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The Wild Crow - Flight Preparations

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Builds (2005-2015)' started by Wild Crow, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Jan 12, 2015 at 4:27 PM
    #1
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    King George
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    As you may or may not know, my wife and I have this plan: In 3-5 years (depending on our kids' college time lines) we plan on running away together. Selling nearly everything we own with the exception of our teardrop trailer –the CrowsWing; and our Toyota Tundra – the CrowsTow (aka Queen Elizabeth's Revenge) and travel the USA for at least a year, seeing the sights and generally be itinerant vagabonds.
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    Wait....you already have a Tundra to tow the trailer ....where does the Tacoma fit in with this plan? Well, let me 'splain, please. No, there is too much. Let me to sum up:


    The original plan did involve the Tundra. Rebuilding all the components (I do mean all) of this daily driven 220,000 mile truck (300,000+ likely by the time of the trip) was going to be a costly and time consuming affair. Also considering we will soon be in need of an extra vehicle due to two driving age teenagers. It became clear that we would be better off starting with a new vehicle, building it up to our specs and keeping the tundra for the extra vehicle, ..


    The Tacoma TRD PRO was chosen back in February when rumors of it came out. Why? Well, I liked it. It had all the Off Road features (locker ATRAC, DAC) but also looked cool with the scoop and “bead-lock” wheels. Plus, the suspension was already upgraded, saving me from buying an aftermarket suspension and lifting it in the driveway Hey , and it's covered under Toyota,s warranty.


    So you wanted a PRO but got a Baja? Oh, you noticed that discrepancy? Well, yeah....when the dealer (we only stopped to test drive a TRD Sport - I wanted to try out the seats and see how strong the V6 felt) asked if we wanted a 2015 or a 2014, I said if you can find a 14 BAJA equipped the way I want I'd settle for that. A two hour search later they found one. After a not so brief negotiation (they took a chunk of money off the price for it being a 2014, offered a low low finance rate and added some to our trade in) we agreed to buy a new truck


    Here it sits: The Wild Crow.
    It's Black, it's beautiful and it's ready to take over towing,kayak hauling, and forest road duties from the Tundra.

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    Modifications and Cost List:

    Interior:
    Glovebox Organizer - by Salex.........$18
    ImMrYo Mirror relocation bracket......$35
    Tuffy Cup Holder..............................$30
    HuskyLiners Xact Contour Mats........$202
    CoverKing Seatcovers.....................$311
    Cobra 75 WXST CB radio..................$75 years ago, pulled it from the Tundra
    Constant USB ports in console.........$50
    with USB's, wiring, fuse block
    400 watt anytime mod....................$ CHEAP
    110v outlet in console.....................$25
    for outlet and wire taps
    HD Tech Deck....................................$67

    Towing:
    Tekonsha P3....................................$120
    EZ View Mirrors from TrailToys..........$45
    Ultragauge......................................$80
    Long Tru Cool Trans Cooler............$88.70
    Exterior:
    BAJA emblem...................................FREE!
    Steekers on the cap.........................FREE! to $7 each. We like to collect them from places the truck has been
    Hood Crow and Stripe......................$210
    Painted Beadlocks...........................$ 9 Primer and Black
    Baja Design SquadronR Sport
    Wide cornering LED lights.......$230

    Suspension/Tires:
    Firestone Ride Rite Airbags..............$310
    Daystar Cradles.................................$76
    5 Cooper ST Maxx 255/85/16..........$1000
    Wheelers Front Bumps......................$62.50
    Underhood:
    Redline Tuning Hood Struts................$76
    AEM Dryflow air filter.........................$40
    Alternate Snorkle..............................$44
    Rear Diff Breather Extension...............$20
    UniFilter...........................................$13
    LongeRange 34gallon gas tank. ......... $1400
    URDUSA fuel pump upgrade..... ..........$165

    Bed and Storage:
    Jason Workforce Cap (used)............$700 + $200 in expenses getting it home from SC
    BensonX DIY HiLift Mount and
    Fuel Can Storage and
    Yakima Rack storage.......................$20ish in hardware along with some scrap aluminum
    QuickFist Clamps for
    shovel, axe, and bow saw................$30
    ViAir 330C, air tank, wiring
    I had all this already, but I bought it
    cheap on ebay......................................$125

