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

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

Old 09-21-2016, 06:04 PM
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Not much going on here, just waiting on my parts to be finished up at Powder Coating Kingman AZ, Ceramic Coating, Media Blasting (ALLCOAT). I figured I would continue racing history of the 001 PPI Toyota.

2nd race, 1984 MINT 400:

This would be the first time chassis 001 and 002 would race together as Tommy Morris was able to finish up his truck. Little side story here I wasn't aware of was Tommy Morris (Tom) was 1/2 owner of the 002 with Cal Wells. Tom was still interested in racing and did not like the idea of sitting on the sidelines since he had not quite yet gotten rid of the racing bug. Cal Wells would work hard to convince him that he was needed more in the pits then he was in a race truck.....More on that some other time.

Both trucks were entered in class 7, Ivan Stewart/Bryant Hibbs in #705 while Tom Morris /Frank Arciero Jr in #703. There were seven entries in the class with six of them being Factory backed.


Photo credit unknown

Jean Calvin, Dusty Times June 1984:
"
Ivan Stewart proved the wait worth wild as he put his trick Toyota in an instant lead, although for one lap Manny Esquerra kept him honest, only 5 minutes back in the Ford, then Manny retired. Roger Mears barely got his Nissan dirty before rolling it grandly out of the battle. Tom Morris/Frank Arciero Jr struggled through a pair of long laps in their Toyota before calling it quits.

Up front Stewart led John Baker, Mitsubishi, by a mere 7 minutes midway, and Sherman Balch had his Nissan just 12 more minutes behind. But Balch, and Jerry McDonald, had big trouble on the 3rd lap. McDonald did not finish, but Balch carried on to place 3rd with four laps done. Ivan picked up a 29 minute lead on Baker starting the last lap, then Baker lost a couple hours in the dark. Ivan Stewart sailed home the big winner over John Baker, and the media hype was all about Ivan beating the class 8 times, just as Baker had done at San Felipe. These are some mini truck folks!"

Ivan Stewarts 001 Toyota had 4 flats and some minor front end issues which resulted in about 45 minutes of down time. He stated that the truck was at approx 90% of where they wanted it and he couldn't wait till they worked all the bugs out of it. Ivan's time was 11:26:06, 26th Overall.

Tom Morris and Frank Arciero had all kinds of problem including a steering box issue. Tom wasn't happy with the design of the box having only 1 bolt on each side of the box and wanted 2. When the bolt broke he turned to the designer and said "can I get 2 bolts now?" He did. Antics like the one below probably didn't do the steering box any favors but it sure made a great cover shot for the "SCORE News" magazine...


Photo credit unknown

Little race info: There were 399 entries but only 389 took the green flag, and only 97 of those finished (25.2%). The overall win went to Jim and Billy Wright in their class 2 unlimited Raceco. This was a back to back MINT 400 win for the father and son team at the time of 9:20:31. Brian Collins/Ken Cox would finish in 2nd with Cameron Thieriot/Greg Lewin in 3rd.


Photo credit Gary Prichard

Mike Lund would have a great battle with Mike Julson/Tom Ebberts with Lund winning and a strong 2nd overall with the time of 9:26:42. Julson vanished on the 4th lap and Frank Snook/Dave Rogalia finished 2nd with Todd Davis/Kevin Derby in 3rd.


Photo credit unknown

Walker Evans would beat Dave Shoppe and Steve Kelley to the finish line, 28th Overall at 11:28:58.


Photo Credit Jeff Furrier

Info gathered from Tom Morris and Dusty Times (June 1984).
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:24 PM
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Just got home from www.azallcoat.com an picked up my suspension pieces. Jake did a great job as usual, found some cracks and I'm sure we will find more after getting mag'ed. Next up is a trip to www.collins-motorsports.comnext week to get that taken care of.

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Old 10-10-2016, 08:26 PM
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**The following is from August, I forgot to post this.....

