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afk's Build Thread

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Builds (2016+)' started by afkcmt, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Feb 25, 2021 at 8:51 PM
    #1
    afkcmt

    afkcmt [OP] IG: afkcmt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Member:
    #95829
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2020 Cement Tacoma TRD OR DC SB
    Current:
    upload_2021-2-26_11-9-12.jpg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Intro
    Alright, it’s been just over a year since I’ve purchased the Tacoma and as most can imagine, a lot has changed since I drove it off the lot...

    Here’s what you may find throughout this build thread:

    • Installation guides on particular components and resources that helped me make decisions $$$
    • Parts installed with a full price-breakdown

    • Camping trips, locations, and solid outdoor experiences

    • Overcoming hurdles, either with installations themselves, interoperability of parts, or maybe a few life situations…

    • ...Some heartbreak

    • Awesome conversations with awesome people

    • Hopefully be able to build connections with these inspiring people, learn different trades and craft, enjoy every minute of it
    • The Instagram created for this "hobby"
    Why

    I needed something that was going to be able to get me “anywhere” at any time with reliability, safety, and performance in mind. Obviously aesthetics were important to me, but at time of purchase, the Tacoma had absolutely no competition IMO when it comes to the mid-size truck market. More importantly, I love the outdoors, the beauty it has to offer, the places you can go, and is truly something I find happiness in.

    A few places we've been to with the truck so far:
    upload_2021-2-25_19-40-59.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-41-27.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-42-41.jpg

    I’m sure this sounds incredibly familiar and you’re right to believe that the Tacoma fits this profile. It’s quite a good thing that I’ve had my eye on owning a Tacoma since I was in high school. All of these aspects came together to make my decision one of the easiest, most unregretful decisions of my life apart from asking my now fiancé to marry me (of course she’s more important than the build right? ;))


    We’ll start where it all began, the dealership:
    upload_2021-2-25_19-43-13.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-43-33.jpg

    Stock vehicle specs for those interested:

    upload_2021-2-25_19-39-6.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-39-13.jpg



    Before I went to the dealership, I had done an exponential amount of research (as everyone should) and had known exactly what VIN number I was going to purchase, from color to options, I was sold before I left the house. With this in mind, I took my time there, test drove a few different TRD Off Road's with and without certain features. A question that commonly comes up (and thankfully there's an entire thread for this) is how much you'll pay out the door, at a dealership, with all the typical BS that occurs when trying to buy from them. Knowing how much I was going to pay, when I told the salesman that I was ready to pull the trigger, he drew up the numbers and I was confused because their numbers were much lower than mine, I mean much lower? Sure enough, they almost sold me the wrong VIN, which explained why everything was off. I used this to my advantage and had them take off what I could on the price. Out the door, after taxes, extras, and all the funny biz I paid $44,195.94.

    Obviously prices differ depending on where you're at in the U.S. but I was happy with my approach and financing. I opted not include a single "extra" option that I knew I would replace down the line, such as the pro headlights. Knowing that this would by my truck for as long as I could keep it running (forever, it's a Toyota) I wanted to make sure all of the comforts and "necessary" upgrades where there.



    I work in software, project management, and analysis so naturally, I broke my build into phases. Ideally, this should help me plan financially, buy-once-cry-once, and take an impactful approach towards developing (pun intended) a rig and kit that works for me.


    But...Before I could even get to Phase 1, I was hit by a car. Thankfully, I was able to get out of the way, clearing my fiancé and I from the line of travel and inherently reducing damage. A small, but heartbreaking bump in the road, still had the temp plates on from the dealer.

    upload_2021-2-25_19-38-45.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-38-39.jpg

    All right, down to biz.

    Phase 1

    Goal: Complete the essentials (removing chrome is essential)
    • The general additions in this phase are common among many and for good reason. Priority being wheels, lift, and tires, as this combo in my opinion allows for you to get the most out of your vehicle in off road conditions.

