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About to buy a Tacoma, but need your input first.

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Old 10-22-2007, 08:19 PM   #1
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About to buy a Tacoma, but need your input first.

Hello all, and glad to about to join the club. After much research, I've decided upon a Toyota Tacoma as my truck.

But now I need help on options before I buy. Some of the question that I have are.........

1) Should I get automatic or manual transmission? (I can drive both and my uses are as my single vehicle commuter for a 7 mile trip. Then on quarterly campouts going from moderate to severe offroading).

2) Which transmission has more ruggedness/reliability?

3) Is it better to get the upgraded tow package even if I'm not towing to enhance the reliability/ruggedness of the truck?

4) Is it worth getting the factory supercharger?

5) Finally, what are the most simple and cost effective minor modificaitons to make it more offroad capable?

Thanks in advanced. I don't know if this is the place to post questions like this, while I intro myself or not, so I will duplicate this post on the general forum.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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welcome!! and now for my humble answers...

not sure which u'd prefer best, but the auto's on these trucks are pretty damn good

i'd give a definate yes on the tow package just for the transmission cooler

and i dont think there is any difference in the transmissions...just whether u get the offroad locker or the sport limited slip

if ur looking for a supercharger, i'd get the URD aftermarket one vs. the TRD b/c of HP gains

and if ur doing the offroading from time to time, atleast get the sr5 package minimum...if not the offroad or sport...

hope this helps some...i'm sure others outside of the alliance will tell u something different...haha...u'll learn
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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Dude,

Get a TRD package- Offroad or Sport. I am biased as I have a TRD Offroad but you will notice who does and does not have it on the road, and you will kick yourself if you dont have it! My buddy didnt get a TRD package and he is jealous of my ride he says....who knows. The TRD seats are MUCH cooler looking in my opinion (no offense non-trd guys)

Second, Get the tow package b/c it has a transmission cooler. Keeping your transmission cool will seriously increase it longevity. I read that.

I opted for an auto. Personal preference. I like to flip through my ipod, talk on the phone, drink a milk-shake, and speed through traffic at the same time. The auto helps but the manual is Bad Ass. The clutch delete in the manual is cool- i like how I can stop offroad on a steep incline, and then go with no rollback. You can do it with a manual....if you can drive.

supercharger...uhm you r buying a truck. but S/Cs are bad ass- just seem most appropriate on x-runners. But nice. I just got my truck like 3 or 4 days ago so I havent wanted one yet- but who know....

just my .2

good luck- you cant go wrong.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
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I would definately go with the offroad pkg if you are doing any severe off roading. The locking rear differential comes in very handy.

As far as transmissions go, i have driven a manual for 9 years and loved it and fully intended on getting a manual when i got my taco. When i test drove it i was not impressed, since its a 6 speed you have to shift too much and it just felt awkward to me. After that i drove the auto and fell in love with it. It shifts like a manual and is incredibly smooth. If you read the reviews they state multiple times that the V6 with the auto is the perfect combination. I just recomend driving both and going with what you like. as far as reliability, a manual will always outlast an auto, but with toyota reliability i think their auto will last quite a while before you have any problems.

The tow pkg is a good buy since it comes with the trans cooler as well as the bigger altenator and battery. not to mention the actual hitch mount and wiring. I think the pkg runs for about 600 bucks, thats what i paid for it.

Go with the URD supercharger for extra hp.

As far as minor mods to make it more off-road worthy, good tires and a small lift. a 3in lift will run you about $300 and good tires are essential since the tires that come with the truck suck. also, the off-road pkg has the locking rear diff which is very handy in nasty situation.

I hope we have answered most of your questions, if you have any more please feel free to ask, we're more than happy to discuss trucks anytime

