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2004 Toyota Tacoma TRD with 3" ToyTec lift and 265/75/16 BFG AT's
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So, I generally try to do most of the work myself on my trucks. This is part of the reason why I'll always own a Toyota. I have a comfort level with what work has been done and what the truck can handle. It also gives me a peace of mind to know that I installed an OEM part that will last.

However, I also live in Ohio where it gets stupid cold in the winter and I really don't want to be out in the garage freezing my arse off. My wife also prefers that when it comes to her car, that a shop do the work. This is because I'm a big gorilla and I have a tendency to brake an occasional thing or two.

So, how many of you do your own work on your trucks?
 

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95.5 Tacoma
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I haven't taken my truck to a mechanic in almost 10yrs. I've done everything from engine swap, clutch work, valve adjustment, etc. Tire shop and smog tests are about the only work I send the truck out for. Socal climate and lack of rust helps though.
 

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2001 DDSB Tacoma, 2002 4Runner with bumpers and lift, 2008 Rav4
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I do most of it except tire changes/balance, state inspections and an occasional complex task. My son and I bought a two post lift ($1700) for his garage to finally get us up off the ground. Now it’s probably time to put some heat in there too. The lift has paid for itself in work we can now do that we wouldn’t have done before. I’m lucky he lives a mile away!
 

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I do minor work, routine maintenance, no motor swaps or anything too involved. Last major repair I had done at a shop was having the heads replaced. My biggest issue, and really the main reason I don’t get too deep into big repairs, is that I lack the space to do it. My driveway is sloped and the garage is small. Never been the kind to do work while parked on the street.
 

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i do the super basic easy sort of stuff by myself - for nearly every other thing i just bite the bullet and go to a shop. i try to get the best deal available but dont haggle - i just find the most reliable and experienced show. i know it sometimes cost money but i do not have the time or experience or to do other things. so i bite the bullet. but i do keep up with the maintenance timeline so its okay.
 

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I was a mechanic for about 8 years. It was $92 a hour when I quit. So. I do my own repairs. Cuz, I don’t trust anyone else to do it right. Peace of mind I guess. I only thing I haven’t done is the front wheel bearing. I don’t have a 10 ton press it’s on my wish list. A good friend Brian use to do them for me in the pass. RIP to him killed by a 17 year old kid on his phone. He was a super great guy. He made a sweet tool for me for doing the half shafts. I will keep that tool until my last day. The last bearing he did for me he was killed a week later. I had one bearing done after that shop messed it up did the bearing spacer back in. Never again I have owned two 4Runners 1997 limited 320,000 miles currently 2000 SR5 230,000 miles 1999 Tacoma TRD sold it way to early.
 

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So, I generally try to do most of the work myself on my trucks. This is part of the reason why I'll always own a Toyota. I have a comfort level with what work has been done and what the truck can handle. It also gives me a peace of mind to know that I installed an OEM part that will last.

However, I also live in Ohio where it gets stupid cold in the winter and I really don't want to be out in the garage freezing my arse off. My wife also prefers that when it comes to her car, that a shop do the work. This is because I'm a big gorilla and I have a tendency to brake an occasional thing or two.

So, how many of you do your own work on your trucks?
I know I have not been on TTORA for years. But I do most of my work on my Toyotas myself, only sent it out for AC work, tires and Auto Inspection. I sent it out my Toyota 4x4 truck for wheel alignment, and Auto Safety Check at local “franchise repair shop,” because I was too lazy, and too stupid! I ended paying through my A$$! They have some bullshit policy they cannot install customer supplied parts, unless OEM parts from dealer. Some bullshit reason about warranty. They also charge $125 for labor if was not mistaken. Never again I go back to this shop for wheel alignment or any other chit.
 

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16 Tundra 82 Pickup
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I do all my own work other than State inspections. But then again I do this for a living. I didnt even take my new tundra for the first 2 free oil changes.
 

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My only concern with doing my own work on certain jobs is that I live where a flood can flow water across my property. A couple of inches up to 5 feet.

If had a flood and broke a tool or part I have a 4 hour round trip to the store

Regular maintenance always myself. If i had a second vehicle and permanent dry spot to wrench I could take on bigger projects. I'd like another similar Tacoma for parts switching.
 

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2001 Tacoma TRD Off-Road
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Hi All - first post here of TTORA, so take this with a grain of salt.

I do a mix of 80 DIY, 20% Professional work.It started out of necessity because I couldn't afford a mechanic and had to get stuff done. Investing in a copy of the factory service manual, and learning from the online Toyota community has paid off big-time. I've done work on pretty much every system in my 2001 Tacoma TRD Off Road and I think the value in knowing how it all works together is irreplaceable.
That being said, I have also recently developed a great relationship with a couple professional technicians which have also proved to be far more valuable than the money they charged me. First was a guy ("Mike" as I recall) from Auto Rust Technicians in RI whose necromantic wizardry saved my rig when the frame rusted clean through over the rear axle. Great work, great guy, fellow 1st gen taco owner. I could never hold a candle to what he can do with a welder and sandblaster. He also had the trained eye to look over the entirety of the truck, and warranties his work against rust for 20 years.
Another story of a pro saving my ass is recently I dropped off my truck with a local mechanic to solve a few nagging problems that I didn't have time to solve (I'm in the last stretch of nursing school, so time is scarce). Main thing was my 5VZ-FE engine has had a super slow engine oil leak for about 80,000 miles. Slow enough to not effect oil level between changes, but for long enough to coat everything below the engine in oil (not always a bad thing in the rust belt). I've replaced the valve cover gaskets, and crankshaft seal which had no effect on the leak. He was able to diagnose that there was some wear on a rod end cap (i think?) from a prior owner having run it low or dry. He re-machined the part, showed my photos of what he found and how we fixed it. He was super transparent, complemented my recent timing belt job, and also replaced a number of coolant hoses for free.

I think my two cents is that doing your own work gives you irreplaceable insight into the real value of expert work. On one hand if I had a mechanic do everything, I'd be broke and would still have things to fix. On the other, if I did everything myself I would I would probably still be working on fixing things that either - I broke, don't need fixing, or would've been an easier job if only I knew to do it sooner.

-Gabe
 

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I try to do most of it myself. However, I live next to a river that floods often. Having my truck on jackstands for to long makes me uncomfortable. I've lost 2 trucks already.
 
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