Bod­ied H2 - Fe­bru­ary 2006

An Ek­sten­sive Look at This H2 on 26s

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY JEREMY COOK PHOTOS BY COURT­NEY HAL­LOW­ELL

An Ek­sten­sive Look at This H2 on 26s

KEN CAMINITI WAS A BASEBALL LEG­END. In his 15 ma­jor league sea­sons (10 of which were with the Hous­ton Astros) he was a three-time All Star third base­man and the ’96 NL MVP while play­ing for the Padres. He was of­ten de­scribed as a warrior on the field, hav­ing been known to dive sev­eral feet into the foul area onto his stom­ach to re­trieve a ball, and throw­ing an out at first with the run­ner still steps away from the base.

Caminiti was al­ways into trucks, cars, bikes-any­thing with wheels. But after re­tir­ing from baseball, he dove into the cus­tom truck scene, due in large part to the friend­ship and work­ing re­la­tion­ship he struck up with Bill Carl­ton and the crew at Ek­sten­sive Me­tal­works in Hous­ton. This ed­i­tor was even lucky enough to meet up with

Ken and the crew in Phoenix as they were mak­ing the trip to Laugh­lin Bike Week one year. Ken com­mis­sioned Ek­sten­sive to build a few dif­fer­ent trucks, and the one he was most ex­cited about was this H2.

It was a rough day when we saw the head­lines of Ken’s un­timely death. Not just be­cause the world lost a su­per­star ath­lete, but be­cause friends of ours lost a friend. Even­tu­ally, Bill dis­cussed the fu­ture of the ve­hi­cles with Ken’s fam­ily and made some ar­range­ments. Two of them were sold to an­other good friend of Ek­sten­sive, Matt Spence, and you’ll be reading about both of them in fu­ture is­sues. But as for the H2, Bill wanted to carry out Ken’s plan and bought the H2 him­self. It’s not quite a daily driver, and not ex­actly a shop truck. It’s more of a call­ing card for Ek­sten­sive; it show­cases the tal­ent of Bill and his crew, and also shows what kind guys they are.

So, what ex­actly does it take to make an H2 lay flat on the plas­tic rocker trim on 26-inch wheels? Well, for starters, the stock frame was im­me­di­ately scrapped. A pair of one-off man­drel-bent frame rails were built first and then fit with cus­tom mo­tor mounnnts, cross mem­bers, tubu­lar body mounts and a cus­tom trailer hitch. A new fuel cell, fuel line and brake lines were made from scratch. New up­per and lower con­trol arms were built for the front sus­pen­sion and one of Ek­sten­sive’s trade­mark

2-link rear sus­pen­sions was fab­ri­cated for the rear. Fire­stone airbags are at all four corners.

The sys­tem is plumbed with all cop­per hard­line, GC valves, Nor­gren fit­tings, Thomas com­pres­sors and hand-built air tanks. The switches and gauges that mon­i­tor the sys­tem are all cus­tom-mounted. The front in­ner fend­ers and any­thing in close prox­im­ity were scratched and a new tubu­lar in­ner struc­ture was built. The en­tire rear floor sec­tion was re­built with new ma­te­ri­als and the wheel tubs are pretty much even with the bot­tom of the glass. But when the 26 x 10-inch Gio­vanna wheels and 305/35ZR26 Kuhmo tires were mounted and the truck was laid down far­ther than any H2 had ever been be­fore, well, it was all in­stantly worth it.

Nei­ther Ken nor Bill wanted to stray from the look of the H2 once it was lay­ing on the ground, so from here on out it was sim­ple up­grades to make the truck more fun to drive and look at. The

6.0L was fit with a Procharger su­per­charger and in­ter­cooler and due to the shrunken en­gine bay all of the mounts and in­take tubes were cus­tom built. A CGS air in­take was used, and the com­puter was re­pro­grammed by Street & Per­for­mance. New ex­haust was routed and fit with a Mag­naflow muf­fler. The rear end was nar­rowed and new axles from Moser were in­stalled.

The ex­te­rior was en­hanced with the en­tire bil­let ac­cent line from B-cool. The front and rear bumpers were chromed and a bumper guard for the in­ter­cooler was built. A cus­tom sun­roof was cut into the roof. Much of the in­te­rior pieces were painted to match the ex­te­rior. A chromed bil­let steer­ing wheel from Bil­let Ac­ces­sories Di­rect was in­stalled. Di­rected Elec­tron­ics pro­vided the six video mon­i­tors that ei­ther flip down or sit in the head­rests, all of which are run by the Clar­ion DVD head unit. Two gi­ant Ori­onn amps pro­vide power to the four sets of 6 1/2-inch Orion sep­a­rates and the two mon­ster 15-inch Orion H2 subs that are re­verse-mounted in the gi­ant box in the hatch area.

Ken wanted to build the best H2 out there. One that could be du­pli­cated but never out­done. Although it wasn’t com­pleted, he did get to en­joy it for a while. Bill en­joys it, too. Be­lieve it or not, it serves as the tow ve­hi­cle for many of the other projects. And un­like most shop projects, this truck is go­ing to stay around for a while.

KEN WANTED TO BUILD THE BEST H2 OUT THERE. ONE THAT COULD BE DU­PLI­CATED BUT NEVER OUT­DONE.”

A PROCHARGER SU­PER­CHARGER WITH IN­TER­COOLER HELPS MO­TI­VATE THE 6.0L. OTHER MODS IN­CLUDE THE CGS AIR IN­TAKE, STREET & PER­FOR­MANCE-RE­PRO­GRAMMED COM­PUTER AND MAG­NAFLOW MUF­FLER.

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