As you already know, everyone that is somewhat involved or heavily involved in this industry has earned their influence somewhere. Some from parents, some from future friends, some from the internet, and some by a word of mouth purchase. For this Wellington, Colorado native, Skyler Jones, it was actually a mixture of all of those. At one time, he only dreamt of a truck like this, but by placing himself around the right people, his dream is now a reality.
Like a lot of other growing enthusiasts, Jones got his start from his father. “I’ve been into diesel trucks for many years, beginning when I was growing up,” said Jones. “My father’s 6.0-liter Power Stroke truck we had at the property was my highlight, driving it at an early age.”
Fast forward to high school, and there was a definite change of pace. While other kids looked forward to basketball, football, soccer or video games after school, Jones and his friends made it a point to have a wrench in hand as much as possible.
“It didn’t matter, after school, on the weekends, we made it a priority to hit the shop and wrench on trucks,” said Jones. “All of my friends in high school owned all different generations of the Cummins engine, leading to great knowledge between us all.” Whether Jones and Co. were installing exhaust, injectors, turbos, or even detailing the trucks, it didn’t matter. He was where he wanted to be.
So, what truck did Skyler have during this period? Well, actually, he didn’t. “Unfortunately, at the time, I couldn’t afford one myself,” said Jones. “What was tough was hanging around friends that have all of these trucks and knowing I couldn’t have my own yet. Seeing what these trucks were capable of firsthand only made it worse, but better at the same time.” The wonder of piloting a high-horsepower Dodge Ram was in his sights.
Jones’ Original Dream Truck
After quite some time, Jones was frantically on the hunt for his dream truck. He soon obtained the said truck. “The rig I always wanted was a second-generation Ram, extended cab long box with the five-speed NV4500 transmission,” said Jones. “I had finally found this truck in the exact formula I wanted and knew I had to have it.” Like any of us, Jones immediately started looking at upgrades; we all know how the snowball effect works.
“Luckily for me, my best friend Mitchell Habetz worked at a diesel shop at the time. They had a ton of aftermarket parts available for my truck, which made for a perfect opportunity to make this truck truly mine,” said Jones. “Starting with a full exhaust and an intake, I followed it up with a Quadzilla programmer, AirDog fuel system, and a set of injectors.” After getting the performance up to snuff, Jones tackled the exterior with a set of polished wheels and a big lift kit.
For two years, Jones drove this truck a lot but came to the realization that maybe this wasn’t a rational build. “Between the huge six-inch lift and the wide-stance wheels, it just wasn’t practical for me,” said Jones. “As much as I loved my pickup, I started looking at more realistic platforms.”
FOUND: The Alpha Mega
Nowadays, Jones wants nothing more than to showcase his new pride and joy. This 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 is absolutely beautiful and covered in PB7 Patriot Blue paint. It was named the “AlphaMega.”
The original cost was $25,500. By the time the original owner and Jones were done, they had invested over $60,000. Finding it took time, but Jones affirms it was well worth the wait. “This build has been going on for over two years and will honestly never be finished,” said Jones. “From September of 2016 to November of 2018, so far,” he said.
“I have been following multiple build pages online and one that really stood out was Levi Krech and Unique Performance,” said Jones. “I’ve been following Levi ‘Whitesnake’ Krech for years on Instagram. He’s intrigued me with the trucks he builds. I always kept his style in mind when I went to build my own.”
So, in Jones’ search for this truck, he utilized his growing friendship with Krech in finding it. “I purchased this truck from a gentleman from Missouri who purchased it from someone who claimed ‘pristine condition,'” said Jones. Luckily for me, the truck wasn’t as clean as advertised, leading my seller to bring the truck back to life with the new beautiful paint, which made me only want it more. It was exactly the configuration I wanted – a fully-loaded 2006 Mega Cab.”
After several negotiations and conversations, the next thing Jones knew, the Mega Cab was his. “It was a great day looking out and seeing the truck in my driveway after searching for so long,” commented Jones. “From then on, it was time to build my dream truck. We had already been conversing about build ideas to add to our already solid platform.”
“My motivation to build this truck was simply my friends,” said Jones. “After experiencing the high-horsepower trucks that they owned or daily drove, I felt like it was my next step into building mine. I wanted to give this truck the life that it had started, but not yet finished.”