    Armour
    Mobtown Offroad
    Aluminum skidplates...................$729
    Pelfreybilt Full Hoop Aluminum.........$1649
    with Superwinch EPi9.0
    already owned, mods to it cost..$85
    RockSliders by Butcher54.................$350
    Slider Plates, paint, sandpaper..........$60
    SOS CONCEPTS rear bumper...........$1542

    Total for mods so far:..................$10196.70



    Trips List (camping with the teardrop):
    Monongahela National Forest July 2015
    Kerr Reservoir July 2016
    Highlands NC July 2016
    NWPA June 2017
    Kerr Reservoir July 2017
    GWNF. July 2017
    Highlands NC. August 2017
    Westmoreland SP Sept 2017
    Blowing Rock NC Oct 2017
    Wiggins Spring Rd, VA May 2018
    Round Mountain CG July 2018
    Flagpole Knob August 2018
    SOSConcepts and
    Summerville SC. October 2018

    The Wild Crow as it looks now:
    20170501_152749.jpg

    073116pod_camp_site_307.jpg
    Photo by Jay Capers

    20181117_165912.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  2. Jan 12, 2015 at 4:40 PM
    #2
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's almost ready. Nothing is ever perfect, so a few minor modifications will be necessary.


    First, we were going to spring for some crossbars to put on that factory roof rack so we could haul kayaks...until Beth discovered the crossbars are built in-- they simply unclamp and can be swung to be perpendicular or parallel depending on your mood for the day.! Sweet! We're saving money already!

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    Next, the running boards hadto go. They're too high to use as a step, too plastic to use as a slider, and too wide to avoid hitting the back of your leg when getting in or out. Hopefully they can find a new home on someone else's truck A pair of rock sliders purchased for the Tundra but never installed are slated to be attached soon.

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    I added a glovebox organizer. Not much of a mod but well worth the 5 minute install.Now we have a place for those extra straws, napkins and ketchup packets from Chick-fil-A.

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    Next on the list: TheImMrYo mirror bracket from the Tacoma World forum. That dang mirror hangs way too low for my liking. Now it's up as high as it can go affording an improved view of the road. Another 5 minute modification with great results. (First photo not my truck.....had to steal a before pic off the interweb - thank you to whoevers truck its from)

    Before
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    After
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  3. Jan 13, 2015 at 2:34 PM
    #3
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Since nothing much has happened to the Tacoma recently, other than driving it, I thought I'd post up some comparison photos. The 2nd Gen Tacoma and 1st Gen Tundra are close in size. The wheelbase is almost exactly the same. Parked side by side with the tires lined up you don't see the 1/2" difference. You do notice a few things though:

    The Tundra is a few inches wider
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    Slightly longer to the rear
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    and a bit longer in the front
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    They have about the same ground clearance. Note: the Tundra is on a 1.5" Lift with Donahoe coilovers and 285/75/16s. The Taco is the factory 1.5" BAJA coilover lift and 265/70/16s
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    Question: Why does the crossover exhaust for the Tacoma (above)drop down so far? he Tundra (below)sweeps back and keeps the crossmember as the lowest point.
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    The Tacoma has a bit better approach angle
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    I'm Diggin' the new ride. The seats are comfortable on long trips. The premium stereo thumps when you want it to. Gas mileage is averaging about 2 mpg more than the Tundra according to Fuelly. The Bilsteins are extremely smooth on the freeway and seem more compliant going slow over bumpy bits than the Donahoes on the Tundra.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mar 23, 2015 at 3:39 PM
    #4
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What Do You Need When You Already Have 12 Cup Holders?



    More Cup Holders!

    Why you ask? Because the placement of those 12 are not conducive to safe drinking and driving.

