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Which vehicle would you start with for SAS?

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Old 11-24-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
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Which vehicle would you start with for SAS?

For those who have already performed a solid axle swap for the Tacoma, I have a question:

If you had it to do all over again, and could choose any starting vehicle, which vehicle would you choose for a front solid axle, mostly trail rig?

Would you just start with a vehicle that has a solid front axle -- like a Jeep? Then modify the Jeep for the suspension/axles you want? I've always preferred the engine/transmission of a Toyota to a Jeep, but I must admit, I like that the Jeeps come factory with a linked solid front axle.

Would you start with a 1st generation Tacoma? 2nd generation Tacoma? There seems to be more parts for the 1st gen Tacomas, but there were many with frame rust problems.

Would you start with a non-ADD Tacoma (manual hubs) just to avoid the ADD system? Not that the new front axle would use ADD, but you'd have the vacuum lines, etc to eliminate.

I'm looking to build a trail rig with a solid front axle, and I'm trying to learn from those who have already been there/done that.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #2
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If I were to do it again I wouldn't change a thing truck wise I love my 1st Gen and for a trail rig I think it fits the bill much better then a 2nd Gen unless you have a totaled one that you bought cheap.

It really depends on your budget you could even go with a 80's pickup that already has the solid axle.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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If i ever did a Solid Axle swap, i'd probably find a cheap Toyota pickup on craiglist. I think it's silly to buy a 2nd gen Tacoma and do a SAS, just because there all "newer" trucks. I'd also use a First Gen single cab tacoma.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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I'd get something SFA already.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:00 AM   #5
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I'd buy a nice 2wd Toyota, 84-04.... then a good grinder and a bunch of cut off wheels.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Rock Lobster, why would you get a vehicle with a factory solid front axle? Are you saying you'd keep the factory axles and mounts? Or save fabrication time, by not having to remove the IFS? Or maybe reuse the front drive shaft? Specifically, which solid front axle vehicle would you get? Old Toyota? Or Jeep?

JLee, I am leaning that way . . . toward a 1st generation Tacoma. Should I go for a model year before 2000 or 2000 - 2004? Is there a way to know if a specific VIN Tacoma has had its frame replaced as part of the recall? Or if a vehicle was bought back by Toyota for frame rust?
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeybuck View Post
I'd buy a nice 2wd Toyota, 84-04.... then a good grinder and a bunch of cut off wheels.
yup, days and days of plasma cutter, followed with flap wheels . . . angle grinder gets a workout.

why 2wd? Less $$ and you'd want to choose your specific transfer case?

People's thoughts on factory 1st Gen Tacoma transfer case vs aftermarket (like spendy Atlas II)?
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #8
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I would probably find an older turd Yota with a solid axle already and build it up from there. Or a turd 1st gen (my truck). But not just any 1st gen. There's still quite a few nice 1st gen Tacos out there.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sleep View Post
yup, days and days of plasma cutter, followed with flap wheels . . . angle grinder gets a workout.

why 2wd? Less $$ and you'd want to choose your specific transfer case?

People's thoughts on factory 1st Gen Tacoma transfer case vs aftermarket (like spendy Atlas II)?
I started with a 84 sfa 4x4.... after I was done with it I had removed, replaced, everything. I still cut off all the old springs and hangers. Dual cases, so the transmission, and transfer case came out.... front and rear axles both came out and got fully rebuilt/upgraded. etc, lots done. Wish I would of went with a 2 wd truck.

On top of that, Most two wheel drive trucks are cleaner, and cheaper, etc.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sleep View Post
Thanks for the replies. Rock Lobster, why would you get a vehicle with a factory solid front axle? Are you saying you'd keep the factory axles and mounts? Or save fabrication time, by not having to remove the IFS? Or maybe reuse the front drive shaft? Specifically, which solid front axle vehicle would you get? Old Toyota? Or Jeep?

JLee, I am leaning that way . . . toward a 1st generation Tacoma. Should I go for a model year before 2000 or 2000 - 2004? Is there a way to know if a specific VIN Tacoma has had its frame replaced as part of the recall? Or if a vehicle was bought back by Toyota for frame rust?
I'd save the fab time. Swap the axles for something stronger if you jeed it but that's it.

I'd go with Jeep or even an International if you like old school stuff. I always said that if you want to do serious wheeling, you need a Jeep. Of course that's just me.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sleep View Post
Thanks for the replies. Rock Lobster, why would you get a vehicle with a factory solid front axle? Are you saying you'd keep the factory axles and mounts? Or save fabrication time, by not having to remove the IFS? Or maybe reuse the front drive shaft? Specifically, which solid front axle vehicle would you get? Old Toyota? Or Jeep?

