2013 6.7L Cummins Project Part 2

Bushwacker Flares and Lund Roll-up Cover

This 2013 Ram Cummins project started off in January 2016 with updated engine and transmission tuning from Gorilla Performance of Rexburg, ID.  Now six month’s into ownership, the owner was extremely pleased to report a modest 2-mpg increase in mileage to go along with the extra 128 hp the truck showed on the dyno after the installation of the custom EFI Live GDP tuning package. While a mileage and power increase is something every owner can be happy with, to most, performance isn’t the only thing that matters. It’s no secret that a truck owner can take extreme pride in his ride, and for good reason.

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Who can justify the $30,000-plus you’ll spend on a newer truck if you’re just going to take it out and beat it up, bouncing it off guardrails and backing it into garbage dumpsters. There’s no shame in wanting to set your truck apart from the rest of the herd, so why drive something that looks like every other truck on the block? With such a vast offering of cosmetic upgrades on the market, you really can turn any truck into something unique that fits your specific style. This particular build is going more for the sleek street truck look with some 20-inch black machined wheels, maybe a slightly lower stance from lowered suspension and future plans of replacing the chrome bumpers and grille with paint-matched pieces. The addition of Bushwacker OE style flares and a Lund roll-up tonneau cover will be the first exterior upgrades made.

Bushwacker Flares

The 2010-2016 4th Generation Ram trucks have a very bold and aggressive look with sharper corners and more defined lines when compared to the earlier models, but like the 2003-2009 model years, the body lines around the fender opening are extremely flat and non-dimensional; they also offer very little protection when running anything bigger than stock tires. To help control some of the road debris and offer a little extra contour, a set of Bushwacker flares can really add a stylish look with purpose. Made from a specially formulated Dura-Flex 2000 material, they offer a durability and flexibility that will withstand on-and off-road abuse. The OE style flares chosen for this build offer a sleek factory look. But depending on your particular build and goals, the Extend-a-Fender, Pocket, or Max Coverage flares offered for the 2010-2016 Ram trucks can give a bold aggressive look along with an additional 3.5-inches of tire coverage if needed. With a no-drill installation, Bushwacker flares install in minutes and look great in their standard matte black color on most trucks. For those looking for a more subtle look, the flares can also be painted to match the factory body color, or in an accent color to really help set the truck apart from your neighbors. Best of all, they come back with a no warp, no crack, lifetime warranty.

The flares arrived in a nice matte black finish, but for this build, it was decided paint matching would offer the best overall look. Elite Customs of West Haven, Utah, was called upon to paint and clear the flares before the rubber gasket was installed along the edge to help reduce rubbing of the paint on the factory fenders.

– The next step to the flare install was to remove the factory plastic shields located on the back side of each fender wheel, both front and rear. These are held in place with just a few small screws: no adhesive to worry about.

Using the supplied hardware, the new OE flares could be installed on the truck. The flares will line up with factory mounting holes already found in the truck’s fenders. They are there holding the factory wheel well liner and splash guards. Some stock hardware will need to be removed, but the flares hardware will replace it, no drilling required.

With the truck all cleaned up, you can see what a nice addition the flares make to the truck. While the OE replacement flares don’t add a lot of additional tire coverage, they definitely make the overall look of the truck improve due to the more defined lines around the fenders.

Inside the fenders, you can see how easily the Bushwacker flares are to install, just a few small screws in factory mounting locations is all it takes.

The OE Style flares wrap clear down to the bottom of the fenders offering smooth clean lines that really aid in the look of the truck; it also adds some additional protection from road debris.

The front flares come in two pieces that have to be assembled before installed on the truck. By doing so, the flare can continue over the front bumper to offer the best look and fitment. Paint matching the flares really was the right choice for this particular build, but a lot of trucks can get by with the smooth classic look of the matte black flares.

Lund Genesis Elite Roll-Up

The right tonneau cover on your truck can really help add to the functionality and usefulness of your truck, but also with the overall look. With so many choices out there for interior bed protection, it can be tough narrowing it down. But for this particular truck, some heavy towing will be done on occasion, and access to the in-bed gooseneck hitch is required, so this ruled out the use of a hard fiberglass bed cover. Living in a cold wintery climate that sees rough snowy winters with wet rainy springtime months, having the protection for gear getting hauled around in the bed while keeping complete bed access is a must, so Lund Industries was called upon for their latest rendition of their soft roll-up tonneau covers. The Genesis Elite Roll-up has a sleek low-profile fit that adds functionality and a possible aerodynamic advantage to help with fuel economy. With a twill fabric finish that not only looks great, but is virtually maintenance free as dirt and debris will just wipe away. The fabric requires no special cleaners and will always look like new after a quick rinse with water and an air dry. The heavy duty Velcro side sealing system and tension adjustments ensure complete protection from outside moisture, while making it a simple one handed job to roll it up to the front of the bed. The simple no-drill installation can be completed with basic hand tools in your driveway in less than thirty minutes, making this an even easier decision.

To protect gear hauled around inside the bed from the outside elements, a Lund Genesis Elite roll-up tonneau cover was ordered up. The Genesis Elite offers super easy install with no drilling required, its low profile side rails keeps a sleek look while offering complete bed protection below.

The custom aluminum brackets will clamp into place along the inside of the bed rails. The unique design of these brackets will keep them clamped tight without worry of them working loose or moving around. They also help make this a possible one person install with a little patience.

Before installing the new brackets and aluminum side rails, some alcohol cleaning wipes are used to be sure any dirt and debris is wiped away from the inner bed rail. This particular truck has the factory plastic bed caps, but the Genesis Elite cover has been designed to work with or without bed caps, so no worries there.

Holding the angled side rails in place, the aluminum brackets can be placed around it and tightened down to clamp the rail to the truck. Notice the V-notch within the bracket that locates inside the groove of the side rail. This helps keep a secure and tight fit.

On the front of the tonneau cover, two small bolts will need to be slid into place. These bolts will go down through a small hole on the front of each side rail. This is all that is used to hold the actual tonneau cover in place. Securing it to the side rails will keep it in position and tight on the truck bed.

The latch mechanism found on the back of each side rail is super easy to use and makes closing the bed cover and keeping it tight, as simple as listening for the click. Best of all, due to this latch design, the tonneau cover will not be able to be opened unless the tailgate is let down, which adds a little sense of security to the interior bed storage.

Once the Genesis Elite cover was fully installed, you can see what a sleek slim profile it offers. The angled edges almost fade right into the bed caps making it appear to be OEM equipment. The special twill weave material will keep water and moisture out of the bed area and offer years of great looks, as it’s resistant to mildew and UV rays.

With some of the cosmetic side of things now taken care of and a little performance tuning cranking out a little more pep, this Ram is definitely becoming something more than just every other guy’s truck. A little sportier look, and a little peppier throttle is something even the already potent 6.7L Cummins could stand to have. The next part of the build will take the performance side of things to an all-new realm with the addition of a Black Market Performance turbo system featuring High Tech Turbo’s newest S400 turbocharger and an AFE Power intercooler and pipe kit. Whoever said 450 hp was enough for a daily driver never got behind the wheel of a 500-plus horsepower truck. This ride is well on its way, and with the right combination of parts, the 2013-2016 Ram will have no problem keeping up with the rest of the stable, whether it is towing that load over the 7-percent grade or at the track blasting down the quarter mile. DW

SOURCES:
Bushwacker Inc
800.234.8920
Bushwacker.com

Lund International
LundInternational.com
800.241.7219