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A non-enthusiast's Tacoma build

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

  1. Jan 19, 2021 at 11:24 PM
    #101
    nudavinci64

    nudavinci64 Taco Outlaw

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    Boosted Money Pit....
    Looking good. One thing to note is there is an enginaire that mounts direct I’d need to pull the part number. No modifications needed. That’s what I run now.
     
  2. Jan 20, 2021 at 7:10 AM
    #102
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Overbuilt daily driver
    Enginaire's P/N 61515 is a direct drop-in fit for the 4" ARB snorkel. The issue is, this pre-filter is rated for 150 cfm minimum/450 cfm maximum, which is way above the operating range of a 1GR-FE (28 cfm minimum/269 cfm maximum). As such, this pre-filter would offer little protection with the engine operating below about 3000 rpms. I dunno about you, but I rarely hit or exceed 3000 rpms when driving, let alone in adverse conditions when I really need the pre-filter to work.

    There is an aluminum Enginaire pre-filter (P/N 440S) that is marginally better, with airflow ratings of 140 cfm minimum/350 cfm maximum. This would offer protection for the engine at about 2500 rpms or higher, which is better (but still worse than the Sy-Klone 9001). The issue becomes weight: the aluminum pre-filter clocks in at a hefy 5 lbs, versus the composite Enginaire 61515 at 2.8 lbs and the Sy-Klone 9001 at 2.6 lbs. You really don't want to mount something heavy at the end of a plastic moment arm like a snorkel, especially since it can exert torque on things that don't want to be torqued (like the fender panel).
     
  3. Jan 20, 2021 at 9:57 AM
    #103
    nudavinci64

    nudavinci64 Taco Outlaw

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    Boosted Money Pit....
    makes sense I had never considered the CFMs honestly. 3K rpm on my heavy, geared, big tire truck is not unheard of but optimizing for the CFMs makes sense. Especially with my S/C air flow is a big deal. I have considered getting the Sy-Klone but did not see an immediate reason why. this help some consider it. Ill have to see what if the S/C and other mods makes the CFM different now that the truck wants a lot more
     
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  4. Jan 20, 2021 at 10:12 AM
    #104
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Overbuilt daily driver
    I hear you on the rpm issue. Ever since I got bigger tires (255/75R17, so 32.1" diameter), I have been creeping higher than my usual rpm range when accelerating. The trade-off is that my cruising rpms are generally lower, around 1800-2000 rpms at highway speed. This is due to my effective gear ratio being lower, but also because I don't exceed the posted speed limit by more than 10 mph.

    Superchargers change the cfm calculation a bit. It looks like you'll want to increase your volumetric efficiency (V.E.) values over the range of values I used for my stock NA engine. All other calculations should remain the same. Now granted, there is no "one size fits all" V.E. value for these calcs, so you'll have to do some research to really get a feel for what your engine needs.

    Airflow (in cfm) = [ RPMs x Engine displacement (in ci) x Volumetric efficiency ] / 3456
    where
    Engine displacement = 241.4 ci
    Volumetric efficiency for a supercharged engine = approximately 1.15 (further research required to determine V.E. value change over different rpm ranges)

    Gives the following approximate minimum and maximum airflow values:
    500 RPM - Idle (warm) - 40 cfm
    5500 RPM - Red line - 442 cfm
     
  5. Jan 20, 2021 at 11:04 AM
    #105
    nudavinci64

    nudavinci64 Taco Outlaw

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    Boosted Money Pit....
    thanks that looks like it puts the Engineair back in the conversations due to the higher needs.
     
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  6. Jan 20, 2021 at 11:12 AM
    #106
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Absolutely. I've read that superchargers can increase the V.E. by 40-50%, which puts your effective values somewhere around here:

    0.80*1.5=1.20 for RPMs < 2500, 0.75*1.5=1.13 for 2500-3000 RPMs, 0.70*1.5=1.05 for 3000-4000 RPMs, 0.60*1.5=0.90 for RPMs > 4000 (assumed)

    Using these updated best-guess numbers, your minimum airflow (at 500 rpm) is 42 cfm and maximum is 346 cfm (at 5500 rpm).

