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VTTaco97 2018 Double Cab Long Bed OffRoad Build Thread

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Builds (2016+)' started by VTTaco97, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Jan 12, 2019 at 6:40 PM
    #1
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Hi guys,
    Starting a build thread to document the mods to my truck, most of which have been inspired by members here. I'm a good ways into the build already, so I will post these in the order in which I performed them, adding reviews of each component that might help others interested in the same mods.

    Current state:
    31a_final_product.jpg

    As she came off the showroom floor:
    2_factory_daves.jpg

    Tires/wheels:


    Suspension:



    Gears:


    Tune:


    Lighting:


    Kicker speakers:


    Other goodies:

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
    tcBob and PennSilverTaco like this.
  2. Jan 12, 2019 at 6:49 PM
    #2
    2BeersPlease

    2BeersPlease Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't this be in the 3rd gen section?
     
  3. Jan 12, 2019 at 6:51 PM
    #3
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Yes, realized about 2 seconds after clicking post that I had left the default 1st gen forum selected. I've sent a note to the moderators to see if they can move it, or delete it and I'll just repost in 3rd gen.
     
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  4. Jan 13, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    #4
    NukedTaco

    NukedTaco Well-Known Member

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    Good to see another longbed
     
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  5. Jan 14, 2019 at 8:52 PM
    #5
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Very first mod, vent visors. I've run these on every truck I've owned for over 25 years, they work great, allow you to get some air in the cab without getting rain in the cab. My dad had them on his Tundra for about 15 years before the 3M tape finally started working loose, I just replaced them for his birthday.

    3_vent_visors.jpg


    However ... on my 3rd gen taco, I installed the "tape it to the outside of the door" version, and they totally screwed up the aero package of this truck (yes, I realize "aero" and "truck" in the same sentence is some sort of oxymoron). From the factory, this was the quietest truck I've ever been in, much nicer than my 2011 Access Cab. After installing these, they have driven me insane! At low speeds (35 mph) they're no problem. But once I get above 45, they start whistling, at 65 they are howling.

    I'm really torn on these. When people have asked my opinion in person, I've told them "Great functionality, annoying wind noise, but worth it". The more time I spend in the truck, the more I'm starting to consider ripping them off.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2019 at 9:22 PM
    #6
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    One of the first things I do in all my vehicles is add seat covers. I spend a lot of time in my trucks when I'm seriously dirty from building decks, cutting firewood, hunting, whatever. Basically, I need something to protect my seats from my grungy butt/arms/legs. I ran across these Bully covers at Tractor Supply for about 20 or 30 dollars. They are durable and comfortable, they just get the job done.

    This pic shows them looking a little wrinkled because I had just installed them. After a few days of settling they looked more like factory installed seats than covers.

    4_bully_seat_covers.jpg
     
  7. Jan 14, 2019 at 9:30 PM
    #7
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    When I started looking into getting a new taco, I was initially perplexed by all the "3rd gens have 1 inch factory lift" nonsense. For those who need visual proof, here is an example. On the left is my 2011 access cab. On the right is my 2018 double cab long bed. Both are factory stock in this photo, except for the brush guard on the 11 (I've obviously mod-ed the 18 since).


    5_comp_with_2011.jpg
     
  8. Jan 17, 2019 at 12:20 PM
    #8
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Next mod was adding LED interior and reverse lights. I don't have before/after pics of the interior, but I would estimate the LEDs are about 3 times brighter, it's a huge difference.

    I just used a cheap Partsam kit from Amazon for the interior: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MFB37MJ
    And followed the instructions from PrecisionLED's youtube post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYbZqbXnlug
    The install is pretty simple except the map light which is a pain to get in.

    I went with FlashWolves for the reverse lights: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0193ISBUA

    I only have one crappy picture of new (left) vs factory (right), and it doesn't capture the difference very well, but they did help out quite a bit.

