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239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The original build thread is located:

I will try to paste all the sections here as well for people that are intrested.

OK, my canvas of choice is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Access Cab 4x4 in Silver.

Like this one:

My plan was to run her stock until my original tires wore out, then if I had no problems with her at that point, it would be time to start building her…well the time has come! So here are my plans:

Phase 1

Wheels/tires and suspension:
- 255/85/16 BFG Mud Terrain KM2
- 16” FJ SE Anthracite wheels (including spare)
- Full OME suspension all around. Looking at the 886 Coils as I intend to run winch, etc.

- Sliders (I would like a custom set that combines AJ’s original design with “kick ups” and all-pros “kick out” design. However if this is too expensive to have made, I will put on all-pros
- Allpro Plate Bumper (would like to add custom headlight protection like the ARB)
- Possible limb risers

- Custom Roof Rack (Planning on building my own, wish me luck)
- Bestop Softop

- 2x PIAA fogs in the bumper
- 2x PIAA driving on top of bumper
- 4x PIAA Driving Lights on rack
- 4x PIAA rectangle lights (2 rear and 2 side facing) on rack
- Yaesu 8900r
- Onboard Air (not set on system yet)
- Winch Probably M8000

Phase 2:

ARB Air Lockers Front and Rear (also regear for the larger tires)

- Custom rear bumper with Tire Gate
- Bud Build Skids
- Safari Snorkel

- Dual Battery System (National Luna)
- 50" LED Light Bar

- Hood Blackout
- Magnetic Comm Handset Mounts
- Custom Relay Bank


This is not necessarily the order I will be doing everything. For example, the dual battery will come sooner if I do get all these lights going. I will also be doing lots of small things like sway bar removal, breather extensions, etc. These will all be contained in the write-up, just not outlined above.

Current State:


239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wheels and Tires

Well, my stock wheels finally died, so we all know what this means…TIME TO START MY BUILD!

After MUCH research, I finally settled on a set of 255/85 16 BFG Mud Terrains KM2. I really love the pizza cutter look, as well as the benefits this gives me.

I cannot STAND the TRD sport wheels, so I was planning on trading someone for the stock off-road wheels, however, I got VERY lucky (as these are HARD to get) and was able to get a full set (including spare) of the Limited Edition FJ Anthracite wheels. I love the look of these wheels.

So, without further ado, here is my tire/wheel combo :wings:.

Now to convince my truck to allow these to fit on her! Haha OME susp, here I come!

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bestop Soft Top

Ok, this write-up is a little different; I have actually had the bestop on my truck for several years now, so this is more of a “review/what I have done to modify it over the years” write-up than an install write-up. Hope this is useful to people running into the problems I had, or thinking about installing this. (Note: pay no attention to the chorme offorad wheels in the pics, they are placeholders for now until I can get my new wheels fitted)

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend the top. As it has been great, there were just a few obstacles to get over after several years of use.

The History:

Well when attacking the bed, I had some constraints I had to work around.

First, I needed something removable, as I use my truck to haul my motorcycle to the track, which stands higher than the top of most campers. While most camper tops are removable, my next constraint really limited me. I live in an apt with a single parking spot, so leaving a fiberglass shell in my spot was pretty much out of the question. This left me with two options, the Bestop Softtop, or the Softopper. Both of which collapse and remain on the truck. I decided to go with the bestop as I like having the windows while I am sleeping in the back.

The bestop is nice because it has 3 basic modes:

UP (Acting like a typical camper shell):

This is great for protecting things, and also sleeping inside. I have actually camped inside of it while ice climbing in Lee Vining, and I must admit, it actually stays pretty darn warm inside; the canvas is pretty thick.

As you can see in this picture, it can support quite a bit of snow on top without collapsing..haha

I cannot say she is COMPLETELY sealed, as a SMALL amount of water CAN leak in the front corners at the bed rails, however, it is a very small amount and only if the rain hits it right. To alleviate this, I have gotten the rubber bed mad. This allows for a nice rubber mat to sleep on, while also giving the bed a “false floor”. Any water that does creep in finds its way UNDER the rubber mat, keeping me nice and dry on top of the mat.


