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MT Ridin' Around - January 2004

Hometown Cruisin' Local Customs

Jan 1, 2004
Photo 2/5   |   ridin Around 1997 Dodge Dakota
4 Lo Ridin'
There are two things that can greatly improve a relationship between a father and a son: sports and trucks. When Kyle Braun of Freeburg, Illinois, was 15 his father bought a white '97 Dodge Dakota hoping that they would be able to spend more time together. Well, it worked. The project soon became an infatuation. As soon as Kyle turned 16, the truck became his daily driver and also a winner at all the local shows. On the exterior, Kyle and his father shaved the door handles, tailgate handle, body lines in the tailgate, taillights, antenna, and all the logos on the body, and used a Xenon body kit and air dam to stand out from the crowd. They then added a billet grille with a custom grille shell, a weld-in steel roll pan, and 18-inch chrome Mondera X-Tacy wheels with Yokohama Parada 35-series rubber. In addition, they switched the headlights to Hyper White headlights and added red and blue headlight strobes, red under-body Street Glow neons, and other assorted red and blue neons. For the suspension, they C-notched the frame and added Air Ride Technologies suspension and air springs to lift the dump bed, 3-inch blocks, a monoleaf, and two 5-gallon tanks. As for the audio system (and I bet this was Kyle's idea), a JVC Digifine head unit controls the system. An Auto Cinema 5-inch LCD screen gives hours of visual entertainment, while the PlayStation 2 helps with all the gaming needs, and an Optima yellow-top battery provides the juice. Three 12-inch Ultra Linear Competition subs bump the bass. Three MTX 2300 subwoofer amps, along with a MA audio 5-farad power cap, give enough juice to sustain those low notes. Nice looks, nice sounds, and a license plate that sums it all up: "4 LO RDN."
Photo 3/5   |   ridin Around 1998 Toyota Tacoma
No Need 2B Jealous
When Peter Deam wrote to us saying he is "insanely jealous" of our MT editors, it was a little overwhelming. There's no need for him to be jealous, though, because he's rolling with his modified, Sunfire Red '98 standard cab 4x4 Tacoma. To make the truck roar like a lion, Peter installed dual 2-1/2-inch pipes with an after-cat Flowmaster exhaust, a ceramic header, a K&N second-generation air filter, and Jacobs ultra-fit 8.3mm plug wires. Still, Peter was not satisfied; therefore, he added a TRD supercharger, a bigger fuel pump, a bored throttle body, a 10-1 boost-dependent Vortech fuel pressure regulator, and some NGK CRYO plugs. To give the truck a new look, Peter added a set of 15-inch American Racing Baja rims with 31-inch Michelin tires. As for his sound system, Peter has a Clarion YDZ616 CD head deck, a set of 6-1/2-inch Rockford Fosgate door speakers, a 10-inch SL sub behind the seat, and two Boston Acoustic tweeters on the dash with an Extant 603X amplifier to pump life into the system. We'll soon be seeing Peter and his truck in England Drag Way and Sport Compact Import Wars Weekends.
Photo 4/5   |   ridin Around chevy Pickup
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Melissa Duby, not to be outdone by the guys, went all out on her first-generation S-series pickup. She decided that it was time to get the rest of the girls involved in this sport by showing them they can build a sweet truck themselves, just like the fellas. Melissa wanted some serious power, so she had the engine block bored 50 over and then had it stroked. The heads are ported and polished, and she opted for 3-inch forged aluminum pistons. A Competition camshaft, shortened rods, Gold Race billet rocker arms, high-performance anti-pump-up hydraulic lifters, and a Hypertech Stage 1 power chip all added to that extra neck-snapping performance she was after.
Photo 5/5   |   ridin Around axle
The S-10 received a 4-6 drop, thanks to Belltech 2-inch drop coils and spindles up front and 3-inch compressed leaves paired with 3-inch angled blocks out back. She then restored the frame and detailed the undercarriage herself by painting every single bolt, line, and suspension component an assortment of black, red, and silver. The exterior paint consists of PPG Candy Apple Red and PPG Black. To add some spice to the paint, a little House of Kolor Red mini-flake was added to the base color so that the paint dances at the right light. The interior sports Blazer seats that Melissa's grandma upholstered red. Also, a 6-inch TV screen allows for a good movie every now and then. After all was said and done, Melissa spent the better part of six years building and detailing her truck to show that girls want to have some fun too.


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