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New to Tacoma's and I need help on what to buy!

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Tacoma_SR5Pro, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Apr 19, 2015 at 6:58 PM
    #1
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking at getting into purchasing a Tacoma in the future. (Near or far). I was actually a big Tundra fan prior to this, but I realized that it's not as practical as it is for me and for what I need a truck for. Especially with the economy now and all of the sorts. The Tacoma very much suits my needs. I've read on and on about how reliable Tacoma's are (Toyota trucks in general, really) and they have an amazing resale value and the list goes on. There's really no downside to getting a Tacoma. I want to be a Taco owner and join the club!

    Now, my predicament is as follows: I'm leaning towards purchasing a used Tacoma for budgetary purposes. Hoping to see any around $20-25K. Because with a 5 year payment plan, It would equate to around ~$400 more or less, which is something I can hopefully afford pretty soon. I am going to trade in an older civic as well to help with the down payment to make the monthly payments even more less. As far as truck specifications: I just want double cab prerunner and a V6. I don't need GPS, audio package, all that nonsense. I already plan on transferring audio from my old car to this one. I also would like to have a 6 inch lift, fender flares, bull bar, etc. I plan on using the truck for transporting equipment, rather it be mountain bikes, my kayaks, fishing gear, tennis gear if I have to teach a private lesson I can put a whole cart back there, furniture. I won't be doing any towing. Some times I'll go off roading to places I can take my kayak or to the beach. I'd like the lift also just in case it floods in my area; my area is known for flooding when it rains pretty heavily.

    Here is my question: When looking for a Tacoma, should I look for a used one that is just bone stock, 2WD, and a V6. And then do the lift kit upgrades and make any aesthetic changes to it in the future? Or is it best to look for a used Tacoma that already has all of these upgrades? Or is there anything in between, for instance: Instead of bone stock, should I look for a used Tacoma that has a TRD Off Road package or TRD Sport package or Pro package that already has a 3 inch lift kit, better tires, and then in the future, upgrade it to a 6 inch lift in the future and then fender flares, bull bar, better wheels, etc. ?

    I'm very open to any other ideas or recommendations regarding these Tacoma's. I'm also very open to information regarding what's the best year Tacoma; IIRC I heard 2012 is a really good one or also information to what's the best lift kit and tires. I've heard a lot about 4 Wheel Parts for lift kits and stuff. Any other options? Also, the 6" lift kit was just much more of a preference. It's aesthetically better, to me but to each their own. Also, it's also insurance just in case I need to get to places where mud is real deep, or if I decide to drive to Colorado or Canada with a bunch of snow. I did not know 6" lift kits require cutting cross members and that it stresses out CVs. Maybe I would have to resort to a 3". I heard 3" with coil overs are best and I should just get better tires. I am very new to this so any help is much appreciated.

    Edit: After some speculation and help from other Taco owners on other forums, I've been lured to looking into 3" lift kits. It probably is sufficient enough for all of my uses and is much more practical. So now my other questions still stand. Is it best to look for a regular double cab, 2WD, V6 Taco and then doing a lift kit in the future, or should I look into used Taco but one that has the TRD Sport/Pro/Offroad package?

    Thanks for all of your help!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  2. Apr 20, 2015 at 8:30 AM
    #2
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After hearing from some owners in Toyota Nation, it's best I find a used stock Tacoma that's just double cab, 2WD, and V6. There's no point in getting a TRD Sport package because I'm planning on upgrading the suspension/lift and tires anyway. I can just purchase the hood scoop separately as well. As far as my off road driving conditions, those will be minimal. I won't be doing any rock climbing or creeping. The most extreme would be just a tiny steep hill on a forest trail or driving through some puddles or mud due to a flood days prior. I don't think I'll need the differential locker since I won't be going off road driving as often as I would street driving daily, so I shouldn't need a TRD Off Road package. So now I believe I'm set on just searching for a stock Taco. Any comments, questions, recommendations?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  3. Apr 20, 2015 at 11:30 AM
    #3
    DrRabbitFurHead

    DrRabbitFurHead Yeah, there's a TSB for that!

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  4. Apr 20, 2015 at 2:04 PM
    #4
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Haha, sorry! I won't be able to take it off your hands in one whole transaction. Plus, I highly doubt you'd want to drive it all the way down to Texas, let alone ship it. Thanks for the offer though!
     
  5. Apr 20, 2015 at 5:55 PM
    #5
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I tried googling some images of some Tacoma's that I would want mine to look like. Here's a quick example. [​IMG]
    Disregard the fact that this is a TRD Off Road. I'd still want a hood scoop from the TRD Sport. This image was in regards to lift and tires. Even if I had to settle for smaller tires, I wouldn't even mind this Taco right here.
    [​IMG]
    Even if I had to put off on really decent tires and settle for these right here; as long as it still has a lift I can just save up for better tires in the future.
    Tacoma2_89cb62f8e22aa50cc0a50d2a8bb9a82821c9ee84.jpg

    I hope this helps in narrowing down exactly what I should look into.
     