    With 2 cup holders in each door, well they really are bottle holders, which I don't mind, but they cannot hold a fast food style drink or my travel coffee mug.
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    Of course, there are the two in the back of the console, but they are for the back seat drivers. I can't safely reach a cup stashed there while motoring.
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    I know, I hear what you are saying: There are two perfectly good cup holders at the front just beyond the gear shift. Yes, there are, you are right about that. Their being perfectly good is another story.
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    Some highly intelligent designer over at Toyota decided it was a good idea to use these rubber inserts set inside a big rectangular compartment. All well and good, but they did not account for an, um, American size portion control problem - or for my clumsiness.
    Once you put your cup in, the insert stays attached.
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    If the insert were round, there would be no issue. It's design makes it almost impossible to fit back into its base while driving - especially at night. You have to turn the thing precisely square to get it back in place.
    [​IMG].......[​IMG]

    My solution? The Tuffy cup holder they sell for their brand of consoles. It's nearly the right size. Nearly the right color, and you can nearly fit any size drink you may want to chug while driving.
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    I warned you this was going to be not so wild......but don't worry, there is more interesting stuff in the plans.....
     
  5. May 5, 2015 at 4:45 PM
    #5
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    See, this thread is as wild as ever.

    I've managed to add a Tekonsha P3 brake controller. I've got it mounted where the little tray was in the dash to the left of the center stack. I'm not real happy with the mount (I'll need to fabricate something better looking) nor am I happy with the hole left in the dash by the removal of the tray ( I may need to modify the tray itself)

    The installation was pretty straightforward. Finding the stupid plug in the kick panel was probably the hardest part. It was way up high and behind a mass of wires. Higher than I had seen on other installs on the interwebs. It also didn't want to come out of hiding and it was quite the chore to plug it in. My hands and arms just aren't slim, let's say. I cursed and scraped and cursed some more but managed to plug in the pigtail.

    Now I have a working brake controller to make the working trailer brakes actually work. Now I can't wait for the test tow....

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    IMG_4001.jpg
     
    Pirhett likes this.
  6. Jun 15, 2015 at 4:07 PM
    #6
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    We didn't like the small TX stickers. When the truck gets dusty and dirty what you see is this square outline around the TX. The dirt seemed quite inclined to stick into the very edge of the sticker. We wound up peeling those off. We did decide the Baja needed something to show just how special the truck is.

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    We picked these up for FREE! from the free emblem thread. The size and style of lettering fits well with the stock emblem and the price was right.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  7. Jun 29, 2015 at 5:55 PM
    #7
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Time for more Wildly mild goodness!


    Having read countless threads of peeps moanin' and dissin' on Toyotas choice of rear leaf springs I decided to try to alleviate any potential problems before they surfaced.

    Having previously installed Airlift AirCells (like Timbrens) on the Tundra, which resulted in keeping a set of Deaver 3 leafs from sagging for 200,000 miles so far ( even after abusing them by overloading the truck on several occasions); I knew some sort of similar helper spring aid had the potential to keep the springs usable for years.

    I liked the capability of the AirCells. What I didn't like was the ride when unloaded. Down the road they were fine, with any kind of a load they were excellent. On a large bump, say a bridge or railroad crossing or a very potholey road, they do a little funky extra pulse when the truck is unloaded. Whenever the suspension slams down on the Aircell but there is not much weight, the AirCell pushed back and you can feel it.

    For the Tacoma, I decided to try something new to me: Airbags
    I like the idea of adjustability for a load. Being able to adjust ride height on a whim is cool. Ya know, the Baja comes with a 1.5" lift in the front, but why'd they leave the rear stock? The bags have the potential to compensate for that squatting look.

    So we did it. We bought the Ride Rites.
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    While I took the wheels and spare off the truck my wife unpacked the Airbags and the Daystar cradles (because I know eventually we'll be flexing that suspension), and we laid out all the tools within easy reach
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    She started the assembly of the bags/brackets, and mounted the Daystar Cradles to the lower brackets.
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    I did the bolting of the bag assemblies to the frame. Why don't they make tolerances under vehicles for 'Murican sized hands?
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    While I worked on that, Beth took the time to install the inflation valves. We decided running them through the license plate would be the slickest, most unobtusive look.
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    We aired the bags up to 50 psi, no leaks and got an instant 2 1/4" lift!
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    Realistically, we're riding on a daily with 12 psi which still gives a 1" lift over stock height. The truck looks proportional with this and it rides comfortably when unloaded.
     
    R09ster and mattraptor like this.
  8. Jun 29, 2015 at 6:30 PM
    #8
    OKJC

    OKJC Well-Known Member

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    Great sounding plan, great looking truck, and man...your wife is awesome!
     
