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seanpistol's first-gen Tundra

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by seanpistol, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:08 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City


    2001 Toyota Tundra V8 4x4 SR5 TRD access cab
    4.7L V8 2UZ-FE
    4.88 gears
    manual transfer case swap
    front diff "lockout" to eliminate actuator
    ARB lockers front and rear

    Solo Motorsports +3.5" per side 14" long travel kit
    King coilovers with 18" 700 lb springs and custom valving
    Camburg +3.5" extended axle shafts
    SDHQ CV boots
    Trail Gear adjustable limit strap clevis
    12" limit straps

    315/70r17 Mickey Thompson ATZ P3
    Method 105 beadlocks - 4.75" backspacing
    firewall tubbed
    fenders hacked

    rear 10" stroke Fox smoothies
    rear Trail Gear 2" spacers
    Wheeler's 3-pack progressive AAL
    Marlin Crawler U-bolt flip
    Archive Garage shackle flip
    Archive Garage 6" shackles
    extended diff breather

    231mm brake caliper upgrade
    Custom stainless braided front brake lines with banjo bolt conversion
    Total Chaos steering rack bushings

    All-Pro sliders
    Homebrewed high clearance rear bumper with bedside protection
    Brute Force Fab front bumper with Superwinch Tigershark 9500 synthetic and LED fogs

    full size MTR spare on Wheelers steelie with 4.5" backspacing
    "undercover snorkel" - home made cowl induction snorkel
    DieHard Platinum Marine 31mlockers
    Flowmaster 40 muffler
    Pioneer AVIC-D3 head unit- GPS, DVD player with bypass
    6 position OTRATTW switch holder overhead in what used to be the sunglasses holder
    Remote Start
    Cobra 75wxst CB radio
    Firestick II 3' antenna
    Subaru WRX heated seat swap

    IAS 15 pound CO2 tank
    Viair MV50 12V compressor
    Wheelers 30' snatch strap
    Wheelers tree saver
    3x ARB recovery shackles
    hitch receiver shackle
    48" Hi-Lift
    Trailhead automatic tire deflators
    20mm hinged and lockable ammo can behind wheel well

    Home made bed rack
    CVT Mt. Bachelor extended RTT

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  2. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    DustStorm4x4 BBC 2020

    Jul 2, 2015
    U S A
    04 Jeep LJ
  3. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    I bought this truck in February of 2010. 84,000 miles, a 2 1/2" Daystar spacer lift, 1" rear block, 16" American Racing teflon wheels, 285 Hankook Dynapro ATs, a DVD player with a bypass, remote start, a vinyl flat black wrap, and a not-pictured brush guard.


    I left the truck as is for a little over a year, with the exception of adding a diamond plate tool box and swapping the stock muffler for a Flowmaster 40. I drug toys around and did some camping.


    I got tired of looking at the vinyl wrap real quick. They are durable, but they don't last forever and at this point I believe it had been on the truck for about 5 years. The roof and hood were sun faded and spider cracked. The rest of it was in decent shape with the exception of a torn piece on the door. I was told there was fresh white paint underneath, so I decided to take on the project of removing the wrap when it warmed up in the spring. What a PITA. It took me several days to get it all off. A heat gun and working slowly, followed by copious amounts of goo gone on the leftover adhesive was the best bet. The body pieces were not too bad, but the hood and roof were absolutely miserable. Partway through, Cop truck-


    I left the wrap on the front and rear bumpers. I painted the mirror covers and fender flares with Rustoleum bedliner. There were holes in the doors where the stock molding snaps in that I did not have. I purchased molding for a 2012 Chevy extra cab, 056 Toyota paint in an aerosol can, clear coat, and painted the molding to match. I later painted the door handles white as well.

    Now I had hit 100,000 miles and went to town on maintenance. I changed the timing belt, flushed the tranny, and changed all the gear oil. I had some pops and creaks coming from my front end and discovered that my lower shock bushings were blown out and my inner CV boots were throwing grease all over the place.


    So, I placed an order with Wheelers Offroad.


    Old Man Emu 886 coils, in anticipation of a winch and bumper. Bilstein 5100 shocks for the front and rear. Camburg uniball upper control arms. Total Chaos diff drop and steering rack bushings. Bates 930 boots from Kartek Offroad. New headlights to replace the yellowed stock ones with Hella ultra bright bulbs in them. My truck was on jackstands in a friends garage for a few days, but I got it all done myself with the exception of having the coils compressed.



    My buddies live in a cabin in the woods, so I went up there to test out all the work and get the truck dirty. I couldn't be happier.


    I got some mud in the bottom of my airbox, so I sealed it up and made an "undercover snorkel", after ideas from a build thread by JJC on Tundrasolutions. My rear axles seals were leaking gear oil into my drums due to a clogged breather, so I extended the rear diff breather and changed my inner and outer rear axle seals and wheel bearings.

    Here is JJC's post I got the idea from, the photos of what I made no longer work, but it's the same as his. I picked up an A.R.E. MX topper with walk in door and Thule racks on Craigslist for $100. I called A.R.E. with the serial number and found out it's actually for a T100, but it fit very well. I cleaned it up real good and slept in it with my dog in Sun Valley, Idaho.


    I bought a set of electric fans from someone that made this shroud and setup himself. A few years later after my controller failed and the truck overheated, I swapped back to the mechanical fan.


    All the articulation I had at this point in time -
  4. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    The electronic ADD failed for the first time in 2012. After what I read I was sure it would be the actuator on the front diff. Opened it up and it looked brand new. Wiped out the old grease to get a better look and replaced a thin layer of fresh dielectric grease. Replaced the 6mm x 1.0 thread pitch bolts with a phillips head- with a hex head. Went to the actuator on the transfer case, and noticed the breather/vent tube was off leaving the nipple exposed. Opened it up and water fell out-


    There was corrosion preventing a good contact. The exposed nipple allowed water to get into the actuator. Cleaned up the corrosion as good as possible with 800 grit sandpaper and re-greased. Put it back together and 4wd worked again.


    Installed larger, upgraded calipers and new rotors. I had been dealing with warped rotors for quite a while. Part numbers- You can also see that the two year old powdercoat on my OME coils wasn't holding up.



  5. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Got my first minor wheeling damage in the form of rock rash on the wheels and blown out center caps while it was raining on Forest Trail off American Fork canyon. My roommates stock Tacoma with e-locker put me to shame in a few sections. It was a good time, but made it apparent I needed a locker, sliders, and replacements for the balding Hankooks if I wanted to continue to play.


    The trail ends up at this lake in the middle of nowhere-


    A panorama from "the B" in Bountiful-


    Got a set of Wet Okole seat covers off the local Craigslist for $25. They didn't last long as I swapped to a bench seat soon after, but they were very nicely made and I enjoyed them while I had them. Wet Okole makes a good product.


    Threw on a used set of Nitto Terra Grappler M/T's as a temporary tire to replace the worn out Hankook Dynapro ATMs I got 70,000 miles out of. I was hoping these would hold me over until I could tub or 35s. They howled, but looked mean, and balanced better than the Hankooks ever did.


    With 4.5" backspacing, I rubbed the frame at full lock with 285/75r16s. I threw on a set of All-Pro hub centric spacers to push them away from the frame and get the tires slightly outside the fender flares. 1.25" in the front and 1.50" in the rear, since the flares are even larger in the back. Now I was hitting the pinch weld.



    Sold the camper shell. Never used it except for sleeping in while camping, and constantly needed to take it off to throw my motorcycle or a snowmobile in the back. Happily sold that shell I only paid $100 for, for $1,000. Decided that profit is going back into the truck.

