Ah, it's that time again. It seems like just yesterday we were building a giant red, heavy, Chevy Avalanche for last year's Ultimate Adventure trip, and now this year's trip is coming around the bend, and we're hoping to head out with a little less bulk.
We know many of you are wondering what ever became of the Ultimate Avalanche after the story "Avalanche Goes Home" (Dec. 2003). We promise that within the next few months we'll give you a complete rundown of its current state, but for now let us introduce this year's project, Ultimate Taco.
We decided that we wanted to try something smaller this year. Though the 9,000-pound Avalanche made a big impression (pun intended), we decided that a mini-truck would be an interesting direction for 2004, and when it comes to mini-trucks, Toyotas make some of the best (our 1986 Toy Clampy just can't be killed), so we decided on a Toyota Tacoma. Plus, we thought we'd try to keep this year's rig a little more within reach of the average Joe or Jane. We'll still be pushing the envelope, but others have tried almost everything we will do to the rig, and hopefully this will keep us in the truck and not under it with wrenches in hand.
Finally, our biggest goal is to keep the weight down, so much so that Pw and I have been restricted to just a few Coronas and tacos a week and a healthy regimen of sit-ups (I think we can both do about 15 now before we need to rest with a cold one and some chips). With some simple, strong, and lightweight upgrades we should be able to head down the trail for UA and have a really good time wheeling.
This month we address some lower gearing for our 2001 Tacoma, but tune in next month when we tear into the suspension and start building some protection.