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drizzoh's build thread

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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Location
AZ
First Name
Andrew
Truck Year
2021
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Instagram
@drizzoh
Sup 3g-ers. My name is Andrew and I have a 2021 Tacoma Off-Road 4x4 DCSB that I ordered in June '21 with no options other than tech package because I knew I would mod everything else.

I'm very into the OEM+ feel. Form + function with every upgrade enhancing the vehicle is my style. I'm learning that I'm generally not happy with off-the-shelf anything and have put a ton of work into modding mods and tweaking settings for my liking. That includes doing a full custom paint on the interior trim, rebuilding a TRD Pro knob to fit with the OR color scheme, changing leaf packs a few times and having the ADS 2.5" shocks revalved twice. It's nice having a daily driver so I can put the proper amount of time into doing modifications correctly.

I need to get better about taking pics of this thing, but here's a few:

5WpDp7Ch.jpg


sPxtk2Hh.jpg


BzIMq8ch.jpg


rxXTesYh.jpg


Ze Build Specs:

Engine & Performance:
VF Tuned [v2.0 Map]
K&N 57-9039 Intake Kit
TRD Intake Flow Accelerator
Magnaflow Overland Series SS Exhaust
Powerstop Drilled & Slotted Rotors
Powerstop Z36 Extreme Brake Pads
Crown Performance Extended SS Brake Lines
RedlineTuning +7" Hood Struts
OEM TRD Radiator Cap
A/C Drain Mod

Suspension:
ADS 2.5" Extended Travel w/ Reservoirs & Clickers (W/ Custom Tune)
JBA HD Upper Control Arms
Deaver J66 Leaf Packs
BAMF Greasable HD Shackles
Wheelers Superbump Bump Stops
Archive Garage U-bolt Flip Kit
ARB FK29 Carrier Bearing Spacer
Sway Bar Delete

Exterior:
Morimoto Gen2 XB LED Headlights
Diode Dynamics Elite Series Fogs
OEM TRD Pro Grille w/ OEM TSS Garnish
Heritage Grille Badge
Raayoo Front Camera
Hella Supertones Horns
OEM TRD Skid Plate
Ark Splash Guards
Squareone Creations Frame Caps
Black Painted Calipers & Rotors
MESO V5 Sequential LED Side Mirror Turn Signals
MESO 'The Gasshole' V1
OEM Header Bed Rail w/ End Caps
Rocky Mounts Driveshaft Track Bike Mounts
TMCmakes Wheel Deal's Bike Wheel Mounts
Painted Bed Hardware
BedRug Bed Mat & OEM Bed Mat
OEM LED Bed Lighting Kit
OEM Electronic Tailgate Lock
OEM '21 TRD Pro Tail Lights
MESO Total Tail Stage 1
TRD Heritage Tailgate Badge
EyeCatcher Tailgate Letter Inserts

Interior:
OEM LED Homelink Rearview Mirror
Caliraisedled 6000k Interior LED Kit
OEM RAV4 XLE Radio Knobs
Screen ProTech Film Protection Kit
Tacos4Cheap MGM Glove Box Letters
Tacos4Cheap MGM Bucket
JKCOVER Glove Box Organizer
K&N VF2005 Cabin Filter
Z Precision Cup Holder
Custom MGM Full Dechrome
Custom OEM TRD 'Off-Road' Shift Knob
MESO Black TRD Push Start Button
MESO Extended Fuse Cover V2
MESO Black Door Handle Covers
Suntek CIR Window Tint
Second Skin Damplifier Pro Deadening
Second Skin Heatwave Pro Thermal Insulation
JDMCAR Rubber Center Console Inserts
Tufskinz Heritage Door Sills
Black TRD Striker Covers
Husky X-Act Floor Liners

Wheels & Tires:
Volk RAYS 17x8.5 -10 TE37XT M-Spec Wheels
9SIX9 17x8.5 -10 SIX-1 [TE37 Rep Spare Wheel]
Nitto Ridge Grappler 285/70r17 C-Load Tires
WheelAdapter.com Extended Lug Studs
Muteki SR45R Lug Nuts
Spare Tire Hoist Relocation Mod

Audio & Electronics:
Kicker Subaru Tweeters
Anytime Camera Kit

Fluids:
ATE TYP 200 Brake Fluid
Mobil1 0w20 w/ TRD Filter
Redline CV-2 Grease

Awaiting Install:
WarFab Tie Rod Sleeves
Performance Pedals Billet Aluminum Pedals

Ordered:
Westcott Designs Rock Sliders
Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners

Everchanging Plans:
Y-Pipe
On-Board Air Compressor
Finish Stereo
Lomax Tonneau Cover
Baja Designs S2 Chase Lights
Archive Garage Hammer Hangers
 
Last edited:

Meclizine

A rough in the diamonds
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Location
Davis, CA, USA
Truck Year
2018
Truck Color
Midnight Black
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Long Bed
Transmission
Automatic
Welcome!

