More Dirt Cheap Fun '86 Toyota Pickup Episodes

More Crawler Hauler Izuzu Flatbed Episodes

XOR - Xtreme Off-Road Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Essentially Off-Road
4-Link, Kit, Universal
The Industrial Depot
The Industrial Depot - Fasteners, Hardware, and Shop Supplies
Trail Gear Inc.
Spring Hanger Kit, Hanger kit allows of hanging of leaf springs on 1986-1995 Toyota Pickups and 4Runners
Trail Gear Inc.
Super Flex Front Leaf Springs

Episode Transcript

(ANNOUNCER)>> YOU CAN'T BEAT A SOLID FRONT AXLE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE IN THE DIRT. TODAY ON XTREME OFF ROAD WE BREAK OUT THE BLADE ON OUR

BUDGET TOYOTA FOR A SOLID AXLE UP FRONT AND FOUR LINK IN THE REAR. WE'LL HELP YOU PICK THE RIGHT WELDER AND GET YOUR GARAGE READY FOR A 220 VOLT SETUP.

PLUS A CHEAP AND UNIQUE CRAWLER HAULER.

(IAN)>> TODAY IN THE XTREME OFF ROAD SHOP WE'RE GONNA START THINGS OFF BY JUMPING FEET FIRST BACK INTO A PROJECT THAT WE'RE CALLING DIRT CHEAP FUN. NOW THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS RIG IS TO GET OUT IN THE WOODS, TEAR UP SOME DIRT, CRAWL OVER SOME ROCKS, AND CLIMB SOME HILLS FOR THE LITTLEST AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WE NEED TO SPEND. NOW WE STARTED BY PICKING UP OUR PROJECT VEHICLE, THIS 1986 TOYOTA PICK UP WE FOUND IN A FIELD WITH WEEDS ABOUT THAT HIGH.

TUCKED IN BEHIND AN OLD SHOP WITH A BUNCH OF OTHER TOYOTAS WE FOUND THIS DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. AFTER WE FILLED UP THE TIRES AND HAULED IT, WE PULLED IT HOME. ONCE BACK IN THE SHOP, WE CAME UP WITH A PLAN FOR OUR TRUCK AND BUDGET AND STARTED TEARING IT APART. THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS WAS TO REBUILD OUR ENGINE. NEW PISTONS, RINGS, BEARINGS, OIL PUMP, AND TIMING SET WILL MAKE OUR POWER PLANT AS GOOD AS NEW.

AND THEN WE FINISHED IT OFF WITH A COAT OF PAINT. NOW TODAY WE'RE GONNA DEAL WITH THE SUSPENSION ON THIS TRUCK. AND WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT OFF ROAD SUSPENSION UPGRADES TO THE TOYOTA MINI TRUCK, THE FIRST THING THAT'S GOING TO COME UP IS A SOLID AXLE SWAP ON

THE FRONT END OF THE RIG. SEE FROM THE FACTORY THESE TRUCKS HAVE INDEPENDENT FRONT SUSPENSION. THAT MEANS AS YOU DRIVE DOWN THE ROAD THE TIRES MOVE INDEPENDENTLY OF EACH OTHER, GIVING YOU A NICE, SMOOTH RIDE ON THE ROAD. BUT THAT DOES GIVE YOU SOME LIMITATIONS WHEN YOU'RE OFF ROAD. THE TIRES DON'T MOVE AS FAR, SO IT LIMITS YOUR ARTICULATION, AND THERE'S A LOT OF MOVING PARTS THAT ARE MORE PRONE TO BREAKAGE. THAT'S WHY WE USUALLY DITCH IT ALL AND REPLACE IT WITH

THE OLDER SOLID OR LIVE AXLE. NOW THE SOLID AXLE DOES MEAN THAT THE TIRES ARE GONNA MOVE TOGETHER WHEN YOU'RE ON THE ROAD, AND THAT'S GONNA GIVE YOU A LITTLE BIT ROUGHER RIDE, BUT THAT TRADE OFF IS WELL WORTH IT FOR THE UPGRADES THAT YOU'RE GONNA GET WHEN YOU'RE OFF ROAD. THE TIRE CAN ARTICULATE MORE, THERE'S LESS MOVING PARTS, AND IT'S A LOT STRONGER.

