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.