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1989 Toyota Tacoma - Bad Dog

Posted in Features on August 1, 2002
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The trouble with building 4x4s that not only work great but look great is that they only look great for the first part of the first day on an extreme trail. After that, boulders and mishaps take their toll, and our trucks begin to look a bit used. A while back, Jon Bundrant and his crew at All Pro Off Road built a white '89 Toyota pickup to compete in the rockcrawling competitions and serve as a weekend rig for all the trails Jon runs. The truck worked as expected, but after a rollover and a lot of rocks, it was starting to look pretty beat up. After loaning it to another driver (who rolled the truck five times while competing), it was time to do a bit of work to bring it back to Jon's standards.

After all the rollovers, the cab was pretty well crushed beyond redemption. In addition to the All Pro cage kit that was already on the truck, Jon decided to build a tubular cage, using the floorboard and some of the dash for the cab. So it would still look like a Toyota, an All Pro Toyota Tacoma fiberglass front skin was installed over the existing mechanicals. While the new cage and body pieces help to make the truck more rock-resistant, the mechanicals are what make this truck the bad dog it is.

From the start, the truck was equipped with all the parts that All Pro offers to make Toyotas world-class on the rocks. An All Pro straight-axle conversion kit was installed along with an All Pro 60 hybrid with F-450 outer ends, Toyota centersections, and All Pro's Hy-Steer components. The rearend is an All Pro Toyota 8-inch with the disc brake conversion kit. Both front and rear third members are Toyota high-pinions equipped with 5.29 gears and Detroit Lockers. While the 22R-E fuel-injected engine was left stock, a Toyota R151F five-speed tranny out of a turbo pickup was used for strength, as well as a slightly lower First gear. The transmission was mated to a 23-spline Advance Adapters dual transfer case with a 4:1 Low-range in the main case and the stock Toyota Low-range in the dual case, so the truck can crawl.

Jon chose to stay with leaf springs on the truck, using All Pro's new long-travel suspension. The kit includes long, soft leaf packs and Bilstein 7100 remote reservoir shocks. We can attest that the truck works amazingly well with this suspension. Goodyear 37x12.50R15 MTRs were mounted on 15x10-inch Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels with Champion bead locks.

To help steer through the big rocks, All Pro offers a Howe hydraulic steering assist kit, so naturally this is what was installed. The truck can be steered with one finger through the tightest jams now. An All Pro parking brake that uses a disc brake at the output of the transfer case was also bolted on. Up front, a Warn HS9500i winch went on and was equipped with a winch rope from Master Pull (a requirement in the competitions). Inside the truck, the Spartan interior benefits from Mastercraft Rubicon seats.

This truck really works. The clean, tubular body is easily kept out of harm's way, while the few fiberglass pieces are tough enough to survive heavy usage and easy enough to replace when they finally succumb to the rocks. Thanks to the heavy-duty All Pro 60 hybrid frontend, Jon can run larger tires in the extreme stuff without worrying about failures. The Advance Adapters gears in the transfer case, along with adapter to mate the two cases together, allow the truck to crawl at any speed. We've all seen great 4x4s in the backcountry that can do almost anything, but Jon's All Pro Toyota is the current pickup of the litter.

Good dog.Bad dog.

SPECIFICATIONS
Owner/hometown: Jon Bundrant/
  Hemet, California
Make/model: '89 Toyota 4x4 {{{Pickup}}}
Engine: 22R-E I-4
Induction: Stock fuel injection
Transmission: R151F Toyota
  turbo pickup five-
  speed manual
Transfer case: Toyota/Advance
  Adapters 4:1 and 2.2:1
Frontend: All Pro 60 hybrid with a
Detroit Locker
Rearend: Toyota 8-inch with a
Detroit Locker
Ring-and-pinion: 5.29
Suspension: All Pro long-travel leaf
  springs/Bilstein
  7100 shocks
Wheels/tires: 15x10-inch MT Classic
IIs with Champion bead
locks/37x12.50R15 Goodyear MTRs

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