The Start of My Dream Truck
It's May 2005 and I'm getting ready to drop off my truck at the local body shop.
But first I need to do a few things to the truck myself.
My new interior is going to be customized and restored with new OEM Mopar parts and other custom touches.
Note: This was 2005 so my ideas and plans changed along the
way. Some parts are now for sale.
The grey interior will be solid black with a fully painted custom Red dash.
Now I know what you're thinking, "Aren't Dodge Viper Parts
Expensive?" while they are a little more pricey than stock Ram or other after
market parts it's worth the extra investment and they're luckily not expensive
enough that I will need to contact any
hard money lenders to complete the project.
This truck and the viper project is important so any extra cost to make it perfect is definitely worth it.
After seeing these seats in the truck, I didn't like look as much as I thought I would, but these are a keeper.
I will need to have custom made seat brackets so I cut off and grinded down the old seat brackets from the Viper seat tracks.
The carpet on the side and back of the seats will be removed and replaced with leather to match the rest of the seat.
I ordered a pair of custom embroidered floor mats from Lloyd Mats.
Floor Mats are now For Sale.
Moving on with the interior, it was time to gut it!
This was my first time to ever do anything like this so I was
cautious and it took me about 10 hours to get the dash out without breaking
Dodge had way to many hidden rivets holding this thing in place!
You have to drop the steering column, lean the dash forward, and then unbolt the vents and remove it all in one piece. It was a major pain for my first time!
Since my Dad bought this truck brand new back in 1994, this thing was spotless after I gutted it.
Next the Tonneau Gate prototype
was taken off and put into storage for safe keeping during the build up.
I circled all the dings and dents so they would be easy to find.
Smoothing out the interior and
exterior plastic pieces.
After I dropped off my truck, I decided to take some of the parts home and begin smoothing them out myself. Let the fun begin!
I've seen smoothed and painted dashes for years and there are many different ways to get the appearance of smooth. You can scuff up the surface and and use primer to fill in the texture, or even fiberglass over it,
but I've seen hundreds of dashes where the texture bleeds through over time and looks like crap.
No matter how long it takes me, I always sand out about 90% of the texture every time! It's very time consuming but quality takes time.
Custom Mods to the stock dash.
Before I started on the dash the body shop had already started to mold in the new Dodge Viper air vents and shave the passenger side storage compartment.
The stock square Dodge Ram vents had a limited range of motion. You could move the vents vertically but not side to side unless you moved the inside of the vents.
Using Dodge Viper SRT-10 vents will increase the air flow, once they are molded in the passenger will have the ability to move the vents inward towards them.
You will still have to use the inside controls as before but this is still better than the stock vents.
It may seem pointless now, but once everything on the dash is completed everything will flow and tie together nicely.
|Dodge Viper Air Vents||Cut apart. This is how they will be molded in.||Set in place.|
|Molded in place.||Close up shot, Vent slightly turned.||Stock Vents|
The side defroster vents were shaved and I
custom made openings in the shape of an oval for the top dash vents. The body
shop then molded them in place.
The ovals need a little bit of reshaping so this is getting taken care of.
For the sake of the overall project, this
modified stock plastic dash will not be used in the final project.
A smaller custom one-off metal dash will be made for this Sema Show truck.
Smoothing out the Q-Logic Kick Panels.
Smoothing out the wiper cowl.
Sanding between the vents was a lot of fun...
This wiper cowl is currently being used on my 2000 Dodge Ram Sport Daily Driver.
The wipers will be removed and shaved on my 94 Ram so a custom one-off metal wiper cowl will be made instead of using the stock plastic version.
Smoothing out the engine fan
I can't find the original pictures of the fan shroud but the body shop already shaved the words "Caution Fan" on the top of the engine fan shroud.
I decided to go ahead and completely smooth out the rest of the shroud once I got it back home.
I shaved all the molding lines and I even sanded down all the "ribs" on the top.
This fan shroud is currently being used on my 2000 Dodge Ram Sport Daily Driver.
The 94 Ram will have a smaller custom one-off metal fan shroud instead of using the stock plastic version.
Smoothing out the Street Scene
Electric LED Signal Mirrors.
I smoothed out all the molding lines around the outside lip of the mirror's face and mounting brackets.
To me there is way too much wording etched on the mirror glass...
Interior Billet Parts
|Phipps 3 Piece "Ribbed" Billet Pedals||Billet Specialties Oval Dome Light,
Billet Shifter and Tilt Lever
|Lokar Billet Oval Handles with release cables|
Overhead Billet Mirror
I hate windshield mounted mirrors!
Custom Compass and Temperature
I want to modernize my stock gauge cluster so white LED's will be added along with a digital gauge from a rear view mirror.
Once the mirror bezel was taken off the digital gauge will be desolder and the wires will be extended.
Once the gauge is mounted the mirror will be put back together and hidden under
the dash. There are buttons for different settings so keeping everything
assembled will allow the gauge to work properly.
Once the exterior sensor is mounted, there is even a "UV Ray" gauge that tells me when I'm going to get sunburned.
This is a subtle mod that next to no one will ever notice and
it serves a general purpose. The digital gauge lights up green, but when the purple lense is
in place, everything appears white, so now everything on my gauge cluster will
match once the lights are on.
I then had custom printed silver face gauges made for a cleaner appearance.
Mopar OEM Interior Parts
|New Mopar Turn Signals/Wiper Blade Switch, New
O/D Push Button and Cruise Control Switch,
New AC./Heater Vents
|Brand New Mopar AC/Heater Controls||Dodge Viper Start Button, Dodge Viper "Fangs" Logo Key Blank, New Mopar Glove Box Handle, Mopar engraved bolts.|
Ordered my first set of custom
As I was searching for my rims I came across a website that sold Dodge parts, big brake kits and rims and tires.
The owner was building a new body style Dodge Ram. I talked to the guy about his truck for months and then I decided to buy the rims from him.
Several weeks went by and the rims never showed up. I purchased 5 rims so I could have a spare tire in the bed for display. Finally after a month and a half I got 4 out of the 5 rims. I was going to be having the center caps custom engraved so I needed all 5 center caps.
Long story short, it took me almost 4 months to finally get that 5th rim and it was missing the center cap... I was getting the run around and his wife told me that he had a wreck and couldn't remember everything...
I actually ended up filing a local police report just to get that 5th rim...
Ordered my Big Brake Kit!
Even though my first wreck was caused by a sheet of ice, upgrading my brakes is always at the top of my list!
Several months earlier I ordered SSBC Big Brake Kit with slotted rotors and the rear disc conversion. All four rotors have the Xtra Life plating.
I placed my order online and somehow it got lost??? It took me 4 months to get everything straighten out before I got my brakes!
I special ordered all the calipers to be powdercoated red and when they finally arrived, they were black... So I starting smoothing out the calipers.
Brake Kit For Sale
I have already purchased another set of
brakes to replace this front and rear kit.
These are still mint and they never been installed.
I only smoothed out one front and rear caliper but everything else is still mint in the box.
If you are interested in purchasing this kit, let me know and I will send you photos and info.
I've got A LOT of time and money invested so far, so it's time to check
in on the body shop to see what kind of progress they have made!
Go to the Page 5.
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