Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 122902 times)

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BigMike

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Thank you for all the excellent feedback and wishes for a safe trip back home :turtle: :hattip:

...what is the differences between the 2nd gen and 3rd gen Tacoma's beside styling of the body and grill?
I have never owned a 2nd gen (or 1st gen) Tacoma, but major changes would be drivetrain (new engine, transmissions [both auto & manual], transfer case, rear end, [not sure about the front end yet]), styling as you've mentioned, improved tailgate design (slowly lowers itself instead of slamming down and includes anti-theft provisions), and a full interior redesign. Also some things carried over from the FJ C which the 2nd gen did not have. Suspension as I've read online is mostly the same.

My '08 was a V6 Access cab, manual, with locker, and offroad package.
Starting with the 3rd gen this is no longer possible unless you get one from Canada.

But wait... How is that the best breakfast you have had since January of 2015?!?
January 2015 was when the truck was first shown to the public and when I first knew this would be my next Build Project! :yesnod:

I''m sure you know this, but you are not alone in preference for manual transmission and your disparity with the US auto industry forcing automatics down our throats.
Thanks for holding out for a manual trans!
...I bought an 01' TRD access cab v6 w/ yes a MANUAL trans.
...Went to the dealership and they told me it was not available in the build configuration I wanted with a manual....

I'm a gear jammer through and through!


BigMike [OP]

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Here come some pics I couldn't upload from the flight for obvious reasons ;) ;)

All of our planes had EXCELLENT in-flight reading material:



I've had this exact brochure since August 13, 2015. :P No TSA agent was gonna confiscate this from my carry-on! :yupyup:



We stayed at DFW Airport until 8:30am when Hardy himself came to pick us up. It goes without saying that the service I have received from Toyota of Dallas has been in the words of Judge Smails, top-notch, top-notch! Other than the wait and issues with Toyota themselves, my experience with Hardy has been ENTIRELY painless, efficient, and prompt. This applies to Chris King who always responded to my emails, texts, and calls, as well as their finance manger who was all business and I got in and got out without any delays, haggles, or issues.

When Hardy pulled up to the dealer he dropped my wife and I off RIGHT IN FRONT of my new baby girl!!

When my eyes first met those project beam headlights, I knew it was love at first sight. It had me at hello.



Not a fan of the grill nor the bumper, which I do understand is required for pedestrian impact laws, as I've heard many another repeat before me, it sure looks a lot better in person. But, it will be coming off soon enough :yupyup:



The moment it became real:

 
                                                                       

YouTube - BigMike receives the keys to his new 2016 Toyota Tacom...

                                                                                         
 

« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2016, 08:15:21 PM by BigMike »

BigMike [OP]

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First order of business was to insult the manual transmission for all the trouble...



And then to graciously shift through all 7 of it's buttery smooth gears.... ohhhh yeah baby, that is PRECISELY how I like it!!

It's just perfect. The exact same shift-pattern as the Lotus Exige transaxle I installed into my S/C MR2.



Only 3 miles on the clock ::o Hardy told me that Tacomas are one of those special vehicles that they reserve and try to keep off the street until they are driven away by each new owner with as few miles as possible.



The second order of business was to take a look at the heart.



Can't wait to get home and remove a lot of that plastic!



The man who guaranteed the success of this entire ordeal, Mr. Chris King!



Meeting with John and the team from TRDparts4u who operates from this dealership



Finishing up the last bit of the paperwork with the man Hardy Tadlock himself. His 25-years experience as an Inventory Manager is no joke.



About to drive it out of the dealer for the first time!





Out in the wild!! WOW WHAT AN AMAZING TRUCK!!





