Ivan Stewart's 1984 PPI Toyota SR5 restoration

Discussion in 'Shop - Builds' started by Wardy, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Norm Francis was able to get the www.bilsteinus.com shocks painted this past weekend even though he has been juggling a few projects lately. If you remember the outside of the shocks were in pretty bad shape.....

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    I then took paint stripper to them and then finished getting the rest of the paint off with a thin wire wheel. The shocks were then sent to Bilstein to be taken apart and the cans sent to Norm for paint...

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    Norm finished prepping them and put on the first coat of primer...

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    Since Norm restores off road cars too, he had the right color yellow for the shocks and has re-painted MANY over the years, including in his class 5/1600 days. Norm gets his work station ready for painting...

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    After a full day fighting the weather Norm finished up the shocks, and I think they turned out GREAT!!!

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    Next step is to let them completely dry for a day or so then package them up for delivery back to Bilstein so Juan and the boys can finish putting them together with fresh oil, valving, hoses and uniballs. I'm hoping to have them around the same time www.collins-motorsports.com is done with the rear suspension and Bear Race Cars is finished with the ball joints and cups. Crossing my fingers on the timeline for this but I'd guess right around the Parker 425 weekend. It's time to get back in the garage and clean it out so I have a freshly cleaned shop to start working out of before it explodes with tools and parts.......again.

    On a side note, I remember having this magazine and drooling over it for hours back in 1984. I absolutely LOVED the way they shot the cover with the "Cut away" layout. That magazine is long gone but I know there is a few being posted on Ebay every once in a while. Thank you Dave Baldwin for sending me this image a while back, I'd almost forgot about that magazine...

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  3. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    History lesson: Race #12....The 1985 Baja internacional (Baja 500).

    Car/Truck Entries- 157
    Total finishers- 67
    42% finished the race
    Race distance 447 miles
    Temps were as high as 115 degrees on Diablo dry lake

    The PPI Toyotas had there best day out in the desert since moving to the unlimited classes. Frank "Butch" Arciero got Toyota their first win in the unlimited class with a 1st in class 2. Fighting with Malcolm Smith, Bob Gordon and Corky McMillin all day, Frank had the least amount of problems and got to the finish line first (5th Overall) by 3 minutes over McMillin (6th Overall).

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    Ivan Stewart in the 001 PPI Toyota would also have a good run with only a couple flats late in the race slowing him down. Ivan would finish 2nd in class 1, 4th Overall, even ahead of his team mate Frank Arciero on time. I'm not sure but I think Frank enjoyed this win over Ivan as to have bragging rights going into the next race. This was huge for Team Toyota after having a less than stellar year so far. Here's a shot of Ivan at one of the water crossings early in the day (Trackside photo).......

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    The rest of the race as covered by the July 1985 issue of Dusty Times magazine.
    Story: Jean Calvin
    Photo's: Trackside Photo

    The class 1 and overall winner was the "Flying Dentists" of Ron Gardner and #ORMHOF'er Bud Feldkamp in the Funco...

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    Class 8 and class 10 winners....

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    Class 5 unlimited winner and another one of my favorite Baja bugs...

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    Class 5/1600 winner was another #ORMHOF'er Johnny Johnson along with Mark Steele (Cameron Steels dad). Check out those old school Jackman wheels...

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    Classes 7s, 9, 4 and 7 unlimited...

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    And the rest of the finishers as reported by Jean Calvin...

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    Hoping to have a REAL update on the truck soon, maybe by the end of the week. Stuff is happening, just taking a little longer than I would have hoped. Stay tuned...
     
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  4. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Couple quick updates on the Toyota.

    1. Collins is just about finished with the rear of the truck, all the bushings are in place but one of the Aluminum plates needs to be remade. Billy is drawing it up in CAD and should be done this weekend. The only other thing needed to be finished is cycling the rear suspension so they know where to drill the holes in the new tubes for the rollers. That too should be done today or Monday. Looking to go pick up the truck on Monday or Thursday next week. The aluminum plate in question...

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    2. Norm Francis finished painting the Bilstein shocks and packaged them up for delivery. Bilstein has them and is currently building them as we speak. They found a couple slightly bent shock shafts so they are waiting on those odd ball sizes to show up s they can finish them up. There's a possibility they will be finished for Parker and delivered but won't know till the middle of next week.

