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"Taz" - ProfHobbit's Build Log, 2007 Access Cab 2.7l

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by ProfHobbit, May 11, 2018.

  1. May 11, 2018 at 7:09 PM
    #1
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Male
    North Shore, MA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    Several forum members have encouraged me to start a build log for my truck, so here it is!
     
    BassAckwards likes this.
  2. May 11, 2018 at 7:13 PM
    #2
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North Shore, MA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    Introduction

    It feels a little brazen of me to call this a “build” thread, when I see some of the amazing trucks on this site, and the gifted people who have customized them in truly ingenious ways. I’ll be drawing inspiration from them, but not getting into the really heavy-duty stuff.

    I have a pretty good ability with electronics (not automative particularly, I used to work the Genius Bar for Apple and teach software). I like to mess with basic car repair, but have never considered myself much use beyond oil and belt changes.


    Purpose of the Build

    The truck will be primarily used a daily driver for my family of four. I am a woodworker, so it will be hauling supplies, and tools, as well as the usual items for home and yard maintenance. I will occasionally be pulling a utility trailer with it. I used to pull this trailer with a Ford Focus, so I think it’s more than capable.

    We do get snow up here in MA, but I don't intend to go off-roading. At least not at this time. :rolleyes:

    What I do love are gadgets, so I may splurge on some of those as I'm able, and as the more important issues with the truck are being fixed up.


    The Truck

    2007 Access Cab, 4x4, 2.7l with 5-speed manual. Base model. As of the beginning of this log, it is completely stock. Its only unusual features are:
    • Super-low mileage (9600 as I kick this off)
    • Its brand new frame and rear springs (courtesy of recalls)
    • Really rusted-out drivetrain components (lived all its life parked on grass near the ocean)
    • A really horrid smell, from 10 years of rodents nesting in the air filter that the owner didn't realize was there.

    Tech Specs

    Year: 2007
    Owners: 2, including myself
    Model: Base Access Cab 4x4, 6.1’ Bed
    Engine: 2tr-fe (2.7l 4-cylinder)
    Transmission: R155F (5-speed manual)
    Miles: 9600
    Modifications at start of build: None; completely stock right down to the original tires.​
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  3. May 11, 2018 at 7:16 PM
    #3
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North Shore, MA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
  4. May 11, 2018 at 7:23 PM
    #4
    BassAckwards

    BassAckwards Well-Known Member

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    TX
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    09 i4 PreRunner
    Subd, love that color and great combo with the access cab 4 popper!:fistbump:
     
    ProfHobbit [OP] likes this.
  5. May 11, 2018 at 7:27 PM
    #5
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    272
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    Male
    North Shore, MA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    Planned Modifications & Repairs:

    This list isn't necessarily in order; I'll try to prioritize as parts, money, and time become available. The fun stuff will be mingled in with the important stuff; a lot of it is catching parts as they become available when I don't want to put new stuff on. I will link these items to the posts in this thread as I work on them.

    To get an idea of the baseline condition of the truck after having the frame replaced, there are plenty of pictures of it in this thread.
    • Mouse Intrusion Odour Remediation - see post #9
    • Tailgate Theft Prevention - see post #21
    • OEM Stereo Replacement - see post #23
    • USB Plugs - Console, and Rear Seat-Facing - Completed
    • Walnut Gear Shift Knob
    • Walnut Tech Deck and Ram Mount for Driver's Side Phone
    • Upgrade Cabin Lighting
    • Bed Lighting
    • Fluid Film Treatment - using Rust Check in Portland, ME
    • Install Power Door Locks / Keyless Entry - see post #51
    • Tonneau Cover - see post #19
    • Intermittent Wiper Switch Upgrade - see post #50
    • Brakes - Front Pads, Calipers, Rotors - see post #54
    • Class III Trailer Hitch - completed in April, 2018
    • Replace Outer Tie Rods (edit: make that multiple suspension parts) - see post #54
    • Replace Steering Rack
    • Replace Wheels and Tires - see post #53
    • Add Fog Lights (aftermarket)
    • Locks for Rear Storage Compartments
    • Fixing Water Leak, Passenger Side - hasn't been an issue since frame replacement.
    • Fixing Mouse Intrusion through Cabin Air Intake - Completed
    • Front Bull Bar
    • Gentek Rear View Mirror from Bob's Shop
    • LED Light Bars and Many Fun Switches
    • Headache Rack Compatible with Tonneau Cover
    • A/C on with Defrost - see post #22
    • Side rails / steps - see post # 52
    • OEM Cruise Control Switch - see post #46
    • Replace Rear Axle (rust) - new shock mounts - see post #59
    • Uni-filter Mod - see post #57
    • Add CB Radio - see post #67
    • Add DashCam - see post #67
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
    Casper66 and PzTank like this.
  6. May 12, 2018 at 12:48 PM
    #6
    airsavage

    airsavage Well-Known Member

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    All of those goodies will lighten the wallet a bit:eek: but it should look good when it is done:thumbsup::cheers:
     
    BassAckwards and ProfHobbit [OP] like this.
  7. May 12, 2018 at 1:26 PM
    #7
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North Shore, MA
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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    I hear ya! And it’s odd where the costs actually lie. The door lock kit is less than $50, but the tonneau cover is $300. So, priorities will be floating around a bit.

