2001 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner - Project Venture ToyPosted in How To on March 1, 2009 Comment (0)
Project Venture Toy
Our Tacoma project is moving forward with the rear of the truck sitting on new leaf springs and a D60 rear axle. This month we turn our attention to the front suspension.
All-Pro Off-Road has been building Toyota-related parts for about a decade and we chose to try out their Taco Supreme solid-axle swap kit. The setup comes with all the necessary bracketry and hardware to rid a Tacoma of its independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and put a coilover-sprung live axle in their place. A full set of suspension links is provided and the kit uses Walker Evans coilovers to provide a supple ride and a wide range of tuneability.
Our first step was to torch off all the IFS bracketry and grind the frame rails clean in preparation for our new front axle and suspension. We positioned the Solid Axle D60 on jackstands and began the process of lining things up and checking measurements. The All-Pro kit is designed to work specifically with the company's custom Toyota/D60 hybrid axle, so we had to make some modifications to mate the links and brackets to the Solid Axle Dana 60.
The link brackets were tack-welded in place and everything was adjusted to align the axle and check for clearance. We found we had to deviate from the All-Pro instructions in our case to accommodate the much larger pumpkin of our D60. After getting components in the locations we thought would work well, we cycled the front axle up and down and articulated it to check for clearance between the links, axle, frame and oil pan.
Was it easy putting this axle under a Tacoma? Well, no. Getting the bulk of this axle to clear everything, provide good up-travel, and still keep the truck down to a decent ride height took some careful placement and repositioning of the parts to make everything fit well. We think we're there and the results should be worth the effort. The All-Pro kit is well designed and the hardware provided is all high quality. The components fit well and are mostly easy to align and assemble. Our difficulties arose from our deviation from the axle it was designed for.
Follow along with the photos to see more details of the process we took to go from a meek IFS rig to one with a much more capable suspension and room for some bigger tires. With the front suspension installed, it'll soon be time we get this Tacoma on some wheels and tires, and present its new stance. Check out the next installment of Project Venture Toy to see our choices along with our progress on more steering and brake components.