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A non-enthusiast's Tacoma build

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Builds (2005-2015)' started by ardrummer292, May 21, 2020.

  1. May 21, 2020 at 10:30 AM
    #1
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Austin
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 AT 4x4 1D6
    Work in progress
    Allow me to introduce you to the
    reliabiliTy enhanced, multi purpOse, MiniMum maintenance, habitabilitY enhanced, 4 Wheel drIve, terrain verSatilE, impAct resistant trUck.
    Better known as my trusty steed, TOMMY WISEAU.

    "Oh hi Mark."

    https://youtu.be/1-Edfr-tiUE?t=20

    Current iteration of my truck:

    119521044_3554955894528302_1644555635050180812_n.jpg

    Hey all, I figured this would be a good place to share my experiences and dump photos as this build progresses. I hope I can share some useful information for my fellow non-enthusiasts as well.

    So what the hell is a non-enthusiast? In my mind, it's someone who considers working on their truck a problem, not a hobby. Someone who wants to set up their vehicle as a minimum maintenance tool to get them from A to B, while making moderate enhancements to its capabilities. Someone who doesn't have the time, tools, patience, or experience to perform invasive repairs or maintenance themselves.

    I've never been a "car guy," which is probably why I never learned anything about them. Prior to owning this truck, I had never done my own oil change. Hell, I still don't know how to drive stick. Learning stuff about vehicles has always taken a backseat to more pressing concerns.

    My former 2004 F150 is partially responsible for my lack of interest in vehicles. It was an unreliable piece of sh!t that required thousand dollar repairs almost annually, with complications arising regularly during the repair process. I'm glad to be rid of it, and even happier to have replaced it with a CPO 2015 TRD Sport DCLB.

    Attached pictures are from my last days of F150 ownership and the day I brought my Taco home from the dealership.

    image1.jpg
    89013095_10113167779112038_8512662460988129280_o.jpg

    My build goal is simple. I want to have confidence in my vehicle's capabilities. That means confidence in mundane considerations like...

    Starting the truck and driving to work every day.
    Getting acceptable performance characteristics, to include gas mileage.
    Keeping maintenance costs reasonable, with long-lasting tires and extended oil change intervals.
    Minimizing unplanned repair costs, further mitigated by a proper maintenance schedule.
    Preventing the upholstery from getting destroyed by dirty clothes and muddy boots.

    It also includes confidence when handling more extreme situations, such as...

    Maintaining control of the vehicle in snowy and icy conditions.
    Efficiently traveling across stretches of soft sand.
    Transiting shallow flooded areas in hurricane-force winds.
    Vehicle accidents, with impacts from the front, rear, and/or side(s).
    Stabilizing and recovering casualties from adverse terrain, such as a shallow swamp or mountainside.

    Do some of these seem unreasonable? I assure you, they are not. All these are things I have needed to do, but have not had the ability or confidence to do with my old Ford.

    So, what confidence-boosting capability enhancements am I looking at? Brace yourselves, it's a lot. Already-completed items in bold.

    Interior/habitability
    CoverKing cordura seat covers, charcoal
    Husky Liners WeatherBeaters floor mats
    RAM Quick-Grip phone mount bolted to Expedition Essentials 2TPAM powered accessory mount
    RAM GDS 2-port USB chargers x2
    Titan Unbreakable charging cables + 3M adhesive cable clips
    Victory 4x4 MOLLE center console panel set, mounted with bolts and nuts
    - Haley Strategic Incog holster + bungee
    - Spare mag pouch

    - Frag grenade pouch for small items
    - SOFT-T tourniquet + QuikClot Combat Gauze + NARP abdominal bandage
    - Gas mask pouch (as collapsible front row trash bag)
    UltraGauge EM Plus V1.2 on RAM mount in driver's side cubby
    HitchSafe for Tacoma/Tundra

    DRIVE Bin XL (as back row trash bag)
    Blue Sea Systems dual USB charger + install in center console + wiring (for back row)
    BlackVue DR750S-2CH dash cam + Power Magic Pro hardwire kit

    TheTacoGarage Front and Back Camera Anytime Controller, with add-on front camera + ARB front camera relocation kit, P/N 3515030
    12V "constant on" mod, controlled by SwitchPro

