Hodakaguy's Overland Tacoma Builds - On to new adventures.

Hodakaguy

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Looks like a great site! Over the next couple days I will transfer over my build thread here. Looking forward to learning and sharing info.......

With our Unimog sold we set our sights on new adventures.

After two big projects I'm ready to do less building and more using. My mind set is changing for now, I want to do as much camping and traveling as possible while my son is at the right age. This build will be more bolting stuff on than fabricating.

Selecting a Vehicle: We wanted a newer reliable vehicle that will haul the whole family and be capable off road at the same time. We also want another Four Wheel Camper to carry on the back for family trips as we really liked our past FWC.

We've always been a big fan of the Toyota Tacoma so my father and I set out to look at Tacoma's. We both liked the TRD Off Road quad cab model in the Quicksand color so now we own matching rigs :)

Not as cool as the Unimog but these will be practical for our intended use.


Planned upgrades:

OME BP-51 bypass shocks - Good suspension makes a HUGE difference.
Dakar rear spring packs
Firestone air bags with Daystar Cradles
Onboard air
Dual Battery Setup
Snorkel
Canopy with roof rack
ARB Fridge
SSO Hybrid bumper with 30" LED
Winch
wheels/tires
Misc


The Trucks

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Instagram at: Hodakaguy_Tom

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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On the test drive with my truck there was a noticeable vibration that felt like a tire out of balance, the roads around the dealer were in pretty poor cond and I eventually chocked it up to the road. Once on the highway heading home it became apparent that there is a tire balance issue at 54-60mph then again around 70. We were in a hurry to get on the road for home so we wouldn't be getting back super late so I figured I would deal with it at my local dealer once home.

Once we arrived home I scheduled an appointment for a tire balance at my local dealer. The service manager took a ride with me and said he had a hard time feeling the vibration, I let him drive next and he then said he could feel it. They re-balanced the tires and said the problem was gone....Nope. On the drive home it still had the vibration issue just slightly better.

The next morning my father came over so I swapped wheels and tires from his truck to mine.

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My fathers canopy had came in so we took a test drive over to get the canopy installed on his truck. Once on the road the vibration was completely gone on my truck and my father said his truck now had the vibration. We will stop at the dealer again after the canopy install.

Leer canopy installed on my fathers truck. When doing off road trips we will use the canopy's to carry gear and support a roof top tent.

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We stopped at the local Toyota dealer again on the way home and told them about swapping wheels/tires and the problem going with it. They said they just put a lift kit on a brand new 18 TRD OR and they would just take my 4 wheels and tires and swap me out with a complete new set. After an hr or so I had a fresh set of wheels/tires and they were driving nice and smooth. Great customer service this time around!

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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First mod is to get rid of the ugly looking chrome grill. We changed my father's grill out when he first got his truck and I ordered my grill shortly after. The Toyota Pro grill is $400 which is way steep for a piece of plastic, luckily there are exact knock offs from China on Ebay for $140. I was leery of ordering one at first but after reading a lot of reviews we took the chance. Our grills both came packaged extremely well and the units were in excellent cond, I've held the OEM pro grill and can't tell any difference between the two.

The ugly looking chrome cheese grater grill

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The Pro Grill came packed very well

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Side by side

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And installed. Simple mod but it really changes the overall look of the truck

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Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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One of the first camping/overland components showed up.....ARB fridges. REI was having a close out sale on some ARB refrigerators and allowed the use of a 25% off coupon coupled with the sale. ARB also had a rebate going on where you could get a limited edition map print cover for the units free if you purchased the units in December. We ended up each snagging a unit. The ARB fridge is a true compressor refrigerator/freezer. They will keep stuff frozen on 90 plus degree days and take very little power to run. We will use them in the back of the trucks on desert trips and I will fab a mount to utilize one of the units in the Four Wheel Camper as well.

Fridges waiting to keep something cold.

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Hodakaguy

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Ok...Lets get this build rolling!

