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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 11-11-2016, 07:03 PM
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Please tell me you plan on taking this thing to the offroad expo in Pomona next year. Would love to see this thing in person once its all done. You might even get Ivan to sign the dash or something. I've seen him walking around there before.

Keep up the good work and updates
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:02 AM
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Dropzone, you are correct, this will not be cheap. The sale of the DirTrix is helping fund the project as of now but we will soon use up all that money and I expect it to slow us down a little. With that being said we have been getting help from companies such as Bilstein, Mastercraft Safety and talking with a few more that should take the sting out of the pocket book.

Robert M, Not 100% sure where we will be in October next year, I'd love to have it as a roller and painted but who knows what hoops we will have to jump through between now and then. As for Ivan Stewart, I have a bigger plan for him in my head but that does not mean it is going to happen. We have talked briefly and he is well aware of what we are doing and is keeping tabs on our progress. Not only Ivan but Cal Wells, Tommy Morris, Lance Barron and a list of others that were involved in this build back in the mid 80's are watching this build and from what I'm hearing "Really enjoying it". Like I said before, this is not a job but a labor of love for me.

Ok, back to the build...... I was up in Vegas today and stopped by Collins Motorsports to check on my parts and it kind of let the wind out of my sails with the results of the magnafluxing. I dropped off approx 60 different parts to get tested and only about 10 of them came back without cracks. Collins Motorsports found 160 plus cracks, a majority of them easily fixed but will still require almost 2 full days of prep and welding. The rear end alone has 31 cracks and STILL needs to be put on a fixture to see if it's straight.....





There is a total of 6 torsion bars on the lower A-arm, two of them are no good. The steering slider that goes into the steering box has 1 crack in a bad spot and we are hoping it can be fixed without warping the shaft. The pinion on the other hand has almost more cracks then splines and will need to be replaced/remade (custom)...



The rear cantilever arms have cracks but nothing that can't be welded up along with the front spindles and bulkhead...







Another custom part that will hurt the pocket book is the rear torsion bar adjuster for the cantilever rear suspension. It is cracked clean through and will need to be replaced.....



I'm nervous to see what the rear end results show. I'm hoping that since the Toyota only had about 200Hp it wouldn't have put too much strain on the housing but the abuse from a guy named "IRONMAN" might have put a curse on my pocketbook. Cross your fingers...

Last edited by Racersonly; 11-12-2016 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:32 PM
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Well, the good news is the truck will be ready for pick up tomorrow. From there it gets delivered to Collins motorsports across town to get the rear cantilever arms worked on and a few other odds and ends. I'm hoping sometime before the Baja 1000 the truck will make it back home so i can start stripping off all the paint from the donor cab and chassis. I still need to make mounts for all the fenders and a few more fabricated pieces before I send it off to paint. Anyways, here's some shots of the truck as it sits now over at Darryl Putmans shop. There are a few things missing like A-pillar mounts (to the cage) and a few other minor things that you can't see but pretty much done.

Front drivers side corner...



Passenger side lower rear corner...



Drivers side lower rear corner...



Drivers side rear window...



Passenger side door opening and extra cab area...



Passenger side front A pillar...



Lower passenger side front corner (A-pillar door jam)...


So far I'm very pleased with the work done. As with any fab shop it usually takes longer than you would like but I go into it already knowing that and Darryl was very close on his completion date so no worries on my end.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:59 PM
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So cool, keep at it, love seeing the photos and story.

Thanks fro sharing
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:11 PM
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have seen DSuz fasteners since my Baja Bug days in the 80's!
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:20 PM
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Here's a few more pic's of the finished product out of Darryls shop. Darryl was responsible for placing the donor cab on the chassis and thats it, i still have to get some body work done but it's in pretty good shape except for about 2-3 little areas. Here's a close up on the inside A-pillar with all the dimple die bracing...



Here's a shot of the bracing in the extra cab area...



More.....



