Ivan "Ironman" Stewarts PPI #001 Toyota race truck restoration - YotaTech Forums



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Ivan "Ironman" Stewarts PPI #001 Toyota race truck restoration

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Old 07-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #1  
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Ivan "Ironman" Stewarts PPI #001 Toyota race truck restoration

Hey everyone, My name is Rory Ward and I'm new here to YOTATECH. I though a majority of you guys might be interested in my restoration project since you're Toyota gear heads so here goes. First a little back story. I'm a 2nd generation desert racer and have been going to the desert races since I was 5 years old. Recently I've been getting into restoring old off road race cars and have a few under my belt. One of my favorite race trucks from the 80's was Ivan Stewarts chassis 001 built by PPI. I had been searching for it for the past 2 years and finally got my hands on it. I have a build going on in a couple other forums but I thought it would be appropriate for Yotatech. The reason for the "86-95" thread is due to the truck (built in 1984) went thru some changes and upgraded until it's retirement in 1988.

I'm going to start this thread from the beginning and try and tell the story of the Ivan Stewart PPI Toyota SR5 #001 to the best of my knowledge. At anytime, if anyone knows something that I have forgotten or needs to correct the story, please do and hopefully follow it up with some facts.

2 stadium trucks were built in 1983-ish with the older body style and raced in the short course MTEG series....



PPI and Toyota were now planning on building 2 new trucks with the newer body style (1984) and they would be the supercab versions and used for desert racing in class 7. Some of the crew at PPI during that time were Tommy Morris, Lance Baron, Chris Hukill, Mike Schoffstall, Russ Wernimont and a list of others all under the watchful eye of Cal Wells III. I don't know why the 1983 stadium trucks were not numbered #001 and #002 but I can tell you that the 2 desert trucks were numbered that way, with the #001 being Ivan Stewart's truck and the #002 being that of Tommy Morris' truck. The trucks were built to race in class 7 in the SCORE and HDRA races along with a few stadium races as chassis #003 and #004 were being built to replace the two 1983 trucks.


Build Photo credits Chris Hukill

The suspension was quite unique in these trucks with a 3 stage torsion bar set up in the front with the Bilstein shocks criss crossing where the radiator should be...



The rear suspension was a cantilever type suspension, also utilizing torsion bars...




Once the trucks were built they started racing the SCORE series but the controversy surrounding the "legality" of the trucks was in question. Looking at the picture above you can see one leaf spring attached to the rear suspension which pretty much didn't do anything (as far as I know) and I'm guessing it was there per the rules as to keeping the suspension as the way it was delivered from the factory. Well, Toyota being the "Official" vehicle of SCORE, they deemed it legal to race. HDRA on the other hand was playing hardball. The MINT 400 at the time was not sanctioned by either promoter at the time and was legal to race and stomped the field of class 7 trucks and also beat all of the class 8 trucks which was unheard of at the time prompting this ad from Toyota...



Fast forward to the 1984 HDRA Frontier 500, both class 7 trucks were told they could not race in class 7 but could race in the 2 seat unlimited class. All this happened approx 1 hour before the start and Ivan asked if he could race in class 1 and Morris would race in class 2, that way they could win 2 classes instead of just one. And so it goes, Ivan would have a pretty good day finishing 2nd to Larry Ragland as Tommy Morris and Frank Arciero would finish "Tied" for 4th place.....another story in itself.

The following year both trucks would receive updates to the front suspension getting another 6' of width and a little more travel, along with a wider rear end. The front fiberglass was also reworked so the tires would tuck into the fender wells, giving the Toyota an even meaner look than that of the more narrow class 7 fiberglass. Both trucks would race the entire 1985 season but PPI would retire the #002 truck and just concentrate on the #001. The #002 truck was sold off overseas sometime in 1986 or 87.


Photo credit Centerline Photo

Ivan would have great success in the #001 PPI Toyota during the next couple years but the more powerful 6 cylinder Porsche's were getting harder and harder to compete against, especially since Ivan was racing a truck that was at least 1000 Lbs heavier than the buggies. A new truck with a bigger engine (V6) had to be built to stay competitive with the class 1 and class 2 vehicles. The 1988 MINT 400 would be the final race for Ivan in the #001 and he would race the new truck, chassis #010 stating at the Baja 500....


Unknown photo credit

The truck was sold to someone south of the border and changed hands a few times. I would see glimpses of the truck in video's and scattered pictures over the last 2 years while tracking the truck down but all I know is Hugo Bojorquez owned it and was located in Constitcuion. I would love to fill in the timeline of the truck from late 1988 (when the truck was sold) to when it was sold to Hugo sometime in approx 1995-ish.

