Tacoma Performance Upgrades
Dear Paper Cuts,
I've been into vehicles since I was about 15 years old. My passion started with old-school rides on hydros and grew from there. Once I got my own truck in 1990, I knew they were the vehicles of choice for me. Anyway, I bought a new '96 Toyota Tacoma Xtracab 2WD V-6. I have a couple of upgrades on my truck right now, but I would love to see more in your magazine. I'm really interested in putting a posi rearend with disc brakes in, but I have a four-link with airbags and don't want to swap out my whole rearend. I'd also like to see an install on a supercharger setup for the V-6 Tacoma. I was also wondering if you could do a B&M short shifter, or even a header and exhaust system. Do they make headers for the V-6 Tacoma 2WD? I haven't had much luck finding any. I hope you can help out a long-time fan of your magazine. I've been a subscriber since 1994 and look forward to many more years. Thanks so much for your help.
THE ATTIC attire
West Covina, California
We tediously searched our vaults to come up with answers to most of your questions directly from back issues of Mini Truckin' and our sister publication Sport Truck. There is an install outline on page 208 of the Oct. '01 issue of Sport Truck on a header and exhaust system from TRD [(800) 688-5912]. In the July '02 issue of Sport Truck, on page 136, a TRD clutch and limited-slip differential with 4:10 gears get a full install article. Heading back into our magazine, you'll find that supercharger install in the July '02 issue on page 38. What power package would be complete without a little boost from the bottle? A tech article for the nitrous install can be found on page 76 of the MT Sept. '03 issue (Nitrous Express, [(888) 463-2781]. After all that power, you might want to check out page 46 of the Mini Truckin' Oct. '03 issue for an install on Powertrax's No Slip Traction System [(800) 583-4327]. We definitely don't neglect performance, and with help from our sister mag, we're always up-to-date on the latest and greatest products and installs. Good luck on your performance modifications and send us some pictures to keep us updated on your project.
'85 And Still Alive
I have an '85 S-10, which is my project truck as well as my everyday driver. It has the stock 2.5L four-cylinder/four-speed combo. My problem is that I can't seem to find anything for my motor; no intake, no performance chip, no header or exhaust system, nothing at all. I've named the truck '85 'Styl Aliv because I'm hoping I can get some more performance out of this engine and keep it alive for years to come. I hope you can give me some advice. Keep up the awesome work on the magazine.
We did all the checking around that you probably did and came up just as empty-handed with our first several phone calls. We couldn't find an intake or a chip for it. The good news is that after an extensive search, we put together some options from Daniel at Godfather Customs, the guys at Performance Center Wholesale, and www.truckperformance.com. Call Daniel Woodley at (800) 898-1240 and ask him about the throttle-body spacer and carburetor conversion for your truck, which will conjure up some ponies. He should also have some clutch options, electric fan conversion kits, plug wires, Flowmaster mufflers, and high-flow catalytic converter upgrades, and you can pick up a K&N filter. Clifford Performance makes a header [(909) 303-2333], and DynoMax's exhaust part number 17471 should help out as well. Comp Cams [(800) 999-0853] also has some valvetrain parts for your engine that could really get your motor purring. These parts will definitely set you well on your way to better performance results.
Dear Mini Truckin' ,
I'm a new subscriber to your magazine and I love all the written tech articles accompanied by pictures and step-by-step explanations. I especially liked the article in the April '04 issue on the Lambo-style door install. That article is one of the reasons I wanted to subscribe: I don't want to miss out on any good installs. I'd like to know if you have, or if you plan on doing, any tilt beds with sideways motion in a tech article. If it's in a back issue, please let me know which one. Thank you for your time. I'm a subscriber for life.
Hey Big R,
Thanks for the compliments on the magazine. Our archives here at the office only go back to 1996, and we checked through each issue to see if we could come up with anything. We found pictures of trucks with this modification, but no tech articles on the subject. There probably isn't a major demand for this mod, so a full-blown tech article isn't likely to be seen in the near future. Most tilt beds are fabricated, meaning there isn't a bolt-on universal kit or anything like that available. We've seen people use airbags, hydraulics, and even air strokes to lift the bed and show off their frame work. You can call any of the custom-suspension and body-modification shops here in the magazine and we're confident they'll be able to help you with the install.
One Way Ticket To Florida
How are you guys doing? First and foremost, I love the mag. Keep up the great work. Ever since I can remember, I've had a passion for mini-trucks. Right now, I'm working on an '87 Ranger in my free time after working all day at an autobody shop. A dream of mine has always been to move down to Florida and work at a full-blown customizing shop. Do you know of any places in Florida that I could look into? It doesn't matter where the shop is - just that it's in Florida. I hope to make my dream come true with your help and suggestions. Thanks.
When it comes to full-on customizers in Florida, there is one name that comes to mind: Rhodes Auto Works, better known as R.A.W. The company has built many full-fledge cover and feature trucks, and continues to push the limits of customizing. Check out the guys' Web site at www.itsraw.com, or call (407) 320-7388. Our best advice if you really want to make your dream come true is to put together a high-class professional portfolio that includes trucks and vehicles you've worked on, along with a resume listing all your pertinent skills. Shops probably get phone calls all the time from Joe Schmoe claiming that he can build the baddest truck ever without any proof, and if he's lucky enough to get hired, he's fired in a week or so because he can't keep up. Work on developing your skills and building your portfolio at the shop you're at. You'll get much farther that way rather than with a cold call. Good luck, bro.