More Toy vs. jeep
Q I own an '00 Toyota Tacoma, V-6, extended cab, of course 4x4. While I was having a drink with a buddy he said he would build a truck to beat me in. I said, "Yeah, sure, whatever." I didn't think he would go all out on it. We didn't bet any money except we put our pride into it. Then he bought a '94 Jeep Cherokee, 4.0 L straight-six, and put on a K&N-style intake, Skyjacker suspension, MSD ignition, and a set of Mickey Thompson MTZ tires, just to name a few things. We are to race in mud and sand in both 4-Hi and 4-Lo . All I have are a few skills, and my truck is pretty much stock except for a K&N, Rancho 5000 shocks, Energy Suspension, and some BFGoodrich all-terrains. We're suppose to race in July. Any suggestions, or should I just consider kissing my pride goodbye?
A I love bench racing! Let's figure out some specs.
First, the power-to-weight ratio on each truck. In stock form both 4x4s would have about 190 hp, but although the XJ (Cherokee) weighs right around 3,000 pounds, your Tacoma weighs about 3,425. So on paper I think he has you beat.
However, he has a lift kit and larger tires, but you didn't mention whether he had regeared his truck for the bigger tires. If he is still running the factory gear ratio then you might have an advantage, as it will be tougher for him to spin the larger tires. In fact, his Jeep probably has 3.07, 3.55, or 3.73 axle gears, whereas your Taco likely has 3.73 or 4.10 gears, an advantage for you. However, his mud tires should work better in the mud than your all-terrains, but your tires should work better in the sand.
I guess the question is how much are you willing to spend to win this race? You could add power with a supercharger or nitrous kit, but that's expensive. You have a good air filter, so add a free-flowing exhaust to the mix for a little more efficiency. The other option is removing weight by taking off the doors, fenders, bumpers, seats, and so on, but that's not really reasonable.
The best advice I have is go practice drag racing in the dunes and mud. Try different air pressures, as you'll want the added traction. Try two- and four-wheel-drive launches to see if one pulls better than the other. Also try high- and low-range acceleration tests. Once you find the best gear, pressure, and drive combo for acceleration you may have the edge. I have seen a near-stock Cherokee beat a big V-8 Blazer in a drag race, and I've seen old Tacomas do big jumps in the dunes. I think the IFS may be your advantage for the go-fast stuff, but at the same time your power-to-weight is against you.
Just remember, if you lose, you'll have a good excuse to go buy a supercharger! Definitely let us know who wins.
Nuts, I'm Confused!
I Bought a Scout!
Q When I was a kid growing up in rural Colorado I had an uncle and a brother-in-law who both drove International Scouts. Then to make matters worse my dad drove an old International pickup around the ranch and it was the first truck I ever drove. Needles to say, I ended up with a serious case of IH Fever! (Look it up on WebMD-it's for real.) For years I wanted a Scout of my own, but I could never fast-talk my common sense into such a thing. (Dern, that common sense!)
However, a couple of years ago I opted for a demotion at work that came with a company truck and the elimination of a commute. After this change, I was eventually able to outwit my common sense into the unthinkable. I sold my '89 Toyota truck that my wife loved (required very little attention) and started looking for my new mistress-uh, I mean the Scout of my dreams. Finally last July I found the perfect girl. Since then we have been inseparable, and best of all I have finally found the cure to my IH Fever.