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AxleIke
05-29-2013, 08:50 PM
Been a long time now since I had the motivation to work on the truck, so I thought I'd post up a little progress.

I bought Crash's tires and wheels from him (great deal), but the wheels weren't doing it for me. So, I swapped back to my factory alloys, which required a little more effort, but fit the truck better, IMO.

They are a 285 75, which is really all the tire I want to run on this truck, for now at least. Any bigger requires more work than I want to do, or can afford at the moment.

I like the ride of these over my MTR's and the AT suits my needs better. This is a DD, and goes wheeling on the weekends.

AT's never really held me back on my old truck, so I doubt I'll have any issue with these.

In addition, I did some side work and got a new ARB bull bar in payment, which I picked up from slee a week and a half ago. Easy install, and less fab work for me.

Here is how the truck is sitting now with the Toytech lift, and 33's.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0408.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0409.jpg

AxleIke
05-29-2013, 08:59 PM
Then, two weekends ago, I regeared the truck to 4.3 from the 4.1 that was in there. I found a good elocked third for the rear, so I have a 4.1 elocked rear third for sale. This is about perfect. It can cruise from Denver to Bailey up 285 in 5th the whole way, and I can drop to 4th when I need to accelerate quickly.

So, last weekend, I started on the rear bumper. I removed the factory hitch, and cut the receiver out with the plasma, to save time. I fabbed a new hitch portion, which will serve as the skeleton for the rear bumper.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0399.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0400.jpg

Still working on the speed and stickout length. Getting too erratic here, but practice makes perfect.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0401.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0402.jpg

Here is the finished product

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0403.jpg

I had some other pics but they didn't come out. I cut the frame off just behind the rear body mounts, and re did it in 1/4" plate, extending back along the inner part of the frame. Here is a shot of the back end, but nothing was done in this pic

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0397.jpg

More to come.

baja1d
05-29-2013, 09:24 PM
Looking good

Rezarf
05-29-2013, 10:21 PM
Awesome Isaac, glad to see you building a little again.

What are your plans for your rear bumper/tire carrier?

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 12:07 AM
Looking good

Thanks man

Awesome Isaac, glad to see you building a little again.

What are your plans for your rear bumper/tire carrier?

Its a tire carrier. It will have some provisions for a propane cylinder, my CO2 tank, and gas cans, but all will be bolt on, and built later.

I didn't get pics, as the camera died, but the top and front plates are on, and the spindle is in. Its a nice unit: Poly Performance spindle with dual roller bearings. The new 211 did a nice job burning it in even though it is a solid 1 3/4 thick machined piece. I'll get some more pictures soon.

I still need to plate the forward section, and build the mounts for the front of the side wings to attach, and then fab up the wings.

Uncle Ben
05-30-2013, 07:52 AM
Its a tire carrier. It will have some provisions for a propane cylinder, my CO2 tank, and gas cans, but all will be bolt on, and built later.

I didn't get pics, as the camera died, but the top and front plates are on, and the spindle is in. Its a nice unit: Poly Performance spindle with dual roller bearings. The new 211 did a nice job burning it in even though it is a solid 1 3/4 thick machined piece. I'll get some more pictures soon.

I still need to plate the forward section, and build the mounts for the front of the side wings to attach, and then fab up the wings.

Oh you made that? I thought it was a Smittybuilt. :p:

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 10:58 AM
Hey now, smittybuilt is high quality stuff. Probably better made than this will be! :D

I would have just had you come build it, but I knew you wouldn't be seen near a mini :p:

Of course, had I known what I know now, I would have kept the cash and I'd be going to rubicon, rather than having a bumper and some steel. Thought I could pull them both off, so I have to take some consolation that I might actually get THIS truck out to wheel this summer.

Its been helping to lift my spirits a bit.

Jacket
05-30-2013, 11:25 AM
Lookin' good. What about sliders?

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 12:28 PM
They are on the list. Got lots to do.

baja1d
05-30-2013, 02:32 PM
You're welcome to come over & use the bender anytime. Die sets in 1", 1.5", & 1.75".

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 06:22 PM
Thanks, but got the skinny on one already. I appreciate the offer!

rover67
05-31-2013, 11:07 PM
looking good man!! I have steel for sliders if you need it. Too much in the pile so it'd be nice to use it. Lemme Know. tube, square stock, and flat.

AxleIke
06-01-2013, 10:51 PM
Thanks man, I may have to give a holler about that steel!

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 03:49 PM
Got another day and a few hours to work this weekend (the Mustang is waiting on parts).

Here is a crappy shot of the frame mounts. Not sure why I couldn't get it to focus?

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0430.jpg

This is where I started (essentially where I got last time). Plus you can see a few shots of my old mans Taco with the 4WC :D

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0425.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0426.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0427.jpg

I finished up late last night, so I didn't get final pictures, but you can see most of the progress here. Since these pics, I have plated the bottom, and changed the area around the hitch a bit, as well as smoothed some welds out (got a new belt sander, but its still very slow going).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0428.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0429.jpg

I have to give credit to Scotty at Addicted for the inspiration for the side pieces. They are getting plated over, but the plate and tube design he came up with is strong, and one of the easiest ways to do the curved section of the bumper. Its always important to cite references for material that isn't your own :D

J Kimmel
06-09-2013, 04:12 PM
Looks good, when are you going to take it off some sweet jumps?

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 04:30 PM
As soon as I get some pegs and shocks

Rezarf
06-09-2013, 09:33 PM
Looking GOOD Isaac. Tell your Pops I am first in line if he lets the Taco/4WC go. ;) There could be a nice FJ40 trade. ;)

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 11:06 PM
LOL. He's got it pretty tricked out.

I did up his taco for him: OME front and rear with load packs for the camper, SC, ARB bull bar with an M8000 up front, I built the rear bumper. It came locked rear, and he is getting an ARB put in the front, and considering a doubler for it, to keep things slower for the rougher roads with the camper.

Plus, he went whole hog on the 4wc. Solar panels on the roof to charge the batteries, dual batt, (so he has 3 now), fridge runs on batteries or propane, propane heat and stove, winter package (extra insulation that attaches in when you want it for the pop up walls, hot water set up with a shower attachment for the outside, plus yakima bars for a canoe.

We hunted in it last year, and it was NICE, but cramped. The heated cabin was awesome, and nothing beats a warm place to cook, wash dishes, and eat.

Hes pretty tickled with it, which is to say, I think the FJ40 would need some friends to sweeten the deal (lots of friends, Named benjamin perhaps) :D.

Actually, you might want this when the kids are grown, but it is NOT a family friendly set up. 2 people is CROWDED. It works, but its really set up for 2, and no more. At least not the models that fit in a Taco. If you got a 1 ton dodge with the Mega cab, you could probably fit the family in the truck and in the camper. In an extra cab taco, 2 people is about it.

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 11:55 AM
Making more progress. Took time to go out camping on Fathers day and had some Mustang work to do, but I've moved down to a shop in C City so I'm able to work after work some nights, and on weekends too.

Here is last week and Sunday's progress.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0440.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0441.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0442.jpg

It sticks out a hair farther on the sides than I'd like, but its not horrible. Nice and even side to side, so that works for me. I'll just have to add a cap to the top of the wings.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0443.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0444.jpg

Sorta can kind of see how the bottom is capped.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0445.jpg

Still a lot of finish work to do. I'm honestly considering fiberglass on the outside of the wings. It takes a TON of wire and gas to fill the gaps and sides in so everything is smooth and pretty. Not sure its worth it. That would eliminate powder coating, so I'm not totally sold, so we'll see.

Jacket
06-24-2013, 01:34 PM
It's finishing up nicely! It's hard to see the issues you are dealing with from the pictures - maybe a break will do you some good to assess the finishing touches you need?

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 01:51 PM
Yeah, it is hard to see, but essentially, on the side wings, all the area that has been ground is uneven, with little pin holds, weld irregularities, etc...Doesn't look like much raw, but as soon as it gets paint, it will stick out really obviously.

