WORK IN PROGRESS

Con­nor Ste­wart’s sweet first-gen, Cum­min­spow­ered Dodge

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Text: Chris Tobin Pho­tog­ra­phy: Chris Tobin & Henry Z. Dekuyper

Con­nor Ste­wart is a 28-year-old fac­tory worker in the break­fast ce­real in­dus­try who has a deep love for diesel trucks and diesel per­for­mance. He has owned sev­eral com­pe­ti­tion and show trucks through the years and his lat­est cre­ation was a first-gen­er­a­tion Cum­mins Dodge that he had tried un­suc­cess­fully to pur­chase sev­eral times over the past few years, but the owner did not want to sell. Then out of the blue the owner of the 1992 Dodge called Ste­wart to see if he was still in­ter­ested. He bought the truck on the spot and took it di­rectly to Cre­ston, Ohio, where Da­mon Hart and Adam Kisilewicz at Un­der­ground Cus­toms went to work trans­form­ing the stan­dard cab 4X4.

Ste­wart knew he wanted the truck to stand out in the sea of cus­tom­ized trucks at events like the Scheid Diesel Ex­trav­a­ganza that he reg­u­larly at­tends. So he had the team at Un­der­ground Cus­toms re­pair the body pan­els be­fore spray­ing the truck with a two-tone com­bi­na­tion fea­tur­ing cus­tom Har­ley-david­son Te­quila Sun­rise or­ange pearl and Billet Metal­lic Grey paint that is off­set with fine metal­lic pur­ple pin­stripes. Be­fore laying down the new color they re­moved the rear bumper and welded in a steel roll pan with an an­gled li­cense plate in­sert for some ex­tra style. Up front they re­placed the grille and bumper with new chrome pieces to dress up the old truck. New LED head­lights were in­stalled to im­prove night­time vis­i­bil­ity and project light a lit­tle fur­ther down the road.

Cool paint alone wouldn’t be enough to sat­isfy Ste­wart, so he and the UC team also in­stalled a 6-inch Sky­jacker lift kit on the truck to fit larger tires un­der the rig. Rather than just bolt on the lift kit, the UC crew painted the lift com­po­nents with match­ing or­ange ac­cents to re­ally make it pop. Then they in­stalled a set of highly pol­ished Amer­i­can Force 22x14-inch Flex wheels that were wrapped in 35x12.5/22 In­terco Su­per Swamper TSL Bog­ger tires on all four cor­ners of the truck. The wheels and tires are bolted to the fac­tory Dana 60 front and Dana 70 rear axles that are stuffed with 3.73 gears. To help slow the truck down Ste­wart in­stalled drilled and slot­ted brake ro­tors and per­for­mance pads up front and re­built the rear drum brakes. To help con­trol the ride he in­stalled Bil­stein re­mote reser­voir shocks on each side up front and Fox shocks in the rear.

The 12-valve Cum­mins en­gine un­der the hood is mostly stock with up­graded in­jec­tors and in­jec­tion pump tun­ing from Buck Stoneb­urner at Make It Nasty Diesel Per­for­mance in Crooksville, Ohio. An Air­dog 4G 165 pump and

fil­ter sys­tem feeds plenty of fuel to the P-pump while a 4-inch Diamond Eye stain­less steel ex­haust sys­tem con­nects di­rectly to the orig­i­nal turbo and then dumps spent gasses at the axle with a 6-inch pol­ished stain­less steel MBRP ex­haust tip.

Of course diesel trucks—even a cus­tom­ized show truck—can ben­e­fit from a good in­te­rior and more power un­der the hood. Ste­wart be­gan to work on these ar­eas, get­ting the most out of the orig­i­nal in­te­rior by in­stalling a Pioneer CD re­ceiver and new Pioneer door speak­ers as well as sim­ple fuel sys­tem up­grades. But be­fore he could fully cus­tom­ize the in­te­rior and en­gine bay as well as build some more power with turbo up­grades he re­ceived an of­fer on the truck that he just couldn’t refuse… so he sold it off and is now on the look­out for his next project. We’re sure it will be some­thing cool and we look for­ward to see­ing it. UDBG

TOP LEFT: The 6-inch Sky­jacker sus­pen­sion lift is a key com­po­nent in giv­ing the 1st Gen Dodge its unique look. No­tice that the leaf spring pack is painted with the in­di­vid­ual leafs al­ter­nat­ing be­tween color-matched or­ange and black. BOT­TOM LEFT: The lift en­abled Ste­wart to in­stall the meaty 35-inch Bog­gers he wanted for the truck. The 35x12.5/22 In­terco Su­per Swamper TSL Bog­gers are wrapped around highly pol­ished 22x14-inch Amer­i­can Force Flex wheels. You can also see the re­mote reser­voir Bil­stein shocks hid­ing be­hind the big tires. TOP RIGHT: When we shot the truck the cus­tom front drive­shaft was not back from the shop yet, but that didn’t stop Ste­wart from en­joy­ing the truck at the Scheid Diesel Ex­trav­a­ganza. Also vis­i­ble in the shot is the 4-inch turbo-back stain­less steel Diamond Eye ex­haust sys­tem used to chan­nel spent gasses out of the en­gine. MID­DLE RIGHT: Look­ing to the rear you can see that the Sky­jacker lift in­cluded lift blocks and new springs that were also painted to match the front. BOT­TOM RIGHT: Look­ing un­der the rear roll pan you can see the Fox shocks that tame the ride in the rear along with the axle dump pol­ished stain­less steel 6-inch di­am­e­ter MBRP ex­haust tip.

Con­nor Ste­wart’s ’92 looks great from any an­gle thanks to its 6-inch Sky­jacker lift, cool wheel and tire com­bi­na­tion, and the cus­tom Har­ley-david­son Te­quila Sun­rise or­ange pearl and Billet Metal­lic Grey paint that is off­set with fine metal­lic pur­ple pin­stripes.

The welded-in steel rear roll pan fea­tures an off­set li­cense plate re­cess to add a lit­tle more flair to the rear of Ste­wart’s Dodge.

The in­side of the bed is treated to a rugged sprayed-in bed­liner to pro­tect it when tools and gear are tossed in the rear.

Match­ing Flex wheels and Bog­ger tires are used in the rear to com­plete the look that Ste­wart was go­ing af­ter with his 1st Gen.

Ste­wart chose to re­tain the old-school slid­ing rear win­dow rather than swap it out for a more mod­ern one-piece. Also no­tice that the swatch of Billet Metal­lic Grey paint spills over the top edge of the bed and onto the rear of the cab with pur­ple ac­cents on the top and bot­tom of the grey.

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