Barlowrs Expedition Tacoma Build


Toyota Truck Emblem

Specific Thread (Comment Here):
Well, I could tell my truck was having some self esteem issues, as here she is this big truck driving around sharing the same Toyota logo as your grandmas corolla, so I figured I would try to make her feel better about herself..after all, she is a TOYOTA TRUCK!

Step one was to get the parts laser cut, MetalMiller over on Tacoma world let me use his great laser cutting services to cut out all three pieces along with a backing plate. He did a great job!

After some time in my machine shop, I had the edge of the outer oval blended, as well as guide holes drilled through backplate to hold the front pieces on. (Yes I did mess up once so you can see my incorrect hole…I did some math wrong on the mill..haha).

My original plan was to just press fit some pins and epoxy the pieces to the back plate, though considering how much I beat my truck up, and the fact that these are solid steel (heavy) parts, I was afraid it wouldn’t hold. I decided to tap each hole and use some 8-32 set screws with locktite to hold them in place.

After a quick trip to the chrome shop for the front peices and a few coats of flat black rustoleum on the back plate, here are the parts laid out.

And here it is installed on the grill:

And on the truck:

I can tell she feels a lot better now, after all she is a TOYOTA TRUCK and proud of it.


Rear Bumper Tire Gate Install Part 1

Specific Thread (Comment Here):

Well everyone says all good things take time, and this bumper was no exception, but it finally arrive in the mail…my FULLY LOADED CBI Rear bumper. :wings::wings: This puppy includes the following:

- High clearance bumper (Bushmaster 2.0)
- Tire Gate
- Hi-Lift Mount
- 2 Jerry Can Holder
- CB Antenna Mount
- Fold Down Table (Perfect for my camp stove)
- Backup Lights
- Hitch

So, although CBI does have a wait, trust me, their workmanship is WELLLLL worth the wait! :drool:

The jerry can holder and fog lights should be arriving end of the week, so for now, this write-up does not include them, but I will revise it once I get them and install them…so onto the write-up and pics!

First step was to paint it. Obviously, this is meant to be used (I cannot afford things like this just for looks) so I chose rust-oleum so that I could touch it up easily. I originally planned to do Rust-oleum Hammered, however, after the first coat, I realized that it was more silver/grey than black and did not like it. So I topped it off with a coat of plain old semi-gloss rust-oleum. All in all I think it turned out well. (Take your time doing this, as there is a LOT of metal to cover!)
One thing I want to make clear, do not paint the spindle or the bushing on the gate, this will make it impossible to install later (trust me, I made the mistake of painting the spinal, luckily my gf had a great idea and used acetone to take the paint right off).

Once I had the painting done, the fun began. CUTTING TIME!....I guess my snorkel broke the ice, because it was much easier for me to cut into my truck this time around (no more tears..haha).

Because this is a “cut to fit” type thing, there is no template or standard way to do this, as each one will fit each truck differently. I chose to make cardboard templates to get an idea of where the cut should be, then made it nice and strait using the body lines as reference:

Here it is all cut up. Note that you do not need to cut the crap directly below the tail light (it is much thicker as well):

I have not had time to clean the cut up yet, but I plan to clean it up, use touch up paint to keep it from rusting, then using that door jamb plastic liner crap to make it a nice clean line.

Next it is time to mock it up and see if my templates worked. This part was difficult because I had to figure out a way to lift the bumper in place, with only the help of my gf (the bumper weights more than her!). I finally figured out a good plan of attack. I used ratcheting tie straps anchored inside my bed to ratchet it up into place. It actually worked very well:

Once again, CBI great craftsmanship showed, as all the bolt holes line up perfectly, and the grade 8.8 bolts they supplied worked perfect. I may upgrade to 10.9 someday, but this thing is very solid as is.

My templates actually worked great and there was no need to trim anymore, so I was able to bold her up for good.

Here you can see the bumper itself.

I made the cardboard templates you saw in my first post, but for those that just want to measure and cut. I would start with the following measurements:

4.25” below the bottom of the tail light.

START here and then you can trim later. Even with my templates, I made sure to cut a little higher than I wanted and then trimmed it later to get a nice strait cut. Ideally, you want to have about 0.75” clearance around the board. This means that my tail lights have approximately 0.75” clearance underneath them, and the body line cut is 0.75” clearance as well.

