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(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Eric)>> Today on Music City Trucks we search for some inspiration for our next project, and we cruise the countryside to get the lowdown on a returning trend from an expert.

(Ben)>> One of the beauties of mini truckin' and customizing a mini truck is that there aren't many rules.

(Eric)>> Then we rescue a truck that's unlike anything you've ever seen. Could this be our next project? [ Music ]

(Marc)>> This has got to be the most iconic design! [ Music ] Welcome to Music City Trucks, I'm Marc Christ.

(Eric)>> And I'm Eric Smart.

(Marc)>> And we just wrapped up on a really huge build, our 1985 K-10 square body, The Faux Guy.

(Eric)>> We started out with a really solid truck and took it down to the bare frame so that we could rebuild it from the ground up. After some final touches and a little bit of bling we took it out and put some miles on it.

(Marc)>> And even though I'm not a Chevy guy I have to say I'm really happy how this truck turned out.

(Eric)>> That thing was great, beautiful, but we do eventually have to move on to something else, but I don't know how to top that.

(Marc)>> What do you want to build next.

(Eric)>> I'm fresh out of ideas. There's nothing better than a jacked up square body.

(Marc)>> Obviously we need to do something a little different, and it's always good to step out of your comfort zone. That includes me too. It never hurts to get a little inspiration from some other people, and some other builds. Check this out!

(Eric)>> Oh we've got some mini trucks in here.

(Marc)>> Yes sir! [ Music ]

(Ben)>> Mini trucks started in the '50s, but primarily in North America we started seeing them in the '70s. The gas crisis really drove a demand for a more fuel efficient vehicle. Parking spaces were becoming smaller. People have been customizing vehicles since vehicles existed, and a community sort of developed around mini trucks and customizing them. With mini trucks being produced, and imported, and/or produced domestically it wasn't long before people wanted an entry level way to customize their vehicle, and the mini truck is a perfect platform. Just like 50 years ago, the deuce coupe you could have for $50 bucks. You can pick up a mini truck for not a lot of money these days and start making it your own. One of the beauties of mini truckin' and customizing a mini truck is that there aren't many rules. So, you want to have aftermarket wheels, typically air suspension or hydraulic. Definitely need a theme, and kind of like Purple Rain has a theme. Everything follows that theme with the color, with the graphics, and if you really wanted to go to that level then it's difficult to define until you're in the process and you're trying to finish it. Mini truckin' is one of the few genres of automotive enthusiasm that will promote and even award a vehicle that typically they say under construction. It is a class at a show where you can take your truck if it's in primer, or if you don't have custom wheels yet, or any other thing that you might want to do that's not finished you can still participate and even win an award at a show. Marc this is a '92 Chevrolet S-10 that I drive every day. Full air suspension from Thorbecke. Tubbed in the bed with bed liner, original paint, all the dents.

(Marc)>> Original interior too!

(Ben)>> Yes sir, basically. Air suspension controls in the center, aftermarket steering wheel.

(Marc)>> So this truck you didn't do a body drop, right?

(Ben)>> No, this is just leaf springs. Notched the frame, clearanced in the bed with the tubs, and control arms in the front.

(Marc)>> Let's see under the hood. Oh, small block! I didn't expect that.

(Ben)>> It moves out of its own way.

(Marc)>> It's basically stock, but that's enough for this little truck, right?

(Ben)>> Original fuel injection modified to run the V-8 with a computer, and a chip, and a pretty healthy cam. [ Music ]

(Eric)>> So Brad, this thing looks awesome. I don't even know where to start. Tell us about it.

(Brad)>> It's a '97 Chevrolet S-10. Started off completely bone stock. It is bagged, complete tubbed out, bags over axle, 22 inch Billet Specialty wheels, full custom paint, full blown custom interior by Big Body, all leather and Mercedes carpet. Also, with the suicide door. The truck is also traditionally body dropped three and a half inches. Made side panels to raise the floor up for the truck to go lower than just laying frame.

(Eric)>> And that's how you got it all the way down on the ground? This thing is just gorgeous. Let's see what's under the hood. Wow, that is the cleanest four cylinder I have ever seen in one of these things.

