Trail Blazin'
Dear MT,
I noticed on page 28 of the April '03 issue in the Scr8peFest show coverage an orange truck in the upper left-hand corner. Under closer inspection it looked exactly like a first-generation-style S-10. The wiper cowl and back of the body looked close, and I'm pretty sure it is since I own a '90 S-10. The front end is what really caught my attention and I'm trying to figure how the owner got that front end. What's the front end from (it looks similar to the new Colorado coming out)? I was wondering if you know how it was accomplished and if there's a kit for that modification? Any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
Joseph H.
Manassas, Virginia

Hey Joe,
You were right about the truck being a first-generation S-10; the front end is not off the Colorado, but rather, the very similar front end of a Chevy TrailBlazer. This truck belongs to Nick Baxter of Subculture World Wyd, and the front end of this baby is definitely not a kit. These types of front-end conversions require hours of slicing and dicing the factory sheetmetal of both front ends to make the two look as though they belong together. You can try to use your factory core support by just building new brackets for the grille shell, bumper, and headlights. The hood and fenders are trickier; cut the edge off the new ones and mold them to the old ones so that the body lines match up. Any reputable custom body shop should be able to handle this sort of conversion, but we have to warn you that it is a lot of work and it's going to cost a pretty penny. Don't be surprised by an initial quote in the $2,000 range, without the cost of parts.

Suckin' Air
Dear Mt,
Since I have worked in a bookstore for more than two years now, I have become a huge fan of Mini Truckin'. I have a '98 S-10 and have seen tons of great ideas on how to "unstock" it over the years. I've done the exhaust, cold-air intake, clear lenses, and all the little modifications. Rims and tires are this month and I'm shopping for a new hood next. I can't tell from the ads and stories which hoods are true air-induction and which aren't. I want something that's truly open and sucks cold air in. Can you help with this?
Ryan Henry
Anaheim, California

Ryan,
Thanks for browsing the magazine at your bookstore; you better be buying them and not just getting a free peek. Just playing, but really you should be buying them or else you're missing out. To answer your question, we called our buddies over at Stylin' Concepts and they had just what you're looking for. They offer a couple different true induction hoods that you can match with your intake system to produce some performance gains. Check the company out at www.stylinconcepts.com or call (800) 433-3027 and see if it has what you're after.

Tuckin' Dubs
Dear MT,
I have a '99 Mazda B-2500 pickup with a custom-fabricated billet grille and bumper insert, straight-pipe dual exhaust, tinted window, and a few other small nicknacks. My plans are to have a custom mini that stands out from the rest. I want to put an airbag setup with a C-notch and four-link-style rear. I also want to be able to tuck 20s all the way around with this setup. Is this possible, and if so, how much would it cost?

P.S. Will parts off a '99 Ranger fit my truck, such as mirrors, dash kits, and so on?
Lee (Flea) E.
Locust Grove, Georgia

Mr. Flea,
We talked to Jeff Davies over at Devious Customs in Ontario, California, and he gave us a quick rundown. He said anything is possible, and it would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000-$5,000; 'bagged all the way around, notched, linked, and tucking dubs (you provide the rims and tires). If you have any particular questions or concerns, you can reach Devious at (909) 947-1800. We realize you might want to contact someone closer to you. Flawless Fabrication is about 45 minutes away from you and you can call Fernando at (770) 867-6450. As for the '99 Ranger parts, most of them will fit, just be sure and ask the company before you buy. Depending on which parts you order, there are a couple of tiny differences.

Mild Drop
Dear MT,
I own an '03 Tacoma 2WD regular cab. What suspension components do I need to purchase to lower it 2-3 inches in the front and 3-4 inches in the rear, and still maintain the correct geometry? I know companies advertised in the magazine sell kits, but I wish to purchase only what is necessary. If the back is four-linked, do you use shocks and airbags, or just one of the two? I have been reading your magazine for years and just subscribed - hats off to you guys.
Sincerely,
T. Thomas
via e-mail

Mr. T.,
Sorry, we couldn't resist. We got your answer after calling Mac's Springs in Highland, California. DJM makes a kit that consists of upper arms and antisway bar links up front, and blocks, U-bolts, and shims out back. This 2/4 drop has all the necessary components to lower your Taco' and keep the geometry intact. We say "necessary" because you don't want to try and take any shortcuts when it comes to dropping your brand-new ride. Call Godfather Customs at (800) 898-1240 to get any DJM lowering components and tell Hall Johnson that MT sent you. As far as your second question goes, we always recommend running shocks and airbags together to give you a better ride.

Cruisin' and Viewin'
Dear MT,
I've been reading this magazine since my high school days. I need to know how to bypass the emergency brake installation for the Alpine CVA-1003 so I can view movies while I'm cruising. The head unit is going into a '96 Tacoma. I read the Oct. '02 issue, but that wasn't one of the details included in the install. Thanks for any help you can offer.
The Long Horn
Houston, Texas

Mr. Horn,
Our good friend Brandon Smith happens to be a roadshop manager at the Norwalk, California, Circuit City, so we called him for the details. We don't recommend performing this type of install if it isn't legal in your state; it's expensive in California if you get pulled over for driving with the TV on, unless it's being used for navigational purposes. Alpine has made it a little more difficult with the new CVA-1003. To bypass the e-brake function, you'll need to pick up a three-prong switch at your local automotive store. Then, run a 12-volt source to the input of the switch (usually the middle prong). Next, the yellow-with-blue wire needs to be run to a chassis ground as well as to the ground (bottom prong) of the switch. The yellow-with-black wire should be routed to the other ground on the switch (top prong). Alpine made it so that you have to step on your foot brake, then engage your e-brake to be able to view movies and games. Flipping the switch on and off will simulate the brake tapping and e-brake pulling that the unit expects you to perform. If you have questions, call Brandon at (562) 405-3103 and tell him MT referred you. However, if it is illegal in your state to view movies while in motion, Circuit City won't perform the install - you're on your own.

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