Out with the old.....................and in with the new
TRD Cold Air Intake
The TRD CAI sounds great and gives a power increase that is noticeable. Since the filter box was designed with the cover, it doesn’t look the best with the cover off. It does sound better and provides more hp with the cover removed. This install was very easy and took about 30 min to complete.
Black Helo Maxx6 Wheels and Mickey Thompson MTZ Tires
Huge improvement to the looks of the truck. The wheels look great and the tires were aggressive. The tires lasted about 40k miles but were very worn toward the end. Near the end they wore uneven and caused vibration and a lot of road noise.
Fabtech 6" Lift Kit with Dirt Logix Coil Over's
The Fabtech 6" lift exceeded my expectations. The lift with bigger tires made the truck look totally different from stock. I have had my issues with lift though: Broken CV bearing (probably not put back on correctly from the install) and brake line bracket contacting coil when full turning. The 6” allows for 33” tires without any cutting of the wheel wells. Kit came with blocks and add a leaf in the back that I wasn’t fond of. I ended up replacing the blocks on the leaf springs with new 6" Alcan leaf springs.
Banks Monster Cat-Back Exhaust System
I knew Banks has the best Diesel performance parts so I took a chance at their new line of gas truck performance parts and went with the Banks Monster Exhaust. This is just a bolt on CAT Back exhaust system. The exhaust is made of 3" stainless mandrel-bent tubing with a 4" polished tip. It does have a deep throaty sound that improved and got louder after about 20k miles. I am extremely happy with this exhaust system.
The Demello Rock Sliders were the best sliders I could find for a reasonable price. A friend helped weld them stright to the frame of the truck. They are extremely strong and the wrinkle powder coating is very scratch resistant. The entire side of the truck can be lifted using the sliders and a Hi-Lift without bending at all. That tells you how strong they really are. I would recommend these to anyone.
TRD Seat Covers
These seat covers are great. They add some black to the seats and messes clean up quickly. The black rubber center however gets hot in the summer. If I would have found the forums earlier I probably would have went with the Wet Okles instead.
Truxedo Low Pro Tonneau Cover
Great addition to the truck. It looks great and keeps everything dry in the bed of the truck. It rolls up very easily for hauling the larger objects like mountain bikes. I would highly recommend this over any solid Tonneau covers for its versatility.
Light Racing Upper Control Arms (UCA's)
Installed for adjustability to get the alignment as close to stock as possible. I experienced a little bump steer and drifting when driving at highway speeds before the new UCA’S. Once installed and alignment done, the truck felt great and drove straight without problems.
URD Short Shifter
Wow, what an improvement on the length of the throw. I would recommend this to everyone with a manual. You will notice a huge difference at first, get used to it and forget later. Quicker shifting and don’t have to stretch as far to get it into gear.
Added a couple Bike Mounts that I got from a local bike shop. I cut some 2" Aluminum flat bar to slide into the bed rails. The bike mounts could just be screwed into the flat bar at this point but with the toneau cover I had to add some pvc spacers to bring them out past the toneau cover when it is rolled up. At some point I will weld up some better mounts to make them more rigid.
Locks for Bed Storage Doors
The storage compartments didn’t come with locking doors so I thought that it would be a good idea to add locks to lock up my straps. Some simple locks from any hardware store will work. I had no problems installing and they work great.
MP3 Player Auxiliary Input in center console
Dont have an i-pod but did want the ability to listen to my mp3 player from the truck so I installed the RCA Aux Input into the center console. I do believe that this was my first mod that I did to my truck. I can believe that I cut into my nice new truck within weeks of getting it. Looks like a professional install though. Picked up the module at Circuit City and it plugs right into the stock radio. Im sure it can be found at any other electronics store since Circuit City is now closed.
Aux Input: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=111143 http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=104019
I built my own box that fits between the two rear seats. I chose to push it to one side because the seats cannot be lifted to get to the storage area and I didn’t want to eliminate access to the storage compartments all together. Since I kept with the stock radio so far I had to add in a module that taps into the rear speakers to provide the signal to the amplifier. This was a tedious task but I was able to hide all the wires and it works great. Adding an amp and sub would be much easier with an aftermarket stereo. Decided that the room in the back was more important with two dogs so I removed the sub box. I still have it and would be willing to sell it for a fair price.
Black Headlight and Clear Corner Modification
This was a simple but time consuming task. It required taking off the headlight assembly, removing all the parts and putting it into the oven. The heat helps to melt the glue so you can pull the lens off. Once the lens was off, the side markers were removed and the chrome surround could be removed and painted. I painted the surround with Krylon Plastic Black Paint. Looks good, however over time the lenses have yellowed up. I don’t think it was from the mod, rather just deterioration over time. It happens.