    Paid $900 for a brand new RD129 locker on a third member with 4.10 gears on ebay and a front diff from a 3rd-gen 4runner with 4.10 gears.


    After the swap I had a slight wine coming from the rear end during any acceleration. Pulled the third and took it to Six States, who specialize in axles, gears and drivelines. The diagnosis was that all the tolerances were perfect, the coast side of the gears was perfect, but the drive side of the gears was burned up.

    eBay guy gave me a sob story because his 17 year old son spent $2000 setting up this diff with ARB for his Tacoma that he never used, and that this is my problem. At the end of the conversation he was trying to tell me I didn't put oil in it... I had some serious words for him.

    I opened a case with eBay seeing as how it wasn't "brand new and in excellent condition" as described. The ARB unit was in fact used, because after talking to ARB- the end cap part number installed is only installed to fix units that are used and have a problem with them. And clearly burned up gears requiring $600 of repair is not part of a differential that is in "excellent condition". I got my money back, but it was a huge pain in the ass.

    I ran over to Cruiser Outfitters and bought an RD129 they had in stock and threw it in my 3.91 diff and decided to keep 3.91s and 285s for the time being.

    I learned my lesson. Don't buy used gears.

    Got brand new tires and couldn't believe how quiet they were on the road and how well they balanced compared to the other two sets of tires I've had. Snow is where I play the most, so Duratracs were an easy choice.



    Did some arts and crafts. I obtained a 20mm ammo can, cut the back of it off to weld some hinges onto it, welded the eye of an eyebolt through the front to put a lock on, made some proper width U-bolts, and bolted it into the bed. Real happy with how it turned out and I'm amazed at how much can fit inside it.











    Third time's a charm. Got an RD129 ARB locker set up on my stock 3.91 gears and put it in. Swapped the front differential once again- back to my 3.91 gears. Struggled to re-sell the 4.10 front diff. I got way too good at swapping diffs. A 17mm wrench with a ratcheting closed end saves 45 minutes due to the annoyingly tight clearances for the rear two bolts holding the front diff in. The job was extra fun this time since the high for the day was 28 degrees.

    Finished the last piece of the puzzle- got the compressor mounted, plumbed and switches wired.


    The way that I routed the air line was barely long enough, but I went down the driver's side of the frame because I felt I could keep it further away from the exhaust.

    Ordered a 6 switch holder from OTRATTW to set up my compressor and locker switches in my overhead sunglass holder with room for future accessories. It needs to be at an angle to have enough room for the wires behind the switches. I painted it with black bedliner like I do everything.


    After this entire ordeal, it all finally works. We got 15" of snow in 24 hours yesterday. Time to test it out.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  6. Dec 30, 2016 at 9:53 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
    DustStorm4x4 likes this.
  7. Dec 30, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    All-Pro put their new Tundra sliders on sale-


    I cleaned them with gasoline to prep for paint.


    Laid down two cans worth of Rustoleum self-etching primer, probably 4 light coats- and 4 cans worth of Rustoleum bedliner, probably 5 or 6 thicker coats.


    It was difficult to weld the top portion since the plates are square. Makes it hard to get up there with not much room. If I were to do this again I'd cut the bracket to make it triangular and easier to weld.




    Wanted to remove the back seats and build a platform for my dog. Removed the 4 bolts for the rear seat and was amazed at how much room became available back there-


    It's crazy loud in the cab with the backseat out. The noise comes from the pressure relief vents behind the back seat. You can't plug them, or the A/C won't work as well as it should, doors wouldn't close quite right, and pressure builds up in the ears.


    I still hadn't tested the locker in the dirt, so I went to a nearby spot to play around with it. I wished I had done that mod first. This shows how weak my articulation really was.



    Pulled the flares to plug the holes in the fender with this method- http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2n...ling-holes-fenders-after-removing-flares.html

    Flareless photos-


    Headed to the family farm in Idaho for the holidays and to build a bumper in the shop.

    Swapped my bucket seats for someones 60/40 bench while in Idaho. Only took about 30 minutes to do, super easy. They're grey and my interior is tan, but the difference is minimal.


    The guy I swapped seats with had an 8000 lb Warn winch with integrated solenoid mounted behind the bumper. It was super tight in there, but really fit pretty perfectly. I was impressed.


    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  8. Dec 30, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    New bumper, some assembly required (1.75" DOM tube for qp protection is not shown, or 4" x 4" x 1/4" angle iron for brackets)


    Last time seeing the Kim Kardashian ass. For gee wiz info, the stock rear bumper weighs 55 lbs. The hitch weighs 55lbs as well.



    The blue line is a ballpark estimate of where my 1.75 tube will wrap around, but I may make the angle a little more parallel to the ground than this.


    Before I went to Idaho, I paid a guy on the local 4x4 forum $40 to bend me two pieces of 1.75" .120 DOM for my quarter panel protection, including the tubing itself. I spent $82 at the metal store, which included 60" of 2" x 6" x 3/16 rectangular tube, a strip of scrap 3/16" plate, a strip of scrap 1/4" plate, 2' of 1" x 2" x 3/15" rectangular tube, for round tube to bracket reinforcement $8 for LED license plate bolts, and $20 for the 2" receiver. I have some scrap 3/8" plate laying around that I'm going to use for gussets around the brackets and on top of and below the receiver. This thing is going to be stout. Hoping to sell my hitch and old bumper to get most of that money back.

    2x6x3/16" tube mocked up


    A few notches needed to be made in the 4x4x1/4" angle iron to fit around a few obstacles, and getting holes drilled in the perfect spot is always a challenge. I'm aware I have rust under my truck. It's lived its whole life in Utah where they salt the shit out of the roads, and although I crawl under it with a heated pressure washer often you can see it's taking a toll. I plan on removing the bed this summer, getting all the rust off and then POR-15.

    On each side, I'm using the two bolts on the vertical the bumper used and the two underneath the hitch used. The extra length in my brackets are for more support for tongue weight. The notch at the back is to go around a rivet on the frame. I welded the bumper on just 2 1/8" off the end of the frame rails to keep it as high and tight as possible. These two photos are before holes were drilled-


    2x6x3/16" box tube capped with some 3/16" plate, and 2" receiver welded in. Flush mount, barely enough room to reach behind a squeeze the hitch pin in.



    Later added a few 3/8" gussets around the back side of the receiver, which I punched holes in to hook tow chains onto. Need to weld the 1.75" round tube onto the low point of where I capped the box tube. Brace it with a piece of 1x2x3/16 box tube back to the bracket. Cut the bedside to match the angle and it will be done.

    Lined up the tube where I wanted it and drew a line on top of it with a grease pencil. Didn't cut off a ton, more like trimmed the fat.


    Bedside hack-


    Tube tacked on-


    The other side-


    Support for the round tube tacked in place. I like how you can see the daylight between the tube and bedside-


    And she's all done!


    I gained 8" of ground clearance and tucked it in 5" closer than the stock bumper. My departure angle is drastically improved, and there is no doubt that this bumper is much more stout than the stock one. It weighs 79 lbs. Stock hitch and bumper were 110lbs together. The side profile is 100x more visually appealing trimmed like that. This has been a long time coming.

    I have a shackle hitch receiver that I will leave in with a locking pin. I didn't personally see the need to have a spot to mount a clevis a foot on either side of the receiver.

    I saw this and thought... trimmed bedsides are a thing of beauty!


    Got the bumper powdercoated and threw it on-


    Pulled some idiots out of the snow a week or so ago with my Wheelers snatch strap and the shackle receiver. Their front end was completely buried. The bumper didn't fall apart so I'd say everything worked out.


