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1989 Toyota 4WD Pickup - Bad Dog

Posted in Features on May 1, 2005
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A few years ago, Jon Bundrant's '89 Toyota pickup was featured in a sister publication. Since then, Jon's made a slew of changes to the truck and has become a champion rockcrawler, too. In 2003, Jon became champion of the Pro Rock, UROC, and RCAA rockcrawling series, as well as the CRCA rock-racing champion and the Supercrawl world champion. Jon piloted Tiny, a purpose-built rock buggy that has become a legend, to his championships. Obviously, Jon is a big, bad dog in rockcrawling. The big dog's personal truck is bad, too.

The Toyota started life as an '89 4WD pickup, with the 22RE inline fuel-injected four-cylinder mill. Since Jon is the owner of All-Pro Off-Road, the Toyota rockcrawling specialists, he wanted a truck that would work well while spotlighting All Pro's products. Through numerous incarnations, the truck slowly lost body panels and frame pieces while adding mechanical mods to help it in the rocks. Jon loaned the truck to another rockcrawler who rolled it five times in one event a few years ago, sparking the biggest changes as the truck was repaired.

About the only part of the truck that has remained stock is the reliable 22RE engine. Behind it, an R151F five-speed transmission from a Toyota turbo pickup was installed, as well as a 23-spline Advance Adapters' dual-case transfer case adapter and a ProCrawler 23-spline 4.7:1 T-case. The dual cases allow just about any gear ratio to be chosen from a dead-slow crawl in the rocks to highway speeds. Tom Wood's driveshafts get the power to both the frontend and rearend.

The frontend is an All-Pro 60 hybrid unit, with a 4130 chrome-moly 'housing, high-pinion Toyota third member, and Dana 60 outer ends. The third member houses 5.29:1 gears and a Detroit Locker. A Howe hydraulic ram assist was mounted up front on the 'housing to help directional changes in the rocks. The rearend is a custom All-Pro 4130 chrome-moly axlehousing, with All-Pro 4340 chrome-moly axles and an All-Pro rear disc-brake kit. The Toyota third member houses 5.29 gears and a Detroit Locker as well.

The frame of the truck first disappeared in the back to be replaced by tubing. The rest of the frame has now been replaced by tubing, also. The All-Pro 4130 tube chassis is lightweight and strong, affording easy mounting points for the suspension. For suspension, Jon chose to go an interesting route. Up front, an All-Pro 2-inch buggy leaf suspension was installed. Some of you may wonder why leaf springs were used, but, believe us, once you see this truck work, all questions will evaporate. The leaf packs stabilize the truck, and the buggy leaves allow great articulation. Bilstein 5100s handle damping chores. In back, a custom All-Pro four-link suspension with Bilstein 7100 coilovers (18 inches of travel) was installed, and 39-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires were mounted on OMF bead-lock wheels.

The '89 body was destroyed long ago, so Jon installed fiberglass '00 Toyota Tacoma skins. The fuel cell installation and custom fabrication work was performed by All-Pro's Mike Schoffstall. While this truck never gets stuck, a Warn 8,000-pound winch was installed up front, along with a Masterpull winch rope to help others.

The truck amazed us during the photo shoot. It's stable at almost any attitude and can climb unbelievable angles easily. While it's no Tiny, Jon's daily driver is the best-working Toyota pickup we've ever seen and it shows how anyone can build a superb rockcrawling truck with off-the-shelf parts. We've said it before and we'll say it again: bad dog, good dog.


All-Pro Off-Road
Hemet, CA 92543

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