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Build Your Custom Truck or SUV at Clint Newell Toyota

Build Your Custom Truck or SUV at Clint Newell Toyota


Living and working in Roseburg OR is fantastic. Whether you set your sights east, north, west or south, we’re surrounded by some of the greatest outdoor features in the country. Tackling them requires a vehicle that is up to the challenge of wilderness travel, however. So if you are looking to build your custom truck or SUV for performance, looks or both, you’ll want to check out our guide to finding not just the right base model, but also what parts will help you achieve your goals. Check out Clint Newell Auto Group.


We know that it comes down to budget at Clint Newell Toyota. However, if you are careful about what components you choose and get them installed correctly by experienced techs, you’ll find that the right parts can keep you going on- or off-road with fewer headaches than trying to build your project on your own. For those that do, we can point you in the direction of the parts that top race teams around the world trust to keep them going in even the toughest conditions.


Let’s get started!

Choosing the Right Platform

No matter how many customizations you add to your custom SUV or truck, you are still fundamentally going to deal with limitations, or rather opportunities, depending on how you look at them. So keep in mind that even if you’re looking to add lift kits, heavy-duty off-road tires, winches or any other accessories, the chassis that you decide to start with will influence what you can do with your vehicle.


For example, you can start with the drivetrain. Many people who are considering overland vehicles, those used to camp off the grid, might first start looking at all-wheel drive options. These generally come in the form of SUVs that start with front-wheel drive and have some sort of differential that pushes power rearward in the case of limited traction. For those who are looking for a vehicle that can play the part, this can be a good option for people considering exterior and interior upgrades that are mainly cosmetic.


To truly have fun in the dirt, however, you’re going to need to look for something with four-wheel drive, a transfer case and a locking differential, if not three locking differentials. In general, a drive system is set to provide power to the wheel spinning most freely. When you’re off-road, that’s usually not very helpful because that spinning tire might be up in the air a couple feet as you’re trying to move over difficult terrain.


Along with the basics of the drivetrain, you’re also going to want to look into gearing as well as how the truck or SUV handles “crawling”. This involves special low-speed gearing that helps maximize the torque that you’re using. Many Toyota trucks and SUVs come in available trims or with packages that provide this, for example. You can also add into that driver assists.  Unlike the ones advertised in commercials for families, these will tend to include selectable modes that can actuate individual brakes or bring a truck or SUV into and out of four-wheel drive mode. They don’t extend the capability of the vehicle, but they can make it a lot easier to handle.


Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a base level of both articulation and angles a truck or SUV can attack. Articulation is related to the suspension, and specifically refers to the amount that a wheel on one side can travel relative to the other (left vs. right). This is something that can be modified significantly with specialized suspension components and other parts, but knowing what you have to start with can also help. We won’t touch very much on ground clearance: at Clint Newell Toyota we know that the number is not as meaningful to those who are considering customizing their trucks or SUVs.


Rather, when you’re looking for the right vehicle to start with, you’ll want to compare approach, breakover and departure angles. If you imagine driving your truck or SUV into a ditch or over a rock, the approach angle is how steep a surface it can begin to climb without affecting the front of the vehicle. Break-over angle covers rocks and other obstacles underneath the chassis between the two wheels, and departure angle is the same as approach, just for the rear of the vehicle. Lift kits and bumper modifications are both commonly used to increase these angles for hardcore outdoor adventures.

Custom Toyota Trucks - Base Platforms

If you’re looking at trucks, you already know that they can be as versatile or as comfortable as you want them to be. Configurations number in the 100s for options like the 2020 Toyota Tundra and 2020 Toyota Tacoma to get you started. For most custom projects, you’ll want to start with as much installed as you can from the factory to save on future installation costs and part needs.


For the Toyota Tacoma, that probably means taking a good look at either the TRD pro or the TRD Offroad. They include not just 4×4 drive, but crawl control with five low-speed settings, electric-locking rear differentials and even driving mode selections that can make handling most terrain a piece of cake. There is one major trick that the Toyota Tacoma TRD Offroad can include if you add the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. We’ve noted that articulation can be a big deal; the KDSS allows you to unhook a stabilizer bar between the front wheels to enable them to operate at much different heights.


The bigger brother is no slouch either. The 2020 Toyota Tundra also includes TRD Pro and TRD Sport trims. You’ll get upgraded anti-sway bars and shock absorbers that increase the amount of travel for the wheels. They also come with the exterior badging and interior seating that will show others that you bought a truck that means business.

