Barlowrs Expedition Tacoma Build


Quick Fist Flashlight Holder

This was a quick mod that does not require much of a write-up, and many people have done it. It is very convenient though and has already proven to be useful (I use my flashlight a lot to route wires for other installs).

There is one thing that I did discover that I have not heard anyone mention though. When installing them, they come with a plastic “washer” of sorts. If you try to tighten the bolts too tight, the heads will actually pull THORUGH the plastic where the counter sink is. To fix this, I simply installed a normal metal flat washer:

And here is the final product…now for a fire extinguisher…..I recommend quick fists to ANYONE!



Folks would pay real money in the marine and motorcycle world for custom etched Cole switch covers like that. I have a well farkled Suzuki V Strom with a bunch of those switches and I never remember what is what.......

Any chance you would like to offer this service? It's a money maker!

BTW, amazing install. Your attention to detail is beyond!


Yaesu FT-8800R Install on 05+ Tacoma

Specific Thread (Comment Here):

Well it is time to tackle communications, and what better to reach out and touch someone than a FT-8800?

The following are the parts I am using:

Yaesu FT-8800R
Yaesu YSK-8900 (Remote mounting kit)
Diamond NR770HB Antenna
Cheap HRO $12.00 external speaker

The location I chose to install the radio is underneath the driver’s seat. This was the easiest part of my install, so I will not get into much detail on this. Just run the wires, mount it and you’re good to go.

The head unit was a bit more difficult. First of all, I want to give credit to Wil for the idea on this install. Because I like having things look as stock as I can and clean as I can, I decided to recess the head unit into the headliner.

To do this, I first had to remove the headliner (meaning I had to take out practically every piece of plastic from the truck!)

In order to secure the head unit, I made a bracket out of some 18 gage stainless steel. This bracket spans the hole I will cut and has tabs that match the angle of the ceiling of my truck. This SHOULD secure the radio (I hope).

Next was to cut a the hole….MEASURE FOUR TIMES CUT ONCE

…..we have reached the point of no return.

I cut the hole slightly small, and then used a very high temp heat gun to heat up the headliner and mold it up. Then I used spray adhesive and rolled the grey lining around so you wouldn’t see the white crap on top.

I then used some 2 part epoxy to glue the bracket to the headliner and then fibreglasses over it just to be safe (the bracket is also sandwiched between the roof of the cab and headliner when installed, so it shouldn’t go anywhere)

And here is with all the wires routed.

You will notice that there are two wires coming from it, and the remote kit only has one. This is because I also wanted to relocate the hand control. I did not want to have it dangling from my roof, so one wire is from the radio to the head unit, and the other is from the head unit to the hand control.

And here is the head unit when everything is put back together:

Next up, installing the hand control and external speaker.


Yaesu FT-8800R Remote and External Speaker Install on 05+ Tacoma

Because I never like to leave things the way they come and have an obsession with making installs harder than they need to be, I decided I didn't want to just mount the speaker; I wanted to try to conceal it and make it look as if it came from the factory that way.

To do this I decided to try to recess the speaker so that the grill was all that was showing and so that it was flush with the rest of the interior panels. I chose the center consol around my shifter. This gives it a low and discrete location, as well as allowing me to do one speaker per side (one for HAM and one for CB if I get one).

First step was to CUT A HOLE…..once again, measure MANY times, then cut.

Then it was a lot of filing and exacto knifing to get it to fit. Once I got the hole cut. I took the bracket that came with the speaker and cut it in half. This allowed me to flip it upside-down and use it to mount the speaker flush.

Once again, some 2 part epoxy and some fiberglass to be safe and here is the result:

I also decided to make a quick disconnect for the hand controller. This will allow me to disconnect it when not in use so I do not have a cord and stuff laying around.

To do this I got a simple 6 pin comm. Connection (female-female). I machined a bracket out of some aluminum so that I have a large flange and surface to glue and expoy too.

Then all that was left was to cut a hole, epoxy and fiberglass into place.

And here is the remote plug location and the speaker.

And inside the truck

Last edited:


well done I like how all the mods are done with more thought then normal. great looking truck too I reall like those TRD wheels...


A Few Cosmetic Upgrades

Specific Thread (Comment Here):

Well this round of mods has no real purpose but cosmetics, but I figured I would post it up anyway, as this contains my FAVORITE mod to DATE!!!!!

First off, you guys probably know that swapped out my color match parts (mirrors and handles) for black plastic ones. This was both cosmetic and functional as this plastic is less prone to chipping like paint. To keep with the theme, I got my hands on a base model grille surround and traded my color matched grille.

In addition, to make it flow better, I finally broke down and did the “black headlight mod”. I was trying to get away with not doing this, as this is a very common mod among the x runners and mall cruisers, but the chrome headlights didn’t look right with the front grille. I think the overall look came out good with my existing allpro bumper being black.



And now for my FAVORITE MOD TO DATE!!!!!!! (drum-roll please!)

