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Old 12-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
Box Rocket
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Default Box Rocket '03 DC Tacoma Build

This seems like a more appropriate section for this and since I've gathered lots of ideas from others, I thought I'd post to maybe give some ideas back to others who might be looking.

I started with a basically stock '03 DC that I bought in Feb of 2009. It has some 32" tires on some aftermarket wheels and a 2" spacer lift.

Soon after I got it.


The first order of business was to get started on protection. I had really good luck with Trail Gear sliders on my Land Cruiser so I ordered up a set and got to work welding them together.







finished sliders
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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Next up was addressing the suspension. The spacer and rear block wasn't going to cut it. I got a hold of Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters and he helped me put together a complete OME kit. I went with 882 coils in the front with Nitrocharger shocks and a 10mm JK trim packer. In the rear I went with Dakar leaves and Nitrocharger shocks, along with OME greaseable shackles.

tearing the front apart.


Out with the old


In with the new




The rear needed help too since the stock leaves were very tired.


stock vs OME Dakar


rear suspension all buttoned up.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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after the lift


First impressions were the new OME setup was definitely on the firm side. It had good control but felt pretty harsh at first. I got it out in the dirt a few times and was totally sold. Any drawback I felt it had on the road were gone in the dirt. And after flexing it out a few times it softened up a bit and became a very comfortable ride. I ended up with about 2.75" of lift from the new setup.

I was really happy with all of it except for the poor load capacity of the rear Dakar springs. The ride etc was nice, but as soon as I got a load in the bed of the truck it sagged badly and really struggled to handle any weight. I started looking at my options.

At about this point I set about cleaning up the aftermarket wheels. The original finish had been damaged and i didn't like the look so I decided to clean them up and hit them with a fresh coat of black Rustoleum.




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Old 12-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
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Next up I wanted to address my storage needs. In an effort to keep things better organized in the bed of the truck and also to have the option of carrying a RTT I started fabbing a bed rack. The goal was to create two layers of storage, keep it below the roofline when loaded, have a mounting surface for a RTT and have a versatile platform for other gear like snowboards, camping gear etc.

The main platform is made from 1" sq tube and the legs are some 2.5" square tube that I split in half (creating a C channel).




the narrow slots at the outside of the platform are for a track system that I have had for years just waiting to be used.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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I added a swagman bracket for a shovel


and a place for my hilift.


I picked up a Hella Matador work lamp and pulled out my Thule snowboard racks to get it all finished up. Painted it again with Rustoleum Satin Black.


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Old 12-13-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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While the rack was being built I went back to Cruiser Outfitters and picked up a Safari Snorkel. Installation wasn't too bad once you get past cutting a huge hole in your fender.





I had my first trip with the truck coming up so I got the tent mounted to make sure it was all working correctly.



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Old 12-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #7
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Before leaving on the trip I needed some communication so I installed a Uniden Pro 520XL CB in the ashtray location, an external speaker, along with an aftermarket stereo that would connect to my iPod.




Also the requisite fire extinguisher. I chose to mount it to the B piller near the floor.


Also I picked up an ARB freezer fridge. So for the trip I pulled the rear seats and built a simple platform to camera gear, dry food and the fridge.




The first trip was awesome and everything worked out better than I imagined except for the sagging Dakar springs.



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Old 12-13-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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After that first trip I knew it was time to do something about the bumpers. the rear bumper wasn't going to hold up to much wheeling, and I needed a way to tow my offroad trailer.

I picked up a section of 3x5" sq tube for the main bumper section. I got a receiver tube from Harbor Freight and a scrap peice of 2" tube from a friend left over from a messed up rollcage project. The tube already had some bends in it that worked out perfectly after I cut it apart to work for the side wings of my bumper and another peice to go under the receiver tube.







For the license plate I used a peice of scrap I had on hand and a cheap bracket from autozone to mount it in the receiver when I wasn't towing. This way I could also remove it on the trail too so it wouldn't get damamged.


