Livin' On The Edge
Dear MT,

I love your magazine; it has been so helpful in completing modifications to my truck. I have a '97 Ford Ranger and would like to do a face swap. I want to put the '02 Edge front end on, just like the '94 in the Feb. '04 Construction Zone. Do you guys know where I can get the parts, or someone who sells a kit to do the swap? Any information will help because I haven't been able to find the parts.
Jody B.
Douglassville, Georgia

Hey Jody,
Well, we did a lot of checking around for you, and it turns out that generally these are dealer parts. You will need to swap out your fenders forward, meaning the radiator core support, grille, bumper, headlights, fenders, and so on. We found a company that has these parts much cheaper than the dealer, and the guys there are very helpful with answering questions. Call Empire Collision at (909) 387-0771, and it should be able to get you up and running.

Need A/C
Dear MT,

I just bought a bare-bones '92 Toyota pickup. It has a five-speed manual transmission and the engine seems strong, but it has no A/C or power steering. I know most people ditch their A/C units to make room for a body drop, bigger wheels, and so on, but it's hot as hell where I live and I want A/C. Is there a company that makes kits for this application? Can I use stock Toyota parts from the dealer? What do you guys think would be the best and cheapest option to making my mini-truck more comfortable? Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks,
Josh "2 Damn Hot" Serwoski
Austin

Hey Josh,
Your problem is not that uncommon. When we go on the hunt for a mini to put under the knife, we don't want to spend extra for any options because that's money better spent on wheels, paint, and so on. However, there are a few options you have to consider. You can swap in parts from a '89-'94 Toyota from the dealer, but that will be pretty pricey. You can look into a stand-alone unit such as the ones from Vintage Air [(800) 862-6658], or you can check out your local junkyards. We called California Mini Truck Dismantlers and it has all the parts for the A/C and power steering. The crew also does the installation there. If you have any questions, call Troy at (909) 622-1381. Stay cool.

Swap-In Buckets
Dear MT,

I have a '94 Ranger and have slammed it as close to the ground as possible without airbagging it. I'm pretty happy with the exterior, but the interior is stock except for a Grant steering wheel. I've been thinking about finding a set of leather Acura EL buckets to swap in. What would I have to do to get them to bolt into my Ranger? Or, do you know of any cool-looking seats that bolt right in? Any information would be helpful. Thanks a lot.
Paul Parnaby
Campbellsville, Ontario, Canada

Hey Paul,
In an effort to answer your question, we called our local mini-truck dismantler for some sound advice. The guys said that as far as a direct bolt-in pair of bucket seats go, about all you're going to find are the same-year buckets in the '93-'97 Rangers or '95-'97 Explorers. The '98-and-newer seats could work, but they sit taller, so you'll have to fish your seatbelt through and possibly modify or extend the belt. If you want to put the Acura seats in, or any other seat you have room for, you'll most likely have to cut the brackets off your current seats and line them up on the new seats. The best way to go about doing this is to measure the brackets with the new seat inside your truck before welding them into place. We're actually working on upgrading the interior of our project Toyota with some buckets and will touch on the bucket-mounting process in an upcoming issue, so be on the lookout.

High or low?
Dear Paper Cuts,

I am currently working on an '88 Ford Ranger extended cab. I've come to a fork in the road and am not sure which path I should take. I was wondering if I should stay with the slammed-mini-truck theme, or if I should raise it to the sky. I have a fullsize 4x4 frame and a 351M at my disposal. I can't decide because I love door-laying minis throwing sparks, but I also like to see the tree-toppers with minis parked underneath them. Any information or suggestions you can give me would be useful and appreciated.
Thanks,
Zachary W. Clark
Sharon, South Carolina

Hey Zach,
All personal opinions aside, you said that you like to see big trucks with minis parked underneath them. It's obvious that you love slammed minis. Regarding your other statement, if you take away the mini parked under the tree-topper, are you still impressed? Thumbing through these pages, you'll definitely see that we're more for the body-dropped Ranger, but this is a matter of personal preference. We're pretty sure that you wrote to us knowing what we would say, and you just needed a little kick in the butt to stay on the right path. Body-drop it or you won't ever forgive yourself. Even the picture you drew on your envelope is of a slammed truck. Good luck.