ComaRed: Adventures and Build Thread, 2004 Tacoma DoubleCab TRD

#1
Figured it was time to add my own build/adventures thread here since I spend so much time lurking (and contributing a little).

How she sits today


2004 Tacoma Double Cab TRD Limited, V6, E-Locker, Automatic, 150xxx miles
32" BFG T/A KO on 17" ProComp steelies
All-Pro 3" lift kit up front, All-Pro 5" lift on Expedition leaf pack in the rear
Trail Gear tube bumper with 9.5k SmittyBuilt winch loaded with synthetic line
Revenge Offroad Sliders
Deck Plate mod, Gray Wire mod, extended breathers, Cobra CB in ash-tray, yada yada yada

Sitting on the back is a Tepui Atana mounted to a custom bed rack of my own design (Google Sketchup file available upon request)

Soon to come is Fox 2.5s with remote reservoir, better headlights, more camp crap and a trailer-hitch mounted money tree to pay for it all.
 
#2
The day I bought her back in 2008, sitting next to my poor old '94 4Runner


Checking out the bunkers along Highway 1 just south of San Francisco on the way home that day


Sitting at home all stock and uncorrupted at 72,000 miles


But not for long!



A little hammer here, a little cussing there, and a bit of WD-40 later and we get this! She's so pretty.


Then it was time to go play!


Killed two jeeps in the mud that day, and my alternator. Learned my lesson though, and now I stay away from that kind of mud nonsense. No point in busting up my daily driver for that mess.

Not that I was done doing stupid things with my truck. Here I tried climbing up over the berm between parking lots, but got hung up on my tow hitch. I had to be pulled up and over.




Good dumb fun college days... I'm glad I learned a lot without busting her up too much.
 
#3
Decided to ditch the stock radio for a modern head unit and switch console, and added a CB radio in place of the ash tray.

Started with the spacer available at BestBuy used to fill the gap under the new head unit


Made a faceplate out of plexiglass spray painted black, then added switches


Added wired to switches


All installed


Switches control aux headlights, bed lights, bed speakers(more on those later), tinted interior lights (customtacos.com bro crap. Again being young, dumb, and armed with a solding iron). Dial on the far right controls aux audio input to the stereo head unit, enabling me to switch between iPhone mount, retractable aux-input cord, and CB speaker. I was pretty proud of this build at the time, but I know I can do a much better job now with a few years of practice and a few robots under my belt. Renovations pending.
 
#4
Revenge Fab sliders being welded on, and a little trip through Big Sur, Ca.




Apparently the guy running Revenge Fab disappeared with a bunch of people's money without delivering a product, but I really like the sliders he build me before all that nonsense happened. Those kickouts at the rear have worked perfectly to save my hide a number of times.

Just wandering around in the hills above Highway 1 along Big Sur, California


 
#5
Built a bed-bar to hold my high-lift. Mounted up some reverse lights and marine-rated speakers. The speakers are hooked to small relays, switching audio from interior to exterior speakers with the flip of a switch on the center console. Added extra tabs with holes for attaching straps/bungee cords. Really happy with how it turned out.




Then I broke a heim-joint on a Bilstein coilover. I had just gotten off the freeway headed back to campus and this sucker popped off while going over a speed-bump at posted speed, of all things. I'm glad it happened where and how it did though because I was in no danger. Had this happened on the freeway... :eek: All-Pro was very helpful with getting a replacement to me quickly, as Bilsteins have life-time warranties fortunately.



Then, just after I got that mess fixed, I got T-Boned at an intersection! This lady just goes and make a right-hand turn off a red light right into traffic. Front of her little Acura blew apart (you cant tell in the picture, but that headlight IS not inside the sheet metal


My truck though? Just a scratch on the sliders :wings:

And yes, I had my frame checked by a shop and it is all nice and straight still.
 
#6
Quick trip up to Tahoe and a little exploring





And down to Anza Borrego. The CampRight bed tent and TruckBedzzzz fitted inflatable mattress is a great combo! The tent has more straps than the most complicated lingerie, but it is actually quick to erect with a little practice.


Whatever that car was must have hit 88MPH at just the right moment!


