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Bigwapiti's 2011 Tundra build ~ 'Big Nambe'

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:45 PM   #41
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #42
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EXO project has begun...

All,

Earlier, I was given some pics, from EXO, of their dual carrier for the Taco. This setup is similar to the Tundra. Initially, it seemed too 'crowded' and overbuilt. Don't get me wrong, I believe the EXO carrier system to be one of the more stout offerings out there, but to my eye, I am glad that the overall width of the Tundra is wider and stretch things out a bit.





I was wanting a modular approach, where I could have options in terms of choosing armamentaria. I feel as though a dedicated tire carrier would be one dimensional. EXO seemed to have understood this in their design. With the use of a grid configuration, There are many ways I can utilize this mount.



My initial concern is with the back-up camera / shroud. I have sent them a pic, with measurements, of what I needed to clear the factory back-up camera. I have grown to really appreciate this option ~ call me spoiled. I find it a major time saver when hooking up the trailer. In addition, it provides an added measure of safety when backing up with kiddos everywhere...My preference is to maintain the location of the camera, however, if I have to move it, so be it...Here are some initial pics of the EXO bumper for the Tundra. Yes, this is mine.



I did not want to go with dual carriers at this time. I feel as though the single is going to be fine for me. It will require some thought on what I end up with ~ good problems to have at this point. Needs are Hi-lift jack, pelican case with recovery gear, the Armstrong GMTK toolkit, or a Rotopax cell. Options, options, options. That is what I like to have.



Here is the Taco and Tundra pic for comparison...



Taco



Tundra


Also, I have decided to take the Rigid industries Dually D2 off the Baja Rack and I will place 2 D2s in the supplied light mounts. I found the Dually D2 with the diffused pattern to wash out when placed low, and I prefer a more directional beam when backing up. It is perfect for overhead lighting, but not for backing up. I'll see when I get the rig set up.

BEEF, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER...

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #43
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EXO bumper is shipped...

All,

I just got some pics of the bumper and the latching system. This process has taken time, however, the end result is worth the wait. I am going to 'tweak' the carrier at Atomic fab, then to RML powdercoating, then installed. Tweaks will include a modular case rack ~ pelican with recovery gear, a swing down table and a rotopax. Also, I'm going to fab up a locking pin system so I can lock the tire carrier at various open positions. I'll have to see when it gets here...

EXO fabbed up a custom latch system. Originally, the latching system on their ExPo Tundra was electric, and was riddled with problems. So this is their solution. From what I understand, it is mechanical and far more reliable. I'll be the judge of that. Here are the pics...**not the most focused pics in the world** I'll get better pics when its mocked up on my rig.










Regards,

BWJ
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:12 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGrom32 View Post
This thing is nuts!!! Are you gonna add a lift anytime soon (Get some more fender clearance from the tires?)
Thanks! Nope, I'm happy with the 3" lift and 33" tires. Does exactly what I need...

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Originally Posted by Glueman View Post
You appear to be extremely detailed oriented which has led to a very well thought out and amazing rig. I would almost describe some of your details as "anal retentive". No insult meant, as I am described similarly by my friends.

Well done, sir!
Thanks! Wife thinks I'm crazy. No insult taken...I've always been the type that researches stuff, so I take it as a compliment.

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:43 AM   #46
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Can't wait to see the bumper all finished and mounted on the truck, it'll be suh-weeet
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:41 AM   #47
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Holy crap, how much does that thing weigh? It looks HEAVY.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:49 AM   #48
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Anything Pelican brand is high dollar, Fluke isn't cheap either by any means. Very nice truck, look forward to see where this goes
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #49
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EXO bumper is on...Mock up

All,

Here she is. I just got back from Atomic Fabworks and I have the bumper on in raw metal. Why? Well I wanted to have the bumper on my rig for a short amount of time to work out any 'bugs' that might exist. All in all, EXO makes an exceptional product, and I am VERY pleased with the results. I have waited patiently for 10 months now, and if I had to do it again, I would without hesitation. I would rather wait and get it done right, than get a product that was rushed to make a deadline.

A special shout out to the guys at Atomic Fabworks (Steve, Brandon and Kelly). They have exceeded my expectations once again. They really care about the installation ~ even down to the smallest details. They had the insight and expertise to avoid issues that I did not even think existed. That comes with experience and care...By the way, Atomic's race team placed 2nd overall (barely edged out of 1st) in the King of Hammer's stock UTV class. Not only do they work hard, they play hard as well. Congrats to them all.

