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2001 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner - Project Venture Toy - Tech

Posted in How To on July 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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Our Tacoma project truck is up and running with its new 4WD conversion and drivetrain, some stout axles, and some good sized tires. While we like the visibility and openness of a pickup bed a lot of times, it can be unappealing having all your camping supplies exposed to the elements when rain or snow arrives. We decided on adding a Bestop Supertop to our bed. These soft top "campers" install easily without any body drilling and can keep the gear in the bed less exposed to prying eyes and keep it from getting wet. Plus, the top easily folds forward on the bed or can be removed should we need to haul something large or we temporarily need greater access to the bed.

We started on the tail of the bed by making a rough cut across the rear fender to trim the bed skirt up to near even with the lower edge of the tailgate and frame rail height. This allowed us to get rid of low hanging sheet metal and get our bumper up higher.

Other than the rear tail trim, we decided to leave the bed the full 6-foot-length to leave us good room for hauling camping gear for longer trips. We fabbed up some mounts for our Hi-Lift jack, added some weatherproof storage, and secured our spare tire, Powertank, and cooler in the bed.

We had some body armor to finish up, so we bent some more steel and fashioned a rear bumper from some more 1-3/4-inch-round tube. We trimmed the rear fender skirts and tucked the bumper up high for clearance.

Follow along as we walk you through our upgrades for Project Venture Toy for this month. Next time you see our new rig, it will be out on the trails.

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