Equipt Expedition Outfitters


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Mopar. Dodge. Ram.


I've been a fan for years. When I decided to sell the Tacoma, the decision was made to purchase something with better fuel economy, and better payload. We looked at all options and I test drove a 2016 Power Wagon. I liked it a lot but despite the lockers and swaybar disconnect the payload was not what I needed for the "end state" of this build. Additionally, the estimated fuel efficiency was less than the diesel powered 2500 so the idea struck me that maybe we could build a "Better Power Wagon" by taking a diesel Ram and adding lockers, sliders and some well thought out suspension modifications for the best of both worlds. A Torque Wagon.


After talking to @Mike and @BlkWgn and @Mr. Leary about pros and cons - my decision was made to actually sell the Tacoma this time and make the jump to a Ram 2500 4x4 Cummins Turbo Diesel.


Ram offers the 2500 series trucks in a variety of trim levels ranging from the spartan, work truck edition Tradesman all the way up to the lofty, leather clad Limited edition. After copious study of all things Ram and with an eye towards doing it right the first time, we decided on the Big Horn trim level as it afforded a good level of "luxury" while also not inflating the MSRP disproportionately. The next trim level up, Laramie, adds about $10K to the price for example and although leather is nice I didn't feel like there was that much value added from one trim level to the next to warrant the cost.

So the search for a Big Horn diesel began and ultimately led us to Planet Dodge in Flagstaff, AZ where we found a new one with the right options for about $12K under MSRP, making it both possible to afford this truck and worthwhile to make the road trip from SoCal and back to buy the truck.

Here are the first few images of this build, Savannah has dubbed this truck "Rocky Ram" - here she is on day one:


For posterity, here's the window sticker on this truck.



2016 RAM 2500 BIG HORN 4X4 Cummins Turbo Diesel

Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 4 suspension (2.5 inch lift), Air Lift 5000 airbags, rear coil spacers etc by CJC Offroad
BF Goodrich 37x12.50R17 All Terrain KO2's
Unique 297 steel wheels (297-8980), 17X9, 5 inch backspace, zero (0) offset, 8 lugs on 6.5 pattern (8x165.1)
Nitro-Gear 4.30 HD ring and pinion

Buckstop Bumpers "Boss" front bumper
White Knuckle Offroad Products Rock Sliders (HD)

2016 Four Wheel Campers "Hawk" flatbed
AT Overland aluminum tray conversion
AT Overland fiberthane composite storage boxes

Rigid Industries RDS 30" Midnight light bar
Rigid D2 fogs (front)
Rigid R2-46 combo driving (front)
Rigid SR-Q flush mount backup lights (rear)

4x4 sPod

Edge Juice with Attitude CTS2

ARB CKMTA12 onboard dual air compressor
WARN 16.5 Ti winch, WARN synthetic line and accessories
Recovery gear by Factor 55, Bubba Rope and HiLift

American Expedition Vehicles Ram raised air intake system


-U-Connect 8.4 flashed to software version 16.09.09, AUG 2016.

-Oil changed to Valvoline Premium Blue Extreme 5W40 full synthetic. Air filter changed. 11K miles, DEC 28 2016

-BFG All Terrain KO2's. 11K miles, DEC 2016.

-Nitro Gear 4.30 HD ring and pinion install, ARB Air Locker (rear), synthetic gear oil. 11,700 miles, 19 JAN 2017.

-Wiper blades, 22 inch. 20 JAN 2017.

-Front and Rear Differential fluids changed, Valvoline Synpower 75W-90 synthetic gear oil. 14.2K miles, 30 JAN 2017.

-Fuel filters changed (front and rear) FRONT HOW TO - REAR HOW TO - 15.5K miles, 1 APR 2017

-BFG five tire rotation after 5K miles. Done at 16,319 miles. 22 APR 2017.

-Oil change with Valvoline Premium Blue Extreme 5W40 full synthetic. Air filter changed. 23842 miles, SEP 19 2017.



Ram uses two fuel filters on these. This is a good thing with today's varying diesel fuel quality when travelling. The rear filter by the tank is there to separate water from the fuel prior to it getting to the fuel filter at the engine. This two stage process keeps your injectors and other bits happy on the 6.7 liter Cummins.

Fun fact: Maintenance on a diesel truck is a LOT more expensive than a gasser. The dealer wanted about $380 to change these out (parts and labor), I bought both filters a O'Reilly's for less than $100. I recommend genuine MOPAR or WIX filters. Here are the filters on AMAZON.

Mopar PN's are 68157291AA and 68197867AA

TOOLS: You need a LISLE 14600 29 mm socket or 1 1/8 socket for the filter, channel locks, a drain pan and length of 3/8 hose, and a large filter wrench.

