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  • Letters To The Editor - June 2006

Letters To The Editor - June 2006

The Sport Truck Staff
Jun 1, 2006
We Suck
How's it going? I was reading your Mar. '06 issue of Sport Truck magazine and I stumbled across an article called "Ten Completely Worthless Facts." The sixth quote down says "The V-6 engine in Chevy's Colorado makes 305 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 rpm." After reading that, I was left with the feeling of being shorted. My '05 Chevy Colorado got shorted a cylinder and a whole bunch of torque. It's time to call up the dealer and request my sixth cylinder. You guys make a great magazine; keep up the good work.
Colin Elliott
via e-mail
Hi, my name is Terry Robinson and I'm a longtime reader of Sport Truck. In the Mar. '06 issue of Sport Truck, in the "Ten Completely Worthless Facts" article, number 6 says "The V-6 engine in Chevy's Colorado makes 305 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 rpm," but the Colorado only comes with an I-4 or an I-5, not a V-6.
via e-mail
Right you are, guys! We are resisting the urge to say that this was all just a ploy to see if you were indeed reading our worthless facts, but in fact, we just goofed. GM's Colorado and Canyon midsize pickups are indeed available with an inline five-cylinder engine and not a V-6 like we printed. Aren't we dumb?
Big 'n' Scary
I saw your magazine and your website, and thought you might get a kick out of our 9-foot, 4-inch-tall Dodge Ram Sport. It runs a coil spring front and leaf spring rear suspension. We custom-built the lift kit because we couldn't buy one this big.
Dustin Brinker
via e-mail
You're dad's Dodge is pretty cool because it's almost as tall as Grave Digger. But, what we really want to know is what's up with the super extend-o leaf spring hangers on that Chevy Z-71 parked in the snow?
He's Got No Issues
How can I get ahold of a Sept. '03 edition of your magazine? Is there any way I can order one?Gabe
via e-mail
Gabe, Gabe, Gabe. Look closely at the front of every issue of Sport Truck for a page containing a list of every employee of the magazine. At the bottom you'll see bold phone numbers for subscriber services, including-drum roll please-a phone number for purchasing back issues. Here's the number, just in case you can't find it: (866) 601-5199.
It's a Trap!
In the Feb. '06 issue of Sport Truck, I believe there was an error in the article regarding the placement of the water condensate trap. The article suggested placing the condensate trap between the pump and the tank, but this will not solve the water in the tank problem. When the hot air hits the tank, condensation will occur, and eventually the water will get to the valves and maybe even to the 'bags. The proper placement would be after the tank and prior to the valves. Look at any air compressor and you will see that the condensate trap is after the tank. Been there, seen that, done that.
Jim Wolfe CPE
via e-mail
You have a point there, Jim. But, the air compressor will also intake moisture from the air and send it right into the tank as well, so maybe the best solution is to install a trap before and after the tank.
Photo 2/7   |   mail Truck show Trucks
Photo 3/7   |   mail Truck snowed In
What About My Dodge?
I am a 20-year-old Norwegian boy that has a '78 Dodge Stepside, like the Little Red Express pickup, that I would like to customize. I can't find anything on the internet about this kind of truck. The car is absolutely free of rust and had a 2.8L Nissan diesel engine in it . I need tips about how I can go to shows and race with it.
Daniel Rnning
via e-mail
The Little Red Truck was introduced mid-year in 1977 and was built upon the 1/2-ton D150 platform, which had a 115-inch wheelbase. The original engine for your truck, if it is an authentic Little Red Truck, was a high-output 360-cid V-8 with "super flow" cylinder heads, a Thermo-Quad four-barrel carburetor, and police spec camshaft with 252-degrees of duration. The engine also featured a cold-air induction system and dual exhaust system. The power was transferred to the 3.55:1 live axle by a performance-modified automatic transmission. The engine came factory equipped with a chrome air cleaner, valve covers, and vertical exhaust stacks. The body of all Little Red Trucks featured genuine oak side running boards, Canyon Red paint with accent stripes, and gold stickers. This was a limited production truck designed to get buyers into the doors of Dodge dealerships. If you are looking for a little more show and go for your truck, then we say ditch the old diesel and replace it with a screaming 360 small-block.
Toonish Treasure
One of my hobbies is antique vehicles and the other is comic books. Through the years, I noticed that any research I did on comics led me all over the place and there was no central source. The idea hit, why not use a vehicle as a canvas. I've always owned a truck, so why not use a truck as a canvas to showcase my love of comics? I chose one of the first Molel As, a '28 Ford Model AR Roadster Pickup. Since these were commercial vehicles that were often repainted to serve as advertising for businesses like Coca-Cola or your local carpenter, my paint design would not hurt the antique restoration. I did push the envelope!
I realized everyone had their favorite character, so I decided to do a documentary on comics. I located the vehicle in the Midwest. It needed some work like pulling the engine and transmission and fixing the clutch. The steering gears were shot-I had to send that out, but I did all the mechanic bodywork myself. It's all steel, and friends from my Model A Club, The North Jersey Regional A's, helped me put the engine back in. I started painting on Oct.18, 2004, on the anniversary of the first published comic The Yellow Kid, Oct. 18,1896, and finished on Jan 12, 2006. A lot of it was painted in back-breaking positions. The only record I kept was on airbrush painting hours, which number more than 2,000. This does not include original restoration of the Model A research and layout. I expanded also into war-time illustrations, political cartoons, movie stars, and sci-fi. I guess my favorite would be Rat Fink by Big Daddy Roth on the front.
