2003 Chevrolet S-10 - Special Ops
MTX Unleashes its Secret Weapon
Every high-profile company needs to have a vehicle stuffed with its product line to roll out to shows and demonstrate exactly what the company is made of. For MTX, its latest project in a long line of special weapons that the company has chosen to hook up in this '03 S-10 Xtreme. With the help of the company's Show Vehicle Operations Team, the truck was torn apart within the walls of MTX's Monroe, Wisconsin, facility and transformed into a devastating combination of sound and style.
Todd Broge started off by removing the lower control arms up front and replacing them with Air Ride Technologies' tubular A-arms along with a new set of shocks to dampen the ride. The factory coils were also removed and replaced with CoolRide 'bags and plumbed with 1/2-inch line. To set the rear of the truck down, the entire back half was cut and replaced with Air Ride's RoadGRATER wishbone suspension. The new Air Ride suspension allowed the truck to lay out on 20-inch KMC Venoms with Spin-Tek Stunner spinners that were shod in 35-series BFGoodrich G-force rubber.
A few modifications were necessary to accommodate the rear suspension travel as well as the planned blow-through box. The center of the floor was measured and cut for the rear axle, and the factory wheelwells were cut out so they could be replaced with tubs. Beneath the bed, the stock gas tank was removed and replaced with a custom rack made to hold the nine SVR 80 deep-cycle batteries that would power the system. A smaller gas tank was fabricated and mounted below the bed with just enough capacity to get the truck in and out of shows. At the front of the bed, some more measurements were taken, a few lines were marked, and then a 51x14-inch hole was cut for the blow-through.
From there, Jason Planck and Craig Marsh began tackling the custom audio and video system that would envelop the truck. The first order of business was to completely rip out the interior so that each panel could be covered using Dynamat Xtreme. Before the sound-dampening material was placed over the back wall of the cab, though, a matching hole was cut out for the blow-through sub enclosure. Craig went to work constructing fiberglass panels for the doors, while Jason took care of the fiberglass baffle for the four 10-inch MTX Thunder 9500 subs. The passenger-side airbag was removed and replaced with a fiberglass panel to support the Alpine DVD head unit.
Next, the duo focused its attention on the bed of the truck. Jason began construction on the sub enclosure and, keeping in mind the styling that the rest of the truck would receive, formed a fiberglass structure that wrapped around the subs and then sealed it with a plexiglass window. Craig followed suit and created a complete fiberglass tub that houses the 15-inch ICON-TV monitor and accented it using diamond plate. An arc-shaped amp rack was formed to perfectly support four MTX Thunder 801D amps, and a fiberglass piece was shaped over the tailgate to house two 8-inch ICON-TV monitors. The final fiberglass task was producing a cover for the bed with tribals cut into the front that would allow audiences to see all the hard work they had accomplished.
Once the heavy fabrication was taken care of, the team moved onto building a slew of accent pieces for the truck. With the help of their own metal department, stacks of aluminum pieces and diamond-plate accents were machined exactly as Jason had designed them. The accents were then sent off to Sterling, Illinois, where Gary Schultz of Quality Plating put them through the chrome process. While the metal was off being chromed, Jason and Jesse Stamm started designing plexiglass pieces that would be used in conjunction with the aluminum to create a very unique speaker grille for the subs and door panels. Each piece was cut, frosted, and then tapped in order to fit correctly with the aluminum accents.
Next on the list of modifications were the bodywork and paint. The truck was loaded up on a trailer and hauled to Ashland City, Tennessee, where it was handed over to Tim Armstrong of Kreative Kustoms. Tim began by shaving the door handles, tailgate handle, antenna, and stock taillights. The rear bumper was removed and a Sir Michaels roll pan was molded in its place. A set of Caddy taillights was then installed horizontally within the roll pan. Up front, an APC cowl-induction hood and Street Scene mirrors were added to smooth out some of the body lines. After the truck was primed and blocked, a House of Kolor's BC-25 basecoat was sprayed, followed by House of Kolor's Red KK-11 and DuPont chrome base mixed in HK's Red KK-11 for the tribal graphics. The designs were carried onto the hood, dash, and cab, and throughout the bed of the truck, for continuity.
When the truck returned to MTX, all the pieces were gathered and the final assembly began. Two eight-gauge Streetwires power wires were twisted together and run from the batteries to the amps. Heavy-duty Streetwires were then run from the amps throughout the truck to connect the 6-1/2-inch T6.6 door speakers, two 5-1/4-inch T6.5 separates in the dash, two Streetwires capacitors, fuses, and the distribution blocks.
Tracks were then laid down on both the driver and passenger side for a set of V-Racing buckets equipped with Weapon R four-point racing harnesses. In front of the seats, the factory steering wheel was pulled off and tossed to make room for a Carriage Works billet steering wheel. Below the steering wheel, diamond plate was bent to conform to the floor pan and secured. Finally, the hood was popped and a K&N cold-air intake was bolted to the top of the block.
With the help of a very talented group of fabricators in its Show Vehicle Operations Team, MTX has proved that it is a dominating force both on the street as well as in the shows. A special thanks goes to Air Ride Technologies, BFGoodrich, V-Racing, Spin-Tek, Stainless Steel Brakes, Vitek, Trenz, Street Scene, KMC Wheels, Carriage Works, Icon-TV, Varad, APC, Kreative Kustoms, Astro Caps, K&N, and Empire Motorsports for their support on this project.