Trying to get motivated in this heat (114 today) and my garage is a sweltering 111 degree's. More wire wheel prep on some minor parts to get a load ready for Collins Motorsports next week. As I sweat my b*lls off in the garage my phone "Dings".....it's a text from Tommy Morris. "Sweet" i thought as i open up my phone to see what it is he has to say and I get this pic........



Tom and i had talked yesterday and the topic of heat came up and my garage. I never thought of Tommy being funny....actually I still dont! LOL. On that note I shut down the garage and went in the house for a nice adult beverage. This weekend will suck b*lls also with the temps between 119-120. Make some room in your garage Tommy, I comin' over to hang out in the AC!
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:10 AM
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I got a small box of goodies from Tommy yesterday for the 001 PPI Toyota that i'm ecstatic about. First was this Bilstein tool for all the shocks. Per Tommy it was built by Jamie Wells for the 001 thru 004 trucks and I'm glad to have it...



He also threw in a couple old shocks that were used on the 001...



And of course some very cool collectible PPI pins from 1984 and 1998...



My personal favorite is the spare tire mount with the "Precision Preparation" logo etched into the metal...



So now I have 2 different tire mounts, one that says "Ironman by Downey" and of course the "Precison Preparation"...



Now back to the wire wheel prep........
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:24 PM
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One of the most impressive pieces of the 001 PPI Toyota, besides the suspension, is the steering box. At last years Off Road Expo, I was talking to Lance Baron (Former PPI employee during this time) about getting the 001, one of the first things he asked about was "does it still have the steering box?". Now I know what he was talking about...



I'm not sure but I'm guessing that Mickey Thompson might have helped them design this piece because almost EVERYTHING is custom. I didn't freak out about it since I was trained pretty well with the restoration of Challenger IV.

Here it is almost completely apart besides the brass bushings inside that guide the steering rod. I still have a few parts that aren't pictured below like the steering ram and a few more brushes and aluminum covers to help keep the dirt out of the box...



In the above picture, that's how it sits in the truck, under the frame but protected by the front skid plate. The steering shaft enters at the top and the openings on each side of the box (facing you) are where the tie rods mount to, while the steering ram mounts to the front side of the box. I'm amazed on how good of shape it is in and only seems to need a couple of the small brass bushings redone for the steering pinion to get the slop out. I'll need to look at it a little closer but so far so good.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:30 AM
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This thread has a lot going for it. Each set of posts is like an installment in an epic story. Your passion for the history of the sport really shows both in the way you dig up the race history, the relevant photos and in the meticulous way that you are restoring this truck. Can you tell us a little about what your background is, I mean restoring this truck with this level of detail seems like a full time job...do you own a restoration business, some kind of desert race shop, or are you just an extreme hobbyist?
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:15 AM
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@coryc85 Thanks for the compliment! Well, the short version is My dad use to race off road in the mid to late 70's so the off road racing bug bit me early. By the mid 80's I was able to drive to the races and of course that is when the Toyotas were coming into their own on the racing scene. My fulltime job is a Firefighter in AZ but thats not going to pay the bills. I have a side business called Racers Only Motorsport Designs (www.racersonly.com) and we do custom motorsport artwork that is mainly used for t-shirt designs (we don't print t-shirts though). I saved up enough money to go racing in the sportsman class around 2007 in an old race car that Pat Dean use to race, it was called the Trophy Truck Killer back in the mid 90's.

Pat Dean in the Trophy Truck Killer (TTK) winning the 1993 GoldCoast 300...



We bought the TTK in 2006 and raced it till 2010 with much success....



Around that time the NORRA Mexican 1000 came back from the dead (www.norra.com) and I absolutely LOVE the old desert racing stuff. Jeff Furrier from UPR Racing Supply in Tucson and I decided to partner up on a vintage race car. Jeff found the 3 time Baja 1000 winning class 1 unlimited Chenowth 1000 buggy of Mark Stahl and we started the restoration. It took 10 months but we finished it in time for the 2011 race and finished 1st!



