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View Full Version : 2012 Taco slow build - The Escape Pod.



Finlay
02-09-2012, 01:29 AM
I got a new Taco last October. Happy day!

So Shiny!!

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First thing I did was remove the back seat. It did not suit the doggies.
I built some shelves to level the floor out and then put a blanket on it.

I'll figure out what to do with the hidey hole later, but for now it sits empty.

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I did a few other mods - disable the A/C on defrost and the annoying chime when the key is in the ignition.

Next on the list - build a bed rack to house the RTT.

Danimal
02-09-2012, 01:51 AM
Nice truck, and I love the blue. I think I remember the photo of your truck in the driveway from a few months ago on TacomaWorld?

Looking forward to seeing the bed rack, as I think this seems like a good solution for my family in a few years.

Dan

Finlay
02-09-2012, 02:07 AM
So, I bought a RTT from Cascadia Vehicle Tents (http://www.cascadiatents.com/)

Now, I need to build a way to mount it over the bed.

I found a few sources of inspiration :
This was nice, but quite heavy. (http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tacomaworld.com%2Fforum%2Fg arage-workshop%2F170971-b-m-f-bed-rack-build.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHbsXh26pE9SFmOR9hEsdT8QYY_Yg)
This one is quite nice, too (http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tacomaworld.com%2Fforum%2F2 nd-gen-builds%2F184735-allblk-tacos-build.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHmNYlBYQiaAKXPJPLaC1IOWwzKKg)

So, I called my dad, and was all like - hey! Do you still have the welder and a garage. And wanna feed me steak for a week while we build a rack ?

He was cool with it.

Short digression here - he and I talked a bit about what to build it out of. I suggested steel, but he raised the point that it was going to be heavy at the OD I was wanting, and my weight budget - about 900 lbs loaded - was a consideration.

He suggested we use EMT. He had used it for lots of projects - deer stands and ice shanties and such, so it seemed reasonable. It's a subject of some debate, so let me lay some points out :

Pros :
inexpensive
easy to get
easy to work with
it can be welded and ground, provided you take some precautions with ventilation
corrosion resistant
lightweight

Cons:
Not as strong as steel tube.
if it's galvanized, it can be a real pain to weld on
hard to bed without the right die

I ran some numbers on 1.25" EMT with a ME friend of mine. Given the load on it - ~125lbs of RTT, the design we laid out should hold up fine.

Now, we got a jack style tube bender to use, but the die we had didn't work, even though it was supposed to - it was just a little too narrow and would crease it. So we had to use the old fashioned method :

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It worked well enough, but its hard to get consistent bends doing it by hand. We did OK, though. Lost a whole 10' section to practice, though.

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So, after that, we set up a jig and cut and notched the crossmembers
I want to add some others, but I'm not sure yet where and how, so I'll do that in the future.

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Now, to make the rails. I got a 20' 3 inch bar of 1/4" thick plate steel for 30 bucks from a scrap yard. The Tacoma bed rail has a taper to it, though, so I need to cut the bars to match.

The cut looks like ****, but thats why god invented grinders.

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Now, to weld it. We had to travel to a Denny's house, because Denny just got a new heavy duty line feed arc welder and he wants to try it out. Also, Dad'd little linefeed just doesn't have the juice we need to get good penetration on the steel plate.

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Now, I need to attach it to the bed rails. A couple washers cut down to fit and a bolt welded on

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Now, to cut some brackets from some angle iron we had laying around

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And weld them on

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Finlay
02-09-2012, 02:17 AM
Primer and rattlecan the hell out of it

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And put it on :

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It took a few weeks for the weather to cooperate and warm up enough to dry fit the RTT, but we did this past weekend

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I need to build a fairing. This thing is gonna rock. I'm so pleased with it.

Finlay
02-09-2012, 02:25 AM
Nice truck, and I love the blue. I think I remember the photo of your truck in the driveway from a few months ago on TacomaWorld?

Looking forward to seeing the bed rack, as I think this seems like a good solution for my family in a few years.

Dan

Yeah, I posted some pics over there. I thought I'd put the build thread here, though, if I were really smart, I'd just set up website and point to that. I might still do that.

The rack turned out pretty well. I spent about 120 bucks on materials, and about 3 days of labor. I did have to split a bunch of wood for my dad, though. :-)

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TRDPARTS4U
02-09-2012, 12:11 PM
Nice rack!

Owyhee H
02-09-2012, 02:20 PM
Nice looking truck. I like the rack a lot.:) White water raft frames are often made out of the same material and it can be very strong but fairly easy to work with, I think you will be fine for strength.

Do you have a link for how to disable the a/c with defrost? That is really anoying to me, why cant I control my A/C manually? Defrost is my preferred vent location but it sucks the gas running the A/C pump all the time.

Nice dog too, Ive got GSP's but the vizsla is a great companion.

Finlay
02-09-2012, 06:56 PM
Thanks all!

The A/C disable is here (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/7160-c-defrost.html) But note that if you have an 09+ tacoma, you need to do this. (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/7160-c-defrost-8.html#post2395617)

It's pretty strightforward and takes about 10 minutes.

I know why they did it - and it's because people totally misunderstand how to manage the HVAC controls - but I sometimes wonder if maybe that should be part of the driving test because it's so friggen basic, I just don't get how they can't know. [/rant]


Anyway, the Viszla is my dog - in the "if you have to chain it to the porch, it aint your dog" sort of way. He's a great dog, an awesome hiking companion and a total character. To much of a wuss for brush hunting though, he much prefers to stick to trails and ditches.

My wife has a GSP - I'll get some pics up later - and that one is a rocket. He's kind of a doofus, but a very good and driven hunter - we won't have to worry about him in the coming zombie apocalypse. My wife is a member of NAVHDA (http://www.navhda.org/), and has put a ton of work into both of them, although the GSP is a much better hunter and much more her dog.


Next on the list of things to do to the truck is build a fairing. I'm sort of at a loss as to how to accommodate the sharkfin antenna. Almost no matter what I do, it's going to be obscured by the fairing and to a lesser extent, the tent. I think I'm going to have to relocate it to the front of the cab. Yeesh.

Finlay
02-09-2012, 11:38 PM
As promised; The doggies :

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Finlay
02-20-2012, 02:03 AM
I got a scangauge a few months ago as an anniversary present from my wife. She included the blendmount mirror mount, but I just didn't like the fit with the huge taco 2012 mirror stem. It was way too fiddly.

So, I was farting around, weighing my options and I spied an old, broken tape measure I had forgotten to throw away. The clip on it was perfect.

This picture is as clear as I can make it - 17 years of IT experience, a degree in electrical and computer engineering and this damned canon might as well be silkscreened in greek.

But, the idea is that I used the clip from the tape measure over the lip of the roof liner. I found a short machine screw in my bucket of screws that fit perfectly. The scangauge is stable as hell, an in a great position over the top of the mirror.

Simple, easy, cheap. I love it when a plan comes together.

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Finlay
02-20-2012, 02:25 AM
This was a real challenge.

Since I am getting a HAM radio at some point, I wanted to reserve the space over the cab for that antenna. Plus, real estate up there is going to be constrained with the fairing and other nonsense. So, my CB would have to go out over the bed. But the tent occupies most of that, so...

I decided to use a dual stick CB antenna mounted to my custom bed rack just behind the cab, but ahead of the RTT. It's not a lot of room, and certainly not ideal - but it should allow for OK performance from the CB while not interfering with my other crap.

It took me quite a while to formulate a mounting strategy for my rack. At first I tried to cut some custom brackets from some 20ga steel I had laying around, but... I'm lazy and hacksaw is slow. Besides, it just looked ghetto. I found some 3/4 in EMT in the shed, so I took a couple feet of that and tried bending some funny curves, but... that didn't go so well, either.

Finally - and I don't know why I didn't think of this first - I just cut a stretch of the EMT, crimped the top end, drilled through and bolted it on. Simple. Easy. Fits like it was meant to go there. I can be so incredibly stupid sometimes, it's a wonder I don't wear my pants on my head.

The antennae perform OK - it took a bunch of tuning - SWR is 2.1 at 1 and 40 and 1.1 at 19; and it's pretty directional front to back. But, it works pretty well and really, I'm looking to get better performance out of my HAM set up. This is primarily for trail use and for screwing around on the highway.

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ETAV8R
02-20-2012, 06:58 AM
Great build.

Another scanguage option with the blendmount is to just screw it into the headliner. That is what I did.

For the back seat I suggest you keep an eye on Tacomaworld, Toyota Nation, and craigslist for people selling their backseats from 08 and below. I got one from a guy on Tacomaworld and haven't looked back.

SLOwag
02-20-2012, 07:07 PM
I like your idea on crafting the rack. I'm planning something a little shorter and was wondering if you're going to mount the rack on top of the plastic rail cover? Any plans to place some kind of material to isolate the rubbing between the two materials? Thanks

Finlay
02-20-2012, 10:47 PM
I like your idea on crafting the rack. I'm planning something a little shorter and was wondering if you're going to mount the rack on top of the plastic rail cover? Any plans to place some kind of material to isolate the rubbing between the two materials? Thanks

Thanks! The rack mounts right on top of the plastic bed rail. I put a couple strips of topper weatherstripping on the bottom of the rack rails. If you look closely at my pictures, it's that white seam between the rack and the bedrail top. I wasn't so sure it was going to work that great, but it's holding up pretty well so far.

Finlay
02-21-2012, 10:32 PM
Got the windows tinted today. 50% on the front. Stock on the back. The tint looks uniform from the inside, but the fronts are definitely lighter from the outside. I'm pretty happy with it.

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Finlay
02-22-2012, 04:41 PM
I'm sort of torn on what to do next. I want a rack to go out over the cab to house the fairing and HAM antenna, and lights.

I have two thoughts :

1. Build a hoop off the bed rack over the cab. It shouldn't be too hard to add a forward basket to the existing rack, although some of the bends and welds will be tricky.

2. Get some Yakima/Thule tracks installed. This seems more flexible, and with some roof reinforcement would carry much more weight. I prefer this approach, but it's more costly, and ... well, drilling the roof.

