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Ole Red - 1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 2.7L 3RZ-FE 4x4 SR5 All Manual Build

Discussion in '1st Gen. Builds (1995-2004)' started by clickws, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Dec 28, 2015 at 2:55 PM
    #1
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    324
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    South Carolina
    Vehicle:
    1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 4x4 2.7L 5-Speed All Manual
    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
    1999 Toyota Tacoma
    SR5 Xtra Cab 4x4
    2.7L 3RZ-FE engine
    all manual (everything)


    I have started this thread with a stock truck and am looking for any help and advice to be sure I avoid too much wasted time or money.I hope to get advice from those who have had first hand experience and to hopefully be a resource for those just getting started like I am. Please lend your "what I should have done" or "what I wish I had done" thoughts or advice. Looking forward to seeing where this thing goes.

    The sequence:

    1) I have been convinced to take care of any and all potential engine or mechanical issues the truck may have. I cured the leaking manifold, dead catalytic converter, and slight oil leak at the valve cover gasket. I also got rid of the piss yellow headlights and cracked/ water filled corner lights. (lceperformance.com, advanced autoparts, ebay.com)

    2) Suspension Upgrade - Full OME kit all around (881 Coils, Dakar Leafs, Nitro Charger Shocks, Greasable Shackles & Bushings, All Pro Axle Relocation Bracket, new oem strut top plates, new oem lower ball joints, all new oem mounting hardware (southeastoverland.com, Allpro.com, trdparts4u.com)

    3) New UPC Light Racing UCA's & alignment done (southeastoverland.com, Acutech (G'ville, SC))

    4) Got a second Tacoma for parts, Camper Shell and Yakima Racks (came with Tacoma #2 purchase) - SOLD TO FAMILY MEMBER

    5) New Tires - BFG KM2 32x11.5 (craigslist find), SpiderTrax 1.5" Wheel Spacers (spidertrax.com)

    6) 3rd Gen 4 Runner Bucket Seats - Did Not Fit!! (Craigslist) - SOLD THEM

    7) Trouble Shooting a misfire on cylinder #1. Valve clearance issue. In progress of changing out the shims - FIXED IT; MISFIRE GONE AND RUNNING GOOD AGAIN. FYI, CHECK YOUR VALVE CLEARANCES!!

    8) P0402 came up on CEL... fix pending. EGR too much flow.



    LIST OF CURRENT MODS/ UPGRADES/ MAINTENANCE ITEMS:

    ENGINE:

    New Valve Cover Gasket (Felpro)
    New Spark Plug Tube Gaskets (Felpro)
    New PCV Valve and Grommet (Toyota - via Amazon)
    New Valve cover Paint job (Red 800 F Brake Caliper Paint)
    New EGR gaskets (Felpro)
    New LCE Exhaust Header (LC Engineering)
    New Magnaflow catalytic converter (through LC Engineering)
    New Denso Oxygen sensors (Denso - via Amazon)
    New LCE full cat back exhaust system w/ Magnaflow muffler included (LC Engineering)
    Removed K&N Filter and went back to the OEM filter
    New Valve Shims to Get Proper Clearance Back
    New Gas Tank Cap

    SUSPENSION:

    Old Man Emu (ARB):
    -881 Coils
    -Front Driver Trim Packer
    -Front NitroCharger Shocks
    -Dakar Leafs
    -Rear NitroCharger Shocks
    -Rear Greasable Shackles/ Bushings

    UPC-Light Racing UCA's

    OEM:
    -New Hardware For All Installations
    -Lower ball joints (not installed yet)
    -Tie-rod ends (not installed yet)
    -Front coil spring top plate

    WHEELS/TIRES:

    Old Setup - Eagle Alloy Wheels with Wild Country 31"x 10.5"

    Old Setup - Black Steelies; BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain 32X11.50R15
    SpiderTrax 1.5" Spacers

    Current Setup - OEM Toyota Steel; BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain 32x11.50R15 w/ spidertrax 1.5” spacers


    LIGHTING:

    New Headlights, Parking Lights, and Tail Lights (Ebay bundle)
    Hella Fog Lights (not installed yet)

    MISC.:

