“I sold my ’04 1500 Hemi a few years ago and missed having a truck,” Shane Hayward told us. “My whole life I have always had the motto ‘go big or go home,’ so I planned and saved until I could finally afford to build my dream truck. I saw tons of work trucks, show trucks, and race trucks, but few that could do it all. A friend and I were working on a 5.9L Cummins engine in Iraq, and he started really opening my eyes to the potential diesels had while still maintaining reliability and driveability—even with big horsepower under the hood. My family was expanding, so I needed something massive with tons of room. I knew I wanted a Cummins engine, and once I drove the Ram 2500 Mega Cab Longhorn, I was instantly in love and placed a custom order for my very own.
“I wanted something big, mean, nasty, tough, rugged, and purpose-built that could go off-road. I wanted to be able to daily-drive the truck but also smoke most other vehicles on the street or strip. I also wanted it to be clean, elegant, and tasteful so she could do well at car shows and events. I also tow my camper and four-wheelers with it. There has yet to be something she can’t do and do well.”
Shane is 29 and from Catonsville, Maryland. He married his high school sweetheart, Deirdre, at 18 and they now have three kids: Shane II (10), Kylie (2), and Tyler (10 months). Immediately after graduating high school, Shane joined the army. “I came in as a diesel mechanic (tracked) and worked my way up to later become selected and now currently serving as an Automotive Maintenance Warrant Officer,” Shane said. “I’ve been in 11½ years now. I spent 4½ years fighting in Iraq during my last three assignments to Giessen, Germany (4 years), Fort Hood, Texas (3 years), and Fort Carson, Colorado (4 years). The initial majority of the build was completed on Veterans Day weekend. It wasn’t exactly planned but kind of worked out that way. I did all the work myself with the help of a few Army buddies in garages and a craft shop at our post. The only shop that touched the truck was a tint shop.”
Until later in the build, that is. ATS put a bigger turbo in the truck for him. And then there is the story of his Sun Coast transmission. “I was actually down in Florida hanging out with Sun Coast’s owner and his son, helping them get their race truck loaded for the races. I got so pumped up watching them take a few test passes down the street that I decided to do a boosted launch and run down the road and BAM! She exploded. How in the hell could I have the best luck in the world and after hundreds of times doing the same thing it happens in front of the number-one diesel transmission builder in the country? I can tell you that I was freaking out!!! Joe Penn and Ron Wolverton (both owners) were standing right there when it happened. They told me not to worry, that they would make me a great deal and get me back on the road before my vacation was over and I needed to go home. The next morning, Ron came in and built me a new transmission (on his day off, on Easter weekend). On Sunday, Dallas Penn, two others, and I removed the lift kit and prepped the truck for the tranny swap. On Monday, Lewis swapped the trans and Dallas and I put the lift kit back on and finished up the install. Ron put the custom trans software files on my tuner, and we went for a testdrive just before dark. I was back at my campsite on the beach hooked to my camper ready to roll home that night without having to modify my plans at all. Crazy story, huh? I was treated like part of their family and given first-class service. This shows the caliber of people at Sun Coast. This was a crazy Easter weekend and a nightmare story that turned into a dream.”
The specs on the transmission are as follows: Sun Coast M3GA68 JR transmission, Sun Coast triple-disc converter, and a Mag-Hytec transmission pan. Improvements are constantly being made to the truck. Just recently, Shane removed the AirDog 165-gph fuel system and added a FASS Titanium 150-gph fuel system (and an Alligator Performance billet fuel sump). Industrial Injection 30-lpm nozzles were added to the injectors, too. The list of parts just goes on and on! We definitely agree that this truck is nasty!
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