Dodge Off Road V10 Buggy - "Ram Rod"
Buggy still under construction, pics will be updated as work is completed.
This started out as a tube chassis for sale on Pirate4x4 back in 2015. We picked it up and weren't sure what to do with it at first, but decided to build a Mopar buggy. When a Ram 2500 with a V10 came up for sale locally about 1.5 years later, we jumped on it as the donor vehicle for the buggy build. This chassis was originally built to run a Ford drivetrain, but thankfully Ford and Chrysler use a lot of the same drivetrain dimensions. The goal was to build a lightweight, powerful buggy with the best weight distribution that we could get, and use a lot of the donor truck parts to save some money rather than buying a new harness, new gauges, etc. Since the donor truck is a 97, it was easy to wire up the OBD1 harness and we only had to terminate a few wires. We used the factory instrument panel for the gauges, and kept everything as simple as possible.
Since the buggy is using everything possible from the donor truck, it has the Dana 60 CAD axle up front and a Dana 70 rear axle. The transmission is a 47RE and it has a 241DLD transfer case with a custom slip yoke eliminator from JB Conversions. The steering pump has been replaced with a PSC hi flow pump and reservoir, to run their full hydro steering system. The stock V10 radiator is huge, so we had to get a new one and it will be mounted behind the seats, with two electric fans pulling air out the back. A 22 gallon fuel cell sits below the radiator and there is a small compartment in front of that for the battery, ECM, a tool kit, and just enough room leftover to add a 2nd steering valve later if we end up doing rear steer. With a 114" wheel base, the buggy is very nimble, but sometimes having rear steer would be very handy.
The buggy sits on 40" Super Swamper SX2 tires and H1 steel double beadlocks, with Fox 2.0" 14" travel coilovers holding it up. These will likely be replaced with some larger 2.5" remote reservoir shocks before it is finished, and the 2.0" coilovers will go on another build that isn't as heavy.
The chassis is made entirely from DOM tube, mostly 1.75" x .180" wall with some .120" wall crossmembers. The chassis itself is about 300 lbs, fully dressed the buggy will weigh about 3500 lbs. With a tuned V10 it should make about 400 hp and 550 ft.lbs of torque. One really cool thing about the Dodge V10 is that it has one of the flattest torque curves of any motor - it makes more torque at an idle than the V8 models make at their peak RPM, but the V10 torque doesn't ramp up that much as you apply more throttle. Peak RPM is 2400. It's a very good motor for grunting around at low speeds. The only real downfall is the exhaust, it's very hard to make them sound good. The key is to use a large muffler and try to keep the exhaust as quiet as possible. On a buggy this small, there isn't much room for a large exhaust system, so we'll probably have to deal with it sounding like a pissed off UPS truck.
Once the buggy is all done, we'll disassemble the whole thing and have the chassis sandblasted and powder coated, then put it all back together and start wheeling. More than likely it will end up being Inferno Red.