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Rafe's Build - Meet L.O.R.A

Discussion in '1st Gen. Builds (1995-2004)' started by osterhagen, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:41 AM
    #1
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Hello Tacoma World!

    Starting a build thread for my 1st Gen Tacoma. I will be using this to keep track of things and plan as I go along so it will be overly in depth sometimes, consider this an apology in advance.

    Link to my "planning / purchase thread" - https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-perfect-1st-gen-tacoma.624117/

    Here are some quick tech specs:

    Year: 2003
    Model: Double Cab Pre-Runner
    Motor: 5VZFE 3.4L V6
    Trans: A340E Automatic Overdrive
    Gears: 4.10
    Trim: SR5
    Color: Lunar Mist
    Miles: 291,150
    Purchase Price: $5,700
    Purchase Date: 8/27/2019 (It was a Taco Tuesday!)
    P.O Changes: Aftermarket stereo (hopefully didn't cut wires), Wheels off later gen Toyota but otherwise stock :)

    Here is a picture of her getting fueled up right after purchase in Casa Grande:
    IMG_0401.jpg

    Stopped by the same station I stopped at right after I bought her nearly a year ago to get an updated progress photo in the same setting. Pic taken July 11th, 2020:
    IMG_1789.jpg

    I am very excited to slowly rebuild this truck better than new to suit my particular tastes and needs! Hopefully you join me along the way and share your thoughts, suggestions and opinions about my choices and the work being done.

    ~Rafe
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  2. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:42 AM
    #2
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    So this past weekend (Labor Day weekend) I had purchased a giant pile of stuff for Lora. This was intended to help satiate my desire to get tinkering and get her maintenance to a known good state. Tuesday to that Friday were some really long days at work :)

    Here's a picture of all the goodies. Most of which I didn't even get to messing with.
    IMG_0412.jpg

    So here is what I did get up to that weekend:

    1. Changed engine oil and filter with Wix 51348 and Mobil 1 Synthetic 5w-30 High Mileage. Replaced w/ fresh gasket/washer 90430-12031
    2. Drained and Filled Rear Diff w/ Redline GL-5 75-90 Synthetic Gear oil. Replaced 2x crush washers with OEM 12157-10010
    3. Replaced all vacuum lines with fresh black silicone hoses from siliconeintake.com
    4. Ran 1/3 can of Seafoam through vacuum line that feeds directly behind throttle body butterfly valve. Drove it around (semi hard) for 20 mins or so. Smoked a fair bit but not as much as most I have seen.
    5. Drained Trans fluid, Dropped pan, replaced mesh filter with OEM 35330-60030. Installed OEM rubber gasket from Toyota and re-installed pan. Replaced with fresh crush washer 35178-30010
    6. Disconnected return line for transmission cooler (factory lower radiator kind) and flushed Valvoline Max life AFT (Synthetic compatible with Type-4) until running clean. (12 quarts or so)
    7. Replaced aftermarket radiator cap with correct OEM 16401-0C010
    8. Replaced air filter with Wix 46109
    9. Replaced (6) spark plugs with NGK 4302 / BKR5EKPB-11
    10. Replaced Spark Plug Wires with OEM Toyota 19037-62010
    11. Replaced (3) ignition coil boots with NGK CPB-T00 (OEM=58931)
    12. Greased all Zerks w/ Royal Purple PN- 01312 NLGI No 2
    13. Installed the OBD-2 bluetooth reader and Torque Pro app on a spare Android Note 5 phone. Have a good setup in the works for mounting this!
    14. Washed and Waxed the entire truck to protect from harsh AZ sun (It lives in the garage though)

    Changing the Rear Diff Fluid with Synthetic :)
    IMG_0414.jpg

    Here is some of the old fluid... Very done and in need of changing!
    IMG_0428.jpg

    Transmission magnets and the stuff on them:
    IMG_0424.jpg

    General action shot of the truck lifted on stands while doing the transmission work
    IMG_0431.jpg

    It was above 108 degrees all weekend in AZ so that made this kinda brutal and so I didn't get as much done as I wanted. Had a really good time working on the truck other than the heat!

