By request…

First I finally put up the cover image I was supposed to put up some time ago to help advertise SusCon. It's not far away now, so if you're going, you'd better register now and get your tickets and all that. First timers are welcome, and there's everything from very fresh beginner stuff to highly advanced stuff. Some of the best suspensiopn artists in the world will be there.

It's snowing very heavily out now; it's practically a blizzard. I really hope it stays (can you tell, I'm acting like a little kid)… It's been well over ten years now since I've spent a winter outside of the city and I'm so looking forward to it (although I'll be in the city a lot still).

Anyway, I was asked for some information on my truck; the how and why of it's “exoskeleton”. When the truck was still red (the unmodified body), I was being pulled over by the police for not having fenders that covered the tires. The “final straw” was one day in the middle of winter on a particularly snowy day (I think this was during Toronto's killer blizzard a few years back). The 44″ Bogger tires that I run are designed to grab whatever they're running on, and then as they rotate, to throw that out of the treads (ie. the tire is self cleaning). So I was throwing slushy snow about forty feet behind me and about twenty feet up when I was at speed.

Needless to say, I was informed that if I didn't remedy the situation before putting the truck on the road (I got away with it because when they ran me through the computer they agreed my other cars were summer cars and I told them I was only driving this in emergencies), they'd impound it the next time.

We narrowed our customization paths down to two things. The first thing we considered was simply doing a “widebody”. That is, cutting the body down the centre, and adding about a foot and a half of sheet metal. One other guy had done that with a similar truck, and it really looks quite terrifying. Very imposing. Anyway, after some doodling, we ended up with the transformation you've all seen before:

It wasn't really too hard to do. We basically just took a sawzall to the fenders and cut off the old ones and some of the bodywork… After that, we just started welding. We didn't even have a bender! All of that is “handstitched”, and the left and right sides are just eyeballed… I think a very good job was done.

The bumpers are just massive pieces of heavy-wall square tube, and the exoskeleton (front guard, sides, etc.) are all straight sections of 1″ square tubing. The roll cage is a stock piece that we welded some extra 2″ tube to, and the tube doors are stock too, with a little bit extra added to them. The paint job was done by grafitti artist friend of mine.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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