ToYOta Mini-Truckin' - WPL C-24


A while back a guy needed some WPL axles for a custom Dodge Tradesman van, but a set of axles alone with some metal guts weren't all that much cheaper than a whole C24 kit. Ok, guess I like blue and it could become something later.

Later is here.


I like the looks of the late 70s early 80s Hilux well enough, but had a much LOWER plan in mind than wpl did. It may or may not actually need those axles under it? Make something acting like a 2-4 stage Z-rack, throw a couple extra servos. Started trying to shrink the wheelwells back toward stock size, made tailgate lettering.

Basic plan: Cruiser with 'hydraulic' bed for driving at 1/14 scale rc Truck & Construction meets.
Lotsa scaleness, bunch of WTF, little bit of ''wow, i remember when those were around''. I've seen how a Front / Back ''bagged" VW pickup can steal the show from absolutely stunning Semis covered in amazing paint, billet parts, lighting, sound kits, and Excavators that really are running hydro, and so many other scratchbuilds that are past my level.

Then while talking to my wife about what i was thinking, with blue growing into some type of Bed Dancer she said that's just not Radical enough! She really likes spinning bed. Well if you're gonna call me out, i guess you're getting a red one...



- Yes, i did spend WAY too long trying to get my VW Split-window truck raised back to a stock-ish height, sorta failed, and ultimately it's now bagged/juiced.
- Lowriding rubbed off on me again.
- Yes, i "can" buy and assemble something from a kit, but something odd happens anyway.
- Yes i do see the irony of raising a low truck, and lowering a high truck.
- Too many projects is almost enough. The answer is always N+1

Blue isn't a TOYOTA, it's now a YO truck. Fairly simple goals. Lowered, minor body mods, it's going to act like a 3 stage Z-rack bed dancer, some paint with graphics. 1980s or early 90s styled. I'm not trying to tuck 22s or lay door.

Red is going to be a Radical convertible truck that's going to get smoothed out, tonnau cover, spoiler. Probably going to do a scissor lift, bed spin, and dump. She REALLY wanted Spin for some reason? If it can spin, you'll be more likely to crack it into the cab, so let's start there with convertible right now. Not too sure what else could happen, wifes giving ideas on it? Not a 'Truxarossa' body kit though.

Some inspiration

Stealing this idea of gimbal that seemed like a really good idea for bed dump and sides.
Why? I don't know! He's on third, and i don't give a darn!

------ edit
So i think some of the motivation may actually have had to do with some of the events we're involved with. 'Back to the 50s fest', 'ToyTruck&Contractor' show, and a few others like to refer to us as "The RC Mini Truckers will be scheduled for..."

It made me want a Mini-Truck. Well most guys run Semis, Construction equipment, maybe a couple Tractors, a few Pickups, then a couple of Cars... a Square-body chevy or dodge Ram don't really meet my definition of a "Mini Truck". Maybe my VW doublecab pickup could, but even that's pushing it.
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Frame under red gets some trimming, link mounts changed, the 4-link braces inverted, and some frame crossmember chop for maximum slammed. I'm looking at C-notches for any lower.

Got the Red bed hollowed out, tonnau cover and fwd bulkhead installed

Turns out a "Beef&Broccoli with hot & sour soup" 2ch camera gimbal that comes with pair of mg90s is a perfect self centering fit onto a WPL frame crossmember, little bit of solvent. 'Dump' motion is easy.



For 'Sides' it's going to get more interesting, but i can tuck servo under the lifter arm to run something...

Wanting to try to keep a drop-bed with truck cap option on blue. Which may turn into way more brasswork than i was hoping. May have to do a mounted truck cap if things get out of control.

Also i'm looking for ideas on a shorter adaptable street-ish looking wheel setup.
Wpl B/C crawler tires are 2.65" / 67 mm
Wpl D suzuki truck tires are 2.15" / 55 mm
Wpl D drift tires are 2.18" / 56 mm


It's me again.
To cool. Somewhere I still have some late 80's to early 90" mini truck magazine's.
I wanted on real bad as it was my age group when they where popular and my friends had them with huge systems.

