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For the past several months Super Duty Headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, has been working one very special project—a full-custom, double-throw-down pre-runner for non-other than Jesse James. Yes, that Jesse James.

TOYOTA STEERING SOLUTIONS

While early Toyota trucks are a great foundation, they do require a few modifications to make them capable of serious off-road use. Sure, you’ll need the basics, such as larger tires, lower gears and some kind of traction-aiding device in the differentials, but first there is a more important issue at hand. The steering on these early Toyota trucks was not designed with hardcore off-road use in mind.

Are You Master of Your Terrain?

Ok, you’ve lifted your rig so you can put those big tires on, and you take it out on it’s maiden wheelin’ trip. The first thing you notice is how the terrain seems to guide the tires while fighting your biceps. If this sounds familiar then you probably have manual steering. Many of the older rigs on the trail only came from the factory with a manual steering box. There are several options to remedy the manual steering blues. Upgrading to a power steering setup is the most basic route, then there are a number of companies specializing in hydraulic ram setups. There are also many combinations using common power steering boxes in addition to a hydraulic ram assist. With the vast variety of power steering system components available, the possibilities are quite endless.

Toyota RF1A Level Up

The gear driven RF1A Toyota transfer case found in 1979-1995 4 cylinder pickups and 4Runners fits the needs of many wheelers. It offers a strong, lightweight package with growing aftermarket support. These transfer cases have been used in numerous pickups, 4Runners, buggies, and even Jeeps! Everything from dual transfer case adapters, low range gear sets, twin sticks, and low profile crossmembers are available for Toyota transfer cases from a bevy of aftermarket sources. The RF1A is lighter and less expensive than a Dana 300, though they are not as easy to “clock” and do not allow front wheel drive operation.

Beyond the Lift: Navigating New Heights with Upgraded Steering

Steering is one of the two most important systems on any vehicle, along with the brakes. Unfortunately, steering is often neglected for modifications that yield more visual impact, such as suspension lifts and larger tires. These are the exact modifications, however, that make attention to steering so important. Suspension lifts can alter steering geometry while big, heavy tires may cause increased wear to steering components, particularly if the tires are out of balance.

After a springover conversion was performed on the Dana 44 front axle in our ’67 Toyota Land Cruiser, the new spring location interfered with the steering geometry. The draglink was then bent as a temporary fix, but this sacrificed strength and resulted in poor steering angles.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Artec Industries NEW Bantam Series Bumpers

Artec Industries, specializing in designing and manufacturing high-quality off-road components for Jeep, Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Scout, or Custom vehicles, is known for its innovative designs, quality reputation, fast shipping, and exceptional customer service. Founded in 2003 by Artie Nuttall, the company has a mission to provide world-class aftermarket automotive parts to off-road enthusiasts and to break the mold on what has been done in the industry. Artec’s relentless dedication ensures that it consistently exceeds customer expectations and earns their trust through unparalleled service.

THE RIGHT WAY

Join installer Eric Leopold as he meticulously upgrades a white ’04 Tundra with a Street Scene (SS) Speed Grille. Follow along as he navigates the challenges, highlighting the careful process of installation, and witness the transformation of this well-converted street truck in Atascadero, California. Discover the ‘rightest’ way to upgrade with precision and attention to detail in this step-by-step showcase. Photos included for a closer look at the seamless transformation.

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Oh-So-Fine MR2

As I was walking around the NOPI Nationals looking for cars to feature, this one stood out from the masses. What surprised me even more is that it stood out in a very impressive Toyo Tires booth. That is not an easy location to score. Toyo always has one of the hottest booths at NOPI and Hills MR2 literally stole the show.

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