Battleship Jones: 2015 Tacoma DCLB Build Thread

BattleShip Jones: 2015 Tacoma DCLB Build Thread

Welcome to my second build thread. The first build thread ( was a resounding failure, so I'll do my best to make sure that this one stays updated as I progress through the build.

My last Tacoma, a 2007 double cab short bed TRD off road, was deemed totaled by my insurance company following an accident on 10/1. A guy pulled out in front of me while I was doing 40 and my truck took the brunt of the collision. Its loss was bittersweet, in the 5 months I owned it I had lifted it, put on some all terrains, an ARE topper, and miscellaneous other accoutrements. Although a lot of that hard work was erased after the accident, I learned plenty of valuable lessons that I will be applying to this build.

The first thing I would like to touch on is bed length. After several camping trips and nights spent sleeping in the back of the truck, it became painfully obvious that the 5' bed is a tremendous limitation. Neither myself nor my girlfriend are very tall, but having to sleep with the tailgate down and an SUV tent off the back of the truck was a pain. It was an okay setup in Moab when we spent several nights at the same camp site, but having to tear down that tent and schlep it along day after day was a deal breaker. A 6' bed would allow us to sleep with the tailgate up and the topper closed, maximizing stealth factor and minimizing the amount of futzing we would have to do with a tent structure off the back end.

The second thing I learned was that it was not worth it paying extra for the TRD package. Perhaps if your intent was to leave the truck in stock form it represents a decent upgrade over the stock Tacoma, but whereas I ended up replacing the suspension with an OME kit it didn't provide me with any tremendous gains other than the e-locker. While the e-locker was a nice feature, the accompanying 5' bed was not.

With all that being said, I began my search for a double cab long bed in base trim. I quickly learned how difficult those requirements were, of the 100 or so used Tacomas in the Denver area for sale only a couple met that criteria. The math did not play out in their favor however as I felt it wasn't worth it to get a 2008 with 50K on the clock for only 5 grand less than a new one. So I turned to the 2015 inventories and once again discovered only two present at local dealers. I ended up purchasing from Mountain States Toyota in Denver and had a wonderful purchasing experience.

The basics:
2015 Double Cab Long Bed
4.0L with 5 speed automatic
SR5 Package
Alloy wheels
Entune premium package

So without further delay I present to you Battleship Jones.

20141012-P1010165 by Tim Souza, on Flickr

Current State (Okay, not so much):

20150523-DSC_9872 by Tim Souza, on Flickr

Front Suspension
Light Racing UCAs
King 2.5 Extended travel coilovers w/ compression adjusters & 700lb springs
Wheelers Superbumps
Invisible Sway Bar

Rear Suspension
OME Dakar Leaf pack w/ add-a-leaf, drilled for isolators
King Dakar 2.5s w/ compression adjusters
Timbren off-road u-bolt flip kit and bump stops
BAMF HD rear hanger & shackles Coming Soon
Toytec 3* angle shim
Wheeler's poly front eyelet bushing

Nitro 4.88 gears
Front ARB RD-121 air locker
Rear ARB RD-129 air locker
Derale 52506 transmission cooler Coming Soon

ARB front bumper
Pelfreybilt IFS & Mid skids
All Pro heavy duty sliders
Bruteforce Fab dual swingout standard rear bumper

SCS F-5 16x8 3.5"BS Matte Gunmetal
BFG Mud-Terrain KM2 255/85R16 tires

Blue Sea 80 amp breaker
Bussmann 5 fused, 5 relay block
Off Grid Engineering dual battery tray Coming Soon
Napa Legend Group 35 batteries

28" LED light bar on front bumper
ARB fog lights
40" LED light bar

Uniden 520Pro XL CB Radio
Firestik 4' antenna

ARB safari snorkel
ARB CKMA12 on board air compressor
ARB 2500 awning
Prinsu Designs CabRac w/ Hi-lift mounts, shovel mount, Rotopax mount, Rocky mounts thru axle mount
Prinsu Designs TopRac
Leer 180 topper
Rear differential breather extension
Tekonsha P-3 brake controller
Truck Vault magnum drawers, 5'
Redline Tuning hood struts
Maxsa Escaper Buddy traction mats
Plano AW cases
Smittybilt X20 10K winch with steel cable
Fumoto valve
Birdawg xtreme duty tech deck

