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OUR JOURNEY

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS IN BUSINESS

Established in 2002 and featured in almost every major automotive publication, we have earned the reputation of putting out some of the highest quality diesel conversions worldwide.  Diesel Toys ® designs AND manufactures our own proprietary wiring harnesses and mounting systems for each and every one of our conversions. This is the result of a monumental amount of research and development implementing electrical engineers and CAD systems designers to achieve an OEM, Toyota-quality product. To the end user, this means substantially increased reliability and the added benefit of being a visually stunning installation.

2002

DIESEL TOYS IS FOUNDED

1998 Toyota Tacoma with a 1KZ-TE Turbo Diesel. This conversion put us on the map and truly set the bar for diesel conversions worldwide. 2002 was a big year for us and our 1KZ-TE TOYOTA TACOMA conversions set Diesel Toys up as the premiere diesel conversion company around the globe. 

2005

GROUNDBREAKING FIRST 1KD-FTV TACOMA WORLDWIDE

After years of advanced research and development, we were the first company to successfully convert a vehicle using the high-tech TOYOTA 1KD-FTV D-4D turbo diesel. We successfully installed a 1KD-FTV 3.0 D-4D into a 2005 Toyota Tacoma mated to a 4-spd A340F automatic transmission. 

2008

ANOTHER WORLD FIRST: 1KD-FTV 2007 FJ CRUISER

Another Diesel Toys exclusive - We successfully converted a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser using a 1KD-FTV Turbo Diesel mated to a 5 speed A750F automatic transmission. For years, FJ CRUISER owners had longed for a better power and mileage option for their vehicles. Well, we delivered in a big way! 

2010

RECORD-SMASHING FIRST 1VD-FTV V8 2009 TUNDRA

This is a conversion that they said simply "couldn't be done". We successfully converted a brand-new 2nd-gen 2010 TOYOTA TUNDRA to a 1VD-FTV Twin-Turbo V8 Turbo-diesel mated to a BA60F 6-speed automatic transmission. Our Youtube video highlighting this conversion has over a MILLION VIEWS! 

2014

 FIRST 1KD-FTV VINTAGE FJ40 LANDCRUISER

With our mastery of the 1KD-FTV came customers wanting to re-power older vintage Landcruisers. We developed and installed a 1KD-FTV D-4D into a 1976 TOYOTA LANDCRUISER FJ40 mated to a 5-speed R155F transmission. This conversion was the culmination of years of research and development and the results were stunning. 

2018

FIRST 1KD-FTV 3rd-GEN TACOMA

Toyota released the 3rd gen Tacoma in 2016 and we got to work converting the first one to a 1KD-FTV D-4D. These have been wildly popular and this one was featured on The Fast Lane Truck for the first time. 

2021

FIRST 1GD-FTV TACOMA WORLDWIDE

With the world in lock-down due to the pandemic, we were hard at work developing mounting systems, brackets, purchasing CNC equipment, and wire processing tooling for our 1GD-FTV conversions. Another Diesel Toys first! 

Our Story

Through the years, almost all of our conversion customers always start off with the same question: “how did you get into this?” so I finally bit the bullet and wrote it all down. My purpose in writing this was to give past and future customers an idea of who we are and where we come from.

I founded Diesel Toys almost by accident in late 2002. I had grown up working on cars with my wonderful grandpa and tinkering in his little garage-shop after school or whenever something needed repair.  We would purchase everything from old VW’s with blown engines to Toyota trucks, even an old Corvair made the list. We would clean them up, get them running, and sell them in order to move onto a new project. After an ill-fated eBay purchase left us with a truck that was seemingly impossible to repair due to the vehicle being submerged in the ocean (literally), I began scouring the internet looking for anything to avoid scrapping the vehicle entirely.  Having visited the UK a few years prior and noticing all the Toyota diesels over there, I began to look for a someone willing to help import a Toyota diesel engine. My thinking at the time was that since the diesel had less electronics etc. it would be easier to get the truck running…how wrong I was. Well, I finally found a guy willing to sell me a “half cut” and had it crated and shipped over here. We picked up the half cut and I spent the better part of a month dissecting it and absorbing the project as a whole.

I quickly came to understand that these modern diesel engines were almost completely electronically controlled and schematics/reference materials were simply non-existent online.  So, I had to go through and reverse engineer the thing. By the time I got the truck running, I had a very advanced understanding of how these things operated. I had achieved what I had set out to do, but at considerable expense. I had learned so much during this project; I felt I could tackle any Toyota that was thrown at me. I think I actually memorized every Toyota wire used in those older trucks. I drove the truck for a few months and decided to put it on eBay. At my grandpa’s urging, I listed it for a substantial amount more than I ever thought it would fetch. I completed the listing, hit submit, and went out to dinner…

By the time I returned from dinner, my email inbox was buzzing with activity. There were people asking if I could convert their trucks, people complimenting on the factory appearance, people wanting to know how I did it, and most importantly, the Buy-It-Now had been hit! I remember thinking to myself “holy crap, I think I may have something here…” I booked my first three conversions within a week of that eBay auction and very quickly realized I could do this full time as my own business. I decided to call my company Diesel Toys® (the “toys” is a colloquialism for Toyotas) and spent the next several months building a website, registering my business with the state, and basically learning the ins and outs of starting and running my own business. Since then, Diesel Toys® has been featured in everything from Diesel Power ™, Peterson’s 4-Wheel Drive™ to Overland Journal ™, and countless internet forums. I have been privileged enough to stay booked  14-16 months out on all conversions since I opened my doors. I have expanded shops three times in 5 years and currently have plans to build a commercial large-scale building to house my business. I had continued my education during this time as well gaining several ASE certifications, TIG, MIG welding, purchasing an ultrasonic wire welder, and designing and building my own parts working in a CNC-based fabrication shop.

 

I have built my company into exactly the type of company I would want to do business with. Our attention to detail and integrity shows in our vehicles and the way we interact with our customers. Our focus is not on modifying everything that we can, but leaving as much of the factory vehicle as possible to retain the factory fit, finish, and functionality.  We craft our conversions to the highest possible standards used in the automotive industry today. In closing, we are committed to maintaining our reputation and ethics with every customer we serve. From being BBB A+ certified to Angie’s List A+ rating, we take our reputation seriously. I hope that in finding our website, you are excited about finally having a company that can build your dream vehicle.

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In The Press...

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