Pic's of the truck after PPI...




Unknown photo credit.

More later....

Last edited by Racersonly; 07-28-2016 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:56 AM   #2  
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Awesome trucks, incredibly well built, no wonder they won so much.
Be interesting to know how much they cost to build.
Thanks for the history lesson.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:10 AM   #3  
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Wow, great story...subscribed!
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:32 PM   #4  
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Awesome! Ivan is a legend!

Thanks for putting together that history and sharing the story. Looking forward to watching this unfold
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:06 AM   #5  
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Thanks guys, I thought you Toyota guys might be interested in the build.

I'm going to skip 1988 thru 2016 because I'm still working on the history with help from my friend Joel Amaya so I will move on to the finding of the truck.

About 2 years ago i was browsing through RDC and stumbled upon the thread about Allen Russell’s Toyota stadium truck. Reading through the comments someone mentioned Ivan Stewarts old race truck was owned by a guy named Hugo Bojorquez in Mexico….. I was surprised that no one responded to that and I went straight to Google and tried to find info. No luck. About 6 months later I posted a picture of Butch Arciero’s Toyota on my Instagram page and Joel Amaya in Constitucion commented and said he knew the guy that owned the Ivan Stewart truck. I quickly deleted his comment and the photo (hahahahah) and found him on Facebook and connected.

The next 6-8 months I was able to talk to Hugo 1 time on the phone but he does not speak English too well. I think he stopped taking my calls due to the language barrier. Andrea Tomba also helped out and was able to get me my first photo of the truck….too bad it had garbage all around it so i could barley see it.



About the same time Ron Bellerive in Loreto was able to contact Hugo for me and we communicated back and forth and then set up a date to come look at the truck (November of 2015). I flew to Loreto and Ron and I drove to Constitucion to check out the truck. This was my first REAL look at the truck and I was surprised at how well the shape of the truck was in and all the suspension had not been messed with.



The only real issue was they had cut the cab off the truck because they were going to put a new body on it. This was approx 10 years ago and Hugo pulled the plug and the truck just sat, completely stripped down to the frame. I made an offer and Hugo declined. I was crushed.

The next 5-6 months I thought I was over it, but the thought of the truck would not leave my head. I had recently passed on the Walker Evans Dodge Dakota and turned that restoration over to my friend Cody Swanty (and that was tough to do, I absolutely LOVE that Dodge) but I knew I had unfinished business with Hugo and the Toyota. 5 months later I decided to try again and there was a light at the end of the tunnel but Hugo did not budge enough for me to make the deal. This was about the time I got Joel Amaya back in the picture and he was able to negociate for me and break through the language barrier that, what i think, was holding us up. I finally threw in the towel last week and made the offer and said i would be there on June 3rd to come get it if he accepted. Joel Amaya helped me with the deal and down I went, all the way to Constitucion for a 5 day trip.

The deal with Hugo went very smooth and I also have to say he was very gracious and professional. It took approx 4 hours to load the truck and all the parts and then my daughter Hanna and I hit the road again and started heading north.





The trip home was uneventful for the most part until getting close to San Felipe when my truck started throwing "warning codes" which comes to find out were related to questionable diesel fuel. We arrived in San Felipe on Saturday afternoon just in time to watch the leaders coming through for the Baja 500. We stayed the night and then drove the rest of the way home Sunday morning.



The truck and parts have since been unload and organized in the garage awaiting the restoration. I can't thank the people that have helped me with getting this historical racer and staying patient with me. Thank you Hugo Bojorquez, Joel Amaya, Ron Bellerive, Andrea Tomba for all the help and Jeff Furrier for talking me off the ledge many times over the course of 2 years. Let the fun begin!

Last edited by Racersonly; 08-02-2016 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:53 AM   #6  
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that is pretty cool. will be watching this one.

Just curious how it was bringing it through customs?
Any titling issues?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:25 AM   #7  
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that is pretty cool. will be watching this one.

Just curious how it was bringing it through customs?
Any titling issues?
I doubt there would be any thing 'attached' titling wise since these were desert racing trucks. And, even now, there isn't a VIN # anywhere on that thing.

I am curious what customs thought about someone bringing a whole frame through
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:05 PM   #8  
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cool beans! that's a great story, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:30 PM   #9  
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So far so good, we are very happy with the way the build is going so far.

I can't tell you how much help Lance Baron and Tommy Morris have been already. Both were the original builders at PPI for the Toyota race trucks and have a plethora of knowledge which is very important on a difficult build such as the #001.