Water for migrants
 
#8
After graduating from California Maritime Academy in 2010 I earned a commission in the US Coast Guard. While I had all sorts of crazy adventures, my truck had a three-year period of hibernation. When I left the Coast Guard in 2013 I had the opportunity to drive cross country from Maryland to California and take as long as I pleased. More artsy/scenic shots can be found on my Flickr feed at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjHpCLvN

I didn't go too crazy on the offroading as the truck did need to safely take me all the way across the continent loaded with a bunch of regular household junk. I did take many opportunities to take the roads less traveled though and cut through National Forests when possible.

Here is the route. 30 days, 7170 miles, 432 gallons of gas, 12 national parks, 15,000 ft max/-212min elevation. Heading south from Baltimore, Maryland to visit a friend in Florida, I explored the Smokey Mountains a bit. From Florida I rushed over to New Orleans to interview with a couple offshore oil-field support vessel companies, and to pick up my girlfriend who had just gotten off work on her own ship. In New Orleans I developed the nutty idea of hitting all four edges of the country, so we headed north to Canada, then from there back down through Colorado, Moab, Vegas, Death Valley, and finally home to San Fransisco. (And yes, those long, unpinned stretches were all one day's travel. I like driving, so 12 hours in the seat aren't uncommon :Wow1:)


The starting point in Pasadena, MD. I lucked out and was able to rent this awesome property while stationed there, and I'll always miss that little sailboat (1973 Hunter 25)


Great Smokey Mountains National Park. An incredibly pretty area, definitely worth checking out.





No forum-appropriate shots of a couple crazy days in Pensacola hanging out with my Navy flight-school friends, so we'll skip that part and move right on to New Orleans.
Hurricanes and fried-pickles for breakfast? Yes please!



Graceland! It would have been a sin to pass by and not pay our respects.


Camping by the river and canoeing somewhere in the Ozarks. Another incredibly lush and beautiful area. I'd like to go back and do a multi-day float down the river, just camping and fishing along the way.



The two back seats were packed with our clothes, leaving every thing else to be stuffed into the plastic totes. They were pretty flimsy, but held up well enough for the couple weeks. That bed extension at my feet is one of the best accessories I've every bought my truck. Having just *THAT* much more space make the truck such a more capable hauler. Compartmentalizing everything into boxes and strapping it all under a tarp was the perfect method for this trip.
 
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#9
From Ozark National Forest in Arkansas and after checking out Memphis, we headed north to my girlfriend's grandparents place in Iowa. We got stuck in an Amish traffic jam of horse-and-buggies leaving church. It was very stereotypical.

In Sioux Falls we met up with a friend of mine who was headed to the East Coast in his Boss 302 Mustang. He had just crossed Wyoming at an average speed of over 100mph, with sustained top speeds of over 145! Reckless, dangerous, stupid, sure...but given the same car you know you would have done the same! :smiley_drive:


Then in Portal, ND I accidentally entered Canada. I parked in what I though was the parking area in front of the guard station on the US side, but in fact I had left America as soon as I had entered the parking lot. Nice signs, fellas... After some friendly teasing by the Mounties, a fat "TOLD YOU SO!" from my girlfriend, and 30 minutes of explaining to the grumpy US guards that I had only been in Canada long enough to turn around, I was finally allowed to reenter my home country. What a mess. All other photos were confiscated because turrurists.


From Canada we headed down to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. He's a hero of mine, so of course I wanted to go stomp across his old stomping grounds.


When Teddy was a young man trying his hand at ranching, he lived here along the Little Missouri River. One winter, thieves stole his boat. So he and a few ranch-hands built a raft and chased the thieves down the icy river for three days! When finally caught, Teddy marched the thieves back to town to collect his reward - from himself, as he happened to be Sheriff of said town! We need more men like him running this country.


Old Man of the Prairie


On the road out to Teddy's homestead



YOU GUYS! I'M STANDING IN TEDDY ROOSEVELT'S LIVING ROOM!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!?? While the cabin has long since rotted and washed away, stone markers and the base of the hearth still mark the homestead site. He chose well; it's a beautiful spot. If you go, bring lots of mosquito repellent.


