Author Topic: The Diablo Rojo: An ordinary Toyota becomes a field truck  (Read 6092 times)

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Lewis Hein

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The Diablo Rojo: An ordinary Toyota becomes a field truck
« on: Jun 22, 2017, 04:39:36 AM »
First off, this is not a rock crawler build and never will be. But before you run away, there might just be interesting things to read. To begin with, here is my inspiration for the name:


This bus is known a a "Diablo Rojo". Typically, it will have no muffler and a bad suspension, so it goes bouncing down the road with a characteristic roar. Sound familiar? If not, take a ride in my truck sometime. It, too goes bouncing down the road with a characteristic roar. It's just not as highly decorated...yet.

As mentioned, this build is not going to end in a rock crawler, so my list of mods and equipment may be a little different. Here goes:
 - Onboard GPS
 - Red (or at least amber) driving lights and spot light.
 - Decoration (OK, not necessary, but I have to fix the paint anyway...)
 - Dual batteries
 - H8PVMNT's Cold Mixture Heater mod.
 - Exhaust protector to reduce risk of starting fires.
 - Other things as I need/think of/want them.

Here is a picture of the truck in it's current state.

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Well, I'll be starting with an item that's not even on the list: A tilt meter.

I get nervous when driving across the sides of hills, and I want a side-to-side tilt meter to tell me what sort of angle I'm on. Then I want a front-to-back tilt meter to see how steep a hill I'm climbing. Unfortunately, I hit a little problem: Toyota tilt meters of the same vintage as my truck cost $200 used on eBay. Sure, I can get a cheap one for $15, but do I really trust it to be up to Toyota quality standards? Probably not.

Fortunately I don't have to compromise. I have a sweet little milling machine with a rotary table that enabled me to mill a curved 3/16" slot in a block of wood -- just the right size to hold a piece of .22 shot. Then I designed a face, printed it out, and covered with plastic cut out of old clamshell packaging. Now I just have to figure out how and where to mount it...

Gnarly4X

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Ahhh yes... the Tilt Meter.

Is that the one that when your anal sphincter is puckering and you are fixated on looking at it.....  :eyecrazy:

..... and then you roll over.  :yikes:

.... :_oops2:

Gnarls.  :gap:
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~15,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Lewis Hein [OP]

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No, It's the one that keeps me from chickening out when driving across a 25* slope.

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Next mod: My spotlight came today.

Back story: I have been wanting a red spot light for quite a while -- something to see what I'm doing at night, as well as to find mammals at night without disturbing them. It seems, though, that red spot lights aren't very common. Especially not high quality red spot lights that can be controlled from inside the cab.

I was about to give up the search forever, when I ran across the GoLight Radioray. golight.com. It is pretty sweet, with wired or wireless remote control options, 370* of rotation, and 135 of tilt. I bought a reconditioned wired remote model and set about putting it on the truck.

Here is what comes in the box:

A light, a control panel, a gasket, and a 20' wiring harness

First, we've got to run the wire. This requires putting a hole in the cab, which I was loath to do, but there was no other option.

I marked where the light will go


And drilled a 5/8" hole.

No going back now...

Fishing time!

The wire harness on the right here has to be fished from the driver's side kick panel all the way through the column between the windshield and door, then turn and come out the hole. My fishing tool is an old garage door cable

Got the cable through the first part (it sure helps that the cab fabric is loose there)
.
Now comes the fun, getting the fishing cable down to the driver's side kick panel.

Got there!


Now we make a fish hook...


And a mating hook on the fish...

Note that this wraps around the plastic connector. I don't want to break any wires here.

Hook the fish up and start reeling in!


The channel between the windshield and door seems to have internal braces with small holes. Getting the 1/4" cable through was not easy, needing much jiggling back and forth. Getting the big connector through was even worse. I had to track its progress by ear, and when I hit a restriction, twist the cable in the hopes that it would somehow align the connector with the hole.

I guess the holes in there were all big enough. (whew!)

Time to get it to the hole on top of the cab

Getting the connector through the 5/8" hole was not easy.
.

Fortunately, though, it was possible.


Next, we mount the control panel. It goes to the right of the steering column where there's a blank space for some gadget or other.

Good thing this truck didn't come with whatever gadget that was, huh?

Then some basic wiring and...

