SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - MAY 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 57 of 98

2017 RAM
POWER WAGON THIS 4X4 TRUCK HAS THE PERFORMANCE REAL OFF-ROAD ENTHUSIASTS NEED By Janaise Sanchez Ram Truck engineering continues to impress off-road truck enthusiasts, especially with the introduction of the company’s new 2017 Ram Power Wagon. This 4x4 pickup features a multitude of off-road performance improvements including a capable suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials, and a 12,000 -lb. winch. With these features and more, the Power Wagon is definitely at the top of the list for SCORE and off-road enthusiasts wanting a serious off-road truck that is also geared for outdoor lifestyles. Appearance Is Off-Road Ready The Power Wagon has an all-new exterior and interior design that lives up to its tough appearance and off-road capabilities. “The Ram Power Wagon is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup,” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA - Global. Ram tries its assertion of creating the Power Wagon as the “ultimate off-road truck” with a tough and well-crafted exterior design. This starts with a bold, blacked-out grille that features a prominent billet silver “RAM” letter badge on it. Black bezel bi-function projector headlamps with LED marker lights help to accent the vehicle’s front, while the vent-stamped hood encompasses a gloss black graphic. A robust dose of powder coating is used on high abuse areas like the front and rear bumpers, but peering through the front bumper is a roller fairlead that hints there’s a Warn 12,000 -lb. winch behind it, equipped with 90 feet of heavy-gauge steel line and a large winch hook. The Power Wagon definitely has a tough off-road stance, which is aided by 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum silver and black wheels mounted on a set of 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires. An optional backup camera in the tailgate renders for a clearer field of vision when maneuvering. Ram engineers also gave the truck an exclusive cargo-view camera, which permits owners to monitor bed loads without having to look back. Alternating the view from tailgate to the truck bed is made simple with the Uconnect 8.4 touch screen. There is additionally, an optional trifold tonneau cover that is available and is embossed with the Ram logo. The Power Wagon’s distinguishing outdoor truck look is aided with gloss black graphics across the black power-coated rear bumper and black bezel tail lamp housings. POWER FROM A 6.4L V8 To enhance the Power Wagon’s off-road maneuverability and tact, the engine calibration is exclusive to this model. The standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine produces 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm. The company’s HEMI architecture maintains the foundation of the 90-degree V-8 engine but the throttle response softens while the idle speed increases by 100 rpm, (from 650 to 750 rpm) when driving in four-wheel-drive- “low”. This serves as additional control when ascending and descending off-road hurdles at slower speeds. The 6.4L V-8 is designed to be more efficient, to improve fuel economy from a variety of areas such as cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR), which reduces pumping losses and lowering emissions. Pumping losses are also decreased variable-valve timing (VVT) and Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation technology. The system features 16 overhead valves (two-per-cylinder), eight deactivating and eight hydraulic lifters, all with roller followers. This can be observed when driving down the highway, where the system will seamlessly shut down four cylinders to conserve fuel, all while an active dual-runner-length intake, provides improved low-end torque without losing high-end power. The 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 also features a high volume oil cooler, oil jets for piston cooling, and aircraft-grade, stainless steel gaskets and fasteners. The cast-iron engine block has a deep-skirt with cross-bolted main bearing caps and is topped with 356 aluminum cylinder heads featuring hemispherical combustion chambers. The combination is designed to improve durability at high temperatures. The engine also features upgraded valve seat material to combat wear, and computational fluid dynamics are used to optimize the cooling circuit. The design into the engine’s efficiency and power backs up the Ram’s five-year / 60,000-mile warranty. Heavy-Duty And Refined Drivetrain The 6.4L engine uses Ram’s 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission that is connected to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case. The system is connected to the Power Wagon’s Hill –Decent control, which provides slow speeds down steep, rugged terrain simply using the buttons found on the column shifter. Built by American Axle & Manufacturing, the Power Wagon’s axels are also made for durability. Measuring 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (an increase from 