1984....



2016....



We loaded the truck up and off to Collins motorsports, but first I had to stop for lunch! Thanks to Collins Motorsports for letting me borrow the TT trailer, my new trailer won't be finished until the week before the Baja 1000.



The PPI #001 Toyota is now resting in a familiar spot for our restorations, Collins Motorsports. I can't do it all and i know my limits, that's why i bring my stuff to the best in the business when i need something done. The Goerke brothers and the rest of the Collins Motorsports crew have taken good care of me over the years, that's why i keep coming back. Chassis #001 will probably sit here for approx 1 month while they work their magic on the rear suspension and some very important machining work.


Last edited by Racersonly; 11-21-2016 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-22-2016, 02:53 PM
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Little update on the Bilstein shocks. The guys at Bilstein took all the shocks apart and are getting ready to be rebuilt. Before that happens I wanted to get the cans repainted so everything looks (is) brand new again. Enter Norm Francis (Retro racing). Norm's a good friend of mine as we both share the same love for Vintage off road racing. Norm offered to pick up the cans from Bilstein and paint them yellow again. Norm made Juan pose for a picture when he picked up the cans last week....



It will be a few weeks before the cans are painted because Norm has to button up the old Tracy Valenta owned Funco driven by Marty Tripes back in the late 70's, early 80's. Some of the drivers that drove this car include:
Roger Mears, Ted Nugent (yes, that Ted Nugent), Ivan Stewart, Marty Tripes, Monty Crawford, Brian Harbor and Bob "Hurricane" Hannah.



After the ORMHOF ceremony in Las Vegas, Norm will get to work on the cans and have them painted up and delivered back to Bilstein. Here's a few shots of them sitting in Norms shop...





Still a lot of work to go but we're knocking stuff off the list which is the important thing.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:13 AM
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Collins Motorsports: All the cracks in the suspension parts should be welded up this weekend and then Billy Goerke will be mocking up the rear suspension, weld new bungs for the cantilevers and making new bushings. Hoping that will be completed sometime in the next couple weeks.

Cantilever bung shown on original build photo....(Photo credit Lance Barron)




Bear Race cars: Getting a quote for the front Ball joints for the A-Arms, should hear something next week. Also, the steering pinion needs replacing and that one off piece will cost anywhere from $500-$700 to be replicated.

Ball joints...


Steering pinion...


Transaxle Engineering: Jeff Fields is handling the trans, seems like out of the two I gave him they should be able to make 1 good one. Parts don't exist for these transmissions but he has a ton of spares to look through and we should be fine. The under drives are worry some because Jeff might not have any parts for those. To have a couple gears made of each gear would be EXTREMELY expensive....refer to steering pinion....LOL. My goal would still be to have one spare trans but not sure if it would be a full blown race trans.



Bilstein shocks: Norm Francis is almost done painting the shocks, then he will deliver them to Bilstein in Poway so they can put them back together with new seals, rod ends and valving...



Lots of oars in the water, just nothing happening here at the race shop until we get the truck back from Collins Motorsports. I did get up to the SEMA show in Las Vegas and got a few contacts that I've been trying to get for some time now, it might help down the road sometime soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me...
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:06 AM
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I was up in Las Vegas the other day and stopped by Collins Motorsports to see the progress of the truck/parts. Billy Goerke took some time to explain to me his plan of attack for the build and then began working on welding up the rear suspension parts...



Here's an example of the cracks that have been welded up, as you can see the cracks for the most part are not very long but only a few here and there....







Below is a picture of the "Bung" that SHOULD be attached to the frame but was cut off by the prior owner. I'm guessing this was because they were gearing up to chop off the rear suspension and make a 4 link out of it and were not going to need the Torsion bars anymore. Billy is working on the bungs and also ordering material for all the bushings...