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    3. Ball joints and cups have been kicking Bear's butt over at Bears race cars. The new CNC machine is working great but the cutting tools needed for the Ball joints and cups have been a challenge. Seems that when he orders the tooling for this particular job the wrong tool or size shows up and puts us another 2 weeks behind. Bear seems to think he has everything he needs now and has started cutting material but Parker has sidelined the project as Garry Messers race car needs to be ready for the 425......totally understand.

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    4. And finally we get to the Transmission. Jeff Field and the guys at www.transaxleengineering.com are almost finished with the gearbox (and rear end). It took a little time to try and find the right parts for this trans since Richmond gear doesn't make these gear stacks anymore. It's possible the trans will be finished by next week and Jeff is also thinking he will have enough parts to build a 2nd trans, but maybe not as stout as the 1st....again, parts are hard to come by.

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    Between Darryl Putmans shop and Collins Motorsports, the truck has been in Las Vegas since August of 2016 and I'm itching to get the truck back in MY race shop. If that seems like a long time to get the cab and rear suspension done, you're right. With that being said it is NOT the fault of Collins Motorsports nor Darryl because I have held them both up for one reason or another. I appreciate the patience they've had with me and doing such an OUTSTANDING job on what they have been tasked with. This was some very tedious work that needed to be done and done right. From here it will make it a lot easier for me to start putting the truck back together. I still have a few more things to figure out like some missing tubes in the engine compartment and front suspension shims, but that should be much easier then mounting a cab and the nightmare rear suspension fiasco.
     
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  5. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Great day for me yesterday, drove up to www.collins-motorsports.com and picked up the Toyota....WooHoo! Looking at the truck you wouldn't think much work was done, especially with all the update pic's. They had some issues with the front a-arms when trying to weld up the cracks as the welds would "Pop". Seems there was a little rust on the "Sleeves" so those pieces needed to be cut off and new ones welded into place...

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    Here's Robert getting busy on the smart end of the Tig welder...

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    And the finished product...

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    The only thing left on the rear suspension will be drilling the holes for the 5/16" bolt holes that hold the tubes into the cantilevers. We can't do that just yet because we need the trans bolted in place to cycle the rear so we get the droop and compression settings just right...

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    Well over 100 hours were spent on machining all of the brass bushings on the rear suspension, not counting all of the other little things needed to get this rear end as good as it was when it left PPI for Ivans next race. The truck was loaded up and finally made it back home...

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    Unloading it was just as fun as it was loading it 5 months ago. i really need a forklift, or at least @philofab could drop his off for the day and let me borrow his! Haha...

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    #001 now sits patiently in "Her" spot waiting for the next phase. I might wait until i get the trans back from Transaxle Engineering so i can put everything back in the truck to do another test fit before i tear it all down again and start painting the frame. I also need to start thinking about the motor and making a decision on what way i want to go with it. I have the motor that came with the truck which is similar to the original Engine Ivan used. Maybe TRD will be interested....we'll have to see. Until then, I'm back at it...

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  6. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    History lesson: Race #13....The 1985 Fireworks 250.

    Ivan and Frank's race: Ivan would have a pretty good run for the #001 Toyota even though the Toyota's seemed to have better results in the vast stretches of Baja. The rougher tracks in California, Arizona and Nevada seemed to really take their toll on the Toyota's since they would have to run harder to keep up with the lighter, more nimble single seat and 2 seat buggies.

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    *Ivan would have a few issues on his way to an impressive 3rd place finish (7th Overall).
    *Frank Arciero would not have the luck he had in Baja as his Toyota (#002) would break a spark plug in the head of his overheating engine resulting in a DNF.

    Car/Truck Entries- 268
    Total finishers- 95
    35% finished the race
    Race distance approx 240 miles (Four 60 mile laps)
    Temps were around 108 degrees with some scattered clouds.

    August 1985 issue of Dusty Times. Words: Jean Calvin Photo's: Trackside Photo

    With the SCORE/HDRA series combining at the beginning of the year, entries were on the rise but no one expected 268 race cars showing up at Barstow in July! Class 2 unlimited would be the first group off the line (30 entries) followed by class 10 (34 entries) and then class 1 unlimited (19 entries). Funny how the class 1 cars were now being shown as the 3rd fastest class in off road racing....that was about to change. Tom Koch started behind 66 cars but ended up taking class 1 and the Overall win at the Fireworks 250...

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    Bob Richey in the RCR plumbing Raceco won class 2, John and Rick Hagle won class 10 in the Raceco/ORE chassis while Rob Tolleson won the 1/2-1600 class with 57 entries...

