We hear it all the time: "The truck wasn't supposed to be this crazy." This 2004 Nissan Titan was one of those projects that got a little out of control and after one thing led to another, Aaron Iha had himself America's most custom import, fullsize truck. After two different paint schemes, three different suspension setups, three different interiors, and 114 total inches of wheels, Aaron's final rendition resulted in headlining our first annual Nissan truck issue.
Growing up in the Southern California desert, Aaron was raised around lathes, welders, and a family that knew how to turn wrenches. His father owns an auto-everything repair shop where Aaron learned the basics, and after attending Cal Poly for mechanical engineering the 22-year-old had the drive to delve into the world of custom chassis fabrication with his own shop, Chassis by Aaron in Covina, California.
Exposure from our sister publication Mini Truckin' in the form of building a custom chassis from the ground up using computer technology helped Aaron get the word out that there was a new sheriff in the town of custom chassis. Using his own truck as a guinea pig for fabrication, three months after signing on the dotted line, the plasma cutter was ignited and the entire back half of the Titan was scrapped.
Creating an entire rear subframe from 2x5-inch, 3/16-inch-thick square tubing, Aaron uses a reverse four-link with a Panhard bar for the rear chassis. After changing the suspension three times, Aaron was finally happy after cutting Fox 2.0 Racing Shox in half and adding Universal Air airbags to the sectioned assemblies to create an air suspension using reservoir shocks and air springs. Four Air Zenith compressors ensure ample air is supplied to the 'bags. Up front, the stock spindles were shortened and the ball joints flipped to compensate for the reduction in height and now use uniballs.
Each custom-fabbed control arm was shortened three inches from stock and are now filled with custom QA1 adjustable coilovers without the presence of an actual coil. Allowing full adjustability, sleeved Universal Air 'bags keep the front end going up and down. The end result was a truck that could lay frame and still ride as smooth as a hearse. Each fender proudly houses 26x10-inch Asanti 128 wheels wrapped in Falken's newest 305/30R26 tire. Laying frame on 26-inch wheels means one thing, Aaron knows what he is doing. Stopping the massive rolling assemblies are 14-inch brakes from AP Racing with dual-piston units squeezing the front binders and the stock calipers halting the rear.
Moving to the body, Aaron showcased his talent with a welder, shaving the antenna, door handles, tailgate handle, and creating his own perfect-fitting rear roll pan. After cutting out the required bed area for the suspension, Aaron went ahead and smoothed the remaining surfaces by adding full sheetmetal panels to the entire bed. Wheeltubs flow into each panel seamlessly and easily cover the 20-gallon fuel cell. Delivering the blocked body to Star Body and Paint, in Azusa, California, Carlos covered the entire truck with BASF Charisma colors. Completely different paint schemes keep onlookers guessing as Aaron drives by with passenger-side viewers checking out a reptilian-like scheme featuring scales, tear-away graphics, and a grimacing eye on the A-pillar. Lucky observers of the driver-side get to experience an all-black-and-blue fiery inferno resulting in the melting of the two schemes on the hood, roof, bed, and tailgate. Drop-shadowing and pinstriping add depth to the creative scheme.
A year and a half after starting his "little project" Aaron admits this truck was never supposed to be this wild. Several people helped him along the way, including Star Body and Paint, Asanti, Audio Innovations, Stillen, Rogelio's, and the entire Severed Ties crew. Special thanks also go out to Mike Alexander and Christine for their faithful support and efforts. We want to thank Aaron for building such a sick truck. For all of you Titan owners out there, the sky's the limit. This dual-personality rig is proof that imports are here to stay.