    Got a Pendaliner bedliner. So nice to finally have one. I was surprised they're under $200 brand new. I had been planning on doing a DIY raptorliner, but the carbides on the snowmobile I have in the back of my truck for half the winter will chew up even the best Rinoliner. Old school was the way to go. Found someone with the caps for the bed rails and got those on. Truck looks significantly less ghetto.

    Just drove 2200 miles to Vancouver, BC and back- sightseeing all along the way. Truck ran like a top as always, and has 136,500 miles on it now.Here's a photo of the dog platform I built. Works very well to store things under it and the hound is happy up top. I made it out of wood as a template to change easily- I want to make it out of metal this summer to make it more slim.



    Replaced the window trim on both sides. The rubber was peeling off the outside and the felt against the window was worn out and starting to screech when you rolled the windows up and down.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  9. Dec 30, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Took a break from working on the truck and built a custom motorcycle-






    Camburg coilovers in the mail for $400. Ordered a set of 16" 700lb springs to replace the stock 14" 650lb springs.

    When I bought the UCAs, Camburg claimed to me on the phone that when paired with their coilovers, 4" of additional droop over stock is achieved. I'm very interested to see what I can make my front end do with these new coilovers...

    Picked up an angled Fabtech tire carrier off the local classifieds yesterday. It was kind of rough looking, so I sanded it down and painted it with my favorite paint- Rustoleum bedliner in a can- and cleaned up the aluminum top plate with a wire wheel.

    I'm going to make the bed rack for the rooftop tent this week- my welder is supposed to be repaired on Wednesday. Going to make the rack pretty low and sit just above the spare tire to keep the tent out of the wind and the CG as low as possible.




    Camburg coilovers are discontinued, but were made by Sway-A-Way. Called SAW and got the engineer on the phone. Camburg told me to expect 10" of travel with the coilover paired with the Uniball UCA, but this was the same uninformed person that told me they were 2.5" ID coils- which was wrong.

    Camburg coilover
    shock shaft travel - 4.69" stroke
    a 13" 650 lb 3" ID coil comes on it with 7.3" of travel

    He suggested sticking with the 650 lb spring rate. A 16" coil will fit and easily achieve 3" of lift, but you will be driving around at almost full droop all the time. The 16" coil adjusted all the way out will have 2.5" of preload. A 14" will fit and have 1.6" of preload. I wrote down 2" of thread showing with the 13" coil. He suggested sticking with the 13" 650 lb coil that is on there, with the bumper and winch, and if I can't get the lift I want out of it, to then switch to the 14" coil.

    By the way, the OEM spring rate for the access cab 1st gens is 575 lbs. Double cabs is 750 lbs.

    As a note, he said that the preload must not exceed 3" of thread showing with the 13" 650 lb coil or the spring will bottom out.

    Eibach spring travel numbers
    14" 650 lb 3"ID - 7.41" travel
    14" 700 lb 3"ID 7.44" travel

    Coilovers showed up-

    I decided to run the 650lb 13" coil that comes on it first.

    I also asked SAW about if their coilovers have an internal "limit strap" like the ICONs are supposed to. He said if you're putting the front end through a situation where the shock is very quickly going to go from full compression to full droop, such as jumping the truck, you're going to have problems. But, if you're more of the slow crawler type driver like I am, the shock has limits and is fully capable of holding the weight of the tire at full droop. After finding that out, I'm still going to see if my CVs bind at full droop. If they do I'll strap it at the point where they won't bind. If they don't, I'll leave it alone.

    Got the coilovers in. I have about the same amount of droop as I did with the Bilstein/OME setup, but gained a lot of up-travel.


    Full droop-


    About 1/2" from the bumpstop-


    Picked my welder up from being serviced and some 3"x3" 3/16" angle iron for the bedrails for the RTT rack.

    Here's what I came up with for height and width of the bed rack. Going to make it as long at the tent is itself, which is 50-something inches, and have just four supports from the frame down to the angle iron with gussets(so two pieces per side of the 20.85" 1x2x3/16" tube with a 30 degree angle at one end and 60 degree angle at the other). The highest part of the tent- where the ladder is folded up on top of it- is going to barely be even with the cab. It's going to be heavy duty with all the 3/16" steel. Not sure if I'll want it slid up to the back of the cab or centered over the wheels.

    I did make sure that I only need minimal room to get the Y-bolt out of the tire carrier in case the tent is directly over it. No problems there.


    This is why the tub is inevitable- rubbing with 285s. And if you're going to tub, don't do it for 33s!



    Picked up my Brute Force Fab front bumper from Fastenal and dropped it off at the powdercoater. I'm going with the same textured black I used on the rear bumper.


    Worked on the bed rack for a while today. Made an adjustable jig with all-thread similar to amgvr4's-



    Going to get another stick of steel after work tomorrow and try to finish the legs, then paint.


    Still pouring rain, but I picked up the bumper from the powdercoater and bolted the winch in today after I divorced the solenoid. Still waiting on some longer 2ga wire to show up to mount the control box in the engine bay. For now I loosely wound the rope to get the winch in the bumper, but it needs to be properly wound after it's all together. Got the LED flood cubes mounted.




    Rack is done! The tent is not bolted down in these photos- should sit a little more flush than what ya see






    Replaced the battery that was in my truck when I bought it 5 years prior. Went with the DieHard Platinum Marine 31m. Read all kinds of stuff about needing to extend the ground wire, extending the J-hook, maybe trimming the battery tray.... I just threw it in to see what needed to be done and it fit. Ground wire was excessively long. Power was barely long enough, but I was able to slightly re-route it on the side. Adjusted the J-hook to max length and bolted it down. This guy is at least twice as heavy as the old battery. Also disabled the DRLs when I could get to the plug with the battery out.



  10. Dec 30, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Somehow I lived in Utah for 7 years before I made it to Moab. It ended up being more of an exploring and sightseeing trip than a wheeling trip, which was great. My girlfriend and I had a great time. We camped away from people in spots with a view on one of the most crowded weekends of the entire year, went on a few different hikes in Arches, slept like babies in the rooftop tent, ate good food, drank good drinks, and overall just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    An evening hike to delicate arch in Arches NP, and then the first night's campsite, near Sunset Wall- about 30 minutes north of Moab


    I bought a $7 set of LED string lights on Amazon that run on AA's and lit up the tent super well


    Dead Horse Point


    And then took a "shortcut" a guy told us about from Deadhorse State Park back to Potash road and into Moab


    We drove way up Kane Creek Road to Hurrah Pass and thought about camping on this little "island"- but the way to it has a strip that isn't much wider than the truck. I looked out the window to check out the tire placement, stared down an easy thousand foot drop off on either side and about sh!t myself. There wasn't enough room to turn around on the "island" so I had to back out, but I ran back and snapped a few photos. It would have been an unreal view to wake up to, but I thought about drunkenly getting out of the tent to pee in the night and decided against this spot...


    But we ended up wedged in this nice corner surrounded by rock wall. Made a nice fire and slept well.


    Everything worked out very well and I was super pleased with the truck. With the exception of the horrendous rub I get above where the pinch weld used to be on the firewall. A tub is happening ASAP. Only mechanical issue I encountered was a pebble stuck in the caliper!
  11. Dec 30, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    I finally got around to welding on the drivers side slider.


    And here's a shot where you can't see the sliders...


    White truck with red and blue coilovers... 'Merica.


