OWNER: Kenny Hester RIDE: 2000 Nissan Frontier LOCATION: White Oak, NC CLUB: Simple Images
When someone goes out to buy a truck intended for full-out customizing, they normally look for something that has a few years of wear and tear on it and sometimes one that has been involved in an accident. With trucks like that it's easier to justify all the cutting and welding that will be involved rather than something straight off the showroom floor. For a lot of people, the thought of going out and buying a brand new truck and rolling it straight into the shop is just crazy due to the fact that once you cut up a new truck, you completely void the warranty, not to mention justifying spending all that dough. If you want to call it crazy, then go ahead and call Kenny Hester from White Oak, North Carolina, crazy. He bought this 2000 Nissan Frontier with full intentions of making it a rocker-dragging showstopper - all this without any care for the factory warranty.
We've come across Kenny's truck off and on over the past few years and have seen it in its various stages of the buildup. Since it has recently been finished, we finally had the chance to catch up with him and get some feature-worthy pictures of it to share with all our loyal Mini Truckin' readers.
Like most truck builders, plans of the outcome always vary throughout the buildup, but Kenny pretty much stuck with his plan. He knew that getting the rockers on the ground was a must, so Jon Cole and Krucial Customs were called upon to do the 3.5-inch body drop, which achieved the ground-crunching stance Kenny was after. To get the suspension capable of laying the rockers on the ground and then returning to a drivable height, Kenny was assisted by B-Tec Enterprises and Krucial Customs to add some Chassis Tech drop spindles, an Alter Images four-link, and a set of Firestone airbags. They also bent up some one-inch solid tubing to create a unique bridge and raised the factory gas tank two inches to prevent it from dragging. Some other cutting and moving of factory components was done to clear the chrome Axis Speed Six wheels with 18" diameter in the front and 19" in the rear, wrapped in 215/35ZR18 and 225/35ZR19 Falken tires.
A rocker-dragger wouldn't be a showstopper without some bodywork to make it as smooth as possible. Factory extrusions such as the door handles, hood squirters, tailgate handle, third brake light, and side mirrors were all shaved smooth. A roll pan was also added, along with a set of APC euro taillights to smooth out the rear end. Up front, a phantom billet grill and some clear side markers brighten things up. Kenny opted to stick with the bright factory yellow color once all of the bodywork was done, since that's the color that he fell in love with in the beginning.
A healthy dose of tweed with a smoothed and painted dash and some billet here and there help make the interior as custom as the rest of the truck. Under the hood was left fairly stock, with the addition of a little paint and chrome work. Kenny also added an FBI intake and had it shortened and machined to clear the hood. Check out the Lowdown for all the work that was done to Kenny's truck, which is now rolling with a fully voided warranty.
Wheels: Axis Speed Six 18x8-inchers (Front); Axis Speed Six 19x8-inchers (Rear)
Backspacing: 6 inches
Tires: Falken 215/35-18 (Front); Falken 225/35-19 (Rear)
Suspension type: Air
Front suspension: Chassis Tech 2-inch drop spindles, Firestone 2,500-pound bags
Rear suspension: Alter Images 4-link, Monroe shocks, Firestone 2,600-pound bags
Frame mods: Bolt pattern changed to a Toyota 5-lug, raised gas tank 2 inches, bent 1-inch solid tubing bridge, C-notch with 3/8 plate steel
Performed by: Owner, Krucial Customs, and B-Tec Enterprises
Shaved: Door handles, tailgate handle, hood squirters, side mirrors, third brake light
Body drop: 3.5-inch traditional
Front end: Phantom billet grill, clear corners
Back end: Roll pan, APC euro taillights
Misc: 35x35 Gray sliding rag, Rhinolined bed
Performed by: Krucial Customs in Lumberton, NC, and Jon Cole
Color: Factory yellow
Performed by: Cannon's Paint & Body in Wilmington, NC
Material: Gray mix tweed
Dash: Fiberglassed, shaved, and painted
Flooring: Gray mix tweed
Headliner: Gray mix tweed
Misc: Billet steering wheel, shift knob, mirror and window cranks
Performed by: Fred Andrew's Upholstery in Lumberton, NC
Head unit: Pioneer DEH-9300
Speakers: JL door speakers
Misc: 6-inch Peripheral Vision screen and Sony PlayStation 2
Intake: FBI (shortened and machined to clear hood)
Battery: Relocated to the bed
Detail work: Cool Flex radiator hose, chrome brackets and hood prop, painted valve cover
Kenny's club: Simple Images, Dena, Tyler, Nathan, Dal, Phillip, Rahsaan, B-Tec, Kevin, and Dave