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Our friends at Fulcrum Fabrication in Simi Valley, Calif., were nice enough to let us steal a lift to work on our Dodge. In less than an hour we had the stock suspension out and it looked like we might be wheeling our Ram that afternoon... Guess we should have known better. By the way, what do you guys think of the brush guard we found on eBay for $250? Does it look OK? We'll paint it, but we wish we had a way to mount a winch on the front of the truck.

4-Wheel & Off-Road Feature Editor Jerrod Jones was forced to sawzall the stock suspension mounting points off the frame at gunpoint. We didn't have any guns with us—so we improvised.

"Uh guys, are you sure the front springs came with the kit?"



Dirt Heads - 2000 Dodge Ram
During the Build

We spent the weekend in Simi Valley, CA hording shop space at Fulcrum Fabrication so we could lift our Dodge Ram. We carted the six-inch Dick Cepek suspension lift along with us and came armed with a case of Coke and the number for the local pizza joint. Should be easy, right? Wrong! What we planned on being a simple one-day, bolt-on install turned into a knock-down, drag-out fight that brought out the torches, grinders and sawzalls. And lots of swearing. By lunchtime on Day One we knew we were in for a two-day battle—at least.

It seems the previous owner had "modified" our Ram with some kind of bogus running boards that he had welded directly to the truck's frame. It was just our luck that this crap was right where the new Dick Cepek suspension brackets had to bolt on! After what seemed like hours of cutting and grinding to remove the extra metal we still had to spend a half day drilling holes in our Dodge's frame to fit the new pieces. The process should have gone quicker, but I swear the tools we brought with us were so old they must have come over on the Mayflower. The good news is that after two days of monkeying with the truck we've got the front suspension 90% done and the rear scheduled for later this week. We've still got to figure out a way to make the steering work again. Anyone out there have some new tie rod ends they want to sell us?