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2001 Toyota Tacoma TRD

Vehicle Stats:

Vehicle: 2001 Toyota Tacoma TRD, Supercharged, 4-door
Engine: Toyota V-6 with TRD supercharger
Transmission: Auto (now converted to 5 speed)
T-case: Upgraded to gear driven case
Axles: F-250 high pinion 44 front, 60 rear, 4 wheel disc, 5.38’s, ARB’s, 59”
Tires: 37 x 17 x 11.50 boggers on Weld 17” wheels
Suspension: Allpro 5” front springs with Alcan 8” rear


When Ryan called Beau and I at the shop and told us what he wanted to do, I didn’t believe him. When the deposit came to start building the axles, I knew it was for real! He wanted a high pinion 44 front and a 35 spline 60 rear. I found some cores and got to work!


The Project: (Click the icon for photos)

The front started as a 78 ford f-250 housing. I stripped it, sandblasted it, and cut it down to 59” wide.  With this width, I was able to use a Wagoneer long side alloy shaft, and a Scout short side alloy shaft.

We put Spicer 760X u-joints in, and Chevy stub shafts. Chevy flattop knuckles were machined and installed, along with 6 lug Chevy outers with warn locking hubs. The pumpkin was stuffed with 5.38 gears and an ARB.

The rear 60 came from the same 78 ford truck.  The full floater ends and 30 spline guts were tossed in the junk pile. All that was used is the housing. It too was sandblasted and prepped.

OEM spicer 5.38 gears were stuffed into it, along with a 35 spline ARB locker.  Billet ford 9” big bearing ends were welded on.

After that, a Custom set of flanged Dutchman, Chromoly, 35 spline axle shafts were installed.  The disc brake setup was built by WFO. It uses chevy 1/2 ton rotors and calipers, with a bolt on bracket. A line lock was opted for the e-brake.

With the axles sitting on the shelf, all I could do is wait for Ryan to show up.

When Ryan showed up with this truck, I couldn’t believe we were about to cut it up.  It looked like it just left the showroom floor. It only had 23,000 miles on it.

With the supercharger and 31” tires, it hauled ass! Anyhow, Ryan was set on cutting it apart. We took one last picture and rolled it in. After disconnecting the battery, out came the plasma cutter!

Before long, we had a pretty large pile of unwanted parts.  We even pulled out the V-6 rear with the factory E-locker.  The pile of factory crap was piled up and junked.

The first thing we did was the rear end.  We wanted to get it up on the rear tires so we had a height to shoot for in the front. We kept the forward leaf spring brackets, and cut off the rear ones. We made custom shackle hangers, and used 5” greasable Rubicon Express shackles. The 8” Alcan springs looked like they were going to be stiff, but ended up being REALLY soft!

After adapting the rear brake line to standard threads, we made a custom stainless steel braided brake line. After that, the passenger side shock bracket was re-located, and the lower mounts were welded on the axle, along with the spring perches.

After cutting everything out of the front, we did a little bit of grinding. Then we dropped the oil pan and replace it with a 2wd T-100 pan. The dipstick and pickup tube were also changed.

The firewall was then opened up and adapted to bring the steering linkage out to the front. An IFS 4 wheel drive steering box was then mounted on the frame.  We moved it as far forward as we could, and mounted it with an Allpro mounting kit.

All bolt holes going through the frame were sleeved. A stock IFS pitman arm was then punched out and sleeved to accept the Chevy double pivot draglink end. With as much height as we needed, all we had to do was weld our shackle mounts to the bottom of the frame. The frame was plated with 1/4” steel and gusseted before we did this.

We also used the greasable Rubicon Express shackles in front. We made a custom box drop to achieve the correct height.

With the truck sitting on all 4 tires, it was time to finish up the little stuff. We rolled it outside and flexed it, in order to get the correct shock, brakeline, and bump stop locations.

The front brakelines were re-used by drilling out the banjo ends to fit the Chevy front calipers. Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks were bolted in on all 4 corners. In the front, we bent custom shock hoops, and in the rear, one bracket was moved so that the shocks were not opposing each other any more.

To keep good handling characteristics, the factory sway bar was also adapted to the front axle with disconnects.

For the steering, we decided to just go crossover. We wanted to make it drive and handle as good as possible. We used a WFO tall crossover arm with Double pivot Chevy draglink end. After the steering was hooked up using the factory power steering lines, we built a track bar, making sure the angle matched the draglink.

The last thing to build was the drivelines. The rear output flange on the t-case was re-drilled and machined to accept a big hole pattern Toyota flange. A custom 1 piece driveline with a 1330 rear u-joint was built.

The front driveline started with a Toyota flange as well, but mated to a Spicer long slip yoke and a 1330 u-joint to the front axle. The front cross-member was cut and modified to fit the new driveshaft.

After a little paint and some gear oil, Ryan jumped in his truck and headed home. 2 days later he drove 400 miles to Palm Springs. He says it drives and handles great! With a front track bar and a sway bar, it is extremely safe to drive.

Ryan drives the curvy highway 1 every day, and has no complaints. The only thing he has changed is the transmission. The combination of the coastal mountains and a supercharger, proved to be too much for the auto transmission. After two transmissions, Ryan converted to a 5 speed.