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2012 Molon Labe Build-up

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Builds' started by Molon Labe, Oct 16, 2012.

?

Do you like what I have done to my truck

Poll closed Nov 15, 2012.
  1. No! I think this is the worst looking truck in the world

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  2. It's Ok, but not what I would do

    3 vote(s)
    9.7%
  3. Somewhat, I like some of the options but not all of them

    6 vote(s)
    19.4%
  4. I think it's great and looks great

    11 vote(s)
    35.5%
  5. Dude! that is one fraking Bad Ass Ride!!!!

    10 vote(s)
    32.3%
  1. Nov 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    #21
    dayNnite4

    dayNnite4 We can't stop here, this is bat country.

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    Nice build man!!!
     
  2. Nov 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM
    #22
    tacoma16

    tacoma16 Well-Known Member

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    Check the build
    Awsome build!! definatly jelous of the neat wiring. Something i got to fix on my truck

    how was it fitting those switches below the air temp/air fan controls? Did you just have to file them to make them fit?
     
  3. Nov 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM
    #23
    AZDesertTRD

    AZDesertTRD Well-Known Member

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    Nice ride! Awesome write ups, very detailed! Not too mention the cool tac vest!
     
  4. Nov 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    #24
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Guys again, thanks for the comments.
    tacoma16, I had to dremel out the openings in the dash to get the switches in them. Lots of filing as well.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    #25
    tacoma16

    tacoma16 Well-Known Member

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    Check the build
    Thanks for the info. I just put an order in for some of those switches for the blanks on the left side of the steering wheel. Will see how much work it will take to get them under the a/c panel for future switches.

    keep up the good work!!
     
  6. Jan 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM
    #26
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Well, I spent a lot of time considering this purchase and what follows is my perspective and experience with it.

    I should start off by saying that I have a 2012 DC 4x4 and I have done some write-ups on the Baja Racks Roof Rack and the lighting that I installed. As with most of my projects, I was assisted by my brother in arms DAC.

    So When ARB announced in 2011 that they would be releasing a deluxe bar winch bumper for the 2012 Tacoma I was very interested. I have sever friends who have ARB bumpers and they love them. I have been impressed with the quality and design of their products for several years.

    However, after several e-mails to ARB, I began to consider other manufactures. To compound this problem, I am new to building an off road vehicle and was not aware that I would most likely have to upgrade the suspension. Further, after seeing the photos of the prototype bumper I was beginning to have some doubts. I read a lot of information and speculation as to the size and fit of the bumper in comparison to the 2011.

    Deciding to stay with ARB I pre-ordered the bumper from 4 wheel parts on October 9th 2011. the price for the bumper was 999.99 before sales tax. I chose to get the bumper from 4 wheel parts because I would not have to pay for shipping which would have been considerable.

    Anyway, more photos were released and it was disclosed that this ARB bumper would require me to cut my front bumper. I did not like the prospect of having to ruin a perfectly good bumper but I figured I would order an unfinished one from Toyota and just paint it black. I never got around to doing that and I wanted to keep my cost down on this project since the bumper was already over 1K after taxes.

    [​IMG]

    The bumper finally arrived at 4 wheel parts on January 9th. I picked the bumper up on January 11th and purchased a Warn VR 8000 winch. I realize that based on the GVW of the Tacoma, I really need a 9000 lbs winch; however, I figure that I will be using the winch vary rarely and when I do, 8000 lbs should be enough.

    I decided to install the bumper myself because 4 wheel parts was going to charge me 500.00. Considering that I just spent over 1,500.00 on the bumper and winch, I was not willing to through money around. Anyway, in these pictures I have not installed the lights, winch or finished with the fender liner.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Due to all the hype about how far the bumper sticks out I decided to measure the original bumper from the support behind the grill. I will make this same measurement after I have completed the installation for comparison.

    [​IMG]

    So, at this point I would like to say that I have several issues with this bumper:
    1. The directions
    The directions cover almost everything but the pictures with them are black and white. There is one picture that I still do not know what it is. Also, it looks like they may have used 1-2 pictures from a 2011 truck rather than a 2012. After dropping over 1K for a product, I would expect the directions to be in color.

    There are a lot of bolts, washers, and nuts included with the bumper. the directions has a list of these bolts but I have no idea what the difference is between some of them. It would make since to have a page in the directions that shows the bolts and their thread so that it’s not as confusing as I found it. For that matter, the directions group the bolts into 8 application groups and they were all in one plastic bag, simply bagging the correct groups separately would have saved me precious time.

