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How to build an Expedition Tacoma?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by zerocool120, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Apr 2, 2011 at 8:04 AM
    #1
    zerocool120

    zerocool120 [OP] Active Member

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    Mike
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    Hi all,
    New to the forum (will intoroduce myself in the new member area soonest). I am about to purchase a 2011 or 2012 Tacoma Double-Cab. I intend to use this truck for everyday driving and weekender expedition type trips in the western US primarily. I have several questions, which intertwine with each other...please forgive the redundancy:

    1. Is it worth purchasing the TRD Sport or TRD Off-Road versus the SR5?
    2. With expedition trips in mind, what are the essentials to upgrade/change on a stock Tacoma? If suspension is one of these things, should I only purchase the SR5 (see question #1)?
    3. Price being no object, what are the best parts (brands please) for usage in Question #2?

    More to follow I am sure...

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Apr 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM
    #2
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Steve
    San Jose CA
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    OME suspension, ARB Air Lockers, CBI/Relentless/Pelfrey armor, HAM radio
    Couple quick thoughts - others will add more I'm sure:

    I'm sure you already know the philosophy of the expedition build is "self sufficiency" not "maximum off road capability." For that, you'd build a trailered rock crawler and tow it to the toughest trails, then trailer it back home.

    For long trips, don't overlook the importance of the seats. Most find the TRD seats give better support over the long haul.

    A limiting factor for off-roading the double cab is that long breakover angle. So you may want to do a 2 or 3" suspension lift with slightly larger tires. Most "expedition" builders don't go overboard on tire size, running 265/75R16 or 255/85R16(?I think that's it?) There's a lot to be said for the 1.75" lift height, (e.g. 5100s) rather than the 3" lift height. If you read the FAQs in the suspension forum you'll learn a lot more about your options.

    Folks will tell you to get the TRD offroad to get the locker. If you're going TRD, yeah, favor the off-road to the sport. But I did quite a bit of forest service road driving with my old F150 unlocked. It was only when I started wheelin' with others that I really needed the locker.

    Communications. Check into getting your ham license so you can operate a higher powered FM HAM radio. Also - HAM is a lot of fun in its own right. If that's not your style - sat phones are great but expensive.

    Self sufficiency - it's all about carrying the tools and equipment you need to get you and your rig out of whatever you got into. So a good set of recovery gear and tools. Likely a winch and ground anchor such as pull-pal. Do your own work on your truck so you know how to fix it if you break something.

    Mindset. Again - self sufficiency. On big wheelin' trips folks will test themselves and their rigs to the max. They can do that cause there are lots of friends there to save their bacon if they don't make it. Going remote, you have a different mindset. Play it safe and conservative. Better to turn around if it gets to gnarly, and find another route or another destination, rather than test all that capability and recovery gear. The idea is you're building in a big safety margin, so you can operate safely within it - not run right up to the ragged edge.

    Check out this build thread:

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-builds/74926-barlowrs-06-taco-expo-build-thread.html

    There's a whole forum dedicated to this also - expeditionportal.com

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Apr 2, 2011 at 8:59 AM
    #3
    zerocool120

    zerocool120 [OP] Active Member

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    Steve,
    Thanks for your reply. I agree with the self-sufficiency mindset you speak of and will be attempting to build around that. I will not be doing (on purpose!) any serious rock-crawling...but you never know, so; I like the idea of being able to get myself out of any problems I get into. As such, I will considering a 3" lift, which hopefully will allow slightly larger tires just incase. Most of the work will be done in my garage, and this will present a huge opportunity to learn about the Tacoma with help from several mechanically inclined friends. (Side note about the garage: My maximum allowable vehicle height is 82"...does anyone know what the height of a 2011 Tacoma is with a 3" lift and tires?) I am already working on the HAM license.

    -is it suggested to go with standard or automatic transmission?
    -any suggested bed-rack systems?
    -any suggested electrical systems?
    -any suggested 3" lift systems?

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  4. Apr 2, 2011 at 9:19 AM
    #4
    Crooked Beat

    Crooked Beat Well-Known Member

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  5. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM
    #5
    mjohn617

    mjohn617 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how deep your pockets go but the money your going to spend on a 2011 will do some serious work to an older Tacoma!

    Using the term "Expedition" might be a little misleading if you planning on weekend trips.

    Crooked Beats link to Expedition Portal is the door to your new found world, if you want an idea of the capabilities a rig might be need to do, that is the place.

    If you want some great reading from Journals of peoples Overland trips read this! The actual story is only the first ~50 pages...PURE INSANITY! This should give you some ideas as to what you want you and your rig to be capable of doing.

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50799


    Another parent site of Expedition Portal is ExpeditionsWest.com, both great sites.

    http://www.expeditionswest.com/



    K.I.S.S. !!!! (Keep It Simple!)

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/wha...0-donts-of-overland-vehicle-modification.html
     
  6. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:06 AM
    #6
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Prepare to spend money. Lots of it.

    Personally, I would buy a depreciated but reliable truck and build it with the cash you're savin' on payments.


    Approximately 4" higher than the stock ride height, which Toyota lists as 70.1 inches for 4x4s here:

    http://www.toyota.com/tacoma/specs.html

    Therefore, using my maths, I have determined the modified ride height to be 74.1 inches.

    - Double edged sword. Autos allow for much easier hill starts, and the auto in the current tacos is fantastic, having an individual gear select for each ratio, giving you the same control as a manual transmission. However, the manual would obviously be much easier to field repair should you really *really* fuck up or be extremely unlucky.

    - A lot of options here. Several fab shops make great bed bars which would allow for mounting rack systems. For exped you'll probably need a roof rack as well.