The Toyota has been unloaded off the trailer and now the time has come to start organizing the parts that were literally just thrown into storage bins. 12 years of dust and dirt were transported to the race shop in Arizona and boy do I have my work cut out for me. I'm crossing my fingers I have all the parts but I know in the back of my mind there will be stuff missing. It would be hard to believe that a truck that was torn apart roughly 12 years ago in a race shop that everything would still be there. I'm sure some parts have walked off over the years but I did do a pretty good inventory and everything that I would consider "Important" was there, just not sure of the condition until I beadblast and magnaflux parts.



I unloaded boxes of parts.....



Original Bilstein shocks....



Couple transmissions w/underdrive...



And all the hubs plus some spares...



Then it was time to start organizing...



Torsion and sway bars...



And of course the chassis on the dolly with all the suspension pieces placed underneath...



The plan now is to start bolting the truck back together (somewhat) just to see if i'm missing any important parts, then it will come back down to the frame and the donor cab will be fabricated back onto the chassis. I'm hoping to have it together and stripped back down in a month or so, then it will be sent off to Darryl Putman so he can fit the cab to the chassis. While that's being done I will start on sandblasting parts and magnafluxing so I can really see what I have to work with. Feel free to post your photos of this truck from back in the day, I'd love to see what you got!

Last edited by Racersonly; 08-05-2016 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:17 AM   #10  
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So far so good, we are very happy with the way the build is going so far.

I can't tell you how much help Lance Baron and Tommy Morris have been already. Both were the original builders at PPI for the Toyota race trucks and have a plethora of knowledge which is very important on a difficult build such as the #001.

The Toyota has been unloaded off the trailer and now the time has come to start organizing the parts that were literally just thrown into storage bins. 12 years of dust and dirt were transported to the race shop in Arizona and boy do I have my work cut out for me. I'm crossing my fingers I have all the parts but I know in the back of my mind there will be stuff missing. It would be hard to believe that a truck that was torn apart roughly 12 years ago in a race shop that everything would still be there. I'm sure some parts have walked off over the years but I did do a pretty good inventory and everything that I would consider "Important" was there, just not sure of the condition until I beadblast and magnaflux parts.



I unloaded boxes of parts.....



Original Bilstein shocks....



Couple transmissions w/underdrive...



And all the hubs plus some spares...



Then it was time to start organizing...



Torsion and sway bars...



And of course the chassis on the dolly with all the suspension pieces placed underneath...



The plan now is to start bolting the truck back together (somewhat) just to see if i'm missing any important parts, then it will come back down to the frame and the donor cab will be fabricated back onto the chassis. I'm hoping to have it together and stripped back down in a month or so, then it will be sent off to Darryl Putman so he can fit the cab to the chassis. While that's being done I will start on sandblasting parts and magnafluxing so I can really see what I have to work with. Feel free to post your photos of this truck from back in the day, I'd love to see what you got!
Was there any emotion from Tommy or Lance, seeing their piece of art in the shape it was in? I'm assuming they were pretty excited to see it again though.
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:15 AM   #11  
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Tommy Morris was the special projects manager at PPI, was also a partner in the early years until selling his share to Cal Wells III. Lance Baron worked at PPI and helped build the race trucks and was in charge of prepping the 002 truck (Tommy Morris/Frank Arciero), then moved onto working for other race teams after the 1985 season. I talk with Tommy usually once or twice a week and he is pretty happy to see it again. Lance is on the same boat, these trucks are like family to them and knowing that they have not been hacked up and morphed into something else is nothing short of AMAZING given it's been 28 years since PPI sold them. I have not talked to Cal Wells III yet but he does know I have the truck and am in the process of restoring it. We have done a few of these over the last couple years so i hope he knows this truck is in good hands....


3 time Baja 1000 winning 1977 Chenowth 1000


1984 DirTrix class 2 unlimited racer


Mickey Thompson's 1977 Challenger IV class 1 unlimited racer.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:48 PM   #12  
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I have begun working on the front end of 001 starting with the front hubs/uprights. Per Tommy Morris the hubs are Stock car products along with the uprights. PPI did some work to the steering knuckle and they look to be in great shape.



I cleaned them up using only a wire wheel just to knockoff the big stuff, they will still need to be bead blasted at ALLCOAT in Kingman AZ and then off to Collins Motorsports for Magnafluxing. I will wait till I have a bunch of parts ready for magnafluxing before I do that.



I then shifted over to the upper a-arm hardware. The upper uses 3 blocks of aluminum that cradle the arm as it rides on brass bushings. There is A LOT going on in the front end but luckily for me it looks like everything is there. The only thing that is unknown at the moment is what shape is it in...