BTW, welcome to TW!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
good tires are essential since the tires that come with the truck suck.
I've got a lot to learn about tires, but is this the common consensus? I'm running the stock tires that came with the off-road package. I don't have any complaints, but that may just be because I'm not educated enough.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
I've got a lot to learn about tires, but is this the common consensus? I'm running the stock tires that came with the off-road package. I don't have any complaints, but that may just be because I'm not educated enough.
I knew nothing about truck tires when i got my Taco. I just knew they looked fairly rugged so assumed they were ok. Well i learned my lesson when i got completely stuck in an area that should have been no problem. The stock tires have very little grip in slick mud. Also, in the Beamer i never hydroplaned once, so i never really thought about it. But the first time i drove my truck in a heavy downpour i almost got in a head on collision when i hit a puddle and hydroplaned into oncoming traffic. So far i am not at all impressed with the rugged trail tires. I am going to upgrade to some all terrains when these start to wear down. My current tires perform very poorly on and off the road. just check out the pics in my gallary, you can see how useless they are in mud
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
I knew nothing about truck tires when i got my Taco. I just knew they looked fairly rugged so assumed they were ok. Well i learned my lesson when i got completely stuck in an area that should have been no problem. The stock tires have very little grip in slick mud. Also, in the Beamer i never hydroplaned once, so i never really thought about it. But the first time i drove my truck in a heavy downpour i almost got in a head on collision when i hit a puddle and hydroplaned into oncoming traffic. So far i am not at all impressed with the rugged trail tires. I am going to upgrade to some all terrains when these start to wear down. My current tires perform very poorly on and off the road. just check out the pics in my gallary, you can see how useless they are in mud
OK, they suck, but that suckage is bearable since you're keeping them until they wear more. I guess that's sort of my biggest question about all the mods I read. What sort of things are worthwhile enough to do on a brand new vehicle? Which ones should just be upgrading a wear part to better quality when the time comes? Which things are best to wait after warranty expires, etc?

Maybe that topic deserves its own thread.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:03 PM   #8
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That actually would be a good topic to have its own thread. The tires suck but unless you do alot of off-roading they can wait to be replaced. If i spend every weekend in the mud i would have changed them out by now. pretty much everything else i'm just gonna wait till it needs to be replaced then upgrad.... like exhaust.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:29 AM   #9
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In my opinion I perfer a manual as I like to shift and you really have more control of the truck in winter driving. Lots of guys don't like to do the shifting and opt for the auto which I hear is vastly improved and very smooth. Just look at a dealers lot and see how many manuals there are vs autos. With an auto, keeping the fluid clean is mandatory and not a bad idea to have it changed every year if you tow a trailer and otherwise every two years seems like a good bet. I spoke to a guy who had 235,000 on his auto and he used basically the same formula having the fluid taken out and trans serviced about every 50.000.
When it comes to superchargers my two best friends have them and installed them themselves. Both love the extra power and umph thats good for passing and murging on the highway. Of course there is the cost(3grand plus, I think ) and the needed for premium gas.
If you don't tow anything I am not sure about your need for the costly tow package but the upgrades are worth the cost, I think.
You sound like you would like to take your new truck off road so maybe the tow package would be of benefit to you.
I personally don't ever take my truck off road ever and don't think its the best thing for a truck but many , many people love to go off road and there Taco's handle it well.
Jeff
06,V6, 6spd, SR5, Brilliant Red, still stock
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:55 AM   #10
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I think I replied on another forum....

Test drive both the auto & manual. I didn't necessarily like the way the manual shifted (rpm's high). I've also researched a lot and have heard a lot of clutch related complaints. All that info plus the test drive - resulted in me buying an auto. I also bought the tow package because it had the oil & tranny cooler in it. I'm not even sure if I'l use it but I like having it there just in case.

TRD package is the best suspension wise - although there is a rear leaf TSB out there that a lot of folks are getting.

Your preference in TRD Sport or TRD offroad depends on what you do with the truck.
TRD Offroad has a selectable fulltime locker that can only be engaged while in 4lo range (from factory). You can only use it offroad or boat lauch, etc.
TRD Sport has an Limited Slip Differential that works all the time and for me -that's the best for daily driving duties.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:06 AM   #11
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I'd recommend against the supercharger. That is a lot of cash. Probably over 4000 installed. It sounds like you want this truck for the long haul. Superchargers will stress your engine and you will probably end up replacing some engine parts before 100,000 miles. The 4.0 is pretty fast and I don't need the supercharger. I need my truck to last a long time.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:48 AM   #12
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You read people well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsocoee View Post
I'd recommend against the supercharger. That is a lot of cash. Probably over 4000 installed. It sounds like you want this truck for the long haul. Superchargers will stress your engine and you will probably end up replacing some engine parts before 100,000 miles. The 4.0 is pretty fast and I don't need the supercharger. I need my truck to last a long time.

I drive and own cars till the run into the ground. I do want maximum reliability from it, so I'll nix the supercharger.

Thanks all for the replies. Really helps to make a more informed decision.
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