    Drove up to the high Uintas on Saturday- went down a trail until it was impassable due to snow. Came back down a little bit and plopped down next to a stream. Super nice, but got chilly at night! Could have used another blanket on top of our 35 degree sleeping bag, but it wasn't too bad. I'm looking into an anti-condensation mat for the RTT- it builds up quick and easy, especially when it's cold.


    My girlfriend pulled this one off her camera from last weekend in Moab-


    Picked up a brand new 35" MTR to use as my template for the firewall tub- and then it will get mounted as my spare.

    This got me excited.


    Pulled the flares and mounted the 35 on the rear and then the front. I'm going to ditch the flares for good. Marked 3" in the front and 2" in the rear. All supplies have been gathered for the firewall tub.

    My front bumper will need to be trimmed as well. Photo below has the 285 in the rear. With 15/32 tread, the 285 Duratrac measures 31.75" mounted. The 315 MTR measures 34" mounted.

    "35"s are beautiful... Almost brings a tear to my eye!



    Trimmed the front fenders first. The line is much neater than it appears. It looks jagged because of different thicknesses of paint ground off the top. The cut is very clean, smooth, and even. I'm going to wait until a 35 is mounted with the coilover pulled to see if I need to trim any further, then paint where there is none and cover the line with a piece of black auto trim. 2 1/4" removed around the top, 1 1/2" against the door.

    The holes for mounting the flares will be plugged with shaved and painted to match plastic snaps.



    Started on the tub today. I took off as little as possible at a time- constantly mounting the tire, jacking up the LCA to mock full compression, cycling the suspension, and cutting where I had interference. I had to remove quite a bit of material...

    Finally ended up with this-


    The lower "plain" piece of cardboard is where I'll beef up the structure with 3/16". The rest of it will be 16 ga.


    I'm going to weld in two separate pieces of 16 ga instead of trying to get one sheet to conform to the entire thing. It will look more like this, but with the 3/16 plate being a third piece on the lower structure of the door jamb.


    Bumper needs trimmed-


    My interior bubble. There is a smaller sized one in there from the factory, and my E-brake is fully depressed here. I don't see this being uncomfortable at all, but I'm sure I'll have to trim the kick panel to fit. No big deal.


    Bought .025 wire for the sheet metal, seam seal it, undercoat the bottom, paint everything underneath the fenders, and get tires mounted Monday. After I mounted the brand-new old-style MTR on my spare wheel, I found a set of 6 old style MTRs with 12/32 tread for cheap, so I figured I'd run these for a roadtrip this summer and throughout the fall, and then possibly pick something brand new up when the snow falls.

    "Welding sheet metal is fun" - said no one ever.

    Stock sheet metal is only about 22 ga! No problems, just very tedious.


    This job was a very tedious pain in the ass. The 16ga sheet metal I used is much heavier duty than the stock 22 ga sheet metal and not quite as easy to work with. However, I was able to manipulate it easily by welding the bottom to the 3/16 plate on the lower door jamb, then beating on it with an 8 lb sledge and tacking up the sides as it came into shape. I've seen where some people just spot weld and then fill it all in with seam sealer. I completely welded everything, then seam sealed anyway. The first side took me about a day and a half and the second side took half a day to complete.

    Still need to trim the kick panels and get them reinstalled. Still need to trim the rear passenger wheel well and reinforce both of them. Still need to color match snaps to fill the holes in the fender when my paint shows up. Still need to paint the white underneath the fender, and still need to see if I can make the fender liner work. I rub the frame slightly at full lock (with 3.25" backspacing) and the washer reservoir at full compression and full lock. Than can easily be remedied with a heat gun or by relocating it to a smaller unit in the engine compartment.

    Seam sealed and painted with a rubberized undercoating from Rustoleum -


    On the passenger side you can see how far back I cut into the firewall -


    Since they're pretty worn, the mounted MTRs are a full inch smaller than the brand new MTR I used for the tub(and now have mounted in the bed as my spare). I took 2.25" out of the majority of the front fender, and 1" out of the majority of the rear wheel well. It's slightly excessive, but with my backspacing I rubbed the lip of both the front and rear fenders. Plus, I just like how it looks.



    The power loss is noticeable, but not terrible. I'm excited to regear. I'd like to sell the stack of 5 Duratracs with 5,000 miles on them before I fork out that cash.

    Here's full compression/full droop just for shits and giggles.


    My 35s rubbed the lip of the rear fender, and I wasn't going to let that happen. I have 4.5" backspacing with 1.25" spacers.


    I took about 1.5" out of the top and about .5" out of the front and rear of the outer fender. When you take an angle grinder to the fender, it separates the inner fender (that angles upwards to the top of the inner wheel well) from the outer fender. I got my outer fender how I wanted it and "pulled" the bedside about a half inch. I hammered the inner fender on the outboard edge where it angles up to the top of the inner wheel well (which was now detached) upwards a couple inches and tacked it back onto the bedside (or outer fender). Otherwise, my bedsides would flop around uncontrollably.


    At the bottom, there wasn't enough material to work with so I made some small brackets to tack onto-

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  12. Dec 30, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    My roommate that films skiing came home with a camera that cost more than his car. We went up in the local mountains and he tagged along. He mostly shot video, some it in 4k, but he snapped a couple photos as well. A nice change from my standard Iphone uploads.


    Words can't even explain how satisfying it is to push your vehicle and your suspension and never rub. No rubbing from the tires. No rubbing on approach or departure. Lots of work that was successful. Satisfying.

    This is a screen shot from video.


    And here is the video he made-


    I've had the flares on and off several times. Enough to know I like the lines a lot better without them. Get yourself some red Toyota flare snaps. Grind them down on a bench grinder. Some of them have holes- fill them with Bondo and then sand them down. Get some a color matched rattle can and clear coat. The ONLY place I've had good luck with getting our 056 Toyota paint is from automotivetouchup.com- I wouldn't mess with anywhere else. I did a little wet sanding after the first coat and they came out pretty good! Need to paint where I trimmed the rear fenders before I pop those in.


    Sorry for the evening photos... you get the picture.

    Throwing the RTT on, camping in the mountains tomorrow night. 'Merica.

    Chop chop.


    Sad nobody making bumpers wants to set the winch further back... Saw Relentless doing the same thing on their Instagram. Just set the winch 6" further back and offer a washer bottle relocation kit...


    Might have to hack mine further in the more distant future.

    Finished up the fat trimming on the driver's side yesterday. Going to knock out the passenger side today.


    Bumper chop is done. Super happy with how it came out, but boy do I need a plasma cutter... 5+ cutoff disks per project is killer. My 4.5" angle grinder is by far my most used and abused tool in the arsenal.


    And a little something extra-


    Heading up to the Uintas with the Tepui, the dog and the lady either tonight or tomorrow. Driving to Southern California on Monday, so I'm knocking out some basic maintenance. Fluids, spark plugs, etc. 141,000 miles currently on the clock.

    Got my 10 pound CO2 tank filled and set up. I was looking into sourcing all my own parts and building my own, but came across Instant Air Supply selling tanks on Pirate4x4 with a very generous July 4th discount. Need to figure out where to mount it- currently thinking about building a bracket to put it in the front corner of the bed. Although, it wouldn't be super secure and I don't like that someone can just walk along and open my tank. Apparently the tank can't be subjected to temps over 125 degrees, so it can't be left inside the truck on a hot day in the summer.


    7 minutes per tire is not the way to do 35s... but the Viair MV50 will stick around for backup duty.


