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DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 08:16 AM
If you don't know first gen Taco frames were made by Dana in CA and they screwed up the rust coatings (as in often didn't even do it). Mainly 1995 to 2000 but I guess all 99-04 can get it. I did hit the frame on our truck before buying and seemed solid, but crawling around cleaning and greasing I found some rust that I didn't see initially, above the shock mount.

So took our new-old truck into Petersen Toyota in Ft Collins and had them do the frame inspection for rust, they said it was fine. But I have my doubts that they are fully informed because I understood that Toyota was supposed to do an anti-rust coating on frames that were not rotten. The service writer didn't seem to know this and I'm not even sure he knew Tacomas had a frame rust issue in the first place.

Anyone got more info on this? I'm concerned now, more than initially even though I thought I was fully informed when I bought the truck and did a hasty impact test. Anyone had a Tacoma inspected? Which dealer did you go to?

subzali
03-29-2013, 08:20 AM
I took my Tundra to Go Toyota on Arapahoe after getting a notice in the mail, they said mine was fine too even though it's not perfect either. They didn't put any kind of coating on it as far as I can tell.

That's all I'm going to tell you unless you let the cat of the bag with pictures :D

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 09:08 AM
Pic of the truck. Totally plain Jane. Even still wears the OE shocks.

32472

The small spot on the side of the frame I knew about. Figured a 11 year old truck was bound to have little issues like that. I was going to wire brush all the scale, spot treat things like this with rust converter and paint the whole frame. Did that to my '91 when I got it and the frame looks good on it. I also spray inside the vents with WD40 all the time, just like using Frame Saver on a steel bicycle.

32475

The one I didn't notice when I looked at it (but I was more concerned with the frame at the forward spring hangers, where mini trucks rot anyway). It was clean when I looked at it but there was more road spray under there, so I must have cleaned off some dirt at the car wash. Plus the flash highlights the rust color, it's less obvious to the eye.

32473 32474

In a way that rear stuff doesn't bother me as much. Toyota cheapened Tacoma frame compared to Hilux by not boxing in the rear section. But that works in my favor because I can scrape and paint the outside and inside of the frame there. It's fully boxed forward of the axle and thus harder to work inside.

subzali
03-29-2013, 09:25 AM
yeah looks like you need to do something about that. I should probably have a good crawl session under my truck and do the same in a few spots. What's that rust on the box at the cross beam?

Nice Taco :thumb: Specs? ;)

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 09:35 AM
2001 XtraCab SR5 TRD, V6, 5 speed, power windows, power locks, 106,500 miles. It's not pristine, a few spots of surface rust like that, but is one of the best condition ones we found that weren't $16,000. It all seems manageable. There are Tacos in really, really bad shape out there. First owner was in Sandy, UT, then to Colorado Springs and now me. We'll see about the frame stuff, I have a feeling that it won't last as long as Imelda has. She's getting really tired but basically still very solid.

The only modification was the K&N intake that I took off for a stock air cleaner. Timing was done at 106,000, which unfortunately was when it got converted to green antifreeze. I have two gallons of Toyota Red, distilled water and a flush kit ready to go. I also got a factory cruise control kit to fit in it, that was the only option not installed.

subzali
03-29-2013, 09:41 AM
Didn't know you could buy a kit for factory cruise control. My dad's '97 Taco doesn't have cruise, which would have come in handy on several occasions. Where would I go to look for that?

Nice '01, I always liked the style of that front end.

nakman
03-29-2013, 09:46 AM
I thought more folks were concerned with bending the frames, rather than mere rust. That's why so many make those frame box kits.. http://www.ballisticfabrication.com/1998-2004-Tacoma-Extra-CAB-Frame-Boxing-Plates_p_1820.html

Knowing you Dave I bet you'd be happiest just pulling the bed off for a couple weeks, so you can get a 360 view of the frame. You're welcome to borrow my bug zapper for a while if you want to get crazy and box it in.. :weld:

AxleIke
03-29-2013, 09:59 AM
Well, Tim beat me to it Dave, but I was going to offer to weld some plate to your frame to strengthen those areas. The last picture is what had me thinking that looks a bit iffy.

nakman
03-29-2013, 10:04 AM
Hey is your rear bumper missing? I've got a stock one I'd love to get rid of.. :)

edit: got some chrome nerf bars, too! :hill:

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 10:07 AM
Couldn't tell you how cruise works in a 1997, but for 1999 to 2004 without electronic throttle and manual transmissions the kit is Toyota PT474-35981. There is a different one for automatics, PT474-35980.

