Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 188811 times)

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toyyota

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Mike, isn't it fun to be a home owner? Marlin, Thanks for good tires on the trailer. Hope to see you guys soon!

ted44

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I've been trying to order this since November 2017.

I was out of town for a week and knowing time was critical I had Rocky, who is our drivetrain specialist of 16 yrs, build my TacoBox with a set of our 4.70:1 Competition gears (made from Chromoly by Toyota's own gear cutter in Japan) that feature our Total-Spline technology (world's strongest Toyota input design).

This also meant I missed the opportunity to get pics of the build. I do have studio pics for a 1st gen Tacoma which is nearly identical except for bolt patterns...



This is our MC09 TacoBox with our new updated front & rear adapters. Click each thumbnail for larger resolution:



We are looking at a 1979-95 Toyota High-Neutral-Low t/case section extracted and placed between two Marlin Crawler adapters ready to be mounted between your choice 1995.5+ transmission and transfer case.

Described by location:

Transmission --> TacoBox --> Transfer Case

Described by shift modes:

Transmission --> H-N-L --> 2H-4H-4N-4L

The nice thing about duplicating the High-Neutral-Low section is that in High Range we have a 1:1 direct drive meaning that whatever torque we have entering the Marlin Crawler will be the same exiting (ignoring insignificant parasitic losses).

New T/Case Gear choices become:
1. Marlin Crawler in High, stock Tacoma t/case in High = 1.00:1 x 1.00:1 = 1:1 (cruise on highway same as factory)
2. MC in High, Taco in Low = 1 x 2.57 = 2.57:1 (same as any other Tacoma on the trail)
3. MC in Low, Taco in High = 4.70 x 1 = 4.70:1 (83% lower than stock!)
4. MC in Low, Taco in Low = 4.70 x 2.57 = 12.08:1 (370% lower than stock!!!)

When you replace the 1979-95 2.28:1 factory Toyota low range as I've done with our 4.70:1 ratio (which Marlin created in 1995), you have what we call a "TacoBox Supreme". Probably 95% of all TacoBoxes we build are Supremes. The primary reasons for this are 1) if you're going to do this much work why not go all out, and 2) with the Supreme you get three very distinct ratios (2.57:1 & 4.70:1 & their combined 12.08:1) instead of a similar pair of 2.28:1 & 2.57:1 which isn't nearly as interesting.

There is one final part remaining and that is how do we get the smaller 23-spline automatic-type t/case input to connect to my manual transmission's larger 19-spline output and for this we designed a 19-to-23-spline coupler with an extended length specifically to match our Total Spline input technology. I'll update the thread with more info & pics of this once we get actual production couplers ready.

BigMike [OP]

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I've been trying to order this since November 2017.
Hello ted44,

Please contact our sales department at (559) 252-7295 or via online message at https://www.marlincrawler.com/contact/customer-service. I know we are working on an oiling issue with 6-speed manual setups but I don't have any updates myself on the progress.

Regards,
BigMike
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BigMike [OP]

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Late Spring 2019 Update

Hey guys,

It has been quite the spring... My original plan was to have the Tacoma ready by mid-April and a schedule of at least three trail runs per month, and now I'll be lucky to have it ready to go by late July. I originally wasn't going to post about this but things seem to be improving along with my motivation so here goes

My wife and I have been homeowners for 2 yrs and back in May I purchased a whole house attic fan to install before summer (from Amazon). My parent's house has one of these and it is really, really awesome. We could have hired a local installation company, but the combination of owning my first house + the love of projects meant I had been eager to do this since we bought the house!

We have two attic entrances the previous owner had plywooded for storage (about 300 sq ft each). One of these areas happened to be a perfect location for the vent fan which has made it extremely easy to work on it.

Here I am with a section of plywood removed figuring out where to place the fan via center joist installation. At top-right is the attic entrance from a small closet with ladder. Surrounding the plywood area is pink insulation which comprises the rest of the attic (of course).



Here is where I am installing it near the middle of our house, centered between the far light fixture and smoke detector.



Here is a progress picture with platform and raiser built (for reduced noise and vibrations). This shows a better image of the loose fill insulation that is piled up in a sloped manner all around.

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BigMike [OP]

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While working on the fan project I noticed insulation wrap had partially fallen off A/C ducting right above me so I bought replacement zip ties and got that fixed.