Why 0.75”celarnace? Well I took after the install I tool her out for a bit of flexing to see how much the Tacoma flexes. We all know the frames are not boxed and DO flex. Her you can see how it looks when the rear tire is stuffed and frame fully flexed (I had my opposite rear OFF the ground)

You can see that with the frame fully flexed, there is about 0.25” clearance, so my frame flexed 0.5” total.

One the edge was cleaned up and strait, I used some Toyota touch up paint to cover the raw metal edge to stop from rusting. Then I decided to add some of that black plastic door trim crap to clean up the edge, I think it looks pretty good with that:

I also lined the bottom of my table with it and the frame that my table folds up against (the table does rest against it, so metal on metal contact will wear my paint right off, this will help a bit):



Rear Bumper Tire Gate Part 2

(I hate teh 15 image limit on posts :( )

The tire gate slides right into place (assuming you did not paint the spindle or bushings) and here is the final product!

Swing down Table:

After that all that was left was adding the rest of the accessories:

Aux back up lights:

License plate light:

I also used gasket material to make a rubber washer to reduce the metal on metal contact on the main gate latch:

And the final touch, the dual can carrier!:




Well, after getting Scott’s approval and the original creator of the globe sticker (didn’t want to infringe on anyone) I had this little gem made. Hopefully my truck is worthy of sporting the decal. I am very happy with it, I admit I did mess up on the passenger’s side slightly when I installed it, but I think it still works!

It looks a bit wavey in the pic, but in real life its not..haha


Allpro Light Hoop Mod

Specific Thread (Comment Here):

Well, as much as I like my Allpro front bumper, perhaps the only complaint I have about it is the front light hoop. I did not like how it far forward it is angled, more like a stinger than a hoop. And I also do not like how the light mounts hang lights very high and very far forward:

….so, I decided fix it.

First thing was to cut the original base plates off. I could have made new ones, but it was easy enough to just cut them, then use a mill to machine the left over “welds” off. One I got the plates cut off, I re-cut the angle at the bottom of the tube so it would mount in a more vertical position, as apposed to sticking out forward.

I had already bought a set of Lightforce 170, and the original hangers hung them too high up and off the bumper, whereas if I mounted them directly to the bumper, they sat too low:

so I decided to add my own light bar to mount them where I wanted.

I took a piece of 1.25” (Chromoly was the only scrap I had around, so now my light bar is the strongest pipe on my truck) and bent it out so that the lights would clear my front grille. Then figured out a good height by mocking the lights up.

After that I threw on some Light tabs for the lights:

Gave her a quick shot of rustoleum:

And voila, here is the new light hoop that no longer sticks out to far:

And the lights sit centered, right where I want them:

(Write-up on the lights to come shortly..I have to finish the wiring diagram)


A few fun pics of her current state

Just wanted to put a few overall pics of her current state...she is getting there...still a lot left though :smiley_drive:



Hey barlowrs, I have noticed that you like to paint your stuff with rustoleum, and I can tell by your build you don't do stuff the crappy way that won't last. I need to do some painting and so I was wondering what specific type of rustoleum do you use? Primer? In the past I have found at my local welding shop a "High Performace" Rustoluem enamel, it comes in a tall can. Just curious on your opinion on paint.


Hey barlowrs, I have noticed that you like to paint your stuff with rustoleum, and I can tell by your build you don't do stuff the crappy way that won't last. I need to do some painting and so I was wondering what specific type of rustoleum do you use? Primer? In the past I have found at my local welding shop a "High Performace" Rustoluem enamel, it comes in a tall can. Just curious on your opinion on paint.
Honestly, I am not too good with this sort of thing. The real reason I use rustoleum is so that I can touch it up easily, not because its better than others, I really dont know.

Personally on my sliders I used some self etching primer, however on everything else (rear bumper, etc) I didnt even prime it, if the paint chips, I will touch it up..haha

Lately I have been doing a few coats of rustoleum hammered, as it advertises that it does not need primier, so I figure it acts as primer. It also give everything a nice texture, but the color is disgusting, so I follow it up with a few top coats of semi gloss high performace. I am not allowed to spray paint at my apt (I set off the fire alarms once in the entire apt comunity, and the whole darn police and fire dept showed up...who knew spray paint fumes would trigger a fire alarm!?), so I have been forced to use the brush on kind lately, though if I could, I would use the spray ones...painting it on with a brush is a PITA.

Hope that helps.