  9. Jun 29, 2015 at 6:41 PM
    #9
    T4RFTMFW

    T4RFTMFW #DBBeer

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    Haven't seen this until now. I'm diggin' everything, subbing for more!

    I'm really contemplating airbags myself, over a new leaf pack - but not sure.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2015 at 3:19 PM
    #10
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    With the addition of the airbags, we decided it was time to test the Tacoma's towing ability. This would be an extremely important trip for us - if the Tacoma didn't live up to our expectations then we'd have to consider our vehicular options for our future One Year Trip.

    I had three days off - Beth had four (she got Friday the third off too, so she got the job of loading the trailer with provisions). We hooked up on the 4th in the morning.
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    We headed to West Virginia to spend some time in the mountains. We decided to head for Thomas/Davis with the idea of camping and checking out some kayak launch sites for an upcoming trip to the Cheat River. We've spent quite some time in this area and know of a sweet campsite on FR18.

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    We set up camp and spent a great afternoon in the woods.
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    The road in was muddy and rough. The Baja suspension felt great though, and we finally got some dirt on the tires.
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    Forest road 18 is the home of a gorgeous waterfall, and we spent some of the afternoon messing around in the freezing waters.
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    For supper, it was time for pizza, wine and apple pie. When you're equipped with an oven, you get some really good supper choices.
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    After supper, it was time for the sunset on Big Run Overlook:
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    On Sunday we headed for Parsons and checked out the launch sites and the Horseshoe Run Campground. Our waterfall site is better, but it's good to know potential camp sites.
    We spent a lot of time driving the roads and forest roads - so much so that we neglected to take pictures.

    We did stop by a grocery store in Parsons for some potato chips that my wife forgot to pack for our lunch. She found me a little gift while wandering the aisles.
    [​IMG]
    That my friends is a full gallon of sausage gravy. I've never eaten the canned version, but the home cooked stuff runs through my veins.....I'd drink this like water.....or wine.....but it's better over eggs and biscuits.

    Those who know the area know of the Canaan Loop aka FR13. We checked out the campsites along it for future reference also.
    The Loop was muddy and rough and let the Tacoma flex its suspension a little. I've had the Tundra through it, so this was a good chance to compare the two. The result: so damn similar it's scary. Both are wide enough to get scratches along the route. (Yes our brand new truck has its first scratch - but it was done "off road" and not in some stupid parking lot!) The Tacoma just rolled over all the roughest spots without complaint, but those mudflaps drag everywhere!

    Monday came along too soon, and we had to pack up and leave...In the rain. It rained so much all the mud got washed off the truck. We took a quick video of our trip out FR 18:


    We did stop in the pouring rain at one of the scenic overlooks. All we saw was fog.
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    Overall, I'm really happy with the Tacoma. It never once really struggled whether towing or crawling the Canaan Loop. Again, it is so similar to our first gen Tundra, you really don't notice much difference between the two. I'm diggin' the new truck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
    mattraptor and T4RFTMFW like this.
  11. Jul 8, 2015 at 3:27 PM
    #11
    T4RFTMFW

    T4RFTMFW #DBBeer

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    Love the pics and trips. :popcorn:
     
  12. Aug 12, 2015 at 1:29 PM
    #12
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Movin' right along - as my favorite Muppet Movie song goes - it was oil change day, and tire rotation day. I also added the Redline Tuning Hood Struts that I bought during the last sale some months ago. They've been sitting on the workbench while I enjoyed the summer, now they're on the truck.

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    All went as planned until I went to shut the hood and the struts bottomed out and the hood couldn't close all the way. I double checked my measurements with the instruction sheet. I had them right according to that. Quick and easy solution was to move the fender brackets back. Scooted it back until the forward hole in the bracket lined up with the rearward hole that is now in my fender. That worked like a charm. Hood closes, latches and then opens and stays that way as needed.
     
  13. Dec 8, 2015 at 7:09 PM
    #13
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Time to (re)Cap!

    The Sunday after Thanksgiving we had to take our kids (young adults really) back to their respective colleges. It was raining, and since we have no bed cover for the Wild Crow we loaded up the Sooby with said kids and their luggage. Down the wet road we went - stopping by VCU in Richmond to drop our daughter off, then rolling on out to VA Tech to unload our son.