Well how about that. It works.

Lewis Hein [OP]

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You will notice that this light is not red. As far as I'm concerned, a white light at night is worse than useless, so rest assured that I didn't compromise. The thing is, when I ordered the light, a software glitch prevented me from ordering the red lens. I wrote to GoLight about it and they promptly sent me a red lens and an amber lens, free. Talk about service! I would definitely say these are good people to deal with.

I have also been told that these are pretty good lights. Time will tell.

fireitup

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I think an obligatory "shine spotlight at the same tree/shrub in the wild with each colored lens at the same distance at night" photo set is in order here.

 :yupyup:

Good stuff Lewis!

 :popcorn:
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Lewis Hein [OP]

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That's a pretty good idea, actually. I'll try to get to it sometime.

A bit of paint is coming soon...

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I always find the red light that comes on every headlamp is totally useless unless you're trying to read a map or other short range things like digging thru a glovebox.
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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Hey Lewis,

I'm having a little trouble understanding the red light thing.  It appears that the light has a red lens.  A red lens on a white light source is not the same as infrared.  I thought white light, full visible spectrum, is always better for unassisted human eyes to "see" at low light levels?

As for as mammals, most nocturnal animals will typically have way better night vision than humans - more rods.  If you are driving around at night looking for mammals, your truck will most likely alert them way before any light.

Am I reading your objective for the light mounted on your truck cab correctly.

Gnarls. :inthedark:
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fireitup

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Red light may not allow you to see as well as white, but it will allow you to see better than in the dark AND not wreck your night vision.

This is why it is commonly used by Astronomers to read charts at night. It allows you to check your charts and immediately go back to the telescope without any degraded night vision.

If you are driving around at night with your headlights off, and needed to spot something I could see its utility...

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Lewis Hein [OP]

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Gnarls,

You have officially provoked my "white lights at night" rant. Here goes.

I hate using white lights at night, for several reasons:

1) White lights let you see really well in maybe 10% of your field of vision, while totally obscuring the other 90%. As it happens, that other 90% is just where you most need to see to notice movements that could be really, really important.

2) When you turn them off you are effectively blind for a few minutes, which is NOT a good situation. Especially if, like me, you sometimes survey for night-dwelling critters with no lights to avoid biasing the survey. I want to see where I'm going, turn off the light, and immediately be able to see my surroundings.

3) It's always good and sometimes very necessary to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Per the above, using a white light makes this nearly impossible.

These problems do not totally go away with red instead of white, but they are greatly mitigated.

OK -- that was the (short) rant. It is purely my own opinion and very specific to my own situation, so I won't argue (much) if anyone disagrees with me.

As for looking for mammals; I have the choice of having them see my truck, or my truck plus a brilliant white light. Truck+light will disturb them far more. Non-primate mammals cannot see red, so truck+red light will be almost equivalent to truck+nothing. IR would be really cool to have, but for my purposes it's not worth the expense. Besides, then I need IR goggles or something.

I regularly drive off-road at night without headlights, (see rant above). I want a red light also to enable me to see when I need more than the moonlight, starlight, and reflected city lights will do, such as spotting a big rock or digging myself out of a snowdrift.

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Hey Lewis,

Provocative discussions on a forum are usually the very best kind.  :beerchug:

I'll post some "provocative" comments later.  :thumbs:

Happy Tuesday!  :D

Gnarls.
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Hey Lewis,

I have virtually no experience looking for mammals at night, although I have been on many “night runs” during my sand duning and 4 wheeling days.  I once walked down from a hike up to the top of Mount Whitney.  We started down the mountain trail at night from Trail Camp (12,000 feet) to the trail head parking lot – 6 miles.  It was very dark and took about 1 hour before my eyes adjusted to the very low light condition.  I was amazed at how well I could see without any artificial light source.

There are physiological reasons why the human eye cannot see as well with red filtered light at night.  The red light at night is a misconception, depending upon what you are viewing and at what distances.

If you are out at night driving or walking on trail and are interested in seeing wildlife at night, blue-green or dimmable white light will provide the best visual acuity and imaging to the human eye.

With trichromatic vision in humans, we have 3 type of cones (sensitive to blue, green, red light), and rods which are for low light vision and produce a gray scale.  The main reason we see better at low light or for night visibility is that rods are most sensitive to a specific color frequency in our visible light spectrum – blue-green light.