    Leer camper shell
    Yakima Q-Clip Towers & Rain gutter towers

    Maintenance:
    195K miles: Spark Plugs, Wires, Belts - first time since owning at 97K miles
    198K miles: First Clutch Work, Transmission Oils Changed
    205,100 miles: New exhaust system, catalytic converter, and O2 sensors
    205,250 miles: seafoam added to 93 octane and seafoam added to oil at fill up
    206,868 miles: oil change
    207,842 miles: mount/ balance new 32x11.50R15 BFG KM2 Tires, Alignment of new suspension/ tires
    212,xxx - oil change (conventional mobil)
    217,xxx - synthetic oil change (mobil 1)
    217,xxx - return to conventional oil (Toyota Dealer bulk Mobil)
    217,xxx - greased drive shafts and ome rear shackles (valvoline synpower, full synthetic with moly)
    217,xxx - check engine light - misfire cylinder #1; checked valve clearances and all exhaust were out of spec; cylinder #1 had '0' clearance; changing out shims
    -Replaced coolant
    218,xxx - oil change (Valvoline Long Life Synthetic 5W-30)

    Current MPG:
    3/10/16: 17.8 highway/back roads
    3/18/16: 18.2 highway/back roads
    8/9/16: 18.5 back roads


    BEFORE:
    1. IMG_0246.jpg


    This was my first vehicle that I got just before I turned 16 in 2005. I've maintained it well and hope to make good, clean upgrades to not devalue the truck but rather bring value and appeal to Ole' Red. I abused it some while a dumb teenager but it has taken me through school and is still running like a champ.

    LATEST:
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    4E68B0AF-2516-42D3-A0F1-4B743599CE80.jpg 507E0B54-7B2D-4E3A-BB5B-37B781D5CC7E.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    Boatbldr likes this.
  2. Dec 28, 2015 at 4:44 PM
    #2
    98tacoma3rz

    98tacoma3rz Well-Known Member

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    Id ditch those rims first...lol how many miles are on it?

    Is this your daily driver? I'd start by making sure all the mechanicals are in order. Belts, hoses, tune up, transmission etc. Those are the most important. Especially if it's a DD.

    After that's in order I would do suspension and tires then rock sliders to protect rocker panels. As far as which type of lift? Depends on what you want to spend. I'd stay away from spacers or blocks. My personal preference is old man emu. Great lift for the money. Also depends on how big of tires you want.
     
  3. Dec 28, 2015 at 4:46 PM
    #3
    98tacoma3rz

    98tacoma3rz Well-Known Member

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    I basically have the same truck but in a regular cab. How's the frame by the way?
     
  4. Dec 28, 2015 at 7:07 PM
    #4
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 4x4 2.7L 5-Speed All Manual
    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
    Thanks for the response thus far, 98tacoma3rz.

    This is not my every single day driver but I do drive it to work usually once a week. It used to be my daily driver up until about a year and a half ago. I also use it on the weekends for wheeling and runs to the hardware, feed & Seed, Home Depot, etc... It has 205K miles, I bought it used with 97K miles on it in 2005 . All maintenance is up to speed and is running well. Replaced the clutch, plugs, wires, belts, and changed trans fluids. The frame is in good shape as far as I know. It was in a fender bender before I got it but it was aesthetic and was repaired before I bought it. However, now that I think about it, it does have a small crack in the exhaust header that patters when I cold crank it but dissipates after it warms up. Maybe where I should start?

    I want to stay very very far away from spacers and blocks. I figure it a waste of time. I have the money and intention to spend good money for a good system that will hold up to the longevity of a Toyota. I have definitely heard good things about the Old Man Emu - could you forward a link to the specific one you have in mind? Is there only one they offer? I am also very intrigued by long travel systems (Total Chaos).

    As far as the wheels and tires go... Yes, I know I need to dump those old Eagles. What wheel types or brands do you recommend? As you know, the 4-cylinder can be a little weak with larger wheels/ tires. With that said I would want something simple and LIGHT and what tires have you found to be best for the 4-cylinder? I dont see any need to go larger than 33". I seem to like taller narrower syles more so than the wider (mud tire) look. I want to still be able to fit down narrower trails.

