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2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figure it was time to join some of these forums. I’ve been browsing and researching for the last 6 months since picking up my tacoma from an old family friend. At first it started with me just wanting to daily it but it is hard to keep things alone with any vehicle.

Everything is going into a 2001 Toyota Tacoma 4x4, Manual trans, j-shift t-case, 3rz. Odo reas 149xxx miles!

I started taking the cab and bed off to clean the frame which was surprisingly rust free and took the truck down to every piece I could. The frame was coated in por15 along with every other suspension component. Cross members were pulled out and all new hardware installed once put back together. If a bolt was rusted or fought me. I made it easy and cut it off or broke it off to just

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Slowly I moved the to interior. Gutted it and deeply cleaned every inch then took the seat covers off and gave them a few cycles in the washer and shampooed the carpet then pressure washed it one final time.
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back to the suspension I decided to go with Sonoran steel lower front control arm bushings, new Toyota Eccentric Bolts paired with a set of Durobump bump stops. The upper control arms are SPC I snagged from a local vendor. New Backing Plates went into my refurbished spindles as well as Toyota lower ball joints, wheel bearings, hubs, and seals. Marlin crawler SS brake lines and clutch lines followed after with a new slave cylinder as well. For brakes I opted for oreillys calipers and rotors
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moving onto the rear axle I scored a blown TRD E-locking rear end for $100 on FB marketplace that was blown but my plan was to gear to 4.88s so Yukon gears were ordered and all new bearings and seals as well. The rear axle was also stripped, and coated in por15. New wheel bearings, backing plates, seals, drum shoes, wheel cylinders, and brake hardware including bel crank kits went in. I rebuilt the e locker actuator since a capacitor was blown in it and scooped a yota masters wiring harness to have independent control of the rear end as I please.
A Yukon triple drilled flange and ECGS solid pinion spacer found their way in as well



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· Registered
2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
moving to the front diff I decided to install a spartan locker for the time being. On day I plan to solid axle swap this truck so I wasn’t looking to dump 1k plus on a pneumatic or electronic locker. Yukon 4.88 gears and new Toyota bearings with a ECGS solid pinion spacer and needle bearing eliminator kit also were slapped in at this point and FIPG sealant to close it all up. The front ADD actuator was in great shape so it was refreshed and put back where it came.

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Suspension was next on the list. This was a tough one. I’ve been a bilstein fan for years and have built many custom setups around their higher end shocks for other cars. I researched every brand there was out there and while some are probably better for doing extreme off roading I don’t see myself using this truck off road every day so I opted for front bilstein 6112 2.5” shocks and springs then a set of rear bilstein 5165 11” travel reservoir shocks with 255/70 valving. Leaf packs were OME units also supplied from a local vendor.

while installing I also made new brake lines using 316 marine grade SS with stainless protection sleeves over them for the rear axle. Marlin extended brake line, jegs proportioning valve and deleted the return line that goes to the front. The front brakes became isolated at this point as well.

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2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Moving to the transfer case, since I didn’t think to swapping to manual hubs until after I went through all the labor and expenses rebuilding my ADD front end. I went with a twin stick kit from Front Range Off Road. The cost was great considering the detail put into it. It’s hard to find good machined parts for a good price so props to those guys for making this. since I will be running 33” tires I also installed a 33 tooth speed gear in the rear of the case as well.


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With the lift installed my old driveshaft looked fine but my carrier bearing was shot so a new Toyota unit went in and to help with cv angles a Sonoran Steel diff drop kit as well. The rear axle received a 3° shim in place so hopefully I don’t have any shuddering or shakes at speed but we will see.

since most of the hard part was done I decided to slap the bed back on and give it a quick roll on Bedliner and detail the truck for the first time in its life. I used Herculiner for this since I do like the texture of it


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Wheels came next, luckily I found a set of Work Crag multi piece wheels for a steal on marketplace once again haha eventually I will change the color but they are 15x8 et0 4.5” backspacing. Pretty sure I will need a spacer for them or I will end up swapping some other barrels and lips to them and make a custom offset but I do like some higher end wheels and to be different.
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This is sort of where I am at right now with this build. Countless other small things here and there I’ve done but figure I’d show the bigger things done. If you made it this far. I appreciate you taking time to read through it. I still have a ways to go but it’s definitely worth it for me. 🤙🏻
 

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95.5 Tacoma
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Did you install the zerk fittings on the lower control arms? I tried the aftermarket poly bushings but learned they didn't last without a way to grease them, so I switched back to factory rubber bushings.
 

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2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you install the zerk fittings on the lower control arms? I tried the aftermarket poly bushings but learned they didn't last without a way to grease them, so I switched back to factory rubber bushings.
I did install them. From the factory apparently the rear bushings were a slightly stiffer durometer. I’ve noticed with the normal energy suspension bushings. The front will last, but the rear ends up breaking down quicker. The yellow polyurethane bushings in the rear, set up or a slightly higher durometer so I hope it helps.
 

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Suspension was next on the list. This was a tough one. I’ve been a bilstein fan for years and have built many custom setups around their higher end shocks for other cars. I researched every brand there was out there and while some are probably better for doing extreme off roading I don’t see myself using this truck off road every day so I opted for front bilstein 6112 2.5” shocks and springs then a set of rear bilstein 5165 11” travel reservoir shocks with 255/70 valving. Leaf packs were OME units also supplied from a local vendor.

while installing I also made new brake lines using 316 marine grade SS with stainless protection sleeves over them for the rear axle. Marlin extended brake line, jegs proportioning valve and deleted the return line that goes to the front. The front brakes became isolated at this point as well.Going to proceed with the project next weekend(this one is booked to meet with my friends at the local gun range, already got a few boxes of rifle ammo from Rifle Ammunition - GritrSports.com to fire away)
Might be an off-topic question, but what are decent bilstein alternatives(for off road specifically)? Going into my first build closer to summer so having something at the back of my head would probably help :D
 

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2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Might be an off-topic question, but what are decent bilstein alternatives(for off road specifically)? Going into my first build closer to summer so having something at the back of my head would probably help :D
There are so many options out there for a good daily drivable suspension lift for these trucks. If you’re looking for a decent budget entry level that is still plenty capable for most of the situations out there except the hard-core stuff, I would just do what a lot of others do, and choose the old man emu suspension lift with bilstein 5100 shocks. You could choose blocks or an add a leave in the rear, but I would definitely try to budget on replacing the leaf springs. A DS also has a good suspension and Dobison as well.
 

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2001 tacoma, 3rz, manual 4x4, locked, 4.88s
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: twin sticks…I’ve been searching for places that make an oem looking shift boot to no prevail. Redline goods makes ones for $200 which isn’t back but a little more than what I wanted to fork over. $25 in fabric and a $10 goodwill sewing machine I whipped one up using the old boot as a template and modifying t-case section of it. Happy with this for my first stab at upholstery.


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