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  • Letters To The Editor - Ask The Experts - October 2009

Letters To The Editor - Ask The Experts - October 2009

Ask The Experts

Mike Finnegan
Oct 1, 2009
Photographers: Charlie Hayward
Stumped about a Starter
Will the starter from a 5.7L 350ci V-8 fit a 4.3L V-6?
Photo 2/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 starter
According to Gilbert Chevrolet's website (, part number 12361146 is a high-torque mini starter that is designed for 1958-'96 Chevrolet 90-degree V-8 and V-6 engines (200ci, 229ci, and 4.3L).
This question was answered by Mike Finnegan, editor of Sport Truck Magazine. Mike can be reached by visiting the forums at
More Travel without Breakin' Balljoints
I've got a bagged '02 Ranger and am having bad luck with upper ball joints going out. What can I do or what ball joints should I get? I have some Moog ones I'm about to put in just to get it back on the street. Any help you could give me would be great.
Joey Cardoza
Via email
Photo 3/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 uniball
Driving with your truck lifted all the way up where the ball joint angle locks up is the problem. Here are two things I'd suggest: First would be a limit strap or a bumpstop on the upper control arm to prevent locking up the balljoint. Either item will work great to limit movement of the control arm before you blow out the ball joint. To do this, we use a floor jack to determine a safe lock-up height on the control arm. Then we build a stopper to limit the down travel of the upper control arm. If you check out most trucks, they come stock with these.
The second option is a control arm with a uniball or spherical bearing as the pivot instead of a ball joint. The uniball will give you more travel without breaking parts. A skilled fabricator can build a strong, safe set of arms. Uniballs are basically 1-inch-diameter bearings. They are commonly used on off-road trucks.
Photo 4/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 ball Joint
This question was answered by Jeff Davy, Owner/Operator of Devious Customs, a full-service fabrication and audio/video installation shop located in Riverside, California. Jeff can be reached at (951) 359-9666 or by visiting
Loves Disco, Too
I have a confession to make. I love the '70s. I dig the clothes, the style, the porn, the women, and the music. Will I look like a complete tool if I paint my Dodge with a '70s vibe?
Eric C.
via email
In today's "scene," there seems to be a fine line between a truck having a cool '70s vibe paint scheme and being labeled as a lowrider. Everything that you adore and accept as '70s paint is still currently being used heavily and seemingly unchanged in the lowrider community. If you can accept this blurred line, then this paint style may be for you. In my opinion, I don't believe your truck's body style would lend well to this paint style.
Photo 5/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 truck Cartoon
The key to achieving this paint style is to check out vintage color magazines and books from the '70s. Many publications described in-depth a ton of paint styles such as endless line, paneling, fading, murals, freak dots, cobwebbing, and lace painting. Whatever direction you choose, you most certainly will stand out at a truck show in any part of the country. Keep us posted with your progress; we'd love to check it out.
This question was answered by John Meyer, owner of Clean Cut Creations, a full-service fabrication and paint and body shop located in Webster Groves, Missouri. His shop is responsible for creating numerous cover trucks and tech articles for Sport Truck. John can be reached at (314) 968-8377 or by visiting
Six For Five
I have '97 S-10 ZR2 extended cab 4WD truck with the 4.3L Vortech V-6 and five-speed manual trans. It has 3.73 gears and I was wondering if a GM factory six-speed trans from a Camaro would fit? I was looking for some more overdrive in it for better mileage and less engine wear and tear.
Kenneth C.
via email
Photo 6/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 transmission
The short answer is yes that tranny will bolt up to your engine. The long answer is that depending on what car you pull the tranny out of, there quite a few other parts to go along with it and changes to make to the clutch, driveline, shifting systems. There's an excellent thread here on the Internet describing in detail what you'll need and where to get the parts: -Mike
Tilt Hood Mystery Solved
Who makes a reverse tilt hood kit for my 2004 Chevy Silverado?
Anonymous Lurker
Well, AL, Autoloc offers a universal tilt hood kit that will work on your truck without any cutting or fabrication. The part number is TILTHD and it can be ordered at If you want to be really cool, order part number TILTHDD and that adds a motorization feature that will open the hood at the touch of a button. And if you want to be the man, order TILTHDDD to add a remote control feature! -Mike
Photo 7/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 tilt Hood Kit
Needs Help With This Section
I've got a 1989 Chevy Silverado that's already been 'bagged and chopped three inches. I want it to be lower and was considering sectioning a few inches out of the middle of the body. What's all involved in doing that? I can't quite wrap my head around what happens to certain areas of the truck.
Darryl M.
via email
If there is one thing we know at Scott's Hot Rods, it's sectioning trucks and sheetmetal work. Having built famed cars such as the notorious roadster pickup Heavy Metal and the recent award-winning roadster Undisputed, our specialty since 1990 has always been sheetmetal work and fabrication. As far as sectioning your OBS Chevy truck goes, it's easy if you take your time. Figure out how much you would like to section and run tape around the whole truck. First thing you need to do is visualize where it's going to be cut, and be sure to include the inside of the body like the doors and bed.
Photo 8/8   |   letters To The Editor October 2009 lowered Truck
If you are looking to go lower, though, sectioning won't help. The ride height will stay the same, only the roof will be lower. I would recommend doing a simple body drop. The bed is as easy as raising the floor, and the cab is a relatively easy also. The most difficult section is typically the firewall area, but remember that the main goal is lowering the cab over the frame; If you keep that in mind while making your decision on where to cut the floor, it'll help tremendously. A quick tip is to cut the back section of the cab rather than the floor, it's easier to finish that way.
This question was answered by Justin Padfield, award-winning owner of Scott's Hot Rods in Oxnard, California. Justin can be reached at (805) 485-0382 or by visiting
Got A Question?
Your questions will be answered by a revolving panel of industry experts in addition to the staff of Sport Truck. If you'd like an expert answer to a question concerning your truck or the magazine, send Mike an email via or visit the forums on


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