In either event, I think I'm going to need to relocate the sharkfin forwards, or do without XM radio.


I'm sitting for the HAM test this weekend - and it's the same fee if I take one test or three, so I'm going for all of them. Technician and general are pretty easy, based on the practice exams I've done. The extra seems a bit more challenging. I've got some studying to do.

Dirtytires
02-27-2012, 06:06 PM
Did you take your HAM test yet? Taco looks good. I like the way that when your looking back at the truck the rack flows with the roof line.. Good job.

Finlay
03-15-2012, 01:00 AM
I did the HAM test - got all the way to Amateur extra. A degree in electrical engineering helps.

Yesterday, I popped up to Minneapolis to meet with the guys from the Midwest Overland Society. Great bunch, and I'm looking forward to doing some trips with them. I also picked up a refurbished Yaesu FT-857D and a bunch of other crap.

To get the carpet up, you need to pull the back panel, and the door sill rails. It's easy enough - remove the little plastic panels and they yank off. No tools required.
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There are a bunch of grommets in the floor of the Taco. This is the most rearward one I will use to run power from the battery into the cab.
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I had to basically gut the interior to get this done
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Got the new CB mounted on the side of the center console.
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Got the Yeasu mounted on the driveshaft hump.
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And here is the new fusebox mount point.
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Putting the truck back together. The platform I made for the dogs fits nicely, and provides a tidy hiding spot for the Yaesu and reasonably easy access to the fusebox.
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Finlay
03-15-2012, 01:03 AM
And this is how it sits now. Tomorrow, I need to build the antenna mounts and figure out how to mount the removable faceplate for the Yaesu.

Just amazing weather today - 65-70 degrees and sunny as hell. Perfect day to work on the truck.

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Owyhee H
03-15-2012, 02:02 PM
Nice instal on the radio.

I really like your rear platform as well, as it retains the ability to use the rear storage compartments. Did you just remove the rear center box? IM sure the dogs appreciate being up in the cab with you.

upcountry
03-15-2012, 02:24 PM
I'm loving that rack. Any plans for an RTT up there?

Finlay
03-15-2012, 11:51 PM
Two things today : build a fairing and get the faceplate for the Yaesu mounted.

First, the fairing. We spent the morning trying out a few ideas. This one seemed to work best.

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Next was to make a mount plate for the Yaesu. The Yaesu has a kit - the YSK-857 that includes a mounting bracket. However, I didn't want to drill a hole into the dashboard. So, I figured to take some 18 gauge steel, mount that inside the dash, and mount the radio to that. That way, if I change my mind about the mounting location later, I don't have holes all over the place.

The climate controls in the center console just pop out. You can use a butter knife or slim piece of plastic to force the white tabs down and then it comes out with some effort.

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Since the place I want to mount the head unit is right below that, between the controls and the power plugs, I need to do some trimming to make it all fit.

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Blurry, but you get the idea.

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Some searching throughout the garage to find some short *** screws.

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Fits nice. It's really tight, so I hope I don't need to be changing it later. It will be a total PITA to undo. It is solid - and shouldn't interfere with any airbags.

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Finlay
03-15-2012, 11:55 PM
Thanks for the compliments. I'm hoping the use the RTT this weekend when we go to the cabin - it will really depend on how quickly the welding and repainting of the rack goes.

Here's a pic of the Yaesu head unit in action. I don't have the antennae hooked up yet - tomorrow I'll get the brackets welded on.

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Dave Bennett
03-17-2012, 08:19 PM
Great spot for that :cool:

Finlay
03-19-2012, 03:48 PM
Great spot for that :cool:

I know, right. There aren't any great spots -Just varying degrees of not ideal.

I got the antennae hooked up, and they work OK. I think I'm going to need a roof mount for the 2m/70cm. I was hoping to avoid drilling the roof, but it works best and I'm just gonna have to suck it up.

The HF multiband antenna (opek hvt-600) is mounted over the bed, next to the RTT. It works pretty well, although tuning it for the various bands requires a fair bit of futzing. For an inexpensive mobile antenna, it seem to work OK. Can't beat the price. I'll get an screwdriver or some such at a later point; I'm just not prepared to drop 500+ bucks on it just yet.


The fairing didn't turn out so well. It works and is sturdy as heck, but is ugly as sin. It's also about 2 inches too close to the RTT and so gets in the way when deploying it. Without the RTT on there it really howls in the wind, too. I need to figure out a different solution for that - but I definitely want a fairing; I was pulling ~16 mpg at 75mph in a 20 knot headwind with the A/C on and the tent loaded up top. Also, it kept the bugs off.

Back to the drawing board....


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womacje
03-21-2012, 06:47 AM
Great work! I have had the pleasure of meeting DJ and seeing his sweet Tacoma. DJ, Great work on the truck. Love the clean mount of the radio face. As far as the fairing goes, not too much money spent in a "prototype." Have you thought about a thule/yakima crossbar and a fairing? Way more expensive and not as much fun, but adjustable and easily removable. Keep up the great work. Subscribed.

Jeremy

Finlay
03-22-2012, 02:19 AM
Thanks Jeremy,

It was really cool to meet you all. I think that june trip is gonna be sweet.

I've thought pretty hard about it a Thule/Yakima solution in fact. I'd need to get the tracks installed - which will involve drilling into the roof. That will be cheaper than getting the towers, and less trouble, and greater capacity, and more more flexible too. But it's still a few hundred bucks, either way.

I know I said I had more money than sense, but that doesn't mean I have a great deal of money; rather that I don't have that much sense. :drool:

I'll come up with something. I always do.

Later, I am gonna pick your brain about your shower system. That is a pretty sweet setup you've got in the "lavender" truck of yours. :)

womacje
03-22-2012, 06:28 AM
Thousand ways to skin a cat. I made an aluminum gram for
My storage system, never again, but I had to do it once to see how well it would work.

Feel free to hit me up on the water system. It's Pretty cool, I love it.

Jeremy

Finlay
03-25-2012, 04:50 AM
Thousand ways to skin a cat. I made an aluminum gram for
My storage system, never again, but I had to do it once to see how well it would work.

Feel free to hit me up on the water system. It's Pretty cool, I love it.

Jeremy

I didn't quite get to this when we met - I thought about doing the same thing : aluminum frame, plywood skin. Very similar to yours. Your setup seems to have turned out pretty well. What don't you like about it ?

womacje
03-27-2012, 07:01 PM
The only part I don't like about the aluminum frame is the additional cost and time required to build the system the way I did (tube and panel). I wound up using almost primarily 1/2" ply almost everywhere anyway... It was a great exercise, that I've been dying to try. Next time I will find the lightest sheet material, i.e. Fiberthane etc, and use the Kreg jig system again. best way to go, in my personal opinion for speed of build, weight and strength.

Don't get me wrong, I love my system! Its awesome. There are just better ways to build them then how I did, but had to test my theory, Disproved.

Jeremy

Finlay
03-28-2012, 12:16 AM
I see. A water storage/heater/battery box is on my list of things to keep me busy next winter.

Anyone use Yakima tracks ? is it better to use the plusnuts or the bolts ? I'm thinking the bolts, because I've gotta pull the headliner anyway and I don't want issues with the plusnuts like some people have reported.

I can get a set of tracks for about 100 bucks and then Drill, baby drill.

Also, I see I have a recall notice (http://www.tacomahq.com/1629/steering-wheel-recall-expands/) coming the mail sometime...

Finlay
05-07-2012, 12:52 AM
Been a while since I bumped this. It's been a busy few weeks; my wife is training for a marathon, I've been nursing an injured hip, and work, and so on.

I got a new endfed 20/40m wire antenna and have been playing with that a bit, and I also made data cable and got my laptop talking to the 857d. I also took the fairing I had made off. Accumulated some more camping gear, but nothing big.

This weekend started out with my 40th birthday party. The morning afterwards, the wife and I loaded up the dogs and drove to the Kettle-Moraine dog training area near the Horicon Marsh NWR to help out at a handler clinic.

We reserved a campsite near Long Lake which opened on Saturday, and had our first night in the tent. It went well. It was cool, but very wet. The annex worked great for the dog kennels, and the tent was comfortable and spacious. The local BSA Troops were having a jamboreee, and the tent was a big hit with a bunch of them - most of them had pup tents laid out in the wet grass, hehe. Brings back memories.....

Anyway, I need to build a chuck box - working out of a rubbermaid tub sucks. I need to work out a better tie down system, too. Got 15 MPG on the way out, in a light headwind, 16 back in a strong tailwind, and driving rain. Even with all the rain on the way back, the tent is covered with bugs.


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mjohns2
05-07-2012, 04:06 AM
Subscribed

erichclimb
05-07-2012, 03:50 PM
Looking good. How did you disable the chime. I assume it's pretty easy but not sure

Finlay
05-07-2012, 04:17 PM
Looking good. How did you disable the chime. I assume it's pretty easy but not sure


Here is a good guide (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/2643003-post27.html) at Toyota Nation.

It's pretty easy, although wrestling with the lower half of the steering column cover was a PITA and took about 20 minutes.

DreamingOfExpeditions
05-07-2012, 08:15 PM
So here's a question. What benefit did you see getting your Amateur Extra ticket punched? I'm about to get my tech license and thought about doing it the same as you (I'm ready for the test, just need to go one weekend when I'm free). Now I'm an engineer also, so of course I think the same way, if I do something might as well obsess and go completely OCD over it until I've mastered every single nuance about it right? But off hand, I can't see a huge gain in going all the way, right off, specifically because of gear and its cost of entry. It'll take years before I have a shack that is all bands capable.

Top that off I have a fly fishing habit, a gun habit, and this (see the pattern here?)...

Finlay
05-07-2012, 09:11 PM
So here's a question. What benefit did you see getting your Amateur Extra ticket punched? I'm about to get my tech license and thought about doing it the same as you (I'm ready for the test, just need to go one weekend when I'm free). Now I'm an engineer also, so of course I think the same way, if I do something might as well obsess and go completely OCD over it until I've mastered every single nuance about it right? But off hand, I can't see a huge gain in going all the way, right off, specifically because of gear and its cost of entry. It'll take years before I have a shack that is all bands capable.

