Toyota Truck of the Month - Troy Muse and his 1984 Toyota Pickup - Toyota 4x4 @

Feb. 01, 2006 By Chris Geiger
Toyota 4x4
Troy Muse loves rock crawling.  He lives just an hour away from the world famous Rubicon Trail and  is a member of the Pirates of the Rubicon club.  He runs the trail several times each summer and can often be found repairing trucks and assisting others on the trail.  Last year I had a chance to meet him and run the Rubicon trail with him. About 5 years ago he started building up his current toy.  Lower gears were his first priority.  At the time there were no bolt on transfer case options. He choose to use a Nissan transfer case divorce mounted behind the stock Toyota case.  The with his long wheel base there was plenty of room for this second case but it made for an unusual front drive shaft.  Troy decided to cut the stock crossmember and install a bearing inside it that allows the drive shaft to pass through it.  Now the front drive shaft goes from the front differential up to a U joint and through the crossmember, then back past the stock toyota case and into the Nissan case.  Wanting even lower gears he later opted to add 4:70 gears to the stock transfer case.  A huge custom skid plate protects the cases. Troy's tire of choice?  38.5"Swampers!  This makes the truck a little top heavy but with the sprit of a true trail rig he did not care about a few rollovers.  After putting the truck on it's side (5 times!) and a few axle failures it was time for an axle upgrade. Troy choose a full-width GM 14 bolt rear axle with Detroit locker.  Up front sits a full-width Dana 44 with ARB locker.  Differential gears are 5:13 to 1 and give an overall crawl ratio of 208 to 1.  The Rear suspension is a 3/4 elliptical setup allowing for extra extra travel. When I first saw the truck I thought to myself how does he get that thing through the narrow sections of the trail?  Those tires stick out more than a foot on either side!  It turns out to be just a matter of attitude.  The rest of us drove between and around the larger rocks, often with only inches to spare.  Troy drives OVER these rocks.   His wide wheel base is much more stable and he has not rolled the truck since putting on the full size running gear.  Watching him come down the big sluice reminded me of watching monster trucks drive over old cars.  This purpose built rock crawler has hit so many rocks and rolled over so many times that it now has and all over "crinkle" finish to it.  The only the roof and hood are relatively flat.  To get to and from the trail, Troy bolts on a set of removable mud flaps and zip ties on a set of stock brake/turn lamps.  You may have seen a picture of Troy's truck in FOUR WHEELER recently.  He has been selected as one of the 67 finalists in the Top Truck Challenge.  The only part of the challenge he will have trouble with is the show and shine contest!

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