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1998 Toyota Tacoma Xtracab - Baja Taco

Posted in Features on July 23, 2013 Comment (0)
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As the owner of All-Pro Off Road, Jon Bundrant has owned and built many Toyota vehicles. He loves them all but reserves a special place for 1995-2004 Toyota Tacoma pickups. Jon decided to build this 1998 Tacoma Xtracab into a competent North American backcountry-exploring rig he could use to visit his favorite outback spots.

While an engine swap is in the Baja Taco's future, for now, it still has the reliable 2.4L Toyota I-4, OE Toyota five-speed transmission, and Toyota transfer case, along with a Marlin Crawler TacoBox. The TacoBox is a 2.28:1 HiLux low-range gear reduction box installed between the transmission and transfer case. Marlin was the pioneer and designer for Toyota low-gear reduction systems. His parts don't fail, adding tremendous reliability and versatility to the Baja Taco.

The Tacoma IFS front pumpkin has 5.29 gears and an ARB Air Locker. The OE Tacoma rearend has 5.29 gears and an ARB Air Locker, as well.

For the front suspension, Jon chose Total Chaos Fabrication's long-travel front upper and lower 4130 chromoly A-arms with UniBall that replaces the upper ball joint for maximum wheel travel. Fox coilovers with Eibach coils and Fox bypass shocks work well handling the Baja Taco's increased weight. In back, All-Pro's excellent 3-inch Expedition leaf springs are damped by Walker Evans 2.5 reservoir shocks. This suspension allows 35x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires mounted on Walker Evans 17x8 beadlock wheels to be run with no problems.

What complete the Baja Taco are the All-Pro bumpers, racks, and armor. An All-Pro front winch mount bumper easily carries a Warn XD8000i winch. All-Pro 80-inch rock sliders with their signature "kickout" design keep rocks at bay. The All-Pro rear tube bumper wraps around the rear quarter-panels, so the complete truck is protected. All-Pro Off Road's Pack Rat modular rack system mounts in the bed and holds an ARB rooftop tent and everything else Jon and his family might need in the backcountry.

The Baja Taco's mixture of cargo carrying capacity, rock crawling armor, and suspension make it a unique truck. Stripped of its Pack Rat system, it can crawl with the best. With the Pack Rat installed, it allows comfortable backcountry exploring for as long as Jon wants to stay out.

Specifications
Vehicle: 1998 Toyota Tacoma Xtracab
Owner/Hometown: Jon Bundrant/Corvallis, Montana
Engine: Toyota 2.4L I-4
Induction: MPFI
Transmission: Toyota five-speed manual
Transfer case/low range ratio: OE Toyota with Marlin Crawler TacoBox/5.86:1 total gear reduction
Front end: Toyota IFS
Rear end: Toyota Tacoma
Ring and Pinion: 5.29:1
Front Differential: ARB Air Locker
Rear Differential: ARB Air Locker
Suspension: Total Chaos long-travel with Fox coilovers and bypass shocks front/All-Pro Expedition leaf springs with WER shocks rear
Tires: 35x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Wheels/Backspacing: 17x8 Walker Evans Racing beadlocks/5 inches

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