Top that off I have a fly fishing habit, a gun habit, and this (see the pattern here?)...

Yeah, I have the same problem. Thing is, you can take all three tests for one fee if you do it on the same day. You can save some cash with a little extra preparation. And once you have it, you have it, so if you were ever inclined in the future to do something you need an general or extra license for, it's one less thing standing in your way.

So, as I say, I've got a degree in electrical engineering, and it wasn't much extra studying to prepare for the other exams. I'm sure that's gotta irritate some (http://donkboy.com/kk9g/) who see me as just another know-nothing, no-code, lid extra. Can't please them all, I guess.

DreamingOfExpeditions
05-07-2012, 10:42 PM
All hobbies have those dogmatic curmudgeons like the one in your link. In fly fishing there's the dry fly purists who'll sit all day on a river bank waiting for the perfect hendrickson hatch and catch one fish a week, meanwhile the sport is dieing a slow death because it takes such a long time to become technically proficient.

Finlay
05-11-2012, 12:18 AM
All hobbies have those dogmatic curmudgeons like the one in your link. In fly fishing there's the dry fly purists who'll sit all day on a river bank waiting for the perfect hendrickson hatch and catch one fish a week, meanwhile the sport is dieing a slow death because it takes such a long time to become technically proficient.

Well, that and in the best case you catch a slimy fish that needs to be cleaned before anything useful can be done with it... :-)

My dad was an avid fisherman - or was, until he messed up his shoulder at work. I get the appeal, but I never had the patience for it myself. I much preferred bird hunting, myself.


Today, I got my non-resident Minnesota state Off-Highway Vehicle trail use sticker. I'll be using it in a couple weeks on the inaugural trip (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/71845-Midwest-Overland-Society-2012-trip-schedule!) for the Midwest Overland Society (https://www.facebook.com/MidwestOverlandSociety).

I have to burn a week or so of vacation before the end of the FY, so I may ride the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail (http://www.lonewolfexpeditions.com/twat.html) up to Minnesota to meet up with them. I figure I can make two days of it, stop off in Duluth to drink some of my dads beer and then meet up with the MOS guys for a long weekend getting the truck muddy in North Central Minnesota.

This pleases me.

This weekend, I need to hit up the local junkyard to get some parts. If they don't have what I need, the sales droid at the dealership promised me a good price on them. More to follow.

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sytfu510
05-14-2012, 05:19 AM
nice looking rig, looking forward to updates.

Finlay
05-18-2012, 03:10 AM
Stopped by the dealership today. The sales dude was impressed with the work on the truck - so much so, I got a really great price on the recovery hook (p/n = 51961-35080) for the Taco. The OR comes with it, the sport doesnt, but it can be bolted on.

I was always planning on aftermarket skids, so I'm not going to sweat the Toyota ones. Although, I was hoping to maybe get them for cheap from the local junkyard. But, all of the scrapyards near me tell me that they can't keep second gen tacos on the yard - they sell the parts way too fast. I can put in an order and wait - but I'd pay close to stock price anyway.

So yeah, I'll just have to be careful and wait until I can get aftermarket skids.

My CB took a crap on me a week or so ago. I put it on the bench and diagnosed at least the initial voltage regulator as bad. But, it's under warranty, so I sent it in. I got my replacement back today, and got that installed.

Day :
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Night :
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All of my plans are complicated by the fact that I got a message from the doctor today - I'm going to need hip surgery. I have a tear and deformation of the acetabular labrum (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/acetabular-labral-tear-the-basics) and will need to have that corrected if I want to walk normally in the future. Le Sigh.

This first trip is on, though. My leg can friggen fall off, I don't care. I've waited far too long. This will happen.

Negative energy just makes me stronger.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-j31YoEeRU

deadbeat son
05-18-2012, 05:57 PM
All of my plans are complicated by the fact that I got a message from the doctor today - I'm going to need hip surgery.

Sorry to hear about the impending surgery. Enjoy the trip!

Finlay
05-18-2012, 11:57 PM
Thanks. It hurts like hell today. I was planning to work on the truck tonight, instead I'm gonna have a few beers and watch some movies. Tomorrow will go better. I can't wait to get this fixed.


Tomorrow, I'm doing the yellow wire mod, mounting the fire extinguisher, and running power for the XOOM - I'm going to use that as my GPS on this trip. I'm also going to start fabbing up a switch box for the overhead console if I have time.

The sales droid called to say that the hook wasn't going to be in today after all, but he offered me a free car wash as a consolation prize. I hate how great this truck looks when it's clean - it makes me feel bad when I neglect it for a few weeks.

Got a new sticker in the mail, too. When I was a kid, my favorite part of building model airplanes was putting the decals on. That and blowing them up with fireworks.

And a bonus action photo of the GSP playing frisbee.

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Finlay
05-19-2012, 08:16 PM
Yellow wire mod day. Also got a first aid kit and fire extinquisher.

The kit and the extinquisher fit nicely in the suicide door pocket. I'll want a retaining strap for them in the future, but for now they work nicely right there.

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Now, the fun part. The 09+ TRD Sport comes equipped with an Electronic LSD. However, in 4LO, this E-LSD is not engaged; most likely so as to create greater product differentiation between the Off-Road and Sport varieties.

It is possible to enable the E-LSD in 4LO on the TRD Sport - the Yellow Wire Mod (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/51946-4low-trac.html). Basically, by cutting the signal wire from the actuator to the computer, you trick the truck into thinking 4LO hasn't actuated and it is still in 4HI. This retains the E-LSD functionality even though 4LO is engaged.

It isn't quite as effective as A-TRAC, but it is better than stock.

After you do this mod, the beeper will beep if 4LO has a problem engaging or disengaging, same as always. The 4LO light will blink at all times, even when fully engaged.


Pictures to follow. The harness in question resides behind the glove box, and you will have to remove the glove box to get at it.

The harness it the top middle one, with the two yellow wires above the cluster of white ones.

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The wire we will cut is the yellow/black one second from the top. Do not cut the top wire.

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Like so. Tape it up and plug it back in.
For extra credit, you can add a switch (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/51946-4low-trac-7.html#post1206970) if you like so you can return to stock function. I might do that later.

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Test and miller time.

Finlay
05-26-2012, 03:09 AM
Today I got the hook installed.

In this photo you can see the stock tie down point that was removed, and the TRD Offroad hook that bolts into the same location. Also, the bolts. If you need to order this part for your TRD Sport, you also need the bolts. Don't forget those, you'll look stupid to the dudes at the parts counter.

TRD hook (P/N: 51961-35080) and the two bolts (P/N: 90119-A0193).

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I also got the RAM mount for the XOOM tablet situated. So far this is what I'm using :

RAM-B-166U-C Suction cup mount and medium length 1" ball arm.
RAM-HOL-TAB6U Tablet tray for XOOM

102215


I'm not the very happiest with the placement, but this is the least obstructive. It will work for now, anyway. I think if I got the double ball adapter (RAM-B-230U) and another socket arm (RAM-B-201U), I'd be golden on that front - but that is for later. Being a tall guy helps, too.

Also, the 10" XOOM is enormous. I suspect I'd be happier with a 7" tablet, a la the Galaxy 7.2 (http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-7-Inch-Wi-Fi/dp/B007P4VOWC) But the wife insists I have spent enough money. As if.

So far, I am impressed with the fit and finish of this mount. We'll see how it holds up on the trip.

I leave Monday morning - three days on the Trans WI trail. I'm roughly following this route (http://rokklym.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Trans-Wisconsin-Trail-maps/7930086_tQehM#!p=1&n=10) with some changes and detours here and there. Then 3 more days with the dudes from The Midwest Overland Society near Brainerd MN...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv8TsCXo1ZQ

Hehe.

sytfu510
05-27-2012, 05:59 AM
great looking truck. Good work!

Finlay
06-05-2012, 04:08 AM
Thanks.

I got back from my trip. The latter half is detailed in this thread. (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/79155-Midwest-Overland-Society-inaugural-trip-report?highlight=). I'll post the TWT pictures later this week.

The truck performed amazingly well for being stock. There were a few times I was convinced I was gonna get hung up, and the truck totally made me look like a dweeb.

A few notes :

- The RAM mount for the Xoom Tablet was amazing. I only had to readjust it a few times and it never came off despite some real thrashing. A++
- The large GPS/Xoom tablet I had wasn't that obstructive. I thought I was gonna need to remove it, but it was easy to work around.
- The Bearcat 880 CB I installed worked great. Amazing reception and good reach. I'm pretty impressed with it.
- The CVT RTT I have worked great. Comfortable and reliable. It kept me dry during a pretty good rainstorm and warm in some chilly temps. And it held up really well to being beat on by the many branches and bugs I smacked it with. I love this tent.

I need to get some better springs. The stock springs are adequate, and work OK, but they could be better.

Finlay
06-26-2012, 03:36 AM
Took the truck and tent to field day for the local ham radio club. I used my radio and my end-fedz 20/40m wire antenna to work 20m SSB. To do that I had to pull the radio out, but that wasn't too onerous.

I didn't get to do too much operating though - everyone who stopped by wanted to talk about the truck, tent, and 857d. Later at night, after dinner, I got to work 20m a bit and for ~75watts I was getting some good distance.


One question many people had - where does the dog sleep ?

The answer ?

I share my leftovers, and he shares his ticks and fleas. It's a symbiotic relationship.

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Morticon
06-26-2012, 03:37 PM
Do you carry him up there?

Finlay
06-27-2012, 12:09 AM
Do you carry him up there?

No, I just lift him up and he climbs in. He likes it up there - I bet if I built a ramp, he'd run right up.

I usually just climb in that way, too. It seems easier than using the ladder.

Finlay
07-07-2012, 07:30 PM
Been busy the past few weeks. Helped my wife install a new stereo in her 4runner. That was a chore.

