From Stock To ROCK!Street legal rock crawler, well almost ;)

4x4Beast Fabrication and Rory set out to build a hard core but yet a streetable 1982 Toyota 4x4 pickup.
Rockalot has been in a few magazines, won a Teeter Totter challenge, captured Best 4X4 at the Annual California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs annual convention and has completed all the toughest trails in California and a few in Nevada.
Below is the first in a series of articles detailing the transformation of Rockalot into a capable rock crawler.

Pop Rockalotmoments of fame...

 2010 CA4WDC Best 4x4  Rockalot 2007 Teeter Totter King

Seamless 16" Bed Bob...no ugly seam to weld up, less bodywork, more durable in the long run!

Since this project is a long bed and we plan on rock crawling it, we need to loose as much from behind the rear tires as possible so that we wont be dragging it around and getting hung up. 16" was the max we could take out since we were cutting the frame off to match and we needed to keep some frame for our leaf springs to mount to.
Instead of sectioning the bed like most, we pulled the rear cap off, cut 16" out of the bed sides and welded the cap back on just as they did at the factory.. seamless!

Bed Bob Photosclick to enlarge

 before & after bed bobbing

Rock Sliders, Rocker Guards, Rock Rails...4x2 rectangular stock with .25" wall thickness so they can be beat on with out worries

First we cleaned the frame and welded some 1/4" plate to it. The supports for the 2x4 were made from 1/4" plate and angled to drop the 2x4 below the body to avoid a body lift. The 2x4 was cut to fit just inside the fender wells at either end, on the front we accounted for future wheel well trimming. The ends of the 2x4 were angled and capped so as to slide over obstacles easier.
As you can see from the photos these sliders are strong enough to lift the vehicle off of the ground. A great place to use your Hi-Lift jack!
Five years and still going strong. Rory thumps, smacks, bangs and drags these sliders across the best rock in the Sierras. The only thing damaged is the rattle can finish, the 4x4Beast stickers, and the rocks!

Slider Photosclick to enlarge

 forklift testing the rock sliders  Rock sliders in action

Rear Bumper, Swing Gate, Spare Tire Mount, Rotopax mount...2x4 rectangular stock with .25" wall thickness, 2x3 on the swing gate, triangle out of 1.5"

Receiver stock pierces the 2x4 instead of below so as not to hang up on the rocks. The 2x4 was notched and folded over to create the side protection. This looks much cleaner than a separate welded on end piece. The wrapped sections of the bumper are tied into the frame to protect from side hits, the ends were angled and capped to match the wheel well perfectly.
The bumper is securely mounted into the frame rather than to the side of it. The bumper is also fitted with an air chuck and connects to the main storage tank underneath, this serves two functions: 1) additional air storage, 2) easily accessed rear chuck for air tools and airing up.
Five years and still going strong. Rory thumps, smacks, bangs and drags these sliders across the best rock in the Sierras. The only thing damaged is the rattle can finish, the 4x4Beast stickers, and the rocks!

Swing Gate/Bumper click to enlarge

 custom swing gate latch  rear bumper & swing gate

Full Exo Skeleton with Tubular Front Winch Bumper...1.5" DOM tubing wrapping around cab and front clip, integrated & tied into front bumper

Owner wanted a clean design with out the "Jungle Gym" look while still providing enough tubing to protect his rig from scraping along rocks and maybe an occasional flop or rollover.
The front bumper was fabbed first keeping in mind the lines of the exo skeleton. The bumper is built around the winch plate which is welded right to the front 2x4 cross member. Everything is welded, no bolts to loosen up or break, super strong!
The bumper also features a rolled plate of steel in the center that acts as a skid plate, literally can force the rig up a rock using it! The two side plates are tied into the bumper from behind to help retain their shape when using the D-rings.
The windshield bar doesn't interfere with the wipers or hood, the rear hoop behind the cab gives the cage lateral rigidity and does not interfere with the removal of the hardtop.

Exo Skeleton click to enlarge

 front bumper & exo skeleton  front bumper & exo skeleton

Rear Four Link Suspension Set-up w/ King Coil-Over Shocks...Custom links, fabbed axle truss, moved stock fuel tank,custom shock towers, tower caps

Big project here! Removed bed from truck and while is was off had John Sr. re-do the body work.
Stripped the rear frame down to the frame rails, added two more tubes to support the fuel tank that we relocated to the back. Made brackets to mount the Currie Anti-Rock swaybar. Bent tubes for the shock hoops. Fabbed bracketry for the links and welded to the frame. We also built a skid plate for the fuel tank with a full front to rear wrap.
Owner supplied a new Trail-Gear fabricated axle housing, 4x4Beast fabricated a truss for it, welded link and shock bracketry. Also installed new cromolly axle shafts and reinstalled V6 third member loaded w/5:29 gears and ARB locker.
We had to cut holes into the bed to accomodate the King coilovers. Since the owner often uses his rig on over night runs with a bed full of gear we fabbed covers for the shock towers that protect them and keeps objects from falling through the holes in the bed.
Also built mounts for FOX hydralic bump stops, plated and welded in stock horse collar, painted frame and all new parts, new custom exhaust from a local shop,

4-Link Suspension click to enlarge

 shock hoops  upper link brackets & sway bar mount  shock & tower covers  here you can see the fuel skid and axle truss