    6_reverse_leds.jpg
     
  9. Jan 17, 2019 at 12:52 PM
    #9
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Another early mod was the speaker upgrades. I went with kickers because I had read good reviews, and found that the tweeters for a subaru wrx are made by them, and are an exact-fit replacement.

    I should note that I have the "regular" Entune system, not the JBL premium.

    Here is the parts list:
    Tweeters (subaru wrx): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PV6F8I2
    Front 6x9: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSC6934/Kicker-43CSC6934.html
    Rear 6-3/4: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_206CSC674/Kicker-43CSC674.html

    I used several of the videos from ********* (https://*********.com/) and others as a guide, and of course Crutchfield provided pretty good instruction docs.

    Sorry, I don't have any pics of the install process, but it is pretty simple. I ran into 2 main issues:
    1) The door panels had some grease on them, which of course got transferred to my hands, and then inadvertently got on the synthetic fabric material on the arm rest area. Some windex and a microfiber cloth cleaned it up easily enough, but the whole mess could have been avoided if I took a bit more time.

    2) The mounting adapters crutchfield provided were not an exact fit. I had to do a bit of trimming on them, and the screw holes didn't like up exactly, I had to run a couple of them in sideways to get enough material for the screws to bite into. The result looks a little sloppy, but the door panels cover it, so I didn't care too much. Those with higher levels of OCD might find them very annoying.

    I'm very pleased with the speakers, especially the tweeters. As other reviewers have noted, they are the weak link in the factory set up. The new ones have noticeably more volume and better midrange sound quality. The door speakers provide a lot more bass, which was also a weak point of the factory units.

    It certainly isn't a theater experience sound upgrade, but it is definitely a big improvement over the factory system, and a pretty easy install.
     
  10. Jan 21, 2019 at 4:19 PM
    #10
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    New tires were the next order of business. I went with 265/75R16 KO2s. I ordered these from tirerack.com and they showed up in 2 days with free shipping. I don't have good before/after comparison photos because I had the truck exactly 6 days when these got installed. When I took it in, my long-time friend who runs the tire shop was asking why I wanted to replace tires that only had 310 miles on them? After they installed and pulled it out into the parking lot, all he could say is how those really made it look like a truck.

    The KO2s are great. I've run BFG A/Ts on all my vehicles for nearly 25 years. The old A/Ts had a few annoying properties, mostly the high variability in wear. I've had sets that got 65k miles no problem, others needed to be replaced after 30k. But almost nobody questions the toughness of them. The KOs I had on my 2011 were good for nearly 50k when I sold it, with life to spare. I can't speak to the durability of the KO2s yet, but they definitly have a little better road manners. Less walking around and following grooves/imperfections in the road, and less noise due to the tiny changes to the tread pattern designed to address it. Those changes lead me to believe that the KO2s will have better longevity than the old KO design.

    So without futher ado, here's the photo drop.


    Before/After:
    2_factory_daves.jpg
    7_265s.jpg


    Other photos/angles:
    8_265s.jpg

    9_265s.jpg

    10_265s.jpg
     
  11. Jan 21, 2019 at 4:30 PM
    #11
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    A couple more pics showing the 265s on more level ground.

    10a_265s.jpg

    10b_265s.jpg
     
  12. Jan 21, 2019 at 5:03 PM
    #12
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Next upgrade was suspension. I wanted to level it out, but also improve the ride, and potentially provide clearance for 285s later. After much research, I decided to go with the 2 inch Eibach springs/shocks because most of my driving is on road and I wanted to improve the ride quality under those conditions more than I needed to build an offroad beast. The Eibach shocks are progressive versus most offroad shocks which are digressive. The main observable difference is the ride quality, progressives give a softer feel and soak up small bumps/potholes easily, but still provide firm handling

    This is basically the Toytec kit (https://www.toyteclifts.com/tacebcs-toytec-eibach-complete-front-coilovers-2-lift-16-tacoma.html), but I have access to shop with a spring compressor, so I saved a few bucks by buying the parts rather than the assembled coilovers. If you do it that way, you just reuse the factory top mount plate.

