We made some big moves last month, but this month has been filled with time consuming tasks and waiting for a few key parts. As much as I like to spend time in the shop, life catches up and calls for more input than usual, and family always comes first.
Since our last installment, I have been able to finalize the design on the updated panhard bar and rear shock brace, which will both be formed into their finished shape and have all components permanently welded very soon. To accommodate the updated design, I was able to wrap up the rear section of the exhaust system. I’m happy with how everything fits in place. I was able to test fit the bed and clearances are even better than expected, so that’s a win in my book.
I had a chance to install the Holley Ultra Low Ram intake manifold. Before you ask, I did my research on the entire line of Holley “Ram” intakes, and the Ultra Low version ended up being my number one choice for a few reasons. According to several dyno test resources, this intake makes virtually the same horsepower as it’s brothers in the lineup. In fact, it makes more horsepower in key areas of the powerband that I will appreciate for my combination. It’s a boost-friendly design, so a future power adder will work just fine with it. I have to confess, though, the top reason I chose this manifold was packaging and aesthetics. Its compact profile and tight dimensions will help make the engine look a little meaner, while helping keep the clutter to a minimum. Another win.
I’ve also been working on some of the more tedious tasks that consume massive amounts of time. Picking interior colors and materials is insanely difficult when you have a short attention span. To make things more of a process, I decided to base all of the interior colors off the carpet color I’ve chosen. I’m headed to the upholstery supply house tomorrow to finalize the seat textiles and dye colors for the plastic and vinyl components. Having the carpet sample in hand makes it easy to keep the color family cohesive. There will be 2-3 different variations of the base color used in the interior, but they all need to flow together.
Wheel style choices and fitment are perhaps even more challenging than finalizing the interior. I’ve had a very specific idea in my head for the wheels since the inception of the project. However, picking a wheel diameter has been a bigger undertaking than I imagined. I’ve bounced between 18, 19, and 20-inch for quite some time, but finally landed on 19×11” with 315/30R19 tires as my final size for all 4 corners. It’s the “just right” Goldilocks size for Dozer.
I like the looks of the larger diameter combo, but needed to keep the fender/turning clearance in check. To help decide a final offset, I picked up one of Speedway’s budget-friendly offset calculator tools and it worked flawlessly. I was able to cycle the suspension through its travel and make sure the truck will still turn and perform at the ride height I want. I nailed down the wheel style and manufacturer, and they will be in production by the time you are reading this.
I should have a hefty update next month. Winter is here in the Midwest, and I have nothing better to do than put together your favorite magazine and hunker down in the shop. Stay tuned!