    • Now I did extensive research on this combination primarily because at the time, I was having great difficulty finding others who had taken the literal same approach that I wanted to take with my vehicle. When it came to tackling suspension, wheels, and tires I was concerned with things such as rake, reliability, and overall fitment. Although I try to take a function over form approach on a lot of my decisions with this build, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I prefer both form and function at the same time. So let’s get into each part for those who care:

    • King Extended Travel Front Coil Overs w/ Remote Reservoir & King Rear Extended Travel Shocks w/ Remote Reservoir
      • I’ve been a long-time fan of King Shocks, not because I’ve been using them for decades as I haven’t, but because of the relentless quality feedback in different and dynamic applications, from off-roading to bush planes (let me know if you’re as much of a fan of Mike Patey as I am). As they say, once you go King you never go back and this will certainly be the path that I take after my experience with them. It’s important that I mention that although I had preferred Kings as my choice, I still did plenty of research on other brands, primarily Fox, Icon, and OME. I highly suggest you check out this video from Shock Surplus for a solid side-by-side comparison of suspension to help you make a decision on what may be best for you and your application: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKXj0jBenIk&t=1027s

      • Pros:
        • Ride quality

        • Load capability

        • Travel length

        • Support and serviceability

        • Reputable, quality brand
      • Cons:
        • Price

        • Lead times (if this matters to you/dependent on timing)
    upload_2021-2-25_19-51-0.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-51-12.jpg



    • Total Chaos Upper Control Arms
      • Here is another example of a solid company having a just-as-solid reputation. I wanted an upper control arm to take advantage of the additional travel that I was getting with the Kings as well as provide a huge performance and reliability upgrade when it came to the front suspension. Easy to maintenance and built incredibly well, I have nothing bad to say about these control arms

      • Pros:
        • Fairly priced

        • Built really well

        • Easy to maintain
      • Cons:
        • None
    upload_2021-2-25_20-32-49.jpg
    • BF Goodrich KO2 (285/75/16)
      • Tires were an important decision for me. I daily drive this thing so I was already set on choosing an all terrain tire since the mud terrains were just a bit too overkill for my application. With this said, I would love to try the more aggressive tire approach in the future as there are a ton of benefits that come along with that approach. More specifically, tire size was a greater decision that I again researched a ton. Again, I couldn’t find too many examples online where someone took the same approach on suspension, wheels, and tires that I did, so I had to take a lot into consideration and glad that I did since the final result turned out exactly how I wanted it to. BF Goodrich has a good reputation as well and I know that there are reviews where that may not be the case, but there is a reason why this tire is popular. So far I am incredibly happy with it’s performance, lack of road noise, life, and I personally think they look slick. In the future, I might up the size of the tire slightly to a 295/75/16, maybe even a 300 but the 285 is a solid choice if you’re looking for a solid amount of rubber while not taking an overly-aggressive look if you’re someone who is worried about that.

      • Pros:
        • Performance

        • Weight

        • Lifetime

        • Noise

        • Looks
      • Cons
        • None so far


    • Stealth Custom Series F5, Matte Jet Black (16x8 -25mm 6x139.7)
      • These are by far one of my favorite parts on the truck for a few reasons. One, the people at Stealth are so incredibly helpful and as a consumer, owe it to them to point out how awesome their company and my experience was working with them to get the wheels that I wanted for this build. I liked a few other wheels on the market, but I wanted a wheel that was a bit less “traveled”. Initially, I wanted the SCS Ray 10s for the iconic off road look, but was having a hard time getting a hold of them. It wasn’t until the F5s became available through one of their drops when I realized how much I loved the look and purchased them instantly.

      • Now wheel size was super hard to get right during my research. I personally like the “smaller wheel more rubber” look that came with a 16” wheel as opposed to the 17”. Now for offset, another concept that I learned throughout the research process. I definitely didn’t want a positive offset as I believe it would interfere with the suspension components picked out and after learning more, I really liked the idea of a negative offset. I do not personally like an overly aggressive negative offset, but just enough poke to either sit flush with the fender or slightly past that point. I am incredibly happy with this wheel choice, the looks are IMO low key enough for my personality, while being a bit more different than the greater majority. I think this choice really made everything come together.

      • Pros:
        • Lightweight

        • Priced fairly, if not undervalued

        • Looks incredible

        • Awesome company to work with
      • Cons:
        • Hard to get
          • Stealth Custom Series wheels are not readily available and as of now you will have to wait for limited drops to get the specific wheel that you want. Here is my recommendation: Buy five to six wheels when you can. Four for your vehicle (obviously), and one or two as a spare. For me, I wanted a full size spare that had the same sizing specs. However, I couldn’t find another wheel with the same dimensions as the F5 so I had to wait for another drop to get the spare wheel.
    upload_2021-2-25_19-53-9.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_19-53-36.jpg
    • Additional Suspension Information
      • I opted to throw in an Icon Add A Leaf to help level things out. I knew that I was going to be weighing down the rear with future upgrades so this should also help with that (more on this later).