Bob Luczun
via e-mail
Bob, all we can say is holy crap!
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Shaky Jake
I have a '96 Ford Ranger pickup with a pretty badly oxidized black paintjob. The truck really needs new paint, but that just isn't in the financial cards at present. The truck is basically a driver, but I've lowered it and shaved all the emblems. I was looking through some old Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Rod & Custom magazines that my dad had in my grandparents' attic. I noticed some really neat custom '53-'56 Ford F-100 pickups. Many of the trucks had elaborate pinstriping. Some of the designs looked like animals. In fact, one truck was called "The Wildkat," and it had a pinstriped design resembling some type of jungle cat. My high school football team was called the Wildcats, so that idea really appealed to me. That got me to thinking about a way to personalize my Ranger without the cost of a new paintjob. I could get some steel wheels and paint or powdercoat them red. Then, I could get some wide whitewall tires. I could put lots of white and/or red pinstriping on the hood, tailgate, and around the wheelwells, and I'd have an old-school-style truck for not too much money. My question is regarding my ability to do my own pinstriping. I've seen articles on pinstriping and ads for how-to videos, but I'm curious about the reality of a beginner being successful. At a car show, I saw a pinstriping tool demonstrated. The guy was just whipping out trick designs on paper, but do those tools work as well on metal? I know I could just pay to have the striping done by a pro, but I'd like to do as much of this project by myself as possible. I also think it would be way cool if I could say I did my own pinstriping. I'd greatly appreciate your input.
Jacob Johnson
via e-mail
We like your idea of giving your Ranger an old-school custom look on a budget. Theoretically, you could do your own pinstriping. Realistically, you could end up with a very amateur job. Our suggestion is to try pinstriping on an old hood or fender (body shops often discard fenders and hoods that are only marginally damaged) before committing to striping your truck. We've watched many pro stripers ply their craft. It looks easy when they do it. We wanted to be the next Von Dutch, so we bought some paint and pinstriping brushes and tried our hand at it. Unfortunately, our hand was way too shaky. The sad news about pinstriping is that it really helps to have some natural talent and above-average hand-to-eye coordination. Pinstriping is the least expensive custom painting you can try. You can buy a can of One-Shot Striping Enamel (the industry standard) and a couple brushes for less than 50 dollars. One-Shot costs approximately $10-15, depending on the color, for an 8-ounce can. Striping brushes generally fall into the same price range. You should get some enamel reducer for paint thinning and general cleanup. Masking tape for guidelines is nice but not mandatory. A couple keys to successful pinstriping are properly loading the brush with paint and applying consistent pressure to the bristles as you pull the line. That consistent pressure is what keeps the stripe width uniform. You can use tape or inexpensive magnetic guide strips to guide your hand on straight lines. Complex designs depend on using your free hand as a support. When we tried to stripe we couldn't master pulling uniform-width lines. Our brother-in-law was watching and wanted to try it. He pulled beautiful lines right off the bat. He was a natural, but as a dentist he has superior hand-to-eye coordination and fine motor skills. We also tried one of those "precision" striping tools. We had more trouble with the tool than striping freehand. We couldn't get the paint consistency right. It was either too thin and ran or too thick and didn't flow right. We also got lots of little marks from the wheel that distributes the paint. We absolutely couldn't conquer curved lines. We did have a truck striped by a painter who used a striping tool. He did a beautiful job, but we suspect he could have done equally well with a brush. An excellent source for pinstriping supplies and instruction aids is the Eastwood Automotive tool catalog, 2263 Shoemaker Rd., Pottstown, PA 19464, (800) 345-1178, Eastwood's catalog has several pages devoted to pinstriping paint, brushes, books, and instructional videos. One of the best things about trying pinstriping is that striping enamel is very slow drying. That means you can easily wipe off mistakes. Try striping. You may be terrible or you may uncover a hidden talent.

Heads or Tails
Please settle a bet I have with a friend. We can't agree on whether it's better to put two more worn tires on the front or back of a truck. In our hypothetical case, one pair of tires has 80 percent tread and the other pair has 30 percent tread. Also, does it matter if one rear tire is more worn than the other as to which side it should be on? Thanks.
Troy Warner
via e-mail

The ideal answer is to have good tires on all four corners. If new tires are bought at the same time and rotated according to the manufacturer's recommendations, wear should be approximately equal. We know that people sometimes buy only two tires at a time. At the risk of sounding like a politician, there are two schools of thought on where to place the best tires. The old standby answer was to put the best tires on the rear axle for better traction. Lately, more emphasis has been on putting the best tires on the front, because these are the tires that steer, and front brakes (and tires) provide more stopping power than rear brakes. Given that logic, our vote is to put the best tires on the front. In the case of unequal rear tires, we'd place the better tire on the right side unless the vehicle has Posi-traction. In non-posi vehicles, more torque goes to the right side.
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