Much more to come!
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2016, 08:24:51 PM by BigMike »

redneckcustoms13

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Can't wait to see the bumper designs you come up with for these trucks. Better yet, can't wait to see it sas with dual cases!
80 short bed, longs, hi steer, 4.7 case twin stick, 4.11, 38 tsl, mild built 22r
83 long bed, sas, hi steer, 3rz, w56, 4.56 33s
95 4runner project
06 4 door tacoma street truck

John Doe

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357 miles until empty!!! I am curious to see what kind of miliage you will get.

When the 2nd gnes 1st came out in 05 I hated them, the look and size. I will admit they have started to grow on me, namely the access cab having the rear doors.
Truck looks great Mike!
My 85 4Runner build http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=46841.0

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Mike and Misato, All you have to do now for the next 500,000 miles is change the oil! Nice! All the best to you, Bob and Dana.

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Looking good Mike.. Hope to see you on the trail soon. Get some Tundra parts going so I can join the fun.

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Sweet!  I'm happy for you Mike.  You two have a blast on your way back to Fresno.
"A friend will help you move.  A real friend will help you move a body."

"They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken"

"Hopefully, if I crap in a gopher hole, one doesn't try and nibble at my taint"  - my freind Fat Tony

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:woohoo:   :driving:  :woohoo:

dude, I sent you a text when I had read the first paragraph I knew you were coming to Texas :)

Chris and the crew at TRDparts4U are awesome because Chris is  :respect:
AR-TTORA founder 22R bored.060,LCE stage II race cam http://pure-gas.org/    32/36weber, :driving: Marlin 1200 NON ceramic clutch, L52SHD+dualcase #2919, cable-locker, Yukon 5.29 gears, 35's, Allpro ebrake, front springs, and high steer, F150rears    RIP Nitro 9-29-07 :(  I sure miss him :down: MarlinCrawlerInc IS NOT affiliated with TrailGear in any way

JanMarie13

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Dude this is amazing... I am literally in tears!  LOL.  Happy tears of joy for you!  This is SO ( * Y * ) !!!!  Congrats!
RIP Kyle, we love and miss you man.  :smooch:
thanks for the smooch I miss you too !  :yesnod:

mudmaster

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Way more patience then I have. Way to stick with it!
Time to go wheelin!

BigMike [OP]

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dude, I sent you a text when I had read the first paragraph I knew you were coming to Texas :)
I was wondering who that was! I got it right as we went to sleep. I looked up the area code and did consider it being ya Glen :wave: Then I went to sleep :gap:

Way more patience then I have. Way to stick with it!
I don't like the way Toyota operates, but when I consider they are on top and should have the best marketing and product placement strategy around, I have to accept why they are how they are. As we all know Toyota shorts us all the time in this country (no solid front axle, no 70-series LC).

BigMike [OP]

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Good morning from Killeen, Texas. Our plan this morning was to go explore both Colorado Bend State Park and Enchanted Rock State Park, however it rained so much last night and we didn't bring any hiking gear for mud so we decided to sleep in to recover from the long two day stretch. Here come my remaining pics from yesterday:

Finally out on the open road!



Starship Pegasus



This truck loves to have its picture taken






SqWADoosh

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 :thumbs: Glad you got what you wanted, finally. It is frustrating how difficult Toyota is making it on us Americans. Between this type of ordeal and the lack of 70 series it sure is disheartening.

BigMike [OP]

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Our first stop was for the wife at Magnolia Market. We don't watch much TV but she does like Fixer Upper. I was pretty impressed with the place. We knew things here were overpriced but it was well laid out and they've got a nice thing going on here.





Out back they had a garden and some food trucks/trailers





I was mostly interested in the old ruins of the building left behind, such as an intricate high pressure valve and pipe assembly. Very cool


BigMike [OP]

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While the wife was doing some shopping I performed the first mod :turtle:







Second mod is a magnetic CD-insert cellphone holder :thumbs:


BigMike [OP]

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Then we drove over to this awesome place :greengrin:



Eat your heart out Dad! haha





The sign I was waiting for in front of the Municipal City Court of Marlin, Texas






BigMike [OP]

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Nice and green out here.



