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Off-Road Mail - November 2006

Posted in Features on September 19, 2006
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Don't Forget the Trekker!
I am an avid four-wheeler who spends most of my time (and money) building or running my truck. I ran an '82 Toy' pickup for four years but have recently built an '83 Toyota Trekker with 11 inches of lift, front and rear lockers, and 5.29 gears running 38-inch Swamper TSLs. I was sorry to see nothing about the Trekker in the July Toyota Spectacular issue of OFF-ROAD. I would like to know anything you can tell me about these rigs. How many were made? Did they influence the 4Runner that came out in '84? Any info would be appreciated.

Spencer Lindskoog
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

Spencer,We did a bit of research and found that the Trekker was a joint venture between Toyota and Winnebago. Toyota supplied the cab and chassis, and Winnebago cut the back cab wall and fitted a fiberglass rear section to it. Trekker production began in 1981 and ended with the introduction of the '84 4Runner which hit the market in late 1983. Basically, the Trekker was the experiment that led to the design and production of the 4Runner. You've got a rare truck - roughly 1,200 Trekkers were built, so they're only slightly more common than Easter Bunny sightings. All of the early-model Toyota trucks have paper-thin sheetmetal, so if the Trekker you found has good tin, you're all the luckier. Lottery ticket, anyone?

Bronco's 40th
I am a new subscriber to Off-Road but am not new to off-roading. I started in 1973 after purchasing a new Bronco, which I still have with 56,000 original miles on the clock. I also have three other early Broncos, along with two Bronco IIs. When I saw my first issue of Off-Road, I thought I was going to see a good article on the old Bronco because I connected the "40 years" on the cover to the '66 Bronco, which turned 40 this year. I was somewhat disappointed when I found out that the "40 years" was actually a reference to the age of the magazine. I think a good article on the early Broncos would be appropriate before we get into the 41st year. I do enjoy the magazine though, and look forward to each issue.

Patrick Wiseman
Chrisman, Illinois

Patrick,Stay tuned... we're working on something for next month.

Have Truck, Need Parts
I recently acquired a '74 F-250 crew cab that was built from the factory with very high clearance (like a Super Duty but I don't know what they called it back then). It seemed like a good deal since it has Dana 60s front and rear and a fresh 390 with a hot cam. The problem is I can't find any aftermarket accessories for this truck. I am even having trouble finding stock parts for it. I'm sure they made things for it since '73-'79 F-250 bodies are the same, but there are no retailers that carry any of the old stuff. Is there any place that you are aware of that might be sitting on a warehouse full of '73-'79 Ford truck accessories/parts? I would appreciate any help you can give. Please run more features of '60s and '70s trucks. Thanks.

Cabot Follis
Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Cabot,Good news - your truck isn't a white elephant. You've got a High-Boy, as the factory called it. There are several companies that stock aftermarket or even new old stock (N.O.S.) parts for the '73-'79 fullsize Ford trucks. These include (but are not limited to): Jeff's Bronco Graveyard (www.broncograveyard.com), Dennis Carpenter Reproductions (www.dennis-carpenter.com), '73-'79 Ford Trucks LLC (www.73-79fordtrucks.com), and Blue Oval Truck Parts (www.blueovaltruckparts.com). If you need axle parts, both Dynatrac Products (www.dynatrac.com) and Currie Enterprises (www.currieenterprises.com) can manufacture complete axle assemblies or provide parts for the axles already on your truck.

Finally, although they're not plentiful, there is a handful of ready-made suspension lifts available for your truck, or you can contact Deaver Spring (www.deaverspring.com) for custom leaf packs. Since your truck isn't as common as, say, an F-150 of the same era, you should be prepared to special order many of the parts you need when you visit your local parts counter.

FJ Cruiser Feedback
I was very excited to read the July '06 issue of Off-Road and see the extensive coverage of Toyotas, but I was a little disappointed with the FJ Cruiser article. It seems every article written about the FJ Cruiser or the Land Cruiser starts in the same way with the historical climb up Mount Fuji to Checkpoint No. 6. Not that this isn't a grand accomplishment, but it doesn't make a very original intro. This is a common story which I suppose is very interesting for those who have never read about it before.

My real concern, however, is about some misinformation. Your author states, "Finally, the combination clock/altimeter/compass unit that has been placed directly in the center of the dash serves as a tribute to all of the other Land Cruisers that came before the FJ."

This sort of suggests that the FJ Cruiser is a Land Cruiser, when in fact it is not. The current Land Cruiser offered in the U.S. is the 100 Series, or in other parts of the world the 105 (where they get the solid-front-axle version). The next-generation Land Cruiser will not debut until 2008 or 2009, and it will be completely redesigned. Therefore, I'm not sure this is the torch-bearing vehicle your author refers to in his closing sentence. I'm not saying it isn't a great vehicle - in the off-road world, it is definitely better in terms of off-road ability than the current Land Cruiser Toyota offers in the U.S. But it is not a Land Cruiser, and really the technology used doesn't even stem from the more recent Land Cruiser lineage. However, these are just minor annoyances to someone like me who is a huge Land Cruiser fan. I really do appreciate your efforts to run articles on nondomestic 4WDs and especially the articles on Toyotas.

Eric Vogt
www.tornadoalleycruisers.com

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