The Toyota Tacoma is a truck that has earned the respect of many people that enjoy off-roading. A quick search on YouTube will show that people have converted the pickup truck platform into rock-crawling machines, a camper, and even into overlanding off-grid adventure machines. Recently a YouTube channel called Terra Crew came across a Tacoma that seems tough enough to be a Baja Pre-Runner. Thankfully, they shared their time with the truck and the owner for everybody to see on a video.
1999 Toyota Tacoma
The start of this project is a bit disturbing. The owner bought the truck with unknown mileage. The odometer had stopped working at 130,000 miles. It stayed broken for five years. So, nobody can even guess where the mileage is at the time of filming. Additionally, the previous owner had installed a supercharger at some point. But, when he was selling it he disclosed the engine had a knock in it.
The mileage and engine knock are things that would make most purchasers walk away from the Toyota Tacoma. However, the new purchaser considers himself handy and has the funds to take the truck to specialty shops too. So, he bought the pickup as a project he would build or rebuild into a Baja pre-runner type of truck, showing it some needed love.
The size of the project build is pretty impressive. The project Toyota Tacoma underwent significant changes with the exterior, interior, and suspension. Basically, nearly everything was touched.
Nearly everything on the Toyota Tacoma was touched
Wheel travel, of course, is key in the Baja type of set-up for this Toyota Tacoma. So, the engine cage was rebuilt to support the heavy-duty suspension bracing needed for the lift, big tires, and shock systems. The widened stance, of course, dictated widened fenders front and aft. The end result is 17-inches of wheel travel.
The front of the Toyota Tacoma received a custom bumper with a skid plate and some off-road lighting pods attached to it. Inside there is a roll cage to protect the occupants if things go wrong.
The pre-runners of yesteryear usually had a spare-tire and maybe a fire extinguisher in the bed. This Toyota Tacoma, however, had bed modifications that are a bit more involved. Walking toward the rear of the vehicle, one will get the sense that this project was an all-out build. The spare tire and fire-extinguisher are there. However, there is an extra-large racing fuel-cell mounted in front. Folding marine seating for two and a trunk bin that is also built into the roll cage.
The Toyota Tacoma’s rear-end was toughened up. Out came the Tacoma unit, and a Tundra rear-end was installed and re-geared. The suspension there was also modified to allow for extra wheel-travel.
This pickup truck is not a poser
Overall, the 1999 Toyota Tacoma looks the part of a Baja pre-runner. But, looking the part and playing the part are two different things. So, to make sure this pickup is not just a poser, the owner decided to show off a bit of the truck’s capabilities.
An elevated loading dock served as the perfect place to see the articulation and absorption of the suspension. So, the Toyota Tacoma is then seen in the video jumping off of it. Smooth is the word that best describes the truck’s performance on the landing. Yet, the most astonishing thing about this vehicle is how far some love and attention have brought it.