Plenty of wildflowers



Of course I couldn't end the day without testing out the 4WD system :) Shifted in and out both high and low range, no problem



Finally, the end to one fantastic day, parked outside our hotel room



A room with a view


helipilot77

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So now that you have her what will be the unveiling event? Time to update your signature.
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Nice and green out here.



Plenty of wildflowers



Of course I couldn't end the day without testing out the 4WD system :) Shifted in and out both high and low range, no problem



Finally, the end to one fantastic day, parked outside our hotel room



A room with a view



when you get out past FtWorth there are some very old mission type ruins.  I always wanted to walk out to them but there was nowhere to park a 18wheeler

AR-TTORA founder 22R bored.060,LCE stage II race cam http://pure-gas.org/    32/36weber, :driving: Marlin 1200 NON ceramic clutch, L52SHD+dualcase #2919, cable-locker, Yukon 5.29 gears, 35's, Allpro ebrake, front springs, and high steer, F150rears    RIP Nitro 9-29-07 :(  I sure miss him :down: MarlinCrawlerInc IS NOT affiliated with TrailGear in any way

79coyotefrg

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did it come with an elocker??    I see a Auto LSD indicator hopefully for the front.
I think I have some TRDparts4U stickers around here someplace.  I'll try and send them to the shop with that magazine I told you about a couple years ago that I never got mailed :doh:
AR-TTORA founder 22R bored.060,LCE stage II race cam http://pure-gas.org/    32/36weber, :driving: Marlin 1200 NON ceramic clutch, L52SHD+dualcase #2919, cable-locker, Yukon 5.29 gears, 35's, Allpro ebrake, front springs, and high steer, F150rears    RIP Nitro 9-29-07 :(  I sure miss him :down: MarlinCrawlerInc IS NOT affiliated with TrailGear in any way

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Very cool Mike!  I wish I could buy a brand new rig and take a trip like you are.  Quite Jealous!!


I had to look up the Atkinson motor design.  And the 3.5 has the D4S injections system.  Quite the read.  Especially, about the Atkinson design.  I am curious as to what MPG you get.  The stats says 19/24 w/auto.  I can easily get 20 on long trips in my 87 22RE, with 31's.  And loaded down.  This is my only gripe on engines today.  They are bigger, have more HP/TQ but lack in the MPG area.  Sister has a Tacoma 4 door 4x4, w/4.0 auto, and she is lucky to get around 16 at best. 


Can't wait to see what you do.  What is the first thing to go?  The 4wd/4lo dial on the dash??? 
Miss ya Dean (4THEWKN) & Kyle (KYOTA)!!

4THEWKN~9/17/2006  If it wasn't for you, I'd be driving something other than a Toyota!

My build up ~ project Kilchis! http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=32961.0
Zak's truck build ~ http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=64319.0;topicseen

BigMike [OP]

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Have been very busy over here, also trying to get caught up on sleep (my wife does not drive stick-shift unless the truck is Triple cased). I've been compiling this and had it mostly done last night but just couldn't stay up any later.

Here comes my first full report!

An Old School Hilux Rock Crawler owner's First Impressions of the new Tacoma

Drove 212 miles yesterday and here comes my first report!



Because the above pic shows it, might as well start there.
Fuel Economy
The 19.1 MPG did include a lot of wasted city use including much time idling around trying to figure out our plan/schedule/directions as well as functions of the truck. Got crossed up a few times, had to backtrack, etc, while building confidence to use the truck's navigation instead of my cellphone. Also I "had to" open it up and use the skinny pedal a couple times, um, you know, for science :D Definitely making over 20 MPG on the freeway @ 75 MPH. For reference my 2.7-liter 3RZ-FE 4cyl powered 1981 Rock Crawler with full body armor and Triple Marlin Crawler cases makes 20 MPG with 37" Interco IROKs at this same highway speed. This is why I like 4cyls. This Tacoma won't be able to touch this.