I completely understand how the human eye can adjust to very low light conditions over time, but if you want to “see” more detail at night, with better acuity, including color, use a blue-green light source or a low intensity white light source.

Red filtered light would not be your best choice.

I am in no way any kind of an expert in human vision, however, I spent over 20 years in film photography, about 5 years frequently working in a photographic darkroom, and over 5 years in scientific microscopy, including bright light, florescence, phase contrast, and confocal (laser) microscopes, including state of the art digital imaging cameras.

But.. your light is really cool looking on top of your cab!

That’s just my opinion – it may be worthless.
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~15,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Hey Gnarls,

Your opinion seems pretty valid to me; I can indeed see much more clearly without the red filter while the light is on. Many of my use cases, though, are not ones where I need to see with great clarity and detail, but rather be able to see sufficient detail without sacrificing my ability to see right after I turn the light off.

It's not just searching for mammals, although that is something I may use it quite a bit for. Some kind of red light will also let me see things like faint roads turning off (if they aren't too faint) rocks in shadows, snowdrifts, etc. Much of this involves seeing general outlines all the time rather than good detail some of the time.

If you are out at night driving or walking on trail and are interested in seeing wildlife at night, blue-green or dimmable white light will provide the best visual acuity and imaging to the human eye.

With trichromatic vision in humans, we have 3 type of cones (sensitive to blue, green, red light), and rods which are for low light vision and produce a gray scale.  The main reason we see better at low light or for night visibility is that rods are most sensitive to a specific color frequency in our visible light spectrum – blue-green light.

I completely understand how the human eye can adjust to very low light conditions over time, but if you want to “see” more detail at night, with better acuity, including color, use a blue-green light source or a low intensity white light source.

Very true; my issue with blue/green or white is that my visual acuity is then greatly reduced in places where I'm not shining it. And based on simple probability, these places that I can't see with the light on are likely more important than those that I can.

But.. your light is really cool looking on top of your cab!

Glad you like it... I could see myself taking the red filter off for certain uses say, looking for someone who is lost, or certain kinds of repair work on another vehicle. But I'd always wonder how many bears and mountain lions were in the shadows where I couldn't see them.

Most bears and mountain lions, of course, will avoid the light and people, except maybe the occasional one that is too used to humans. That one is the one that, if it is coming to casually check you out, you need to see as soon as possible, and it's not likely to obligingly step into your white light beam (the only place you can see).

Disclaimer: I've never, ever, met a mountain lion or bear at night, or even in the day. I have read stories of encounters, especially with ones that are habituated to people. I've also spent a significant amount of time walking alone or with small groups through known mountain lion country that also happens to contain vicious and territorial dogs. Based on these experiences, broad visibility for general movement trumps narrow visibility for detail.

Lewis

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Red light may not allow you to see as well as white, but it will allow you to see better than in the dark AND not wreck your night vision.

This is why it is commonly used by Astronomers to read charts at night. It allows you to check your charts and immediately go back to the telescope without any degraded night vision.

If you are driving around at night with your headlights off, and needed to spot something I could see its utility...

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Hey fireitup,

The human eye is probably one of the most researched and studied part of our anatomy.

Yes, there are probably astronomers out there that are using red light to read their charts.  Unfortunately, the low intensity red light for chart reading by astronomers is better, and avoids degrading natural night vision, is another myth.

As we all know, there hundreds of myths out there which are still active. Some vehicle manufacturers have/had red light instrument panels.  I remember thinking how cool the red lit instrument panel looked.  Back some years ago my Mercedes had amber colored “fog lights”.  It was a perpetuated myth that amber light was better to see in fog… that has been consequently debunked … white light is better.

I believe you will find that today most aircraft instrument panels are illuminated with a green-blue light.  If red light was better for the cockpit crew flying at night, why would they use green-blue?

There is, of course, the truth about myths.  It is a myth or fact that water drains counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and water drains clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere?  Google the “Coriolis Effect” for a scientific explanation.  Hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere turn counter clockwise, while hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere turn clockwise.

Again, that's just my opinion.

Gnarls.   

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Your rods are used for night vision.

Rods can't see red light, that's where the use of the red light came from........