I have found this mode to be quite useful on hot days on Joshua tree climbing when you need shade. I have even had my truck at the base of a climb and belayed out of it..haha. this mode works great if you just want shade, almost like an awning.


It takes approximately 5 EASY minutes to collapse her fully, and this allows a fully open bed to haul my bike or any large things. As all of us with a truck knows, we always get called upon when friends need to move, and this allows for full loads.


Now for the modifications that I have had to make after several years of use.


First off, the rivets that are used as the pivot points and to hold the upright bars are NOT stainless, and they WILL rust out. After about a years and a half, I finally got around to drilling them out. I installed some nice stainless hardware with lock washers and locktite to make sure the opening and closing does not back them off.

The side windows actually rest up and rub against the heads of the upper hardware, so to keep from wearing a nasty hole in the sides, I put these screw caps on. This also makes it look cleaner when the windows are out.

After 2 years, the paint started to wear in several places after repeated “up and downs”. This allowed for a TINY bit of surface rust on some parts. Luckily the whole thing is VERY easy to take apart so I just simply took her apart, gave a slight scotch brite rubbing and rustoliumed the rusted parts. Flat Black worked great and blended well so I didn’t have to paint everything.

While I had her apart I also painted the aluminum clamps with rustolium, as they were starting to show small signs of corrosion as well. I think it actually makes everything blend better having them black too. (You can see the two clamps up front are not painted below so you can see the contrast between painted and not)


While discussing the clamps, another issue I discovered was that at high speeds, the Velcro that is supplied to hold the front (under the window) down to the bed rails was not sufficient and would pull up due to the wind force. This made an annoying flapping noise form the bed. TO alleviate this, I was able to get 2 spare clamps from bestop and use them on the front flap. Have never had a problem since I did that.

Another random noise issue was front the clasps. When the top is installed upright, the claps hangs down between the cab and the bed. Whiled driving, the plastic clasp would hit the bed and make an annoying ticking noise. This may not bother most ppl, but it annoyed the heck out of me, so to alleviate this, I wrapped the clasp in foam and wrapped some electrical tape around it. Noise gone.

That is all the mods I have had to do, and overall this top has stood up VERY well to a lot of punishment and I HIGHLY recommend it!

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OME Lift Install

After much research, the lift I chose was a OME lift. All in all, the parts I used were as follows:

Thanks to Wil from Sierra Expedition:victory::

OME front coils (886 due to winch and bumper)
OME 90000 Nitrocharger Shocks
OME 182 Rear Shocks
OME Dakar Spring set (CSO47R no extra leaf set)
OME Driveshaft Packer Kit (FK29)
New U-bolts (supplied by Sierra Expedition)

Toyota Bushings
Toyotec 3 degree axel shims

10mm lift enhancer kit from wheelers (

I opted to not go for a diff drop as I have heard they are pretty useless on the 05+ Tacomas.

As you can see below, the OME components are CONSIDERABLY larger and more robust than the stock bilsteins.

Lessons Learned/Advice from Install
I will not get into the details of how to install the lift, its is pretty strait forward, a few bolts come out, new parts go in, and the bolts go back in. I think instead, I will discuss some unforeseen issues/lessons learned for people that are planning on doing the lift themselves. Hopefully you find this useful:

First thing is first, there is no way you are going to be able to do this alone, this is at least a 2 person job. My friend has an auto shop so I was able to use a FULL lift, and it still took two people. I would HATE to have tried this with a small jack and some jack stands! So, besides the obvious tools, you will need a friend and of course a pack of your favorite beverage:

As far as the install goes, I HIGHLY recommend you get access to a press, you will need it for the bushings for sure. If you are like me and you purchased the 10mm lift enhancer, you will also use it for that, as you must press the stock bolts out of the spline and install longer ones:

As far as actually installing the front, the sway bar must be removed (I left mine off…review of this further down) and I also found it easier to remove the tie rod as the OME shocks are considerable longer than the OEM ones and they are hard to jockey into position.

