Moses Ludel’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine – Latest Dodge Ram Truck News
The Mopar Ram Runner and the Ford SVT Raptor met for a shoot-out at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), a state park in southeast California with 85,000 acres of nothing but dirt, dust and desert. When all was said and done, the Mopar Ram Runner was declared the winner.
PickupTrucks.com teamed with veteran SCORE International Off-Road Racing Series Trophy Truck driver Chad Ragland to thoroughly evaluate both trucks on a challenging 4.73-mile evaluation loop.
“I was impressed with Ram Runner’s extreme off-road capability,” said Ragland. “We jumped, slammed into mounds, cut through deep sand and it came out like a pro, rarely getting into the bumpstops or touching the skid plates,” said Ragland. “Those front-end shocks are amazing. During our first set of runs, I could feel myself tighten a bit as we headed toward the big rocks and ruts, but then the front end just sucked it all up. Those big springs and shocks had no problems.
“We like how the Ram Runner kit can be built in pieces and stages based on what the truck owner wants and needs,” said Mark Williams, Editor, PickupTrucks.com. “You can go full throttle right away, or take it slower, building your perfect desert explorer at your own pace, factoring in your own budget.”
“Our Mopar Ram Runner is the ultimate desert racer based on a production vehicle,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Mopar Ram Runner offers superior suspension travel to handle rough terrain and greater approach and departure angles for better clearance.”
“We’re proud that—under the most punishing real-world test conditions possible—the Mopar Ram Runner takes PickupTrucks.com’s top off-road honors over the Ford Raptor,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO—Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico. “Whether you’re into desert racing, rock crawling, hunting and fishing, or just need a hard-working dependable work truck, there’s truly a Ram truck for everyone.”
Mopar Ram Runner Details
The Mopar Ram Runner kit, developed with successful Baja off-roader Kent Kroeker, includes the following: Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, off-road front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier, sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust. Each element of the kit may be purchased separately. The kit may be installed by do-it-yourselfers or in a Ram dealership.
The Mopar Ram Runner kit is equal to or better than the competition on a number of fronts. The heavy-duty suspension system can handle practically any abuse the off-road dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, which are three inches longer than production arms, provide added width and allow greater wheel travel over rough dirt trails.
Front lower control arms are constructed of plate steel in order to withstand off-road punishment. Upper control arms include rebuildable high-angle ball joints. Both inner and outer tie rods are substantially strengthened and contribute to the vehicle’s rugged, off-road steering characteristics and capabilities. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1 inch in diameter. Inner tie rods also are nearly 20-percent beefier than production, increasing from .62 inches to .75 inches.
At the rear, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension is utilized and helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.
The Pre-Runner Stage II kit offers a boost in suspension travel, 14 inches both front and rear, which is superior to the suspension travel on the Ford SVT Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, which includes Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with that of an off-road Baja race truck and outperforms the 2.5-inch shocks of the competition.
Ground clearance is approximately 13 inches at the center of the front cross-member and 16 inches at the rocker panels.
Body parts included in the Mopar Ram Runner kit, created with Trophy Truck inspiration, feature a tough-yet-stylish look built to handle the rigors of the off-road while turning heads on the street. The front bumper is constructed of steel with an integrated skid plate. With a 41-degree approach angle, ample clearance is assured over the deepest off-road obstacles.
Front and rear fiberglass fenders are lightweight, tough and durable with wider wheel wells that allow for tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference. The eight-inch wider track also provides an imposing, aggressive look.
The stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood adds even more to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner Kit. The spare-tire carrier is located in the bed of the pickup and enables easier access and provides the ability to transport a larger spare tire, contributing to the overall appearance and “Baja truck feel.”
Following is additional information on the Mopar Ram Runner kit, which is available for owners of 2009 to 2011 model-year Ram 1500 models:
Overview of Mopar Ram Runner Kit
(Parts may be purchased separately.)
*Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit: 5-link coil-spring rear suspension, lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Fourteen inches of suspension travel in front and rear, three-inch internal bypass Fox shocks. (MSRP: $13,670, Part No. P5155662)
*Off-Road Front Bumper: Steel construction with integrated skid plate, high approach angle of 41 degrees provides greater clearance over off-road obstacles. (MSRP: $1,290, Part No. P5155663)
*Off-Road Rear-Tire Carrier: Rear placement allows for easier access and ability to carry larger tires needed for the off-road. (MSRP: $1,425, Part No. P5155664AB)
*Off-Road Front Fenders: Tough, durable fenders feature wide wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive look. (MSRP: $1,055, Part No. P5155665)
Off-Road Rear Fenders (6-foot, 4-inch bed): Tough, durable fenders feature wide wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive appearance. (MSRP: $1,395, Part No. P5155666)
*Sport Performance Hood: Stamped aluminum, dual-scooped hood with molded bezels adds to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner kit. (MSRP: $1,070, Part No. 82211065AE)
*5.7L Cat-Back Exhaust: Dual exhaust with chromed tips for bumper with cut-outs. (MSRP: $1,175, Part No. P5155280)
December 2011—Ram Outdoorsman joins the NBC Sports Network in 2012. Officials from Orion Entertainment announced that the new Ram Outdoorsman series will launch on NBC Sports Network in the fall of 2012. (VERSUS will become NBC Sports Network in Jan 2012). The new series will focus on North America’s finest hunting and angling destinations from Alaska to Texas.
“This new series will provide the Ram Outdoorsman with even greater visibility among America’s 50 million sportsmen,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico—Chrysler Group LLC. “Chris Dorsey and Gerald McRaney are two of the best known and most credible personalities in the outdoors. Working with Orion Entertainment helps the Ram Truck brand speak directly to customers and demonstrates our commitment to the outdoors and outdoors enthusiasts.”
The series coincides with the highly successful launch of the Ram Outdoorsman pickup. Designed by a team of Ram Truck engineers who are passionate about hunting and fishing, the Ram Outdoorsman is a complete, ready-to-go solution to an outdoor enthusiast’s demanding needs.
Ram Outdoorsman is produced by Denver-based Orion Entertainment, the world’s largest independent producer of outdoor adventure programming with numerous series and specials airing and in production for NBC Sports, A&E, Discovery, Discovery’s Velocity, DIY and multiple outdoor networks.
VERSUS, part of the NBC Sports Group, serves passionate sports fans across all media platforms.