    While the Enginaire model will do the job, the tricky part is finding a pre-filter that functions adequately at the lower end of the cfm spectrum. This is the same issue I encountered when trying to select my pre-filter.
     
  7. Jan 20, 2021 at 11:20 AM
    #107
    nudavinci64

    nudavinci64 Taco Outlaw

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    Boosted Money Pit....
    yah def want the low end. i did remove and try the regular deal and did not feel much of a difference but def want to make sure I'm not losing low-end power due to it. to add more to it there are other go fast goodies such as exhaust cam gears, smaller pully, injectors etc. so the likely max CFM is potentially higher as well.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2021 at 3:35 AM
    #108
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Overbuilt daily driver
    If your airflow is below the minimum cfm rating for your pre-filter, you don't lose any low-end power. The minimum cfm rating tells you when the pre-filter "kicks in" and starts actively filtering the stuff out of your intake. Below that minimum limit, the pre-filter doesn't do much of anything other than sit there and look pretty. One of the reasons I like the Sy-Klone is because the built-in screen offers some level of protection against solid contaminant ingestion, even when below the minimum airflow rating.

    The only time you run into possible power loss issues is when you exceed the maximum cfm rating for your pre-filter. I say "possible" because the maximum limit is determined by the pre-filter manufacturer, who conducts tests to find the flow rate at which the up-stream restriction becomes excessive and the test engine begins to "choke." This up-stream restriction value will vary depending on the test engine used.

    @nudavinci64, if you'd like to employ a more accurate approach, you can convert your mass airflow (pulled from an UltraGauge or similar) to volumetric airflow (cfm) using some math. I (unsuccessfully) tried to use this equation:

    [Airflow, in cfm] = [Mass airflow, in lb/min] x [Universal gas constant for air=53.342] x [temperature, in deg R=deg F+460] x [compressibility factor=1.0]
    ...........................144 x [atmospheric pressure=14.696 psia]

    ... taken from this website:
    https://www.pdblowers.com/tech-talk/volume-and-mass-flow-calculations-for-gases/

    ... but was unable to get any numbers that pass a sanity check. I assume my truck needs more than 6 cfm at cruising speed, so I clearly screwed something up. Still, with some additional research, I think this sort of calculation is a viable option for your needs.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2021 at 2:49 AM
    #109
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Mini-update. Say what you will about how highway tires look, but I’m glad I had them this morning. Nice and planted the whole way to work, didn’t even need to kick in 4HI. I can’t say the same for the poor bastards in lifted trucks, whose A/Ts or M/Ts had them sliding all over the place.

    F5BB0FDD-A268-4F43-9222-163B2DCD9549.jpg
     
  10. Feb 17, 2021 at 10:41 AM
    #110
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    I can't believe it has already been a year since I bought this truck. In that short time, I put an impressive 17,366 miles on the odometer. Seeing as how my most important metric is reliability (and the confidence that naturally follows), let's do a recap and see what headaches I had to contend with over the last 365 days.

    -

    Seized LCA alignment hardware: discovered 05 AUG 2020
    Complete replacement LCAs and hardware installed by dealership under CPO warranty after a lengthy battle with Toyota: repaired 19 SEP 2020, cost $50 (CPO warranty deductible)
    -

    VSC and ABS lights illuminated, dead tachometer and engine temp gauges: discovered 06 AUG 2020
    Unplugged UltraGauge to let system reset (or something): fixed the same day, no cost
    -

    Intermittent clanking sound after lift installation: discovered 14 AUG 2020
    Got an alignment, which seems to have made the sound disappear: fixed 16 AUG 2020, no cost specifically due to this issue ($200 for Firestone lifetime alignment)
    -

    Broken union fitting for rear diff breather: happened on 11 SEP 2020
    Removed broken fitting and reinstalled stock breather: fixed the same day, no additional cost
    Installed new all-OEM rear diff breather assembly: installed 04 OCT 2020, cost an additional $10 over the refunded cost of Low Range Offroad's breather kit
    -

    VSC light illuminated after alignment: discovered 14 OCT 2020
    DIY VSC computer recalibration: fixed 15 OCT 2020, no cost associated
    -

    Lost Sy-Klone snorkel prefilter: 02 NOV 2020
    Purchased replacement Sy-Klone prefilter and lanyard kit: installed 15 NOV 2020, cost $200
    -

    I'd say that's not a bad track record so far.
     