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Took the wife and dogs on a couple of field trips with some light offroading and dirt roads and trails. The dogs seem to like the back seat.

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One thing I did: I used to just have a couple of cheapie dog beds laid out for them. But those start to stink like wet dog in no time at all. So on a whim, I bought an outdoor sofa bench cushion. It's some gawd-awful color, so I put one of the blankets over it. It's held up much better. Doesn't smell bad and its a more uniform cushion that the dogs seem to like more.


I did the Diff Breather mod this week. It was hot as hell - this was in the shade...

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Anyway, I copied the parts list from this thread at Tacoma World (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/15686-diff-breather-mod-dummies-pics.html). It was easy peasy.

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YotaPilot
07-08-2012, 12:46 AM
I got a scangauge a few months ago as an anniversary present from my wife. She included the blendmount mirror mount, but I just didn't like the fit with the huge taco 2012 mirror stem. It was way too fiddly.

So, I was farting around, weighing my options and I spied an old, broken tape measure I had forgotten to throw away. The clip on it was perfect.

This picture is as clear as I can make it - 17 years of IT experience, a degree in electrical and computer engineering and this damned canon might as well be silkscreened in greek.

But, the idea is that I used the clip from the tape measure over the lip of the roof liner. I found a short machine screw in my bucket of screws that fit perfectly. The scangauge is stable as hell, an in a great position over the top of the mirror.

Simple, easy, cheap. I love it when a plan comes together.

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Awesome idea for mounting the scan gauge. Did you need a cable extension or was the 6 foot cable enough? Where did you route the cable?

Finlay
07-08-2012, 01:06 AM
Awesome idea for mounting the scan gauge. Did you need a cable extension or was the 6 foot cable enough? Where did you route the cable?

6 feet was ample. I ran straight up the driver side A pillar and across the top of the windshield. The cable will tuck right into the roof liner.

On the 2012s (I don't know about previous years), there is an airbag in the pillars, so be careful when pulling the cover off.

YotaPilot
07-08-2012, 02:56 AM
6 feet was ample. I ran straight up the driver side A pillar and across the top of the windshield. The cable will tuck right into the roof liner.

On the 2012s (I don't know about previous years), there is an airbag in the pillars, so be careful when pulling the cover off.

Thanks for the info. I have a 2001 so there is no airbag issue. The big concern I had was the cable length, but you answered that. I like the look of putting it up by the mirror...very clean.

YotaPilot
07-08-2012, 03:17 AM
One more question...why didn't you like the mirror mount? Did it not work right? Or was it just a looks thing? You have the universal mount right? I don't think they make one specifically for Tacomas.

Finlay
07-14-2012, 07:09 PM
One more question...why didn't you like the mirror mount? Did it not work right? Or was it just a looks thing? You have the universal mount right? I don't think they make one specifically for Tacomas.

It was a little too fiddly with the new 2012 tacoma mirror - I'm sure it worked great on previous years. Since Toyota put the the new screen in, the mirror mount is larger and asymmetrical in shape. The blendmount was not as secure as I'd like as a result. I could probably have gotten it to work well, but my solution was easier by far.


Today, I picked up a couple of NMO roof mounts for some antennas, and I found a great deal on a 60" yakima track (http://www.yakima.com/shop/racksystems/permanent-installation/tracks60-w-bolts) (80 bucks!). I'll have to cut it down to fit, and it uses the bolts instead of the Plusnuts. Still, can't quibble with the price.

I'm going to pick up some RAAMmat (http://www.raamaudio.com/) and ensolite and insulate and quiet the roof. If I gotta drop the roof liner, I might as well go all the way and do everything I want to do at once and be done with it.

The floors and doors will also get done, but at a later date. I have surgery for my hip scheduled at the end of this month. I'll see if I can get this done by then.

I also helped my wife install new speakers in her 4runner today. She is very pleased with how it turned out. Crutchfield (http://www.crutchfield.com/) made it really brainless - it only took about 2 hours to do all 4 doors.

jiggler
07-15-2012, 12:33 PM
great looking truck, dont know if it was asked do you use GSP for hunting?

Finlay
07-15-2012, 03:14 PM
great looking truck, dont know if it was asked do you use GSP for hunting?

Yep! My wife is involved in NAVHDA (http://www.navhda.org/) and she trains both the Vizsla and the GSP for hunting. The GSP is "her" dog, so I don't work with him as much.

Part of the motivation for building this truck is to do more hunting trips - there is precious little remaining pheasant habitat in southern Wisconsin, so we have to travel. Things are better in Iowa and southern MN - which aren't unreasonable weekend trips.

Finlay
07-24-2012, 02:35 AM
I'm going to pick up some RAAMmat (http://www.raamaudio.com/) and ensolite and insulate and quiet the roof. If I gotta drop the roof liner, I might as well go all the way and do everything I want to do at once and be done with it.

The floors and doors will also get done, but at a later date. I have surgery for my hip scheduled at the end of this month. I'll see if I can get this done by then.


It turns out I needed to have the "fit kit" for the Thule mounts to put the tracks on. My wife won a deal for 50% off everything at Thule.com, so we ordered up a ton of crap because hey, half off - but the parts I need didn't arrive in time.

So, the tracks use Thule fit kit 3101, which will work with podium tower 460/460r. Hopefully, they will arrive before next weekend. I'd really like to do this before I have surgery.


Not being able to do what I had planned, I decided to take the truck apart and do the soundproofing/insulating of everything else. It was time consuming, but the truck is so much quieter now, it's kind of amazing. Now, I didn't go for competition levels of sound proofing and kind of cheesed out by using carpet padding in some panels.

This guy used (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/audio-video/70151-deadening-back-seat-mod-system-install-complete-pics.html) about 4 times as much as I did. It doesn't take a whole lot to see good results.

Whatever you do - don't put regular foam or insulation inside your door panels. That leads to rust in pretty short order. Only use closed cell foam if you are going to use any at all.

Now, some pictures for posterity :

The front door.
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The suicide door. You can see that there is still a hole for a speaker, though no grill in the panel. I'm going to have to rectify that.

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TACO721
07-24-2012, 02:53 AM
nice build man! see you are using TW.com lol best site i have found on the tacoma. with like cheap and free mods. about to do anytime fog and any time locker. ABS bypass, and few other things. my build is in my sig. not much done yet.

Finlay
07-25-2012, 12:37 AM
Thanks!

I agree, TW is one of best resources for Tacoma info. It's been invaluable to me so far.

Nice looking truck. My first second gen tacoma was the silver streak mica. I probably shoulda gone with that for this truck, but I love the blue even if it does really show scratches.

TACO721
07-25-2012, 03:08 AM
yeah. i really wanted the SWB. but after a little over 3 months of looking. could not find a used one. got mine may/14/11 and it had 24,9**k miles on it. it now has 42,800k i have gone to western NY to see family 655miles one way, beach was over 400 miles. and few other small 2 or 3 hour trips. and thanks. i have not done 1/4 of the stuff i want to do to it. mostly because of money. but looking at a better/ more permeant job this week hopefully.

Finlay
08-02-2012, 03:13 PM
So, I had surgery yesterday. It went well, although the tear was worse than he had thought from the mri.

Yesterday was rough, but I'm feeling pretty good today. The Dr. says I can go to South Dakota with The Midwest Overland Society next week if I heal quickly enough. That's doable but not a given.

We shall see.

My Thule rack parts arrived, finally. I don't think there is any hope of getting that installed in the next week. maybe though- I'm in mood to make things happen.

detnight
08-02-2012, 07:21 PM
Well it sounds like they did not have to replace the hip joint. I feel your pain I had my hip replaced in my late 40's and now at 53 it squeeks like an old screen door but i kind do all of the hiking I want without pain .................................GOOD LUCK

Finlay
08-10-2012, 05:54 AM
Well it sounds like they did not have to replace the hip joint. I feel your pain I had my hip replaced in my late 40's and now at 53 it squeeks like an old screen door but i kind do all of the hiking I want without pain .................................GOOD LUCK

Thanks! No, they didn't need to replace it. Just shave it down a bit. I had a tear caused by a Cam Femoral Acetabular Impingement (http://www.hipfai.com/). They trimmed that bastard down and fixed some other stuff. I got some neat pictures of my joint, too.

So, I'm feeling good enough to go to the Badlands/Black Hills. I didn't get the Thule rack installed - just not enough time - but the truck is dressed and loaded and ready to roll.

This will be the first extended trip with me, the missus and our doggies. I'm pretty stoked.

If I remember and have time, I'll get a picture up before we head out. Otherwise, see you in 10 days. :wings:

Finlay
08-10-2012, 04:04 PM
Loaded up and headed out soon. She's squatting pretty good. I think I'll be doing a suspension upgrade this winter.

114975

Finlay
08-24-2012, 04:41 AM
So, I returned. Safe and sound. Trip report here. (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/82976-Midwest-Overland-Society-Badlands-Black-Hills-trip-report) I got a bunch new pinstripes and scratches and I put a dent in the cheap tinfoil stock bashplate.

I did a couple trail mods while I was out.

First, I removed that stupid 7pin trailer harness from the rear bumper.

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Second, I hatched out a tire.

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The tire is toast, and I had to roll home on the spare. I was hoping to get them to last until after this winter, but I can't run without a spare, and it makes no sense to buy a tire when I'm planning to replace the set anyway.

So, the wife and I moved some money around early and next week I'll be ordering some BFG AT T/A KO 265/70 R17 112R (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QGZ8WO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p293_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1B4Q47H6C4GERK5WZX4W&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846)

I had wanted to go a bit skinnier, but unless I also want to replace the rims, that aint gonna happen. I'll settle for a little bit taller. I'm not that interested in deviating too far from stock and anyway, I won't be lifting the truck for at least a few more months.


Something else we discovered on the trip : Back Country Navigator (http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/) is an excellent program for this sort of travel. However, I had it on my Samsung SIII and it is NOT well suited to the small screen. It works far better on the tablet. If you are planning to use BCN, I suggest you get at least a 7 inch screen to use it on. You'll be much happier.