My issue with it is, it takes hours of weld, smooth, weld, smooth, and in this case, requires multiple passes to be make on each one of those wings, which is a lot of wire and gas for cosmetic finishing.

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 11:28 PM
Got a couple more hours in this evening and some tubing bent. Starting to mock in the tire carrier. Needs to be braced up, but this is where it will end up I think.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0447.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0446.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0448.jpg

Rezarf
06-24-2013, 11:29 PM
Looking really nice Isaac, where is your garage at? Looks like a nice work space.

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 08:58 AM
Its down in commerce city. Its not mine, just a place I am able to use after hours and weekends through a friend.

Uncle Ben
06-25-2013, 11:25 AM
Its down in commerce city. Its not mine, just a place I am able to use after hours and weekends through a friend.

You have a friend? When did this happen? Congratulations! ;)

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 12:42 PM
I use the term loosely.

Uncle Ben
06-25-2013, 01:30 PM
I use the term loosely.

:lmao::beer2:

BournID
06-25-2013, 02:47 PM
It's looking good.... Only way it would look better is if it were on my 99'!!! Especially after Spring Creek left a big dent in my driver side wing two weeks ago.

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 03:35 PM
LOL! Thanks! I had big dents in my stock wings too, and they were annoying. Shouldn't have that problem now!

nakman
06-26-2013, 01:06 PM
Man you're good... :bowdown:

but do you ever pull trailers or haul stuff in the receiver? I'd consider shortening the swing-out if so, fwiw.

AxleIke
06-26-2013, 02:02 PM
Huh, I hadn't thought of that.

Good call there. I'll have to think on that a bit here, but I'm thinking that will have to happen. This is definitely designed to handle towing.

Rezarf
06-26-2013, 02:16 PM
Nakman is right, you'll bump the trailer when you swing it out. However, if you remember to park at an angle (turning towards the hinge of the swing out) you can open your swing out 90* no problem. I have ambulance doors... so I can usually pop one open without parking at an angle. YMMV

AxleIke
06-26-2013, 03:37 PM
Hmmm, That could work. I'll have to see how I want to go. I'm thinking cutting it down still might be nice, as it would involve less of a "step aside" as I get into it.

AxleIke
08-06-2013, 01:16 PM
Been plugging away at it slowly, but a lot of other crap kept getting in the way, so I haven't had as much time to work on it as I'd have liked.

Most of the time I've been spending doing finish weld/grind/weld/grind to smooth out the surfaces, as well as a lot of little fixes here and there.

Here is where I'm at right now. I'm getting a different latch as the 90 deg one is just too hard to use efficiently.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0470.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0475.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0473.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0471.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0474.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0476.jpg

Still have a few braces to put in, and I need to do finish sanding which will take a long time.

Rezarf
08-08-2013, 09:46 AM
That looks great Isaac! Wow, I'm impressed.

Uncle Ben
08-08-2013, 11:45 AM
Not certain that I like the patina finish....should be black or charcoal! :p::lmao:

wesintl
08-08-2013, 11:48 AM
i'm not going to say what that looks like WO a tire on it.. lol

pretty soon baby beast will be regular beast #2

AxleIke
08-08-2013, 06:26 PM
Well Wes, I have to compensate somehow. So, I drive a lifted truck, but then I saw some huge fords, so I needed something that was a little more direct. :D

Kev, I figure I might as well go rat rod. Not really, it'll go black once its done.

Thanks Drew!!

AxleIke
08-13-2013, 06:45 PM
Some more progress as I move along. It is almost finished now

The hitch in the carrier is for a bike rack, or other hitch mounted rack that would be a pain to deal with if it was in the bumper hitch. Most of the time it will have a cap in it. I will build a rack that bolts into it for jerry cans as well, so that I can carry gas.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0478.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0481.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0479.jpg

I braced the tire mount and the main hoop some more. The tire mount now has tube welded behind the plate as well, so that the entire structure is fully welded to the main hoop.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0480.jpg

Lastly, I upgraded my latch to a 2k lb one from McMaster Carr, as well as I got the option for a secondary latch to keep the handle from rattling open on washboard roads.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0482.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0483.jpg

Rezarf
08-13-2013, 10:03 PM
Dig it, dig it, dig it... Looking good.

AxleIke
08-19-2013, 12:13 PM
I finally got it done enough for now. I have a couple things to add down the road, but this is where it is at, and I need a break for a while. I painted it, but i think I'll add in a few things in a week or two and then get it powdercoated. The paint has already chipped in a few spots :mad:

On saturday I removed my old man emu rear springs, and installed a set of FJ80 fronts to regain the height loss in the rear from the weight of everything. It sits about perfect right now, just a very slight forward rake, which will sit level with a full load of camping or hunting gear, and not butt sag (I hope).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0495.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0496.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0497.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0498.jpg

MountainGoat
08-19-2013, 12:40 PM
Looking great Isaac. Which 80 Series springs (color code or # of wraps) did you use? And I take it you have OME shocks back there?

I am looking at 7 1/2 wrap 80 series front springs with OEM Toyota 80 series rear shocks for the rear of my 3rd gen when I get around to it. :hill:

wesintl
08-19-2013, 12:48 PM
looks good. Nice truck

AxleIke
08-19-2013, 03:43 PM
Looking great Isaac. Which 80 Series springs (color code or # of wraps) did you use? And I take it you have OME shocks back there?

I am looking at 7 1/2 wrap 80 series front springs with OEM Toyota 80 series rear shocks for the rear of my 3rd gen when I get around to it. :hill:

Huh, not too sure, I didn't look. I did see some paint on them, so I'll see if I can check on that. One was longer than the other, which was perfect, because I stuck it on the driver side which has the fuel tank, me, and the hinge and everything is on that side, so the truck sits nice and level.

looks good. Nice truck

Thanks Wes!

MountainGoat
08-19-2013, 05:39 PM
Huh, not too sure, I didn't look. I did see some paint on them, so I'll see if I can check on that. One was longer than the other, which was perfect, because I stuck it on the driver side which has the fuel tank, me, and the hinge and everything is on that side, so the truck sits nice and level.

I ask because apparently there is a wide swing in how much lift you get depending on which spring you use:

"The FJ80 Landcruiser Spring (http://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-gen-t4rs/66976-3rd-gen-4runner-lift-information-faqs.html)
a cheap effective way to achieve a good amount of lift and flex is to install FRONT springs from a FJ80 (1991-1997) Landcruiser in the REAR of the 3rd gen.

7 wrap is about 3-3.5" of lift
8 is about 4"
9 is about 5"

Height of spring/color code/wraps

21" Blue Pink White 9.25 wraps
21" Grey Orange White 9.25 wraps
20.25" Blue Yellow White 8.75 wraps-one of these is a confirmed LX450
19.5" Green Yellow White 8.25 wraps-one of these is a confirmed LX450
19.5" Purple Green White 8 wraps
19.25" Double Purple Dark Blue White 8 wraps
19" Double Pink Light Blue White 7.5 wraps
18.5" Double Pink Grey White 7.5 wraps
18 7/8" Orange Orange White 7.75 wraps

you can also use the OME 851, which is a lift spring for the FJ80. that usually gives about 6 inches of lift.

Pros: Cheap, lots of lift, flexes really well.
Cons: Will sag under load. ... "

The springs I took off my 80 are 18.5" Double Pink Grey White 7.5 wraps which will supposedly give me about 3" of lift (unloaded of course).

Also, good call on putting the longer one on the driver's side. That is the correct orientation. :)

AxleIke
09-04-2013, 03:50 PM
I added a safety pin just in case the latch fails. This also helps with movement on washboard roads, as the carrier slides back a bit, making releasing the latch difficult.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0514.jpg

And, I finally got around to getting an extender for the bike rack and starting fitting all of that up to the carrier. Here are a couple shots of it closed and open.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0512-1.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0515.jpg

Rezarf
09-04-2013, 07:07 PM
Looks great Isaac, nice job.