    Finally, the rock sliders you mentioned, what types are best?
     
  5. Dec 29, 2015 at 2:31 AM
    #5
    98tacoma3rz

    98tacoma3rz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah the cracked exhaust manifold is common on these engines. Most people replace with a header. Just don't get pacesetter.

    For the rear I recommend Old Man Emu Dakars. The front has so many options. If you plan to put a heavy duty bumper or winch you want heavy duty coils. Coilovers are really nice for the adjustment but are $$. There are countless threads on here for which type of front lift. King, Icon, swayaway, toytec, allpro...all great coilovers. OME does not have a coil over for the 1st gen Tacoma (at least I'm unaware) but their strut/springs are awesome. Like I said they come in different spring rates depending on the weight up front.

    I was just messing with you about your wheels. Use what you got. 16" wheels would be nice because then you can do the Tundra brake upgrade. When you add heavy duty bumpers, wheels, armor etc these tacomas get harder to stop. You could try to look for some 16" alloy oem Tacoma wheels. I have 32x11.5 tires on my Tacoma. I recently regeared though because of all the extra weight and lift etc. Do you know what gears your truck has? If you have 4.10 you will be good for a while. I would probably regear last...unless you have highway gears. There's a code on your door.

    Again, for the rock sliders there are a lot of different manufacturers. There are weld on and bolt on. I, personally have 4xinnovations and love them. You want some DOM sliders. they're strong.
    It's a long process. Don't try to get everything done at once. My personal preference is to make sure vehicle is mechanically good, suspension lift, tires, then front bumper and winch. If you're 4 wheeling without another vehicle and you get stuck you're screwed. Winch is invaluable.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2015 at 3:02 AM
    #6
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Retire from work, but not from life.

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    You're asking for a pretty pricey mixed bag here IMHO. Maybe leave off the 'jumping'? I mean seriously, that does change everything regarding suspension choices.

    I love the fact that you are trying to plan ahead, evaluate, and make good choices. So many folks we see rush in, install stuff, then say 'did I do good?'

    I do have another question for you to consider.

    What does the truck NOT do now that you would like it to? For example.........

    Everyone seems to rush to a lift. Often it's to look cool. Sometimes it's to clear big tires. Sometimes it's both, and yet the vehicle is only off road when it's parked in the yard for washing or in a park campground, and stock would have been just fine. (not being critical of them, it's just a common example of form over function)

    Seems like you are on a more functional track. So the question for this particular topic would be something like 'so for where you do drive, or want to drive regularly, what is it that creates problems for you?'

    Functional users tend to focus on the 80-90% of how the vehicle is actually used. Every choice made is a compromise of some other feature.

    Looking forward to watching your choices............

    PS, I'd also be making sure the frame is A-OK before proceeding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  7. Dec 29, 2015 at 6:43 AM
    #7
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 4x4 2.7L 5-Speed All Manual
    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
    ---Thanks again for the feedback!

    Seems like were moving in the direction of fixing the cracked manifold. I would agree that the mechanics must be completely in order before moving forward with other items. What brands would you recommend? I found one

    I really want to keep this truck light as possible because of the 4-cylinder. I think it will help me put off changing the gear ratios for a while by keeping it light and more nimble. I do plan to do a winch, its inevitable. I want a durable and simple bumper. I don't think I want anything too bulky/ heavy. Once again, I am in the game to do it right the first time and I can be patient enough to save up for the right things. It's the opportunity to "do it how I should have done it". With that said, please let me know what you think is the best suspension option is (Coil Overs, LT, etc..) I don't ever plan to sell this truck so I can justify making the investment in quality products that will only enhance the experience of owning this Toyota and getting the best use out of it.

    I am pretty sure I have 4:10 but I will check later and let you know. Are their brands of wheels that are known to be a good, light option for the Tacoma? I am sure there are threads on this but if you have something in mind, let me know. As far as tires go, I think the 32x11.5 would be as big as I would want to go. What kind do you have?

    The 4xinnovations are nice and seem reasonably priced. I have rubbed the rocker panels on soft dirt. I could only imagine the damage on rocks... These look to be a worthwhile buy for sure. Simple, clean. I like. I really appreciate the fact that they have good pictures on their website.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2015 at 8:01 AM
    #8
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 4x4 2.7L 5-Speed All Manual
    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15

    Appreciate you joining in the convo Clearwater Bill!

