Bran­don Davis built a stun­ning 2007 reg­u­lar cab Ram

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Content -

Bran­don Davis is a 29-year-old farmer and en­tre­pre­neur who is also a gear­head and hot-rod­der at heart. He has owned and built sev­eral in­cred­i­ble cars and trucks through the years, but this one may be the best of them all. He pur­chased the hard-to-find 2007 reg­u­lar cab 6.7L 4WD truck from its orig­i­nal owner, with only two-thou­sand miles on the odome­ter. While many would have bolted on some cool good­ies and go-fast parts and been happy, Davis had much big­ger plans. Four and a half years later, he has a head-turn­ing beast!

Davis im­me­di­ately re­moved the cab and bed and stripped the truck down to the frame, re­mov­ing all the fac­tory sus­pen­sion mount­ing points and fill­ing the ma­jor­ity of the fac­tory holes. Af­ter the me­tal work was com­pleted, he sent the chas­sis over to his good friend John Vin­cent in Dan­vers, Illi­nois, to spray it with a slick satin-black fin­ish. While Davis was work­ing on the chas­sis he also de­signed and built a cus­tom sus­pen­sion sys­tem that would be­come the heart of the build.

Up front, the sus­pen­sion uses a cus­tom four-link de­sign with chrome-plated link arms and a Pan­hard bar to keep the axle lo­cated un­der the chas­sis. The fac­tory coil springs were ditched in fa­vor of a set of King 2.5 Race se­ries coilover shocks with 3.0 finned re­mote reser­voirs to keep them cool. Davis fab­ri­cated the mounts and links for the sus­pen­sion and had vir­tu­ally ev­ery sus­pen­sion com­po­nent pow­der­coated bright blue by J&J Pow­der Coat­ing in Car­lock, Ill. Parts that weren’t pow­der­coated are ei­ther pol­ished stain­less steel, pol­ished alu­minum, or chromed steel to re­ally make the cus­tom work stand out. Davis built a cus­tom steer­ing link­age for the truck and keeps it pointed in the right di­rec­tion with the help of a PSC Hy­dro As­sist setup along with a big bore steer­ing box which helps when try­ing to turn the mas­sive 38x15.50 tires he chose.

Mov­ing to the rear, Davis wanted to ditch the leaf springs and run an­other set of King Race coilovers, so he went with a set of trail­ing arms from Sig­na­ture Me­tal Fab that were, of course, chrome plated. The King shocks link be­tween the arms and the frame with cus­tom plate steel mounts, while cus­tom mounts are also em­ployed for the link arms at the frame and axle. Like the front, a Pan­hard bar is em­ployed to keep the axle aligned un­der the truck and also like the front nearly ev­ery­thing sus­pen­sion re­lated is pow­der coated, chromed or pol­ished.

Shock tun­ing on all four cor­ners of the truck was han­dled by Envy Mo­tor­sports in Simi Val­ley, Calif., to make sure the truck rode great but could also soak up the bumps and jumps when Davis takes it out to the Sil­ver Lake sand dunes a cou­ple hours away in Michi­gan. The truck rolls on a set of Fury Of­fRoad 38x15.50r26 Coun­try Hunter M/T tires that are wrapped around a one-off set of highly pol­ished cus­tom Spe­cialty Forged Elite Con­cave C711 26x16-inch wheels that work well with the cus­tom sus­pen­sion.

Af­ter the sus­pen­sion was com­pleted, Davis turned his at­ten­tion to the driv­e­line and some of the best in the diesel per­for­mance world, with the team at Fleece Per­for­mance En­gi­neer­ing and Free­dom Rac­ing En­gines tack­ling the 6.7L Cum­mins en­gine while the crew at Sun­coast Diesel at­tacked the 68RFE trans­mis­sion. The en­gine was torn down and given a com­plete per­for­mance re­build, with the fac­tory Cum­mins crank swing­ing a set of Di­a­mond pis­tons on CP Car­rillo rods. The long block is topped with the fac­tory 6.7L Cum­mins head, which was re­worked by the Free­dom Rac­ing team for en­hanced air­flow. Of course, ARP studs and fas­ten­ers are used through­out to keep the en­gine to­gether even when Davis flogs it.