After the 1000 I'm hoping to hear back about the trans, ball joints and a few other parts being fabbed/machined.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:48 AM
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On a side note, I finally took delivery of my new Yiro trailer yesterday and i couldn't be happier. My last trailer was very nice but not built for heavy vehicles (Full size trucks). I have had 4 different trailers in the past 7 years and this one has everything I want in the way of size, weight and function. My last trailer was perfect for the DirTrix but I would have maxed out the GVW with the Toyota and spares for Mexico. Not only that the width was 102" and that can get troublesome when heading south on the tight roads in Baja near Catavina to Santa Rosalia.

The Yiro has a 20' deck and is 96" wide, 16" wheels, 2 spares (that don't take up space on the spare tire rack for the race car), #7000 axles, lockable front storage box and railing down the sides. The trailer also has been upgraded with brakes on both axles, 10 tie downs located on the deck along with 6 rings located down the outside of the trailer and we decided to go with the color red to go with the Toyota when finished. I hope this will be the last trailer i need for at least the next 10-15 years.





The measurement between the wheel wells is 70 1/2" and 93" between the frame rails. It's a bit heavier then my other trailer but also has a lot more material for the 10,000 GVW.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:28 PM
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Please dont stop updating this thread. I am in love with all the history and the memories. Many people start these epic build threads and then they abandon them after a year or so and we never see the finished product. It really is refreshing to see someone who is doing a build like this, putting their heart and soul into it, and not for the money. The passion is what is driving you, and that is the best part of the build. Much luck to you! Ill be keeping tabs.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by space-junk View Post
Please dont stop updating this thread. I am in love with all the history and the memories. Many people start these epic build threads and then they abandon them after a year or so and we never see the finished product. It really is refreshing to see someone who is doing a build like this, putting their heart and soul into it, and not for the money. The passion is what is driving you, and that is the best part of the build. Much luck to you! Ill be keeping tabs.
Don't worry Space-junk, this project will get finished no matter what. Luckily for me I have the time and patience to do this project, sometimes I just have to wait for the money to come in. Anyways, back to the build...

Today I made a trip up to Kingman Arizona to drop off the original Ball joints for William Haywood (AKA Bear @ Bear race cars) to make for the Toyota. Most of you might know him better as the main guy behind Gary Messer's green 7200 truck that has been cleaning up in the BITD series....





Bear has done alot of work for me over the years which includes the TT Killer, odds & ends for the 4 seater, Challenger IV and now the Toyota. Bear has also expanded his shop x4 over the last couple years and has some very impressive machinery including this automated bender...







And his latest toy which he will be using to make the custom ball joints and cups for the A-arms...



He has probably had it for a month or so and has been playing around with it making parts here and there, like these weld on AN bungs...



and some Chess pawns, he was playing around....



Bear is ordering material as we speak and hopefully should have it after the holidays next week. In the meantime he will be drawing up the parts in his computer to get ready to cut them out.
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:06 PM
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History lesson, Race # 8:

Cal Wells and Tommy Morris officially started the SCORE/HDRA season in class 1 (Ivan Stewart) and class 2 (Frank Arciero) figuring the trucks seemed to be competitive enough to run with the unlimited vehicles if starting closer to the front of the field and not fighting their way through dust/traffic. Unknown if this had anything to do with it but trying to rebuild the trucks to make them class 7 legal might have been too costly as PPI was waaaaaay over budget already (my opinion only).

The 1985 Parker 400 would be a very tough race for all the racers as they would have to contend with something they rarely ever have to deal with.....snow. Ivan would start 18th in class 1 and have a pretty good run on the California side finishing the 1st lap 3rd in class while Frank Arciero was right on his tail, 2nd in class 2. They loaded the trucks on trailers and headed to the Arizona side to finish up the two 95 mile loops. Ivan would be slowed with transmission problems and finish 8th while Frank found a rock in the sand wash and tore off the drivers side front spindle. The race did show some promise as both vehicles were challenging for the lead in both classes while running.


Photo credit Trackside photo.


