Images courtesy of Sean Jennings
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen photos of Sean Jennings' incredible 2013 Toyota Tacoma (AKA Defconbrix) circling the web.
It was featured in TruckVault's SEMA booth in 2015, and more recently appeared in this short film put together by the team at ROTIFORM wheels. It's also appeared in numerous magazine ads. Let's face it, this truck is incredibly photogenic, but that isn't why it was built.
Sean is a veteran, gun enthusiast and family man. He's also a gifted photographer and outdoorsman. In order to manage all of his interests, he needed a flexible vehicle that could be reconfigured to support each activity or combinations thereof.
There are many possibilities for used off road vehicles such as the Landrover Defender, Toyota Troopy, or other ubiquitous rig, but Sean wanted something new and, more importantly reliable.
There are few fresh from the lot vehicles that compare to the Toyota Tacoma, the Jeep JK/JKU comes to mind, but it has half the towing capacity and payload. It's also difficult to haul bicycles and other tall gear inside. So, for Sean the Tacoma was the only viable option. Let's take a look at what makes this rig tick.
At times the truck can be seen with an ARE Z Series bed cap to keep gear dry and free of mud, other times it can be seen without -hauling his RAD bicycle or other tall equipment.
Regardless of configuration, his gear (which consists of firearms at times -relax, they're for the range, not camping) stays warm and dry in a secure Truck Vault -which is the same system used by law enforcement and government agencies.
A full extension BedSlide is mounted on top making it easier to access gear and beer. It also makes it easier to load and lash equipment which becomes even more important when traveling off road.
Items that are only accessed occasionally such as a pair of Maxtrax and Rotopax fuel containers are mounted to the Frontrunner roof rack. This rack also provides the low profile mounting point for a Baja Designs dual function LED light.
The stock suspension is great if you're spending most of your time on pavement, but driving long distance off road with all of the compromises built into factory springs and dampers can be painful and uncomfortable. To address these compromises, Sean turned to Total Chaos and Fox.
The front consists of a Total Chaos +2 long travel, race series kit. The springs of choice are a set of Fox 2.5 DSC coilovers mounted to a Total Chaos shock hoop. Damper duties are carried out by Fox 2.0 Bypass shocks.
Rear suspension also consists of Fox 2.0 DSC's mounted to Pelfreybilt shock relocation hoops. The leaf springs consist of an Expo pack and Archive Garage shackle flip kit. To help smooth and control the axle's movement, a set of Fox 2.0 bump stops were also fitted.
Wheels & Tires - Axles
A set of 17x9 Rotiform SIX- OR bronze wheels provide a aggressive looks and the correct backspacing necessary for larger tires. Sean decided to go with 35/12.5/17 Toyo Open Country R/T tires. In addition to the suspension lift, a set of Bushwacker flares were mounted, and trimmed 3", to accommodate the new shoes.
Both front and rear axles were outfitted with ARB airlockers, which are controlled by ARB's powerful twin air compressor. To compensate for the taller tires, he factory ring and pinion were swapped for a set of Nitro 4.88 gears.
A few months back, I put together a storage systems buyer's guide for Expedition Portal and needed a photo of the Truck Vault system.
I reached out to Sean and he delivered what would turn out to be the most liked photo on Expedition Portal's Instagram feed. I also posted it to the @overland_kitted feed where it was viewed over 105,000 times! This truck's popularity is just insane.
If you'd like to build something similar, the spec sheet can be found below.
Pelfreybilt Shock Relocation Hoops
Expo Leaf Pack
CVT 55″ awning (with mesh kit)
BedSlide – custom width to go over fender wells
WHEELS / TIRES:
Rechelon Aesthetics RetroFits – Custom MultiCam
sPOD SE Touchscreen – control and switches for all lighting
Bushwacker fender flares (trimmed off approximately 3″)
Cab Mount Chop & Inner Fender Massaging for proper 35″ tire fit
TrekPak – lined TruckVault and Center Console
Victor Axe & Tool Limited Edition Black Axe and Hatchet
Yeti Bottle Opener mounted on the rear bumper
Rockford Fosgate POWER slim sub, components and amps
custom fiberglass box built by SoundWarehouse in SLC
Custom Y-Pipe with the Exhaust Tip dumped out over the Axle
Katzkin full leather custom Tuscany leather/suede interior w/Degreez heated & cooled seats
RAD Bicycle Co custom Fat Tire bike