I'm a noob here...
I'm a Gen 1 Tacoma owner and I'm going to turn my beloved Taco into a project truck sometime in the near (or maybe not so near) future. What I'm starting to do is some research to make determinations on my design and build goals.
The first thing I'm stating is that I would like to keep the body close to stock, at least for the sake of a passing review. Second, I would like to use as many off-the-shelf, and ideally OE or direct OE replacement, parts as possible. Thirdly, I would like it to be capable of being a frequent (not quite daily though) driver. Fourthly, I would like to keep the vehicle as efficient and operationally economical as possible so I don't want to overbuild and overpower.
I'm currently assessing my past, present, and desired future off road usage to understand my specifications. Occasionally, I need to bear a load over long distances. Sometimes it's a short trip. In any case most of my offloading isn't "just to off road" but to get somewhere hard to access.
Should I stay with a spec frame, or should I build a new frame? I can shed weight by building tube frame out of 4130, but I would lose some of the desirable aspects of a carbon steel.
What should I consider with my drive line? I would like to stay IFS, as that's a lot less of a "custom" solution and is advantageous at higher speeds on unimproved roads, but I would also like some of the benefits of a SAS (clearance, articulation, durability, simplicity). Transfer case: i would like the broad gearing possibilities of dual TCs, but I don't want to add weight.
There's so many questions to ask, and i've only hinted at scratching the surface...
All I can say is that I'm not building a purpose built racing vehicle, crawler or mudder. But I would like to move around with some speed, ascend a moderately rock strewn hill, and go through more than just a 6" deep mud patch.
I'm going with my Tacoma because she's been very good to me and I'm very attached to the Gen 1 extra cab body.
I'm looking gather information about what other people have done with their trucks, for what specific purposes, and how were the results.