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

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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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

Old 08-20-2016, 01:31 PM
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sept/oct is just in time for thanksgiving at glamis!
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:44 PM
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OSV, were hoping to get the truck as a roller by then, not running.....I wish!

Hope you guys are enjoying the weekend, I was out in the shop for a few hours this morning getting some work done. First thing was to try and figure out the transmission mounts for this thing. I still have a ton of mounts and I believe some of them aren't even for this race truck....LOL. Anyways, after some trial and error I found out how it went together. Here's the upper trans mounts located near the bell housing...



I'm guessing the bell housing stays bolted to the engine when doing a trans swap because there is no way to get that bell housing through the small opening located under the truck since the torsion bars are blocking the exit. I then made sure the shifting linkage bolted up, although I'm pretty sure this will be a new item, this one was pretty beat up...



Next up was the driveshaft shock isolator which I affectionately call the "Driveline thingy". As Tommy explains "It absorbs harsh impact leads in the driveline, basically a big rubber donut". Everything lines up pretty well although the aluminum block mount has some taps that are stripped out so I will need to re-tap them later....no biggie.



After the "Driveline Thingy", I put the 3rd member in the housing and mounted the driveline.



Here's a shot of the complete drive train. The holes located on each side of the trans are the torsion bar housings. The torsion adjusters would be located just behind each housing. Also, the aluminum block is where the skid plate mounts to, protecting it from rocks and debris.



As of right now I'm pretty happy with the mock up of the drive train and suspension components. I'm thinking I can start disassembling the truck now and get all the paint stripped from the parts and get them ready for magnafluxing.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:09 PM
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I was pretty sure I was going to have to replace the arms in the cantilevers but was hoping they could just be smoothed out. Talking with Tom Morris, he said they were in pretty bad shape and would need replacing. Bummer, but like I said, I knew it, just hoping I wouldn't have to. You can see the divot in the tube from the roller, possibly due to the rollers being put on wrong or something catastrophic happened in the rear suspension while racing...



The last couple days have been behind the stupid end of a paint stripping brush and pressure washer. I usually strip a majority of the paint off the parts before I use the sand blaster.....a little more time consuming but the blaster I use isn't the greatest either. Here's the cantilever's and upper A-arms before stripping....



And some more odds and ends...



Stripper applied and working its magic...





After stripping the parts they are ready for the sand blaster...



I have a couple full days of this ahead of me, then off to Las Vegas and www.collins-motorsports.com to get them all Magnafluxed. As for the chassis itself, it will go to www.azallcoat.com for blasting and any of our powdercoating needed for the #001 PPI Toyota.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:34 PM
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Nice work really like following this rebuild.
Looks like the ball joint is still in the on arm, wouldn't the stripper eat the rubber at the ball joint?
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:36 PM
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@RBX, yes, if there was any rubber protecting the ball joint it would have ruined it but neither Ball joint had the rubber ends on them. I will have to have custom ball joints made and these will have to be freshened up and used for spares (hopefully). I'm actually a lot further along on this build but am slowly catching you guys up on this site
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:26 AM
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More of the same today, although I had to take apart the lower a-arms from the bulkhead which was quite the chore. I'm not sure when the last time these arms were off the bulkhead but it seems like it's been awhile, they might have looked pretty but they were pretty bad inside with some surface rust and lots of grime.



The arms are held together with a long threaded tube approx 2 1/2" in diameter. Looks a lot like a rear hub spindle only 18" long. It also uses a hub nut, similar to the rear hub nuts used on the 001. Looks like they tig welded a tack weld on the nut to keep them from backing off, kinda like what we would do for the Summer Brothers rear hubs on a buggy. I think they got a little carried away with the tach weld though....LOL.



Once i finally got them apart it was time to lay some paint stripper down. I tell ya, those guys can paint down there in Baja Mexico, I was having a hell of a time getting the paint off, and then of course there was the primer! I figure I got the majority of the paint off, I will then try my buddies blasting cabinet but if that doesn't work I'll just drop them off to Allcoat in Kingman.