Custom Toyota SUVs - Figuring Out Where to Start

The 4Runner TRD Pro is an option for a lot of people that need the covered storage of an SUV but still want the capability to go their own way no matter how extreme the conditions. A stout V6 engine drives power to all four wheels with custom Nitto tires that marry great on- and off-road performance. Oversized shock absorbers with remote reservoirs and front springs specially tuned by the Toyota Racing Development team work together to keep your SUV planted no matter what surface it’s on. It also includes that KDSS suspension system we noted for the Tacoma.


The 2020 Toyota Sequoia is also an option for people that need either more towing capacity or space for more people. You’ll still get the uprated shocks and overall suspension system if you opt for the TRD Pro. You’ll just be able to use it with a V8 engine and a full-size frame.


And on a different note, it’s important to never leave out the 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser and its predecessors. It has been one of the longest-selling models in Toyota’s history, used around the world for its durability and build quality, and is quite simply one of the most capable SUVs money can buy. It comes with a V8 just like the Tundra, making 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. Married to an independent front suspension with coil springs and a stabilizer bar, with similar hardware in back, it is already ready for off-road.

However, like the Tacoma TRD Offroad, it also comes with that KDSS suspension system. This puts you in control of a much more capable vehicle as you go over rocks and narrow trails.


Outside of the Land Cruiser, Clint Newell Toyota offers 4Runners and Sequoias with a variety of trim packages that enable you to choose exactly how much you want to upgrade the performance as well as the appearance of your vehicle. Our team of skilled techs can also help you add the right bits later.

Parts for Improving Performance

TRD’s parts catalog is long enough that it can be overwhelming to first-time browsers. We get that and it’s why at Clint Newell Toyota, we recommend starting off with the model of truck or SUV that you think makes the most sense for your budget and needs. After all, even on vehicles that might not seem like they’re ready to go off-road or increase their speed, you can still get boosts from TRD-designed and developed exhaust systems to air intakes and more.


When it comes to trucks and SUVs, you need to look for components that will stand up to whatever you throw at them.  The fact that you can use parts designed with the experience of competing in events like the Dakar Rally, Baja 1000 and other prestigious events should give you some confidence whether you’re looking to buy air filters, oil filters or something that will upgrade the internals of your engine.


Trying to nail down what makes the most sense for your custom truck or SUV can be difficult.  We recommend looking at the TRD Pro parts catalog for your specific vehicle. You’ll be able to find everything from custom shock absorbers to suspension bushings and more. For even more assistance, contact our service center where team members have experience working on a variety of trucks.

Interior Parts for Building a Custom Truck and SUV

Most interior parts for your custom truck or SUV come pre-installed from the factory and could result in significant installation costs if you’re considering changing out seats or adding badging in certain places.


On the other hand, you can add a lot of character with options like shift knobs, cargo organizers and other components with relatively little effort. These specially-designed components add some flair without breaking the budget and can even help with things like grip if you have to wear gloves or have been out in less than ideal conditions.

Exterior Parts for Looks, Safety and More

Does form follow function? In the case of most aftermarket exterior pieces, the answer is yes. You can upgrade the grille and exterior lighting systems for your custom truck or SUV. You can also opt for skid plates that help protect key suspension and other systems if you are travelling over rough terrain.


Even adding roof racks and cargo carriers to the outside of your 2020 Seqouia or 4Runner enables you the chance to bring a lot more gear with you, and keep it from mucking up the interior. For those who truly love testing their mettle on trails, powerful winches can help you or a buddy get out of some of the toughest spots you get yourself into.


Again, there are hundreds of options that the team at Clint Newell Toyota can help you install. Call us or check out parts catalogs to get a better sense of what will fit your needs and budget.

Shop the Latest Custom Toyotas and Parts at Clint Newell Toyota

Are you looking for our certified and experienced off-road team to help get an all new 2020 Toyota Tundra, Highlander or Tacoma ready to hit the trails? Or are you looking for updated parts that will help the hauler you already own look and feel like it can take on the largest rocks and toughest paths?


Either way, visit the showroom at Clint Newell Toyota in Roseburg OR today. Our team has years of helping truck and SUV owners build from the right platform to a highly-capable vehicle ready to take on whatever you give it. Contact us today to get started.