    By the time we got to VA Tech and departed ways with Chris it was about 3PM. I drove all the way out (about 4 1/2 hours) so my wife hopped behind the wheel and we started our long drive home. Along the way I was passing time searching CL for caps.

    Because we are more than a little picky, (and a little frugal - not wanting to shell out the cash for a new cap) we've spent the past year looking for a used cap. Not that we've found many 5' caps at all - they seem pretty rare around here. Anyways, I'm scrolling along and there it is! Black, 5 ft, solid doors instead of windows, toolboxes, and even a Yakima rack setup!

    "Awesome! Lets go see this today!" On my CL app this thing was listed in Asheville NC, a little over 3 hours from where we were. My wife spun the car around we headed south. On the way I was making the phone call. I was psyched! The dude spent some time telling me about it; it was still on his truck; listed it that morning; etc etc.

    "So where are you in Asheville?"
    "Asheville? I'm not in Asheville......I'm in Abbeville"
    "OK, where's that, we're on our way"
    "It's about an hour south of Greenville, SC"
    "Ouch, OK, ....um I'll get back to you"

    Seems the cap was almost 5 hours from us. We actually stopped, turned around and headed North again. While we drove we talked, about caps of course, but mostly the fact it was exactly what we have been looking for but so far out of our way. Still undecided, we stopped and went antiquing. I don't think we looked at anything antique. We walked through the antique mall and kept talking caps and looking at the pictures on CL. One lap in and the decision was made.

    I texted the owner and said we'd be there in the morning. We plotted a course and took off. It was dark and raining, accidents were all over the crowded freeway and we crawled. And crawled. While we slogged through traffic Beth searched online and found a hotel in Greenville S.C. - we should be there by 9:30PM. We also looked up what it would cost to put a hitch on the Sooby and rent a trailer ($360 for the hitch install + $100 for the trailer)Nope ....too expensive and probably couldn't be done at the last minute anyway... and frugality won out as we hatched our plan to build an addition onto the stock roof rack that was big enough to fit the cap.

    Traffic was bad, did I mention that? We made it to Greenville at midnight. Exhausted we fell into bed and slept until six. After eating a horrible free breakfast, the morning found us hunting a Lowes -Home Depot-Hardwareishlike place. A nearby Lowes provided us with 2x4s (they cut them down to 6 foot lengths), ratchet straps and eyebolts. Next a MomNPop True Value place provided some 4 inch square U-bolts (do they have a real name?)

    With our rack ingredients inside the car we drove the hour to the cap's home. Pulling in the driveway the cap looked perfect on his truck. We climbed out of the car and the owner met us with a "How ya gonna haul the cap home with that?"
    "We have a plan" I says, "Do you have a drill?"

    With that we commenced building. Eyebolts placed in the ends of our 2x4s, then said 2x4s bolted to the Sooby crossbars with the U-bolts. Solid.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He backed his truck up, his tailgate almost touching the Sooby's liftgate and the three of us transfered the cap onto our extended roof rack. Ratchet straps going to and from the eyebolts held the cap down firmly. 2 more straps went front to back for extra support.
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    Money exchanged hands, the Yakima crossbars that went with the cap went into the Sooby, we all said thanks and goodbye. With a parting "good luck" from the now previous owner we rolled the 502 miles home - in the rain of course.


    [​IMG]

    The most disappointing thing? I only saw one person pointing and laughing while we drove 70 mph up the highway......
     
    chiefcrunchy and Incognito like this.
  14. Feb 3, 2016 at 5:58 AM
    #14
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The Shell Game - Jason Work Force Cab Hi Premium

    Our cap sat in the garage for a week after we bought it. It sat on sawhorses while I rewired the lights and Beth cleaned it up.

    She washed and shined up the exterior and I made sure the brake light and interior light functioned correctly. I used a four flat trailer plug to connect the lights to the truck. It was easy peasy japanesey and gives me the flexibility to easily remove the cap if needed.

    With our daughter's help we lifted the cap and set it on the truck. Carefully scooching it into position. As I was about to fasten it down with the brackets I realized we forgot to seal it.

    Now with my daughter in the truck we tossed in sawhorses and milk crates. As Beth and I lifted the cap up Madeline stacked crates so the cap would be off the truck bed high enough to add the seal.

    We used a rubber seal I bought from Amazon. Stuck it on the cap carefully fitting the corners to hopefully mitigate any leakage.

