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Old 04-23-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
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Enigma8246 Build Thread

This is the first time I've ever had a lot of parts to put on a vehicle at once rather than just putting things on as I can afford them so I figured I would do a build thread. I hope to be updating this quite a bit in the next few weeks but I just got back from a 14 month deployment so the house and all of our vehicles need a little TLC. Because of this, I haven't had much time to work on the truck yet.

About 2 months before I got home, I bought my '01 Tacoma Xtracab. It's a 4WD, V6 manual and I bought it bone stock except the radio head unit.



I've been wanting one of these for 3 or 4 years now and every time I've seen one I liked, I haven't had the money for it. Thanks to my deployment, I had the money for this one and it was too good of a deal to pass up. I bought it from my sister-in-law's boyfriend who is a shop supervisor at a dealership (Chevrolet?). He has already done a lot of maintenance on the truck including a new clutch and master cylinder. He had Krank 17X9 wheels and Grabber AT2 tires on it and while they weren't terrible, I preferred the 5-star OEM wheels so I put those and some Goodyear Wrangler AT tires on.

While I was deployed, I had a lot of time to figure out what direction I wanted to go with this truck. There is a lot of off-roading near where we live but it's mostly rock crawling. I didn't really want to go that route but ultimately decided on trying to build an all-around off-road truck with an emphasis on overlanding. My wife has family in Phoenix and there are some really beautiful places not too far from us where you can drive old logging trails for days without seeing anyone else.

See post 2 for a build sheet.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:22 AM   #2
Enigma8246 [OP] Enigma8246 is offline
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Build Sheet

I plan to document all modifications that I do to the truck here with the exception of a few security mods that I have in mind. I currently have so many parts that I've lost track of what all I have. I'll post what I know I have and will update as I install.

2014.05.10
169,285
OME Front Shocks & 882 Springs (Post #8)
Light Racing Upper Control Arms (Post #8)

2014.05.12
169,294
Crown Performance Extended SS Brake Lines

2014.05.16
169,447
CBI Rock Sliders w/ Tread Grip
Trail Gear Rear Frame Reinforcement

2014.05.30
169,734
OME Dakar Leaf Springs, Add-a-Leaf & Nitrocharger Struts (Post #9)

2014.06.16
169,784
CVJ Remanufactured CV Axles
NAPA Lower Ball Joints
NAPA Outer Tie Rods
NAPA Tie Rod End Links (destroyed originals when removing due to rust)

2014.06.19
169,784
CBI Off Road Outback 1.0 Rear Bumper

2014.06.21
169,816
AllPro Front Bumper
Warn ZEON 10-S (Post #14)
4" LED Fog Lights (NEED TO WIRE)

2014.06.25
169,854
LSPV Relocation Kit
BAMF Rear Diff Skid

2014.07.03
169,986
Toyota Lower Ball Joints (Both sides)

2014.07.17
170,912
Snorkel and Rear Diff Breather Extension

2014.07.19
170,943
Changed Left Front Diff Output Needle Bearing to East Coast Gear Supply Bushing


NEED TO INSTALL:
Cobra 18WSXTII CB with Firestick Antenna, Mount & Cable



1" Differential Drop Kit
U-bolt Flip Kit
Star DLXT Reverse Lights (Post #7)
New Timing Belt & Associated Parts
Plugs & Wires
Radiator
Valve Cover Gaskets

PLANNED FOR FUTURE:
ARB Air Compressor
ARB Air Locker (Rear Only)
Dual Battery Setup
Rigid Industries SR-2 40"
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:29 PM   #3
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Reserved.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:47 AM   #4
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I also wanted to share this. When I deployed I really liked that all of the vehicles had go-bags. In a contingency environment, these usually consisted of ammo and some MRE's. While I don't need 500 rounds of ammo at home and my day-to-day routine doesn't take me to areas where I would need this kit, I still like to be able to take spontaneous off-road trips and I feel more comfortable doing that with this kit. If the vehicle has a failure or gets stuck and is not recoverable, I have more than enough supplies to get to help. I put two of these together, one for my truck and one for my wifeís vehicle.



Right to left, top to bottom:
.30 cal Feeder Bag from First Spear (discontinued)
Gerber Myth Field Dress Kit
Goal Zero Solar & Hand Crank Flashlight
Sawyer Life Straw
Datrex 3600 Calorie Food Bar
2L of Water
Sunto Compass
2 Mylar Blankets
Stormproof Matches
100 ft of Paracord on a Spool Tool w/ Bic Lighter
Pocket Chainsaw
Basic Fishing Kit in Altoids Tin

Everything fits perfectly into the feeder bag with the exception of the 2 liters of water. Iím planning to run a circuit under the seat of each vehicle to keep the flashlight charged at all times.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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Do you have winter where you are?
If so I would throw a candle and fuel tabs into that kit.
Excited to see your build progresses. Is your cbi rear a swing out?
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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Arkansas winters are pretty mild except for the last couple of years. That might not be a bad idea.