In 2001 Toyota started rolling out ETCS, which in first gens was just a partial throttle by wire. These trucks (like 2005+) don't even need the actuator kit, they just need a couple of sensors added and the control buttons on the wheel. Few 2001 have ETCS (Limited only and even then it's rare), but I think by 2004 more of them had it.

The kit is the actuator that goes under the dash (it physically moves the pedal), brake and clutch switches, a wiring harness, steering wheel button pod and the controller that piggybacks on the ECU. Should be about $250 with our discount.

I think for pre-1999 trucks the kit would have a different set up. The throttle body on my '91 has a channel parallel to the pedal actuated cable, which I believe held a second cable for the cruise control actuator.

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 10:14 AM
Didn't want to pull the box off and had no plans to box the frame. But gusseting might be necessary and if that happens the box comes off and the frame gets boxed. We do intend this as our everday and road trip truck and expect at least a decade more service from it. The thing runs great and doesn't rattle or even have worn off switch labels and stuff. :-/

This truck probably won't even get an ARB or anything, at least no time soon. Heck, who knows, this one might not be around in 10 years because of the rust and Imelda gets her wings in a 3.4L swap...

I do need a rear bumper. Mine is still bright and shiny but has a dimple in it. I was thinking about getting one from Brian up at Front Range so I also get a receiver and shackle points at the same time. But the prospect of $600 and doing more frame resto than I thought, I put that on the back burner.

coloradobound
03-29-2013, 10:15 AM
Are you sure it was 2001? My 2002 doesn't have it but my dads 2003 does. The throttle bodies are definitely different.

subzali
03-29-2013, 10:18 AM
... The throttle body on my '91 has a channel parallel to the pedal actuated cable, which I believe held a second cable for the cruise control actuator.

That's basically how the '97 3RZ-FE is set up. I was kinda curious about the column buttons and indicator lighting though too. I'll call Toyota and see what's up.

subzali
03-29-2013, 10:20 AM
...and Imelda gets her wings in a 3.4L swap......

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Sounds good! :thumb:

subzali
03-29-2013, 10:23 AM
That's basically how the '97 3RZ-FE is set up. I was kinda curious about the column buttons and indicator lighting though too. I'll call Toyota and see what's up.

Scott says no :(

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 10:49 AM
Are you sure it was 2001? My 2002 doesn't have it but my dads 2003 does. The throttle bodies are definitely different.
The first year the ETCS appeared was 2001, but it is apparently very rare. Seems it's only Limited. It might also be a Taco vs. 4Runner thing, a lot of things show up in the 4Runner that are either rare or nonexistent in pickups. I think by 2004 all 3.4L engines had it, though. You are 100% correct, there is no question with or without, the throttle bodies, the accelerator cable, etc. are different.

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 10:59 AM
Scott says no :(
There are aftermarket options that work the same way with a cable that pulls the throat plate and essentially ignores the pedal totally, so that might be a possibility. The only downsides I could see to them were (1) quality and (b) less tight integration. We'll see about the quality vis-a-vis the frame nonsense but integration seems to favor factory.

http://www.thecruisecontrolstore.com/ez-catalog/X380183/0003/toytac9504

AxleIke
03-29-2013, 11:53 AM
Sounds good on the frame. Give a holler if you decide you wanna gusset or box it in.

Cheers!

DaveInDenver
03-29-2013, 12:43 PM
Will do, thanks. I think for now I'm going to clean and coat it as best I can.

DaveInDenver
03-31-2013, 08:02 AM
Sounds good on the frame. Give a holler if you decide you wanna gusset or box it in.

Cheers!
The more I think about the more I convince myself to do something. :-) I'm gathering stuff to clean up the rust, paint it and rustproof it. So might as well do some frame strengthening now before I coat everything and put the camper on it.

Yes, you are right Nakman...

