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Sierra Expedition's White Tacoma Build

89355 Views 84 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  godofspeed

Owner: Flyingwil
Location: Mesa, AZ

Make: Toyota
Model: Tacoma Double Cab SR5 TRD
Year: 2001

Engine: 3.4L, normally aspirated
Trans: Auto
T-Case: Stock
Front Axle: El Stock-o IFS, SAW 2.5
Rear Axle: Bilstein 5125 shocks, Electric Locker
Tires: 255/85 R16 Toyo Open Country MT's
Wheels: Allied Wheel Components Soft 8's

Additional Modifications:
SAW 2.5
Deaver 11 pack leaf Springs
All-Pro Shackles
Demello Rock Sliders
National Luna Auxiliary battery system
Dual Odyssey 1200 Batteries in stock location
ARB Safari Snorkel
Lo-Tek Gauge Pod
Cyberdyne Digital Gauges
Eezi-Awn 1600 Roof Tent
Engle 45L Fridge/ Freezer
TwoZone Fridge Compartment
10 port aux. fuse block
PowerSlot rotors w/ Hawk Pads
Can-Back topper w/ Rack attachment
Shrockworks front bumper
PIAA 510 driving lights
LightForce 240 Aux Lights
Modified T-Max EW-9000-WCP
Synthetic Winch Line
CBI Expedition Rear Bumper
Total Vison Camera System (4 Camera's and monitor)
Uniden Pro 520XL CB radio in the ash tray location
Lil' Wil mag mount CB antenna
Delorme PN-20 W/ RAM mount
Custom Rear Drawer system
ExtremeAire OBA system with 5 Gal Tank
LightForce Stubby Light
QuickFist shovel and Flashlight mounts
5 Gal Fuel Can
Shower Sytem
Grey wire modification
Amsoil Oil and Filter
Amsoil Air Filter

Some others I am sure I forgot...
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1 - 20 of 85 Posts
The Begining...

My Taco is a 2001 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 TRD. I feel in love with the styling of the first gen Tacoma's and knew one day I'd get one. 2001 rolled along and out popped the Double Cab... I had to have one. After years of nagging, my wife finally caved and I finally got my Taco!

This picture is within my first month of ownership:

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Front SAW's

The RevTek lift came direct from the dealer.

The RevTek was replaced with SAW 2.5 coilovers. You know you might be a ******* when your 8 month pregnant wife comes out to help you wrench... and learn how the truck works... That's just one hell of a wife! :p

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I mounted a Uniden Pro 520XL CB radio in the ash tray location. It was very easy to make flush, and seems like a lot of others have problems making it flush. First, I removed the 2 screws that hold the ash tray slide out and cut the rear out with my dremel tool. To make it flush I used a heat gun and a screwdriver to make a small indentation on the air duct. I heated the duct up for about 20 seconds and pressed the area in with the back of screwdriver where the 90° coax elbow would hit. You only have to press it in about 1/4 of an inch. I used an 90° coax elbow to connect the Lil' Wil antenna coax to the CB. I them used 3M double sided mounting tape to secure it in place (it is a tight enough squeeze it really is not needed, but I wanted to be safe for future washboard roads).

I think the end results look great. (Pardon my dust, just got back from a 4 Peaks run when I took the pics!)

I ran the Coax for the antenna through the door sills on the passenger side. When I am not using the CB the antenna stores behind the rear seat and the cable is not visible. Total install took about 30 min.

Soon as I get around to more permanent solution I will relook this. But for now, and my 6'2" parking garage at work, this will have to do. It's bad enough hearing the radio antenna clink all the way up to the 5th floor, I can't imagine adding the CB antenna.

The CB also has a PA out put which I would like to add in the near future, but not sure how I will do it. Why? I think it could be beneficial to help in spotting when in tight areas with out blocking CB waves when in large groups. Not a necessity so its last on my list.

I installed the remote head for the Yeasu FT-7800 in the headliner.

Here you can see the speaker and face plate install all glued down:

Then all taped up in case the glue gives...

Radio unit is mounted on the back wall of the cab so that I can easily access the data port with out folding the seat down. It is also on a slight angle to allow for easier access to the data port.
Radio remote mount:

Aux Speaker and head unit:

Unit on (view from driver's seat):

Mic install... using a 6 pin wire and connector hidden behind the scangauge.