Once they are in position and you get the top loosely bolted into place, you must use a LOT of brute force (2 people with pry bars in my case) to force the lower A-arm down enough to seat the shock.

As for the rear, with the exception of the DAKAR springs being quite hefty, the install is very strait forward, remember though, on the rear of the springs, you must take the whole shackle off, as you will not be able to get an impact in to get just the leaf pack out.

One thing I did discover though, that you will need to remember, is when reassembling, the center pin on the leaf pack sticks up higher than the original. This causes a clearance issue when you go to put the bump stop back on. It is very easy to drill the bumpstop hole deeper though.

And here she is standing VERY tall with her new shoes (255/85) :wings:…. (It should settle a bit, but it defiantly seems a LOT more than the advertised lift height..haha).

Post Lift Findings:

After having the lift on for a few days, here are my findings, and thoughts on it.

With the sway bar removed, there is not much body roll at all (maybe due to the stiff 886), though the susp does feel “squishy”. I am not sure how to describe it. If you have ever driven a jeep wrangler, you know how the susp just seems to squish, that’s how she feels, though she handles well, even at So Cal highway speeds.

At highway speeds, my speedo now reads about 10 mph off (I am going 70 mph when I see 60mph on the speed). Just something for people to keep in mind after this install.

As far as vibrations go, I know a lot of ppl complain about “post lift vibrations” however for me, it seems to be opposite. Prior to lifting her, I had some vibrations as I just started taking off, however, after the lift, the vibrations have seemed to stop..haha (Remember I did install axel shims)

I have not been able to check gas mileage, and I am sure its gone down, however, one thing I do notice, is that at cruising speeds, my RPM are MUCH lower now (result of the larger diameter tire).

The only significant change I feel I MUST mention is the BRAKING. PLEASE NOTE that with the 255/85 I have added a LOT of rolling mass, and the braking ability of the stock brakes HAS decreased. Not saying she wont stop, but it does take a bit more, so if you are installing this please keep that in mind, no tailgating!

Haven’t had a chance to take her wheeling yet, will report on that at a later date.

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Allpro Bumper Install

I chose the allpro mainly because I liked the look of it, though the modular design seemed like a good idea, if one part gets messed up, I can just replace that rather than a whole bumper.

I live pretty close to allpro, so I picked it up myself. Upon opening the two boxes (the modular design makes it pretty easy to ship, two smaller boxes) the first thing I noticed was the packing, had I shipped this, I could not imagine it would get hurt, they packaging was very well done.

Once I pulled the parts out, the assembly was very strait forward, and the directions were quite clear, though it would be easy to figure out even without the directions.

As I got to building it, I discovered the quality of the bumper was second to none. All the holes for every bolt lined up perfectly. I never once had to try to “force” things together. Considering you are dealing with steel that has been welded (warped, etc) I was very impressed. As you can see here, everything lines up beautifully.

The XRC winch fit VERY easily too, especially since I had relocated the solenoid box.

I decided to go with the PIAA 510 fogs inside (they will be wired to the stock wiring harness). I really like the look of the rock guards so I set out trying to figure out how to fit them into the allpro bumper. I quickly learned that if you simply sand (I used a dremel) some material off the two sides (not that much) they are quite easy to slide (with a bit of force) into the slots prior to mounting the lights:

And here she is assembled and ready to go on the truck:

Once it was time to install it onto the truck, I quickly realized that I was VERY grateful to have friends to help out. The bumper and winch combination are defiantly NOT easy to handle alone. Once again the holes lined up perfectly on my truck, and it was pretty easy to mount. The hardest part was just lifting the thing.
A lesson learned for anyone in the future: We discovered that it is easiest to set it on a hydraulic jack that has wheels, then you can jack it to the height you want and wheel it back into the bolts. Worked very well.

And here she is all mounted :wings::

As far as the winch wiring, you can see I simply routed them in front of the radiator support and zip tied them in place.