Found some cracks in the bulkhead already but nothing major, I'll have them welded up after magnafluxing. Sorry if these are boring updates but it's that stage of the restoration and there is ALOT of time devoted to the steps taken right now. A lot of the problem has to do with nuts and bolts rusted together and what should take 5 minutes to take apart takes about an hour or two, and HOPEFULLY you don't screw anything up like break a bolt off or something stupid like that. Oh well, until next week!
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Racersonly View Post
Sorry if these are boring updates but it's that stage of the restoration and there is ALOT of time devoted to the steps taken right now.
Most DEFINATELY not "boring"

This is the coolest "build up" thread I have seen!

(i recall seeing Road and Track "test" sessions with a journalist driver - he was told NOT to try to span the jump - if he missed and came up short - the landing would miss the suspension and he would land the frame on the berm - it wouldn't damage the truck so much as he would be mush....)
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:13 AM
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^^^ Agreed, I remember watching the Ironman race (on cable) when I was a young boy. This truck is so rad, and seeing you take it completely apart is very interesting, this is the truck that made me want a toyota when i was too young to know better.
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Old 08-26-2016, 07:14 PM
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This thing is awesome! Thank you for saving a piece off road history.
If you were closer, I would give you a hand just to say I got to work on this thing.

Question about the torsion bars, How exactly do they work? Are they like a multi piece design that has a progressive rate or something?
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:08 AM
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One of the most interesting things I have ever seen on Yotatech. Thank you very much for sharing this project with us. Back in the mid 80s I was a pimply faced teenager obsessed with Toyota 4x4s. I remember this truck very well.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert m View Post
Question about the torsion bars, How exactly do they work?
Are they like a multi piece design that has a progressive rate or something?
Based on the pictures, the "3 stage" bars appear to have worked the same way as these "two stage" bars.

These were a common item in the 80s.
Although, I believe that they were never "popular"

I think the "lift" crowd never understood them (they wanted to pre load the bars to get a higher static lift), and I am going to assume that the spring rate of the "skinny bar" was probably stock or lower and the tube bar was "higher" than the stock?

Anyway, the way I understand the way the bars work, is that the TUBE, as being "fatter", has a larger effective lever arm (i.e. the diameter of the tube) so that the spring rate was higher.
The part of the torsion bar that is INSIDE that tube, will "twist" like the stock bar,
UNTIL
two tabs (one on the tube, the other on the tab part that is splined to bar) engages
You can see there is a HOLE on the splinted tab. This holds a set screw/bolt.
When the inner bar twists enough to have the "tube" engage the splined key (which is just carried along with the bar), then the TUBE becomes part of the torsion bar.

Thus the two stage spring rate.
The spring has one rate at certain range of ride height, and a second higher spring rate at the second ride height range.

Anyway - thats my guess on how all this works.





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Old 08-30-2016, 12:33 PM
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I think @Ewong has the basic understanding of the torsion bars although these are set up differently than the Bars set up in the catalog, although basically the same principle. This is how they got 2-3 diffent spring rates back then instead of now having 2-3 different springs on your single coilover shock. I'm glad you guys are enjoying the build as much as i am, although my wallet is taking one HELL of a beating.

Moving forward....
Still just a bunch of clean-up going on over here, lots to do. I'd say I have about 75% of the parts cleaned up and of that 75% about 50% will need to be magnafluxed. The stuff I'm worried about will be suspension (Arms, torsion bars, sway bars/arms), steering (steering rods, shaft, knuckles), spindles, rear end and a few other odds and ends. Today i made the trek up to Kingman Az and dropped off a bunch of parts to get blasted. I cleaned up the majority of the small stuff but the bigger stuff needed help and maybe just a touch up on the small stuff. Jake did a great job on Challenger IV so that's why I always use Allcoat, and because the owner Gary Messer is part of the off road familia.....So I always try to keep my business in the family. Here's a shot of Challenger IV from 5 years ago prior to getting media blasted and then powder coated...



Here's some of the suspension parts...



And the bulkhead, spindles and the 9" rearend...



....and an assortment of drive plates, torsion arms and transmission mounts.



As you can see the parts pictured above have been cleaned up pretty well but some stuff was hard to get to with a wire wheel. Jake said he should have this stuff done by next week, hopefully early enough that I can make a run to Collins Motorsports and drop them off to get mag'ed.

Lucky for me Mr Hugo Bojorquez sold me the 001 Toyota with a donor cab and his mechanic had started stripping the cab and some of the sheet metal to get it ready to mount. In a couple weeks this and the chassis will head to Darryl Putman in Las Vegas for a couple weeks and the two will be one. Once that happens we can really start getting some things done...