The Mod List
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What exactly did Jones apply to this immaculate machine? To go over the exterior, as mentioned before, the truck is covered in PB7 Patriot Blue paint. Other exterior features include a painted-to-match SRT-10 hood, OEM Sport grille, Laramie Sport bumper, and Street Scene roll pan.
The Alpha Mega relies on Bilstein shocks on all four corners for a comfortable ride, and it’s reverse leveled for the shown stance. Reverse leveled means that the front of the truck’s suspension was left stock height, while the rear is lowered two inches thanks to drop shackles.
Under the hood of the Alpha rests the original 5.9-liter Cummins from 2006. This 359 cubic-inch engine is outfitted with a ton of aftermarket parts. On the top half, the cylinder head is strapped down with ARP New Age 625 Chromoly head studs, Trend Performance Stage 2 push rods, Hamilton Cams 103-pound valve springs with titanium retainers, and Trend Performance billet rocker bridges.
With the exception of stronger connecting rods, this engine is built for a healthy amount of horsepower. Now that there a good amount of insurance modifications done, Jones started to put some fire into this engine. On the fueling side of things, he used a set of S&S Diesel Motorsport 150-percent over injectors, Fleece Performance Dual Cp3 kit, FASS 220 lift pump, and custom tuning by Ben Shadday at Done Right Diesel Performance, this truck is nasty.
Other upgrades include a Banks Power Monster Ram intake, Fleece Performance fuel distribution block, Fleece coolant bypass, Fleece Cold Air intake, Flex-A-Lite dual electric fans, and intake plenum and fuel rail off of a 6.7-liter engine.
With an engine that is making this kind of power, having a strong drivetrain is important. Well, if you like driving your truck, that is. At this level, Jones’ truck is probably capable of 1,000 horsepower, maybe more. With that, he had to go to the 48RE transmission experts. Jones’ Firepunk Diesel Comp Stage 3 transmission will hold just about anything he throws at it.
The Art Of The Send
So you’ve spent all this money fixing this truck up, making it capable of outstanding horsepower and torque – now what? “After we finished getting all of these new upgrades on the truck, we took it for plenty of drives,” said Jones. “But it was the second test drive that stood out for sure. We were four deep in Alpha doing a 4,300 RPM pull, blasting ‘Still Of The Night’ in full-send mode and boom!” Once Jones hit lockup, the input shaft disintegrated and took out everything in its path, including the new torque converter.
When asking Jones what his favorite part or mod on the truck after this long road was, there was no hesitation. “My favorite modification is the 6.7-liter Cummins fuel rail and intake plenum swap, mainly because you hardly ever see trucks running this on a 5.9-liter platform,” said Jones. “It looks way better than the basic parts and outperforms the factory parts we had.”
When doing projects like this, there ends up being a part that you aren’t happy with or you wish you could’ve changed. For Jones, it was the engine. “The engine is covered in bolt-ons, which is great, but since we’re modding a stock engine, anything could happen,” mused Jones. “If I could, I would throw a built engine in instead of throwing parts at this one.” If we had to guess, it won’t be long until Jones is doing just that.
Jones had plenty of thank yous to all of the people involved, whether it was the support, purchase, or upgrades. “First off, I want to thank the man upstairs for blessing me with the opportunity to live out my dreams and do a build of this caliber,” he said. “Also, my family and friends for standing by my side through this insane wallet-draining process. Secondly, I would like to give a huge thank you to everyone involved in this build starting with Levi Krech at Unique Performance, Curtis Holmes for selling me the truck, and John and Matt at Freedom Racing Engines.”
Lastly, Jones wanted to acknowledge the ones that helped bring the build to its current status: “Fleece Performance, thank you for supplying multiple parts on the build. Jose Zayas at Forced Inductions, thank you for the turbo. I’d also like to thank S&S Diesel Motorsport for the injectors, Banks Power, and Done Right Diesel Performance for the spicy tuning,”
It has been a long time coming getting the scoop on this truck, and we’re glad we did. It just goes to show that good things come to those who wait. We are ready to see what’s in store for the Alpha Mega and what Skyler Jones and his team of professionals has up their sleeve. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more diesel action.