Vintage racing hit me hard after that race. I found my next project that same summer and it took 3 years to complete. The Mickey Thompson Challenger IV racer from 1978....



From there we found another class 2 unlimited DirTrix racer from 1984 and restored it for the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000....



We then sold the DirTrix to buy the Toyota which is what we are working on now. For what it's worth, I don't own a restoration business, I'm not the best fabricator and I'm far from rich. All I can tell you is I have a strong passion for the sport of off road racing and even more for its history. I'm glad you guys are enjoying the build as much as I am doing it, that was the idea behind the "on-line" builds, to share it with everyone and also give them a little history lesson at the same time.

Last edited by Racersonly; 10-20-2016 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:51 PM
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Back at it, had to load the chassis onto the trailer today, which is a fun project when by yourself. Since I'm use to working by myself you tend to figure out how to do stuff on your own.

1). Jack up the front of the chassis so the trailer will slid under.
2). Jack up the front of the chassis (while on the trailer) and strap a rolling dolly to chassis.
3). Use Engine hoist to pick up the back of the chassis.
4). Push....straighten.....repeat.





She's all loaded up, just need to load up the donor cab and we'll be ready to drop it off at Darryl Putmans shop in Vegas...




While I'm in Vegas I'll stop by www.collins-motorsports.com and drop off all the suspension, axles, sway bars/adjusters. steering shafts, rear end, torsion bars/adjusters and a bunch of other crap that will need to be mag'ed to make sure they are not junk....



Hope to find out some good news tomorrow, stay tuned...
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:46 PM
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I'm very pleased to announce that Bilstein Shocks have jumped on board with the Ivan Stewart 001 PPI Toyota restoration. I have been talking with Larry Eckert at Bilstein for the past month and am about ready to ship the shocks over to him and he told us they would like to get involved with our project and help us out with the shocks. Jeff Furrier and I have worked with Bilstein before on the Marks Stahl Chenowth 1000 wth great results (1st place at the NORRA Mexican 1000) and a beautiful photo shoot for Hot VW's magazine.





I love the fact I get to work with a company that was there almost from the begining of off road racings exsistence, especially me being a "Vintage nerd" per Matt Martelli. I'd be curious to see how many wins Bilstein has in the desert over the last 40 years. The who's who of desert racing has run on Bilstein's including: Larry Ragland, Bobby Ferro, Johnny Johnson, Bob Rodine, Rob MacCachren, Malcolm Smith, Bud Feldkamp, The McMillins, The Gordons, Frank Vessels and of course Ivan Stewart.

I will handle the paint stripping and then once Larry and the guys from Bilstein take them apart, RDC's own Norm Francis is going to put a fresh coat of "Bilstein yellow" on the shocks and return them to Larry for the rebuild. You guys know Norm right..........



That will be one huge step for us getting the PPI Toyota restored right, thanks again to Bilstein for the help, it is much appreciated.

You can visit them on-line at: www.bilstein.com
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:24 AM
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On the road to Vegas yesterday....



Dropped off all the parts to get mag'ed as the shop was getting ready for the BITD Vegas To Reno event. The shock /Magnaflux room was pretty full...



As Jake and the boys were finishing up work on Dallas Luttrell's 7200 and Matt Laughlin's 6100 trucks...



Mr. Gaughan's prerunner is getting some work done and then a full prep (after a scotch brite party). I wish I could post a pic of the project Erik, Robert and Billy are working on, just out of the frame but was told it is not ready for social media just yet. I guess you guys are just going to have to wait...



I had to finish pressing out the old ball joints from the a-arms..



Then it was back on the road to the other side of town to drop off the donor cab and chassis to Darryl Putman...



Loved Darryl's shop, he had it packed pretty tight, kinda like my garage. For as much stuff as he has packed in there you think it is unorganized at first but you then see he has it figured out and is more organized then first thought! He has a couple cool projects in there already and mine will add to the mix...




