View Full Version : The Xota build

07-17-2007, 06:01 PM
This is the Xota build, don't flame me to hard.

Here's the vehicle now, I started building it in Nov. of 2005 and did the first trail April 2nd, 2006

It all started with my rolled XJ


I was just talking that morning before I rolled it, how i'd like to build a truggy, Toyota based frame, full exo, etc..

Pulled the good running 4.0 and AW4

Came across a stripped 87 Toy. pickup, cab, frame, rusted out bed, and the IFS stuff is all that was there.$150

Whacked off the Toy frame at the firewall and started building my own rails


Started getting the XJ suspension hooked up

Got the engine & trans. bolted up

Set the cab on to see what kind of clearance issues I would have

Tunnel and floor changes for trans. and engine clearance


Started building main hoop and cage

Built the fenders out of about 3"'s of toyota fender and spliced the Xj fender onto those

Narrowing the hood, 3" narower at the rear

Front end metal work done


New door skin
In the booth

Out of the booth and put together

Rear suspension Bracket built for the Waggy 44 and XJ leaf springs

Exo cage started

Cage building party

Cage done for now

Front waggy 44 brackets built

Interior a little more done

And this what it looks like today


Full build here

Future plans, full width 9" in back with 4-link coil overs, full width in front.

Couple video's of it in action
Terry on Widow Maker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAO8cQO3uME)

Terry on The Rockpile (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdtOh8fIaA8)

This is at Chinaman's and we had just passed the Rising Sun club out with the Toyota FJ team, they had a minor breakdown at the rockpile.
Terry on The Whale - Chinamans 11/06 (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1177645136693452827&hl=en)

07-17-2007, 07:10 PM
Cool machine. You just need a Toyota grille and you'd be just as much of a Toyota wheeler as some of the guys we hang with. Maybe you could make a second grille and mount it to some quick disconnects, so you could swap the grilles to fit in with each group. :D

07-17-2007, 08:52 PM
i appreciate the body work, i just don't think the jeep grill is as nice looking as the toyota.

Nick F.
07-17-2007, 09:15 PM
Mad props for doing something new:thumb: How many trucks out there are no where near where they started? What this really is, is an extended hand across the aisle in a gesture of peace, :lmao: jk wow

Seriously, impressive work.

Nick F.

07-17-2007, 11:09 PM
Killer video's!


07-18-2007, 06:41 AM
Thanks guys! :cheers: :cheers:

I'd like to say I had a loftier goal like reaching out between the Jeep world and the Toyota world. But I must admit it was more about just using the parts I had and rebuilding a more capable rig as cheaply as possible. The labor to me is the fun part so I wasn't worried about how much work it would be. I was looking for a large project to build. But I also wanted a weather tight rig, that could be driven to all the trails. So chopping the top on the XJ was out.

I always liked Toyota's and have had several. I just didn't like the limits of 4 cylinder power with big tires. The Cherokee had good power, with the durable 4.0ltr and very durable AW4, that owes it's heritage to Toyota. And I already had lockers in the axles that I hoped to get a couple of years use out of before I went bigger (that didn't work out though). But Cherokee's don't have frames, and you need alot of lift to clear 35's, then it's not as stable on the trail and you have those tall, easi;y damaged, quarter panels to worry about. But Cherokees do have 2 straight axles, with a front 4 link that I had already put long arms on, and I really liked the function of that front suspension.

Using the front clip was not really a preference for that look (I like Toyota clips better too). It was more about not having to buy the Toyota parts that were missing from the cab and frame I bought and utilizing the lights and under hood electronics and Jeep wiring loom, without a bunch of rewiring. Same with using the Cherokee dash and steering column. It made all the wiring just a matter of unplugging and then plugging it back in on the new rig.

But it's not a swap I would do or recommend to someone to go out and try to piece together from scratch. If I were starting from scratch, I would go all Toyota with early model straight front axle and later model V6.

But I must admit to getting a kick out of the uniqueness of my rig and I didn't feel I should hide the Jeep heritage.:cool:

I really feel I got the best of both worlds for the least amount of cash. And I have a platform that's easily modified to go even bigger, but still functions capably in bad weather, on road or off.:thumb:

07-18-2007, 07:39 AM
Very impressive work, and you tackled the hardest parts (complete re-do of the front suspension and frame, melding a foreign driveline to the frame, marrying alien body components). You don't see that every day, because it's HARD. Let me rephrase that, you don't see it WELL DONE every day. Lots of hack jobs rolling around for short periods of time...

Remembering this project gave me instant confidence in your ability to understand my truck to repair and mod it...

07-18-2007, 10:40 AM
I think it's cool. Being a former XJ guy myself, I find a fairly constant resistance to learning between the two designs (Toyota/Jeep). There are things that Jeep does better than Toyota in older rigs and vice versa.

I've felt from the start that I had a great feel for my 80 because of the 10 or 15 iterations I worked through on my XJ. My output is an exact opposite of yours based on a dedication to maximize the base platform without ever getting out of the box (if you think XJ body panels are a liability wheel an 80 :hill: ), but the XJ is an excellent drivetrain platform now without the body liability on your rig. Basically you created an MJ with a frame :thumb:

Man Jerk
07-18-2007, 11:55 AM
I think it's cool. I followed your build up on Co4x4. I'm sure it pisses a lot of toyota guys and jeep guys off, which is a good thing. People need to not take their choice of vehicle manufacturer so hard.

I have a buddy building a YJ and we are trying to sneak toyota parts in where we can. We are contemplating a cruiser dash in it.

07-18-2007, 12:00 PM
It already has a Toyota transmission.... shhhhh!