Corbet
09-04-2013, 09:12 PM
I like the carrier. The receiver tube in the swing arm was something I was planning for my version 2.0 and the jerry can attachment is brilliant :thumb: I too need bikes to swing out of the way as well.

AxleIke
09-05-2013, 11:44 AM
Thanks guys!

I'll keep things updated as I go with the Jerry Can build.

I picked up a pin hold out from TMR customs, but I'm still unsure how well that is going to work. I may also go with a gas strut, but I may not have room.

Corbet
09-05-2013, 12:52 PM
I must have missed where you plan to use the gas strut but I assume on the swing arm similar to the 4x4Labs design? One thing that I have noticed with mine is that the struts under the swing arms are a PITA in the winter. You have to be careful of ice buildup on the bumper as to not destroy the struts. I have to always close mine during storms or be sure to clean the bumper off good right away in the morning. Then wash it more often in the winter to melt off ice. Long road trips can pose issues occasionally too during storms.

Jacket
09-06-2013, 11:20 AM
Nice work Isaac. That tire looks huge on the back of the Runner.

I had/have the same issue with my carrier walking on the back of the bumper and locking up the latch. I have a pin on mine but there is still enough room to allow for movement of the carrier. I've tried different adjustments from super tight (locks up) to super loose (why bother...) to try and compensate, but I've never dialed it in perfectly. For now my latch is moderately loose and I have to give the tire a shove toward the truck each time I want to open the carrier. It's a nuisance for sure.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 11:35 AM
I must have missed where you plan to use the gas strut but I assume on the swing arm similar to the 4x4Labs design? One thing that I have noticed with mine is that the struts under the swing arms are a PITA in the winter. You have to be careful of ice buildup on the bumper as to not destroy the struts. I have to always close mine during storms or be sure to clean the bumper off good right away in the morning. Then wash it more often in the winter to melt off ice. Long road trips can pose issues occasionally too during storms.

Yeah, it would be to hold the sing arm open, but with that review, I think I'll pass. I hadn't thought about ice build up having issues, but that makes total sense.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 11:36 AM
Nice work Isaac. That tire looks huge on the back of the Runner.

I had/have the same issue with my carrier walking on the back of the bumper and locking up the latch. I have a pin on mine but there is still enough room to allow for movement of the carrier. I've tried different adjustments from super tight (locks up) to super loose (why bother...) to try and compensate, but I've never dialed it in perfectly. For now my latch is moderately loose and I have to give the tire a shove toward the truck each time I want to open the carrier. It's a nuisance for sure.

Hmm, my pin is working great. There is really no movement of the arm at this point, and the only thing I have to do is open the latch first, to take pressure off the pin, and it slides right out. The latch is now nice an easy to open.

I'm not following what you mean by adjustments? Are you talking about the pin or the latch?

Jacket
09-06-2013, 12:03 PM
The latch. By adjustments I mean loosening and tightening the ubolt in order to try and control how tightly and where the latch holds the swing arm in place.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 12:53 PM
Ah! Yeah, I played with that too. I have it so it is tight, but still easy enough to undo and relatch.

How is your pin done?

Romer
09-21-2013, 07:05 PM
Nice Job Issac!

Been looking on line as Rachel got another 4runner and its lacking sliders and a bumper. Yours looks great.

Did you consider mounting the tire a bit lower to increase visibility out the back window?

AxleIke
09-22-2013, 10:55 PM
Nice Job Issac!

Been looking on line as Rachel got another 4runner and its lacking sliders and a bumper. Yours looks great.

Did you consider mounting the tire a bit lower to increase visibility out the back window?

Thanks Ken!

Yes, I sure did. However, I just couldn't get that to work with the hitch set up, and the desire to have other attachments mount back there (at least how I was envisioning things). It took a bit, but I'm pretty used to using just the side mirrors now.

AxleIke
12-31-2013, 11:29 AM
Small update. Pictures later though, as I was trying upload and it won't go for some reason.

Anyway, received my first winch ever for xmas, and got it installed. Warn M8000.

I'm staying with the steel cable for now. Over the years I've read all of the pros and cons of synthetic rope, and while it is certainly a much easier material on the hands, and won't kink, it does abrade more easily, and, according to the interwebs, is pretty susceptible to UV damage.

So, I may go that route in the future, but for now, I'll probably use the winch a bit first before dropping the coin on the new rope.

I now need to get out and use it!!! LOL!

Rezarf
12-31-2013, 03:58 PM
That's cool Isaac, what a nice gift!

I agree, once my wire wears out il switch to synthetic but until then I'm gonna stick with steel... It's not like I wheel anyway ;)

One factor is the synthetic takes a nice chunk of weight that is pretty far forward of the front tires, all the weight of bumpers, winches etc can start messin with your plush handling. But I drive a 40 and there is no plush handling!

RockRunner
01-03-2014, 02:30 PM
Looking good, very clean lines hugging the body. Like the bike carrier and the fact that you can interchange it for other items. Have something similar but it is in the hitch so have to remove it to open the rear door. Very good idea, may have to borrow it.

AxleIke
07-02-2014, 01:32 PM
Been a little while, but I've made some more progress on the truck.

I found with the factory cup holders, the shifter did not allow for a full water bottle to be in the forward cup holder position. Fortunately, Marlin Crawler has a solution for that:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0557.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0573.jpg

I very highly recommend this product. Really shortened the throw (as they claim), and it makes a huge difference in the usability of the center console area.

Second, I installed an M8000, and a set of Rigid Dually lights.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0568.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0579.jpg

I have these wired to my high beams, so when the switch is on, they will turn off when I go to low beam. This way, I can use them out on the highway with ease, which is my primary use for them. I find the stock high beams to be lacking when out on long stretches of highway, especially in Utah. These improve the range quite a bit, and the color really helps to highlight the eyes of animals far in advance, which gives me more time for braking.

This spring, after several years of saving Amazon gift cards, I was able to get a fridge for my truck, something I've wanted for a very long time. To accommodate the fridge, I put in a shelf/slide system. Sadly, I am not wild about my first attempt:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0740.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0762.jpg

The idea was to make the truck able to both carry camping gear safely, and make it quick to pack/unpack.

While this does allow for everything to be safely strapped down, I find the hassle of getting this in and out of the truck to be a ROYAL pain. It takes 20 minutes just to get the whole thing in and assembled, and same for the reverse at the end of the trip.

I've had it out twice now, and while I like the overall idea, this just isn't cutting it. Besides, as it stands, I am still going to have to put things on the roof if I take more than one other person with me (my wife and I have to put our day packs in the backseat next to the dog).

I also used rather low grade plywood. This is not ideal, as it was warped, and very rough. I plan to make version two, once I have decided how best to correct the shortcomings of this design.

Lastly, I fabled some sliders up. They are at the powder coaters as of now. Very simple, and fairly low profile. I did not want them to stick out very far, as this truck is still a DD, and I also don't like the look of large sliders standing out. My old 4runner had every more tucked in sliders, and they work very well.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0765.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0768.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0770.jpg

More on those when I get them back.

Jacket
07-02-2014, 01:46 PM
With 6 pages of rear bumper coverage, I'm wondering where the documentation is on the custom, 1st gen 4Runner grill mod? I dig it!

Of all the things you do to the truck that your wife will care less about, she'll love the fridge. It's an incredibly handy camping tool....

AxleIke
07-02-2014, 03:32 PM
LOL. Yeah, I guess I thought I'd just keep the old thread alive, rather than start anew.

The grill is just the Satoshi mod with a nod to the first gen with the cross braces and the first gen emblem.

If you notice, I also have the first gen "4Wheel Drive 4Runner" badge on the back, and first gen shift knobs too. I miss my old first gen.

Yeah, I think she'd like a RTT better (comfy), but thats a ways off. She does like the chilled wine that isn't soaked in water :D

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 11:13 AM
A couple of other modifications that I've found are really very useful, and may help others:

The first was my quest to stop the "wobble" in my front end. After lifting the truck, the steering wheel would vibrate horribly, especially on braking.