    IAS' website - Instant Air Supply

    I'm pretty unsure what to do about my "undercover snorkel" that's no longer undercover. The purpose of it being routed this way is to keep the inlet about 2.5' back and 8" higher than stock. My fenders are trimmed, the fender liners are gone, and now the very exposed intake is likely to suck up water and mud should I drive through any. Can't have that. Fender liners are not coming back.

    The open end is angled down towards the intake at about a 30 degree angle. Anything gets in there and it's going all the way into the intake.

    After much debate on how to go about remodeling the undercover snorkel with the new lack of inner fender liners, I figured out that I could make it go into the cowling. We've probably all heard of pro street hot rods that use the negative pressure flowing over the hood and up the windshield for cowl induction, and if completely sealed, water would have to be up to the windshield to get into the engine. Getting two birds stoned at once.

    First pulled the wipers off and the cowling up. Peeked inside it and saw a path to where I wanted to be, and was very surprised at how clean it was in there after 14 years. Reassured that it's a clean source of air.


    Made this hole a little bit bigger with the angle grinder and cutoff wheel-


    Slowly started cutting to get access to the cowling, here's what it looks like inside-


    Purchased a piece of air conditioning duct to use as a flange. Trimmed it, screwed it in with self-tapping sheet metal screws, and siliconed the shit out of any seams to make it water tight-


    Used a flex joint to connect it to the PVC I already had. Every seam/joint/connection has been excessively siliconed to ensure it's water tight-


    Here's what my "snorkel" looks like from the outside-


    Got on the highway after it was all buttoned up and above 4k RPMs it sounds noticeably loud and powerful, drowning out the sound of my exhaust. I simultaneously had the A/C on full blast because I read about people on the Tacoma forums having a noticeable amount of air robbed from the HVAC by the intake when on the throttle. I didn't notice that at all- could be because the Tacoma guys are tapping into the cowl through the firewall, almost directly above where the HVAC is getting its air from.
  13. Dec 30, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    im4u2nvss Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2016
    First Name:
    2012 DC
    Cool build! Keep it up.
  14. Dec 31, 2016 at 1:53 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    According to the gear calculator here - http://www.rocky-road.com/calculator.html, going from the stock 30.6" tire on 3.91s to the new 34.9" tire, the optimal ratio is 4.45. 4.56 is still slightly over geared, which I like, but not as drastic at going to the 4.88s. Note: in the future, I wish I had done 4.88s (all the added weight favors a little deeper gears). It's close enough that my speedo and transmission shift points should be near perfect without adding a truspeed or similar.

    After the usual fiasco, I'm regeared to 4.56-

    Placed an order almost two months ago with East Coast Gear Supply. After a month of not seeing anything on my door, and not being in a rush, I called them- and for some reason nothing had shipped yet. They got it out immediately, sent me a tracking number, and I made an appointment for two weeks in advance to have the gear and axle shop here install the gears the same day I drop the diffs off.

    Spent the day before the appointment pulling the differentials, and drop them off early the next morning. Everything went smooth for the rear, but I got a phone call saying I provided the wrong gears and bearings for the front. Turns out ECGS sent the correct Nitro gears and master install kit for the rear, but they sent me the front gears and master install kit for an 05+ Tacoma, although they had my truck correct on file. Clearly their mistake, and they couldn't offer anything else other than having me pay for another set of gears and another install kit and waiting for it to show up. I chose not to do that and sent back the incorrect parts on their dime.

    I borrowed my roommates 1984 4wd Tercel wagon we've been working on and drove almost 100 miles with no A/C and a drivers door that would not open to pick up the correct master install kit from Low-Range Offroad. All said and done I am running Sierra gears in the front diff, Nitro in the rear, and Nitro's master install kits in both the front and rear. Glad that's over with.


    It seems that every company suggests a slightly different way to break your gears in, but I called and chatted with Nitro on the phone and went with what they suggested. 85-140w dino oil in the diffs. Synthetic is too slippery. 8-10 minutes of driving 40-45 mph and then allowing a cooling cycle for 30 minutes. 4-5 rounds of that, and then 500 miles of no towing or rock crawling or "off-road racing", following by changing the gear oil and filling it up with whatever I like to use. Essentially the gears hardface themself during that initial break-in, and and improper break-in leads to chipped teeth and a voided warranty.

    After the initial break-in, I packed up the truck with camp gear and drove 200 miles round trip- from my house at 4700 feet up to 11000 feet. I'm familiar with all these grades and am so damn happy with how the truck drives now! My transmission shift points are much better, I can pull grades without downshifting, and just saw a huge improvement of MPG on this trip. I'm still taking it easy and avoiding hard downshifts, but my truck has balls once again- this time with 35s.

    On the way to the camp spot-


    Had to turn around and do it again!


    Now I need to make a note about my MPG. I drove to Southern CA and back a month and a half ago, with 35s and 3.91s, and got between 13.8 and 14.2 MPG. Terrible. Not to mention the truck couldn't pull a grade without downshifting or anything like that. My mileage was within this 13.8-14.2 range the entire time my truck had 35s/3.91s. After I did the cowl induction snorkel, I filled the tank, reset the odometer and my scan gauge as always, and drove as I normally do to where I normally go. 15.4! Seems too good to be true, and I can't rely on a single tank to provide an average MPG, but I'll hope for the best.

    On this weekends 200 mile trip, through the mountains with an easy 20 miles in 4wd, probably at least 2 miles in 4lo........ I just got 18.4 MPG. Holy shit! This takes the 3% error into account for the 34.9" diameter and 4.56 ratio. Even if it's not 100% accurate it's a hell of a noticeable improvement. And the power is night and day better than it was before! Plus 4lo is so LOW! I usually get better mileage driving to work and back than on a trip through the mountains, but I check my mileage every tank and will post back. I haven't seen a number anywhere close to that since I had a camper shell, 33s, and drove 65 for 350 miles.

    500 miles since the gear change so it's time to change the oil. My ARB locker is currently INOP... the compressor doesn't shut off and the locker doesn't engage. Ended up being a missing o-ring on the lock nut where the air line goes into the diff. I forgot the o-ring when I installed the diff.

    I've been spending a lot of time scouting google earth for forest roads that can get me as far away from people as possible, and to lakes/streams full of fish. On Saturday my girlfriend and I went up to a spot in the Uintas I found this way, and after I found out that this remote lake was aerial stocked a few years ago, I was even more excited about it. I aired down to 10 psi, which is lower than I ever have gone before, for about 10 miles of very rocky trail. Since the trail was so rough, we didn't see anyone but a couple people on ATVs on the trail and a couple of backpackers at the lake. We had this all to ourselves-


    The biggest issue I've found with camping in a RTT is getting it level at the campsite. In the above photo I stacked a couple rocks on the passenger side and dug holes for the tires on the drivers side. Always seems to work well.

    We brought an inflatable kayak and the fishing was HOT. There was a 10 minute period in the evening where we had a fish hit our fly every cast. We caught a couple dozen trout in under two hours. It seemed unreal! My girlfriend had never fly fished before so I was super happy to have her first experience be like this one. We caught a handful of the more elusive golden trout, and kept a few brookies to throw into burritos.

    Russ sniffing a golden-


    The next morning we scrambled up a steep rock face to get a better view of where we were at. Our campsite was on the right side of the lake in this photo-


    I love exploring new places way out in the middle of nowhere. I love my truck for reliably and comfortably getting us there and back. And I love that the truck packs the RTT and everything but the kitchen sink.

    I forgot to bring my CO2 tank for whatever reason, and had to air my 35s from 10 to 33 PSI with my VIAIR MV-50. It took almost 10 minutes per tire, and afterward both the compressor and hose were almost too hot to touch.

