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

PROJECT ADVISE REQUESTED: Camper Build Plan

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by kueyar, Feb 9, 2022.

  1. Feb 9, 2022 at 7:52 AM
    #1
    kueyar

    kueyar [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2020
    Member:
    #317957
    Messages:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Peter
    Vehicle:
    1999 Tacoma PreRunner RWD
    PLASTIDIPPED MA RIMS
    Hi guys! Been doing some research for Tacoma project and wanted plan feedback/thoughts from the subject-matter experts!

    Goal is to make a good balance between road and offroad while minimizing cost.
    Eventually will buy a Sprinter 4x4, old G-wagon that my neighbor doesn’t use, or Transit AWD Ecoboost. The Tacoma will then be used for edge-case trips or for larger party road trips since my friends don't have high-clearance vehicles. But for now, want to get this Tacoma running around the states!



    Two high-level concepts:

    1st iteration: quick-build, vehicle systems maintenance for camping (no rock crawling - more of a hiker/biker)

    2nd iteration: ultra-lightweight Maltec-inspired camper



    Truck base Details:
      • 1999 Tacoma prerunner 2WD 3.4L V6
      • 162k miles
      • stock everything
        • except for aftermarket water pump, timing belt, temp sensor added, aftermarket budget shocks

    Goals:
    - minimal risk of failure/maintenance issues
    - Low cost
      • Constant final payload of 700 to 800 pounds for Second iteration (still analyzing how light I can make it).
        • Read owner manual so I understand the vehicle specs and warnings + understand weak frames on tacoma
      • maintain stock ride height (won’t be rock crawling)

    Tentative Plan:
    - Replace all worn-out components
      • Front suspension
        • New factory UBJ, LBJ, bolts, washers, and bushings, 2x cotter pins
        • New suspension
        • New OEM steering bushing
      • Rear suspension
        • new leaf pack (custom from Beaver or Dakarr; not decided yet)
        • new factory dampeners
        • checking drum brakes.
          • Q: what should I check?
      • brakes
        • OEM tacoma
          • from road trips found driveline vibration. Vibration seems to get worse with more cumulative time braking - felt worst while driving through Tioga pass.
          • Decided to not do Tundra brake upgrade. I trust the 1st gen Toyota engineering team on this one.
          • rear brakes check + axle seals + diff breather
      • Tires
        • Cooper AT3 or Wildpeaks or Cooper ST Maxx
      • hoses
        • factory
      • trans/motor mount
        • Considering DIY 4 x 4 conversion for future
        • Q: should I wait until then? I'm thinking about it.
      • new battery (same battery since 2005 LOL)
      • Big 3 upgrade
      • spark plugs
        • clean up threads
          • were gunky last time. How should I clean?
    Stand alone Questions:
    1. Cheapest place to get factory tacoma parts? Do I just need to shop around?
    2. Is the vibration while braking due to the brakes or LBJ (can’t check LBJ since my sister has my truck)
    3. Any supply chain issues with getting Tacoma parts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2022
  2. Feb 9, 2022 at 1:03 PM
    #2
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2021
    Member:
    #359086
    Messages:
    3,574
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andy
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    01 Double Cab v6 4x4 TRD
    F: Kings SPC, R: 5100s+J59s. Custom armor.
    Do you write business plans or requirement documents for a living?

    Front Suspension:
    - OEM LBJ, UBJ, and upper and lower bushings.
    - Bilstein 4600 or 5100 (set to 0 lift). The trd trucks came with Bilstein shocks, the 4600 are slightly larger than what came with the truck, but that's a good thing.
    - Steering Rack bushings.

    Rear Suspension:
    - Not sure Deaver or the Dakarr come in 0 lift applications. I think Deaver will make whatever you want though- just might be a custom order.
    - Bilstein 4600 for 0 lift, 5100 for lift.

    Rear Brakes:
    - There are inspection plugs on the backing plates which you can remove to measure the remaining shoe.
    - If you decide to do anything with the rear brakes, also consider replacing axle seals and diff breather.

    Front Brakes:
    - Good quality rotors (not napa/autozone specials)
    - Akebono ACT436 pads.
    - Complete Fluid flush.
    - Reconsider tundra brake upgrade, if you're planning on adding bed weight as a constant, you'll be happier with the tundra setup.

