Holley Restomods the '72-'93 Dodge D100 Pickups

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
holley restomods the 72 93 dodge d100 pickups

Holley is about to do for ’72-’93 Dodge D-100 pickups what it did for ’67-’72 GM C-10 trucks, which is to raise their performance profile exponentially and make those old Dodge trucks highly sought after.

You may recall the Warlock, a special edition Dodge truck from the ’70s, along with the L’il Red Express, both prized by collectors. But as Holley noted, once they had reached that number of limited production trucks, Dodge returned to their regularly scheduled programming. It wasn’t until much later, when Dodge trucks all became Rams, that they built another hot rod hauler.

It should come as no surprise that Holley, with its vast array of performance products, has found a way to modify those ’72-’93 Dodge D100s, and has packaged them in a way that works almost effortlessly. The plan they’ve put together is deceptively simple, and it starts as they did, in finding a D100 in decent shape. The ’84 Dodge Ram D100 in Beige Sand that they chose is about as innocuous as they come, outside of a slightly lowered stance and their selection of wheels and tires. Nice, but hardly a predecessor to today’s TRX, right?

That was before they took the anemic 318 V8 out, and in its place installed a 392 from a 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, with 485 HP and 475 ft/lbs of torque. The 6.4-liter Hemi and the Tremec TR6060 that came with it will fit nicely in the Dodge’s engine bay, using Hooker BHS528 Blackheart motor mounts, a BHS525 transmission cross member, 71223029HKR polyurethane transmission mount, and a BHS528 transmission adapter.

Mopar Performance’s 392 crate Hemi engine kit, part number 77072454AF, contains the power distribution center, accelerator pedal, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, sensors, and the powertrain control module (PCM) needed to connect today’s technology with that of the past. Fuel is provided by a custom sending unit with a 255 LPH 12-935 fuel pump, and a 19-390 returnless regulator, used inside a ’92-’93 Dodge fuel tank. The Tremec transmission uses a Bowler Magnum tail shaft conversion and a Hurst Blackjack 3918309 short-throw with a Hurst 5384331 Hurst shifter stick. Custom cast-iron, prototype exhaust manifolds, and replacement catalytic converters for a 2015 Dodge Challenger are used along with a Hooker Blackheart BH2356 exhaust kit that imitates the factory’s side-exit exhaust.

A later-model Dodge D-series clutch master cylinder is used with a factory replacement Hellcat dual-disk clutch and hydraulic slave cylinder, transmitting power through an Inland Empire driveshaft to the 4.10-geared, limited-slip rear axle. A set of modified Dodge B-series van control arms were used to lower the front end, with a custom-made flip kit in the rear.

All in, Holley spent roughly $17,000 on their D100, including $6,500 for the truck itself, and $5,000 for the engine and transmission. One of two trucks like this that Holley assembled to test how well all the components worked together, the other differed in that it used an automatic, and is a long bed. In the past, I took one of Holley’s C-10 trucks for a drive, and if that was any indication, the D100 will put a big smile on your face.

[Images: Holley, Ram]

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  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.