  6. Apr 20, 2015 at 6:21 PM
    #6
    TashcomerTexas

    TashcomerTexas Bwaaahh Stutututu vs Weeeeeeee

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    Sounds like you're looking to buy a Tacoma just for the mods. Really any configuration of Tacoma can look like either of those^
    It's how much $ you want to put into it, what your lifestyle choices are (sorry didn't read the whole original post), off road capabilities?, blah blah blah.

    There's certain types of lifts that dictate how the truck will ride, how it handles roads, dirt roads, how much capacity it can withhold, etc.
    So if we breakdown the cost issue on lifts you'll see that spacer lifts/leveling kits are no no's for off road, they can handle it but really it's just a metal block. Those will be your "easy lifts" then we have suspension lifts which are separated by low cost to the higher end.
    Your low cost lifts would be like bilstein, and old man emu. Then the higher end lifts would be fox, King, icon, ads.

    On to Tacoma configs: you have base models, sr5(interior doohickeys), Trd sport(color matched parts), Trd off road (best stock capable, with rear locker), prerunner(2wd only, rear locker, same suspension as 4wd), and limited.

    Sorry if that's too much info to read at once.
     
  7. Apr 20, 2015 at 6:42 PM
    #7
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just saw your Gen 1 build. It looks nice! Where in Texas are you from? I reside in Texas as well so you would definitely have a feel of what my off road driving conditions would be.

    Thanks for the little spill about the different types of lifts and their functions. As for the truck, it'll be mainly a daily driver. I commute to work so I'll only be going up and down I-45 for 71% of the week. It's instances per say every other month, I go to places like the Trinity River to take my truck down there and go kayaking and fishing. Those kinds of trails are just typical flat forest trails, so I won't be doing any rock climbing or any of the sort. I hear a lot about Toytec 5100 or Pro Comp or Icon Stage II or whatever. I'm still unsure which kit applies to what particular "surface/driving condition". But for a daily street driver with a trip down to the trails every other month, which sort of lift AND tires do you recommend? I think tires wise I'm pretty set on some decent A/T. I would like one that's 285/70/17.

    I'm not solely getting the Tacoma for mods. I plan on using the truck for transporting equipment. Eg: mountain bikes, my kayaks, fishing gear, tennis gear if I have to teach a private lesson I can put a whole cart back there, furniture. Some times I'll go off road driving to places I can take my kayak or to South Beach, Galveston, or Free Port. I'd like the lift also just in case it floods. It floods a TON in Texas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  8. Apr 20, 2015 at 7:55 PM
    #8
    skootx

    skootx Well-Known Member

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    All the lifts you mentioned (Toytec and Icon are the ones I'd recommend) are 3" max. That will get you 285/70R17 with definitely minor trimming and possibly major trimming involved grinding and welding. For your use, I'd say the Toytec 5100 would be fine. I went for Icon S1 for just a bit more but the trails here in CO are pretty challenging. But, those are all 3". I know nothing about 6" lifts but RCD has some fans here.

    I'd guess that top black TRDOR you posted is running 35's at least on a 6" lift, and I'd bet he did a fair bit of trimming.

    For the truck, get a base V6 4X4. You don't need the locker and everything else you're upgrading. The audio in these trucks, even "premium", sucks donkey balls, don't even bother keeping the head unit unless (like me) you want the steering wheel/voice controls/nav. I went to a lot of trouble (read my audio thread in my sig) and only have mediocre sound quality.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2015 at 6:43 AM
    #9
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, I'll definitely check out the Toytec 5100. Damn, I didn't know that those size tires would still require trimming. Do you know off the top of your head, the largest size tire that would fit with the Toytec 5100's without having it trimmed? I wish I could do a 6", but I think it might be a bit overkill. Plus, it'll increase the cost ten fold since there has to be some intensive alterations to the vehicle, and it'll be hard to get back to stock if that were ever the case in the future.

    I know Toyota isn't really that good with audio lol. I have no use for their "Entune" features in their TRD packages. It's a lot of unnecessary crap I don't need. I always have aftermarket parts. I saw your sig. It's a nice setup! Rockford Fosgate's aren't bad. Do you like your 5 channel? I've never used one; I always have a separate amplifier for my front stage and my rear stage. My front stage I'm running ARC KS300.2 which is really underrated, and those are powering some Hertz HSK165. It plays really nice and loud. Then I just have a 1000 watt mono block amplifier for my subwoofers. I plan on switching these out and putting into the truck. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  10. Apr 21, 2015 at 7:40 AM
    #10
    skootx

    skootx Well-Known Member

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    Every truck is different. Some guys can fit 285/75R16 with no trimming, others need to trim. The more articulation you need for off-roading, the more trimming might be needed.

