1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

How did you start working on your trucks?

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by DirtyDTaco, May 7, 2013.

  1. May 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM
    #1
    DirtyDTaco

    DirtyDTaco [OP] Talk slow, shoot fast.

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Member:
    #84359
    Messages:
    1,050
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matthew
    Mississippi
    Vehicle:
    '00 XtraCab 4x4 3.4L V6 5-Speed, 240K miles
    Polk 6.5" Coaxial Door Speakers, Pioneer DEH-X6500BT Head Unit, Black Bed-Lined Badges, 15% Tint, JL Audio 10" BassWedge, Alpine 500w Mono Amp
    So TW, in the months of lurking and scouring this site, I have seen many of you perform pretty involved (quite an understatement) projects and modifications to your trucks that most people would have taken to a mechanic to do or simply not even have tried at all. Obviously, you don't just go out and do an SAS with zero mechanical experience at all. So, my question to y'all is this: How did you get your mechanical experience and know-how? Also how would you recommend a teenager such as myself gaining such experience? I want to be able to work on and repair my own vehicle.. I don't like being dependent on other people's time or skills and I don't like trusting other people to do things on my truck because I didn't see them do it and don't know if it was done right. I'd rather do it myself and have it done right. That being said, without experience, I just don't trust myself to do it right. So where do I start? Thanks for your time and answers.
    Matthew
     
  2. May 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    #2
    memario1214

    memario1214 Vivid Illumination Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Member:
    #23628
    Messages:
    13,042
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Colton
    MT recently relocated to Willmar, MN
    Vehicle:
    05 Dub Cab TRD Sport 4x4
    TRD Cold Air Intake, rear cat delete with Aero Turbine 2525, Maglite mount mod, white LED's all around, white gauges w/blue needles, Tinted Tails, Morimoto 32" XBAR LED Bar, Truxedo Lo-Pro QT Tonneau, Pioneer AVIC X-920 BT touchscreen, FX-R Retrofit, LR UCAs, OME 3" Lift w/ Dakar leafs, DTLT Headers, Walbro 255 fuel pump, TRD S/C, Hankook Dynapro ATM tires
    All my learning came by just doing it and trial and error. Use this site and those like it to make sure you have a good understanding of the project you're planning to do before starting. If you have questions ask them first and there are plently of us here that will help you with just about whatever we know if you ask... No way to learn then to try I figure.
     
  3. May 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM
    #3
    97Blk_one

    97Blk_one Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Member:
    #5970
    Messages:
    732
    Gender:
    Male
    Memfrica
    Vehicle:
    not so low
    A whole lot,But not satify
    For me,it's the " I can do this " moto...sure I screwed up sometime,but it's the learning process...oh yeah..TW is helpful too....
     
  4. May 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM
    #4
    NMW 4x4

    NMW 4x4 Wheels With Moose.

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Member:
    #87462
    Messages:
    215
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Walt
    Presque Isle, Maine
    Vehicle:
    '15 Access Cab SR5 4x4
    All of my mechanical experience came from owning Jeeps... I was always too cheap to bring them to a mechanic, and they were easy to work on. However, they were always so old and rusted, even the simplest repair often turned into a huge hassle (broken bolts, corroded nutserts, brittle plastic, ect).
    Working on the Tacoma is a walk in the park compared to those piles.
     
  5. May 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM
    #5
    GEARAHOLIC

    GEARAHOLIC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Member:
    #20340
    Messages:
    624
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    KELLEN
    PASO ROBLES, CA
    Vehicle:
    07 Black on Black BEAST
    get a wrench and turn it
     
  6. May 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM
    #6
    isu2014

    isu2014 RAT Products

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Member:
    #35140
    Messages:
    12,524
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Farmington, MN
    Vehicle:
    01 SUPERCHARGED TRD OR MANUAL 4x4 V6
    View the build. Too much to list.
    Start small. A lot of research beforehand. Do things that you can reverse if it doesn't work. Once you are confident, get out your torch and welder and you could build your own truck.
     