    The transmission shifted really well before but does feel noticeably smoother. Happy to report no issues with changing the fluid on a trans with nearly 300k on it and an unknown service history. Filter was quite black and was ready for a change. Otherwise the magnets didn't have a lot of material attached and what was there was very fine. The old trans fluid outside of being dark didn't smell burned and didn't contain any metal from what I could see.

    While driving it around after repair to get transmission up to temp and several stop and go trips in brutal heat here in AZ the trans is running nice and cool and usually stays under 200 degrees. Only climbed in prolonged stop and go traffic and MAX was 215 degrees.

    Depending on how plans and funds go (switching to manual 5 speed) I might add a trans cooler. But we are getting into the cooler part of the year soon here and I will wait till I take it up to Flagstaff to decide on the trans cooler. (Some decent mountains)

    I did confirm while doing the repairs over the weekend that I need to replace my center bearing for my propeller shaft and also likely the trans mount on the 3rd cross member. I will be ordering those and likely inner and outer tie rods, new boots, clamps and lower ball joints from Camelback Toyota this weekend. Happy to be so close to such a great source of parts :)

    I already have the grease on hand to help the slip yoke issue and will probably do that at the same time I am doing these other repairs. Trying to work my way through what I want to do suspension wise before rebuilding the entire front end as I don't want to double replace parts. Leaning heavily to the OME kit from wheelersoffroad.com at the moment. Might buy a set of their SPC Upper control arms as well. I like that they can install the coils and ship them to me also.

    Likely plan of upgrade at this time is:

    1. Center bearing and Trans mount replacement w/ slip yoke greasing.
    2. Once decisions made on suspensions, complete front end work / rebuild. It's pretty tired and looks it hasn't been changed... ever.
    3. Upgrade suspension ASAP as I need new tires and I would rather not purchase an "intermediate" set
    3.5 Tundra Brake upgrade and SS extended lines in the front.
    4. Purchase / decide if I need new wheels for my plans. (Tundra brake upgrade) and kinda wish I had 17" for the Nitto Grappler hybrid tire.
    5. New tires that work with new suspension and wheel decisions.
    6. Manual Trans swap w/ ECU and all required sub items.
    7. 4x4 conversion w/ manual locking hubs.
    8. Roof rack and custom rear rack that still allows camper shell under it.
    9. Armor - Slimline &light front and rear bumpers, rock sliders
    ... Much more but we will see how these get on. Lots of little projects will be happening on the side also. Interior upgrades, mounts, electronics etc.

    Much more to come in the next weeks and months...
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  3. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:42 AM
    #3
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    579
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    reserved one more...
     
  4. Sep 5, 2019 at 12:32 PM
    #4
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Wanted to give a huge shout out to @Timmah! for the amazing videos and tool advice. I purchased many items on his recommendation and they all worked out really well and will be welcome additions to my garage and used for many other planned projects. I really hope you keep making the videos dude!
     
    Timmah! likes this.
  5. Sep 5, 2019 at 7:57 PM
    #5
    04doublecab

    04doublecab Well-Known Member

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    Clean truck sir! Good to see a fellow AZ guy here! I'm on the border of Phoenix and glendale! Hope to see you around!
     
  6. Sep 5, 2019 at 10:54 PM
    #6
    chrslefty

    chrslefty Well-Known Member

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    chris
    Mesa az
    Vehicle:
    01 trd
    Stock
    Good looking truck, sometimes I wish I had a dubble cab.

    I'm not sure if you looking but there's a guy in the az forsale selling a shell that looks to be the same color as your truck

    AZ Classifieds
     
    osterhagen [OP] likes this.
  7. Sep 6, 2019 at 5:08 AM
    #7
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Wow thanks for letting me know. Yeah I am very much so looking for one of those :) Will have to DM the guy :)
     
  8. Sep 6, 2019 at 1:27 PM
    #8
    04doublecab

    04doublecab Well-Known Member

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    I'm selling my shell as well. $200 silver. No roofrack or anything tho. Needs some work.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2019 at 6:17 PM
    #9
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    I purchased the other one :) Going to get it tomorrow!
     
    Captain Magma likes this.
  10. Sep 6, 2019 at 6:21 PM
    #10
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    I also ordered the center bearing for the pilot shaft and also the trans mount as mine is really toast. Checked it today with a pry bar. Moves a mile and many cracks nearly all the way through it.

