July 2, 2018 at 7:55 pm #206790
Some may remember my epic Tacoma build threads on a few Toyota forums including the old Sontt board.
Many of the photos I had uploaded to Photobucket were lost to time. I’m not reviving the old threads, instead I’m starting a new thread. The next evolutionary step for my 04 D-cab Tacoma is grand and will test my mechanical abilities. Currently the rig is set up with 2.5″ Toytec front coilovers, SPC upper control arms, 63″ rear Chevy leaf springs and 255/85R16 Maxxis Big Horns on steel wheels. There’s a big list of mods from bumpers and sliders to electrical.
Taco frames are known to rust heavily, my truck is one of them. Being the original owner of this rig, I qualify for the frame replacement offered by Toyota. The truck is in good shape overall with 140Km on the OD. A new frame will bring the truck back to life. The Taco is receiving the frame swap as soon as I can drop it off at the dealership. In the meantime we needed a replacement rig, so we bought the 03 4Runner (which I started a build thread).
I’ve wanted to put a solid axle in the frontend from day one. I knew it was going to take forever to collect and pay for solid axle swap parts. I chose to build a lifted IFS suspension first as it would allow me to wheel almost right away. Ive been collecting SAS parts for years, my list is now getting shorter. Since the taco is receiving a frame swap, I’ve decided to retire the Tacoma from daily driver status and convert it into a SAS rig, weekend wheeler.
The Taco will sport a Jeep Wagoneer Dana 44 front axle with 4.88 gears and a locker some kind, possibly a lunchbox locker, not sure yet. The Toyota rear axle will be cable actuated Toyota Locker and 4.88 gears. The frontend suspension will be leaf sprung, the rear will again receive the 63″ Chevy leaf springs. I love the rear Chevy springs.
I plan on bumping the tire size up to 35’s on 15” wheels, maybe 16″ wheels.
I will update the thread when things progress. This is a time and money consuming project, its not going to happen overnight.
Pic of the Taco as it currently sits:
July 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm #206791Toy-YotaParticipant
- This topic was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by 4307.
Cool! If you’re gonna daily it, definitely a smart move to go cable conversion rear locker. I’m sure you know how the elocker housings rot.
Sounds like a cool build, what front springs will you run?
Do you have wagoneer axle yet? Did you consider using a Toyota axle and converting to a toy tcase? I considered SAS’ing my 04 so just curious of your thoughts.July 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm #206794
I replaced the e-locker actuator with a cable actuator 3 years ago. Works great, way better, I’d do it again in a heart beat.
I found a complete Waggy Dana 44 about 8 years ago for $250 at a wrecker. I’ve considered selling the d44 and opting for a Toyota based axle housing like Trail Gear offers, but there is nothing wrong with the waggy axle and its relatively easy and slightly cheaper to build. The carrier will be a PITA to install, I need to find a housing spreader to fit the carrier shims. If I can’t do the install at work I’ll probably have a shop do the install.July 3, 2018 at 12:08 pm #206795
Front springs? my first choice is Trail Gear 4″ springs from they’re SAS swap kit. Second choice would be Ranch 44044 springs, although they would give me more lift than I would like. Third choice is stock Wagoneer springs. Fourth choice would be Toyota rear springs up front.July 3, 2018 at 6:17 pm #206797finn the kareilian vikingKeymaster
chop, chop ryan. let’s go man!!! oh wait i’ve got no room to talk
when’s it goin’ in surgery?August 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm #206986
So it begins. I dropped the Taco off at Heffener Toyota for the recall frame swap.
It was tough seeing my rig in a deconstructed state. That being said I know its for the better. Heffener said the swap will take a week to complete. I’ll get her back standing at stock height.
heres a few pics
August 13, 2018 at 10:22 pm #206989Slick_YotaKeymaster
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by 4307.
Good to see it started! Can’t wait to see the SAS progress!August 14, 2018 at 6:24 pm #206994
Here’s a few pics from day 2 of the frame swap. While the truck is apart I’m having the timing belt replaced, it’s due anyways. I’m also having the radiator replaced as well, it looks pretty nasty from muddy puddles. Sorry, no pics of the rad.August 14, 2018 at 6:31 pm #206995toys-n-yotasParticipant
Ahhhhhhhh!! So much deconstruction!! Your cab and floors are really clean for being an epic adventure truck for at least the last decade I’ve known you.
Looks like a good chunk of their week will be sorting through “The Pile” which was previously your Tacoma.
Are you required to buy new OEM leaf springs for the swap, or did you bring them your originals from pre-63 swap?August 14, 2018 at 6:43 pm #206996
Overall, the truck body and other components are in descent shape. I was expecting rust on the underbody. There were a few little spots but really nothing to worry about. Nothing major to replace so far, knock on wood.August 14, 2018 at 7:01 pm #206997
New OEM leafs, brake lines, lower control arms, rear shocks, gas’s tank, e brake cable, and a bunch of othe parts that escape my memory are included and covered by the recall. I was told any part that breaks or is wrecked during removal will be covered by the recall.
The Chevy springs are going back on the taco. I’ll take them to work and clean them up in our bid parts washer, they’ll clean up real good. The washer handles oil field gearbox parts with ease, removes rust and inhibits corrosion all in one step.
BTW I’m glad you bought the “Big Runner”, it’s an iconic rig. You deserve it.
August 15, 2018 at 12:18 pm #206999Toy-YotaParticipant
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by 4307.
It’s really amazing what they replace under that recall. It’s too bad you have to redo the rear springs but it’s a small price to pay, and it’s a good time to revamp anything you may not have likedAugust 15, 2018 at 8:52 pm #207000
Todays update. The new frame is being reassembled. I decided to have the transmission oil changed and water pump replaced. There were a bunch of parts that were replaced when they broke while removal, covered by the warranty. Basically when it’s all said and done, the taco will be close to new. I’m amazed how quick this is coming together. The mechanic is a nice guy, pretty friendly.August 16, 2018 at 10:43 pm #207008toys-n-yotasParticipant
Thanks for the kudos on the BigRunner, but my term has already come to an end. I sold it to Nick_386 about a month ago.
In the 14-months I owned the BigRunner, I only managed to get it out once, and Mark almost put as many km on it as I did in Ardbeg. 4Runner was great, just not quite what I needed for my family. Essentially I’d be undoing 75% of Mike’s fab work to get it where I wanted it to be, and that wouldn’t be fair to the truck, which was built right for the task.
Grabbed myself a low km 1986 4Runner, 4″ bracket lift, chev 350, TH350, and almost no rust for less than half what I paid for the BigRunner. Way more tame for family trips to the beach taking the roads less travelled, yet still capable of handling my adventure needs on 33’s with air lockers.
Anyways, looking forward to the next updates on the Taco.August 20, 2018 at 7:51 pm #207026finn the kareilian vikingKeymaster
@ toys n yotas, stand on the stupid pedal n tell me it’s tame. speaking from experience, a truck of that size with a well tuned small block can cause religious encounters. add in a locked diff n it’s guaranteed
sorry about the hijack ryan
you are keepin’ track of how that $h!t’s going together right. who knows when one of us is gonna need some insight on that.
when do you expect to see the war horse in the home stable?
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