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JBowman's 2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn

JBowman

Ram Guru
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Saint Cloud, FL
Hello everyone,

I wanted to start a thread in here to maintain a timeline for my vehicle and keep track of any modifications made along the way. I would like to take a transparent approach from a cost perspective, so I plan to include pricing for everything that I can. Out of respect for sellers and businesses alike, I will not negatively name drop anyone unless if I feel it is absolutely critical to do so. If you want additional information on any company, product, or service that I have used, please shoot me a message and we can discuss. I will try to keep this primarily a general discussion in that I will avoid specific "how-to" posts as well as in-depth product reviews. I will post separate threads in the appropriate groups and categories for anything that can or should be discussed in greater detail. With that said, please feel free to provide your feedback or ask any questions that you may have. I encourage the questions, comments, and any constructive criticism you can provide along the way. That is what makes this platform so helpful.

2021 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4x4
Date of Purchase: 5/22/2021
Sticker Price: $55,875.00
Purchase Price: $47,500.00

I was able to take advantage of some Memorial Day savings as well as some other local dealer offered incentives and personal negotiating at the time of purchase. I feel I was able to drive away with a decent deal given the current heightened market conditions. With the demand for used cars, I was also able to trade in my previous vehicle for roughly $5,500 above its perfect condition NADA and Blue Book trade value. My trade in was far from perfect and was in definite need of both mechanical and cosmetic attention so that was a score in my mind.

Below you will see the included options and pricing from the window sticker as well as some pictures from when I picked it up.

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5/22/2021 - First Mod (Sort of) - Spray in Bed Liner
Price - Included with sale of vehicle
I was able to get the dealer to include a spray in liner with the purchase of the vehicle. They wouldn't budge much with other accessories, but they were willing to work with me in that regard. I was unable to get details on which product they used, but it seems to be of decent quality. I later heard that some dealers will include a spray in liner with the purchase of a truck at no additional charge if you ask, but it was still a win in my eyes.

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5/31/2021 - Ceramic Window Tint
Price: $350.00

Living in FL, window tint is a must! I knew I wanted to go the ceramic route, and I was really leaning towards XPEL films. Unfortunately, I couldn't wrap my head around the quotes and wait times local shops were giving me. The cheapest quote I could find with a quick turnaround time was going to cost me $675.00. After doing some additional research, I decided to go the Llumar ceramic route and I honestly do not have any regrets so far. I found a small family owned business with a perfect 5 star review rating so I decided to give them a shot and they did not disappoint. I went with 15% film on the sides/rear glass and then 80% film on the windshield. This is my first time using ceramic and the performance of the film is certainly noticeable.

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JBowman

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Location
Saint Cloud, FL
6/1/2021 – TAC Straight Bar Side Steps
Price - $269.99

I really would like to have some sort of motorized power steps at some point down the line, but I needed a short term solution to get me by for now as I couldn’t justify the price tag for any of the power steps out there. Many of the cheaper side steps available are known to flex, bend, and rust. I wanted something budget friendly and durable. Based on the reviews that I read for these TAC steps they should fit that bill. I really like the way these look and will see how they hold up against the test of time.

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6/3/2021 – 3W All Weather Floormats
Price – $129.99

I really tried to get the dealer to throw the factory all weather mats into my purchase, but they said they were unable to make that happen. I’ve seen a lot of reviews on here about Husky, Lasfit, and Weathertech, but I decided to try a less popular option. I went with 3W and I’m very happy with the purchase. These mats seem to be well made and I like that the back mat is all one solid piece. The fitment is great. I do however wish that the front mats provided a bit more coverage area up the sides like the factory RAM all weather mats do. Most of the all weather options come in at or around the same price point so it really seems like it comes down to a matter of personal preference.


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JBowman

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Saint Cloud, FL
6/14/2021 – Piecing Together a Lift, Rim, and Tire Package
Price
3.5” ReadyLIFT SST Kit $765.34
35x12.5R20 Kenda Klever R/T $980.00
Fuel Rebel 20x10 -18 offset $1544.00

This was an expensive week! My employer sent me to Syracuse, NY for a week to assist an operation in need. While this trip resulted in a nice paycheck, there was also many hours of downtime sitting in a hotel room by myself thinking about my brand-new truck and what modifications I wanted to do to it lol. Long story short, purchases were made.

