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A non-enthusiast's Tacoma build

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

  1. Oct 15, 2020 at 4:43 PM
    #61
    ACEkraut

    ACEkraut Well-Known Member

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    I understand the purpose of the u shaped clamp, to hold the strap in place, but I was curious if you used the protruding metal clamp(painted black) for anything else?

    Edit: I removed the rest of your pictures in the post and only left the one I was referencing.
     
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  2. Oct 16, 2020 at 1:49 AM
    #62
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    I see what you're saying. It kinda looks like the u-bolt is rigged as a mounting point for something. Unfortunately, it has to stick that far out to allow passage for the strap buckle, allowing me to fully remove the trash bag from the truck for cleaning. The u-bolt doesn't serve any other purpose.
     
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  3. Oct 16, 2020 at 2:34 AM
    #63
    ACEkraut

    ACEkraut Well-Known Member

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    Are there nuts inside the cover that hold the u-bolt in place? I have some scrap aluminum flat bar (1/8th inch thick by 1.5 inches wide) that I could counter sink a couple holes into and use a couple other small pieces of flat bar as spacers to allow the strap to move underneath. The spacers would mount to the center console and the top bar would screw into the spacers using countersunk holes. You would need to remove the top flat bar by loosening a couples screws to remove the strap, but that would only take a minute. Color matching paint would make it almost invisible and get rid of the u-bolt. Does that make sense?
     
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  4. Oct 16, 2020 at 3:15 AM
    #64
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Makes perfect sense, and would look a helluva lot cleaner than my solution made of spare parts.
     
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  5. Oct 16, 2020 at 5:37 AM
    #65
    ACEkraut

    ACEkraut Well-Known Member

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    Send me the measurement of the distance from center to center between the two holes and I will see what I can come up with.
     
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  6. Oct 16, 2020 at 7:07 PM
    #66
    gardengnome

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  7. Oct 17, 2020 at 2:25 AM
    #67
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    I never thought I would spend more on headlights than on my lift*, but here I am. What have I become?

    *not actually true when you factor in ECGS bushing, SPC UCAs, high angle CV boots, and labor
     
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  8. Oct 17, 2020 at 1:50 PM
    #68
    gardengnome

    gardengnome Member

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    Haha, yea it’s an investment, but think of how happy you’re going to be being able to see better, more, and the safety aspect. And here I am fretting over dropping the 300 for the Diode Dynamic fogs, lol two different worlds man haha! I can’t wait to see the pics you’ll post. I’ve been looking at aftermarket headlights too, that’s a whole other realm of confusing with so many different opinions on the subject. Anyway, glad you’re getting what you need and want dude, it’s gonna be sick!
     
  9. Oct 17, 2020 at 6:13 PM
    #69
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    The performance is gonna be nice, but I’m primarily interested in the extended service life of HID bulbs. It’s a helluva premium to pay for reduced maintenance, but that is one of the primary driving metrics for my build. It’s the very same reason that I went for poorer-performing dual tube shocks over superior rebuildable coilovers, or chose the more expensive and less visually appealing Sonax Polymer Net Shield over less expensive quality carnauba wax. I’ll be sure to write up an obnoxiously detailed post explaining my decision making process when I get the new headlights installed.
     
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  10. Oct 17, 2020 at 7:01 PM
    #70
    MNMLST

    MNMLST Well-Known Member

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    tinfoil lined cab runflat headlights pee-thru seats
    argh...



    52A64856-95F9-4B77-8CD5-44AC3BE58331.jpg
    26B117B5-5D0C-4200-89DE-6E1AB9F8D8BA.jpg
     
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  11. Oct 17, 2020 at 8:20 PM
    #71
    ACEkraut

    ACEkraut Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a great solution. The only challenge will be seeing if the width matches up with the holes that were already drilled.
     
  12. Oct 17, 2020 at 8:22 PM
    #72
    MNMLST

    MNMLST Well-Known Member

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    tinfoil lined cab runflat headlights pee-thru seats
    true, theY come in all sorts of widths, or...

    thick washer(s) (as thick as the strap), flat bar, done.
     
