All Mapped Out: Mike Smith’s 2013 Ram 2500

Custom trucks make us happy. They start small – an idea you have while you’re working, or something a friend says, or a random image you see on the internet or TV. You can just go for it and see what happens, or you can plan it out and make sure it comes out the way you want it.

For Mike Smith of Leon Valley, Texas, the latter was the way to go. Mike is a focused and driven man, as evidenced by founding his own business in San Antonio – WOT Auto Detailing. It’s easy to see how the man’s passion for perfecting a vehicle’s looks translated into a stunning truck build that wowed crowds at SEMA 2018. But the vehicle is more than just its outward appearance. As Mike stated, “I wanted a fully functional, off road, tow rig, camping, show truck.”

Speaking of which, Mike’s truck is a 2013 Ram 2500, which he calls the “Texas Overland Ram.” This Cummins may have started out as a SEMA build, but like a truck ought to be, it gets to do more than just look pretty.

Background Of The Build

Speaking on the motivation to build the truck, Mike said, “I wanted to do something different, focused around my home – San Antonio – and using local shops and builders to help.”

The build began in late September 2018. “We stripped a stock truck to get it ready for the wrap and started accumulating the parts. Once the wrap was on, we had to install everything around it. It made installs a bit trickier, but we were able to have a much better wrap job done.”

Mike envisioned a truck that represented his hometown of San Antonio. It’s the place where he grew up and a city he wanted to celebrate with an incredible build, bringing together his love of off-road, diesel, and stand-out looks.

“I had the wrap designed to be centered on San Antonio,” explained Mike. “The build celebrates where I came from and all of my friends that I grew up with. Actually, a lot of my friends played a role in getting the Ram built. It was great to have all of these close friends working together.”

The truck was built in a matter of weeks. Its most outstanding feature, the exterior wrap, is a map of the San Antonio area, which is where Mike calls home.

But keep in mind the timeline here – late September 2018 – and the goal of getting the truck to SEMA 2018. That left Mike precious little time to get everything taken care of. And the build wasn’t without its faults or hiccups. In fact, one of them almost put the deadline in jeopardy.

The first wrap shop that worked on it wrapped it completely wrong and different from original design,” said Mike. “They also melted some lights and a few other mishaps. This was only three weeks from leaving for SEMA 2018! Thankfully, we were able to get another wrap shop to design, print, and install the new wrap just days before needing to leave for SEMA.”

Build Highlights

Up front, Mike had a Royalty Core grille installed. It gives the truck a gruff look, and it’s enhanced by the Hammer Head prerunner bumper ready to take on whatever’s in front of it. Rigid Industries lights are installed in the bumper, in the grille, on the roof rack, on the bed rack, and finally, on the rear bumper. In total, 22 auxiliary lights around the truck give it complete command in darkness.

Of course, we’ve talked about the awesome wrap, which is a topographical map of Texas centered around San Antonio. It’s all thanks to Vehicle Wrap Texas, also in San Antonio, and looks fantastic.

The Royalty Core grille is fitted with Rigid Industries lights to scare away the nighttime critters.

Under the hood, Mike has left the 6.7-liter Cummins mostly untouched. He doesn’t do any high-performance driving in the truck, so it just has the essentials. Specifically, it has an S&B intake kit, Sinister Diesel EGR delete kit, MBRP five-inch exhaust system, and tuning by Hardway Tuning. As for the drivetrain, it’s been left completely stock.

On the suspension side of things, Mike had the Ram lifted. He went with Carli Suspension and its three-inch lift, complete with extended control arms and Bilstein 7100 shock absorbers.

The rear has a Deaver mini-pack springs, as well as Air Lift air springs. These offer a much better ride for those times Mike wants to go towing something heavy, and prevent the truck from getting too squirrelly in turns or braking.

Last but not least, the wheels and tires are 17-inch Ultra Warlocks and 37-inch General Grappler X3s. They round out the appearance of the truck, to be sure, but they also give it a leg up when traveling over rough terrain.

With General tires and Bilstein shocks, the Ram has no problem going off-road and staying in control.

For the interior, Mike had a Katzkin treatment done to the seats. He also has a Kicker sound system and two 10-inch subwoofers, and controls all of his lighting through an AEV switch pod.

Other modifications include dual VIAIR air compressors, with an air chuck mounted in the rear bumper – great for getting tires reinflated after airing down for the trail. The roof rack, a custom design, has a CVT tent mounted to it thanks to BOLT hitch pins, which are also used for the other accessories like spare fuel jugs and the like. “There are about 10 different BOLT locks securing and mounting everything,” commented Mike.

The bed rack is a custom design and stores everything needed for overlanding, from a jack to spare tire, tent, and fuel.

One Man’s Truck

Mike took the goat by the horns when it came to his Ram, and we’re in awe of how it turned out. To go from a bone-stock, same-old-same-old Ram 2500 to a jaw-dropping, SEMA-worthy rig in less than a month is no small feat.

Mike reflected on the build during our interview. He said, “Life’s too short to not enjoy – if you find an opportunity to get a bunch of buddies together to build an awesome truck and drink copious amounts of beer doing so – don’t hesitate to jump all over it!” The sentiment isn’t lost on us!

Trucks like these are ones that we love to talk about. Hit us up on Facebook if you think you have a truck worth sharing and letting the masses know what you’ve been working on.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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