Here they are in place with the upper a-arm...



A long torsion bar is used inside the tube with the splines located inside the tube near the 3rd block (3rd from the left). Adjustment of the torsion bar is located at the front of the truck...



That's just the upper a-arm, the lower is even more complicated. There is still bushings and shims not in place with these pictures but it's a rough mock up to get the parts in place. The lower arms were already in place and I'll get more pictures to give you a better understanding of the lowers later.

Gary Haugley of B&R Buggies sends me "gifts" every once in a while, I received this banner from him yesterday, THANKS GARY!! Hahhahahaaha...

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Old 08-08-2016, 08:14 AM   #13  
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wow

That brings new meaning to the old SCORE Rules (if I recall correctly - I never raced, just read the rule book - back in 1988 or so) of "same suspension type and layout"

That being a torsion bar suspension, twin A arm, torsion bar on the upper A arm.

I also vaguely recall that "secondayr suspension" was permitted - that being (a guess here) if they added coil overs to the shocks pivoting off the upper bar via that linkage, or the rear suspension with that "single leaf spring" that could not have been doing much...
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:24 AM   #14  
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I think the single leaf spring was there so they could say "Hey look, it has leaf springs". The rules never stated that the leafs have to hold the weight of the truck so there was that loophole....LOL.

Ok, still focused on the front suspension, but now onto the lower a-arms. Here is a shot of the lower a-arm attached to the bulkhead from 1984....


Photo credit Lance Barron/Chris Hukill

The a-arms pictured above are the originals used in class 7. The updated arms are longer that were built to use in class 1 which are mounted to the truck now. Here is the layout of the lower suspension.....



Quite a lot going on there eh? From Left to right: Torsion finger, Long torsion bar, adjuster, short torsion bar, adjuster, another short torsion bar and the final adjuster. The A-arm rides on the tube/bushings, and the tube slides into the bulkhead with and axle nut holding it in place. Another pic...



Here it is bolted into the truck...



So, altogether, there is 1 sway bar, 6 Bilstein shocks and 8 Torsion bars that make up the front suspension. I'm guessing I will have to hire Tommy Morris to come out and tune the truck because I will be completely lost...LOL.

As far as I can tell the only thing I am really missing right now are 2 ball joints for the front a-arms. Talking with Tommy he is pretty sure they started off as something I could get from Cone Industries but then PPI decided to design them a little better so they are custom. IF they are the same ones from when PPI sold the truck I will send the 2 ball joints I still have to Sandy Cone and see what he can do to make me a full set. Then again, I don't know if the owners from down south figured something else out and found something else that will work. I will know more when I start tearing the truck down in a month or so.

I mocked up the front shocks and everything looks good, although I mounted them the wrong way after I went back and looked at some old photo's....the bodies should be in the lower position and the shafts up. I will be sending the Shocks off to Bilstein shortly so they can take a look at them and work their magic.



Finally I was able to put the interior aluminum back into place. I'm not 100% sure but I think I might be missing a few minor pieces but nothing of too much importance since they can be easily duplicated....

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Old 08-11-2016, 07:20 AM   #15  
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I got to work in the garage today and it's only 115 degree outside! Don't worry, it's only suppose to get to 126 degrees tomorrow....thank gawd I have a pool. I finished cleaning the dirt and oil off the shocks yesterday and put them back on the front, everything looks good so far...



Onto the rear of the truck. Just like the front end, lots going on with shocks, torsion bars, sway bar and rollers. Rollers?!?! Yes, rollers....



These go on the rear end and help the cantilever cycle through the suspension travel. I have approx 3 different types of rollers so some must be updated rollers, I just don't know which ones are which because they all show about the same amount of wear. It's possible that I might have to have some of these made but that remains to be seen. Here they are mounted to the rear end housing...



Keep in mind all the red painted parts will still need to be blasted and magnafluxed. Hugo did a pretty good job of painting all the suspension pieces but I have to make sure everything is in tip top shape with no cracks or flaws. A better shot of the cantilever...



I also mounted the rear shocks to make sure everything cycled and it did. The shocks are set up the opposite of a traditional shock with the pulling away from the body instead of pushing into it. The red box located behind the shocks is the radiator mount. So far the only thing I'm missing is the sway bar for the rear of the truck. I have the sway bar arms but will have to have a sway bar made to finish off the read end. Like i said before, there is (minor) stuff missing but for the most part all the BIG ticket items are there. I'm at a point now that I probably need to make some saw horses for the truck to sit on, the car dolly is nice but I need to be able to get under it and work without stuff being in the way.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #16  
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Looking forward to seeing this build come along. Thanks for posting it on here. That is some determination on finding it.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:08 AM   #17  
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Thanks Terry, you have no idea how much time I have spent trying to get this thing......hahahahaha.

