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Project of the Year 2010 NC4LIFE

posted: Apr 29, 2011 by: thetornado

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Owner: Chuck Healy
User Name: NC4LIFE
MazdaBscene Member Since: January 12, 2009
Occupation: Stay at home Dad with 2 girls and 2 boys
Location: Maryland
Club Affiliation: //Negative Camber\\

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Ride: Mazda B-series 4 door long bed
Mileage: 0
Interior: More than likely it will be tan (when I get to that part). Power windows and door panels with arm rests from the New Zealand Mazda truck. Two bench seats so we can roll 6 people deep and I'm sure I'll come up with more once I get to the interior.
Exterior: The color will be Pontiac burnt orange. It has a 96-98 Ford Courier front end (same a Mazda Bravo from Australia). Mazda B-series vent window conversion that they have in Australia. Long bed with all 4x4 sheet metal and factory 4x4 fender flares. The beds inside body line matches the outside, a custom raised Mazda logo will be in the tailgate, bed floor raised so no suspension comes through the bed and I moved the bed forward a ½ inch.
Engine: Mercedes Benz 300sd 5cyl turbo diesel
Suspension: 4 slam bags, old skool manual valves, 5 gallon tank, Viair 450c, custom bag on bar square tubing 4 link, frame extended 3ft to accommodate the 4 door cab and long bed, front Zed 1 inch
Audio: I'm sure it will have something eventually.
Wheels and Tires: 20 inch Eagle Alloy 026 series with 245/35 20
Work performed by/Location: Me and a few good buddies. All work done in my over sized shed.
Thanks from owner: First and foremost I would like to thank my beautiful, caring and loving wife Angie. Takes a lot to put up with me and she does that well. Also thanks to my kids for putting up with Dad working in the garage. Tom at Lowrider Depot for the sponsorship. Also need to thank all my buddies Tyson from Australia, Mike from New Zealand, Joe, Timmy, Justin, Robby, John, Ben, Dave, all the Mazda B-scene members, my //Negative Camber\\ family and anybody else that I have forgot to mention, sorry. You know who you are. Everybody's help was greatly appreciated.

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How long have you owned this truck? Which part??...LOL The truck started as a B2200 extra cab that I've had since 2003. The 4 door cab I've had since May of 2010.

Is there any unique stories or history behind this truck? Not yet but give it time I'm sure there will be.

Did you consider any other projects before starting this one? Nope, because I am a Mazda nut.

Who helped you build it? Lots of buddies. I'll try and name a few in no particular order. Ben and Dave helped with the bed. Joe, Robby, Justin, and John helped lift the 4 door cab on and off a few times. And my buddy Timmy who handed me tools and material until the wee hours of the morning.

What makes your truck unique from other ones? Well I definitely like to be different so a right hand drive, 4 door long bed Mazda is just something you don't see to often.

What feature do you like most? The 4 door cab is my favorite part of this truck.

What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? Getting the truck over here was the biggest obstacle. Trying to get things lined up and relying on someone else to help, but it all paid off with a little faith and patience.

What does your friends and family say about this truck? They like it but they all think I'm a little crazy for getting just a cab from Australia.

Any memorable moments with it? Yeah! HAHA. When I got the call saying that my container had arrived, boy was I stoked. Then the person at the shipping company saying oh you still owe us money for shipment and we aren't going release it until we are paid! that's a long story. If you ever see me at a show and you have time ask me about it.

What are your future plans for this truck? Finish it and drive the piss out of it.