Living In Idaho though ....My father said (absolutely not!!!!)cause I'd get stuck on a horse turd.
Dreams squashed ....:laughing:

That all being said... Love the red one already topless....and I remember the beds dancing round and round and doing the wiggle jiggle thing. :laughing:

Following closely this thread I am.::2thumbs


Thanks Beers!
Feel free to offer ideas, i'm not into the scene. Mini-trucking wasn't going on much here by the time i got my license. Plus the Drag and Hotrod scenes have always been WAY bigger around here. Maybe i just was too close to the Tracks and didn't get over to the right neighborhoods?

I'd thought about red going Targa or T-tops or Sunroof, but it seemed like those just don't have as much impact.

Not really sure if i want to run a sound system in one of these. We'll see how much available space and weight there is after the important parts are done. I know the beds can fit some good sized 'subs', and could scrap out some headphones for 'mids'. (Cars with the boom) Plus I've already got the Benz project as a Subwoofer car.

Little bit of testing yesterday looks like even a hollow bed should be able to shake the trucks really nicely.

Car meet or show?


Axle and wheel narrowing surgery has got the wheels pulled in to around 4.750" wheel hub to hub. This is about the limit of narrow that's 'easily' possible with wpls, so this is about as low as the truck can go.


This gives the trucks a "Stock-ish" height. I was aiming more toward "laid the f- out". Got another plan though for later...


Atleast now the hood is not much higher that the crawler tires it came with.


So the C24 trucks (bed) have the Round headlight 4 block grill, and the C14 trucks (flatbed/truggy) get the Square headlight 6 block grill. They don't interchange. 6 block grill needs a winch bumper, 4 block is integrated into body kit that bumper snaps into. Obviously i now *NEEDED* to convert a truck to newer style. Because reasons?


Both axles were narrowed pretty extensively earlier. It's not quite enough for one plan.
Front fenders lost the lip on flare, shortened shocks.
Rear bed sides bent outward, bed floor just removed.

If ya really work at it... you can get wpl axles, these wheels, inverted 4 link bars, to lay on the trans housing. Think of it like chopping Dana-60s to the width of a Toyota axle, and trying to put wheels back into the fenders. There's a dual-motor skid plate someone designed (that was stolen by china and available as a kit) which would give belly clearance again.

That servo gimbal above with the top shaved will give 'Dump' action as it sits in this picture. It's still a dancer, not a dumptruck.


The fun part of the front-clip swap is that it shouldn't really work. But most real vehicle Clip Swaps are like that...

That 6-square grille still mounts to hood, but has a screw tab that's supposed to tie into winch bumper, winch bumper ties to chassis mounts. So after sneaking up on tolerances slowly, you basically cut the non-fitting parts flat, glue under-bumper to body. Then hopefully remember to come back and mount the screw tab to grille, so you can sink screw hole into under-bumper somewhere not seen through bumper holes.

Info stolen from
"1979-'82 Toyotas have round headlights and the '83-'85s have square. The '84-'85s appear taller because they have square-cut fenderwells versus the '79-'83s round ones. Grilles changed slightly during the '81-'83 model years."

Now the Blue is a 79-82. Red is an 83. If i took one with the 6 square grille, slammed it, raised and squared out the wheelwell cutouts it'd be 84-85.

Red is going newer styled: 4-link, 4wd, big wheels, stock height. Royal metallic, stripes. Big airbrushed looking decal on tonnau if i can find something cool.

Blue is going old-school: leaf spring, 2wd, small wheels, lower. Pastel, with weird line graphics on sides

Also it turns out these trucks can have either Steel or Aluminum frame rails.

*** Warning Spoiler Alert! ***

Obviously, a truck needs a spoiler.

Keeping this one old-school, so we'll be running some Eagle 5-stars.


It's me again.
Great update.
Now I can't decide again what one I like better.:laughing:
I totally see the Eagle wheels looking the part...need some lug nut looks though or the fancy cap button.;)



Low trucks can't go around dragging really important parts on the ground. You gotta save the pavement dragging for all that unimportant stuff like frames, rockers, exhaust, body panels, oil pans...

