For 5 Questions this week, the Herald speaks to Phil Hanson, owner of Triix Customs, at 3459 S. 31st, Suite S, In Grand Forks.
Q: Please tell us about what services you offer.
A: The services we offer are pretty much anything automotive, aftermarket related. Our big ones of course are window tints and auto starts, which keeps it going day to day. We also do car audio, and do quite a bit of suspension work: lifts, lowering and wheel and tires. Anything for automotive, boats or side-by-sides. If it’s aftermarket, we can do it.
Q: How did you get into this type of business, was it from working on your own car?
A: Pretty much. I had an uncle who owned a body shop, and one who was a mechanic. I hung out with them and started liking cars when I was really young, and then the first car I got started doing stuff to it, and just kept going. I got lucky right out of high school to find a shop that gave me a shot to work at, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q: As we're moving into spring, does this mean we're getting into your busy season?
A: We are, for one aspect of what we do. The suspension, wheels and tires get busy now. Everyone wants their car looking good for spring and summer. And then the tints of course, for keeping down the heat.
Q: What's an interesting custom build you've done?
A: We’ve had quite a few. The biggest one that stands out is we took a 2016 F350 (pickup truck), and we changed it from a coil suspension to a coilover suspension, lifted it 4 inches and put on 46-inch tires and fiberglass fenders, to be able to fit those in there. Plus the grille bumper. They're actually 46-inch tires off the MRAP military transport vehicle.
Q: If someone is just getting started with, for example, custom audio, and wants to upgrade their system, what should they consider?
A: The first thing I always tell them is stop in. It makes it easy so you can visualize the system we put together for you. The first thing you always want to look at are just the speakers in the car, and make sure they're upgraded. Then you want to start thinking about putting an (amplifier) to it, which increases the power to them. Of course you always want a subwoofer put in. We hook onto the battery. We run a power cord from the front of the vehicle, or wherever the battery is, to the amp, which is usually in the trunk. Until you're starting to get into the big systems, you don't actually have to add any kind of charging system changes, like a new battery or a new alternator. It's pretty, pretty straightforward.