  7. May 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM
    #7
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Member:
    #88520
    Messages:
    6,699
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    East Bridgewater MA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Tacoma Regular Cab Slider
    Kenwood CD, MTX/Jensen amps, Rockford/Polk speakers.
    My first car at age 17. I figured it was better to fix simple stuff myself when possible since I couldn't afford to pay a mechanic all the time. I learned a little from my father..and a lot from the Chilton's books. The Internet wasn't around then so that's what you had to do.
     
  8. May 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM
    #8
    DirtyDTaco

    DirtyDTaco [OP] Talk slow, shoot fast.

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Member:
    #84359
    Messages:
    1,050
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matthew
    Mississippi
    Vehicle:
    '00 XtraCab 4x4 3.4L V6 5-Speed, 240K miles
    Polk 6.5" Coaxial Door Speakers, Pioneer DEH-X6500BT Head Unit, Black Bed-Lined Badges, 15% Tint, JL Audio 10" BassWedge, Alpine 500w Mono Amp
    Thanks guys. Depending on my shoulder, I might see if I can get a job with a mechanic down the road for the summer. Win win situation as far as I'm concerned. $$$ for mods and I would get my feet wet as far as working on my truck is concerned.
     
  9. May 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM
    #9
    penguins_cc

    penguins_cc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Member:
    #41874
    Messages:
    2,093
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Will
    Bellevue, WA
    Vehicle:
    Timberland Mica Limo!
    Perkins Performance Sliders, Warn 9000, Brute Force Fab front & rear bumper, OME/Dakar lift, full ATO skids and hi-lift mount, satoshi, Wet Okoles, illuminated 4x4 switch, Diff Breather.
    I used to do the basic maintenance years back but never had the right tools. Lots of things I did took waaay longer than they should back then. All I could afford was a Chilton's so I said screw it after I sold my old Mazda. I told myself I was done wasting my time on cars until I got the Tacoma and decided to install the lighted 4x4 switch. There was so much good info on this site that I got some tools and taught myself a little about wiring and soldering. Now it's like some kind of obsession to get the right tools, research and fix things myself. I've installed suspension, brake and electrical. I'm just getting ready to do some bodywork and repaint. I'm glad to say that the truck has inspired me to learn a brand new set of skills.

    Since I started fixing thing myself, I'm 100% convinced I can put in a better effort than the dealership without cutting corners. If you plan to learn the skills but don't need it for a career in the industry, then like people have said, this forum, Harbor Freight and a big driveway are your friends. I sure wish I had the internet when I used to bang away at stuck bolts with a crescent wrench.
     
  10. May 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM
    #10
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Member:
    #26726
    Messages:
    19,947
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steven
    In a corn field, OH
    Vehicle:
    2001 4x4 5Spd Xtra Cab V6
    265/75/16 BFG A/T's, OME 881's, Wheelers 5 leaf pack, 5100's, Home Made Sliders
    beater first vehicle and a dad that doesn't suck.
     
  11. May 7, 2013 at 11:01 PM
    #11
    maxamillion2345

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

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Member:
    #31761
    Messages:
    7,812
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Max
    Nevada
    Vehicle:
    Ferd Fteenthousand 6.4
    Tuner.
    check out a lot of the car related pages on how stuff works, give you a basic understanding of what everything is and how it all works, even if it's not model specific, basics basics basics then slowly you can build on that by researching more and more on top of hands on stuff

    take a shop class, seriously, if you're in high school, TAKE A SHOP CLASS
     
  12. May 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM
    #12
    4Wheelin4Banger

    4Wheelin4Banger Longtime Toyman

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Member:
    #58306
    Messages:
    6,719
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Randy
    Ferntucky, NV Halfway between Reno & Falabama
    Vehicle:
    2011 4x4 Access Cab Silver State Edition
    3" OME lift 885s & Dakars riding on 33" KM2s Click the sig pic to see the build thread .
    Helping my Dad and others that knew more than I did.
     
