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Old 10-22-2007, 08:40 PM   #1
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New guy, need your input before I buy...

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 10-23-2007, 08:53 AM   #2
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I posted an asnwer to this already from teh intro section, but it was moved and i'm not sure where...
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:16 AM   #3
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well i have a 05 XRunner its a 6speed and i love it, it's great fun to drive.
I have the Stage2 Rotrex Supercharger (About 330 to340rwhp) on it. it is a great setup but if your looking to get the TRD S/C TTC (http://www.totallytwistedcreations.com/) will be making a Stage2 setup for the TRD one that will put about 300hp to the Rear wheels.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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now, if i had an x-runner i would probably go with the manual just becuase i would probably drive it more like a car than a truck. I think i like auto's better in a big vehicle. But in anything sporty you just have to go with the manual, that includes little cars as well as street trucks like the x runner.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERdept View Post
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.
As for transmission, that really depends on a lot of things not the least of which is personal preference. Example, compared to most sticks I have driven the tacoma clutches are fairly heavy, so if you comute involves a lot of stop and go driving and traffic I suspect that will get old fast.

Second, the auto gets 1-2mpg better mileage than the manual on the v6, I am not sure off hand if that is true with the 2.7L I4.

Depending on the severity of the off-roading you want to do, in my experience autos tend to blow off road, particularly when it comes to climbing, loose sand and mud. I have driven three tacos off road, a 98 2.7L 5spd, an 04 2.7L 5spd, and an 07 4.0L 6spd, and have never gotten stuck or bogged down or couldn't go where I wanted to in any of them. I have also driven a 98 blazer, 99 f-150, 2000 pathfinder, and 2000 Montero sport all autos off road, and in every one of them I got bogged down, stuck, or had to turn around and go back because they could not climb the hill I wanted to climb. That said I know I am not comparing apples to apples, but that is my experience with transmissions off-road so I figured I'd share it.

As for the S/C. You can allways add it later, get the truck for now and then add the S/C if you feel that you need more power later on.

Best Mod for off-roading will be new tires, even in the stock size as all the factory tires pretty much suck off-road.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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owned a 79 L.b.4spd 420000miles my neighbor owns it now it is on its second gear box 4 speed went 29000.my second yot was 4x4 v6 5speed manual went everywhere! then was a 95 v6 t100 loved it too .I say all this to make a valid point I am too old to mash on that cluch . have been able to go any place I took the other 3 and done it with COMFORT.If this wasnt also my commuter I never would have bought a auto but I could not be more happy with the slap shift 5 spd more rugged i dont know. pay for the tow packadge but refuse the data dot it is a sham no matter what they say refuse it That should cover half the cost of the tow also invest in a trd O.R. or sport pac I kick myself to think I didnt get the dealer to finance more Lift rims Etc never uner estimate th e power of fica
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:45 PM   #7
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My vote would be to always get the towing package even if you never plan to use it for towing. It's a cheap upgrade for the added benefit.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:59 PM   #8
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I have a 1st gen, but it is a v6 auto 4x4. I've had it in thick mud soup up to the hood, climbed many a hill(offroad) and NEVER missed a beat. Personally, I think a standard tran. would be a pain in the ass off road. I say go auto.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:40 PM   #9
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OK, thanks a bunch. But can you tell me more about off road add ons?

I am leaning toward auto based upon ease of use on the stuck freeways here. I want to be able to eat and use the phone more easily( I know I shouldn't be on it while driving).

I will get the tow option. What is the top of the offered options for offroad?

Finally, besides better tires, what else would be the best and simples offroad mod? Don't want anything extreme to diminish reliability or availability of parts all over the US with stock.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERdept View Post
I am leaning toward auto based upon ease of use on the stuck freeways here. I want to be able to eat and use the phone more easily( I know I shouldn't be on it while driving).

I will get the tow option. What is the top of the offered options for offroad?

Finally, besides better tires, what else would be the best and simples offroad mod? Don't want anything extreme to diminish reliability or availability of parts all over the US with stock.
You'll want to get the TRD version - there are two TRD versions. Both have upgraded suspensions. There are minor cosmetic & interior differences between the two but the major differences are:

TRD Offroad package has a fulltime locker that can only be used in 4lo (from factory). It's a selectable - turn it on/off when you need it. This is the best option for offroad driving.

TRD Sport package has a limited slip differential which is always working. This is the best option for daily driver vehicles that take it offroad occasionally.

Other than better & biggier tires, and a lift.....I'd get some rock sliders to protect your rocker panels. Rock Sliders are similar to tube steps and/or side steps but they're made (for offroad abuse) using round or square steal tubing. They're also made to be able to jack up the vehicle with them. Search Google for Toyota Rock sliders. Here's a pict of the underside of a set (for example)
http://www.shrockworks.com/files/products/d_282.jpg
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:24 AM   #11
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Maverick: I'm gonna have to disagree with you about the manual being better for off-road. This is based on experience with friends vehicles as well as my own. I dont think an auto is any less effective off-road. especially the newer transmissions.