Cool­ing is han­dled by a Mishi­moto ra­di­a­tor that re­placed the stocker, while a match­ing Mishi­moto in­ter­cooler re­places the fac­tory in­ter­cooler to han­dle more boost and keep the in­take charge cool. Air is drawn into the en­gine through a Fleece air fil­ter and in­take that feeds a Fleece S470 tur­bocharger be­fore it sends the com­pressed charge through the Mishi­moto in­ter­cooler and over to a Jamo pol­ished stain­less steel in­take man­i­fold.

Spent gases are ex­pelled through a Steed Speed ma­chined T4 ex­haust man­i­fold that the S470 is mounted di­rectly to. Af­ter spool­ing the tur­bine in the Fleece turbo, they are sent along to the tailpipe through a highly pol­ished 5-inch stain­less steel Jamo ex­haust sys­tem.

To keep up with the air­flow the S470 sup­plies to the 6.7L Cum­mins, Davis went with a pair of 12mm stro­ker CP3 high-pres­sure fuel pumps from Fleece. The dual CP3S are fed a con­stant dose of diesel fuel from an Air­dog 4G pump and fil­ter sys­tem mounted on the frame rail us­ing pow­der­coated brack­ets. High-pres­sure fuel from the CP3S is chan­neled into the en­gine through a set of 250-over Dynomite Diesel Per­for­mance fuel injectors. Elec­tron­i­cally, the whole pack­age is wrapped up with tun­ing from Ryan Mil­liken at Hard­way Per­for­mance. Davis es­ti­mates that the Cum­mins de­liv­ers around 850 horse­power and about 1,600 lb-ft of torque to the wheels.

A fac­tory Dodge 68RFE trans­mis­sion would not han­dle the power Davis’ truck is now mak­ing, so the team at Sun­coast re­built it to their high-per­for­mance 68RFE trans­mis­sion stan­dards, with per­for­mance clutches and other per­for­mance up­grades in­ter­nally, in ad­di­tion to bil­let shafts to send the power through the unit. A Sun­coast bil­let Sfi-ap­proved flex plate links the Cum­mins en­gine to the trans­mis­sion through a Sun­coast triple-disc, 2,200rpm stall bil­let torque con­verter. To make it match the truck, Davis had the trans­mis­sion case pow­der­coated in bright blue and capped it with a Sc-ma­chined, pow­der­coated Mag-hytec deep trans­mis­sion pan. Power from the trans

is de­liv­ered to the front and rear axles through a fac­tory trans­fer case that was stripped down and pow­der­coated sil­ver be­fore it was re­assem­bled and in­stalled. Cus­tom chrome-plated drive­shafts send the power to the dressed up front and rear axle as­sem­blies, which are both stuffed with Yukon dif­fer­en­tials and 4.56 gears.

As the project was com­ing to com­ple­tion, Davis had Vin­cent spray the bot­tom of the cab and bed with Dupont bright white and clear to match the rest of the paint. They even shot the in­side of the truck bed and buffed it out like the rest of the ex­te­rior. Then Davis re­assem­bled all the parts and pieces us­ing pol­ished stain­less steel hard­ware for the sus­pen­sion and new fac­tory hard­ware else­where. Once ev­ery­thing was in­stalled and put back to­gether, he re­in­stalled the fac­tory in­te­rior and had the head­liner and pil­lar cov­ers up­hol­stered in char­coal gray suede by Van Hook Up­hol­stery. Davis has plans for more in­te­rior up­grades, in­clud­ing a big stereo sys­tem, but for now he makes do with the fac­tory seat­ing and tunes.

Davis has had the truck fea­tured in sev­eral man­u­fac­turer booths at ma­jor diesel events like the SEMA show, the Ul­ti­mate Call­out Chal­lenge, and the Scheid Diesel Ex­trav­a­ganza, where it has drawn huge crowds and ac­co­lades from all who check it out. He was hon­ored to make the top five at the SEMA Bat­tle of the Builders in the 4x4 Off Road cat­e­gory in 2016 even be­fore ev­ery­thing on the truck was com­pleted. He has also won sev­eral other awards since then. Davis will con­tinue to show the truck at ma­jor diesel events, so if you hap­pen to see it, take the time to take a closer look. The de­tails are stun­ning and we’re sure you will be happy that you did. While like most gear­heads Davis will prob­a­bly never say the truck is com­plete, his 4 1/2 years of work on this rig were cer­tainly time well spent, and this amaz­ing truck shows that all the hard work was worth it! UDBG

Bran­don Davis’ reg­u­lar cab Dodge Ram is any­thing but reg­u­lar thanks to around 850 horse­power un­der the hood, a wild cus­tom sus­pen­sion, and quite pos­si­bly more pol­ish­ing, paint, pow­der­coat­ing, and chrome than we have ever seen on a truck!