    Set the cap back down on the truck, rescue our daughter trapped behind the milk crates and sawhorses, fasten the cap down. Done deal.

    I caulked the corners where the front rail is lower than the side rails. I used the silicone sealant that we used on our teardrop. 3M 4200 sticky waterproof and lasts forever almost. Don't get it on your fingers. ....

    Cap looks good though. Well worth the year long search and the 500 mile drive
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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  15. Feb 8, 2016 at 6:23 PM
    #15
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Why, oh why do they not sell trucks with rubber floors? Every truck I've owned has been carpeted and it takes almost no time at all for that carpet to be ruined by kids, mud, beach sand, coffee, watermelons, etc. Our Tundra's carpet got so bad we had to replace the smelly thing with a vinyl floor covering I found online. It was a pain to install, doesn't quite fit right (I think it was really for a T100) but it gets the job done on the old truck.

    The new truck - again - carpeted. In an effort to not ruin the carpet, short of finding a vinyl/rubber replacement. We've added a full set of Husky Xact Contour floor mats. Not perfect in my world, but they should do the trick.
    [​IMG]

    ....and another thing: Mirrors. I love to see where I've been. And who's trying not to pass me by hanging alongside my rear fender. The Crows mirrors, while functional, seemed on the smallish side and the view could be improved. We picked up a set of EZ View Mirrors from Trail Toys. Until these, I had added the little stick on blind spot mirrors. OKish, but still hard to see out of.

    Those EZViews? Awesome by comparison. The passenger side has a little more side view, but the real bonus is seeing so far down the side of the truck. I can see exactly how close the rear flare is to a tree - or another vehicle. The drivers side shows the biggest benefit. The view is greatly increased over the standard flat mirror. I can see vehicles that previously would have been missed. And I can see where the flare is - and the tire for that matter.

    Yes the curvature takes a little getting used to, but only on the drivers side. Your passenger side eye is used to seeing the slight curve - so the slightly more curved EZView isn't really noticed looking to the right. The drivers side takes a little more to get used to it, but after a few drives you hate to go back to a vehicle without them.

    The install went easy. Just follow his video instructions and badda bing badda boom you're reflecting on your reflection. I did use a heat gun on low - it was in the 40s outside, so I heated the plastic up before attempting to pop the old glass out - then reheated to pop the new in. Worked like a charm. These things get 4 thumbs up! (uh - my two and Beth's two - whadya think I am a freak?)

    [​IMG]
     
    Base Camp likes this.
  16. Feb 10, 2016 at 4:19 PM
    #16
    Base Camp

    Base Camp Instagram: @willismtc

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    Excellent build! I found this thread looking for reviews of the EZ Views and you just convinced me to pull the trigger!

    I wish I could have seen that cap on the Suby going down the road... :rofl:
     
  17. Mar 18, 2016 at 6:02 PM
    #17
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This wasn't really on the priority list yet, but my wife found this thread from BensonX on his home fabbed hi-lift mount (and tool mounts). We'd been discussing ideas on the organization we will need inside the cap for our year long trip.

    With the truck and trailer being our home on the road everything we need has to have a place to maximize storage in the small space the truck bed provides. We were working on plans for an interior rack to hold our hi-lift, shovel, bow saw, kayak rack, kayak paddles and some other accoutrements.

    During our discussion one night, Beth found Benson's thread. She asked "can you do that?" My reply was an instant "Hells yeah! I'd thought about buying someones prefabbed versions, but home made is in our price range and just as effective"

    So, here we are: Hi-lift mounted out of the way and giving us a further plan for the rest of our gear. More to come on that story, on to the H-Lift:

    We gathered up parts from the hardware store. Some of which you see here. Some of those are for more of the other mounts still in progress.
    [​IMG]

    I took a few minutes on the grinder and made some thick washers into rail shaped guides.
    [​IMG]

    Washers mounted onto bolts with lock washers and a jam nut; these slid right into the rails to provide a very sturdy mounting point for the brackets
    [​IMG]

    The brackets: Well, what will be brackets. 2" x 1/8" aluminum stock
    [​IMG]

