2002 Toyota Tacoma - Trixster - Feature05
Spinning On The 1s And 2s Of The Custom Truck Scene
When Oliver Porter (aka DJ Trix) of Phoenix purchased his '02 Toyota Tacoma, the only thing he was looking for was a good daily driver, one that could get him to and from college classes as well as haul his turntables and DJ equipment around town. It wasn't long before Oliver and his father Dennis were looking at the truck and spinning their own ideas.
They started by having Trevco in Chandler, Arizona, install a full 'bag setup on the truck. The front ball joints were flipped, and a set of Slam Specialties 'bags and Toxic Shocks were installed in place of the stock coils and shocks. The rear of the truck was treated to Firestone 'bags, a custom two-link with a Panhard bar, and a C-notch. The bed was cut to allow the new bridge a little room to breathe, and the stock fenders were tubbed for additional clearance.
To prevent some serious disasters beneath the truck, Trevco raised the gas tank and installed a skidplate for protection. Beneath the bed are three 3-gallon tanks and two Thomas compressors that were mounted and plumbed with 3/8-inch hard line. A skidplate was formed beneath the tanks, in addition to compressors, for additional protection. To finish off the new look, a set of 18-inch Limited 341 wheels and Nitto 40-series rubber was put beneath the wheelwells.
Although the Taco' was low, it was still lacking something that Oliver considers serious on any custom vehicle: a great paintjob. Not to knock Toyota's factory, but straight-up white doesn't cut it on the custom scene. So the next stop was to Drew Brothers Customs, which is also in Chandler.
Scott and Vic of Drew Brothers went to work shaving the mini-truck clean. The tailgate handle, rear fender lip tabs, and taillights were filled, and a Sir Michaels steel roll pan was added to the rear. Once the taillights were gone, the body line was also shaved, and a 44-inch single row of LEDs was frenched into the tailgate along the upper body line.
Once all of the prep work was finished on the truck, Rob Drew laid out the traditional flames, sprayed them with Corvette Blue paint, and pinstriped them in orange. On the exterior, the lower valance, door handles, and sideview mirrors were sanded down and painted to match.
Oliver was stoked when he picked up his daily driver from Drew Brothers. Not only did it lay out, but it also looked tight with the blue-on-white flames. However, there was still something obvious missing from the DJ's truck: He needed a stereo to play his favorite tracks on. So he stopped into Ultimate Electronics in Chandler.
Clif of UE brought out the fiberglass resin and created a custom sub box, which became the home of four Alpine 12-inch subs. Above the box, Clif created an amp rack to hold the three Alpine amps, which produce a total of almost 5,000 watts, and wired everything together using Monster Cable four-gauge wire. To help provide instant power to the system, a trio of 1-farad Monster Cable capacitors was added.
The fiberglass also found its way to the center console, where Clif molded and shaped it around the manual shifter. The new free-flowing console houses two air gauges, the switches, and the power window controls for each side.
Installed in the dash are a Panasonic CD/DVD head unit and an Alpine equalizer, which together with the Alpine amps send a crisp and clear signal to the Infinity Kappa component speakers. The two sets of component speakers were installed in the custom kick panels on each side as well as the door panels for the ultimate in imaging.
By this time, it was obvious where things were going. Oliver had fallen into the same trap the rest of us have: He had begun showing his truck at some of the local shows, and now he was addicted to the trophies and compliments that came from them. One thing that the shows taught him was that the judges look everywhere, even under the hood. Oliver, being a quick learner, took the time to make some underhood modifications.
An Injen Short Ram Intake was bolted to the top of the 2.4L, and a ceramic-coated header was bolted to the bottom end. Attached to the headers was a custom-bent 2-1/2-inch exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. To support the stereo, a 160-amp alternator was switched out with the stock one and a whole slew of blue loom was wrapped around the engine compartment.
With the engine all dressed up, it was time to move to the cab and bed of the Toyota. Todd and the Interior Shop of Phoenix were given the task of transforming the stock interior into a full-blown custom job.
Todd began by chopping the headrests off the bucket seats and recovering them using tan and blue tweed. The dash followed suit and was treated to tan as were the custom kick panels, rear panels, headliner, and carpet. Each of the door panels were flamed and then wrapped with tan and accented using blue inserts.
Continuing to accent the interior, Todd used billet, paint, and even a little crystal. The stock steering wheel was removed and replaced by a B.A.D. Hellfire steering wheel and billet hub. The dash bezel, interior handles, recliner levers, column cover, and several other pieces were painted blue to match the flames, and a Momo crystal shift knob was placed atop the shifter.
In the bed, below the Snug Top lid, Todd constructed a custom floor and sidewall panels using wood and fiberglass. Flames were laid out over the sidewall and on the underside of the tonneau and then covered in tan tweed. A trap door was created over the suspension for future access, then a hand-stitched Toyota logo was inserted into the bed floor.
In a matter of nine months, Oliver Porter, with the help of some talented individuals, transformed a stocker into a rail rocker. But don't even begin to think that this is the type of truck that never sees the outside of a garage. One of the best parts about the Tacoma is that it's still Oliver's daily driver. After all, if you can't enjoy it, why build it?