Cummins-Swapped Power Wagon Makes For One Cool Rig

Check out the Desert Power Wagons’ 5.9-liter-powered 1952 Dodge Power Wagon. This has got to be one of the coolest Cummins swaps I’ve seen in quite a while.

While a vintage Power Wagon is very cool to look at, it can be a handful to drive. In stock form, they are incredibly cramped, slow, uncomfortable, and very, I mean, very utilitarian. But the crew at Desert Power Wagons has set out to change those attributes. While retaining the awesome good looks of the rugged truck, they decided to make this truck a modern and comfortable daily driver.

The crew began by updating the suspension system, adding precise power steering, modern power brakes, efficient heating and air conditioning, heated power seats, keyless entry, enhanced sound deadening, surround-view cameras, and other 12-volt accessories. They have effectively brought the rugged Power Wagon into the 21st century.

Power wagon

Definitely not your typical 1952 Power Wagon as it rolled off the assembly line.

A Solid Foundation

This rendition is based on a Ram 2500 SLT 4×4 powered by a 24-valve 5.9-liter Cummins engine, matched to a 48RE automatic transmission. The heavy-duty NV271 manual shift-on-the-fly transfer case ensures that all four wheels control all 305 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque when needed.

The heavy-duty front and rear axles are loaded with 4.56 Yukon Gears suspended under the powder-coated frame via a four-link suspension system featuring Eibach coilover springs coupled with front and rear King shocks with remote reservoirs. It is also equipped with Rancho steering stabilizers and an adjustable Moog track bar that work together to reduce body roll and sway when this rig is guided off the beaten path.

Power Wagon

To stop this behemoth, Desert Power Wagons installed Wilwood Tactical Extreme TX6R Big Brakes front and rear, with radial-mounted six-piston calipers, massive 16-inch GT-60 directional-vane Spec-37 alloy rotors, and braided stainless steel lines to deliver consistent stopping power and extreme-duty durability under sustained high heat for the ultimate in braking performance.

One Smooth Power Wagon

The all-new body is finished in Absolute Black Pearl at the Desert Power Wagons’ in-house body and paint facility. At the front, the rig showcases the distinctive vertical grille and radiator surround above the unmistakable bumperettes, giving way to the simple front fenders with teardrop headlights and signature wide running boards. To light up the night with a modern twist, LED headlamps have been fitted as well as a pair of Rigid Industries 3×3 LED reverse lights. The hand-hewn solid oak bed floor with Bedwood stainless steel bed slats brings an upscale touch to this military-inspired workhorse.

Amp Research power side steps make entering and exiting easy, whether it’s through the front doors or the rear suicide doors. Once inside, you’ll find the real magic of this incredible Desert Power Wagon. The very-well-appointed cockpit is complete with distressed “Pinecone” leather heated front sport seats, a three-passenger rear seat with matching upholstery, and a charcoal Alcantara headliner.

Power Wagon

The Power Wagon rolls on brushed black 20×10 4Play 4P70 wheels wrapped with 37 x 12.5 Maxxis Razr MT tires

Creating Comfort

Behind the GT Performance GT-9 Retro Cobra wooden steering wheel mounted on the Ididit tilt steering column, you’ll find Dakota Digital RTX gauges for a command center at the heart of the classic Power Wagon dash. Climate control is handled via Vintage Air heating and air conditioning.

Tunes are delivered via an infotainment system which includes an Atoto S8 Android-based 7-inch HD capacitive touch-screen head unit and Rockford Fosgate speakers. A fully integrated, high-definition, bird’s-eye view camera, plus a wide-angle front-view camera ensure reversing and tight parking lot maneuvers are a breeze.

Convenient amenities include central locking, keyless entry, cruise control, as well as front and rear power windows. If that isn’t enough, you’ll also find LED ambient interior lighting, a leather-wrapped center console with a deep storage cubby, USB charging points, and two oversized aluminum cup holders.

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Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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