Project Novakane Build: Throwdown Thrash

Seven Guys in Six Days do the Impossible

Dan Ward
Oct 1, 2011
Photographers: Dan Ward, Brandan Gillogly
It sounded impossible to anyone who enjoyed sleeping, seeing their families, or who didn’t enjoy donuts and energy drinks. What it consisted of was building a back half from scratch, installing an engine and transmission, wiring and plumbing said engine, installing the brakes along with the front suspension and hydraulic brake assist unit, and narrowing the rearend, cutting the bed and front fenders for clearance, running the truck on a chassis dyno and tuning the truck, and assembling pieces as they came in from paint and body. All of this needed to be accomplished in only six days so that Project Novakane could compete at THROWDOWN. Deadlines suck.
Photo 2/47
It seemed innocent enough when I was hanging out with my buddy Aaron Iha and I asked him where the best place to narrow a rearend was. He laughed and said, “I do them all the time.” Then he asked me what I needed it for and the rest as they say, is history. He told me to bring him the truck and as a team, we would handle it. A daunting task for any shop, Aaron seemed surprisingly calm about the six-day deadline and on Friday, May 20, I trailered Novakane the six miles from L&G Enterprises, in San Dimas, California, over to Chassis by Aaron Iha, in Covina. What showed up was a painted shell with no engine, trans, no front end, and not much optimism. Not to fear, I brought donuts and Rockstar energy drinks.
Follow along as we show you how seven hardworking guys designed, fabricated, and welded in a new back half, bolted on a QA1 coilover suspension, installed an Aeromotive fuel system with Earl’s fittings and hoses, added a Hydratech hydraulic brake assist unit, narrowed the factory rearend and installed new Dutchman axles, and relocated two Optima batteries thanks to XScorpion and Pro Precision Billet, and managed to live to tell stories about it.
Photo 3/47
Friday, May 20: Day 1
Saturday, May 21: Day 2
Sunday, May 22: Day 3
Monday, May 25: Day 3
(four days until THROWDOWN)
Photo 19/47   |   16.-18. 10:06 a.m. After everyone enjoyed some donuts and Rockstar energy drinks, it was back to work as the deadline officially hit the four-day counter. Chris Hernandez started to cut out the bed wheeltubs.
Tuesday, May 24: Day 5
(three days until THROWDOWN)
Wednesday, May 25: Day 6
(two days until THROWDOWN)
Thursday, May 26: Day 7
(one day until THROWDOWN)
Photo 41/47   |   38. 10.28 a.m. QA1 was another company that delivered what they promised. UPS dropped off a package containing our front and rear double-adjustable coilovers exactly when we needed them. We wanted this truck to handle like a sports car, and thanks to QA1, Novakane should really be impressive. In case you’re wondering, the truck didn’t have a suspension in it for the dyno run. The guys simply hard-mounted steel blocks to make it drivable.
Friday, May 27: THROWDOWN
project Novakane Throwdown Thrash front Angle
  |   45. 9:02 a.m. Through sheer determination and skill, Novakane was running at THROWDOWN and setting the fastest time through the slalom just hours after the final tune was edited. That was absolutely amazing when you look back and see how the truck was less than a week ago. Special thanks to Aaron Iha, Ben Dodd, Dale Thomas, Chris Hernandez, Eddie Orozco, Louis Silva, Harvey and Joe at HMS Performance, Brandan Gillogly, Bob Ryder, Harley Camilleri, and our wives for being understanding while not seeing us for a week.

Sources

Be Cool
Essexville, MI 48732
800-691-2667
www.becool.com
QA1 Motorsports
Lakeville, MN 55044
800-721-7761
www.qa1.net
Chassis By Aaron Iha
Covina, CA 91723
626-967-0045
www.chassisbyaaroniha.com
Optima Batteries, Inc.
Milwaukee , WI 53209
888-867-8462
http://www.optimabatteries.com
Pro Precision Billet
Downey, CA 90239
562-904-2644
www.ppbillet.com
XScorpion
www.xscorpion.com
McLeod Racing
Placentia, CA 92870
7146302764
www.mcleodracing.com
Air Concepts
Modesto, CA 95351
1-209-537-7643
www.airconcepts.com
Dutchman Axles
Portland, OR 97294
1-503-257-6604
www.dutchmanaxles.com
HMS Performance
562-907-7834

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