    Suspension

    3" front/2" rear lift kit -
    - Dobinsons C59-350 coils on GS59-220 shocks with one PS59-4030 1/4" spacer, assembled
    - Dobinsons L59-111-R leaf packs with GS59-940 shocks and 2 pairs of SP59-001 greasable bolts
    - SPC UCAs
    Preventive measures -
    - ECGS bushing
    - Off Road Solutions ORS-HB201 high angle CV inner boot
    - SBR-129 sway bar relocate kit
    Post-lift corrective measures -
    - New OEM LCAs and alignment hardware

    - Anti-seize applied to all alignment hardware
    - Carrier bearing flip - or - OME carrier bearing drop kit
    - Headstrong Offroad 2 degree axle shim kit
    - Custom two piece driveshaft with double cardan joint aft of the carrier/center support bearing
    - Disassemble OEM LCAs and apply anti-seize to all alignment hardware


    Armor
    Placeholders -
    - Avid Offroad front bumper guard with TRD logo plate
    - Avid Offroad rear bumper guard
    Front -
    - ARB deluxe bullbar, P/N 3423140
    - ARB recovery point, P/N 2823010
    - RCI engine/IFS skid plate
    - RCI transmission skid plate
    Rear -
    - Mobtown high clearance bumper
    - TrailToys UHMW fuel tank skid plate
    Sides -
    - Avid Offroad bolt-on sliders with kickout
    - 3M Safety Walk grip tape, 4"

    Survivability
    ARB single air compressor in Expedition Essentials bedside mount with BCM debris shield
    ARB digital tire inflator/deflator and inflation kit
    ARB 30 ft recovery strap (P/N ARB705) + Blue Ridge Overland Gear strap storage bag/damper
    ARB Safari snorkel with Sy-Klone 9001 pre-filter
    Rear differential breather mod: OEM union (P/N 90404-51319), OEM 2-way breather (P/N 90930-03136), fuel line, and clamps
    Low Range Offroad rear diff breather kit
    UP-107 secondary air pump unifilter mod
    Rust Check oil-based undercoat (initial) and Fluid Film undercoat (touch up)

    Energizer heavy duty jumper cables
    Honda capsaicin-infused anti-rodent electrical tape, P/N 4019-2317
    Tomcat mouse and rat repellent spray

    Wheels and tires
    4Runner TRD SEMA wheels, 17x7 in, 4mm offset, matte black, x5
    Michelin Defender LTX M/S P255/75R17 "grandpa tires" x5
    TVD wheel center cap decals
    Speedometer/odometer calibration check
    Husky Liners universal mud flaps, 12" width, front and rear

    Cargo and outdoorsy stuff
    Bed -
    - BakFlip G2 tri-fold tonneau cover
    - OEM rubber bed mat
    - Pop & Lock PL8521 power tailgate lock with (discontinued) TacomaTruckParts mounting bracket and manual/emergency release cord
    - Avid Offroad tailgate panel

    - WeatherGuard Super Lo-Side toolbox, P/N 0186-03-01
    - FWP Fabrication universal side rail mounts + QuikFists x2 pairs (for collapsible sledgehammer and halligan tool)
    - FrontRunner Expander folding chairs x2
    - Total Chaos bed stiffeners
    - Line-X, standard coating
    Above-the-bed -
    - Custom fold-to-stow bed bars mounted on KB Voodoo/MAX Modular bed rack tonneau brackets for Tacomas with BakFlip tonneau covers
    Roof -
    - Prinsu Cab Rack
    - Aluminum powder-coated grab handles, McMaster-Carr P/N 5190A24
    - Roof coating to protect paint: PlastiDip primer + white PlastiDip + Sonax Polymer Net Shield paint sealant
    - 23Zero Peregrine 180 R freestanding awnings x2 with custom over-the-bed connector panel

    Lighting

    Placeholders -
    - Philips X-treme Ultinon LED H4 headlight bulbs

    Headlights/fog lights -
    - Lexus RX350 HID projector headlight retrofit
    - SLEE foglight surrounds for ARB bumper
    - Diode Dynamics SS3 light pods, SAE J583 fog pattern, with CaliRaisedLED pigtails
    Reverse lights -
    - 921 GY6.35 HIR upgrade
    Roof rack-mounted lights -
    - Baja Designs S2 work/scene LED lights, 1 pair (as bed lights) + CaliRaisedLED dual leg wiring harness x1
    - Rigid Scene 1x2 LED lights, 2 pairs (as side lights) + CaliRaisedLED dual leg wiring harness x2
    Cargo lights -
    - @mattgecko LED bed lighting kit
    Auxiliary lights -
    - KC Hilites SAE J581 Pro6 LED aux high beam lights, 1 pair
    Lighting controls -
    - SwitchPro 9100

