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About a year ago Nader Assemi walked down endless aisles of truck shows searching in vein for something other than a Bow Tie that was on the ground. It didnt take long to realize the serious lack of fullsize Dodge trucks on the scene, and ideas started to formulate. What everyone wants is something a little different and out of the mainstream. With the proliferation of Chevys and Fords on the show circuit, Nader decided a Dodge would be his best bet. The traditional work truck and mainstay of Midwest farms was chosen as the sacrificial lamba 96 Dodge Ram Club Cab.
Some would say that the Dodge powerplant has the most potential to produce serious horsepower, and is also the most pricey to modify. Nader needed speed while staying within emissions limits and knew that a blower was the only way to go. The stock 5.9L V-8 was given beastly performance with Paxtons SN200 blower system. H & H Performance of Clovis, California, took care of all the details to get the full potential out of the Dodge driveline. A Mallory fuel pump was slapped on to squirt the needed fuel through stock injectors. Incoming air is filtered through a K&N Filtercan and pumped out via Mesa headers. Magnaflow 3-inch pipes connect the headers to a full Mesa after-cat exhaust system and exit at the stock location. To juice up combustion, a Jacobs Ultra Team capacitive discharge spark box was tied into the factory computer. Power is transferred to a Mopar Performance Posi rearend linked to 3.90 ring-and-pinion. When the engine work was done, the handful of parts yielded 375 hp at the crank and 290 at the rear wheels.
Getting that much power to the rear on a stock suspension setup would be no challenge. However the suspension wasnt stock for long. To get the behemoth to lie flat on its frame, Nadar went to Proto-fab and enlisted the services of Ray Winkle. The front stock was lowered 2 inches with a set of Belltech spindles and another 7 inches from 3,200-pound airbags. The total travel length of 9 inches is dampened using Belltech Nitro Active shocks. The rear dynamics were taken care of with a custom fabricated ladder-bar setup. For stability, the ladder bars were triangulated and then tied into airbags and shocks. Following the ladder bars came a custom fuel cell made to accommodate the suspension mods. To take the lowered stance, beefy performance, and modified rearend suspension, the crossmember was reinforced. The stout suspension package was completed with Boyd Coddington 20-inch Blaster series rims wrapped in BFG G-force 275 series tires. For show, Nader had skidplates installed under the framerails to scrape with the best of them. We must say, a fullsize Ram throwing sparks at 60 mph is pretty cool.
The appearance had to stay simple. Although the truck is not a true sleeper package, one would never guess how much power it has based on its exterior appearance. Oddly enough, the General Motors autobody shop in Fresno, California, did all the bodywork. The rear bumper was replaced with a California Customs roll pan. The front was cleaned up thanks to shaving the antenna and adding a smoothie bumper and a Street Scenes speed-grille. Dino Genito of Clovis, California, sprayed the PPG Jet Black paint and sanded it to be as smooth as the proverbial babys butt. After all was said and done, 10 months and nearly $30,000 had passed. The trucks goal was definitely reached
to stand out.