One of my favorite things in the shop was the Team MacPherson class 8 truck that was driven by Ivan Stewart in the early 80's, then sold to Mike Shuringa (sp?). Darryl got it and has S L O W L Y been working on it to get it back to the desert but has too many projects in front of it to start anytime soon







Darryl should have the chassis for a couple months with i get a bunch of other crap done on my side that will leave my garage space open to make it easier to get stuff done. Should pick up the parts from Collins at Vegas 2 Reno while I now work on getting the shocks stripped down and ready for Bilstein to work their magic.
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:20 PM
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History lesson, Race #3:

Politics got involved for the 1984 Baja 500 and Sal Fish decided it was best to just run it in Barstow and call it the "Baja in Barstow" race. Ivan Stewart would again have 3rd member problems but the truck was so fast it still beat Manny Esquerra to the finishline by 9 minutes and again beat the class 8 trucks by 38 minutes! Tommy Morris and Frank Arciero would have another DNF due to mechanical errors. Talking with Tommy, updates that were made to Ivans truck (001) were NOT made to his truck (002) causing some unnecessary DNF's to the 002 which Tommy would soon correct.



Larry Ragland had another stellar day in the Woodstuff Chaparral winning class 1 and the Overall with the time of 5:54:29 over the 321 mile course (3 laps @ 107 miles long). Jim Sumners won class 2 while Norm and Steve Schmidt won class 5 unlimited.



Jack Johnson had a rough day and rolled on lap 1, then dropping out with a broken front end soon after. Mike Lund would sneak into 2nd place after fighting a blown seal and 29 quarts later...



Jim Dizney and Mike McCrory won class 9 (basically a 1/1600 buggy with a 1200cc motor)...



And Dave Shoppe would have a great battle with Steve Kelley, but Dave Shoppe would get the best of him on this day beating him by a mere 16 seconds at the finish line.



Story (Lane Evans) and photo's (Jere Alhadeff, Centerline, L. Evans) courtesy of Hot VW's magazine.
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Old 11-01-2016, 01:54 PM
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I love your attention to detail on this build! I can't wait to see your engine plans! Are you planning on running that 18RG? That wasn't the engine they ran in 84 is it? 152E?
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:04 AM
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@racersk We're not 100% sure what we are doing for a motor right now. At the moment the plan would be to use the motor that came with the truck but I would rather run the motor that TRD built for this monster back in 1984 but with the updates when it was last raced in 1988. Once I get the truck closer to something that resembles the truck that raced the MINT 400 in 1988 we will start knocking on doors at TRD and Toyota and see what they think. Until then, here is the latest update......

Darryl Putman is getting to work on the donor cab, so far making quick work of it. They started by cutting the back firewall out of it...



Then moved to the floor...



Then they noticed that the tube circled in "RED" was added later by Hugo's fab guy for the fiberglass body to mount to, but was in the way for the steel cab.



After the tubes were cut out the cab was placed over the chassis...



Still a lot of work to do with fine tuning the body so it fits correctly, and possibly notching parts of the cab and inner panels. The floor will also need to be filled in (well, a 1/4 of it anyways) and the rusted parts replaced with new metal. So far so good, couldn't be happier with the work Darryl has done so far. It's starting to look like a truck again....
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:59 PM
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Just found this thread, and all I can say is WOW! Great read so far, and thanks for bringing such and iconic Toyota back to life!
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:56 PM
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Glad you're enjoying the thread Jakey Poo.....

History Lesson, Race 6 (skipped Riverside and Glen Helen short course races).

1984 Frontier 500 (now known as the Vegas to Reno). Cal Wells argument of the Toyota's being class 7 legal was falling on deaf ears so the choice was made to run both trucks in class 1, Ivan in #104 and Tom Morris/Frank Arciero in #117. Controversy had already started as both trucks still had 2 people in the cab heading down the HWY during the parade to the start line and HDRA told them they better lose a co-rider or they would be illegal for the class. Ivan had one of his sons in the co-pilot seat and he was pulled from the truck minutes before the start of the race. Tom Morris asked to run in class 2 so he could keep his co-rider and HDRA agreed, even though he would be running a class 1 number in class 2.

