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Author Topic: Feedback requested on a partial forum index redesign  (Read 13724 times)

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BigMike

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Feedback requested on a partial forum index redesign
« on: Apr 05, 2016, 04:51:30 PM »
Hello Crawler Community,

I've been considering breaking up truck models into separate forums for a while now and and have finally decided to pull the trigger.

But in getting the behind the scenes things set up I've run into a dilemma.

The Idea:

Break up truck forums into individual forums based on generation. This would only apply to the model specific forums at the top of the "Vehicle Specific" category.

  • "Toyota Pickup/4Runner Tech 79-95" would be turned into three forums, "1st Gen", "2nd Gen", and "3rd Gen"

  • New 1st through 5th generation individual boards for 4Runners

  • 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 200-series individual LC boards

  • and so on.

I really like the idea of separate, more specific boards for each body-style / generation rather than "Post here for all your 1995+ newer trucks" (T100? Tundra? FJ Cruiser? Hello?). I feel it brings those members closer together who share the same generation truck.

The Dilemma:

What to do with "Project Build-Up and Research"?

If I go out and buy a 2nd gen Hilux, I could choose to start a new build thread under the new "Hilux.....2nd Gen" board --OR-- I could choose to place it in the "Project Research..." forum. It seems redundant. It holds true that a Project ought to go in the Project section, but if I want to expose my work to other fellow 2nd gen owners then it would be neat to post to the 2nd Gen forum. Otherwise my project would just be one of many all thrown together with other unrelated build-ups.

Options that I'd like some feedback with:

1. Kill the Projects section completely and somehow disperse those threads to their appropriate new application-specific forums. This would be difficult and very time consuming. Realistically they'd get dumped into the "General 4WD Discussion" section and I'd go back 3 or 4 pages to move the popular / active threads to their proper new app-specific board. For example I'd move my own build thread to the "1st Gen" section where other 1st gen Hilux owners are browsing.

2. Keep the Projects section and add application-specific child-boards to it. "Project Research.... >> 40-series LC", "Project Research.... >> 60-series LC", and so on. Still have the issue of many application-specific threads not in the appropriate new child-boards. Still have the confusion of wanting to post in the new "2nd Gen" specific section or the "Project .... >> 2nd Gen" child-board. (why both?) Also this would be a TON of child-boards in our lone "Project Research..." board.

3. Create Project child-boards within the new proposed application-specific forums. "40-series LC >> Projects", 60-series LC >> Projects", and so on. Then do the same as step 1, but move the active threads to these new individual app-specific Project child-boards.

So what do you guys think? Any feedback is appreciated.

Thank you!

Regards,
BigMike

Edit for Additional Notes:

Moving threads does NOT change the topic ID and thus does NOT change the URL.
-- My build thread is and will always be http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=4401.0 no matter if it is in the Project Buildup section or the Newbie check-in section or the Chit Chat section.
« Last Edit: Apr 05, 2016, 04:58:12 PM by BigMike »
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Error occurred because of error.
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SqWADoosh

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Love the idea of more specific sections. My personal opinion is to keep the build threads separate from the general model sections. When you have them in the same section they drown out what I believe those sections should be for. Which is Q&A, tech, and general information pertinent to those specific models. The project and research section should be not changed or at the most should be child out into what the model sections are now:

1. First generation Toyota pickup Builds
2. 85-95 Toyota Pickup/4Runner Builds
3. 3rd gen 4Runner & 1st generation Tacoma Builds
4. Land Cruiser 40 series Builds
5. Land Cruiser 60 series
....so on and so forth.

emsvitil

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Don't break up Projects.


TOO many sub-forums can be a pain......  sub-forums with only a couple of threads aren't needed.

Then where do you put Frankenstein machines......    It's part this and part that and some more of something else.


The generations are hard to remember, and some year 4runners and pickups can be different generations.        Always mention years......


Can forums have links?     That way one thread will show up in different sub-forums for those weird cases..


