Wow!

Has it really been three years since we began the work on our '87 Dodge D150? Looking at the timeslip from July of 1996 set our memories in motion.

Now, 35 months later, the owner of our D150 is grinning from ear to ear. Tom Rounds not only has one awesome looking Dodge sport truck, but the lofty goals set have been attained: 1) Build a D150 Ram truck that embraced the earlier Ram truck styling. 2) Maintain the Slant Six reliability and efficiency. 3) Run like a V-8.

Our first goal was only difficult from a research standpoint. With help from Tom and Tech Editor Brad Ocock, not to mention hours of telephone calls, we were pleasantly surprised at the long list of vendors willing to assist with the project who also offered parts specific to D150s. Items like the bench seat from Sewfine and rollpan from Sir Michael's were great finds for anyone seeking to modify their pre-'94 Dodge Ram truck. Goal one was attained and we provide that long list of sources as proof at the end of this article.

Secondly, Tom still wanted a truck. We doubt he'll ever get a load of gravel in it, but the suspension combination from Chisholm coupled with the stylish Atlas 360 American Racing Wheels offers the use factor of the truck without sacrificing an iota of eye appeal.

Additionally, the truck remained reliable and efficient thanks to a great engine combination. Our "Slant Six Power Package" was documented in the April '99 issue with the complete drivetrain installation documented in the July '99 issue. Our meager six cylinder was transformed to a Leaning Tower of Power, yet Tom, to this day, still easily squeaks out 15 mpg around town, which is a full 1 mpg better than it was prior to modification. On the highway, the truck easily gets 18 mpg.

But man doesn't get all giddy from fuel efficiency. The chassis dyno at Vinci Hi-Performance proved we had big gains--a full 85hp and 83 lb-ft of torque as compared to a stock Slant Six. But dyno numbers are dyno numbers. The real test was at the track. The trip back down the return road at DeSoto proved that goal number three was accomplished. Back in July of 1996, the best the D150 could muster was a low 20-second e.t.--20.62 at 64.59 mph to be exact. Now, we had a full 3.26-second improvement to a 17.36 at 77.88 mph.

That is right in line with V-8 Magnum 5.2L (318ci) performance. A quick look at road tests from current performance magazines showed that our effort was right in line with a Motor Trend road test (August '98 issue) of a '98 318 Magnum-powered Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab Sport--17.00 at 79.5 mph.

While we ran head-long into several obstacles, Tom's efforts in coordinating the project here at the Mopar Muscle offices in Florida show that we have come a long way. Now, it's your turn to make your D150 the kind of sport truck you've known it could be all along. But don't let anybody tell you that a '91-'93 grille bolts right into the '90-and-earlier Rams. We found out for ourselves!