All you die-hards out there are probably already aware that the mini-trucks of today are pushing the envelope more and more into the realm of the unknown. We continue to challenge the way a custom is built, and we push further and further to be some of the most innovative builders and thinkers around. We decided that in order for you to fully appreciate the work that goes into some of these trucks, it was important to see a good example of a frame built from the ground up.
Bio Kustumz turns out some of the highest quality and most accurately engineered rides on the roads today. When we heard about this Tacoma frame being built, we teamed up with Max Fish to give us the inside on what it takes to build something simple and clean but still a little out of the box. Max is really big on fully functioning suspensions, and he spends countless design hours to make even the most complicated of tasks work and perform simply and straightforward.
For this Tacoma frame, because there's so much hidden work that went into it, we knew that a feature on the truck itself would not do it justice. So we snapped all kinds of pics to show you just what the frame and bare-bones necessities look like underneath. Sit back and enjoy a one-of-a-kind feature brought to you by the only ones that can bring you hardcore mini-truckin' at its best.
Moving up front, an '89-'95...
Moving up front, an '89-'95 Toyota frame clip was used to keep the cost down and to ditch the rack and pinion steering that the Tacoma uses. Max built custom upper arms using Heims rather than the stock ball joints, and redid the lower arms to eliminate the factory strut bars.
Here's a look at the full...
Here's a look at the full frame, powdercoated and ready to bolt back under the Tacoma.
Obviously, Max builds more...
Obviously, Max builds more than just mini-trucks. That's what keeps the ideas flowing and adapting in the ever-changing scene that is the custom automobile. This shot also shows off the fact that this Tacoma gets plenty of lift to clear those speed bumps.
Everything Max and the Bio...
Everything Max and the Bio Kustumz crew touch has to have a unique style. Max decided to convert the Supra independent rear to an inboard brake system, which looks killer and throws everyone off because they instantly assume it's a Jag rearend.
Before a truck ever sees a...
Before a truck ever sees a welder, everything is meticulously planned out down to every single tab. If you look closely, you'll notice that all the tabs match and play numerous rolls by mounting the upper arms, shocks, 'bag mounts, etc. Everything flows and is there for a reason.
Another key feature of this...
Another key feature of this build is the fact that it was done with a stock hood, a relatively stock bed, and stock fenders.
Here's another look at Max's...
Here's another look at Max's blend of tried and true suspension geometry. Both the front and rear get plenty of travel with only the necessary amount of camber change (very little).
Wheels: Detata Game 20x8-1/2-inch all the way around
Like the license plate in...
Like the license plate in the background says, the Bio Kustumz crew continues to differentiate themselves from the rest. Lori Hoffman posed as some eye candy to complement the badass framework.
Tires: Nitto NeoGen 235/35ZR20
Suspension type: Air
Front suspension: Clipped the front suspension with an '89-'95 Toyota clip, eliminated the Tacoma rack and pinion, custom upper control arms, eliminated the lower strut rods, drop spindles, added Heims and eliminated the ball joints, modified the oil pickup to make it a rear sump
Rear suspension: '87 Supra Third Member converted to inboard brakes with Wilwood 10-1/2-inch rotors, modified '87 Supra Knuckle to accept upper and lower A-arms rather than the multi-link stock setup, RCV Performance built new axles shortened by 2-1/2 inches per side, rear Bilstein shocks valved to specifications
Airbag type and size:
Front: 267C Firestone
Rear: 224C Firestone
Shocks: KYB shocks in the front, Bilsteins in the rear
Frame mods: Front clip from '93 Toyota (kept the cost down); dual rail 2x3, .188 wall
Gas tank: Custom built Aluminum TIG-welded fuel cell
Brakes: Wilwood 12-inch rotors up front, 10-1/2-inch out back
Detail work: Tabs are Max's big thing, everything is radiused and perfect, everything is built for full functionality and drivability, everything is serviceable
Performed by: Bio Kustumz