From what I see fully boxing in the frame might be more work than I think is necessary, though (would prefer not to remove the box for one). You have more experience with Tacos than me. I'd want to retain the stock BPV, shock, gas tank and spare mounts.

I've also seen people weld reinforcement to the outside of the frame over the axles. Does this really help prevent the frame from rippling under the box? If so this might be an option that's easier and achieves some of the benefits. I'll probably order up CBI's plates, I like the looks of them.

http://www.cbioffroadfab.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=98

I also see some people reinforce the front frame horns. I might one day put a bumper on, but even if not, is this section of frame known to be weak in a non-SAS situation? What about the section that transitions down from the box to parallel under the cab, forward of the spring hanger? Isn't that the spot where most frames eventually rust and bend?

AxleIke
03-31-2013, 10:39 AM
The more I think about the more I convince myself to do something. :-) I'm gathering stuff to clean up the rust, paint it and rustproof it. So might as well do some frame strengthening now before I coat everything and put the camper on it.

Yes, you are right Nakman...

From what I see fully boxing in the frame might be more work than I think is necessary, though (would prefer not to remove the box for one). You have more experience with Tacos than me. I'd want to retain the stock BPV, shock, gas tank and spare mounts.

That isn't a problem.

I've also seen people weld reinforcement to the outside of the frame over the axles. Does this really help prevent the frame from rippling under the box? If so this might be an option that's easier and achieves some of the benefits. I'll probably order up CBI's plates, I like the looks of them.

Boxing the frame helps with frame flex. It is designed to stiffen the frame to prevent twisting. plating the outside will help a little with this because it is harder to twist a thicker piece of material. It will certainly help with the "tearing" issue, if the plates go across the weakened area, and don't terminate at the area of concern.

Honestly, for your use, A plate across the outside should take care of the concern. The twisting is going to be an issue if you are seriously rock crawling, hauling heavy loads, and are pushing a ton of horse power. From what I know of your intended use, boxing everything in may be overkill. But, up to you.

http://www.cbioffroadfab.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=98

I also see some people reinforce the front frame horns. I might one day put a bumper on, but even if not, is this section of frame known to be weak in a non-SAS situation? What about the section that transitions down from the box to parallel under the cab, forward of the spring hanger? Isn't that the spot where most frames eventually rust and bend?

In my opinion, this is not worth doing on the front, but a plate across the transition from cab to box could be worthwhile. There is nothing up front to stress the frame on these trucks (non SAS), except an aftermarket bumper and winch, but that can be fixed if you decide to go that route down the road. Even there, it would take a lot of winching to mess up the frame. My dad's 04 has a 4WC Hawk in the bed, and an ARB with a winch, and we've done a couple of good pulls on it, plus it got whacked in a parking lot ( direct side hit to the ARB by a plow truck) pretty good, and absolutely no frame damage, bumper was easily repaired at a shop, and it was all good to go. But, easy enough to do if you want to.


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AxleIke
03-31-2013, 10:41 AM
Oh, and one last thing is that, while removing the box is a little bit of a PITA, it certainly will make any welding easier for whomever does the work. And, the box really isn't that hard to get off, but does take a couple people.

DaveInDenver
03-31-2013, 07:26 PM
I guess I should clarify, I don't mind taking off the box to work on the truck. I just hesitate to avoid biting off more than I can deal with. We moved last summer up north (almost in Ft. Collins) and I'm still working on a hoist (which I need for the WilderNest anyway). It's gonna have to be outside, the new (old) house is not built nearly as solidly as the old (old) house, eye-bolts in the garage ceiling won't cut it here. :-)

Hmm. I definitely like the idea of boxing in the frame, that is the way frames are supposed to built. At this point there won't be a swing out bumper or long range fuel tank, but there will be a camper, fridge and hitch rack for the bikes. I don't travel light, either. Geez, I know, I know.

So are frame plates AND boxing overkill? Thinking stages, gussets now, inner plates down the road when I get ready for suspension. Think a couple of people could remove the box, weld on side plates and put the box back on in a day? I really need the truck ready for road trips by May, so whatever I plan should be straightforward and doable.