I needed to support the side wings of the bumper and tie them back to the frame. I picked up a pair of Trail Gear rear bumper brackets that worked out perfectly.



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Old 12-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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You might also notice in the above photos that I swapped out the OME shackles for some 1.5" All Pro shackles to combat the sagging rear springs. It helped to level things out but didn't solve the poor load capacity.

Next up was the front bumper. Think what you want about Trail Gear but I've had good results from all of their products that I've used so I turned to them again. I really liked their bumper design but didn't like the huge stinger that was part of their design. I guess I wasn't the only one and they conveniently started offering their low profile version of the same bumper without the stinger. I jumped on it. I didn't like everything exposed from the top so I added a small frame to the bumper using 1" sq tube and "skinned" the top of the bumper with some plate I had on hand and added some light tabs for my Hella 1000 lights.

This low profile bumper met all of my goals. It's strong, has winch mounting, was 100% bolt on, relatively lightweight compared to most plate bumpers and I think it looks great. The plate I added to the top really finished it off in my opinion. I also painted the grill black at this time.




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Old 12-13-2011, 05:39 PM   #10
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After I got the bumper on the truck winter was starting to set in and the 32" BFG AT's were getting pretty worn and the rubber was pretty hard. I wasn't getting great traction once the snow started flying. I got a good deal on some 33x10.50 BFG KM2s from Discount Tire. I got them mounted up and they changed the whole look of the truck, and gave me the traction I had been missing. I paid a little extra and had them siped. The siping was a really good choice to improve traction on hardpack snow and ice.





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Old 12-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #11
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I had owned the truck for nearly a year at this point and the whole time I had it I had been on the search for a bed topper. I'm actually not a huge fan of how toppers look but it's hard to argue their functional benefits. Several times I had stuff in the bed of the truck getting wet in the rain that would have been nice and dry with a topper. The problem was I didn't want to spend several hundred or several thousand dollars on a good topper. I kept watching the local classifieds but had almost given up. Then one day one showed up about 150 miles from my home. It was a Snugtop XTR and was even the right color! What were the chances, especially since the mystic gold color isn't all that common? When I first saw the ad I thought it was a misprint. I had seen several of these tops show up in my earlier seach and the cheapest one I had seen was $1700 used. After just a little haggling I purchased this one for $270. I was stoked. It's a perfect fit and has great lines with the DC. I like the rack on top and the color was even a perfect match.



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Old 12-13-2011, 06:16 PM   #12
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I wanted to little more on my front bumper to I ordered a Trail Gear light hoop that is much shorter than the big stinger that they offer. This gave me a little better protection for the lights.







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Old 12-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #13
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Finally I was able to address the sagging rear springs. I once again called Cruiser Outfitters and picked up a D6XL OME add a leaf. Install was simple and gave me about 1" of lift back in the rear. More importantly, I could finally carry a load in the bed. I've been very happy with the suspension ever since. I am currently about 2.75" of lift in the front and about 3.5" of lift in the rear. I like a mild amount of rake so it's just right for me, and it rides nice a level with a load.

Before the AAL


After the AAL


I modified another swagman bracket to mount my shovel to the topper and used some conduit brackets to mount a pair of Thule load bars to the top. I had a couple small ubolts that I used to secure my hilift up there too.





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Old 12-13-2011, 06:28 PM   #14
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my hilift was in dire need of some attention. It has lived for the last 8 years on the back of my Land Cruiser and the winters had made it all rusty and it didn't work smooth. I picked up a rebuild kit with new climbing pins and springs and rebuilt my hilift.

Before




After


I purchased a bracket for my CO2 tank from a local fire equipment store and got it mounted in the bed.


I had a trip to Moab coming up and didn't want the extra weight of the topper on some of the trails. So I took it off and finished up some changes to my bed rack. This included finally installing the track system I had designed the rack around. I also picked up some surplus boxes to hold my trail tools and recovery gear. these boxes were a perfect fit for my bed rack.






