Isn't it always the case? The paint and body guy has paint flaking off his sport truck's roof. The mechanic has smoke pouring out of his sport truck's tailpipe. The upholstery guy sits on a milk crate when he gets in his truck. Simply put, professionals in their chosen line of work never seen to find the time to show off their skills on their own ride.

So imagine our surprise when we ran into our friend Dave Sanchez, owner of W.E.C Air Systems in Corona, California. He's a distributor of everything suspension and airbag to many of the cutting-edge suspension shops across the country, yet he picked up his '03 Dakota Quad Cab nearly six months ago and it was still sitting at stock height. Now, it's understandable that since Dave clocks at least 200 miles a day visiting shops, he was not about to cut into his new work truck and lay it on the rockers (although that's what we suggested). But bone-stock? Come on, that's a tad bit hypocritical, don't you think?

After a little persuading, Dave conceded to let us spend the afternoon with the Dakota, and when he dropped it off at Pro Design Hot Rods in Santa Ana, California, we could tell we had already influenced him in the right direction. A color-matched SnugTop lid had already been added, along with a Trenz grille insert and a dark-tint job from House of Tints. Not a bad start, Dave, but let's see if we can't take the Dakota to the next level - literally.

DJM Suspension offers three different lowering combos for the Dakotas, and we went with the most mild of the bunch: a 2/3 drop. The kit uses a 2-inch-dropped control arm up front and DJM's all-steel blocks in the rear, making for an extremely stout combo that will ride just like stock, since the setup uses the factory leaves, coils, and shocks. Also on the agenda was some new rolling stock. Discount Tire Direct has one of the largest inventories of wheels and tires known to man, and had no problem hooking us up with the new Magneatos from Boyd Coddington Wheels. They measure 18x8 inches with 6-1/8-inch backspacing, and DTD even had the oddball 6 on 4-1/2 bolt pattern that's used on the Dakotas. Discount Tire Direct also helped us select the perfect tire for our application. The Michelin Pilot LTX, size P255/55R18, is a low-profile performance tire, yet it still has a decent sidewall and high load rating (104V) for heavy loads and towing. Follow along as Pro Design's Mike and Gordie bust out the installation in minutes flat, and as always, use the information in the source box to contact Discount Tire Direct, DJM, or Pro Design.

SOURCE
Discount Tire Direct
7333 E. Helm Dr., Ste. 7
Scottsdale
AZ  85260
800-589-6789
www.discounttiredirect.com
PRO DESIGN HOT RODS
2020 S. Susan St., Dept. CT
Santa Ana
CA  92904
DJM Suspension
310-538-1583
www.djmsuspension.com
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