Trails Run

Kokopelli Trail - CO/UT
Top of the World - Moab, UT
Engineer Pass - Silverton, CO
Tincup Pass - Tincup, CO

Gateway Canyon Road - CO
Polar Mesa - Moab, UT
Thomson Canyon - Moab, UT
Onion Creek - Moab, UT
Shafer Trail - Moab, UT
Marshall Pass - CO
Boreas Pass - CO
Medano Pass - CO
Lead King Basin - CO
Crystal City - CO

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The truck in stock form is rather unimpressive, from the short stature to the wallowy suspension. Even my GF got in and commented about how she liked it much better when it was lifted. The stock tires are abysmal and their pliability contributes to the unsteady feel of the truck. Rather than wait until some of the aforementioned components were due for replacement, I have opted to go ahead and remedy the situation by upgrading now. However long I have with this one, I intend to enjoy it fully the whole time.


Having already installed an Old Man Emu kit in my last Tacoma I was very comfortable going with another kit for this truck. I was pleased with the performance and almost all areas, the sole disappointment was my choice to go with an add a leaf for the rear. I'm not sure whether my leaf packs were a bit worn or I was expecting too much, but once we put some of our camping gear in the back of the truck it sagged quite a bit and I ended up with a nose up stance. This was very evident in the on-road manners as I could feel the rear suspension was being worked pretty good. This time around I opted for the 886 front coils as I will be adding an ARB bumper, and the full Dakar rear leaf pack to give me some additional load carrying capacity.

One thing to note, the first time around I did not opt to replace the upper control arms during lifting. In hindsight this was a big mistake as the steering post lift was twitchy and the truck was prone to wandering. Hoping to avoid that same experience, I will be installing a set of Light Racing upper control arms to restore proper alignment and handling.


My prior truck had a set of 265/75R16 General Grabber AT2s. While I was pleased with their performance both on road, off road, and in inclement weather, I have decided to go in a different direction with this build. I will go with the tried and true BFG Mud Terrain KM2 in 255/85R16.

Front Bumper

I had not quite gotten this far on the last truck, but this time around the numbers worked out to allow me to purchase an ARB front bumper. No winch will be added at this time as insurance Santa was not that good to me. I can't complain too much however, they gave me a fair payout.

All of the above parts have been ordered and I eagerly await their arrival.
Looked at picture, thought 'Colorado'. Then see Westminster, CO under your name. Then see Mountain States Toyota. Bing Bang Boom. Bought my 2012 Tacoma there (I'm in Denver). Excited to see where you go with this - I had to part ways with my truck since it was a regular cab and struggling at elevation on even the slightest inclines. Surely wouldn't have if I would have bought a DCLB in the first place.


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Nice platform to start your build.

If you drive in a lot of snow and ice....might want to think again about the BF Mud. Stick to a Cooper Maxx or AT.

The Old Man Emu kit is a nice selection!
Or you could sipe them yourself. I did this to some BFG Muds I had on a Taco and it worked well for snow/ice.
Got a link to show how/where you siped it?

To be perfectly honest, I don't drive in snow a ton. I chose the mud terrains more because the rather lengthy spring/early summer mud season here in CO.
Just curious - plans for your cargo space? I'm a big fan of softopper and bestop

I've been thinking about that a bundle since the first time we slept in the back of my old Tacoma. It was a gigantic pain in the *** taking everything out of the bed and stashing it either in the cab or within the tarp tent enclosure I made to cover up the rear end.

I really enjoyed having the hard topper. I'll probably go the same route this time around and have been scouring Craigslist for something that meets some basic criteria.

As far as storage goes this winter I intend to tackle making a modular platform for the bed. I'm hoping to take all of the stuff that we currently keep in some plastic bins and store it in some sliding drawers. I figure if the top of the storage boxes rests on top of the wheel wells that should leave enough space to drop a memory foam topper on it to create the sleeping space. I already anticipate needing a little bit more room to accept some overflow, which, as non-ideal as it may be, will end up on the roof. Of all the roof rack systems I'm a big fan of this one!tacoma-caprac/c1s3q.

That's the plan for right now at least. I'm sure it will evolve a little bit as time goes on.