Now if I could only get the DirTrix sold I could really start moving on this thing........LOL.



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Old 08-30-2016, 04:53 PM
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WOW!!! This is one of the coolest builds I've seen on ANY Toyota site....very cool!

Since this is literally one of the most iconic Toyota vehicles in existence, what happens with this truck once you finish restoration? Has Toyota or some automotive museum shown interest in such a piece of history?
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by highonpottery View Post
WOW!!! This is one of the coolest builds I've seen on ANY Toyota site....very cool!

Since this is literally one of the most iconic Toyota vehicles in existence, what happens with this truck once you finish restoration? Has Toyota or some automotive museum shown interest in such a piece of history?
The plan is to race the truck at the 2018 NORRA Mexican 1000 (unless we can finish it in time for the 2017 race). After that we will prep it again and possibly do the MINT 400 and then maybe a museum tour. We have not been in contact with Toyota but all the major players associated with this truck know I have it and seem to be ok with what it is we are doing. Once we get this thing close to complete I'm sure some phone calls will start happening and we can go from there. The major reason for restoring this truck is because I have a deep love for the sport and we need to keep the history of it intact. If you guys have not been down for the NORRA event or never even heard of it, I suggest you guys mark it on your calendars, it's a bucket list type adventure. Www.norra.com
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:07 AM
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Ok I'll go ahead and say it for everyone of us, I'd like to be in your shoes(or seat)when you hit the dez...
You can do the next best thing and post some videos.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:03 AM
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Amazing build thread - subscribed.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:13 PM
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History lesson on the #001 Toyota.

First race, 1984 San Felipe 250.

Ivan Stewart's #001 PPI Toyota was finally finished and ready to race for the first time. Tommy Morris would have to wait till the MINT 400 a month or so away to get to drive his #002 Toyota (which he shared driving with Frank Arciero Jr). A couple days before the race BFG would have a photo shoot for all of it's racers that would be turned into a poster. I'm not sure if anyone else was doing action shots but the Toyota made a few passes at a jump nearby and the "Merciless!" photo was born.



Pretty sure Ivan made a couple more passes and this shot made the cut for a KC HiLites ad...



Moving onto raceday, Ivan was entered in class 7, #700. There were only five entries in class 7 for the San Felipe race but all five were factory backed (Jerry MacDonald Chevy S-10, Manny Esquerra Ford Ranger, John Baker Mitsubishi and Sherman Balch Nissan). The race course ran clockwise from the San Felipe arches to Diablo dry lake, Mike Sky Ranch, Nuevo Junction, El Chinero and the run down the beach (east side of HWY 5) to the finish.

From Jean Calvin in Dusty Times (May 1984): "San Felipe marked the debut of the wild looking and wild performing Cal Wells built Toyota desert racer. As expected, Ivan Stewart flat flew in the Toyota, for a time. Ivan had a slim one minute lead over Jerry MacDonald at check 1. Coming down from Mikes the Toyota coughed a rear end. Ivan got mended only to break an axle, but he carried on in El Chinero, and then broke another axle and ran out of time."

My good friend Jeff Furrier took this picture...

There were 199 entries but only 112 finished the race. Scott and Corky McMillin won the race Overall in class 2 (5:04:53)...



While some guy named Larry Ragland won class 1, 2nd overall (5:09:25).



Class 7 was taken by John Baker in the Mitsubishi and he even beat the class 8 trucks!



Class 8 had a great battle going on between Steve Kelley/Michael Nesmith and Parnelli Jones/Jon Nelson. Steve would beat Parnelli by exactly 3 minutes after PJ had a steering issue 20 miles from the finish (while leading by 15 minutes). On a side note, Steve would change rides the following year getting PJ's truck (Miller American GMC) while the Nesmith GMC would be bought by Dave Westhem and that truck was just raced in NORRA this year....



Hope you enjoyed the history lesson, I'll do a few more later in the build. Most of the info was gathered in Dusty Times magazine, Tommy Morris and photo's from Jeff Furrier and Trackside Photo.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:47 PM
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good work
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:07 PM
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Subscribed...!!!
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:57 AM
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Thank you for the interesting read and pics ! Please keep us informed on your awesome restoration !
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