    Each received a nice 90 degree bend to form the base of the bracket, and a hole 3/4" from the top to mate it to the bed rail stud.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I coated the feet with plasti-dip (red to match the hi-lift....and our Baja's TRD emblem), and added some 3" bolts (and jam nuts) for the mounting studs. The studs will be cut down to a more manageable length, I just had no idea how long they needed to be. A pair of open threaded knobs hold the hi-lift fast
    [​IMG]

    The final assembly: The lift handle rests on the wheel well. We thought this would be a little more stable when the going gets rough. Mounted this way the jack is so sturdy, that I can't shake it. Of course, I'm old and may not be as spritely as you so YMMV on this.
    [​IMG]

    I like the location and mounting style. It should be a little used item and it's tucked up out of the way nicely.
     
  18. Mar 18, 2016 at 6:47 PM
    #18
    1truckdriver

    1truckdriver BRO

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    TRD SuperCharger SCS Rays 10
  19. Mar 31, 2016 at 6:06 PM
    #19
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    With the Hi-Lift tucked up out of the way, we moved on to storage for other necessities:

    Items like the shovel, the bow saw and the axe (seriously). These were installed in the passenger side tool box. The axe and shovel used the original sized Quick-Fist clamps, while the bow saw is held up with two mini Quick-Fists. We purchased an 8 piece kit through Amazon.

    [​IMG]

    These items tend to find a lot of use while we are camping. The tool box access gives us easy access to them, while the Quick Fists keep them securely stored. The drivers side still needs work. I need to figure out its arrangement - which is currently tool rolls, an air compressor, snatch strap, jumper cables and various other items that get used on and "off" road.

    [​IMG]

    Ultimately, I would love to address the range of the Tacoma (both with and without Teardrop) by adding either a long range fuel tank, or an auxiliary fuel tank. Until that time (and money) come along, we are stuck with fuel cans like normal peeple.

    Luckily for us our gas cans fit under the drivers side tool box - barely. They slide snugly in with the tops of the handle brushing the tool box. There is no upward movement - awesome! Side ways is a differnt story. We discussed ideas of how to fasten the cans fast. Everything from the ubiquitous ratchet straps, to a fancy locking aluminum catch that swung open and closed tightly around them. What we eventually arrived at is the epitome of the KISS system.
    The tailgate serves as the forward (rearward?) latch - as the rear most can is held in place by the tailgate when closed. The side movement is held in check by a piece of aluminum angle fastened to the underside of the tool box. The angle leg is deep enough to hold the tops of the cans firmly against the side of the truck bed, while allowing you to slide them right in and out.

    [​IMG]

    What do you use your gun rack for?
    I use mine for kayak paddles. Our Bending Branches take down paddles slide right into the gun rack.

    [​IMG]


    Yes, we kayak. Mostly for fossil hunting in the winter and fishing in the summer, and the occasional mild white water. Currently, our kayaks are Future Beach Trophy 126's. A matching pair 'cause we are just that darned cute.

    [​IMG]

    The kayak racks have also found a home in the bed of the truck when not in use. They store right next to the Hi-Lift. A couple of wide boards, properly fenestrated; some bolts, wing nuts, and PVC end caps make a rack to hold the crossbars is place just waiting for their chance to mount to the roof to haul some yaks to an interesting place.

    Cutting and shaping
    [​IMG].......[​IMG]

    Paint
    [​IMG]

    The rear piece mounts to the bed rail
    [​IMG]

    The front is removable and slides onto studs mounted to the side of the tool box.
    [​IMG]kr

    So far, everything is out of the way

    [​IMG]
     
    Theloraxcross likes this.
  20. Mar 31, 2016 at 6:19 PM
    #20
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    We also ordered seat covers while we shopped on Amazon. These are not what we really wanted, we're holding out for a few years but wanted to be able to prevent damage to the very nice and comfortable seats the Tacoma came with.

    These are CoverKings ballistic Cordura covers. The rear set showed up within days of the order. I did the install while Beth worked on the rack mount. The instructions included are minimal, but it's pretty obvious how the covers slide on and what attaches to where. The only advice I can give is take your time, and DO NOT reinstall the headrests backwards! They are a PITA to get back out.

    [​IMG]

    For the price of $150ish a row, they seem durable, and look acceptable. It takes some hand strength to get them pulled tight. They should last a few years while we save up for the alligator hide set we fell in love with.....
     

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