25-Year-Old Toyota Tacoma “Turbo Taco” Is a Budget LS Swap, Runs 9s Quarter-Mile

After all these years, the 1996 Toyota Tacoma we have here is full of holes: there’s a rusty one in the tailgate, but the larger, gaping hole in the side of the front bumper needs a bit more explaining, especially since it houses the side exhaust shooting out of the turbo that aids the machine’s V8 heart!

Having been offered as a compact truck, a genre that’s making a strong comeback these days, and with this particular example coming in a regular cab configuration, the first-generation Tacoma is an ideal platform for drag racing.

And while the most potent factory engine was a 3.4-liter V6 that could be fitted with a TRD (Toyota Racing Development) supercharger to deliver 254 hp/PS, this bad boy has been gifted with a good ole LS swap-given the boost addiction of the thing, we’ve decided to come up with the nickname in the title.

Under the hood, or rather instead of it, we find a stock bottom end 5.3L V8, which works with a Borg Warner S475 cast turbo to deliver… well, we’re not sure of the maximum muscle available here, but we can tell you that, with the help of a few other tech goodies (more on this below), this truck recently pulled a 9.98s quarter-mile pass at 133.78 mph (215 km/h). And you’ll be able to see the Tacoma in action, 1.48s 60-foot and all, thanks to the clip below, which comes courtesy of the Race Your Ride YouTube channel.

The stunt, which took place over in Illinois at the Byron Dragway, was possible thanks to hardware such as a Turbo 400 (GM three-speed automatic), CalTrac traction bars, a Ford Explorer 8.8-inch rear end with 3.27 gearing, along with Mickey Thompson 26×10 slicks (the front axle features skinny wheels and tires).

And while we’re dealing with a budget build here, the LS swap meant there was no room for a (generous) radiator up front, so this had to be relocated in the bed, along with the battery. You’ll also notice the fuel cell cap over there, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of room in the back for carrying all those smiles this Toyota generates.



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