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  13. Oct 18, 2020 at 4:45 AM
    #73
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    That, and spacing it out far enough to fit the strap buckle through. I don't want a permanently-attached trash bag, since I'm gonna want to hose the thing out eventually.

    That is the exact solution @ACEkraut came up with, manufactured, and sent me free of charge. Does this mean I'm sponsored now? :D
     
  14. Oct 18, 2020 at 6:39 AM
    #74
    MNMLST

    MNMLST Well-Known Member

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    tinfoil lined cab runflat headlights pee-thru seats
    ‘course a couple chunks of good, 2” wide, 3M, sticky Velcro could have eliminated this whole scenario...
     
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  15. Oct 18, 2020 at 7:09 AM
    #75
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    I’ve got that as well. Two is one, one is none.
     
  16. Oct 18, 2020 at 7:29 AM
    #76
    MNMLST

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    tinfoil lined cab runflat headlights pee-thru seats
    Yeah, wouldn’t want your poopy bag bringing the whole mission down...
     
  17. Oct 18, 2020 at 8:48 AM
    #77
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    I’ve got poop-thru seats, no worries there.
     
  18. Oct 25, 2020 at 12:07 PM
    #78
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Got some new shoes yesterday.

    4F8850FD-4BD8-4597-8488-49BA2D31DF9B.jpg

    Lots of folks disapprove of mounting "grandpa" (highway) tires on an offroad machine like a Tacoma. I employed a data-driven process to select these particular wheels and tires, which fit my use case neatly. If you're more interested in tires that fit your needs than tires that will get you instagram clout, you might consider using the same approach.


    Tire selection

    Expected tread life
    If you've read through my build thread, you'll see a common theme: minimizing the frequency of maintenance tasks. I opted for dual-tube nitrocharger shocks over rebuildable coilovers because they last longer, even though the ride quality is worse. I'm dumping nearly $2.5k into RX350 retrofit headlights because HID bulbs last over 10 years, while high-performance halogen bulbs only last about 1 year. I don't enjoy performing maintenance, so I'm trying to set myself up for success by making it as infrequent as possible. If I was okay with a needy truck, I would've been fine with another Ford.

    I used this same driving metric when selecting tires. I got a subscription to Consumer Reports, which is one of the few unbiased data sources I'm aware of. I went through their tire comparison chart and made a note of top performers in the projected tread life category. Unsurprisingly, almost all of the best options were highway tires.


    Size
    Once I had my selection of tire brands and models, I started researching what sizes were available. It didn't take long to realize that Michelin is the only company that offers any of these top performers in the size range commonly used on Tacomas. With the brand of tire settled, I moved on to picking a size from Michelin's lineup.

    I didn't want to increase the size of my wheels beyond 17 inches, so I dismissed all tire sizes that required an 18 inch or larger wheel. This is partially because larger wheels have less rubber between the road and the wheel, resulting in less cushion when hitting road surface imperfections. If I'm honest, though, this was more of an aesthetic concern than a data-driven decision. Disregard this point if desired.

    I organized my options by outer diameter, starting with the largest. I wanted the largest possible tire because... well, who doesn't? The two largest options in the Michelin Defender LTX M/S lineup are LT285/70R17 and 255/75R17. The 285 comes in at 32.7 in and requires a cab mount chop (CMC) to prevent rubbing, while the narrower 255 comes in at 32.1 in and is unlikely to need a CMC. There are no Michelin Defender tires for 16 inch wheels that fit the bill.


    Weight
    Rotational weight is the absolute worst kind of weight to add to a vehicle. It kills acceleration, braking, gas mileage, and ride quality. See this thread for more information:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...eel-tire-combo-trd-rock-warriors-ko2s.381030/

    I compared my top two contenders against my stock tires to see how they stacked up:
    Stock Firestone Destination LE2, P265/65R17 - 34 lbs (110S SL rated)
    Michelin Defender LTX M/S, 255/75R17 - 38 lbs (115T SL rated), weight increase of +11.8% over stock
    Michelin Defender LTX M/S, LT285/70R17 - 50 lbs (121/118R E rated), weight increase of +47.1% over stock

    While the 285 tire is significantly heavier than my other option, the weight difference wasn't enough to dismiss it outright. Further analysis was required.