Today we're just talking about mods that happened on Red to get a "box stock WPL crawler" down to around "stock or slightly lowered toyota" height.

Narrow the hell out of axles, radius some off the steering knuckles
Narrow a fair amount off a full set of D-12 wheel hexes.
Knock the inner sidewall off the front set of d-12 wheels to clear knuckles & shocks.
Shock bodies get shortened below the mount screw, bottom is plated & drilled, then a few turns of spring put in and top snapped back on.
Thats enough to JUST get your tires pulled inside the fender and able to steer.

Stock trans went away. It's now got a dual gearmotor setup that tucks to less than 1/4" below frame rails.
The stock 4-link axle truss is mounted upside-down, below the axle. Kit 4link bars.
The chassis side of the 4-link bars go to the same hole in the frame above where the factory thought the lowers should go.
I shaved the hanging ears off frame.
My pinion angles are bad, but i don't care enough yet to put adjustable 4-link bars on it. Maybe when i trim driveshafts

Bottom of chassis

Not tall, could run & drive like a normal truck!

For the weird gimmicky things that make me interested in doing mini truck things:
Some 0.6mm ID / 1mm OD teflon tube arrived, which seems to work pretty well with some 50lb Spiderwire stealth-braid fishing line.
I've also got some other options on the way for doing low torque Bowden Cables that can kinda look and act like hydro lines.


Where's the love for the other? Ok, back to some work on the Blue truck. Gotta learn to cruise before we get too radical.

So here's that ''Servo gimbal glued to a chassis crossmember" first stage dump thing from earlier, with the mark1 version of a second stage. Clearly this thing has the side pivot in too close to center line, gives more of a Rotate action than the Unstacking action we're looking for on the second stage. It puts a fender into frame way too early. I'd have to limit the throw to something wimpy like 30 degrees.


Truck bed floor was cut out, added a tonnau cover which will mount on the 'grey bar at a crazy angle'. Servo mounted on chassis lifts black part with white chunks glued on. The next servo would pull a bowden cable, to pull short side of grey bar down. Bed tips Aft and Left.
Even at the time, i knew i actually wanted to have the side pivot stuck out over a frame rail, but kinda wanted to see if it might work "well enough" without making some plastic cantilever structure to get the hinge way out there, and strong enough, and square. (No, stop being lazy. Do it the hard way and be done with it)

We're going with a custom 'dual n20 gearmotors in C-channel' axle because i've seen it used on german builds for a while and it looked interesting. Plus it's LOW clearance setup. Some brass tube and solder adapts rear wheels to the D-shaft motors. Front axle isn't too spectacular either, it's just a styrene stack that holds the knuckles on my 5-stars.


Supporting Member
Very fun! Can't wait to see it in action, guess you'll have fun working out the mechanics first though!


Thanks dagabba! It's always fun to figure out ways to make rc cars do unexpected stuff!

So that mark1 thing was pried off to start the mark2 setup which shoved the fulcrum outboard.


That was still not really the kind of action i was looking for, with the bed wanting to foul the frame. so for mark3 the fulcrum was moved down closer to frame height.


Then it looked pretty fair, so stuck another servo in there, think i could live with that kind of action. Maybe have to add another bed-mount hinge segment on forward side if needed, but i think this way might give it the right kind of bounce action?


It's me again.
Peek a boo
Yup, checking in on the action.
Get it...action.... Hehehehee

Can't help but giggle why I wait to see it dance about. I can visualize...
Chomping popcorn my good friend.

Going to be Cool. ::2thumbs


Beers, It works and is nearly as funny as you're imagining. It'll get way better once axles are mounted and the bed can really shake the whole truck.

The mark3 setup has the attach for Left tilt servo linkage mount sitting too far from the low fulcrum, the servo is getting too much gear reduction. Takes all the epa both ways to get flat and tipped. Not gonna be fun if you've gotta hold the stick right to hold flat

I probably should admit that i need another fs-i6 to customize into a switch-box rig for cruising with the Lowlows. I've already tracked down 4 single axis joystick pots to do this mod.

Maybe a little of this