THERE'S A COUPLE OF WAYS TO PERFORM A SOLID AXLE SWAP ON A TRUCK LIKE THIS. WE CAN GO IN HERE AND SURGICALLY REMOVE ALL THESE BRACKETS THAT HOLD THE IFS PIECES ON, CLEAN UP THE FRAME RAIL, AND SPEND ABOUT A DAY CUTTING AND GRINDING JUST TO GET TO A STARTING POINT. NOW THERE'S ANOTHER WAY AND IT'S ACTUALLY

A LITTLE BIT FASTER. AND IT SOUNDS LIKE MORE WORK, BUT IT'S NOT. WE'RE GONNA CUT THIS FRAME RAIL RIGHT BACK HERE AND REBUILD THE ENTIRE THING STARTING FROM SCRATCH. BUT BEFORE WE CUT, A FEW MEASUREMENTS HAVE TO BE TAKEN. THE CENTER OF THE FRONT AXLE, LOCATION OF THE BODY MOUNTS, AND THE LOCATION OF THE STEERING GEAR NEED TO BE RECORDED.

THEN WITH THE SWAY BAR UNBOLTED, THE FRAME RAIL IS CUT AND THE FRONT END ROLLED AWAY.

THE NEW FRAME IS BUILT BY USING SOME TWO BY THREE THREESIXTEENTHS WALLED STRUCTURAL RECTANGULAR STEEL. ONCE I HAVE IT TACKED TOGETHER, I CAN TRIM IT

TO FIT THE PROFILE OF OUR TOYOTA'S FRAME. MAKE SURE IT'S LEVEL, CROSS MEASURE FOR SQUARE, TACK IT IN PLACE AND ADD A GUSSET.

NOW NORMALLY I'M NOT A FAN OF GRINDING THESE WELDS SMOOTH LIKE WE'VE DONE HERE ON THIS FRAME RAIL

UNLESS YOU CAN GET IN BEHIND AND BACK IT UP WITH A SECONDARY PASS. AND YOU CAN'T DO THAT WITH A FULLY BOXED IN FRAME LIKE ON OUR TOYOTA.

THE REASON I'M KNOCKING THEM DOWN HERE IS BECAUSE JUST BUTT WELDING THIS FRAME TOGETHER IS THE FIRST STEP IN FINISHING OUT THIS JOINT. WE NEED TO CUT OUT WHAT'S CALLED FISH PLATES. I'VE MADE SOME TEMPLATES, WE'LL CUT THEM OUT OF THREESIXTEENTHS INCH PLATE, AND BASICALLY BRIDGE THE GAP OF THAT WELD BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE FRAME. THAT'LL STRENGTHEN IT UP AND MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T HAVE A FAILURE RIGHT AT THIS JOINT WHERE WE'VE ADDED OUR NEW FRONT FRAME SECTION. BUT BEFORE I DO THAT I NEED TO MOCK UP THE REST OF OUR SOLID AXLE SWAP SUSPENSION. NOW WE GOT A SPRING HANGER AND LEAF SPRING KIT FROM TRAIL GEAR OFF ROAD. NOW IT COMES WITH TWO NEW LEAF SPRINGS, ALL THE HARDWARE AND THE BUSHINGS, AND A FRONT SPRING HANGER THAT WILL LOCATE THE SPRINGS IN THE FRONT. THE NICE THING IS THEY INCLUDE THESE LITTLE TEMPLATES THAT'LL SLIDE OVER THE TOYOTA FRAME RAIL AND GIVE US THE LOCATION WE NEED TO CUT TO PUT IN OUR SWING SHACKLE BUSHING.

WITH THE FRONT HANGER MOUNTED TO THE FRONT OF THE FRAME, THE SPRINGS ARE HUNG AND THE FRAME IS PREPPED FOR THE SWING SHACKLE BUSHING.

(ANNOUNCER)>> COMING UP, FOUR LINK REAR SUSPENSION FOR MAXIMUM ARTICULATION.

(IAN)>> NOW ON THE FRONT END OF OUR RIG WE DITCHED THE IFS AND REPLACED IT WITH LEAF SPRINGS. ON THE BACK END OF OUR TOYOTA WE ALREADY HAD

LEAF SPRINGS, BUT WE DON'T WANT THAT. INSTEAD WE'RE GONNA INSTALL A TRIANGULATED FOUR LINK SUSPENSION TO GIVE US MORE ARTICULATION. NOW JUST LIKE ON THE FRONT END, WE'RE GONNA CUT A HUGE CHUNK OF THIS FRAME OFF AND THROW IT IN THE TRASH. WE WILL THEN LOCK THE AXLE IN PLACE TO BUILD ALL OF OUR FOUR LINK MOUNTS. AND OBVIOUSLY WE'LL HAVE TO RELOCATE THIS FUEL TANK BECAUSE IT'S GONNA GET IN THE WAY OF OUR NEW SUSPENSION COMPONENTS. BUT THAT'S OKAY, WE'LL JUST PUT A FUEL CELL IN THE BED

AND THAT'LL BE A LITTLE BIT SAFER THAN WHEELING WITH A LUMPY OLD STOCK TANK.