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6/30/2021 – Enixwill Front Tow Recovery Hooks and Mopar Bezels
Price - $179.99

I purchased these tow hooks on a gamble as I was struggling to find Mopar tow hooks available for purchase. I checked with several local dealers and a few Mopar websites and nobody seemed to have them in stock and no current availability to order them. These hooks had limited reviews at my time of purchase so I figured it would be worth a shot. The fitment is decent, and the tow hooks will certainly serve their purpose, but the finish is not comparable of that to the Mopar set. For that reason, I personally would not recommend them over factory components. I do not think they are a bad product, but with the price being in the same range as the Mopar hooks, I would absolutely lean towards Mopar. I may eventually look to have these refinished and powder coated at some point in the future.
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JBowman

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Saint Cloud, FL
7/11/2021 – Wash & Detail
Price: $0.00 😅

I used to love detailing my own cars but unfortunately lost that passion with my previous vehicle. It was just a daily driver to get me from point A to point B and I honestly didn’t care about its presentation. I washed it maybe 8 or 9 times in the 7.5 years that I owned it. This truck is a different story and I am thoroughly enjoying breaking out the foam cannon and my other detailing gear. I wash and maintain my motorcycles religiously, and it feels good to have that same motivation for my primary transportation again. I have found some light scratches and swirl marks that came on the truck the day I bought it and I’m hoping to set aside some time soon to do a light correction.
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A good wash and a dash of photo editing always seems to do the trick lol.
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So unfortunately, I missed this damage on the mirror at the time of purchase. I caught it during my first wash. It is almost unnoticeable when the mirrors are extended out in their normal position, but when folded in the damage couldn’t be more visible. I went back and looked at pictures from the date of purchase, and it was pre-existing damage that came right from the dealer. I’m working to see if the dealer will work with me on this but I assume I am SOL since I signed off on the form that states nothing is owed to the buyer and that the buyer received ample time to review the vehicle’s condition prior to taking delivery.
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JBowman

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Saint Cloud, FL
7/16/2021 – Lift, Wheel, and Tire Install
Price - $750.00

I was fortunate enough to receive a pretty generous performance bonus from my employer, so I decided to take some of those funds and put it towards getting my wheels and lift installed. I honestly wasn’t planning on installing everything so soon, but that opened the opportunity for me to do so. I could not be happier with how this truck sits now. I love the stance.

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7/20/2021 - Rough Country Speedo Calibration
Price - $160.74

This tool was worth every penny. I drove 3 or 4 days without having the speedometer calibrated and instantly noticed a difference after I got the calibration complete. My speedometer is dead on the money and my fuel economy reading on the dash improved considerably now that it is calculating properly. I also noticed an immediate improvement in the shift points of the transmission and the truck no longer feels sluggish at certain RPM ranges. There was some concern if the Rough Country unit would work with the 2021 models and I can confirm that it worked perfectly. I know some claim that it screws with their Park Assist feature on their trucks. I do not have Park Assist on my vehicle so I cannot speak on that aspect, but as a general calibration tool, this unit worked exactly as expected. RC.jpg
 
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JBowman

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Saint Cloud, FL
8/14/2021 Autmatch Shackle Hitch - $50

Pretty productive weekend. I decided to purchase and install a D-Ring shackle hitch. It was cheap and I wanted it primarily for looks, but hey, it might come in handy one day lol. I’m not doing any towing at the moment so I figured I’d throw this in there for now.
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8/14/2021
VLAND LED reflector type headlights - $549
I debated purchasing these for quite some time and finally decided to give them a shot based on the generally positive reviews. I looked at several options and while OEM is obviously the best, I can’t get over the look of these. Install was plug and play and pretty straight forward but I will say it can require patience on certain steps with the disassembly process. I haven’t had a chance to really put these to the test yet, but I am very anxious to do so. I love the look and think the LEDs make the front end of the truck look so much tougher. I can only hope that they perform as good as they look.

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Idahoktm

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That shackle hitch is a great idea. I like the TRX rear hooks, but they are stupid expensive for the hooks and brackets to mount them. This is a much more practical solution.
 

JBowman

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That shackle hitch is a great idea. I like the TRX rear hooks, but they are stupid expensive for the hooks and brackets to mount them. This is a much more practical solution.
I really like the TRX style rear hooks, but I agree it comes at a cost. Those brackets and hooks are definitely way more capable and I would love to have them, but I couldn't justify it right now.
 
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JBowman

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Another business trip means another purchase. Work sent me up to NC this week and I ultimately decided that I needed the Rough Country lower grill light bar while I was up there (I’m starting to realize that I might have a problem lol). Anyways, I purchased the mesh lower grill, the RC light bar kit, and a new white backlit on/off button. I’m not a fan of the RC switch that comes on the harness so I think swapping it for this button will look much cleaner once installed. I’m still waiting for FedEx to deliver the lower mesh grill, but I can’t wait to get this bar on the truck. I will hopefully be able to knock out the install in the next week or two.
 

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Shifts And Grins Fab

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I really like the TRX style rear hooks, but I agree it comes at a cost. Those brackets and hooks are definitely way more capable and I would love to have them, but I couldn't justify it right now.
You wont break or bend our brackets! That is for sure!. Your truck looks very nice!!! Great work and styling all around.
 