Mic is mounted in the "blank" where the airbag selector would be on non-dub cab models.


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For navigation I am currently using a Delorme PN-20.

Previously I was using a Dell Axim X30H PDA, and a Bluetooth GPS. I modified a glass powered PDA mount and mounted to where the air bag selector witch would be in a mini or a xtra cab.

The above photo is my PDA running OnCourse Navigator, which will automatically direct you to your destination along with voice prompts.

The Rikaline GPS is tweaked for accuracy while flying... (I use Pocket FMS) and from the Rally I learned has to be retweeked during ground usage, with OutDoor Navigator.

With the PDA I am able to use Bluetooth to access the internet and surf the web and download Topo's!

I plan on upgrading this to a CarPC in the future... Just need to lay down the specs and build the PN-20 will be the primary GPS source as it is awesome for hiking.
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As soon as I got my truck I upgraded to an Optima Red Top.

At the time I took this picture I was only running one battery, but as I add the Engel Fridge I also added an auxiliary fuse box and a dual battery set up.

My auxiliary fuse block is a Blue Sea block. These are really nice units, and a bargain compared to other units on the market.

Although, my installation is only temporary, it is beginning to serve it's purpose. It will later be moved. It will support the full time power requirement units, such as the radios, Engel, lights, ect...

I mounted it to the rear wall using an old 4 ga. amplifier kit I had laying around. The pro to this is that it has an in line fuse on the positive cable, that will help prevent an fires, or melt downs.

The fuse block has since been relocated in the bed of the taco. In the last picture you can see my *temporary* Engel hook-up. I twisted the wires to prevent electrical interference with the CB.

I put dual Odyssey 1200's Batteries in the stock location with a Sure Power 1315-200 battery isolator / combiner and used marine cables to complete the wiring:

This was later replaced with a National Luna kit.

I mounted the National Luna Intelligent Solenoid - Dual Battery Isolator in the same spot that the surepower unit was located on the fire wall to the drivers side of the brakes. Now I just have to figure out where to mount the controller in the cab.... hmmmm???

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My Taco has Demello Off-Road HD round bolt on sliders built with 1.75" .120 wall round tubing.

This type of protection is critical in guarding the body panels during challenging terrain.

1. The rock sliders act as a skid plate, allowing the vehicle to slide over rocks, mounds and logs, instead of damaging the vulnerable sheet metal.

2. The rocker protection guards the side of the vehicle from damage caused when sliding into a tree or rock, as often occurs on slick surfaces.

3. When properly mounted the rock sliders provide a secure jacking point for lifting the vehicle to change a tire, or to add rocks or traction aids to extricate the vehicle from being stuck.

4. A well designed slider also acts as a step, running the length of the cab, providing easy access to the roof, racks, kayaks, etc.

5. In heavily rutted terrain, the slider allows the driver to use the bars as a transition point between the front and rear tires, as the slider allows for a smooth change from the front tire to the slider to the rear tire without causing damage.

6. On longer wheelbase vehicles, the rock sliders can act as a pivot point, effectively rotating the vehicle against a solid point (like a rock or rut) when under power. This action "cuts" the corner of a narrow, tight obstacle that does not permit backing up for a multi-point turn.
Here are my sliders:

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Ahhh to breathe better... I of course did the deck plate mod. I now regret doing it since I added the snorkel.

For the Air filter I am running an Amsoil filter. I had played with K&N and out of the box, I was getting oil deposits up the intake and the K&N found it's resting place in the trash out of fear of damaging the MAF.

did the dif breather mod, following these two write ups:
4x4 Wire's Write-Up

The following is a summary of the two and what I did... most pictures are off of the WATTORA Write up. The have a note stating that this does work on the 3rd gen Taco's too!

Parts/Materials Needed:
  • 1 Toyota part number 90404-51026 Listed as a "Union"
  • 8 feet of 1/4" rubber fuel line
  • 2 small hose clamps
  • A few nylon wire (zip) ties

Tools Needed:
  • Box/Open wrenches, 10mm and 14mm
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 1 cup boiling water

Estimated Time: < 1 Hour


Here's a shot of all the parts, with the exception of the hose.

Image From WATTORA
And the stock breather on the differential housing.

