Sad to hear that Marlin Czajkowski, the founder of @marlincrawler, has died right now. You can’t say enough about how important he was to the Toyota business. He was the real deal. No one else will ever know as much as he does or come up with as many new ideas. RIP Marlin.
Rock crawling was made by Marlin Crawler, and he is the best at it. Marlin Czajkowski has been driving his famous 1980 red “track truck” off-road since September 17, 1983, looking for ways to make it better. Early innovations included a homemade airborne welder that has been used since the late 1980s to fix hundreds of damaged rigs, the world’s first heavy-duty Birfield joint (also called a “Marfield”), and the world’s first heavy-duty FJ80 TRE tie rods, also called “Marlinks.” But Marlin’s most revolutionary idea was the Marlin Crawler, which he made in 1994. It gave Toyota trucks new abilities that had never been possible before.
Before the Marlin Crawler, the Toyota pickup with the lowest final drive ratio was the Turbo model from 1986 and 1987, which had a 56:1 ratio. At the time, “built” trucks had ratios between 36:1 and 44:1. When you add that to the fact that Toyota pickups only have a 4-cylinder engine, it’s easy to see why so few people drive them. Marin said that the Jeep is better than the Toyota pickup by at least 20 to 1. Jeeps and Land Cruisers, on the other hand, are often changed to have powerful 8-cylinder engines, and the final drive ratio is often in the 70:1 range, which is almost twice as slow. “I want to earn respect for Toyota trucks!” and “I want to promote Toyota trucks!” are two of Marin’s best-known songs. Both are well-known in the off-road world today.
Since 1994, Marlin’s invention has made it easy for Toyota trucks to go beyond a 200:1 final drive ratio. This makes them better off-road than Jeeps and Land Cruisers. Marin came up with the term “crawl ratio” to describe this low final drive ratio. Marlin also came up with the terms “rock crawl,” “crawler box,” “crawler gear,” “dual low range,” and “dual extreme crawl.” These words are now so common that Chrysler and Toyota Mullins use “Rock Crawl” in their marketing materials and products as well.
No one ever tells Marlin Crawler, “Hey, let’s go rock climbing,” because there is no such thing. It is impossible for a Jeep or Land Cruiser to have a final drive ratio of 200:1 or less, which is what creep is for! Marin’s idea made his 1980 Toyota pickup have a final drive ratio of 2,158:1. That’s 58 times slower than stock, but has 20 times more torque than a Jeep or Cruiser with 8 cylinders. Now we have a light-duty Toyota truck with four cylinders that is simple and reliable and has a lot more torque than an engine with eight cylinders.
For a dose of nostalgia and a better look at where we’ve taken Toyota trucks over the past 40 years, click here to see our gallery of old pictures of track trucks. Crawler trucks today have a Triple Ultimate Overkill Marlin Crawler transfer case system with 30 forward gears and 6 reverse gears that can be chosen at any time while still being able to drive normally in the city and on the highway.
We get excited about what we do by giving you the best, most durable parts for your Toyota 4WD Truck. We also make adapters and kits that let our products work with both domestic and imported products that are not made by Toyota. Desert racers and turbo super drifters love the high-performance 2WD drivetrain parts we make.
We are very involved in our community and use our resources to help it grow and stay strong for future generations. Here is a list of the 4×4 clubs and groups we have joined in the past and the ones we belong to now. Since 1983, we’ve been giving back to the community. We’ve done a lot of trail repairs, toilet installations, highway and trail cleanups, campground management, community fundraising, government public forums, and OHV route re-commissioning projects for the Forest Service.