(Brad)>> It's all bed lined wheel tubs. The bottom of the hood is all skinned. Bead rolled panels, paint and powder coated everything, Michigan Metalworks upper and lower control arms, little shop, steering linkage kit with QA-1 front shocks.

(Eric)>> So there is nothing on this truck that hasn't been touched?

(Brad)>> That's right.

(Marc)>> Man, that is insane. So, I know your truck drives daily. This isn't a trailer queen, is it?

(Brad)>> No.

(Marc)>> What do you say we hop in the trucks, the four of us, and go out for a cruise? After all, that's what mini truckin's all about, right? Let's do it!

(Eric)>> Coming up next, we go cruising with our new friends, and they help us lay out the plans for our next build.

(Eric)>> I'm glad we decided to head out for a cruise today, and I'm even more glad that you guys came by with these trucks. I've never been a real big fan of mini trucks, but these are pretty cool, and I think I'm starting to feel a little bit of inspiration for our next build.

(Ben)>> This truck is just a great cruiser. It's great to have a mini truck also because it doesn't have to be a thrash type build. You can do a modification and then drive it to work on Monday.

(Marc)>> Incremental build! I think that that's another point to make too about these and to really respect the mini truckin' community cause you mentioned earlier about the in-progress or under construction builds. That's not only accepted but promoted. Hey, bring your under construction build and you could win an award.

(Ben)>> We want to see what you're working on.

(Marc)>> Yeah, I love that!

(Eric)>> I think that's gonna be a big part of this resurgence of mini truckin' that's starting to go on now is it's gonna be a lot of the older guys who are getting into it when it was big in the early 2000s, and they're still gonna have these old projects. You put all this time and effort into something you don't want to just get rid of it.

(Marc)>> If you're talking about somebody who's never built a mini truck before where would you tell them to start?

(Ben)>> For someone who's never done it it's hard to go wrong with an S-10. There's tons of aftermarket support. A lot of guys prefer the second generations, more rounded off and modern looking than the first generation.

(Marc)>> Obviously you're saying S-10.

(Ben)>> Oh yeah!

(Marc)>> Is there just that many of them out there? Price point, aftermarket support?

(Ben)>> All those reasons. You talk about the heydays of mini truckin. If you didn't go cruise Second Avenue on Saturday night you were doing it wrong. [ engine revving ]

(Ben)>> Gotta have fun, right?

(Marc)>> That's what it's all about! Brad's truck is...

(Ben)>> Over the top, insane, all the things! [ Music ] But a guarantee you, because he's a mini trucker, if you ask him he has at least one more thing in mind.

(Marc)>> Nothing wrong with that.

(Ben)>> That's part of it.

(Eric)>> The possibilities are endless with cars these days. If you can think of doing it odds are you can make it happen. I've always been more of a lifted truck guy, but I think this would be a fun one.

(Brad)>> Oh yeah!

(Eric)>> I think the S-10 would be a really good platform for this because they're easy to find, they're cheap. Parts availability is great, and it's just a cool old truck. They're some of the most reliable things ever built. So, you really can't go wrong with throwing some modifications on there and making it something cool. I've never done anything like this before. Maybe me and Marc might do one of these someday.

(Marc)>> I want tell you. I didn't tell Eric cause it's gonna be a big surprise, but I found us a second gen S-10. Probably exactly what Brad's truck looked like before he started his build.

(Ben)>> He might need a paramedic when you tell him. He might have a heart attack. He's the offroad guy, right?

(Marc)>> Yeah, he's a square body big truck kind of guy.

(Ben)>> I think you might win him over on this one.

(Eric)>> I think we might be able to do a little something with it but might have to do a little convincing with Marc.

(Brad)>> That's typically how it goes.

(Marc)>> Let's just say we're gonna build that truck. Where do we start? What are some things that we need to grab?

(Brad)>> Clearly you need a nice set of wheels. You've got to do something to lower it. It's two wheel drive, right?

(Marc)>> Yep!

(Brad)>> You've got to have air suspension.

(Marc)>> Exactly!

(Brad)>> I think I know a guy who can help you with that. Probably even has some parts already sitting there.

