It ain’t bragging if you can do it. With a maximum speed of 150 mph and the biggest engine in a performance pickup, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 backed up its claim as the baddest truck on the block.
The Ram SRT-10 made the most of its 500 horsepower Viper engine with a combination of high technology, performance icons, and some old-fashioned hot-rodding.
“When it came to creating a 150 mph, PVO-designed Dodge Ram pickup, only the best would do,” said Dan Knott, then Director – Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO). PVO would change its name to SRT or Street Racing and Technology the following year. “We took the best parts available, a Viper V-10, a Dodge Ram 1500 chassis and body, Hurst shift linkage, and a Dana 60 rear axle. Pirelli tires, Bilstein shocks, a custom-designed power hop damper, and the braking system from the Ram Heavy Duty ensure that we can get the Ram SRT-10 slowed down for the corners.”
More than just a big engine, Ram SRT-10 added the largest standard wheels, tires, and brakes offered on a production pickup. Unique in a world of look-alike trucks, the Ram SRT-10 was a radical, custom-built performance truck, straight from the manufacturer. The Dodge Ram SRT-10 blended performance cues direct from the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
The Power and the Glory:
From the beginning, the engineers at PVO knew that this monster truck was a snake. The 8.3-liter Viper V-10 delivered 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque.
Resting on unique engine mounts; the V-10 engine delivered 90 percent of its whopping 525 lb.-ft. of torque from 1500 to 5600 rpm. The cast aluminum cylinder block had interference-fit cast-iron liners and cross-bolted main caps.
The Ram SRT-10 also featured a unique oil pan, throttle linkage, new “Hi-Flow” exhaust manifolds, special transmission mounts and a modified Ram Heavy Duty radiator tailored to fit the between the NASCAR inspired grille baffles.
The rest of the V-10 was straight from the Viper, with a six main bearing crankshaft with cross-bolted main bearing caps. Despite larger diameter aluminum alloy pistons than the previous generation’s 8.0-liter Viper engine, the pistons weighed less and were included along with all-new, lighter, and stronger cracked-steel connecting rods.
Cylinder heads on the Viper V-10 were semi-permanent mold (SPM) 356 T6 aluminum alloy. Low-profile die-cast magnesium cylinder head covers featured steel internal baffles and anti-slosh foam.
The Viper V-10 boasted a single-piece, central dual-plenum, cast aluminum intake manifold, and a single, non-staged two-barrel throttle body for higher peak horsepower RPM. The intake manifold was an all-inclusive Integrated Air and Fuel Module (IAFM) with tubular fuel rails, injectors, sensors, wiring, and throttle body. A Ram Heavy Duty cooling system was modified to handle the needs of the new Viper engine. A custom dual exhaust system was mounted to new exhaust manifolds.
The Dodge Ram SRT-10 focused its power through a purpose-built Hurst shifter and a modified version of the Viper SRT-10’s Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission. The T56 was fully synchronized with electronic reverse lockout. A new 4.5-inch aluminum driveshaft ran from the Viper-sourced transmission to a Dana 60 rear axle with a 4.11 ratio to deliver the massive torque to the road.
Despite rocket-like straight-line acceleration, the Ram SRT-10 was also designed to carve corners and challenge the laws of physics. The engineers at PVO modified the rack and pinion steering system from a Dodge Ram Heavy Duty and custom-tuned the independent front suspension.
Working with the hydroformed Dodge Ram 1500 frame, one of the stiffest in the industry at the time, PVO dropped the Ram SRT-10 one-inch in the front and 2.5-inches in the rear. New front and rear strut assemblies and a rear sway bar were added to handle the increased cornering loads and virtually eliminate body roll.
“The Dodge Ram SRT-10 delivers simply phenomenal handling,” said Knott. “But without sacrificing ride quality. This is a truck that you can run to the store in, and then start tackling apexes on your favorite set of twisties. And, depending on your right foot, the V-10 can make the straight-aways really short.”
To make the most of the excellent handling characteristics of the Dodge Ram 1500, the PVO engineers added Bilstein mono-tube shock absorbers, a new front knuckle design, and shorter and stiffer performance-tuned springs. Next came unique aerodynamic aids to keep the Ram SRT-10 planted at high speeds and 22-inch custom “Viper-style” wheels fitted with 305/40 R22 Pirelli Scorpion tires for extra adhesion. The rear leaf springs were modified and leaf spring snubbers were added for smoother power launches.
To ensure that the Ram SRT-10 made the most of its 525 lb.-ft. of torque, PVO designed a unique power hop damper to stop axle hop under full acceleration runs. A Bilstein shock absorber was fitted between the frame and axle, and now clean launches, even on slicks, were just a right foot away.
“The power goes down smooth, even as all hell is breaking loose under the hood,” added Knott. “This set-up will wrinkle slicks on an ET run just as easily as it ruins the competition’s day.”
Big brakes, another Dodge Ram staple, were also modified for the Ram SRT-10. The standard ABS-equipped brakes were fitted with new 15-inch rotors on the front brakes. Rear brakes were modified Ram Heavy Duty with 14-inch rotors. Front and rear brakes featured unique red calipers. The front fascia featured NASCAR-inspired brake cooling ducts to provide plenty of cooling for track sessions.
|2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10|
|Drivetrain layout||Front-engine, RWD, 2-door, 3-pass, truck|
|Engine type||8.3L, 90° V-10|
|Valve gear||OHV, 2 valves/cyl|
|Max horsepower @ rpm||500 @ 5600|
|Max torque @ rpm||525 @ 4200|
|Specific output, hp/L||60.2|
|Weight dist, f/r, %||55/45|
|0-60 mph, sec||5.2|
|1/4 mile, sec @ mph||13.86 @ 101.49|
|Braking, 60-0 mph, ft||122|
|600-foot slalom, mph||62.3|
|Powertrain warranty||3 yrs/36,000 miles|
|Basic warranty||3 yrs/36,000 miles|
|EPA mpg, city/hwy||10/14|
2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Image Gallery: