Ramule the Manual. Yep, you read that right, this particular build got its name from its uniquely featured three pedals and hand shaker protruding from the center hump. As some may not be aware, 2018 is the last year for a manual transmission to be found in ANY of the big three diesels as GM bailed out back in 2006 and Ford in 2010. Its sad to say, but one day, our children, or maybe our childrens children will have no idea even what a manual transmission is, let alone how to drive one, as they will be completely extinct, rotting in scrap yards across America.
Beyond the cool name, Ramule was purpose built to be Diesel Power Products' official tow vehicle, hauling other trucks and vehicles to events across the country. Because of this, we took a slightly different approach than what we've been done in the past. Yes, big tires, good suspension, and more horsepower were definitely requirements, however, more in moderation you could say. First of all, we opted for a 37" Nitto Trail Grappler tire wrapped around 20" KMC Grenade rims, instead of our typical 40" meats. This would aid in better towing characteristics due to a lower profile sidewall, thus less lateral tire flex. For suspension, we went for a BDS 6" lift featuring Fox 2.0 shocks and upgraded using a set of BDS Recoil Traction Bars. Some of the reasons we chose this particular suspension is because it rides impeccable, while not reducing payload capacity. Another great reason is the availability of components in the event we were to need a replacement part when we're half way across country. With BDS, we can most likely find a stocking dealer local to wherever we may be at. The addition of the Recoil Traction Bars delivers great resistance to rear axle roll and hop at take off when we're loaded down, all while still maintaining the capability for the suspension to articulate due to the unique design of the Recoils. And to round out the suspension upgrades, a set of Hellwig Big Wig Air Bags ensure we're never nose high when the gooseneck's loaded down.
Because Ram has recently been favoring tall gear ratios to aid in fuel economy (but destroys towing capability once taller tires are installed), we knew that even with the modest tire size increase, a lower gear ratio package would be necessary. We got with our friends over at Nitro Gear and Axle and decided on a 4.30 gear package that would deliver a slightly lower RPM to speed runout compared to the stock gear and tire package. Especially for anyone doing any kind of towing, we can't preach it enough, this is absolutely essential.
Now, we wouldn't be Diesel Power Products if we weren't prone to improving upon the performance, right?! To ensure Ramule was a capable hauler and could still destroy most other vehicles from a stoplight, we upgraded the factory, mild tuning with an Edge Juice with Attitude CTS2. This device is hands down one of our favorite ways to safely add a ton of available horsepower. And the iciing on the cake is the feature rich intuitive touch screen that also allows us to control numerous accessories from, instead of simple switches on the dash. To complement the Edge, we also added one of BD's Throttle Sensitivity Booster that eliminates the common throttle delay found in all drive-by-wire systems. And what's really helpful on manual trans equipped trucks, is that it allows you to roll back into the power between shifts much quicker than without the device. To complement our newfound additional power, and S&B cold air intake was installed to keep EGT's at a minimum, and turbo spoolup time at a maximum. While this truck wouldn't be pushing 60+ psi of boost, a set of ARP head studs were bolted in as added insurance against a blown head gasket. Finally, a South Bend Dual Disc Organic Clutch rounds out the performance side of things to replace the failure prone factory G56 dual mass flywheel piece of garbage.
When out on the open road in the middle of the night, we needed to ensure that we could see any obstacles before they became a speed bump, and a set of Baja Designs XL80's mounted to the hood hinges via ZROADZ brackets delivers a cool, Jeep inspired alternative to roof or bumper mounts. For those times we are bumper towing, a massive Gen-Y 9" drop hitch is employed, and let me tell you, this thing is a piece of metallurgical art.
Overall, Ramule the Manual, is really built how many of our customers want their trucks, reliable, capable, and still turns heads everywhere it goes.