    First up is the radio and the tonneau cover. As a grocery - getter, having a “trunk” is a priority. Door locks and backup cam will probably be installed around the same time.
     
  8. May 12, 2018 at 1:28 PM
    #8
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North Shore, MA
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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    The truck now officially has a name. My wife loves pickups, and drives a manual as well or better than I do. In fact, this may become her DD, not mine!

    She and kids also love Looney Toons, so I guess it was a matter of time before the Tasmanian Devil was thought of.

    Ladies and Gentelmen, the truck’s name is, “Taz”.
     
    airsavage likes this.
  9. May 13, 2018 at 6:48 PM
    #9
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    North Shore, MA
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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    Spent some Quality Time with Tacoma today.

    On the fun side, I added the really cheap "mods" of these wide-angle mirrors, and this centre console insert. Very pleased with both, thanks for various folks who have linked to them, and tested them out for the rest of us.

    Otherwise, the rest of the day was spent detailing the inside of the truck, and trying to deal with the awful smell from the mouse intrusion.

    Mouse Intrusion Odour Remediation
    As I have mentioned elsewhere, one of the major issues with this vehicle is that it say for ten years with no guard over that cabin air intake that mice love so well, and no changes to the cabin air filter. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there were mouse carcasses, and three-four inches of dung and nest on top of that filter. Additionally, it was soaking wet with urine.

    I spent a day in January, before the frame replacement, removing and disinfecting the cabin air filter area. I removed the blower fan, and soaked it in "Nature's Miracle" - an enzyme-based cleaner used for pet stains. I used a shop vac, weak bleach solution (covering the carpet, of course!), and more nature's miracle. I reached into the vent areas as far as I could, and cleaned for hours.

    The carpets and passenger side mat were discolored from years of this filth dripping out, and combining with a water leak (I have yet to solve this problem). I dried them as best I could.

    I then disinfected the rest interior with Lysol wipes, and vacuumed the cab.

    The next day, I drove the truck to the dealership for an oil change. It was a snowstorm, and I had to turn the heater on defrost. I almost gagged several times during the ride to the dealership. It was really putrid. I dropped the truck off, and that was that.

    Picking the truck up, I was somewhat relieved to smell far less odour, but it was still prominent. With the frame replacement done, it was time to start really taking action.

    The first step in the Remediation was to "bomb" the inside of the truck. The reviews on this material seemed positive, so we tried it on Friday night.

    We let it sit until today (Sunday), mid-day. Saturday morning I turned the heat on and let it blow around for 15 minutes to make sure the product was able to enter the ducts. Today the truck smelled like Chlorine a bit. If you put your nose to the carpet, the mouse/urine smell is still there, but it's very subdued. I'm not going to say that it didn't work, but it didn't completely eliminate it. Definitely helped.

    Cleaning up this odour is, I think, going to be a war of attrition. I work for an insurance company that often has to remediate hazmat spills. Our enviro remediation guy told me that Simple Green is a miracle worker when it comes to biological/ animal waste. He was right - All of the fins of the blower fan were stained with mouse refuse that had dripped through the filter through the years. Simple Green pulled those stains off, and the fan blades are pristine white plastic now. Every non-carpet surface in the truck was wiped down with Simple Green today, and I followed it with an Armor-All coat to revive the surfaces a bit. This has also helped, and the truck looks great!

    Finally, the other concern I have had is that perhaps the mice were nesting down near the AC Condenser, in the center of the dash. Reaching this area for disassembly involves removing the entire dash, so I wanted a way to examine it before taking pieces off. The solution? A wi-fi borescope. These are used in my part-time job of Guitar Repair to examine braces and kerfing, bridges, etc in Acoustics. They can also scope out truss rod channels when pieces break off inside a neck.

    Here's what the borescope saw when it went in by the blower motor hole, into the condenser area. Please note that the scope is just the camera and 4-6ft of extension, which then projects the image by wi-fi to my iPad:


    The plastic tube you see is some beer line hose leading to a vacuum cleaner. I used the scope to steer the vacuum around, to clean the odd bits of fluff that had blown into that area. The really good news? After scoping out every vent in the truck, I see no evidence of mice nesting, as far as I can get the camera to reach. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but it's an encouraging sign that I may be able to beat the smell without disassembling the entire dash. Just some odd bits of dust and small pine needles.

