A Second Gen with a Real Bite
Bet you’d never guess this beautifully restored 2001 Dodge spent its past life on an Indiana farm getting the living tar kicked out of it on the daily. No, you’d probably never believe this truck was once a sorry looking rusted out, ready for the scrap heap, kind of truck. But that’s exactly where it was back in 2014 when Chris Schombert of Spiceland, IN bought it off of an old friend ready to bring it back from the dead. Fresh out of high school at that time, Schombert bought this truck in hopes of turning it into the ultimate daily driver and had just the right mixture of love, crazy, and money to turn it in to what you see stanced out in the parking lot now. Over the course of the last eight years, this truck has made a complete turn around and now shows off better than it did even brand new in 2001. A real showstopper with an attention to detail you won’t find in many restored trucks out there. There are more than just a couple things we like about this truck and deem it worthy for some exposure in a magazine. What we love most about it though, this old dog carries more than a loud bark, it has a real bite that separates it from the pack. We’re talking like a 950hp bite.
After getting the bug for diesel performance from his brother in-law, Schombert has always dreamed of building a truck of this caliber. This truck has made quite the transformation, with virtually every panel on the truck rotted out past the point of repair it was basically a ground up rebuild. A new bed was sourced, new doors and hood. In fact, the only original sheet metal on the truck aside from the cab itself is the passenger front fender. When we say the entire truck was rebuilt, we mean it. Knightstown Collision of Knightstown, IN is credited for finalizing all the metal and body work and laying down that perfect Graphite Metallic paint job. Once painted, the interior was next on the list and also went through an entire makeover with new carpet, custom leather wrapped and embroidered seats. The manual roll-up windows and manual door locks were even replaced with full power versions, which required a completely new cab wiring harness sourced from a wrecked truck. While working with the wiring in the cab, the truck was also upgraded with a Joying touchscreen deck, Kenwood X802-f amplifier with a 12” Kicker sub and speakers throughout.
“Bet you’d never guess this beautifully restored 2001 Dodge spent its past life on an Indiana farm getting the living tar kicked out of it on the daily.”
For the suspension, Schombert has gone through a few different stages of what he really wanted the truck to look like, but he’s been really content with where it’s ended up stance wise. Sitting on the factory suspension, the rear was lowered by removing all but two of the stock leaves. Adjustable Rancho shocks and custom powder coated CalTrac traction bars help with ride quality and traction under heavy acceleration. For the front suspension, most of the time was put into improve the driving experience with all new 4th Gen Dodge steering assembly and a Redhead steering box. 22×12 Hostile Sprocket wheels have been wrapped with 305/40R22 Nitto 420 tires front and rear and Power Stop brakes help slow it down.
The motor was also refreshed with shot peened 12V Cummins rods, a Stage 5 Colt Cam, fly cut Mahle pistons and some mild cylinder head porting. Hamilton heavy duty push rods were installed along with a D&J billet intake shelf. The turbocharger setup pumps out 75-psi boost through a Tater Built 464/83/.90 T4 over a 480/96/1.15 T6 turbo, all hung off of a Steed Speed T4 manifold with Slosh Fab piping kit. An upgraded Mishimoto intercooler helps cool all that boost and feeds a Diamond Eye 3.5” intake elbow. For fueling, the Scheid Diesel Stage 2 VP44 injection pump pushes fuel through .084 injector lines and feeds the massive 6x.013 injectors from Matts Diesel Supply. To make sure that injection pump is fed with plenty of clean filtered fuel, an Airdog 5G 220gph lift pump was mounted under the truck. Tuning is controlled through a Quadzilla V2 with calibrations from TJ Frey.
Originally a 6-speed manual truck, Schombert really wanted to convert it to an automatic for a couple reasons. The auto made it a little more fun to cruise and daily drive, but mostly would allow him to be more competitive on the ODSS Drag Racing circuit, where he had been spending a lot of his time attending events as one of the lead salesmen for Airdog fuel systems. The automatic 47RE transmission is a Comp 2 setup from Firepunk with Triple Disc DPC converter, controlled through their Anteater controller and custom shifter setup.
“Once painted, the interior was next on the list and also went through an entire makeover with new carpet, custom leather wrapped and embroidered seats.”
On the track, the truck had originally competed with a single 64mm S300 turbocharger and ran consistent high 11’s at 110-112mph and dynoed an incredibly respectful 781hp. But since swapping over the much larger twin turbo setup, Schombert has run personal best of 11-19@122mph. While it hasn’t been back to the dyno with this setup, at the trucks current weight, those trap speeds prove it’s north of 900hp. Reminder, that’s through a VP44 injection pump! Over the last couple seasons, the motor has taken quite the beating and has started to show signs of being tired. Because of that, Schombert has already started gathering the parts to convert the truck over to a new 6.7L Cummins while still utilizing the VP44 pump in hopes of breaking 1000hp on fuel and ripping off some 10-second quarter miles.
While the build has definitely taken a lot of time and effort and has had its fair share of delays in just sitting for months on end until Schobert could get back on it. This transformation is quite impressive, something he credits his friends and family for, as he tells us his motivation to continue building always came from them pushing him to build something great. He’s also extremely thankful for his job with Airdog and the relationships it’s helped him create within the diesel industry as the truck could be nowhere near what it is without the help of those friends like Firepunk Diesel. While we don’t truly know where this 2nd Gen’s life will lead, we’re excited to see it unfold, especially since he’s vowed to stay VP4Lyfe.