With green light,  your cones (at least 2 out of 3, maybe all 3) and rods can see.     Plus you need less green light to see with than red light.    So a dim green light (dim enough not to screw up your night vision) is easier to see with at night.
Ed
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Lewis Hein [OP]

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Hey Gnarls,

I wish all "opinions" were as well-researched as yours; I dug into the whole red v. white issue last night, and here's what I found. If you disagree with my conclusions, please don't hesitate to argue.

First, I found a study by the naval research laboratory that showed that all light is bad for night vision, but red light does less damage and recovery is quicker than white light at a given perceptual intensity. However, this advantage is minimal at low light levels. I can post more details on the study if anyone is interested. I further found the well-known fact that rods provide much less detail.

Now, here's my more evidence-based argument for red over white in my specific situation

My options currently are:
1) No light (spotlight off).
2) A blindingly bright white light.
3) A less blindingly bright red light.

Option 1 is the best when workable; however, it's not always workable. That, after all, is why I got the spotlight in the first place. Now, I want to answer questions ranging from "How many ruts of what depth are in this mud-hole in front of me?" to "What's that animal 300 yards away in the deep shadow?" Obviously, these call for very different types of lighting; the spotlight is intended much more for the second question, although it may be used for the first. The point is that a "dim" light isn't going to shine 300 yards away. Sure, I could theoretically adjust it to be dim at that distance, but if there's dust in the air, that's a no go because the beam will be too bright. And questions like this one do not require much vision for detail.

Option 2 is fine if I don't mind being night blind for the next 10 minutes, and the only workable solution if I want detail or color vision. But most of the time, I'd rather be able to see sooner after using the light than be able to see better with the light.

If anyone's interested, the article is titled "The Relative Effectiveness of Red and White Light For Subsequent Dark-adaptation"

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Lewis Hein [OP]

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Shining coyotes is legal here.
It is here too, on private land with permission of the land owner. However, there seems to be enough effort in predator control around here already.

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... First, I found a study....

Hi Lewis,

Remember I stated…

“There are physiological reasons why the human eye cannot see as well with red filtered light at night.  The red light at night is a misconception, depending upon what you are viewing and at what distances.”

Red light is more taxing on your eyes and ocular system… one of the reasons pilots prefer green-blue light over red.

Well… I understand your thinking, and it sounds like it works for you.  Everyone’s eyes can be different physiologically. There are people who say that can see ultraviolet light.

When I read your post it read like you are planning to drive your vehicle in some level of darkness with the headlights off, just your red filtered cabtop light while wanting to observe mammal wildlife.

The amount of intensity that you will need to light up the smallest area in your visible terrain for you to see any kind of detail will be high.

Now, regarding red light for your night vision, like many scientific studies, there is the hypothetical, the theoretical, the anecdotal evidence, the experiments, there is correlation, there are facts – which can sometimes can be quite debatable, and I’m sure there are PhDs out there who will present antithetical discourse.  So, it’s up to you to decide who’s theory, experiments, facts or truths you want to believe.

My prediction is that you will end up with a green filter on that neat light after testing the red filter and comparing it to a non-filtered white light.  Your success with seeing mammals will be by adjusting the intensity and perhaps just parking the vehicle.  Many animals can sense heat (infrared).  The size of your body, and much more, the size of your truck will be easily detected by most nocturnal wild life.  Most mammals will have superior hearing to humans and will also sense your presence.  It will be interesting to know what animals and how many you will see.

Good discussion.

Gnarls. :inthedark:
« Last Edit: Jun 30, 2017, 03:23:48 AM by Gnarly4X »
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Hi Lewis,

Since you opened up a pandora's box for discussion (all good) and appear to be very interested in light and human vision, here's a link to Ron Bigelow's site.

http://www.ronbigelow.com/index-2.htm    Peruse the "articles"... probably way more than you are interested... look at the Perception section.

By far it's probably the most in depth scientific and technical information I've seen recently.  Although I am a graduate from Nikon's School of Photography along with several other digital and photographic imaging certifications, and have read numerous books on general and technical photography (like tri-color filtration and infrared) and photomicrography, again, I claim to be NO expert in the subject.... just giving you my opinion.

I think you will gain some very interesting insight into the human eye and light.

Warning!... he goes from basic to a deeper technical discussion and can be boring for the lesser scientifically oriented individual.

