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A COLLEGE STUDENT BUILDS AN 800-HP ‘17 RAM SHOW-STOPPER

If you would have told me this is where I would be, and this is what I’d own a few years ago, I never would have believed you,” said Cameron Guernsey, of Jamestown, Indiana. You see, Cameron was a full-time student at Purdue University at the time, and trucks were just sort of a hobby. In his off time, however, Cameron got a shop and started fooling around with a paint gun. He started by paint matching his ‘10 Dodge, which thanks to social media, got him some messages and phone calls. Pretty soon trucks started rolling in, including an important customer in Chase Fleece from Fleece Performance, who trusted Cameron with modifying his own personal driver.

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At this point, Cameron said he was working until 3 or 4 a.m., then driving an hour to classes. With his shop Knockout Kustomz on the upswing, Cameron decided to go full time and start his own business. “I saw a SEMA-style custom at a Daytona Truck meet, and caught the fever,” said Cameron.

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The 6.7L Cummins in Cameron’s Ram has minimal modifications to the engine itself. Other than a set of ARP head studs, the bottom end is basically stock despite its 800-horsepower potential

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The passenger’s side battery got the heave ho so that it could be replaced by air flow instead. A large S&B air filter is the first step in the custom Fleece Performance turbo setup.

After a trip to the SEMA show in Las Vegas in 2016, he knew what direction he wanted to take, and started in earnest on the just-bought ‘17 Ram 2500 you see on these pages.

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An extremely responsive 62mm Borgwarner turbocharger was fitted to the Steed Speed exhaust manifold, which works in conjunction with a 72mm (also from Borgwarner) to cram 65 psi of boost into the Cummins engine.

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Cameron’s Ram still uses the factory intercooler, but he did improve air flow into the engine by replacing the factory intake horn with a high-flow unit from Glacier Diesel Performance

Cameron started out with two unique goals. “Most of the show trucks I saw in Vegas were all show and no go,” said Cameron. His good friends at Fleece Performance weren’t about to let that happen, however, so big power was a must. Another thing that set Cameron apart was that he wasn’t afraid to shift his own gears, and he ordered his truck with a G56 six-speed manual transmission.

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Electrical connections in the engine compartment were cleaned up with Unique Performances’ The Grid, which allows wires to be run to its distribution block rather than the battery.

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As long as he doesn’t abuse it, the G56 manual transmission should be able to handle the Cummins engine’s big torque. The clutch was a different matter, and the factory version was replaced with a triple-disc from Valair

Starting with a stock truck, Cameron went into a three-week frenzy of sleepless nights that turned into a full build. With the help of Fleece Performance, the horsepower of the 6.7L Cummins was nearly tripled thanks to a compound turbo setup, stroker CP3 pump, and custom tuning. At 65 psi of boost and an estimated 800 rear-wheel horsepower, the stock clutch was short lived, and was replaced with a Valair triple-disc that could handle the immense torque.

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With an adjusted ride height comes big wheels and even bigger tires. To get the stance right, Cameron fitted his Ram with 26×16-inch American Force wheels and aggressive 40-inch Country Hunter tires from Fury Offroad

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With all the work Cameron spent on painting every inch of his truck’s front and rear suspension setups, you can bet it won’t go unnoticed. He even installed these cool fenderwell lights, that illuminate the underside of the truck at night.

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Since Cameron got his start by using a paint gun, everything on his ‘17 has been color-matched, including the Explicit grille insert gracing the front of the truck

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The stunning silver-painted axles in Cameron’s Ram have been tted with 4.56 gears. With 40-inch tires, the deeper gear ratio helps get the truck moving, and reduces the rpm drop between shifts

Power was important, but the truck still needed to have the look at feel of a high-end show build. A Full Throttle Suspensions 12-inch lift got the nod for the Mega Cab, which Cameron painted silver and blue to match the rest of the truck. The axles and steering were also meticulously painted, as was the extended front drive shaft and axles. The Ram’s fenderwells are Filled by 40-inch tires from Fury Offroad mounted on 26-inch Fallout FP8 wheels from American Force, and the front and back of the truck is complimented by an Explicit grille insert, and Street Scene rollpan.

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A big part of the build was the Full Throttle Suspension kit, which provides an impressive 12 inches of lift. In addition to new springs, the truck was also fitted with Fox 2.0 shocks that provide excellent dampening.

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Amp research steps replace the original side running boards, and offer a much cleaner look, along with great access when climbing into the big diesel.

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A 165-gph 4G lift pump from AirDog keeps the Cummins fed with fuel, which is good, since Cameron also incorporated a 10mm PowerFlo 750 CP3 pump and 80-percent over injectors from Fleece Performance into the build

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The plush factory interior received minimal upgrades. The large shifter in the middle hints at something you don’t normally see in show trucks–a manual transmission.

After finishing the truck in early 2017, Cameron immediately hit the show scene under the Knockout Kustomz banner. The praise and accolades started rolling in, as did more customers for both paint and performance work. “I value education, and might go back to school, but right now I’m living my childhood dream, so it’s hard to think about,” said Cameron, adding, “I’m building a custom lift for the Las Vegas show, so this truck will always be continually improving and changing. See you at SEMA 2017!”