The track system from an Air Force C130 with Air Force tie downs.


and the hilift worked like new again.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #15
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Only a few things have changed since then. I painted the bars on the topper black since I didn't like the gray. and I had some TRD stickers made to put on my wheels. I think it finished them off well.





I got some 3M Rubber treadplate from Walmart that I added to my rear bumper. Helps out a lot when using the bumper as a step.


I replaced the brake rotors and pads a while back and realized the calipers where showing their age. Purely a cosmetic mod, but I used some Duplicolor caliper paint to clean up the calipers.


Installed a B.A.M.F. proportioning valve relocation bracket.


And most recently I relocated my Maglite bracket from the back of my Land Cruiser to the cab of the Tacoma next to the shifter.


That's pretty much how the truck sits right now.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #16
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A few things lift on the list of mods to do. In no particular order.....

1: rear swing away tire carrier
2: cab mounted low profile roof rack
3: New Skidplates
4: Winch
5: rear frame plates

That will pretty much get me where I want to be with this truck. It's been great and I've really enjoyed it so far.

With that here's a few wheeling pics















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Old 12-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #17
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I never use the little cubby under my aftermarket headunit so I figured I could find a way to better use the space. Cut a little switch panel out of some sheetmetal and installed some new switches I got from OTRATTW.


Driving lights for my front Hellas

Rock Lights

and Backup Lights for my Hella Matador light that is on my bedrack.





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Old 12-22-2011, 08:31 PM   #18
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thats beautiful!
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #19
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nice write up. where did you get those switches?
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
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nice write up. where did you get those switches?
Got them HERE
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:30 AM   #21
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I like your truck, very usefull and well thought out.

Thanks, Cam-shaft.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:22 PM   #22
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Very nice and clean Taco! Painting the wheels black made a huge difference.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:06 PM   #23
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Finished building my tire carrier.




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Old 02-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #24
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Sharp looking rig... looks capable

Does it have stronger skid plates under 'dat junk yet ?
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so fuck off you little 18 yr old lying ass punk.
'00 Taco SR5, xtrcab, V6, 5-SP, 4X, and some extras...

Truck...
~n~ ...off road action photo's
Trailer...

Truck build --- Trailer build
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:40 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoDell View Post
Sharp looking rig... looks capable

Does it have stronger skid plates under 'dat junk yet ?
Not yet. But that's next on the list before I hit Moab in May. Just traying to decide if I build my own or buy. I'll probably buy the front skid and build my own t-case skid.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 PM   #26
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I use the All - Pro front skid plate...
Maybe that could be adapted to fit yer bumper ?

btw... that is also the All - Pro intermediate skid...
which covers the trans area...
of which still needs some beefing up.
But it makes swell for tying things together
front to back


Then I made up my own Tcase skid...
It's held up to some serious screw ups... LoL

In case ya haven't come across my execution
And it might be of any help to your interests...

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...d.php?t=126934
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so fuck off you little 18 yr old lying ass punk.
'00 Taco SR5, xtrcab, V6, 5-SP, 4X, and some extras...

Truck...
~n~ ...off road action photo's
Trailer...

Truck build --- Trailer build
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:22 PM   #27
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Nice looking tire carrier. You might consider installing some rubber bumps to the back side of it though. Over time it will start to rock back and forth towards the bed, and the bumps will keep it from putting a dent in the tailgate or back glass.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:50 PM   #28
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Damn, whoever put the windshield in that truck did a good job!
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:13 AM   #29
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Quote:
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Damn, whoever put the windshield in that truck did a good job!
Absolutely!
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoDell View Post
I use the All - Pro front skid plate...
Maybe that could be adapted to fit yer bumper ?

btw... that is also the All - Pro intermediate skid...
which covers the trans area...
of which still needs some beefing up.
But it makes swell for tying things together
front to back


Then I made up my own Tcase skid...
It's held up to some serious screw ups... LoL

In case ya haven't come across my execution
And it might be of any help to your interests...

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...d.php?t=126934
Thanks! That gives me some good ideas. Trying to get the skids together before Moab in May.
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