    Also ordered a custom windshield sunscreen from Covercraft as in AZ these are a must have for me.
     
  11. Sep 6, 2019 at 10:24 PM
    #11
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    579
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Thanks! Yeah seems to be quite a few people from AZ on here. Always nice to have local peeps. Now we all need to get together when it cools down and have a mod day or something :)
     
  12. Sep 8, 2019 at 8:58 AM
    #12
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    579
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Took Lora out for her first "extended" journey. Drove to Tucson to pickup the camper shell from Captain Magma.

    Things started out interesting. I had the night before done the deck plate mod to my air box. So fired up Lora for the first time since doing the mod and was greeted with a Check Engine light. Checked my ODB2 readout and it suggested that my MAF sensor was not reading correctly.

    Putting 2 & 2 together pretty quickly I guessed that I either got it dirty or damaged it during the mod. Note for the future, remove the damn sensor before doing anything major to the air box.

    So I was already on the road at this point and decided to just hit up Camelback Toyota for a replacement as I had no idea when and if it had ever been changed. The stealership wanted $190.00 plus tax for the damn thing. (Amazon has for $50)... I was like yeah I will try cleaning it first for that price.

    Drove a few miles south and found an O'Reilly auto parts store. $10 later and I had a can of MAF cleaner. Pulled under a shade tree and broke out my screwdriver. Removed the sensor and cleaned it well with the spray fluid. Did this a couple of times. Let it dry for 5 mins while I went back in where it's cool. Re-installed it, removed neg bat terminal to reset the ECU and started it up. Code was gone and all was well!

    It is worth mentioning that the truck felt like it ran the same the entire time. Meaning that it didn't seem to run rough during the code. The idle was not as smooth as it usually is though.

    Monitored Trans temps, AF ration and Engine temp the entire trip there and back. Trans ran really cool an 178 nearly the entire trip. Motor stayed in the 195 range and AF had adjusted for the bigger air intake and fluctuated normally.

    It was great to meet a fellow TW dude! We quickly got the camper mounted and secured. Threw the basket in the bed for the drive back to Phoenix.

    All in all a great trip and the truck didn't miss a lick the entire 280 mile round trip. Thought about topping off again to see what kind of mileage I was getting but I want to do a few other things before I start tracking that. (Fuel filter for at least one)

    Rest area between Phoenix and Tucson on the way back :)
    IMG_0453.jpg

    Back Home with the basket mounted up!
    IMG_0456.jpg
     
    chrslefty likes this.
  13. Sep 8, 2019 at 9:31 AM
    #13
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    579
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    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Had a bit of time after work Friday to get some stuff done.

    Went to the car wash and power washed my skid plates. They were horrid. Covered in old caked on grease, scrapes, surface rust (where scratched). So after getting them cleaned up there I brought them home and used a Scotch brite pad and some steel wool to finish the job of getting them clean. Finished off with rubbing alcohol and microfiber.

    Then I hit them with some rattle can Rustoleum Bed Liner in black. I thought I had a before shot somewhere but I guess I either didn't take one or it got lost. Here is what they look liked cleaned back up and right before I re-installed them:
    IMG_0446.jpg
    Back side of the front:
    IMG_0448.jpg

    While those were drying between coats and cleanings I worked on the deck plate mod for the air box. Here is the finished product (and also where I messed up my MAF with debris):
    IMG_0442.jpg

    While I had the air box out, I replaced the PCV valve and grommet with OEM. The old one still rattled but not as much as the new one. Here it is all installed:
    IMG_0441.jpg

    I also dropped the spare tire from under the truck for a couple of reasons.
    1. To make sure everything works correctly and I have all equipment needed to change the tire.
    2. Clean up and add air to the spare in case I need to use it.
    3. Lube and grease the mechanism and cable for lowering and raising the spare.
    4. Decide on the feasibility of building a storage space inside the spare for rarely used spare parts (Radiator hoses and the ilk)

    Tired had 7 PSI in when dropped. Glad I took the time to do this. Peace of mind is priceless. Or as close as you can get in a 17 year old truck!
    IMG_0444.jpg
    IMG_0443.jpg
    Those things that look like cracks were in fact not. Once cleaned up it wasn't that bad. (Ok it's bad but should work to do it's job worst case)
     
    chrslefty likes this.
  14. Sep 17, 2019 at 10:10 AM
    #14
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    579
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Updates from this last weekend 09/14-09/15/2019

    I was able to get the two important things I wanted to get done. Those being, replacing the carrier / center bearing and the transmission mount.