    I watched a bunch of install videos on youtube before doing it. A lot of them take the ball joint loose from the UCA, but I didn't find that to be necessary at all. Instead, I removed the lower control arm (LCA) from the lower ball joint mount. You loosen (do not remove) the alignment bolts on the LCA, pull the 2 bolts holding the LCA to the ball joint mount, then when you remove the bolt holding the shock to the LCA, it just swings down out of the way and you can pull the coil over out with no problem.

    I mostly followed the procedure in the LowRange Offroad video. It is for their spacer kit, but the steps are all the same to get the coilover out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxcd2duh1gM

    I couldn't be more pleased with the result. The handling is much tighter than the factory trd offroad bilsteins, with almost no perceivable body roll. Yet it also soaks up bumps smoothly. It sounds too good to be true, but it's not. I got the lift I wanted, a smoother ride, and better handling.

    For the back, I went the cheap route and just got the LowRange Offroad 1 inch blocks. They maintain a bit of rake and only cost about $100. For my application, I just needed to keep it from getting the negative bro rake, I don't really need more offroad wheeling capability for what I do. I ended up replacing the rear factory billies with the Eibach pro trucks after a week or so. Again, they provided a noticeably better ride, and took the "kick" out of the rear when it hit bumps/holes.

    I measured before and after, this set up gave about 2 1/4 inches in the front and exactly 2 inches in the rear.

    I tried to get the before/after shots as close to the same conditions as possible. Hope these help prospective buyers.

    side_before.jpg
    side_after.jpg

    front_before.jpg

    front_after.jpg

    back_before.jpg
    back_after.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
    Tacoknife likes this.
  13. Jan 21, 2019 at 5:06 PM
    #13
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Oops, forgot the most important shot!

    11_lift.jpg
     
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  14. Jan 21, 2019 at 5:15 PM
    #14
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    A couple more shots after the lift, still 265/75R17.

    12_lift_flex.jpg 13_lift_flex.jpg 14_lifted_fall_colors.jpg 15_lifted_fall_colors.jpg
     
  15. Jan 21, 2019 at 5:22 PM
    #15
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    I realized when posting the lift pics above that I totally forgot about the bumpstep. I got this shortly after purchasing the truck, not because I'm too short/lazy to get in the bed, but rather as a protective measure. If somebody smashes into my rear, the bumpstep can take the brunt of it and hopefully prevent any damage to the beautiful fake chrome plastic bumper.

    I got it from Amazon for about 30% off what the list price was on the Weathertech site. Shop around and save.

    It actually did turn out to be kind of handy after I put the lift and 285s on it. If nothing else, I can take it off and use it as a rubber/plastic mallet if I find myself in need without a real one handy.

    https://www.weathertech.com/bumpstep-original/

    I don't have a good dedicated pic of it, so I cropped the best one I could find.

    15a_bumpstep.jpg
     
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  16. Jan 22, 2019 at 8:05 AM
    #16
    Tacoknife

    Tacoknife Well-Known Member

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    How did your truck alignment go after the Eibach kit? I think I still see the stock UCA
     
  17. Jan 22, 2019 at 8:43 AM
    #17
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    Yes, I still have the stock UCA, with this small amount of lift, a UCA replacement should not be necessary. On the alignment, it had just a tiny bit of toe out that they corrected. I marked the alignment cams before disassembling, so I was able to put it back pretty close to where they were prior to the installation. I don't have the sheet because the shop's printer was busted the day I had it done.
     
