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My 02 SR5 4WD Build - "T. Belle"

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Old 02-15-2013, 05:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 423 TACO View Post
Might have to look into that. I've never really put much thought into one but it would be really nice
Yep, definitely nice to have but not necessary.

I've had short shifters before (in my Hondas), so there's no turning back for me now!
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:06 PM   #22
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Wheelskins Leather Steering Wheel Wrap, Stant Locking Fuel Cap, Blind Spot Mirrors

2/15/13

Red thread for my steering wheel wrap finally arrived. The thread was thinner than expected, so I had to double up on the threading during stitching. This caused me all kinds of issues, mainly dealing with tangles. What a PITA. Took me about 2 hrs, not fun...

Single threading would've definitely been much easier and faster. Stitch pattern was simple and technique easy to get the hang of. I should've been done in 1 hr.



Close-up of the stitching. Notice the double thread.



It turned out ok, but it's not exactly centered on the wheel. Oh well, at least I was able to get the wrap on tightly. Steering wheel feels SO much better now.

Since Belle parks outside on the driveway (FJ gets garage), I thought I'd better try and protect my gas. Found a new Stant Locking Fuel Cap (#10504) on eBay for $1. Shipping was a bit high ($7), but $8 total is still pretty good. I love eBay.



Compared to the FJ, the visibility inside a Taco is like a convertible with the top down. Nonetheless, these 3" Blind Spot Mirrors (Driver & Passenger side) are still a must-have for me.

I have the same ones on the FJ, so I've become accustomed to them on my mirrors.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #23
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Headlight Restoration

2/17/13

Belle's headlights looked pretty good for her age. But, there was some hazing and a little TLC couldn't hurt.

After a quick google search to determine which one was the best, I went out and bought a 3M Headlight Restoration kit from the local auto parts store. Easy to use and worked better than expected. A few more sessions would've made them look even better, but my arms/shoulders were too tired/sore from holding the rechargeable drill.

Driver



Passenger



I finally tidied up the UltraGauge cable with some zip ties.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #24
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Door Speaker Upgrade - Part 1

2/17/13

I don't care to spend much on audio these days...guess I've just learned my lesson. I've been the victim of numerous car break-ins/thefts and seen it so many times with friends and relatives. IMO, a high end system is just an invitation for thieves.

Nonetheless, I do appreciate a clean sounding system. From my experience with the FJ, just upgrading the speakers alone can make a big improvement (while still maintaining a factory and discrete appearance).

I like the way my FJ MB Quarts sound, especially the titanium tweeters. Pretty clear highs, especially through the noise of the FJ. So, I picked up a new FSB213 5.25" 2-Way Mid and 3/4" Titanium Dome Tweeter component system for the doors ($60 on eBay).

As soon as I opened the box to start installation, I realized I'd forgotten one important detail - the 5.25" speaker adapters for the doors. Damn it, the 5.25"s will have to wait (Part 2). Oh well, on to the tweeters.

My only concern regarding the new tweeters was mounting them to the door panel. I was hoping they'd fit inside the door panel with little/no cutting to the panel or OEM tweeter bracket.

OEM Tweeter/Bracket Assembly



The OEM tweeter is mounted to the bracket with two screws, but that wasn't possible with the MBQ tweeter.

After some tinkering, I came up with a simple solution. By flattening both L-Tabs straight, they could basically hold the new tweeter in place.

I hammered them as flat as possible on my vise, added some heatshrink (to add grip and protect the plastic tweeter housing) and slightly bent the ends inward. Tabs were then adjusted in/out accordingly, to adjust clamping tension.



MBQ Tweeter/OEM Bracket Assembly



The new tweeter/OEM bracket assembly fits inside the tweeter pocket perfectly, with no chance of dislodging loose from the door panel. Success.

To be continued...
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Tune-Up and Suspension Order

2/18/13

Took Belle over to see my favorite mechanics (Yotamasters in Corona) for a check-up/tune-up.

Overall, a clean bill of health. All that was needed:

- New spark plugs ($$!)
- Coolant flush/fill
- Clutch Adjustment

Despite already having fresh gear fluid inside the M/T, T/C and diff (front & rear), I had them flush/fill with Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 anyhow.



Wow, Belle drives like a new car now.

On the way home from Yotamasters, I stopped by my favorite fab shop Demello Offroad to order my new suspension. Based on Belle's age, I decided on some major upgrades.

- Icon Extended Front Coilovers
- Camburg Racing 1" Ball-Joint UCAs
- Icon v2.0 Rear Shocks
- Deaver 8-Leaf Rear Spring Pack
- Total Chaos Spindle Gussets
- Total Chaos Upper Coil Bucket Gussets
- Total Chaos LCA Cam Gussets
- Energy Suspension Rack & Pinion Bushings
- Frame Reinforcements
- All-Pro Extended Brake Lines

Being the daily driver, a comfortable ride was a requirement. I went with Icons based on my personal experience with them (I love the front resis on my FJ), as well as the Camburg UCAs. Another deciding factor - both companies are local, making it convenient for any future issues and re-builds.

