When Paul "Scooter" Brothers, director of R&D at Comp Cams, met with us last year and gave us the inside scoop on a motor package the company was putting together for Ford Motor Company, we were all ears. Scooter told us that the company was taking the stock 4.6L package and equipping it with a turbo, heads, and a cam, and was then going to calibrate it with hopes of doubling the rear-wheel horsepower. When Comp Cams showed us the factory two-tone workhorse it planned to put the beefed up motor in, we offered some styling tips. After a few suggestions on ride height, wheels, and paint, Scooter reached into his pocket, pulled out the keys, and handed them to us.
And so it began: Project Comp Cruizer. There were some limitations set on the project, however. Scooter didn't want to deal with airbags, but still needed a comfortable ride, preferring that the tires had a decent sidewall. Comp wanted the stock door handles left intact, and since the company was placing its own powerplant under the hood, we weren't allowed to make any major modifications to it. With the preliminary guidelines in place, we put our own limitations on the project. Our goal was to create a sweet-looking truck using products that could be ordered directly out of the pages of Sport Truck and installed in virtually any garage. Once all the parameters were set, we had Jason Rushforth put together a rendering using the components we selected. Then we got started.
The first task at hand was to set the truck lower ("The Low Down," ST July '03 issue). Shaughn Reid and the boys at Streetshock in Redondo Beach, California, installed a Western Chassis 4/6 drop. A set of tubular control arms, dropped super A-arms, and Smooth Rider coils were used up front. The rear was treated to a flip kit, a C-notch, and a shackle as well as Doetsch shocks. Once everything was put back together, a set of 20-inch Intro Twisted Vistas wrapped in Toyo 265/50R20 and 295/45R20 rubber was bolted onto all four corners.
With the truck's stance vastly improved, the next thing on the list was to upgrade the stopping power ("The Slow Down," ST Aug. '03 issue). Brake Pro's at Stillen in Costa Mesa, California, removed the stock rotors and calipers and installed the company's AP Racing System. The kit consists of 14-inch curve vane rotors and huge six-piston calipers for each side. We were confident this would have the stopping power to slow down anything Comp Cams decided to throw into the truck.
To further improve the styling of the truck, some basics needed to be added to the Comp Cruizer ("Bolt On Blow Out," ST Sept. '03 issue). A SnugTop tonneau cover was placed over the bed, and Car Wear crystal-clear taillights were swapped in. Up front, a Street Scene speed grille, Sylvania HID headlight conversion, and Car Wear clears were added. Inside, a Nu Image Diamond-series white-face gauge face was installed with a polished overlay from Billet Superstore.
The Comp Cruizer rolls on 20-inch Intro Twisted Vistas wrapped in Toyo rubber.
To help the stock seat covers, we first took the truck to Katzkin Interiors in Montebello, and then to Billet Superstore for some more goodies ("Croc and Bling," ST Oct. '03 issue). Katzkin stitched together seat covers made with suede bands and crocodile inserts for both the front and back seats. Colby Mcghee and Billet Superstore hooked the truck up with a Billet and Acrylic Fantasies dress-up kit. The kit came with AC vent covers, heater controls, a shift handle, a tilt lever, and a recliner and lumbar controls for the seats. Trenz billet doorsills and pedals were also added.
Since the new motor will be louder than the current stock one, we wanted to offset it with some bumps ("Can You Hear Me Now?," ST Nov. '03 issue). The factory 6.5-inch door speakers were replaced with MTX speakers, while two 8-inch MTX subs were installed beneath the rear seat in a Thunderform box. To power the speakers, a 560-watt MTX amplifier was wired in with Street Wires, also beneath the seat.
The final step in the styling of the Comp Cruizer was the paint. Keeping in line with our limitations, we went with Auto Air Colors, a water-based paint that can be sprayed in your garage. Rather than spraying it in our garage, though, we took it to Jerry Sievers at Paint-n-Place in Placentia, California. Jerry and the guys dismantled the truck and began by shaving the fender flares and emblems. Once the truck was primered and blocked, it was sprayed with a basecoat of flaked pearl white. A coat of clear was sprayed on to seal the base, then heavily flaked orange was laid down on top. To split the two tones, a tribal flame design was laid out and shot using green pigment. Willis Dorman then came in and striped the licks with purple and drop-shadowed the flames using candy black. A full Street Scene body kit, including front valance, mirrors, and roll pan, was sprayed to match, as was the Cervinis hood. The rear window vinyl was designed and cut by Tim from Ultimate Design.
The Comp Cruizer was finished just in time to roll into our studios before being driven to SEMA. The only unfortunate part was not being able to pimp it a little longer before we had to give it back to Scooter and the rest of the Comp Cams team. The saving grace is that we've been promised, once Comp Cams is done with the motor, that we'll be able to take the finished project for a drive, which should be fun. The last time we drove it, the editors of Ford Truck World handed us business cards and said they wanted to shoot it. Oops -- I guess we beat them to it.
An AEM intake was added under the hood, along with a Billet Superstore engine dress-up kit