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  18. Jan 23, 2019 at 4:48 PM
    #18
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Once I had the lift in place, it became obvious that I had to get 33s (aka, 285/75R16), and again I went with KO2s. This meant I also needed different wheels, and after much research on tacomaworld, decided to go with the method NVs, 16x8 0mm offset, 4.5 inch backspacing. Yes, the SCS Ray 10s are prettier, but the methods were A) in stock and B) on sale. I got them for $137 a piece. I also ordered the TRD center caps from @mesojdm, website: https://mesocustoms.com/collections/center-caps

    I ordered the tires and wheels from 4wheelparts, and those guys were great. I screwed up the order because I wasn't paying attention when I placed it and got the wrong bolt pattern. Luckily, I realized this before they had shipped. I called them up and told the CSR what the problem was. She had a tech guy call me back within 2 hours and he asked all about my truck to make sure I was getting the right pattern this time. He also asked if I already had lug nuts, which I thought I did, but he informed me that the factory ones would not work with the aftermarket wheels. He added the proper procomp lug nuts to my order, corrected the part number on the wheel, and I got a shipping confirmation within a couple more hours. They arrived in 2 days.

    One word of advice on 4wp shipping ... I kept checking the "track my order" page and it said it didn't know anything about my status yet, and that it may take 1-2 days for their data to be updated. It turned out the reason for this is that they shipped it "freight" rather than UPS. In other words, 2 days after I placed the order, a guy from a local trucking company calls me up and says he has an order that's supposed to be delivered and wanted to make sure I was really going to be at the designated address today. A few hours later he shows up in a 52' rig with my wheels, tire, and lug nuts on a pallet. I backed my truck in next to his and we tossed the goods into the back.

    So the moral of that story is: don't freak out if 4wp order status page doesn't seem to know anything about your order. It's probably just coming through a freight company that doesn't have UPS next-gen tracking software.

    Luckily, my tire shop guys were not too busy and I got an appointment for the next morning. Here's the obligatory shot of the goods ready for install:

    16_33s_delivered.jpg

    Here's a before/after attempt. It's not the best because the lighting is drastically different between the 2 shots.

    17_33s_before.jpg

    17_33s_on.jpg
     
  19. Jan 23, 2019 at 5:02 PM
    #19
    VTTaco97

    VTTaco97 [OP] Member

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    285/75R16 KO2s, 2in Eibach Pro, 4.88 Yukons, OVTune 1.05
    Thought I should include a brief review of the 33s and the methods...

    The 33s look awesome, and are pretty well behaved. I went from 265s to 285s in the same KO2, so I have a head-to-head comp. The 285s like to follow lines in the road a lot more. In other words, it kind of pulls around, like it's out of alignment slightly, but not to one side or the other. They just kind of walk around on the road a bit more. I grew up driving 70s and 80s full size trucks where you could move the steering wheel a quarter turn before anything happened, so I'm used to driving where you just kind of constantly float the wheel from left to right to stay in a straight line, but some might find this annoying. I don't think this is peculiar to the BFGs, it's just the nature of an 11+ inch wide tire.

    More troubling to me was the fact that they just killed the power. I was expecting this, but with the crazy auto tranny computer in these 3rd gens, it really hosed up the shift points. They were bad before, but with the 33s they became unbearable. Riding at 60 mph down a perfectly flat stretch of highway, it would bounce back and forth between 4th and 5th constantly. I ended up solving this with gearing, but more on that later. Just be aware, 33 inch tires look bad ass, but they come at a real cost in power.

    The method wheels look sweet as well. The only complaint I have about them is something I knew going in ... there is a pretty good size lip where the fake bead-locker ring sits, and it will collect water and/or dirt. So if you are really OCD about keeping your wheels sparkly clean, that might be a pain for you. Functionality wise, they do exactly what they are supposed to, and look good doing it.

    A few more shots of the "after"

    18_33s_on.jpg 19_33s_on.jpg 20_33s_on.jpg 21_33s_on.jpg 21b_33s_closeup.jpg
     
  20. Jan 23, 2019 at 5:24 PM
    #20
    MESO

    MESO Major Modder Vendor

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    Nice looking center caps!
     
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