    You have posed some great questions and some formidable insight. In response, I believe that I would do much more with the truck (offroading) if it were capable of more. I am simply limited because it is stock. My objective is to have an all round fun and durable machine. I am very functionally driven. If it doesn't have a purpose, I don't need it. Aesthetics without purpose can come way later.

    Right now, the "obstacles" are a bit compounded with a stock truck. That's why I am consulting other Tacoma pros to help delineate the best direction. Further, it helps to know what people have used and have loved and why they loved it. And if something is a bad idea, someone can talk me out of it. It helps put it into perspective so I can make educated decisions based on real experience, not just advertisement. There aren't as many 4-cylinder, Xtra Cab, SR5's out there that have had good, clean mods. Thankfully there are some regular cab mods that have turned out well.

    From my original post, I still certainly would like to be able to get 4 tires off the ground and land comfortably. I DO NOT plan to launch the truck 5'-10' in the air, I just want to feel comfortable flying down fire roads and can hit pot holes and not tear anything up. If I come to a drop over the top of a hill, I will surely be a couple feet in the air but can land and easily have control. From there I want to be able to utilize the same set up to be able to climb hills and rocks with reasonable articulation and traction. The lift and tires in general should accomplish the creek crossing, trail riding, and occasional mud hole to cross. Finally, it will still be used to haul firewood out of the forest, throw bicycles or camping gear in the back, and/or pull a small trailer w/ a lawn mower, ATV, or Kayaks. Hopefully this gives a little more perspective. I understand this would be a pricier project but like I said, I am willing to be patient for the best option. The truck isn't going anywhere. Ha!
     
  9. Dec 30, 2015 at 1:55 PM
    #9
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    1999 Toyota Tacoma Xtra Cab 4x4 2.7L 5-Speed All Manual
    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
  10. Dec 30, 2015 at 5:56 PM
    #10
    ElTacoma

    ElTacoma Well-Known Member

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    2011 tacoma wheels, spidertrax 1.5" lug-centric spacers, magnaflow exhaust, magnaflow cat
    i was wanting the same thing when i did my bumper: check out my build thread

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/custom-tube-bumper-build-1999-tacoma.343555/

    Also, i can tell you that these machines perform amazingly well with about 2.5-3" of lift and 31" tires. Like the fellow above mentioned, what do you want the truck to do that it cant now?

    I bought 2012 tacoma wheels and had them powdercoated. Wasnt super cheap but I think they look good. They needed wheel spacers, i used spidertrax and didnt have a problem :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  11. Dec 31, 2015 at 7:34 AM
    #11
    Lightmantrucker

    Lightmantrucker Member

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    Looking forward to seeing what you do. I second the Tundra brakes upgrade, and also suspension. Braking and suspension are a huge aspect of performance. I plan to upgrade in the future. Good luck with your build:thumbsup: Also if you do some jumping post a video haha
    :bikewhoops:
     
  12. Dec 31, 2015 at 11:59 AM
    #12
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
    I like the bumper. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of creating my own. I hope to find something simple to bolt/ weld on. Any suggestions?

    As I explained, the truck is fine for simple/moderate wheeling but I am more inclined to tackle more difficult situations such as climbing rocks, steeper hills, flying down rough trails and fire roads and having the tires come off the ground occasionally. The truck's limitations are obvious.

    With all that said, I am looking for the best aftermarket parts specific to my truck that will allow me to do these things. Many people on TW obviously have a lot of experience using and having friends who have used certain brands and certain systems that perform better than others. Just hoping that folks will chime in to help me set up for long term success and not a bunch of trial and error. As they say, Its better to learn from other people's experience and in some cases, bad choices. But, in the end, I will have my own trials and tribulations in the details and I can then get in the nitty gritty, post, and request more help. Multiple heads are better than one.

    Yea I'm surfing craigslist and the web for other wheels. Let me know if you have good websites to check out or brands to look into. Again, light and simple. Only alloys. Cousin had steel wheels and had a small dent that caused air leakage constantly...
     
