Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 188517 times)

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BigMike

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March 26, 2019: K&N Intake System

Quote
I will discuss more about this after a few posts.

Holy, what an ordeal this was! Here is what happened:

Fall 2018
  Start noticing a drop in fuel economy
  First/basic suspicion is to check air filter
March 14 (posted above)
  Check air filter
  Discover it's a mess
  Realize I've never even changed it before
  Replace with genuine OEM filter
March 20
  Note fuel mileage has not improved
  Learn about the California Charcoal Air Filter insert located in the factory air box lid
  Reinspect intake
  Discover Charcoal Air Filter IS BLACK AND A COMPLETE MESS
March 21
  Attempt to replace Charcoal Air Filter
  Discover it's not serviceable
  Discover the Upper Air Box Assembly, Toyota P/N 17705-0P220, only comes bundled with the Air Flow Meter and retails for over $300!!
March 22
  After a lot of comparative shopping I settle on the K&N 63-9039 for almost $75 less than replacement factory option
  This is the middle-range K&N offering. Cheaper option comes with an inferior filter; More expensive option runs the mid-range filter but comes with nicer aluminum ducting which would looks good but would heat soak more, and meh... I just went with the dark and more stock looking option that still has the improved filter.
March 23
  Discover this cannot be shipped to California due to our wonderful smog laws
March 25
  Package arrives to my friend's home in Nevada
March 26
  Package arrives to my door

In the end I saved $$, weight, intake restriction, and finally fixed my loss in MPG which within one tank has shot back up into the 16s. I did not disconnect the battery or reset the ECU.

Speaking for myself, here is some much needed comedic relief. My friend sent me the left pic of his cat Bear atop my package so I had to follow suit in sending him pics of my two boys Mikan (Japanese tangerine) and Max (a trooper at 17 yrs old) once it arrived to me :lol:



Factory setup with non-serviceable smog equipment (I've kept these parts for once the truck becomes smog-eligible in 2022)



No surprise here. I've removed all the inner fender lining so dirt has a direct shot up and into the air box.



I was pleased to see that the Charcoal Filter took the full blunt of my horrible maintenance and at least prevented visual debris into the intake.



Removed!



Installed!



The angle of the tube could have been better and also a tad shorter but overall am very impressed with my first-ever K&N product.



While I cannot credit the K&N for the 1 to 1.5 MPG since I had not one but TWO badly plugged air filters, I do have proof of performance increase as follows:

Cruise Control

My morning commute includes two large up-hill freeway interchanges. In 6th gear (manual) with cruise set to 65 MPH, the first overpass would cause the truck to dip to 59 MPH and the second to 57 MPH before climbing back up to 65. This was verified more than a year ago when I first switched to 40s using the truck's digital MPH readout. I swear instantly the very next morning with the K&N these two resulted in a slowdown of only 62 MPH & 60 MPH respectively. Both times the truck recovers to 65 sooner as well. Mid range is certainly improved, and according to my butt-dyno top end has improved but it's hard to tell anyway with 40" tires.

Sound

Of course I Love the new throaty sound :D One thing I was concerned about is that with the added load of rotating 40" tires at highway speeds that it would be in the "throaty" power band the entire time which would drone out the interior, something unacceptable with this "new" truck. I am happy to report that even when you floor it, the intake only comes alive from about 2,800 so cruising speeds sound at least 99% as the stock intake. Very impressed with both engine and air filter design. Thank you Toyota and K&N!

I don't have any sound clips at the moment but have another request for exhaust note sound and will get something posted hopefully soon

Off-road Use

While I am not the biggest fan of open element filters in Rock Crawlers, I am aware of K&N's filter wrap which was the biggest selling point for me. Probably other companies offer something similar but I've seen these on many Formula Toy and X-Chassis Rock Crawlers and was ready to give it a try. Now when I air down I'll simply put on the filter wrap for added protection and remove it when I air back up.

Here is the Filter Wrap test-fitted. It is a bit difficult to get my hands around the back edge of the filter to make sure it's on all the way.



Not the "coldest" Intake on the market

I realize this is not the coldest design and is in fact going to inhale air warmer than factory. However, I am pleased to not have a 100% connection to my liner-less inner fender which will reduce debris entering the filter and short of submersion will eliminate the risk of hydrolocking the engine. As for snorkels I've never been a fan and have never considered one for any of my vehicles.
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.
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"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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March 31, 2019: Mounted CB Radio & Created a constant Vdd power source (Post 1 of 2)

Last year I spent some time on TW looking at other 3rd gen owner CB installs and came across a compact Uniden CB mounted under the driver's seat. I spent some time searching for the original post where I saw this, but thank you to the community for posting the many suggestions.

