Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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The continuing refurbish of our old Ram pauses for some maintenance. Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of articles following the transformation of a stock 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 into a competition-caliber diesel. A that services diesel pickups knows that maintenance on these vehicles is very important for longevity. Oil changes along with fluid/filter checks are vital to the diesel engine, especially during the winter months. The old 1996 Dodge I'm rebuilding is no different than the regular diesels on the road. It takes regular maintenance— especially since I drive it long distances ny normal garage By Ron Knoch to events. Oil is very important to diesel owners—it's almost fighting words when questioning which oil to use in their truck! Oil's Well I chose an oil that I asked to be mixed a few years ago by a company that makes it here in the Midwest in Clinton, Mo. Champion Oil makes an oil for older, nonDPF diesel trucks called Blue Flame Oil. Many of the additives taken out around 2008 have been put back into this oil, which helps the synthetic blend oil quiet PERFORMANCE Maintaining Momentum my old 12-valve down quite a bit. I noticed the oil temperature dropped a bit as well and it did not break down as quickly as the conventional oil I had been using. I combined the better oil with my K&N oil filter to ensure the engine remained clean and lubricated during long trips. After two oil changes, I checked the filter and found very little contamination or debris. You are doing your customer a favor by checking all fluids and lubricating all points when servicing their truck. Most people will not complain a bit if you ask them for extra money if their levels are low. Since I was messing with the oil, I decided to replace the plain-looking Cummins valve cover with something that has a bit more show to it, as part of my plan to start dressing up the engine compartment. It is a simple replacement with just two bolts and, as you can see in the accompanying photo, made quite the difference. Next will be the exhaust manifold and turbo replacement, along with some other amenities. The finished grille and bumper complete the two-tone look of the older Dodge Ram, and make a strong first impression. February 2014 PHBFEB.indd 49 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 49 1/3/14 12:15 PM

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