Old Big Red
When I look out the window and say out loud with a boasting voice “there is Old Big Red”, most folks will not know what I am talking about. Hearing what I just said, my youngest granddaughter, Jenifer, asks grandpa, “Who is Old Big Red?” With a big smile quickly growing across my face, I tell her that Old Big Red is not a who, but Old Big Red is a what. I say to her, come on over here and sit on my knee “let me tell you about Old Big Red.”
I want you to know that Old Big Red is a passion of mine. “Do you know,” I can take an older used pickup truck that is currently not functioning, that actually looks like something I would find in a the scrap yard rusting away, and make something very useful out of the next vehicle I will possibly be driving. I tow it to my garage and I can grab some my tools to fix it up. I have the ability to transform rusting junkyard scrap into something that I can call my dream of a Big Boy’s Toy.
What I am talking about is my 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport extended cab 4WD (four-wheel-drive) pickup truck. My eyes get wider as I tell her, “the body gleams and glows with fire engine red paint applied in layers buffed to a brilliant shine that when the sun reflects off of it you almost need sunglasses!” On the inside of Old Big Red there are plush accommodations of a light gray full premium leather wrap on the seats, door panels, and steering wheel which feels so smooth to me when my hands are moving across each part of it. The leather smells so good because of the treatment applied to it to keep it soft and supple. The dash is all vinyl that is made to look like same premium leather. Old Big Red is outfitted with a full set of gauges that tell me the speed, RPM, oil pressure, water temperature, battery charging, and level of fuel in the big tank.
There is plush dark gray carpet all across the entire floor. Laying on top of this carpet are thick rubber floor mats to keep the dirt off of it. There is a back seat that is not as large as in a car because it is only an extended cab. I can fold up this seat to have more space to haul anything I want. Right now there are a lot of my tools filling up this space.
When the ignition starts, instantly the 383 c.i. (cubic inch) stroker engine fires up with a loud roar of exhaust coming out the headers coupled to true dual exhaust pipes mounted from the engine to the rear step bumper. This smell of this exhaust fumes are intoxicating to some people. My body can feel the sensations of the powerful engine. My hands are sinking into the leather on the steering wheel and my right foot is firmly planted on the accelerator pedal sensing the need to rev the engine. My eyes are moving back and forth across the dash watching the gauges come to life. This display of information from the engine sensors is what I need to know that all the engine functions are working OK. At the same time my eyes are telling my brain that I am taking in all the beauty of this truck, my ears are sending a different message for my brain to process, for there is loud country music coming from four different directions at once. This is because of the in dash AM/FM CD quad speaker stereo blasting the latest country hits from the local station WCJC 99.3 FM.
The enhancements I have installed on this performance built engine are to increase hp (horse power) and efficiency. I started with a 318 c.i. block bored out to .060 over and installed a 360 c.i. engines crankshaft. I then added a CAI (cold air intake), a TBI (throttle body intake) spacer, complete upgraded fuel injection, an MSD (multi – spark discharge) NASCAR ignition system, and special spark plugs. Then I removed the catalytic convertors and installed headers with straight pipes to have a true open dual exhaust system. To keep this high performance engine temperatures down to a good operating range, I needed to install an alcohol and H.H.O. (hydrogen, hydrogen, oxygen) hydrolyzer injection system.
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