Disclaimer: I'm not flaming Toyota, I'm not bashing Tacoma's, and I'm not complaining for the sake of complaining. I'm not asking for opinions; etc, but I could use some solid advice on where others stand in regards to the following issues:
Since mile 400 I've had a driveline vibration in my truck. It shows up at 5-10mph, and again between 15-20. Its noticeable, especially under load. I also checked it in 4x4, and it goes away when engaged. I have 2600 miles on the truck now - and have spent all 2200 miles of it back and forth with Toyota Corporate over my claim that the truck has a problem.
Toyota's action: They have performed the common TSB (motor mounts, steering stabilizer, and rear leafs), but they refuse to replace any other parts, or perform any more work on the truck. I filed a claim, and after waiting 30 days they sent an Field Service Technician out to look at it. He acknowledged that there was a vibration, but said it was "not abnormal, and not excessive." A "common" vibration in Tacoma's. I disagree, and after research on here recognize other owners have had a similar problem. It seems the needle bearing is the point of interest for it, but getting Toyota Corporate to approve replacing the front differential is going to be nearly impossible.
My action: I've tried putting various heavy loads in the bed to check negative angle on the driveline. I've tried shimming the driveline with washers, gradually increasing from 1/16th inch to a full inch. No difference on either of these.
Additional problems with the truck: I've found that after highway use (around 50-60 miles at/above 60 mph) when I reduce my speed and head offroad (putting the truck into 4x4) the truck will then NOT come out of 4x4 when I get back onto pavement. I combat this by pulling onto the shoulder, putting it in park, and letting it cool down for 20-30 min. It will disengage when cool. This is unacceptable, but is very difficult for them to pinpoint without driving it 50...60 miles. I haven't seen this problem in other trucks on here, and a search didn't reveal anything.
I have dropped the dealership that has been performing most of the work/inspections on the truck and am trying another dealership's service department. I have contacted the dealership that sold me the truck (I purchased new, on order from them) and they are inspecting it this coming Monday. I have threatened arbitration if they are unable to repair the problems, but as we all know...that road is long and painful.
Has anyone gone another route? Test driven a demo vehicle and asked them to trade you for your problem truck? Has anyone gone into arbitration with Toyota and won? Have you won a lemon law case? I would love to hear others ideas and advice on this matter.
Last issue. I am completely unsatisfied with the ride quality of the truck. I understand its a light duty TRUCK, and is inherently going to ride like one; however, it is still very poor compared to anything in its class. Every bump is felt, and on the freeway, I feel as though the shocks become even less effective, with the tail of the truck hopping. I am running 265/70/R17 Michelin ATX AT2's at 29 rear, 31 front. I've chalk tested and know that those pressures are good as far as wear. I don't think that this is something I need to live with, and am attributing it to poor stock shocks and cheap rear leafs. Has anyone left their truck at, or very near the stock ride height and improved ride quality with aftermarket components? I hear positive things about the 5100's and OME's on lifted trucks, and I understand the Dakars are good...but if I want to remain close to stock...are there options?
I'm on the fence about if I can get this truck to be what I want it to be, or if I need to go look elsewhere for something different, while I still have a good bit of value in it. There are so many positive attributes that make it a great vehicle, and I understand that most of the problems I'm experiencing are fairly isolated to my particular Tacoma...
Like many other owners on here I'm a bit of an idealist, and that means when I pay $30k for a vehicle, I expect it to do what its said to do.