How has driving without a sway bar been like? I'm considering doing the same. But I have a couple disconnects that I might compromise with instead.
 

ct__tacoma

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Location
Connecticut
First Name
Joel
Truck Year
2017
Truck Color
Blazing Blue Pearl
Truck Grade
Sport
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Short Bed
Transmission
Manual
Instagram
@ct__tacoma
Welcome from central CT. Clean looking truck!
 

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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AZ
First Name
Andrew
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2021
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Off-Road
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@drizzoh
Welcome!

How has driving without a sway bar been like? I'm considering doing the same. But I have a couple disconnects that I might compromise with instead.
I absolutely do not miss it. If I still had the stock OR suspension it might be too loose, but it's absolutely fantastic with the ADS. I have had them softened up a bunch too, moreso in the rear to balance out the rear feel to match the front without the sway. It's never going back on lol.
Welcome from central CT. Clean looking truck!
Thank you from Phoenix!
 

Bird dog

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Peoria,AZ
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DJ
Truck Year
2017
Truck Color
Barcelona Red
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Cab & Bed
Double Cab, Short Bed
Transmission
Automatic
Welcome aboard. Nice build, glad to see another AZ truck.
 

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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Andrew
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@drizzoh
Welcome aboard. Nice build, glad to see another AZ truck.
TY DJ! I need to take this thing out more. It's been on jack stands so much since I got it while I have been tweaking things, it's seen much less dirt than it should.

This has been its natural habitat for a good chunk of the last year lol.

ePmbq1i.jpg
 

drizzoh

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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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@drizzoh
Hello and welcome to the forums!
Ty Fray. I need to get some of my build progress updated in my build thread. It's no fun just seeing the after of upgrades.
 

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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Off-Road
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@drizzoh
So with the idea of trying to make this build thread a bit more build-ier, I'm going to post up some of my progress over the last year. Starting with suspension:

Pics from garage chaos suspension install weekend in either November or December of 2021:

Took 3.5 months for all these parts to finally arrive. Was hoping to do this the week I took ownership of the truck, but you all know how parts shortages are lately. IIRC the total install took me about 14 hours total to do myself over a weekend with taking my time to make sure everything was done as professionally as possible.

ADS 2.5" Extended Travel shocks w/ reservoirs and clickers | Icon RXT Leaf packs | JBA HD Arms | Wheelers Superbumps w/ Archive Garage u-bolt flip kit

Of the shelf, both the shocks and the leaf springs were too stiff for my stock weight truck. The leaf packs have been replaced with the MUCH better riding Deaver J66 leaf packs (RXT is too stiff for a truck without additional weight) and the shocks have been back to ADS twice for tuning and are now the "the lightest Tacoma shocks we have ever done" regarding stiffness. The ride is absolutely beautiful now.

[IMG]


[IMG]


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[IMG]
 

drizzoh

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Andrew
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2021
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@drizzoh
On the interior I had originally purchased the full suite of MESO interior dechrome bits, but was not happy with the fit nor the finish so I took matters into my own hands and dechromed and repainted the stock trim pieces. Ended up with a very clean interior color scheme that most wouldn't notice was modded if they didn't know.

I used the DupliColor high heat primer (it's what I already had in the garage), DupliColor Perfect Match BTY1619 paint, and the new DupliColor 1K clear. Dechromed pieces in a bleach bath for a week. Then used some 320 grit on all the surfaces after dechroming what needed chrome removal, and finally giving everything a final wipe with isopropyl. Then did 3-4 light coats of each layer 1 day at a time before letting the finished product cure an additional 1.5 days or so before installation. My tC is MGM and this is about a perfect match to that. One thing that helped is using some painters tape looped with the sticky side out in order keep these lightweight pieces from blowing around while painting.

OEM trim after chrome removal:

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Primed, painted and 1k cleared:

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MESO MGM vs my painted pieces:

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Also thanks to the generosity of an awesome TW member (tclavell), I was finally able to scoop up one of the elusive black MESO TRD start/stop buttons. After contacting MESO and them telling me Toyota threatened to sew them if they didn't stop production I never though I'd be able to have one, so was super happy to have found one of these. Perfect touch to my build.

[IMG]


Also swapped in a set of the OEM RAV4 XLE radio knobs. I haven't seen anyone else running these either on this platform which is pretty cool. They're fantastic to use and look great.