    As for other projects, I've been helping my roommates working on "expeditionify-ing" their rigs. One roommate has an 09 DCLB Tacoma that was completely bone stock. He found an old Wildernest, painted it black, and figured out how to rig it up to fit on his new Tacoma. He complained that with the new weight, his rear suspension was bottoming out easily. He also wanted more ground clearance to get to some of the better camp spots and would need new tires soon anyway, but wanted to keep it simple and inexpensive. I encouraged a 3-pack AAL with the overload in, and do 5100s all around. Almost immediately I happened to stumble upon a set of 285/75r16 Duratracs with a ton of tread left on 4.5" backspaced Method Race wheels for $600 and told him to swoop them up real quick. He doesn't like "blacked out", but all said and done-


    After wrenching on the Tacoma and driving it a little... I have to say that I still like the Tundra more. Although those newer Tacomas have such a pretty body style...

    My other roommate scored a sweet rig for a killer price. He got a 1984 Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon for $700. The guy he bought it from spent almost $10,000 on it in 2007 and had receipts to prove it. This included all new suspension and steering components, as well as a brand new, slightly more powerful rebuilt engine. The downsides were that the body was full of rust, and it needed a new transmission- which he provided and threw in the trunk.

    My roommate swapped the transmission right away, and the car runs like a top. The manual transfer case is cool, and this little 1.5L gets 35 mpg on the highway in 2wd. Surprisingly, the interior doesn't have a rip or stain to be found.

    Here you can see the started bondo work. The big holes were completely cut out, and I welded new sheet metal in place. The rear quarter panels and the bumper were rusted so bad, we just cut them off and decided to go for the "high clearance" look. I had a couple of pieces of 1x2x3/16" tube laying around, so I welded two of them together and made the most basic bumper.


    Here you can see the front passenger door is completely done and looks 100x better. The plan is to bedline the bottom half of the car, and repaint the top some shade of rattlecan blue.


    Making progress on this thing! I may build a low profile basket for the top, and we've been reading about using a certain old landcruiser spring to lift it two inches and allow for a slightly bigger tire. He is going to have a sleeping platform inside since the back seats lay completely flat.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  15. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:13 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Got the 315/75r16, load range E, 3-ply sidewall Duratracs on about a week and a half ago. Only this size has a 3 ply sidewall! They have made it very apparent that those MTR's I was running were out of round, unevenly worn, and overall trashed. My cupholder doesn't rattle anymore, there is no longer a constant hum and vibration from the road, the passenger side door panel doesn't rattle, my steering shimmy is gone... haha, driving to work on the highway feels like I'm driving a Subaru!

    Went fishing this afternoon and took a couple photos of my truck lurking on the bank across the creek.


    Ordered a set of Fox coilovers with remote resi with DSC adjuster.

    The 16" 650 lb coils have 8.1" of coil travel. They can be preloaded 2.7" (which is a ton) before coil bind and with 5.39" of shock shaft travel for the extended length, they are capable of a full 10" of wheel travel. I should be able to run the 650 lb coils with the added weight of the bumper and winch by increasing preload and using the DSC adjusters to adjust the valving with a twist of a dial... stiffen the coils, soften the valving. Eibach has a 16" 700 lb coil with 7.97" of coil travel if I need to go that route, but I'm going to experiment with the 650 lb coils first. These are the only coilovers made for our trucks that can produce these numbers with the stock lower A-arms. These Fox's are in a class all by themselves.

    Seems that the threaded body coilovers like to smash brake lines at full lock and slight compression. This is because the full diameter of the coil comes much further down than the stock shock does. I switched to a banjo bolt and upgraded to a stainless braided line in the process. It is now further out of the way, but worst case scenario is it's better to hit a bolt than to hit a brake line that I can bend with my hand.

    Here's how my hard lines looked at one time. Notice how far the line comes out out the caliper-

    Driver's side aftermath was not safe. The passenger side was smushed in, but not as bad-

    Passenger side up top, driver middle, brand new on the bottom for comparison-

    You can order the Wheelers stainless lines for a first-gen Tacoma, but the Tacoma banjo bolt needs to be modified to work with our calipers. Just pick up a 10x1.0 banjo bolt from Napa and no modifications are necessary. I didn't have time to wait and knew what I wanted, so I had these made at a local shop. I made them 25" long. Female on one end that accepts 10x1.0, and 10mm banjo on the other end-


    New Fox coilovers use a 16" coil. I switched it to a 700 lb spring rate. These are capable of a full 10" of travel while able to lift the truck more with less preload than any other coilover available that uses the stock lower arms. The valving is adjustable with the twist of a dial on the end of the remote reservoir.

    For some reason, Fox suggests mounting the resi's in a place that tires larger than stock will rub on. To avoid rubbing the 35's on the resi line, I hacked off the included bracket and welded it as far under the frame as possible. To get the resi line to hug the frame as tightly as possible, I simply rotated it inwards 1/4 turn before I clamped it down.

    Full steering lock-

    Looks just about level. I only have a 1" block in the rear and completely stock springs. It's insane how much these coilovers soak up huge speed bumps at 30 mph. The rear needs attention because it can't keep up.

    As seemingly always the case, there is another issue at hand here!

    I am using the 13WG 231mm calipers. They were superseded by the 13WL 231mm calipers. The only difference between them is how the brake line attaches to the caliper and the distances are slightly different. The 13WL caliper has a shorter lead into the fitting than the 13WG. The female that accepts the line points down-wards at an entirely different angle on the 13WL caliper. The 13WG is pointing straight out. It's hard to see in photos, but here is the 13WL.


    Bought a solid axle Tacoma... listed the Tundra for sale so I could DD this until I get a diesel.

    150k 3.4L 5 speed
    4.88 gears, detroit lockers, 37" MTRs
    dana 44 from a Wagoneer
    trail gear springs front and rear

    First things on the list is to ditch the detroits for ARBs and add hydro-assist


    But... it didn't last long. The Tacoma had too many things that I wouldn't do if I was building it myself. I had someone else's project and wasn't a fan of that. I couldn't afford to keep it, so I sold it. Back to work on the Tundra!

    Some winter photos-


    Usually it's F-350s and 4-place enclosed trailers at the trailhead, but not this day. The other white truck is on 33s.


  16. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:26 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Sold the Tepui at this point in time. The Tepui had a manufacturing defect and I contacted them for the materials to fix it myself (probably $20 worth). I feel that a company should stand by their product. They said it was the effect of abuse, which it obviously was not, and very impolitely refused... Sold my tent that day for more than I paid for it. I will never own a Tepui product again.

    Bought a CVT and couldn't be happier with the product or the customer service. The owner, Robert, is an awesome guy. I'd do business with them time and time again and recommend that others do the same. How you treat people is everything!

    Took a trip down to southern Utah. My friend's family somehow scored this piece of private property in its own canyon in the middle of Capitol Reef national park. They built a "cabin" surrounded by red rock and the Escalante river runs right through the property. It was pretty unreal. I slept in the new CVT two nights and am liking it more than the Tepui. The stargazer feature is my favorite new thing, but although the materials seem to be similar- the CVT is better designed. The ladder, closure system, the cover... all the small details are improved upon.

    This is the only photo I have of the tent popped up-

    I woke up in the morning and walked about 50 yards to the Escalante river and threw some flies to little brown trout and native cutthroats-

    We hiked to lower Calf Creek falls with the dog and went for a swim. I am fishing this water about 10 miles lower in the previous photo-

    On the way home, the sagebrush turned to aspens around 8500'. Pretty wild that this is only a few miles from the cabin and you can see the red rock in the distance.