This weekend, if the weather is nice, I'll be installing the Yakima tracks and Thule roof rack. I'm a bit nervous about drilling holes in the roof of my truck. Hope I don't mess it up too much.

deadbeat son
08-26-2012, 01:39 AM
So, the wife and I moved some money around early and next week I'll be ordering some BFG AT T/A KO 265/70 R17 112R (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QGZ8WO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p293_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1B4Q47H6C4GERK5WZX4W&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846)

I had wanted to go a bit skinnier, but unless I also want to replace the rims, that aint gonna happen. I'll settle for a little bit taller. I'm not that interested in deviating too far from stock and anyway, I won't be lifting the truck for at least a few more months.

A 245/75/17 will fit on your stock rims nicely at stock height. It stands about 32" tall and would be almost an inch narrower than the 265.

Here's a thread with some more info: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/33345-Found-A-good-size-Tire-for-Stock-05-TACOs

Finlay
08-27-2012, 03:52 AM
A 245/75/17 will fit on your stock rims nicely at stock height. It stands about 32" tall and would be almost an inch narrower than the 265.

Here's a thread with some more info: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/33345-Found-A-good-size-Tire-for-Stock-05-TACOs

I definitely considered that. Problem is - it's hard to find that tire. Amazon has got 1 in stock. Tirerack has less than 5 according to their website and no more until late Sept. And so on. The 265/70 is a bit wider and about the same diameter but much more common.


Anyway, this weekend I installed the Thule roof rack and and some NMO antenna mounts.

Removing the roof liner is easy, but tedious.

Remove the A pillar covers, and the visors and clips. On the drivers side A pillar, unplug the two wire harnesses and pull the two retaining clips out.

The center console has 1 screw, and two retaining clips at the forward part of the roof. Remove the plugs and also unplug the mirror.

The upper door jamb is two parts. The first comes off with two Torx screws removed. The second is clipped in - but the geometry is weird and it doesn't pull straight out. Also, it has clips tied into the door gasket.

The dome light is held in by two clips. It is easiest to remove it if you open the clear part to expose the bulb and then pry it out.

The hooks in the back twist and pull out.

Now, there should only be 4 retaining clips holding the liner in. They pry open from the side. When you unscrew them, take care to not lose the screw retainer on the back side. They are also held in place by a retaining hook.

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117703

The liner should just pull out from the rear panels; you don't need to loosen them.

It will look like this if you succeed.

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Finlay
08-27-2012, 04:11 AM
Installing Thule or Yakima tracks.

The included instructions are OK. I'll cover some points as it relates to installing on an Access Cab. I did not use the plusnuts, since I had to drop the roof liner anyway, I didn't think they'd offer any advantage. I was sort of wrong - the nuts included in the kit have a huge plastic enclosure. This is great for sealing up the hole. Not so great for fitting into tight spaces.

- You are almost certainly better off using plusnuts - but there are a few things to avoid in the roof. There is a cross bar support at the junction of the two doors. There is also a support for the liner where the visors are. This support is hard foam with a thick plastic cover. If you go too far forward, you'll need to trim or otherwise deal with this piece.

- You should consider using the "landing pads" instead of a track. They are a fixed location and not movable, but involve lots less drilling.

- You'll have to trim the tracks to 36". At 42" The forward and rearward roof reinforcement sections will interfere with installation. Besides, the curvature of the roof becomes hard to deal with.

- Mind the support in roof liner for the visors. This goes all the way to the sheetmetal and will interfere with one of the nuts. I had to trim mine. They aren't really removable, but a little hacksaw and lots of patience will get it done.

- The greatest realistic distance between the tracks is about 38". It is not possible to install into the factory gutter, and you'll need to be an inch or so inboard of them to leave room for the nuts.

- The track end caps suck. Seriously, they are very poorly designed. I left off the forward caps because otherwise they pointed into the air. They are designed for a flat roof and on the the forward curve they will not line up at all.

- I tied a line to the shark fin and taped it down on the center of the mirror. All measurements were based from that.

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The finished install. Well, finished for now. I have a fairing to install and I need to figure out what to do about the end caps.

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deadbeat son
08-28-2012, 02:51 AM
I definitely considered that. Problem is - it's hard to find that tire. Amazon has got 1 in stock. Tirerack has less than 5 according to their website and no more until late Sept. And so on. The 265/70 is a bit wider and about the same diameter but much more common.

That's definitely a drawback. Sounds like you made the right choice!

Finlay
08-28-2012, 03:28 AM
That's definitely a drawback. Sounds like you made the right choice!

Well, the choice was made for me. But yeah. :coffee:

Anyway, tonight I worked on the endcaps for the Thule track system.

They attach as part of the bolt on the end of the track, so you have to undo that bolt if you want to add any accessories later. The other problem is that because of they way they are designed, they curl upwards as you torque down on the bolt.

On a flat surface, you can get it to lay mostly flat if you screw around with it long enough.

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On the front of the truck the roof is curved and this just exacerbates the problem. No amount of manipulation will matter with it.

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As you can imagine, you need to put some sort of cap on there, or it whistles like you wouldn't believe.

So, I re-engineered it.

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Look how flat and tidy it lays now.

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With that done, I attached the fairing - which was the end goal of this entire ordeal - and took it for a test ride. It's a bit noisier, but not much, even at 85 MPH. Gas mileage doesn't seem to have been affected, either. We'll see what happens with the tent on there and stuff, but I expect some improvement. Plus fewer dead bugs.

117875

womacje
08-28-2012, 04:21 AM
Looks good DJ!

Finlay
08-29-2012, 01:58 AM
Looks good DJ!

Thanks, hoser!

I've got a few more mods left in the "creature comforts" part - I need to rewire the overhead speakers for the HAM radios and install some speakers into the rear doors (I don't know why toyota ever deleted those). I need to get the seats adjusted a bit; 1 inch of lift in the front would be amazing. I also need to build a switch module and get the relays installed for things like onboard air, lockers, rock lights and such.

I spoke briefly about my plans for this truck - I intend to get 10 years out of it, so I am kinda taking the long view on some of these mods. I want to run out the original equipment where I can (tires...) or run as long as I can before I reach limits (suspension) - all of this so I can get the other mods done.

In 4 years that truck will be paid off, and I need to buy a WRX or (if I can find one) a Protege 5*. I lurve me some sportwagons.

Anyway, I need to get this truck done, but I have a few years to work on it.

A daylight pic...

118084

* the first *new* car I ever owned was a 2003 P5. If that car were a manual I never would have let my wife trade it in. As it stands, I shouldn't have let her, but at the time, it was the right decision. But, man, what a great car. Handled like it was on rails, and fun as hell. I miss that car.

TACO721
08-29-2012, 07:58 AM
looking good man!

like you i am looking for longevity out of some of the mods. but at the same time saying **** it on some. like bumpers and stuff are going to protect more, or rear will hold more. like tire, high lift and jerry cans.

Finlay
09-01-2012, 02:26 AM
Ladies and gentlemen,

This is why I can't have nice things :

118629

I have to drive to Duluth tomorrow - and I have no spare - so rather than swap a bunch of tires around between mine and my wife's T4R, I'm gonna just take her car up there.

Sucks.

On the plus side, my tires should be here next week. And Woot.com was running a sale on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.2 so we picked one up for my truck. It should do much better than the phone while being less obtrusive than the 10" Xoom I was running. Plus the wife can keep her Xoom free from my filthy fingerprints.

Also, it occurs to me that my hood has too many scratches on it. And now I have a nice and very sturdily attached roof rack, I think I might build some limb risers. Lame and too "dressy" or functional and a nice accessory ?

womacje
09-01-2012, 04:20 AM
If you are goin on a Tony route with the MOS then you NEED them. I have some that I throw on and off depending on the trip or terrain. Brackets thru the hood fender parting line and away you go.

Finlay
09-05-2012, 11:07 PM
So, that bolt came out today during my commute to work. Dammit. The tires are scheduled to be here tomorrow (although, realistically they prolly wont be here till Friday).

I stole the spare from my wife's truck for the time being. I'll see about getting this one fixed when it comes time to swap tires and wheels around.

On the plus side, I found out that my wife has 5 alloy rims. I've been scouring CL and Ebay looking for a cheap one and here theres been one in my garage the whole time. She can have a steel spare, her truck never sees anything more challenging than the ditch to a cornfield.

The other thing I found was how much nicer her spare kit was than mine. Better paint, better machining. It's way better in every way. Don't tell her, but I'm stealing that, too.

hehe.

Don't look at me like that - if she gets a flat, you and I both know I'm going to be changing it anyway. She could do it, sure, but she'd rather bat her eyelashes and make me change it.

Finlay
09-07-2012, 03:06 AM
The new shoes arrived today. And they weren't off the truck an hour before I had them installed.

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Sahweet.

However, the new tires did reveal a new rattle in my dashboard... Frustrating, that.

Finlay
09-22-2012, 03:53 AM
I did some trail mods to the truck on my last trip out (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/84425-Midwest-Overland-Society-does-the-Superior-National-Forest).

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Thats gonna be spendy to fix. :eek:

Sucks, but thats what being out there can get you.

On the plus side, the fairing held up amazingly well.

122378

And worked great, too. Look, no bugs on the tent!

122379


I also bent the hell out of my new 2m antenna. It was only 10 bucks, though, so I'm not that peeved about it. I'll get a spring mounted one in the next couple days.

So, my christmas list : Sliders, skids and a lift. Maybe a bumper or two, but I might put that off another year in favor of actually driving the truck somewhere.

Have a movie of my dog playing in Lake Superior. He's a nut.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7poxFEyFBhs

Finlay
10-13-2012, 02:48 AM
Been a while since I bumped this. I've been busy at work adding another 60TB and 5 servers to our storage and processing array. Plus, a host of other problems too esoteric to go into here. So, I haven't done much with the truck. Plus, with winter coming, we got all the gear cleaned and stored away until next year.

I did pop by the dealership a couple weeks ago to pick up some stuff, and the sales droid was amazed at my pinstripe collection. So, I spoke with the dude in the detailing department, and he promised he could make it look good as new.

