SEMA Young Gun – Kyle Taylor

Kyle Taylor won the Young Guns competition at the 2018 Lima 4-Wheel Jamboree.

Part of Taylor's prize is an expense-paid trip to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas this November to compete against other young builders in the national Battle of the Builders competition.

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KYLE TAYLOR

AGE

25 years old

HOMETOWN

Holland, MI

VEHICLE

1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport

PROFESSION

Manual Machinist

SOCIAL MEDIA

@kyle.taylor99 | @teambcr

Q & A WITH KYLE TAYLOR

Q: How Long Have You Owned the Vehicle?

A: 3 years

Q: How long have you been coming to the show?

A: I’ve been going to the show since I was a baby with my dad. We missed the Jamboree for a few years but when I was about 21 years old, I convinced my dad to go again and shortly thereafter, I bought my truck.

Q: Tell us about the build and list the core customizations:

A: This is a quick run-down of the build so far. Many of these additions took weeks/months to actually build but if I were to provide a full list of everything, it would be way too long of a list. The truck is an on-going project for me – I have big plans for it over the next 1-3 years. Here are some of the modifications that I’ve done to the truck:

  • 4:10 gears front and rear
  • Trussed front and rear axels
  • Complete tubular back half
  • 4-link rear suspension with 32" of usable travel
  • Full roll cage inside the cab
  • Swapped the cab and doors
  • Re-enforced frame under the cab
  • Fully built transmission
  • Built transfer case
  • 4 suspension/racing seats with 5-point harnesses
  • Kicker stereo with 2 6x9s 4 6 1/2 rounds and a 12-inch sub
  • Built motor - it was originally a 360 and is now a 408 built to hold 15-20 psi of boost
  • Minor front suspension upgrades
  • Custom light-bar/front bumper
  • Whole truck was painted by myself and a buddy
  • 3.0x16" ADS rear coilover shocks
  • 2.5x4" ADS bump stops in the rear
  • Custom brackets and tabs fabricated/machined by myself

Q: Any interesting stories behind the build?

A: I bought the truck stock but shortly thereafter, I put a lift kit and 35 inch tires on it. I was content with that and felt that I was done with the build until my dad said “Trucks are never done!" Turns out he was right. Later that summer, I took a ride in a prerunner and was hooked. All I wanted was for my truck to be able to do what prerunners do! I got quotes for shops to turn my truck into a preunner but I didn’t have even close to the amount of money I needed. In my research, I had many people tell me it wasn’t possible. This just fueled the fire within me to prove people wrong. While building this truck over the last 2-3 years, I have only seen 1 other truck like it in the country. I’m not a welder, fabricator, or painter but I built this truck knowing only the basics of all these skills and after hours of practice and research, I finally got it just the way I want it.

Q: How did it feel when you were announced as the winning Young Gun?

A: It was unbelievable to me!! I never thought in a million years that I would make the cut. My truck wasn't the nicest looking truck there. There were plenty of others with nicer paint, wheels, more power, but mine did have more time put into it than most. I also couldn't believe it because my truck is far from a show truck - I didn't build to be a show truck - I built it to be nice looking, but still capable in the dunes because that’s what I love to do. I am a firm believer that hard work pays off, and the moment I was announced the Young Guns winner, I knew this was true! I will never forget my name being called and standing in front of all those people with the trophy in my hand. It is truly an honor to me to have been chosen to go to SEMA and I am extremely excited to go!

Q: Anything else you want your fans to know about you, the vehicle or the build?

A: Building this truck has been my dream for 3 years. With this being my first build, and hearing that it was impossible to do the build how I wanted to, I had all odds against me. This truck is proof that if you believe in yourself and work hard you can do almost anything! I didn’t build this truck to be a show truck. I built it to thrash in the dunes, get dirty and run hard. This truck was built to perform and it does that very well. I have jumped it and gone speeds of 75+ mph off-road through whoops that are 1-2 feet tall and the truck makes it feel like you’re floating on a cloud. The build is far from done – it will always be a work in progress.