Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fly to Water Expeditionary Vehicle

During some of my recent off-blog time, the build has been continuing on the 2nd generation TroutSnatcher. This rig started life as a Toyota Tundra TRD Rock Warrior, but as is all too common with "stockers" it wasn't yet a keeper and needed to grow up.

OEM-edition pickups tend to be immensely practical. While seated in the driver's position you can generally reach down and access ground-dwelling forbs and berries without the hassle of a dismount. The downside of practicality is that you are frequently mistaken for the driver of a Subaru Brat or Chevy El Camino, neither of which are known for staggering off-road capabilities.

The first order of business in this case was to eliminate what I call the Tutu Effect. Due to a variety of boring reasons, stock trucks tend to have wheels and tires that are slightly recessed into the fenders. When viewed from the front or rear, this creates a silhouette not unlike a ballet dancer in a tutu - bulbous at the hips and tapering down to a more narrow profile where the rubber meets the road. Good for a pliƩ, not so good for a 4x4.

To rectify this situation I added a set of XD 798 Addicts in an 18x9 size, with a more appropriate offset to fill out the wheel wells and widen the stance slightly. Wrapped around the alloys are 35-inch ProComp Extreme A/T tires, which I've used several times in the past. I have found these meats to be a very happy medium between reasonable highway ride and off-road performance.

Fly to Water Rock Warrior Tundra - Rear

Fly to Water Rock Warrior Front Quarter

Getting enough air under the rig to clear the bigger rolling stock was accomplished with a ProComp 6-inch suspension lift.

Changing the wheel offset results in having about 2" of rubber outside the fender. Some states frown on this condition and may issue an equipment citation - but it also causes road debris to flip onto the painted body panels. It's well worth adding a set of Bushwhacker Pocket-Style Fender Flares for a little extra coverage, as well as the assurance the truck will pass a safety inspection.

Finally there's a set of powder coated N-Fab Nerf Steps, which provide both rocker panel armor as well as making entry/exit more convenient given the Tundra's higher cruising altitude.

Fly to Water Rock Warrior Rear Quarter

Next on the list: Cold air intake and exhaust upgrades.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Graham - this should get the gear to the fishy water.

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  2. Not a Ford, but still a very nice truck. JGR

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  3. JGR: There was a small misprint in your comment...

    Not a Ford = A Very Nice Truck.

    Thanks for the comment man.

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