real change to the Viper V10 is a new oil pan, to provide clearance to
the pickup’s front axle. The Viper’s Tremec T56 six-speed
manual was fitted with Hurst linkage and a long, rectangular Hurst shift
lever that tapers into a cylindrical shape just below the Viper shift
knob. To make sure the shift lever falls properly to the driver’s
right hand, the Ram’s center console was redesigned and repositioned.
Exhaust flows through the Viper’s regular four catalyst set up,
with 2 ¾-inch dual pipes leading into and out of the muffler and
with the exhaust system capped by a pair of 3 ½-inch tips.
Body-side cladding and the rear fascia and wing enhance both appearance
and dynamics, says Dodge.
A Dana 60 rear axle with a 4.11 ratio was needed to deal with the engine’s
power, and both front and rear suspension were modified to help put that
power to the pavement and keep the driver in its control.
Bilstein shocks and revised front and rear strut assemblies and a new
rear sway bar to deal with cornering loads generated by a 5150-pound vehicle
with such high-performance dynamic potential. The front also was lowered
by an inch and the rear by 2½ inches.
To overcome pickup truck power hop, the rear leaf spring was moved to
below the axle instead of above it, and a “power hop snubber”
– a short, stubby appendage -- was added near the front of the lowest
leaf. Borrowing a trick used by off-road racers, a third rear Bilstein
shock absorber was added between the frame and rear axle.
As a result, says Knott, the SRT-10 can go from standing still to 60
mph in five seconds and can turn the quarter-mile in the 14-second bracket.
And the suspension and those big brakes work together to stop the truck
from 60 in less than 120 feet, he adds, noting that the rotors are thick
enough to resist brake fade even through 10 consecutive hard stops.
While revised suspension and brakes keep things controlled outside, revised
seats help keep the driver and passenger in place in the cabin. Seat bolsters
have been enlarged and the center section of the buckets is covered in
perforated suede so you stick as well as those Pirellis when you go through
high-load cornering maneuvers.