THE TANK IS REMOVED AND TWO TEMPORARY ONE BY ONE BRACES WILL LOCK THE AXLE IN PLACE WHILE WE CUT OFF THE BACK OF OUR FRAME.

[ metal cutting ] [ hammer hitting metal ]

OUR FOUR LINK KIT IS A UNIVERSAL DO IT YOURSELF KIT THAT WE GOT FROM ESSENTIALLY OFF ROAD.

NOW IT'S ONE OF THEIR LIGHT DUTY KITS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR RIGS LIKE OUR TOYOTA. IT COMES WITH A SMALLER BUT STRONG ENOUGH HEIM FOR OUR APPLICATION, THREE QUARTER BY THREE QUARTER. IT INCLUDES ALL THE JAM NUTS AND THE TUBING ADAPTERS, AS WELL AS ALL THE BRACKETS THAT WE'RE GONNA NEED TO

PUT TOGETHER A SINGLE TRIANGULATED FOUR LINK IN THE BACK OF OUR RIG.

NOW THEY DO ALSO INCLUDE SOME DOM TUBING TO BUILD YOUR LINK BARS WITH. BUT IF YOU WANT TO SAVE A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY ON SHIPPING, YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND JUST SOURCE YOUR OWN DOM AND PUT THE KIT TOGETHER IN YOUR SHOP. NOW SINCE WE HAVE THE AXLE LOCKED INTO PLACE WITH THOSE PIECES OF ONE BY ONE TUBING, ALL I HAVE TO DO NOW IS WELD ALL THE BRACKETS ONTO THE FRAME AND BUILD SOME LINKS.

WHEN INSTALLING A CUSTOM FOUR LINK ONTO AN EXISTING FRAME, THE MOUNT LOCATIONS ARE LIMITED. OUR LOWERS WILL ATTACHED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE MAIN FRAME RAIL 40 INCHES AHEAD OF THE AXLE CENTER LINE. A NEW CROSS MEMBER IS WELDED IN FOR THE UPPER MOUNTS 30 INCHES AHEAD OF THE REAR AXLE.

THE CENTER LINE OF THE REAR AXLE WAS MARKED, AND THE UPPER LINKS WERE INSTALLED.

TO MAKE SURE BOTH UPPERS ARE AT THE SAME ANGLE WE'LL

USE AN ANGLE FINDER. THE LOWERS WILL MOUNT AS CLOSE TO THE OUTSIDE EDGE OF THE AXLE HOUSING WITHOUT CONTACTING THE TIRE. IN THIS FOUR LINK SYSTEM THE LOWERS TRAVEL DOWN AT AN ANGLE OF NINE DEGREES AND THE UPPERS AT SIX. THE UPPERS ARE 70 PERCENT OF THE LOWERS IN LENGTH, AND THEY HAVE A SIX INCH VERTICAL SEPARATION AT THE FRAME AND EIGHT INCHES OF SEPARATION AT THE AXLE, PERFECT NUMBERS FOR A GOOD WORKING TRAIL TRUCK.

NOW ON OUR REAR FOUR LINK YOU'LL NOTICE I DIDN'T PUT

ANY SPRING OR SHOCK IN YET, AND THAT'S BECAUSE WE'LL BE

TYING THAT INTO THE TUBE BED WHEN WE PUT THE BODY BACK ON AND BUILD IT. NOW YEAH WE GOT A PILE OF WORK DONE, BUT THERE'S STILL MORE TO DO. THIS CHASSIS IS JUST IN WHAT'S CALLED MOCK UP STAGE. NOW IS WHEN WE TEAR IT ALL APART AND FINISH WELD ALL THE TABS AND BRACKETS IN PLACE AS WELL AS OUR FISH PLATES UP FRONT FOR OUR SOLID AXLE SWAP. THEN WE CAN CLEAN IT UP, GIVE IT A COAT OF PAINT, AND BOLT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER.

