Introducing Kyle Irvin, Winner of the 4 Wheel Parts Facebook Dream Upgrade Contest – Part 2

February 3rd, 2011 by admin

1998 Dodge Ram 4x4I joined the Marines in January 2003 and left for a year to train. All the while, my Jeep was scavenged by other off-roaders, my so-called friends, for parts at the barn we rented together. When I returned, there was essentially nothing left to build from and no one could answer where any of the parts had disappeared to. I still have the title to the Jeep but nothing else, not even the VIN to bring it back to life with another tub and frame. I learned a lot of lessons with that Jeep: the 6 Ps (Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance), why sharing space with other fabricators is bad, how missing parts can completely destroy friendships, and why credit cards are such a danger to college kids!

After returning from training in late 2003, I was stationed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, TX. I went back to finish my last semester of college for my Bachelor’s Degree and was rewarded with a 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab V8 4×4 automatic in January of 2005. I made slow upgrades as funds allowed, purchasing a 2.5″ Skyjacker Suspension System from the Dallas 4 Wheel Parts that fall and adding 35″ Nitto Terra Grappers on 18×10″ aluminum rims. I had the installation done at the Plano 4 Wheel Parts, the new location, due to time and work space constraints. I was very happy with the final product.

That next year I added a front Road Armor bumper that was on display in the Dallas 4 Wheel Parts showroom, which turned out to be the wrong bumper, but I made it fit with a few minor modifications. I later contacted Road Armor to ask why the bumper fit so poorly and, with the help of the Coppell 4 Wheel Parts, I paid the difference in price and received the correct bumper. That was probably the one instance of customer service that made me a customer for life. I still repeat that story to others who have had bad experiences with 4 Wheel Parts.

I made a few minor modifications on my own for a few years, including:
• Borgeson steering shaft
• DT Profab steering support and .5″ extended control arms
• All aluminum radiator
• LINE-X in the bed and lower rockers
• Taillight guards
• Bed box
MagnaFlow dual exhaust
• MagnaFlow performance catalytic converter
• Open element air filter swap
• And some minor interior/exterior changes

In the summer of 2008, I made some large upgrades to the truck at the Fort Worth 4 Wheel Parts:
• ARB 35 spline lockers front & rear
• Front EMS free spin kit
• 35 spline inner/outer CAD elimination kit
ARB diff covers front & rear
• Rear Moser 35 spline axle shafts
ARB compressor
• 4.88 Precision gears

Again, due to time and space constraints, I had the guys at 4 Wheel Parts Fort Worth complete the installation. It was an easy decision to pay for the labor because of the warranty I received for all of the work and parts. Many people don’t realize that saving $50 on a part online and having someone else install it actually creates huge warranty issues. The installer can’t vouch for the part and the manufacturer can’t vouch for the labor, so you’re either paying for it all again and waiting for the manufacturer to inspect the part or it’s sitting in the parking lot waiting. I try to pass that story along as well. I later had an Air Lift 5000 kit installed at the same 4 Wheel Parts to help tow my RV when we moved to Tulsa.

Check out my next blog post to read about the projects I’ve been working on recently.

, , , ,

About the Author: admin

Share This Post

  • Email
  • Print
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Stumble

Leave a Reply