He wasn't kidding.

Before :
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After :

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This is how the truck looks today :

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I'm really amazed at how well that turned out and how (relatively) inexpensive it was. I still need to get quotes on the dents to see if I even want to bother getting them fixed, but that will wait a bit.

I've got big plans for the truck in the next few months - it'll be getting a lift, and some armor. Maaayyyybbeee a front bumper. I'm taking it to its very first Overland Expo next year, and I want it to look nice. But I also gotta have beer. It's a struggle.

womacje
10-13-2012, 05:59 AM
Whoa! thats an amazing difference! You had alot of pinstripes. Now it looks good enough to drive to the mall.

Finlay
10-13-2012, 04:08 PM
It's a little crazy how well that turned out. I owe the guys at the shop some beer, because they did a hell of a job and they did it fast - they didn't even need it overnight. Which sucked because I had lined up 5th gen 4runner to use as a loaner. But whatevs, I can't afford a new car for the wife yet anyway. Best to just not look.

The boys got some new jackets at the Duluth Trading Company outlet store near here. I guess we'll have to see how well they hold up to the dogs rolling cow pies.

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One thing I do need to do is get heated mirrors (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/193528-oem-heated-mirrors-diy-mod.html) installed.

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I'll do that after I finish building my chuck box.

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Jada the Rottweiler
10-13-2012, 05:31 PM
I like your profess so far

How deep were your pin stripes? Do you know exactly what your dealership detailed did?

I gotmpin strips both sides I thought I was hopeless...

womacje
10-14-2012, 06:44 AM
The kids look good! The cow pies will win every time, at least it wasn't their own mess... Chuck box is coming along. Get ready for the winter wheeling trip. See how the AT's do out there.

Jeremy

Finlay
10-15-2012, 05:38 AM
I like your profess so far

How deep were your pin stripes? Do you know exactly what your dealership detailed did?

I gotmpin strips both sides I thought I was hopeless...

Some of them were pretty deep - you could feel them with your fingernail. I don't know exactly what they did, but I have to imagine they buffed the hell out of it. They put a some clear coating and thick layer of wax on it, too. They have a guy there that's been doing this for 30 years and is semi-retired and they had him come in to do my truck. He said it was one of the worst he'd ever seen.

Hehe, wait till next year, Mr. Bufferman...

There are some scratches that didn't come out. Not many, though, and you gotta look really close. I bet if you shop around a bit you can find a good experienced detailer that can fix yours up.

Finlay
11-12-2012, 12:45 AM
It's been pretty quiet around here. The wife and I were sort of planning a trip up to the Gunflint Trail for a long weekend, but we were unable to find any place that took dogs, had space, and didn't cost 1000 dollars. So, we'll get some beer and have a stay-cation instead.

We had some nice weather - unseasonably warm here lately, so I took the opportunity to crawl around the truck a bit.

One of the things I found was this little nook at the bottom of the front fender. The rubber gasket pulls out and allows you access in there.

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I should have taken a before picture, but that whole thing was basically packed with leaves and crap. That's no good - it's basically asking it to rust away from the inside.

So, I vacuumed it out pretty good. But the question was, where did all that crap come from ?

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You can see the remains of the pile of leaves I cleaned out from up there. That space where the antenna runs up is open all the way to the bottom of the fender well. Leaves check in, but they don't check out.

It's sort of a poor design - I'll have to find some window screen around here somewhere and fit that in place. But the truck rides better now that I got that 586 lbs of compost out from in there.

Finlay
11-16-2012, 11:32 PM
I got a nice un-birthday present in the mail today...

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If you're curious what it means (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fnord) :


Suddenly I saw Hagbard's (http://www.rawilson.com/illuminatus.html#fnord) eyes burning into me and heard his voice: ``Your heart will remain calm. Your adrenalin gland will remain calm. Calm, all-over calm. You will not panic. you will look at the fnord and see the it. You will not evade it or black it out. you will stay calm and face it.'' And further back, way back: my first-grade teacher writing FNORD on the blackboard, while a wheel with a spiral design turned and turned on his desk, turned and turned, and his voice droned on, IF YOU DON'T SEE THE FNORD IT CAN'T EAT YOU, DON'T SEE THE FNORD, DON'T SEE THE FNORD . . .

I looked back at the paper and still saw the fnords. This was one step beyond Pavlov, I realized. The first conditioned reflex was to experience the panic reaction (the activation syndrome, it's technically called) whenever encountering the word ``fnord.'' The second conditioned reflex was to black out what happened, including the word itself, and just to feel a general low-grade emergency without knowing why. And the third step, of course, was to attribute this anxiety to the news stories, which were bad enough in themselves anyway. Of course, the essence of control is fear. The fnords produced a whole population walking around in chronic low-grade emergency, tormented by ulcers, dizzy spells, nightmares, heart palpitations and all the other symptoms of too much adrenalin. All my left-wing arrogance and contempt for my countrymen melted, and I felt a genuine pity. No wonder the poor bastards believe anything they're told, walk through pollution and overcrowding without complaining, watch their son hauled off to endless wars and butchered, never protest, never fight back, never show much happiness or eroticism or curiosity or normal human emotion, live with perpetual tunnel vision, walk past a slum without seeing either the human misery it contains or the potential threat it poses to their security . . .

Then I got a hunch, and turned quickly to the advertisements. it was as I expected: no fnords. That was part of the gimmick, too: only in consumption, endless consumption, could they escape the amorphous threat of the invisible fnords.

Way back when I graduated from high school, one of the guys I played D&D with on base gave me this book called "High Weirdness by Mail". (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/067164260X/). That led to me reading the Illuminatus Trilogy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illuminatus!_Trilogy), where the concept of Fnord! was something that really got me going on the various ways that our culture, government, religions and families really screw with our minds.

Good times. Now, I need to find a stencil of J.R. Dobbs to paint on my mudflaps...

armed_leftist
11-19-2012, 08:37 PM
Nice truck! Love the license plate! Have you thought about a dual-battery set-up? That's my next step and I'm waiting to add electrical goodies to my Tacoma until I get that done. I am super paranoid about draining my battery in a remote location after doing that a couple times in my lady's 4Runner and having to hike out of the trailhead to find help.

wingysataday
11-20-2012, 03:01 AM
The scratches hurt at first but then you realize why you purchased the truck...Cause it's a freakin truck! Great work!

Finlay
12-21-2012, 06:01 PM
We had a blizzard yesterday, and while the college kids were playing (http://www.thedailypage.com/video/article.php?article=38578), I had to shovel and curse the snow.

But only till I was done, and then I got to go play in it. I learned a couple things - the yellow wire mod totally works. The truck climbs an icy snow covered hill like a scalded monkey. Between that and the BFG ATs I couldn't get the truck stuck despite some effort at it. I helped yank a few people out of snowbanks, and gave up a bunch of sand to unstuck this poor trucker.

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In other news, thanks to this thread (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/23350-Cheap-Fridge-lt-400-shipped) here, I picked up a scratch and dent fp630. It arrived in slightly worse shape than when it left the warehouse - some extra dents and a broken hinge. But, I got new parts in a couple days and everything seems to be in running order. It works great, and I'm really looking forward to using it. I need to build a shelter for it - since when I take it out, it will be riding in the bed.

I've also gotta get some wiring done. I'd like to build a relay box similar to this one (http://forum.ih8mud.com/merchandise-storefront/352802-auxiliary-fuse-relay-panel.html), but I need to source parts. I tried to get a parts list from that guy, but he hasn't responded, so I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way - by going through the catalogs.

Anyway, I got a switch from otrattw (https://otrattw.com/) that seems perfect :

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Awesome.

Finlay
02-07-2013, 02:01 AM
With the start of the semester, I've been busy as hell. Plus, all the snow we've been getting means I spend an hour or so everynight shoveling when I could be working on my truck.

I've got my OME lift sitting in the garage - I just need to find time and a place to get that installed. I've had some plans, but those have fallen through for various reasons. Sucks, but so it goes.

The wife and I have been taking advantage of some after holiday sales. In particular, I found this folio at REI for 15 bucks.

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The sweet thing about it though is its size. I can fit 3-4 gazetteers and other maps and crap in there easily.

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There is a leather shop here in town that has a nice map bag, with a clear pocket on the outside. It's much too small for a gazetteer, but I considered having one made that size bespoke. Thing is though - it's like 200 bucks. Worth it - it's good workmanship and all that, but more than I wanted to spend at the moment.

So, when I found this, I got a bright idea. This, plus a vinyl shower curtain and some rivets, and I could have a serviceable - if not terribly fancy - map folio.

I used rivets and small washers to attach a piece of the shower curtain to the back side of the folio.

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The finished product - it's not gonna win any beauty awards, but it should do well enough for 20 bucks and an hours work.

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Sir Lurker
02-08-2013, 02:00 PM
Just caught up on this build. Excellent stuff! I just bought my Tacoma in October and have been looking for a build like this as a sort of, guide. Keep up the good work!

Bert007
02-08-2013, 03:52 PM
hmm you have done it ver good and I am sure its more strong then other which you buy from shop. Becuase you have made it by your own. Can you please tell me how much its costs to you? I hope you have saved you money by building this grill by yourself. good work and thanks for sharing..

Finlay
02-22-2013, 02:15 AM
I got the OME lift installed. 885s and Dakar springs in the rear. I got 2 1/4" out of it. No vibes so far, and the alignment is getting done tomorrow.

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I'm pleased with the peformance - it's both more compliant and more robust than the stock suspension. It's difficult to describe.

Saturday, with luck, I'll be headed to Platteville to 4xinnovations (http://4xinnovations.com/)/ArmorTech Offroad (http://www.armortechoffroad.com/) - they've made me some skids and sliders I need to pickup. It will be a bit before I get those mounted, I need to rattlecan them, and for that, I need slightly warmer weather.

Hurry up, spring!

womacje
02-22-2013, 05:02 AM
You'll love their sliders! That's what I run on my LX.

Oh yeah your taco looks great!