I plan to add tubular light protection like the ARB. This will have light tabs, antenna tabs for HAM and CB as well as limb riser mounting places (if I ever feel like adding those).

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
XRC8 Winch Installation - Solenoid Relocation

Mechanically, the winch installation is very strait forward; just mount the thing on the bumper. The end..haha
Now electrically, I decided to do some customization and make it a bit more complicated (especially for me, I am a mechanical Engineer, electricity scares me! Haha)

I decided to do two things:
- Relocate Solenoid to Under the hood
- Install In-Cab Winch Controls

To relocate the solenoid I had to first find a place to put it. I was already making a bracket to mount my auxiliary fuse block (See for fuse block installation) so I decided I would try to add the solenoid.

First order of business was to protect it somehow, after searching the isles of the local home depot for a good half an hour, my wonderful girlfriend points to a shelf and says “what about that, will that work?” Low and behold there was a PERFECT vessel to mount my solenoid. A 4” x 4” x 4” junction box.

First I drilled all necessary holes to mount the solenoid.

Then cut a notch to run the plug for the remote out the back side.

I then cut a big notch on the front to allow for the large cables to run out to the battery and winch.

Next order of business was to get some cables that would reach all the way to the winch from its new location. After a faily expensive trip to west marine for some marine grade 2 gage wire, I had enough cable to reach my winch.

All that was left was to install the aux fuse block/solenoid braket in the engine bay. Here you can see the final result, the solenoid box is under the bracket. You can kind of see the cables running out from under it.

Now onto the in cab controls…

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
XRC8 In-Cab Controls

I decided I wanted to run in-cab winch controls, while also retaining my original “remote” plug. This gives me the ability to run the winch from in the cab, or, if need be, I can connect the original controller and relocate myself to a position where I can watch the winch.

I also decided I wanted everything to look as stock as possible, which threw in its own challenges.

The first order of business was to relocate the original remote plug from the solenoid. This was pretty strait forward. I made a longer harness that forked off so that I could route one set of wires to the original plug, and the second up to the in-cab controls.

I then drilled a hole in the lower dash area above my pedals and ran the wires out.

All that was left was to connect and install the original plug.

This allows me to plug the original remote in and be able to walk out and see the winch if I am winching alone.

Next was to install the in-cab controls. As I mentioned before, I wanted to make it as stock as possible. For this reason I decided to use a stock 05+ Tacoma double cab rear window switch for the in and out of the switch.

I also wanted to run stock “fog light” style power switch, however the stock switches turned out to be too deep for the location I wanted to install them, so I went with some Blue Sea conutra switches.

I used a laser inscriber at work to “etch” the labels of each switch (winch power, in, out, etc). I am planning on painted the etching with white paint to make it stand out, but that will be later, for now, you can still read them.

The location I decided was on the overhead console. I thought this would make it look somewhat stock as apposed to having random switches scattered around my dash. I used milling machine to cut the slots (more accurate than my dremel) and got everything lined up.

Here are all the switches in place:

I then routed the “fork” that I had soldered into the original harness up the a-pillar and behind the headliner so that it would reach the switches, all that was left was to plug them in, and here is the final product.

Hard to see, but this is the LED for the winch power lit up:

Note that I also installed my 4 switches that will run my roof top lights (once I finish that project)

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aux Fuse Block Install

First off, I want to give credit to tooblutacoma06 and his install thread:

I had the fuse block, but his thread gave me inspiration to install it finally. It was done much like his.

Tools and parts needed:
About 13” x 11” 16 gage stainless steel
Metal Brake

Blue Sea 12 circuit fuse block (
Blue Sea 300 Amp Fuse Block (
100A Fuse


I first made a cardboard template:

Then found some scrap 16 gage stainless steel lying around. After some cutting, drilling and bending, I had a mount made up. A quick can of rusolium (I know, its stainless, I don’t need it, but I wanted it black, and had some laying around) here she is:

Unlike tooblutacoma06, I opted for a cheaper solution to my 100 amp breaker, as I could not justify spending $80 on a breaker that is made to protect the $50 fuse block. Though if I had the money, I would have! Haha.

