We first showed you this '04 Tacoma TRD Xtracab 4x4 with a 3.4 V-6 and automatic transmission as the Soft-Shell Taco' in our September '05 issue. It was built to work well both on- and off-road, and it did. All-Pro took the Soft-Shell Taco', swapped and added tasty ingredients, and ended up with the Taco' Supreme, a Tacoma that can take on the toughest trails and still work well on the road when it needs to. The owner of All-Pro Off-Road is world-champion rockcrawler Jon Bundrant. Since this Tacoma belongs to him, he naturally wanted it to showcase all the parts All-Pro offers to turn the Tacoma into a real trail-tamer.
The meat in this tasty Taco' is the Solid Axle Swap kit, which includes everything needed to lose the independent suspension and replace it with a beefy new straight-axle frontend and a three-link, coilover suspension system with Walker Evans 12-inch coilovers. Control arm brackets, coilover frame mounts, frame reinforcements, and a necessary frame-strengthening bracket are included in the kit. An IFS steering box and All-Pro Hy-Steer drag link and tie rod handle steering chores.
Jon also installed an All-Pro chrome-moly hybrid D60 frontend. The frontend is built for clearance and uses All-Pro 4340 chrome-moly axleshafts and F-450 bearings, U-joints, and 1-ton hubs. Custom Wilwood calipers, rotors, and spindles allow the use of six-lug, 15-inch Toyota wheels, although Jon opted for 17x9-inch Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels with OMF beadlocks. An FJ80 high-pinion front differential with All-Pro BTR 5.29 gears and a Detroit Locker was installed.
All-Pro 3-inch rear Tacoma leaf springs with 2-inches-longer-than-stock Tacoma greaseable shackles work with Walker Evans 10-inch reservoir shocks in the back and afford a controlled ride with good articulation and travel. We were especially impressed with the suspension balance between the front three-link coilover suspension and the rear leaf springs and shocks. Everything works as well as, or better than, the factory offering. The Walker Evans shocks' and coilovers' 12-way compression adjusters allow Jon to dial in the suspension perfectly.
The Tacoma rearend with factory E-Locker was retained, although All-Pro BTR 5.29 gears were added. All-Pro installed its Rock Stopper Differential Armor and its nifty E-Locker Actuator Guard to protect those vital parts in the rocks. The stock drum brakes were retained and worked fine during our photo shoot, but we'd like to see a Tacoma rear disc brake kit from All-Pro.
While the V-6 Tacoma with its reliable Aisin automatic tranny (the same transmission used in Jeep XJ Cherokees) and 2.57:1 Low range in the transfer case works well off-road, having some more gearing choices on tough trails is always better. Jon installed a Marlin Crawler MC09 dual transfer case kit with a 2.28 gear ratio that gives him an 85.25 crawl ratio. With the Marlin Crawler dual T-case kit installed, a Tacoma has High two-wheel drive, Low two-wheel drive, Low four-wheel drive, and low Low four-wheel drive. Teamed with the automatic tranny, there is a gear for every need. A high-clearance transfer case crossmember and skidplate keeps the dual cases up out of the way.
A Warn XD9000 winch with Master-Pull winch rope is mounted in an All-Pro Off-Road Tacoma front winch mount bumper. The bumper is situated up out of the way and is very strong. The high-clearance rear bumper is not only out of the way, but it wraps around to protect the Tacoma's vulnerable rear quarter-panels. The Taco' Supreme's bed was bobbed 10 inches by G&S Auto Body in Hemet, California, so there is a lot less bed to protect. All-Pro Rock Guards rocker panel protectors work very well too.
37x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich Radial Mud-Terrain T/A tires were mounted on the 17x9-inch Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels with the OMF beadlocks we mentioned earlier.All-Pro Off-Road's Taco' Supreme is a superb off-road truck. It also works very well on the pavement, making it a true dual-sport vehicle. When we talk about off-road performance, we're not just talking about dirt roads either. This Taco' can take on the toughest trails, whether it's Montrose, Colorado, or Johnson Valley, California. this Tacoma's superior ingredients add up to one tasty Taco' Supreme!
Web EXCLUSIVE Offroad Toyota Tacoma Photos