The mini-trucking scene, more than any other facet of the car world, embraces the construction side of a project. Showing off your half-completed ride and all its underpinnings is a big part of mini-trucking culture. It's just the nature of the person drawn to this scene — generally they are fabrication nerds who care more about the chassis work than how shiny the paintwork may or may not be.
One such ute doing the show rounds at the moment is Wiremu's ’84 Mazda B2000. A 12-year work in progress, we finally got the chance to catch up with the owner about the very interesting build at the recent 2016 Haltech Grudge Kings NZ event where the ute was all but naked and on display.
The project has been based around the idea of mixing new and old school. The ’80s pinstripe and factory beige paintwork is spot on if you ask us. Rolling on a set of late-model Hilux steelies in oxide red only completes the period style.
The engine combination is not your typical Bridgeport. Built by CBR, using all new parts from Mazda, the 13B runs a 200 shot of nitrous, EFI, electronic ignition with Bosch coils, a Microtec LT-10c, and a S5 five-speed with three-puck clutch.
“I always wanted fuel injection — it had to be an old ute with late-model features, like EFI and air-ride,” explained Wiremu. To keep that blend, rather than going for an under-dash pedal set-up, the factory booster has been extended forward, similar to what you would see in an old Ford. This gives clearance for the wheels and the wild injection set-up.
Dual EFI Hardware throttle bodies with 1000cc injectors sit atop a custom manifold. With burnouts on Wiremu's mind, the ute will run on E85 to help keep things cool while on the pad. Teflon braided lines are used throughout, and CBR is tuning the set-up, with the final dyno tune and set-up of the nitrous yet to come. We were also told some extra porting might take place if the numbers aren't to Wiremu's expectations.
The chassis work includes a custom C-notch with custom airbag mounts. The front crossmember has also been modified. The air system runs Slam Specialties RE-6 bags, quarter-inch valves and lines with two Viair pumps and a single air tank. Wiremu explained that he wasn't after a speedy set-up, just one that went down to the ground.
The rear diff is controlled by a custom three-link. This was chosen over a four-link to allow the factory fuel tank location. This way the tray will not be overtaken with a fuel cell or air-ride gear.
While the ute is currently tray-less, this will not be for long. Grudge Kings was the last outing for the B2000 before a complete strip down to have everything panelled and painted. The well side will also join the party, hiding all that lovely chassis work, but will require some modification to fit the new notch and wheel height. Matamata's Muscle Car Fabrications will be handling the panelwork.
The interior will also see a freshen-up, with the B1600 seat receiving a reupholster. Wiremu is hoping to unveil the ‘completed’ truck at the 2017 V 4&Rotary Nationals, so keep your eyes peeled for it, hopefully swinging on the skidpan.