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  11. Feb 17, 2021 at 10:45 AM
    #111
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    I’m happy that I was involved with a lot of these misfortunes
     
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  12. Feb 17, 2021 at 11:05 AM
    #112
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    The Randy giveth, and the Randy taketh away.
     
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  13. Mar 3, 2021 at 4:59 PM
    #113
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    @EatSleepTacos and I did stuff. A lot of stuff.

    2D4D8C58-A3B4-4AAB-A944-7A9F9F672B5C.jpg



    Cibie Super Oscar driving light modification and installation

    First, let's cover what thought process spurred my interest in auxiliary high beams (or "driving lights") and why I selected the ones I did. This is thoroughly explained in a post I made in the SAE J581 Aux High Beam thread:

    With the selection preface out of the way, let's move on to installation. I wasn't crazy about the tight clearance between the light and the ARB's upright support, which was close enough to make installing/removing the light covers impossible:

    4F75E0C5-1BB1-496C-AA3E-CD5FC209AFD4.jpg

    ... so I did something about it, modifying the Cibie mounting brackets:

    C1B4EAF2-C9BB-4261-A1C6-CE34BD750131.jpg

    ... and adding a new hole and notch in my ARB bumper:

    96A5E7D8-3F9B-43B3-BF45-583886069887.jpg

    The end result looks almost the same as before:

    82CDDA6A-519D-4160-B6B2-6629BF993BE2.jpg

    Rest assured that the clearance gained by moving each light ~3/4" inboard does make a significant difference, both in allowing light covers to be fitted as well as mitigating potential deflection-induced damage by moving the lights further away from the ARB's upright supports. I also like the addition of a second mounting bolt for redundancy, because TwO iS oNe AnD oNe Is NoNe.



    Tamper-resistant hardware installation

    If a thief wants your stuff bad enough, they're gonna get it. Once you accept that reality, switch gears from theft-proofing to simply making the theft process as awful as possible. This is where tamper-resistant hardware shines, and is the reason I dropped a couple of bills at McMaster Carr to refit all my auxiliary lighting with it.

    The 9" Cibie thief magnets got a full complement of new hardware, from the mounting bracket-to-light bolts:

    25B5F0DE-FE32-4873-A5FE-85C8B7E434B4.jpg

    ... to the modified mounting bracket-to-bumper connection:

    6747041A-788B-4280-96C6-8BC6F2FB2003.jpg
    5C30710C-5BC7-4443-B867-32FE21428373.jpg

    My DD Pro fog lights got a similar treatment, from the mounting bracket-to-light bolts:

    9D5155C4-1994-4188-B86E-95A203CC0F16.jpg

    ... to a new nut for the existing carriage bolt used for the mounting bracket-to-bumper connection:

    1C09BF5E-4181-470E-A3FD-2AFCB65D3B40.jpg

    I also installed new bolts for my Slee ARB inserts to make sure the thief didn't get smart and take the whole assembly off. I didn't bother with replacing the hex nuts, since they're difficult enough to access as is:

    8DE1A7D8-03F6-4C08-98F8-FB309E46B231.jpg

    Theft-proof? Absolutely not, but it's an improvement.

    Of course, all my auxiliary lighting had to be re-aimed after swapping out the hardware. Done in accordance with Daniel Stern's instructions:

    https://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/aim/aim.html

    Output pictures below. The wall is 25 feet away, which isn't really far enough to get a feel for the performance downrange:

    2D797B2C-442B-40CC-AD2E-160662D7B863.jpg
    FD98CBAE-B7DF-4CFA-863A-446D17D8D35C.jpg
    DAD1C467-D463-4EF0-BCE8-DCD2DAECDEC3.jpg
    48AC8ED7-E3AD-4BC5-944E-BAF6EDDE6542.jpg



    LED switch backlight installation

    I wanted all my switches to match because... well, who doesn't? I figured I had two options: either match my aftermarket switch to the OEM color by restricting myself to Air On Board's "OEM light green" switch offerings:

    https://www.aironboard.com/online/products/switches/toyota-push-switches.html?color=389

    ... or change the backlight color of the OEM switches to something a bit easier to match. Say, white?