Uniden CMX760 Compact Mobile CB, Black
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XJG6NYB/

I picked up the CB last July which since then has been floating around in the cab with wires attached. I finally got it mounted under the seat which was so ridiculously easy that even it's mounting bracket lined up with existing Toyota holes :)



No drilling/modification required



The allure for me is that the unit is complete hidden; Nothing for would-be thieves to spy through the window. The plug for the hand-held remote is near my center console, and the remote is stored in the glove box. Very happy with how this turned out.



Next, I've been using a small cigarette lighter-powered refrigerator (some cheap truck-stop brand) which I've wanted to keep turned on while in camp. I hard-wired the cig lighter in my '81 Hilux which was nice but I wanted to take this a step further with the Tacoma so I picked up an adjustable Low Voltage Disconnect (LVD) unit and went to work

CZH-LABS Electronics-Salon Low Voltage Disconnect Module
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018TK5WIM/

This is connected via constant hot power source to the original/factory power outlet located inside the center console. Will be posting more info about this later.



I tested it overnight with my fridge turned on and it worked great. Using the 10.7 V mode as shown, morning voltage at the battery was 11.2. (The load on the circuit causes an early disconnect.) I know this is unhealthy for a 12 vdc battery but have decided to keep it on this setting to test it over the upcoming wheeling season. For reference, my battery is a Bosch Platinum Advanced AGM 24F-710BAGM rated at 710/850 CCA/CA with a 120-min reserve. It was only slightly weaker during cranking and the alternator was working hard all the way to work haha

I figure with the amount of time spent with the engine on during a trail ride that it won't be any issue at all. Time will tell and I'm sure I'll be commenting more about this later in the year.



Here is the steady-state amperage draw (under 10 mA)



And here is the amp draw with my CB in monitoring mode (~ .3 amps)



This is post 1 of 2 on this subject. More to come soon
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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April 4, 2019: Finally decided to balance my tires

I've yet to balanced the 40s (seriously!) but due to wearing out the inner tread (mentioned earlier) I decided to have them checked. Weight was added to each wheel but I can't say if I notice the improvement or not. Man... these trucks are just so dang heavy...

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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April 7, 2019: Finally began working on interior switches! (Post 1 of 4)

Next I addressed my interior switch situation. I never properly installed my ARB Rocker switches and as a result the cover for both my compressor and front locker would break off nearly every trip out. Such a weak design. So I decided to go with cheaply-made-yet-expensive factory-style push-button type switches. I'll be posting about these for a few replies. I got most of them from ch4x4.com, a few from Amazon, and a few from eBay. They are in the $15 to $20 range, which seems like a lot for a switch made in China for pennies, but retail on an ARB rocker + cover is $15 so.... whadda ya gonna do

Replaced this temporary mess lol



With this awesomeness!



...and eliminated a ton of ARB wiring/crap in the process!



(ARBs come hardwired to only allow front locker operation in combination with the rear, which reduces the stress and therefore risk of front axle breakage on rigs with a factory t/case, but this protection is entirely useless when you have a Marlin Crawler T/Case due to our new level of control and zero bouncing.)

On this date I *finally* installed a very well hidden Kill Switch (silent type + not in the driver area) which for obvious reasons will not be shown here ;) Which is a bummer because I'm quite proud of how it turned out :D
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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April 8, 2019: Finished Constant Vdd power source (Post 2 of 2)

Here is the finale to my constant power source mod!

Ripped the console back apart. This pic shows an anti-static bag I put the LVD device in. I could have used some small hobby box but I couldn't be bothered.



The keen eye will notice in the above image that I've installed a switch next to the factory console power outlet I worked on 3/21. The switch is one of those nice heavy duty 20A metal switches

Heavy-Duty Electrical Toggle Switch, SPST
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004WLK5/

The current throughput (A) is as follows:
Switch rating @ 12vdc: 20A
Low Voltage Disconnect Module rating @ 12vdc: 20A
Constant power inline fuse: 15A
  (same as factory power outlet fuse)
All good!

The switch is thoughtfully positioned as follows:
1. Down position = off, prevents accidental activation, and
2. Located to the left side of the power outlet such that it doesn't take up any extra space when the little door is open and the little door helps prevent the switch from being accidentally turned off



Next, I miss the constant USB power I've installed in my '81 Hilux so I finally got that added to the Taco. Now I can charge my GoPro & cell phone overnight without needing the key in the ACC position.

X never ever marks the spot. - Dr Jones



Installed! There are a few of these QC3.0 USB outlets on Amazon and I went with this brand based on reviews.

The reason I wanted this style device is because I am running this through the Low Voltage Disconnect device set to 10.7v, I can use the digital read-out to check on the current battery circuit (loaded) :)

YonHan Quick Charge 3.0
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FXH5ZZK/



However at the moment I cannot quite yet recommend this device. Both power outlets work and my iPhone detects amperage at 2.5 A which is good, but the voltage display is off.

