UTE / Chopped / Flatbed thoughts...

Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
Hey guys- Speaking of afflictions (Thanks again to all for opinions on 1/10 RC trucks)... I've kinda had pen 15 club envy of the chopped 80 series ute @ChoppedJ80 from the Valentine's weekend run.

How feasible and, more importantly, how useful is it to build a tacoma or an 80 series ute on a budget. What would be some good things to think about? And would y'all rather see an easy tacoma build or an 80 chopped build? I could go either way assuming how difficult it could be to find a triple locked 80 that is messed up enough and just the right ways to do a UTE flatbed conversion- or install ARB lockers? Keep in mind also that I live in a condo and will need to do all the work either at a friends place or at a garage where you rent a bay by the hour. Here's an example parts list I came up with... all in is like $3K... of course to keep it Land Cruiser Club related I would need to substitute an 80 series... Thoughts?

1996 Toyota Tacoma

Tube Front Bumper Tacoma (1995.5-2004) [aor-tube(tacoma 1995.5-2004)] - $607.50 : Addicted Offroad

Toyota DIY Flatbed Kit
 

JohnVee

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
9,234
Location
NOVA & NC
Whatever your expected budget is, triple it. Then add 100%.

Also, is your HOA gonna dig a topless project truck under a tarp in the parking deck? Better add another $500k+ to buy a house on some land around here. Then build a garage.

EDIT: Whoa! I forgot where you live....make that $2M dollars.
 

Stumpalama

Forum Junkie
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
7,594
Location
NOVA
I certainly am not one to dissuade anyone from taking up a crazy poject. There are several threads about chopping an 80... They all show just how involved it is to do it correctly.
It definitely ain't a 1st time weld/fab project.
You should totally do it!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
I certainly am not one to dissuade anyone from taking up a crazy poject. There are several threads about chopping an 80... They all show just how involved it is to do it correctly.
It definitely ain't a 1st time weld/fab project.
You should totally do it!
Seems like it would not be too hard to do on a tacoma. Anyone know if that’s true? Ill look for a thread in the meantime and study up.
 

76FJ40

Old Fart
SILVER Star
 
 
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
4,233
Location
NOVA
Are you looking for a project or something to wheel?
 

Jakes40

IH8MUD Poser
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
3,119
Location
Winchester,Va
Wouldn’t a Tacoma just be removing the bed and building a flatbed? How about Ijust sell you my mini truck? It’s already done!
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
Are you looking for a project or something to wheel?
Something cool to wheel that I can drive around ok without a trailer and looks awesome. Either instead of my J120 (60 series?) or in addition to (flatbed/ute crawler thing). Alternately- I could start building up the J120 (bumpers, tires, sliders, skids) problem being that it is our only car and commuter I share with wife.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
Wouldn’t a Tacoma just be removing the bed and building a flatbed? How about Ijust sell you my mini truck? It’s already done!
I think swapping the bed is mostly it on a tacoma but may need to square the frame. Link or pics of your mini truck?
 

Stumpalama

Forum Junkie
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
7,594
Location
NOVA
I think swapping the bed is mostly it on a tacoma but may need to square the frame. Link or pics of your mini truck?
What does square the frame mean?
I can definitively say that flat decking a pickup truck is easier than chopping an 80 (or any other SUV), by an estimated factor of about, i don't know.... A BILLION?
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
What does square the frame mean?
I can definitively say that flat decking a pickup truck is easier than chopping an 80 (or any other SUV), by an estimated factor of about, i don't know.... A BILLION?
I mean welding in a piece between the frame rails after cutting them back a bit...

CE4C1728-D125-4744-AF73-7F4764435B91.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Crusha

Self-censoring my mud posts...
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Messages
2,866
Location
PA
I contemplated this on the last 80 I parted out. I REALLY want to do it, but it is a shat ton of work. I came to my senses...

If you don't have the space/time/skills/money (lots) to do it, don't even think about it. The Taco option will be a lot easier and cheaper.

You're welcome.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
227
Location
USA
Just buy an 80. Nothing looks cooler. I hear @b4wheeler has a locked one for sale; I'm keeping my three.
My focus is to match my real rig to my 1/10 scale RC truck. Im pretty sure that building a one off rock crawler UTE with a flatbed tube frame bed is the easiest path at this point. If I went down the path your suggesting, I would have to go through the hassle of putting a different body on the RC truck. See my logic here? It all makes sense...

But seriously- I like my J120- so that would likely fill the nitch an 80 would, additionally, I prefer 60s to 80s for “reasons.” Also, I think it sounds hilarious/awesome to drive a chopped ute thing around arlington and georgetown like its a normal car and then be able to take it out to events and not worry too much about scratches and dents. My other idea of buying a 60 would mean buying another car for the wife and I would still not want to ding up a 60 too much.

At least with the ute thing my wife could have/use the 120 (that could also be used for longer off road/camping trips) and I could have a beater that could still drive on the freeway without being trailered around.

So... I may look into renting out someones garage for this project and/or buying a prebuilt flatbed toyota.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom