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‘98 headlights, step bars...and more?


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I’ve come to the realization that the ol’ ‘98 is going to be in my future for a long time. I really only “need” a truck for the occasional haul, current finances don’t warrant a newer rig with more seat space and that’s not likely to change anytime soon soooo it makes more sense to find myself a bigger car to fit the kids and keep to this truck. 

That being said, I need to deal with a few items on it to make it a bit more road worthy and enjoyable when I do need to drive it. 

 

Headlights:

The headlights on this thing suck so bad I’m scared to drive it at night. What’s the current go to for better headlights on a 2nd gen? Back in the day converting to sport lights with a bright box was the ticket.  Is that still the case or are there some replaced lenses with fancy bulbs that will get it done?

 

Running boards/steps:

I really liked the full length (wheel to wheel) Stuhl stainless boards that were on this truck when I bought it, they’re pretty much trashed so I pulled them off recently.  I don’t think they’re making those anymore. I’d like to find another set of full length boards or bars, something like this, but these are only cab length. 

https://runningboardwarehouse.com/p/aps-5-black-iboards/v/dodge/ram-3500/1998/

 

These are wheel to wheel but I’m not really a fan of this style. 

https://runningboardwarehouse.com/p/iron-cross-3-black-wheel-to-wheel-nerf-bars/v/dodge/ram-3500/1998/

 

If anyone has any suggestions here I’d love to hear them. Amp steps are not in the budget.

 

Stereo:

The factory stereo has only worked on the right speakers since I bought the truck. I still have the MTX box, subs and amp from my ‘96.  It’s probably due time for a budget stereo install in this thing. More than on that later. 

 

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On my 01.5 , I put on some schedule40 pipe with diamond plate top areas .. been on since about 2002/03 ? Don’t remember exactly .., they were from a company In Texas IIRC and we’re about $1K again IIRC 

 

they are very heavy duty and hold my dainty butt without warping/bend at all 

 

old post might show who I got them from sorry I do not remember. 

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Another mfg. hdtruckware 

same looking but about way less $$

 

sorry edited post didn’t come through above .. but ones listed here are way lower $$$ 

Edited by GTroyer
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The problem with the nerf bars (not so much for you on the dry side) is they fill with water and rust from the inside out. I went through 2 sets on the 02 and when I took the second set off I swore I would not do it again. I was going to go to a running board type that would was not a hollow tube that could get water inside. I went to AMP steps instead because it was the best choice for Terry.  

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Just wondering Mike

 

with your skills making them shouldn’t be a big issue , bending heavy gauge pipe and some diamond plate , lil welding and walla your done . Use existing holes in frame to mount as mine do. 

 

mine did have welded tube ends also so didn’t have Hoss’s issues 

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7 hours ago, HOSS said:

The problem with the nerf bars (not so much for you on the dry side) is they fill with water and rust from the inside out. I went through 2 sets on the 02 and when I took the second set off I swore I would not do it again. I was going to go to a running board type that would was not a hollow tube that could get water inside. I went to AMP steps instead because it was the best choice for Terry.  

 

Yeah. I’m not big on the round bars, when I think about them I picture the rusted out ones you mention. I guess if they were aluminum that’d help. 

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4 hours ago, GTroyer said:

Just wondering Mike

 

with your skills making them shouldn’t be a big issue , bending heavy gauge pipe and some diamond plate , lil welding and walla your done . Use existing holes in frame to mount as mine do. 

 

mine did have welded tube ends also so didn’t have Hoss’s issues 

 

I have no doubt I could make a set. By the time I buy the materials and get them powder coated I’m not sure I’d be very far ahead.  I wouldn’t want to be bending heavy wall pipe though, they’d be fabbed from material with straight edges, have tread/grate material on top, run wheel to wheel and be flared out at the dually fender so I could use them as a step. Too many projects already though. 

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8 hours ago, GTroyer said:

Another mfg. hdtruckware 

same looking but about way less $$

 

sorry edited post didn’t come through above .. but ones listed here are way lower $$$ 

 

I like these. 

https://www.hdtruckware.com/dodge-c-3/side-steps-running-boards-c-3_27/deluxe-dually-flare-running-boards-20032020-p-284.html

 

They only show them for ‘03 up. I could see building something like that with square tubing. 

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7 hours ago, Woodenhead said:

 

I like these. 

https://www.hdtruckware.com/dodge-c-3/side-steps-running-boards-c-3_27/deluxe-dually-flare-running-boards-20032020-p-284.html

 

They only show them for ‘03 up. I could see building something like that with square tubing. 

Those are cool! They remind me of the Ranch Hand brand I saw all over in Texas when I raced there. I almost came home with front and rear bumpers on my 02 from them.  That rear bumper in the picture of the steps showed I like a lot! 

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1 hour ago, ramn4evr said:


I like those. I think they’d look good on a black truck. 
What bulbs did you use? Most importantly, can you see well at night? Cause right now I’d be better off with flashlights on the hood. 

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1 hour ago, Project_dog said:

As for the stereo, Im a fan of Kenwood. Im planning on installing a double din in my truck and my dads truck sometime in the spring time. Metra has a double din kit. You will need to cut your dash. Im okay with that. 


I might do a double din, or possibly one with the flip out screen. I’ve had a lot of pioneer decks but I’m not really partial to anything. The deck in my car is a double din kenwood butbits nothing fancy. The amp I have for the MTX subs/box is an older 1000W Kenwood. 

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Mike I solved the headlight problem on the 02 with the addition of a good set of LED driving lights from Lifetime LED Led Lights | Led Light Bar Headlights LED | Lifetime Led Lights  They are not cheap Amazon lights but they work!  Mine are 4" round that fit in the ARB bumper holes. 

I found found them to be cheaper in the long run than new housings and bulbs for the truck. I would still like to upgrade the bulbs in the 02 stock housings but I wont buy cheap stuff that just blinds oncoming traffic. 

I put Lifetime led lights in the projectors on the 14 and I am very happy with them. They are bright, white and I can be at a stoplight right behind a little Honda and not light up the inside of the car. You know your headlights suck when they cast so much scattered light that the freeway signs light up when drive by. I dont even light up stop signs with mine. 

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7 hours ago, Woodenhead said:


I like those. I think they’d look good on a black truck. 
What bulbs did you use? Most importantly, can you see well at night? Cause right now I’d be better off with flashlights on the hood. 

Using PIAA bulbs for now. 

But then I'm half blind in one eye.

Can't see out of the other eye.

;)

Added these also.

HELLA 005750991 500 Series Black Magic Driving Lamp Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00318JTCS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_wvE4FbF6MT158

Edited by ramn4evr
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I think I’m going to rider this harness and a set of sport headlights. If I’m reading it right it’ll be plug and play to connect the sport lights and get the load off my switch. 

https://www.aspireautoaccessories.com/product-page/9004-9007-heavy-duty-headlight-relay-harness-for-dodge-ram-sport-conversion

 

 

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