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1986 Mazda B2000- MazDawg

Childhood Dreams Realized

Phil Gordon
Jun 26, 2019
The Mazda B-series trucks were first introduced in 1961 and continued all the way to 2009. For the tenure of almost 50 years in production, the Mazda B-series was the most popular in its fourth-generation models, the mid-'85s to '98s. Once introduced in North America, the sleeker-styled Mazda B2000, a 2.0L engine (up from the previous year at 1.6L), was an instant hit. Jeff Giles from Greenville, South Carolina, first got involved in trucks, specifically Mazdas, when his cousin had a late-'80s Mazda B2000. Eventually, it's all Jeff dreamed of owning.
Photo 2/13   |   1986 Mazda B2000 Mazdawg Rear 3q
At 15, it wasn't plausible Jeff would be able to afford the Mazda mini, so his first vehicle was a static-dropped Dodge D50, which he and his father each went half on. "I drove the Dodge for about a year before it completely failed on me," Jeff tells Truckin. "It wasn't the truck I wanted, so I didn't worry too much." The following year, as he got his finances in order, he purchased his first Mazda, a B2200. He worked hard and added a hydraulic suspension and a topper on it until it was involved in an accident and he was forced to sell it for parts.
That opened the door for him to find a cheaply priced '86 Mazda B2000, the same model and year his cousin had during his childhood. The Mazda wasn't in the best shape, but it was what Jeff wanted. The blue stock paint was faded and there was a half attempt at bagging the mini. Almost immediately after the purchase, Jeff started adding the 4x4 sheetmetal and turned his attention to the suspension issues. The frame was Z'd to finally get the mini-truck to the ground.
Photo 3/13   |   1986 Mazda B2000 Mazdawg Engine
With Jeff and his good friend Jeff Green tackling all the work, the Mazda was coming along just as he had imagined. The rear was completely redone with a new four-link and airbags with newly designed brackets. In the front, the bag brackets were mounted and the ball joints were flipped to lower the truck even more. The next step was all the bodywork to bring life back into the Mazda and add some intriguing additions.
The gas door was shaved and the handles were replaced with Mazda Miata handles Jeff learned about in an old issue of Mini Truckin'. A Toyota front bumper was added and cut and sectioned and then lengthened to meet the bodylines. The tailgate handle was flipped from the outside to the inside of the tailgate. An airplane gas door was installed and Cadillac taillights were added to the rear end. A tag bracket was built and mounted to the bed. The 4x4 fender flare holes were welded up and shaved in the bed and on the fenders. A Raptor bedliner was added to the raised bed floor. For the paint, Jeff contacted Gary Timms from King's Kustomizing in Easley, South Carolina, to add the Grabber Blue paintjob he knew would make his Mazda stand out among the sea of minis.
Photo 4/13   |   1986 Mazda B2000 Mazdawg Wheel
In the rear, the bedliner was coated in the same paint to match the exterior. When it came time to get the interior done, Jeff and friend Travis Kay built the speaker boxes and then installed the stereo. The head unit was relocated from the original location behind the shifter to underneath the A/C vents for better access. The B-pillars were shaved to smooth them out. A Budnik steering wheel was installed to add some polish to the cabin. Jeff's favorite addition to his Mazda was the glove box: He shipped the glovebox door to Sean Mahaney to sign and send back. "Sean was always a step ahead of everyone in the mini-truckin culture," Jeff adds. "He was my hero."
Building MazDawg, Jeff met a ton of great people and made some exceptional friends along the way. His creation and build has done so much better than Jeff could have ever imagined. He wishes to thank his wife, Brandi, and their daughter, Lindi, for all their patience and support while he worked late nights and spent his hard-earned money making sure MazDawg came out perfectly.
Photo 5/13   |   1986 Mazda B2000 Mazdawg Interior
Inside the Build
Year/Make/Model: 1986 Mazda B2000
Owner and City/State: Jeff Giles; Greenville, South Carolina
Club Affiliation: Relaxed Atmosphere
Front Suspension: 1.5-inch drop spindles with flipped ball joints, Firestone 2500 267C airbags
Rear Suspension: C-notch with four-link, Firestone 2500 267C airbags, Little Larry's valves, stainless steel lines, two Viair 444c black compressors, two 4-gallon Air Lift air tanks
Engine: 2.0L, '73 Vega GT carburetor, factory Vega air cleaner, intake modified to fit, L4 polished aluminum radiator, TIG-welded vacuum lines, all components painted
Body/Paint: Stock floor body drop; Grabber Blue with pearl; Lesonal base and clear painted by Gary Timms at King's Kustomizing in Easley, South Carolina; bodywork by Jeff Green; Mazda Miata door handles; Toyota 4Runner bumper extended to meet fenders; four-wheel-drive sheetmetal; Cadillac taillights; shaved cowl; raised bed floor; smoothed B-pillars; billet inserts in grille; airplane gas door; shaved firewall; Grant Fabrication roll pan; shaved tailgate handle; relocated tailgate handle to inside; Raptor spray-in bedliner color-matched by Shon Reece
Interior: '93 B2200 bench seat and door panels, gray carpet and headliner done by Three R Trim Shop, Budnik steering wheel, APC white-face gauges in kilometers
Stereo: Kenwood Exelon shallow-mount head unit, Kenwood Exelon five-channel amplifier, Kenwood Exelon components in custom kick panels, two Rockford Fosgate P2D4 8-inch subwoofers
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 17x7; Boyd Coddington Sting Rays
Tires: 205/40R17; Nexen N'Fera SU1
Special Thanks: My wife, Brandi, and our daughter, Lindi; Jeff Green; Gerald King; Travis Kay; Gary Timms; Brandon Broom; King's Kustomizing; and Reed's Auto Parts