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How To Build A Prerunner / Overlander


How To Build A Prerunner / Overlander

Thinking about building a Prerunner / Overlander? As someone who has been and still continues to try and build a truck, Im going to give you a break down of what will be required to turn a standard stock truck (Chevy, Toyota, Ford, Nissan) into a capable off-road Prerunner / Overlander that can be sent thru some rugged terrain with ease and float over whoops like a hover craft. 


First Things First!

Your gonna break shit, your gonna spend money, your going to question why your even building this "stupid truck", But then you will ride in it and realize it was all worth it....Maybe.

Building anything requires time, patience, and a lot of dedication. In this post i will break down what exactly is done when building a vehicle for Off-Road use and give some Tips i have learned along the way.

 Overlanding long travel suspenion total chaos prerunner build built trucks

Front Suspension

The Front suspension of your vehicle could have a few possible set-ups.

- A-Arm aka Double Wishbone (most common)

- Twin I-Beam (More Travel Less Money)

- Solid Axle (Rock Crawler)

- Center-Mount A-Arms

As you can see Front suspension on vehicles can be different depending on the make and model. Fore example older Fords are known to have the Twin I-Beam set up while Toyota's and Chevy's have A-Arms. Now that you know your options for the front lets take a look at the rear suspension.

 long travel tacoma first generation truck build how to prerunner overlander

Rear Suspension

- Leaf Spring (Under axle / Over axle)

- 3-Link

- 4-Link

- IRS ( No we arent talking taxes, this stands for Independent Rear Suspension)

Like front suspension, creating a quality ride in the rear of your vehicle can be accomplished using a few different suspension types. Each suspension set up will have its benefits and drawbacks, make sure you do your research on which would be best for your Build.



- Fiberglass Fenders/Bedsides

- Hood Pins

- Bumper Front/Rear

- Wheels / Tires

- Rock Sliders

Bullet Proofing

- Motor Mounts

- Transmission Mount

- Exhaust Mounts

- Radiator Supports

- Battery Mounts

- Frame Plating/Boxing

You get the idea! All the sheet metal thin gauge material will most likely crack and this is why built trucks cut all that out and build an exo-skeleton of Chromoly or DOM Tubing. When it comes to off-road trucks, Overkill is better than under-kill.



Why you need them?

Lights are always handy to have especially where there arent any street lights. The desert, forest, or wherever you may find yourself can be pitch black at times and its important to consider good lights for the front and rear of your build.

What kind should i buy?

Some people may hate me for saying this but i have bought both high end brand and Amazon specials and have had both break at times. At some point our paying for the name soo ill let you decide.


- Coilover Shocks

- Bypass Shocks

- Internal Bypass Shocks

- Bumps Stops

- Shock Sizes: 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0+

Shocks are a whole other world of information so i would recommend you check out this article Accutune Offroad: Shock Tuning 101


- Driveshaft

- Axle Gearing

- Axle shafts 

Depending on the amount of suspension travel your vehicle has you may need to upgrade your driveshaft. 

Its important to beef up your axle and gearing, with bigger tires and rugged terrain, it is important to have the strength you will need.

For more about re-gearing your vehicle read this: 4WP Gearing Guide


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