On the front, I know guys do some work on the frame horns when they put on an ARB and I'd do the same. Don't they usually close up the ends, too? I have no intention of crawling this truck, it's gotta stay manageable for road trips and she's OK with us keeping Imelda as long as the new truck remaining something she can drive... So the old truck won't have a topper on it and I expect that it'll get used for chores and day trips.

AxleIke
03-31-2013, 10:30 PM
Boxing will accomplish all you want in the rear. I would only add additional plate where the rust issues are. Maybe one more over the cab/box interface.

2 people can remove a bed, 4 makes it much easier. I'd recommend 4. The bed does not weigh that much, but I prefer the control 4 people gives, to prevent damaging the bed by smacking things, etc... Also, a set of sturdy saw horses is key. You don't want to just set the bed on the ground.

A day is certainly doable, provided there aren't major issues. If you are set on a 1 day turn around, plan to start early, and before the day, make sure you can get all the bed bolts loose, find and disconnect the body harness (tail lights, etc...), and pull the filler neck. That way if there is anything stuck or siezed, you can get it hit with penetrating oil, and go get spares if something breaks.

If anything is too siezed, or it get to be too much, the bed can certainly be left on.

Also, pull the shocks out, don't want hotness around those.

Anyway, that's how I go about getting a quick project ready, by trying to think through problem areas (rusted stuff) before hand, and get after it so I go into the project day prepared.

Anyway, thats all just my .02. Certainly take it for what it is worth.

DaveInDenver
04-01-2013, 07:45 AM
Your dos pesos are worth a lot to me, Isaac, you of all people have no need to qualify your advice. ;-)

My thinking right now is it's most important to do some sort of strengthening of the frame. I know boxing is best and probably inevitable. Plates are a band-aid and not a complete solution. Still, a lot of people have been successful in stiffening the frame, taking out most of the twist just doing gussets on the outside.

I am constrained to trying to finish the fab part in a day if I want to do it now. Which means allowing for FUBARs, painting, etc. it's at least a weekend project. I think it's easier to justify doing plates more-or-less correctly right now than hoping to pull off a proper boxing of the frame even in a weekend. If (when) I box in the frame I want to consider maybe moving shocks, maybe a custom cross member for a second fuel tank. Not to mention things like bracket alignments and customization that boxing surely will involve. Adding plates by themselves is a lot of work but there seems to be a pretty low risk of major gotchas tangents that derail summer plans...

I'd also like to get a few miles of seat time before deciding. I mean, for Goodness sake, I still have temp tags on the thing and just 106.7K on the clock (just 200 of which are mine). If I can keep the frame sound for a few years more I have plenty of time to go crazy on it. I think plates on the outside buy me that time.

rover67
04-01-2013, 09:30 AM
i'd be willing to help. we could use my place if ya'll wanted.

DaveInDenver
08-29-2013, 04:49 PM
More reason why one does not buy trucks that come from SLC, UT.

Anyone got a trick for getting a spray-in bed liner off?

:doh:

rover67
08-30-2013, 09:14 AM
maybe the dry ice trick?

bummer dude....

Jacket
08-30-2013, 09:39 AM
Is that a mount point for the bed, or just a random hole that formed?

Would an extra hot heat gun turn it to goo so that you could scrape it? Or an angle grinder with a wire wheel?

SteveH
08-30-2013, 12:11 PM
On Mud, it seems like most people use a wire wheel. Would paint stripper (with methylene chloride) attack it? I'd apply some, and then put a couple layers of Handi-wrap over the stripper to help the MC stay put and attack the bedliner for 30 minutes.

DaveInDenver
09-02-2013, 03:57 PM
It's a hole that formed along a seam in the bed where the floor and the wheel well meet. This is a support channel underneath where it looks like gunk collected and the rust just found a void or scratch or something and I suppose has been just munching for a while.

I was packing the truck for the weekend and noticed a bubble that seems sorta soft, so took a chance fearing the worst and cut into it. Pulled out what I could and painted the whole thing with rust converting prep and covered it with duct tape. I tapped the rest of the floor and didn't feel anything else, but will start peeling off the bed liner.

Or maybe just buy a new bed from Toyota...

I'll have to investigate more but my first thought is based on how easy it was to peel off what I did that dry ice and trying to take it off in chunks would be most successful. Seems heat and chemicals that soften will just result in a mess.