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VW BUS to TACOMA [Noob needs advice]

Discussion in 'New Members' started by dshafer, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:12 AM
    #1
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    D
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    [Current] 1971 VW Bus
    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    I'm not even a Tacoma owner (yet) but already feel welcomed! Thank you, TacomaWorld members!

    I still drive the same 1971 VW Bus since I was 16 (in my 30s now...) but it's finally time to put it away. I've always wanted a Tacoma for light off-roading and a minimal camper build-out. I joined TW to ask a few [noobs] questions before buying and get the community's input. Thank you in advance for your advice.

    1. New or used (the price differential in So. California is so minimal)?
    2. Do I need TRD OR for it's off-road features (MTS, CRAWL, Locking Diff) or will the SR5 4x4 suffice?
    3. If I opt for SR5, is it possible to upgrade later to get features similar to the TRD OR?

    D

    Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 11.11.28 AM.jpg
     
  2. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:17 AM
    #2
    hx989

    hx989 Superunknown Member

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    Olympic Peninsula
    Keep that thing!! That was my first ride too. 31 now and I so regret selling it!! Fanboys here will disagree but the truth is the 4x4 SR5 is very capable (especially if you have a solid nut connecting the gas pedal to the steering wheel). For the savings vs the TRD OR or especially the Bro you can build a far more capable rig. TRD Sport is a joke IMHO and even fanboys will admit it’s just for looks.

    and, WELCOME!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  3. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:18 AM
    #3
    hx989

    hx989 Superunknown Member

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    Have you seen the Subaru AWD conversion for your bus?? Might just be the ticket for light Offroad and far > than a Taco for a camper build
     
  4. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:24 AM
    #4
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

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    D
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    [Current] 1971 VW Bus
    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    WOW, quick response! Thank you for that input.

    And, yeah, I'm never selling the bus— Just needs some love and tbh, it's kinda scary driving it on the freeway in Los Angeles. It tops at 55mph and when semi-trucks blow by at 70 I get pushed into the shoulder. I've seen the busaru / boxer conversions— very cool.

    I've thought of buying an older Subaru with a compatible engine and driving that while starting resto work on the bus. Then, once most of that is done, switch out engines.

    That aside, I've always wanted a truck and really, the bus is more of Sunday driver than a practical, everyday vehicle.
     
    Black DOG Lila and Bigdaddy4760 like this.
  5. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:28 AM
    #5
    15TACOSPORT4X4

    15TACOSPORT4X4 Well-Known Member

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    Stan
    Vehicle:
    2015 Black Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4
    3" lift on 33 inch Nitto's with 18" Fuel wheels. N-Fab step bars. Husky floor liners.
    Come on dude the Sport ain't no joke. It all depends on what you plan to do with it. The joke would have been trying to get some 16 year old girl's parents to let you go on a date in that thing. LOL
     
  6. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #6
    hx989

    hx989 Superunknown Member

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    See???!?

    I will concede that the Sport can be great for the stained seats mod.
     
    Black DOG Lila likes this.
  7. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #7
    Triple P

    Triple P Well-Known Member

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    J. Garcia CD✌ ADS- Deaver
    Definitely keep it. One of my biggest regrets. No joke. Sold my 87 Westy for $5,000 several years ago. Now it's going to cost me 50k to get it back. And worth it...BUT... I would regret not owning a Tacoma also. BOTH
     
  8. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:40 AM
    #8
    Bigdaddy4760

    Bigdaddy4760 Well traveled Older Than Dirt

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  9. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:40 AM
    #9
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

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    D
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    [Current] 1971 VW Bus
    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    I get countless notes on my windshield from people wanting to buy it and the occasional knock on my front door with cash offers. It's been temping but I won't break. I have a dream of someday driving my grandkids around in it.
     
    Black DOG Lila, Triple P and hx989 like this.
  10. Jul 8, 2020 at 11:48 AM
    #10
    Triple P

    Triple P Well-Known Member

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    J. Garcia CD✌ ADS- Deaver
    I wish I had done the conversion. It wasn't a well known thing back in the stone age. I went through 3 engines. Lemon. But still awesome. Called it home when I lived in Moab. Great clearance.
     