    I took some time while changing the transmission mount to repaint the cross member and the mounts for it. I also cleaned up the hardware as the bolts and where the cross member mounts to the truck had some light surface rust.

    Rust on the ends of cross member where it sits inside the mount:
    rust_crossmember.jpg
    lightly rusty bolts:
    rusty bolts.jpg
    And now all cleaned up:
    painted_crossmember.jpg
    Cleaned the threads with wire wheel on my bench grinder. Painted the long bolts that go through the cross member to keep them from rusting again (or at least less)
    clean_bolts.jpg
    Old mount vs New: (It was really messed up. Just sitting without weight the old one is wore out and doesn't sit the same as the new. The rubber was very cracked and also stretched further then it should have been able to).
    trans mount.jpg
    New mount installed, bolts cleaned and cross member painted and back in!
    new mount installed.jpg
     
  15. Sep 17, 2019 at 10:18 AM
    #15
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    579
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    And if you thought that transmission mount was toast... check out this carrier bearing (center bearing):
    IMG_0509.jpg
    Old vs New:
    IMG_0508.jpg
    Replacement of this was pretty easy honestly. The worst part for me was holding it still while i torqued to seat the new bearing.

    The old one just came off without even needing a jaw puller. Which is scary. The seating area for the bearing was perfect and not scuffed or anything.

    Used a new stake nut from Toyota.

    Man does this thing drive better now. It still shakes a bit above 65 (front end needs rebuilt) but the death wobble is gone :)

    I also changed the original fuel filter. Or at least I am pretty sure it's the original. Replaced it with a Wix filter (didn't want seating / leaking issues) and the replacement went easy enough using gear wrench flex head flare wrenches.

    I plan to cut the other one open at some point and see what it looks like in there. The gas that came out of the filter didn't look great though.
     
  16. Sep 20, 2019 at 10:36 AM
    #16
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Snagged some take offs from the dealership with less than 300 miles. Talked the guy all the way down to $500. That would have covered 3 tires and no rims retail so I can't complain.

    Came off a 2019 TRD OR Tacoma. Tires are Goodyear Wrangler AT Adventure series with the Kevlar reinforced sidewalls. (265/70/R16) They are so "new", with the truck parked in the garage it smells like fresh rubber (that tire store smell).

    Did have a bit of an adventure while swapping them out though. The previous owner had put a set of very cheap locking lug nuts on to protect against theft. Well I was able to break the protruding portion that seats into the lug nut off after two wheels (rear) had been swapped.

    Thinking to myself that I could have busted out the pipe wrench and vise grips and hammers, probably broken a stud or two, maybe a finger... Then remember that just a couple blocks away is tire shop that has the proper tools and motivation to remove all four of these (had already reinstalled two in the rear).

    So drove down with the old set of wheels still on the front and new ones on the back to the tire shop and paid $40 to have them remove all 4 locking lugs, put the other two fronts on, provide 4 new lugs (OEM style) and air everything up to spec.

    I have to say that while I was expecting a modest improvement with new tires I was blown away by what a difference they have made. I haven't hit the freeway yet to see if it helped with high speed shakes but it's much smoother around town. Feels way less like the back end wants to slide around on bumps. These tires are also very quiet for an AT and the ride is very smooth.

    IMG_0522.jpg
     
    chrslefty, JSH3.4 and Yetimetchkangmi like this.
  17. Sep 25, 2019 at 4:40 PM
    #17
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Update:

    After some driving above 70 on the freeway, the new tires have now all but gotten rid of my wobble above 65 mph. Truck is pretty damn smooth at this point and I have no doubt that rebuilding the front end will get rid of the tiny portion that is left.

    Very pleased!
     
