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Here is the thread where I will be keeping track of changes and events for 2002 Toyota Tacoma. Name is Richard, I am a college student at NewMexico Tech. I have had a few trucks and vehicles growing up but this one I can say is officially all my own. Spent several months searching for a Manual 3.4L V6 tacoma with TRD option. Was unable to find a TRD in my price range and stumbled across this Tacoma in Texas. Great choice in Toyota and this one with just over 90K still a baby. Purchased in February of 08.

The day I bought it the truck came with a 3"spacer up front and a procomp short aal with procomp es3000 shocks. Sitting on Remington 305/70/16 MT.


Drove the truck like this for a while and started looking into front bumpers. Went with the ARB front bumper.





To Increase perfomance a bit, I installed a HPS ram air intake and Gibson Cat back exhaust. Helped the motor breath and free up a few HPs.

Christmas Time: New Tires and Front Lift
After several off road trips stock front springs began to sag drastically. Got OME 883 coils and HD Bils around Christmas 08. Was simple install just rented a spring compressor and got them on the new shocks. Also New tires, Tire rub was begging to be a problem. MT on stock rims were rubbing uca on compression. So found a good deal on some Wheelers type B. Also got some new BFG AT KO/s 295/75/16. Tire rub issue mostly went away. :)

After all installed:






So you could finally say I caught the itch, and my skid plate was showing. So me and my buddy decided to make one. Came out pretty good for us just winging it at the schools shop. Made from 3/16 plate steel. Reinforced on the back with small ribs.



South Baldy New Mexico Peak.


Well with more clearance better armor I was able to get new places. Found traction was serious problem after getting stuck with open diffs. As you can see in pics 34" tire completely burried in this nasty clay/silt/mud mixture.








So finally decided to get a locker. And by far the best mod I could ever do for my truck. Found a sweet deal here from a ttora member on a powertrax no-slip. Also installed a 1" BL by 4crawler off road. also known as roger brown bl. Sorry no pics was a busy day.

Out on a wheeling trip found my driver side rear leaf was almost completely de arched. Time for new leafs. So ordered up all pro's 3" leaf kit.



Fairly easy install, did find that at full compression shocks very close to bottoming out. So found some 2.5" Bump stops at autozone and installed on frame. Solved limiting problem perfectly.



Shortly after my truck got hit by golf ball sized hail while at work in Los Alamos, NM. Hood roof and fenders peppered with small dents all over. Good side was insurance was going to cover it all. And got a dent I had on side of cab repaired also. Did take three weeks to get back but in a way i guess it was worth it.



With my truck back I could finally start on my Demello DIY sliders.

Demello shipped me there DIY bolt on HD round sliders. Came with U shaped brackets, gussets, legs, sliders, and all the hardware to install. Great deal and Jason over at Demello had great communication when I needed to check up on my order.
So the install begins...
Fabbed brackets into their location-



Once I determined where I wanted the sliders tacked in legs and gussets, then pulled everything off to finish weld the brackets. Bolted brackets back in place and tacked in slider at desired angle. Turned out to be 25 degrees. Pulled sliders off carefully and finish welded everything. Think I laid down some pretty nice welds. Not too bad for my HF chicago electric 220v welder and my real first welding project. :D








Finished welding both sides and began to paint. Used Rustoleums, high performance enamel. Supposedly says for industrial purposes with added protection. Used there primer first and then their flat black finish over.



Finally got to bolt sliders up, super excited. Was already pretty dark but here some pics.




Also plated the rear frame with DeMello frame plate kit. Kinda hard to see but they are in there.
Flexing Out



How the truck sits as of today 8-16-09

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Things to do:
High Lift Mount
Mount CB and antenna
Reinforce skid plate (Few minor rock wear and tear)
Regear to 4.88's (Complete rear diff ordered, Need to install my No-slip in it)

Ran a few trails:
BHD




Pucker Falls






Kelly Canyon





Next to my cousins pickup, Its so short

 

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So finally got some time to do update on here.

