AVOIDING A BOTCHED PROJECT
Maybe not the wisest proverb, but one that makes us smile is, “you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but
you can’t pick your family”. Like we said; not the wisest, but it can be universally translated into almost anything we do that involves choices we can make versus the heart palpitations over the things we can’t. This motto can be drilled down to everyday life and the focus of our special here — selecting a project rig.
Back in the days of yore (2014 to be exact), we pined for a truck that was sure to deliver extreme satisfaction and thought we had hit the jackpot during a “fishing trip”. We scooped a 1969 International Harvester Travelall 1000D that was just yearning to be remade. You can read about the time suck adventure at http:// suncruisermedia.com/4WDrive/trucks/canyonero---the-start-ofproject-truck-season/.
We dreamt big and reached out for a Navistar all iron 6.0 diesel and drivetrain to go under the hood to mate up to massive kingpin Dana 60 and Corporate 14 bolt axles. The finished road warrior was going to get a vinyl wrap and a fresh interior laid out for long drives in style. The illusion of a custom 4-link suspension and a boxed frame felt in reach. Mild trails, camping and towing our hardcore off road rig around the country was its destiny… or so we thought. Tying back to our proverb, we picked the truck, we may or may not have picked our nose, but the rest of the plan fell apart like a Hatfield/McCoy family reunion.
It would seem “Compromise” would have been a better project
name then “Canyonero”. Two years after inception we had a GM 6.0 LS series gas motor and drivetrain with eleventy billion kilometres on it, a set of F-350 Superduty axles that look like they spent their entire life in a salt mine, a cab, a chassis that required a tetanus shot, and a recurring message from the bank, something about “overdrawn overdraft”, etc.
Picking our nose was about all we had left, and the nosebleeds were becoming an issue. It was time to cut our losses and regroup. Our significant other was all too happy to see the Travelall get plucked from its nest and on to another home, so much so, we may have gotten lucky that night, “may”. With our tail tucked between our legs, it was time to get a game plan together and stick to it this time. No more rusty, non running hulks; we wanted a clean rig, with a solid drivetrain, and parts availability was paramount. The math was simple.
Rare = Expensive Custom = Time Killer Good Base Truck + Easy to Find Parts = Plausible Finished Product Parts on Hand + Work Done at Home = Bank Account in Black It was time to hold fast to our new algebra and start looking for a good base truck, and it just so happened that a family member had the perfect rig for us to start with — a 1999 Dodge Dakota Sport Club Cab. The one owner truck needed minimal bodywork, had a strong frame, a 5.2l Magnum V8 with a transmission and transfer case that could hold up with only a few mods. The interior was showroom fresh and the best part was the price; The
“Family Discount” brought the initial layout down to a set of tires for his other truck. SOLD!
With all the poor decisions made without brain power during the Canyonero days, we dubbed this truck the “DohQuota” and knew where we wanted the finish line to be this time. We’re making this a big tire snow machine and plan to get there with as many easy to find, quality parts as we can, while using what we have. Under the hood will remain unchanged, unless our hand is forced and the same goes with sitting behind the wheel — nothing changes. The Superduty axles will get steering, braces and protection from TMR Customs, and Jeep JK suspension mounts from Currie Enterprises. Anti-Rock Sway Bars (also from Currie) will start the mount of the axles to the chassis. A Clayton Off-road Long Arm suspension kit designed to mate up to the Currie JK brackets will accurately attach the links with preengineered and tested geometry. This will save both fabrication time and link calculator headaches, as we know the Clayton kits use only top shelf materials and are well designed.
We just got the truck back after some horse trading with White Stag Auto Body to fix up the minor cosmetic problems. They did a great job and we’re ready to get started.
We don’t have all the details worked out, but we know the goal is to mount 44" or better tires.
Any size of elephant can be consumed; it just depends on how long you plan to be at the table. We decided to switch to crow and rethink where our appetite was taking us after choking on the Canyonero. The Canyonero wasn’t a total failure, as we can always use it as a bad example. When choosing your next project, take a second look at our ‘math’, and you’ll likely end up with a satisfying meal.