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...ulb-high-power-instrument-panel-led/221/7740/

    Seeing as how 3 of my 4 OEM switches had burned-out bulbs, I figured now was the time to make a change. I bought a handful of the above-linked LEDs in 3mm (T-1) size and warm white color, then followed @boogie3478's video for installation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol1BAKcb9Jo

    I didn't replace the AC power outlet switch backlight; I have other plans for that lil guy.

    Upon testing, I thought I had received a bad batch of LEDs. None of my backlights functioned. It turns out that I was just 3 for 3 on installing the bulbs backwards, which is a statistically impressive feat. I removed each bulb, rotated 180 degrees, and reinstalled. Perfect.

    8B89F92F-402D-48EB-86E7-866094A1482B.jpg

    Okay, maybe not "perfect." Somehow, the fine folks at CH4x4 managed to cram a headlight in the custom aux high beam switch they made for me. The picture above isn't much of an exaggeration; the backlight really is that bright.



    Front camera installation

    My first attempt at installing the Germes Lab front camera kit (P/N RFCC TTG2) and Natika WD-011 camera went fairly well, roughly following these instructions:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/car-solutions-reverse-anytime-front-camera-install.604733/

    Everything was fine up until I had to pass the camera's RCA extension cable through the firewall:

    9AE7E72C-8A3F-4F67-A82B-A50832C408CC.jpg

    Ouch. Not to worry, I got a free replacement through Amazon. I had some steel tubing laying around that fit perfectly over the RCA connector, so I made a sleeve to protect it in order to avoid repeating the same mistake:

    EB9D3A28-BEDE-4938-8622-E66C70A307F6.jpg

    I passed the cable through the firewall without issue. From there, I finished my installation by hooking up my front camera in a nice, low profile location:

    47D3DD7E-7483-49E7-A997-336C5982083D.jpg

    The otherwise-unused ARB antenna mounting tabs are at the same height as the OEM rear-view camera, and are set a comparable distance back from the edge of the bumper. I used a M8-1.25 threaded coupling nut with a slot cut down its length to attach the camera to the mounting bolt. Unfortunately, I failed to account for line-of-sight interference from my giant Cibie driving lights:

    9303C9D7-2671-4AA0-A2C3-0E04862A9C1A.jpg

    I'm working on an alternative solution that will reposition the camera in front of the bull bar. It will be significantly less low-profile than this mounting setup, unfortunately.



    High clearance bumper pre-installation modifications


    I added rubber dock bumpers to the rear face of the bumper. Why?

    upload_2021-3-4_8-34-50.jpg

    I don't necessarily want to annihilate someone who bumper taps me in the parking lot. In low-speed collisions, the dock bumper will soak up the impact with no harm done. Now, if someone is dicking around on their phone in traffic and hits me at speed, then they get consequences in the form of a 3/4" steel recovery point eating their front end.

    After a significant amount of searching, I found a dock bumper that fit my dimensional requirements perfectly. The Grainger Approved 22NT80:

    https://www.grainger.com/product/GRAINGER-APPROVED-Rectangular-Rubber-Dock-Bumper-22NT80

    Of course, the mounting surface on the high clearance bumper isn't flat. Also, using 1/2" bolts to mount the dock bumpers is a surefire way to damage the underlying steel during an oblique impact. Modifications were required:

    B89874A2-AC74-4419-AAEA-E10DDB63351E.jpg

    The 3/8" wide by 1 1/4" deep V-cut allows the rubber to conform to the angular surface of the bumper. The 13mm OD by 30mm long spacers securely center the smaller (in my case, M6) mounting bolts, which should break away before deforming the plate steel underneath.

    34D5FB3D-9A00-4AD3-9FBF-F133752BCCC3.jpg

    I also drilled the bumper in order to mount rear mud flaps. This might seem like a trivial addition, but I disagree. Mud flaps are a cheap and easy way to reduce your road spray, improving the visibility of the drivers behind you and reducing the likelihood of getting rear-ended in inclement weather. I'm not anxious to test the strength of Mobtown's products.