    I know this is a lot of reading, but if anyone else has gotten an infestation as bad as mine, I wanted to let you know what worked for me.

    Ultimately, cleaning inside the ducts, and replacing the carpet are going to accomplish the lion's share of this. But it's a battle that was moved along considerably today.

    UPDATE 08/2018

    Used the Toyota Aerosol and Spray Foam Kit to clean out the ducts. I think this really did help. The odor is still there, especially when it's very hot and humid, but it gets better once the AC has been running for a while. I still think the carpets are a write-off, and may need to be changed eventually, but I'd like to give them a good steam cleaning and shampoo first.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    PzTank and Biscuits like this.
  10. May 13, 2018 at 6:50 PM
    #10
    81shark

    81shark Well-Known Member

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    9600 miles. Insane
     
  11. May 13, 2018 at 6:52 PM
    #11
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    There's no doubt about it - I have had many friends who have been very good to me over the course of my life with vehicles, but this takes the cake.
     
  12. May 13, 2018 at 10:20 PM
    #12
    MurderedTacoV2

    MurderedTacoV2 Booty Admirer

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    Ebay Bumper, Light Bars, Duratracs, 3" lift
    Things still a baby! Glad you found some good cleaning products to get rid of the oh so putrid mouse piss smells! Never woulda thought to use simple green either but i will keep it in mind next time i have to deal with a saturated blower fan like that one you were blessed with :rofl:
     
  13. May 14, 2018 at 5:04 AM
    #13
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Minor Stuff
    I've developed a whole new respect for that stuff. Takes pitch off bandsaw blades like no one's business, too.

    On the drive in today, I think I'm noticing that other than the vents, the carpet itself is the biggest culprit. Won't be too long before I take a long weekend and strip that out to be replaced with vinyl.
     
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  14. May 15, 2018 at 5:40 PM
    #14
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    When I got the truck, the passenger side mat was soaked, and it was a little wet when I picked it up from the dealership after the frame replacement. I was afraid of one of those passenger side leaks that can be hard to suss out.

    Drove home in some pretty heavy rain today, and had the truck parked in a downpour. Everything is bone dry. Fingers crossed, but I am still going to put the flashing over the air intake, as described elsewhere, and keep an eye on it. AC is draining nicely after dealership unplugged the drain.
     
  15. May 15, 2018 at 5:50 PM
    #15
    MurderedTacoV2

    MurderedTacoV2 Booty Admirer

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    The rain was super nasty today, glad its not leaking though! But yes mesh over both intakes is a good idea, just make sure its secure good.
     
    ProfHobbit [OP] likes this.
  16. May 15, 2018 at 6:04 PM
    #16
    BananaPeelOut

    BananaPeelOut Well-Known Member

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  17. May 15, 2018 at 7:25 PM
    #17
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Minor Stuff
    You mean the cabin air intake, and the engine intake, right? 'Cause if there are two cabin air intakes I'm going to cry.

    If you're close to the Seacoast area, feel free to drop by later this summer for a brake party - I could use the help! That thread is a great write-up. I'll probably be going with this setup.

    Yes, sir. What's amazing to me is that while here is a bit of dry rot, they aren't bad. I'm not saying they don't need to be replaced, but it's amazing that they're in the shape that they are. Technically, the truck rolled at least 2-3 times per month, although obviously less than 100 miles per month!

    Looking for a set of rims, tpms, and tires with under 10k on them, before winter, for sure. Thinking Defenders or Wranglers, but open to whatever comes by on the forums that is close to 245/75/r16 and suitable for a DD.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  18. May 15, 2018 at 8:15 PM
    #18
    MurderedTacoV2

    MurderedTacoV2 Booty Admirer

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    Ebay Bumper, Light Bars, Duratracs, 3" lift
    Yessir only cabine and engine hahah
     
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  19. May 19, 2018 at 4:46 PM
    #19
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    North Shore, MA
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    2007 Tacoma 4WD, 5 SPD, 2.7L, Access Cab, Base
    Minor Stuff
    Had some time Friday to work on the truck, so I got the Tonneau Cover installed. Truxsport by Truxedo - my neighbor with the big GMC 3500, 8' bed, came over to inspect this morning. He was really impressed with the latching system on mine, which I was glad to hear. It has an automatic tensioner to keep it from flapping excessively. Took a ride with it in the rain today to get some parts from @Tacoma/Taco (great to meet you!) in Maine. A few rivulets of water in the bed, perfectly acceptable for my purposes. Cross one more item off the list!

     
  20. May 20, 2018 at 3:57 PM
    #20
    ProfHobbit

    ProfHobbit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Minor Stuff
    This happened this morning on the way to church:

     
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