I'm about to graduate college and I got a job in Marinette, Wisconsin. Since I have lived in [the WARM, SUNNY parts of] California all my life, this will be quite a change for me! I'm taking my Tacoma out there and I've got a few concerns about it.
---#1: Winter Driving---
I love my truck and despite the 2wd and 4 cylinders, I don't want to get rid of it. That being said, how much of a hard time will I have in the cold weather?
When I get there, I plan to pick up a used set of rims to mount "snow" tires on and just swap 'em out as necessary. While I don't know much about tire sizing and how that works, I know from experience that my rims are an odd size and not many tires are available for 'em. The tires on my truck right now say "205/70R15." That means 15" rims, right? Is that small? Last time I bought tires I only had like 2 options. Also my truck has 5 lugs, not 6, so I'm having difficulty finding some used rims in my area.
Last, my truck is stock height so will I have trouble fitting a different set of rims on there? It seems I wouldn't be able to get a much bigger tire to fit, based on eyeballin' it.
---#2 Getting a camper shell---
I plan to pick up a camper shell once I get out there, for camping and general utility purposes. Now, I've loaded up my truck with a lot of weight in the past (sandbags when it rained, moving across town, dirtbikes and camping gear), so I know what it feels like to ride the bump-stops on the rear suspension. And while I've noticed that a little bit of weight in the bed improves the highway ride quality tremendously, I'm afraid the weight of a camper shell might be too much and I might have to beef up my shocks. Considering this thread, with this post in particular, I believe that my suspension needs some love regardless of the shell. I'm getting close to 110k and I think the only maintenance my suspension has EVER received was when I replaced the rear shocks last year. I'm the second owner of the truck, and lately I've noticed it's getting much less comfortable at speed, with lots of bouncing around and vibration, even after I got the brakes done and the tires aligned. Furthermore it dives pretty easily with every bump, and I've been scraping on things like downhill driveways with sharp gutters at the bottom and whenever there's a sudden dip on the highway.
I'm hoping someone will chime in with experience on the difference in "sag" (is that the right word?) with and without the camper shell. Will it weigh down my ride height considerably?
---#3: Remote Start---
Can I buy a remote start unit for my truck that has no alarm nor power locks? Furthermore, I really like the Viper alarm/remote start systems, but they're pricey. Can I buy a remote start system (no alarm) and eventually add an alarm with power locks that will work with it or would i have to buy the whole unit at once and do both the locks and the remote start? I only want remote start right now.
---#4: Dash Kit---
Anybody got a good line on where to get a dash kit for my first gen Taco? I installed a police scanner this year but never did find the right kit to clean it up. There's about an inch of gap on either side of the scanner with nothing holding it in, and it's just kinda flappin around in the space that used to be a pocket under the radio.