    Exterior
    Standard hood

    OEM black fender flares
    Converted Clearview Hilux towing mirrors
    CBoy808 TRD All Terrain bedside decals, black
    CBoy808 vinyl badge replacement decals, black
    Replica TRD Pro grille

    Maintenance

    Maintenance binder with maintenance tracker to 500k miles and DIY instructions
    Troubleshooting binder with system diagrams, torque specs, and OBD II codes
    Metric socket set and ratchet
    Metric hex key set
    Torque wrench
    Oil filter wrench
    Grease gun and fluid pump

    Spacer for OEM bottle jack (needed for lifted trucks)
    Torin Big Red 6 ton jack stands x1 pair
    Wheel chocks x4
    Full complement of vital fluids: engine oil, diff/transfer case oil, brake fluid, steering fluid, coolant
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020 at 9:24 AM
    digdug1 and InfernoTonka like this.
  2. May 21, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    #2
    InfernoTonka

    InfernoTonka Infernal Order of Knights Templar of Inferno-ness

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    Sub'd because I like your honesty and can relate LOL.

    Just out of curiosity, what were the issues that arose from your F-150, and what mileage were you at when you bailed out of it?
     
  3. May 21, 2020 at 12:56 PM
    #3
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    2015 DCLB V6 AT 4x4 1D6
    Work in progress
    I try to be straight with people and I'm glad it's appreciated.

    I got the F150 from my dad when I got back from Iraq in 2010. It had 190k miles on it, and I put on another 140k miles before getting rid of it. In those 10 years, I blew a transmission, transfer case, coil packs, brake lines/calipers/rotors, starter, wheel bearings and CV axles, wiring harness, entire front suspension (coils literally snapped and ball joints fell out of sockets), developed a nasty knock after Hurricane Matthew, and a few other minor things that I can't recall.
     
    InfernoTonka likes this.
  4. May 21, 2020 at 1:16 PM
    #4
    InfernoTonka

    InfernoTonka Infernal Order of Knights Templar of Inferno-ness

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    Yeah, transmissions are a big complaint in Ford's. Sounds like you got some use out of it though. I had a 2001 Ford Ranger that I really didn't have any problems at all with until the head gaskets started to go out at around 140,000 miles. Those were easy miles because I drive like a grandpa plus the 6 cylinder engine it had was gutless. But I had it for 15 years and it always did what I needed it to. It's just that everything went to shit all at once on it LOL. Your going to like your Tacoma. You got a very good year model.
     
  5. May 21, 2020 at 2:50 PM
    #5
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    2015 DCLB V6 AT 4x4 1D6
    Work in progress
    Yeah, the F150 generally did what I needed it to do. That said, once I had to start shelling out for massive repairs, my feelings towards vehicles (in general) changed from indifferent to very negative. I missed two Christmases with my family because of truck problems; I could either buy a plane ticket home or pay for repairs, but couldn't afford both. When I say I'm glad I sold that POS and bought a more reliable vehicle, I mean that in the strongest possible terms.

    Back on topic. My Avid Offroad order just came in on Tuesday, so I'll be installing some shiny new accessories this weekend. I should be able to install the front and rear bumper guards without too much trouble. The frame mounted bolt-on sliders are a different story. I have no idea how to install those without somehow lighting the truck on fire, so I'll probably hold off until I can get some adult supervision.
     
  6. May 24, 2020 at 2:52 PM
    #6
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Austin
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    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 AT 4x4 1D6
    Work in progress
    After 60 hours on the clock this week, I finally got the time to install the first of my "mods." An Avid Offroad front bumper guard, rear bumper guard, and tailgate panel. Took me all of 4 hours and only one trip to the hardware store. It might sound like it took way longer than it should've, but bear in mind that I know nothing about working on vehicles. I'm pretty pleased that I finished before sundown.

    235E9FEB-B28E-44A3-9242-8640E8659D52.jpg
    29E357B7-ED90-4E47-8028-4D21EF8BB0B8.jpg
    3D5C8766-3BB6-4DC4-85E3-72CB9E322D2E.jpg

    I reckon some of you might be wondering what happened to some of the stuff in the original picture.