PPE: Nitrile gloves, eye protection.

Here are a couple resources to break it down for the DIY types like me.

Front filter change (basic video)

Front and Rear filter change (detailed video)

I hate the seat belt chime. Here's how to turn it of on 2009-2017 Ram trucks ;)

Congrats Dave. Looking forward to the build.

We had a customer roll in today with an EZ Lite pop up camper. She said they are built in El Cajon. I'm going to look into them, see how they compare with 4WC's.

Choosing a truck is a series of compromises - size, weight, mpg, range, payload and other factors. One thing I was not going to compromise on was drivetrain and suspension.


The Cummins Turbo Diesel speaks for itself. Proven worldwide, at 370 HP and 800 lb-ft of torque it's a monster, and I'm blown away by the power this thing makes. The 68RFE 6 speed automatic is smooth as butter.



The frame and axles are equally stout. Coil springs on all four corners (and 4 wheel disc brakes) helped me choose the 2500 over the 3500 platform as I feel the coils will be more durable and perform better off road - there's a reason the Jeep Rubicon has this arrangement.

3 link solid front axle is burly as is the fully boxed frame. The front axle/brakes on the 2500 and 3500 are identical.


The coil sprung 5 link rear suspension and 11.5 inch differential are equally stout and rated for the Cummins.


Here's how she sits as of September 2016:


Here's some numbers regarding cost thus far:

2016 Ram 2500 4x4 Cummins Turbo Diesel, Big Horn Package, $58,500
2016 FWC Hawk Flatbed, fully optioned, $36,500
AT Overland custom aluminum flatbed tray w/Fiberthane storage boxes, $8,000

Truck and camper with tray= $103,000

Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 4 suspension (2.5 inch lift), airbags, coil spacers etc, $4,300
Icon Alloys Shield wheels, $1,200
Toyo RT 37's with TPMS, mount/balance/warranty etc from America's Tire, $2,300
Rigid lighting, $3,000
White Knuckle Offroad Products Rock Sliders (HD), $1200
Buckstop "Boss" bumper, $2,500
sPod 4x4 "SE" touchscreen, $750
Warn 16.5 ti winch, synthetic line, accessories, $2,865
AEV snorkel (for safety), $420

Misc Mods = $18,535

Grand total of major items comprising this build to date:

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Great new platform, looking forward to the build out! The weak sauce GVRW of Toyota's current offerings has had me looking else where for the next rig. After watching two well built Rams on the Whipsaw Trail up in BC a couple years ago I was impressed how well they worked the trail with the exception of a few 20 point turns,
What is your starting time line for upgrades? Any mods in the work before OVX? Other than the camper, what is your first priority?
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Congrats Dave

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2002 LX470 expo ready
2008 Ford E350 EB V10 4x4 Sportsmobile PH top
Custom off road trailer
are you going AEV on any of it? I love their bumpers...

I like some AEV products but I still have a lot of research to do. I've learned that I have to look beyond appearance and ask myself: Is the modification necessary?

Look for this build to be very practical with an eye towards capability and capacity. If the mod does not increase one of those parameters it's just bling.
Speaking of capacity... Here's some important info:


Note that 1 Ton = 2,000 lbs :)


And capability!

Beautiful engine bay

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2002 LX470 expo ready
2008 Ford E350 EB V10 4x4 Sportsmobile PH top
Custom off road trailer
This is the thread I've been waiting for.. Although I'm a little disappointed you didn't come to me for advice too.. Hahaha.. I can't wait to see where this goes. I'm sure you're already loving the fuel economy. Glad to see you stuck with AAV silver...
So crawling around under the Torque Wagon today I'm blown away by the beefiness of everything I can see. Fully boxed frame and strength everywhere.

Factory 33's with room for 37's if I lift it


Solid front axle and BIG disc brakes on all corners


Coil suspension on all four corners



Ground clearance up front on OEM tires


Beef up front



Rear drive shaft is monstrous


Rear discs


Front driveshaft is as big as the rear shaft was on my Tacoma...


More photos under the new Torque Wagon:

Full size spare


Transfer case is well protected as us the transmission. The fully boxed crossmember and skid are so large it's hard to get it all in the frame



Unlike all the other full size 2500 series trucks, the Ram designed 5 link rear coil suspension is unique and key to my future off pavement plans - it also moves the lower shock mount up out of harms way by moving the top mount up into the frame. See above.

Here you can see the rear coil and bumpstops


Looking forward at the trans and oil pan.


One thing is for sure, I'm going to need bigger wrenches once I start modding this beast.
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