We’ve all been there—slamming a monster LS, Coyote, or Hemi into an old muscle car or hot rod and hitting that inevitable roadblock: how the heck do you get the steering shaft through that tight engine bay? The answer, my friends, is the VDOG® from Flaming River. You’ve probably heard the name tossed around, but let’s dig into why you need this in your arsenal.


While early Toyota trucks are a great foundation, they do require a few modifications to make them capable of serious off-road use. Sure, you’ll need the basics, such as larger tires, lower gears and some kind of traction-aiding device in the differentials, but first there is a more important issue at hand. The steering on these early Toyota trucks was not designed with hardcore off-road use in mind.

Are You Master of Your Terrain?

Ok, you’ve lifted your rig so you can put those big tires on, and you take it out on it’s maiden wheelin’ trip. The first thing you notice is how the terrain seems to guide the tires while fighting your biceps. If this sounds familiar then you probably have manual steering. Many of the older rigs on the trail only came from the factory with a manual steering box. There are several options to remedy the manual steering blues. Upgrading to a power steering setup is the most basic route, then there are a number of companies specializing in hydraulic ram setups. There are also many combinations using common power steering boxes in addition to a hydraulic ram assist. With the vast variety of power steering system components available, the possibilities are quite endless.

An Overview of Restoration Products

Gone are the days of struggling to find restoration chemicals and parts. The article highlights how the availability of reproduction parts and user-friendly chemical solutions has revolutionized car restoration. It introduces popular and effective chemicals like 3M Underseal Undercoating, Eastwood Self-Etching Primer, and OEM Paints React, highlighting their benefits and applications. It even delves into restoring cast-iron parts, suggesting solutions like OEM Paints’ Steering Gear Box Finish. Get ready to be amazed by the latest advancements in car restoration!


The owner of this ’56 Ford pickup purchased it for a daily driver, and after driving it for a short time decided to make it more comfortable. Still running the original suspension, it rode rough and typically handled like an old truck, which it happens to be. He wanted a softer ride, and for the truck to handle like a modern sports truck, so several chassis improvements were in order.



Tilt steering, cruise control, heated seats and A/C are all amenities that we have grown accustomed to without ever knowing it. We’ve come to expect our seat to power forward and our steering column to drop at the flick of a lever; after all, it’s a matter of driver comfort. As these driver comforts have become a part of our daily drivers, it’s not unthinkable that we would want the same for our classic trucks. Our resident ’68 Chevy makes the rounds to and from lunch, along with the occasional cruise-in, so why not build in many of the same conveniences? After looking online, we decided that our outdated straight column just had to go, and then we’d work on the rest of those comfort items.


Super-High Super Duty

Tall lift kits used to mean a rough ride. Times have changed—the suspension aftermarket has figured out how to accommodate huge meats without inflicting permanent kidney damage on the driver and passengers. Computer-modeling and other engineering advancements prioritize ride quality into the suspension design. Spring packs with more, thinner leafs is an example of how tall-truck suspension philosophy has evolved.

It’s A Jeep Thing, Try To Understand

With the Jeep legend continuing to grow it is no wonder that more and more people are finding ways to customize their Jeep. Whether it is traditional Wrangler or a new more luxurious Grand Cherokee, people seem to want to feel that Jeep energy; the energy that has gotten Jeep where it is today.

Nostalgia Rod

Old-style rods, nostalgia rods and rat rods are increasing in popularity across America, and we are beginning to see a growing number of them at car shows outside California, where the movement seems to have set strong roots. These styles are generally seen in large numbers at shows such as NHRA’s Hot Rod Reunion (in Bakersfield), the West Coast Kustoms Show (in Paso Robles) and even the L.A. Roadster show (in Pomona). For the last two years there has been a special room for such cars at the Detroit Autorama (held at Cobo Hall), and this year was the biggest display yet. 

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