The CBI bumper does not have a swing-out. I considered it but decided that at this point I'd rather be able to put my canoe in the bed. If I add a camper shell and roof rack capable of holding the canoe I may add a swing-out. I got tracking info that it made it to Dallas today so once I get it in and make a few modifications to it and the front bumper, I'll be dropping everything off at the powdercoater.

I put in an order today for a couple of miscellaneous non-reuseable parts for the timing belt and water pump and hope to be doing that next weekend.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:37 PM   #7
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Reverse Lights

Since I ordered a bumper that has an integrated tow hitch, I wanted a surface mounted reverse light that wouldn't require removing too much material from the bumper. I wanted something that was low profile and preferably LED. I did not want something that hung down below the bumper and could potentially be ripped off or damaged by a rock or brush. What I came up with are Star DLXT strobes for emergency vehicles. They can be programmed to use different patterns, including a solid burn. They're definitely not as bright as Rigids or other popular lights but they're surface mount, low profile and should be plenty bright for what I need.

http://www.911lights.com/products/dlxt

I had a little trouble deciding where I would mount these on the bumper. If I mounted them outside the shackle mount, they would throw the light where I needed it but would be vulnerable to backing into trees, swiped fenders, etc. If I positioned them inside the shackle mounts, they would be more protected but I would likely have a hot spot in the center and not much light on the edges where my mirrors can actually see. The solution was to mount them outside the shackle mounts and have tabs welded above and below the lights to protect them. Here it is mocked up:



I intended to take more pictures of this but my camera battery died after the first two pictures. I'm going to try to get the tabs welded on Saturday along with some expanded metal that I cut out for the 4" fog light openings in the All-Pro front bumper. After that, the bumpers, rock sliders and skid plates will be going to the powder coater.

Friday night my wife graduates college and Saturday we'll probably be spending time with family that will be in town for graduation. Sunday I'm hoping to do the engine tune-up, timing belt, water pump and radiator.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:11 PM   #8
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I had intended to not do anything on the truck before doing the tune-up. However, the engine is running well and this past weekend my dad was available to give me a hand with the suspension so I decided to tackle that first. Unfortunately, by the time we finished the front, storms were moving in and we weren't able to do the back. We installed OME nitrocharger shocks with 882 springs and Light Racing upper control arms. Here's the front finished:



Removing the upper ball joints was a bit of a challenge but we managed to get them. We found the best way to remove them was to separate the ball joint from the upper control arm with a three jaw puller, then cut the bolt off of the ball joint with a grinder, put the fitting from the ball joint press on top and press the ball joint fitting with the three jaw puller. Pressing the fittings in for the new ball joints was actually a lot easier than I expected thanks to a setup my dad rigged up:



The upper portion is just a grade 8 washer that protects the press fitting from getting marred by the impact socket. The lower portion is a receiving sleeve from a ball joint press and two grade 8 washers. The upper and lower portions are connected by a grade 8 bolt with the nut on top. We cleaned the opening, greased the press fitting, then heated the spindle and hit the nut with an impact. Each side pressed in in about 30 seconds.

Today I took it in for an alignment and had the shop install the Crown Performance extended stainless steel brake lines that we didn't get around to Saturday. This is the third vehicle I've taken there for an alignment in the past month so they installed them for practically nothing.

I'm hoping to pick up the bumpers, skid plates and sliders from the powder coater later this week. It will be a few weeks before I'm able to get the rear suspension installed. I really don't want to put the heavier bumpers on until the suspension is completely done and i get the rear frame reinforcement welded on.

Slowly but surely...
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #9
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I managed to get most of the rear suspension installed this past Friday. I say 'most' because I was missing one of the bushings for the rear shocks. I sent Cruiser Outfitters an email Sunday and Monday they sent me one 2nd day air. Can't say enough good things about those guys.

I went ahead and installed the add-a-leaf (AAL) to prevent sagging when we loadup for camping trips or if I have to do any hauling and especially wanted this because the rear bumper from CBI is considerably heavier than the factory bumper.

