Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 227773 times)

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BigMike

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awesome to see Bob and Russ helping with the build, excited to see how it turns out. they definitely know what they're doing and are two of the best guys i know :thumbs:
Completely agree on all accounts. The fact I dropped off my Tacoma and drove away without worrying speaks volumes. I can't count on one hand how many people I would do that with.

Don't take this the wrong way, but if I have this right you bought a long bed version and now you are cutting the bed to make it a short bed version.
Thanks for the comment. :thumbs: This is true, but I also have the added storage space of the Extra (Access) Cab.

Regarding bobbing in general, we did it to Marlin's truck as well as cropped the lower section of the bed. So the Crawler Truck has a tremendously better departure angle than my Hilux and I've always wanted to improve this aspect of my Hilux.....I just never got around to it. As discussed on page 1 I also was going to extend my 1st gen cab into an Extra Cab. The Tacoma got me the Extra Cab I've always wanted, and now I'd like to improve the departure angle. My original plan was to do this last year and even originally contacted Bob about it then.....but of course I wasn't able to get much anything done last year. While packing for my first true wheel'n trip for Moab (page 11, reply #316), compared to my Hilux I have more room in the bed plus while also not even utilizing my new "Extra Cab" storage.



The intent with the Tacoma is not to go as extreme as possible. After all why then am I also not dovetailing it. I'm just looking to take half a foot out or so. Not sure. We'll see how it goes. But even 6 to 10 inches makes a massive difference on a lot of obstacles so I know I'll be happy with the results no matter what.

My build thread will be up in a bit
Cool! I'll definitely subscribe to it :yesnod:
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Yeah!  Cut that thing up!
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BigMike [OP]

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When considering the bed bob, I could see two options.

The traditional bed bod is where the sky's the limit: You can bob as much as you'd like from the back of the wheel well to the front leading edge of the tail gate, and crop up from the bottom (dark blue lines / removing the side marker light) to gain more ground clearance:



So you can get a good 24-inches removed with a Hilux. With the Tacoma we can see it's not as straight forward...



I'm also not looking to alter the original design of the bed. I really like, no, I love how Toyota designed the body of the 3rd gen. I love the body line that runs up between the wheels and up again behind the rear axle. But this body line greatly limits how much meat can be removed. Not only that but the tail gate overhangs the entirety of the bedsides. So right off the back I knew I would not be able to do as big of a bob as what I'm used to seeing.

My initial solution was to make multiple angled cuts around the taillights and receding line of the trailing edge of the bedside, like so:

(Option 1)


But then we've got the bottom of the bed to worry about (purple lines) and there is gonna be some body filler work.... meh. I dunno... Cutting clean corners and trying to align for re-weld here could be a crap ton of extra work just to get an extra 1 or 2 inches....

I left Bob with the idea that I'd like as much removed as practically as possible but without changing the nice factory body lines I love so much. Bob might very likely do a traditional, linear vertical cuts like this:

(Option 2)


Here's all lines combined for comparison:



After dropping the truck off and thinking about it while driving back home, I remember assuming the bob will be less than I had originally dreamed about. Having looked it over with tape and making rough measurements this was becoming plain to see. I guess if I ever really want to get crazy here then I'll just build a flat bed...........but that's not how a truck is supposed to look in my mind's eye. So in the end this will be a job of compromise, and knowing how pretty the truck is I'm sure I'll be quite okay with that :D
« Last Edit: Jun 13, 2017, 09:01:27 AM by BigMike »
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toyyota

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After very careful measurements, and a lot of thought, there was a cut line for the bed sides. Next we had to make that work with the SMC inner bed, and the Thermo-plastic bed caps. Well its done now (except for rear bumper) so Big Mike can take her home.

BigMike [OP]

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May 24, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

Two days later it was time to start the first cut!

In discussing what to do with the side storage and bed A/C power inventor plug, I informed Bob's son not to worry about them and that I will 3D print new fixtures.

As for the cut, Bob is a very meticulous man who measures not twice but four times and cuts once. After careful measuring and planning Bob settled on removing exactly 6-inches from the bed. As expected, it's not the most amount of material removed but I know for sure this will make a huge improvement off-road. Even just Rubicon alone, I can already think of a few tight turns that I almost hit the rear of my Hilux with which will be a tight fit for the longer Tacoma. One is after Buck Island before cresting above the Big Sluice, and the other is half way down the Big Sluice. As for sharp climbs and drop-offs there are plenty of those too.



...and lobbed off! There is no turning back now! :D





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BigMike [OP]

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(Good morning build thread! I'm currently working from the road and on my way to Bob's place to pick up the Tacoma! :D I've been without the truck for one month so I'm beyond excited to see it! As they would say in Kumamoto-ben, 今日私はたいぎゃしあわせです!)

May 24, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

Here is the back of the bed reattached for visual pleasure



This is the original frame left as-is so we can reattach the rear bumper for my return drive home

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BigMike [OP]

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May 24, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

I don't know much about the process of welding resin together so I will report back with full details once Bob goes over everything with me. Bob told me that the SMC bed and the top plastic covers over the bedside panels are made from a different polymer and use different processes.