[IMG]


Needed to shave down the back side of the RAV4 knobs so they would work with the push button functions - then they were pnp:

Before:
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After:
[IMG]


September 2022 Interior:

[IMG]
 
Last edited:

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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@drizzoh
Feb 6, 2022:

So the truck isn't even close to loud with the Nitto's, but there is a little more highway noise than I prefer with how often I end up being on the phone while driving, so I deadened the back wall with some Second Skin Damplifier Pro this weekend. I've used a few different brands in the past and this definitely has the thickest foil and it is incredibly sticky. I only notice a small difference in road noise so far but I am able to run the radio at a lower volume with just this one panel done so it must be helping (usually 35+ and today was 25-30). I have enough leftover to do the rear doors with this kit too it looks like, but I am waiting for some replacement door clips to show up before I yank those panels off because those clips love to break. Should have them done before the week is done so I'll update in my next post how much both sections helped (then again when I do the front doors - need more deadening).

With 1 sheet on:

[IMG]


Done @ ~4.5 sheets:

[IMG]


Feb 13, 2022:

Found some time Saturday to deaden both the rear doors. They each took 3 full sheets of the Second Skin Damplifier Pro with very minimal overlap. The back end sounds quieter and it got rid of a rear door rattle I had, but it didn't do anything to help with the terrible rear speaker level, so experiment was only halfway a success. Need to grab about another 6 sheets to do the front doors now.

[IMG]


Feb 20, 2002:

Finished deadening the doors this weekend with Second Skin Damplifer Pro. Impressed with how much quieter it is in the cabin for only being a base layer, especially considering how much less this weighs vs the cheaper stuff I've used on other vehicles. Can't even feel it when opening/closing the doors. My tC's doors feel like boat anchors in comparison with Noico (I have sheets of both products to compare side by side in the garage). Also addressed some other rattles in the door panels themselves and secured all the harnesses better. It's so nice to not have the doors rattle at all now. Audio does not sound any louder, but it does sound cleaner without as much background noise filling the cab. Glad I picked this up, well worth the time to do on every vehicle. Each front door took ~3.5 sheets (~6 sq/ft). The worst part was unplugging the harness from the driver window switch module. Tbh that was worse than doing the UCA bolts. If anyone has to pull their driver door panel, pop off the switch module before removing the panel and your day will be significantly better. I bought 20 sheets total for the doors and rear wall and have 3 sheets leftover - might apply the rest under the rear seats/storage area next time I get bored.

Before. Lol @ the tiny rectangle of factory deadening.. if you can even call it that:

[IMG]


That's better:

[IMG]


March 13, 2022:

Realized there's nothing but bare metal under the rear cargo tray area so threw my last 2 sheets of Second Skin under that this weekend. I thought I had 3 sheets but since I don't know where the third went I had to put some Noico over the center section in order to get complete coverage (the Noico is amazing value, but the Second Skin is lighter and outperforms it without weighing panels down). Glad the cargo box covers everything because that inconsistency would otherwise drive me nuts lol. It did not nearly require as much disassembly as expected which made the install pretty quick and painless. Truck does sound a little quieter.

[IMG]


While I had everything apart I noticed that the plastic lids for the cover have no form of rattle-protection so I applied foam tape to the underside of the tops to help quiet things down even further. So far it seems like that has also helped remedy a random rattle I had back there.

[IMG]


May 30, 2022:

Had some leftover Second Skin Heatwave Pro from doing a buddies ST the previous weekend so threw it on the back wall. Needed to pull the rear cubbies again anyway to address a few rattles that have come up or that got missed when doing the Damplifier Pro install so I figured I'd throw this on while I had it apart. This is a thermal layer but it doubles as a medium sound deadener as well. The last bit of tire noise from the rear does seem to be gone back there now. I put slits where the cabin vents are and have no issues with pressure when closing the doors. The only downside is that it does make the front tire noise seem a bit exaggerated now, so I will be doing the inside of the front splash shields with this soon to see if it tones that road noise down. I have my tC blanketed with this stuff everywhere but the floor and I love it, thinking I'll do the trucks doors as well when I take them apart again to do the audio.

[IMG]


June 15, 2022:

Front area deadening complete. Yanked up the carpet and did the entire driver and passenger floors and as far up the firewall as I could go under the factory carpet insulation. Noticeable reduction in road noise from this and a little drivetrain noise reduction. Last night I did a less-conventional road noise reduction mod and deadened the exterior of the front fender wells. Did this on my tC 6+ years ago and it's still holding up and made a big difference on that so I figured it was worth doing on this as well. Bonus is it masks some of the ugly unpainted white body in the fender wells as well. This should help alleviate the last bit of front end road noise that I have.

Before:

[IMG]


After:

[IMG]
 

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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Off-Road
Instagram
@drizzoh
June 21, 2022:

When doing the last stint of deadening in the front wheel wells I was reminded how ill-fitting the splash shields on the Tacomas are, so ordered the Ark's to replace them with.

But as expected, deadening both sides of the front inner fenders was a huge win. Big reduction in road noise.

