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He Built His Own Extended Cab Pickup
Commercial extended cab pickups can cost up to $30,000 or more. Jeff Parker, Bloomington, Minn., built his own extended cab pickup for only about $2,000 by welding together two Mazda 2-WD 1/2-ton pickups - the front half of a 1988 B2200 and the back half of a 1987 B2000.
  The machine is 21 ft. long with a 6-ft. bed and rides up high on big 44-in. tall by 18 1/2 in. wide tires. It's powered by the B2200 model's original 2.2-liter gas engine and is equipped with two transmissions and a transfer case, providing a total of 42 forward speeds and 18 reverse speeds. It has seat belts for six people.
  "It's painted white so when I drive it around town some people think it's a limousine," says Parker. "I do some hill climbing with it and also participate in 4-wheeler events. It's geared really low. If I put both transmissions in first gear and the transfer case in low it barely moves. The tires vibrate too much if I go over 50 mph so I've never driven it on the freeway.
  Parker cut off everything behind the cab on the B2200. On the B2000 he cut off the hood and windshield and removed the front axle, keeping part of the frame, He welded in new material to lengthen the pickup frames and also welded in metal to fill the space between the two cabs.
  The original pickup axles were built too light for the torque created by the two transmissions, and they weren't wide enough for the big tires so he replaced them with the axles off a 1985 Chevy Suburban. The front transmission is a 5-speed manual. A 1-ft. long driveshaft goes to the input of the second transmission which is off a 1978 full-size Chevy Blazer. The transfer case is also off the Blazer.
  He wanted power steering but neither pickup had it, so he came up with his own hydraulic-powered steering system. He mounted a big hydraulic pump under the hood. The pump operates an orbital steering pump that drives a double-acting hydraulic cylinder on the front axle. "The cylinder is used to steer the front tires in either direction, much like the way a farm tractor steers," says Parker. "There's no mechanical link between the steering wheel and the wheels."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jeff Parker, 8618 Clinton Ave. S., Bloomington, Minn. 55420 (ph 952 884-4326).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5