I have transformed my truck from a TRD sport model to the coveted TRD EXPEDITION MODEL!!!!!!!!!!!

I chose to do red because I think it works with the Red TRD in the center caps of the FJ wheels I have


Slider Build

Specific Thread (Comment Here):

Hey Guys, well the next stop on my truck build is a good set of sliders, unfortunately none of the sliders on the market are what I am looking for, so I decided to go custom. I cannot say I am building these. I can weld, but fear my skills are not up to par enough for a strong set of sliders, and I lack a tube bender. I enlisted the help of a fabricator down in San Diego area. The guy is very good, and was looking to start making second gen sliders, so it worked perfectly, he makes the sliders how I want, and he can use mine as a jig to work out the mounting points and everything. Win -win for both of us.

We are still not completely done yet (should be done Wednesday), but I wanted to post this to get people opinions and see if there is any place for here we go:

Basic specs on the sliders:

Tube: HREW 1-3/4" x 120
AC & 4DSB Length: 82"
Frame Plate Thickness: 1/4"
Gusset Thickness: 1/4"
Bolt on Hardware: 1/2" grade 8 with 1/4" thick inner nut plates (nut welded on plate)
Rear Mounting Foot: allows leaf hanger on frame to slide over obstacles

(DOM or Cromoly available but cost more, but HREW is very strong as you will see below in my “testing”)

Here are pictures of the drivers side after we got the basic slider done and mounting figured out:

The mounting for a bolt on 05+ is very "non" strait forward. The holes in the frame do not line up nicely at all, and it is very hard to get a good mount close to the front and rear of the slider. We were able to figure out a good custom bracket and means tou mount it (the frame is boxed this far up, so you need to reach far into the frame. The front leg is only about 7” from the front of the slider. This means that the most critical place on the slider (the front, as that is where you come down onto rocks most commonly) is FULLY supported. I dare you (that have sliders) to go out and measure the distance to your first leg. Most sliders on the market these days are much further than 7”. (you can see the front mount in the pictures below)

The rear was also a challenge, as we did not want to leave a long gap unsupported. E devised a VERY clever rare mount that is only about 9” from the rear of the slider. Once again, this means that the rear of the slider is FULLY supported. Also, the rear mount is pretty cool as it acts as a sort of slider to where your leaf back mounts and blends what is normally a sharp edge on the stock Tacoma:

Here are a few shots mocked up and then installed on the truck:

Before we decided to finalize the design, we wanted to test them….so how do we test a set of sliders? The HI LIFT TEST!!!!!

So, first off, my truck is by NO means lightweight. I have full winch bumper, with winch, 33+” tires all the way around, larger susp components, etc. I also had a FULL load of wheels/tires in the back of my truck (my spare 33+” and 5 stock OR wheels and tires) and a full tank of gas.

So, what is the hi lift test? JACK THE ENTIRE SIDE (not just one wheel) off the ground using the CENTER (longest tube allowing for most "bowing") of the slider (Notice both wheels are off the ground):

There was MINIMAL flex (though the fabricator was still wants less so is investigating ways of making it less). However, I am not worried about this as the flex was VERY minimal, and working as an aerospace engineer, I know materials, and I know that NO (affordable) material will not flex. Flex is ok as long as you stay in the elastic region of the material, meaning, as long as it come back to how it was before, you are good to go… and as you can see by the following pics….it did!!!

You can see the before in the pics above.

After Test:

Now remember, we are lifting the ENTIRE vehicle from the CENTER of the slider, and she bounced right back to where we started. I’d say it passed

Now onto the other custom part I wanted, a kickup. Here are a few teaser pics of my special kickup that we are working on (please note, supports for the hoop will be added, this is just a teaser pic). Hopefully by Wends they will be fully supported and ready for a few cans of rustolim!!!!!

So, those are going to be my sliders. If anyone has comments or ideas let me know, as the fabricator is always open to improvement, he is all about making a good product that will function properly. I am VERY happy with how mine are turning out, and how they performed though (hence this slight ad for hime..haha).

And now for the advertising, he made me a beautiful set of sliders, and I fully believe this guy does good work, so I figure I can pay it forward, if anyone is interested in a set like mine, you can contact the fabricator as described below. I do not get a cut or anything if you buy his stuff, I really am just very satisfied and would like this guy to be successful with his new sliders.

Contact info for the fabricator
Name on Tacoma World, TTORA, etc: Beefed Taco

I am not making these, just helping, so if you have questions, I may be able to help, but for details contact the fabricator above. Also, if you want to know about pricing and buying a set, contact the fabricator above.


Completed Sliders

Well after a few coats of rustoleum, they are finally done!

Here are some pics of them mounted. The mounting went on with no hitch at all, I was able to do it alone (as these would probably break my gf in half). All the bolts dropped right into place and lined up perfectly….and here is the finally results:

Now to go beat them up.