    I eyeballed three evenly-spaced locations on the forward-facing surface and drilled:

    C9AEF301-3387-492B-B98B-E809FB9D7CF8.jpg

    Then made a cardboard template and drilled the same pattern in my universal mud flaps:

    FAFF1BCB-AF92-4BFC-BDF9-514F78E5071A.jpg

    In this picture, the inboard side of the flap is unsupported. I planned on rigging up some sort of support bracket once the bumper itself was installed, just to keep that edge of the mud flap from flopping around too much. That plan got sh!tcanned when the front mud flaps decided they didn't want to play.



    Universal mud flap installation on front of truck FAILED

    I got another pair of universal mud flaps for the front of my truck, since I wanted them to match the ones mounted on my HC bumper in the rear. As it turns out, "universal" is just a nice way of saying "if you cut it enough, it'll fit anything." It started out fairly easy, drilling holes that corresponded with the stock mud flaps where possible. Some of the mounting holes were set back from the primary plane of the mud flap, meaning I had to drill an access hole to fit a screwdriver in order to properly secure the fender flare to the body. Not a huge deal:

    07981517-1D04-4AFF-98C8-9D87A6036E73.jpg

    In order to provide support to the inboard edge of the mud flaps, I did have to modify the included support brackets by cutting them short and bending them a bit. These "universal" support brackets don't have any designated mounting point or orientation on our trucks, so I had to figure something out on my own:

    B49D1A89-3D43-453C-97D9-2054C46CACE0.jpg

    Despite the work I put into mounting these mud flaps, I still got a significant amount of rubbing. I tried re-mounting and re-forming the support brackets, to no avail:

    329F9F6C-1D18-4150-92B3-950B1928153B.jpg

    I swore, I prayed, I went through all 5 stages of grief with these damn things. Nothing fixed the issue. Universal fit, my ass. tl;dr my full set of RokBlokz mud flaps should be arriving today.



    High clearance bumper post-installation modifications

    I won't dive into the installation process for this bumper too much, since @EatSleepTacos did all the cutting and technical stuff. However, I can talk about the mods done after installation.

    Sawzall go brrrrrrr:

    B59D3C9A-7650-4957-A40E-73223DB7CB9E.jpg

    The exhaust tip was reattached to try and make it look as "factory" as possible. The aesthetics of a cut exhaust don't matter, at least until you factor in state inspections:

    There was a bit of drama reinstalling my HitchSafe. The hitch pin alignment isn't great:

    52864BE1-DDC8-4191-AC3C-7531730BD014.jpg

    ... resulting in the HitchSafe significantly protruding from the rear face of the bumper:

    B837554F-51E5-4370-9B5A-2AADDDE5E9E2.jpg

    I had to get a little creative with the provided flip-up bracket to ensure the license plate was sitting vertically:

    9505DABA-D816-4F16-ABFE-0CFA983E8BC8.jpg

    Unfortunately, the added standoff introduced its own problems. The license plate lights are aimed squarely behind the license plate itself, which is a failed state inspection waiting to happen. I plan on re-drilling the mounting holes in the HitchSafe in order to mount it closer to the rear face of the bumper.



    ARB recovery point installation

    @EatSleepTacos knocked this out while I was struggling with my bed stiffeners. I don't know anything about the install, other than the need for a huge-ass (19mm?) drill bit and the occasional comment about the
    c h o n k i n e s s
    of the thing itself:

    5A3C9EC7-8BBF-4EAC-B7FF-64C5452BD1F5.jpg

    It is a hefty boi, around 30lbs without hardware. Also, I learned that it's okay to remove the passenger side tension bracket from the ARB bumper in order to fit this guy. That removal is called out in ARB's instructions, which makes me less nervous about driving around missing a structural member.



    Total Chaos bed stiffener installation

    Things you don't think will be difficult, but are: this.