Some sort of lost...
Or you could sipe them yourself. I did this to some BFG Muds I had on a Taco and it worked well for snow/ice.
This. I had my km2s siped 1/4" by 1/4" on the center tread blocks. They worked great on ice, snow covered roads and deep snow with ice on top on trails. Balancing was a pain but I'm not convinced that it wasn't an issue with an AEV wheel.
If you don't need a tire with a snowflake symbol for mountain passes the siped km2s are more than adequate IMO. My next tires will probably be a set that is winter traction rated because I think Oregon has changed their chain and traction tire requirements for 4x4s.

Also glad to see another DCLD build. I wish my house would sell soon so I can get mine! I won't be going with a TRD either as a plan to upgrade everything anyway. I spent a lot on my rubicon and replaced everything that made it a rubicon, other than the transfer case and stickers.
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Electrical System

Given that I'll be adding some additional accessories down the road that will require electrical power, I decided to add an additional breaker and fuse block up front to keep the wiring clean and tidy. With intentions of adding a second battery at some point down the road, I figure this is the easiest way to get everything wired up and separated from the stock electrical system. That being said, I am no electrical guru by any means and would love to solicit feedback from those who have been there done that to provide an on the go education.

So, I currently have the following in my possession:

20141015-P1010170 by Tim Souza, on Flickr

A Blue Sea 12 slot fuse panel and a reset-able 100amp breaker. I have also ordered some aluminum plate/strapping to make a mounting bracket that will sit between the current fuse block and the master cylinder, nothing revolutionary there.

This raises a couple of questions for me. The wiring to the breaker and to the fuse block are fairly straightforward, however...

1. What's the easiest way to tap into power at the battery? Just clamp onto the current terminal or replace with something such as ( for ease in the future?
2. Where did you source your battery cables from? These are fairly short lengths and I doubt I can order a 3" battery cable. I hear rumors of being able to go make them at West Marine, but given my land locked location in Colorado there aren't too many West Marines nearby to pop on over to.
3. Should I be adding PET braided sheathing to the battery cables? As far as I can tell this step is overkill as much as anything and not totally necessary.

I think that's it for now. The only electrical additions in the near future are a set of Hella lights on the ARB, a CB radio, and some LED lights in the bed when I finally get a topper for it. Thank's in advance for the help!
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Expedition Leader
Good post. I also suck at electrical systems so if anyone puts in their input put it in English so we understand!

I have a 6 slot Blue Sea Fuse Block waiting to be installed!
Sorry to hear about your old truck, but it is good to see another DCLB build out there. We've been glad to have the extra bed length on trips, and it allowed us to mount a larger (4 person) rooftop tent over the bed.

- Power your fuse block directly off the battery. Pos Terminal -> 100A breaker -> Fuse Block. Positive cable bolted right onto the factory battery terminal, I added an extra nut on the negative terminal to hold the ground cable (my fuse block had a negative bus as well) I put my bracket in the same location you're talking about. Several threads here and on Tacomaworld that show how people have done it.
- I got battery cable, lugs, and heat shrink from West Marine then used a friend's heavy duty crimper to make the cables. I THINK that a good Audio Install shop should be able to make them for you as well, probably worth calling around to check. Another option would be someplace online like, I've heard decent things about them, but I've never ordered from them. I used Marine spec cable (more flexible) but did not add any additional sheath or wire loom. The battery to fuse block wires don't move around and aren't subject to abrasion like some of the other cables.
- I also bought a set of "Mil-Spec" battery terminals. The problem is that the Tacoma's battery cables are factory crimped onto the battery terminal clamp. I THINK that to use the Mil-Spec terminals you would need to replace the Alternator-Battery, Factory Fuse Block-Battery, Battery-Chassis Ground factory cables with new ones that have "ring" terminals to attach to the "mil-spec" terminals. So far this has been more trouble than it is worth, so I haven't done it.
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Ah, so yesterday was very good to me. The parts fairy made a visit and dropped off a few things...

20141015-P1010173 by Tim Souza, on Flickr

20141015-P1010172 by Tim Souza, on Flickr

You may have noticed that there are only two tires in the picture. Why just two tires you ask? Apparently when 4wheelparts calls you and says "your tires are in" they really mean that two tires are in and the other two will be in on Monday. :confused:
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