    Load rating
    Ask anyone in the know and they'll tell you that E-rated tires ride like sh!t. This is partially due to the additional weight of E-rated tires, and partially because the sidewalls of Light Truck (LT) tires are significantly more stiff. The stiffer sidewalls can also make properly balancing the tires a real pain in the ass, requiring road force balancing to prevent vibrations. Seeing as how this is my daily driver, I wanted the smoothest ride possible without introducing additional expenses (like road force balancing) into a regular maintenance task. This eliminated the E-rated LT285 tire and left me with the Standard Load (SL)-rated 255/75R17 as the only viable option.


    Performance characteristics
    I didn't research any tire performance characteristics until I had my top contender picked out. If the tires I chose ended up being poor performers, I would have to start the process all over again. Thankfully, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S will do what I need them to do.

    Braking performance on wet surfaces is excellent, as should be expected. This is my only critical performance consideration not related to longevity, and it's one that A/T tires will never satisfy.

    Consideration of buoyancy effects is one of the peculiarities of my use case. I'd like to have the ability to traverse flooded areas without losing contact with the road. Using the calculator here...

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jv2rOleEapBd4snsDnSzgQk3HMsatsG69kWXXZ7Aj_E/edit#gid=0

    ... I compared the volume of my new tires to my old tires when submerged to the hub, also known as maximum safe wading depth. The calculator results show that the 255 tires (161 L volume at 1 bar) only exhibit a 8.1% increase in submerged inflated volume over stock (149 L at 1 bar) when submerged to the hub. This means that the buoyant "up-force" from the tire is only moderately greater than stock. Compare this to the LT285 tire (192 L at 1 bar), at a whopping 28.9% submerged inflated volume over stock at hub height.

    Effective gear ratio changes with tire size. My truck's axle code is A04C, which means it has a 8" ring gear, 3.727:1 gear ratio, and limited slip differential. Retrieved from this thread:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/2005-2016-tacoma-axle-codes.408019/

    With my new 32.1 inch tires, my effective gear ratio is 3.56:1. While not optimal for acceleration, it does put the gear ratio right in the middle of the "good fuel economy" range of values: A common issue experienced after installing larger tires is speedometer error, where the truck thinks you're driving slower than you actually are. I've gone my entire time driving without getting a ticket, and I have no intention of ending that streak due to poor planning. I was fully prepared to buy a speedometer calibration module; specifically, the Hypertech 730117, which is confirmed to work with 12-15 Tacos. Before I threw down $230 on a potentially unnecessary part, I wanted to see how bad the speedo error was. My actual speed is 61 mph (confirmed via GPS app) with my cruise control set dead on 60 mph, yielding ~+2% error. This is interesting, because the circumference difference between my stock tires and new tires is closer to +5%. It appears my speedometer was reading about 3% low before the tire swap, which lines up exactly with what a local calibration shop told me to expect from an uncalibrated Toyota speedo from the factory. I consider +2% error acceptable, so I did not purchase the Hypertech calibration module.

    Off-road performance is not something I considered because it isn't something that I often do. That said, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across this thread:
    https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/perfect-off-highway-tire-ltx-what.206567/
    I'm under no illusions that the Defender LTX is actually the best off-road tire out there. I am happy to see that it can hold its own through more grueling conditions than I'll ever face.


    Proper inflation pressure
    Changing your selected tire size has implications beyond altering your effective gear ratio and inducing speedometer error. You need to be sure that they are set at the correct pressure, otherwise you'll experience accelerated wear due to improper inflation. There are ways to guesstimate the proper pressure, like the chalk test:
    https://www.intercotire.com/using_chalk_method_determining_psi

    I'm personally not a fan of guess-and-check methods, so I did a bit more research. Enter the Tire Pressure Calculator: Which is just a handy, automated version of the Load Inflation Table:
    https://www.toyotires.com/media/2125/application_of_load_inflation_tables_20170203.pdf

    Filling the fields on the calculator like so...