Enjoy... :beerchug:

Gnarls.
« Last Edit: Jun 30, 2017, 06:51:32 AM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~15,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Lewis Hein [OP]

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OK, did I say some paint was happening? Actually, I did. But that's not to say that pictures were happening, I guess.

The paint on the front of my hood was totally beaten up from being towed so much. The auto parts store doesn't stock old faded Toyota red in their paint colors, so I went for contrast instead.


I may do more painting in the future. However, one brush with the nasty stuff in automotive paint might be quite enough for me.

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Did you think this thread was dead? Well, you were wrong. It was only in an extended coma.

I've done some thinking over the weeks about what direction I want this to take, and have come up with a list of goals. Things I do will be centered around these goals.

In no particular order:

 -- Complete dependability. I want a vehicle that I could take 50 miles into the mountains in the dead of winter with total confidence that it wouldn't strand me.
 -- Durability. I want to keep this thing for at least another 20 years or 200,000 miles. And I want to do so without having to fix stuff every other week.
 -- Good gas mileage: I HATE driving something that gets less than 20 MPG.
 -- Enough off-road ability (within the first three constraints) to navigate unmaintained mountain roads. However, if I have to walk, that is usually not a problem.
 -- Learning. As stated many times before, I know practically nothing about anything automotive. Hopefully, if I ever attain the first four goals, I'll have learned more than anyone ever wanted to know.

I know, I know. I'm trying to fight entropy, and I've set some steep goals here. But these goals are what I work towards when contemplating modifications or upgrades.

One note: I'm taking my lead from a few others here on my build thread. I try to be tolerant of chit-chat, but please be aware that I reserve the right to delete posts that I think are too non-constructive or off topic. For the sake of others who may want to follow in my footsteps or learn from my mistakes, I want this thread to have a high signal/noise ratio.

Lewis Hein [OP]

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On that note, I just picked up a W56 with 4.7 transfer case from H8PVMNT.

The 2.28:1 low range does fine 95% of the time for me, but that other 5% I sorta want something slower. This is good for my goal of learning; however, the input splines on the t-case might not go for another 200,000 miles. I was really keen on the W56, because they are good for durability and my G52 was getting a little cranky. I think I will be happier with 4.7 gears, but doing that while getting something worth another 200k will be interesting. Not impossible, but a good challenge and learning experience.

My current idea is to see if I can swap the input shaft off the t-case on my G52 with the input shaft on the 4.7 H8PVMNT transfer case, keeping the gearing the same. Has anyone done this? Does anyone who messes around with t-cases know if this is even possible?

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You can not use a 2.28 input shaft on a 4.7 case. I've seen the splines and nwouldnt be concerned running them for a while. You will need a new 4.7 input shaft to make that repair.
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

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Thanks. I am really now tempted just to run it and see how long it lasts. Everyone tells me it should run a while, and I want to see for myself.

H8PVMNT

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If you were going to run big tires and more horsepower I would swap that input gear, but if you setup will stay on the smaller end I think you are good to run it indefinitely.  The main reason I wasn't going to run it was that I didn't want to go through the hassle of a top shift conversion to run the 4.7 t-case in the '80.

You should build a crawl box with your other case and if you swap out the input, top shift it at the same time and have dual ultimates in your sleeper '85.

It was nice meeting you guys this weekend   :biggthumpup:.
“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.”
– Steve McQueen

"Except for maybe Seattle."  -H8PVMNT

"I plan to hit 300k in this truck"  :)bestgen4runner

 "I'm jealous of your shop. It has concrete and doesn't smell like pickles like the old shop  "  300K

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Dual ultimates would be more overkill (and more interesting).

That said, I think I'm just going to put it together and run it. I want to completely dismantle a t-case someday, but first things have to come first. And first things is to get a better transmission into my truck. I think, as you said, that it will run a long, long, time.

H8PVMNT

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With 31s and dual ultimates you could probably grow vines up the side of your rig while it was idling in gear :).
“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.”
– Steve McQueen

"Except for maybe Seattle."  -H8PVMNT

"I plan to hit 300k in this truck"  :)bestgen4runner

 "I'm jealous of your shop. It has concrete and doesn't smell like pickles like the old shop  "  300K

 
 
 
 
 

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