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DIY Baja Style Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Built to Go Places

DIY Baja Style Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Built to Go Places

Tacoma Long travel Ki by DirtKing fabrication
Modified Toyota Tacoma with a Grey satin wrap
Toyota Tacoma Prerunner with a TRD sport hood and Fiberwerx Widebody kit
2016 toyota tacoma Offroading Photography
Toyota Tacoma with bulge fiberglass fenders by fiberwerx +6
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Modified Toyota Tacoma with a Grey satin wrap

In our quest of finding unique off-road builds, we stumble across projects that are extremely inspiring and even jaw-dropping, and this 2016 Toyota Tacoma build is a prime example of those cases. We met Sam Webster from Salt Lake City, Utah who was able to make his childhood dream of a cool Baja-style off-roader a reality through hard work and dedication.

Starting with a very limited budget, he bought a totaled Tacoma on a salvaged car auction choosing carefully among lots that have damage to the front end that could be relatively easily fixed with basic tools at home. The fact that Sam managed to do that in his driveway having no prior experience is truly mind-boggling.

Modified Toyota Tacoma with a Grey satin wrap

He has chosen the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, the latest-generation mid-size pickup truck with decent off-road capabilities and modern interior powered by an efficient V6 engine. It’s a truck that could go anywhere and do anything you need it to do in style. Even the stock exterior design is very aggressive and muscular, but when you add big off-road wheels and tires, suspension lift, beefy front bumper, cool aftermarket headlights, wide-body panels, and satin dark gray vinyl wrap, you get a perfect big boy’s toy that looks unreal.

toyota tacoma 3 Inch lift and 35×12.5R17 BF Goodrich KO2 wheels

How did you become interested in off-roading?
– I grew up surrounded by mountains on one side and the desert on the other. My parents loved to camp and we spent a lot of time outside surrounded by nature. Growing up we had a 1994 Ford Bronco that we used for our adventure mobile. That bronco became mine when I was 16 and I quickly started modifying it. Lift, tires, exhaust were first, and then It became a real off-road machine. The freedom of being out on dirt roads and far from civilization became something that I fell in love with and has followed me until now.

“The freedom of being out on dirt roads and far from civilization became something that I fell in love with and has followed me until now.”

2016 toyota tacoma Offroading Photography

Why did you choose this truck?

I have had a handful of full-size trucks in the past, and I was ready to move to a platform that was a bit smaller and more capable in the desert and on trails. I found that there was a huge selection of aftermarket parts for Tacomas and that they were a very reliable vehicle. I realized that I was going to lose towing capacity and bed size, but for what I was doing at that point in my life, a smaller truck fit what I needed. I had thought about buying something more like a Jeep or 4Runner, but I use the bed of the truck so much that I didn’t want to lose that capability. I decided to buy the newest body style of the Tacoma for all of the new creature comforts. Big touch screen, updated interior, and all of the crawl control and offroad goodies added to the 3rd gen body style. I also didn’t want the truck to feel dated, and if I was going to buy a wrecked one, I thought I may as well buy the newest one that I could.

“I have had a handful of full-size trucks in the past, and I was ready to move to a platform that was a bit smaller and more capable in the desert and on trails.”

Toyota Tacoma Prerunner with a TRD sport hood and Fiberwerx Widebody kit

What inspired you to choose this modification style?

– I have always been in awe of Baja race trucks. The ability to go super fast over large bumps and float on air has always been something that I have wanted to be able to do. The other trucks that I had were not very good offroad at high speeds, and the Tacoma gave me the ability to build something like this. Having a Prerunner style truck that I can drive on the street as well as offroad was a no brainer.

There is something so mind-bending about seeing the suspension going crazy underneath the truck and the body nice and level and hardly moving. I knew I had to have that.

“I wanted to be able to have a truck that I could jump, crawl, and daily drive, and a pickup truck with crazy suspension seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Totaled Toyota Tacoma truck restored for off-roading

What challenges did you face while putting it together?

– The largest challenge was starting with a totaled vehicle. It took a lot of time to fix all the damage that happened before I was able to put all of the fun “go fast” parts on it. I needed to get the truck registered and insured first so that I could use it on the street. I spent about 3 months after work and weekends slowly pulling things back straight, replacing airbags, working on body gap alignment, and making sure the truck was in good running order so that it could be road legal once again. I improvised tools and techniques in my driveway, such as making a DIY frame table from a come-along winch that was anchored to my house and a tree in my driveway.