      • A body cab mount chop is 100% necessary with this application. Along with this I flattened the pinch welds in both of the wells.

      • Some plastic within the wheel well was also removed to accommodate the tires.
    • Aesthetics
      • @MESO to the absolute rescue with quality products. I’ve been following him and his accomplishments for a while now and there’s no better feeling than supporting a quality person/company/product. Now, everywhere you look there is a MESO product and quite honestly I love it.
    • My suspension, wheels, tires, and body cab mount shop was done locally at SDHQ.

    King Front Coil Overs RR EXT - $1,924.00

    King Rear RR EXT - $1,274.00

    Total Chaos UC - $742.19

    Icon AAL - $214.95

    BCM - $250.00
    upload_2021-2-25_19-56-28.jpg

    BFG K02 x5 - $1,239.85

    Stealth Custom Series F5 - $1,290.00
    upload_2021-2-25_19-56-19.jpg

    MESO Chrome Delete Kit - $50.00

    MESO Door Handles - $20.00

    MESO Map Lights - $30.00

    Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners - $175.83

    MaxTrax - $350.00

    MESO Vent Rings - $30.00

    MESO Climate Rings - $30.00

    R4T Emblem Overlays - $30.00

    MESO Ultimate Turn Signals - $100.00

    How we sit after Phase 1:
    upload_2021-2-25_21-16-13.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-15-41.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-15-52.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-19-25.jpg

    Phase 2

    Goal: On to overland

    • This phase came immediately after Phase 1… I fell in love with the idea of overlanding the minute I learned about it. What’s better than combining our vehicles with camping and the outdoors??? Here was another situation where I found myself researching in-depth practically every product purchased.

    • ROAM Vagabond Lite
      • I was debating on what roof top tent to get for quite a while and there was a lot to consider. I think the main debate commonly discussed is the consideration between hardshell and soft shell with these tents. I thought about this with the following mindset: Typically, hard shell RTTs are currently much more expensive than soft shells, but they are more efficient in setup and teardown and in my opinion look better due to their sleek nature. However, for a few more minutes of setup/teardown you can achieve the same RTT experience with the soft shell for a fraction of the price. Given that I am more of a weekender and will not be opening/closing the tent every single day, I opted for the soft shell. Now there are some other differences between the two but we can save that for a future post plus there is already a plethora of videos and threads going down this route.

      • As for the ROAM Vagabond Lite. So far I think that this is one of the most solid tents that you can get on the market. I got mine on sale during Black Friday, so I was stoked with my purchase.

      • Pros:
        • Build quality

        • Fairly priced

        • 3 inch memory foam mattress

        • The features

        • Simple install and setup/teardown
      • Cons
        • Softshell (if you even consider this a con)

        • As of current, lead times on products from ROAM due to everything going on in the world

        • Just a tad too short in length if you’re a tall individual.
    upload_2021-2-25_20-33-33.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_20-34-39.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_20-34-44.jpg
    • RCI Mid-Height Bed Rack
      • There’s not too much to say about this rack, which is a good thing. I chose the bed rack method because I knew I wanted to mount items (RTT, MaxTrax, Rotopax) while still maintaining space in the bed. I didn’t want the full height bed rack as I wanted to keep things more aerodynamic since it’s my daily, and because I need to fit in my garage. I felt that this route was an awesome middleground. I noticed while writing this that @rcimetalworks just released an aluminum version of this rack which I definitely would have considered at the time of purchase. However, I feel that the initial version is not overly heavy and comes at a solid price considering other mid-height bed racks on the market.
        • Pros:
          • Opinion: One of the best looking racks on the market

          • Solid build quality

          • Fairly priced
        • Cons
          • Understandable lead times
    upload_2021-2-25_20-34-33.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_20-36-34.jpg
    • A few quick notes on some of the other items
      • If you’re on a budget and want a competitive alternative to an ARB air compressor for your on-board air, check out the Smittybilt 2781. It has 5.65 CFM as compared to ARB’s 6.16 CFM. If you are just airing up/down, I think this is the solution. I’m incredibly happy with this alternative so far.

