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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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how to build a toyota, solid axle, rock crawler thread.

time to wake this place back up. share what we have learned. the little things that are really big things, money savers, what really worked and what didn't. I am not really sure WHERE to start. so I will just start.
this is for us poor boy's that can't just send it to the shop and tell them what we want. some mods are expensive, some are worth it and others are not.

Input is welcome, flaming is not.

what have you experienced in building your toy.. and share.

Rock Sliders.. this should be the first on the list. because once you crush that door frame and the door won't open, or close well... that sucks.
buy or make good one's. leave at least 1/4 inch between the slider and the body. it will still hit, dent a bit, but the door will still work.

don't go cheap, go alcans, all pro, or better, cheap springs suck. trust me you will save money spending extra money on springs.

stay low, cut metal if needed for tires.


really don't worry to much, only the first big dent hurts.

go low with lockers the first time. 5.29's are the gears for toyota axles.

the toyota rears are way strong unless you are running over 40 inch tires and a v8 motor, and are heavy on the skinny peddle.

you life depends on these, keep your brakes adjusted, working, ebrakes.. you can buy or use the newer drum pivot with your older, 79 to ?? e brake levers. the ones that suck have the steel sleeve mounted in a pot metal mount.

there is alot of talk of the fj40 disk and the ifs calipers. for the 85 trucks. don't waste your time or money. just replace the master cylinder with the later 1 inch master and brake booster, first... the other requires that you carry too many extra parts.

alot of stuff here.
cross over.. I run sky's and like it. the tie rods are way heavy, buy extra tie rod ends.
birfields are good up to 33 inch tires with respect.
above 33 inch tires you will break birfields. the next and really only step are the 30 spline longs with the hub gear that they sell, other wise the warranty is void if you strip the spines on the end of the longs as the birfield didn't fail.
right now that adds about 180 bucks to the up grade.

a 8 inch pipe cap cut in the yin yan pattern is a great diff protector and you get two of them for about 30 bucks and some torch work.

diff plug.. and if you are a rock crawler, get the low profile and weld it in.

Steering,, you need cross over. the 85 push pull is ok with up to 3 inches of lift but even then when the front tire on the drivers side drops. you will not be able to turn left. just how the push pull steering works. the J arm is a weak link and will or can break in this situation. then you are hosed... because you have to change the arm and you are most likely in a really bad place to do that...

cross over steering you really do need to plate the frame where the box mounts. you will want to mount the box high and forward. the frame is to thin to take the forces that you will be putting to it.. trust me, mine broke.

hydro assist is not hard and this is a good time to do it..
surplus center has everything. if there is a big interest I can post up the part numbers.. I did it for my wife, no more did the steering wheel tear out of her hands. and she could turn in places that she could not before, and do it with one hand.
it runs around 200.00 maybe 250.00 after you buy the taps, cooler stuff like that. it was so awesome I put it on my truck also and just love it.

all pro, front range, all offer good transfer case mounts.. but I went with bud built and had not been disappointed. the others leave the transfer case open to the rocks. we have beat the crap out of the bud built ones and it protects the transfer. trust me, I have dropped my truck onto the bud built so hard my teeth hurt.. but no damage to the truck. I have had people turn and look.. (with that look)... lol.. it is awesome,, tell bud I sent ya.


winch and bumper..
these will get you through about anything.. I could not find any bumper that I liked so I made one.. we are running a warn 8000 and a gorilla 8000 with in cab controls and love them.. a good winch is way awesome when you need them. I had a mile marker and burned up the motor.
the motor was more then the winch.. ok,, 50 bucks less... I didn't fix it.

bumpers, well they must hold your winch, I wanted mine to look nice. but could not find any that were less then 1200.00..!!!!!
to me they all were to thick, stuck out to far, or were just made of tube.. I know that some like tube bumpers.. I didn't..
so I figured this out and made this.

tucked in there pretty nice.

depends on the winch, but dual in cab, and bumper controls are really nice, and cheap if you buy two switches and mount the controller up under the hood. the not cheap part are the wires.. copper prices. that alone was 80 bucks.

bobbing the bed, it is easy when you just do it.. I have a write up on it if you are interested in increasing your departure angle. saws all, some screws. a welder.
yeh,, the welder I have is a Hobart 180, flux wire. best, cheapest, do what I want in the drive way welder that I could figure out at the time.

transfer case,
you can do duals, single with marlins 4.7's, inch worm.. just print out and follow the instructions TO THE LETTER.

drive shafts.
I bought the UBBER long travel slip joint for my truck 200.00 had a drive line shop make the drive shaft. 200.00 more. last all of one trail..
I made a square one for the wifes. 45.00 and about 3 hours time. I bet 14 inches of slip. we only really use 4x4 on the trail. so no problem with vibs.. she even drove it on the road with it locked in and said there were no problems.. so you can make your own with hitch tube and a welder for about 45 bucks. I made her rear drive shaft out of schedule 40 pipe.. that is about 1/4 inch thick. it vibrates. so we only drive 55 to 60 on the road, it is not that bad. so once and a while we will hit the high way for 75 mph driving. she has about 2000 miles on it like that and so far the seals are holding up.
She has (barber polled it) walked the truck side ways on it, and it is still holding up just fine. cost... about 60 bucks and the stock drive shaft.

