performs like everyone else’s. He dreamt of someday improving every segment of his ’06 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab since he purchased it, but with his commitment to protect our country and his multiple tours overseas, he could never find the time to spin the wrenches. Sgt. Smart started talking with our "New Guy" Max Matthewson on Truckinweb.com. They discussed his ambition to begin construction on his dream Ram and that instantly got the gears in Max’s head turning. The Truckin’ staff discussed the situation and we unanimously decided to provide some assistance to Sgt. Smart’s dream. We found out he was going to be on leave here in California for 14 days, so our window of opportunity was narrow, but with some help from manufacturers and a good game plan, we were confident we could makeover his Dodge during one of those days.

To allow the mighty Hemi to breathe better, a K&N Gen. II air intake kit would replace the restrictive factory system. The ride height would be lowered by installing a Spring Tech 3-4-inch drop. This kit is both friendly on the wallet and easy to install. To achieve traction and styling, a set of Mamba Wheels Type M4 wheels, sized 22x9.5-inch, would be wrapped with Toyo Proxes ST-II 285/40R22 rubber. This transformation was accomplished in one day.

Follow along as we install these performance goodies at Matix Motorsports and Becker Wheel and Tire Center.

Highs:

  • Improved ride height
  • Enhanced overall appearance and styling
  • Increased engine performance
  • Improved tire traction and suspension cornering
  • All bolt-on parts


Lows:
  • Needs to remove the tube steps for a more custom look

Editor’s Note:
We chose Sgt. Smart’s Dodge Ram completely randomly after he contacted us and all of the stars aligned with his leave time and our deadlines for us to help him. We would love to help out our military every month, but it’s just not feasible. All of us at Truckin’ say "Thank You" to you service men and women for your sacrifice and commitment to our country.

From The Driver Seat
The new Spring Tech lowering kit makes the Ram ride height four inches lower in the rear and three inches lower in the front creating a level stance. The ride became more aggressive with the upgraded Spring Tech gas-filled shocks, and shorter springs up front. By flipping the rear end atop the leaf-spring packs in the rear, it lowered the Ram’s overall center of gravity. The larger diameter Mamba Type M4 wheels mated with the Toyo Proxes ST-II 285/40R22 tires increased the lateral grip and straightaway traction. Under the hood, mating the K&N Gen 2 Air Intake system with the MagnaFlow exhaust (that he already had on the truck) improved the mighty Hemi’s horsepower and torque. Installing the system improved airflow and created a throaty performance sound along with more mpg.

Your Questions Answered
 
Time Spent Working: 8 Hours
Degree of difficulty Intermediate
Tools needed: Assorted metric sockets and wrenches (10mm, 15mm, 16mm, 21mm, and 24mm) ratchets, impact gun, medium straight blade screwdriver, screw jackstands, tiedowns, drill 516-inch drill bit, 38-inch 16 NC tap.
Parts Used
(Prices from manufactures and do not include tax, shipping or labor)
K&N Gen. 2 Air Intake Kit PN57-1533 $320.00
Mamba Type M4 22x9.5 wheels $305.00 ea.
Toyo Proxes ST-II 285/40R22 110V tires $275.00 ea.
Front Spring tech 3-inch drop coil PN252130 $229.00
Front spring tech drop shocks PNST-1300SL $69.90
Rear spring tech 4-inch flip kit PN302140 $189.95
Rear spring tech drop shocks PNST-2200LL PR $69.00
Total: $3,197.85

SOURCE
K&N Filters
1455 Citrus Street
Riverside
CA  92507
800-858-3333
www.knfilters.com
Mamba Wheels
1-800-735-2822
http://www.mambawheels.com/
Toyo Tires
800-442-8696
http://www.toyotires.com
Becker Tire Center
1281 N. Kramer Blvd.
Anaheim
CA  92806
1-714-630-2510
Matix Motorsports
3911 La Palma Ave.
Anaheim
CA  92807
1-714-632-7024
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