Ed
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BigMike [OP]

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Thanks for the feedback.  :deal:

My personal opinion is to keep the build threads separate from the general model sections. When you have them in the same section they drown out what I believe those sections should be for. Which is Q&A, tech, and general information pertinent to those specific models.

Then where do you put Frankenstein machines......

Ok will leave Projects are it is. Should have new individual sections up by the end of the week :thumbs: Great point with mixed builds or even custom tube buggy builds: They'd need yet another category.

Can forums have links?     That way one thread will show up in different sub-forums for those weird cases..
This is not a feature of our forum software but that doesn't mean I couldn't custom program it in. It would be easy to do in a manual way, where I hard-code topic IDs to appear in multiple boards. Would take a lot more work to have it user configurable through a thread's edit page.

This will be the start of a series of user improvements to our forum :wave:

Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
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Things are only impossible until they are not.

Toyotadon

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X2 on including years in with generations.  Are you separating Trucks/Tacomas from 4Runners across the board?

mudmaster

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Love the idea of more specific sections. My personal opinion is to keep the build threads separate from the general model sections. When you have them in the same section they drown out what I believe those sections should be for. Which is Q&A, tech, and general information pertinent to those specific models. The project and research section should be not changed or at the most should be child out into what the model sections are now:

1. First generation Toyota pickup Builds
2. 85-95 Toyota Pickup/4Runner Builds
3. 3rd gen 4Runner & 1st generation Tacoma Builds
4. Land Cruiser 40 series Builds
5. Land Cruiser 60 series
....so on and so forth.

Ditto!
Time to go wheelin!

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I agree with what others are saying. 

It would be nice to see the break down between generations and models.  But the "Frankenstein" projects, would be left out.  ie; 79 first gen round headlight with a 4th gen 3RZ.  Would that fall under 1st Gen, or Research/Projects?  But if you do the generations, it needs to be for those that are not modified, more OEM setup.  But most of ours isn't all OEM.  So, it could go either way. 

And too many sub-forums, is just that, too many.  So, we need to do find a balance of just right/too much.  I have gone to other forums, and their sub-forums, have sub-forums, and you get lost.  Or they have 80 sections to choose from.  Too much.  We have sub-forums I forget we have on Marlin, until I do a search and it comes up under a sub-forum I overlooked. 


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

zippo

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MERGE THE IDEAS!

Link all post in the sub threads so they show in "Project Build-Up and Research".

This allow people who like to look at all builds to do so and others who like more of one type to only look at that type.
It also gives a place for the frankenbuilds to go.
It would be a slow growing change so people aren't confused.
SMF might already have a "Show all in sub threads" add on.
This linking could also be easy automated into the "New Post" scripting. "If you know how to link them to start with"



Happy to help out with anything if I can! I have little to do now that I have graduated and am looking for a job.
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2016, 01:54:55 AM by zippo »
If you see it, its for sale.

liveoak

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 :soapbox: I have a problem with most of the forum sites including this one when I'm researching things. It's the pictures. I myself don't link to 3rd party photo sites because sooner or later the photos disappear and then you end up with a useless thread that's missing the pics. Before you start changing things, create an easy way(some forums have it) for users to upload pictures that will automatically shrink them to your desired size(which should be a bit bigger than 140kb). That way the content created today will be around for the future. or you could create a new category "threads that are now worthless because they're missing the pics"


 :worthless:
« Last Edit: Apr 09, 2016, 10:37:35 PM by liveoak »
my 3rz swap. http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=97722.0

Let me start off with a basket of chips

kneedownnate

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And maybe fix the search to list in chronological order rather than "relevance", which is an absolute useless parameter since it is never even close.