Shocks are off and going back to ADS today for revalve 2.0. Really hoping my proposed tuning changes get the truck to react and ride how I've been wanting it to. Truck is in hovercraft mode until then.

[IMG]


With the wheels and shock reservoirs out it seemed like the best time to install the Ark splash shields that recently got delivered. If you hate the factory shields like I do then these are worth the price. Fitment was about 8.5/10 and I had to hog out some holes (and drill one new one in the truck) but that is expected with a vehicle that has been modified that you're doing additional mods to. All in all it looks much cleaner and the material these are made from feels much more stout than the factory ones.

[IMG]


While the wheels are off this week I'm planning to paint the rear drums as well since I didn't get to that when I did the fronts.

Holy crap do they look better. Amazing how gross these already were after only 2800 miles. The factory 'coating' on them is an absolute joke.

Removed -> Wire brushed -> Isopropyl'd -> VHT high heat primer -> VHT brake paint -> Rustoleum engine enamel clear (same process as the fronts) -> Then fresh anti-seize on the hubs before reinstalling

[IMG]


[IMG]
 

drizzoh

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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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@drizzoh
Lonnnnng suspension post:

July 1, 2022:

Got my suspension back from ADS last night with the new tuning changes I requested that resulted in "the lightest Tacoma shocks we have ever done" regarding stiffness. For the first time the shocks finally feel like they are setup properly for this truck. I need to put some more miles on the new setup and fine tune the compression again but it is a completely different truck compared to before the revalve. One size fits all does not pertain to damping, and I appreciate ADS working with me to get the truck riding the way I've been wanting it to since I first installed the shocks in November '21.

The goal with the whole suspension setup was to increase the ride height while keeping the ride quality close to the stock Off-Road feel, but improved. I still wanted the suppleness associated with those shocks but without the vagueness; and with increased high speed stability, greater roll, much better fade resistance, and progressive valving qualities. And let's be real, reservoir shocks look cool as hell.

I first had them reduce the compression in December which was a big improvement to overall harshness. The truck has evolved since then and required some significant changes in order to perform how I wanted. These changes included a softer leaf pack (from Icon RXT to Deaver J66), upgraded shackles and reduced preload up front to find the sweet spot for down travel vs. lift. With the correct suspension geometry and spring rates, the tire pressure was retuned as well. With the tires and springs balanced for my weight, the shocks stood out as the oddball and the necessary changes in the latest revalve were as follows:
  • Soften front high speed compression to make it happier over potholes, drops, speed bumps, etc.
  • Slightly increase front high speed rebound damping (slower) to reduce harshness
  • Significantly increase rear high speed rebound damping (slower) to reduce bucking (more than fronts)
  • Soften rear low speed compression to get more weight transfer and body roll
  • Soften rear high speed compression to make it a little softer than the front
These changes have resulted in a truck that is now very comfortable on the road (that can now go over potholes and speedbumps without giving you an additional asshole) while still providing increased feedback in the steering and tires and you can still feel the road without additional harshness. The weight transfer properties are much improved now with the rear actually having some body roll when cornering which makes it feel balanced to the front with the removed sway bar. These changes have also reduced the braking nosedive (unexpected, but not unwelcomed) and increased slow and high speed stability. The truck is much nicer to be in and it does not feel like any performance has been lost. I'll be the first to admit I was nervous to test drive again after getting them back this time, but this has been a huge win and my proposed tuning changes were spot on.

You could feel that these were performance shocks since the initial install, but they always felt like they were tuned for a much higher weight class and with an emphasis on performance vs. comfort. The truck could almost hold a candle thru the high speed corners to my street-tuned coupe which was absolutely not necessary on an offroad vehicle. Stiffness is good, but excessive stiffness is not anyone's friend. Everything about the truck is better with these feeling like they are finally correctly balanced for the truck and the entire suspension setup feels in sync now. To be honest, with all of the raving reviews on these, how they are riding now is how I was expecting them to ride out of the box. Glad I stuck with ADS because they really do make an amazing suspension when it's tuned right.

That said.. given my track record with this truck I'll probably be hating it again by next weekend. But until then, cheers because the truck has never felt better.

