Ultimate Adventure is our weeklong trip where we wheel and drive and wheel and drive across some of the toughest trails we can find. This year we're building an '01 Toyota Tacoma as the official vehicle. We started the buildup last month with the plan to build a lightweight rig (last year's pig tipped the scale at 9,000 pounds-way too much), and give it some race-truck tricks. We're not looking for a full-on Trophy Truck, but rather a slimmed-and-skinned rig with just enough room for tools, camping gear, cameras, and a cooler. We're doing most of the custom work at 4Wheelers Supply in Phoenix with awesome results. This month we'll show you the teardown and rebuild of the suspension, and the cage work, and next month we'll leave Phoenix and head for some final add-ons and amenities. NOTE: Most of the parts shown in this article are just tack-welded together, and some parts, such as the link, are made out of thin-wall tubing for mock-up. This is done in case any changes need to be made. Final welding will occur before the truck leaves the shop, so don't copy it till you see the final pics. We pulled the Taco into the fab shop and tore the old suspension and axles out from under it to make room for the Pro-Rock 60 rear and low-pinion Dana 44 front that Dynatrac built (see "Ultimate Taco," Aug. '04). After the IFS junk was removed, the fab-shop crew went about cutting and grinding the frame clean and smooth.We pulled the Taco into the fab shop and tore the old suspension and axles out from under We pulled the bed off the truck and started measuring for the rear suspension. We had thought for a short while that having a bed would be good for hauling supplies on the trip. But we quickly decided, through some helpful prodding by shop foreman Rob Bonney, that when you are building a truck like this, you don't want a lot of extra weight. And since we won't have much of a bed, we'll be packing light this year.We pulled the bed off the truck and started measuring for the rear suspension. We had thou With the front axle in place, it quickly became apparent that our steering tie rod was going to be in the same place as the engine oil pan.With the front axle in place, it quickly became apparent that our steering tie rod was goi Luckily the oil pan from a two-wheel-drive 3.4L V-6 T100 was found to have a rear sump, so we ordered one along with a new windage tray, pickup tube, dipstick, and dipstick guide, as well as the proper gaskets and strainer.Luckily the oil pan from a two-wheel-drive 3.4L V-6 T100 was found to have a rear sump, so Mocking up the rear-link suspension is tricky because you need to figure out both the correct geometry of the suspension and also what will fit on the frame around the other parts-like the gas tank. It is very important to make sure the rear axle is centered and square to the frame-notice the plumb bob.Mocking up the rear-link suspension is tricky because you need to figure out both the corr One of the concerns with building a late-model truck is trying to get around all the emissions issues, and in California that means keeping the stock fuel tank. We had seen a trick rear suspension for Toyota pickups from Shaffer's Off-Road that uses a Panhard bar in the rear so that the tank can stay in its original place. We borrowed that design when we built our Taco. Our rear suspension is shown at full stuff with some mock-up links.One of the concerns with building a late-model truck is trying to get around all the emiss 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!