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Old 03-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Default Tacoma Frame Rust

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?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:20 AM
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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
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:08 AM
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Pic of the truck. Totally plain Jane. Even still wears the OE shocks.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:25 AM
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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 Specs?
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1977 FJ40 2F "Brahma" + Lockright, tach, Warn 8274, FJ60 Power Steering, soon to lose the Sanden OBA to go back to factory emissions
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2000 Tundra Limited TRD 2UZ-FE SOLD
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:35 AM
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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.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:41 AM
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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.
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"Stay the Trail," "Tread Lightly," and "Leave No Trace" ethics
TLCA# 13684
Rising Sun Bio
1977 FJ40 2F "Brahma" + Lockright, tach, Warn 8274, FJ60 Power Steering, soon to lose the Sanden OBA to go back to factory emissions
1996 FZJ80 1FZ-FE factory lockers + Safari Turbo , CDL switch, cup holder, AATLAS1X leather, heated seats and JDM switches
2000 Tundra Limited TRD 2UZ-FE SOLD
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:46 AM
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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/...es_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..
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:59 AM
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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.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:04 AM
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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!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:07 AM
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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.
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