Toyota Truck of the Month - March 2000 - Toyota 4x4 @

Mar. 01, 2000 By Drew Persson
Toyota Truck of the Month
March 2000 Written By Drew Persson
Edited By Chris Geiger  
Toyota 4x4
To say Travis Allen "likes to go fast" is like saying rockcrawlers "like to go slow", extremes of speed that just don't fully register until you're sitting in the passenger seat adding finger grooves to the panic handle. Using San Diego California as his home base and launch pad, Travis has spent the last several years picking the brains and experiences of local race shops and desert gurus in his quest to create the ultimate daily driver.  A vehicle just as comfortable and capable cruising at 75 MPH on the freeway as it is blasting across the open desert at the same or even greater speeds, where the presence of a radar gun only spurs on the lightly massaged Toyota V6.     Travis first modified his just-cause-for-divorce 1990 4-Runner with a full-on race suspension job from Advanced Toyota Suspension.  3" longer than stock a-arms were fabricated, as well as a slew of other modifications to allow for approximately 13.5" of front suspension travel. (With the CV halfshafts and limiting straps removed travel can be increased to approximately 16.5".)   Travis quickly discovered the stock torsion bar suspension was not adequate for such outrageous movement and high speed abuse, and turned to Ricardo (Roach) at "Pro-Fab Racing" and to "John Holmes Racing" to design and change out the t-bar arrangement in favor of 12" Sway-A-Way coil-overs, 60mm "cans", 500 over 600 Eibach coils, and Bilstein airbumps to cushion the impact of touchdown, all contained within a bumper-integrated engine cage.     The front end taken care of, Travis turned his attention to the rear to balance out the obsession.  Cutting several holes through the floor of the cargo area for coil-over rear suspension is not typically something most 2nd generation 4-Runner owners are willing to do due to excessive noise and dust, however Travis solved these problems and still retained his posh interior environment by removing the rear door and adding a partition wall just behind the back seat.  Once the sheetmetal was cut and the necessary framework fabricated, 14" Bilstein coilovers, 300 over 300 Eibach coils, and Bilstein airbumps were added to the mix.  The spare tire was then moved inside, and the battery relocated to the rear for better weight distribution. Other modifications and upgrades include:
  • 33x12.50x15 BFG Mud Terrain tires
  • 4.88 factory Toyota gears, open differentials
  • T-100 CV halfshafts
  • 3" body lift
  • P.O.R.S. Extreme-Duty Idler Arm
  • K&N intake and filter
  • Downey V6 header
  • Custom exhaust
  • Earls stainless steel brake and oil lines to Amsoil secondary filter
  • All lubricants replaced with Amsoil synthetics
  • Optima gel cell battery
  • (2) Hella 4000's
  • (2) Hella 1000's
  • Hella airhorns
  • PIAA Hyperwhite bulbs
  • Fiberglass hood and fenders
  • Stainless, aluminum, and plexiglass partition wall (legal for SCORE racing with an auxiliary fuel cell in the rear)
  • Alpine stereo, Boston Rally and Eclipse speakers
    Future plans include reworking the rear suspension with five foot trailing arms for better than two feet of usable rear travel, as well as the addition of five-point racing harnesses for occupants, a rear Detroit locker, and possibly a limited slip differential for the front.     As you can imagine this 4-Runner attracts plenty of attention anywhere it's parked, and it's rumored that Travis first met the legendary Ivan Stewart when he found Ivan under the front of his 4-Runner checking out the suspension.  With a compliment like that it's hard not to dive headfirst into the racing circuit, where we're sure to see more of Travis and his 4-Runner for years to come.

More Feature Trucks Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!