Lock Beep Mod
I go extremely annoyed at looking back at my truck to see if it locked after pushing the remote. I added a module that easily wired into the truck fuse box to provide a nice loud beep for lock and unlock of the truck. Easy and quick to install.
Lock Beep: http://nortje.com/Products/Taco/Buzzer.htm
Differential Breather Mod
I relocated the differential breather as a "just in case" to prevent water in the differential if driving through deep water when offroading or dropping a jetski or boat in the water. This was done using fuel line as the tubing.
You can never have enough tie downs if you are carying cargo. I added a couple for the bed separator and a couple toward the front of the bed. The tie downs for the bed separator required cutting holes in the composite bed and adding steel plates along the bottom to distribute the load.
Bed Separator (Homemade)
I didnt want to pay the high price for a bed separator or bed extendor so I just purchased some netting, small carabiners and d-ring tie downs to build a separator myself. I cheated and went with netting from a cargo net that already had trim to the netting. Put the carabiners on the ends and attached to the bed rail and new tie downs.
Satoshi Grill Mod
This was the unique change to the exterior look of my truck since the lift. I say unique but the Satoshi is definitely not unique as almost everyone that mods has either done the Satoshi or bought the Grillcraft.. This mod was time consuming and required cutting out the stock grill from the surround and then using fiberglass, bondo and paint to correct the imperfections on the surround. A painted aluminum mesh grill material was added to finish it off.
Alcan Leaf Spring Addition
Alcan builds the leaf springs custom to your specifications. They already know the length that is required for different heights for the 05+ Tacoma and probably for the 1st gens as well. You just need to specify what additional weight you will have on your truck that will affect the ride height. The springs are already built to have 1/2" additional height on the driver’s side to counter the gas tank weight.
The Alcan's definitely softened the ride and gave more flex to the rear. The biggest downside is that the back of my truck is roughly 1/2" lower than the front. When ordering that was one of my key points, that I wanted to level it out. Oh well, shackle flips in the future or adjust the coilovers.
Another downside, they are not impervious to rust. The salt and mag chloride definitely broke down the paint and rust started within the first winter.
I went ahead and added the All-Pro U-bolt flip along with the Alcan’s. Added more clearance under the axle and cleaned it up a bit. I used the stock bump stop by tapping the plate that came with the U-bolt flip. I quickly noticed that the bump stop was going to be far too short with the extra added space between the frame and the axle. I need to get a longer bump stop now.
All in all I am happy with the purchase but still require spending more money on the rear suspension.
Not hard at all. Lift the truck by the frame or tow package so the axle can hang, then slightly lift up the axle and support. Unbolt the u-bolts then the leaf springs. I believe that I had to remove the shackles from the mount first then the shackle from the leaf springs.
When putting the new ones on, remember that the drivers side had the gas tank so the spring will be a little longer (about 1/2") to compensate. Don't be like me and put them on wrong and have to do the install all over again.
Another thing to keep in mind is the direction of the bolts. If you put them in backwards on the shackle side, the extra length or nut will hit and not allow for full articulation.
Illuminated 4x4 Switch
Illuminated 4x4 Switch: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lig...-write-up.html
Volant Ram Air
Got this idea from post #111 from this thread:
Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Dash Light Change
This will be the most unique change to the interior look of the truck. If you have not seen the interior of the 05+ Tacoma's, it is very very orange. I am planning to change the numbers to blue and the needles to white. Should look clean and professional. This mod will also finish off my Black and Blue theme that was started with the Fabtech coilovers and shocks.
Dash LED Swap: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...s-jotaro.html; http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lig...uge-swaps.html
Plastidip: Cup holder, door switch cover, side badges, rear bumper
Raamat Sound Deadener
Took a long time to install but was worth it. Cut the road noise down alot. The biggest improvement however was adding foam to the vent hole at the back of the cab. It pressurizes the cab a bit with the AC or heat on but reduces the road/wind noise alot. I had plenty of cuts from the aluminum when i was done.
Overhead Compass/Temp Fix
Overhead Compass/Temp Fix: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-temp-fix.html
CV Gone Bad
Also had a vibration and popping when hitting bumps that was actually caused by a blown cv joint bearing. If the cv is really loose on one side, this could be the problem.
I also had a banging or popping when turning and hitting a bump. Found out it was my brake line bracket (attached to the new spindle) hitting the coil over.
CV Replacement: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...ictures-2.html
Wheel Bearing Gone Bad
Wheel Bearing Replacement: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ts-jotaro.html
Trail Damage (or other):
Door Dent and Scratch - I was lifting the truck like the below picture shows and the hi-lift slipped out from under the truck. Must not have been straight up and down and the floor was slick. The top of the hi-lift went into the side of the passenger door.