Interview by: Harry Wagner- 11/2002
Editor's Note: The following is the next in our new feature focusing on the talented people who run shops specializing in Toyota 4x4 components. 4x4Wire's Harry Wagner caught up with Jon Bundrant at the recent ProROCK rockcrawling competition in Reno.
|Jon Bundrant, owner of All-Pro Off-Road.
4x4Wire- How did you get involved in four wheeling?
Bundrant- I bought my first 4x4, an FJ-40 Land Cruiser, about twenty years ago. I bought it off of a used car lot. It had a V8 conversion and I thought that it was cool when I bought it, but it was really hack. I've had twelve Land Cruisers over the years, I'd pick them up and work on them and then sell them off and get another. The last one that I had got crushed by an 80 foot tree out in front of my house during a snow storm. After that I switched to mini-trucks. I bought an 85 truck and lifted it and welded the diffs. There weren't many products available for Toyota pickups back then, which is part of the reason I started All-Pro.
|All-Pro Off-Road's facilities, located in Hemet, California. Photo by Chris Geiger.|
4x4Wire- How long has your shop been in business?
Bundrant- All-Pro has been in business since 1996.
4x4Wire- What sort of background do you have?
Bundrant- I was a transmission mechanic at a Ford dealership prior to going into business for myself and opening All-Pro.
4x4Wire- How many people work at your shop? In what capacity?
Bundrant- We have five employees, plus myself. Two fabricators/mechanics who set up diffs and work on new products, a full time employee in charge of shipping, another person to answer phones, and Chris [Geiger]who does the advertising and website, plus answers phones.
|Competing in CalROCS, where Jon broke two vertebrae.
Photo by Chris Geiger.
4x4Wire- Do you carry other product lines or strictly sell products that All-Pro produces?
Bundrant- All-Pro carries products from Warn, Detroit, Mastercraft, ARB, Masterpull, and others. We also carry OMF beadlocks and Mickey Thompson wheels. All-Pro is a distributor for Goodyear tires; we can get you anything you want but we only stock the 37 inch MT/R. We are also the biggest Toyota Advance Adapter dealer based on sales. Overall only three distributors sell more Advance Adapter product nationwide, we are fourth out of 409.
4x4Wire- Does All-Pro do fabrication and/or installation work in addition to selling products?
Bundrant- We have done fabrication work in the past, but I prefer not to. I'd rather our fabricators are working on new products that we can offer to everyone instead of spending their time working on one person's rig.4x4Wire- Where do you see this hobby heading in the future?
Bundrant- It depends on if the trails stay open to the public! I want to help that happen and get people out on the trail. Trailriding is still more fun than competition, plus it is accessed by a much larger group of people.
|Jon competing in ProROCK in the Nelson and Nelson buggy.|
|The new buggie "Tiny" seems to defy the laws of physics at times.|
4x4Wire- How do you think rockcrawling competitions have affected four wheeling?
Bundrant- I think that the exposure is good, but the costs are getting really high and making it hard for the average wheeler to compete. I think that safety needs to be better addressed too before someone gets seriously hurt. I broke two vertebrae in Victorville at a CalROCS event in March.
4x4Wire- Would you still compete?
Bundrant- I do still compete. I raced stock cars for five years prior to starting All-Pro. I had to stop because racing takes money and starting a business takes money and the business became a priority. I am currently driving the Nelson and Nelson buggy. [Editors note: Jon recently placed second in the ProROCKS event in Reno and third in CRCA's Rocktoberfest.]
4x4Wire- I had heard that you don't like tube buggies.
Bundrant- [Laughing] Well, when someone offers to let you drive one... you drive it! I am in the business of selling Toyota parts, so it is in my best interest to drive a Toyota, or at least something that looks like a Toyota.
|Jon's 89 pickup competing in RCAA in New Mexico.
Photo by Chris Geiger.
4x4Wire- Tell us more about your truck.
Bundrant- Well, I sold the  4Runner recently, so I am mainly driving the 89 pickup. It has most of our products on it, like Advance Adapters dual cases and 4:1 gears, Detroit lockers, and our hybrid front axle with Dana 60 knuckles and Howe hydraulic assist steering. We are in the process of putting coilovers on the back of it right now, hopefully we will be able to offer a similar rear suspension setup to our customers in the future.
4x4Wire- Any other new products/ideas you would like to share with us?
|Jon's new test vehicle for All-Pro's line of Jeep products.
Photo by Chris Geiger.
Bundrant- We are working on a lot of new products. The millionth Tacoma just rolled off of the assembly line and more of them are starting to show up on the trail. I bought a Tacoma that we have at the shop now and the fabricators play with when they have the time. We've seen the solid axle swaps that guys are doing and we are working on a product that is as strong and comprehensive as our kit for 86-95 trucks.
We are also getting into the Jeep market. We want to offer the same thing to Jeep owners that we offer for Toyotas, mainly hardcore parts for guys who weld and wrench for themselves but don't want to go through the trouble of fabricating parts from scratch. Our Jeep line currently consists of parts like crossmembers, shock hoops, and bumpers.
|Jon made the drive from Hemet for Drew's Rubicon Bash 2000.|
Bundrant- That was Randy Stockberger's Wrangler. The offset springs are another product that we are putting together. The Toyota springs are three inches longer than the Jeep springs and result in a 99 inch wheelbase on a Wrangler. We'll have a kit out soon to fit these springs on YJs.
4x4Wire- How was the Ultimate Adventure anyway?
Bundrant- We did three trails and covered 1200 miles... it was great! The broken Super Duty kind of put a damper on things, but I still had a good time. I've gone on all three Ultimate Adventures now.
4x4Wire- How often do you get out of the shop to wheel?
Bundrant- I wheel about three out of four weekends a month. My wife and I just bought a cabin on five acres of land near Johnson Valley. I still love wheeling. When business is getting too hectic I just back off and make some changes instead of getting burnt out on what I love.
|Product testing on Big Johnson.
Photo by Chris Geiger.
Bundrant- Well it was Surprise Canyon, but unfortunately that is closed now. Upper Helldorado in Moab and Big Johnson in Johnson Valley are two of my current favorites. I love to build new trails too, I opened up Big Johnson and I am working on two new trails in Johnson Valley at this time.
4x4Wire- Do you belong to any clubs or associations?
Bundrant- All-Pro is a business member of Cal4Wheel and I support the Blue Ribbon Coalition and CORVA. I'm also part of XToys, but that is more a group of friends than a club.
|Participants lining up to run the trails at the 2002 4Runner Jamboree.|
4x4Wire- You sponsor your own run as well, correct?
Bundrant- Yeah, for the last three years All-Pro has hosted the 4Runner Jamboree in Johnson Valley. This is a free event for all Toyota owners and our way of giving something back to our loyal customers and the Toyota community as a whole. Last year we had over 500 people and 252 vehicles show up and we fed people and raffled off prizes. We had vehicles running all of the different trails in Johnson Valley, plus scenic tours for the less modified vehicles. We expect the event to be even bigger next year.