Model: (Click to see more) 58048: Toyota 4x4 Pickup Bruiser
Status: Restored
Date: 22-Jul-2006
Comments: 6
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This Bruiser has been in the making for a LONG time. It was essentially built from spares from my box-stock Bruiser restore. I took this as a chance to build one my way, with some unique twists and modifications.

The first thing was the chassis. The entire tranny was disassembled, even down to the pressed gears. I sandblasted the casing to get rid of the discoloration and silicone. When it was time to reassemble, I decided to rebuild with 100% bearings. This was a brain busting project in itself and something I would never want to do again. I enlisted the help of a mechanical genius named Phedon, a recently retired Hot Wheels master modelmaker who is amazing at such difficult feats. He helped me rebuild my tranny super smooth with minimal resistance and no slop. Everything's shimmed to perfection, the bearings sit perfect and shifts beautifully. Gaskets were installed in place of silicone, this keeps it looking clean instead of silicone all over the place.

After the tranny was sorted, I put bearings in all the axles and reassembled the chassis with stainless hex screws. Most of the parts I had were mint, so I didn't have to tear through ebay for parts.

When it came to wheels, I wanted something trick so I got some classic Bruiser alloy wheels from RC4WD. When I got them they didn't fit on the hubs- the centers were too small. I waited an eternity for the wheels to arrive, so rather than send them back, I brought them to work where another master craftsman, Harold, machined the centers down to fit the hubs perfectly. I wanted some different tires so I got some Pro-line Moabs and the chassis was complete.

The body is another story. I dreaded that sleeper thing in the bed. I wanted the Mounty look, but no rollbar. Clean Mounty bodies typically cost a mint so I had no alternative other than use the smashed up, rolled and cartwheeled Bruiser body from my 'Hardcore Hilux' from last year. To make a long story short, this body started with the sleeper cab and half of the bed cut out, one A-pillar bent, one A-pillar missing, no drip rails on the doors as they were ground off, the front fender corners were cut off for clearance, the front body mount had pushed through the hood on its last tumble down the rocks and the entire body had about 8 layers of paint on it. First I had to get those layers of paint off...nothing a can of Eazy-Off couldn't handle. Then, the entire bed floor and rear cab was hand built with styrene sheets, along with both A-pillars and rain gutters. Making the A-pillars were a nightmare but I was determined to get it done. It took a few months to get the body all straight but it was eventually ready for paint. I definitely wanted something different. I found some orange-copper metallic basecoat that can look purple in some angles. I thought what the hell and loaded up my spray gun. After the basecoat, I mixed up a thinned urethane clear that gives that deep automotive shine without the buildup. I've finally got a formula that retains the crisp lines and details but maintains that super shine. After a week of curing, I cut down the clearcoat on the hood and roof and machine buffed the surface, creating a glasslike finish. I added some details, sprayed the grille and bed, and the body was coming along. I had a beat up glass that I re-used. It was pretty hammered, so I had to think how I could save it for now. Looking at my pics from my recent Hawaii trip, I noticed on all the lifted Toyotas there, the windows were tinted super dark- including the windshields. So I tinted my Bruiser glass with real 20% window tint. It came out real good and gives the truck a mean look. To top it off I added some RAM aluminum spots mounted on a garage made alloy bracket.

The best part on the truck are the headlights...yes sir, those are off a 1/5 scale TYCO 300C r/c car! They fit perfect and are drilled for LED's. I still need to add more details and paint, and also figure out what I want to do for the front shocks. I may build a custom hoop to run a dual shock system. I also need to clean the rear lenses and install some aluminum mirrors I have. This truck has taken a year and a half but now that I look at it, it's all worth it! One of my favorites and it really reminds me of all the old school lifted Toyotas cruising around Hawaii...truly 'Hawaiian style'.

headlights from a TYCO 300C! Thanks James haha! yes, this used to be a smashed up Bruiser body! beautiful reflections building the rear cab wall under construction


Peter James


Jun...You ALWAYS get the richest looking paint jobs happening. Nice work, my friend!



Awesome work, the shell resto certainly seems to have come out perfect. Great choice of colour while the wheels and tyres set it off to a tee!



Your amazing attention to detail and commitment to projects is outstanding Jun, the pics probabbly dont do this thing justice- EXCELLENT!



Thanks for the comments guys, this was a hell of a build but worth the outcome!



Well you've been pretty quiet recently mate, but your recent entries have certainly made up for it! This truck has to be one of the best 'Mountaineers' ive seen, love the work on the bed.

Rothmans Racing Team


Jun, you suck! Ok, ok, I'm as jealous as the day is long. Man, have you come through with this one! This truck is absolutely gorgeous! The bodyis really perfect. You are an extremely talented SOB,but you probably knew that. Keep up the fantastic work fella! Great job! Apologies for being a popinjay.

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