When the YonHan device reads 12.1 vdc (unloaded, steady-state), my multimeter reads 12.38...



I verified the same 12.38 volts exists at both my dash-mounted power outlet I installed more than a year ago (via ACC key position) and directly at the battery.

So the YonHan is defective. I've requested a replacement from Amazon and will update this post later

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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April 9, 2019: Interior Switch Work (Post 2 of 4)

The next day I continued work on my ARB & other interior switches by finishing up a 6-port left-of-column switch plate.

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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April 10, 2019: Interior Switch Work (Post 3 of 4) and Changed my Engine Oil

The next day I installed my new 6-port switch plate!

I forgot to mention that I've seen a few switch plates offered around the Interweb but haven't seen one for 6 switches yet. I'm good with Solidworks and we have a 3D printer, so :D

Switch plate done and installed!!



I designed the plate to snap into place so all that was needed was to follow the same horizontal top-and-bottom lines of the original center opening with a Dremel and in it went. Any jagged edges or mis-cuts are concealed by the large flange. This is v1.0 of this switch plate and it works flawlessly. There are a few things I could improve but it turned out well so it stays!



ARB wires all cleaned up!



I did have to cutout these parts from the dash on both sides of the original switch opening, which on my Access Cab are not even used. It was a no brainier



And wa-la! :cool:



Currently only the ARB/locker switches are connected. More to come soon!

(Update since then: I moved the three Locker-related switches [the most important of them all] to the far left so my steering wheel doesn't block line of sight to them.)



Finally, to round the day off I changed my engine oil & filter, and replaced 30K factory transmission gear oil with synthetic Redline MT90, my favorite gear jam'n oil of all time

Red Line MT-90 Synthetic Gear Oil
https://www.marlincrawler.com/chemicals/red-line-mt-90-synthetic-gear-oil

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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April 11, 2019: Reverse Light Anytime Mod

The next day I did what I've always wanted to do to my Hilux but never got around to it, and that is install a switch to turn my reverse lights on.

The purpose for this is that 1) I usually setup my tent directly behind my truck, and 2) my tailgate serves as my camp (dinner) table. Because I've got those high powered 16 watt / 1000 lumen (each) LED backup lights (installed last June), I've been dying to get this done!

Installed a mini toggle switch here (up is on), hidden and readily accessible when the tail-gate is down and I'm enjoying an evening at camp



I didn't take any pictures of the install, but here is what you do:
1. Route a constant hot wire back to either one of your tail lights (fused, I am using a 7.5A but the draw for this setup is only 2.7A @ 12 vdc)
2. Add an inline switch anywhere on this hot wire you'd like
3. Tap the other end of the switch into either of your reverse light's red power wire

This works for both reverse lights because that same red wire is connected to both lights. So it doesn't matter which side light's red wire you tap into.

DONE!

But there is an issue:

If your truck has a backup camera then I found an issue in that if your key is in the ACC or ON position, not in reverse, and you enable the switch, your back-up camera will turn on. This is because your reverse camera display unit "detects" that the transmission is in reverse and brings the camera screen. The only way to avoid this is to trace the red wire beyond between the cab and where it splits to both reverse lights, and install a diode to prevent voltage going back up-stream.

This issue doesn't apply to my needs:

My purpose for this is that I used to do the following when I got to camp: Park the truck, engine off, then switch key to ON position and shift into reverse. Lights come on. So instead, now I can leave the lights on for many, many hours (for sure they could be left on overnight without any problem) without having to have the key in the ignition!!

Click here to view the FSM Reverse Light circuit for reference (PDF). There are two versions for Manual & Automatic. Trace the red wire from the top of Page 2 back to Page 1. This is the circuit we are injecting power to. The reverse camera part of the circuit is not shown in this diagram.

Reverse lights in action with keys not in the ignition! LED Campground lighting for days!!

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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April 15, 2019: DRL Anytime Mod (Switch Post 4 of 4)

A few days later I did the opposite which is a forward-facing lower power & high output LED Anytime Mod

Ever since I saw the 3rd gen's LED DRL back in 2015 I've wanted to do this, these things have just been a very low priority.

This was so easy to do it was painful. These steps only apply to 3rd gens with LED DRL

Step 1 of 3: Remove this terminal from the smaller fuse box located in front of your brake master cylinder

This wire is what the DRL relay uses to send +12 vdd to both LED DRL, and specifically, is the high / full brightness LED circuit.

ps. I used this el cheapo terminal remover set to get that terminal out. It was a bugger so be patient and don't force it





Step 2 of 3: Add a new wire directly to this terminal and reinsert the terminal back into it's slot





Step 3 of 3: Connect this to a switched GROUND and DONE!

