Hello Tacoma World,
Rob is the name, and I hail from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
This forum is awesome to pickup tips, see other mods, and especially what worked well for others. I intend to copy several ideas I've seen and will contribute an ongoing build page of my own.
Back into a Toyota pickup after 15 years, this time a "new to me" 2005 Double Cab, 6' box, V6(of course), Automatic with Tow package SR5, TRD Sport (real limited slip) in Speedway blue.
Mods by the previous local owner/dealer, are a power sunroof, RevTek lift kit, 17" Toyota Tacoma wheels, and new BFG All Terrains LT265/65R17. Picked it up(or as they like to term - "stole it") from Penticton Toyota dealership at 96,000+km young. Extended the Toyota warranty for another 3years or 60,000km. It will be 10 years old when the warranty runs out!
Intention is to have a capable & well prepared (ie Expedition style) to carry me on back road and trail explorations, especially to support my role as a SAR volunteer. The reality is this is still a daily driver, and travelling long hours on the highway is still a requirement.
Current mods completed or in the works are :
Lighting improvements over stock - PIAA bulbs in the headlights, HID fogs, LED marker bulbs, & 8W LED backup lamps. Interior area light switch to LED.
Interior install of Amateur radio, cell phone amplifier, ScanGauge II, and GPS antenna.
New canopy (roof rack rails, win doors) is on order for 1st week in January; using ammo box mod for now to carry some minor essentials. Custom setup in the bed to carry recovery gear, safety gear, camping gear, yet still allow me to remove gear quickly so I can bring home the house reno supplies, or do runs to the dump. Custom roof rack in aluminum is already sketched out, with a simple awning method that worked well for me in the past on my work truck.
Skid plates, and rails are next - protect the investment. Upgrade rear suspension with new & real leafs (allpro), + shocks, to replace the stock leafs, shocks & spacer block.
Currently researching best choices for the front end, would really like to find some extended ball joints, to restore front alignment with stock UCA, and replace the stock spring + spacer setup with a Coil over build.
Rear bumper & hitch replacement + adding a brake controller for towing. From experience it is almost always the rear bumper & hitch that hit long before the front bumper, so the rear bumper will be changed out first (Relentless Fab is my fav. so far) The skids & sliders should help me over the hump, considering my long box & DC setup is less than ideal for off road, but about the same as a full size truck.
In my younger years, I drove an '84 Toyota Pickup, regular cab, 22R engine. Loved the solid axle front end and those burly knuckles, and the abuse this truck was able to take off road. The horrible bench seat, combined with buckboard style highway ride, and the slow long climbs up the mountain passes left something to be desired, especially when migrating to 4x4 from a modified to go quick Datsun 280Z. Other than Tires & wheels, and a canopy, never did much for off roading mods. It pretty much did what I asked it to do, including hauling a stuck tow truck out of a mud bog. This little truck is still around, now a flatbed. Engine was changed out at 330,000 km for one from a wrecker yard with 90,000km. That truck must have 600,000 km on its chassis by now.
Spent the next 15 years in company provided 3 year leases of new Ford F150s; usually a 4x4. I had to baby this of course as it was a company truck, leased, and couldn't very well mod it. Made me appreciate even more the little truck that could, though I thoroughly enjoyed the space and comfort of the full size truck. By the way Ford's, I believe it is 2006 and up, F150 trucks with the shocks mounted in the wheel wells are 80% better in controlling wheel hop on washboard Forest Service Roads than any other truck/van I've driven. It was easy to leave other vehicles literally in the dust. Was vehicle less for two+ years, saving up for the truck I knew would work for me - 2005+ Toyota Tacoma.
That's about it for now, enjoy meeting new folks on here & hope to be contributor soon rather than just feeding on the great content here.