Mounted up my CB radio where ash tray was. And Built myself a Hi-Lift mount with antenna mount on it. Lil shot of my stereo. Alpine deck, 2 12" P1's, 600w kenwood amp hidden away where jack tools go.





Installed Alpine type S 2way speakers in the rear.





Picked up an all pro rear bumper from a friend few weekends ago. Has some rock rash but paint touched it up good.



Reinforced skid plate with 1/8th inch plate on back. Its solid now.


Think this is really about all I want to do with my taco. Going to put my interest and money in the crawler (89 4Runner). Would like to get rid of arb and go with a prerunner/baja style bumper.
 

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This past weekend , got my first real major body damage. Front fender got smashed by very tight section. Slid off rock and slammed into a tree.


On the trail, quick shot


After getting home was able to analyze the damage.
Pretty nice dent into fender, pushed it into door jam, so when opening door nice grinding sound was going on. Bent in along crease and body lines, on good note fender flare only suffered minor scratches. Marker light mounts broken.


Pulled off fender in attempt to take dent out as much as possible. Using ball point hammer dry ice combo was able to push it enough to look decent and fit properly.
 

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So after a mild off roading trip, heard this pretty bad humming from my front end. As soon as I hit pavement it turned into load clunking. It was so bad that the clunking would shake my entire truck, almost jolting inside the truck. Decided it had to be something major. Checked both cv's they were good, went to drain front diff oil and found this.


So my hunt for a stock IFS diff started. I bought one here from a member got it to me pretty quick complete with add tube. So began the task of swapping this guy out. Replaced a torn cv boot while I was at it.





So during my swap out, found something a little strange. So the replacement diff I got had the tube for an add tube. When I got mine out it was just a straight tube, no add actuator. I found this strange, because then that means my entire front drive train is always engaged, well at least rotating. Not to sure what the reason behind that is, but its what I got so swapped it all over. Pulled off add tube, pulled out inner cage bearing, and bolted on my stock tube.


New Front diff

Here you can see the damage to the old one: Ring gear shot, and pinon had a few broken teeth also. This thing was destroyed. Metals shavings, chunks all over inside diff.




Well its all back together, running smoothly again. Still a little concerned about entire front drivetrain rotating all the time. Might consider manual hub swap.
 

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So guess my concers during diff swap proved correct. Recently front diff has begun to make some very strange vibrations usually only at highway speeds when taking big turns (off ramps) or windy roads. Did some research, turns out my 02 Tacoma should be equipped with an ADD electronic actuator and diff tube. For some reason I do not have the ADD actuator but rather the one piece solid diff tube. I do have the wiring harness hanging below my truck where the actuator should hook up.

So my plan was new diff and find an actutor. Turns out a buddy of mine who had done a sas on his taco had entire front drivetrain sitting in his garage. Even better was that it was manual hubs. So I think my new plan is to swap in his diff/cv/spindles/hubs. Essential will be doing a manual hub conversion but without the hassle of messing the bearings. Will just swap over entire spindle assembly. Hopefully this will help my gas mileage, Pics soon to come.
 

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Quick update of the front fender, forgot to post a photo how it came out. tried dry ice heat method with some pressure on it, gave up on that and Pretty much just pop'd the dent out make it look decent. Paint ended up cracking but its really not too bad, barley even noticeable.


So the Manual Hub Conversion Begins, replacing diff and entire spindle w/cv's

My new manual hub diff and complete spindles with cv's




Entire front end pulled apart



Called it a night....

In the morning began on the manual hub spindles, had to put the boots back on the ends of cv's cleaned everything up.
Manual hub spindle next to add shit




Pretty much done :)




Ended up replacing all my belts as the alternator one was pretty bad.


Borrowed my friends wheel spacers, see if I like em, Had some issues with tire rubbing frame rail so maybe this will help. Its a 1 inch.


Back on its own weight. Will begin to calculate my mpg as i have done previously. I did calculate it before hand was getting about 16 mpg with my entire front drivetrain rotating with the ADD in.





Clubs photo:
 
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