WEAPONS GRADE

WGF SHOW­PIECE FLAUNTS AN AMAZ­ING RACK

Diesel World - - Contents - BY BRYON DORR

WEAPONS GRADE

From home garage to re­spected in­dus­try player, Weapons Grade Fab­ri­ca­tion (WGF) has el­e­vated the truck rack game. The com­pany de­signs and man­u­fac­tures ve­hi­cle-spe­cific racks that fol­low the roofline, body con­tours and bed shape per­fectly, cre­at­ing an ex­tremely func­tional and aes­thet­i­cally ap­peal­ing de­sign. WGF launched at the SEMA Show 2015 with this 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 build.

WGF was founded by Greg Marankie, who has been a de­signer and fab­ri­ca­tor for more than 20 years, as a way to bring his skills to mar­ket in a unique way. His per­sonal truck be­came the test bed for his prod­ucts and was built over a 4-month pe­riod, with the help of his brother Gary, into this qual­ity SEMA show truck in 2015. Ev­ery as­pect of this 2004 Dodge pickup has been mod­i­fied, from the ra­dio an­tenna delete all the way to the full cus­tom rack sys­tem. Of course, the rack sys­tem is the cen­ter­piece of this build, since it's what WGF is all about. The build show­cases a WGF Se­ries 1 rack on the pas­sen­ger side and a Se­ries 2 on the driver’s side, with a full cus­tom WGF dual spare tire rack in the bed.

The truck’s stance is ac­com­plished with TGC pro­gres­sive 6-inch lift coils, TGC pro­gres­sive leaf spring packs, rear air bags and TGC trac­tion bars. The ride is plush, no mat­ter the ter­rain, thanks to the 2.25-inch re­mote reser­voir Fabtech Dirt­logic shocks.

WEAPONS GRADE

The truck rolls on Method Hole 17x9-inch matte black wheels wrapped in 37x12.5x17 BFG AT KO2 tires. With the big­ger tires and wheels comes the need for a Hyper­tech speedo cal­i­bra­tor to keep the gauges read­ing ac­cu­rately. Stop­ping those big wheels and tires is a big job re­quir­ing an up­graded brake sys­tem, which now uti­lizes EBC slot­ted and drilled ro­tors and Ex­tra Stuff pads. Keep­ing those big wheels and the rest of the truck pointed where you want to go is no small job but also no is­sue with the use of a TGC steer­ing brace and dual 2.25-inch Fabtech Dirt­logic steer­ing sta­bi­liz­ers.

Marankie takes light­ing se­ri­ously and has uti­lized a wide range of high-end light­ing so­lu­tions on this build. The head­lights have been up­graded with units from VIP Moto Z, and the tail­lights with units from Spy­der. The rest of the ve­hi­cle light­ing is com­prised of a va­ri­ety of the lat­est of­fer­ings from PIAA, with rack-mounted light bars and cube-style lights mounted on and in both the front and rear bumpers.

Un­der the hood lies a larger air in­take and Su­per Start Ex­treme bat­ter­ies. The en­gine also breathes easy with a 4-inch stain­less steel Mag­naflow ex­haust. If for some rea­son you don’t want to hear the hum of the 5.9 Cum­mins, you can crank up the af­ter­mar­ket stereo, which uti­lizes a Pana­sonic head unit and six Kicker speak­ers.

The Weapons Grade Dodge is de­signed for show and go, and by “go” we mean go any­where. It has fac­tory 4WD with 3.73 gears and a lim­ited-slip rear locker. Ag­gres­sive, burly Merce­nary Of­froad front and rear bumpers pro­vide im­proved en­try and de­par­ture an­gles, while also of­fer­ing qual­ity re­cov­ery points. The front bumper houses a Warn VR12 winch, with Warn hawse fair­lead and Fac­tor 55 Flatlink. While it’s un­likely that this well-equipped off-road beast would get stuck, it’s nice to know it has the tools to get it­self un­stuck.

WEAPONS GRADE

WEAPONS GRADE

A qual­ity build like this wouldn’t be com­plete with­out a cus­tom paint job, and the Weapons Grade Dodge does not dis­ap­point with its Min­eral Gray and Egg Shell Clear paint by JR cus­toms in Ca­mar­illo, Calif. It also has a color-matched T-rex “Up­per Class” grille in­sert that helps re­fine the clean front end aes­thetic. To add a level of dura­bil­ity and tough looks, the WGF rack sys­tems and truck bed have also been Rhino Lined.

This build is an over­all huge suc­cess, as it acts as a daily ride, week­end tow rig, com­pany show­piece and all-around head turner. In the end, it has over $15,000 in up­grades, with Marankie in­vest­ing more than $46,000 into the build. Even with a curb weight of about 7,500 pounds this beast is still able to get 17 mpg.

The Weapons Grade Dodge made a re­peat ap­pear­ance at SEMA in 2016, but with lit­tle in the way of changes. Some new WGF rack sys­tems were show­cased, newer, more ag­gres­sive tires were mounted, and a brighter more eye-catch­ing lime green graph­ics pack­age was ap­plied. The truck re­mains Marankie’s daily driver, but now gets a lot more at­ten­tion, is more fun to drive, and continues to be a test bed for WGF rack sys­tems.

Pro­tect­ing the front end with­out af­fect­ing clear­ance for off-road ma­neu­vers is a bumper from Merce­nary Of­froad. The Merce­nary bumper is also packed with a WARN winch and PIAA lights.

Out back is an­other bumper from Merce­nary Of­froad, also uti­liz­ing dual PIAA lights. Check out the fab­ri­cated diff cover too.

The bed is well thought out, with two spares stand­ing up­right and just enough room be­tween them to fit some­thing large like a dirt bike. Dual Weapons Grade racks are in­stalled, the for­ward rack be­ing used to mount a few off-road lights while pro­tect­ing the cab at the same time.

A set of sup­ple­men­tal air bags help keep the truck level when haul­ing loads.

Six-inch TCG Lift with Fabtech Dirt­logic Shocks.

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