To start one new complicated project is unfortunate, to start two looks like carelessness... but here we go!
I wanted to wait until I'd got the wheelbase sorted (which I did this afternoon) before starting this new build thread, to give an actual visual outline - rather than simply a stack of random parts!
photo. Yes, that is yet another Ebay aluminium chassis - approximately the dimensions of a Trailfinder 2 or Gelande from RC4WD.
Having had a lot of fun building a leaf-sprung chassis for the YJ Jeep recently (and been surprised how capable it is too), I was inspired to build another leafer - this time based on the classic Tamiya Toyota HiLux / Bruiser / Mountaineer, and not least Trailfinder 2 derivative that is ubiquitous in the scale RC scene these days.
Now I realise there really is nothing new under the sun when it comes to a HiLux based build - although that said, I'm not sure I can recall anyone taking this particular approach (off-road ability seeming the main motivation for this kind of build), and I trust the combination of specification and detailing is going to make this unique.
I was also further inspired by @Grastens build of the Tamiya Bruiser recently - not only that he chose the pukka Tamiya kit rather than the cheaper RTR copy that is available these days, but fundamentally as he splashed out on the really nice step-side rear body from Loops (in the Czech Republic) as a homage to the original Tamiya 3-speed HiLux Pick-up (#58028) - a body style which I've always had a soft-spot for myself, not least the 1953 F100 Midnight Pumpkin which I built the STUMPkin and Ta'Mater in my showroom around.
In fact, if you follow the link above to Ta'Mater, you might see where I'm going with this...
Fundamentally, rather than build a typical 4X4 version - using the myriad of optional parts out there already of course - I thought I'd build a more 'lowly' 2WD pick-up version, albeit like Mater with dually rear wheels inside those step-side arches. Being 2WD, there would also be no need to have the vehicle jacked sky-high, rather mount the axles over the springs (leaf under axle) helping to reduce the overall ride-height, at the expense of some overall travel of course.
With that decided, I also felt that it would be feasible to make this my most scale realistic build yet - not just the leaf-sprung chassis, but with shackles, U-bolts, a rusted busted body (as is my way typically) and finished with a host of scale detailing - be that scratch built, or available both off-the-shelf and 3D printed from various modellers and retailers online.
However, while I've been keen to get the basic vehicle on it's wheels as soon as possible, this is not going to be a quick build I fear - as I've kind of blown my budget recently on the YJ and upgrades for my other crawlers, plus invested pretty heavily already in parts for the Baja Beetle too, which is really starting to take shape now I've ironed out one or two fundamental stumbling blocks regarding the transmission and rear suspension... sorry, see how easy it is to get distracted when you have more than one project on the go at the same time?!