      • I was terribly torn between upTOP’s Bravo roof rack and the Prinsu roof rack. I think both look incredibly good and they both provide well-rounded solutions for our builds. I just happened to have a deal at time of purchase with the Prinsu, so this was what I went with. I’ve been very happy with this so far and am excited to start mounting items to it.

      • I needed a single container for all of my camping gear. When I was purchasing the tent during black friday, I figured the deal on their cases was just as good so I ended up pulling the trigger on their 160L Rugged Case variant. It’s huge, but damn is it well built. Mine is stored outside and absolutely nothing gets in thanks to the seal and build quality. Will likely be buying other variants of this case. Sold.
    ROAM Vegabond Lite - $1,320.00

    RCI Mid-height Bed Rack
    - $641.56

    Smittybilt 2781 Air Compressor - $0.00

    ROAM Rugged Case
    - $260.00

    MaxTrax Mounting Brackets - $75.00

    Prinsu Roof Rack
    - $744.50

    MESO Steering Wheel Badge - $15

    CaliRaised Molle Panels
    - $110

    ROAM Awning 5' - $275

    Staun Tire Deflators - $74

    MESO Gasshole
    - $20


    Phase 3: (Current)

    Goal: Road to redundancy

    • Apex Fab Rock Sliders
      • After taking a few trips, I began to seriously consider armor and for good reason. There are so many slider options on the market, I ended up just comparing prices and shipping costs. This led me to comparing a few options from other companies, but again, discount codes to the rescue. Runnin4Tacos was having a Valentine's Day sale and quick lead times for these. I’ve been on a few trips with these sliders so far and I can say that I feel much more comfortable on some of those lines. Very happy with the look and style of the trail edition with kick out.
        • Pros:
          • Fairly priced

          • Great finish

          • Quick lead times
        • Cons:
          • None
    Apex Fab sliders - $919.10 (shipped)
    upload_2021-2-25_20-35-19.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_20-35-43.jpg

    Hi Lift Jack (including mounting hardware) - $293
    upload_2021-2-25_20-39-32.jpg

    4 Gallon Rotopax - $139

    DLX Rotopax Mount
    - $47

    Cali Raised 40" Light Bar - Not Purchased Yet



    So, this pretty much brings us to where we sit currently as of Feb '21. I’ll be updating the thread with the future phases here shortly. Please check out the Instagram that I created for this truck/adventure/installs/reviews. Essentially it'll act as a mobile version of this sub. More additions to each part/install are in the works as well. Last, thank you for taking the time to check this out, as it means a lot to me. I personally love feedback, so if you have any, whether it be questions or suggestions, feel free to DM on here or Instagram. Thank you!

    upload_2021-2-25_21-18-31.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-18-42.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-18-5.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-18-54.jpg


    Camp:
    I’m in the process of planning trips for ‘21 to go camping and spend time at, mainly throughout the Western part of the U.S. The list so far includes Yosemite, Big Sur, Colorado, Moab, Joshua Tree, and a few more. If you’re willing to share, I would love to get recommendations and specific locations/details from everyone.

    Mods:
    To reduce the rubbing and overall contact with the tires and fender well, I first tackled the pinch welds. Really easy to do, as I didn't have to cut slots in the pinch weld itself, reducing the chance of liquid getting through. I just took a small three pound hammer and went at it and touched it up at the end.
    upload_2021-2-25_21-26-10.jpg
    upload_2021-2-25_21-26-17.jpg


    Backlog Parts
    I’ll keep a running list of backlog parts that I hope to purchase in the future here:
    Ditch Light Combo
    TPAM
    BD Squadron FL
    Cali Raised 40" LB
    Lil B's Fab Bumper
    Switch Pro
    Headlights
    Tailgate panel
    NorthStar 27F
    RCI Skid Package
    RCI Control Arm Skids
    RCI Fuel Tank Skid
    Soft Shackle
    Kinetic Rope
    Hitch Link
    Steel Shackle
    Tow Strap
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  2. Feb 25, 2021 at 9:24 PM
    #2
    Timmaaaye253

    Timmaaaye253 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Member:
    #271887
    Messages:
    65
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tim
    Tacoma, WA
    Vehicle:
    2019 TRD SPORT DCSB
    Dope build man! Keep it up!
     
    afkcmt [OP] likes this.
  3. Feb 26, 2021 at 10:10 AM
    #3
    afkcmt

    afkcmt [OP] IG: afkcmt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Member:
    #95829
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2020 Cement Tacoma TRD OR DC SB
    Thank you! Definitely will do.
     
