2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro receives total transformation

#1
Ken came to us with his fresh 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro to be completely transformed for some serious off road exploration. The 6-speed manual transmission isn’t a common sight so we couldn’t wait to hop in and get it into the shop.

For front end protection Ken choose to go with ARB. The new ARB Summit bumper for the 3rd Gen Tacoma is about as rugged and protective as there is, which makes it a great choice. ARB quality is consistent and backed by one of the largest names in the off road game and the engineering behind these bumpers is top tier and proven in the backcountry of Australia.



Inside the bumper is a Warn Zeon 10 Platinum Winch with synthetic line. It fits perfectly and will provide ample and reliable recovery should he need it. For a little extra clarity in the middles of nowhere we added some Baja Designs XL Pro (Driving Combo) LED lights to help light the way. These pack A LOT of punch and has excellent close range and long-distance lighting on every terrain.



For rear bumper we installed a CBI T3 model with dual swingouts, including a tire carrier with fold down camp table and double jerry can holder. This is an excellent choice for those looking for a single latch dual swing out, which is a much stronger option than the other single swingout models on the market now.



For dual battery setup Ken decided to go all in. We set him up with Odyssey Extreme main battery and a Full River deep cycle AGM auxiliary battery. But here’s where it gets interesting: for possibly the first time in the overland world we installed a Perfect Switch Power Gate Dual Rectifier 200 Amp, splitting power directly from the alternator to the two batteries for optimal and more efficient, faster charging. This unit is controlled by a MOSFET board and is epoxy encapsulated for complete waterproofing. Added on as an option we’ve also installed a momentary linking switch in the cab to force link the batteries as well as an overhead dual-voltage display to Ken can monitor his battery levels at all times. This is absolutely the most advance dual battery system on the market and we’re looking forward to installing this same system in one of our demo vehicles here at the shop!





To control all of his auxiliary circuits we installed an sPod SE System with HD head unit in the cab on the left lower dash for easy access. We are a fan of the sPod system as they provide for an extremely simple and clean wiring with great expand-ability in the future.



For suspension we installed an Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 6 with Billet UCA fitted with new delta joint for added reliability and reduced noise and maintenance. This was a front to back suspension kit including the remote reservoirs with adjustable damping control and progressive leaf pack in the rear. The front went together well but the Icon resevoir mounts did not work with ARB bumper as a bolt conflicted with mounting location, so we fabricated some revised mounts here at the shop to accomodate.







Connecting him to the ground are a full set of new BF Goodrich All-terrain KO2 275/70 R16 tires.



We are looking forward to seeing Ken’s smile after he gives his new truck a good smashing in the dirt

There are several other great projects in the shop right now, so stay tuned for more unique overland ready builds!

Adventure Ready
 
#2
Nicely done!

I spotted a white TRD Pro yesterday (here in BC) that I suspect may have been one of your clients, too:
- white TRD pro
- canopy
- alu cab RTT
- grey, hitch-mounted bike rack for two bicycles
- washington plates

Great looking setup!
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#3
Curious why someone would buy a TRD Pro and put ICON suspension on it. I'm legitimately asking. Why not start with a SR5 or perhaps even a regular TRD OR if it's the locker you're after? Seems like a lot of money to spend on the fancy factory FOX suspension just to replace it.
 
#5
Curious why someone would buy a TRD Pro and put ICON suspension on it. I'm legitimately asking. Why not start with a SR5 or perhaps even a regular TRD OR if it's the locker you're after? Seems like a lot of money to spend on the fancy factory FOX suspension just to replace it.
A fool and his money.....

I think buyers are not educated on what they are getting. The TRD Pro is tuned for no additional weight, so bumpers and typical farkle junk don't work with the suspension.
 
#6
There are other benefits to the higher trims.

For example, after having had several vehicles with push-button start, given the option of key start vs push button in the new Tacoma, the choice was obvious and non-negotiable. Trims lower than TRD were instantly out. Not to mention the other features that TRD brought to the table (some of which were also a must).

There's more to the Pro than the locker and the suspension. For example - the OEM leather (I have Clazzio leather seat covers and while they are good value, they're no OEM leather), the Pro's visual highlights, the hood scoop (which you can't get with an OR, SR, SR5, or Limited trims), and other minor details. For some these will be worthless, for others they will make all the difference.

I also don't see the Pro as good value, but I can understand why some people might want it. Now swapping the Pro's FOX suspension out for ICON... I view that as a downgrade, but again, can see why some folks might want to do it.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#7
Being a stick shift it won't have push button start. In this case it would be the leather seats and the exterior "I'm cooler than you" treatment is my take-away.

The TRD Pro is lost on me anyway, since it seems you can build an SR5 with King or FOX and dual Air Lockers and save the difference for gas money to actually use it and beer to drink when you get to camp. Plus it won't scream Bro! at me.