Ok so here is the start,, questions, input are welcome..

Last edited by missouriman; 12-20-2008 at 03:46 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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oh,,, please note, the gravel in the drive way. all these mods were done in a gravel drive way. not some pretty shop with lifts, and a million dollars worth of machinery.

so I am looking for the (good old boy stuff). Toyota's are awesome.

so I am not looking for Chevy swaps.. just toyota mods.. with toyota parts, or toyota after market parts.

so sorry but I don't want your 350 Chevy, ford transfer cased, dana 60 axle. truck that maybe has a toyota body on it. this is a toyota only thread. and I am a mod...
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:27 AM
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Wow..... How are you suposed to wake this place up when you answered all the questions....?


"Hiking is just walking where it's ok to pee.....
Sometimes old people hike on accident....."

89 4Runner "The James Caird" Yeah, I named it.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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moving the front axle forward.
there are several things.
the first is the drive shaft, it will have to be longer.
the shock mounts will take about 3 inches before you have a problem.
the stock axle on the pass side has the extra hole. you just have to drill out the drivers side mount this will move it about 1 and 3/8 inches forward.
cross over with out bump stops will still hit your oil pan. so you will need to make some. when measureing remember that the front axle moves backwards when compressing. you will need these with your lift. you DO NOT want to have a hole in the oil pan. and you are trying to stay as low as possible.
flex your truck after moving the axle forward and get out the tape measure. mark on the frame where you are going to put in the bump stop.
leave an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inch compression of the rubber part of the stop.

now that you have your bump stops in place, put a tie wrap on your shock. go flex it up again or go wheeling. now you can often move your shock mount down. you can use or flip the rubber mounts. you are looking for the down travel.
for toyota's don't go for much more then 14 inches on the shocks with leaf springs.

reason for moving axle forward, and bump stops.

reason for down travel...

you can see that the tire is almost in front of the bumper. these are cheap 12 inch shocks.
I droped the bump stops 2.5 inchs and still put a dent in my oil pan from the cross over steering.

Last edited by missouriman; 12-20-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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it is all about side wall strength. some flex really well but the side wall is easy to cut, water makes this much worse.
unless you have the pockets for the crawlers, the next and I think they are still the best are the swamper sx. steel belted. mud, rocks, snow, sand, they are awesome. it helps to cut the big lugs in half. there are many write ups on how to cut them. but remember it is a balance on traction and how long you want them to last. I would not recommend them for a daily driver as the very nature of the beast they wear fairly fast, they also have a memory. if you leave your truck sit for a few weeks the flat spots are ugly when driving. it only takes about 5 miles for that to go away. but you sure don't want an open coffee cup in the holder!!.
I don't have bead locks and have not lost a bead even down to 5 psi. 8 inch wide rim with 12.5 inch tire mounted on it.

so that a side I think the sx's are the tire for toys.

rims, I have 2 inch back spaced rims and I think they are the ones that you want. my 36 inch swampers just touch the springs at full turn.

as we all like to air down at the trail head. I looked at many things. pulling the valve core... well that sucker shot over my shoulder and was gone. thank goodness for the one in the spare tire. using the screw on adjusters. well I am chatting as the thing let all the air out...
I wanted to air down fast. and I wanted to be able to measure the pressure at the same time.
so I came up with this. they are air compressor drain valves, I mount them on the other side of the rim from the valve stem. they are 1/4 inch NPT threads.
you can get them at Lowe's for about a buck each. 30 psi to 5 in about 30 seconds with 36's. so you have your gauge on the valve stem and open this valve and there you go.. I have a cheap pressure gage 30 to 0 psi, mounted to a filler fitting, to measure the pressure as it go's down

I don't know how many times at the trail head I have had folks come up and ask how I aired down so fast. then copy me.
I came up with this many years ago, posted it up and some guy copied my and posted it on pirate. so now it was his idea. he didn't grab the glory.. just how things went.

edge of rim peal back...
built them but have not tried them yet. With a 36 inch swamper, how out of balance can they be?
not the best example, usually the whole lip is twisted back into the tire.