Parts have started to arrive and it's time to get the trucks ready for upcoming adventures this spring. Oh yeah!!

Picked up a large box of parts today from FedEx. I was planning on unloading the pallet and loosely placing it all in the truck but the pallet actually fit in the bed! Sweet!

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LOTS of parts.....and LOT of work ahead.

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Upper Control Arms. Decided to give the Delta Joints a try in hopes of a little longer life compared to a Uniball Joint....Time will tell.

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Well with 1200 miles on the truck it's time to get a little Invasive!! lol.

Stock....

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Up on 5 Ton Jack Stands.

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With the wheels/tires removed we stacked them under the middle of the frame on each side, this will be a backup safety just in case anything was to bump the truck off the stands.

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Stock rear suspension....with the mighty TRD OFF ROAD Shocks.

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Just a little bit of Difference between the OEM unit and the OME BP-51 Rear. I've read a lot of good on the BP-51's, can't wait to try them out! Initial quality looks amazing!

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Time to pull the Differentials. We will be re-gearing both trucks with Nitro 4.88 Gearing. The stock gearing on these trucks is insanely high, even with stock tires the trans hunts between 5th and 6th constantly with any bit of elevation change on the Highway. With the overly Tall overdrive and 285/75-R16 tires the 4.88's should make the truck a lot more fun to drive :)

Draining the Oil on the Rear Diff......Ahhhhh the aroma of gear oil :)

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Remove the guard and connectors for the rear locker.

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Placing paint marks to index the drive line so it goes back on in the same orientation.

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Disconnect the Drive line from the 3rd member.

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Pull the bolts on the E-brake cable to give some slack to slide the axles out.

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Sliding the axle out. Remove the 4 bolts holding the axle onto the housing, also remove the brake line connection (You can skip this step by removing the anchor points for the brake line along the axle and get enough slack, this will keep you from having to bleed the brakes but I'm installing longer SS brake lines so it won't matter in my case). Also disconnect the ABS sensor connectors.

Side note....I got in a hurry here and didn't clean off the flange areas before pulling the axle. It was cleaned after this picture and I pre-cleaned the other side before pulling to ensure no dirt falls on the axle/seals. A small plastic cap was installed to keep brake fluid from dripping out.

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3rd member removed from the truck.

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At this point I slid the axles back into place and bolted everything back up to keep everything clean until the new gears are ready to be re-installed.

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Axle sealed up and waiting.

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Stock 3rd member out of the truck.

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Nitro 4.88 gearing with REM Polishing.

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That's it for today.....Lots more to come.

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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More Progress.....

This morning I decided to check compatibility with my spring compressor on the front shocks, The BP-51 Units are internal bypass shocks so the body is wider than most limiting use of most spring compressors.

I purchased this unit about 5 years ago and it has been awesome on all my projects, so much easier and safer than a cheap spring compressor. It has different size cups to match your spring diameter and you compress by turning the single bolt head at the bottom.

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Now to check compatibility with the Shock. With any aluminum body shock you should relieve tension on the spring before making adjustments to the collar, otherwise damage can occur to the aluminum threads.

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And success! Not a lot of clearance but the spring cups do clear the body!

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Now to get the front diff out of the truck.

Drained the front diff oil and removed the brake calipers, hub assemblies, sway bar connections, tie rod connections, axles etc. on each side.

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Placing index marks on the front drive line connection.

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Electrical connectors disconnected and 10mm bolt removed on the upper passenger side that holds the wiring.

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Drivers side has a hidden bolt up on top that holds a bracket that needs to be removed, hard to see in this picture. You can also see the drivers side needle bearing that always fails once lifted, this will be replaced with the ECGS bushing while the diff is out.

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Front Diff lowered out of the truck.

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Big difference between the OEM and OME :)

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More to come....

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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Got a little more work done tonight...slow but sure :)

Next up remove the factory upper control arm. The UCA bolt is a pain in the butt to remove. The metal lip of the fender interferes with the bolt and keeps it from being able to be removed, a little careful bending with some channel locks and there is just enough clearance for removal. It's still a super tight fit but it does come out.

