Hey, it’s almost the weekend, more like “hump day,” but you’re looking towards the weekend already and you need a dope-ass ride. You want to be different so you eye dad’s old ’75 Ford LTD or mom’s mode of transportation. So you’re asking yourself why we’re doing a story on some mom’s ride, and a mini-van no less! Well, if you haven’t noticed, the van in question is the newly designed, super-stylin’ Nissan Quest, which is powered by a formidable 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This same engine can also be found under the hoods of Nissan‘s 350Z, Maxima, Altima and a portion of their light truck line.
So what are you gonna need? Sounds, right? How about some visuals? Yup. Um, what about altering the exterior of this grocery-getting mom-mobile? Since we only have 48 hours to play with, we can’t do a full-on paint job, so we did the next best thing: temporary graphics and some pinstripes. But the biggest change was most definitely the wheels and tires. Read on and find out how we went way cool in a minimum amount of time.
Get out of your PJs and grab a bowl of cereal, wash up and get out the door to the accessory shop to begin your quest to being the “shiznet.” The entertainment upgrade was a bit limited, most of the diagnostics of the Quest are tied into the dash components and it would take way too much time and bucks to modify with an aftermarket system. Jose and his crew at Vicious Motosports pulled out the insides of the Quest so they can install the Absolute 10-inch TFT roof-mounted video monitor overhead and an auxiliary input device so you can pop in a DVD or Sony PlayStation 2 system. The panels were slightly modified to accommodate the FM modulator that would handle the reception of the monitor and a separate XO Vision high-surge power inverter module to power the DVD player or Sony PS2; the wiring was run along the passenger side so as not to interfere with the van’s electronics. While there, we had them hook up a pair of driving lights from Matrix of Commerce, California, who donated the bright beam-spitting assemblies. The other perk was taken care of at Extreme Vibrations in Bell, California, where a Fahrenheit Tuner 5R TV tuner with an IR (infrared) remote control was added to the video mix of goodies.
After a quick burrito break, it was off to Extreme Tint in Whittier, California, where Erick Ramirez whipped out his blade and sharp mind to design some tasty tint as a cool embellishment to the Nissan. Erick is known for his intricate free-hand designs and was more than happy to help out in bringing the project closer to the coolness factor. We gave him a little idea as to what we wanted on the glass, but it was up to him to execute the design element. He used a vertical light table to work out the designs before committing them to glass. He then applied the liquid solution to the windows before laying down the tight tint. He then used a curved burnishing tool to remove wrinkles and bubbles before sending the Nissan out on its merry way.
Once we left Erick in a myriad of Mylar, we made our way off to Rent A Wheel located on Whittier Boulevard in Pico Rivera, California, where we tried to find the right set of wheels for this cruising vessel. Next to a tin full of breath mints for a room full of honeys, this is probably the most important accessory in a pimp-in-training arsenal. We had to narrow it down to what we wanted and what would actually fit physically as well as visually with the van. The “bling” factor was definitely key in picking the right style. Too plain a design and your ride doesn’t get a second look, too gaudy and your boys and the ladies will mock you from a block away. Robert Soto and his crew–Veronica, David, Javier and Rico–gave the thumb’s up as we chose a set of chrome Velox 20s which will be wrapped in Hankook’s high-tech Ventus P245/40-ZR20 radial “sneaks.” Once ordered, we were told to come back the next morning when the tires would be delivered.
A trip out to Riverside, California, brought us to “Crazy George” Luna’s place, Discount Muffler, where we had a Magnaflow exhaust system installed to add some performance enhancement along with a nice note when mashing the pedal on the highway. A chrome tip was the finishing touch before heading back to Rent A Wheel, where both wheels and tires are waiting to be mounted to the happening van.
As we enter the home stretch and up the drive to the Rent A Wheel shop, anticipation builds even more than ever. It’s like getting a killer set of sneakers, in this case, a set of 20-inch rollers wrapped in rich rubber. The guys make sure that the tires are mounted correctly and that the shine is fine before filling those wheelwells up with the awesome alloys.
We made a quick stop at Pinstriping by Danny in Baldwin Park, California, for some of Danny Galvez’ magic brushwork. Danny got a feel for the ride by looking at Erick’s tint work and echoed the design along the sides and hood of the Quest. He first wiped down to surface and used a roll of thin tape to “sketch out” what the flame job would look like. He then embossed the tape work onto some butcher paper. He then used a perforating tool to make small holes along the lines of the flames. He then lined up the paper against the surface and pounced some powder along the perfed holes and then removed the paper template, making sure not to smudge the powdery flame-out line. This process was done along the other side of the van, thus recreating the exact design. Cool, huh? This was done on a smaller scale for the hood and rear hatch, as well using House of Kolor acrylic enamel paint. Danny is a master when it comes to dealing with custom cars, boats, bikes, trucks, um, well, you get the idea. Thanks, DG!
A quick stop at Superior Nissan in Industry, California, revealed that the onboard computer was “looking” for sensors in the air valve stems but wasn’t getting anything back as far as info. Well, we did change up the wheels to dubs so that was a no-brainer. Ah, but the Quest didn’t get unnoticed in the service drive. In fact, parts manager Manny Casillas was so impressed by the work done on the Nissan that he insisted that the guys install a custom billet grille from his stock. They picked the best one out of five and slapped that sucker on the nose before waving bye-bye to the pimped-out ride. A special thanks to Christine and Roland Rio for the use of their Quest and we hope “mom” will forgive us for making a “wimp” of a wagon into a whip of a ride that will have the honeys hopping!