Now back to the topic at hand. Every aspect of this bumper reflects quality, engineering and artistry in one stout package. It is overbuilt ~ PERIOD. What I appreciate are the simple lines, however, don't let that fool you. This bumper and swing out are BEEFY and I have no hesitation in winching with these bumpers on. They are that strong.



After the process of replacing my stock 'bumpers', I would like to offer a word of caution. The OEM bumpers that are on your rigs currently are WOEFULLY inadequate. I did not realize how thin the metal was that make up the OEM bumpers. It is all for cosmetics and having the ability to crumple at the first sign of resistance. Deer vs. Tundra OEM bumpers; the Tundra would win, however, you will have a TON of damage depending on the size of the deer...Just sayin'. The rear tow hitch is the only thing in the way between your family, frame and the rear ender...Yikes. Not anymore in my house.





I chose to go with the single swing out because one is plenty for me. I like the utility of the single and it keeps the spare within close reach. I didn't snap any pics of the the bumper on the pallet. I was too excited to get this thing on and ready to go. Anyway, onto the pics...





As with any install, we had to shim and tweak a bit. I don't think that this is avoidable. The tolerances of this bumper were as tight as a one-off custom job. I ought to know, I had custom bumpers installed on my previous rig that took 9 weeks to fabricate and install. I think that EXO's ability to maintain their tolerances while doing custom work is one of a kind. Don't let the fact that these are 'mass produced' scare you off. They are that good...

One concern that I had was the obstruction of the back-up camera with the spare tire. My tire is a 295/75 r17 (33") and I did not know how this was going to interfere with the camera. I will admit that I am SPOILED with this piece of technology ~ especially when I'm hooking up my SHERPA II. Here is a picture of my rear view camera. Not too bad in my opinion.



Finally, here are some driveway pics...



















Prior to the trip to the powder coater, I will be having Atomic fab up a fold down table and a locking pin system that will prop the carrier at various open angles. As usual, I will post up pics when I get them.

I'll post up the post powder coat pics in a few weeks. After that: On board air / Camp, camp, camp...


Regards,

BWJ
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:27 AM   #50
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That's beautiful. I can't express how much I love this truck. LOL
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:36 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaM View Post


That's beautiful. I can't express how much I love this truck. LOL
Thank you for the kind words!

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:42 PM   #52
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Wow awesome truck man!
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:04 PM   #53
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MPGs report...

All,

I just returned from a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I drove 1500+ miles, and the Tundra did GREAT. I was curious to see what my rig was going to do mpgwise with the rear bumper on + spare. *Caveat ~ I've got 33" with 3" of lift + shell + cabinets + ethanol blended gasoline (I could not locate stations that served ethanol-free fuel).

Heading out I averaged 14.6 mpgs... My 4runner averaged about 14.2 on the highway ~ I am beyond thrilled with this performance. I returned home towing a 5'x8' enclosed Uhaul trailer that weighed 3750 lbs + cargo, and I averaged 12.7 mpgs. Knowing that my Sherpa II is 1,800 lbs fully loaded, I suspect that my performance will be better than 12.7. Needless to say, I am very pleased with the performance. Comfort, power, room all in one package...

Next week, Rear bumper goes to the powder coater. OBA gets installed. Foxwing awning gets installed on the Sherpa II. Then camp, camp, camp...

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #54
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EXO bumper / OBA / Snorkel are on...

All,

Just got my rig back from Atomic Fabworks on Friday. I had the EXO bumper installed following completion of powder coating at RML powdercoating. During the trial period, my bumper rusted from the freak snow storm + KS salt. I had to hit it with naval jelly and WD-40 Specialist rust inhibitor to prevent the surface rust. I was surprised how fast surface rust builds. It took two days for it the turn a lovely matte burnt orange. In retrospect, I should have sprayed the inhibitor sooner, but live and learn. My next bumper on my next rig will be done differently...