I then began shining my flashlight around and noticed A/C ducting extending way across the attic over to my wife's office (3rd bedroom) had it's wrap insulation 75% fallen off. This wasn't part of the job I was doing either, but just like projects on the Tacoma, if something is "easy & quick to fix" I can't just ignore it so :dunno:

Now before I go on, please know that I have been in many attics, both residential and commercial, and know full well how to walk across joists. The only excuse I can provide for what you're already assuming is that I had been up on the plywood for three weekends in a row and had become fully complacent walking around at will....














...and while wearing noise cancelling headphones enthralled with another Graham Hancock podcast about ancient Egyptian history whilst simultaneously assembling 24-inch zip ties end-to-end, I proceeded to casually walk straight into the pink insulation like I was walking down mainstreet.



I never inspected how far the plywood extends under the insulation and it probably wouldn't have mattered as I was so focused and it happened so fast that I don't even recall the sensation of falling, I just remember being head-deep surrounded by insulation with half my body through the ceiling :o








Yeah. I know. Extremely embarrassing.

Fortunately the light fixture broke my fall. Easy to say then, not so much now, but as many have reminded me it could have been much worse... The light fixture is connected to a metal beam that spans between two joists which impacted into the bottom right corner of my rib cage. All of this was covered by at least three feet of insulation. As one customer told me, I'm lucky I didn't get impaled in my side. That's a great point... wow.... count my blessings for sure


It happened so fast.. I lifted myself out using nearby joists and while spitting out pink insulation and being completely dumbfounded and pissed at myself, the pain in my side and back really began to hurt. My wife was home and quickly ran over. She said the sound was extremely loud and even the kitchen ceiling across the house shook. I managed to climb back down the ladder and by the time I made it to our bed I could barely tolerate the pain. I took 200mg Ibuprofen and gave my best friend who is a nurse a call.

To spare the thread some p0rn, here is a reduced res image of my injury (image is mirrored) (click for larger view).

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BigMike [OP]

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My nurse friend asked: (1) Can I breathe okay [answer: yes], and (2) Can I raise my arm over my head [answer: yes--slowly]. Then, knowing my voice and mannerism so well, he told me to continue with Ibuprofen to manage inflammation, stay in bed and limit movement, and best of luck buddy! I think he chuckled when he said, "Best of luck buddy!" Known him since I was 2 yrs old; True friend for sure! :D He told me a doctor will say the same thing so don't waste your time. This pleased me because I'm the sort who prefers self-recovery and avoids medication when ever possible.

This is my first potential rib injury. For the first three days I couldn't bear to stand or sit and could only lay on my back. I think I slept more than 20 hrs the first two days back-to-back. Whew... Rib injury sucks.

The most difficult thing to manage has been not being pissed and frustrated at myself... I was so extremely mad at myself. Summer is around the corner, I'm working on multiple new products, we've got hotels and events reserved with people expecting to see SlowestTacoma.... can't do anything about it.

This mental anger worsened when I caused my ribs to pop and/or crack from my habit of doing a full-body stretch upon waking up, not once, not twice, but three times during the first 10 days. Each time hurt like hell and seemed to erase any progress from the previous day. I even wrote phone notes to myself challenging me to make it 4 days straight without subconsciously stretching in the morning. The third time it happened, waking up to an on-going full-body stretch cracking & popping whatever was damaged, as soon as I could manage it I went in and got x-rays.

The doctor confirmed exactly as my friend told me: Rest and don't move. He also said it was good I waited, that the best time to view x-rays is around the 2-week mark. After a few days the doc called and confirmed I had "non-displaced fractures" on ribs #9 and #10.

They emailed the images and I sent them to my friend. We were able to find a complete fracture to my #9 rib but never figured out where the fracture is to rib #10. Granted he is not an x-ray tech, but it's certainly better than finding some massive displaced or compound break. Counting my blessings.

This was my first time ever seeing my internal organs. I'm so proud of them :rivers:



Here is the fracture enhanced in Photoshop.



Random chart for reference




Also, my buddy sent me the following image from his house... He told me this was caused by..... drum roll please............. a Solar Panel installation crew!! Holy crap. Said the guy fell completely through unscathed. He left me with the comforting words, "Even professional contractors fall through ceilings." Thanks man :thumbs:

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2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
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Things are only impossible until they are not.
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BigMike [OP]

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And so... yeah. Such has been the past month plus for me. I've watched many YouTube videos on fracture recovery tips. Videos I found useful are:

1. Nutrition for Bone Healing (12:59m)


and

2. Fracture Healing (6:40m)




So I stocked up on things such as this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. I don't care what it takes, if some supplements to my already healthy diet can help then I'm game. I've already lost MC way more by now...

