CARPORT CARNAGE CONNECTION
Low Down Dirty Dodge gets some shiny new piping
BEING PRO-ACTIVE IS SOMETHING WE ALL STRIVE TO BE AND DO… but on occasion it just doesn’t work out that way and we find ourselves switching gears to correct the misfortunes of our dumbass past decisions. Such was the case with Editor Stanley’s decision to take my project Low Down Dirty Dodge daily driver wheeling… with nothing more than a set of AT tires… on a trail we had no business being on… trying to show off to a group of city slickers… with stock running boards attached… ya, we’re “SMRT” like that.
After banging up the front bumper, making the exhaust tip awkwardly oval, spreading a mud track through the interior and turning a running board into a “frowny face”, we went home blaming each other for the accrued damage. We’re smooth like 30 grit, and yet somehow we managed to find wives and remain married. A few hammer swings got the wrinkled wreckage back into a shape that a kindergartener could recognize, followed by a few hours of vacuum duty to clean any remaining evidence. Winter came and went and we soon realized that the chrome used in the Ram plating factory isn’t fit for bowling trophies, what with the micron thin coverage. We live and work in Canada’s desert and can still hear the rust eat away at our trucks, and we knew this would not end well. With a little quick thinking, we managed to slow the bumper’s gradual return to the earth but the tube running boards were too far gone for our tactics.
Consequently, the proverb “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” had us dragging home pounds of stainless steel from Aries Offroad. It was time for new side steps and a front brush guard to prevent any future Darwinian Award attempts from further depreciating the truck’s value. This isn’t a “one size fits all” type universal kit; these units are designed specifically for our 2012 Ram. We really have to urge that this is not a place to get a “jack of all trades, master of none” type unit. We’re glad we didn’t and here’s why.
The spiffy running boards are beautifully crafted units designed for the abusive future many of them endure. While editor Irons waits for a mid-life growth spurt, the extended rear portion of the boards assist in reaching into the bed of the truck at the back of the cab. On top of that, literally, are Aries grip plates which deserve a mention for an obvious reason; Aries’ engineers must have laughed themselves silly as the factory offerings are in the wrong place to assist in ingress/egress.
Unwrapping the front brush guard from its packaging, we couldn’t help but admire the welding and polishing excellence. We typically skip the brush guard setup and go for a full bumper replacement, but this truck doesn’t need an extra 200kg of front-end ballast and I kinda dig the “old man” chrome look. Honestly, flat black went from “belly button” status to “hairy butt crack” overnight, no need to make it any worse. We needed the front-end protection and having a stainless steel unit to fend off errant sticks and rocks in the dirt will help ensure the rust bunnies keep away from our truck a little longer.
All brackets and hardware are fully plated or stainless, and all the included brackets are powder coated for longevity with some adjustability built in to set the boards and guard at our preferred height.
Having an empty carport while the better half was out melting down a VISA card was the perfect time to get our new parts installed. The instructions bordered on the “overlycomplicated” side of things, it seemed that a tech writer getting paid by the word was in charge. The install really is easy and can be done at home by yourself in a few hours, but we recommend skipping the wobbly pops until after the front air dam plastic is trimmed for the Brush Guard. Check out the results as we ditch the rusty wrecks and get the Low Down Dirty Dodge ready for more abuse.