Sweated my butt off out in the garage again today, yesterday it was 126 degrees and i didn't want anything to do with that but today was only 118 so I spent a couple hours cleaning some parts up. First up was the brass bushings what shim the upper a-arm. There is probably close to 50 of these rings (not all pictured), most of them spares but ALL of them covered in 15 year old grease. WD40, gloves and some good ol scotch brite and you have yourself a scotch brite party! Must have taken a good 3 hours to clean all the rings by hand, not fun but had to be done, and I had to inspect them anyways...



Cleaning the splines on all of the suspension pieces was a treat, I guess they ran out of masking tape when they painted this stuff....LOL.........................well...not so LOL.



I then moved onto something that might get me motivated in the heat so I started making sure I had the hardware and mounts for some stuff to bolt to the frame. I mounted a few things, nothing major, one of them was the fuel filler...



I pulled the radiator mount off the back of the truck and decided to put the radiator in it to see how it fit. I located the rest of the hardware and mounts and even mounted the small oil cooler onto the back...



Here it is with the aluminum placed on the scoop...



The aluminum will be tossed aside and I will put the smoked plexi-glass back on it to make it more original. Today I also ordered some HD "Pipe" jacks for the Toyota. The car dolly is GREAT for a buggy but is in the way when working on a truck. I'm hoping to get them by the end of the week so I can put the trans and drive shafts in.



A lot more cleaning on the horizon, not a lot of cool stuff but this is the stage of the restoration, a bunch of elbow grease and lots of time.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:01 PM   #18  
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Dude, this is awesome! I just freaked out because i found the end of the thread.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:18 PM   #19  
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Still just cleaning up parts and seeing what I got the last couple days. The jack stands have not shown up yet so I've held off trying to put the trans/drive lines and 3rd member in the truck until they get here. Once that happens I can let the suspension droop and get a full cycle out of them. Here's a shot of the brake/clutch pedal assembly, they were sitting out in the elements and were pretty hammered. This is a shot before I cleaned them up, sorry, didn't get the after shot...



Here's a shot of the motor that came with the truck, also has been sitting out in the elements and will need some love. Not sure of the model Toyota it came out of but a friend dropped by and said it could have been a Celica motor due to the Yamaha head. Still not sure what route we are going with the motor, waaaay too early to start thinking about that...



Tommy Morris and myself have been texting back and forth, he keeps answering questions that I have. The other plus is he also sends me pictures with the "Did you know...." explanation following it. He sent me this pic of one of the other spare tire hold down pieces that was made special for PPI, I don't have this one but Tommy told me if I bought him a couple lunches he'd let me have it.....SOLD!



I have to say one of the coolest things about restoring an old race car or ANYTHING for that matter is finding out the history of it. Whenever Tommy e-mails me something it's usually pretty good and here's an example of one of the emails I've received from him:

"Just came across this today. My brother had it for years. This is 001 with Ivan and Myself a couple of days before its first race at the 1984 Score San Felipe 250. This same picture was used in the top upper left corner of the BFG poster with the other team drivers down the left side below us. The main poster picture was 001 that year. Thought you might like this little tid bit of history.



Unknown photo credit but this is also a picture of a picture. Could be a Jim Ober original (Trackside Photo).
That's Ivan on the left and Tommy on the right.

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Old 08-15-2016, 09:02 AM   #20  
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More work out in the garage in board shorts and flip flops. The jack stands arrived today so I had to transfer the chassis to the stands and move the car dolly out of the way...



I spent some time behind the wire wheel again today, cleaned up the original lug wrench for the 001, amazing it is still with the truck if you ask me. As you can see the elements have gotten to it...



But I was able to knock off most of it. Ill try to clean it up some more and then maybe send it out for polishing..



The original jack is also still with the truck so i put it in its happy place, then sifted through the pile of mounts and nuts & bolts and found the clamps that hold it in place...



Then placed the lug wrench in its place too...



Tomorrow the trans gets put in and the 3rd member/driveline and I'll see how well everything lines up. After that I'm going to start tearing the suspension off the truck and stripping the paint off. Truck has a date with Darryl Putman in Las Vegas on July 30th to put the donor cab on the chassis. In the mean time I will get the parts cleaned up and head over to my buddies at Collins Motorsports to get the parts magnafluxed and truly see where we stand. If the planets all line up just right it's possible this thing might get parts bolted back up to it by Sept/Oct.
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