2.5 months later and I am still absolutely in love with how this rides. <3

[IMG]
 

drizzoh

4️⃣ Gold
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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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Off-Road
Instagram
@drizzoh
Since the truck was now worth keeping after sorting out the awful ride quality, I can continue with the upgrades. :)

Intake installed Saturday morning. Decided against the Injen Evolution that I was originally planning on after spending sometime offroad in a cloud of dust. Figured it would be better to hop up the stock airbox and try to preserve the filter and oil a bit more. If the truck was strictly on-road the Injen would get my vote, but in mixed terrain I feel like this will be a better option. I also don't like how the Injen intake blocks visibility and access to some of the fluids. So the parts installed this weekend were the K&N 57-9039 JR Intake Kit (tube and filter) and the TRD Intake Flow Accelerator. IMO this is visually nicer and much cheaper than the full TRD kit but should provide all of the gains (if not more due to a better tube design). I also removed the carbon filter from the airbox lid. I wasn't expecting huge gains, but I am very impressed with how the truck feels. The throttle response is much snappier, it seems like it downshifts easier/smoother/faster and from a stop it accelerates easier. Best way I can describe it is the truck feels like it's lighter. I've seen quite a few reviews that say this increases mpg by 1-2, but we'll see if that's actually the case as time goes on. I'm not sure if it added any power as I don't drive it that hard most of the time, but the smoothness gains make it worthwhile. The intake is audibly unnoticeable until around 4000 RPM and then it's like a switch is flipped and the suction noise gets pretty loud, which is about as perfect as you can ask for IMO. I'm happy there's no droning without the giant resonator on the intake tube - no idea why that needs to be there on the stock tube either - it's just a huge heatsoak lol.

Before (soooooo stock):

[IMG]


Installed and charcoal filter removed:

[IMG]


After (I love how clean kit is):

[IMG]


Stock airbox inlet vs TRD:

[IMG]
 

drizzoh

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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
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Instagram
@drizzoh
Feb 2022:

Magnaflow Overland Series SS Exhaust installed this weekend. Took all of 15 minutes to put on with my buddy after we got done installing some parts on his Supra. So nice to finally do a modification on this truck that installs as painless as it should. Fitment is absolutely perfect and has no clearance issues w/ the 33" spare w/ the Hodakaguy relocation mod (have about 1" free clearance all directions). The volume even at it's loudest option is only noticeable when accelerating and does not drone AT ALL. It might be slightly louder if I didn't deaden the cabin, but what I applied usually doesn't do too much for exhaust noise - need a sound blocking layer to dampen those frequencies. I'm happy with my purchase but hope this packs in over the next few hundred miles because it's very quiet so far. I suppose my neighbors won't hate me and it will be nice for when I eventually swap out the y-pipe and manifolds though. It's so nice to not have that stock eyesore of an exhaust pipe hanging out anymore. The back end of the truck looks so much cleaner.

[IMG]


[IMG]


April 2022:

Also finallllllllly got my tune packs from VF Tune this morning so flashed their 87 octane 33" tires w/ increased throttle response tune on my lunch break and the truck is a completely different animal. After running their fully bolted premium octane tune on my dd for 4+ years I had high hopes for it on the Taco and it did not disappoint. Truck feels like it's supposed to feel and the throttle response is fantastic. I thought the shifts were smooth before but this makes them almost unnoticeable. So happy I don't have to throw the whole truck out due to the 2-3 super short shifting issue, this is amazing.

MPG is currently averaging about 15.1 (up from 13.9) and seems to perform best on the 87 tune. I did not notice any performance with the 91 tune, only worse MPG.

[IMG]
 

drizzoh

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Andrew
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2021
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Off-Road
Instagram
@drizzoh
Lighting:

Morimoto Gen2 XB LED Headlights vs OEM Off-Roads:

[IMG]


The output is pretty fantastic and they are super clean. Better looking and brighter output than the factory led offering and with a much sharper cutoff and a better warranty. Output is significantly improved vs just putting an led in the factory housing - I was less than impressed with the Morimoto 2 Stroke 3.0s. I come from a history of retrofitting my cars and I would say the 2.0 version is probably a bit brighter than a standard rx350 retrofit with hids but likely not as bright as if you went ahead and did quad rx350 projectors.

[IMG]


[IMG]


Morimoto XB LED fogs vs OEM:

I'm not completely thrilled with the output of these tbh, probably swapping over to the new DD Elite's soon.

[IMG]


August 30, 2022:

Replaced my fully blacked out mirror signals from TacoGarage with the new smoked MESO V5 Sequential Turns (installed in the pic). These have a much better color match to the Morimoto XB Headlights and I love how the sequential flows from the headlights into the side mirror now instead of at the same time. I didn't hook up the DRL as I think that looks cheesy, but I dig the new look.

[IMG]


I have a gif of these cycling but it's not letting me embed on this board. Link to gif.
 

drizzoh

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AZ
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Andrew
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2021
Truck Grade
Off-Road
Instagram
@drizzoh
Random pics of various mods over the last year:

Fixing a really annoying rattle behind the glove box (<1k miles on my truck):

[IMG]


Stock Wranglers vs Nitto Ridge Grappler 33's:

[IMG]


Before mounting
:)


[IMG]


OEM paper tweeters vs the Subaru Kickers. Decent upgrade and love the ease of install. Would be considerably happier if these were $60 though vs the $110 they currently are, but nice temporary audio upgrade until I completely overhaul the system.