    8CF0DED5-614E-45A6-9A67-4BB4C7848379.jpg

    Well, maybe "difficult" is the wrong word. Just fiddly. Getting the bolt holes to line up was a pain, exacerbated by the fact that I had to file a hole out on the upper driver's side to get it anywhere close. I broke one of the black 10mm head bolts when tightening everything up; turns out half an ugga-dugga is too much hot sauce for the little guy. Randy DaVinci had to paint the holes drilled in the truck bed twice; this is entirely my fault, since I forgot to check if they were the correct size on the first go-round.



    All in all, it was a highly productive few days. Frustrating at times, absolutely, but it sure is nice to see how small my stack of uninstalled parts has gotten.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  14. Mar 9, 2021 at 11:14 AM
    #114
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

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    Overbuilt daily driver
    I've been unbelievably busy recently, so here's a quick and dirty picture dump of the work I accomplished over the last few days:

    CA762B26-039C-48D9-B4F8-A3794643FDF6.jpg



    RokBlokz mud flap install, front and rear: rear flaps bolted to HC bumper

    Front: in accordance with manufacturer instructions
    8CFF0FD6-41BE-49ED-8D61-017DB0117D77.jpg

    Rear: as shown. I used a small flat piece of galvanized steel, painted to prevent corrosion, as the inboard support bracket. I also opted to secure the loose end of the wheel well liner to the mud flap, which should maintain easy access to the back of the bedside cubbies (required for EE compressor mount installation).
    CE1DE580-3A47-4724-9574-C3444D4924DD.jpg
    261EFA65-123F-4F32-821C-C86A364D8A4F.jpg
    CBDCBDC3-5065-4AF0-B642-8187DF11D75E.jpg
    3E1293D7-66C6-4592-B081-5657582E1CC8.jpg
    6A89C885-61D8-4DD3-B41D-B77591F36755.jpg



    Front camera relocation and cable routing

    I used a M8-1.25 x 20mm bolt, two M8 nuts, an M8 coupling nut with a slot cut down its length (for cable pass-through), and a loop clamp that I drilled out and painted black.
    F5298ABC-C9A5-4EDD-8CC0-1FB025290EA7.jpg

    Adhesive-backed cable raceway I used for cable routing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084WRCMPT/
    Black RTV was also used to seal the upward- and forward-facing crevices to prevent accumulation of crud.
    8ECAF966-B148-44A4-8E9F-18CA38AC6096.jpg

    The "red line" distance for this camera is set to be identical to my rearview camera: 19 inches from the bumper's edge.
    74F43A22-ACED-4AED-A8EA-5CE63CC77519.jpg



    Prep for vinyl roof wrap application: removal of cheap LED third brake light and shark fin antenna

    Cheap third brake light installed by previous owner: https://www.amazon.com/1995-2016-Toyota-Tacoma-Lights-Chrome/dp/B07KWKT4CN/

    Surface immediately after removal:
    FDEB95A5-D910-40AD-AA7A-4D0F0F3A4B2A.jpg

    After scrubbing (with WD40 and a sponge) and picking (with fingernails) for about an hour:
    A59A2147-60F5-4A49-8771-C9D6ECDE6C48.jpg

    Helpful links for shark fin removal: thanks to @Anderson and @JasonLee, respectively
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KBh9Ob3R5RI&feature=youtu.be
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...ver-replacements.625966/page-13#post-24272439

    Roof penetrations sealed to prevent water ingress before my vinyl application appointment the next day:
    EEA6EFDC-BE43-4E89-BD1C-71C92A6FDC29.jpg



    MESO ultimate third brake light: wiring

    Thanks to @caribe makaira and @EatSleepTacos for helping me get the polarity right the first time.

    498BC5BA-8D7D-431A-903F-4736D53E481C.jpg

    Supplies needed: soldering iron, solder, various sizes of shrink wrap, pigtail connectors supplied with KC Cyclone lights, plug and wires cut off cheap Amazon third brake light

    The process is pretty simple. Solder up a y-harness every time you have one wire that needs to be two wires. Repeat until you have enough wires on both the positive and negative side. I built in slack for the outermost connections, since the outboard lights need to be pulled out of the housing in order for the brake light assembly to be installed on the truck.