There is something I find lacking (maybe I just haven't figured it out yet), but MPG is only displayed in averages. Our Yaris and other modern Toyota's I've driven all have instantaneous MPG readouts. There is a blue horizontal instantaneous bar graph, but it lacks a numerical reading. The Eco screen only lists averages.

Reverse Camera
Reverse camera is brilliant. Already have some leveraging ideas for its use for Crawling.

Cup Holders
Oh man! I've got a truck with cup holders!! Eight of them in fact :smokin:

BSM and RCTA
The Blind Spot Mirror is nice. Took a bit of initial trust adjustment but I've really warmed up to these. Still, I miss my lil blind-spot (convex) mirrors. I use these on all my vehicles so I stopped at an O'Reilly's and they only had some ugly thick black framed mirrors and none of that crap is going on this truck. So I ordered these frameless ones which will be waiting for me back at home: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EVMT6A8

The Rear Cross-Traffic Alert hasn't alerted me of anything yet. :D

4WD
As mentioned I had to try out 4WD first day off the lot. System works great. I like how solid the rotary switch is. First time ever using a switch to enable 4WD. Realllllly miss the transfer case shift lever(s). Nevertheless, depending on the required modifications I'll run into soon, I might actually keep this shift style for the rear t/case after all.

Navigation unit
I am really blown away by this unit. I've used a number of them in various cars and most I've seen are slow and laggy. This Entune Premium with App Suite is brilliant. I had it mostly configured before we made our first stop for lunch :D

The iPhone Entune app (1.5 star rating on iTunes) so far has been useless for me. The only app I've tried is Pandora and I get ads over Pandora which I don't get through my iPhone (thank you jailbrake!). So I prefer Bluetooth. I think the Gas Station app only works if the Entune app is launched on my phone. That is pretty lame.

Speaking of the App Suite, here is something that is particularly annoying to me. According to both the official Toyota website and brochure, for my trim and truck build, this should ONLY be available WITH AN AUTOMATIC DOUBLE CAB:



I did not request for this; I was actually bummed I wouldn't be getting it. I do not have JBL speakers (I have not seen any JBL logos) but I do have the App-Suite. So Toyota willingly breaks their own rules when it comes to "Apps" but NOT when it comes to something IMPORTANT such as a REAR E-LOCKER...

The navigation's accuracy and ability is between that of Waze and Google Maps. Very impressed with it, especially once I figured out how to mute the lady's voice.

Noise
I've never driven another Tacoma but this truck is uber quiet. I think it is more quiet than Marlin's 2000 V8 Tundra, and if it wasn't for these noisy stock tires it might even be more quiet than our Yaris SE.

It does sound like there is noise coming from the back firewall or lower b-pillar areas. I noticed there is a rubber flap on both sides between the cab & bed to isolate vertical flow between the two. Nice touch Toyota. But I wonder if this higher velocity of air between the two is coming through as noise in the cab...

I can see a custom exhaust and intake giving a lot of life to this quiet cabin ;)

Hood scoop
Man... I just don't like it. It is only my second day so I must be cautious in coming to conclusions. But for me it comes down to the following:
1. It raises the hood line quite a bit which will certainly block my view of rocks on the trail, and
2. It is fake.
3. A lot of sun glare.
If this opinion remains when I get home I'll be looking to swap with a non-scoop hood.

Ignition key
I am very happy I have normal keys. From my past months lurking I've seen flip keys that look very brittle. I am very happy with the keys I got.

The main doors
The main doors are very tight on both sides. They will not fully close unless you make a conscience effort to close them. I don't believe them to be out of alignment. I believe they will require some breaking-in and this I like very much. No flimsy sheet metal noise here. Someone put some time into the fit and finish of the Access Cab doors.