The PO had installed some crappy "lifetime" brake pads, which, as we all know, are perfect for warping rotors. So, I replaced the rotors, and pads, with OEM stuff. This fixed the braking problem, but not the wobble on the highway when driving normally.

So, naturally, the next thing I thought of was the rack. I replaced it with a Toyota rack, though I'm pretty sure they have these remanufactured these days. I also replaced the outer tie rods at this time, as the new rack comes with new inners. In addition, I bought a polyurethane bushing kit from Toytec lifts for the rack, and installed all of those at the same time.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0788.jpg

Not a very good picture, but the bushings are all poly now.

Anyway, the wobble was still there. After lots of reading, and a trip back to the alignment place, I found that my caster was at about 0, which is out of spec, and that this was a common problem with lifted 3rd gens (and it seems, newer tacos, as much of my reading centered around the 05+ taco's).

So, I started to look at upper control arms. I initially purchased a set of light racing arms, as they seemed perfect with their adjustability, stock style ball joint, and the price is pretty good. However, once I got them, I decided I didn't like the adjustability after all. The problem was, everything is held in place with a large nut and bolt, which seemed to me would need constant supervision to ensure that it didn't move. I didn't want to hassle with it, so I returned them. Instead, I went with the Icons.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0773.jpg

I chose these over other uniball style arms because of the ability to add the top cap (seen in the picture). In my reading, I noticed that many folks were concerned about dirt building up in the uniball and causing premature failure. The top is the place where dirt collects the most easily, so these seemed perfect with the caps providing protection and keeping dirt from accumulating in the well of the uniball. Time will tell if this works or not.

At the same time I did the upper arms, I also replaced the lower ball joints with OEM. They were not loose, but I've seen enough horror stories that I thought it was worth doing.

The upper arms have 2 deg of castor, enabling all alignment specs to be set to factory, and this, thankfully, fixed the wobble! The steering wheel is smooth and solid like it was when the truck was stock. Finally.

The second modification I found helpful I found online. This was for powering my fridge. Later model third gen 4runners started coming with a power outlet in the cargo area. However, this is accessory switched, and the fridge needs full time power. Someone online had the quick, cheap, thought of simply removing the relay under the hood, and putting a jumper on the hot leads:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0785.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0782.jpg

This works great. So far, I've only had the truck off for about 24 hours with the fridge on and keeping food cold, but there has been no issue with power drain. This ARB unit is very efficient.

The last mod is pretty basic, but we'll see. My M8000 came with steel cable. After seeing lots of info from Bill Burke, and talking to others, I decided to give synthetic line a go. I got the Warn Spydura rope, 100ft, so we'll see how well it does. I used the wire cable several times this past winter, and it was already kinked in several places. I have not used the synthetic line yet, but we'll see how it holds up over time compared to something like Viking or Masterpull.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0786.jpg

The rope does fill the drum completely, though I think when wound under load, it will compress more. I also weighed the difference between the wire rope with roller fairlead, and the synthetic line and hawse, and it was about 22 lbs. More if you get a lightweight thimble instead of the hook. Still, not a huge weight savings, but certainly nicer to handle!

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 11:13 AM
The last "fix" I don't have any shots of.

Like many IFS drivers, once the truck was lifted, the front CV boots tore. I, like other third gen 4runner/first gen taco owners, replaced the axles and had a bad, leaking passenger side diff seal.

I replaced with OEM remans, and put in probably 5 different seals, all to no avail. After reading online, I tried the Two Seal approach, essentially putting in two of the passenger side diff seals in, as there is plenty of room for them. This worked, and I no longer leak gear oil from the passenger side tube.

I know others have been able to get brand new axles, instead of remans, but, 1. they are pricey, and 2., it seems to be very difficult to get a hold of a new axle any more. Most dealers will tell you they don't exist. This fix seems to work well, and saves the hassle and expense of having to track down a new axle.

simps80
07-03-2014, 11:45 AM
great thread and updates!
The truck looks awesome!

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 12:06 PM
Thanks!

Rezarf
07-03-2014, 03:42 PM
Man, I wished I had crawled all over it this morning now Isaac, looks really good man. Everything is thought out and well executed. Stoked to see you sliders on... are you going to weld them in place or ???

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 03:46 PM
Well, the rear is empty right now Drew, the slide and shelving is designed to come in and out to facilitate use of the back end for hauling stuff (house projects, whatever). So, you didn't miss anything :D

Yup, the sliders will weld on. I asked the powdercoater to not coat two inches up on each leg, so I can weld them to the scab plates, and gusset them.

Thanks man!

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 11:02 AM
Boy, I have been LAX with getting this thread updated:

I thought I did a thread earlier this year with the dual case install, but here it is for documentation. Sorry for the repost.

Old vs new on the floor
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1210.jpg

Pretty simple bolt together, no pictures of that.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1215.jpg

working with the press brake to get the skid done up
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1217.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1221.jpg

Drivelines were removed, retubed, new joints everywhere and new slip shaft in the rear. Retubed to be thicker as well. Used Ron at Boulder Driveline. Very good service IMO.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1225.jpg

drivetrain bolted back in, with the skid. You can see that I reused the factory mounts. This was done because I ran out of time before Moab and had to get things together. Having had this on for 6 months, and beaten it at Area BFE, and Blanca Peak, I hope to redo the mounts later this winter for more clearance, and less bending. Right now the tabs are bent so it will take some work with the Sawzall or plasma to get the crossmember back out.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1228.jpg

Shifters in.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1230.jpg

I got these beefier lower links from Toytec. Would have built them, but again, no time. Was about 75% happy with them, so I modified them (more in next post)
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1226.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1234.jpg

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 11:11 AM
Now, the update for the dual cases:

1) I bought an Inchworm dual case adapter because Marlin had been out of stock for 6 months, and the line I kept getting was: "it'll be another 6 weeks". They said that every 6 weeks. LOL.

Anyway the inchworm adapter is a multi-use, multi-position adapter, which means you have a ton of holes you don't use, many of which need to be plugged and siliconed. This is fine, except its apparently VERY common to get leaks. Mine has a weep, which drives me NUTS.

So, Its getting pulled this winter (again, hopefully), as the transmission needs new syncro's and 5th gear is all janky. I'll go back through and hopefully seal it back up.

I should have bought the Marlin adapter, but oh well.

The rear case adapter is a Marlin MC09 unit that I picked up used. Got a new bearing and seal kit from Marlin, and am very happy with that.

2) The shifters: Don't like the location. Again, if I can find the time, when the drivetrain comes out for trans repairs, I hope to build a different set up for the shifters, and get my cupholder back.

3) The lower links: As you might expect, in those pictures, the grease nipples lasted about 30 seconds into BFE. But, more annoyingly, and not surprisingly, the stupid poly bushings squeaked loudly after about 1000 miles of use. yippie.

So, I pulled out the poly bushings, and, using a wood blank and a 1.75" hole saw, cored out the bushing tubes at the frame end. I then drilled 3/8" holes at 0, -90, and +90 degrees on the bushing tubes, and I bought brand new Lower link bushings from Toyota. Given the way holesaws cut, this did not make for a press fit, so the holes were so I could carefully, and quickly, tack the factory bushings into the tubes.

Tiny bit of fire, but they are holding great, and no more squeaks. Yah.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 11:35 AM
Moving forward a bit.

I hated my Bilsteins. So, after months of research, I settled on an Icon set up, and set about ordering it up.

I went with the cheapest option, which I now regret, as usual.

Up front, this is a 2.5" aluminum body adjustable coilover. What sucks is that the lightest spring Icon will put on the shock is a 650#/inch unit. They claim that with a bumper, winch, and 285s on these trucks, combined with their digressive valving, this will net a very controlled ride, which is also good.

installed pics of the front:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2095.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2096.jpg

The ride was MUCH better than my Bilsteins, and true to form, the truck (which has no sway bars currently) had far less roll. The idea behind the digressive valving is that slow movement (going around a corner as the weight transfers to the outside wheel) causes the shock to be stiffer. Fast movement (hitting a bump or pothole, where the wheel comresses quickly) has a softer shock feel.