As you can see in the picture, the bracket houses my Blue Sea 12 circuit fuse block as well as a Blue Sea 100 amp fuse to protect it. I have also added a section to hold up to 8 relays. On the bottom side of the bracket is a 4”x4”x4” junction box that is now the new home to my winch solenoid. (See for winch installation and wiring).

In order to make room for my winch solenoid box, I had to move the secondary small fuse box attachment thingy from my truck, so I made a cutout that will hold it stationary (tight fit to pin it in place) you can see it pinned against the fender now.

And here she is all mounted. This now gives me relay mounting location for lights (once I get my roof rack project going) as well as an aux fuse block for CB, HAM, lights, and anything else my heart desires.


239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Black Trim Install

This is another very quick one so I will not do an in-depth write-up. If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask and I can get more detailed with more pics if need be. Please PM me with questions

Before I had my 06 TRD sport, I had an 05 base model:

I fell in love with the black trim on that truck, both for aesthetics as well as function (branches cannot scratch paint off of black plastic), so I decided I wanted the black trim on my sport.

Luckily it is not hard to find off-road guys that want color matched stuff, so a trade was easy to find for my mirrors and handles (still looking to trade my fenders an grille surround, hint hint)

For both the mirrors and the handles you must remove the door panels. This is very easy, two screws (behind handle and behind door opener handle thing). There is also one “pop” clip towards the front of the panel. Once those are out, just pull the bottom of the panel out (there are lots of clips) and lift it out.

For the mirrors, you must also pull the triangular trim off right above the door panel. This is just three clips…just pull.

The mirrors are VERY easy, just 3 bolts and your good to go.

The door handles are pretty simple as well. There is a black plug on the inside of the door jam, behind this is a screw.

Remove the screw and the lock portion of the handle will come out. Then (from the inside of the door panel) you will see one more screw on the remaining handle, remove this and simply slide the handle back (away from the engine) and out she comes. To install new ones, just reverse the procedure.

And here is the outcome on my 06 SPORT model:


239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quick Fist Flashlight Holder

This was a quick mod that does not require much of a write-up, and many people have done it. It is very convenient though and has already proven to be useful (I use my flashlight a lot to route wires for other installs).

There is one thing that I did discover that I have not heard anyone mention though. When installing them, they come with a plastic “washer” of sorts. If you try to tighten the bolts too tight, the heads will actually pull THORUGH the plastic where the counter sink is. To fix this, I simply installed a normal metal flat washer:

And here is the final product…now for a fire extinguisher…..I recommend quick fists to ANYONE!


239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

234 Posts
You've done a lot of nice clean work, especially the electrical. You might consider a rubber grommet or clamp at the radiator support pass thru to prevent chaffing your winch cables.
Love your switches/etching, very professional looking.

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You've done a lot of nice clean work, especially the electrical. You might consider a rubber grommet or clamp at the radiator support pass thru to prevent chaffing your winch cables.
Love your switches/etching, very professional looking.
I completely agree, I was going to run some wire covering, but a rubber grommet is a great idea as well..thanks!

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A Few Cosmetic Upgrades

Well this round of mods has no real purpose but cosmetics, but I figured I would post it up anyway, as this contains my FAVORITE mod to DATE!!!!!

First off, you guys probably know that swapped out my color match parts (mirrors and handles) for black plastic ones. This was both cosmetic and functional as this plastic is less prone to chipping like paint. To keep with the theme, I got my hands on a base model grille surround and traded my color matched grille.

In addition, to make it flow better, I finally broke down and did the “black headlight mod”. I was trying to get away with not doing this, as this is a very common mod among the x runners and mall cruisers, but the chrome headlights didn’t look right with the front grille. I think the overall look came out good with my existing allpro bumper being black.



And now for my FAVORITE MOD TO DATE!!!!!!! (drum-roll please!)

I have transformed my truck from a TRD sport model to the coveted TRD EXPEDITION MODEL!!!!!!!!!!!

