"All I wanted to do was lift the truck 3 inches to give it a more 4X4 look." -Dennis Stavi
Custom trucks come in all different ways and levels of modifications. Some have a few simple bolt-ons, while others have gone so far away from factory that they only have small sections left of the original truck. These trucks all start from a basic design, and it is up to the particular owners to do what they want to them. After deciding that you are going to go custom, it takes confidence to know that what you are doing will work. If you talk to anyone on the factory side, they will advise you to modify nothing but a license plate frame. But, if you are mechanically inclined or a have a reputable shop that you can trust to build your custom, then you have nothing to worry about.
For Dennis Stavinoha, his custom truck started with a need for something to drive on a regular basis to his construction job. You see, he is the third-generation president of his family owned construction company, and the job requires him to haul loads all the time. Before this truck, he had a '98 Chevy Suburban with 380,000 miles on it, and it was pretty worn-out from loading junk in the back. Dennis is a DaimlerChrysler type of guy, and the only reason for buying the Suburban is because he needed four doors to drive people around. He knew that Dodge was coming out with a crew cab Ram and held off till the day he could own one. Once the local dealer cleared him for purchase, he came straight in for his new ride.
It was a new daily driven truck, and Dennis did not want to screw it up like his past vehicles. The reason the other vehicles went down is because he has a hobby of going hunting out in the woods. The way to get out there is nothing less than rough terrain, and with a stock-height vehicle, it does not have the clearances for off-roading. Dennis knew his truck had to go high to avoid damage, and he needed someone to get him there. The first shop that came to mind was All Out Off Road, because it was around the corner from his house in Richmond, Texas. Since it was so close by, he was able to see the nice vehicles they had already built. To do his homework on the subject, he spoke with the staff to see how they worked. By talking to them, Dennis gained trust and found out that they did quality work without cutting corners.
Dennis decided to make the leap from stock to shocking, by changing the height of his new ride. He wanted his truck to have a real 4x4 look and to be protected from getting beat up on rough trails. Originally, he thought a 3-inch lift would do the trick and bought a set of 37-inch tires with 17-inch American Racing wheels. With the paper tags still on the truck, he dropped it off at All Out and told them to lift it for him. The guys at the shop took some measurements and knew that the truck would need a 6-inch Skyjacker lift to get the truck over the huge tires. When they got the truck up and running, they soon noticed that the front tires still hit the bumper when turning, so 2-inch Daystar spacers were attached to the coils for clearance.
Because the truck was one of the first Dodge trucks All Out had done up, they got Dennis to take a few weekends to join them at the shows. Once he started seeing other lifted trucks, it made him think that with a little more added to his truck, he could be the one winning all the trophies. Dennis decided to push the limits of the Dodge by giving it a 3-inch body lift. What he did not realize was that it was harder to do a body lift on a diesel-powered truck because the turbo had tubing that ran to a frame-mounted intercooler. So, Dennis talked it over with the owner of the shop and asked him if there was any way to perform this task. They took a closer look and found out that the intercooler tubing was flexible enough to allow the body to be raised 3 inches from the frame.
This was just the start, because Dennis strived to go higher, and continued it by adding a set of airbags to raise the truck for show and to lower it for everyday driving. He followed that by going with the new set of 40-inch tires and 22-inch wheels. To collect even more points at the shows, the truck needed to have more detail and finish work than the factory paint. Dennis had South Coast Paint & Body paint a set of ghost flames to the sides of the body. Then, to the underside, they painted the entire undercarriage and had the suspension chromed to a shine.
In the end, Dennis had himself a new truck that he could drive to the great outdoors, work, and show. At the beginning, he had to go from a new stock truck to full-blown custom, but with straight axles up front, Dennis knew it would not be too tough to go high. Now that Dennis' truck was tested on the road to work, he decided to build one for his son. Secretly, Dennis purchased a truck like his, raised it up just the same, and gave it to his son for a high school graduation gift. Once the two trucks were done, it pushed the Stavinoha family total of Dodges to 28. Of course, Dennis and his son's Rams are the best of them all.
Dennis Stavinoha / Richmond, Texas
'03 Dodge Ram 3500
5.9L diesel with Cummins turbocharger / Bully Dog Triple Dog programmer / Banks Six-Gun programmer with Speed-Loader / Banks Bigmouth wastegate / Banks High-Ram intake / aFe air filter / Dr. Performance Stage 2 injectors / rebuilt transmission with Bully Dog torque converter / custom aluminum driveshaft, tested at 800 hp / Imco 4-inch dual aluminum exhaust / two Optima YellowTops
BY: Dennis Stavinoha & All Out Off Road of Richmond, Texas
FRONT & REAR: 22x11-inch American Racing ATX Trax
FRONT & REAR: 22x15.50x40 Nitto Mud Grappler
FRONT: 6-inch Skyjacker coils / 2-inch Daystar coil spacers / Skyjacker four-link / Pro Comp 8-inch shocks / Slam Specialties airbags / custom-made mounting brackets for airbags / Skyjacker steering stabilizers
REAR: Skyjacker 7-inch blocks / custom-made track bars / 8-inch Pro Comp shocks / Slam Specialties airbags / custom-made mounting brackets for airbags
ACCESSORIES: GC 450-series valves / Air Zenith compressor / 10-gallon air tank / nitrogen bottle
CHASSIS: 3-1/2-inch Performance Accessories body lift
BY: All Out Off Road
Ram Air Inc. hood / Xenon fender flares / mirrors and door handles painted to match / taillights smoked out / Infab steps / Pace Edwards roll-top tonneau cover
BY: All Out Off Road
Factory black with House of Kolor Brandy Wine ghost flames
BY: South Coast Paint & Body of Katy, Texas
Factory installed leather seats / factory wood grain dash / Auto Meter pillar pod with gauges
BY: All Out Off Road
Kenwood KVT-717 flip-out DVD head unit / Infinity 6x9-inch speakers in the front doors / Infinity 6x6-inch speakers in the rear doors / Infinity tweeters / 6-inch Provision monitors on the back of the headrest
BY: South Coast Paint & Body
All Out Off Road and South Coast Paint & Body