However, combined with the LR E tires on a fairly light truck (E's are good on 100's and F250's, but mini trucks don't quite cut the mustard), the factory setting on the Icons seemed a tad stiff to me.

In the rear, I got the standard 2" aluminum body shocks, and I put in my old OME 890 (I think, can't remember the exact number, but pretty sure it was the 890 in the back). Along with 10mm spacer for the bumper weight.

Again, much better than the old set up, but still a little harsh.

Now, one of the things I learned in my research is that a harsh "ride" isn't always front AND rear. In my case, most of it was coming from the rear. The heavy bumper doesn't do me any favors there. Part of the reason I think this ride is still a tad harsh is that I believe the rear of my truck is too heavy for the OME's.

The OME springs are dual rate, meaning that they have 2 different wraps on them, so when the truck is unloaded they are supposed to be softer, and then when loaded, they stiffen up to help with control. With my rear bumper, I think I'm into the heavier coils all the time, as when I go over bumps at slower speeds, the rear is always more "harsh". So, I need to find some different springs, and see how that goes.

Here are some shots of the rear:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2098.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2099.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2100.jpg


Now, for the not so good part. 1 month after I got the Icon's installed, the passenger front started leaking pretty significantly. This was covered under warranty, but Icon will not pay for the shipping out to them. They pay for it coming back, but not out, which was a tad irritating. They also only do shock repair on Tuesdays, meaning that you end up having a lot of downtime on the truck.

Icon will also do 1 free re-valve on the shocks for you. So, I thought, since the truck had to go down anyway, I might as well have the ride softened up a tad. I called and talked to them and explained what I wanted.

I will say here, that Icon's customer service is superb. Very pleased with them.

I sent in both fronts as well as the rears, and they did the revalve, and the warranty repair and I got them re-installed.

Sadly, I think the ride is now slightly worse than before, though it may actually be my springs in the rear. So, more experimenting to do, but once the ride is dialed in, I think these will be very good.

Now, earlier I said I should have spent more. You can get remote reservoir Icons, with valving adjustment knobs. I couldn't swing the cost and figured it wasn't that big of a deal: once you get the valving dialed in, it should be perfect, right?

No, not so much. Re-valving is a big time suck. I am looking into what it takes to do it myself, as I know a few folks with Nitrogen setups for re-charging the shocks. But it still means taking apart the coilover, and having downtime. Sending them in is minimum 2 weeks (unless you shell out for super fast shipping, which isn't cheap on a large, 50 lb box.

The remote adjust style is a dial. You get 9 settings to choose from 1 (soft) to 9 (hard). This means you can adjust nearly on the fly, and get your ride where you want it (assuming you have the proper springs).

I still have more fiddling to do, but for now, I'm not sold on Icon's being the end-all be-all of shocks.

I do wish I had the money to try the Kings to do a side by side comparison. They were the other option I was looking at. A tad more expensive, but, like the Icon's, raved about by all who buy them. Ah well.

DaveInDenver
12-02-2015, 12:00 PM
Timely post Isaac. I was thinking Bilstein but now thinking I might go for the Fox 2.0" non-remote fronts.

I was going to keep it modest because I think I want to do upper arms at the same time, so the remote option had to be dropped.

My rear suspension is a lot less unknown, OME leafs and shocks.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 12:01 PM
As I've said before, my two favorite mods on my old 4runner were dual cases and lockers.

I got the duals done in March, so it was time for some more traction.

Yanked the front diff one morning before work, took my brothers Land Cruiser up, and dropped the whole thing off at Robbie's for an install. I can do the rear diffs myself, and the older IFS fronts, but these stupid clamshell diffs are such a pain, as backlash has to be done through the oil fill hole, and requires a special dial indicator. Boooo.

Robbie has a spiffy new parts washer, so he kindly washed all my stuff.

After I stuck new seals into it (two on the longside tube to keep the damn thing from leaking), back into the truck it went.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1632.jpg

The other very frustrating things about these clamshells (as Yoder knows well) is that the air fitting comes out DIRECTLY into the oil pan. So, the diff went up, then back down, so I could gently massage the one corner to allow clearance:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1633.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1634.jpg

Now, as I needed air, and I'm tired of hauling my CO2 set up around, I was pretty interested in the new ARB compressor (the big daddy).

After Ken posted up a glowing review, and I'd read other similar things around the net, and my buddy Andy had one a couple years ago put into his 4runner, I was pretty sold.

However, there is a pretty major problem.

(this is not my truck, but I didn't snap a photo of mine, so I pulled one off the net)

http://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv75/ggamat7/engine.jpg

Yeah. The third gen engine bay is packed. This guy has squeezed dual batteries in as well, which is impressive.

So, I started taking stuff out.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1646.jpg

Turns out, the ABS fuses and the Cruise control module wires are easily separated by removing the tape and loom.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1647.jpg

I then moved the ABS fuses forward and to a pre-threaded hole under the fender lip on the side of the bay, you can see them to the left of the compressor in this picture:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1649_1.jpg

After this, out came the tools and I fabbed a bracket to hold the compressor and Cruise module in a new location. No extension of the wires or the throttle cable needed:

You can see the bracket bolted to the side of the front clip using factory threaded holes. It also bolts to the fender underneath (these were not well engineered, and took FOREVER to bolt in once the bracket was in place).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1650.jpg

Sadly, there was not enough room for the factory airbox. So, I got one of these things:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1617.jpg

I do not really like this. It is LOUD. The supercharger used to have a faint whine with the factory set up under full load, but with this, it is more of a roar. It sounded cool for about 5 minutes, and then it just got annoying.

So, I hope to cut up and fiberglass the factory box to work with the new arrangement. For now, this gets the job done.

Here is the set up once finished, with a port for the air hose:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2084.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2085.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2087.jpg

I'm extremely pleased with the compressor. It easily airs up my 285's and it is SO nice not to have a giant CO2 tank in the back.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 12:06 PM
Timely post Isaac. I was thinking Bilstein but now thinking I might go for the Fox 2.0" non-remote fronts.

I was going to keep it modest because I think I want to do upper arms at the same time, so the remote option had to be dropped.

My rear suspension is a lot less unknown, OME leafs and shocks.

Awesome! It was the same for me. I also have zero need for remote resi's. They are for desert racing/shock fade situations, which I will probably never see. The ONLY reason to go for them in the Icon's is to get the adjustable feature. But it DOUBLES the price of the shock. Too rich for my blood.

I already did the Upper arms because when I put the bilsteins on, my caster went to near 0 deg. This produced a very annoying shake in the wheel. The icon uppers with 2deg dialed in fixed it.

The OME leaf springs (Dakar's) are much a much better compromise, in my experience, between comfort and ride. I love the way my dad's tacoma rode before the 4WC. Still rides fine, just is a wallower in the corners with 1500 lbs of camper in the back.

If you go with the Fox's, post up some reviews. Its always hard because everyone's definition of a "good ride" is different. But, its always good to have more info.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 12:24 PM
Next up was Power.

The supercharger has always been good, but I liked the idea of getting more air and fuel in to keep up with our altitude here.

So, I started out with a TRD 7th Injector kit from UB. This was no good as the computers were for a 02 Tacoma. After speaking for several hours over a few different phone calls with Allen Phillips Racing (they made the units for TRD), I was able to find a computer for my truck, but not a crossover module.

This module takes the factory harness, routes the correct signals to the TRD piggyback and takes the modified signals out, and runs them into the factory ECU. Yippie. However, APR did not have this module, and since Toyota has decided to be super lame and stop supporting all TRD supercharged applications (really pissed about that), they no longer stock, nor sell, nor can find the crossover module, despite that I had a part number in hand, and it seems unlikely that they would have sold EVERY one. But who knows.

