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.

Brand New Dodge Viper SRT-10 Seats!




My interior is going to be Hot Rod and "Viper" inspired so I purchased a set of brand new leather and suede Dodge Viper SRT-10 Seats.

Brand New Dodge Viper SRT-10 Seats!
Set in place. Viper Stitched on the seats. Side shot.
Huge side bolsters! Sitting flat on the floor. Front shot through the windshield.

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.

Dodge Viper floor mats. Embroidered Dodge Viper "Fangs" Logo Made by LLoyd Mats

Floor Mats are now For Sale.


Moving on with the interior, it was time to gut it!

Stock dash coming out. Last time it's going to be stock! 10 hours later the dash was out! Huh...

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 it.
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!

Spotless! Clean! Stripped clean!

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.

Tonneau Gate Removed Circled all the dings and dents. Spare tire filler piece will be welded up.


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!

Stock Dash Removed Passenger Side "Storage" on top of the dash. Stock dash with square vents.


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.
Wink

Interior pieces smoothed out! Top Dash Piece Smoothed out completely! Top Dash Piece Smoothed out completely!
Pillar Piece Smoothed Out! Side of the dash. Glove box smoothed out!
Knee bolster smoothed out! Closer shot of the glove box! Air Bag Sensor Cover smoothed out!
Lower Center of the dash. Smoothed out pillar Side defroster vent and pillar
Rear pillars Still need to sand in between.   

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 SRT-10 vents Had to cut them apart and reshape them. Set in place of the sqaure vent.
Dodge Viper Air Vents Cut apart. This is how they will be molded in. Set in place.
Shaved the center storage. Body Shop molded it in. Before it was shaved.
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.

Shaved side defroster vent. Smoothed out with new Oval vents. Shaved Defroster vent and storage area.
Custom Oval Vents Smoothed out dash!

Shaved storage indentation.

Shaving the top storage indentation really changed the overall look of the dash. The custom oval shapes will have mesh screen underneath them.

Now I need to find a new way to mount this dash so the 5 mounting holes can also be shaved.

It's all in the details!

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.

Textured Kick Panel Starting to smooth it out. Finished Kick Panels
Close up. Smoothed out no texture. Tweeter mount

Smoothing out the wiper cowl.



Sanding between the vents was a lot of fun...

Texture Texture Texture
No Texture No Texture No Texture

  Smoothed and Painted. Small holes were also shaved.

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 shroud.

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.

Smoothed out fan shroud! Shaved "Caution Fan" and the "ribs". Completely smoothed and painted, inside and out!

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.

LED Signal Mirrors Smoothed out molding lines. Red LED's are hidden behind the mirror.


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

3 piece Phipps Billet Oval pedals Billet Shifter, Tilt Lever, Dome Light Billet Lokar Oval Door Handles
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

Billet mirror and bracket. Awesome roof mount mirror!
All Sales Polished Billet Oval Mirror Ceiling Mounted Mirror Bracket

 I hate windshield mounted mirrors!


Custom Compass and Temperature Gauge

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.

Rear View Mirror Mirror disassembled Custom Compass and Temperature Gauge
New Mirror Removed Housing Soon to be relocated gauge.

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
. Laughing Cool

Stock gauge cluster. Digital gauge goes here.
Gauge Cluster Plastic Surround The gauge will be set in from the back side for a stock appearance.

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.

Custom Printed Silver Gauge Overlays Stock Gauge Cluster. Only 61,993 Miles!


Mopar OEM Interior Parts

New Mopar OEM Parts! Brand New AC Controls Dodge Viper Start Button, And Custom Cut Key! It works!
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 wheels!

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... Rolling Eyes
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.

Black powdercoated calipers. A lot of texture. Huge Piston!
Side by side. Close up shot. Textured vs Smoothed
Smoothed out caliper ready for RED paint. Completely smoothed!  
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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