(Marc)>> Okay, speaking my language.

(Eric)>> I think that's one of the things that really sets mini trucker aside from other types of car and truck enthusiasts is you guys just appreciate what you've got. It's all about the build, not so much about the final product.

(Marc)>> This has been a great experience, and I really appreciate you guys coming out.

(Ben)>> Likewise, it's always good to go ride some back roads, make new friends.

(Marc)>> Well that was a lot of fun.

(Eric)>> Yeah, it was.

(Marc)>> Thank you guys for bringing your trucks out. This has been a blast. Let's just say I'm inspired!

(Eric)>> I think I've got some ideas. I think we need to go shopping.

(Marc)>> I think we need to go back to the shop and put pen to paper.

(Ben)>> Inspired right?

(Marc)>> Totally, I want to ride in that truck though. Can I ride back to the shop in that?

(Brad)>> Let's go.

(Eric)>> Next up, we dive into a Driveway Rescue on a truck that has a very unique personality.

(Marc)>> Well we're back on the road, and we're in the RockAuto Driveway Rescue van cause we're gonna do a little rescue, but this isn't going to be for someone else. We are going to be rescuing our own truck. Can you guess what we're doing a Driveway Rescue on?

(Eric)>> I'm gonna guess it's gonna be a small truck. What are we talking, Mazda B-series, Ford Ranger, S-10?

(Marc)>> 1995 Chevy S-10. I don't want to go into too many details about the truck. Just kinda let it speak for itself when you see it, but I will say this. The truck is in need of some work, and I've already made a deal on the truck. It's ours! So, we're officially building ourselves a mini truck. This is definitely a project.

(Eric)>> Is that it right there?

(Marc)>> Yeah, the white one.

(Eric)>> Oh boy!

(Marc)>> It's got good bones, as they say.

(Eric)>> We've got our work cut out for us that's for sure.

(Marc)>> Let's take a look at this thing. Woo, fancy!

(Eric)>> That is something else. It's not what I expected.

(Marc)>> Here's what I like about this truck. Super solid straight truck. Gotta ignore all of the accessories, but other than that it's a really good base, and also under the hood.

(Eric)>> Oh wow!

(Marc)>> So it's got the four-three, which is nice.

(Eric)>> But it looks like it has been maintained for the most part mechanically.

(Marc)>> The issues right now is it will not start, which I think could just be a battery, and then it has a pretty significant coolant leak or two. I think we should just dig in and see if we can get it running first. Let me grab a jump box. [ Music ]

(Eric)>> Alright, give it a shot. [ engine cranking ] [ engine starting ]

(Eric)>> That was easy enough.

(Marc)>> Can you look under there and see if the coolant's dripping at all?

(Eric)>> Looks like just a little bit right down the front.

(Marc)>> That'd be a good place to start. Then we can always put a battery in it later. Let's just start tearing into the cooling system. I got a bunch of stuff here from RockAuto. I'll do a little inventory. [ Music ] Well, I knew this thing had a coolant leak issue. So, I went and got a little bit of everything from RockAuto for this. In no particular order a new fan clutch cause any time you have the fan off it's always a good idea to replace those. Hoses, the water pump itself, couple of gallons of 50/50 coolant, some hose clamps, thermostat, and then just for good measure a radiator. If we're gonna pull the radiator out anyway. It's probably the original radiator by looking at it. So, we'll get it out, put a new one in it. That way we don't have any problems with the cooling system. Let's get this coolant drained. [ Music ]

(Eric)>> While the coolant's draining I'm pulling the fan shroud out. [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Get that out of the way. That radiator has been replaced. Surprise! Look, the hose clamp came apart. [ laughing ]

(Marc)>> The hose clamp said no more, we're done. So, we get the radiator hoses off, get everything disconnected from the radiator, we can get the radiator out of the way. That hose is soft.

(Eric)>> I'm gonna look for the space in between the two blades that's a little bit bigger than the rest of them. They actually do that so you've got room to get in and work on these things. I'm just gonna get these broke loose here. Then we should be able to get them off by hand. [ Music ] Now that the fan and water pump pulley are loose, I'll remove the serpentine belt by relieving the tension. [ Music ] That should come off nice and easy. Now that we got all the lines and hoses disconnected I think we can go ahead and pull this radiator out.