    - You may wish to wire additional lighting. A CB radio will obviously be useful.

    - How high end do you want? I would recommend splurging here, because if you're going to be in the truck, offroad, for days on end, you're going to want the nicest ride you can get for the sake of your spine. The cost variance here is huge.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    #7
    GuapOh

    GuapOh Well-Known Member

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    Skid Plate, Hood Protector, Wheel Locks, Snugtop XV, Yakima Rack, Weathertechs, Sick Speed Shifter, Avid Bumper, Avid Sliders, Bilstien 5100's, TSB Spring packs
    The DEFINITIVE Site for this is bajataco.com. This dude shows how to do it like nobody else has.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:16 AM
    #8
    98fourbangertaco

    98fourbangertaco Well-Known Member

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    daystar 2.5in suspension lift kit, detroit truetrac in rear, custom transfer case skidplate, deckplate mod, green high-performance drop in filter, Huskyliner floor mats, 31x10.50 wild country radial mtx tires, yakima roof rack, load warrior basket, stubbs welding rock sliders, arb front bumper with warn 9,000lb winch and procomp black series 100w offroad lights, trail-gear rear bumper, borla exhaust, blacked out factory wheels, shovel mounted on roof rack, de-mudflaped
    ^+1 to jandrews, or u could even drop back to first gen ;)
     
  9. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM
    #9
    zerocool120

    zerocool120 [OP] Active Member

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    Older model? Had not really thought about it...I see a 2006 that went quick on this very site...looks similar to what I am looking at...and for only 20k! May be a great option...any thoughts on particular year?
     
  10. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:21 AM
    #10
    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    Borla Catback Exhaust, Airaid Short Ram Intake, 285x75R16 Mickey Thompson MTZs, 16" Konig Countersteer rims, ARB Bumper, All Pro LT w/Walker Evan Shocks front and back, All Pro expedition leaf pack, 10,000lb Superwinch, Intake Manifold Spacer, Bed Rack with ARB RTT, Rotopack and Hi Lift mounted, Husky Liner mats and an air freshener from 1995.
    They're good. Not as good as 07's though. :p
     
    Bern likes this.
  11. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:24 AM
    #11
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Go for a first gen. The smaller size (especially width), better maneuverability, and shorter wheelbase will help you offroad.

    I would aim for a 2001 to 2004 access cab, auto, 4x4 with the 6 cylinder. If possible, find a TRD model with the e-locked rear end. And decent mileage (60 to 80k on the odo). Should be able to get it for mid to high teens if you bargain right.

    Then build that.
     
  12. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:26 AM
    #12
    toyotatacomaTRD

    toyotatacomaTRD Senior Member

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    According to consumer reports all years are good. This is from this years car report.

    Edit: Red is good, Black is bad..

    IMAG0101.jpg
     
  13. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    #13
    hendooman

    hendooman The Stroker Ace

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    I would suggest a 2009 and up off road edition because of the 4 x 4 capabilities with the locker and atrac. You would have a great platform to get started on your build.
     
  14. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    #14
    lembowski

    lembowski Rompin Around

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    If you are going for a 4x4 offroad I would only start with a 09+ because of the atrac.
     
  15. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:31 AM
    #15
    98fourbangertaco

    98fourbangertaco Well-Known Member

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    daystar 2.5in suspension lift kit, detroit truetrac in rear, custom transfer case skidplate, deckplate mod, green high-performance drop in filter, Huskyliner floor mats, 31x10.50 wild country radial mtx tires, yakima roof rack, load warrior basket, stubbs welding rock sliders, arb front bumper with warn 9,000lb winch and procomp black series 100w offroad lights, trail-gear rear bumper, borla exhaust, blacked out factory wheels, shovel mounted on roof rack, de-mudflaped
    agree with jandrews, and if you need four doors go with a 01-04 double cab as they have the same wheelbase as an access cab just with a 4ft bed instead of a 6ft but other than that the first gen tacoma were essentially the same from 95.5 to 04 other than miner interior changes as well as changes in the front end, however the trd model started in 98 and continued on to 04 but if u get a base model rather than a trd just throw u a locker in the rear and u have basically the same truck other that the bilstein shocks which can be added as well
     
  16. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM
    #16
    jackwithcorona

    jackwithcorona Well-Known Member

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    anything access cab 08 and previous has the fold flat (better IMO) back seat with a good cargo area
    i got my used sr5 with 18k miles for 20k. i am pleased with it so far
     
  17. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:38 AM
    #17
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Stop, please, both of you.

    The cost difference between a 2009 TURD edition and 2004 TURD will probably be 10 grand or more. That's enough for 5 locker systems, front and rear.

    Traction control is irrelevant here.
     
  18. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM
    #18
    98fourbangertaco

    98fourbangertaco Well-Known Member

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    ideal setup is front and rear arb and thats what installed and all about $2500 idk just guessin off top of my head, prob be cheaper than that
     
  19. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:42 AM
    #19
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Neighborhood of that, depending on location, yeah.
     
  20. Apr 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM
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    98fourbangertaco

    98fourbangertaco Well-Known Member

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    daystar 2.5in suspension lift kit, detroit truetrac in rear, custom transfer case skidplate, deckplate mod, green high-performance drop in filter, Huskyliner floor mats, 31x10.50 wild country radial mtx tires, yakima roof rack, load warrior basket, stubbs welding rock sliders, arb front bumper with warn 9,000lb winch and procomp black series 100w offroad lights, trail-gear rear bumper, borla exhaust, blacked out factory wheels, shovel mounted on roof rack, de-mudflaped
    yea and its round 1500 if u can do the install yourself
     
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