I'm only for changing up the boards if it gets the numbers of often redundant stickies down to a minimum  :thud:  The more sections there are, the less it seems like people will click on them.
RIP KYOTA

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SqWADoosh

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:soapbox: I have a problem with most of the forum sites including this one when I'm researching things. It's the pictures. I myself don't link to 3rd party photo sites because sooner or later the photos disappear and then you end up with a useless thread that's missing the pics. Before you start changing things, create an easy way(some forums have it) for users to upload pictures that will automatically shrink them to your desired size(which should be a bit bigger than 140kb). That way the content created today will be around for the future. or you could create a new category "threads that are now worthless because they're missing the pics"


 :worthless:

Utilize www.imgur.com they never take down your photos.

liveoak

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I still don't think it's a good idea to have different 3rd party companies host important parts of your content.
my 3rz swap. http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=97722.0

Let me start off with a basket of chips

SqWADoosh

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I still don't think it's a good idea to have different 3rd party companies host important parts of your content. so what happens if you close your imgur account, they promise they will link your photos to marlincrawler.com forever?

There are no accounts on imgur. Thats the appeal of it.

BigMike [OP]

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Ok guys,

Thank you for all the feedback.

Please reload the main forum index: http://board.marlincrawler.com

This is what I originally had in mind. Please take a look. Forums are text intensive and I've always wanted more graphics on the board index. As I said I've wanted to do this for a while.

I've switched it up 20 different ways and I can't decide which I like so I just decided to go live with it and get feedback.

Different things I've tried:
  • Images are 200x150 pixels and originally were displayed as such. I've got your browser resizing them to 150x113 which I think is better as it takes up less space but not too small to not see what they are. The images will be properly resized to whatever is decided on.

  • I originally had each platform separated each with unique Headers.

    For example I had, "HILUX PICKUP" then a line break, then followed by the three images for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen. Line break. "4RUNNER". Five images. Linebreak. And so on.

    Issue was that for the T100 and FJ Cruiser, as there are only one generation made, it took up a lot of vertical space and made the page lengthy.

  • I tried a 5 image per row fixed grid. This seemed to fit well no matter if my browser was full screen or not. Issue here is that you have 3 Hilux Pickups + 2 4Runners. Then a fresh row. Then 3 4Runners + 1 T100 + 1 Tacoma. And so on. It was just weird that they are not grouped BUT nice to have them fixed so you always know where to look.

  • I tried fully floating DIVs that follow the width of the browser. Issue is that depending on your screen size, the last row might only have 1 or 2 items listed with a ton of empty space to their right. This is how it currently is now.

  • Tried many different other small changes that I cannot remember.

  • I've gone back and forth with removing details.

    I removed the "Last by...user...thread...time" for less vertical space and also removed the Posts and Topics counter. Without anything but images it did look dumb. Currently everything is displayed.

    I don't like the "Last by..." text being so small but otherwise it is messy.

  • The images are replaced with full color copies whenever a new reply is posted to each board. This is normal behavior but just wanted to mention it in case they are all grayscale on your end.

Working on some changes to the Project Build Up section now. These changes will not be as drastic. You'll see what I mean shortly.

The drop down "Jump to:" list to the lower right of the last reply functions normally. So even if you are not at the main board index page, you can still access a board through the Jump list.

I see the other unrelated requests and feedback in this thread and they are noted. Improvements can be made no problem, but would like to get this wrapped up first.

Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
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Error occurred because of error.
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Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Wanted to add that I REALLY like have each separate boards. It will take some time to slowly move threads around and populate the new sections but overtime it will start coming together.

Just realized that for Guest view all images are grayscale. This is incorrect. Fixing it now.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Just realized that for Guest view all images are grayscale. This is incorrect. Fixing it now.
Fixed.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Another thing to add is that I have not considered provisions to display childboards. From the board index, you'll have to click on a board and then click on a childboard.

The How To Guides will be moved accordingly and I suppose we should make new How To Guide childboards for every new section? Dang.... That is a lot of childboards. Does anyone even use the 'How To Guides'?

* BigMike goes to look haha

Got about 300 topics and 2,400 posts. So people are using them. Ok no problem we can add these for each section. My original intent behind them would have been to gather DIY and tech step-by-step guides.

BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Ok guys,

Was brushing my teeth just now and thought of yet another layout design. I like the 5 models per row layout. Now if we keep it this way, we can have the 3 Hilux + 1 T100 + 1 FJ C, and the rest will fit in except for the Land Cruisers of which there are seven.