  18. Mar 26, 2020 at 2:52 PM
    #18
    Black-River

    Black-River Active Member

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    Hunter
    NE Mississipi
    Vehicle:
    04 DC Tacoma Trd 4WD
    3" lift, bilstein 5100, t1 wheelers coils, SPC UCAs, wheelers diff drop kit, 2002 4runner wheels, 285/75/16 BFG KO2s, ARB front bumper, IPF lights,custom rear bumper, stock nerf bars, toolbox, tail light guards.
    Looks awesome man! I need to do all these things to my truck as well
     
    osterhagen [OP] likes this.
  19. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:16 PM
    #19
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Wow been far too long since I made an update to my build thread. I have done a few different upgrades and installs over the last 6 months. Will be making posts about them soon-ish.

    To start things off, back on 10/22/19 I installed a few electronics and mounts.

    • Magnetic phone mount on empty airbag switch blank. (use for my actual cell phone)
    • Ran a lightning cable behind the dash that plugs into a USB port I wired up to ignition power (w/ smart fuse in line)
    • Lighting cable also supports audio input so ran a 3.5mm cable from behind dash and brought out below stereo. (To be used for Nav and listening to music)
    • Installed red LED strip lighting in each footwell for cab lighting while driving
    • Installed USB plug w/ voltage readout in place of one of the lower cig lighters.
    • Installed CB radio into ashtray location.
    I should have gotten all kinds of pics of this stuff but didn't for whatever reason. Anywho, here's a pic of the finished project:
    IMG_1137.jpg

    Will at some point get a double din radio that supports Bluetooth connection so I can quit living in 2008 haha but for now this setup is rock solid.

    I Would love to know what some others are reading out on their Torque app. I've gotten the most use out of trans temp, coolant temp, and voltage. I have some fuel trim numbers displayed but don't understand enough about them to get much use. Also have Air/Fuel Ratio displayed but again need more context for it to be truly useful.

    Many more posts to come...
     
    CoWj likes this.
  20. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:57 PM
    #20
    osterhagen

    osterhagen [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2019
    Member:
    #301384
    Messages:
    579
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rafe
    Glendale, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 DC v6, MTM, 4x4
    "Totally Stock"
    Fast forward a few months due to the lovely holiday season...

    It's now the end of January (25th to be exact) and my full OME kit has arrived from Low Rang Off-Road in Cali.
    IMG_0694.jpg
    Talk about exciting! This had actually arrived a few weeks before but due to the demands on time around the holiday it sat on this shelf being sad.

    I had a friend from work who had never installed suspension components that wanted to learn, so that worked out really well for me. Always helpful to have a second pair of hands when changing heavy components. Worked on one side at a time to avoid alignment issues etc etc. Took out the drivers side first and installed the extended brake line in the rear.
    IMG_0695.jpg

    Next was installing all the new hardware. The leaf pack, ubolts and so forth. This actually went together quite easy. Glad to be doing this on a truck that has been in AZ it's whole life. The only real hiccup, which was minor was re-installing the bump stops the center bolt in the leaf pack was too tall and didn't allow the stop to sit flush with the springs. So I just fired up the drill and made a little hole for the bolt to sit into. Didn't take much maybe a 1/4".
    IMG_0699.jpg
    Talk about another project I didn't take enough pictures of. That being said I am sure we've all seen this shit done a lot around here. :)
    Here is a before and after of the lift height. Keeping in mind I went with the 883's in the front because I have a DC, will be installing a bull bar and winch. So the front sits a bit higher at the moment and the damn tires look tiny now...
    BEFORE:
    IMG_0536.jpg
    AFTER:
    IMG_0715.jpg
    The ride quality on the new suspension is fantastic. The front is a bit stiff currently and is riding higher than the back. These are expected outcomes until additional equipment has been added. The new suspension is much quieter than the worn-out stock stuff. Once I replace the rest of the bushing on the front end and likely new body mounts that should resolve the rest of any suspension noise. I will be upgrading to SPC UCA's at some point when I rebuild the rest of the front-end.

    Going to try my hardest to put up with these smaller tires until I complete the front end rebuild so that I only have to get a quality alignment done once. Basically replace the bushings, rebuild the front end and put bigger tires on then get the alignment done.

    Still more to come as I get my posts caught up to current progress...
     
    Pigdog, chrslefty and CoWj like this.

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