Definite Mini-Truck
Dear Mini Truckin',
The Toyota Scion xB and the Honda Element should be considered mini-trucks. If a Ford Bronco, a Chevrolet Blazer, an Isuzu Rodeo, a Toyota 4Runner, and a Nissan Pathfinder can be considered a form of mini-truck, then why not a Scion xB or Element? If you compare a mini-truck with a mini SUV, they're pretty damn close; not just in name, but the look, ride, feel, size, and character of the vehicles are comparable. The Scion and Element are the same size as the previously mentioned vehicles, if not smaller, and they don't resemble cars. I feel that I should tell you I'm purchasing an '04 Toyota Scion xB in January and have some plans. I want to install a bolt-on 'bag setup. I know what you're thinking: "This guy's not a true mini-trucker if he's bolt-on." Well, I am a true mini-trucker, and the only issue stopping me from cutting the hell out of the Scion and laying some metal is that it's being financed. Therefore, it would be better to bolt-on instead of cut. I still consider the Scion xB a mini-truck; it has that kind of look to it. I suspect Mini Truckin' will soon be featuring Scion xBs and Elements. I know you guys; it's kind of hard to resist when something new and exciting is coming at you, so take advantage of it. All right, that's my opinion and I stand by it. I hope this helped in some way or at least shed some light.
Sincerely,
Matt Montanez
San Diego
via e-mail

Hey Matt,
We appreciate the input, and you know us all too well. Yes, we have been looking at the Scion xB and definitely have an interest in it. The response we received after we sent out that question on what you guys thought about the Scion was overwhelming. Everyone thought it would be cool to see some Scions sporting big rims, dropped to the pavement, and bumping very serious tunes - true mini-truck style. After searching for the perfect example of a mini-truck-inspired Scion, we came across Jimmy Boykin from Autowerks in Georgia. Just check out our cover feature this month to see what he came up with. If you have any questions on how to pimp out your Scion, give Jimmy a call at (706) 221-2512, or check out the company's Web site at www.automotiveplayground.com.

Got You Covered
Dear MT,
I have an '03 Chevy S-10 Extended Cab, and I'm looking to buy a tonneau cover. I've seen a lot of those flush-mounted tonneau covers, but have had no luck finding any shops in Southern California that carry them. Do you know who makes them, or of any shops in SoCal that sell them?
Thanks,
Jason
via e-mail

Hey Jason,
Call Checker Products at (800) 944-9319, and have the measurements for your truck handy. You'll need to give Checker these four measurements:

Front to back (left)
Front to back (right)
Left to right (front)
Left to right (rear)

The company will build an exact flush-mounted tonneau based on your measurements and will ship it to you via UPS. It'll be a great quality piece for a low price; just be careful of the bedside tops, as the tonneau will rub off the paint if you don't protect it (as with any tonneau cover). We hope this helps.

S-Dime 'Yota
Dear MT,
I love the magazine. The tech is the best part. I find many mags that just have pictures and no technical information for a guy who wants to build his own mini. I was wondering if you could help me out with a mod on my '91 S-dime. I want to do a Toyota bumper conversion on it. I've looked at a few trucks on the Net and noticed that some have cut lower fenders, while others have a bumper that goes over the top. I was wondering if you have any information on what bumper to use, and if I can use a bumper that doesn't require cutting the fenders. I noticed that the S-10 Extended Cab on your Texas Heat Wave coverage had a Toyota bumper conversion. Did he cut the fenders? I love the way it looks on that truck.
Thank you,
Lee
via e-mail

Hey Lee,
You're right - that bumper conversion does look pretty good on the first-generation S-10s. If you call Jon at FBI at (877) 324-6464, he can start you in the right direction. FBI has the Toyota 4WD version that fits over the S-10 fender, or the 2WD version that requires slight modifications but fits a little better than the 4WD version once the fenders and grille are trimmed.

Missing Parts
Hey guys,
I have a quick question for you. I saw the tech article in the Dec. '03 issue about performance parts for the 2.2L S-10. I can't get in touch with Sportruck Specialties. The numbers don't work and the Web site doesn't come up. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks,
Drop Shop
via e-mail

Hey Drop,
You can contact Fast Freddy's; this company carries all the parts you're looking for and did 90 percent of the work, so the crew will know what you need and be able to offer advice. Call the guys at (714) 540-3801 or (800) 821-2195. Good luck with the project.