Oh, and the TRD hood scoop offends me when other places are much more lucky. When they have a hood scoop it's functional to feed the diesel intercooler.
 
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#8
You can get the scoop on the Sports, about the same price as the SR5's...and unlike the most other models, can still get 'em with a manny. (at least for now)

Probably be able to buy that hood or swap it for cheap since most of the consensus on TW, that the majority of the people out there don't like the scoops since they are non-functional. Guess you could put some LEDs in there, to make it somewhat useful.

Have your very own K.I.T.T....

 
#10
I want to preface this by saying that I think this truck looks awesome and I would be delighted to own it.

I like the TRD Pro's from an aesthetics stand point, sure it's just a grille and a non-functional hood scoop and some blacked out bits, but it works for me. The crawl systems on the TRD Pro is a nice touch as well. I agree in regards to the factory suspension, I wouldn't mess with it, I understand payload restrictions, but put some air bags in the rear and upgrade your springs before swapping it all out in favor of what I consider an inferior option in the Icon kit.

We are leaving the factory suspension on our soon to arrive TRD Pro 4Runner in place as well for the same reason. Should I want to gain a little lift for bigger tires I'll likely run the Toytec TRDP spacer and spring kit so that I can continue to utilize the factory stuff until we should decide we need long travel or something more.
 
#11
Being a stick shift it won't have push button start. In this case it would be the leather seats and the exterior "I'm cooler than you" treatment is my take-away.

The TRD Pro is lost on me anyway, since it seems you can build an SR5 with King or FOX and dual Air Lockers and save the difference for gas money to actually use it and beer to drink when you get to camp. Plus it won't scream Bro! at me.

Oh, and the TRD hood scoop offends me when other places are much more lucky. When they have a hood scoop it's functional to feed the diesel intercooler.
Ah yes, good call on the stick vs push button. Still boggles my mind that Toyota doesn't offer push button start with stick. My old 2007 335i was 6MT and had push button start. Just Toyota cutting corners IMO. It's all electrical, and could be combined with start assist (or whatever that clutch-less start option is called) without too much problem IMO.
 
#12
Ha ha! Dude!

I don't mind the scoop, as I was looking at the Sport so I could the V6 manny, only thing I don't like about Sport is the 17" wheels, though could live with them, since I really don't 4-wheel too hard anymores.

Prolly should give in and get a commuter car to tell you the truth.

That TRD Pro build sure is niiiiiice, too much money for me...Hell the lowly base model SR is more than this cheap bastard wants to spend (but we all know that :D )
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#13
Ah yes, good call on the stick vs push button. Still boggles my mind that Toyota doesn't offer push button start with stick. My old 2007 335i was 6MT and had push button start. Just Toyota cutting corners IMO. It's all electrical, and could be combined with start assist (or whatever that clutch-less start option is called) without too much problem IMO.
Actually, it's probably not a cost cutting move. It's because 4WD Toyota trucks with stick shifts all get a clutch start cancel, which lets you start it in gear. To do that you have to hold the key in the start position while the truck moves forward and eventually the ignition catches. It's not really practical (or perhaps not intuitive or safe) to implement that with a push button I guess. Couldn't say for sure since I've never owned anything with a push button start or keyless fob thing. Could also be simply that not enough Tacomas get stick shifts for Toyota to implement a work around since my guess is push button start on a pickup is pretty much only something you'd see here. Can't imagine many Hilux buyers wanting a keyless fob with bench seats and vinyl floor.
 
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#14
Actually, it's probably not a cost cutting move. It's because 4WD Toyota trucks with stick shifts all get a clutch start cancel, which lets you start it in gear. To do that you have to hold the key in the start position while the truck moves forward and eventually the ignition catches. It's not really practical (or perhaps not intuitive or safe) to implement that with a push button I guess. Couldn't say for sure since I've never owned anything with a push button start or keyless fob thing. Could also be simply that not enough Tacomas get stick shifts for Toyota to implement a work around since my guess is push button start on a pickup is pretty much only something you'd see here. Can't imagine many Hilux buyers wanting a keyless fob with bench seats and vinyl floor.
Most of our heavy equipment was push button start, but they all had keys too.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
#15
Most of our heavy equipment was push button start, but they all had keys too.
I don't think it's a matter of being able to energize the starter with a push button, that's been true forever. I think it's in the way the process is implemented on a 4WD with starting in gear. It's something I do a lot since my Tacoma doesn't have low enough gears and I invariable kill it at least once a run in an unfortunate spot. Maybe they feel it would be awkward holding down the button, I dunno. I wonder if it's just Toyota being conservative. They kept the T-handle parking brake on stick shifts when the autos got the foot pedal in 2nd gens, too. No reason it had to be that way technically either.