Down and Dirty

December 2nd, 2009

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For most of us enthusiasts, we live to customize our trucks and/or help others by working on theirs. Rather than spending hours kicking back and watching the boob tube after work, we prefer to go in the garage and play with our trucks.

Edgar Lopez Stopped at Nothing to Create This Wide-Body Dodge

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Edgar Lopez
2003 Dodge Ram
Palmdale, CA

For most of us enthusiasts, we live to customize our trucks and/or help others by working on theirs. Rather than spending hours kicking back and watching the boob tube after work, we prefer to go in the garage and play with our trucks. For some reason, we find nirvana through this process of working on a project to show off a final product. It is in our souls, and we cannot help the fact that we think about trucks 24/7.

For enthusiasts who aren’t able to make a living wrenching on rides, it can be difficult to fund this hobby; however, if you are a serious fan, you’ll find a way to feed the need. Such was the case for Edgar Lopez. He got into the restaurant business because of his family, but he loves using his hard-earned cash to buy tools and parts to customize trucks.
His most recent creation is this ’03 Dodge Ram he’s been working on since he was a teenager. After graduating from high school, Edgar enrolled himself into some occupational welding classes. From there he started welding filler plates to shave the door handles, third brake light, fuel door, and tailgate handle. Though he became well educated on welding, he wanted to learn more about body and fiberglass work. He eventually picked up these skills by talking to people in the scene and doing research online.

By checking out other trucks at shows, Edgar caught on to the idea of using an air ride-style suspension to get his Ram to sit real low. To make all of this possible, he took it to Metal Minds Fabrication in Lancaster, California. The crew there made a custom 3-link suspension for the rear and mounted in a set of Firestone 2600 airbags on the front and rear. To get the truck even lower they gave it a stock-floor body drop.

While working up to 12-hour workdays, Edgar was able to save some money for tools and set up his shop, Lopez Inc. With a place to work, Edgar got busy fitting these 24 x 10 and 24 x 12 Forgiato Concavo wheels with 30 series Pirelli Pzero Nero tires on the truck. Rather than narrowing the chassis for the wide wheels, Edgar decided to make the body wider so it would handle better on curves. To accomplish this, he cut the body panels on the inside and wedged new steel in between. With the body panels stretched, Edgar welded in some Grant Kustoms taillight fillers and a roll pan that has a 56-inch Hi Tech LED brake light. Then he mounted two 3-inch Hi Tech LED brake lights on the back of the cab’s rear pillars.

On the inside, all of the plastic pieces were smoothed and painted black to match the exterior. In the center is a custom fiberglass console that extends from the dash to the rear of the cab. This piece also doubles as a mobile electronics center with a JVC DVD head unit, Rockford Fosgate 6.5-inch speakers, two 1,000-watt amps, and two P3 shallow subwoofers. While the interior components were pulled out for paint, Edgar had the seats and headliner covered in leather by High Quality Upholstery in Canyon Country, California.

Just before finishing the truck, Edgar added a Vortech Navi 2000 supercharger and custom alcohol injection system to the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Once the power mods were finished, Edgar made a custom set of side mirrors, smooth wiper cowl, and tailored the front bumper to fit the supercharger’s intercooler. Then the truck received some bodywork and was painted to shine. The response he got afterwards was great, and he is already working on a few other trucks for his next time around; one of which is going to be completely built from the ground up and contain parts each of the Big Three. Seeing how he did so well with this truck, we can hardly wait to see what comes out next from the Lopez Inc. garage.

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Dressing up the inside of the cab is a custom center console that holds the majority of the sound system. To take the interior even further, all the plastics were painted to match the body.
The factory seats were reupholstered in black leather and suede. Edgar also made sure to have is shop name, Lopez Inc., embroidered on the headrests.
The front bumper was shaved clean and received a scoop to provide plenty of air to the intercooler.

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In order to fit the 24 x 10 and 24 x 12 Forgiato Concavo wheels all of the truck’s side panels were widened.

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