hey everybody and welcome to the thread. Drinks & snacks after the show
I know there's debate about it, I know everyone has their opinions, and I want to hear them, but more than that, I want to hear the justifications for said opinions on the matter:
If you were going to do a 'moderate' build up on a DC Tacoma for expedition/off-roading, but it was still going to be driven around town as well, sort of an all-purpose vehicle, what generation would you go with?
I recently picked up a 2009 Tacoma because we needed a larger truck that could possibly do some towing here & there. I got the bug and decided that I'd like to turn it into an off-road rig for us as well. It's the OR model so it's well-equipped to start with. However, now that I'm more aware of what I'm wanting to do, I find my head turning around here & there looking at STOCK 1st gens, 2001-2004 or so, double-cabs. Why stock? Well it seems that they have better native ground clearance? I'm not sure, I haven't stopped to ask anyone whether they have a leveling kit or whatnot, but it seems like the 1st gens have 1" or so better clearance at the framerails & crossmember, and almost 2" better under the nose than I do, and I have already put 32" tires on mine! That means they're almost 2-3" lifted over me stock? I'd have to pay for a 3" lift on the 2009, just get get where the 1st gens are on 31" tires?
Which got me thinking: it's almost time to retire our other vehicle. Perhaps instead of building up the 2009 OR, I'd be better served to pick up a 2001-2003 DC OR, and start there? Get an ARB push-button locker for the front diff, 3-4" quality lift, 33" tires… and probably end up with the same or similar obstacle clearance as a 6" lifted 2009, plus a shorter, more trail-friendly wheelbase (and tighter turn radius; man I miss my old 4runner).
What are the pros/cons of doing this? Would I be better off building up the 2009 like I was going to? Are there other factors at play that I'm not picking up on? Or would the 1st gen really end up being better for the task with similar investments?
What I envision is a GOOD amount of ground clearance, some good bumpers/guards, basket for the top for storage (3 dogs in the bed w/shell), winch eventually, etc. I find right now my major limiting factor on the 2nd gen, even with 32" tires, is lack of adequate ground clearance. most of my investment into it seems geared around getting around this shortcoming. And if the 1st gens are already better equipped in this regard, then hell…
What do you guys think?
I'm limiting it to the later 1st gens or the currently-owned 2nd gen, as we're two people strong + 3 dogs, so I need the DC option.