This is the Ground-side terminal of the DRL rely, which itself is (1) already fused (10A) so no additional fuse needed, and believe-it-or-not the other side of the relay is already 100% hot all of the time!!

Normal operation is that this red wire is grounded by the ECU. So verifying functionality is very easy: Just touch your new wire to any ground source (exposed piece of metal) or run a ground wire straight to the same red terminal under the relay. This will ground the constant-power relay, and thereby turning the full-bright LED circuit on.

Click here to view the FSM Headlight circuit for reference (PDF). DRL circuit with Relay is on the left side of Page 3.

Whew those suckers are bright!! Gonna have a lot of fun with this and reverse LEDs for many camping trips to come!



Got some work to do!



Extra note on this:

I first connected this switch to send a GROUND when activated, but later discovered that the switch's light will only "turn on" or illuminate with the DRL when it has a POWER out, not GROUND out. So I had to leave it as a +12 vdd output, which I ran to a relay in order to then have a GROUND output for the DRL anytime mod. This only applies to a picky switch like this...

The Blue light is bright enough that I cannot miss it even in the daytime when I swing my legs out the driver door. It's right in my face. So having a light to notify you that the DLRs are on of course is a good idea.

Extra note is that they can be enabled at anytime when you are driving or not, engine on or off, key in or out. They are quite bright and flood all over at night, illuminating street and freeway overpass signs. I'd recommend not using them when driving to prevent shining at other drivers on the road.

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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April 19, 2019: Some new lighting and..... the Start of a new Era

I don't have any pictures of the install process, and the pic of my switches above gave this away, but I fitted both 2 x driving/spot lights near my existing Fog/flood lights and dun.. dun.. dun!!! a 22" light bar above my Marlin Crawler winch fairlead. I am planning to install a winch this year and intend to keep the light bar here. There is still plenty of room to reach my hand around to operate the winch clutch, but time will tell...

Marlin Crawler is a new HardKorr Lighting distributor, give us a call at (559) 252-7295 for inquiries, thanks!

XD Series 20W LED Work Spot Light (XD140)
https://hardkorrlighting.com/en-us/product/xd-series-20w-led-work-spot-light-xd140/

XD Gen3 Series 22″ 168w Dual Row LED Light Bar (XDD550-G3)
https://hardkorrlighting.com/en-us/product/xd-gen3-series-22-168w-dual-row-led-light-bar-xdd550-g3/

Got it connected to my new lightbar push button switch and WOW it's really bright!!

My friends immediately criticized me for installing a lightbar but I figured SlowestTacoma has to have at least one feature that fits in with other rigs lol

The lightbar is at least relatively low-key for an exposed/visible lightbar and came out nice in my opinion.



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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April 19, 2019 (continued)

That same day a new era for SlowestTacoma began...

While you guys thought all I was doing was messing around with lights and switches...

I had been spending MANY late nights, weekend after weekend after weekend...

Hours and hours and hours...

This has been so much work. I have 2,065 build pictures since the beginning of this year that the thread will never see.

The things I could share... The struggles... The improvements...

Truly, this has been an incredible journey.

Thank you to my beautiful Wife for putting up with the multiple thousands of hours I've spent on this project.



Hm.



Hmm..



Hmmm...



Hmmmm....



Hmmmmm.....



Hmmmmmm......



Hmmmmmmm.......



Hmmmmmmmm........



You guys have no idea how long I've wanted to say this...

It has been since September of 2017........................

OVER 600 DAYS

To... finally... say...

GOOD!!!! RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS FINALLY GONE, LONG GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OHHHHHH MAN LET'''SSSSSSSS GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 08:11:52 PM by 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
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

Hilux_Max

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April 19, 2019 (continued)

You guys have no idea how long I've wanted to say this...

It has been since September of 2017........................

OVER 600 DAYS

To... finally... say...

GOOD!!!! RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS FINALLY GONE, LONG GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OHHHHHH MAN LET'''SSSSSSSS GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



You finally Cracked the sh!ts with the IFS and are solid axle'ing it?

Is this why your Tacoma was at Wyatts Shop the other day?

:clap: :biggthumpup:

Edit:   can I have your old IFS bits  ::)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 06:28:43 PM by Hilux_Max »

BigMike [OP]

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You finally Cracked the sh!ts with the IFS and are solid axle'ing it?
Max, you had no idea how happy I was to hear this comment!! Because RCLT has similar features to a SAS, only without all the work!! :beer:

Late April, 2019: RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 is installed!

Well ladies and gentlemen!! After a crap ton of work I am extremely pleased to announce...

RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 is done!!
Main #RCLT Discussion: board.MarlinCrawler.com/RCLT

Featuring more than 100 (mostly small) improvements, the biggest being a one-piece integrated double-sheer & angled steering arm--to--wheel hub--to--brake caliper cut via CNC from billet steel to form a 100% solid lower knuckle assembly. Something I couldn't say before is that my original design called for a one-piece CNC billet steel lower assembly but due to time constraints imposed by the King Of The Hammers competition, I had to scramble and whip-up hand-welded plate-steel components which left much to be desired.

I have also greatly increased strength at the LCA uniball area, with even a bit more strength landing with V3.0.







Manufacturing for V2.0 was also greatly aided by using full one-piece jigs I designed & created for all six components: D/P LCA, D/P UCA, & D/P HD Knuckle. As a result, despite about a final 20 remaining (mostly small) issues, Rocky and I finished V2.0 in only TWO days as opposed to the nearly 30 days it took to build V1.0 free-hand with the countless issues a first prototype yields.

As RCLT HD stands currently, I am nearly finished with V3.0 which I am 90% confident will be the final prototype before we make the major shift towards full production.

Prototype V3.0 is already past Feature Lock with the largest improvements being an enclosed LCA V-Groove saddle (eliminates the need for water drain holes), stronger limit strap mount, dual shock mount (which has been a royal pain in the ass to design on an angled LCA designed for maximum ground clearance), and equipping the 7/8" TREs with larger 5/8" hardware (V2.0 shown here is running 7/8" heims with 1/2" hardware, which is 126% stronger than the single-sheer factory TRE, but we can achieve +253% at no extra cost so whynot).





I reached Feature Lock for V2.0 two months ago and looking at these pictures now makes me sick to think of all the issues V1.0 had... Such an inordinate amount of work to get to this point and we're only on the second prototype. This project has been no joke folks and it has taken a lot of time, energy, and money to get this far. I'll probably cry the first time I see a kit out in the wild haha It's ridiculous but true :P

« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 03:49:06 PM by BigMike »
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BigMike [OP]

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Late April, 2019: RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 is installed! (continued)

Out with the old, in with the new! We are now an OFFICIAL Radflo distributor!! Please give us a call if you're in the area or looking for a deal on Radflo suspension products! (559) 25-CRAWL / 559-252-7295

These are custom designed and optimized for RCLT and we will be offering them once things go into production. That said however, other LT coilovers should be compatible so long as they have an upper heim joint mount.



SWOOOOON!



DOUBLE SWOOOOON!

Check out how the axle shaft runs nearly in-line with the lower shock mount at near full down-travel. I love how everything comes together to work as one with RCLT's design!

The amount of downtravel being demonstrated here wasn't remotely possible with RCLT HD V1.0; So many issues resolved with V2.0. That said, V2.0 still has not yet realized the full downtravel capability of RCLT HD :o :o

This is also the improved V2.0 MarRack design (Heavy Duty Rock Crawling Steering) that was featured in this year's King Of The Hammers competition :D :D



Front axle pushed forward yet another inch over the initial prototype LT setup I've been running since July 2017! Great Scott! Has it been that long...

Speaking of which, the former Long Travel Kit I've been running since 2017... honestly... was a huge pile of crap. I had NO idea how bad it was until I began comparing measurements with what I am doing.

This is why I wrote, GOOD RIDDANCE, and I CANNOT WAIT to finally experience RCLT HD myself!!!

« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 10:34:34 PM by BigMike »
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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

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April 30, 2019: RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 is installed! (continued)

RCLT HD V2.0 IS ALIVE!!!!!!!



OHHHHH MAN!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!!

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND EVER INSTALLED INTO A TACOMA!!!!!!!

THE ONLY BOLT-ON IFS SYSTEM STRONG ENOUGH TO

ROCK CRAWL WITH 40" TIRES AND TRIPLE T/CASE!!

COME ON NOW!!!!!!!!!! LET'SSS GOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!


Testing it on my wild daily driver Rock Crawler setup means it's gonna be bullet proof for everyone else

Just driving it out to the dirt area next to our building and I was CrAzY eXcItEd!!!







Updated pic with my Supercharged 6spd MR2 <3



Finally my front IFS is at least as wide and hopefully wider than the rear. This has been bugging the heck out of me for a long time as I feel Rock Crawlers should always have a wider front than rear to prevent clipping objects during sharp low-speed trail cornering.

So the front end is now our new & unique +2.75" mid-range Long Travel wider per side, which is +5.50" wider than factory. Right in the middle of +2" & +3.5".
..and for the rear I have 1.25" wheel spacers on each side which is +2.50" wider than factory

Honestly it only looks so wide because I've removed the factory flares. In my opinion the bodies on these "midsize" trucks are just so freak'n wide it's long past ridiculous Toyota, seriously...

« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 08:38:16 PM by BigMike »
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Things are only impossible until they are not.
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Late April, 2019: RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 is installed! (continued)

MOAR RCLT HD PORN!!!



(please ignore the upside down TRE bolt: At the time I was still figuring out limit strap geometry and could only reattach steering after the wheel was installed)





COME AWN IFS!!!! LET'S DO THIS!

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2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
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1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
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

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A NEW MARLIN CRAWLER IFS PRODUCT IS BORN

Now would be a good place to ask if anyone noticed my sweet Heavy Duty Cam Tab Gussets and Heavy Duty LCA Flange Braces??? Better look again :eye: :eye:

Marlin Crawler has built another FIRST for strengthening the Toyota IFS system for greatly improved performance with Rock Crawling, Desert Racing, Mud bogging, Snow wheeling, or just soild peace of mind for the daily driver!!

I present to everyone the all-new Marlin Crawler Heavy Duty LCA Frame Brace Kit!

This kit goes far beyond simply gusseting the Cam Tabs and is so advanced that it is already patent-pending!

The retail for this kit will be $129, and we'll have a limited time introductory price for only $99

We are already gathering interest online and preparing for the first production run that will be ready to ship on or before June 7. :thumbs:

Please click to view this new product online, and please use the "Notify when in stock" button to be notified once available:
→ Heavy Duty LCA Frame Brace Kit | Marlin Crawler, Inc. ←

We will create a product announcement thread which will include full details of this AMAZING kit, that in my opinion blows the doors off anything I've seen before



Initial applications include:
2003+ 4Runner
2003-2009 Lexus GX470
2005+ 2WD or 4WD Tacoma
2006+ FJ Cruiser

Many more applications will be coming soon!

No drilling 24-spot welds and chiseling off 8 camber plates. It can even be installed WITHOUT removing your control arms or altering your alignment :beerchug:

And if you already have upgraded 1/4" cam tabs, no problem, just lightly massage about 1/8" of material off and directly install to your rig. :beerchug:



« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:32:57 PM by BigMike »
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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.
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"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

BigMike [OP]

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40" tires? CHECK

FIRST EVER PATENT-PENDING ROCK CRAWLING IFS SYSTEM? CHECK

MARLIN CRAWLER TACOBOX T/CASE SYSTEM? CHECK!!!!




V2.0 is my first Prototype that we needed to ensure proper alignment, so this was my first stab at it.

To provide a good range for driver preference, I've designed RCLT HD to have 3-degrees caster @ 0-degrees camber when all four eccentrics are rotated up in the neutral/center position. The tech, however, was only able to get 2-degrees caster @ 0-degrees camber with the cams pegged. A few more mouse clicks and I'll have it improved for V3.0 :thumbs:

I am however done with this alignment shop I've been using (Discount Tire Center, North-east Fresno). Because I've "modified" my front suspension ::) they have revoked my 3-year unlimited alignment deal. :rofl: Sucks, but such is life, and now I'm on the look-out for a reputable alignment shop in the Central California area so please let me know if you know of one, thanks!

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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May 1, 2019: First Road Trip on RCLT HD!

The very next morning with less than 10 miles on RCLT HD Prototype V2.0 I loaded up and headed south for a 500 mile round-trip journey to the Los Angeles area!

And HOLY CRAP guys this front end rides LIGHT YEARS BETTER than the one-off prototype LT setup I've been running all these trails with. Unbelievably better!!

It rides WAY smoother, corners WAY better, comes out of corners WAY better, drives PERFECTLY STRAIGHT at 75 MPH on the highway, and is simply everything I could ever ask for thus far.

I've been intentionally driving up and off curbs all over the place and am completely amazed at how the front end sucks up bumps, NOTHING like my old LT setup.

I can NOT WAIT to get this baby out on a trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RCLT HD. Amazing.


And I thought the rear leaf spring setup was a pile of crap before??? The front suspension is SO GOOD that now the rear suspension is SIMPLY UNBEARABLE!!!!!!! What can I do to improve the crappy rear suspension??


Coffee break, south end of Bakersfield, CA



Filling up in "what am I doing here" Tujunga, CA



Eat your heat out automatic owners!! Ha! And this INCLUDES going up and over the Grape Vine! (~ 4,000 ft climb & descent)

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
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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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May 1, 2019: First Road Trip on RCLT HD! (continued)

Found another White Sport brother who likes to back-in so I knew what had to be done!!







The next morning I found a nice place to park the truck for a while :P



...to be continued
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
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"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki

gnob

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Check with Firestone about Lifetime Alignments.

If discount kicked you off the rack, its because the tech is a whiney bytch.
Job pays the same.  :rolleyes:
hold this. . .

