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Negative CamberSneak Peek '98
negative camber

As winter approaches, temperatures begin to fall. Although there aren't many shows or events this time of year, thousands of dedicated sport truck builders endure the winter working in their garages. In just a few months, Spring will reveal hundreds and thousands of brand new custom creations... But why wait for Spring when you can see the trucks today?

This feature brings you inside look at a truck from one of the most prestigious clubs in America: Negative Camber. This club has chapters throughout the nation, and hosts some of the best sport trucks in the world.

We find ourselves in a small garage in the town of Mendota, Illinois. Mendota is about 90 miles west of Chicago. The weather is cold, with temperatures dipping into the low 30's and nothing but clouds and rain in the forecast. In this garage, you will find two brothers, Scott and Kevin Sheridan, long-time minitruckers, and proud members of Negative Camber. They have been building custom trucks for over 4 years, and have several trucks and trophies to prove their success.

Kevin's '86 Nissan
Kevin's '86 Nissan
Their current project is a 1986 1/2 Nissan regular cab that was discovered in the Fall of 1995. Scott found it in Southern Illinois minus a fender, door, and transmission. The truck was supposedly driven into a lake, but at $300, the price was right. The two brothers picked it up and trailered it home and immediately started tearing it apart.

The first plan was to do a standard 2 3/4-inch body drop, and so that is what Kevin did. Work began of the truck, but it was later pushed aside to work on Scott's truck, another '86 Nissan. The tailgate, cowl, and antenna, were shaved and Kevin repainted purple with with graphics. Scott's truck was completed just 5 hours before they left for the Mini-Truckin' Nationals in Tennessee in July '96. The truck has since won several awards including best paint, best engineered, best chassis, not to mention several 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes, and a feature in Minitruckin' Magazine.

Scott's '86 Nissan
InteriorTake a look inside Scott's '86 Nissan
Since then, the brothers have kept busy working on customers' trucks, as well as their own creations. Kevin's '86 1/2 Nissan which was pushed aside in '96 became their new obsession. The existing body drop was increased another 2 3/4-inches for a total body drop of 5 1/2-inches! Such a drastic drop requires an extreme amount of custom fabrication and strengthening. With the rocker panels off, the truck looses all of structural strength in the cab. The bottom of the cab was plated and it then met the floor with 3/16-inch flat stock.
Kevin's '86 Nissan
Kevin's '86 Nissan
Scott just happened to come across an independent rear end out of an RX-7, which was virtually "stolen" for only $100. When the RX-7 rear end was brought home, the old rear frame on Kevin's truck was quickly removed to make room for it. The rear end was narrowed 6-inches to allow the wheels to tuck inside the rear fenders, and sits on a custom-fabricated frame clip. The clip is 8-inches narrower than stock, and the bed to sits on custom mounts to drop it 5 1/2-inches lower over the frame compared to stock. Speaking of the bed, there is '97 feet of 1x1-inch square tubing throughout the bed for strength because 3 feet of sheet metal was removed from the floor.

All four corners of the truck are suspended by Firestone airbags for height-adjustibility and smooth-riding comfort. With the airbags drained, the truck "lays frame" from the front of the truck to rear. The 5 1/2-inch body drop allows an amazing 1/4-inch clearance from the bottom of the door to the ground. Even with the airbags fully-inflated, the front wheels tuck inside the fenders, so Kevin narrowed the front frame clip 5-inches to allow the 17-inch wheel and tire combo to turn.

The list of custom body work is quite extensive. The tailgate has been completely shaved, while a steel roll pan was added and a license plate box was frenched into the tailgate. The gas door, roof gutters, door handles and locks, and antenna were all removed and smoothed over. A custom third brake light was flush mounted in the top of the cab.

The motor is rebuilt and bored .020-inches. A performance cam was added and the engine painted using Ford Pacific Green and Silver Frost paint. The inside of the bed is also painted with the same Pacific Green.

Scott and Kevin will be using a '95 Ford Ranger front bumper, while a custom hood will have to be fabricated to clear the engine (which sits 5 1/2-inches higher due to the extreme body drop). Kevin has been working on the truck almost every night to get it completed for the Summer '98 debut. It is definitely one of the wildest trucks being built today, and we'll keep you posted of the progress.

You can send email directly to Scott and Kevin to ask questions or to send comments about their project.


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