In asking Bob how much more difficult this job was than a Hilux he said, "Ohh it's muuucccchhhh more difficult" Thank you Bob and Russ for all your hard work!!

Here are pics of the bed being fused together. I'll post more info such as how long this process takes to set once I learn more about it







Clamps off!



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BigMike [OP]

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May 29, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

Four days later they had the bed off to get the center fused together

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Things are only impossible until they are not.
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"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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June 3, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

Five days later they started on the bed sides. Here is where the cut will be made. You can see how we are preserving the factory body line which I'm a big fan of.



Had they removed more then it would have required a lot of body filler work to blend the prominent horizontal line down to the bottom of the fender, or bondo it up completely 1) taking away from the original Toyota design and 2) creating future issues from cracks and so forth from normal trail use.



The top of each bedside was cut forward to preserve the rearmost mount points for the top bedside pieces.

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BigMike [OP]

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June 3, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (continued)

The first test fit!! I LOVE IT! I'll be making measurements but it appears that the wheel wells are now perfectly centered in the bed! This is how Toyota should have done it in the first place. Maybe they could have offered a short bed version of the Access Cab that could have looked just like this



<3



So this was back at the beginning of the month. Next the bedsides were painted (so far I don't have any pics of that) and Bob mentioned the bedside top plastic parts requiring a special type of molding/fusing process so he had to schedule an appointment and take those to a shop.

Two weeks later and now it is June 14 and I am officially 100% caught up with this thread for the first time in more than a year! I will be to Bob's house in about 45 more mins and will be posting up the final result later today!
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2017, 09:14:30 AM by BigMike »
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whats cool, is only a trained eye will catch that bed cut. dig it!!! and yes those beds are a trip as far as construction. If I'm not mistaken the previous body style 13-15 in particular (which has the same bed cubicle and power receptacle) uses the same bed construction (I know the bedsides are the same mounting style, BOLT ON! :woohoo:)
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I'm over here refreshing the page, lol. Awesome progress so far!  :clap:

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Truck is looking good.

Got a question about using a solenoid to shift the T/C and taco box.  Since you are worried ( maybe not all that worried) about the solenoid failing because of it being exposed under the body, could you not just mount it above the floor inside the cab and under the consol?  If it ever did fail you could just reach under the back and move the shorten shift lever by hand.

That is what I was planning to do. Using a two way air solenoid and temporary applying air to it to shift the lever.
Applied to the front of the solenoid and the lever moves back, then air pressure is removed and the lever simple sits in the rearward postion. Just like you had moved it back by hand and then let go of the shift lever.  Shift the lever forward by appling air to the rear of the solenoid.  Just a basic push/pull solenoid with enough travel to move the shift fork and insure that there is complete engagement between gears in both positions.

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Looks good Mike. I did the same with mine bob on my 83, ~10.5" right up to the frame more or less. It keeps it looking clean. So what's next............back to the shop for triples?????? High clearance A-arms????? Well?????
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BigMike [OP]

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Truck is looking good.

Looks good Mike.
Thank you Gentleman!

Got a question about using a solenoid to shift the T/C and taco box.  Since you are worried ( maybe not all that worried) about the solenoid failing because of it being exposed under the body, could you not just mount it above the floor inside the cab and under the consol?  If it ever did fail you could just reach under the back and move the shorten shift lever by hand.
The solenoid operates the two shift rods of the transfer case so it requires a physical connection. Remotely mounting it won't be possible.

To be honest I am just not a fan of air shifters. I'm not a fan of any-anything except for airing my tires back up. Solenoids can get stop working, can have air leaks, still requires wiring. For these reasons I am not a fan of ARBs.

Maybe if I saw a really clean, functional, reliable air shifter setup then I'll change my opinion. But for us as a company, having a on-board air should not be a requirement of our Dual Case setup. As an optional upgrade, maybe. Cable will be the way to do this as a standard component of the TacoBox.

So what's next............back to the shop for triples?????? High clearance A-arms????? Well?????
Lol Time is the one thing I cannot purchase and always have a shortage of. I am constantly restructuring my duties in order to gain more and more time for this project. Triples are scheduled for later this winter :thumbs:
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Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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I've had the Tacoma back for a few days and holy smokes they did the most professional bed bob I've ever seen @_@.

Bob gave me a few more pictures while over there so here they come!

On June 5th the bedsides got prepped for paint



Here you can see how the cut went up and forward along the top of each bedside in order to retain the proper aligning dowel slot and snap-clips for the upper plastic panel.



On June 9 they were painted! Toyota placed a barcode tag on the inside of each panel that contains information of the truck's paint code. The painter was able to get the exact matching factory paint :D



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Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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On June 13 they finished the final step which was welding the plastic panels that mount atop each bedside. Bob couldn't do this at home as the bedtops are made from a different, non fusible type of plastic.