[IMG]


OEM vs WheelAdapter.com '1/2" Extended lug studs'. Unlike a girl on her third date, I was not as excited to find out these were actually bigger than advertised.. but after drilling a few holes, they're in and I feel much safer having like 18 lug turns on my Volks vs the 5.5 I was getting with the tiny stock studs. Fronts were easy to replace (just had to bend the dust shield out of the way). The rears required drilling a 3/4" hole in the drum backing plates. This was preferable to doing a complete brake disassembly and pulling the axles out. There's already a bunch of holes and rubber plugs on that piece so this should not cause any structural issues - especially with them being 5/32" thick. I have new plugs on order as the ones I originally ordered were much too thin to fit that thick of a surface. Found a flat spot where I only had to remove 1 of the lighter tensioned springs and the install went pretty smoothly. These lugs are some long boiz. Also what is up with the paper gaskets on the rear end? I removed them and coated the mating surfaces with anti-seize.

[IMG]


[IMG]


An older garage pic showing off the Taco and daily tC:

[IMG]


Crown Performance extended brake lines, ATE TYP200 and Powerstop K137 front brake upgrade kit before install. Have since upgraded to the Z36 pads, much more bite and better modulation than the Z23's which were already an improvement to stock but not quite powerful enough.

Notes: The rear lines are pretty awful to install - there's just no room to get the line wrench in there to torque it down properly. And bleeding the rear brakes requires the truck to be 'on' for all electrical features - that was fun to figure out. Once the electronic rear brake unit is enabled then it it shoots the brake fluid out like a fire hose. Made the flush no the new fluid pretty quick. Felt so weird flushing out 4 month old fluid.

[IMG]
 

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So one thing I've been wanting on this truck was the TRD Pro knob. I love how tough it looks, the only problem is that my interior has zero red in it and I wasn't looking to add any. I inquired with a few modders on TW to see if anyone could accomplish the look I was after and nobody was interested so I figured I'd tackle rebuilding the Pro knob myself. The idea was to restitch and repaint the knob to match the factory Off-Road color scheme + add custom painted MGM accents to match the rest of my redone interior trim. How hard could it be right?

Honestly.. as soon as I figured out the trick to the stitching was pretty simple. Pulling the knob apart took about 8 seconds and painting is pretty straight-forward. Came out really well.

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Pulled the knob apart and tackled the stitch-work first. Without matching this to my seats there would be no point to painting the boomerangs so I wanted to knock it out before proceeding. Took about 30 min to figure out the trick for the first seam, then about 5 for the second.

I used Selrec UV resistant polyester upholstery thread for this project. I have like 1499 yards of it leftover - if anyone wants some snail-mailed to them - just shoot me a PM.

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Next was to paint the boomerangs. Used my standard prime / paint / clear process and let each stage cure a day before moving on to the next (same as I did on the vent rings and the other interior trim pieces).

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After painting the boomerangs, the color difference between them and the TRD logo was too great, so the knob got painfully masked and +3 more days to paint that section.

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After that fully cured, the knob was finally able to be reassembled and slapped into the truck for the first time, and it looks doooope. It is very understated now vs the red, and if you didn't know any better you would likely think it's just how the truck came from Toyota. I'm calling it the TRD 'Off-Road' Knob and I'm super into how it turned out.

[IMG]


I know my truck is dirty and the lighting in these pics isn't the best, but the knob really flows with the interior and ties in the MGM accents perfectly.

[IMG]


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And just for fun, the stock vs the TRD 'Off-Road' Knob:

[IMG]
 

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OEM TRD skid plate acquired thanks to the latest Toyota holiday discount + free shipping sale. Been holding out for a deal on the skid and this was the lowest I've seen them go so far so I jumped on it.

Install was a little bit of a bitch since I wasn't expecting it to use different mounting points than the factory piece.. and I couldn't really see any of the mounting holes, but I got it sorted out after about 20 minutes. I was going to re-powder this a different color before installing but I kind of like how it looks out of the box. The silver on white doesn't bug me nearly as much as I thought it would. Maybe I'll bash it up a little first lol. The only thing I did that others might not have is removed the oil filter access cover and applied some anti-seize to those bolts. Definitely don't want those stripping out.

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TRD skid compared to the stock 'skids':

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Even came with this cool little card to show you torque specs.. which I completely ignored since 33ft/lbs felt way too low after initially setting them there.

[IMG]
 

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Wow man, thanks for taking us through the details with all the work you’ve done on the truck. That was a really fun and insightful read. You’ve really made it your own, all the little subtleties and paint matching/stitching—bravo! Def an inspiration in keeping to the OEM+ feel.
 

