Ivan Stewart's Toyota Trophy Truck
ALL THE INSIDE SECRETS YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO KNOW
|When the factory Toyota Trophy truck appeared on
the starting line of the Baja 500 in Ensenada this June, a huge crowd
quickly gathered. And when Ivan fired up the impeccably-prepped truck,
it sounded like a Pro-stock drag race motor under the hood.
After clicking off a few shots, I caught Ivan's attention and shook hands with him: "So, what's it like with this new motor?"
The grinned widened: "Rick, all these years I coulda had a V8. This thing is great! If it doesn't break, no one will beat me."
No one beat him.
End of story, but the beginning of our story.
At PPI, where Ivan's race truck is prepped, we also were surprised to find a garage full of Toyota-powered Indy cars. Talk about a motorhead's paradise!
JUST A ROUTINE PREP
After each race, the motor is yanked out of the Trophy Truck and sent Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for inspection and rebuild.
Then, the entire truck is deep-stripped ... and we mean deep. Every piece is taken off the truck, cleaned, magna-fluxed and then sand blasted to perfection. Previously painted items get a fresh coat, but the roll cage structure and suspension links remain bare metal.
Every bearing is checked and replaced if out of tolerance, or past the maintenance schedule. Shocks are completely rebuilt, the trans comes apart, brakes are rebuilt and the kevlar Toyota replica body parts go to the shop for fresh paint and stickers.
SPECS AND STATS
We saw actual dyno readouts of slightly over 550 horsepower at between 7200 and 7800 rpm. At one time, they ran the motor up to 8400 rpm and got a peak reading of 580 horsepower! With no rev
don't know how high the engine will rev, but one man said he thought that 10,000 rpm was possible. For practical purposes, Ivan normally will shift at 7,000 rpm, or earlier, if conditions permit. On long straights, 7800 rpm is the normal max. This translates into 130 plus miles per hour!!! Ivan feels, that if he had to, he could hit 140 on pavement.
The highest recorded speed to date has been at Barstow, where the truck reached 137 mph at slightly over 8,000 rpm. Enough.
Oddly enough, the V-8 weighs nine pounds less than the V-6 that used to have a home under the hood. Weight of the motor is approximately 340-350 pounds, depending on if it's weighed with or without certain accessories. Just in case you wondered, maximum horsepower on the old V-6 was a mere 300 to 350, depend ing on what kind of course tuning was dialed in.
feed the four-valve heads. J & E forged pistons run a moderate 13:1 compression ratio, but still demands the use of higher octane racing fuel. The ignition is computer-controlled, and has a back-up black box that can be replaced if things go south.
So far, the unit has proven incredibly reliable. In fact, after the Baja 500 race, a complete tear down was done and every thing was still in spec. Pistons and rings were replaced as routine maintenance, but everything else was nuts-on perfect.
Not even. This is basically the old truck that's been run for the last few years. The V-6 was yanked out and the V-8 slapped in. It took three months to build the V-8 version, and the guys got in done right the first time. Naturally, they had to in crease the rear axle size and the transmission input shaft has been heavily upgraded.
Numerous other items were upgraded, including the fuel delivery system. You want exotic? Check this out: Each individual cylinder can have the timing or the jetting altered.
That 43 gallon fuel cell is not your normal foam-filled bladder with a thin sheet of aluminum wrapped around it. Instead, the cell is made of thick T-6 aluminum and is an actual structural member of the vehicle! Without this cell in place, the chassis would twist like a hot stick of licorice.
Brakes are based on 14 inch rotors hand made from 4130 chromoly steel, and yes, they're made in-house. Brembo 4-puck calipers use semi-metallic pads. Oddly enough, the power brake assist is taken directly from the power steering return line. Wild.
Speaking of the steering, a unique hand-built double ram device completely eliminates any bumps from affecting the steering. Even the reservoir has a piston separator in it to prevent oil foaming. Cost for this little honey? Try about $30,000.
The engine sits right behind the seat, making it a true mid engine racer. Hooked directly to the back of the V-8 is that Hewland trans. The "rear end" is built right into the back section of the trans. Massive gears turn the vacuum-melt 4130 axles via the biggest CV joints this side of a semi.
consist of hand-made 4130 rotors with Brembo stoppers. Click
Here for 768x512
about trick: a piston separator keeps the power steering fluid from
foaming in the reservoir. Cost is about $10,000 for this little item. Click
Here for 320x480
fuel cell is an actual structural part of the chassis. Click
Here for 768x512
|THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE MAN
Since Ivan lived through the early development stages of the four-banger off-road racing trucks, then the V-6, he experienced the woes of development. He still recalls the many races he led, when the Doug-Nash tranny let him down.
So, he tends to drive the new truck on the easy side. Ivan wants to be there at the finish, and knows that if you break your equipment, it might not be there at the finish line.
Tom Morris, one of the main men behind the Trophy Truck, once cornered Ivan and yelled at him: "Beat it up! You can't hurt this truck!"
He means it, too. As you spend time crawling around inside the truck, you can see that everything is built to take it. The front A-arms are mammoth and pivot on heim joints that ride on hefty Grade 8 bolts. Tabs are thick and gusseted heavily and every stressed point is reinforced via triangulated tubing.
Those men who prep and maintain Ivan's Trophy Truck also work at the races, and they know their job well. Take this example: During one race, Ivan pulled into the pits and the crew changed two tires, dumped 40 gallons of gas, added two quarts of oil, gave Ivan a drink and handed him a clean set of goggles. Total elapsed time? Fourteen seconds!
Tom Morris is proud of the truck: "It's super reliable and we haven't had a real problem for a long time. We don't even let Ivan carry any tools. In fact, the only tool he has to use is the radio, unless he has to change a tire in a spot where we can't get to him."
Even though Toyota has cut back on its off-road racing efforts, they pull out all the stops on the important races, like the Baja 500 and 1000.
Any bets on who the favorite will be in this, or any other Baja 1000?