Photo credit Lance Barron/Chris Hukill

The rest of the race as told through Hot VW's magazine By Lane Evans. Photo credits Trackside, Centerline and Lane Evans.

Jack Johnson and Mark McMillin were having a great race in class 1. The cold weather was icing up the throttle linkage on most vehicles, which slowed them down....Except for Jack Johnson. Jacls throttle was stuck wide open on his type IV Porsche motor but he just used the on/off switch on the dash to slow him down which resulted in 1st place in class 1 and Overall! Mark mcMillin would finish 2nd about 11 minutes back...



Jerry Penhall and Ron Gardner had a great run in the class 2 Raceco, finishing 3rd Overall and 1st in class.



Jack Irvine and Kit Trenholm beat 46 other vehicles to win class 10...



Malcolm Vinje and Mark Hansen continued their winning ways in class 5 unlimited taking class 5 unlimited...



Steve Kelly was in a new ride (for him) as he took over Parnelli Jones seat in the Miller American class 8 truck and ended up with a 1st place...



Continuing to add to his long string of wins in class 4, Rod Hall gets another one at Parker...



Mario Alesi beat 6 other mini trucks to the finish line in class 7...



And last but not least, Larry Schwacofer and Sid Spradling won class 6 (B) in the 55 Chevy...



Check out the list of winners/finishers below, you'll see a few familiar faces...

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Old 12-09-2016, 08:03 AM
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This update is a little scattered but this seems to happen a lot during a restoration. First off, Bear Race cars has drawn up some new Ball Joints for the front end. The cups on the other hand might be a little more complex due to the heat treating involved and would most likely have to be ground down to make the tight fit back into the cup holders in the arm. Have been talking to a few people including Bill Savage and Billy Goerke and they seem to think the original cups should be just fine....although we are going to get a 2nd look at them before we make that call. Here's the new Ball Joints...

Upper...


Lower...


Luckily for me I have a guy like Tommy Morris who has been a Godsend so far on the restoration. Between him and Cal Wells remembering material types, manufacturers and contacts, this complicated restoration has gone a lot smoother than the Challenger IV build since i didn't have as much input from the original builders.
Example: I sent feelers out for the front fiberglass for the 001 Toyota since I knew someone out there might have a set....including some old employee's of PPI. Turns out Tommy remembered someone that was building an prerunner Toyota and thinks he might of had some original fiberglass on his truck. After a few emails and phone calls I get these 2 pictures send to me...





The rear fiberglass is NOT from the 001 but the front glass LOOKS to be, and if it's not it is EXTREMELY close. I'm hoping to take a trip to Cali some time in December or early January to go look at it and "IF" the owner will let me I'd like to make a mold of the front clip.

It's stuff like this that makes these restorations a blast to do. You never know whats going to show up from one day to the next in your email inbox or text.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:15 AM
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till at it. Lots of phone calls and cleaning of more parts. Slight hold up on the ball joints as I need to pick up the a-arms in Las Vegas and deliver to Bear race cars so he can test fit the ball joint cups and also the taper on the uprights for the ball joint ends. I'll be making a trip to Vegas tomorrow so i can get that handled.

While in Vegas a couple weeks ago I took a Ford 9" 3rd member i got from my buddy Chris Philo to use as a mock up for the rear end to make sure it is straight....



I had to drill out the 3/8" holes to fit the 7/16's studs on the rear end....



After this was all done I noticed that the studs were approx 1/4' off in a few places while others were dead on. I couldn't tell if some of the studs were laying over a little or not. I know I was using a stock Ford 9" but the rear end took a Strange 9" but the bolt holes should line up. I was scratching my head so lucky for me Bill Savage was in the shop that day and told him of my issue. He told me that back then it was hit and miss on all 3rd members lining up perfectly and they would have to "alter" some of the holes and make bigger so the spare 3rd member would work. It was such a problem for him that he started designing his own stuff to fix the problem. The original 3rd member was still at Transaxle Engineering getting prepped. With a quick call to Jeff, he threw the 3rd member in a box and shipped to Collins motorsports so we could use the correct 3rd member to make sure the rear end is straight, then ship it back to him so he can finish lining up the ring and pinion.

