Skills and abilities change one's view of the world. The mechanically inept tend to see a truck as transportation, a bit of fun, and as a way to help their favorite automotive technician pay his or her bills. The mechanically inclined see a truck as a ready recipient for a long list of bolt-on upgrades and accessories that will help the truck take him or her farther into the backcountry and kick the fun-factor up several notches. Those with fabrication skills see a truck as raw material - a blank canvas that can be cut, welded, notched, and shaped into a machine that boldly goes where most bolt-ons fear to tread. Before we forge ahead with the rest of this tale, a disclaimer is in order. We've seen bolt-on accessories and suspension systems boasting stellar performance, and we've seen custom fabrication leave behind wounded, impotent trucks in its wake. Good parts are good parts whether they're one-of-a-kind or one of a 10,000-unit production run. The front suspension bolts to the original mounting points on the frame, but the similarities to a stock front suspension end right there. Boxed-plate lower control arms pivot in place of the wimpy stamped steel stockers. Check out the welds: Shawn has his TIG technique dialed.The front suspension bolts to the original mounting points on the frame, but the similarit Rather than try to make do with the shortcomings of the stock knuckles, Giordano fabricated a completely new set that's up to the same par as the rest of the front suspension. Uniball upper and lower pivots are more than just strong; they're far easier than ball joints to remove and replace when the time comes.Rather than try to make do with the shortcomings of the stock knuckles, Giordano fabricate How do you properly stretch a wheelbase? There are a few different approaches. You can move the front wheels forward. You can add a section of framerail between the front and rear suspensions. The method shown here is perhaps the easiest and is very effective. Shawn started his stretch by remounting the spring hangers well behind their original location. Stock hangers can be used, but they pale compared to the desert-ready strength used here. The axle centerline used to be here (arrow).How do you properly stretch a wheelbase? There are a few different approaches. You can mo The Toyota's stock front end uses forward-mounted triangulation struts, and running long-travel front suspension in the stock configuration requires an accessory strut frame to allow for proper range of motion. Shawn eliminated the forward-mounted strut frame by building a second set of lower control arm pivots. Braces bridge the gaps between the front and rear control arm mounts for added strength.The Toyota's stock front end uses forward-mounted triangulation struts, and running long-t Tubing combines with strategic sections of plate to form the upper control arms. A generous strike pad is built into the upper control arms as the suspension compresses into the upper reaches of its 16 inches of travel. Mounting both a coilover and a bypass shock takes up a lot of lateral space on the frame and calls for widely spaced upper control arms or a J-arm setup. In order to use the upper control arms' mounting holes and still use both a coilover and a bypass shock, Shawn's design places the bypass shock outboard of the coilover.Tubing combines with strategic sections of plate to form the upper control arms. A genero Toyota's stock 2WD steering box is good, but a 4WD power steering box is much better suited to controlling the direction of 35-inch tires at speed in the desert. A fabricated pitman arm is just part of a steering system built with as much skill and care as the rest of the front end.Toyota's stock 2WD steering box is good, but a 4WD power steering box is much better suite A pair of Fabtech bumpstops hint at what's in store for the rest of this truck's suspension. See the "Dirt Logic" sidebar at the end of this article.A pair of Fabtech bumpstops hint at what's in store for the rest of this truck's suspensio 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!