Part V: Traction, Turning, And Stopping
As we mentioned previously, we wanted a truck that could tackle some decent off-road terrain and retained good road manners for distance highway driving as needed. It was 37-inch tires that we chose for our Toyota and we shod it with Mickey Thompson MTZ rubber. These tires have an aggressive mud tread and side-biters for traction but are designed with a three-ply angled sidewall to help performance on the highway as well. We mounted the new radials on a set of Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels that had been beadlocked by the builders at OMF Performance Products. They added a beefy bolt-on aluminum outer ring to the alloy wheels to keep the tires on the bead under low pressures.
You'll recall from the last build issue, we installed a Toyota IFS steering box that was tapped with ports ready for hydro assist plumbing. This month we'll show you our further upgrades to the steering setup with the addition of a Performance Steering Components (PSC) pump, reservoir, and one of their assist cylinders. The added steering power will make it considerably easier to maneuver with the 37s and also take some stress off the steering box and front frame structure.
Lastly, it was time we jumped into providing stopping power for the Tacoma. Our Solid Axle D60s came equipped with half-ton Chevy single piston calipers on all corners. We knew the stock Tacoma master cylinder diameter was insufficient for these calipers and we needed one with a larger bore. We chose a commonly available Chevy master and combined it with a dual diaphragm booster unit from another year Toyota. We had to fabricate a simple adapter to mate the two and rework most of the brake plumbing to get everything completed and get the truck stopping again.
Take a look below at some further details for the project additions this month. Check in next time as we progress towards doing some steel work and adding some trail armor.