Shifts And Grins Fab

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That shackle hitch is a great idea. I like the TRX rear hooks, but they are stupid expensive for the hooks and brackets to mount them. This is a much more practical solution.
We could make them cheaper but they would be .......well......cheaper. All kidding aside, I'd rather someone decide they aren't for them due to price than cut quality and durability. We brought them to market as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing quality. We certainly are not getting rich on them lol. I think most people can appreciate that.
 

JBowman

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You wont break or bend our brackets! That is for sure!. Your truck looks very nice!!! Great work and styling all around.
I appreciate the compliments! I'm having a blast with the truck and build so far. And yeah, I'm sure that I will end up with a set of your brackets and those hooks on my truck sooner rather than later lol. I haven't had a chance to see a set of them in person, but the craftmanship of your product looks phenomenal in the pictures and videos that others have shared. They look awesome!
 

Idahoktm

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We could make them cheaper but they would be .......well......cheaper. All kidding aside, I'd rather someone decide they aren't for them due to price than cut quality and durability. We brought them to market as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing quality. We certainly are not getting rich on them lol. I think most people can appreciate that.
Yeah, sorry about my wording. I didn't mean for my comment to sound so negative. I would buy your brackets in a minute if I thought I would use the rear hooks more than a few times. I am aware of the effort that goes into making them and wouldn't expect to pay a dollar less than what you charge.
 

JBowman

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My lower mesh grill is scheduled to be delivered this Wednesday. I figured I would tackle the changes that I wanted to make to the Rough Country wiring harness for the LED bar this past weekend. I cut off the existing on/off button from the RC harness and soldered in my new LED backlit button. The button I went with is the Quentacy 19mm Latching Pushbutton, and it was recommended to me by a member in one of the Facebook groups. The button itself includes its own wiring and while it was inexpensive ($10), it seems to be well made. It looks so much cleaner than the original button in my opinion, and there will be no exposed wiring once it is installed. After everything was soldered, heat shrunk, and taped up, I finished the harness with a wire loom that matches the rest of the RC harness. This created a clean and uniform look. I gave it a quick test once complete and everything works as expected.

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Shifts And Grins Fab

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Yeah, sorry about my wording. I didn't mean for my comment to sound so negative. I would buy your brackets in a minute if I thought I would use the rear hooks more than a few times. I am aware of the effort that goes into making them and wouldn't expect to pay a dollar less than what you charge.
I wasn't trying to bust your chops. I think some people think we are getting rich off of these which unfortunately is not the case. lol I want to be transparent and make sure people understand what goes into these as far as material costs and labor. That is all. Thank you very much for the follow up response.
 

JBowman

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8/31/2021
Rough Country Light Bar - $219.99
Ram Lower Mesh Grill - $42.00
Quentacy On/Off button - $10.00

I finally managed to get the light bar install knocked out. I'll be upfront and say that I completely underestimated this install. It wasn't difficult by any means, but it was a little more involved than I anticipated. There is also next to no room available to work once you have the brackets installed during the process of mounting up the light. I busted up a couple of knuckles but got the job done. I also wasn't expecting to trim some plastic behind the dash panel that I mounted the button to. I've came across a few posts of some other members that installed switches in the same location, so I just assumed it would clear without issue. Once again, minimal space limited available mounting options. The trimming wasn't anything substantial, but I would have liked to avoid that or at least knew about it going into the install. Regardless of that, I think everything looks super clean with an almost factory type look which was exactly what I was shooting for. All in all, I'm very happy with the end result here and I love how the light bar has a stealthy look to it when turned off. It practically disappears when not in use.


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jellis466

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how did you wire the lightbar in to where the switch doesnt draw power when the truck is turned off? the original RC switch will have a small light on while the truck is turned off, was this problem eliminated by the use of the new switch you used?
 

JBowman

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how did you wire the lightbar in to where the switch doesnt draw power when the truck is turned off? the original RC switch will have a small light on while the truck is turned off, was this problem eliminated by the use of the new switch you used?
It should have resolved it. You're right, the factory RC switch was designed in a way that it would illuminate a red or green light even when the truck was off. When I was initially wiring this new switch up, I was running into the same issue. The white light was illuminated at all times, but I was able to figure it out. This switch operates like a standard light switch. When the button is pushed in, it completes the circuit causing both the light on the switch to come on along with the actual lightbar itself. When the button is off, the circuit is broken.

But to answer your question, the RC harness has a blue, black, and white wire. I wired black from the new button to black from the existing harness. I wired white from the new button to white on the existing harness. I wired red/blue from the new button to blue on the harness. The brown wire from the button was unused. Wiring it that way will only turn the button light on when the switch is turned on.
 
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