How It All Started
Shortly after getting an F150 when I turned 16, I began to wonder how to work on cars with a friend that had been working on tractors and farm equipment for years. I figured a truck would have plenty of room for modifications and gave me all the room I needed while working in the cabinet construction industry under my dad. The F150 is a 2011 XLT with a 3.7l engine and 2wd. It all started bone stock looking like this on the cleanest days.
Having it stock for nearly a year, I knew there was something I had to start doing to it. After saving up some extra money from work it was time to begin going into the modification process and learning how to work on this thing.
- A 2.5″ leveling kit was the first part to go on the truck. This helped make me feel a little taller in the truck which was the goal trying to compete with my friends 4″ lifted 7.3 F250 rolling on 35’s.
- After determining that the leveling kit just wasn’t going to cut it for height, I moved on to a 3″ body lift kit that I had found on eBay. Now this was getting the truck a little higher with 33 Firestone M/T’s. Even for being a 2wd, this truck would go through mud with ease. A video of the truck going through Mudfest is here. The truck got absolutely caked in mud that day.
- After the lift and tires were done, it was time to make it loud with a super 10 series Flowmaster. Out of the this muffler, the Magnaflow, and Flowpro, I found the Flowmaster to have by far the most aggressive sound with not too much drone at highway speeds either.
- To start and get a little more airflow, I went with a spectre cold air intake. By going the cheap route, I only went with the air filter and rigged it on without buying a full kit. After two years, it still holds up fine and was a much more affordable option.
- Next up on the list was a programmer for the truck. I went with the Edge CS which helped to fix my speedometer after the huge change in tire size as well as get me another 1-2mpg in economy mode.
- A 52″ curved light bar was next up on the list for modifications. This one was relatively simple to install in one afternoon with a buddy who had actually given me the light bar. All I can say, is these things make a tremendous difference in how far you can see. Especially when making sure you don’t run into a deer while cruising back roads at night.
- The last modifications would be the stereo setup that went into this truck. It took countless hours deciding how to do it and what parts to buy. The Rockford Fosgate T165-S T1 is a phenomenal component set of speakers that have some of the clearest high notes I’ve heard. For subwoofers, I went with two JL Audio 12TW3-D4’s which give the kick of a full size sub but work great in smaller areas since they’re only 3.5″ deep. A Kicker amp for the mids, Hifonics amp for the subs, and a GPS head unit made for the perfect system.
How The Truck Sits Now
The plan for this truck now is to keep it as is. There’s not a ton of room for more upgrades other than aesthetics. Instead, money will probably saved for a larger 4wd truck whenever this truck decides to give out on me. Let me know in the comments if you have questions about any of the parts mentioned above!
My First Project Car
After wanting to learn how to drive a manual transmission car ever since I turned 16, I knew a project car would come into my future. It took 3 years of saving up money from work and deciding what to buy before finally jumping into it. A friend had showed me his 273whp turbo 1990 Mazda Miata and I was hooked from the first ride. While going through craigslist ads like a mad man, I finally stumbled upon a 1997 Miata for a good deal and close to home. I purchased it shortly after my first year of college and the project began.
While buying and driving a bone stock miata is a ton of fun, I wanted something more and knew that a turbo would eventually be in the future… Still hoping for that. During the mean time, a few modifications were bought in order to make the car a little more fun.
- An aftermarket NRG Steering Wheel gave the car a little more life to it other than a boring stock one. In addition to this, a quick release was a sure buy just to make sure my car was the perfect ricer… due to an exhaust that rusted off. One day, it’ll be a tuner.
- A short throw shifter was next on the list in order to make the shifts a little faster and in addition give it a little more of an aftermarket feel to the car.
The Tragedy Happened
The day I dreamed would never happen had occurred a mere 4 months after owning the Miata. While driving to go visit my grandpa on a nice Thursday evening, I had ran into a deer going around 60mph. If you’re interested about hearing the full story and seeing the damage a deer does to a poor little car at those speeds, click here to see the video on my YouTube channel. The car sat in the garage for a little over 3 months before coming back to it during winter break when I actually had the time to work on it. It wasn’t too fun hitting the deer and nearly having it land in the car with me but the orange and black paint job that me and my dad did on the car afterwards turned out amazing. While rebuilding the car, the only new part that was added during this time were smoked turn signals which turned out to look much better on the orange paint than the stock ones.
While being set back a fair amount after hitting the deer and being a part time working student in college, the turbo project is still a goal of mine for this car. It may not be very soon but eventually, the goal is to get the car up to 300whp with a Garret 3071 turbo.
Hi everyone, I decided to start a blog to help others with working on their own vehicles, sharing some of my project builds, and also talk about what’s going on in the automotive industry. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube channel giving tutorials and other car content that you can access here. My current project car is a 1997 Mazda Miata which will be gone into in more detail in another blog post. I also own a 2011 Ford F-150 that is used as a daily driver. Whenever it came time for my first oil change, I was ready to get under the hood of a vehicle and begin working. Every since then, I have progressed into working on a project car while attending college. The NA Mazda Miata was a great choice since the car is very affordable for anyone, extraordinarily easy to work on, and has plenty of room for potential upgrades. With a limited amount of places and space to work on cars while up in school, I figured a blog would be a great place to start while still making videos. Hopefully, all of you enjoy the content and let me know if there is anything you want to read about or learn. I’ll do my best to make posts about what everyone wants to read.