    The "damage multiplier" (grille guard) got shitcanned about 3 days after I got the truck. It didn't take much research to realize that they quite literally do more harm than good in most situations.

    The step bars were up for sale for 3 months. I had a buyer lined up to take them for $20, but he flaked out. Dumpster o'clock.

    My skewp and color-matched fender flares went to @ImpulseDan, who traded me (+ cash, of course) his standard hood and plasti-dipped fender flares about a month ago. I have since removed the plasti-dip, sanded the paint off, and repainted with Krylon Fusion and Rustoleum trim paint. It's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like hell. I'll get around to fixing the terrible paint job eventually.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  7. May 25, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    #7
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Austin
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    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 AT 4x4 1D6
    Work in progress
    After an absurd amount of research, it looks like I'll be going with Dobinsons for my suspension mods. Should I feel like a guinea pig? Despite the rave reviews Dobs get in the T4R community, I still kinda do.

    11E9A3AB-0269-4F98-9649-4DA7B9F87E30.jpg
    9F245939-CD09-424F-B6B2-D26117B933C7.jpg

    Thanks to @Crikeymike for getting me all set up.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2020 at 11:15 PM
    #8
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    After dozens (if not hundreds) of hours researching manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals, individual component service life reports, and high mileage problems related to this truck, I have finally created my maintenance tracker. The single most difficult "mod" I set out to accomplish is (mostly) complete.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...YPa5EPEFb5E3r2i-rZyiTLNTM/edit#gid=1020314799

    Thanks to @BlackBeerd for the indispensable 2nd gen DIY maintenance thread:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/2nd-gen-diy-maintenance-quick-reference-guide.438945/

    Also thanks to Paul (of Paul's Travel Pictures) for some additional DIY instructions:
    https://www.paulstravelpictures.com...Common-Problems-Repair-Maintenance-Guides.htm

    The DIY instructions linked above are what make up the bulk of the "Enclosures" mentioned in my spreadsheet.

    In addition, I owe thanks to @crashnburn80 and @EatSleepTacos for their immensely helpful input, as well as all those who contributed on various relevant threads dating back to 2013.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    crashnburn80 likes this.
  9. Jun 7, 2020 at 1:04 AM
    #9
    drewskie

    drewskie Well-Known Member

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    Did you replace the flares or plasti-dip?
     
  10. Jun 7, 2020 at 5:44 AM
    #10
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    I traded my color-matched flares for plasti-dipped ones + cash. I then removed the plasti-dip, sanded off the paint, and attempted to permanently refinish them. This ended badly, so I’ll be redoing it in the near future.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2020 at 8:43 AM
    #11
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    I just performed the unifilter mod a few minutes ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO5d4MqZu5I

    Tacomaholic said it would take 5 minutes, so I budgeted 2 hours. Much to my surprise, it really took 5 minutes. Good start to my day.

    The OEM "sponge" filter was intact and looked okay, more or less. Not too shocking, since I'm just shy of 38k miles right now. I'm not big on taking chances, so I replaced it anyway.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2020 at 8:57 AM
    #12
    greenEFSI

    greenEFSI TacoSupreme____

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    3” Fabtech System Dirt Logic Coilovers/Shocks
    ardrummer292 [OP] likes this.
  13. Jun 11, 2020 at 9:49 AM
    #13
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    Thanks for the tip. I actually went and bought a half dozen cans of Krylon Fusion satin black plus Krylon matte acrylic clearcoat. I imagine the Fusion will bond to the plastic very well, and the clearcoat will prevent scuffing since it's almost like spray-on superglue.
     
  14. Jul 27, 2020 at 8:02 AM
    #14
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    So, fun fact, you were probably exactly right. My refinish job did not come out the way I hoped. Way too gray, which won't match my upcoming ARB bumper at all.

    6B20A540-0B22-4307-8E11-0EC8B70B82BE.jpg
    6A49ED87-058C-46BE-8BED-C6C58B2DE3A2.jpg

    Note: the front "bumperette" did not get refinished. Quite the contrast.

    I'm gonna give this paint a shot when I work up the nerve to refinish the flares... again. Unless I can find OEM black flares for a reasonable price before then.
     