I chose to do red because I think it works with the Red TRD in the center caps of the FJ wheels I have

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Slider Build

Hey Guys, well the next stop on my truck build is a good set of sliders, unfortunately none of the sliders on the market are what I am looking for, so I decided to go custom. I cannot say I am building these. I can weld, but fear my skills are not up to par enough for a strong set of sliders, and I lack a tube bender. I enlisted the help of a fabricator down in San Diego area. The guy is very good, and was looking to start making second gen sliders, so it worked perfectly, he makes the sliders how I want, and he can use mine as a jig to work out the mounting points and everything. Win -win for both of us.

We are still not completely done yet (should be done Wednesday), but I wanted to post this to get people opinions and see if there is any place for here we go:

Basic specs on the sliders:

Tube: HREW 1-3/4" x 120
AC & 4DSB Length: 82"
Frame Plate Thickness: 1/4"
Gusset Thickness: 1/4"
Bolt on Hardware: 1/2" grade 8 with 1/4" thick inner nut plates (nut welded on plate)
Rear Mounting Foot: allows leaf hanger on frame to slide over obstacles

(DOM or Cromoly available but cost more, but HREW is very strong as you will see below in my “testing”)

Here are pictures of the drivers side after we got the basic slider done and mounting figured out:

The mounting for a bolt on 05+ is very "non" strait forward. The holes in the frame do not line up nicely at all, and it is very hard to get a good mount close to the front and rear of the slider. We were able to figure out a good custom bracket and means tou mount it (the frame is boxed this far up, so you need to reach far into the frame. The front leg is only about 7” from the front of the slider. This means that the most critical place on the slider (the front, as that is where you come down onto rocks most commonly) is FULLY supported. I dare you (that have sliders) to go out and measure the distance to your first leg. Most sliders on the market these days are much further than 7”. (you can see the front mount in the pictures below)

The rear was also a challenge, as we did not want to leave a long gap unsupported. E devised a VERY clever rare mount that is only about 9” from the rear of the slider. Once again, this means that the rear of the slider is FULLY supported. Also, the rear mount is pretty cool as it acts as a sort of slider to where your leaf back mounts and blends what is normally a sharp edge on the stock Tacoma:

Here are a few shots mocked up and then installed on the truck:

Before we decided to finalize the design, we wanted to test them….so how do we test a set of sliders? The HI LIFT TEST!!!!!

So, first off, my truck is by NO means lightweight. I have full winch bumper, with winch, 33+” tires all the way around, larger susp components, etc. I also had a FULL load of wheels/tires in the back of my truck (my spare 33+” and 5 stock OR wheels and tires) and a full tank of gas.

So, what is the hi lift test? JACK THE ENTIRE SIDE (not just one wheel) off the ground using the CENTER (longest tube allowing for most "bowing") of the slider (Notice both wheels are off the ground):

There was MINIMAL flex (though the fabricator was still wants less so is investigating ways of making it less). However, I am not worried about this as the flex was VERY minimal, and working as an aerospace engineer, I know materials, and I know that NO (affordable) material will not flex. Flex is ok as long as you stay in the elastic region of the material, meaning, as long as it come back to how it was before, you are good to go… and as you can see by the following pics….it did!!!

You can see the before in the pics above.

After Test:

Now remember, we are lifting the ENTIRE vehicle from the CENTER of the slider, and she bounced right back to where we started. I’d say it passed

Now onto the other custom part I wanted, a kickup. Here are a few teaser pics of my special kickup that we are working on (please note, supports for the hoop will be added, this is just a teaser pic). Hopefully by Wends they will be fully supported and ready for a few cans of rustolim!!!!!

So, those are going to be my sliders. If anyone has comments or ideas let me know, as the fabricator is always open to improvement, he is all about making a good product that will function properly. I am VERY happy with how mine are turning out, and how they performed though (hence this slight ad for hime..haha).