    I'm currently debating how I'm going to re-do my bed rack. I made it to the exact dimensions of the Tepui, and I feel that it is now bulkier than it needs to be. I also want it 6" lower. I'd like to do round tubing, but don't have a tube bender and nobody will get back to me about using theirs. It may be rectangular once again... just a little different.

    Archive Garage made me a prototype shackle flip kit, I threw in a 3-pack progressive AAL, added 10" stroke Fox shocks in the factory locations, and threw on a Marlin Crawler u-bolt flip :D


    A few more photos of the shackle flip...

    The stock hangers have to be the most rusty component on my entire truck. Before and after-

    Before rock therapy, I am going to throw a slightly longer shackle in the forward hole to try and increase my shackle angle along with droop. Stock shackle in the middle position-

    Did some landscaping in my yard yesterday and checked the flex in the rear. The leafs are the far side are just about flat here. I need to trim down the bump stops and weld them onto the top plate of the U-bolt flip kit.

    Finally got my CB rigged up. I used a Panavise first-gen Tundra mount, but moved and bent the bracket to put it where I wanted it. The CB is a Cobra 75wxst that has everything in the mic. The junction box is under the driver's seat, and my 3' Firestick II has to move from the stake hole behind the cab to either the roof with a magnetic mount, the hood, or the front/rear bumper. Where it is currently located I get too much reflection off the metal in the RTT and the cab. The guy that was tuning the antenna told me he couldn't get below 3 or 4 SWRs after trying 5 different antennas of various lengths. I was able to hear the group while in Moab, but was advised not to key the mic until the antenna is moved to the hood and SWRs are down around 1.5 or it's possible to burn up the CB. I have a mount for the hood on the way.


    I got my Archive Garage 6" shackles just before Moab. They sure are pretty. Greaseable too!

    Close to full droop-


    I haven't had 220v power since I bought a house in the fall, but finally changed my adapter to the proper plug to steal it from the dryer. Luckily I have an almost 40' cord on the welder to run it out the window and around the house to the carport!

    My 48" hi-lift maxed out while the tires were still planted. The Archive Garage shackle flip kit has increased my droop exponentially. The ride quality is great and I have just a hair more lift. This kit is a win-win-win. Thanks to Eric for finally making something to get the most out of our first-gen Tundra rear ends!


    Here are comparison photos from the stock rear end at full droop and the current rear end still a ways away... I really don't know how much droop the SFK has yet. I need a forklift!

    I married my tacoma likes this.
  17. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    I met up with the Brute Force Fab crew to run Hell's Revenge.


    Jose and Billy-


    Some of the other Tacomas at Rock Therapy tagged along for a bit-


    Used my sliders a handful of times-


    Following Jose... that Archive Garage shackle flip had my locked rear end planted all day and allowed me to take some harder and steeper lines-


    Like this one-




    Jesse was the only one of us that wanted to do Hell's Gate. It's an obstacle that favors long wheel bases and as the day went on and I felt a lot more comfortable in what my truck could do, I wished I had done it. Next time!


    The 2015 TRD Pro DCSB Tundra walked up it...


    Billy on the Tip Over Challenge-


    By the way- Billy is a super humble, talented, genuine guy. It makes you proud to support people like that. Billy is purely in the business for the love of it and I'd support him over and over again and recommend anyone else to do the same.

    We watched a DCSB 2nd gen Tacoma do Mickey's hot tub without too much difficulty. Then Billy made it look way too easy. I dove in after.


    I made it in easily but didn't have the approach angle to get out. I was hung up on the shackle hanger regardless of the angle my spotters were telling me to attempt. Billy said if the bumper was 2 inches tighter I would have been out. I heckled him and he assured me that he couldn't possibly have made it any tighter with all the crap hanging down on the front of the Tundra, haha! I backed right out. This was the only obstacle that defeated me all day and I was super happy with the capability of my truck.

    My shackle hanger left it's mark, and the quarter panel protection did its job-


    If anyone wants to meet me in Moab, I'll roll down anytime. I left my house at 6am, wheeled all day, and was home at 9:30. It was a lot of seat time but slickrock is fun as hell!
  18. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:33 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    Picked up a set of 2008 WRX heated seats for cheap! Not a rip, tear or stain on them. I will probably add the Corbeau lumbar support, which is an inexpensive and easy install. The lumbar support is an inflatable bladder controlled by a hose with inflation ball. My bad back needs it. It may take me a minute to get the heaters wired.


    Not the worst project I've taken on, but it took me about 6 hours from start to finish. The tracks on the Tundra seats are about a 3/4" wider and the Subaru feet don't come close to lining up.

    I cut the Suby feet off and cleaned up the tracks-


    I sliced the bottom of the tundra tracks off-


    To get rid of the rivets that hold the Tundra feet, I completed welded the feet onto the track-


    Then I bolted the brackets in and set the Suby seat on top-


    I adjusted and checked where I wanted the seats dozens of time before I tacked them on. Being tall, my Tundra drivers seat was always adjusted all the way back to drive. I set the Subaru seat so that this position was about in the middle. I can scoot the seat almost all the way back into the rear seat so that I have enough room to take a roadside nap, and can scoot far enough forward to make room for a rear passenger. Since the seats are angled higher up in the front, the majority of the load is on the rear feet. Regardless, because of how I positioned the seat further back, the front of the seat track wasn't over the front feet. I made 3/16" gussets to keep everything beefy.


    The inside of the Tundra track is completely welded. The outside is tacked around the slots in the Subaru track as you can see below. Around the feet is completely welded all the way around. Here they are painted and ready to go in-


    The Tundra buckle uses a 14mm bolt just like the Subaru buckle, so it bolts right in and retains the seatbelt sensor.


    I think you can make any seat fit in anything, it just takes some figuring on how to go about it.


    Built a new bed rack. Surprisingly this was one project that was quick and easy and was done in less than half a day. I adjusted the preload on my coilovers the day before and that turned into a nightmare. The lower bolt was seized inside of the misalignment spacers requiring the bolt be cut off to get the coilover out, the bolt pressed out, and the nick I put through the lower control arm with my cutoff wheel welded back together. Oh, and we sheared the wheel off the top of the strut tamer trying to get enough torque on the 700lb coils to compress them enough to adjust the collar. So I had to run home, grab my welder, and come fix their machine. I welded a socket onto it instead so we could use an impact to crank it down.... Upgrade! The damn coilovers took the entire day.

    Strut tamer looks like this-


    I have never welded round tube before and thought it was pretty fun!


    It's getting too dark for photos but here's a couple quick ones. Couldn't be happier with how it came out-


    And once again, the before is 6" higher and too wide for my current tent-


    Replaced my steering rack and tie rods. Didn't really have time to do it, but after getting quote for $1000 I took half the day off work to get it done. Might as well continue with my streak of never taking the truck to a mechanic in the 6 years I've had it. Once again what should have been a simple job turned out to be an 8 hour nightmare. I'd say worse than the timing belt due to seized components and the struggle of lining things up without three or more hands. The first rack lasted 160k miles but I've been babying it along with slow leaks for the last 4 years. Should be good to go for a while.


    Drove to Idaho to pick it up a Four Wheel Camper 1987 7' Fleet model. Guy had it on a T100 previously. Had it on the truck for about a week before I wanted to go back to the rooftop tent. Seeya!