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    Walker Evans won again in class 8...

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    Roger Mears got a 2nd in his new Nissan...

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    As Jim Conner got 1st in class 7 while Mark Steele and Johnny Johnson won class 5/1600...

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    Here are the rest of the finishers for the 1985 Fireworks 250...

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  7. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Couple little updates:

    With the racing season in full swing my stuff that is out at the vendors has been put on the back burner so that guys that are racing Parker and the MINT can have there stuff ready. As much as I want my stuff finished I totally understand I would want my race stuff done before i guy who is not planning on racing till 2018. Kudos to the vendors who are working with me and also helping me out $$$$$ wise.......so no arguments here!

    Jeff Field and the guys at www.transaxleengineering.com have recieved the final hard-to-find parts to complete the trans build. We are still looking to make sure we have the right tail shaft but besides that I'm hoping to see it completed next week.....possible delivery to the MINT???

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    Bear race cars has been struggling with tooling for his new CNC machine as they have sent him the wrong tooling for different jobs a couple times now. Of course when that happens race time gets closer and then he has to shift his time towards getting Gary and Troy Messer's class 10 finished . Again, totally understandable and I have been involved in enough restorations now that I know this sort of thing happens all the time....especially when you have work being done by quality shops/people. It's worth the wait in the long run so i stay with the people who I know can do the work right the first time. Here's the finished Ball Joints for the front of the Toyota, all i'm waiting for now is the cups and the front end is ready for assembly...

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    Hopefully I can move on from "Ball Joints, Transmissions and rear suspension" talk since I know I've sounded like a broken record over the past 4 months. How about a little teaser YouTube footage of the truck in action from 1987.....

     
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  8. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Sorry for the wait on updates guys, here's the latest on the Toyota...

    Ok, here's the latest on the Ivan Stewart Toyota. As I stated in my last post I have been a little busy with Ed Maurin racing the Ex-Larry Ragland Woodstuff Chaparral at the MINT 400 (and winning...yay)....

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    and now doing a 4 corner prep on it to have it ready for the NORRA Mexican 1000 in 3 weeks....

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    With that being said there is still work being done on the Toyota, just not at my shop. The seats are in Indianapolis at www.mastercraftsafety.com getting some new padding and fresh covers for the restoration. The seats are original MasterCraft seats which is great because this is the 3rd straight restoration I've done using them and i couldn't be happier with their product and service.

    Bear Race Cars is still working on the ball joint cups with much frustration on his side. With a new machine it is trial and error and has turned into mostly error. In a busy shop it is hard to just work on one thing all day and not get anywhere so he has had to walk away from it a few times and get other stuff done. Luckily for me I understand and he has been spending time after work trying to get it to come out right. First there was the new head for the CNC machine...

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    Then he made a model...

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    Then started working on the cups..

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    They look great but he was having some problems with the upper cups with some "chattering" so those are now garbage...

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    As of today he seems to think he has it figured out and will do another trial run to see how it comes out. The lowers are done and are off at heat treat so we are moving forward. Bear has done a lot of work for me and this is the first time he has had issues getting anything to me. I don't hold it against him because I know he is working with new machinery and will have it figured out soon. I won't hesitate to have him do anything for me in the future, he's a good dude and knows his I failed spelling.

    Sean Hoglund was nice enough to deliver my transmissions to Collins Motorsports during the MINT 400 and I picked them up from Collins last week. Jeff Fields Transaxle Engineering killed it on the rebuilds and had enough spare parts to build me another one...

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    Jeff also finished up the 3rd member and it's ready to bolt into the housing...

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    Last but not least, Joel Amaya down in Constitucion, sent me this photo of the fuel can that was for the Toyota. Joel is the guy who helped me close the deal with Hugo to get the Toyota and said Hugo told him that he had forgotten to give me the fuel cell can...

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    This is awesome because this saves a lot of time and money trying to guess how large to make the fuel cell because i didn't know how far it dropped below the frame, now i know...

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    I will pick it up on my way home from Cabo during the Mexican 1000 next month...

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    So, there you have it, the latest update, even though it's not much. Don't worry, we are still working on the truck and will not stop. Sometimes there is a little bit of a break in between phases, this is one of them. As soon as i get back from NORRA there will be more frequent updates and more progress. Stay tuned.
     
