I am a 10-year-old mini-trucker. Whatever happened to the sketch pad? Do you plan on printing sketches anymore, because I miss them. They were awesome.
The Sketch Pad column was axed in order to make more room in the magazine for your favorite feature trucks and tech stories. But we still print artwork submitted by our readers in the Graffiti page. In fact, this month's column has an awesome rendering of our two favorite subjects: chicks and minis.
Frankenstein's Engine Swap
First and foremost, great magazine! Burnt Taco is by far the best mini I have ever seen and I am planning on the build up of one myself. What modifications to the truck itself would it take to transplant a Toyota Supra 2JZ-GTE engine into a '97 Tacoma? Second, do you know of any shops within 200 miles of Baltimore, Maryland, that specialize in body drops and air suspensions? Thanks for your help.
Thanks for the props on the magazine and my old truck. To answer your engine swap question, we went straight to the authority on Tacomas, E.L. Prototypes. According to E.L.'s owner, Eric Lempka, the 2JZ-GTE will fit the Tacoma nicely because it's being transplanted from a rear-wheel-drive car, the Supra. To make the swap successful, you'll need the complete wiring harness and computer from the Supra. Custom motor mounts will have to be made, and if you retain the stock Supra five-speed transmission, it should bolt right into the Tacoma. The stock Tacoma radiator will have to be moved forward to make clearance for the new motor, and electric fans are a must have item. Like everything else involving mini-trucks, this will be an extremely custom mod, but the payoff will be worth the effort. To get all the information, give E.L. Prototypes a call at (626) 812-4358.
Not a Kit
Dear Mini Truckin' Gods,
First of all, I'd like to tell you guys what a kickass magazine you put out. I'm hoping you can share some of your connections in the mini-truckin' world to help me in getting my mini on the final path to greatness. I'm building a '79 Toyota SR-5 shortbed mini similar to the one on pages 34-35 of the October '02 issue of MT. This truck is also pictured in the FBI ad on page 77. It looks like it has a '92-'95 Toyota 4Runner bumper, valance, and grille. I was wondering if anyone makes a kit to convert the front end of my truck to the 4Runner one?
The truck in question is owned by Bob Grant of Grant Fab. The front end is custom and Bob had to trim the front fenders to make it fit the older Toyota. Give him a call and he'll be able to point you in the right direction to perform this mod. Grant Fab can be reached at (530) 534-5644.
Whatever happened to Travis Noack? I used to enjoy reading his articles in MT but he seems to have disappeared. What up with that?
Travis hasn't left us, he's just been spending an inordinate amount of time at the local go-kart track practicing his take-out move on little kids. Oh yeah, and he works quite a few hours at our sister magazine, Truckin'.
Back Issue Body Drop
I have an '89 Toyota pickup that I will be body dropping soon. I once had an issue of MT that showed how to body drop this body style Toyota, but I can't find it now. Can you tell me what issue it might be in so that I can order it?
"The Ultimate Low" article on how to body drop your mini first appeared in the March '98 issue of MT and again later that year in the "MT Photo Spectacular." The March '98 issue was chock full of good tech stories and a super-clean Toyota cover truck, owned by Joe Musso of Musso Motorsports. The body drop in that article was performed by West Coast Customs back when the shop was located in Laguna Niguel, California. By a strange coincidence, in August I photographed the original 'Yota from that article while I was at ITB number nine. According to the current owner, "The Ultimate Low" Toyota has had a laundry list of shop owners and finally ended up in Indiana where he purchased it and is still working on it.