Candy Stripes
I saw a radical Toyota Tundra pickup at a local show that was painted Candy Lime Green with some wild graphics on the hood and inside the bed. The truck looked great from a distance, but up close I noticed that the cab and bed weren't quite the same color. I also noticed some darker stripes on parts of the bed. The owner of the truck wasn't around and I probably wouldn't have asked him anyway, but I'm curious about the color discrepancies. The reason for my curiosity is that I'd really like to paint my '03 Tundra a similar color. I realize that candy paintjobs are quite expensive, but I don't want one if the paint won't hold up. Are these problems normal and how can they be avoided?
Jim Saunders
via e-mail

There are two big reasons why candy paintjobs are so expensive. One is the high cost of materials, and two is the amount of talent it takes to properly apply candies. It sounds like someone painted the truck without a lot of candy paint experience. It also seems that the cab and bed were painted separately. Candy paints have to be applied very uniformly for consistent coverage on all panels. If parts are painted individually, they should be painted at the same time in the same spray booth using paint that was all mixed at the same time. The light and dark "stripes" that you noticed are a result of uneven paint application. The number of passes and the amount of overlap per pass has to be exact or else darker and lighter bands can appear. As for longevity of candy paintjobs, their performance is far superior to what it used to be. How a candy job holds up can depend on the quality of the clear topcoats and how well the paint is protected. Candy paints are stunning on show trucks. They're also great for flames and graphics, but a total, single color candy paintjob for a daily driver isn't your best choice. There are some modern metallic paints that can approach the brilliance of candy paint. The way to avoid candy paint problems is to work with a shop that has ample experience with candies and one that guarantees the quality of their work.

Where Do I Get Four-Banger Mods
I own an '87 GMC S-15 Pickup with a 2.5L (151ci) four-cylinder, TBI engine in it. I once had a link to Clifford Inline Performance, but I no longer can contact this company. It would be of great gratitude if you can help me find another company that handles performance parts for this truck. I am a subscriber of your mag. Keep up the good work.
via Yahoo

It's hard for automotive aftermarket manufacturers to make parts for every truck on the planet. It's the supply and demand that paves the way to which parts will sell the most so the money invested to develop a part will pay off, and keep paying. When it comes time to determine what parts will be developed, you can rest assured the Chevy four-banger truck motor was one of the last on the To-Do list. Yet, there are a few really cool parts for the little thumper that will spark your interest. You must have missed the Dec. '05 issue of Sport Truck with the Four-Banger Performance editorial, on page 82, compiled by our parts-rummaging Tech Editor, Calin Head. The list of goodies covers high-energy ignition systems and big-mouth throttle bodies, to short-throw shifters and high-volume fuel pumps. For back issues, please call: (866) 601-5199. As far as Clifford Performance is concerned, it still has headers and side-draft adapters for sale, and the company can be reached at (888) 471-1161, You can also contact Jay at STS Performance, (562) 531-6328, or go to his website by typing in your browser.