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Another395 Taco's TX Roadhouse Baja Blast build thread

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Builds (2005-2015)' started by another395Taco, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Sep 14, 2020 at 12:32 PM
    #1
    another395Taco

    another395Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Member:
    #321429
    Messages:
    75
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ben
    Bishop, CA
    Vehicle:
    2014 Red T/X Baja
    ARE shell & camper buildout
    IMG_0974-Pano.jpg
    Above we can observe a wild Tacoma in its natural desert habitat. It appears to be a 2nd generation Tacoma with the Barcelona Red coloration. Binoculars reveal a T/X Baja edition but lacking the obnoxious decals. Upon closer examination, one will note it is 4x4, V6, longbed with a slight lift, skids and sliders...

    IMG_6652.jpg
    kicking up dust in the desert is a favorite pastime of this Taco. many thanks to the Inyo County grading crew for making this road blissfully washboard-free in the spring

    IMG_0921.jpg

    The idea of owning a 4wd vehicle began about 10-12 years ago when I was in middle school and in charge of planning a family vacation to Colorado. We lived in Missouri and owned a Prius entirely capable of reaching any trailhead in the state. I was in for a rude awakening to learn of the existence of 4x4 accessible trailheads in Colorado and learned that our Prius simply could not drive up some of the roads to trailheads I wanted to visit. My pleas for the parents to buy a Toyota Highlander with 4wd (the perfect 4x4 vehicle I thought at the time) before the trip went unanswered and I was told to go back to cutting grass so I could afford one myself if I wanted it that bad.

    It took ten years and... the acquisition of a driver's license, college degree, a few jobs and a Subaru pushed to their limits, but on January 10, 2020, I finally got the keys to the 4x4 Tacoma I had wanted for years. You can read a bit more about how I got there in my intro thread.

    Screen Shot 2020-09-14 at 12.03.29 PM.jpg
    my poor 2007 Forester went many places a Subaru had no business going. While it felt great surprising Jeeps and Tacomas on 4x4 roads with it, it feels damn good to be in a capable 4wd vehicle and not constantly pushing the limits with that manual transmission in an underpowered, overloaded vehicle.

    IMG_0480.jpg
    Slight size difference.. the subaru had a 2" lift, skids and KO2's so it was a solid adventure rig, but after almost stranding me in the Nevada Thanksgiving blizzard of 2019 with a blown radiator, I started seriously looking for Tacomas.

    This 2014 had about 45k miles on it when I bought it in January 2020. I am the third owner and have taking it off-road multiple times a week from my home in rural California here. It was treated very well by previous owners, but I'm not sure it was ever used to even a fraction of its true capability. The first owner was a nice grandpa in Markleeville, CA near Lake Tahoe who drove it maybe 7,000 miles/year and kept it stock beyond the ARE Overland shell and a brake controller. Owner #2 is on TW somewhere and added a bunch of stuff. Most important are the red door handles. Really ties the truck together. But actually he did eliminate the chrome on the rear bumper & front grill, added a new hood with a scoop, raptor lights, 1" Toytec spacers in the front, 1.25 spidertrax wheel spacers, an Icon AAL, amber LED fogs, and 33's.

    IMG_4539.jpg
    crawling around Death Valley National Park- less than an hour from home.

    Mods (will detail most in separate posts later):
    1. got rid of that obnoxious BAJA decal on the side
    2. camper build in the back
    3. tire swap from 285/75/16 Toyo MT's (68lbs a piece and 12-14mpg) to 265/75/16 Duratracs (44lbs a piece and 16-19mpg)
    4. RCI steel skids and sliders- thanks for the $1200 check US Gov.
    5. extended rear diff breather
    6. Dakar Medium Duty Leafs
    7. Dual battery setup- 100ah AGM charged off the alternator. Will do solar next month.
    8. Camper rebuild to fit Exped Megamat Duo and lights

    Notable dates:
    January 10, 2020- purchase in Sacramento
    January 12, 2020- first day on Hwy 395. my favorite road to get to the Sierra and Death Valley when I was going to school in LA and needed an escape (which was frequently)
    March 14, 2020- first recovery. Tugged a BMW X5 in a Tahoe snowbank
    March 15, 2020- first stuck. Buried the truck in a Tahoe snowbank soon after snow started coming over the hood after 3+ ft fell overnight and I stuffed the front end into a plowed bank of icy crap hidden beneath the fresh flakes.

    Back to work now... will come back to update this later.
     
    sawbladeduller likes this.
  2. Sep 14, 2020 at 1:58 PM
    #2
    sawbladeduller

    sawbladeduller semi-realist

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2014
    Member:
    #139583
    Messages:
    846
    Gender:
    Male
    North of GG
    Vehicle:
    '15 DCSB '98 2.7L
    zip tied
    I think your lucky to be an hour outside the park. takes me about seven hours to get to 168. I'll follow your build/adventures.
     

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