The access doors
These are VERY nice. I can't believe how fantastic having these doors are. Access to the 'XtraCab' section of the truck is wonderful, and they open and close much better than the doors on my parent's 2000 Access Cab Tundra, which are more like full size doors with exterior handles.

The driver's seat
Not that I need to complain here but the seat is "okay". I have only experienced the driver's seat thus far. The seats in my MR2 and Yaris SE are both far better. But then again these Tacoma seats are lightyears better than the ones in my 1981 Hilux haha

The only adjustment is lumbar. I'd think that for a $30k truck they could have more adjustability such as tilt, height, and lateral controls. Perhaps the Limited has this...

One thing that is pretty nice is that the driver's seat can slide about a mile back. I am 6'0" and always have my seat back as far as it can go. Not with this Tacoma. These seat rails probably have enough movement for 6'5" drivers.

Factory alarm
I have a question: Where is the alarm? I tested it and it appears to only be a keyless entry system. No audible alarm, no hoking of the horn or flashing of the lights. There is a sticker on the driver's side window that shows soundwaves emitting from the vehicle, but so far I haven't figured out how to enable the "alarm". I have this same issue with our 2013 Yaris.

Two ways I tested it:
1. Remove key from ignition -> Open door then close door -> "arm" system -> Flip the door lock lever to the unlock position by hand -> have a friend open the door from the outside -> Nothing happens.
2. Roll window down halfway -> Remove key from ignition -> Exit vehicle -> Close door -> "arm" system -> Reach over the window and manually unlock door as above -> Open door from outside -> Nothing happens.

Unless the system is smart enough to know that the door was unlocked inside by the flip lever, it is not working. How do I enable the Tacoma alarm from silent mode to alarm mode? Thanks

Front shocks
The front shocks definitely need more dampening. The 5100-series Bilsteins we carry will be a welcomed improvement once I get back to our shop.

Brakes
Brakes feel great. Hopefully I never need to test the ABS. The real test will come once I get off-road.

Visibility
I am very happy this does not have the incredibly limited visibility as a FJ Cruiser. Pretty confident I'll be able to adjust to this truck for Rock Crawling. Over the shoulder visibility is good; The taller bedsides are not noticeable to me. A-pillars are wider than my non-airbag Hilux, but not stupid-wide like they are on my Yaris. The packaging of the curtain airbags has improved.

The transmission
You've waited for it so here it is: GREAT TRANSMISSION. All the marketing hype about dual synchros is true: Downshifts into 1st gear do not require the vehicle to be at a near stop. Toyota has done a fantastic design with 1st gear. Downshifts as if it was a 3.8:1. Surprisingly, unless the specs I've found online are wrong, it is lower than the 1st gear 4cyl transmission in my Hilux (3.98 vs 3.95) which is unexpected for an engine with more bottom end torque as the 6cyl. However this is great news once I get our Crawler installed.

Some RPM comparisons for you automatic lovers:
RPM at 70 MPH: 6th gear: 2,400, 5th gear: 2,900
RPM at 80 MPH: 6th gear: 2,700

Clutch
Clutch is like any other factory Toyota clutch. Light pedal, mushy engagement window.

Engine
Amazing engine. I am very impressed with it so far. It does have a slight hiccup in power delivery when you first hit the throttle, however I've never driven a drive-by-wire stick-shift before so I don't have anything to compare with. I've only opened it up a couple times and so far there seems to be two sharp power increases: One about 2,800 RPM and another about 3,900 RPM. Pulls very hard above 4k. Torque around 1,800 RPM is very good. I had no issues slowing for traffic and reaccelerating to speed without downshifting from 6th gear. Will be interesting how much this will change once I get all my gear loaded up in the bed.

Other notes:
I have not heard the D4S system "cleaning itself".
Idles low, about 700 RPM, also very good for Rock Crawling.
The engine shakes a lot during cranking and run-off. Love that 11.8:1 compression!