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  9. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Well, if you're wondering where all the updates were or what the heck i've been doing for the last 2 months, the answer is above and at the link below:

    http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/threads/110-race-report-norra-mexican-1000.128144/

    I literally have not touched the Toyota unless it was to move it to one side of the garage to the other. The Larry Ragland Chaparral is loaded up in Ed Maurins trailer and will be delivered to Missouri this week. The plan is to jump back into the thick of things next week starting with putting the front end back together. The ball joint cups are finally finished after mucho headache for my fab guy. It was trial and error with the new CNC machine but he finally got them done right. They were sent to heat treat and will be done in 10-14 days...

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    Not much more to say but I'm back on it!
     
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  10. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Currently i am NOT impressed with my progress after the NORRA Mexican 1000. I have only worked on the Toyota for 1 day and even that was not very productive. I guess I'm waiting on some motivation and I found it yesterday with a text from Bear race cars. Seems my ball joints and cups made it back from heat treat...

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    The cups grew 4,000th after heat treat and now need to be turned down so they will fit into the a-arms...

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    Bear says he finally sees a light at the end of the tunnel with this stuff as it has been a complete butt kicker but is pleased with the results so far. On every build I have done over the past 10 years, there always seems to be a couple things that really slow down the progress.....I'm guessing we found the first one with the Toyota. Hopefully i will have these in my hands at the end of the week or beginning of next. If that happens there is a strong possibility that the truck COULD be close to being a roller again by the end of June. I don't want to get ahead of myself but that's a pretty good plan for now.

    On a side note, fellow off road racer from Arizona Rich Roberts called me asking for my address because he wanted to send me something. Seems this has been hanging in his race shop for a few decades and now that he is moving he didn't have the heart to throw it away......THANK GOD. How cool is this, one of the first posters from Toyota, shot south of San Felipe during the BFG shoot. I guess the Toyota was the only truck (as far as i know) that took the truck out for some action shots after the shoot. If it looks familiar that's because KC HiLites, Toyota and Downey used some of these pictures for ads in the mid 80's.

    Poster...
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    BFG photo shoot...

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    Downey catalog...

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    KC HiLites ad...

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    Toyota "Merciless" ad...

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    The money will soon be dried up from the sale of the DirTrix racer so it's time to get back to the drawing table literally so i can start saving money for the rest of the restoration. Anyways, I'm still working on it and for some reason when summer rears its ugly head I tend to spend lots of time in the garage (it should be the opposite but I'm an idiot). Sooo, if anyone has a bunch of money they weren't going to use, go ahead and send it my way...LOL.
     
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  11. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Sneak peak.........

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    As we speak Bear is working on the caps for the ball joints...

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  12. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    History lesson: Race #14....The 1985 Frontier 500.

    The Frontier 500 would provide mixed results for the PPI Toyota team as Ivan Stewart and Frank Arciero continue to try and get some reliability out of their Toyota on a consistent basis. There is no doubt the Toyota's are fast but being 1000 to 1500 LBS heavier (and under powered) the trucks needed to be driven harder to stay with the leaders. The #001 Toyota of Ivan Stewart would have a short day as he blew up a motor near check point 3. Frank Arciero on the other hand would have better luck as he would finish in 2nd place in the #002 Toyota but over an hour behind. This was one of the toughest Frontier 500's ever and the results proved it.

    Race Specs:
    Race distance approx 536 Miles
    Car/Truck entries- 148
    Finishers- 51
    34% finished the race

    October 1985 issue of Dusty Times. Words: Jean Calvin Photo's: Trackside Photo


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    Some guy named Larry Ragland won Overall for the 2nd year in a row from the 21st starting position as class 10 vehicles were the first class off the line, followed by class 1. Larry would finish the course in 11:54:16 at 45.4 MPH on a very rocky, silty and technical race course. Larry would only have 1 flat tire to slow his pace on his way to the win.

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    Bob Richey would win class 2 in his RCR plumbing Raceco, finishing in 7th Overall.

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    Frank Arciero having problems early but came back to finish 2nd.

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    Rob Tolleson won class 1600 while Malcolm Vinje cleaned up AGAIN in class 5 unlimited. Dave Shoppe would have another good day out in the desert with his stepside Ford F-150.

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    Rod Hall in class 4....as usual.

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    And a list of the results for the event.

    As the racers lick their wounds from this race, they would now getting ready for the SCORE Baja 1000 that is only 2 months away (November 8th, 1985).
     
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  13. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Well, it's been a year and I decided it would be a good time to get everyone caught up with the look back at what we've done. My daughter and I headed down the week of the 2016 Baja 500 to picked up the truck from Hugo Borquez...

