Ridin’ High

Built Big­ger by Broth­ers


A ’16 Ram built big­ger by broth­ers

The motto of Amer­i­can cul­ture is: “Land of the free and home of op­por­tu­nity.” To this, Raj Kalkat can re­late. With fam­ily in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, his par­ents left their home coun­try of In­dia for the United States, land­ing in Yuba City, where Raj and his younger brother, TK, were born. When Raj was in high school, he started notic­ing the au­to­mo­tive world. “I started watch­ing car and truck shows on Spike TV,” Raj tells Truckin, “but it wasn’t un­til I ac­tu­ally saw a diesel truck black out an en­tire in­ter­sec­tion that I wanted more to do with it.”

When Raj got into col­lege, he pur­chased his first ve­hi­cle, an ’06 Dodge Ram diesel, and im­me­di­ately be­gan mod­i­fy­ing the en­gine to repli­cate the scene he saw in high school. Within a year, Raj had his truck on the dyno push­ing more than 800 hp. Even­tu­ally, he blew out the pow­er­ful en­gine and pur­chased a com­pact car to get to and from work at a lo­cal bank. Af­ter go­ing through truck with­drawals, Raj de­cided it was time to get an­other rig.

In Oc­to­ber 2016, Raj vis­ited a friend at a lo­cal deal­er­ship in Elk Grove to pur­chase a crew cab pickup. His friend showed him an ad for the brand-new ’16 Dodge Ram Laramie Lim­ited and, within sec­onds of the test­drive, he was hooked. With the in­tent of mak­ing it his daily driver, Raj had no plans to mod­ify the truck. How­ever, he planned a trip to the SEMA show in Las Ve­gas.

At a show where some of the most intricate and elab­o­rate builds are on dis­play, Raj knew what he wanted to do. He in­tended to make sure SEMA 2017 had his truck proudly dis­played in a booth. Of course, that meant a lot of work had to be done, but he and his brother TK were well equipped to han­dle that kind of pres­sure.

Early in the year, Raj and TK opened their own shop, Ridin’ High Mo­tor­sports in Yuba City. Once back from Ve­gas, Raj started mod­estly by adding Amp Re­search steps, PPEI tun­ing, and a JAMO ex­haust. Hav­ing a good re­la­tion­ship with the crew at Full Throt­tle Sus­pen­sion, Raj brought the Dodge to their Fresno, Cal­i­for­nia, shop so they could de­sign a lift kit to el­e­vate the truck.

Once the Dodge was back home, Raj took it apart to send out for pow­der­coat­ing and chrome plat­ing. When the axles were apart for chrome and plat­ing, Raj picked up a re­build kit with new gears from Yukon Gear & Axle. TK set the new gears with the cor­rect back­lash and pin­ion depth so the gears wouldn’t wear out and the ac­cel­er­a­tion was sim­i­lar to stock. The next step was adding a full ad­justable sus­pen­sion by way of a full air-ride kit, which the broth­ers in­stalled.

For the bed, Raj de­cided to go with a Be­drug and then cut holes for the B&W fifth-wheel hitch in the cen­ter. The Un­der­Cover bed­cover was added along with SwingCases on each side for ex­tra stor­age. In­side the cabin, Raj in­stalled a Rock­ford Fos­gate DSR-1 to re­place the fac­tory am­pli­fier and in­te­grate the fac­tory me­dia source. An Alpine PDX am­pli­fier pow­ers the sub­woofers un­der­neath the back bench seats.

Af­ter the au­dio was com­pleted, the Dodge got a paint correction and ce­ramic coat­ing from Golden Coast De­tail. The pow­der­coat­ing and chrome were coated as well to en­sure dirt and sand don’t stick to the un­der­car­riage. Thirty-four C4 off-road light pods were in­stalled to show­case the sus­pen­sion at night. When it came time to add the wheels to Raj’s Ram, he chose a set from Amer­i­can Force. With a close re­la­tion­ship with Nick and Kather­ine at the Mi­ami-based com­pany, Raj was able to proudly dis­play his Dodge Ram in­side the Amer­i­can Force booth in 2017, ful­fill­ing his dreams and his high ex­pec­ta­tions.

Raj wishes to thank his lov­ing par­ents, Par­mjit and Har­jin­der, for giv­ing the Kalkats a suc­cess­ful fu­ture in the United States, as well as his younger brother, TK, for his pas­sion and help with Ridin’ High Mo­tor­sports. A spe­cial thanks goes to Raj’s wife, Navi, for all her sup­port, as well as Gopi Bains, Bobby Takhar, Josh Singh, Ron Dun­lap, Alec Uyeno, Kris­tian Ubias, and Nick Chin. With a year to build a full cus­tom SEMA build, Raj pushed harder than ever to make sure he com­pleted his goal.

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