Trail Proven Toyota - 1988 Toyota Shortbed

Feb. 01, 1997 By ORC STAFF

Richard took a simple and straight forward approach to building his Toyota. Using tried and proven aftermarket parts he has built a truck that works well on the trail.

The 22RE engine was retained due to readily available aftermarket parts. It gets a little help from a Downey cam and Downey header.

The axle ratio was kept to 4.10 both for the strength and for highway cruising to the trailhead. To motivate the truck over Northern California trails a Detroit Locker was installed out back and a Lock right up front. A respectable crawl ratio has been attained through the use of a Marlin Crawler Transfer case gear set (4.70:1). Robert also designed a custom twin stick transfer case shifter for running in 2-wheel drive low too!

To clear the 33x14.50x15 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted HPs on 15x10 American Eagle wheels Richard used a Trail Master 4-inch IFS lift up front and OEM springs with Chevy add-a-leafs out back. The Trail Master kit was redesigned for strength with welded crossmembers and a custom skid plate. The rear suspension was designed for max wheel travel. Richard reports he has approximately 14-16 inches of rear wheel travel.

To pump up the big Mickeys at trails end there is a custom Piston Air compressor under the hood filling up the custom rear tube bumper/air tank. With this setup Richard says he can operate air tools and fill up all of his tires from about 8 lbs to 25 lbs in about 2 minutes. Now that's a lot of air!

Rancho Torque Arms with custom quick removal pins for easy removal are used as well as custom sway bar disconnects made by Richard. In case the Baja Belteds run into some trouble Richard has a spare set of Super Swampers mounted on American racing Gamblers. To change all of these tires there is a Hi-Lift jack mounted up front and should he ever break a driveline there are spares ready and waiting.

Richard isn't afraid to use his truck. He's driven the Rubicon, Dusy Ershim, an extremely hard secret place (it wouldn't be secret if he told us where it is now would it) and many others.  

Future Projects

Since an off-road crawler is never done look for a custom winch setup using a Warn XD 9000i mountable front or rear with quick disconnects for the electrical connections, a dual optima battery setup, rear disc brakes, a high output alternator for welding on the trail, a solid front axle swap to eliminate the IFS and many other things.  


Here are some pictures of Richard on the Rubicon, Dusy Ershim and that hard spot he won't tell us about!

Solid Axle Swap
June '97

Here are some pictures of Richard's solid axle swap. A writeup is coming soon.


Solid Axle Swap in Action!
September '97

Here are some pictures of Richard's solid axle swap on the trail in Moab and the Rubicon. Newsletter
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