Before becoming involved with race-dezert.com and starting the Dezert People Video Series I raced MDR and VORRA in the 7 open class. I raced in the mid to late 90's usually 4 or 5 times a year. Eventually I decided to start filming races instead of racing myself and only took the race truck out for fun. I sold the race truck toward the end of 2002 and decided to put the money into a prerunner that I have wanted to build for a long time. I decided on a Toyota T100 and found one in December of 2002. It was a 2wd 1995 with the 3.4 V6. The T100's are larger than a regular Toyota and not many people have built them. So this was perfect for what I wanted to do.
In the project subsections below you will see the entire build of my truck from start to finish. Or at least to the point it's at now. I still need to have the body painted, interior finished and drop a V8 in it someday. All of those will be shown here as well.
Check back often for updates to the subsections below. They will also be open for you to post questions in.
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December of 2002 is when I found a used 1995 2wd T100 with the 3.4 V6 and an automatic. It had just over 200k miles on it and I paid $6500. The truck was very clean, never driven off-road. I tried finding a wrecked truck but T100's are hard to come by.
The early 3.4's had a head gasket recall like the 3.0 so I had that taken care of first along with having the timing belt changed.
Before buying the parts and materials I needed to figure out my goal with this truck. What type of suspension would I build, what material, what size shocks, etc. I decided I would do it right the first time and cut the frame off at the firewall and from the back of the truck. Build a 4-link rear suspension and a custom a-arm design for the front. A couple of advantages I had was this isn't a race truck and not my daily driver. So I could take my time to build it right.
Next I needed to figure out what parts, materials and additional tools I had to buy to get started. When I built the race truck I had a Lincoln SP125. I definitely wanted a better welder before I got started. I found a new Miller 175 on Ebay for $675 that came with everything but the bottle. We already had a JD squared tubing bender. I bought a cheap $40 tube notcher from Harbor Freight. Those work 100 times better than a grinder.
All of the suspension components would be built with chromolly and most of the cage out of DOM. I delivered my race truck to the buyer at the 2003 Laughlin race. After that I went to El Cajon and picked up all the materials with my trailer. I paid about $1600 for DOM, 4130 tubing and also 1/8" chromolly plate for the lower 4-link arms. This was over 2 years ago, I know it would cost allot more for the materials now.
Then I headed up to Camburg where I picked up my shocks, air bumps, uni-balls, heims, ordered my Beard seats and my rear end. Jerry (Camburg) had always helped out with good prices on parts when I was racing and did the same when I told him about the new truck I was building.
Next I talked my good friend Josh into letting me use a section of his shop to build the truck in. A 30'x50' building is much nicer than the small garage at the house I was in at the time. I parked the truck and started tearing it apart.
First I pulled the bed off, the front fenders and the hood. ( I appologize for the lack of pictures and quality of them early on in the build )
I also stripped out the interior including the entire dash. We carefully removed the windshield and the rear glass but later found a crack down the center of the windshield. It must have got hit with something while sitting in the shop for so long.
This is the only picture I have of the rear end before welding on the gussets. I decided to go with a Speedway Engineering full foating 9" with 35 spline axles.
more coming soon....
Last edited by Curtis Guise; December 21st, 2005 at 23:17.
It is good to see someone giving the T-100 the recognition that it deserves. I myself have a 96 2wd T-100, and have been building it for my desert toy as well. I have installed a LT front end, and glass front and rear, plus some other little things here and there. Keep up the good work brother, and good choice on the right Toyota to build. See you in the desert.
The first step was to figure out where I needed to cut the rear of the frame off. To do this I made the mounts for my lower control arms of the 4-link. Then I could cycle them up to see where they needed clearance. I ended up cutting the frame right behind the lower 4-link mounts. A cross tube was put in behind those mounts off of the frame and that is where the upper 4-link mounts are built (I will have another section about the rear suspension components). You can see how this was finished in the picture to the right.
After cutting the frame I started building the main section of the rear cage. I got an aluminum 45gal fuel tank that used to be on Mark Newhan's Chevy and it already had the lower cradle built for it. He changed to a different fuel cell before racing the 1000 a few years ago. The overall design of the rear section of my truck was inspired by Mark's Chevy.
DOM 1.75" x .120 tubing was used for the main tubes.
Next I started on the interior cage. The rear hoop was first and that would give me a place to start on the down tubes out the top of the cab. And the tube accross the middle will get tied into the rear cage where my shock mounts will be.
In the picture to the right you can see where I added the 1.5" x .120 down tubes in the interior cage.
Here is a picture after I put in the front section of the interior cage. The front a pillar down tubes go through the floor right to the stock frame. Right next to that point is where the front section of the frame gets cut off later.
The steering wheel in the picture is a Grant with a quick release that I picked up from Off-Road Warehouse. I cut the splined collar out of the stock steering wheel and welded it to the adapter for the quick release. I also had to drill and tap the steering shaft so I could bolt the adapter to it.
Here is more of the interior cage and a shot of the rear cage after I added more cross tubes. The X over the cell is 1.5"x.120 DOM. I also mounted the air bumps and put in the tubes that I will build my rear shock mounts off of.
Pictures and details of the front of the truck will be in the front suspension section.
Last edited by Curtis Guise; December 22nd, 2005 at 15:08.
interested to see your A-arm setup. have you considered using an 86-95 4wd spindle converted to a lift spindle?
I had Mark Newhan build the front suspension and used his old spindles he built that were on his Chevy. Click here
And here are a couple of pictures before it was done. He modified the top mount on the spindles and it wasn't done in this picture. The spindle had to be taller and he made it a verticle uniball mount.
and I also attached a couple of pictures when after I painted and assembled everything.
I will have more details and pictures once I write the front suspension section.
Before starting the rear cage I built the rear suspension components so I could figure out where to cut the stock frame off. The lower control arms for the 4-link were built from chromolly 1/8" plate and 1-3/4" tubes that were evenly spaced the full length of the arms. I used 1-1/4" heims on each end and the threaded sleave connects to the 1-3/4" tube on the inside of the arm at each end. TIG welding was by Josh of Johnson Bicycles in Antioch, CA. The upper links are 1-1/2" x .120 4130 with 7/8" FK heims at each end.
To prevent the lower arms from twisting and destroying the shocks I replaced the lower heims in the shock mounts with custom delrin bushings that I made on the lathe. This shock mounting method and lower arm design has been used for years by Mark Newhan and Stewarts Raceworks but the design was originally conceived by Jon Nelson in 1993 while building "Arnold". Jon's arms had allot more shape to them and all the pieces were cut with a band saw. Mark's reason for building them the way his (and mine) are is to cut fabrication time and with the straight cuts you can have the pieces easily sheared to size.
The Speedway Engineering 35 spline full floating 9" (purchased through Camburg) needed gusseting and mounts for the suspension. I clamped the housing to a large piece of I beam we had laying around before welding to it.
I used 1/4" chromolly plate to make the upper shock mounts. I used a torch to heat it up enough to put the bend in the plate. The upper section above the shock mounts was made from 1/8" plate. It took allot of time to make all of the pieces fit right.
4" bump stops and a Speedway Engineering sway bar. 1-1/4" .188 wall. I turned out delrin bushings on the lathe for the sway bar and used aluminum arms from Speedway. The splines stripped out at the 1000 in November so we built custom 4130 arms. I will post pics of those once they are installed. Limit straps are from Offroad Warehouse.
Pictures of the finish rear suspension. 25" of travel.