    Standalone Answers:
    1. Find your part numbers using parts.toyota.com using your trucks vin number, then shop around online at the dealer and wholesale sites to find the best deal.
    2. Vibration during braking is almost always warped rotors.
    3. None that I am aware of, but there are discontinued parts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
    0xDEADBEEF and zjdietz like this.
  3. Feb 9, 2022 at 1:22 PM
    #3
    El Taco Diablo

    El Taco Diablo Professional Pinstriper

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Member:
    #235223
    Messages:
    13,518
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt - KN6DZP
    Hughson, CA
    Vehicle:
    Impulse Red DC, 5vz-fe, 4wd swap, LT, dual case, F/R locked
    Just 3 tons of fun!!!
    I wouldn't replace ANY of the suspension (coils, leafs, shocks) with factory. It's all junk.

    If you are going to have a consistent load of 700 - 800 pounds, I would highly suggest a set of Deaver or Alcan leaf springs.
    As for shocks, judging by what you are describing, I would suggest either Bilstein 5100s or Old Man Emu shocks all the way around.

    I also wouldn't trust the Toyota engineers on the Tacoma front brakes. They shit the bed on them. Tundra brakes is a better way to go. I used to warp my Tacoma rotors almost as often as I had to replace the pads... I'm 4 years in on the Tundra rotors now, and the truck is also a lot heavier than it used to be.

    Rear brakes... you're pulling the drum off and checking to see if there is still pad left on the shoe.

    Vibration while braking is due to your brakes. Not anything else... it's most likely those Tacoma rotors warping :thumbsup:

    AT3 and Wildpeaks are good tires. I would also consider Cooper ST Maxx though.

    You don't clean these spark plugs. You replace them. With NGK dual electrode spark plugs.


    Cheapest/best place to buy Toyota parts is McGeorge Toyota. (You can order online) Best place to find parts number is Toyotsapartsdeal.com (McGeorge is typically cheaper than them though)
     
    treyus30 likes this.
  4. Feb 9, 2022 at 2:01 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    17,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    El Dorado, CA (NOT El Dorado Hills)
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Ok, first thing, if your long term plan is to buy a sprinter or other van camper, why "build" the Tacoma into one? Unless you're like 10 years away from the van, I kinda see building the Taco as a waste of money and time.

    I don't know about the factory suspension parts being junk, but they're quite expensive for what they are, and there are better aftermarket options. General Spring, Moog, Bilstein, etc... are all perfectly acceptable aftermarket replacements.

    I'm not familiar with the "malted" build, but if you're looking to go cheap and lightweight (and also temporary), I see no real reason to do much of a "build". Toss a ground tent and a couple sleeping bags in the bed. You can do some things like get a fridge if that's your plan for the van, and just strap it in the bed. If you've ever been car camping, just pack all that stuff in a couple rubber maid boxes in the bed and take off for the weekend.
     
  5. Feb 9, 2022 at 2:19 PM
    #5
    YotaGangYotaGang

    YotaGangYotaGang PreRunners are wannabe 4x4’s

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2021
    Member:
    #369702
    Messages:
    2,307
    Gender:
    Male
    Covina
    Vehicle:
    95, 97, 01 Tacoma | 06 Tundra | 07 FJ Cruiser | 08 Prius
    A rtt i never use and 30 light bars
    Change the balljoints and do a check on wverything if you hvent logged it. I wouldnt do anything more than dirt roads with a prerunner. Heres my setup, 4x4 reg cab auto

    D430F9DB-4FBE-4619-AF10-5A51B40D5C06.jpg
    AAFF8F36-FE44-4137-95FE-43431C2C831C.jpg
     
    Toyko Joe and b8hickman like this.
  6. Feb 9, 2022 at 2:20 PM
    #6
    YotaGangYotaGang

    YotaGangYotaGang PreRunners are wannabe 4x4’s

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2021
    Member:
    #369702
    Messages:
    2,307
    Gender:
    Male
    Covina
    Vehicle:
    95, 97, 01 Tacoma | 06 Tundra | 07 FJ Cruiser | 08 Prius
    A rtt i never use and 30 light bars
    :boink:
     
  7. Feb 9, 2022 at 3:00 PM
    #7
    El Taco Diablo

    El Taco Diablo Professional Pinstriper

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Member:
    #235223
    Messages:
    13,518
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt - KN6DZP
    Hughson, CA
    Vehicle:
    Impulse Red DC, 5vz-fe, 4wd swap, LT, dual case, F/R locked
    Just 3 tons of fun!!!

