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?
Lorenzo
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.

WWW.RANGERWHAT.
Mike,
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.
Jeremy
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:
1) www.rangerpowersports.com
2) www.therangerstation.com
3) www.ranger-forums.com
4) www.rangerscene.com

We hope you're able to find what you're looking for there, and don't forget, you can always try www.streetsourcemag.com 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.
Eric
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.

From Bad to Worse
What's Crackulatin'?
My name is Jake Becwar and I'm a newbie. I've subscribed to your mag for a year now. I have five magazines that come in every month and somehow Mini Truckin' always seems to get to the top. Keep up the great work!

I have a couple of questions. I have an '89 B2200, and I've run into several "potholes," as I call them. It all started with a ticket for operating a defective motor vehicle. I had to have it towed to a shop after the Sheriff stopped me. He gave me crap for my taillights, muffler, rims and some other stuff, pretty much the same ol' routine. So I gave him crap for enforcing ridiculous laws, all it got me was red flagged until I bring it back to Maine specs. About two weeks later, my truck was stripped of the rims, taillights and rain guards (who the hell takes rain guards.) I did my own investigating and was able to track down my rims and rain guards, and that was with no help from 5.0. Several days after that, my windshield was busted out, and so the bad luck continued. All this took place within a month, and it all started with that ticket. I guess you can say, I'm giving back to society one ticket at a time.

So how would I go about sending some pics of my truck for consideration for Hard Luck of the Month or Construction Zone?
Jake Becwar
Saco, Maine

Wow Jake, seems like you had a pretty rough month. Luckily for you though submitting your pictures is really easy.

They'll go into the popularity contest Mike and I have going to see who gets more mail. Just kidding, but no, seriously, send me mail so I can win.

Datsun Dilemma
What's up? I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I have a '78 Datsun 620 King Cab. I broke the back half of the driveshaft dragging the ish out of it. Do you know of anyone who knows if I could use a later model 'shaft for my truck? I cannot find parts for this biatch anywhere.
Ben
Via MySpace.com

The answer to your question is yes, we can point you in the right direction; and no, we don't know whether it will fit or not. But, we have several sites that you can try that are very helpful and useful. The first site you can start with is www.the620.com. It's a great site to start at because it has tons of useful information and great links to other Datsun information. Second, you can stop by www.yahoogroups.com. This is a great portal to find groups of people who are interested in the same things as you. We did a search for Datsun trucks and came up with several websites that can help you start. We also did a search on Lindsay Lohan and found tons of cool stuff there, but that's a whole 'nother topic. The Datsun 620 group, alone, has more than 660 members. Once you have the information you're looking for, go to www.calminitruck.com for your parts. This is the website for California Mini-Truck Dismantlers. They always have a great assortment of parts and parts trucks, and they're a helpful bunch.

What's the Date Today?
Dear MT,
I'd like to start by saying thank you very much for sending me the September 2006 issue that somehow got lost in the mail. I have saved every issue going back to the summer of 1988. So, needless to say, I'm very grateful for your prompt sending of the September issue. I've been looking all over for a mini-truck calendar with no luck. Do you make a calendar? If not, I really think it would be cool if you did. Maybe take all of the years' cover trucks and make a calendar. I think the past year has had some of the coolest issues of all time. Now with an extra thirty pages...wow! What's next...two issues a month? I already loved the magazine. Now I find myself feeling as if it's Christmas every month when my issue arrives. Keep up the great work.
A longtime reader,
Tracy McCabe
Lakeview, Oregon

Great news, Tracy! Not only do we make a calendar, but you can pick up our upcoming February 2007 issue at your local newsstand and find that there will be a calendar in it. We've made several calendars over the years, including in 2006. Sometimes, it's all cover trucks and sometimes, it's an assortment of different trucks and cool pictures.

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