  4. Feb 26, 2021 at 10:49 AM
    #4
    Roof Walker

    Roof Walker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2021
    Member:
    #352454
    Messages:
    62
    Gender:
    Male
    SE Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2021 Tacoma TRD Pro MT
    Sub'd!

    Awesome build so far. Maybe i'm just as particular and OCD as you, but I really enjoyed reading your input on how you selected products/modifications. I'm willing to bet that you also have a Excel spreadsheet with every mod planned, priced out, install date, etc. like I currently do? :typing: Any who, it's apparent you've got a passion for what you are doing and I look forward to seeing what the future brings :thumbsup:
     
  5. Feb 26, 2021 at 1:00 PM
    #5
    afkcmt

    afkcmt [OP] IG: afkcmt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Member:
    #95829
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2020 Cement Tacoma TRD OR DC SB
    That's too funny, I hope you're a betting man because I literally do have a spreadsheet with everything laid out haha. Thank you for the kind words. Cheers!
     
  6. Feb 27, 2021 at 8:01 AM
    #6
    afkcmt

    afkcmt [OP] IG: afkcmt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Member:
    #95829
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2020 Cement Tacoma TRD OR DC SB
    I wanted to quickly share how I over came an issue when mounting the Vagabond Lite RTT to the RCI bed rack. The hardware provided in the RTT essentially isn't log enough to clear the bars of the rack. To overcome this, I thought I simply just needed longer bolts and then we should be good. Turns out there's another factor:

    The bolt/plate on the bottom are provided in the RTT, too small. The bolt on the top is the hardware that I ended up going with but with a catch.
    upload_2021-2-27_8-56-21.jpg
    All other longer 5/16 bolts (the same size as provided) that I could find at local hardware stores didn't have enough purchase in the channel to be able to tighten down. Obviously a huge issue.
    upload_2021-2-27_8-56-59.jpg
    So what I ended up doing is going up a size to 3/8 bolt and then bore out the plates to match the sizing. This was the result once we went to a bigger bolt and bored out the hole in the mounting plate.
    upload_2021-2-27_8-58-59.jpg
    Much more purchase than what was provided, plus we upgraded to bigger, stronger hardware. After a day of running around, I'd say it was all for the better.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Feb 28, 2021 at 6:25 AM
    #7
    nordic333

    nordic333 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Member:
    #251212
    Messages:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2006 Tacoma Access Cab 4WD SR5
    Awesome build..! That’s a good price on that bed rack..!
     
  8. Feb 28, 2021 at 9:41 AM
    #8
    NotMaxMunroe

    NotMaxMunroe @notmaxmunroe

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2021
    Member:
    #354278
    Messages:
    65
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Max
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Vehicle:
    2020 SW Tacoma TRD Pro
    Super clean build, can’t wait to see where it goes. Followed you on ig too since it’s hard to keep up on all the watched threads on here :cheers: . Any plans on a bumper and winch?
     
  9. Feb 28, 2021 at 10:27 AM
    #9
    afkcmt

    afkcmt [OP] IG: afkcmt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Member:
    #95829
    Messages:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2020 Cement Tacoma TRD OR DC SB
    Appreciate the compliment man.

    Yeah definitely. I'm eyeing the Lil b's custom fab bumper, but haven't decided on what winch to go with yet. More research required.
     
  10. May 11, 2021 at 1:14 PM
    #10
    mntnbikerbw

    mntnbikerbw IG/Twitter: imjustabill1970

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Member:
    #122336
    Messages:
    974
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    bill
    clarksville, tn
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD Off Road DCSB
    SUSPENSION: Icon Stage 4 with tubular UCAs WHEELS: Black ProComp 69 TIRES: BFG KO2s at 265/75/16 Partially debadged Diaz Fabrication Model T up front
    Very nice lookin' truck and great write up. I found the thread because I was looking for someone with the Apex sliders...was about to ask you what you thought of them when I read your comments. Again, nice lookin' truck!

    Have you ever thought about driving the Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route or have you done it and I just missed it?

    Later.
     

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