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Wow man, thanks for taking us through the details with all the work you’ve done on the truck. That was a really fun and insightful read. You’ve really made it your own, all the little subtleties and paint matching/stitching—bravo! Def an inspiration in keeping to the OEM+ feel.
Appreciate! Had most of these posts already on the other forum so I just tailored the updates to fit better now that I'm on this new board (apologies for any references I skimmed over that are out of context that I forgot to edit). I skipped a bunch of stuff, but figured a build thread should have some build in it lol. I've been modifying my vehicles since I got my first one in 2005 (95 Intrepid gang) so by now I have a pretty specific taste/feel that I'm trying to achieve with each new build. Have had a lot of trial and error and I've learned a lot about how not to do things. So now I just try to enhance my vehicles and add features and functionality rather than just bolting on every part I can get my hands on. Quality and details are everything to me. The subtleties are what sets our vehicles apart from the rest and what make them feel complete at the end of the day. Hopefully I'll be able to keep the truck forever. I have a few more big mods I want to knock out before it becomes the daily, and then my daily can go away and I can hopefully pick up a project car and go crazy rebuilding that for a few years.
 

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Quality and details are everything to me. The subtleties are what sets our vehicles apart from the rest and what make them feel complete at the end of the day.
Amen. Sounds like you come from a wealth of experience. Every time I work and rework something I understand a bit more how it feels to make something your own—really does make the truck shine in my eyes.
 

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Amen. Sounds like you come from a wealth of experience. Every time I work and rework something I understand a bit more how it feels to make something your own—really does make the truck shine in my eyes.
I definitely have more to learn, but I cringe when I think about some of the hacks and shortcuts and products I've used in my past, so I must be growing.

Bonus is the Z Precision cupholder showed up today so hopefully I can throw that on this weekend.
 

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Feb 6, 2022:

So the truck isn't even close to loud with the Nitto's, but there is a little more highway noise than I prefer with how often I end up being on the phone while driving, so I deadened the back wall with some Second Skin Damplifier Pro this weekend. I've used a few different brands in the past and this definitely has the thickest foil and it is incredibly sticky. I only notice a small difference in road noise so far but I am able to run the radio at a lower volume with just this one panel done so it must be helping (usually 35+ and today was 25-30). I have enough leftover to do the rear doors with this kit too it looks like, but I am waiting for some replacement door clips to show up before I yank those panels off because those clips love to break. Should have them done before the week is done so I'll update in my next post how much both sections helped (then again when I do the front doors - need more deadening).

With 1 sheet on:

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Done @ ~4.5 sheets:

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Feb 13, 2022:

Found some time Saturday to deaden both the rear doors. They each took 3 full sheets of the Second Skin Damplifier Pro with very minimal overlap. The back end sounds quieter and it got rid of a rear door rattle I had, but it didn't do anything to help with the terrible rear speaker level, so experiment was only halfway a success. Need to grab about another 6 sheets to do the front doors now.

[IMG]


Feb 20, 2002:

Finished deadening the doors this weekend with Second Skin Damplifer Pro. Impressed with how much quieter it is in the cabin for only being a base layer, especially considering how much less this weighs vs the cheaper stuff I've used on other vehicles. Can't even feel it when opening/closing the doors. My tC's doors feel like boat anchors in comparison with Noico (I have sheets of both products to compare side by side in the garage). Also addressed some other rattles in the door panels themselves and secured all the harnesses better. It's so nice to not have the doors rattle at all now. Audio does not sound any louder, but it does sound cleaner without as much background noise filling the cab. Glad I picked this up, well worth the time to do on every vehicle. Each front door took ~3.5 sheets (~6 sq/ft). The worst part was unplugging the harness from the driver window switch module. Tbh that was worse than doing the UCA bolts. If anyone has to pull their driver door panel, pop off the switch module before removing the panel and your day will be significantly better. I bought 20 sheets total for the doors and rear wall and have 3 sheets leftover - might apply the rest under the rear seats/storage area next time I get bored.

Before. Lol @ the tiny rectangle of factory deadening.. if you can even call it that:

[IMG]


That's better:

[IMG]


March 13, 2022:

Realized there's nothing but bare metal under the rear cargo tray area so threw my last 2 sheets of Second Skin under that this weekend. I thought I had 3 sheets but since I don't know where the third went I had to put some Noico over the center section in order to get complete coverage (the Noico is amazing value, but the Second Skin is lighter and outperforms it without weighing panels down). Glad the cargo box covers everything because that inconsistency would otherwise drive me nuts lol. It did not nearly require as much disassembly as expected which made the install pretty quick and painless. Truck does sound a little quieter.

[IMG]


While I had everything apart I noticed that the plastic lids for the cover have no form of rattle-protection so I applied foam tape to the underside of the tops to help quiet things down even further. So far it seems like that has also helped remedy a random rattle I had back there.