Finlay
02-24-2013, 01:47 AM
I got the alignment done. It was pretty well screwed from doing the lift - no surprise there. The best they could do for caster was 0.7, which is workable - I had the truck up to 85 today rolling out to pick up my next project - but it does require more attentiveness to the steering. It's not terrible or anything. I'm gonna give it a few months at least and see what I think before I invest in new UCAs.

The project I picked up ?

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Got the skids, too. They are beastly and not to be trifled with. I spent the day getting them all the things cleaned and prepped and primered. I was hoping to get them finished tomorrow, but I have to go into work. If that doesn't take long, I'll get the first coat on, anyway.

Finlay
02-26-2013, 01:50 AM
I got everything cleaned up and primered. It's too cold to paint - the one part I tried took far too long to dry - so I had to store everything and wait for better weather. It's just as well, I need to get some drill bits and otherwise prep the truck for mounting the sliders.

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Next on the list of things to do: get a fridge box built. The fridge will ride in the bed, but I want to house it in something. I've got a couple ideas, and now that the weather is starting to warm up, its time to get prototyping. I've only got two months and change before our big trip to Overland Expo.

Finlay
03-07-2013, 01:57 AM
Still waiting for decent weather to get the skids and sliders painted and installed. We got another 8 inches of snow last night, that hopefully should be the last of it. It's been unseasonably cold and snowy the past few weeks, and I'm pretty much done with it, let me tell you.

I did get a picture of something neat, though. The line down the middle of the roof is where the support beam runs. The big square spot is the pocket or whatever where the dome light sits. Those areas aren't insulated at all - can't get to them - but the iced over areas are insulated with a layer of Mass loaded vinyl and ensolite. That has made a bit of a difference in the wind noise and comfort in the cab - I don't have to run the heater/AC as hard and I feel less fatigued after a few hours behind the wheel.

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I've got a few parts on order - I'm going to have a busy few weeks leading up to expo.

Qyota
03-08-2013, 05:38 PM
Hey Finlay - I'm in Madison too! I too am totally done with winter. Lots of things I want to do with my '99 4Runner (see attached). I think I've seen your truck around - do you work on campus?

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Finlay
03-08-2013, 09:08 PM
Hey Finlay - I'm in Madison too! I too am totally done with winter. Lots of things I want to do with my '99 4Runner (see attached). I think I've seen your truck around - do you work on campus?


I'm sure you've seen my truck - it's kind of distinctive and I drive like a jerk. :-)

I work for the UW, but not on campus, usually. But I live near there, so I pass through a lot.

That's a tidy T4R - I really like the 3rd gen. Sharp trucks.

I see in another post you're headed back to Bemidji. You should search the forum for Midwest Overland Society and get on their mailing list - they like to run in those forests up dere, ya know. Good peeps and fun, too. In fact, you should do it even if you don't move back there.

Finlay
03-17-2013, 12:32 AM
I had wanted to get one of these fuse/relay panels (http://forum.ih8mud.com/merchandise-storefront/352802-auxiliary-fuse-relay-panel.html) when they were for sale, but I was too slow and missed out. However, Dirtbound Offroad (http://www.dirtboundoffroad.com/accessories/aux-relay-fuse-panel/) sells them as a kit. I'm posting this partly as a reference for the future - because I drink to forget - and partly because I spent a decent amount of time putting all this together and hopefully it's helpful.

The kit includes the relay panel, cover, wire seals, terminal clips, and 5 microrelays. The wire seals are incorrect, however and do not work. Also, there are no blank plugs. And lastly, the terminal clips are for 14-16 gauge wire.

So, you can buy all the parts you need at Waytekwire.com (http://www.waytekwire.com/products/).

Relay Panel and Lid. (http://www.waytekwire.com/item/46343/MINI-FUSE-AND-MICRO-RELAY-RTMR/)
Terminal clips (http://www.waytekwire.com/item/32035/METRI-PACK-280-SERIES-FEMALE/) (10-12 ga)
Cavity Plugs (http://www.waytekwire.com/item/39010/PACKARD-CAVITY-PLUG-GREEN/)

Here's a tip - you don't need the wire seals. The cavity plugs are hollow, and if you cut off the end, you can use those as wire seals. Since the minimum order is 50, you'll have plenty this way.

Some Pics :

The kit :
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Cavity Plug / Wire seal comparison :

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There exists a crimper tool for these terminals. I don't have one, so I just made do with a pair of small needlenose and crimper/strippers. I did solder the terminals. That is not strictly electrically necessary, but I did want a stronger mechanical connection since I wasn't using the correct crimper. The cavity plug is a little too long, and after I did a few, I ended up trimming the terminal end so it makes a better seal.

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One thing to watch for is that you don't interfere with the terminal mating. If you cut the wires too long, or solder too much, the interface won't work and it will push the terminal back out of the panel. Yes, I learned this the hard way. :drool:

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I couldn't get the terminals to retain in the panel unless I pulled the tab outwards somewhat. Even then some were fussy and took some work to get in there.

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The finished project.

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I'm waiting on some other parts to arrive, and warmer weather. I need to make a bracket to mount this and pull wire. I also need to make a switch panel - this guy at TW is selling them for 300 bucks (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacoma-marketplace/263923-overhead-console-custom-switch-panel.html) - but I should be able to make one for less than that. Maybe.

This stupid winter needs to end - I am now beyond done with it.

Finlay
03-30-2013, 01:09 AM
Got my skids installed today.

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Although, I had a brainfart about when doing the front skid.

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See, the brackets for the factory skid need to come off, first. I can only blame the drinking.

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Got the sliders painted up and started drilling holes for them. Maybe tomorrow I can get that finished up and get them mounted.

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While I am at it, I should probably take a wirebrush to all the rust from this winter. The truck really took it on the chin from the freezing rain that had city crews salting every other day for the past 2 months.

Finlay
03-31-2013, 12:55 AM
I got the sliders installed today.

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My wife took advantage of the nice weather to work on the kitchen and get that put together.

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I took the truck apart to clean it out, and get the outlet installed in the console.

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I'll get it wired up to the stock inverter later. It will be nice to have an outlet in the cab - the one in the bed is useful enough, but inconvenient at times.

Finlay
04-01-2013, 01:58 AM
So, I tore apart the dashboard today to relocate a switch - making room for the custom carling switch I got from OTRATTW (http://www.otrattw.com/). I should get the socket dremeled out later this week to make it fit.

While I had the dashboard apart, I did the 400W anytime mod (This is a good guide (http://toyotaoff-road.com/threads/1173-Inverter-400W-anytime-and-adding-in-cab-plugs)), and wired up the outlets I installed in console to the stock inverter. That 100w limitation is stupid, and the lack of outlets in the cab was annoying. Now I can charge my laptop (stupid 110w charger) without having to put much thought into it.

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I have a little more than a month to get the truck ready for OX. Nice to have some warmer weather, finally.

Finlay
04-10-2013, 02:08 AM
I got the mounting bracket for the relay box built. It's not my best work ever, but it turned out pretty well for a first shot with some scrap materials I had. It'll do for now and I can take another better crack at it later this summer.

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I was an hour late for work this morning because of this (http://www.channel3000.com/news/Police-Motorist-attacked-in-road-rage-incident/-/1648/19680488/-/pf0a5bz/-/index.html).

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Sigh.

However, while I was waiting, I got a call that the steel I had ordered as ready.

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The fridge fits in the tray perfectly. With about an inch front and back for some mounting hardware. The angle iron will provide a nice base, and a frame to build a shelter around the fridge.

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I got some 200 lb. drawer slides from drawerslides.com (http://www.drawerslides.com/28inch-fulterer-fr-5210-series-200lb-drawer-slide). I had thought to recycle some slides from old retired servers, but those are actually kind a pain to side mount and I didn't want to hack together a ghetto stumpy server rack to use them in.

huntsonora
04-10-2013, 04:27 AM
It's funny, I've never looked at a blue truck and either liked it or disliked it, I've always been indifferent to that color on a truck BUT your truck and a couple others I've seen on here and around my town have made me reevaluate my opinion. They look damn good!

Finlay
04-14-2013, 03:14 AM
That new blue that they they have for the Tacos is pretty sharp - and you're right, it looks great with black. Or Chrome, I guess, but my wife's 4runner is blue and chrome and I just couldn't do that. Thanks for the compliment!

So I had a bad week at work, and I haven't had much chance to work on the truck - and anyway, it's been cold and raining pretty much full time. Still, I got a new toy installed :

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It's a BlueCat - a bluetooth CAT interface for the Yaesu 8x7 series radios. That is nifty enough as it is, but what I got it for is to interface with the RepeaterBook app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zbm2.repeaterbook&hl=en). Instead of having to program all the various repeaters I might want/need to deal with ahead of time on the trip - this uses the GPS to find the ones near me. And, with the BlueCat, I have it program the radio all pushy-clicky like. It's like living in the future.

I also got some work done on the fridge slide:

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I've got a bunch more work to do, but, it's coming along.

Finlay
05-06-2013, 11:43 PM
So, it's been a hectic few weeks. Got the truck cleaned and prepped, and I've started accumulating gear in the garage. I've got the day off Thursday to take care of last minute things and then to leave Bright and Early Friday to roll out to Denver, CO. From there, I'm meeting up with some friends and rolling to Moab for a few days before rolling down to Overland Expo.

So, what I've done :

So, you take one of the blanks out of the switch panel on the dashboard, and you're left with a hole like this :

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The carling switch won't fit in there, so you have to do some dremelling. Maybe you can do better than me.

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But none of that matters if the end product works :

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The switch (and some future switches) are connected to the relay box I built earlier. That is mounted on a bracket I built out of some scrap metal I had laying around. I might redo it at some later point - there are some things I wish I had done a bit differently (more places to mount wire harnesses, for one) but it will work for now.

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Anyway, I got that hooked up to a 15 amp Blue Sea outlet (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-1011-12V-Socket/dp/B001U4ZZPK). It seems to work OK, but I think I will want a less bulky plug/socket type in the future. I'll have to do some research into that. Anyway, it's enough to drive the fridge and the little air compressor I got, too.