    The fit
    The bracket mounting assembly fit almost perfect, but when you are talking about steel this thick, almost does not work out so well. The bracket mounting assembly has two angle pieces on the bottom that must flush up to the bottom of the crossmember. this was not happening. I banged on the mounting bracket and that did not work, so I used a crow bar wedged into the bottom holes and got it close enough to get the bolt through the crossmember and the bracket. I then snugged it into place with a nut driver. These bolts were suppose to be torqued to 77 Nm.; however, I had to drive them down tight so they are going no where now and are way over torqued.

    The lights supplied with the bumper are the turn signal lights. There are no fog lights with the bumper and ARB wants you to buy their lights for another 300.00. I decided to do some fabrication and use the fog lights from my original bumper.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously the ARB mounts would not work with the Toyota fog lights so here is what I did.
    First, I removed the two plastic mounting brackets that existed on the ARB light surround.

    [​IMG]

    I made a bezel out of some Kydex but I guess you could make it out of metal or some other plastic, or even fiberglass.

    [​IMG]

    I then made 2 metal brackets from 18 gage steel, for the bolts I would use to mount the lights.
    I cut off one of the plastic mounting clips on each fog light.
    I decided on the bolts I would use and wedges them between the metal brackets and the Kydex.
    I secured the Kydex and the metal brackets with rivets.
    I painted everything with flat black spray paint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also realized that I would have to cut down the turn signals that are included with the bumper so that the fog lights fit.

    I filled in the opening made from cutting down the light wall with clear silicone. I let the silicone dry for 24 hours and then cut it out so that the lens cover could be removed and still seal up.

    [​IMG]

    I then installed the light surround. For the fog lights, I had to splice in about 18” of wire so that I could run the fog light wires against the inside of the bumper and connect to the fog lights. I check the aiming of the lights and everything was good to go. I have not finished wiring the turn signals yet. I zip tied the fender liners to the inside of the bumper and took the truck for a spin.

    I had to get my first 5000 mile service today so I drove on to a power line cut and took some more pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I will have more pictures once I install the winch this weekend and finish wiring the turn signals. I will also remove the grill and get the bumper measurement of how far it sticks out.

    I also have some more issues with this bumper that I will list now.

    The turn signals
    The included turn signals are very cheap looking in my opinion. these things are rectangle and the openings are oval which looks good on the outside but on the inside of the bumper it looks like some crap that I would do to get by with what I have on hand. Additionally, the way that ARB wants you to wire these turn signals it so splice into the the existing turn signals. I think this another cheap approach to the issue. I am considering how I am going to wire these lights and I will let you know what I decide.

    The cutting of the bumper
    So a lot has been said about cutting the front bumper cover. In all honestly, I decided to go ahead and do this but it is not something that you have to do. The bumper will mount just fine with out you cutting your bumper but you will have a sizable gap. I guess you could fabricate something to fill the gap. If you do decide to cut the bumper, I actually cut mine about 3/4” linger than the directions say. It fit just fine. I cut the bumper with a jig saw and it came out nicely.

    I will have more to come in a few days.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  7. Jan 19, 2013 at 9:14 AM
    #27
    tacoma16

    tacoma16 Well-Known Member

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    Check the build
    Looks really good. And as always, really nice right up on everything lol.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2013 at 9:37 AM
    #28
    knine00

    knine00 Well-Known Member

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    Stock for now
    Nice grill. Looks like you are moving right along! Nicw work
     
  9. Jan 20, 2013 at 1:46 PM
    #29
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Thanks guys, here is some more about the ARB
    Ok, so I have the winch mounted and I took some more pictures since we had to pull the bumper back off.

    In this picture, I show the measurement of the bumper from the support behind the grill. As you can see, it sticks our about 17” and the original bumper sticked out about 9” so the ARB adds 8” to the front of the vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    This picture shows the mounting bracket, I am pointing at the angled bottom that gave me such a hard time to get flush.

    [​IMG]

    I had to drill mounting holes in the bumper for the winch fairlead. After the fairlead holes were done then I had to drill out the 2 bottom winch mounting holes into the fairlead. These had to be done with the 2 side rollers off the fairlead.

    [​IMG]

    Putting the rollers back on the fairlead once it was mounted was difficult due to the tight area you are working in.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture showing the cut original bumper to give you an idea of how much of it is used to fill the gap.

    [​IMG]

    In my previous post I said that I had to splice about 18” of wire into the fog light wire harness to give it enough reach to connect to the fog lights and be able to secure the wires with zip ties to the inside of the bumper. The area between the red and yellows is the added wire.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, here are two pictures of the light surround to show how I finished them out. The first picture is the light surround. The second shows where the rivets are (red arrows) and the yellow arrow show the gap that is visible. this gap is because to how the fog lights had to be mounted to ensure the proper aim.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well thats it for now. I will be wiring the winch and blinkers on Monday and will post a few more pictures. As always, thanks for the interest.
     
