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Durability Upgrades

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by kbforester, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Mar 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM
    #1
    kbforester

    kbforester [OP] New Member

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    Kyle
    Eastern Maine
    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to pick some brains. Anyone have upgrade ideas, specifically pertaining to durability and longevity?

    Background information: I'm a forester, working in the woods about 4 days a week. Each time I go to the woods, I put on any where's from 2-60 miles of driving on [dirt] logging roads. Normally less than 20. Some times they are grown in and abandoned, otherwise they are moderately maintained.

    I'm by no means off roading, but there are plenty of times when I straddle a rock, and it doesn't quite clear like I expect it to, rocks flying up and hitting the hood or the windshield. And as you can imagine, the front end takes quite a beating from pot holes and the like.

    I'm not really into a monster truck conversion, but some basic durability/longevity upgrades would be great. I'm looking for practicality. I'd rather not hurt my MPG too badly either. I put about 40k on a year.

    Right now its a pretty basic truck. 2.7 L, access cab, 4wd, '09 taco.

    Ideas I've had so far are
    - New skid plate (factory one is pretty pathetic)
    - 10 ply tires when the current ones wear out
    - head ache rack for when I haul firewood and other farm related material

    Any thing I haven't thought of? I don't know much about suspension systems or the like.
     
  2. Mar 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM
    #2
    TurboGT

    TurboGT Stirring the pot since...

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    Gabe
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    I'm not the best for this either, but from a (semi-)logical view:

    Skid Plate - good... protect the engine and underside. Look into some of the multi-piece ones that go clear back to the gas tank for more protection.

    Tires - also good... stronger tires should mean more durability. In addition, I'd also suggest better or heavy duty shocks to help dampen the road vibrations (I may be talking out my arse here). You don't need to lift the truck to get better shocks. I'd be willing to bet that some non-adjustable Bilsteins that would work great but that don't add height to the truck.

    And welcome to TW
     
  3. Mar 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM
    #3
    Plannerman99

    Plannerman99 Well-Known Member

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    Matt
    So Cal
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    Custom bed mat, Demello Offroad Sliders, So Cal pin striping
    Check out your maintenance schedule. There are additional service items recommended for heavy offroad use.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2012 at 6:26 PM
    #4
    kbforester

    kbforester [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yeah I've looked at the skid plates, they look good. I'm putting them on the list.

    What exactly would sliders provide me... for durability driving down dirt roads. I always thought they were for OFF roading, and or rock crawling. I just might not understand the application.

    Any more input on the shocks?

    I've also been looking at my grill... I like the looks of it, but I realized I can fit my hand right through it and touch my radiator. I figure that's not good. I've been looking at the others, and I was hoping for something that just goes in behind it. But I can't find anything. I don't really like the looks of what I've seen. Especially the chrome ones. Any thoughts?
     
  5. Mar 22, 2012 at 7:38 PM
    #5
    Overlander

    Overlander Well-Known Member

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    Ome suspension if you don't want to break the bank. If price is not a consideration extended resi coilovers and new ucas. You and your vehicle will be much happier with improved suspension. I know how hard logging roads can be on a vehicle, square edged potholes are no fun with the stock suspension.

    "Touch a tree" Alex Shigo
     
  6. Mar 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM
    #6
    badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    I use my truck in a similar environment, and I've done some pretty extensive work to it as a result. Here's what I would do in this order;

    1. Tires. After many thousands of miles I've found the best tires for this are 135/85-16s in a load range E. You can find various models in both a 2 ply sidewall and a 3 ply. I run a 2 ply at 36 psi. The skinny tires work incredibly well in everything. In bad mud and snow I air down to 15 psi and they are like running on tracks. They fit a stock truck without modifications. They are light and they don't work the suspension, bearings or steering like a wider tire. They are 32" tall so you get a boost in clearance. If you don't have aluminum wheels, get them. The 135s run on stock 16" rims which can be found pretty cheaply. That will shave 10# of unsprung weight from each wheel.

    2. A heavy duty aluminum front skid. Bud built makes them, and Relentless might as well. You don't need steel, and you sure dont need the extra weight.

    3. Better shocks. I don't have a recommendation for the front, but Bilstein 5100s for the rear are very good. If cost is not an issue, a good coilover front is hard to beat. I'm running coilovers.

    4. On board air. I say this because airing down the tires will have a huge affect on the beating your truck takes. It will lesson everything from body rattles to suspension wear, and fatigue cracking. Last summer I spent weeks at a time aired down running ranch roads in Wyoming. Huge benefit!

    4. Bumpers would be next, but to do that you would need to upgrade the suspension for sure.
     
  7. Mar 23, 2012 at 12:03 AM
    #7
    maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    Too many
    I'd say 1/4" aluminum skid. Relentless does make them indeed. ^

    Aside from that just carry plenty of gear, and maybe think about a nice set of coilovers if you can justify the cost.

    Emergency gear, tools (bow saw, axe, shovel etc), spare belt and other spare fluids and parts. Maybe a set of traction aids and an exhaust jack.
     
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