[IMG]


May 30, 2022:

Had some leftover Second Skin Heatwave Pro from doing a buddies ST the previous weekend so threw it on the back wall. Needed to pull the rear cubbies again anyway to address a few rattles that have come up or that got missed when doing the Damplifier Pro install so I figured I'd throw this on while I had it apart. This is a thermal layer but it doubles as a medium sound deadener as well. The last bit of tire noise from the rear does seem to be gone back there now. I put slits where the cabin vents are and have no issues with pressure when closing the doors. The only downside is that it does make the front tire noise seem a bit exaggerated now, so I will be doing the inside of the front splash shields with this soon to see if it tones that road noise down. I have my tC blanketed with this stuff everywhere but the floor and I love it, thinking I'll do the trucks doors as well when I take them apart again to do the audio.

[IMG]


June 15, 2022:

Front area deadening complete. Yanked up the carpet and did the entire driver and passenger floors and as far up the firewall as I could go under the factory carpet insulation. Noticeable reduction in road noise from this and a little drivetrain noise reduction. Last night I did a less-conventional road noise reduction mod and deadened the exterior of the front fender wells. Did this on my tC 6+ years ago and it's still holding up and made a big difference on that so I figured it was worth doing on this as well. Bonus is it masks some of the ugly unpainted white body in the fender wells as well. This should help alleviate the last bit of front end road noise that I have.

Before:

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After:

[IMG]
I'm taking notes. I put some in the back of mine when I took out the rear seats and I've been thinking about doing the doors. But the wheel well? Never would have thought of that. And yeah, the factory deadening is kind of a joke in many areas.
 

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I'm taking notes. I put some in the back of mine when I took out the rear seats and I've been thinking about doing the doors. But the wheel well? Never would have thought of that. And yeah, the factory deadening is kind of a joke in many areas.
Good deal! That's what the posts are for, to show off a lil bit and inspire lol. If you do the fender wells, make sure you clean them really well and then hit them with isopropyl a few times before applying. Also use a roller tool to make sure it is very well stuck, especially around the edges, so it does not have issues peeling. Best to use single sheets with no seams as well or dirt will eventually gather where they come together.
 

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Yanked the driver door panel off this weekend and replaced the cheap foam rattle seal with some properly thick felt strips to get rid of rattles. Did this to my passenger door a few months ago, guess the driver side got jealous. So far so good.

Threw in the Z Precision cupholder this weekend. Muuuuch wider and deeper than the stock piece. Really nice build quality too since they're injection molded and have perfect fitment.

I made a rubber insert to reduce rattling and threw a layer of Noico on the underside to help insulate and reduce cabin noise.

C83SFVmh.jpg


And another mod done that you can't even tell is a mod lol. I still need to get to the dealer to have them replace my Qi Charger pad. :/

71VNOBIh.jpg
 

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Yanked the driver door panel off this weekend and replaced the cheap foam rattle seal with some properly thick felt strips to get rid of rattles. Did this to my passenger door a few months ago, guess the driver side got jealous. So far so good.

Threw in the Z Precision cupholder this weekend. Muuuuch wider and deeper than the stock piece. Really nice build quality too since they're injection molded and have perfect fitment.

I made a rubber insert to reduce rattling and threw a layer of Noico on the underside to help insulate and reduce cabin noise.

C83SFVmh.jpg


And another mod done that you can't even tell is a mod lol. I still need to get to the dealer to have them replace my Qi Charger pad. :/

71VNOBIh.jpg
Unrelated, I have that same ballast point coozie, picked it up years ago at the brewery when I was visiting my buddy in SD. Thing is ratty as hell now, but it’s the only one I use. Used to live on their even keel sessions.
 

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Unrelated, I have that same ballast point coozie, picked it up years ago at the brewery when I was visiting my buddy in SD. Thing is ratty as hell now, but it’s the only one I use. Used to live on their even keel sessions.
The Mango Even Keel is a fantastic session. Their Grapefruit Sculpin and Watermelon Dorado are my jams tho 👌👌
 

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The Mango Even Keel is a fantastic session. Their Grapefruit Sculpin and Watermelon Dorado are my jams tho 👌👌
yeah man agree on all accounts (and flavors). Those dorados pack a punch!
 

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Smol weekend progress.

Washed the truck | Swapped in custom painted MESO 4x4 and Start button surrounds | Felt taped more stuff to help with rattles.

Before and after with my stock dechromed + painted surrounds vs the painted MESO surrounds. The MESO pieces have a lot more style, I don't know why I didn't paint them before. (Same paint & process in the before and after pics, I think the lighting was just different so they appear lighter in the photos.)

q00mDEVh.jpg


Also since the truck needs to go to Toyota for some warranty work soon, thought it would be a good idea to put the K&N sticker on the airbox finally.

[IMG]