  10. Jan 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM
    #30
    Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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    Tough as woodpecker lips...
    Icon Ext Travel COs w/700lb King ID springs Icon VS 2.0 Rear Shocks All-Pro Expo Leaf Pack TC UCA Retrofit Headlights Wet Okles Weathertech Floor Mats TRD Exhaust ATO rear bumper w/swing out tire carrier ARB bumper Smittybilt XRC8 ATO IFS, Tranny, Transfer, and gas tanks skid 4x Innovation DOM sliders w/kickout
    :spy: looking good in here....
     
  11. Jan 21, 2013 at 6:35 AM
    #31
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    slim, thanks
     
  12. Jan 21, 2013 at 6:38 AM
    #32
    Slimwood Shady

    Slimwood Shady I love your mom!

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    Icon Ext Travel COs w/700lb King ID springs Icon VS 2.0 Rear Shocks All-Pro Expo Leaf Pack TC UCA Retrofit Headlights Wet Okles Weathertech Floor Mats TRD Exhaust ATO rear bumper w/swing out tire carrier ARB bumper Smittybilt XRC8 ATO IFS, Tranny, Transfer, and gas tanks skid 4x Innovation DOM sliders w/kickout

    You have actually inspired me to find a way to mount some LED fogs in my ARB to replace the ones that came with it. :thumbsup:
     
  13. Jan 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM
    #33
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Thank you everyone for the comments.

    Ok, so I looked at both the molding under the head lights and the grill and they attach to the frame so the cutting of the bumper is not “technically” required but there are some issues.

    The way that the ARB bumper connects to the mounting bracket is by 4 bolts for each side. When you put the bumper on the bracket it will rest on the top of the bracket and then you have to lift it about ½ inch to line up the bolt holes. So drilling new holes would not be that big of a deal; however, the biggest problem I can see is that the mounting bracket will not allow you to slide the bumper back (towards the rear of the vehicle) because the inside of the bumper rests on the mounting bracket. To allow for the bumper so be slid back you would have to cut the desired slide depth from the mounting bracket. This is the only real issue I see. You will still have a gap under the grill but you should be able to position the ARB bumper to minimize the gap. Also if you really want to bring the ARB up to just under the grill, then you would need to cut into the side fenders to allow the bumper to come up.

    Well I hope that address any questions about fitting the bumper without cutting the original bumper.

    So I finished the wiring of the lights and winch Monday. In this picture you can see how I spliced into the light wiring harness.

    [​IMG]

    If you have had the opportunity to check out my build you would know that I went a little crazy with the roof rack lighting. This has left me no ports available on the back of the kicker terminals. So I cut out the copper loops on the ends of the winch 4 gauge wires. I bent them and sanded them so that they formed a “C” shape to wrap around the battery terminals. I then modified the kicker terminals so that the winch wiring would come from the front of the vehicle and sit under the kicker terminals.

    [​IMG]

    Another picture of the working fog lights and ARB lights.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the left over parts from the ARB kit, it’s a license plate mount for the bumper and two extra winch mounting bolts. Also you can see the bag of in-line splices that ARB wanted me to use.

    [​IMG]

    Here are the left over parts from the Warn Winch. There is a control box mount to mount it to the top of the winch (ARB provides their own) and the 3 control wires (ARB provided), as well as two black plastic caps.

    [​IMG]

    I have no idea what these caps are for and the instructions do not address them at all. If you know what they are for, please let me know.

    [​IMG]

    And here a picture of the finished front end

    [​IMG]

    So my buddy DAC read through this thread and made a few suggestions. He wanted me to convey just how completely inadequate the instructions were for both Warn and ARB.

    This is my #1 issue with these products. These companies really need to hire some people from the plastic model industry so that they can have instructions that can be read, understood, and complete.

    This bumper and even the winch should be installed by someone with aptitude for this sort of thing.

    Well, that is my take on each product. I am happy with the finished product and I hope this has been helpful to the members here on TW.

    Thanks for the interest.
     
  14. Jan 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM
    #34
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Slim, go for it. Not that difficult and I like the OEM fog lights.
     
  15. Jan 28, 2013 at 3:02 AM
    #35
    illmatyk

    illmatyk Well-Known Member

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    Color matched grill/color matched rear bumper/PlastiDipped emblems/Debadged tailgate/Stubby antenna from AntennaX/dark tinted windows/CSJumper interior LED kit/LED LP lights/mattgecko window security bar/Rocky Mount and Delta fork mount bike mounts/OEM Toyota towhitch
    Nice build! I am planning on doing the same mod you have done with the grill and the Hella lights behind them!