NOW WE MADE A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT OF MONEY SO FAR TODAY. BELIEVE IT OR NOT THE REAR FOUR LINK FRONT SOLID AXLE SWAP CAME IN JUST ABOUT $1,100. NOW THAT IS A SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT, BUT WE HAVE NEW SUSPENSION ON THE FRONT AND BACK OF OUR RIG. PLUS THERE'S A SILVER LINING IN ALL THIS. REMEMBER THAT FRONT CLIP THAT WE CUT AND ROLLED OUT OF THE WAY IN ONE PIECE? WELL I CALLED THE GUY WE BOUGHT THE TOYOTA OFF, TOLD HIM WHAT WE HAD. HE SAID HE'D GIVE US $100 BUCKS CASH AND

COME PICK IT UP. SO THAT LOWERS OUR TOTAL RIGHT TO $1,000. TOTAL INVESTMENT SO FAR IN DIRT CHEAP FUN, $1,500 BUCKS.

(ANNOUNCER)>> UP NEXT, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN SHOPPING FOR A WELDER.

(ANNOUNCER)>> NOW SHOP TIPS FOR STRONGER, SAFER WELDS.

(IAN)>> THIS YEAR WE WANT TO HAVE AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT WELDING. NOW IF THERE'S ONE THING THAT'S COMMONPLACE IN THE WORLD OF EXTREME OFF ROAD, IT'S THE ABILITY TO STICK TWO PIECES OF METAL TOGETHER WHEN YOU'RE BUILDING YOUR RIG. NOW THERE'S A LOT OF INFORMATION TO COVER ON THE TOPIC OF WELDING, CERTAINLY MORE THAN WE COVER IN A SINGLE SHOW. SO WE'RE GONNA SPREAD IT OUT OVER THE ENTIRE YEAR AND GIVE YOU EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN SMALL SEGMENTS.

THE FIRST DECISION YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO MAKE IS WHAT KIND OF WELDER TO BUY. THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS OUT THERE. THERE'S 220 VOLT MACHINES, THERE'S ALUMINUM SPECIFIC WELDERS, DO IT YOURSELF WELDERS, EVEN WELDERS THAT ARE POWERED BY SMALL BATTERY PACKS THAT ARE PORTABLE SO YOU CAN TAKE THEM OUT ON THE TRAIL. BUT HONESTLY WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT BRANDS AND ALL THE DIFFERENT OPTIONS YOU NEED TO MAKE A

VERY SIMPLE DECISION. YOU HAVE TO DECIDE BETWEEN A LARGE PROFESSIONAL SERIES 220 VOLT WELDER, OR A SMALL 110 VOLT KIND OF LIKE A DO IT YOURSELF MACHINE.

AND HONESTLY THAT DECISION GETS VERY SIMPLE TO MAKE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TYPE OF STEEL THAT YOU'RE GONNA WELD. WHEN YOU'RE BUILDING AN OFF ROAD RIG, YOU'RE GONNA BE WORKING WITH MANY DIFFERENT THICKNESSES OF STEEL. AND HONESTLY IT'S GONNA BE A SLIPPERY SLOPE. WHEN YOU FIRST START THE PROJECT YOU MAY BE WORKING WITH SOME THINNER MATERIAL, MAYBE SOME 120 DOM OR SOME 16 GAUGE STEEL PATCHING IN A FLOOR PLATE, BUT THEN EVENTUALLY YOU'RE GONNA END UP BUILDING A CUSTOM AXLE

ASSEMBLY, AND YOU'RE GONNA NEED TO BE ABLE TO WELD HALF INCH THICK WALLED DOM TO ACCOMPLISH THAT TASK. AND THAT'S WHERE THE TWO CLASSIFICATIONS OF WELDERS

REALLY COME INTO PLAY. IT'S BASICALLY TWO NUMBERS YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION

TO, INPUT VOLTAGE AND OUTPUT AMPERAGE.

THE INPUT VOLTAGE IS JUST WHAT PLUG YOU'RE GONNA PLUG THE WELDER INTO, WHETHER IT'S A 110 VOLT OR A 220. THE OUTPUT AMPERAGE WILL DETERMINE HOW MUCH TEMPERATURE OR HEAT YOU CAN PUT INTO THE STEEL TO CREATE A QUALITY WELD, AND THAT'S WHERE YOU NEED THE LARGER OF THE TWO NUMBERS. YOU SEE ON A TRUSS KIT LIKE THIS, THE STIFFENING RIBS ARE ONLY THREESIXTEENTHS OF AN INCH.

