Renaissance Ram: 700-HP 4th-Gen Mopar

With an insane 10-inch lift and 37-inch tires on 24-inch wheels, it’s definitely hard to miss Joey Rodriguez’s 2012 Dodge Ram 2500 when it’s rolling down the road. While lifted pickups are fairly common, show-quality trucks that drag race, sled pull, and drive around town are few and far between, and that’s exactly what Joey does with his hopped-up Cummins.

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“Joey’s rockin ’12 Ram proves that sometimes you can have it all.”

lifted pickups

ALTERED VIEW

It all started though, with the big suspension lift. Krazy Kustoms outfitted the nearly new truck with suspension that’s been powder coated in Shocker Yellow and outfitted with twin chrome King coil-over shocks per corner. Even the differential covers and driveshafts are chrome, as Joey didn’t want to leave any part of the undercarriage untouched. In addition to the lift, a set of 24×12-inch Evade wheels were added from American Force, along with 37-inch Toyo tires.

The stock turbo can only supply a little more than 500 hp worth of air, so Joey went with an ultra-tough 64mm Silver Bullet turbocharger from Industrial Injection. The turbo is still small enough to where it spools excellent and produces more than 55 psi of boost on the top end.

The stock turbo can only supply a little more than 500 hp worth of air, so Joey went with an ultra-tough 64mm Silver Bullet turbocharger from Industrial Injection. The turbo is still small enough to where it spools excellent and produces more than 55 psi of boost on the top end.

Although it looks pretty stock, the 6.7L Cummins in Joey's '12 Ram has all the right parts and pieces to make 696 horsepower to the rear wheels and almost 1,500lb-ft. of torque.

Although it looks pretty stock, the 6.7L Cummins in Joey’s ’12 Ram has all the right parts and pieces to make 696 horsepower to the rear wheels and almost 1,500lb-ft. of torque.

FORCED PERFORMANCE

Having an impressively lifted truck didn’t stop Joey from using it though. He frequently sled pulled and towed heavy with his ’12 Ram; he even made some pretty good passes at the track with the chipped-up Dodge. Then, at a drag race, disaster struck, as the Dodge managed to blow a head gasket, tear up the stock transmission and destroy its transfer case all in one pass.

Not one to turn tail and run, Joey decided to build his Dodge to be “badder” and stronger and enlisted the help of Brown’s Diesel to make it happen. The engine was torn apart, and the head gasket issue was fixed with ARP 625 studs, along with fire rings that were cut by Brown’s and installed for ultimate sealing. At the same time, Brown’s also went about solving Joey’s 68rfe transmission problem by ordering a M3GA68-JR transmission from SunCoast Diesel Transmissions. The modified 68rfe has upgraded drums, an upgraded low and reverse spring setup, a machined pump to allow for more pressure, as well as new bushings, seals, rings, frictions, and steels.

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Joey's Ram is the wild suspension setup. The Ram's front end is truly a work of art.

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Joey’s Ram is the wild suspension setup. The Ram’s front end is truly a work of art.

The rear of the truck is just as modified as the front, with four King shocks (two per side) a 4.88-geared rear axle and a chrome differential cover and link arms. Also visible in this photo are the 3-inch wheel spacers that give the truck its wide stance and a set of Real train horns to blast people out of the way.

The rear of the truck is just as modified as the front, with four King shocks (two per side) a 4.88-geared rear axle and a chrome differential cover and link arms. Also visible in this photo are the 3-inch wheel spacers that give the truck its wide stance and a set of Real train horns to blast people out of the way.

With a power handling capability of 650 rear-wheel horsepower, Joey was determined to put the new transmission through its paces. Just a programmer wasn’t going to do it anymore, so Joey plunked down the coin for a bunch of performance parts, along with the new head gasket and transmission. The fuel system was upgraded with an AirDog 165 lift pump, an 85-percent-over CP3 pump from Industrial Injection, as well as 100-hp injectors. Airflow was also upgraded, with a K&N air filter, Industrial Injection Silver Bullet 64 turbo, and a BD Diesel Performance intake horn.

Tipping the scales at more than 8,200 pounds, Joey’s radical Ram is too heavy to be that fast, but when the combination was finished, he was pleasantly surprised to be clicking off mid 13-second quarter mile passes, at almost 100 mph. Even more surprising were the dyno numbers, as when Joey hit the rollers with his truck, it clicked off an impressive 696 rear-wheel horsepower. Best of all, Joey still sled pulls and tows trailers with his daily driven beast. With show, go, and tow covered, Joey’s rockin’ Ram proves that sometimes—you can have it all. DW

Big heavy wheels and tires require big dampening power, so part of the 10-inch lift was the installation of chrome King reservoir shocks. Two shocks per side get the job done and are hung from Shocker Yellow mounting brackets.

Big heavy wheels and tires require big dampening power, so part of the 10-inch lift was the installation of chrome King reservoir shocks. Two shocks per side get the job done and are hung from Shocker Yellow mounting brackets.

Small details are integrated into the '12 that might not be noticed right away. The headlights for instance, were matched to the rest of the truck by Out of Body Solutions in Modesto, California.

Small details are integrated into the ’12 that might not be noticed right away. The headlights for instance, were matched to the rest of the truck by Out of Body Solutions in Modesto, California.

After he blew a head gasket at a drag race a year ago, Joey decided to spend the coin to ensure it wouldn't happen again. High-dollar ARP 625 studs torqued to 160ft-lbs. were installed, and the head was fire-ringed by Brown's Diesel and installed with a Haisley Machine gasket.

After he blew a head gasket at a drag race a year ago, Joey decided to spend the coin to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. High-dollar ARP 625 studs torqued to 160ft-lbs. were installed, and the head was fire-ringed by Brown’s Diesel and installed with a Haisley Machine gasket.

The right set of wheels can do a lot for a truck, so Joey was careful with his selection. In the end, a set of 24x12-inch Evade wheels got the nod for their killer looks.

The right set of wheels can do a lot for a truck, so Joey was careful with his selection. In the end, a set of 24×12-inch Evade wheels got the nod for their killer looks.

Airflow into the engine was improved as well, with the addition of a BD Performance intake horn, specifically designed for the 6.7L Cummins engine.

Airflow into the engine was improved as well, with the addition of a BD Performance intake horn, specifically designed for the 6.7L Cummins engine.

In this photo, one can see how far the wheels are set out for the famous "Cent-Cal" stance. The tires that give traction for towing, racing, or pulling, are the same 37x13.50R24 Toyo Mud Terrains.

In this photo, one can see how far the wheels are set out for the famous “Cent-Cal” stance. The tires that give traction for towing, racing, or pulling, are the same 37×13.50R24 Toyo Mud Terrains.

lifted pickups

Since Joey heads to the coast on a regular basis, the lights in the grille weren't quite enough lighting when heading out into the dunes at night. To solve this, an additional light bar was mounted up on top of the truck from Rigid Industries.

Since Joey heads to the coast on a regular basis, the lights in the grille weren’t quite enough lighting when heading out into the dunes at night. To solve this, an additional light bar was mounted up on top of the truck from Rigid Industries.

lifted pickups

At the track, Joey's Ram rockets off the line with 1.8-second 60-foot times thanks to the 4.88 gears. Despite the heft, aerodynamic resistance, and rotating weight, the truck regularly clicks off mid ‘13s at the drag strip (with barely any smoke).

At the track, Joey’s Ram rockets off the line with 1.8-second 60-foot times thanks to the 4.88 gears. Despite the heft, aerodynamic resistance, and rotating weight, the truck regularly clicks off mid ‘13s at the drag strip (with barely any smoke).