    Also, I don't know if I missed it or something, but did you ever figure out the gap problem you had by the driver side headlight? Also, whee did you get your sombie switches? Those are dope!
     
  16. Jul 7, 2013 at 10:04 PM
    #36
    tacomaLS53

    tacomaLS53 Well-Known Member

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    what brand tool box is that?
     
  17. Jul 8, 2013 at 12:25 AM
    #37
    NorthCountryEvo

    NorthCountryEvo Member

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    Nice looking rig man, coming from an Army leg. Heading out for another stroll in the 'stan in a few months with 160th, and I'll be picking up a new TRD sport DCSB as a gift to myself on my return. I've been eyeing the spruce mica color really hard and I wanted to know how you've liked it. I wish they still had the option for timberland mica, because that would be a no-brainer for me, but I can't decide with this new green. Does it come off with that much of a brighter green hue, or is that mostly just when in direct sunlight? Also, does it show the scratches pretty well? I have heard it does, and my other ride is a black Audi, which shows everything, so I just assume the darker colors will show every bit of backwoods pin striping ya pick up.

    Again, awesome build, keep up with the sweet mods.
     
  18. Sep 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM
    #38
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Guys sorry it has been so long since I was here to reply.


    illmatyk, the gap was fixed by adjusting the two resting mounts for the hood. The switches are from http://www.otrattw.com/

    tacomaLS53 I think it was a husky or Kolbalt. I dont really remember and I have removed the name plate on it when I got it. I can get the measurements if you need them. PM me if you need them.

    NorthCountryEvo, be safe out there. I really wanted the timberland as well but the spruce was my only available choice and I love it. The green shows in direct light but everything thats in the shadow look black. Neat camo effect:) Anyway, as for scratches, I have not noticed any and I am sure I have a few. I would recommend this color or the Pyrite. But I bet the Pyrite shows scratches more than the spruce.
     
  19. Dec 3, 2013 at 7:13 AM
    #39
    Molon Labe

    Molon Labe [OP] Never LBS

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    see my build
    Hello everyone, this is an update on my vehicle:

    After the installation of the ARB bumper and the Warn Winch, I immediately noticed the 200 added pounds to the front end. When I touched the breaks, the nose of the truck dived down. Taking curves, the springs loaded heavier and recovered later. A considerable amount of sway was detected when shifting the steering wheel left to right quickly. All of these things were expected. I later discussed with several members of TW what options I should look at for a lift kit that would provide very little lift but stabilize the front end. Overwhelmingly, I was recommended the ToyTec Coil Over (TTAFCS-6005).

    I purchased this lift from Toyteclifts.com at $819.99 ($859.65 w/ shipping).

    http://toyteclifts.3dcartstores.com/ToyTec-Coil-Overs-FJ-03-UP-4Run-05-UP-Tacoma_p_13.html

    This lift is strictly front end Coil Overs and spacers. The lift is adjustable with the two supplied spanner wrenches (Although I am uncertain how to make precise adjustments or the specifics of wheat each wrench does at this time). Installation was straight forward and took about three hours with DAC and I working on it. We did not follow the directions and were still successful.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tires and wheels are on my list but it will be a long time as I expect to fully wear out these tires before I replace them.

    [​IMG]

    Next I decided to replace the four Hella 500 lights on the front of the roof rack with a LED light bar. My goal here was to cut down on some of the wind noise I was getting from the light bar and Hellas. Additionally, I wanted to improve the amount of light produced.
    I purchased a 40” 120w spot/flood combo LED light bar from Superbrightleds.com.

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ar-with-spotflood-combo-beam--120w/1455/3405/

    The normal price for this light bar was $349.95; however, they had a blemished one on sale for $299.27 shipped so I got it. I really wanted the 30” bar but the price was good on the blemished 40”. BTW, I looked at the light bar when it arrived and I could not find one scratch on it:)

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, installation was easy and straight forward. We had to get creative with the mounting. I originally wanted it mounted directly under the roof rack and above the windshield but it was just too tight (by 1/8”) and the only way to make it work would have been to install spacers where the roof rack mounts to the truck. Then I looked at mounting it directly above the roof racks air foil but that would most likely produce the same amount of wind noise that I was attempting to eliminate. So I steeled for mounting it directly to the air foil. This option was not much better but it will do. I also took this opportunity to relocate the side LEDs to a more central position on the roof rack.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well, the amount of light produced by the LED light bar is far superior to the 4 Hella 500s, I think the amount of wind noise is less but not by a whole lot. I am overall pleased with the installation but I have to admit that the 4 Hellas looked more bad ass. Anyway, that’s my update.
     
  20. Jan 28, 2014 at 3:57 PM
    #40
    Beaker76

    Beaker76 Active Member

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    Great build and very detailed reviews.
     
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