  13. Dec 31, 2015 at 3:13 PM
    #13
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 Well-Known Member

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  14. Jan 4, 2016 at 7:09 AM
    #14
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15
    Well... I guess I didn't knock on wood when I said everything was mechanically sound.. the check engine light came on for the 2nd time in 205K miles. The first one was at about 195K when the belts finally wore out. The belts lasted 100K miles at least.. I had never changed them since I bought it with 97K miles on it in 2005.

    Any suggestions as to what this check engine light could be? Engine is running good. No skips or weird noises. I am thinking Oxygen (O2) sensor or maybe some other sensor that is going out and needs to be replaced. Maybe something with the exhaust systems? Know anywhere I could start? What are the usual suspects on this engine?

    Finally, what diagnostics gadget works best for the 2.7L 3RZ-FE engine on this Tacoma? The local mechanic charges a premium for a diagnostics check. I would rather start doing my own.
     
  15. Jan 4, 2016 at 11:01 AM
    #15
    yota04

    yota04 Well-Known Member

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    Leveling kit, all the plastic, UWS tool box! Don't plan to lift want it to be able to drive daily and work the woods as well!!
    Usually auto parts stores will check them for free!! Then come back and we can help you!
     
  16. Jan 4, 2016 at 11:07 AM
    #16
    DustStorm4x4

    DustStorm4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Unless you're in California, auto zone does it for free. If it's a P0420 code (O2 sensor or Cat Converter), then my mind is going to explode. I've seen these codes at least 5 different times on other peoples trucks, including mine, this past week.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2016 at 11:27 AM
    #17
    LocknLoad

    LocknLoad Well-Known Member

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    ScanGauge II as reasonable cost and can provide quite a bit of information, water temp, oil temp, pressure, HP, MPG, codes, reset codes, etc. I found mine on FleaBay cheap.
     
    FirstGen Jer likes this.
  18. Jan 4, 2016 at 11:28 AM
    #18
    frizzman

    frizzman Well-Known Member

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    many people have used the manifold from the 01+ 2.7 with great results. could probably find one at a pick-a-part or junkyard, or get a new one.

    you may want to research tires and their weights compared to what you have. each manufacturer is different. I myself went with the Cooper S/T Maxx in a 255/75-17 (31.77" and only 10.1" wide) C rated LT but 53lbs each.

    cruise the Buy/Sell/Trade section on these forums and there are lots of rims for sale. stick with 16" to cut weight. skinny 33" would be 255/85-16 and are available in plenty of styles.

    The OME lift is sort of customized if you want to get each part, or you can get the "kits" that have everything. and example would be http://wheelersoffroad.com/product/...ension-system-with-nitrocharger-sport-shocks/

    can also review other items and decide after talking with a vendor http://wheelersoffroad.com/product-category/toyota/tacoma/1995-5-2004-tacoma-4x4-and-prerunner/

    Since you are in no rush (best scenario) get it back to optimal running and then read up on the 1st Gen section to see what others have done to their rides and see the choices made.
     
  19. Jan 4, 2016 at 12:40 PM
    #19
    clickws

    clickws [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Aftermarket Eagle Alloy Wheels and Wild Country 31.5x10.5x15

    Thanks for the response folks..

    Hypothetically speaking, if it is the O2 sensor and or catalytic converter, would it be worth while to go ahead and overhaul the entire exhaust system? I've got the cracked cast iron manifold and if the catalytic converter is gone, then I might as well replace it all with something worthwhile... Also, I live in South Carolina. No emissions tests (knock on wood this time) so I guess the sky is the limit. With a suspension system in the future, I would have to cut back the stock pipe anyways. I've seen a handful of set ups, what would you recommend? I would like to keep some kind of muffler to be able to putt through the woods without scaring all animals away while also gaining some performance.
     
  20. Jan 4, 2016 at 1:14 PM
    #20
    yota04

    yota04 Well-Known Member

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    Leveling kit, all the plastic, UWS tool box! Don't plan to lift want it to be able to drive daily and work the woods as well!!
    It's always easier to spend someone else's money so yes replace it all....:D but if it was me replace what needs to be fixed!
     

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