1994 Ram “Moose”
Modifying your vehicle is a slippery slope. You could upgrade one component, or maybe just a few, but it never really works out that way. I have spent the last 6 months restoring my 5-speed Ram 2500. Since I live with a mechanic, the work we did went well past simple repairs.
Second gen Rams have fantastic aftermarket support, and the 12-valve Cummins is endlessly tunable. Rather than buy a brand new truck, I decided to build an old one which could put the hurt on much more expensive, modern trucks. From cosmetics, to simple repairs, to engine tuning the project has costed just over $20,000 give or take.
Compared to new vehicles, that is not a bad figure. The truck itself cost $8,000, plus another couple thousand in maintenance and basic repairs. Refreshing the paint and plastics then ate up another $2-3,000. By far the most expensive part was the $8,000 worth of engine upgrades.
So what do you get when you more than double the price of a 1994 Ram? Here is a shortlist of the bigger items we installed.
- S300 BorgWarner Turbo
- MBRP 4″ Downpipe
- BD Diesel, 3-piece Exhaust Manifold
- Banks Twin-Ram Intake Manifold
- 60 Pound Valve Springs
- Uprated Keepers and Retainers
- Machined Rocker Pedestals
- Killer Dowel Pin Fix
- ARP Head Studs
- AFC Live Fuel Control
- 150 Over Injectors
- AirDog Lift Pump
- 4K Governor Spring
- South Bend Dual Disc
- Bilstein 5100 Shocks
- Adjustable Track Bar
- 2″ Level Kit
- 35 Inch Cooper A/Ts
- New Hitch Receiver and 7-Pin
- Remanufactured Factory Radio with Bluetooth
- 4 Kicker Speakers
- New Plastics All Around
- New Headlights and Tail Lights
- Amber Fog lights and LED Cab lights
- Reproduction Tail Gate
- Reproduction Rear Bumper
- Reproduction Grille
- 3RD Gen Power Mirrors
- Raptor Liner Bed Lining Kit
Of course there are countless other small items, materials like paint, and specialty tools not included in that list. With the modifications listed above, the truck’s current power output is likely around 300-400 horsepower and 600-700lb-ft of torque. Almost double its original figure of 175 horsepower and 420lb-ft of torque.
Though its current output is enough to spin tires in 3rd gear, this project doesn’t stop there. With a built P7100 fuel pump and a compound turbo, max power will sit around 575 horsepower at the wheels. That is when 4WD will become necessary for full-throttle driving.
Many of the parts listed above aren’t required to make that much power, but they do contribute to reliability and drivability. Labor costs are not factored into the cost of the build, because all of the parts were installed DIY. What really makes these trucks great candidates for modification goes well beyond their ability to produce massive power using a mostly factory powertrain.
If you stay out of the throttle, fuel mileage sits around 16-19MPG. And at the end of the day, you still have a capable, utilitarian, 4WD truck that can do anything you need a truck to do.
To be fair, the ride quality is poor, and cheap Chrysler interior components aren’t the best. Though, that is a tradeoff I am happy to make for a fast, reliable, fun to drive truck that never gets old. To see more details of the 1994 Ram 2500 “Moose,” check out the video linked below.