JLee, I am leaning that way . . . toward a 1st generation Tacoma. Should I go for a model year before 2000 or 2000 - 2004? Is there a way to know if a specific VIN Tacoma has had its frame replaced as part of the recall? Or if a vehicle was bought back by Toyota for frame rust?
There are "3" types of first gens really. There are the 01-04 ones with the vertical grille bars, the 98-00 with the kinda flat face, and the 95.5-97 ones with somewhat indented headlights and a different leaf pack from the 98-04 ones, which is the only real non-cosmetic difference IIRC. Most people I know who have had frame rust got it bought back from Toyota for the owners safety.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:00 PM   #12
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No offense to the Toyota gang.... but... You can't go wrong with an older TJ with 4.0L.

Yank out the Dana 30 and Dana 35 and put a pair of Dana 44's or 44/60 depending on how intense you're wheeling. Much easier to swap axles in when its' already solid axle.

We built a 94 Jeep Wrangler YJ with Dana 44's, 4.56's, ARB's, 35's, etc. Sold it about 6+ years ago. We kept it SUA, street legal and drove nicely at 70mph. My husband and I set this thing up and we were soo happy with the results. http://www.lieblweb.com/izzyii.html



If I were to do it all over again....I'd probably do the exact same setup but on a TJ with coils and I'd have an Atlas transfer case.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:10 AM   #13
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Cheap and effective is a mini truck all day. Totally underpowered but highly effective and easy to axle swap. Balls to the wall build would be a first gen with a v6, power to turn a big tire on the highway is nice in addition to creature comforts. Plus you get the smaller dimensions compared to a second gen.

All of the jeep builds I've helped on have been a lot of fighting with stupid stuff...having to swap both front and rear, sye, shitty ds straps, fighting y link vs hi steer, etc
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:19 AM   #14
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However much I love my Tacoma, if I were wanting an SAS rig, I would go with one that already has one. While fabrication and all can be a lot of fun, it can take a TON of work as well. So really it all boils down to:
1: How much time do I plan to set aside to build said truck
2: How much money do I plan to sink into said truck
3: What is the purpose of the truck (Daily Driver, with trail capabilities, or trailer queen?)
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Lobster View Post
I always said that if you want to do serious wheeling, you need a Jeep. Of course that's just me.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
No offense to the Toyota gang.... but... You can't go wrong with an older TJ with 4.0L.

Yank out the Dana 30 and Dana 35 and put a pair of Dana 44's or 44/60 depending on how intense you're wheeling. Much easier to swap axles in when its' already solid axle.

We built a 94 Jeep Wrangler YJ with Dana 44's, 4.56's, ARB's, 35's, etc. Sold it about 6+ years ago. We kept it SUA, street legal and drove nicely at 70mph. My husband and I set this thing up and we were soo happy with the results. http://www.lieblweb.com/izzyii.html



If I were to do it all over again....I'd probably do the exact same setup but on a TJ with coils and I'd have an Atlas transfer case.
I completely agree. We had a 2005 TJ Rubicon and really all it took to get it competent on a trail was a 4" long-arm lift, 35s and chromoly shafts (we made it 2 years on the stock shafts).

Dana 44s and lockers front and rear was basically everything we needed in a vehicle. I personally am going to try and find an older Rubicon and avoid the mayhem and mess of a SAS and just go straight axle from the start.... maybe a 4-door JK this time though with a blown engine so I could diesel swap it later.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Lobster View Post
even an International if you like old school stuff.
Something about those old Internationals.

Not much in the way of creature comforts, but damn they were tough.
Same with the old Powerwagons and Rovers before they became a millionaire's vehicle.
Disassemble and rebuild them with 3 wrenches, 1 screwdriver, and a hammer.

Wouldn't want one for a daily commuter though.
I'm getting old, and my back and kidneys won't take that kind of ride anymore.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowmanwithahat View Post
I completely agree. We had a 2005 TJ Rubicon and really all it took to get it competent on a trail was a 4" long-arm lift, 35s and chromoly shafts (we made it 2 years on the stock shafts).

Dana 44s and lockers front and rear was basically everything we needed in a vehicle. I personally am going to try and find an older Rubicon and avoid the mayhem and mess of a SAS and just go straight axle from the start.... maybe a 4-door JK this time though with a blown engine so I could diesel swap it later.
I just don't see spending 20k on a trail rig that will get beat up anyway. I couldn't justify wheeling anything hard with a payment looming. If you have that kind if cash then more power to you.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:49 AM   #19
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Had an '83 mud truck, stock axles, 37's, 22r engine. That truck was tough as shit. Had to get rid of it in a bad move, wreckage from the past. But it was the right size, had everything in place to modify into whatever you want. Just a thought.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:02 AM   #20
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TJs suck the big one. I had one.

If I wanted a heep I'd buy an XJ and go chromo 44 and 9" rear with long arm front and frame stiffeners. Or a WJ/ZJ

I say 3rd gen runner with built yota axles.

But I have a trail whale FJ80 on tons...
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