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    The truck was successfully transported back to the United States and the restoration process had officially kicked off...

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    First order of business was to mock the front and rear suspension up to make sure we had all the parts and then off to Allcoat in Kingman Arizona for sand blasting. Collins Motorsports would then get all the parts for inspection and magnaflux...

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    The chassis was taken to Darryl Putman to have the cab fitted to the chassis. The cab was purchased with the truck and was in good shape....so i thought (more later). Darryl did a FANTASTIC job putting the cab back on the chassis...

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    The chassis was then delivered to Collins motorsports to have the rear suspension massaged. A lot of brass bushings needed to be re-made along with welding up approx 130 cracks to suspension pieces that have been neglected over the years. The rear end was also serviced and they made sure it was straight, or close to it which it was. I can't tell you the amount of time Collins motorsports spent behind the lathe making custom bushings, shims and spacers for this beast. Not only that, the rear cantilever mounts had been cut off by the old owner and new ones made, then machined down...

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    At the same time all of this was happening Jeff Fields Transaxle Engineering was rebuilding 2 transmissions for us. These are Doug Nash 5 speeds and parts are hard to come by now a days. Jeff was the original builder for PPI in the early days. Jeff also handled the rear end gear...

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    All the Bilstein shocks were delivered to Norm Francis to be painted then shipped to Bilstein to have rebuilt and serviced...

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    On a side note, all the shocks will be picked up by this weekend. Next was one of the first bumps in the road....the front Ball Joints. We knew these would be somewhat of a pain in the ass but with my buddy Bear at Bear race cars having a new CNC machine it was turning out to be a slight learning curve but he wasn't about to give me sub par parts to put on the truck. A lot of trial and error but they are finally done and I hope to pick them up at the end of the week too...

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    Like stated previously, I'm hoping to make my way down to Cali this week to pick up the shocks and then hopefully try and talk the nice man who owns an original PPI front fiberglass clip into letting me borrow or purchase it and then have a mold made. The front clip is unmolested as far as i can tell but even if it's not it is better than what i have now. we will see...

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    I'm back from my vacation now so it's time to get back into the shop and get some work done to this beast.
     
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  14. Wardy

    Wardy Member

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    Well, Chris Philo and I made the trip down to Cali this past weekend to pick up my shocks from Bilstein and stopped off at a few other places along the way. First stop was to Autofab so Chris could drop some stuff off to John. It was the first time I had ever been to his shop and it was very impressive with all of the tooling and machines in the fabrication room. I really have a love affair with the old school Fords and this trip did not help....

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    It was then off to Bilstein to pick up the shocks for the Toyota. I got to meet with Mark, Shane and Juan to go over the work they had done and Juan said he was surprised on how well the shocks have held up over the past 30 plus years. Norm Francis did a great job painting the cans and I'm sure I will have Jim Richardson make some period correct stickers for the cans too.....

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    We headed North to Long Beach to talk with a guy that use to pit for PPI back when the 001 raced. He has a Toyota prerunner sitting on the shelf in his shop that has been there for over 10 years that he never finished. He did put a Lexus V8 and trans in it and also has the original front glass from 001. My plan is to have a mold made from the front clip but I needed to get a first hand look at it first.

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    So, there it was, sitting in the same spot it had been. Richard (holding the beer) talks with Philo tells us a bunch of cool stories about the PPI days and then about the truck pictured above. Turns out it was another PPI crew member that wanted a street version prerunner that looked like the 001 and he was in the process of building when something else came along. Richard bought it, but the Lexus in it and then it got shelved. He won't sell the front clip, I tried but we are working on getting a mold made and will know more about that in about 2 weeks.

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    If you look closely (above), this is a one piece clip but there is another hood sitting on top of the clip. Also, the grill area needs to be cut out for the headlights and stock grill. From what i was told this clip would then be cut into 3 pieces (fenders and hood) and mounted separately. The clip has a few minor blems but in great shape besides that.

    I was happy with the results of the day and we then went by McQueen to look at the process of his bump side Ford fiberglass but they had closed before we got there to get any recent pics. While on my way home i recieved a text from Bear race cars that by ball joints were now finished and ready for pick up. I will be heading to Kingman on Tuesday morning to pick those up and finally be able to start putting the front end together.

    I couldn't wait to get home and mount the shocks to see how they looked on the truck, here's the rear...

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    And the fronts....

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    Time to start getting busy on this thing again, just in time for the 120 plus heat.
     

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