  13. May 8, 2013 at 12:32 AM
    #13
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Member:
    #55722
    Messages:
    3,972
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jon
    Montana
    Vehicle:
    2004 Tacoma DCSB & '79 Toyota Pickup 4WD
    I used to drive a Jeep, need I say more? I was a broke high school kid and couldn't pay a mechanic so yeah lol.
     
  14. May 8, 2013 at 12:33 AM
    #14
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Member:
    #55722
    Messages:
    3,972
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jon
    Montana
    Vehicle:
    2004 Tacoma DCSB & '79 Toyota Pickup 4WD
    But the Tacoma, haven't ever really worked on it before except routine maint and I hope to stay that way. It's a luxury to just be able to get in and drive something whenever you want and not have to work on it all weekend just so you can get to and from school and work during the week!
     
  15. May 8, 2013 at 5:24 AM
    #15
    DirtyDTaco

    DirtyDTaco [OP] Talk slow, shoot fast.

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Member:
    #84359
    Messages:
    1,050
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matthew
    Mississippi
    Vehicle:
    '00 XtraCab 4x4 3.4L V6 5-Speed, 240K miles
    Polk 6.5" Coaxial Door Speakers, Pioneer DEH-X6500BT Head Unit, Black Bed-Lined Badges, 15% Tint, JL Audio 10" BassWedge, Alpine 500w Mono Amp
    Haha I wish. Our whole school (Pre-K through 12th) has like 200 kids. We don't have electives. I would kill for a shop class though
     
  16. May 8, 2013 at 5:33 AM
    #16
    Large

    Large Red

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Member:
    #63268
    Messages:
    15,765
    Gender:
    Male
    Wheeled until it broke, learned how to fix it because warranty wouldn't.
     
  17. May 8, 2013 at 5:37 AM
    #17
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Member:
    #102169
    Messages:
    1,095
    Gender:
    Male
    floyd, VA
    Vehicle:
    2000 Prerunner TRD
    throttle body extension, K&N dropin, custom rear sway bar, bilsteins, 2010 Tacoma 17" alloys w/265's, driveshaft mods, bullbar, .75" Bora hubcentric spacers
    been wrenching on cars/trucks since I was 16 (that would be 50 years of wrenching, yeah, I know I am as old as dirt), 1st car was a 55 chevy belair 2 door hardtop...ah, the days of REAL CRUISING....

    I wrench out of necessity (usually lack of funds) as I can not, nor would I let a service shop touch my vehicles unless absolutely necessary....
     
  18. May 8, 2013 at 6:09 AM
    #18
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Member:
    #88520
    Messages:
    6,699
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    East Bridgewater MA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Tacoma Regular Cab Slider
    Kenwood CD, MTX/Jensen amps, Rockford/Polk speakers.
    Try looking at your local vo-tech. Sometimes they or a similar place will have night courses. I did one a while ago with a friend of mine.

    That said you have an edge now with the 'Net. I just had a book that couldn't really converse with me or provide video on a subject. Now I can just bring my laptop into the driveway and put it on the seat..start a video and watch while I work..
     
  19. May 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM
    #19
    azreb

    azreb Geezer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Member:
    #74430
    Messages:
    331
    Gender:
    Male
    AZ mountains
    Vehicle:
    09 4x4 stock
    camper shell, platform to replace rear seats.
    I started out working on my car--couldn't afford to hire the work done. Got out of college, bought a new car and discovered the dealership's work was questionable, so I decided to continue doing it myself. The real learning came when I drove a couple of Scouts. They always needed something done. I would say you have handicapped yourself--you have a Toyota. To really learn how to work on a vehicle, you should have a Jeep, Dodge, Scout, Ford or something similar, IMO. :)
     
  20. May 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM
    #20
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Member:
    #26726
    Messages:
    19,947
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steven
    In a corn field, OH
    Vehicle:
    2001 4x4 5Spd Xtra Cab V6
    265/75/16 BFG A/T's, OME 881's, Wheelers 5 leaf pack, 5100's, Home Made Sliders
    x2
     
To Top