I had to tell you that even though I get three truck magazines every month, your magazine is my favorite. I no longer own a mini, but you guys have the best articles. Anyway, since I'm already writing this, help a girl out. I recently got this truck and it didn't roll right. I took it to see if it needed an alignment. That wasn't the problem; it turns out that the rear axle is bent. Not knowing that much about the underside of the truck, how serious is this? When the rotor was spun, the brake was wobbling. Is this going to cost a lot? The dealership won't fix it, as I don't have a warranty. Being a single mom trying to pay the note doesn't leave a lot of money left. Thanks for any help you can give me. By the way, you also have the best-looking staff. Keep putting your pictures in the magazine. If you could send me a staff photo . . . well, like I said, I'm single! Thanks.
Joy D. Burns
Well, what can we say? We had to run this one. Anything that can make us feel cool and raise our self-esteem is going to print. What we suggest on your rearend would be to go to a local salvage yard and pick up a new one. It may be possible to be repaired, but for safety and functionality's sake, this would be the best bet. For free installation, bat your eyelashes at the loneliest-looking bastard in the vicinity. It isn't going to be that cheap, but it will be no-frills. Let me just say that it's awesome that you're still into the mini-truck scene despite hardships you may have at the present moment. As for your request, anytime we have the availability to shamelessly promote ourselves, we will take full advantage. Here's a taste of what the future holds in our illustrious modeling careers: Mike doing Blue Steel (he's still working on Magnum) and me doing my Vogue pose.
I have a truck that I'm working on. It's been slammed, and I'm going to suicide the doors and cut the top off. What do you use to fill in the holes from the door post? Is there a kit for cutting off the top? Also, for underlighting, what do you recommend, neon or LED? Please help me out; this is my first extreme custom job on a truck. Thanks for your help!
What's up, Dennis?
To fill the holes in the tops of the door post, you would use regular sheetmetal, 16- to 18-gauge. Just cut to shape and weld in. There is a kit made by AIM to make your truck go topless. This is a convertible top that uses ABS to cap off the ends, so it requires no bodywork. Go to AIM's Web site at www.chassistech.com to check out all of the company's convertible accessories. As for neon and LEDs, we would say that LED would be the way to go. For a 10 percent increase in cost, they offer way too many advantages to be overlooked. LEDs take less power and are harder to break; plus, super-bright LEDs are just as bright as neon. Another feature with LEDs that is cool is the fact that they can scroll and change colors, depending on the LEDs you get. Neon doesn't do this, as the color is dictated by the gas in the tube.
Dear Mini Truckin',
Your magazine is what got me started living the mini-truck lifestyle ever since I got my '96 S-10. It just breaks my heart, though, to see the same things being done to them - especially second-generation S-10s. They're always stock, sporting a phantom grille, or with a Blazer upgrade. Not wanting to stick to the norm, I had an idea to do a custom grille shell with round headlights to give it an old Mustang look. This would be a mixing of breeds, an S-Stang, if you will. Unfortunately being 19 and having a lack of funds halted that idea. I recently saw a second-gen S-10 with shaved corner lights, but still sporting a cut factory grille - and when all he has to do was get a different grille and lights to fit to really change it up!
What's up, Chris?
We're glad to hear we got you started in the wonderful world of mini-truckin'. As far as what you're talking about with all the second-gen S-10s keeping it simple, yes it's true. Keep in mind that a lot of people out there are in the same boat as you, though. Money doesn't fall in the laps of the average mini-trucker. The majority of the mini-truck community are just average people with average jobs and a taste for Cristal on a Pabst or King Cobra budget. Hopefully when this is read, some owners might light a fire under their keester and try to get more creative. If you look in the last five years, though, the mini-truck community has gone from changing front bumpers to swapping full front ends. This is definitely the direction that we're headed in; it will just take time 'til it's completely mainstream.
I've been working on a couple projects, including an '89 Mazda B2200. I noticed that in the June '05 Construction Zone, Justin's Ranger has 21 inches of lift. How can I achieve this?
What's up, Charles,
Getting this kind of result is not as hard as you think. The way people get mad lift in the back of their truck is from having the airbag mounted on the bottom link bar. The farther you put the 'bag toward the front mounting point, the higher lift you will achieve. We've seen people go as far as having link bars so long that they go under the cab of the truck, yielding ridiculous results and putting ladder manufacturers out of business.
I just became a subscriber not too long ago, but I already love the mag. I'm a first-timer, and I need help. I own a '86 Nissan 720, but I can't find that many options for a non-Nissan Hardbody pickup. I know you guys have the hook-up, so do you know anywhere that I can find more options for my truck? Thanks for all the help you can give me.
Priest River, Idaho
We're always glad to help a new subscriber. As far as suspension components, check out AIM's vast selection of product at www.chassistech.com. Since you don't own a late-model mini, it will be harder for you, so get creative and the finished result will be that much cooler. Grant Kustoms offers a roll pan and taillight fillers for your mini; check them out at www.grantkustoms.com. T-Rex billet grilles also offers a cool billet phantom grille for your ride; you can find them at www.trexbillet.com