To 'Bag Or Not To 'Bag
I don't know exactly who I'm talking to, but I suppose you have something to do with the truck industry. I'm in a bit of a predicament, I can't decide if I should 'bag my truck or not. I've always wanted to do it; it's just that everyone who I've talked to tells me not to ruin my ride like that. They also say, it' s not practical, reliable, or safe, and that it's going to attract the wrong crowd. Even my friends that have 'bags on their rides tell me that they regret it. I know that this mag is all about encouraging us to cut up our rides, but what's your honest opinion?
South El Monte, California

I could honestly write an entire page on the ups and downs of 'bags (no pun intended.) But chances are, I'll only spark a debate, so I'll hit up some of the things you mentioned. You made several interesting points in your question, for instance, you say it will attract the wrong crowd, yet you mentioned that you already have friends with 'bagged trucks, therefore, aren't you in that crowd? What type of crowd is that anyways? That's something you should ask yourself. As far as safety, this is an area where you should be concerned. If you or your friends don't know anything about tools, or fabrication, then you could run into some potential mechanical and safety issues. One of my cars has been 'bagged with the same valves and 'bags for years, and never had any problems, never any blowouts, nothing. But I had it 'bagged by a professional because I knew that I wanted this car to last for a very long time. Now, as far as regretting it, well that depends on your personality. I don't regret ever 'bagging anything in my life. I would rather try something new, learn new things and experiment. After all, that is what makes us minitruckers. We're not afraid to do new things and drive something that's, "different from the norm." I say, do what you want, don't listen to others, do what is right for you, whether it's 'bags or static, I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Thanks for responding to my e-mail so quickly. Like I said, I have a 2WD Ford Ranger that I am preparing to install an airbag suspension system into. I have some welding and fabrication experience, but my dad, who is a certified welder, will be helping me. I was wondering if you knew of any websites that give instructions on how to install the system? The company I bought it from did not supply any detailed instructions, and I don't have the money to pay for a professional shop to install it. I have all of the components I need, plus I bought a fuel cell to replace the ugly stock fuel tank, and a tonneau cover to keep everything dry and hidden. I have installed a lift kit on an '86 Ram Charger, but have never lowered any of my trucks before. Any help you could give me would be great.
Germantown, Maryland

Luckily for you, Jeremy, Ford Rangers have a strong following. Therefore, there are a lot of resources for it on the internet and parts are readily available for them. We did some quick snooping on the internet and came up with several insightful sites, and all of them with tech sections and forums. Even better, we found that all of them are full of Ranger enthusiasts, and so there are plenty of people for you to pick their brains. Here's a list of what we found:

We hope you're able to find what you're looking for there, and don't forget, you can always try who also has a section dedicated just to Rangers in their forum area. SSM is also free to join and very insightful. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

What' s In a Name Anyways?
Dear MT,
I am currently imprisoned in Pennsylvania. I've been reading your magazine for some time now and finally subscribed to it a little over a year ago. I own a '95 Nissan Hardbody, which I've lowered and put a nice Memphis Stereo system into, and added a fiberglass cap to the back. I have plans of body-dropping it when I get out, and also some other things as well. My question is, I've noticed in your magazine that you guys mention "stock- floor body-drop." What is the difference between stock-floor and just plain body-drop? And also, can you guys do a tech segment on how to do a body-drop? Because I don't know how to. Any help that you guys can give me would be much appreciated.
Green Co, Pensylvania

Good question, Eric, body-dropping as we know it, is just a form of channeling, which is something that hot rodders have been doing for many moons. The difference between a "traditional" body-drop, and a "stock-floor" body-drop is quiet simple. In a traditional body-drop, you simply cut your floor out and lower the cab and bed sides to the desired drop, then weld your floor back into place by plating the sides. In a stock- floor body-drop, the idea is to keep your floor as stock as possible. Most of the time, the area you sit in will stay stock, however, you may have to raise your transmission tunnel. Most of the work during a stock-floor body-drop is going to be done in the area of your chassis, which will have to be modified so you don't loose that desired leg room. No matter which type of body-drop you choose, they're both equally hard and take some real time and knowledge. Keep an eye out for the upcoming issues as we'll follow a few trucks getting body-dropped.