Nevertheless, the LC section could be a row of 4 followed by a row of 3. Done.

So I quickly drew this up in Photoshop. How about this with contrasting backgrounds: dark background with lighter group backgrounds with borders.

Example:



I think it's weird to have the T100 and FJ Cruiser up top as they are not as popular as other models. But it makes for a nice 5 column layout. They could be switched with the two Tundra generations, but now we're even worse as hardly any one wheels a Tundra.

One issue I can see is that as Toyota releases additional model generations we'll have to continually alter the layout.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

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2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Just added a sweet "Hello <user>...." text line to get additional members to chime in here :wave:
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

emsvitil

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Group the trucks together chronologically and by size.

SUV types next, same idea


Hilux, hilux, hilux, Tacoma, Tacoma
Tacoma, T100,tundra,tundra

4R,4R,4R,4R,4R
FJC,LC,LC,LC,LC
LC,LC,LC
Ed
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BigMike [OP]

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Group the trucks together chronologically and by size.

SUV types next, same idea

I like it. Refresh the index. I've got it now as:

Hilux, Hilux, Hilux, *T100, Tacoma, Tacoma, Tacoma, Tundra, Tundra

I didn't touch the rest. SUV group:

4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, LC, LC, LC, LC, LC, LC, LC

The SUV group technically should be:

LC, LC, LC, LC, LC, LC, LC, 4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser

as the LC came out before the 4Runner, and 4Runner before the FJ C.

Before:



After:



Yup. I'm like'n this and I don't have to make any fancy background or border work. Model additions are fluid.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

zippo

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Not to kill the party. This is super wonky on the phone
If you see it, its for sale.

emsvitil

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I did the Tacoma after the Hilux because to me it was just a name change for the same basic pickup.

So it's more size, then chronological  for the trucks.    small trucks, medium truck, large trucks


The SUV same idea,  size then chronological......   But I was thinking original 4runner size, FJC size, current LC size


Maybe $, chronological works....
Ed
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22RE  W56B
31x10.50R15

BigMike [OP]

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Ah, I see. This is why you had T100 after Tacomas.

Not to kill the party. This is super wonky on the phone

* BigMike admits he forgot about this and grabs his phone...

New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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On Tapatalk now. Here is a screen shot from my iPhone 5S's Safari browser:



Displaying okay for my mobile device. (iOS 9.0.2, jailbroken)
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

BigMike [OP]

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Ah, I see. This is why you had T100 after Tacomas.
emsvitil, check it out now, got the T100 moved.

I gotta call it a night soon.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

emsvitil

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If you want to group it as

Trucks

SUVs


Drop the 4runner down as the start of a row.
Ed
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22RE  W56B
31x10.50R15

BigMike [OP]

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Just tried leveraging the Category Collapse method as a simple hack to toggle between new Image-based or old Text-based view (for those who don't like the change) and couldn't get it to work. There is a proper and more complex way to achieve this but I have to call it a night.

Looking forward to more feedback tomorrow

:goodnight:

Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Error occurred because of error.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
Things are only impossible until they are not.

H8PVMNT

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I think breaking it down that much would make it harder for users to catch all the tech and experiences available.  If you think about it, many of the specific models share the same parts, problems, typical build styles.  For instance, I see no reason whatsoever in separating 1st gen 4runners out from 2nd gen pickups.  Literally everything is the same except the rear harness, a back seat and the tailgate.


I agree that build threads should stay where they are standing alone.
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

zippo

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I think breaking it down that much would make it harder for users to catch all the tech and experiences available.  If you think about it, many of the specific models share the same parts, problems, typical build styles.  For instance, I see no reason whatsoever in separating 1st gen 4runners out from 2nd gen pickups.  Literally everything is the same except the rear harness, a back seat and the tailgate.


I agree that build threads should stay where they are standing alone.

X2. I dislike the changes. Makes it weird and hard to enjoy everyone's work. Sometimes something from a random build is what inspires you. crazy looking on my phone.
If you see it, its for sale.

 
 
 
 
 

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