SO YOU COULD PROBABLY GET AWAY WITH A 140 AMP WELDER, BUT THE LARGER PLATE THAT SITS ON TOP IS THREEEIGHTHS OF AN INCH THICK.

YOU ARE GONNA HAVE TO HAVE A MACHINE THAT CAN CREST THAT 200 AMP NUMBER TO GET GOOD PENETRATION IN A SINGLE PASS. THAT KIND OF LIMITS YOUR OPTIONS TO BEING A 220 VOLT WELDER. NOW THAT'S NOT A BAD THING, THAT'S A GREAT INVESTMENT. YOU WILL USE THAT WELDER FOR HONESTLY THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. THE DOWNFALL IS MOST GUYS DON'T HAVE A 220 VOLT PLUG IN THEIR GARAGE.

SO YOUR FIRST STEP TO CHOOSING YOUR WELDER IS NOT GONNA BE GOING OUT AND BUYING A WELDER, IT'S GONNA BE INSTALLING A PLUG. IN THE GARAGE WHERE YOU PLAN TO DO MOST OF YOUR PROJECT WORK, HOPEFULLY YOU WILL HAVE YOUR HOUSE'S MAIN POWER DISTRIBUTION CENTER MOUNTED TO THE WALL. IT'S OFTEN REFERRED TO AS YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL. THE FIRST STEP IS TO SIMPLY OPEN IT UP AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE TWO EMPTY SLOTS INSIDE THAT PANEL. THAT WAY YOU CAN INSTALL A 50 AMP 220 VOLT BREAKER TO SUPPLY POWER DOWN TO THE PLUG. IF YOU DO HAVE TWO EMPTY SLOTS, PERFECT. YOUR NEXT STEP IS ACTUALLY A PHONE CALL. CALL YOUR LOCAL CODES DEPARTMENT AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET AN ELECTRICAL PERMIT BEFORE YOU TAKE THE COVER OFF OF THIS BOX. THAT'LL JUST MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE DOING IT CORRECTLY, SAFELY, AND MORE IMPORTANT, LEGALLY. NOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE TWO EMPTY SLOTS, YOU NEED TO DETERMINE WHAT MODEL OF BREAKER YOU NEED. AND IT'S WRITTEN RIGHT ON THE BREAKER, YOU CAN READ IT. JUST WRITE THAT DOWN AND THEN IT'S TIME TO GO SHOPPING. NOW YOU CAN BUY EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT A BIG BOX STORE, BUT OFTEN THE SMALLER MOM AND POP TYPE ELECTRICAL STORES WILL BE ABLE TO HELP YOU MEET YOUR LOCAL CODES. NOW WE PICKED UP A 50 AMP DOUBLE PULL BREAKER, SOME SIX GAUGE WIRE, AND A WELDER PLUG FOR OUR INSTALL. ( )>> THIS SHOULD FIX YOU UP SIR.

(IAN)>> PERFECT, ALRIGHT, ONCE BACK AT THE PANEL AND

WITH THE POWER TURNED OFF THE FIRST STEP IS TO RUN THE WIRE INTO THE MAIN ELECTRICAL PANEL AND SECURE IT. THEN THE PLUG IS MOUNTED TO THE WALL. BOTH THE FEEDER LINES AND THE GROUND WIRE ARE SECURED TO THE LUGS, AND THE BREAKER IS INSTALLED INTO THE PANEL. NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE 220 VOLT 50 AMP PLUG WIRED UP IN YOUR GARAGE, YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND INVEST IN A LARGE PROFESSIONAL SERIES TYPE MIG WELDER. AND IT HONESTLY IS THE BEST OPTION OF YOU'RE GONNA DO A

LOT OF OFF ROAD VEHICLE BUILDING. THIS WELDER CAN BE SET UP TO HANDLE MATERIAL AS THIN AS 22 GAUGE SHEET METAL OR AS THICK AS HALF INCH WALL DOM.

PLUS THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER FEATURES THAT YOU'LL REALLY APPRECIATE WHEN YOU BECOME A MORE PROFICIENT WELDER. NOW YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED WHEN I WAS WIRING UP THE PLUG, I TOOK CARE OF EVERYTHING INSIDE THE PLUG BUT LEFT THE TWO FEED WIRES INSIDE THE PANEL LOOSE AND

NOT HOOKED UP TO THE BREAKER. NOW IT'S BECAUSE BEFORE YOU DO THAT YOU NEED TO CALL YOUR ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR, HAVE HIM COME IN, SIGN OFF ON ALL OF YOUR WORK. ONCE HE HAS YOU'LL BE ALLOWED TO HOOK THESE TWO WIRES UP TO THE BREAKER, FLIP THE SWITCH, AND YOU'LL BE READY TO WELD.