The front of the truck is pushed aloft us­ing a set of King 2.5 Race coilover shocks with mas­sive 3.0 finned race reser­voirs and pow­der­coated coil springs. Note that even the non-fric­tion sur­faces of the SSBC Bar­bar­ian ro­tors have been pow­der­coated to match the rest of the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents.

Look­ing at the front of the truck from a low an­gle it is hard to know where to fo­cus your at­ten­tion. It fea­tures a painted Mer­ce­nary Off Road bumper with a Warn VR 12000 winch tucked in­side, as well as pow­der­coated front axle and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents and a chrome-plated cus­tom steer­ing link­age that Davis fab­ri­cated him­self.

A chrome-plated Pan­hard bar is em­ployed to keep the rear axle prop­erly aligned un­der the truck. In this shot you can also see the braided stain­less brake lines and pol­ished SSBC brake calipers.

The low view from the rear is cer­tainly im­pres­sive with the pow­der­coated axle assem­bly, cus­tom ma­chined Mag-hytec diff cover, and the highly pol­ished Jamo stain­less steel ex­haust sys­tem. You can also see that the frame was smoothed and painted with a satin black fin­ish and the bot­tom side of the bed and cab were treated to Dupont bright white base coat and clear coat to match the top side of the truck.

With the cus­tom sus­pen­sion and flaw­less paint it would be a shame to pop the hood and find a stock en­gine. For­tu­nately, Davis turned to the ex­perts at Fleece Per­for­mance En­gi­neer­ing and Free­dom Rac­ing En­gines to light the wick on his 6.7L Cum­mins.

Davis fab­ri­cated the cus­tom four-link con­trol arms that lo­cate the axle un­der the truck, then had the parts chrome plated. Stain­less braided brake lines send fluid to pol­ished SSBC Bar­bar­ian calipers to whoa down the beast in style.

Look­ing un­der the rear of the truck you’ll find that the rear sus­pen­sion is just as awe in­spir­ing as the front with a chrome plated solid steel drive shaft run­ning par­al­lel to the chrome plated Sig­na­ture Me­tal Fab trail­ing arms. Of course ev­ery­thing is com­pli­mented by the bright blue pow­der coat­ing slathered on nearly ev­ery com­po­nent un­der the chas­sis.

Sun­coast Diesel built the Dodge 68RFE with stout in­ter­nal com­po­nents, in­clud­ing bil­let shafts, to han­dle the power from the beefed-up 6.7L Cum­mins. You’ll no­tice that Davis had the trans­mis­sion case and Mag-hytec pan pow­der­coated to match the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents.

The truck has a great stance with the cus­tom lift paired with a set of cus­tom-ma­chined, highly pol­ished, one-off Spe­cialty Forged Elite Con­cave 26x16-inch wheels wrapped in Fury Off-road 38x15.50r26 Coun­try Hunter M/T tires. You can see the King coilover shocks and smooth painted fen­der lin­ers eas­ily, too.

Like the front, the rear is lifted with a pair of King 2.5 Race se­ries coilover shocks with 3.0 re­mote finned reser­voirs to keep the shock fluid cool. Note the smoothed and painted fac­tory frame rails.

Up front, a Mishi­moto in­ter­cooler re­placed the fac­tory unit to help keep in­take temps down for bet­ter per­for­mance and to be able to han­dle high boost from the Fleece S470 turbo.

Look­ing at the driver side of the en­gine, you can see the Mishi­moto ra­di­a­tor and hoses that slightly ob­scure the dual Fleece 12mm stoker CP3S. You can also see the Jamo pol­ished stain­less steel in­take man­i­fold that car­ries the pres­sur­ized in­take charge down into the cylin­der head.

The fac­tory ex­haust man­i­fold and turbo were ditched in fa­vor of a Steed Speed ma­chined man­i­fold and Fleece S470 tur­bocharger, in­take, and air fil­ter. If you look closely you will also no­tice the Fleece rear freeze plug coolant by­pass for high-rpm safety, as well as ARP head studs to keep the high-flow­ing 6.7L head firmly in place.

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