The curious things...
- The Recirculate button is of AN ACTUAL PICKUP TRUCK. You look at any recirculate button/switch for any Hilux and it is a recirculate drawing of a family car silhouette.
- If you don't fully activate the blinker, then it will blink a minimum 3 times. Very annoying. My habit of 20 yrs driving is to blink twice for lane changes by only slightly moving the lever. Even if I barely move the lever for one blink and release the Tacoma will blink twice more.
- Steering wheel controls: I like the layout and use them often, but Toyota used a non-standard audio control: Right & left buttons control volume while up & down buttons control skip.
- Brake and gas pedal are wider apart than my Hilux. Maybe this is to account for people wearing large work boots. I have to exaggerate my heel-toe movements. I'll be looking for pedal covers soon.
- I do not like the doors auto-locking once the truck is in motion. I was taught to never drive away with the doors unlocked, however while Crawling I leave them unlocked on purpose due to frequently stops. I'll be overriding this soon.
- I do not like how the air vent mode auto-reverts to main vents only upon each and every time the truck is started. I like having ventilation for my feet and 95% of the time I have the mode set for main vents + feet vents. So every time I get in the truck I have to readjust the vent mode. Dumb. Also unnecessary wear and tear.
- Windows have auto down AND up including for the passenger door control. Very nice.
- Visors are both telescopic AND both with lighted mirrors. Very nice.

And that's it for my initial impressions! Back on the road we go! :driving:

Regards,
BigMike

redneckcustoms13

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Does your steering column telescope as well as tilt? Blew my mind when I discovered this on my 06 double cab.
80 short bed, longs, hi steer, 4.7 case twin stick, 4.11, 38 tsl, mild built 22r
83 long bed, sas, hi steer, 3rz, w56, 4.56 33s
95 4runner project
06 4 door tacoma street truck

chim

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About that hood... There are plenty of people on Tacoma World who will give you cash plus their non-scoop hood for yours!

blackdiamond

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Does it have heated side mirrors or an auto-dimming rearview mirror?  Both features that I love in the newer vehicles.

I had a comment as I was reading through your review, but by the end I had forgotten it... :dunno:
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

Moab Tested & Rubicon Approved

Toyotadon

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Great to see you got your truck, Mike!

I still wish I could have helped you build your "unicorn" out of 2 different trucks.  In the long run, you will probably realize having all the electronic nannies associated with the Off Road package would not have fit with your plans.  Even the e-locker is a different design than what you're used to.

BTW, if you want to bring it straight to Hanford, I'll get it smogged for you.

Waterman

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Hi Mike...you say you like the Nav unit.  The one in my Pro works great once you get it to accept what you are trying to tell it.  Did the required 1/2 hour or so talking to the unit before it was ever used, still is a PITA to get it to accept directions.  If yours works, then hopefully I can get a software update for mine.  My new S6 phone took no training and gets it right every time....think Toyota could have done better.  As to your alarm, you most likely don't have one unless you got it as an option.  The stock set up gives you a sticker on the windows and a blinking LED and is actually an engine mobilization device that prevents starting the vehicle without the chipped key being there...at least that is what came on my  15 Pro.  Enjoy your trip, we just got back from a 2k Nev, Ariz, Utah trip...10 days 2k miles.

Mudder

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With the autolocking doors, don't they unlock when you, the driver opens the door even if it's still moving? and don't all the doors unlock?

ExCabSwap

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So what axle are you gonna put under it? '83, '85?  Linked or sprung? :thumbsup:
1993 Standard cab chassis. 1989 Extended Cab. 22R-E BO .020, ENGNBLDR 261c cam, Doug Thorley Tri-Y header, Straight Pipe through a Flowmaster 40, ARB Rear Locker, York OBA with fabricated bracket.
Projects waiting in my shop: '83 Front Axle, TG Sliders, second tcase, NEW: XD 4.70 gears!

 
 
 
 
 

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