– Building the skills to repair the truck was another big challenge. I had not done anything like this before so I was constantly faced with new and challenging obstacles. My favorite challenge, however, was vinyl wrapping it. I have always been amazed by wrapping cars and decided to do it with a friend of mine. I was quoted $5000 for a shop to do it and was able to complete the job for under $1000, not including any labor costs (roughly 130 man-hours)This was by far the most rewarding and satisfying part of the build for me and its something that I look forward to doing again in the future.

C4 Fabrications front bumper (3 inches wider to match widebody)

What do you love about your Tacoma project?

– I love looking back at it in a parking lot, knowing that I built it. I designed it in my head, bought the wrecked truck, towed it home, figured out how to fix it, and made it with nothing else then some basic tools and hard work. I am so proud of it.

– I also love to see people’s reactions when I drive by. Where I live, this is not a common style of truck that you see driving around. It really is something that catches the eye and is so different from all of the other cars on the road. I get lots of thumbs-ups, smiles, and heads turning whenever I am out in it. This is validation that I build something that not only I love, but other people do too.

Toyota Tacoma wrapped in 3M 10180 Satin Dark Grey

Is it your daily?

– This is my daily. That was the goal from the beginning and I plan to daily it for a long time. Life is too short to drive boring cars.

Do you take it off-road? If so, where and how often?

– Yes, I take it off-road quite often. There are some fun trails surrounding the great salt lake that are fun. I hope to get it down to Moab this year.

What are your plans for this vehicle?

– Soon I will tear the truck apart to do a full rebuild on the rear suspension. I am going to get rid of the stock leaf spring setup and take it to a full 4-link set up with a cage in the bed for the new coil springs, and triple bypasses to mount to as well as a new fuel cell. I am also going to box the rear fame to make it more rigid. With that, I will also be building some rock sliders, a new rear bumper, and a mount on the roof for some classic looking Baja lights across the front.

As any project goes, the list keeps growing, but that is what is on the immediate horizon.

Long-travel +3.5 race kit from Dirt King. 2.5 x 12inch King shocks with remote reservoir and adjusters

I have loved to see the support I have gotten from my Instagram page @tacotaco_taco, and my youtube channel @Sammy Builds from the offroad community. We are all in it for the same reasons, and we all just want to be able to go out into nature with our friends and have fun. I hope that I can inspire others to go out there and build the off-road machine of their dreams. I can’t wait to see how truly capable this thing will be once I finished up the rear suspension and get it dialed in. It’s so rewarding to see the truck of my dreams parked in the driveway.

“I hope that I can inspire others to go out there and build the off-road machine of their dreams.”

Toyota Tacoma with bulge fiberglass fenders by fiberwerx

Background
The truck has had much of the front end repaired from the crash it was in, as well as some body damage on the rear driver side door. I have also extended the fuel filler neck to match up the wider body. I have replaced the front diff bushing. New extended high strength front axles. Extended tie rods. Custom Magnaflow exhaust.

Toyota Tacoma daja style prerunner on snow

Specs

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-road

See Also

Mud terrain vs all terrain tires comparison on Toypta 4 runner

Engine

– 3.5 Liter V6 with no engine modifications as of yet

Suspension

Front Suspension
– Long-travel +3.5 race kit from Dirt King. 2.5 x 12inch King shocks with remote reservoir and adjusters. Set at 3inches of lift.

Rear suspension
– At the moment it is still stock with a 2-inch block lift. Soon I will be changing it to a 3 or 4 link setup paired with a coil-over, a triple bypass, mounted to a bed cage.

Wheels

Fuel Vector in satin black. 17″x9″ with 5 inches of backspacing. For tires, I am running a 35×12.5R17 BF Goodrich KO2.

Toyota Tacoma wide body fenders

Exterior & Interior

– Fiberwerx 6 inch widebody front fenders
– Fiberwerx 6 inch widebody bedsides
– Spyder Auto DRL Projector headlights
– Raptor style grill
– TRD sport hood
– C4 Fabrications front bumper (3 inches wider to match widebody)
– Truck is wrapped in 3M 10180 Satin Dark Grey

– Interior is stock other than Carbon fiber wrapped center console trim and shifter knob.

Long Travel Toyota Tacoma Prerunner DIY build

Watch the progress and find out more about this Toyota Tacoma project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @tacotaco_taco!

Stay tuned for more project reviews on Offroadium.com – Follow us on social media, and share this write up if you enjoyed reading it!

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