So, I drove around with a non-functioning injector for 6 months:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2090.jpg

This was because I got in all installed, and then figured out that the computers wouldn't work. But, its a pain to get to the fuel rails (see above post with crowded engine bay), and I didn't want to have to get a new gasket for the EGR block off plate (where the injector sits on non EGR trucks).

I finally gave up on my search and called up URD and got their kit for existing TRD kits. I had Gadget wire up the computer to a set of plugs, so I could plug in the piggyback without having to cut and splice the factory harness. This turned out to be not super awesome.

Unit came, all good:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1645_1.jpg

However, once getting everything in and set up, the truck ran like crap. Would not rev beyond 1500 RPM before falling FLAT. I would floor it and the truck would just sit at 2k, and not go anywhere.

So, back to URD it went. They didn't find anything wrong, but changed a ground location. Sent it back. Plugged it in, and same behavior.

So, I sent it to Split Second. They build the units for URD. They found that the plugs had been wired incorrectly and that one of the components had been damaged. So, after another 2 weeks, it was back, and this time, working well.

The plugs that URD uses, unlike the TRD units, are GINORMOUS. I put the entire set up under my dash above my glovebox. I could BARELY get the ECU back into its slot with the plugs tucked up.

Lesson learned was: I should have just cut and spliced. It would have probably worked initially, and I wouldn't not have had to bend and cram all of the wires back in like I did.

I didn't take any pictures of the under dash nightmare. Suffice it to say: its in, it doesn't rattle, and it works.

Lastly, since I got the new injector and we are at altitude here, I tossed on a 2.1" pulley from URD. THIS I am extremely happy with. MAJOR change just with the pulley, the extra injector just makes it that much better.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2088.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2089.jpg

UB knows much about tuning these things. It still needs to be tuned a tad, but I need a wideband O2 sensor, so that will, as is a common theme now, go in this winter. We'll see.


However, I am quite happy. I can easily cruise up 285 to my parents in 5th gear and still accelerate, and while I haven't done Vail pass, I can go up out of georgetown in 5th, accellerating, as well. This is bueno.

Having some not so okay fun with a WRX at a light, (but did not exceed the speed limit), I can spin the rear tires on dry pavement when changing from 1st to second. Certainly faster off the line than the WRX due to some pretty wicked turbo lag in those cars, but once he hits a decent RPM, it was gone.

Downside so far: Fuel economy is down to 16 because it is so fun to goose the throttle everywhere. Hwy MPG still around 19 if I'm conservative on speed and passing.

B1LL31
12-02-2015, 12:38 PM
For some reason, i cannot see you pics in your posts. I'm using google chrome if that helps anyone. Maybe its the companies fire wall. Guess I'll have to use my phone.

DouglasVB
12-02-2015, 12:41 PM
For some reason, i cannot see you pics in your posts. I'm using google chrome if that helps anyone. Maybe its the companies fire wall. Guess I'll have to use my phone.

The pictures on the last page are appearing for me using Chrome from a university connection. Probably a firewall issue for you?

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 12:49 PM
Lastly for now, body work.

I've always wanted to learn this, so I set about teaching myself the basics.

Much reading confirmed what I already knew. Using garbage tools would result in frustration, and I'd give it up after producing crappy results.


Sooooooo, I picked up a good quality HVLP from a local company, CA Technologies, located in Lafayette.

The reason for the body work: I was stupid. When camping this summer, driving out, despite having the right of way (I was going uphill) I backed down against my better judgement because some stupid bleepity bleeping bleep head driving a bleepity bleeping side by side would not get his fat ass out of my way by backing up 100 feet to a wide section of road. So I backed down 400 feet to a pull off, and backed into a tree branch that I didn't see on the passenger side. And got this:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1687.jpg

I pulled out my interior, used my Dremel multitool saw to cut flaps into the interior structure, and went to work with body hammers and dollies. To the unsurprising results of a total novice:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2109.jpg

However, I did not want to try to do a paint blend and re-clear without a bit of practice first. Luckily my fenders are all garbage from the factory fender flares that are on there.

In addition, my driver fender had been damaged by the PO's wind/bug deflector. You can see where I tried touch up paint to curb more rusting. It obviously didn't work. Finally, A stick at some point got pushed up by my tire and pinched against my slider, and pushed in the fender at the bottom.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1905.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1907.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1906.jpg

So, to work I went. Body hammered the lower fender dent (marginally better than the roof because I could actually reach things on the fender).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1910.jpg

Sanded out the rust and pitting on the front above the marker light

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1909.jpg

Applied a good quality fiberglass glaze

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1915.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1916.jpg

Then I sanded for a loooonnng time, the whole fender, to both smooth the glaze sections and get rid of the gouge in the paint from the fender flares:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1917.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1919.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1918.jpg

Then, I built myself a very ghetto, very cheapo paint booth from PVC pipe, plastic, and some box fans:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1911.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1914.jpg

From a paint perspective, this was about as downdraft as a weak bathroom fan is an updraft, but it kept me from completely getting fumigated.

I then shot some primer, which went very well. I was very pleased with the uniformity of the results for my first time actually spraying something.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1922.jpg

Sadly, I got the middle of the road paint from Sherwin Williams, and while it was Toyota Millennium Silver, as I'm sure many of you have guessed, there are about 1000 Millennium Silver shades in the toyota paint catelog. The one I got was a perfect match for a highlander. But nothing like my truck.

So, I went back and Chip at Sherwin Williams did me a huge solid and helped me a ton on their top of the line paint. Highly pleased with the interaction. Its a perfect match.

Sadly though, After I re-sanded the fender, and got ready to shoot the new coat, it was both raining and too cold. So, there are a couple of places that did not dry correctly, and the texture is a bit rough. Where it did dry correctly, however, it looks brilliant.

This is all down to the gun. It really is worth the money, in my mind, to get a good quality tool for something like this.

Anyway, some final results after clear coat. Not perfect by any means, but for a first go, I was pleased.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2102.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2103.jpg

sorry for the dirt here.
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2104.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2106_1.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2108_1.jpg

All in all, its a good 10 ft job. Looks perfect from 10 ft, up close, you can see the imperfections. Good enough for a wheeling truck. I'll do the other fender and hood as more practice, and then work on the dent in the back.

Mostly I'm concerned about water getting in behind the window and rusting out. The truck has plenty of other dents from wheeling, but IH8RUST.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 12:51 PM
For some reason, i cannot see you pics in your posts. I'm using google chrome if that helps anyone. Maybe its the companies fire wall. Guess I'll have to use my phone.

The pictures on the last page are appearing for me using Chrome from a university connection. Probably a firewall issue for you?

I think its probably your firewall. I use Photobucket for picture hosting and I think it is blocked by a number of places.

AxleIke
12-02-2015, 01:08 PM
Of course I forgot two minor things. So, this is the last bit. :D


First, gas tank. I can currently only put 11-12 gallons into my supposedly 17 gallon tank (Never have I been able to put 17 gallons in, even when as empty as can be when I just got it.

This is because the factory skid plate does a good job at keeping the tank from ripping open, but not a good job from keeping the tank from deforming. Given that I planned to run Blanca Peak, I needed something mo-betta.

I did not take many pictures, but here is what I did:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1738.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_1740.jpg

On and after some use. Sorry for the dark under car bad cell phone pics.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2093.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2092.jpg

----------------

The second thing was a maintenance issue.

I also could not for the life of me, get my steering wheel straight. The toe would be perfect at the alignment shop, but the wheel would always move about.

Tracked it down to two things.

First off, As I posted up a few pages back, I put in poly bushing into my steering rack as an early attempt to get rid of the vibes in the wheel caused by my bad caster (fixed with the Icon uppers). However, there is a large D bushing, which, either because of the slick nature of the poly bushing, or because it was not manufactured super well, allowed for movement of the rack. Not good.

So I replaced that with a factory rubber one.

That was not the whole story. My rag joint that attaches the steering shaft to the rack was actually moving about. This was causing the major changes in the steering wheel location while driving straight. The "rag" part of it was actually allowing the two ends to move independently because the metal parts had been worn open too far, and the pins had slop.

