For The Long Haul

Creating the Ultimate Tow Rig - Part 1

Published in the May 2011 Issue May 2011 Build, Cummins

For The Long Haul: Creating the Ultimate Tow Rig - Part 1

step 1With Zoom Productions I travel step 2thousands of miles across the United States and Canada every year towing my trusty Triton Trailer while shooting for my extreme motorsport movies, Mountain Mod Mania and SideXSide Mania. My trusty Duramax was fast approaching 200,000 miles and I thought now was the time to replace my old friend with a new and shinier model.

step 3I really like the new Dodge step 4MegaCab because there is so much interior room-room to haul camera equipment, kids, dogs and my snowmobiling and UTV'ing buddies. Plus I know the Cummins is a proven workhorse. Being a high-tech guy who really likes blue trucks and lots of cool options, I step 5knew I had to have a new Dodge. photo 6Gavin at Larry H. Miller in Sandy, Utah, made me a great deal and treated me fair on the trade-in on my old Chevy.

Building The Ultimate Tow Rig

photo 7My first stop was to see Kevin step 8Wood and the gang at Precision Body Line in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the much-needed long box conversion since Dodge doesn't make the MegaCab in a long box. Brian Wood removed the old box, pulled the rear axle and cut the frame in half.

photo 9He then added the 20-inch frame photo 10extension, tacked it into place, made sure everything was level and square and then welded it into place so it would be nice and solid. Brian then reinstalled the axle and added an exhaust and brake line extension; the wiring was long enough that it didn't need to be spliced.

photo 11The new long box was painted to photo 12match, and to wrap things up we went next door to Terry's Tops, who sprayed in a Rhino Lining.

Now my new TRUCKBOSS Deck fits like it should and I can haul snowmobiles and UTV's with ease. I also installed SuperClamps new photo 13ATV tie down system that locks 14down your ATV/UTV with a couple of quick clamps.

Adding Power

Next up I knew I needed to add more power and mileage. I had heard great things about 15PowerLabs in Idaho Falls, Idaho, 16so I contacted Brent Willsey to see about getting my MegaCab up to speed. A couple of weeks later I drove my truck down from Montana and averaged 14 miles per gallon at 75 miles per hour. The first thing we did was run the quarter mile and see just how slow 17this truck really was: 18.78 at 76 18mph, which is painfully slow! Next we strapped the truck onto PowerLabs SuperFlow dyno and the truck laid down 344.6 rear wheel horsepower.

One of the first things we did was to install an H&S MiniMax tuner 19and we picked up 60 horsepower, 20even with the stock exhaust and emissions in place. This is a great add on to keep your truck emissions legal. Now it was time to unleash some real numbers. For testing purposes we removed the stock down pipe and catalytic converter as well as the very 21restrictive DPF and emission 22choking EGR system. Now that the truck can breathe, we added the AirDog II fuel pump. The new compact AirDog II provides the most effective technology designed specifically for diesel pickups to remove water, particulates, vapor and entrained air from diesel fuel. The AirDog replaces the factory lift pump and filter system, and enhances the fuel delivery to your diesel engine.

22While the truck was in the air we 22had Bret from TITAN Tanks come over and install one of their 52-gallon fuel tanks. Now when we travel deep into Canada, I can fill up on this side of the border and make it back without having to pay the super high diesel prices up there, pretty cool, eh!

23Another really cool product I fell in love with was the trick electric steps from AMP-Research.

These are awesome steps that automatically retract when not in use. They also have really cool LED lights that light the steps at night. The AMP-Research steps are well-built with sealed bearings and I know they will last on the yucky roads we have up north. I also installed their new rear step that mounts right below the rear bumper and folds out of the way with just a bump from your foot.

24Dave Anderson from Rapid Hitch came by and installed their all-aluminum adjustable hitch that you just flip over for either 2-inch or 2 5/16-inch ball sizes.

Back on the dyno we upped the power to 481.4 rear wheel horsepower, a 137hp gain! Out on the road we ran the quarter-mile again, now turning an ET of 16.59, which was 2.19 seconds faster!

On my way back to Montana, I once again set the cruise control at 75 mph and this time the mileage went up to 17 mph. I hand calculated the mileage and the factory mileage indicator was still fairly accurate. With the miles I drive each year, these improvements will save me over $1000 per year in fuel savings! Not to mention the truck is so much more drivable with more passing and pulling power.

Phase Two

The second phase for my "Ultimate Tow Rig" build will include a MyGig Lockpick for the factory media center and a FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) system that will allow me to see critters and obstacles over 1000 feet down the road in total darkness! I am also putting a Warn 12,000 pound Powerplant Dual Force HD winch with built-in air compressor as well as Warn's new HID lights! New wheels and tires along with a lift kit are also on order. I also want to break the 500 horsepower barrier so we will also be adding a water/methanol injection system by Snow Performance as well as a high flow air filter system. Now my buddies no longer fight for "shotgun" but instead want the rear seat because of all the extra legroom the Dodge MegaCab now offers!

Sources:

AirDog
www.pureflowairdog.com

AMP RESEARCH
www.amp-research.com

PowerLabs Diesel
www.powerlabsdiesel.com

Precision Body Line
www.longbedmytruck.com

Rapid Hitch
www.andersenhitches.com

SuperClamp
www.superclamp.net

TITAN Fuel Tanks
www.titanfueltanks.com

TRUCKBOSS
www.truckbossdecks.com

Zoom Productions
www.mountainmodmania.com
www.sidexsidemania.com

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