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The red arrow shows the area that gets bent back a bit for clearance. You can bend it back flat when finished or leave it alone so it's ready for next time, it's really not noticable.

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The UCA Bolt passes next to the battery tray and under/through this wiring bundle (Red Arrow). You need to make sure it's not snagging on the wiring as you use a drift to push the bolt out.

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Factory UCA next to the Icon replacement.

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Greasing up the bushing for the Icon UCA. Everything gets a good coat of grease (Bel-Ray Waterproof) except where the bolt slides through, I cleaned that area out before install.

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All greased up and ready for install. They will get hit again with a grease gun right before final torque on the bolt.

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Looking better already :). Still need to install the brackets for the remote reservoir.

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Wheels showed up today. We are going with the "Cast Iron Black" AX201 Wheels in 16"x8", Zero Offset. Should look awesome with the Quicksand!

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More to come.......

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Hodakaguy

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Was able to get a little done on the truck after work tonight, not a lot of progress...but progress non the less.

Time to get the remote reservoir mounted up. The brackets that support the Res also acts as a sway bar drop bracket, everything is very well made and thought out.

This mud cover needs to be removed to install the bracket for the reservoir.

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The bracket will go between the sway bar mount and the frame.

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Res brackets.

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LOCTITE 243 Used on the threads, I like 243 vs 242 since the 243 is oil resistant and isn't as picky on having ultra clean threads like the 242.

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Bracket in Place.

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Reservoir mounted in place

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I re-installed the mud shields over the reservoir to help keep the engine bay clean.

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Next up remove the passenger side UCA. The bolt on this side interferes with the sheet metal as well.

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A little slight bending and the bolt slides right out. There is a lot more clearance on this side for the bolt to pass through, this side went a lot quicker.

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UCA geased up and installed.

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And the passenger side reservoir bracket installed and torqued.

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That's all for tonight, more to come soon.....

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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Tonight's after work Update..........

Passenger side front shock assembly removed.

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OME Shock and Res installed, Mud cover re-installed.

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Moving to the back. Drivers side rear leaf spring removed.

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OEM and OME Dakar springs side by side. Have to do some touch up painting on the new springs since shipping wasn't kind to the paint. New OME bushings installed in the springs.

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Aligning the holes to re-install the bolts into the springs. Giant crescent wrench makes the task easy :)

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Dakar springs installed.

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Next up....Firestone Air Bags and Daystar Cradles.

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More to come soon....

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

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Today's Progress.

Started back on the drivers side rear. Here I'm installing the new bracket for the lower shock mount. A new hole is required here as part of the mount.

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Shock installed, I love the integrated rock shields for the shaft on the shock....all shocks should come with this feature! I put a dab with a yellow paint pen on each bolt that has been torqued to final specs. Some bolts will need to wait until the truck is setting on the tires again before receiving final torque.

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Rear shock installed...minus the res mount.

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The upper assembly for the Firestone air bags. The instructions show the big silver through bolt turned around the other way but it extends to far that way and will interfere with the reservoir mount, if your running both airbags and OME shocks the bolt needs to be oriented in this direction.

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Reservoir mount installed

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Getting ready to have the tires mounted on the new wheels, we removed my fathers front wheel to verify clearance on the calipers before diving in and having the tires installed. Calipers cleared so mounting is a go!

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Tires mounted up. The wheels are AX201 16"x8" Zero Off Set, Tires are BFG KO2 285/75-R16. Here the tire is just leaned up against the hub to get a sneak peak on how it's going to look, the tires won't stick out this much once mounted properly. I really like the look against the Quicksand.

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RCI Sliders showed up today, these babies are very solid and quality looks very good as well. Can't wait to get them painted and on the truck.

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Got the passenger side rear spring installed and the upper portion of the air bags loose fit. That's enough for today.

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Hodakaguy