What platform would you choose to build your Ultimate Tow Rig? How would you set it up? What parts would you install? What would be the optimum horsepower/torque goal and would it be reliable and run cool under heavy tow? These are the questions that swirled around this future build… and the canvas that was chosen was a new 2018 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins Laramie Sport 4-door Longbed.
Initially, this build was going to be pretty conservative with the idea of doing a leveling kit, wheels & tires, towing airbags, transmission tuning, tonneau cover, with maybe a few other goodies. Well, as the ideas started to evolve the build theme and ideas began to snowball and we introduce to you #OperationSnowflake.
The original structure of the build had to stay intact ‘ultimate tow truck’ with the big kicker of keeping this emission compliant! So we sidelined any idea that was questionable for a tow truck, but we still had to add our own personal touch and flair to the build. To add to the complexity of this Operation Snowflake build we decided to build it Live at the 2019 Ultimate Callout Challenge in Indianapolis, 2000 miles from home, our shop, and our tools but hey, what are a few more grey hairs right?
Fast forward a bit and we are driving for 3 days, 2000 miles with a stock truck with a trailer full of parts and meet some of our good friends and install shop owners, Hunter Inman with SickNasty Diesel Performance and Matt Frailey with Widow Maker Diesel, the leaders saying they can transform and build this truck in two days with the laundry list of parts we brought. To top it off, one of our local wrap companies and Crew Sam Carlino and CW Wraps flew out from Post Falls, Idaho to wrap this truck on-site while it was being built. Crazy.
Lights, Camera, Action, and the build is on! Live in front of a crowd Frailey and Inman begin tearing into this truck with stock parts starting to stack up in the corner while the CW crew began prep and layout of the full truck wrap. It was wild to watch, everyone worked and glided around each other like a symphony, not one wrench thrown not one argument was spoke and if you live the mechanic world, you would think I’m lying!
Like clock, the morning of the 3rd and final day of the Ultimate Callout Challenge, the ‘Operation Snowflake’ build started up and pulled out from under the install tent.
We run through this build starting with the exterior parts and accessories. We still wanted that Alligator touch and flair but still reasonable and acceptable for a tow build so we went with a BDS 4.5” 4-Link Suspension lift kit with Fox 2.0 Shocks all around, dual shock hoops in the front, and their dual steering stabilizer upgrade with Fox shocks.
What tow truck wouldn't be equipped with towing airbags? PacBrake helper bags were installed to complete the suspension portion of the build.
Fitted in the wheel wells we went with the RBP Forged Peacemaker series and customized them to add in white highlights to match the truck and we wrapped those with 35x13.50r20 Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires.
As we move around the truck we installed some added protection with Flog Industries front and rear Steel Demon series bumpers with Rigid Dually lighting. And we finished off the front with Color matched Royalty Core Grille and AlphaRex headlights.
As we make our way under the hood and start jumping into the performance side of things, we kicked it off with ATS diesel’s emission-compliant compound turbo kit, the Vortex 5000. Towing compound turbos is obviously the best way to go and we wanted to keep the factory VGT turbo to continue to utilize the turbo brake and ATS had cornered that market by designing a very unique emission compliant compound kit for the 4th gen Cummins. Those turbos can run great with factory fueling, but why not bump it up a bit too?!
For fuel mods we installed Industrial Injection 100hp injectors backed by an ATS Dual Fueler Kit and supplied by Fleece Performance Intake fuel Lift Pump. No way will fuel supply be an issue!
To change the tone and rumble, a Magnaflow 5” DPF-back Exhaust was added in. It might not add much for overall performance due to the fact the catalytic converter and DPF filter were still intact, but it did change how it growled.
Moving Into the Drivetrain, backing up the added horsepower and torque we went with the BD Diesel Transmission, Billet shafts and internals, with their triple disc converter. With BD’s 68RFE Pressure controller and engine/transmission tuning by Calibrated Power this Transmission feels almost invincible!
To counter the gear ratio with the oversized tires and already tall factory gearing, we installed 4.11 gears from Nitro Gear & Axle. The goal in doing this is to bring the RPM’s up so the truck runs better in its power band and to run cooler at highway speeds while towing.
To help keep those gears and gear oil cool, we added in front and rear differential covers by BD Diesel.
Interior-wise, there wasn't much to add to this fully loaded interior so we upgraded the floor liners with Aries mats.
To make sure everything is tied together and running properly, the Edge CTS3 digital monitoring screen is the only gauge setup needed to check all the parameters and to keep a helping eye on pressures and temperatures. Overall this has been a fun and action-packed build that took months to plan out and execute but after everything came together this 6.7L Cummins is a reliable power house of a tow truck!