And now for the advertising, he made me a beautiful set of sliders, and I fully believe this guy does good work, so I figure I can pay it forward, if anyone is interested in a set like mine, you can contact the fabricator as described below. I do not get a cut or anything if you buy his stuff, I really am just very satisfied and would like this guy to be successful with his new sliders.

Contact info for the fabricator
Name on Tacoma World, TTORA, etc: Beefed Taco

I am not making these, just helping, so if you have questions, I may be able to help, but for details contact the fabricator above. Also, if you want to know about pricing and buying a set, contact the fabricator above.

Completed Sliders

Well after a few coats of rustoleum, they are finally done!

Here are some pics of them mounted. The mounting went on with no hitch at all, I was able to do it alone (as these would probably break my gf in half). All the bolts dropped right into place and lined up perfectly….and here is the finally results:

Now to go beat them up.

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
XRC8 Maintenance

Well I finally pulled off my all-pro bumper for some “alterations” I have been planning, on while it was off, I took the time to do a few fixes on the winch.

First off, grease. For anyone that has tried to freewheel the XRC out, you will know you have to pull DAMN hard. The grease they use inside this thing is more like glue than grease. So I decided to open her up and put some GOOD grease in it.

Here you can see the gooey grease they use:

After a LOT of degreasing, I finally got the gears cleaned off and started to rebuild it.

Here you can see it packed with some good quality grease!

Once I got her back together, the difference was night and day, you could pull the line out with one hand and it didn’t take much force at all! It was great! I highly recommend this to ANYONE with an XRC winch.

Next up was the electrical stuff. Something that was pointed out to me by FlatBlak ( was the electrical ground terminal. This winch pulls a LOT of current (as all winches do) so you want to make sure all terminals have a good connection, however the factory ground terminal has the majority of its surface painted:

After some scraping and filing, I had a nice surface to contact with the lugs. I feel much better about this now:

Then I decided I wanted to protect the wires a bit better up front, while I used all marine grade cables, I decided to shield them just for good measure. I shielded all the cables and put a plastic grommet where they run through the front radiator support.

One last thing I noticed when taking it apart was that there was some SLIGHT surface rust on the bolt that holds the synthetic line to the drum. I am not sure if this is a big deal, but I decided to upgrade it to stainless just in case.

I feel much better about this winch now and feel it is ready to save my @$$ if I get into some trouble.

239 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Snorkel Install on 05+ Tacoma

Well after crossing the water crossing on the Mojave Road MULTIPLE times during a recovery operation, and seeing how DUSTY my air filter was after 3 days out in the Mojave, I figured it was high time to install my snorkel.

Now as most probably know, there is no snorkel made for the 05 Tacoma, however, it has been discovered that it is possible to modify a snorkel for a 2.8L Helix Diesel.

Parts List:
Part# ARB SS135HFD
3”-3” Rubber Flexible Coupler
6” Length of 3” exhaust pipe (muffler shop scrap yard)

First step was to get it in place. Unfortunately, since it is not made for an 05+ Tacoma, the template can be used for nothing more than getting the holes lined up with respect to each other, so to actually decided where the snorkel goes, it is just a lot of mocking it up, lining up the antenna spot, as well as the A-pillar mount, and hoping you got it. Once you think you got it, its time to cross the point of no return, and drill a BIG @$$ hole in the side fo your truck.

Now, once the holes are all drilled, it is time to mock it up and drill the A-pillar holes in place.

There are a few gaps, as the body lines are not the same as the helix, but they are not noticeable unless you REALLY get up close and look at it.

Believe it or not, this was the easy parts….its now time to plumb it.

Now there are many different methods to doing this. I chose to reuse my stock intake tubing bu cutting it off behind the big bulge. This allows me to use the stock flexible tubing.

After a LOT of muscling the rubber elbow that came with the snorkel to get it to come out at a somewhat useable angle, I was able to connect the 6 in piece of muffler tubing and connect the two.

Also note, there are two holes in the filter box that need to be sealed to make it watertight. Sorry I did not get more pics to help along, I was in a hurry to install it and didn’t get many.

Anyway, here is the final product:

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