I'm in week # 3, but because I kept re-injuring it up until day 10 -- I think, it's really like I'm in week # 2 or worse. I'm pretty sure I extended the inflammation period an extra week which leads me to...

The final issue:

Because my break is on the corner of my back, when I lay down my bed pushes up on the curvature of my back causing my unbroken portion of rib # 9 to push into and inward towards my lung. So for at least the first two weeks I could not breath deeply while laying on my back due to sharp pain on my right lung. However, the moment I lift my body up or repeat this process standing, I could do a full inhale with minimal pain. So if I run my fingers across the front of my rib cage while standing, it feels normal, but the moment I lay down, I can instantly feel rib # 9 move about an inch deeper into my chest then both neighboring ribs. I feel this is compounding the recovery process, as the most important time for recovery -- sleep -- is also the time when the fracture is being pushed out of alignment...

A few nights leading up to and during last weekend was absolutely the worst, with the inflammation being so bad that it felt like I was constantly sleeping atop a small tennis ball right where my rib hurts and I could only take short small breaths. I did some reading on pneumonia and practiced coughing and breathing deep while not in bed. Still can't lay on either side. Am so sick and tired of laying on my back... My wife left to Japan on the 20th. Been an interesting solo recovery.. Still cannot sit comfortably on soft surfaces such as a couch or office chair. I have to put a small pillow behind my back to sit in a vehicle. Haven't wheeled since... the Round-Up last September. Gonna jam-pack as many wheeling trips as possible once I get healthy.. Counting my blessings!

Even only breaking one (or supposedly two) ribs has put me 100% out of commission. I assume not a big difference had I broke one or many ribs.. While recovering there have been multiple times where things start feeling normal and I forget, and try to lift something or bend sideways to grab something, and while I haven't felt any new "pops" I've experienced many crunchy or grinding sensations that immediately result in inflammation & stiffness, forcing me right back in bed. Forcing myself to remain stationary has been very frustrating. Has been an exercise of humility.

In closing...

I've read many horror stories mostly on motorcycle forums of dudes breaking multiple ribs along with a collar bone. MANNNNN.... I feel soooo sorry for these guys. And every one I read about simply rested at home for recovery. Pretty amazing actually. For example, look at this image below. This guy wiped out hard while riding and slid like a rag doll into a guard rail. I rarely watch movies but last week saw the latest Mission Impossible film and I have to call B.S. because Ethan Hunt would have broken all ribs precisely rendering that mission impossible hahaha

So anyway... I know I have a couple weekends of work remaining before the Tacoma can go wheeling again. I've had to cancel a bunch of events, namely Toyota Jamboree in Texas, Canadian Moab trip, and FJ Summit in Colorado. The next big event is a local run called Moonlight Madness, but with only 19 days remaining it's gonna be my own Mission Impossible

Regards,
BigMike

yikes!




---

holy smokes while proof reading I came across this one, Good Lord!! I don't know any back story, was a random image search, but lotta mercy wow!!

« Last Edit: Jul 01, 2019, 12:00:48 AM 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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:pokinit: man.....thats terrible.   Can count your blessings it wasnt worse but what a bummer on your plans.   Looks after yourself mate. There will always be time to catchup. Your health comes first.

Wainiha

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Cracked ribs hurt, i've had 4.  Twice puncturing my lungs.  Don't sneeze...
2000 3.4L xtra-cab Tacoma.
Icon C/Os
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FLOODED...GONE

2005 4.0L xtra-cab Tacoma
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Waiting on Marlin for the RA60 Short throw shifter...Hint Hint
FLOODED...GONE

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and Total Chaos UCAs

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Can we make you  laugh



Ed
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toyyota

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Get well soon my friend, there's stuff to do!

V-Man

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Have you tried one of these?

https://www.braceability.com/products/broken-rib-brace

Yes it is a real medical device. Remember my wife is a X-ray Technologist.

Toyotadon

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Now I get to hear the rest of the story. Looking forward to having you back to business, but take care ofyourself first.

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Get well soon and watch where you step. It can be quite tricky in the attic.  I found those spots before .... but luckily avoided walking on them voids. I made a plywood path in my attic cause I bug bomb every so often for the heck of it.

But this WHOLE House fan thing reminded me and made me wonder if I needed to do more, cause you see, I installed one in the attic ROOF of our new home back in 1998.  The box said WHOLE HOUSE FAN and had this big aluminum rain dome built in and was made for mounting in the roof. I mounted it centrally and that was that. It's suppose to draw cool air from the soffit as it blows hot air out through the roof from under that weather dome.  It's held up great during our hurricanes and tropical storms!!

