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Viking-Built: An Arctic Trucks–Built 2017 Toyota Tacoma on 44s

Posted in Features on August 10, 2018
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Arctic Trucks Iceland has been an innovator in the design and re-engineering of modern 4x4 vehicles for polar exploration and travel for over 30 years. So when the company was asked to transform a stock ’17 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Pro into a one-of-a-kind rig on 44s, they were both qualified and eager to oblige.

Gisli Jonsson, director of engineering at Arctic Trucks, was put to the task of building something extra special for the client, who had envisioned a truck that could be used as a daily driver and be capable of traversing glaciers on weekend off-road adventures. Gisli and the team at the Arctic Trucks “Special Projects” shop in Reykjavik worked vigorously for the next eleven months to accomplish this goal.

Work began by disassembling the rig, and then the company began building a custom frame using a chromoly, fully boxed design that was sandblasted and powdercoated. From there, the vehicle underwent significant alterations, including a series of body mods so that big 44-inch tires could be fitted.

In the end, Arctic Trucks created a Tacoma that can handle the toughest terrain that Iceland has to offer. Read on to learn more about this amazing truck.

Up front is a modified IFS with a stronger Toyota LC200 (Land Cruiser) 8.7-inch diff sporting 4.88:1 gears, 33-spline axleshafts, and an ARB Air Locker. Suspending the rig is a coilover setup consisting of a pair of remote-reservoir Fox 2.5 shocks and Eibach coil springs with neoprene covers. Additionally, there is a pair of Fox 3.5 five-tube external bypass shocks. Gisli also installed custom shock mounts and A-arms, as well as an LC200 rack-and-pinion steering system. The front of the rig is protected by two skidplates—one is a high-density polyethylene plastic, the other is 1/4-inch-thick aluminum.
Here you can see some of the front suspension components. Visible is one of the remote-reservoir Fox 2.5 coilover shocks with its Eibach neoprene cover and one of the Fox 3.5 five-tube external bypass shocks.
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 44x19R17 tires were designed as a collaborative effort between Nokian Tyres and Arctic Trucks—specifically for extreme winter conditions. The tires are mounted to 16-inch-wide Arctic Trucks steel wheels. Alcon aluminum brake calipers and slotted rotors help rein in forward velocity.
Gisli left the functional and stylish interior mostly stock, including the factory leather seats. However, a Hytera VHF radio, Síminn mobile phone, Garmin GPS, and custom fuel gauge have been added.
Don’t be surprised to see the factory 3.5L V-6 under the hood of this Viking-built rig. It’s powerful enough to roll the big 44s on the road and trail as it produces 278 hp at 6,000 rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. Power from the engine is transferred to a six-speed automatic transmission, while exhaust gases are expelled through a dual 2 1/2-inch stainless steel exhaust that was custom-made by Arctic Trucks. The engine is fed from a pair of custom 24-gallon fuel tanks.
The front fiberglass fender flares were custom-made by Arctic Trucks. Each 10-inch-wide flare is bolted and glued in place on each front fender. Almost all of each factory front fender has been removed. The fenders are open from the inside of the hood and into the fender flares and out through the back, next to the door for increased underhood ventilation. Each flare has a unique back panel that flexes when the front doors open and close. The rear flares are similar in design to the front and bolt on to the standard bedsides, which have mostly been removed. The front bumper has been trimmed and has a hidden steel bumper inside that holds a mounting plate for the Warn Zeon 8 winch.
Out back there’s a Toyota LC200 9.5-inch differential with 4.88:1 gears, an ARB Air Locker, and 32-spline axleshafts. The custom axlehousing has a mount for the upper three-link bar. The rear of the truck is suspended by a pair of remote-reservoir Fox 2.5 coilover shocks with Eibach coil springs. The remote reservoirs for the main shocks as well as the Fox 3.5 five-tube external bypass shocks are in specially designed aluminum boxes inside the bed.
Lightforce LED Driving Lights were installed to illuminate the night.
Custom aluminum storage boxes were designed to mount the reservoirs for the rear Fox 2.5 coilover shocks and the Fox 3.5 bypass shocks. The rear boxes also hold an ARB On-Board High-Performance 12-Volt Twin Air Compressor, a 12V auxiliary power outlet, tie-down points, a fire extinguisher, and recovery equipment.

At a Glance

Vehicle: ’17 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Pro
Owner: Arctic Trucks Iceland
Stomping Grounds: Reykjavik, Iceland
Build Time: 11 months

Engine: Toyota 3.5L V-6
Transmission: Aisin AC60F 6-spd automatic
Transfer case: Aisin VF2CM 2-spd
Low range ratio (s): 2.57:1
Crawl ratio: 45.1:1
Front axle/differential: LC200/8.7-in, 4.88 gears, ARB Air Locker
Rear axle/differential: Toyota 9.5-in, custom axlehousing/4.88 gears, ARB Air Locker

Front: IFS, remote-reservoir Fox 2.5 coilover shocks, Eibach coil springs with neoprene covers, Fox 3.5 five-tube external bypass shocks
Rear: Three-link, remote-reservoir Fox 2.5 coilover shocks, Eibach coil springs with neoprene covers, Fox 3.5 five-tube external bypass shocks
Steering: LC200 rack-and-pinion

Tires: 44x19R17 Nokian Hakkapeliitta
Wheels: 17x16 Arctic Trucks steel

Cool stuff: Custom fiberglass fender flares, dual valve stems, custom front and rear tow hitches, Warn Zeon 8 winch, Lightforce lighting

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