    Compared to the cheaper, better, aftermarket options... they are... in one word... junk.
     
  8. Feb 9, 2022 at 3:03 PM
    #8
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    17,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    El Dorado, CA (NOT El Dorado Hills)
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Amazon ball joints are junk.

    OEM components are just... expensive.
     
    Andy01DblCabTacoma likes this.
  9. Feb 9, 2022 at 3:09 PM
    #9
    El Taco Diablo

    El Taco Diablo Professional Pinstriper

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Member:
    #235223
    Messages:
    13,518
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt - KN6DZP
    Hughson, CA
    Vehicle:
    Impulse Red DC, 5vz-fe, 4wd swap, LT, dual case, F/R locked
    Just 3 tons of fun!!!

    The OEM shocks, coils and leafs are expensive junk. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Feb 9, 2022 at 3:23 PM
    #10
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Trash Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Member:
    #285037
    Messages:
    19,121
    Vehicle:
    2000 reg cab 4x4 flatbed MT
    I think you’ve got a good plan. Fix the old broken worn out stuff and go have fun, and keep it light. It doesn’t take much to get out there, especially if your focus is more hiking/biking.
     
  11. Feb 9, 2022 at 3:51 PM
    #11
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    17,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    El Dorado, CA (NOT El Dorado Hills)
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    @Kwikvette will tell you that prerunners are more than capable off road. They're more capable than your average novice off-roader for sure.

    As with anything, it's more about the driver, not the equipment.
     
    Kwikvette likes this.
  12. Feb 9, 2022 at 4:01 PM
    #12
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Chief Executive Officer at Kwik Fab

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Member:
    #284735
    Messages:
    72,047
    Gender:
    Male
    Fresno County
    Stock
    Plenty capable.

    Have run many 4x4 trails with members on here with my Prerunner.

    You learn quickly what lines are the smarter choice, value on-board air and a means of deflating, appreciate quality all-terrain tires, and most of all gain experience along the way.

    A 4x4 Tacoma will make you feel like you're cheating once you've driven a Prerunner for awhile.
     
    treyus30 and otis24 like this.
  13. Feb 9, 2022 at 6:47 PM
    #13
    YotaGangYotaGang

    YotaGangYotaGang PreRunners are wannabe 4x4’s

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2021
    Member:
    #369702
    Messages:
    2,307
    Gender:
    Male
    Covina
    Vehicle:
    95, 97, 01 Tacoma | 06 Tundra | 07 FJ Cruiser | 08 Prius
    A rtt i never use and 30 light bars
    idk about that chief lol i rather have a 4x4 than just a prerunner, to each ther own i guess lol
     
  14. Feb 10, 2022 at 7:29 AM
    #14
    kueyar

    kueyar [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2020
    Member:
    #317957
    Messages:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Peter
    Vehicle:
    1999 Tacoma PreRunner RWD
    PLASTIDIPPED MA RIMS
    Thanks all for your feedback. Was going to respond yesterday but broke my fast incorrectly last night and felt like shit (as a side note: check out Hubermanlab and David Sinclair's podcast on the crazy longevity research and health data related to fasting).

    TBH I didn't want a lift but seems like the aftermarket EMU/Bilstein are the best option. I'll most likely go with EMU 881 + nitrochargers or 5100 + Deaver custom pack.

    @Andy01DblCabTacoma haha I like to think I always am. Thank you for some additional parts that I should also consider; that's the stuff I like to see when I miss something.