    16BDA2B3-766D-4199-9792-77B8B9E24576.jpg



    MESO ultimate third brake light: assembly

    Featuring a modified cheapo third brake light base, a new third brake light gasket seal, and a whole lot of RTV:

    I thought the MESO brake light was a standalone unit, which didn't require the re-use of any existing parts. It turns out that the black plastic base of the light is needed in order to seal properly against the roof.
    94C1AA02-DF7B-4F12-8360-F8814FE48F38.jpg

    I ran a bead of RTV inside the MESO brake light:
    5E1CDF27-7DF4-48DF-AB9A-3D5F1618CAAB.jpg

    Then attached the modified brake light base and applied pressure to ensure a good seal:
    EF9AA100-ACBA-4835-9003-876918381620.jpg

    I ran an additional bead of RTV around the perimeter of the MESO/light base interface, then applied the new brake light gasket seal:
    B7398393-DC30-4950-89CB-CA262783AFC4.jpg

    After allowing time to dry, I attached the wiring harness and function-checked the light.
    DFCF3296-B59B-4F0B-B896-260C667A35B1.jpg



    Vinyl roof wrap application, MESO brake light and TRP Offroad "bullet" antenna cover installation

    It looks a little odd. I think it'll really come into its own once I get a roof rack installed.

    89DCFC55-5EFC-41C8-93CF-5C569B9354B4.jpg
    20EE50E3-1E66-4BBB-8D80-928AC293D6DF.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  15. Mar 10, 2021 at 4:15 AM
    #115
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
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    #151688
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    Randy
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Vehicle:
    4x4 2005 SR5 AC 6MT
    I had to unlike and then relike this post since you added the write up.
     
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  16. Mar 10, 2021 at 10:23 AM
    #116
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
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    #320484
    Messages:
    951
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    First Name:
    Austin
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 A/T 4x4 1D6
    Overbuilt daily driver
    My insane musings are so good, you have to like them twice.
     
  17. Mar 14, 2021 at 11:12 AM
    #117
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
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    #320484
    Messages:
    951
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Austin
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 A/T 4x4 1D6
    Overbuilt daily driver
    If I had a superpower, it would be the ability to make "plug and play" installs a two-day affair. Enter the Putco BLADE under-tailgate LED light bar:

    https://www.putco.com/blade-led-tailgate-light-bar

    Purchased in conjunction with the Putco quick connect harness:

    https://www.putco.com/blade-quick-connect-harness-529004

    Long story short, the connectors on the quick connect harness:

    0024AF5B-ADB9-4A38-B13F-1B137CC6BD34.jpg
    9B83060E-3C7F-465D-AB7E-46CECC04960F.jpg

    ... have no matching counterpart on the Tacoma, despite Putco's assertion that they are indeed compatible.

    I thought about the situation a bit, and decided that I could enhance the serviceability of this add-on lighting by making removal a bit easier. Instead of returning the quick connect harness, I decided to make it work for me.

    Step one was unplugging and removing the rearmost end of the trailer hookup wiring harness:

    2B5BE4E5-7D27-4540-AD72-1A40EC7A10E2.jpg

    Here, you can see the sins of the previous owner. This is how the previously-installed under-tailgate light bar was wired:

    5A8A1866-EE25-410A-B669-07D152F3F812.jpg

    Gross. Time to do this thing right:

    18F4B414-E5D7-4451-A359-F9917B60E586.jpg

    Connecting the 12V positive power lead wasn't necessary, since it's a vestigial component for my particular model of Blade LED. I figured it wouldn't take any extra effort or hurt anything, so why not?

    7719D064-3745-465F-A115-05F9DBBE0999.jpg

    I hard-wired the reverse light lead in as well. In hindsight, I should've added a connector here:

    3DF1707E-27B8-48A6-9385-E6A46D506C03.jpg

    And I chopped the 4-pin lead off the quick connect harness and wired it in to the appropriate circuits (L/R turn signal + brake, running/tail lights, ground):

    C842F438-D603-4183-A06C-411218386AB9.jpg

    Leaving me with a properly soldered and well-sealed finished product:

    A27695C6-07BA-4324-B2FE-8EE13C04D4E1.jpg

    I found out that I only had orange electrical tape on hand. Oh well, at least it'll be tucked away out of sight:

    F5FA5B80-9FBC-4D83-AE31-76B9E4FABADC.jpg

    The physical install was irritating, but not especially noteworthy. I'm glad I opted for the version of the light that uses an 18" pair of bars, which keeps my spare tire access unobstructed while keeping the light bars mounted at the optimum level for visibility.

