Ryan McAndrew's 1980 Toyota Hilux
http:/www.4x4wire.com/toyota/hottoy/mcandrews Short Cuts

| Toyota Section | Toyota Tech | Project Vehicles |

By: Harry Wagner - April 2002


The view of the truck from the back, often seen by others on the trail, rarely seen by anyone on the freeway.

Looking back at past 4x4Wire features like Robert Jackson's and Dan Basham's 4Runners, Ryan McAndrews' truck may seem out of place. Ryan has less money into his whole truck than Dan and Robert have in their engines! This truck is a testament to just how well Toyota trucks do on the trail with a minimal number of modifications. Ryan has had an opportunity to see just what works and what doesn't thanks largely in part to his father, who is a longtime four wheeler and the Parts Manager at Stevens Creek Toyota. Ryan estimates that he has under $6000 into his truck, including the purchase price. Thoughtful modifications such as the Marlin dual transfer case adapter, front ARB and rear Detroit, and All-Pro Hysteer allow Ryan to keep up with the big dogs without breaking the bank. Little thought has been given to details such as bodywork and bumpers at this time. The only body modifications are the 13" bob job on the bed, trimmed fenders and valences in the front and rear, and a healthy dose of rock rash.


The lack of u-bolt flip kits, low profile crossmembers, and bigger brakes does not slow this truck down on the trail. Suspension consists of inexpensive, yet flexible 2 1/2" Pro Comp YJ springs in the front and 63" long Chevy springs in the rear. The front springs came from a friend and the rears from the wrecking yard, both at a minimal expense. The stock Toyota main leaf was used as a buggy spring in the rear to allow for ease of mounting and additional droop. All of the travel offered by this suspension did require Ryan to pony up for a long travel front driveshaft.


Great flex out of the YJ springs up front.

A short while back Ryan was gracious enough to let the author drive his truck over part of the Barrett Lake Jeep Trail, and I must say that I was impressed. My concerns before driving the truck included the overall lift height and the stock carbureted engine. Both of my fears were soon put to rest. Despite the relatively narrow track width and high ride height, the pickup performed well even in off camber and climbing situations thanks largely to the spry weight of the vehicle and the balanced suspension. The carburetor never gave me any problems either. Ryan explained that he had adjusted the float level to keep the carburetor from flooding, but that was the only change to the stock Aisin carb and the entire motor for that matter (with over 200,000 miles on it). Ryan runs the stock 20R in his 1980 pickup mated to an 83 transmission that he got for free from a parts truck. Ryan claims that the 83 5-speeds "are the best of the cheap Toyota transmissions".


The author "test driving" Ryan's pickup.

Ryan is currently going to school to become a machinist and will no doubt have an even more capable truck in the future. The tubing bender found in his garage is a good indication of what is in store for the body of this potent pickup. And although it blew his budget, Ryan recently sold his axles and tires to finance 38" Swampers, a heavy duty Dana 44 front axle, and Ford 9" rear axle. Beyond that Ryan hopes to swap in a 5.0L Ford mill to turn the big Swampers, as the stock 20R is getting tired, and was never a powerhouse to start with. All of this goes to show you that even capable rigs are never really finished.


Two generations of McAndrews wheelers on the trail. Onlookers watch as Ryan's pickup conquers the rocks.


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