Andy Zook (CAZ)

A Little About Myself
CAZ, hard at work!

I am a mechanical engineer by trade, but my job responsibilities also include maintaining and administering the computer network at the company where I am employed. I love computers, and when I am not working on my truck, I can often be found sitting in my living room "tweaking" my computer.

I can probably thank my father for my love of trucks. As I was growing up, he always had a nice pickup that he used for his construction business. I purchased my first truck at the age of 15. It was a '72 Ford pickup with a cherry red paint job. The truck had a burnt valve and needed to have the heads rebuilt. My uncle who is a deisel mechanic removed the heads to take to the machine shop, and I assisted him as best as I could. This was my first experience with something more involved than an oil change.

I am now 30 and have owned 18 vehicles in my 14 years behind the wheel. 11 of these 18 vehicles have been Toyotas. I really started getting into restoration/modification after I graduated from college. I purchased a '76 Land Cruiser and set out to restore it. At the time, I did not know as much as I should have about choosing a vehicle to restore. This truck proved to be too far gone (rust) to be worth modifying and I gave up and parted it out.

I started getting more interested in 4 wheeling during this time. A college friend down in North Carolina called me up one day and told me that there was some sort of Land Cruiser gathering in Tellico. Of course I immediately packed some stuff and made the 10 hour drive down there. It turns out that we had stumbled upon the GSMTR (Great Smoky Mountain Trail Ride) which I have attended every year since (10 years).

My '85 4Runner at Paragon - PA

After the first GSMTR I really wanted to go back the next year with a capable trail truck so that I could run the trails. I purchased a '92 Toyota extra cab pickup, added a 4" Trailmaster lift and some pizza cutter 33-9.50 tires. I really did not know much about what it took to be able to run trails like the ones at Tellico, and I soon discovered that I needed something more. I really loved the look and capabilities of the solid axle trucks that I saw down there, and decided that I would do this "solid axle swap" that I had been reading about on the internet.

Around this time, my uncle approached me about buying his beat up, rusted out '84 Toyota extra cab. I jumped at the chance thinking that I could get all of the parts that I needed to do a solid axle swap - and have a solid axle frame from which to measure (this was before the days of the "kit").

I bought the truck and soon had it sitting in my dad's barn - ready to dismantle. I looked the truck over and soon decided that the truck was still in too good of shape to sell off as scrap parts. I decided that I would instead build this truck up, and sell the '92 when I was done. I ordered a bunch of parts that I needed to restore the truck's body and started tearing into the truck. As soon as I removed the bed, I discovered that the frame had some hidden rust problems! That night, I decided that rather than scrap the truck and try to return all of the parts that I had purchased, I would tear the truck down to the frame, and do it up right.

3 months later, a quite impressive looking Toyota emerged from the barn! During the past 6 years I have been tweaking, fabricating, and wrenching on this truck during many of my spare moments, and most of my spare $$.

I recently sold the body off of the original '84 pickup, and moved everything over to an '85 4Runner. This truck also recieved the Supra engine that I had swapped into the original truck.

Please check out my web page HERE!