    Then took a break from truck mods to do some house mods-

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  19. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:44 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    I was getting ready to go to Moab for Veteran's Day and my 4x4 quit working the week prior. I pulled the actuators, cleaned them again, put them back together, and got it to work briefly, but then got stuck in 4lo at work and had to drive all the way home at 25 mph. I played with the actuators some more and then got over it. I picked up a "J-shift" manual case from a 1996 SR5 V6 auto 4runner from the junkyard.

    I'll do a quick half-assed writeup of how I did it in case anyone is looking to do the same in the future.


    The 4 runner case is the way to go. Specifically a 96-99 V6 auto SR5 J-shift transfer case. One without any electronic buttons on the side, and with a 23 spline coupler. This is what the 23 spline coupler looks like, with two "missing teeth".


    To get the old transfer case out, drain the oil and unhook the electronics. Three plugs on the actuator, unbolt the one 12mm bolt and remove the entire speed sensor on the right rear of the case as you look at it from the back, and the brackets for wiring harnesses on both sides. Unbolt the drivelines from the transfer case and get them out of the way. The transmission needs to be supported with a jack so the crossmember can be removed. Annoyingly it only needs to be removed to get one bolt in and out of the transfer case, but that's the way it goes. There are 8 bolts that hold the transfer case to the adapter at the back of the transmission. After they are out my transfer case was still solidly attached. I gave it a few whaps with a hammer on the lip on the backside and was able to slide it off. The rear seal at the back of my transmission had a nick in it which let fluid come through that turned into a dry, white powdery dust.


    I replaced the seal. Part number is 9031140007 if anyone needs it in the future.

    I got a 2.5" holesaw to make the hole for the shifter. I think this is the absolute smallest size you can make this hole and still be able to get the shift lever snap ring in. I just measured off the back of the adapter to figure out where to put it.


    I removed the shifter instead of the entire top plate. It is held in place with a snap ring.


    I pulled my 4wd fuse in the cab to keep my 4hi and 4lo lights from flashing and clipped the wires coming out of the three positioning sensors on the manual t-case for 2hi, 4hi and 4 lo. Put a little grease on the coupler splines of the new transfer case and manipulate the output on the back of the transfer case to get it lined up. Make sure you don't hit the seal while it's going in. All while laying on your back and bench pressing it up and into place! The jack I had wouldn't go high enough to get it up to where it needed to be, but it was actually easier to get it in than it was to get it off. Reinstall everything you took apart earlier. There is a cap on the 4runner case where the speed sensor goes. Remove the cap and throw your speed sensor in from your old case. Throw some electrical tape around the three plugs for your old actuator that is no longer there and tuck them up and out of the way above the t-case. Take your old actuator out back and shoot it with 9mm hollowpoints and then finish the rest of what you can find with a 12 gauge. Refill the case with oil.

    It's kind of a PITA to get the snap ring back in, but after a dozen tries with a second set of hands we got it in place.


    Now on to the front diff. It would be possible to wire up a switch to operate the front actuator, but I wanted to get rid of the electronics in the 4wd system completely. There is a shift fork in the front actuator that slides a sleeve over a gear for 4wd or slides the sleeve off of the gear for 2wd. The shift fork can be locked in place to keep the front in 4wd. With an open front diff and the transfer case in 2wd, this does NOT cause any binding on pavement! Once 4wd is engaged in the transfer case, you will get binding in the front end on pavement as usual. The only con I see to the locked actuator is drag since the front driveshaft is now constantly spinning which I guess could reduce your MPG by a hair.

    To lock the shift fork, drain the oil in your front diff and remove the front actuator. Slide the shift fork all the way to the DRIVER side. Install a 3/8" hose clamp and clip the extra length. Do not make it so tight that the shift fork has no play up and down or it will give you a hell of a time getting back in.


    Slide the locking sleeve in the housing over the gear. You can confirm that it is in the right position by spinning a tire and seeing the front driveshaft spin. The sleeve will be to the DRIVERS side to line up with the locked shift fork. Replace the word "passenger" with "driver" in this photo-


    Add gasket maker to the clean actuator and slide the locked shift fork over the locking sleeve. Confirm that it is locked after installed by spining a tire and looking for the front driveshaft to spin. Install your bolts and refill the front diff. This website explains defeating the ADD in detail, but with passenger and driver sides opposite of what we have going on in our trucks and it should be the same with a 3rd gen 4runner and 1st gen Taco. http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/tech/add/

    Now, do whatever it takes to make it work on the inside of the cab. I cut up my doublecab center console and temporarily threw a goggle bag over the shifter to keep junk from falling in my new hole. I ordered a rubber shift boot with bezel today that I am going to install against the floor to keep the elements of of my carpet. I also ordered a fake leather universal shift boot to make something nice between the shift knob and the console itself.


    Everything works as it should! You still have to be in neutral to shift into 4lo, but you can still shift from 2hi to 4hi on the fly. I am not sure yet if there is a top speed to that, but I have tested it up to 20mph and it works. That's a doublecab center console by the way.

    On to Moab!

    iphone photo dump- We left Salt Lake at 6:30 Friday and were aired down and on Hell's Revenge at 11. Camped up Kane Creek and hit Fins N Things Saturday before we headed back to Salt Lake.

    My brother "bought his wife a 3rd gen 4runner" with Landcruiser suspension and an e-locker. He threw 33s on it and drove down from Spokane to play. My buddy Taylor came in his 14 Tacoma that he just put 33s on last Wednesday. Both of them did super well for their first time wheeling and the weather couldn't have been nicer. 65 for the high and sunny.


    As soon as I got on the road home and hit 30 mph my truck started vibrating. At 50 mph it turned into violent shaking. I pulled over after a couple miles to try and figure it out - all I could see was some spatter on the rear axle from some grease out of the slip joint on the rear driveshaft. I started down the road for a bit longer wondering if it would go away, and it was unbearable. After running through in my head what it could be, I pulled over again and the splatter on the axle was much worse so I got my tools out to yank the driveshaft out. I noticed my carrier bearing had a couple inches of play in it as well. Drove home in "front wheel drove" at 80 mph with the rear driveshaft in the bed.

    By the way- transfer case worked great. I tested shifting on the fly up to 60 mph and it works. But, don't Moab if you're not willing to mechanic...


    Ended up being a bent driveshaft. It felt like my truck was going to shake apart above 30 mph. I pulled it and drove all the way home in "front wheel drive". Picked up a new driveshaft from the junkyard the following week.
  20. Dec 31, 2016 at 2:57 AM

    seanpistol [OP] Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Salt Lake City
    That brings me up to where I currently am at with the truck. I have a set of 37" Cooper ST Maxx sitting in my garage. Method 105 beadlocks, Solo 14" long travel kit, and 8" King coilovers with 700 lb springs are in the mail.

    Upon further research, the 37s are a little ambitious for the 7.5" front diff.


    Front Range Offroad is going to release an adapter kit to run the 8" front diff in vehicles that came with the 7.5" diff in the near future. I think it's necessary for reliability with the 37s. First-gen Tundra/1st-gen Taco/3rd-gen 4runner CVs are 26 spline inner and 30 spline outer. 2nd-gen Tundra/2nd-gen Taco/4th-gen 4runner CVs are 30 spline inner and 34 spline outer. It will require custom RCV axles which they quoted me at $2700 for. For now, the smarter choice is to stick with 35s instead of pushing my luck with 37s.

    After I get the front together and working the way I want it, I'm going to move my focus to the rear. I'll likely end up with a custom version of Deavers G57s for an additional couple hundred pounds and couple inches of lift. Paired with relocated shocks under the bed, I should be able to cycle 12" of travel. I'm currently overseas, so it will be a couple months until I start turning wrenches on the truck.

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