ERdept: There is only one off-road package offered from teh factory. Its very similar to teh sports pkg except you getting a locking rear diff instead of a limited slip. You can go to toyotas website to get a full list of everything thats included. As far as off-roading, if you do alot of it replace the tires immediately and sell the originals on ebay with as low miles as you can. other than that i would put on a lift. And if money is no option i believe the ultimate investment for off-roading is a Winch. When you are asking about off-road items do you mean just for performance or stuff for protection as well? like brush guards and light bars etc...
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:27 AM   #12
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i forgot to mention. The suspensin set up between the off-road and sport is slightly different. they use the same shocks but the sport is set up to handle the street a little better and the off-road is a little better on trails. Not a huge difference at all but worth mentioning. I have the off-road and love it. the only feature i really want that comes on the sport is the scooped hood, which i love
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
Maverick: I'm gonna have to disagree with you about the manual being better for off-road. This is based on experience with friends vehicles as well as my own. I dont think an auto is any less effective off-road. especially the newer transmissions...
And that is absolutely your right to do.

Like I said that is just my experience and I fully admit to having never driven a Toyota auto off-road, but any of the three Toyota manuals that I have had off road beat the four other companies autos hands down.

That said, a newer auto with hillstart assist or downhill assist would probably solve the flaws that I was mentioning.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:33 AM   #14
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OK thanks all and thanks to this community once again.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by maverick491 View Post
And that is absolutely your right to do.

Like I said that is just my experience and I fully admit to having never driven a Toyota auto off-road, but any of the three Toyota manuals that I have had off road beat the four other companies autos hands down.

That said, a newer auto with hillstart assist or downhill assist would probably solve the flaws that I was mentioning.
A manual may be better but i haven't seen a side by side comparison so i really dont know. although like you said, if you had all the extra goodies you can get in an auto (traction control, vehicle stability control etc...) i'm sure the auto can hold its own. For now we'll just agree that the auto is better in every concievable(sp) way and you're just jealous that you dont have one
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
A manual may be better but i haven't seen a side by side comparison so i really dont know. although like you said, if you had all the extra goodies you can get in an auto (traction control, vehicle stability control etc...) i'm sure the auto can hold its own. For now we'll just agree that the auto is better in every concievable(sp) way and you're just jealous that you dont have one
Well, I already conceded that with all the electronic goodies it can probably hold it's own off-road, and I'll give you that the auto gets better mileage, and that you don't get a left leg cramp in a traffic jam, but when I'mm pulling you out of the mud for the 3rd time in 2 hours at the Carolinas meet in the spring, you'll be wishing for the manual then, and you'll be buying the beer.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:34 PM   #17
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I have a 2008 access cab, manual with sport package. I like the manual trans and never considered anything else. If you don't mind the shifting then go manual. If you think that would get boring after awhile then it is the automatic. I know the manual is nice in the snow, pullling a boat out of the water, etc. My other trucks were more off the road setup, so this time I wanted more sport. My off road days are about over so the sport package was a no brainer. With it came the towing package which is nice. The other trucks with a so called towing package was nothing more than a triler hitch bolted to the frame. The Toyota towing package was more money but you got a lot more and what I consider a true towing package.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:38 PM   #18
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When you're off roading, you got plenty of other things to entertain you besides shifting gears.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcouch View Post
A manual may be better but i haven't seen a side by side comparison so i really dont know. although like you said, if you had all the extra goodies you can get in an auto (traction control, vehicle stability control etc...) i'm sure the auto can hold its own. For now we'll just agree that the auto is better in every concievable(sp) way and you're just jealous that you dont have one
It's your own personal preference & experience.
I've offroaded my 96 Tacoma manual. I didn't like the hills and the fact the engine/clutch can't hold the vehicle in place (rollback). An Auto would prevent rollback.

I'm probably gonna get chit-on for this comment..but... the one thing that the Jeep (4.0L atleast) has over toyota is the amount of torque that holds the vehicle in place with no rollback at all. You have to drive it to experience it....For that reason, I'd take the manual over the auto (in a jeep).

That rollback can be freightening sometimes on an extreme hillclimb where you gotta stop in the middle.....It's not fun rolling backwards even for a little bit while you get your foot on the gas. I'm not coordinated enough to work the gas/brake at the same time.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #20
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That rollback can be freightening sometimes on an extreme hillclimb where you gotta stop in the middle.....It's not fun rolling backwards even for a little bit while you get your foot on the gas. I'm not coordinated enough to work the gas/brake at the same time.
The manual Tacos use a hand e-brake instead of a foot e-brake. Pull the e-brake, put the truck in gear, put hand back on e-brake, begin to accelerate and release the clutch, as the engine begins to bog down, release the e-brake. Away you go with no roll back. I use this method often when visiting family in Pottsville, PA. (Think Sanfrancisco with 4-way stops at every intersection)
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