VULCANIZED
Street Trucks|March 2020
Stronger, Harder and Tougher Than the Original Version
HUMBERTO ORTIZ

ABOUT EIGHT YEARS AGO, I WAS BUILDING A TRADITIONAL HOT-ROD TRUCK WITH AN EARLY HEMI; IT WAS A FULL CUSTOM FRAME SLAMMED WITH AIR RIDE AND A SOLID AXLE FRONT END WITH BIG WHITE WALLS AND A SERIOUS CHOP AND CHANNEL JOB. Then I had my firstborn and a few years later my second, so when I was finally able to get back to my project, I realized my whole family wouldn’t be able to cruise together. So, that’s how I decided to build a crew cab, but I had the idea to build a first-gen Cummins Dodge years before when I owned one as my work truck. I thought slamming one on-air with some Alcoa’s would be sick and, of course, different.

I found this truck on Craig’s List, it was originally from North Carolina where they did the Cummins swap back in the early ’90s. The truck was sold to a guy in Midland, Texas, who was doing oil field work and decided he needed a newer truck. That’s when I swooped in and made an offer. I drove it home where I used it as a work truck for nearly a year before I started the teardown process in the spring of 2015.

I stripped the truck down to the chassis and cab and set it on my frame table where I proceeded to rebuild the chassis from scratch. I started with the redesign of the front suspension using only the factory spindles. I designed and built my own upper and lower control arms, and then I built the bag and shock brackets, mounted the steering rack and finished it off with a beefy sway bar. Then I moved to the back half of the truck where I used 2x6-inch square tubing to build a whole

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