From TRNP we headed out cross country on dirt state roads, south to rugged Badlands National Park, the ridiculous Wall Drug, and terrifying Minutemen Missile National Park, and astounding Wind Caves National Park.





The drive south from Badlands National Park leads up and out of valley, so as we climbed we were treated to the longest and most spectacular sunset of my life. The sun would set, but then we'd come over a rise and watch the sun set again. This went on for at least an hour. It was incredible.
(Also, I'm riding shotgun pretty much from here on out. The GF got tired of having to grab for the wheel and steer as I grabbed for my camera at 70+mph. One morning, she wordlessly took the keys and climbed in the driver seat when it was time to roll out. This was a huge deal because no body but me drives my truck. It turned out for the better though, as she is a great driver and I got to enjoy more scenery.)
 
#11
More pictures of South Dakota. I'm really looking forward to getting back there eventually.

Playing in the Badlands





Snail Fossil! Of course, treading lightly within the park, I left it where it was


Outside the park though I was determined to find more.


Friendly little Inn just outside the park



The road up and out of Badlands headed south for Wind Caves NP


And the sunset the didnt end


Headed down into the Wind Caves. This cave complex is named as such due to the nature of their discovery. Sometime in the late 1800s boy found a hole in the ground about the size of his head. Air was coming out of it; later, the hole sucked his hat off his head and swallowed it. The "wind" comes from the large volume of air in the caves "breathing" through the small hole as atmospheric pressure changes. There are an estimated 100+ miles of cave down there, based on air flow. It's a wild place.
 
#12
So Colorado is a playground, and we played, and it was good.

I scored a hood ornament. It drew lots of attention and complements over the next few weeks. The white square is a canvas for catching bugs. I'd seen this done with really interesting results once, but unfortunately I didn't end up driving through any great droves of colorful creepy-crawlies.




White Water Rafting outside Boulder somewhere. Water was 38*F! brrrrr


Mt Evans, the highest drivable road on the continent (or is that continental US?). I chased a mountain goat and immediately regretted it when I got the spins from the altitude.







BIG fires in the area. Some highways were closed, but our trip was unaffected.


Playing tourist at Mesa Verde. What an impressive place!
 
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#13
Great road trips. I love your truck, I am seriuosly thinking about buying a 1st Gen DC to build my ultimate travel rig and letting my 2nd Gen stay a daily. 1st Gen speaks to me way more. And 2 different girls?, don't let them see this thread;). Also, grow back the beard! lol!(Dutch and Native blood here so i will never have one)
 
#14
Great road trips. I love your truck, I am seriuosly thinking about buying a 1st Gen DC to build my ultimate travel rig and letting my 2nd Gen stay a daily. 1st Gen speaks to me way more. And 2 different girls?, don't let them see this thread;). Also, grow back the beard! lol!(Dutch and Native blood here so i will never have one)
Ha! Since I am posting pictures from the past and working towards the present, there will be about four different girls making an appearance here. And more to come, I'm sure. Such is life sometimes...

And again, starting from college and working to present, the beard will develop as I distance myself from the academy/Coast Guard and onto civilian ships. These Colorado pictures were taken less than a month after leaving the Coast Guard. I'll probably have to shave it off again soon since I plan to switch to sailing on tanker ships where beards are not allowed :( (They prevent oxygen respirators from making an air-tight seal in an emergency)
 
#15
lol. my dad was pretty wise even though he was a dad( I found out after my mom passed, he was quite a rascal;). so that's where i get it. Only 4!;). I do love your rig and did a similar trip in '04 when I sold my business. Florida to Seattle down coast to Baja and back home via I10. I did go up to Indy, stopping in Memphis.( i stayed the night in Tupelo visiting Elvis' birth cabin then up Natchez trace to Memphis heading west to albq then up. (met my wife in Bend OR). I was on the road for almost 6 months.

I always wanted to be Thoreau, or Roosevelt or Powell. It's no accident I ended up in Utah with a Native American wife. My friends at ziptied.com made fun of me since I traded a filipino Doctor in San Diego for a Native American Radiologist from Utah. Hence my screen name.
 
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