Image From WATTORA

Image From WATTORA

Use a 14mm wrench to remove the stock breather. Use a rag to clean around the breather well before you remove it completely.

Image From WATTORA

Use a 10mm wrench to thread the 90404-51026 Union into the differential housing. It will tighten down until about one thread is exposed.

Image From WATTORA

Dip one end of your rubber hose in a cup of boiling water for 30 seconds, then insert the stock breather threads into the hose. You want to get all of the thread into the tubing. This will allow your diff to continue to breath as it would in a stock configuration and will cut down on the chances of dust or moisture getting sucked in. Secure the breather with one of the hose clamps. Some folks use VW type fuel filters on the ends of their breathers.

Image From WATTORA

There are a variety of places you can vent to. Some choose to run a hose all the way up to the engine compartment, I followed the electric locker cable/brake lines up by the fuel filler neck. This view is from the perspective of the left, rear tire, looking up into the bed rail. The stock breather end of the hose was secured with wire-ties so that it was above the fuel neck. The hose was routed along the fuel filler neck, over the frame and along the locker cable.

Image From WATTORA

In this case I removed my fuel cover and drilled a 1/4" hole in the cover and chose this place to mount the breather (behind the fuel door)

Once the hose was routed down near the differential, I left a bend in the hose so that it would not be pulled tight when the suspension flexes. Once the hose is secured, cut off the excess and fitted the hose over the "Union". Secure the hose with the remaining hose clamp.

I thought I would post this as many "Cheap Mod's" do not get posted. And in fact are done. Hope it helps... Thanks to WATTORA and 4x4 Wire's for the write-ups!

I later added the ARB Safari Snorkel
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Engel Fridge/Freezer

After opening everything and installing the handles, I installed the hinge lock.

The lock was super easy to install.

1) Remove lid.

2) Seperate Lock from spacer.

3) Remove hinges on Engel, install the lock behind the LEFT hinge and retighten screws.

4) Place the spacer behind the RIGHT hinge and screw back in place.

5) DONE!

Next up was to put the Transit cover on...

Along with my engel came my mounting solution, the Engel Slide.

This is one slick unit, as you can see all bearings are sealed.

The only mod to this is Plasti-dipping the hardware (Below)

I decided to coat the hardware with black Plasti-Dip to mitigate vibrations, and prevent scratches to the Engel's handles.
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TwoZone Fridge Compartment

The TwoZone is an add-on compartment to the Engel. It basically goes in place of your lid and your lid is reused on top of the compartment, thus increasing the size of the Fridge/Freezer. Your lid is then reused on the top of the TwoZone. There were Rumors on some OZ Forums of the compartment Voiding Warranty, but these rumor are false, and in fact Engel promotes it uses and does exhibitions shows with TwoZone. (I will take pics as soon as I get it). The TwoZone will increase the capacity by 21 liters (22 quarts if I calculated it correctly), for a weight gain of 11lbs. It measures 21.65" X 14.96" X 10.24".

Ezy-Move too!
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Fridge Mounting

I was originally going to mount the slide in the middle of the cab, but with the addition of the twozone, I did not want to cut out the rear view mirror too much. I also became concerned about the height, and wanted to make sure I was able to get things in and out easily. I was questioning my decision to get the slide as opposed to slide-lok...when the light bulb went off! END RESULT: Mount the slide so that it sides out the door!

It slides out about 4-5 More inches than in this pic...

Easy Loading and unloading now!

It is close but not touching any of the door molding.

I also installed the eyes for the hooks, When I decided to keep the slide. It was real easy, unscrew all four hooks holding the handle in place and place the eye brackets behind the handles. While everything was out I also installed the temperature gauge. I am impressed by the sensitivity of this thing. Just by my body being near it I could watch the ambient temperature change! To install I just took of the back and ran it through the clay. Here's some pics:

Note the temp difference because I touched it to move it...

My Plasti-Dip job, and cutting of the transit bag:

Shot from the Passenger rear door... Under the slide I am going to mount the Cig attachments, and route my A/C cord out so when parked in the garage, I can just hook-up due to the lack of solar.

Some final Exterior shots:

This was all modified to rear platform which later came out when we had our baby. I wanted a rear platform similar to other set ups I had seen in hope that we might have more room for the dogs (1 Husky and 1 Lab), but I wans thinking baby at the time.