Ivan would have a great battle all day with Larry Ragland and both would be in the pits together as Ivan fought some ignition problems. Larry had 15 minutes on Ivan at the finish line to win class 1 and the Overall...



Ivans first race in class 1 netted him a 2nd place finish in the highly competitive unlimited class, quite the accomplishment for a truck that weighed over 1000-1500 Lbs heavier than his competition and 100 less HP than the 6 cylinder Porsche motors...



Jim and Billy Wright would win class 2 unlimited, 3rd overall as Tom Morris/Frank Arciero had a rear axle seal fail and need replacing but would still finish 3rd. Controversy again as Cam Thieriot protested the Morris/Arciero entry stating they were running a class 1 number and was not informed they were moved into class 2 when it happened. Cam stated he saw the #117 Toyota pass him while in the pits but didn't chase after him because he thought it was a class 1 vehicle. After it was all said and done both entries were awarded a 3rd place finish (tied).



Malcolm Vinje and Mark Hansen once again took a class 5 unlimited Baja bug win as they were on their way to the OVERALL Points champions for 1984.



Larry Schwacofer And Sid Spradling won class 6 (Now the Jim Riley Rippin Rooster NORRA ride)...



The late great Manny Esquerra won class 7 and finished 25th Overall!



Walker Evans beat 9 other class 8 trucks as he led from start to finish, even after having "Lots of flats" due to ripping wheels off the truck...



There was a total of 189 starters for the Late October race sponsored by the Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The weather was not too hot but there was no wind at the southern end of the very dusty race course.

Info from the November 1984 issue of Dusty Times.
Story- Jean Calvin
Photo's- Trackside Photo.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:52 AM
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Although I have yet to meet with Tom Morris in person, I'm guessing that will happen at this years Off Road Expo if he's not too busy with his military contracts. Speaking of Tom, he sent me over some pictures a couple weeks ago and he thinks they are from the very first testing session with the 001 Ivan Stewart Toyota at Saddleback Park in early 1984...









Pretty sure it was Tom who took these photos with Ivan behind the wheel. Noticed a couple things about the early trucks:
*Only 2 shocks per wheel on the rear (updated to 3 per wheel).
*Inner rear fender aluminum panels....gets expen$ive when you loose a rear panel.
*No beadlock wheels.
*Foot step located on drivers door.
*Can see the "single" leaf spring on the rear.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:39 AM
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Not much going on for the 001 while I wait for the cab and suspension parts to get finished up. The Vegas to Reno event delayed some work but i knew that going into it. Kind of a blessing because i had a bunch of work to finish for the Racers Only side of the business (Artwork) and i'm just about caught up. Hopefully the suspension will be done sometime next week and then the cab the week after....crossing my fingers.

I talked with my good buddy Sandy Cone (www.coneindustries.com) at contingency for V2R and he is my go to guy for the Ball joints for the front suspension. As of right now I have 1 upper and 1 lower which is great since at least I have a template to go off of. They seem to be in decent shape but i'll have Sandy check them out just in case and we will use them as spares. Here's the upper, pretty simple and a lot bigger than the bottom Ball Joint...



The Lower is a bit smaller with more parts...



Moving on, It's time to finish up the Bilstein shocks and get them ready for a fresh rebuild. I'm in charge of stripping the old paint off so that's what i'll be doing today...
*The shock at the bottom of the photo is a spare given to me from Tom Morris.



Since i had to go to the V2R event I thought I would bring the DirTrix up and put it on display. BFGoodrich was generous enough to let me set it in front of their booth during contingency (Thank you) and I was answering a lot of questions. Hopefully someone looking for a Vintage race car, prerunner or even a very nice class 12 (well, almost) will buy it so i can jump in with both feet on the Toyota...