A new joint fixed that right up:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2094.jpg

B1LL31
12-02-2015, 04:22 PM
I think its probably your firewall. I use Photobucket for picture hosting and I think it is blocked by a number of places.

Yep, That's it they have photobucket blocked.

AxleIke
12-05-2015, 12:15 AM
Did you guys get the picture issues sorted?

I've used Photobucket for years but maybe it's time to change.

Squishy!
12-05-2015, 11:37 AM
works great for me. Some companies block Photobucket

DaveInDenver
12-28-2015, 08:06 AM
Awesome! It was the same for me. I also have zero need for remote resi's. They are for desert racing/shock fade situations, which I will probably never see. The ONLY reason to go for them in the Icon's is to get the adjustable feature. But it DOUBLES the price of the shock. Too rich for my blood.

I already did the Upper arms because when I put the bilsteins on, my caster went to near 0 deg. This produced a very annoying shake in the wheel. The icon uppers with 2deg dialed in fixed it.

The OME leaf springs (Dakar's) are much a much better compromise, in my experience, between comfort and ride. I love the way my dad's tacoma rode before the 4WC. Still rides fine, just is a wallower in the corners with 1500 lbs of camper in the back.

If you go with the Fox's, post up some reviews. Its always hard because everyone's definition of a "good ride" is different. But, its always good to have more info.
Well, rubber is meeting the road and I'm getting ready to actually order something. I'm still on the fence between Icon and FOX, though starting to think about going with Icon. I have a few more bucks in the budget and so I think I'll go with 2.5" shocks instead of the 2.0. Since I won't be doing remote reservoirs I'm thinking about fade. Although honestly I never had my OME shocks on the '91 overheat, at least that I could tell, so it's probably more a matter of Internet lore. But I just know I'll alway wish I had just done it.

BTW, where did you get yours? Did you spring for the extreme weather proofing? That sounds like a good thing, depending on what they do.

I'm doing Camburg UCA, but the ball joint version. I don't like the idea of uniball UCA on a daily driver that sees mag chloride and the Camburgs come with MOOG versions of the OE ball joints, so it's still (potentially) a factory part.

AxleIke
12-28-2015, 10:52 PM
I did not do the weather proofing. But it seems like a good idea, if it's an option. I got mine at Toytec.

I'm wishing I had the remote reservoirs only for the adjustability. Still fighting to get mine where I want them.

DaveInDenver
12-29-2015, 10:47 AM
I did not do the weather proofing. But it seems like a good idea, if it's an option. I got mine at Toytec.

I'm wishing I had the remote reservoirs only for the adjustability. Still fighting to get mine where I want them.
Just found out it's not an option anymore, Icon stopped doing the extreme weather plating.

AxleIke
12-29-2015, 11:34 AM
Here is my 0.02 from my research:

After trolling forums, and multiple calls to the tech departments at King, Fox, and Icon (all very helpful, BTW), I was deciding between King's and Icons for the ride quality that I wanted. The Kings were more $, so I went with the Icon's. The Fox's seemed to not be quite the same ride quality (stiffer) for the same basic set up.

Online, both Icon users and King users raved about the amazing ride quality, however, as always, I was very suspicious of this. When someone spends a bunch of money on a suspension, unless the thing goes COMPLETELY wrong and they get no help, most people aren't going to say, "well, it works well, but honestly not that much different than the OME suspension at 1/3 the cost."

So, in my experience with the ICON vs the Bilstiens:

1. The ICON's rode better to me. They were still a tad stiff for my liking. This could be the 650lb/in spring rate on the fronts and the OME med-duty springs in the rear.

ICON will not give you a different spring rate, King will. ICON assumes you have a bumper and winch and are going to pound the suspension, so they cover their bets with a heavy spring. It is, however, an Eibach spring (or so Toytec tells me). That means you can order a different spring rate if you like.

2. When I put the Icon's on the truck, with the factory preload, the truck sat considerably lower than the Bilsteins, which were on the lowest c-clip setting (3 position shocks). I had to crank the adjuster nuts down several terms to bring it up a bit, and it is still sitting ~ 1/2" lower per side than it used to. I thought this was a good thing: CV angles.

3. I had the shocks sent back and re-valved to a "softer" setting. This actually seemed to make the ride slightly worse, so I'm not sure what is going on there. I'm going to try a couple of other things first, before sending them back again (not cheap). They do 1 free revalve, which I've used.

4. One of the front shocks started leaking within a month. This was warrantied, but I still had to spend 50 bucks shipping the shocks back, and they only work on shocks on Tuesdays, which means at least a week of down time for any shock work, possibly 2 weeks, depending on the shipping schedule.

Those are my experiences, take it for what its worth.

Cheers!

DaveInDenver
12-29-2015, 12:02 PM
Something to think about with shock tuning is that the slow speed damping might seem stiff but the overall ride improves. I've noticed this dialing in the forks on my mountain bike. Soft damping seems comfortable until the speeds pick up. It also tends to eat up wheel travel sooner, so the softer damping is great until the /really/ progressive part has to ramp up to prevent bottoming.

I suspect FOX, Icon, King know what they are doing in this respect. I know it's not apples-to-apples, but I'm only working with 100mm of travel on my MTB Fox forks so I'm acutely aware at the trade-offs in slow vs fast damping and how you utilize your shock stroke.

Have you had your Icons on dirt much? I bet they literally float at high speed over washboard. I'm willing to accept a firm road ride and in fact hope for this, the Tacoma wallows a lot. I really miss the OME on Imelda on pavement as much as off. But on washboard our truck is almost useless and uncontrollable beyond a crawl.

AxleIke
12-29-2015, 10:09 PM
Something to think about with shock tuning is that the slow speed damping might seem stiff but the overall ride improves. I've noticed this dialing in the forks on my mountain bike. Soft damping seems comfortable until the speeds pick up. It also tends to eat up wheel travel sooner, so the softer damping is great until the /really/ progressive part has to ramp up to prevent bottoming.

I suspect FOX, Icon, King know what they are doing in this respect. I know it's not apples-to-apples, but I'm only working with 100mm of travel on my MTB Fox forks so I'm acutely aware at the trade-offs in slow vs fast damping and how you utilize your shock stroke.

Have you had your Icons on dirt much? I bet they literally float at high speed over washboard. I'm willing to accept a firm road ride and in fact hope for this, the Tacoma wallows a lot. I really miss the OME on Imelda on pavement as much as off. But on washboard our truck is almost useless and uncontrollable beyond a crawl.

I've had them in the dirt a lot. They don't float like I'd hoped, but they are a bunch better than the bilsteins. Perhaps I need to get them re-revalved, lol.

DaveInDenver
12-30-2015, 06:38 AM
I've had them in the dirt a lot. They don't float like I'd hoped, but they are a bunch better than the bilsteins. Perhaps I need to get them re-revalved, lol.
Better or not than OME? I was very happy with the suspension on the '91, other than being super stiff with the WilderNest off. That rode pretty well on and off road. It wasn't a desert truck over washboard but I couldn't complain.

Wonder if it's worth $1k+. The improvements would be ability to rebuild them and adjustability potentially (which is more like $1.5K to $2K).

AxleIke
12-30-2015, 10:47 AM
Better than OME on a 4runner. 4Runner's have kinda (in my opinion) not the best OME rear spring options. The Dakar springs on my dads taco were fantastic. I've never been thrilled with my OME springs (why I went 80 series with the bumper, but those were wayyy too tall for the new fronts).

I'm considering the toytec rears, but not sure on those yet. I may also try stock with some spacers. Got some fiddling to do.

However, really been thinking about what you said, and I think you are on to something. I think I shot myself in the foot a bit with the softer valving. Again, REALLY wish I'd had the coin for the adjustable valve'd resi's. Don't have any need for a resevoir, but DANG a little knob would be so much easier to deal with than pulling the shocks every darn time. LOL.

The fronts were a bunch better, but thats with a bumper up front. My brother's 98 4runner rides pretty well with the OME but no armor.

