1956 Dodge Power Wagon
The Dodge Power Wagon was first manufactured in 1945. Today, it lives on as a nameplate on the 4 wheel drive versions of the Dodge 2500. We recently had the please of taking apart a perfectly fine 1956 Dodge Power Wagon with the assignment of transforming it into a beefy, hemi-swapped, 4 wheel drive truck.
When the customer brought us this 1956 Dodge Power Wagon, he had quite the laundry list to go with it:
- 6.4L Hemi
- New Interior
- LED Lights
- Offroad tires and wheels
- Electric running boards
- Spare tire in the bed
- Heavy duty bumpers
- 4 wheel drive
- Upgraded offroad suspension
Not only were we able to achieve every item on his list, but it all came together and worked seamlessly as if the truck was meant to be this modern day offroad beast.
As you can probably guess, the biggest challenge of this build was fitting everything around the massive 6.4L Hemi engine. This Power Wagon originally came from the manufacturer with an inline 4 and we were attempting to stuff a 6.4L V8 inside that same engine bay. There was a brief moment when we were trying to mount the engine where we started to doubt ourselves. But that moment passed quickly and our guys got to work.
Mounting the engine wasn't as simple as just dropping it in. We had to fabricate custom motor mounts on each side of the frame so that the engine would sit properly and be stable. Once that was accomplished, we began to formulate a plan for where things like the steering column, radiator, and condenser would go.
The trickiest piece of the puzzle was the steering. Because of the limited space we were left to work with after the engine was installed we had to get creative when configuring how the steering components would fit in.
After a lot of research, we were able to find a steering box originally made for an early model Ford Bronco that would mount to the side of the frame exactly how we needed it. We then had to fabricate all of the steering linkage to make its way around all of the bends and corners underneath the Power Wagon.
However, the custom work didn't stop there. All of the suspension underneath the truck was modified to fit. We purchased a lift kit from rough country, but only used a few pieces and had to make everything else by hand.
The suspension on this truck is no joke. In order to safely hold the weight of the truck while also smoothly cruising down the highway we knew this truck needed good shocks and springs. We opted for Radflo as it had the right size shocks that would fit underneath the truck while also getting the job done.
Another neat feature that this truck has is the power steps. They stay tucked away when not in use and make the Power Wagon even more fun to have. Big Red is tall and it's nice to be able to step right inside.
The custom work didn't stop at the suspension. We gave the interior a full overhaul with custom leather seats, headliner, gauges, and shifter boots.
Hemi Swapped Truck
Last but not least, the heart beat of this truck is it's monstrous 6.4L Hemi.
If you haven't watched the video at the top of this article, stop what you're doing and watch it. This truck sounds even better than it looks. The exhaust was fabricated in-house by us. The entire system is made of stainless steel so it's lightweight but also carries a great sound.
Our guys came together and figured out how to make this truck be a modern day daily-driving beast. This build is a one of a kind and we are honored to be the shop this customer chose to do it.