By now, upon reading my editorial column, all of our readers have obviously seen this month's cover theme: 25 EZ Bolt-Ons. Around the hallowed halls of the Truckin' editorial offices, easy bolt-ons are described by myself and the staff as anything taking less than a weekend to accomplish and generally with as few handtools as possible. Afterall, easy is defined by the Websters dictionary as "Causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort; not severe; lenient." So with that in mind, our easily defined technical story section should be just that easy, right? Well, as anyone who has bolted on anything new from a dealership or from the aftermarket knows, truly easy is not exactly a quickie five-minute procedure.
However, if that so-called easy bolt-on were to take a full hour, day, or weekend, would you still consider it to be a bolt-on? Some readers may, while others may not. In addition to our how-tos being so-called easy, there are varying degrees of ineptness. What I am saying is that even the most accomplished truck builder will have difficulty completing some otherwise mundane tasks. It comes with the job -- just ask any professional. Many times, accomplishing an easy task becomes difficult because the part was not properly manufactured from the start and was never checked for quality before being placed in the end consumer's hand. Or what has happened to us on more than one occasion: The instructions have been omitted from the packaging box. Left to our own devices, the easy five-minute install now takes an entire day or longer.
There are certainly other areas to address in regards to easy how-tos. Some of these easier how-tos may actually take an entire weekend because you are only using handtools and do not have access to faster and less time-consuming air tools. How many of our readers have cut a C-section into a truck's frame with a hacksaw or a Sawzall? I am guessing hundreds if not thousands. You know why? Because, generally, that was all anyone might have had at the time to accomplish the task. I know I have done these types of crude builds more than once primarily because, in my mind, I was trying to justify not going to the local tool yard and renting either an air compressor, a welder, or a plasma cutter. I was saving money. Just imagine if I had actually stopped and taken the time to clean up and run to the local tool-rental yard and rented the right tool for the task at hand. Not only would I have been money and time ahead, but all of my fellow neighbors, wife, and friends who may have been helping me accomplish the task would not have gotten the full thrust or numerous profanity-laced tirades. And I would have gotten a better-built truck because I was using the right tool for the task at hand.
That is why, while we are advocates of quick and easy tech, not everything that looks truly cool can be accomplished easy. Ask anyone of our cover truck owners if their build tasks were quick and easy. Most will admit it took time, money, and loads of patience to get the perfect vision of their end result. Frankly, most truck builds will have far more true bolt-on items than really wild, hardcore custom work performed. Afterall, 90 percent of the trucks I am talking about are daily driven, used for hauling the kids around to soccer practice, running to the grocery store, going on vacation, and so on. These are true bolt-on trucks. And yes, I know there will be some goofball that claims he drives his body-dropped truck to the window around daily with little or no problems. Great, more power to you. But here is the flip side to that coin.
If one person is going to take the time to go out of their way to accomplish wild and insane body or suspension work and then drive the truck around daily, guess what? Either you will be the coolest dude in town with everyone knowing you, including the police, or that insanely cool truck will be loaded with rock chips, scratches, and windshield pits because it's driven daily. Is that wrong? Well, it kind of goes above and beyond the term easy bolt-on, but that's fine if that's what you desire to drive. However, the cheapness in me wouldn't even allow me to drive this truck except to hit the local donut shop cruise-in or the show scene. Why? Because if I have performed the amount of mods a cover truck owner has, the last thing I want to see happen to the truck is damage from anything or anyone just to prove a point.
Yes, we all love easy bolt-ons. There are just varying degrees of easiness. I guess it could all be in your interpretation of the word easy. That's why it is important to check out this month's 25 EZ Bolt-Ons theme so you can be the judge of our explanation.