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 :drooling: will this work on a 05 Tacoma? :hammer:
>Chuck Norris invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.

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The next morning I found a nice place to park the truck for a while :P



...to be continued

🤔  dont know why but that garage image looks familiar? 🤔

Great work Mike. Truly impressive.

The lower control arm you designed,  how does the lower coilover mount position compare to the standard lower arm lower coilover mount position?

It looks higher therefore im womdering if the coiliver itself had to be changed. So is the overall length of the coilover different and custom designed for this application?

BigMike [OP]

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Check with Firestone about Lifetime Alignments.

If discount kicked you off the rack, its because the tech is a whiney bytch.
Job pays the same.  :rolleyes:
Thank you for the suggestion gnob. I actually first tried our local Firestone shop and they unfortunately did not have adapters large enough to mount their equipment to my beadlocks. I've received a suggestion from a local customer to try a locally owner shop in Clovis, https://macstirepros.com, which I'm gonna give a shot :thumbs: I've driven past this business many times and recall seeing lifted trucks there so it should be a good choice. For example, lifted pavement pounders present on Google street view: https://goo.gl/maps/guHqVetJqQk9gPrNA

:drooling: will this work on a 05 Tacoma? :hammer:
Yes sir! 4cyl or 6cyl of any 4WD trim.

Great work Mike. Truly impressive.
Thank you Max!

The lower control arm you designed,  how does the lower coilover mount position compare to the standard lower arm lower coilover mount position?
You, always with the good observations ;) Yes, the mount is higher, however, I am hoping that for those already running 7" to 8" coilovers will be able to reuse them based on the following:
1) If you're interested in RCLT then it's because you're looking to run 35" or taller tires, and
2) If you're running 35" or taller tires with LT already then your coils are likely cranked down a bit to gain sufficient lift for 35" or taller tires, and finally
3) Hopefully your same LT coilovers can be reused by adjusting their upper coil perch up most of the way.

For example, the upper perches of my old 7.75" Fox coilovers were cranked down 2.2" from the top which means I could have reused them without any issues by raising each perch. In fact, in CAD I actually used the specs for my Fox coilovers (P/N 880-02-953) when designing RCLT. This was fine and dandy but I cannot tell in CAD how much actual lift this is unless I had the entire truck drawn up.

So when I had Radflo make my coilovers, I gave them RCLT's minimum compressed length and requested to make as long of a shock stroke as possible with that minimum shock length. A major added benefit of RCLT's lower shock mount placement is that the distance under the coil can be very short without interfering with the axle shaft -- because the axle shaft at times is actually below the lower shock mount!! -- something that is not possible without an angled LCA. So RCLT allows for a very short lower eyelet mount under the coil which conserves space to have a longer stroke shock.

Side note: I was originally planning to reuse my same Fox coilovers and switch to shorter lower eyelets, but when we became a Radflo distributor it was a no brainer to work direct with a manufacture and get everything updated in one shot.

For reference, my old Fox shocks are advertised to have a stroke of 7.715-inch, yet my new Radflos are about an inch shorter overall yet have a longer stroke at 7.87-inch. win-win :beerchug:

TL;DR:
RCLT allows the use of very short lower eyelet mounts which frees up shock stroke length for improved downtravel.
This is not required but is an added bonus of RCLT's design (this isn't possible on say a Total Chaos kit because the coil spring will interfere with the axle shaft).



Optional: You can swap your existing LT coilover lower eyelet mounts by just ordering the appropriate mfg's shorter lower eyelet parts, such as this shoter Fox version from Poly: https://www.polyperformance.com/fox-7-8-coilover-shock-shaft-eyelet


I'll have more to discuss about front coilover specs later :yesnod:
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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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension!

🤔  dont know why but that garage image looks familiar? 🤔

Max, you guessed it once already, and were partially correct! The reason why I took the road trip down south was to spend some time at our good friends at Rock Solid Toys, http://rocksolidtoys.com

Let me preface what's about to come next with the following:

I've only ever Rock Crawled leaf sprung vehicles. This Tacoma is my first IFS truck and in the city I constantly find myself never slowing for speed bumps due to how efficient coilovers are. The rear, however, hits like a ton of bricks and I realized a long time ago that I wanted to update the entire platform to coilovers. To make matters worse, my leafs springs are a Heavy Duty / Expedition style 3" lift type made by a company who as far as I'm concerned is no longer in business. These spring packs are comprised of TWELVE LEAFS and ride incredibly stiff. I never liked them from the beginning due to how stiff they are, but they got me the lift I needed to fit 40s and served me well so I can't complain too much. After all you can't expect too much from mass-produced one-fits-all leafs.