(ANNOUNCER)>> COMING UP, A MOST UNUSUAL TOW RIG.

(IAN)>> IF THERE'S ONE COMMON THEME ACROSS EVERYTHING THAT WE'RE GONNA BUILD HERE IN THE XTREME OFF ROAD SHOP, THAT IS THAT WHETHER IT'S A HARDCORE TUBE

BUGGY OR A LOW DOLLAR WHEELER, THE BEST WAY TO THAT RIG TO YOUR FAVORITE WHEELING SPOT IS GONNA BE WITH A TOW RIG AND A TRAILER. NOW GETTING A TOW RIG AND A TRAILER, IT'S NOT THAT HARD. JUST POP DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL CAR DEALERSHIP, SIGN A GREAT BIG BILL, STOP OFF AT THE TRAILER STORE AT THE WAY HOME, AND BUY YOURSELF A NICE NEW TRAILER. BOOM, YOU'VE GOT YOURSELF A TOW RIG. BUT WHAT FUN IS THAT? THAT'S JUST LIKE GOING GROCERY SHOPPING. NOW IT'S GONNA BE THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE'S TOW RIG THAT YOU SEE IN THE PARKING LOT. WHAT IF YOU WANTED A CUSTOM TOW RIG? SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT LIKE WE DO

HERE AT XTREME OFF ROAD? WELL BELIEVE IT OR NOT I'VE FOUND THE PERFECT TRUCK.

THERE ARE SOME PLACES IN THE OFF ROAD NATION THAT ARE SO ICONIC YOU ONLY HAVE TO REFER TO THEM BY ONE WORD OUT OF THEIR TITLE.

PLACES LIKE RUBICON, MOAB, BAJA, AND DAKAR. THE DAKAR RALLY STARTED IN 1978.

IT'S A MULTISTAGE MULTIDAY EVENT THAT ORIGINALLY WENT FROM PARIS, FRANCE TO DAKAR, SENEGAL. NOW THE RALLY TAKES PLACE IN SOUTH AMERICA, IN ARGENTINA AND CHILE. OVER A TWO WEEK PERIOD AMATEURS AND PROS CROSS SOME

OF THE TOUGHEST TERRAIN YOU WILL FIND IN THIS ONE OF A KIND OFF ROAD ADVENTURE RACE. AND THE COOL THING ABOUT THE DAKAR RALLY IS HOW THE PIT SYSTEM WORKS.

YOU DON'T SET UP PITS ALONG THE RACE COURSE. THE PIT CREWS ARE ACTUALLY IN THE RACE IN VEHICLES CALLED TFIVES. THEY'RE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS LORRIES OR CAMIONS, AND THEY'RE HAULING THE GEAR FROM PIT TO PIT ON THE EXACT SAME COURSE THAT THE RACE CARS ARE. SO WE THOUGHT, THAT'S PRETTY COOL. A TFIVE CAMION OR LORRIE WOULD BE A PRETTY NEAT TOW RIG TO HAVE IN THE XTREME OFF ROAD SHOP AND THAT IS WHAT WERE GONNA BUILD.

NOW YES, THIS LITTLE ISUZU IS WORSE FOR WEAR. THE CAB AND CHASSIS HAVE A QUARTER MILLION MILES ON THEM, BUT THE MOTOR AND TRANNY HAVE ZERO BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE. IT'S BASICALLY A PERFECT BLANK CANVAS FOR US TO BUILD OUR VERSION OF AN ICONIC DAKAR RALLY RACING TRUCK. NOW WE HAVE SOME PRETTY BIG PLANS FOR THIS TRUCK. WE'RE GONNA CONVERT IT TO FOUR WHEEL DRIVE AND ADD A MONSTER DIESEL POWER PLANT. WE'LL PUT A FLAT BED ON THE BACK AND ADD A BUNCH OF STORAGE. EVEN ROOM FOR FRESH WATER AND A GENERATOR, ALL THE TOOLS WE'LL NEED TO KEEP OUR VEHICLES RUNNING WHEN THEY'RE ON THE TRAIL. BASICALLY THE ULTIMATE FOUR WHEEL DRIVE CRAWLER HAULER.
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