Despite the DD status, I still want to have some fun with her. And knowing my off-roading habits, I felt it wise to beefen up the weak areas - spindles, upper coil buckets, LCA cams (same weak areas on the FJ!) and the rear frame. I plan on keeping and enjoying Belle for a long time.

I CAN'T WAIT!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #26
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Looks great Darren. Can't wait to see the pictures after the suspension upgrade. Are you going to install the suspension? Headlights look good, I have been using Blue Magic Headlight lens restorer (wax). I gave up on the drill applications, just a coat of wax each time I wash the truck as part of my detailing and the headlights stay pretty sharp.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #27
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudpuppet View Post
Looks great Darren. Can't wait to see the pictures after the suspension upgrade. Are you going to install the suspension? Headlights look good, I have been using Blue Magic Headlight lens restorer (wax). I gave up on the drill applications, just a coat of wax each time I wash the truck as part of my detailing and the headlights stay pretty sharp.
Hey mudpuppet, thanks!

And I can't wait to take/post those pics!

But, it'll be a few wks before then. Demello will being doing the install. I need all the TC gussets and frame reinforcements welded on anyhow (and they did a great job with my FJ).

Also, I'm getting a custom 1/2 bed rack built, so I figured I just leave her there for awhile to get everything done in one shot.

Yeah, the 3M kit is more for major restoration projects. It would be such a PITA to use on a regular basis. Now that the hard part was done, I was wondering what headlight wax to get, so thank you for the tip. I have an excuse to go back to the auto parts store!
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deez View Post
Yeah, the 3M kit is more for major restoration projects.
Thanks for the info. I think I will try the 3M kit next time I am at the auto parts store and continue to use the wax application if needed.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:30 PM   #29
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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All Pro Sliders

2/20/13

My slider order (placed on 2/04) with All Pro finally came in.



I'm going to have Demello powder coat them for me. I'm thinking of dark gunmetal gray (same for bed rack and future front bumper).
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:30 PM   #30
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Demello Drop-Off

2/25/13

Dropped off Belle at Demello for her first major makeover (see Post #26 for details).

Turns out Camburg has been flaky lately - still no UCAs and no return calls to Demello. Oh well, no worries. Now, going with Total Chaos 1" Uni-Ball UCAs instead.

No idea when she'll be done, especially since I ordered a custom 1/2 bed rack also. I'm hoping <1 month, we'll see...
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:59 PM   #31
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Did you have any issues with the ultragauge? I'm looking into getting one for my 04 and their website says the 01-04 taco's can have problems with the ultragauge messing with the ABS.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:06 AM   #32
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 423 TACO View Post
Did you have any issues with the ultragauge? I'm looking into getting one for my 04 and their website says the 01-04 taco's can have problems with the ultragauge messing with the ABS.
423 TACO,

I was unaware of that, thanks for the heads up.

So far, so good. I've driven Belle (with the UG installed) several hundred miles without any issues. ABS seems fine, although I haven't been in a situation to lock up the brakes yet.

Just curious, do you know what kind of problems can be caused by the UG? I'd really hate for the ABS to malfunction when I need it
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #33
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This is what I found on their website
http://ultra-gauge.com/customer_supp...php?article=18
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:10 PM   #34
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 423 TACO View Post
This is what I found on their website
http://ultra-gauge.com/customer_supp...php?article=18
Thanks for that link.

Yeah, so far no such issues.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:10 PM   #35
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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3/21/13

My Konig Countersteers (Post #16) finally came in. I'll pick them up tomorrow and stop by Demello on the way home to check on Belle.

Sneak peek of the bed/roof rack:

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:23 PM   #37
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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3/22/13

Picked up my wheels today.



By paying the balance with cash, I was able to save another 3% . Not much, but every bit helps!

Still undecided on the rubber...however, I'm leaning toward swapping the BFG TA KOs (285/75/16s) from my FJ onto these wheels. The BFGs have some chunking and sidewall rash from rock crawling, but with < 8K miles on them. Time for the FJ to get some 35" M/Ts anyhow

I stopped by Demello to check on Belle's progress. Suspension install is tentatively scheduled for next wk.

Bed/roof rack is coming along nicely, ~70% complete. Last major components left are the lift-up spare tire carrier and jerry can/CO2 tank carrier mounts.

No photos taken, since it was sitting on the garage floor when I stopped by. I have to visit Demello again next wk, so I'm hoping for a better photo opp then.

Meanwhile, I decided on getting Belle a Demello Baja front bumper in aluminum.


(Image courtesy of Demello Offroad)

Aluminum costs more, but should pay itself off with gas savings eventually. Total weight is only ~50lbs, less than my FJ tube bumper.

I went with this particular style hoop to match the FJ. A winch will be added later.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #38
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Great progress. Looking forward to seeing how those wheels look. Post pics when complete.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #39
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
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Great progress. Looking forward to seeing how those wheels look. Post pics when complete.
Hey, mudpuppet! Thanks for your kind words again.

I'm quite anxious too! Unfortunately, I have to wait until I get the truck back from Demello
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:01 AM   #40
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deez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the sheddeez is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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3/23/13

I received this on my phone late afternoon yesterday. A wkend teaser...



Dimple-died side plates and 42" ELS Atlas LED

http://shop.expeditionlighting.org/4...ar-ELS-B42.htm
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