10.5 inches), they’re outfitted with a 4.10:1 ring and pinion. The rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, which results in delivering a rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Off-road enthusiasts will appreciate the electronic locking differentials in both front and rear axles. The Power Wagon also features front-axle-disconnect system to reduce parasitic loss and improve efficiency when drivetrain components are disconnected. Capable Off-Road Suspension System Bilstein shocks, modified control arms, spring rates, and more than two inches of lift are explicitly some of the Power Wagon’s features in its off-road-ready suspension system. The front suspension utilizes a three-link (Articulink) system with track bar and coil springs. The system integrates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, resulting in supplementary flexibility and axle articulation. An electronic disconnecting sway bar further adds to the suspension’s flexibility, allowing the front axle to move independently of the truck’s frame. Meanwhile, the driver-actuated “Smart Bar” disengagement is viable in both four-wheel-drive “High” or four-wheel-drive “Low” at speeds below 18 miles per hour. The Smart Bar will automatically re-engage at speeds above 18 mph, broadening roll stiffness and safety while driving. The Power Wagon also uses a five-link, coil spring rear suspension system to accentuate the ride and handling of the vehicle. It also provides better articulation over obstacles than a traditional truck rear leaf spring system, and the coil springs are designed to handle heavier payloads of up to 1,510 pounds. The truck also has a towing capacity of up to 10,030 pounds. The advantages of the five-link coil design reduce axle rotation and allow the U-joints in the driveshaft to run smoothly and with significantly less vibration throughout the suspension’s range of motion. The coil springs provide less unsprung mass and eliminate stick-slip friction. Engineered in-line with the truck’s frame rails, there’s an overall weight reduction of more than 40 pounds. Additional ride control is added by Bilstein monotube shocks, and a Bilstein damper, that links the top rear axle to the frame in the rear suspension. The combined axle and suspension design package of the Power Wagon boasts suspension articulation, and with Smart Bar engaged, it reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI) of 510. That equals up to 26 inches of travel. Sporty Interior The Ram Power Wagon’s interior is sporty and welcoming to what off-road enthusiasts look for. The seats are finished in diesel gray and black with Sedoso fabric inserts embossed with the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tire tread pattern. The front seats also have accent stitching and Ram logo embroidery on the headrests, and black with Light Diesel Gray Powder Wagon nameplate fastened to the upper seat bolsters. The premium trim option steps-up the upholstery to leather with the same embroidery and logos. The dash features a clean, detailed display that features ambient lighting that also brightens overhead, door panels, and foot wells. Satin chrome vent rings outline air output points while the center stack and doors are finished in Iron Gray Metallic paint. Wrapped with semi-perforated Black leather, the steering wheel is heated and the upper glove box door and cluster wear a Power Wagon nameplate badge. The interior also includes all-weather rubber mats line the floor with contrasting Ram’s head logo. Overhead, a new black headliner and matching upper pillars wrap up the revisions of the 2017 Power Wagon interior. Additional Stuff Of course, many truck enthusiasts want a variety of features. Just because the Ram Power Wagon is a serious off-road truck, doesn’t mean that these features are neglected. The Power Wagon can be ordered with folding mirrors and power rear-sliding window with defrost. Additionally, one-touch central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks. If you’re going to throw stuff in the bed, the Power Wagon can be ordered with a spray in bed-liner and LED bed lighting. Yes the Ram Power Wagon is a full-size truck and if someone in your family isn’t used to driving it, the truck also comes with an optional front and rear park-assist system, and power-adjustable pedals with remote start capabilities. One great feature for those who use their trucks in the Baja desert, waiting for their friends or teammates to arrive, the Power Wagon feature a dual-alternator system that combines 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total output. While the Power Wagon isn’t meant to be a super desert racer, SCORE enthusiasts know that to be successful in this sport, it takes a support crew to win. With the Power Wagon’s overall capabilities and equipment, the truck definitely makes for a great support vehicle that can haul your race vehicle into Baja, as well as have the capability of supporting a crew, and pulling any vehicle out of anywhere, anytime you need it to. SJ

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