(Marc)>> Just a couple of bolts here and we'll have this water pump off. [ drill humming ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Well I don't like the way it was sealed. The worst part, all this white right here is where the coolant started coming out of the weep hole. Get it cleaned up and start putting it back together.

(Eric)>> Coming up, we get a feel for how this S-10 drives.

(Marc)>> Up front we're gonna modify and plate the A-arms.

(Eric)>> We finally reveal our plans for our upcoming project.

(Marc)>> Well we're plugging away on our RockAuto Driveway Rescue that we're doing on our S-10. We got everything torn down and cleaned up. It's time to put this thing back together.

(Eric)>> Well we got this new water pump from RockAuto. Got it ready to go with the studs put in. So now it's time to drop it in the truck. So, we're just gonna get these gaskets pre-set on here. That way we don't have to worry about it. Then once those are set, we'll throw a little bit of r-t-v on the end of these bolts because they run through coolant passages in there. Once you've got all your r-t-v on go ahead and snug everything up, make sure the gasket stayed in place, and then tighten it down. With the water pump bolts tight we'll install the heater hose nipple. Now that that's done we can go ahead and get our water outlet and thermostat put in. The previous owners didn't mention anything about this thing overheating before we bought it, but since we're already in here and this thing is pretty nasty we're gonna go ahead and replace it with a brand new one anyways. [ Music ] Once we get this thermostat put in then we can go ahead and throw our radiator back in here.

(Marc)>> Brand new radiator. Get this thing in here we'll have ourselves a brand new entire cooling system. Fits right in. Let's get that lower shroud. [ Music ] There we go! Go ahead and get these lines attached. This one's got an oil cooler and a trans cooler built in. So, you've got to make sure when you order it that you get the right one.

(Eric)>> While Marc's finishing up that radiator I'm gonna go ahead and get the fan blades installed on this new clutch that we got here. So, if you're ever not sure which way your fan is supposed to go you just want to look and see how that lines up with the fitment on the clutch here, and that lines up with the bolts. So, it's gonna go on just like this. Alright, now that we got that done let's go see how Marc's doing up front.

(Marc)>> Perfect timing! Got all the cooler lines attached. Got the heater hose on there and got the lower hose already on there and tight. So, once you get that on, just from there up. I'll go get the coolant.

(Eric)>> With the fan and clutch in place we can reinstall the belt. With a belt like this if you've got a pulley that has a little bit of extra room you always want to look straight down the belt and make sure it's riding straight.

(Marc)>> Time for the upper shroud, followed by the upper hose. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> It's time to add some coolant, get the air out of the system, take this thing for a drive. Alright, well we got it all bled. Everything looks good. Got the cap on there. Ready to take this thing for a ride, and you know what? I'm gonna let Eric drive. I don't know if we should aim for the moon with this build.

(Eric)>> We don't need this thing putting rockers on the ground, but to at least be able to lay frame. I think that'll get us into a good spot with the rest of the mini truckers out here.

(Marc)>> We're starting with our S-10 in completely stock form with its coil spring independent front suspension and leaf sprung rear. Up front we're gonna modify and plate the A-arms, ditch the springs and shocks, and in place of the coil spring we're gonna install the air bags. Remote shock mounts will finish it off. Out back we'll ditch the leaf spring setup and install a full back half bolt on five link kit with bags. Out back we're gonna make room by sectioning the bed to allow the axle to tuck up in between the inner wheel tubs. Then we'll box it all in. Inside the bed will be all of the air suspension supporting components like the compressor and tank. We'll be installing a subwoofer box in the bed along with supporting amplifiers. And to carry the sound into the cab we'll do a blow through. Inside the cab our S-10 will get a pair of bucket seats and custom console, which will house all of the controls for our stereo and air suspension. To finish it all off we'll top the bed with a tonneau cover, add a custom grille, and then give our mini a custom paint job to make it stand out in true mini truck fashion. Lastly, we'll add a set of billet wheels and matching tires before we take this thing out for its first outing as a proper mini truck.
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