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1999 Mazda B3000 - Hard Time

Locked in the Garage

John Mata Jr.
Jul 1, 2011
Owner: John Angles
Ride: 1999 Mazda B3000
Hometown: Hagerstown, MD
Photo 2/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 right Side View
In the tight confines of a tiny dirt-floored storage unit and his townhome’s barely-one-car garage, John Angles has blown apart his Mazda and glued it back together a few times over in the span of 10 years. And by tiny, that is exactly the amount of space John was working with during the fabrication phase of the stock-floor bodydropped frame. The 11x17 garage trained John to think and act like a regular contortionist since real estate was scarce. “I had the cab rested on a wooden 2x4 table over the frame, and the bed was out in the driveway. I built a jig and bolted it to the floor so I could build the chassis on, and all I used was a 4-1/2-inch angle grinder and a welder,” says John about his limited work environment.
With barely enough room to even take a deep breath in, John pressed on with a build that had been in constant reconstruction for the better part of a decade. The constant stop/start nature of the Mazda’s progress came to an end in ’04 when John decided it was time to get down to business. “Life just got in the way, and my truck was placed on the back burner for some years. Between constantly moving, being young and partying, having my daughter, and going through three surgeries on my right hand, my B3000 spent way too much time riding the bench.”
Photo 3/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 subwoofers
When the right time struck, John spent the better part of a Maryland winter secluded in the garage. It was during this time when he Z’d the front frame, built fiberglass interior components, and crafted a sheetmetal bedcover, but it was the cold season of ’07 that he started working on the frame that is currently underneath the Mazda.
What John has proved is that nobody really needs a high-tech workspace outfitted with the best tools money can buy, although that would definitely make for a much smoother experience. John stuck it out, made the best out of a glorified closet space, and ripped into his own truck—something that can’t go without due recognition. Even though John’s Mazda does appear to be a finished, feature-worthy truck, he had this to say, “In a total of 10 years, this truck has been through multiple ‘finished’ stages; however, it is still not complete.”
Photo 4/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 left Side View
Makes you wonder what John has brewing for the future.
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire

Wheels: 20x8.5 Velocity
Tires: 245/35/20
Photo 5/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 custom Interior
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Slam Specialties RE7 ’bags, one-off tubular upper A-arms for vertical uniball mounted in spindle, tubular lowers ½ inch shorter, spring pockets were cut, plated, and raised ¼ inch for upper ’bag mounts
Suspension (rear): Slam Specialties RE7 ’bags, forward-facing four-link, ’bags on lower bars with upper mounts and crossmembers
Shocks: Parts store find that had proper stroke for application
Compressor(s): Three Viair
Air/hydro Accessories: Stainless steel ½-inch braided lines, SMC water traps, gauge for each ’bag and tank
Frame Mods: 2x3x¼ frame from firewall back, dual rails on each side under cab
Brakes: ’60s GM–style booster, master cylinder, proportioning valves
Misc.: Frame and suspension painted
Performed By: Owner
Body Modifications
Shaved: Wiper cowl, fender emblems, gas door, door locks, inside lip of front fender firewall
Bodydrop: Stock-floor
Body Mods: Inside of bedfloor is from an ’01 Chevy Silverado, smooth rear panel in bed with bodyline, folded pinch, front framehorns sectioned to bring bumper closer
Bolt-ons: ’04 Mazda grille, headlights, corner lights, ’01 Ford Ranger Edge hood and bumper, ’04 B4000 taillights, Street Scene mirrors
Performed By: Owner
Photo 6/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 truck Bed
Brand & Colors: Spies Hecker Sunset Bronze
Performed By: Brad Knott and owner
Seats: ’04 Ford Ranger
Dash: Sanded and sprayed matte black
Misc.: Billet Specialties Fast Lane steering wheel with Lecarra adapter, custom fiberglass center console, speaker pod in headliner, seatbelt holes and pockets shaved on rear door panels
Performed By: Owner and Brad Knott
Photo 7/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 interior
Stereo Head Unit: Pioneer
Mids & Highs: Alpine 6½ in console, 5¼ in overhead pod with four tweeters and crossovers, 6x9s in all doors
Subwoofers: 12-inch Kicker
Amplifiers: Alpine and Kicker
Misc.: Console, sub box, overhead pod
Performed By: Owner
Engine: ’99 Ford Flex Fuel 3.0L V-6
Intake: Custom
Header/exhaust: Exhaust wrapped with DEI exhaust wrap, modified stock Y-pipe with only one cat instead of four
Rearend Type: Stock Ford 7.5 shortened 3 inches with Dutchman Motorsports axles
Detail Work: Engine painted, coil pack moved to AC location, V-8 Ford Explorer plugs, e-fan, ’60s Ford Falcon hood adjusters
Misc.: Two Optima YellowTops, 170-amp alternator
Performed By: Owner
Photo 8/8   |   1999 Mazda B3000 engine
Special Thanks From Owner
“My daughter, Kayla Jade, for being the coolest girl on the face of the earth, my parents for always being there for me, Brad Knott, Matt Dixon, Bone/TJ, Richard, Al and Chris, Seth of Twisted Minis, all the guys who put on truck shows because their efforts often go overlooked. Thanks to all of my friends who would hang out while I was working on the truck.”



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