    Black DOG Lila and dshafer [OP] like this.
  11. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:03 PM
    #11
    jsi

    jsi Well-Known Member

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    native earthling
    Building an SR5 vs buying off-road? The best question to ask yourself is if you go the build route do you have the desire, tools and skills or willingness to acquire them? I built my Jeep up from a base model. I got a lot of satisfaction and spent untold hours working on that jeep. When it came time to buy my Tacoma I felt like I already had that t-shirt and just wanted something ready to go from the factory. If you do the work yourself, and don't put a dollar value to your time a build could be less money. But, if you are paying someone to do the work my bet is buying an off-road is the better value.
     
    Black DOG Lila and dshafer [OP] like this.
  12. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:09 PM
    #12
    Triple P

    Triple P Well-Known Member

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    J. Garcia CD✌ ADS- Deaver
    I bet you do. She looks clean. Very nice. Slap some REALLY soft suspension on the front of a Tacoma and you"ll feel right at home.:bikewhoops:
     
    dshafer [OP] likes this.
  13. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:10 PM
    #13
    buckhuntin-tacoma

    buckhuntin-tacoma Shed hunter

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    Dennis
    Quincy IL
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    2014 Spruce Mica Tacoma DCLB
    4 inch lift - complete blackout, n-fab step bars, Black Horse bull bar, 20 inch light bar, anytime fog lights, added led day running lights, Fuel wheels and Falken Wildpeak tires ,custom fit seat covers, Gatorback mud gaurds
    Welcome to TW!
     
    Black DOG Lila and dshafer [OP] like this.
  14. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:20 PM
    #14
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

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    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    This is great! I really appreciate the thoughtful response.

    Owning a VW bus means a.) already have a lot of tools b.) used to tinkering under a car. Though, considering how much work I have to do on the bus, I'm not sure yet how much time I'd have to build out an SR5. You brought up some good things to think about.
     
    Black DOG Lila and jsi like this.
  15. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:21 PM
    #15
    A Local

    A Local Active Member

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    I faced the same dilemma last year. I ended up buying a 2wd off road for the factory lift, 16" wheels and rear locker. It's been all i need for socal forest service roads and desert trips. A few friendswfriends 4wd were the ones that talked me out of 4wd. Extra maintenance, lost fuel efficiency, higher insurance. Nice thing about a Tacoma is if you buy a 2wd you can sell it a year later for near what you paid and buy 4wd, if you decide that's what you need. My $0.02.
     
    dshafer [OP] likes this.
  16. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:22 PM
    #16
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

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    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    Anyone have thoughts on the TRD OR features (MTS, CRAWL, Locking Diff)?
    A. Necessary if I want to do a serious build
    B. Nice to have but not worth the money
    C. Don't need it. SR5 will be fine
     
  17. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:23 PM
    #17
    dshafer

    dshafer [OP] VW BUS TO TACOMA

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    [Looking to buy 1st Taco]
    Great input, thanks! Honestly, I hadn't considered the 2WD Off Road. I just figured I'd need the 4WD.
     
  18. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:30 PM
    #18
    Triple P

    Triple P Well-Known Member

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    J. Garcia CD✌ ADS- Deaver
    The bus will cost you $'s to keep running. The Tacoma will cost you $'s because you're a TW member
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    dshafer [OP] likes this.
  19. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:37 PM
    #19
    Loco_Barbon

    Loco_Barbon I Hate People

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    Mostly stock.
    Pros and cons to everything. If you go with a TRD OR you get all the goodies and a more capable off road vehicle right out of the box, you also pay for those goodies, but even more they are covered under warranty. A SR5 will save you money now and you can test the waters to see how far you can push your truck and then do upgrades as needed or you see fit, but as you upgrade you also limit the warranty.
     
    dshafer [OP] likes this.
  20. Jul 8, 2020 at 12:40 PM
    #20
    Dubiousveracity

    Dubiousveracity Well-Known Member

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    You don't need mts crawl or the locker but they are nice to have...I guess, I have an offroad manual so only have the locker.

    A locker can be added to the sr5 so you can get most of the functions the off-road has aftermarket.
     
    dshafer [OP] likes this.

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