    OEM tire -
    - Tire type: P-metric (from driver's side door jamb)
    - Tire size: P265/65R17 (from driver's side door jamb)
    - Load rating: SL (110) (matches tire specs)
    - Pressure: 29 psi (from driver's side door jamb)

    New tire -
    - Tire type: Metric (new tires don't have a "P" designation before the size)
    - Tire size: 255/75R17
    - Load rating: SL (115) (matches tire specs)

    ... and clicking "Calculate New Pressure" yields a pressure value of 28 psi.

    You may want to reset your TPMS system so the truck can "learn" the new correct tire pressure. Video on this quick and easy process here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U5paWEQJMk


    Further increasing tire service life
    Yes, the projected 85k mile tread life of my selected tires is exceptional. But I wanted a way to boost it even higher.

    Enter the full size spare. If used in regular tire rotations, this will net a 25% boost in service life. That means that these 85k mile tires will actually last a bit over 106k miles, assuming they are appropriately cared for.

    Of course, mileage is only one of the factors that kills tires. UV exposure is another major threat. I have been regularly applying Aerospace 303 Protectant to the sidewalls, in the hopes that it will stave off degradation from being kept outside. Only time will tell if this practice is worthwhile.


    Wheel selection

    Weight
    As previously stated, rotational weight is the enemy. My new wheels had to be about the same weight as my existing wheels. This requirement rapidly narrowed down my choices to either OEM alloys (renown for durability and light weight) or FN Konig Six Shooters.

    Stock 3rd gen TRD Sport wheels, 17x7.5: 26 lbs, +30mm offset
    OEM 4Runner 7 spoke wheels, 17x7.5: 31 (?) lbs, +15mm offset
    OEM TRD Pro SEMA wheels, 17x7: 25 lbs, +4mm offset
    FN Konig Six Shooter wheels, 17x8: 21 lbs, 0 offset


    Dynamic stability
    My stock wheels have the +30mm offset of all standard 2005+ Tacoma wheels. While adequate for a stock height truck, my truck is no longer stock height. The ~2.9" front/~2.2" rear lift means my center of gravity is higher, making rollovers (theoretically) more likely. I did incorporate design precautions when speccing out my lift, such as retaining the sway bar. Still, I wanted to widen the track just a bit to keep the truck planted when taking corners at speed.

    Basically, I wanted wheels with some more offset. There are about a million options for aftermarket wheels out there. Some push the wheels far away from the truck, which gives you lots of "poke" and quickly results in wheel bearings succumbing to shear forces and blowing out. Wheel bearing replacements are not cheap, so I wanted to minimize the risk of parts failure brought on by poor design choices. In addition, quality control on aftermarket wheels can be hit-or-miss depending on the manufacturer you choose, so going with OEM is the safest option.

    I picked the TRD Pro 4Runner wheel (or the "SEMA wheel") due to the mild +4mm offset, which pushes the tire centerline outboard by 1.02 inches. The vehicle has a slightly wider (+2.04 inch) track, while posing minimal risk to the wheel bearings. I doubt Toyota would sell a wheel that is designed so poorly that it eats neighboring parts.


    Aesthetics
    I mean, yeah, this was definitely a consideration. Like it or not, here it is.

    20BC94CE-4B73-441B-8806-CB96CA32B9B7.jpg
    BEB8AD60-5F8B-45CD-977C-E209DE2A98E5.jpg
    98F5A01E-1C8B-4C56-A720-E01A0DDB7771.jpg

    For the record, those grey metallic vinyl center cap decals are an absolute pain in the ass to apply. After taking 6 hours to get them applied and lined up nicely, I hosed the sh!t out of them with Krylon Fusion clear coat. I never want to do that again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  19. Oct 26, 2020 at 6:36 AM
    #79
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    Wowza, I can see now why this took you so long to type.
     
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  20. Oct 26, 2020 at 9:37 AM
    #80
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Yeah dude, I really should've taken notes as I went through the selection process. Lots of concurrent considerations with all manner of variables. The hardest part was translating the bag full of cats rattling around in my brain into some sort of coherent process.
     
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