Here is another pic of the bedside top section. At left you can see the original top plastic panel attached.



This shows the 6" of overlap which was very carefully removed so that all remaining snap-clips will fit their respective bedside slot



Preparing for the welder





Here is the welder used



...and that's it for Bob's extra pictures! :D
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Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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June 14, 2017: Rubicon Preparation I: Bobbing the bed (concluded!)

When I arrived at Bob's house he had washed my truck -- including even the engine compartment! I cannot thank you enough Bob for this amazing work!!



My first pics of the bobbed bedsides!

Driver



It may seem that one could get another 10-something inches removed, but in actual fact there is only 2 inches remaining until you run into the leaf spring shackle hanger bracket ....and had that other 2-inches been removed then the lower body curve would not flow or match the front bed curve and body/cab curves. You'd almost need to make the decision to just remove the curve all together which I'm glad Bob did not do.

Passenger



Speakings of which, remember the mystery paint missing from my passenger bed side (documented @ reply #253)? We got two birds killed here :D

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Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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Time to get this baby reassembled!



Bob kept everything meticulously organized!



Here is a piece of the plastic welding rod and the pair of 6" sections removed from each bedside top panel.



There are a ton of snap-clips for each bedside top panel



Here is the most noticeable indicator of a modification



Not only did Bob have to ensure the snap-clips will line back up, but the plastic upper panels start wide and taper narrow moving forward as shown here

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Things are only impossible until they are not.
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Here is the bobbed line inside the bed



(As for the prior bed side storage/utility boxes, I will 3D print new pieces with the goal to get it looking as factory as I can. Until I get time for this I'll just print flat panels to cover both boxes up)

This turned out really, really nice. The material of the bed is able to be fused (as apposed to the bedside tops which had to be plastic-welded) which is why they could get such a nice finish here



On older Hilux sheet-metal beds, it is common to add material to the back and underside at the bob seam for added strength. So Bob and Russ took the 6" section that was cut out from the bed and fused it underneath. They also added perpendicular gussets using leftover bed material. The work was incredible and the bed is very strong. I jumped up and down hard on it and it didn't give at all. Another plus is that the back four bed mount bolts are now closer to each other so if anything it is even more rigid than factory!





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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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

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A few reassembly photos...





Bob is so detailed that he places unused wires (this being my bed A/C power outlet plug) inside ziplock bags, zipties them shut, and then zipties the whole ensemble under the bed safe and sound.



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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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Fender flare reassembly. Each flare is attached using 10 plastic snap-clips as well as double-sided sticky tape. Bob removed the original tape (it looked like a lot of work!)...



...and here I carefully attached new tape



Snap-clips reattached and ready to go! The trio of orange clips are longer to help guide installation



Installation was extremely easy. Just carefully align and place over the bedside and press firmly over each clip region for a nice firm snap.

(picture taken before I had removed the red sticky tape backing)

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Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

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Looking great! Time to get the bumper reattached and then I'll be good to go!





When we went to put the bumper on we discovered it interfered with the new position of the back of the bed. Not wanting to modify my bed and knowing I'll be modifying the bumper bracket, Russ did some bracket clearancing so we could get the bumper back on for my drive home.



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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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

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Finally all done!!



So what do you guys think?!



Here is how far back the original position is:



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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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On the way home Bob took me over to his shop to meet the two gentlemen who worked on my bedsides. To the left is Ray, who did the paint prep, and at middle is Brian who did the painting. It was really a neat treat to meet the entire group who helped make this project come to life!



One last shot before jumping on the freeway for home



Made it home safely! Here is one last shot for the day out in front of Rock Crawling World Head Quarters:

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
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

toyyota

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WOW Mike. Nice project.

Lewis Hein

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So how much bed length have you got now? 4 feet?

fordh8r

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Def one of the cleanest bed bobs I've seen to date. I love it when someone takes the time to address even the smallest details when as a  whole they make the biggest difference in the outcome of the project. Nicely done guys!  :clap2: :bowdown: :smokin: :beerchug:

THK Matt

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youre departure angle, you can see it even without a new bumper, has changed DRASTICALLY! WTG!
1996 Jeep ZJ Laredo Daily/Weekend Wheeler
5.2L V8, 44RE, NP249, 33X12.50R15s on MT Classics, 5.5in Iron Rock Off Road Critical Path F/R

Trailer Build http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=103261

2005 Dodge Durango Limited 5.7L Hemi Wife's Daily

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R.DesJardin

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Def one of the cleanest bed bobs I've seen to date. I love it when someone takes the time to address even the smallest details when as a  whole they make the biggest difference in the outcome of the project. Nicely done guys!  :clap2: :bowdown: :smokin: :beerchug:

Well yeah, done by a body shop(looks awesome).....I still think mine is the cleanest home done one.  :gap: But then if I didn't think mine was cool, well that would be silly.  :shades:
R.DesJardin
"If I didn't live in the middle of nowhere!"


2RZ-A340F-Duals-locked FR/RR-IROK's

 
 
 
 
 

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