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Featured Member Chat:
So lets just get right into it..
OK
Congrats on project of the year, as we can see you definitely have quite the project on your hands. Hows it going...Whats the current status and modifications you are making to it?
It's going well. Currently I'm working to get the motor and tranny together. Next I plan on installing an old skool beach cruiser wood floor in the bed.
Those are great, are you going to buy something pre-fabbed or do all the word work yourself?
No pre-fab for me. I always like to do all my own work.
That is a cool idea..typically only see that on older classic style trucks though. I dont believe I have ever seen it on a Mazda..what make you want to do that?
I like the look of a wood floor. I've never seen it in a Mazda either which is one of my main reasons for going with it. I like to do things different. Things that haven't been done before.
That will surely be different, thanks for giving a taste of what's coming next!
No problem.
Anyone seeing your truck is sure to notice the cab is not from any Mazda here in the US. You want to tell us a little more about the story behind it..like how you found it and got it to Maryland?
It sure wasn't easy getting it here. First I spent about a year and a half researching the cab and various other parts, on Ebay.au and a bunch of local wreckers in Australia. Mike in New Zealand helped me out with finding parts and shipping them to my "mate" Tyson in Australia, who built a specialized crate to get everything shipped to the US. Tyson and I both worked with the shipping and transport companies to finally get everything all the way to Baltimore.
That is crazy, I know guys on our site have been talking about that cab for as long as I can remember. What were the major modifications you had to make to fit that cab?
I added 12 1/2 inches to the center of the extra cab frame I was using. I also added two new body mounts and relocated two others.
So as we all know this hobby is not very cheap..how do you fund your project?
Oh man. I totally have to THANK my loving (and understanding) wife Angie! My full time job is being a stay-at-home dad with our four kids. We homeschool so they're home with me all day. We're a one income family so money is tight sometimes, but she always makes sure that I have money for my crazy ideas.
Wow, you are really breaking the mold!
So it sounds like from your bio you have some friends you work with on your truck..tell us a little about whats going on Maryland for the mini-truck scene..
Most of the friends I had help me out so far aren't really into the mini-truck scene. They're just good buddies who are into cars. As far as the mini-truck scene in MD, there are guys here but there aren't a lot of organized events or meet-ups.
Do you travel a lot for shows then?
Yep. I just went down to TN a couple weeks ago for Layed Out At The Park.
Is your truck a daily or are you just towing it to shows?
Well right now it's not running, but I plan on driving it as much as I can locally. For the long hauls to shows I'll probably tow it.
That makes sense..that's a hard part with these older trucks, they arent exactly built for the open road anymore.
And you are a part of the Negative Camber right? tell us a little about them.
Negative Camber (NC) has been around since 1992. I joined back in 1995. The NC website describes our philosophy best: Negative Camber is really just a big family. We consider ourselves a family versus a club because clubs come and go, but families stick together. NC was created to promote enjoyment and friendship of custom truck enthusiasts. We have members in over twenty states, plus Australia and we've proudly won MiniTruckin' magazine's "Truck Club of the Year Award" twice.
I know you are a Mazda nut..we can tell by your desire to bring a 4 door cab over to the U.S. Tell us how you got into this specific truck model..and also how you came across MBS?
Mazda's have been my thing since high-school (early 90's). There's just something about a Mazda that really draws me in. I came across MBS with just a good-ole Google search.
So you mentioned your family..home schooling them..what else do you with your family? Are your kids involved with sports or anything else? ..any possible future fabricators?
We're involved in softball, baseball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and any thing fun we can find to get ourselves into. As for future fabricators probably not, but there's always hope!
Oh really..that's it?!
Well I could have included swimming, horseback riding, dog sledding, any activity involving animals, and volunteering, but I thought that would probably get a bit long
Haha, that is out of control. Guess you'll have that with 4 kids!
Yep. They all have different interests and we try to encourage them to try it all when we can.
Ok, back to the truck...You mentioned there was a longer story about getting the cab when it arrived in the U.S. What happened there?
Well when shipments arrive in CA customs sometimes randomly chooses one container to open and inspect and wouldn't you know I got lucky and they picked mine. This (of course) meant extra fees associated with the inspection. Then there was a misunderstanding with payment between the shipping company in Australia and the company responsible for taking receipt of the crate in CA and shipping it to Baltimore. Well all this resulted in about an extra $1500 in fees that we hadn't anticipated on top of the money we'd already put out for the cab, parts, crate materials, shipping costs, etc. All that took about a week and a half to straighten out with about a dozen phone calls to Australia and even more to the receiving company in CA.
Nothing ever seems to go to plan does it? ..let alone when you are shipping a truck cab across the world!
Yep!
So what does your summer look like? Any big shows you planning to attend? Local get together like for the 4th of July? Vacation with the family?
I have a hand few of shows that I want to attend this summer but we will have to see how money pans out. As for 4th of July we'll have lots of fireworks here in the backyard. And we are trying to save for a family RV trip across the states this fall. But time and money will tell.
No Way! Road trips are the best..you/re kids would never forgot something like that. Have you done some traveling like this before? And where would you want to stop and visit?
We've never taken such a long trip. We're setting our sights on Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, digging for gems in Arkansas, Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and visiting a couple relatives. If we have time we'll stop and see the world's biggest ball of yarn or something cool like that.
Man that's great, hopefully that all works out for your family.
Thanks! We hope so too.
Well what do you think about MBS? People might see our site as constantly being under construction kind of like your project...any ideas or feedback for us?
I think MBS is a great source of info, especially for people just starting out with their Mazda's. Everyone tries to help out, which I like. I would have to say the site has changed a lot since I first saw it, but I think it's working well.
Ok, so lets say this summer MBS sponsor's its first Monster Garage..we supply the budget, tools, donor truck. What members from our site are you trying to work with?
Oh man!! There are quite a few......hunterw(Hunter), mazdawg(Mikey), Immortal1(Linn), Sadistic(Sean), CON$TRUKTIVE(Jase) are a few that I can think of right off the top of my head. There are more but I just can't think of them right now.
We will get there someday..From the looks of your truck it's safe to say you have the skills to make our crew so keep it up!
That would be cool Thanks.
Speaking of a show like Monster Garage..any good shows out there you like to watch for motivation for your own truck?
TV shows are good when I can watch them...LOL. But I get my motivation from going to shows and seeing stuff in person.
I respect that..most of the stuff they are showing on tv is all shined up by Hollywood anyway.
So what model Mercedes did you get your engine from? ..and what made you go with that?
The motor is out a early 80's Mercedes 300sd. It's a 5cyl turbo diesel. I wanted something different and I saw this guy dealwithit on Mazdatruckin was using a Mercedes motor and I talked to him about the swap. Plus who doesn't love the sound of a diesel?
I hear ya there..theres just something about a diesel that is never out of place under the hood of a truck.
Well Chuck, I think that about does it for our chat. Any last thoughts for our readers out there?
Always think outside the box!!

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toddluck avatar
toddluck   +1y
Sweet!
v8mazda4ever avatar
v8mazda4ever   +1y
nice
baha avatar
baha   +1y
Great write up AJ! Congrats again Chuck
cmiller_10 avatar
cmiller_10   +1y
this has to be one of the craziest trucks i have seen so far. its def something i wanna see finished.
bcrunk avatar
bcrunk   +1y
crazy story and good pics. good to see the trophy... congrats
vegasyota94 avatar
vegasyota94   +1y
nice!... they should make those here.. its bullshit that they dont.
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