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Then I was working on the fridge - some of the wires in there needed to be loomed and secured more tightly. I noticed that because of the way the one corner was pushed in that the drain was impacting onto the coil in a way that looked very worrisome.

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It's a strange place for the drain, but I busted out a hacksaw and took 1/2" off it and now there is much more clearance.

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The last thing I did was pick up some interlocking exercise mats (similar to this (http://www.amazon.com/We-Sell-Mats-Interlocking-Anti-Fatigue/dp/B001EJPGG4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1367883192&sr=8-7&keywords=exercise+mats)). My wife and I both disliked how cold the aluminum honeycomb of the RTT could be at night, and she wanted a bit more cushion to the mattress. We've seen the aeromat from the RTT improvements thread - but that stuff runs 200 bucks.

This was an inexpensive option to try - with some carpeting tape and a bit of trimming these went in just swell and are cushy and nice. If it sucks, we'll be out 40 bucks and a couple hours of labor, but I think it will do well.

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RKRUGER
05-07-2013, 02:41 AM
Love the mat idea. We have some of those on the concrete floor in the basement where the kids play... Target or something like that. Very durable and insulate that you can be down there with little bare feet. Cool idea!

Sounds like you are going to have a great trip. Are you coming thru this way, or dropping right south?

jgreen-fsi
05-07-2013, 03:40 AM
Very cool project!

Finlay
05-08-2013, 11:58 AM
Thanks! I'm really looking forward to it.

I'll be going south, through Nebraska to Denver.

I had been hoping to make it to a MOS meeting this spring, but I just didn't have the time. I also won't be able to make the June Nipigon run they've got planned- which is sorely disappointing. I love going up there.

I'll definitely be joining them for a fall trip. I love autumn in the north woods.




Love the mat idea. We have some of those on the concrete floor in the basement where the kids play... Target or something like that. Very durable and insulate that you can be down there with little bare feet. Cool idea!

Sounds like you are going to have a great trip. Are you coming thru this way, or dropping right south?

Finlay
08-04-2013, 02:42 AM
Been a spell since I bumped this. Not much progress on the truck. The Moab/Overland Expo/Colorado adventure went exceedingly well. Too well - my wife gave me permission to find a job somewhere out west. If I can make enough for both of us, we'll move there. So.... if anyone needs a good IT administrator with ~20 years experience, let me know. References available upon request and all that, too.

The one big thing I did accomplish was fixing a nagging problem I had with the OTRATTW switches I had installed. Getting them to light up with the dash lights was easy enough, but getting them to dim with them was not so simple. The problem lays in how Toyota designed the dash light system on the 2nd gen Taco.

The dash lights are run by a switched +12V circuit. Easy enough. However, the lights are grounded through the dimmer circuit which delivers 0V (full bright) to 12v (full dim). It's a nifty system, but incompatible with the OTRATTW switches, because those use a common ground for the switch body and the lights - if you drive the ground at some voltage, it can backfeed into the switched circuit.

So, I dusted off the engineering degree and built a comparator circuit from some spare parts I had laying around.

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It works OK - it's not as linear as the dash lights, and doesn't match the brightness exactly. However, it mostly works as advertised and was a fun little side project.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPBuTQW9cmk

I'm getting the truck ready to roll out with MOS to the Badlands (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/113756-Midwest-Overland-Society-SoDak-Trip-2013) later this week. Should be a blast.

Finlay
08-18-2013, 03:25 AM
Me, the dog and the truck took a short jaunt to South Dakota with MOS (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/113756-Midwest-Overland-Society-SoDak-Trip-2013/page2).

The trip itself was great, although I did suffer a minor setback in that my tent was destroyed by some higher than anticipated rainfalls.

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I've been in contact with Bobby at CVT - who called be back even though he was on vacation - he's sending parts and we've talked some strategies to reinforce parts of the tent. The dude is great and I love how relatable and no-nonsense he is. I'm sure I'll have my tent fixed in no time.

In other news, I swung by Armor Tech Offroad (http://www.armortechoffroad.com/) in Platteville and Adam - the owner - did something very unkind to my truck. He removed the rear bumper and then cut off a part of the bedside!!! ZOMG, how could he ?!?!?!

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Actually, it worked out kind of awesome. He does really good work and this thing rocks.

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Tomorrow, I have to roll down there to get some finishing touches done, and get the swing out built. I should get them powdercoated soonish, and then run the wiring. This bumper is totally bad ***. I love how it turned out.

Finlay
08-19-2013, 02:43 AM
Popped down to 4xInnovations (http://4xinnovations.com/) today and got the swingout made.

Sweet. They made a custom propane tank holder and I used their standard jerry can holder. All of which is very well done.

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Now to find someplace to get them powdercoated.

uscg2008
08-22-2013, 05:09 AM
my GSP BAILEY goes with me too
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/uscg3683/kodiak%20kruising/6d553a3b1add98e465a7141d1160ffd5_zpsbc03d046.jpg
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/uscg3683/kodiak%20kruising/844ce227384b2d7b4cf845b8eb63fd64_zps627f03f7.jpg

BenMara
08-23-2013, 02:06 AM
Cool
My hounds love Toyotas
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e206/bennettmara/RedBone%20Mutts/DSC_2075_zps14849137.jpg
After the dog park time to head home
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e206/bennettmara/RedBone%20Mutts/20130220_175034_zps80370d54.jpg
Hang out in the FZJ80 on Shem Creek, SC

Finlay
09-14-2013, 03:49 AM
I got the bumper back from the powdercoaters.

185738

I'll get more and better pictures up later, but it turned out really well.

I also managed to get a job in Grand Junction, Colorado. I'll be moving there in a few weeks. A tidy little raise in pay and much closer to the playground - I just couldn't take that haul across Iowa anymore.

I'm gonna spend the next years rocky mountain way....

OttawaXJ
09-14-2013, 01:03 PM
Hey man I know you were wrestling with the mileage issue with your tent up top. I'm planning on doing a similar cage to yours for my RTT going on my ford Ranger. What I've found in my research is that if you drop those hoops just a little lower(4-6") it allows the wind to go over the tent saving mileage, bugs and you dont need to screw around with air dams.

Food for thought.

Love the build dude, if I didnt already have a ranger to work with I'd be going with a Taco too.

doug720
09-14-2013, 06:06 PM
I like your dogs for some reason...


Marco(Viz) and Misty(GSP).

Truck looks good too!

Doug

Finlay
09-16-2013, 04:23 AM
Hey man I know you were wrestling with the mileage issue with your tent up top. I'm planning on doing a similar cage to yours for my RTT going on my ford Ranger. What I've found in my research is that if you drop those hoops just a little lower(4-6") it allows the wind to go over the tent saving mileage, bugs and you dont need to screw around with air dams.

Food for thought.

Love the build dude, if I didnt already have a ranger to work with I'd be going with a Taco too.

The trouble with lowering the tent though is that I'm a tallish guy - 6'4" - so the tent/annex sits too low to be any sort of use to me. The mileage hit wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; I lose far more to my heavy right foot and the bug problem is solved with the fairing. Plus, I like being able to get at the crap in the bed easily.

But yeah, it's bag full of compromises either way. There is a guy on the forum here that made a pop up rack for his RTT, which is something else that crossed my mind. I might see about getting one made if I can unload the house quickly and not take a total haircut on the deal.

Finlay
09-16-2013, 04:24 AM
I like your dogs for some reason...

Marco(Viz) and Misty(GSP).

Truck looks good too!

Doug

Nice dogs! And thanks!

Finlay
09-22-2013, 05:18 PM
Parts arrived for the tent - Many, many, thanks to Bobby at CVT for getting them out to me.

We went from this :

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And this :

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To this.

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But jeez, what the hell is it with the rain this year ?

Anyway, I've been cleaning out the garage, basement, office, workshop etc, etc. Plus working my butt off at work trying to get things settled so I can leave. I've always enjoyed moving - it's a nice chance to go through your accumulated crap and get rid of it - but this time, it just feels so rushed. On the plus side, I'll have a week or so before I begin work to explore the Grand Junction and surrounding area and maybe get some biking and relaxing in.

Then I can start a new job and rejoin the rat race. I need to win the lottery. :ylsmoke:

Finlay
11-16-2013, 05:13 AM
I'm moved in. Got my first month in at the new gig, and that's going well. I work with some great peeps. The wife is still in WI, getting the house fixed up for sale. When I'm not working, and as the FNG, I am always working, but I've managed to get out and sneak a few pics here and there.

196661

196662

While the wife has been dealing with 20 degree temps and snow I've been dealing with 50-60s and more or less constantly sunny weather.... Anyway, I like the new gig, and I like the new town. This will do.

Finlay
11-19-2013, 03:05 AM
Yesterday I installed a mirror riser from Bird Dawg (http://birddawgindustries.com/mirror-riser.html) while I waited for my laundry.

It was a fairly easy install - although the mirror bracket on 2012+ Tacomas will require some trimming to fit in the new mirror block. It is a huge improvement in visibility.

197116

voodoojk
11-19-2013, 04:03 AM
Welcome to the western slope! I'm up the road in glenwood. Just got my tacoma this summer and replaced my wrangler. Slow build..but will get there some day. We'll have to meet up some day. Some great trails this way

Finlay
12-01-2013, 02:32 AM
Welcome to the western slope! I'm up the road in glenwood. Just got my tacoma this summer and replaced my wrangler. Slow build..but will get there some day. We'll have to meet up some day. Some great trails this way

Indeed! Thanks, and nice to meet you. Beers at my place, any time.

I went down to Telluride this weekend for grins and giggles. Took the scenic route, and it delivered in spades. It was a great trip.

198990

198991

Finlay
12-12-2013, 03:07 AM
I went to Telluride again last weekend - also went to play in the fresh snow on the Grand Mesa - you can find pics in this thread (http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/119698-Gunnison-River-and-Grand-Mesa). Also made plans with Adam at Armortech Offroad (http://www.armortechoffroad.com/) to see about a front bumper. I'll be headed back to Wisconistan over Christmas, so we'll see what he's got.

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