  15. Jul 27, 2020 at 8:40 AM
    #15
    greenEFSI

    greenEFSI TacoSupreme____

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    Yea man, the SEM trim black is the best that I've come across. Just hit it with a light coat of tire shine to even out the sheen and it'll be good to go!
     
    ardrummer292 [OP] likes this.
  16. Jul 27, 2020 at 10:55 AM
    #16
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    Do you prefer the SEM paint because it matches the OEM trim color the best? Any suggestions for clearcoat to protect the finished product?
     
  17. Jul 27, 2020 at 1:01 PM
    #17
    greenEFSI

    greenEFSI TacoSupreme____

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    Yes it matches the best and there is no clear needed :thumbsup:
     
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  18. Aug 1, 2020 at 2:19 PM
    #18
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    After 5 months of getting my ass kicked by 60 hour workweeks, I finally have some time off. I'll spend this week installing the literal mountain of parts I have accumulated. The first task was getting this toolbox installed:

    408D0FBD-85CB-44C6-808A-F3E2D02DA673.jpg
    10D9EF3D-2911-453B-BB1A-C97F1B929AA1.jpg
    BDE274E8-8442-48F3-9DDD-D821DF878B55.jpg

    It's a WeatherGuard Super Lo-Side, P/N 186-3-01. After some careful measuring, I figured it would fit neatly between the header rail and the wheel wells. While my measurements were a little off (necessitating the use of wood spacers), the finished product is awesome. I couldn't be happier. I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it black (as originally planned) or leave it as-is.
     
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  19. Aug 3, 2020 at 3:30 AM
    #19
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    Got a little more work done yesterday. I painted the toolbox black and traded my poorly-refinished fender flares with some OEM black flares. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

    232C1AD8-2E56-4078-8DEF-D2C61DA81D37.jpg
    0F471C10-7801-4786-94C9-CD1A45FBAC0D.jpg

    FB805EB7-F128-40DE-BE1C-EB837E7C9989.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  20. Aug 5, 2020 at 3:43 AM
    #20
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Aggregating anecdotal evidence

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    Work in progress
    Lift prep continues... this time, in the form of LCA inspection and driveshaft u-joint working angle calculations. Thanks to @EatSleepTacos for his time and expertise.

    It turns out that one of the LCA alignment cams was seized, which is exactly what I was worried about. The more miles you have on your truck, the more likely this issue will rear its ugly head. I thought I'd be in the clear with just over 41k on the odometer, but that wasn't the case. I took it to the dealership to try and get the offending LCA replaced under my CPO 12 month limited comprehensive warranty; the mechanic managed to break the hardware free using PB Blaster, some heat, and (presumably) a whole lot of choice language. To ensure that this never happens again, I'll be removing ALL the LCA alignment hardware and coating it with anti-seize in the very near future.

    I also got stock angle measurements for my driveshaft, which is a pretty damn important first step in diagnosing and correcting post-lift driveline vibrations. Here are my numbers:

    Working angle for u-joint between transfer case flange and front half of driveshaft: between 1.8-5.6 degrees (specs dictate this should be <0.5 degrees)
    Working angle for u-joint between front and rear halves of driveshaft: between 0.2-1.1 degrees (specs dictate this should be within 0.5 degree of next value)
    Working angle for u-joint between rear half of driveshaft and rear differential flange: between 0.5-4.1 degrees (specs dictate this should be within 0.5 degree of previous value)
    Difference between rear differential flange angle and front half of driveshaft angle: between 1.6 and 3.9 degrees (specs dictate this should be nearly zero)
    Maximum working angle for all u-joints: 3 degrees (per Spicer specs)
    Reference thread (thanks to @Crom): https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/driveshaft-angles.465292/#post-13904540
    Reference video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1m-Fh5kiRU

    I'm including a range of values because Randy and I took our own independent measurements, which resulted in different working angles. I'll be taking all the measurements again today to get some additional data.

    These baseline values will dictate what corrective measures I take after the lift is installed. I can flip the carrier bearing for free, plus I have 2 degree axle shims and a carrier bearing drop kit if needed. If all else fails (and the data dictates), I have a quote from Gregory's Driveshaft in Virginia Beach for a custom two piece double-cardan driveshaft. Thanks to @cjsqueeky for the recommendation, and @ovrlndkull (and @nd4spdbh, and many others) for their help in this thread:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/single-piece-driveshaft-for-dclb.672397/

    If you're working through the same issue, my calc sheet might be of some use. I'm fairly certain everything on here is right, but am happy to be corrected.

    7E45BE36-3210-4D90-8604-8B3A8EE416A3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    Crom likes this.
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