I hope to be a little more productive in the next couple weeks but i will have to see how my parts are coming along first.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:41 AM
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The truck is still in Las Vegas, still more work to do to get the body mounted just right. I'm getting a few things done here and there but nothing exciting. Now would be a good time for....

History Lesson, Race 7:

The 1984 Baja 1000 would be the final SCORE race for the Toyotas and the most important for PPI and Toyota, everyone wants to win the Baja 1000. Since this was a SCORE race the Toyota's would be running in class 7 and NOT in class 1 & 2. The controversy still surrounded the trucks but at the time SCORE had not outlawed them from the class. Ivan had his son Brian riding with him and would be the quickest to checkpoint 1. He would soon have steering problems and find himself in a tree near Tres Hermanos. Both the Toyotas would suffer MULTIPLE steering pump problems that would eventually put them out of the race near Checkpoint 4. I can't remember the specifics but Tommy told me they kept blowing the pumps up and were way down on time and i THINK they ran out of spares.



Here's the rest of the story on the 1984 Baja 1000 from the December 1984 issue of Dusty Times.
Story- Jean Calvin
Photo's- Jim Ober/Trackside Photo

Mark McMillin would repeat as the Overall winner of the Baja 1000 and would win his class by over an hour to the 2nd place finisher Dave Lewis/Dave Simpson in the Mazda powered Raceco.



The Larry Noel/Tim Kennedy class 1 entry broke 3rd gear halfway through the race but soldiered on to take the win and 9th Overall.



Class 7 was won by the late great Manny Esquerra with his brother Tudy. Manny had some problems enroute to the win including changing out a noisy rear gear but still finished an impressive 6th Overall.



Bobby and Tom Neth domintaed class 1-2/1600 in their Chenowth, finishing 10th Overall.



Rod Hall just kept on winning in the class 4 Dodge, even though he was the only entrant. He put his entry purse with the class 8 trucks and would finish 3rd in the money after changing out a transfer case.



RDC's own Dave Hendrickson with Victor Barajas would take the win against 11 other entries in class 11. It would take them 24 hours and 6 minutes to finish the 736 miles.



Finally,

Dave Shoppe would earn the cover of Dusty Times beating Parnelli Jones, Walker Evans, Steve Kelley and John Gable to the finishline and 2nd Overall to boot!



Entries were a little low for this event, mostly due to the Frontier 500 race held only 3 weeks before and totaled 169 entries (The 1983 B1K had 248 entries).
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:17 PM
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Darryl Putman has been working on the cab on his days off (Saturdays and Sundays). Attaching the cab is a tedious process and takes a lot of time especially since the old cab was cut off and sections of it still remain. Here's some shots of it as it sits today.....



We have found some rust issues but finding a straight cab has been difficult. We will most likely have to cut and add some metal to a couple spots to fix it but I'm not too worried about it, I've seen worse vehicles with rust that have been repaired to near perfect!



The floor had some rust issues but Darryl cut the majority of it out and replaced it. ^



The rear of the cab was fitted but also took its toll as the cab had to be pulled apart to fit over the roll bars. Again, nothing that a little metal, welding and filler can't fix.



Darryl matted the rear firewall to the sides of the donor cab, just needs some fine tuning and she's ready to go.



It's starting to look like a truck again. Darryl still has some finish work to do like add the bracing and fill some holes. I hope to pick it up after the Parker Blue Water race but it will go straight to Collins Motorsports to have some minor rear suspension work finished up before it can come home. The next step will be to the body shop to get the cab ready for paint.



On a side note, The DirTrix has been "Unofficially" sold, it will be official when the new owner comes to pick it up on Friday. I'm sorry to see it go, it was such a fun car but the Toyota is draining the wallet quickly so it was a must. With that being said, I hope to really get moving on the project since I will have some money to throw at it, stay tuned!
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:36 PM
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I love seeing the race history mixed in with the restoration.

Good to see the last project is going to a new home, restoring a race truck can't be a cheap undertaking
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