It is made from Plywood and covered with the cheapest carpet from Home depot. I was able to use all the existing seat holes to mount the wood, and the rear shelf utilized the existing hole that held the hooks in place.

I was not sure what I want to do with the factory jack, and have actually used it places I could not get the Hi-Jack so it is staying in the truck. I made cut outs and a cover for the rear shelf.

The platform is now removed, and the stock seats put back in for our baby. The fridge and slide will be moved to the bed along with a custom drawer system. More to come on that...
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I am using a a Lotek Gauge Pod, and a Cyberdyne battery, and temp gauge (will be used for the fridge) that was purchased for me as a gift from my wife. I didn't even ask for it, she just thought it was bad ass and got me it. How cool is that!?

Well the install was pretty basic, remove the old A Pillar cover and replace with the Lo-Tek. I had to drill 2 hole in the A-pillar and total install was around 2 hours.

Here you can see the two, OEM and Lo-Tek side by side:

The Lo-Tek required slight sanding for the Cyberdyne Gauges to fit.
I ended up with a Voltmeter and an Ambient Temp gauge (for the fridge).

I took Duct Tape to the rear to prevent rattles on washboards as shown:

Final install Pics:

I am toying with the idea of adding more temperature senders for the temp gauge.
  1. Engel Fridge/Freezer
  2. TwoZone Unit
  3. Ambient Air

I could then use a 3-Way selecting switch to switch between the three.
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Series 3 Eezi-Awn 1600

Here it is currently "airing out" in the garage, since it has the fresh coat of wood sealer smell to it.

My wife was just as excited as I was, and brought the "kids" out to see what the excitement was...

Now it was time to fab up the mount and get it on the Taco and go take it out!
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Tent Rack 1

Here my rack is about 75%:

Well here the rack is complete:

Here you can see how we made the rack removable for increased versatility:

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CBI Rear Bumper

Note: This is still in the fabrication phase from last week, not pictured is the tire carrier. Steve at CBI Off-road Fabrication is making the rear swing bumper.

Installed the bumper at Takeover in camp and put it to the test the next day! (disregard the spare my 255 spare went Tango Uniform)

None of the pics of the drawer system came out... this is the best one...

It is not 100% done... but close still need to add the Stuby light and get it powder coated...

UPDATE with full size spare:
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Shrockworks Front Bumper

I finally got my Shrockworks front bumper on after having sit in may garage nearly three weeks. I came down with a wicked cold that prevented me from doing anything.

While the bumper was off I decided to get rid of the chrome, to suit my phobia, so I painted the chrome after a quick rub with some 320 grit sand paper and hit it with a Duplicolor Truck and SUV black. End results look good IMO.

I was able to install everything but the winch, as I ran out time, and my truck is my DD. That will come later.

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Self Spotting System

Here is some info on the monitor:

Screen Size: 5.6"
Power input: DC12v
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Display Format: 960X234pixes

It is slick.... With the sun visors down, the bottom of the monitor is in line with the bottom of visors as shown below:

This is the rear camera, you can see it in the pics of the rear bumper in the center of the spare tire:

There is a total of 4 cameras; one rear, one rear axle cam, one front axle cam, and one nose camera.

Makes self spotting on the trail possible solo!
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T-Max 9000lb Competition Series Winch

The winch is a hybrid T-MAX 9000. It started off with the EW-9000-WCP competition winch, and I swapped drums, winch brake, and tire bars with an EW-9000W, and added 100' of Master Pull synthetic 5/16" with a Viking HD line protector added...

I have scattered pictures... so bear with me as I start to upload them...

More to come as I get the pics organized...
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4wd Toyota Owners Mag Photo's

Now that the article is out, I can share some cool pics that Jeffery Scott was kind enough to take of my truck...

Just a cool shot:

The rear drawer system:

These two were taken to show off the Total Vision Camera System:

Light Painting:

Another cool shot...

Thanks again master of the Camera!!!!
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Tires and Wheels 255/85R16 Toyo MT's

OH and the new wheels and shoes...

Ummm, yeah, the chrome is going away... yuck :smilies27 need to wait for parts to get in.

Chrome soon left!!!

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