    I'm happy with the audio, but the signal from the HU is such absolute garbage that I'd want to get a bitTEN before spending any more. The RF 5-channel is decent, plenty of power for my needs.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2015 at 9:56 AM
    #11
    clownbear69

    clownbear69 Active Member

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    I don't know if I understand your logic (an no im not trying to be mean although it will sound like I am)

    Why are you justifying getting a Tacoma for increased MPG over the tundra if you wanted it lifted with big tires on it? That just defeats the purpose.
     
  12. Apr 21, 2015 at 10:16 AM
    #12
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No worries! I didn't see it as offensive or anything.

    It's still a significant increase over MPG. If I were to get a fully loaded Tundra, V8, 4WD, and Modified, I would be looking at around $45-50K and only getting maybe on average 10-12 MPG. A Tundra is also too big for my needs. I can easily fit what I would need to find in the SB of a Tacoma.

    If I opted for a fully loaded Tacoma, V6, Prerunner, and Modified, I would be looking at around $25-30K and getting around on average 18-20 MPG.

    Tacoma is a good size for me. Not too big, not too small. I mean, are my numbers not accurate? Even if they are off by a couple thousand, like $30K vs $40K, that's still a huge difference.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  13. Apr 21, 2015 at 10:24 AM
    #13
    clownbear69

    clownbear69 Active Member

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    I wouldn't throw the tundra under the bus. Can get a used one for a good price and save even a boat load.

    Will say There is days I miss my tundra the biggest one is hauling a car.
     
  14. Apr 21, 2015 at 10:35 AM
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    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well another thing that turned me off from Tundra's, is that I actually test drove my friends a couple weeks ago, and I just didn't like it. I loved how roomy it was but I just didn't like the way it drove. I don't mean to sound like a "wuss" or anything. It really was just too big for my needs and preferences. I won't be doing any towing at all so I won't have to worry about that. I sat inside a Tacoma and it just felt right. I don't want to be those huge Tundra Lift Kit Posers or huge F-250 Lift Kit Posers with 40 inch tires and a 9" lift. I just want a simple Tacoma with a 3" lift, some 33" tires (hopefully it won't need trimming) that'll get me through the day. (Though I have always dreamed of having the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Those are some beautiful well built machines). Like I said, it's overkill for my needs and will have burned an abyssal hole in my tiny wallet. :laugh:

    Even if it was cheaper, after modifying the suspension and tires, it'll still be a significant difference in MPG compared to a Tacoma.

    2nd Gen Tacoma's are double DIN correct?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  15. Apr 21, 2015 at 10:48 AM
    #15
    stump jumper

    stump jumper Well-Known Member

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    I would buy the base model and mod it but stay away from the 6" lift. 3" on IFS is about it without causing serious problems. I do not understand the need for a fake hood. I think the money would be better spent elsewhere. For me fake hood scoops almost rank up there with fake stick on fender vents.
     
  16. Apr 21, 2015 at 11:06 AM
    #16
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You're probably right... I could save the money; possibly save $400 for the peuso hood scoop and add that budget into a good set of tires! Come to think of it, if I'm already on a budget, hood scoop isn't priority. Maybe I can find a base model 2012 or 2014 with just 2WD and V6 for low $20K with less than 30K miles?

    When you say just add a 3" lift to the IFS, you wouldn't put anything in the rear suspension then? Please clarify. I'm not too sure what this entails.

    I was looking into Toytec 5100 but I've read up on the Toytec forum page on TW and there's been complaints of a ton of oil leaks :\
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  17. Apr 24, 2015 at 10:23 AM
    #17
    Tacoma_SR5Pro

    Tacoma_SR5Pro [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've looked up some prices and I can find some 2015 Taco's bone stock:convenience package, V6 Prerunner for $25K, which is looking pretty good. Now that I'm set on 2WD I just have a couple questions on lifts.

    Since it's a Prerunner. Should I still get the 3" Billy 5100 + 0.85" eibach, or should I go 4" Camburg/MaxTrac Spindle Lift?

    I also saw online that the Camburg Spindle Lift only works from 05'-13', so this probably won't be an option? http://camburg.com/all-products/05-12-taco/toyota-tacoma-performance-spindle-kit/

    IIRC I heard if you go any higher than 3" you have to start doing some permanent cutting and chopping (this was when I was inquiring about a 4WD truck). What I'm not sure of, if this rule also applies for 2WD trucks?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  18. Jun 17, 2015 at 2:50 PM
    #18
    TTgunz

    TTgunz Member

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    Check me out, i wasnin the same boat...i need 2 toyotas...and landednon these
     

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