    In other news, I received a shipment of GY6.35 HIR bulbs to perform the HIR reverse light upgrade:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/gy6-35-hir-921-reverse-light-upgrade-vs-high-power-leds.474996/

    These are getting increasingly scarce, with price increases to match. Unfortunately, I broke 3 of the 4 bulbs trying to re-form the prongs to fit in the 921 socket. I have since ordered a pair of XPR LED bulbs from Diode Dynamics. Some things are worth the ass-pain to do perfectly; this is not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
  18. Mar 14, 2021 at 11:20 AM
    #118
    Greg.Brakes.Tacos

    Greg.Brakes.Tacos Don't Feed the Animals

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Member:
    #254446
    Messages:
    2,526
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    First Name:
    Greg
    Between Richmond and Virginia Beach
    Vehicle:
    2017 Taco DCSB TRD off road
    wanna be mods
    Interested in how the DDs do, I'm running the HIR bulbs and they're great!
     
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  19. Mar 14, 2021 at 11:23 AM
    #119
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Male
    First Name:
    Austin
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 A/T 4x4 1D6
    Overbuilt daily driver
    They'll probably exhibit the same shortfalls mentioned in @crashnburn80's thread. I do like that DD pays close attention to overdriving the LED chips, which leads to shortened service life. It is my hope that they'll last a long time, and the Putco's reverse lights will help pick up some of the slack in near-field and wide lighting.
     
  20. Mar 20, 2021 at 3:44 PM
    #120
    ardrummer292

    ardrummer292 [OP] Resisting G.A.S.

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Member:
    #320484
    Messages:
    951
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Austin
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB V6 A/T 4x4 1D6
    Overbuilt daily driver
    Most of today was spent devising a way to get my HitchSafe to sit flush against my Mobtown HC bumper. Not for aesthetics, for ensuring that my tag lights illuminate my license plate. Thankfully, this project has a happy ending.

    First, figure out where your hitch pin needs to enter the HitchSafe. I stuffed it into the receiver and inscribed the hole outline with a dental pick.

    7C94ED2B-EFA3-4697-AF21-0C2E89BB7F17.jpg

    Then, set your slide inserts in the “lock” (forwardmost) position and drill a pilot hole.

    After that, punch out the 4 collar pins from the inside to take it apart.

    C26B1780-0878-4313-813B-B8AD93C59F78.jpg

    Here’s what you’ve got:

    701E18D2-1DA3-4D8C-BAD0-301134981ECC.jpg

    Drill the HitchSafe receiver box as shown:

    335AF449-847A-4094-BFFF-E1D33160061F.jpg

    Then, reinsert your slide inserts and extend them to the “unlock” (rearmost) position. Trace the outline of your new 5/8” hole on the slide inserts:

    A045CB69-3F8C-42AC-B6B5-C1FE8E5BF7B1.jpg

    ... then modify the slide inserts as shown:

    809CACBC-84AB-4801-95A9-4C22DAF75CB7.jpg

    Slap some paint on the bare metal surfaces and reassemble.

    4F725FD0-AEC9-459E-A643-56F752F69D32.jpg

    In an abundance of caution, I also drilled the flip-up license plate bracket to minimize the standoff introduced by the HitchSafe release latch:

    FBB1417A-1508-4D5F-AABD-4BC680FD6DFE.jpg
    E6DBE40F-BF84-4DA2-8078-D386A2DD68E5.jpg

    ... and shimmed the license plate lights slightly to ensure the license plate was adequately illuminated:

    68C76882-FBCC-45DB-9770-B9796850E31F.jpg

    Job done!

    28E51A5B-173F-4941-AB4E-FF53FF23D13A.jpg
    49FEB158-8AB2-4D32-88E5-B2B2387C2F7E.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021

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