Last edited by missouriman; 12-20-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2008, 08:09 PM
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Thats a good idea. cheap and easy.. I kill my rims.

88 YJ SOA2.5" 2"BDY Locked F/R Chevy 4.3 NVG241OR 4.56's 36x12.50
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Bed bob..

there are so many ways to do it, there are alot of good posts out there.
here is how I did it...

first figure out how short you want to go and mark it.

it looks dumb but do it.

once you get your measurements from the out side... and remember to look under the truck you have to at least leave the spring mounts to the frame.. for leaf sprung trucks.

drill a small hole and transfer the lines to the inside of the bed.

use tape to get the line straight, but then us a marker and pull the tape off.
saws all and tape makes a mess.

choose your weapon of choice, I used a saws all.

measure, measure measure.. then go for it.. your first cut.
make sure all wires are out of the way.

clean up the next 4 to 8 inches because you will be cutting this into mounting strips, about 2 inches wide.

now look back at how weird it looks

I prepped the frame for the rear 3.5 inch tube bumper.

clean up the next 4 to 6 inches of steel to cut into strips.

the strips that you cut and saved above.

line them up and screw them down, this took about 50 small sheet metal screws.

you have to leave a small area at the bottom of the box for the tail light part to slide in.. the corners that is.

cut out this part for fitment over the frame.

now the tail light part up over the bottom part and out side the bed sides.

this is where you will see why you clean up and cut the metal into 2 running strips. or maybe you want 3.. heck you are cutting out over 10 inches of bed. only takes a few minutes to cut extra strips.

drill your holes to snug the joints as you screw them in.

not bad,, bed looks ok,, but front fender cut sucks. more saws all.

this is the rear bumper that I came up with.. I think it was 3.5 in pipe. I could just make a fist inside of it.
I wrapped the upper and lower frame metal that I left earlier on around it and welded.

re cut the front fenders to look better.

I measured the fenders before I cut them to weld a little piece of pipe. the pipe had a nut welded on the inside of it.. I welded this to the cab. I hope the pictures make sence of that.

next post is painting the truck..... My wifes truck and her pink camo that she wanted.... ( some of you know the story behind this, there for a while I gave her what ever she wanted, thank you all for being there for me and her.) those of you that don't know it was a tough time. And I still give to her what ever she wants...she knows this and doesn't abuse it, she knows that I am there for her, and you guys too.... really,,, she wanted to know what you guys said, what you were posting ... (thanks people.).

Last edited by missouriman; 12-20-2008 at 03:54 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Pause... she doesnt know any of you. I don't know any of you. but the support from all of you has meant the world to both of us.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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paint, this is spray can... if you don't like it don't try it.. don't comment.

, my wife showed me that with the off road trucks it doesn't matter.
she wanted hers to be FUN and WOMEN. she wanted all the boys to know that she a girl just whopped their butts on a trail.
uh,, me I plan on 3 or 4 shades of blue..
but here is hers, ace hard ware, wal mart, 4 or 5 shades that she picked out.

the first step is to remove, tail lights, head lights, blinkers, running lights, anything that is easy to remove that you don't want painted.

the next step is to tape up everything else that you don't want painted.
take your time, this is supposed to be fun.... go with the 1/2 inch painters tape.. then follow with the 3/4 inch painters tape.. the blue stuff.
new papers for tires and running boards.. bumpers.. you can shove the little 1/4 inch rope that various places sell under the rubber parts of windows and such.
oh,,, wet sand everything... makes a big difference on how long this lasts.

now that the tapeing is over..... ugggggggggggggggggggg.

so now spray door jams, hood, fender edges with the primary color..

DO something like this.. door frame, hood edges, tail gait..

then turn the love of you life loose with 20 to 30 some cans of spray paint of her choice. It was really fun to watch.. pretty awesome, all I really did was to wet sand it and let her go...

yeh,,, she is happy with it..
more to come.. grin.

lol... the final touch.. just to let guys know they just got their but whooped by a girl..

butter flies... yep.. big time..

it is good, she is having fun.. and that is all that matters.

so what do you think? pretty wild huh?

Last edited by missouriman; 12-20-2008 at 03:55 PM.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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it is kind of funny she is running 34 inch tires, welded rear. 4.7 marlin gears in the transfer case. my home brewed,, with help from many sites power assist steering. longs super axles...

You should see the faces on people when she drives up.. then it is funny as hell when first they snubbed her off... then half way down the trail they are looking under it to see why... why did she just whoop their ass... lol...
she loves that shait so much that she WAY pushes now I am trying to get her a full cage.

Last edited by missouriman; 02-01-2008 at 09:36 PM.
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