My dad has a 97 with the exact same front bumper and winch as me, and mine rides a bunch better than his. Also sits better. He has trim packers and heavy springs, and it still sits nose down with their regular springs in the rear.

My advice is: go with the nicer stuff if you can. The OME is a great suspension for a budget, probably the best out there. However, the really, really dumb way to do it is the way I did it, lol. Buy the cheap stuff, then upgrade later. LOL.

Also, keep in mind that the OME BP-51's are here for a few models (200's, and maybe 100's, not sure). Might check into those for the new gen Taco. Though, they obviously haven't been around long enough to have a lot of reviews out yet.

AxleIke
12-30-2015, 10:49 AM
I should add that I feel like they floated better when stiffer (go figure). They do a FANTASTIC job aired down, bumps feel like they aren't really there. But for street pressure on a washboard road (to my parents house in Bailey), you can certainly feel the bumps.

HOWEVER, as I'm sure you've seen in the thread, but something to keep in mind, I am running 4 bricks for tires, (BFG's, which are stiff to start, and the 285/75 is an E Load range). This is something that is just part of the game for me, but I do not have a ride quality assessment for a softer tire.

I may try to swap my brother tires for a week or so, and see how his Yokohamas ride in comparison.

DaveInDenver
12-30-2015, 11:09 AM
Hadn't heard of the OME BP-51. The blog write-up I saw showed a Tacoma IFS, so I suspect that would be an early option. But near as I can tell they really aren't available yet, just a lot of speculation.

Dang it Isaac, I was hoping you say the upgrade wasn't worth it. I will have a standard configuration, ARB bull bar + winch in front. Nothing extreme but if heavy springs sag on your dad's then they'd likely sag on mine. Back to thinking Icon or FOX. I don't see the point of spending $500 only to upgrade later. This is all the front, my rear springs aren't a question. But it's a system as you know, so Dakars + OME Sports in the back would change the way the front works, so your experience isn't 1:1 as to what I'll find. But super valuable, like reliability (the leaking worries me) because if my truck goes down I'm pretty screwed as back up is the motorcycle.

Ultimately my pavement desire is for control more than super comfy ride. The stock suspension is super soft but it kind of lumbers down the road, following it's heart as it where it wants to go and only accepting the occasional suggestion from me. I believe that I'll be so happy with just about anything that the idea of really tuning it won't come for a while.

AxleIke
12-30-2015, 04:17 PM
Sorry, I meant the fronts sagged on his 4Runner. With the standard OME fronts and OME DAKARS on his Tacoma, the truck was nearly level, with ARB and M8k. (Sorry for the confusion, my dad has a bunch of cars.)

AxleIke
02-24-2016, 11:33 AM
Final bit of the most recent puzzle wrapped up a few months ago, and just now getting to the pictures, life's been busy. The front locker switch did not come out as I'd like, but I'm hoping to fix that shortly.

I wanted my interior to look clean. I personally don't care for the carling style rocker swtiches, though I'm sure as I go forward, I will have to use some at some point. So, I went to a ton of trouble to make things look as factory as possible.

First up, I have a 5 speed. Which means that there is a blank spot on my dash where the "ECT Power" switch is in the automatics. Secondly, I do not have a "security" light in my car, also present in the front center panel.

So, I picked up an automatic with a security light center panel, and pulled it all apart to get to the circuit boards. I then spent a bunch of time down at Boulder Toyota (Huge thanks to Jerry Eckberg who helped me find the parts I needed). I sourced a bunch of single pins with pigtails for all of the plugs behind my dash, so everything plugs in using the factory harness. No loosely soldered stuff or rats nests. I also ordered die-cut decals for a couple bucks each online, since I could not find a screen printing place that could do what I wanted.

I then put the automatic circuit boards into my dash and using opaque plastic paint, I covered over the "ECT" part of the button, and affixed my ARB compressor decal, which I made in Sketchup and then forwarded to the die-cutting place:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2261.jpg

I took my front plate with the Passenger seat belt indicator out of the bezel, and, using an exacto knife, scraped away an area around where the "Security" LED sits within the bezel. I then took the "dot" from atop a lowercase "i" from a generic lettering kit at michaels, and affixed it to the back side of the screen. I painted the backside with the opaque plastic paint again, so that I had a nice round translucent section in front of the LED:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2262.jpg

Here is the result off (Sorry for the dark picture)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2260.jpg

and with the compressor on:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2252.jpg

-----------

Next up, I wanted to have factory diff lock switches. I got a switch and plug from a guy parting his truck (junk yards will not cut plugs out of harnesses). This way I was able to use a factory plug in the back of my diff lock switch. I again sourced the factory pins and wires so that I could wire it up and have it light up with the head lights (don't have a pic of that, as only the rear diff lock switch is wired to lighting at this point, I ran out of wires). I am not happy with how the switch came out, so I am working on some translucent paint to make this work better. Anyway, for now, this is how my side panel looks:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2259.jpg

Finally, I wanted dash indicators again. I used a Tacoma screen, and cut it and painted it so it works in the factory location. Only complaint I have is that Toyota used a slightly different shade of red for the Tacos than the 4 runners. I then pulled out my gauge cluster and used a factory pin in the harness (again, sourced from Boulder Toyota) to use the "ECT Power" bulb for the front locker. I also had to solder a ground connection (same thing is done from the factory it turns out) which required removing the printed circuit paper from the back of the unit. This takes a little care, but is not difficult. So, when my lockers are engaged:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2258.jpg

Again, a ton of work just to make something that makes me happy, but little details like this satisfy my inner OCD, LOL.

Cheers!

simps80
02-25-2016, 10:48 AM
Man Isaac, that's some great attention to detail!

Seems very complicated to pull off ... the end result is very cool! :thumb:

AxleIke
02-25-2016, 11:21 AM
Thanks Mike!! Not horribly complicated, but very time consuming finding all the parts. And the painting/cutting of screens is a bit nervewracking :)

I'm working on some other projects with the truck here in the near future, but I just moved and now have too much on my plate to spend much time on the truck.

subzali
02-25-2016, 12:05 PM
Dude that is awesome. Is that a little bit of Uncle Ben rubbing off on you or do you come up with this on your own? I think I get mine from Uncle Ben...

How do you track down pins and connectors through the Toyota system? I've only done it once but don't have a great method figured out yet...and may need to do some more at some point in the not too distant future...

Jacket
02-25-2016, 03:48 PM
I agree. I'm similar to you in that I like to keep my interior uncluttered and close to factory. But you've taken it to the next level with the use of the security light and the dash indicator. I love it!

LXBRADY
02-25-2016, 03:59 PM
Very nice!

AxleIke
02-25-2016, 10:44 PM
Dude that is awesome. Is that a little bit of Uncle Ben rubbing off on you or do you come up with this on your own? I think I get mine from Uncle Ben...

How do you track down pins and connectors through the Toyota system? I've only done it once but don't have a great method figured out yet...and may need to do some more at some point in the not too distant future...

A little of both. UB's attention to detail has always been an inspiration and I got the gauge cluster idea from the webs. But I thought up the compressor and layout myself. My own OCD was the reason for using the factory pins.

To track down the pins: there is a book at Boulder Toyota with 100s of different style plugs in order of connections (1 pin connections, then 2, then 3 and on down to much larger plugs.) it look a bit to find the style plug I had and then there are pictures of the various types of pins associated with that style plug. I just matched them up. This did involve disassembling my dash a bit in their back lot :D

I also spent a bunch of time with their wire repair kit (essentially a big box with various pinned wires) and just matched things up.

I agree. I'm similar to you in that I like to keep my interior uncluttered and close to factory. But you've taken it to the next level with the use of the security light and the dash indicator. I love it!

Thanks Matt!!

AxleIke
02-25-2016, 10:50 PM
Very nice!

Thanks Steve!

Rezarf
02-26-2016, 11:04 PM
This looks even better in person, it's first class Isaac. Now where is my big panel of Carling switches? :hill: