Rockin’ An Air Suspension

Texas diesel enthusiast knows what she likes

February 2015 Power of Pink Katie Burke

The fun thing about 25-year-old Brittany Taylor from Garland, Texas, is that she’s put her own twist on a daily driven diesel. Instead of owning a truck with an extensive lift system, she went the route less traveled and much lower to the ground. She opted for a lower profile and “bagged” her truck. One of the many unique features of this truck besides the 12-valve conversion is the install of an Air Ride suspension that allows for full access to suspension travel at the flip of a switch. The suspension consists of a pretty complex setup that contains compressors that feed an air tank with air that is fed to a set of valves that control the pressure fed to each bag. That allows the truck to go up and down. She’s topped off the low profile look with black 22-inch KMC Slides wrapped in 265/35 Nexen tires.

“My next move is a set of black 24-inch KMC Slides that are ready to go in the garage,” says Brittany.

Not Exactly Legal

Brittany’s story goes back to her childhood when she would head to the drag strip to race with her dad. One weekend, one of the locals told her there was going to be a diesel event the next weekend and she should come and check it out. She ended up coming back to watch and—unbeknownst to her at the time—participate.

“I jumped in my dad’s 2003 Duramax dually and ended up as a runner-up that night. I didn’t even have my driver’s license at the time,” says Brittany. “I’ve been addicted to the diesel scene ever since.”

Chasing Her Dream

Four years ago, Brittany set out to find her own diesel truck. While she’d been an enthusiast for years, she had never owned one herself. What she ended up doing was taking on a project that would eventually create her dream truck. Brittany found a 2000 single cab short bed Dodge Ram 1500 that ran perfectly for $3500. The truck had just one problem that Brittany couldn’t get over.

“The only thing wrong with it was that it was gasoline,” says Brittany. “So I ventured out and picked up a donor truck for $1500 and the motor swapping began.”

She worked with Ele Cass of Southbound 87 Fab to put in a ’95 P-Pumped 12-valve Cummins and Air Ride suspension. Now this 2000 Ram 12-valve conversion is a work of art.

“My truck is truly my dream truck,” says Brittany. “There are a few things I’ve got up my sleeve to be done still, but I have always wanted a half-ton diesel conversion and I’m finally doing it.”

Making It Her Own

As of now, she’s opted to put her money into the cosmetic features and leave the engine stock, though it does have a 7-inch miter cut stack that’s frenched into the bed as well as an upgraded 47RH transmission built by Jim Jones of Texas Performance Diesel in Emory, Texas. The future for engine modifications includes bigger injectors, upgraded turbo, valve springs, push rods, aftermarket lift pump and a few other goodies. As far as cosmetic upgrades, Brittany has taken the do-it-yourself approach, including the paint job. She Plasti-dipped the entire top half of the truck and added a pink vinyl pin stripe to set it off. Plasti-dip is a rubberized protective coating that allows the average daily driver to begin coating and protecting all sorts of parts and can easily be removed by peeling off. The dream paint job would be a two-tone with brilliant black pearl on the bottom and BMW stratus gray metallic on the top with some pink pin striping to separate the two.

The truck, which she has affectionately named Layla, rocks a Jensen touch-screen radio, custom center console, pink coach door panel inserts, and a custom tweed headliner. She’s also added carbon fiber AutoMeter gauges. On the exterior, she has a fourth generation front bumper, a viper cowl induction hood, DEPO led taillights and a roll pan. Including the price of the truck and the donor truck, Brittany estimates she has close to $15,000 invested in this truck.

Unique In Its Own Way

One of Brittany’s favorite features of the truck is the Air Ride suspension. Brittany is running dual VIAIR 480c compressors, Dominator 2600 bags, and an Airlift 8.5-gallon air tank. In order to bag your truck, you need the correct air bags, as well as compressors, tank, fittings, lines and valves. Air suspensions are popular because they provide a smooth ride and can be fairly easy to install. A simple air suspension involves swapping out the springs for air bags, adding a reservoir, compressors and a control unit. You can expect to spend at least $400 for an entry-level system, while a more sophisticated setup can cost upwards of $1,000. These numbers are just for the parts so obviously the overall costs depends on the labor unless you can do it yourself.

“People have told me you can’t have a show truck AND a race truck, especially being bagged,” says Brittany. “My goal is to show them that anything is possible if it is something you truly desire and it’s done right.”

The Future Of Diesel Women

Right now, this truck is her daily driver and one day will go down the drag strip. Brittany is a proud member of the diesel industry and is a great example of using your own personal style to set your truck apart.

“I think the women involved in the diesel industry are absolutely amazing individuals. We sometimes get looked down upon at times, but it’s improving day by day,” says Brittany. “I’m not here to show my truck off. Obviously, I’m proud of it, but I just want to get it out there and show everybody what women diesel drivers are capable of doing as well or in some cases even better.”

For more information about products in this feature, visit our Aftermarket.

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