While on the subject of Transaxle Engineering, I got these sneak peak pics of the trans coming back from the tumbler...





The trans almost looks BRAND NEW again! I should be getting more pics of the trans as it is being put back together, hopefully within the next couple weeks.

Someone out there sent me this little nugget of the 001 Toyota on the cover of the Downey catalog...

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Old 12-13-2016, 10:26 AM
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!!!!!!
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:28 PM
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Another trip to Las Vegas today and more stuff to do at www.collins-motorsports.com . I found some spare ball joint cups and thought i would bring them up to show Billy Goerke, he seems to think they will make good spares so that's a plus. Jeff Fields sent the 3rd member to Collins so they were busy making the billet spacers to bolt into the rear end....

Richard on the lathe...



Here they are completed and sitting next to the steel rod that they are made for. The rod slides into the spacers once in the rear end, then they can see if the rear end is bent. Holding my breath for the results which happens tomorrow...



and mounted in the 3rd member...



While those were being made I was working on the rollers for the rear suspension. These were used and seem to have been on the truck the last time it was running and had some sort of catastrophic failure back there by looking at the brass bushings. One side was beat all to H E L L while the other side was paper thin and completely gone. Here's a comparison of what they should look like...



and now....



So the bushing is completely destroyed and jammed in the roller. Hacksaw time...



and B O O M ! !



Notice how paper thin they are on one side. They should be about 1/8" thick throughout. Tomorrow a trip up to Bear Race Cars to drop off the a-arms and uprights to have them fitted for the new Ball Joints.
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:53 PM
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I have a love/hate relationship with my buddies up at Collins motorsports. When ever they do work for me it comes with some hazing. Enter Billy Goerke: He calls me yesterday to give me the news about the rear end. Mind you, I have been worried about his phone call ever since i got the truck because I know how expen$ive the rear end would be to have copied with all the mounts for the rollers and this, that and the other. So here's how the phone call goes....

Me: Hey Billy, whats up?
Billy: Uh, well, got some bad news.
Me: Shut up Billy, stop messing with me.
Billy: I'm not. How big is your budget for the rear end?
Me: Come on Billy, stop it.
Billy: No really....
Me: Ugh...well, does it really matter then? Whats wrong with it.
Billy: Well, one of the snouts needs to be replaced and also the passenger side axle tube....
Me: long silence....."$#%&! Well, ok I guess"
Billy: Haha, I'm just messing with you, it looks pretty good.

With that info you love and hate the guy. Turns out the passenger side is bent a little but also needs some welding on the same side. Billy seems to think that the welding will help pull the passenger side back closer to where it needs to be. The drivers side was only a smidge off. For Ivan Stewart to abuse this thing the way he did for 4 years and then get beat on in Mexico for another 5-10 years, i'm pretty stoked with the findings. Kudos to PPI on building a very stout rear end!

Here's a pic of the rear end with the rod through it to check for bends...



You can see here how close to true the drivers side of the rear end is...



Here's the passenger side, see the difference?



Even with it being that far off Billy said he didn't think it would make that much of a difference, he has seen alot worse on TT's and has seen teams run them without blinking an eye. Good to know, and i'm only going to be pushing around 200-250hp at the rear wheels (im guessing).

Bear texted me yesterday and has started on the ball joints. I love getting these kind of texts to see how things are going. I'm sure the ball joints will be done in the next day or so, then it's time for the cups to be made which might take a little more time after getting heat treated...



Almost done with the trial cut on the first one to check for fit on the upright and the a-arm, then off to the real thing!



How about another action shot from back in the day, this time of Hugo Bojorquez from the Loreto 400, possibly 2002-ish....