Unfortunately my next two weekends are tied up and it will be a while before I get to do much more work on it. I'm really wanting to get the bumpers mounted but have noticed one of the CV axles leaking grease. Since I don't know how old they are and I plan on being off-road in isolated areas, I ordered three (one spare) CV axles with high-angle boots from CVJ Axles. I also picked up a couple of lower ball joints from Napa due to one boot being torn and the other being extremely dry-rotted. This is next on my list so I can get my core back on two of the CV axles.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:11 AM   #10
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I have gotten a lot done on the truck but have not had a chance to update. I got the CV axles replaced and wanted to do the ball joints at the same time. Good thing I got them because the left one was trashed. I wound up having to remove the sway bar end links to get clearance to remove the CV axles and stripped the allen wrench inserts due to the amount of rust. Then I noticed that the boots on my tie rod end links were trashed too so I went ahead and replaced those. The result is that about the only suspension part on this truck that has NOT been replaced is the sway bar. Since replacing the CV axles, I have a very slow drip of gear oil from my front diff where it meets the left CV axle and am planning on replacing the left seal sometime soon. Here’s what the wheel well of the bad CV axle looked like when I removed the wheel. This picture really doesn’t do it justice. I found grease all the way at the back of the rock slider:



After getting that done, I went ahead and installed the CBI rear bumper. I don’t have any pictures right now but will try to update later. I still need to mount and wire the auxiliary reverse lights. I considered doing this before mounting the bumper but decided not to since I wasn’t sure if I would wind up having to re-route wiring once the bumper was on the vehicle. I haven’t driven it much since I got the rear bumper on but it looks great and has features that, while not necessarily innovative, I couldn’t find all together on any other bumper.

Right now I’m working on getting the front bumper mounted. I was making pretty good progress until I discovered that All-Pro left the lower valence out of my shipment. I called yesterday and they said they would get it out that day along with another small part for free. I was extremely pleased with this, especially because it’s been so long since I placed my order. I ordered my bumper and skid plates from them probably 5-6 months ago while I was still deployed. Good to see there are still some companies out there with good customer service.

I’ve been working on the truck somewhat obsessively lately because I’m trying to get it ready in time for an upcoming trip on which I hope to do some trail riding. I may wind up installing the lower valence for the front bumper w/o paint just for the trip and having it powder coated when we get back. I also have a snorkel that should be in today and will be picking up fuel line to relocate the rear diff breather. I don't know if I'll have time to get those installed before the trip but if I'm waiting for the parts from All-Pro, I may have time.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:46 PM   #11
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I was planning on wiring the winch and doing the CV axle seal today but had a knock in my suspension. I couldn't figure out what it was so I took it to the dealership. Turns out the new ball joint that I just installed is bad. Unfortunately I'll be doing it again. Fortunately NAPA is going to back their part and they aren't too hard to change on these trucks.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:12 AM   #12
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After replacing the ball joint with yet another NAPA ball joint, I still had my suspension knock. Just to be sure, I replaced both lower ball joints with Toyota OEM but STILL had the suspension knock.

After taking our trip I took the truck to 3 different shops, including the dealership, to figure out what the knock was. One of them finally diagnosed it as play in the left CV axle allowing the CV axle hub to 'slap' the differential when going over bumps. I replaced the differential needle bearing with a bushing from East Coast Gear Supply this past weekend and haven't heard the sound again. Hopefully that issue is resolved.

I did get to do some minor trail riding on our trip but since I was the only 4WD there, the tractor was broken down and my winch wasn't wired yet, I didn't want to get into anything too hairy.

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Old 08-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #13
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Put the truck to use tonight. I am hauling some firewood and an engine hoist to my dad's and so far have been very pleased with the OME suspension. I'm definitely glad I put the AAL in though.

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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Warn ZEON 10-S

I finally had some time this past weekend to get the winch working. I managed to cram a Warn ZEON 10-S into my All-Pro bumper but had to either trim my grille or relocate the solenoid. I really wanted to avoid trimming the grille so I wound up mounting the solenoid remotely. My truck does not have cruise control which left a large open spot on the passenger side of my engine bay. This was just a little further away from the winch than the relocation kit allowed so I wound up having to extend the cables by another 18" or so using 6 connectors similar to these:



You can see 3 of them just outside the solenoid in this picture. The red wire you see is the 12V outlet that I installed in my xtracab space for my ARB fridge:



Because the space was open but not completely empty, I wound up having to mount a plate to raise the solenoid up. First, I used a dremel to square up three existing holes that were for the cruise control so I could use carriage bolts. I wanted to use these to prevent sharp edges in the wheel well.



Then I used 3 pieces of ~2" metal tubing to raise the aluminum plate above what I think I remember was the ignition control. The aluminum plate mounted via the carriage bolts and the solenoid mounts to the plate.



The wires were then run from the solenoid, under the air box, through the headlight opening and to the winch. I cut a piece of fuel line open and wrapped the headlight opening to prevent the cable from lying against the sharp edge.



And here's a shot of the bumper with winch and prolink:

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:19 PM   #15
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Very nice
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