This particular rear suspension project was originally planned to be completed more than a year ago, but the MarRack project occupied that last winter/spring and then of course RCLT that summer/fall/winter. So now that both are done and installed to my rig, it was finally time to do something about my rear suspension.

Subjective Ride Comparison 1 of 3:
If I rate my old front LT suspension as 5 times smoother riding than the rear leaf spring suspension, then the new RCLT HD is now 8 times smoother riding than the rear.

RCLT HD rides SOOOO MUCH BETTER than my old LT. The shortcomings of the rear are so much more obvious now.

SO LET'S GO! -Zohan

Whoops, tires fell off!



Whooops, leafs fell off!



Whoops, metal fell off!



Whoops, exhaust fell off! :(



Whoops, the bed fell off!

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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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension! (continued)



Frame prep'd



Wow... We never had to worry about this with the older Hilux trucks. C-channel frames are a joke. You guys have seen how I pack for trips; Most of my gear is in the cab and I usually only pack two or so recovery gear boxes in the bed. I feel sorry for the frames used under rigs with popup tents, tons of expedition gear, heavy bed cages, rear tire & fuel can swing-out carriers, etc... Toyota: Please bring us the 70-series Land Cruiser so we can have a real man's Toyota truck once again in America!

RST's fabricator told me they see this all the time with Tacomas, but he at least did complement the 3rd gen's apparent "High Strength Steel" material commenting on how it was much harder to collapse the frame back into it's original position. He also mentioned how it is more resistant to grinding and how it welds differently than 1st and 2nd gen frames. Nevertheless, I'll take the fully boxed frame of the 1979-95 Toyota minitrucks any day over this "high strength" c-channel frame.

I was hard to capture the right angle by camera. It looked worse in person



Boxing it up like it should have come from the factory!







This Tacoma is no stranger to deep night work!

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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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension! (continued)

During the first few days of progress, while they were working on the rear suspension I was doing a few small mods here and there

Got my Marlin Crawler winch fairlead reinstalled which had been removed while installing the lightbar. (A winch is in the works, just hasn't been a priority yet)

https://www.marlincrawler.com/accessories/recovery-parts/hawse-fairlead





I also picked up 8" limiting straps and got them installed. I wasn't able to do so before, and still have yet to, but I'll now be able to set my downtravel so I can figure out what limits RCLT can be improved upon. I don't know where the full extension should be until I get it up in the air, so I just shortened it all the way for now to be on the safe side.

Not entirely happy with this location... It's potentially going to make adding a second shock difficult. On the KOH 4Runner project I placed both straps in front of the axle, but then they would drag on the MarRack boot depending on LCA & steering angles which is why for Prototype V2 I moved it to the rear. Anyway... more trial-and-error work to do!



I also *finally* installed the fender trim that I've been caring around in my cab since bloody Jan 2018!! >_<

Here is what I purchased, 1/15/2018:
1/32" edge x 25 feet
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NL45NFY/



I knew it would be stupid easy to install and was happy with how it turned out. I still haven't done the front fender yet lol



Finally, knowing that RST will be welding new brackets to my frame, I ditched my old bolt-on Rock Sliders. I am finally 100% free of products from this company! Whew, what a roller coaster ride that has been...

I told RST to find a new home for them and within an hour they had a customer come pick them up and they are long gone. I was super happy to get rid of these, thank you RST!!

« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 02:58:01 PM by 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
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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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension! (continued)

Also while this was going on, RST was finishing up the install of another Marlin Crawler TacoBox, this time into an automatic 2nd gen 2WD Prerunner converted to 4WD with a TacoBox Supreme & FJ Cruiser manual shift t/case.



RST does some of the cleanest TacoBox installs we've seen. If you're in the SoCal area, we highly recommend them! http://rocksolidtoys.com



I was asked if I could sign the Crawler and it was my honor to do so. :) :) Always such a humbling experience and strong reminder that all this hard work and long hours we pour into the Rock Crawling industry is well worth the effort!

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

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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension! (continued)

Most of the time while RST was working on @SlowestTacoma, I was off at various cafes trying to get caught up on marketing work that I had to push off in order to get RCLT HD Prototype V2 built & installed onto my Tacoma. We are blessed to have a well working system where our owners can be away and work remotely and the company continues to push forward in our absence. Thank you everyone starting with CruzrDave who were back at the home fort living keeping Marlin's Rock Crawling dream alive!

Getting our Round-Up Registration up and running
https://www.marlincrawler.com/mcr



Typing up another awesome MC Newsletter
https://www.marlincrawler.com/newsletter



...and getting this build thread updated! :D

« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:02:44 PM by 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
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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May 2-9, 2019: Finally upgrading my rear suspension! (continued)

Back at RST they were quickly getting things finished up!

Unboxing 12" Radflo rear shocks





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

 
 
 
 
 

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