Last edited by Racersonly; 12-23-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:22 PM
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History lesson: Race #9.

The 2nd race of the SCORE/HDRA desert series took place on the banks of the Colorado River for the 2nd annual Laughlin Desert Challenge. The 55 mile course would be a tight and technical one with many sand washes and not a lot of straight a ways to stretch the legs of the more powerful vehicles.

Ivan Stewart would get the luck of the draw and start 1st off the line in the 001 PPI Toyota. Ivan would only make it 3/4 around the course before transmission issues would sideline him. 4 hours later he would get it fixed and head out for his 2nd lap, a good one, but trans issues again would have him running out of time and retired.

Frank Arciero would also start 1st in class 2 (behind the 20 class 1's) but his day would go no better. Frank would put the Toyota on it's side early and then had a 5 hour 2nd lap, and then parked. Not a great outing for the Toyota's as they were still trying to get the reliability out of the drive train.

The rest of the race as told by the April 1985 issue of Dusty Times.
Words: Jean Calvin
Photo's: www.tracksidephoto.com



Frank Snook and Eric Arras would earn the cover of Dusty Times with their class 1 and Overall win. Jack Johnson, Larry Ragland and Larry Noel were strong contenders for the win but all fell victim to problems.



Jerry Penhall was running 3rd most of the race behind the Tom/Steve Martin Raceco and the Mike Goodwin Raceco, but the Martins blew a motor close to pay dirt while Goodwin threw the win away with a roll over but continued on to finish 2nd.



The class 10's were competing for the Overall on the tight course with only 14 minutes separating 1st and 3rd Overall.



Rob Tolleson working on his Championship 1985 season.



Malcolm Vinje continued his winning ways in class 5 unlimited.



Walker Evans won class 8 after most of his competition had issues.



Jim Dizney won class 9 (Not the Challenger class 9's) and Rod Hall had his way with the class 4 field.



Spencer Low won class 7s and father to the Overall winning class 1 Raceco was Henry Arras winning the class 5-1600 class.



Here's the rest of the finishers.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:18 AM
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Here's a shot of both Toyota's before the 1985 Laughlin Desert Challenge (photo credit Centerline Photography).



I remember this part of the build for Challenger IV and it was a little nerve racking not having it at the shop to tinker on whenever i wanted but this is part of the process if you can't do all the work on your own.

Norm Francis (you know, Retro racing) is almost done painting the shocks. He has a very unique way of doing things but after seeing the finished product on his Funco SSll, Chenowth 1000 and Tracy Valenta's Funco I don't even give it a 2nd thought. I called Norm and said "hey, send me some photo's so i can update my thread". This is the first couple photo's he sent me...





WHOLLY $#&% NORM, tell me your wife isn't home! jajaja. Norm said he has been cleaning stuff like this (before paint) for well over 30 years. After he cleans everything up, he rinses everything and runs them through the dish washer. "Hell, my spaghetti pans have more grease on them than those shocks do"! Funny, I never saw the "shocks" setting next to "Pots and Pans".

Next up was laying everything out to get ready for paint...



The primer was then laid down...




Norm was hoping to finish today but the weather is not cooperating. Hope to see some Bilstein yellow tomorrow sometime and then they are off to Juan and the crew at Bilstein to do the final assembly.

Meanwhile, Bear was waiting for some tooling to show up and it finally arrived. That's a "reem" tool for the taper for the ball joint...



Got a call from Billy Goerke, he said they were having alot of fun trying to get the tube (that the rollers sit on) out of the cantilever arms. The one side came out ok but the other side was giving them fits!



Heat, slid hammers, soaking in liquid wrench, welding on stuff to pull it apart, then repeat. Finally they were able to break it loose...



This restoration is really starting to take it's toll on everyone involved....hahahahaha....BUT I LOVE IT! Most likely a little more of the same next week.
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