3rd Gen Toyota Pickup - Budget Expo Build


JWP58 , the castors have been working out really well so far with thousands of kms of dirt roads banging the drawer around. I think I paid $12 total for them. These are pretty low quality, but were the only option I could find in Ecuador.

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New Pro Comp Xtreme MT2s

After 40,000 trouble-free kilometers, from Vancouver to Santiago, it is time to replace our trusty Pro Comp Mud Terrains. I originally bought them because A) they were a legit mud-terrain with a beefy sidewall, and B) they were on sale.

It was an easy decision to put on another set of Pro Comp tires after the beating the originals took, but this time we've got the newly designed Xtreme MT2. Sweet!

If I was at home driving the truck back and forth to work I probably could have got another year of driving out of them (the tire shown is the worst of the five)... but since we have about 10,000km of driving on plenty of remote gravel roads without another dealer in sight (other than for some off-brand Chinese tires) we figured it was prudent to change them in now in Santiago.



After tens of thousands of kilometres of far-less-than-marginal braking performance on our fully-loaded truck, we thought it was time to upgrade our brakes before accidentally hitting a stray guanaco crossing the road.

I'll admit that I was really surprised at the improvement that these EBC Brakes Yellowstuff pads made. All of a sudden late-braking into corners is fun instead of scary!





If you read only one of our 100+ blog posts make it this one.

The Lagunas Route from Uyuni, Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile was by far the most ************ and memorable 474km of off road driving we have ever done. Put it on your bucket list and bring your friends. It's a great example of the diversity of rigs you can travel with.

The 1993 4Runner is completely stock save for a plywood sleeping platform in the back. Total cost: $3000 USD
Our 1990 Toyota Pickup still has less than $10,000 CAN into it.
And then there is the uber luxo and capable 2014 Sportsmobile for $100,000+

The best part is that no matter what rig you choose, you can hit the road and find some adventure.



New member
Big fan of this truck. As a new owner of an '89 extended-cab Pickup.. I hope you don't mind if I steal some of your solutions. Loving the Instagram feed as well.



Maybe I missed it, but have you done anything to eek a few extra MPG or HP from the 22RE?

I've got a newer Tacoma with the 3RZ and sometimes wish I had just a bit more power, and then I go about people driving around the world with them , lifted, big tires, no issues.


Maybe I missed it, but have you done anything to eek a few extra MPG or HP from the 22RE?

I've got a newer Tacoma with the 3RZ and sometimes wish I had just a bit more power, and then I go about people driving around the world with them , lifted, big tires, no issues.

The 22RE is painfully stock other than a slightly more aggressive cam (sorry, don't know the specs) and 2.25" exhaust. It's slow, but I guess I got used to it after awhile. I'd love to have just a little bit more power out of it and I'd love to throw some 4.88 gears in the truck instead of the stock 4.10s. I think those two changes would make a world of difference, but those will have to wait until we get back to North America.

I think it's easier to get used to the lack of power when you're far away from the highways/freeways in North America. It's not necessarily fun in Canada or the US when you're constantly getting passed by, well... everybody, who can actually maintain the posted speed limit when climbing steep grades. Throughout Central and South America the majority of the roads were slow and winding, and on most of the highways I was most comfortable driving 90 km/h. Plus, when you're driving alongside beat up Ladas and Citroens you start feeling better about the 22RE power. ;)

Saying that, we recently met an English guy in a Unimog who was also very jealous of our 90km/h cruise speed.


Fat Mat Sound Deadening

50 Sq Ft FatMat Bulk Pack

Included in the install kit:
  • 50 Sq Ft of FatMat eXtreme
  • Roller For Easy Installation
  • FatMat Handy Cutting Knife
  • FatMat Decal Featured Below
  • Installation Instructions

Now that we're back in the US and planning our cross-Canada road trip I really wanted to make a few changes to our truck. After a 48,800km shakedown run down to South America I definitely had a growing to-do list. Our friends in Virginia Beach (who we met on the road in Peru) offered up their driveway so we took full advantage of that to work on the truck.

First thing was to vacuum the dirt, sand, silt, cookie crumbs, etc out of the upholstery/carpet, remove most of the interior, clean ever more, and then add some sound deadener to the cab. This old truck can be pretty loud so anything I can do to tone down the noise even a little bit will help. Plus, I'll be adding a better stereo soon, so improving the sound of that by decreasing road noise is a big plus.

First thing to do was to gut cab, vacuum out the dirt, and then use a little Simple Green clean off the stubborn dirt and grease.

This 50 sq ft roll of sound deadeding is enough to cover the floor of the cab, the doors, with enough left over to do the back of the cab in the future. We removed the rear seats and have a lockbox installed so we left that in place and didn't add any sound deadener below the box or on the back of the cab at this point.

I expect that this could be difficult to install when it's cold out and the material is stiff, but I did it in Virginia Beach yesterday when it was 95 degrees out. The material was very easy to get into the tight corners. We found some spray on carpet cleaner and went to down with the Shop Vac on before reinstalling the carpet/seats. Now we just need to hit the highway and see what sort of difference this makes!

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ARB Front Bumper and Intensity Lights Installation

When our friends at ARB heard that we were heading up to explore some of the Canadian wilderness they suggested that we add a little front end protection to our truck. We were fairly certain that any stray wildlife would have destroyed the original front bumper so were stoked to beef up the truck. Sure, it's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, but I'm okay with that.

One of the things I wished I had done before leaving on our South America trip was more protective bumper, so it's better late than never!

First thing to do was clear out some space in the truck and pick up our parts from ARB Jacksonville:

We didn't have a place to work on the truck, so a temporary installation at the cheap motel was next. Value Place motel for the win! Oh yeah, don't wear sandals when you're installing a bumper. Probably not the safest idea.

Eventually we drove up to Virginia Beach to meet up with some friends that we had met in Peru. They offered up the use of their garage/driveway so we gladly accepted and then got to work.

The ARB Bumper comes fully assembled and with plenty of hardware. For the basic installation I used 10 bolts and saved the rest.

Turn signal lights and required connections are all included. I picked up some wicked ratcheting crimpers from Advance Auto Parts for this job and couldn't be happier with them. I have been using some seriously sub standard crimpers for years so this was a nice treat.

Just need to remove your existing turn signals and connect your new ARB turn signals. After you have connected the four wires and shrunk your heat shrink tubing, fasten the light housings to the bumper.

The original grille of the truck had taken a beating and was cut for the Hella Rallye 4000 lights. I ditched that, bought a grille for a '93 Pickup on Amazon and fogged it with some Plastidip. The whole Plastidip craze seems to have taken off since we left North America originally (2013) so I figured that I would jump on the bandwagon and try it out. We'll see how long it holds up to some abuse. The grille doesn't fit perfectly since I didn't buy new (the proper 1993) headlight housing pieces, but it's definitely much better than what was in there.

New grille installed! Don't worry, that's not our truck making a mess on the cardboard.

Check out these beauties!

1 – ARB Intensity AR21 Spot
1 – ARB Intensity AR21 Flood
1 – ARB Driving Light Wiring Loom

The instructions for the wiring loom were fantastic. A couple of ground connections, one to power, and one to your highbeam switch was all that was needed. All required mounting bolts are included with the lights.

After a day in the shop the front end of the truck is looking a lot different, but I like it. We're protected in the bush, on the road, have a winch mounting option if we ever decide to go in that direction, and the new lights are fantastic. Looks like it's time to get out in the Canadian wilderness and explore in the dark! Well... in the meantime we'll just go play on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the weekend.

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