RML premier powder coating has this new dustless hydro-blasting process available. It is an alternative to traditional sand blasting. My understanding of this process is that it enables the blaster more control of the media and pitting of the blasted surface is decreased dramatically. It consists of water, tiny glass particles and a rust inhibitor. The glass disintegrates when it hits the surface. The end result is a surface smoother and more accepting fo the powder coat. According to RML, it is far more efficient, and is approved by all major paint manufacturers. My bumper looks like a fine mirrored surface. I recommend this process highly. If you are not local, I recommend you ask your powder coater about it. It is the newest process available, and RML is one of the first in the country to implement it.


I had atomic tweak the EXO bumper before they installed it. Specifically, I had them weld a stop, a catch system (that would allow the tire carrier to be 'locked' in several positions), and a mount for my Dually D2 light stand. I wish I had done this for my Sherpa II trailer, however, I did not have any experience with tire carriers before my trailer build. Anyway, I wanted three positions available: 1) locked so that I could leave the tailgate up to gain access to the back with just the window open 2) 90[SUP].[/SUP] for the tailgate to fold down 3) open all the way without having the spare ding my tail light. The locking pin is a slick setup. It consists of a spring loaded pin welded to an L handle. This pin will pop down into one of the three holes in the locking plate.










I wanted to wait on putting a pic of the latching mechanism of the EXO bumper. As I said before, this is an engineering marvel, and props goes out to EXO for fabbing this up for me. This was a one-off system that the head fabricator (Robert) had thought up and developed. I'm glad that I waited. Knowing what I know now, if you are thinking of buying this bumper with tire carrier, DO IT. To my untrained eye, it looks complicated. Yet to every fabricator/mechanic that has seen this latch was impressed at the ingenuity required to do this. I believe the bar has been raised for rear custom bumpers with a spare tire carrier. I will put this latch up against any other fabricator out there doing this ~ period.


OBA: My wife bought me the ARB twin compressor (CKMTA12) for my birthday :wings: I am a blessed man. I coupled this with two 5 gallon anodized aluminum tanks. These were mounted in the spare compartment under the bed. I decided to go with the stainless steel braided hose for the entire system. After using this yesterday, I am surprised at how hot the hoses get. Anyway, Atomic fabbed up a custom bracket for the mounting and plumbed the whole system. They did a great job as usual.








Snorkel: I am a big fan of snorkels. I had one on my 3 gen 4runner and I found a screaming deal on one for the Tundra. I acquired it from Brian Jowett of Jowett engineering. THANKS BRIAN! This snorkel is made for the 200 series Land Cruiser, but, it can be made to fit the Tundra as well. Since not all Tundras are the same, we had to make a trip to the hardware store for some additional fittings. Finally, we got it to work. I can now participate in the Central Overland trips in Spring ~ High water mark + Yacht club...Many, many props out to Atomic for helping me out with these projects...Class guys that treated my rig like one of their own. Highly recommend them. Here are some eye candy pics of the snorkel and bumper. Enjoy!














Next mod in play ~ OME CS055R leaf springs + Air Lift Loadlifter 5000 kit...

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #55
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That thing is a hoss
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #56
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I know I say something after every new mod pictures.... but i can't help it.

This truck is too nice. Can't wait to see some pics from trips/trails.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:01 PM   #57
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wow.......awesome build. I'm still on the fence between a Taco or Tundra. As soon as I make up my mind about a Taco, this build may have changed my mind......ahrrrrrr
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:52 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbs95tacoma View Post
That thing is a hoss
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaM View Post
I know I say something after every new mod pictures.... but i can't help it.

This truck is too nice. Can't wait to see some pics from trips/trails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD TACO View Post
wow.......awesome build. I'm still on the fence between a Taco or Tundra. As soon as I make up my mind about a Taco, this build may have changed my mind......ahrrrrrr

Thanks to all! Loving the Tundra...

Regards,

BWJ
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:35 PM   #59
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TruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shedTruckyTruck is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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I literally just turned green with envy...! Ha, dude that is an awesome truck you have! Where is atomic located? What can I expect to pay for front and back bumpers for mine?

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckyTruck View Post
I literally just turned green with envy...! Ha, dude that is an awesome truck you have! Where is atomic located? What can I expect to pay for front and back bumpers for mine?

Thanks!
Thanks, Trucky! Atomic is located in Olathe, Kansas. I would say that the front and rear bumpers without any options will run about 3K...having said and paid north of that, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I'm loving these bumpers...

Regards,

BWJ
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