    @El Taco Diablo:
    Re rotors: holy moly; I'm reconsidering with two recs. How much weight on your vehicle? How hard do you drive your taco?
    Re sparkplugs: I need to clarify; the female threaded bore for sparkplugs on the engine have combustion residue. I noticed after a spark plug came loose and got incinerated in the cyclinder (see my other post from 2020 - those threads got wrecked and needed threaded insert) after 5k miles. My assumption is that improper torque spec + the combustion residue have increased risk of spark plug backing out again.
    ------QUESTION: So how should I clean those threads? lol

    @jbrandt Quick comment: I see the Prerunner as the perfect vehicle for my initial off-road practice with relatively cheap mods to push further if desired (such as aftermarket 4x4 conversion). Once I get the Sprinter, this vehicle would be for either bringing more people on a larger group trips or international travel (insert Maltec-like design here - misspelled earlier).

    @YotaGangYotaGang nice! I'll probably go with a high rise shell like that for 1st iteration.

    TO ALL:
    1. Do the recommendations cover all the parts that I might as well should change while I'm in there?

    2. Any bump stops I can add to give a better hit? Saw a few Wheeler recommendations
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2022
  15. Feb 10, 2022 at 8:25 AM
    #15
    YotaGangYotaGang

    YotaGangYotaGang PreRunners are wannabe 4x4’s

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2021
    Member:
    #369702
    Messages:
    2,307
    Gender:
    Male
    Covina
    Vehicle:
    95, 97, 01 Tacoma | 06 Tundra | 07 FJ Cruiser | 08 Prius
    A rtt i never use and 30 light bars
    build the camper yourself, id try that first cus price and lead times are insane rn
     
  16. Feb 10, 2022 at 8:31 AM
    #16
    El Taco Diablo

    El Taco Diablo Professional Pinstriper

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Member:
    #235223
    Messages:
    13,518
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt - KN6DZP
    Hughson, CA
    Vehicle:
    Impulse Red DC, 5vz-fe, 4wd swap, LT, dual case, F/R locked
    Just 3 tons of fun!!!


    Loaded, for a fair trip, I'm sitting right at 6000 pounds. (At least I have been, my truck is on a diet this winter, I'm hoping to bring that number down a good bit). I drive it pretty hard. It's a daily driver, but it's also capable, and well used, on the trails.

    As far as spark plug goes, that sucks. I have never had to deal with a spark plug backing out... and definitely haven't heard or seen anyone having the problem a second time. Not really sure what I would recommend for cleaning the threads in the cylinder head, if that is what is needed. I know Ford Triton motors (and others) seem to have issues with plugs. Mostly because the two near the fire wall are a pain in the dick to get to. It's surprising to see those issues on a 1st Gen Tacoma, because all the spark plugs are pretty readily accessible.
     
  17. Feb 10, 2022 at 9:59 AM
    #17
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    17,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    El Dorado, CA (NOT El Dorado Hills)
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    So would I, because I actually drive terrain that NEEDS 4x4.

    My point wasn't that prerunners are superior offroad (that should be obvious), but that for the average novice or even a seasoned driver, a prerunner can still go offroad and be plenty of fun on a lot of different terrain.

    My Corolla can go on dirt/gravel roads, so it's kind of absurd to suggest that's all a prerunner is good for.

    And the best part is that if you do find yourself needing 4x4, the 1st gens can be retrofitted to 4x4 relatively easily and cheaply (compared to buying another truck)
     
  18. Feb 10, 2022 at 11:02 AM
    #18
    treyus30

    treyus30 cntl-y

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Member:
    #158054
    Messages:
    7,294
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Trey
    Mesa / AJ, AZ
    Vehicle:
    '99 5VZ-TT 14PSI+
    Two spooly snails, Haltech 2500, 35s, 125kmi, raptor lined
    ***if you can find the parts
     
  19. Feb 10, 2022 at 11:22 AM
    #19
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    17,612
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    El Dorado, CA (NOT El Dorado Hills)
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    For sure. Finding the parts is usually the hardest part of the conversion. Everything else is pretty much just bolting stuff to other stuff.
     
  20. Feb 11, 2022 at 3:26 PM
    #20
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette Chief Executive Officer at Kwik Fab

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Member:
    #284735
    Messages:
    72,047
    Gender:
    Male
    Fresno County
    Stock
    Found mine and extras pretty quickly :burp:

    For certain things, you just need to pay a little more. That wrecking yard in Rancho Cordova has everything you need.
     
    kueyar[OP] and El Taco Diablo like this.

Products Discussed in

To Top