       Now you say 'Whole House' fan and maybe I missed if you mounted one in your roof before installing another 'hot draw' fan in your ceiling. Yours is a good idea because heat rises.  Our roof fan runs off a thermostat that I set at about 90 degrees or so. With our fan, by cooling the attic, it cools the ceiling so the AC works more efficient and keeps the house cooler. As for the AC, the closer to the ceiling the intake is , the better.  That way the air handler can easily and instantly pull the hot air through that vented filter and cool it while blowing it back out over the area.
Yours may go fast,but, mine can go anywhere and if you get in my way, I'll run over you with my big tires, the Taco Box way...... Nice and slowwwwwwww......

BigMike [OP]

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What's up guys and gals!

After 3 months & 21 days since I last worked on it, I am finally getting the Tacoma ready for the Round-Up. The last Round-Up ended Sunday Sept 16, 2018, or 338 days ago, which was the last time I went wheeling :scared: This is the longest I've gone without wheeling since getting my driver's license. /firstworldproblems

The last work I did was installed RCLT HD Prototype v2.0 on April 30, and then RST did the rear 3-link in May. My rib injury has been... has been interesting. It is without question the most annoying injury I've ever experienced. Healing progress is only noticeable on a week-to-week basis and after 2-1/2 months I still cannot sleep on either side or chest. Yesterday I put my MR2 back together (a rear brake upgrade project I started in late May) and got it out of our garage, and torquing down bolts caused noticeable pain in both sides of my ribs

(oh yeah, it turns out the other broken rib which my friend and I couldn't find in the X-Rays is from my OTHER SIDE. So I have one broken rib on each side, yet the accident only impacted on one side. Explain that one...)

Random pic from a few weeks ago. I now have 2,350 city & highway miles on RCLT HD v2.0



I will be ready for some wheeling soon so it's time to get the truck trail worthy again. Here is my short-list of required things to do before MCR18:

Rear End
  • Fix rear ARB
    • Internal seal went bad and is pumping gear oil up to the compressor
    • I really dislike air operated lockers...
  • Fix angle of rear panhard bar
    • Truck is too tall for the brackets used
  • Lower the rear shock mounts
    • Shocks are bottoming out too soon
  • Install limit straps
Front End
  • Address clearance in front of tires
    • My old prototype suspension was "+1 RC" and my new RCLT HD is "+2 RC"
    • Now that the front tires are pushed forward an extra inch (2-inches total), I need to trim back the front bumper and a few other things
  • Flip TRE bolts
    • Been bugging the hell out of me this entire summer
  • Apply a few RCLT HD Prototype version 3.0 updates to my current v2.0 setup
    • I would LOVE to install my final prototype design (v3.0) before the Round-Up but it won't be ready in time.
    • v2.0 is lightyears better than v1.0, and v3.0 is gigametres better than v2.0
    • v3.0 RCLT HD is the real deal that I can stand behind and will be the last prototype before transitioning to production
Body Armor
  • Build new prototype Rear Rock Crawling Bumper
I leave on the 10th for my organized MCR18 "TacoBox Run", so I've got 23 days including today which should be doable

Here are live images of @SlowestTacoma. This is the first time she's been on a lift in 112 days :hattip: In fact, this is the first time RCLT HD v2.0 has ever been on a lift :ack:



Below is a nice shot showing that sweeeeet "+2.0 RC" Rock Crawling ability. (Axle moved forward 2"; The "RC" of RCLT). Also, the amount of RCLT HD downtravel completely blows away my previous LT setup. In fact it is very close to the same amount of droop as the rear end which is a 3-link with 12" shocks!!

(ps. I estimate RCLT HD v3.0 will have more downtravel than the rear 3-link EDIT: After looking at my drawings it will come close to but not surpass the 3-link)



Got some work ahead of me; Gonna be fun as always!! I doubt I'll have any time to update this thread until after the Round-Up. I'll see how it goes and will try to check back a few times if possible. Cheers! :beerchug:

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: Aug 19, 2019, 05:07:15 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.
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BigMike [OP]

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The last Round-Up ended Sunday Sept 16, 2018, or 338 days ago, which was the last time I went wheeling :scared: This is the longest I've gone without wheeling since getting my driver's license. /firstworldproblems

To elaborate more on this, RCLT HD (more info) has been a massive undertaking which has required literally thousands of hours of my time over the last year (for sure over 3,000 hours).

After the last Round-Up, I invested all my work, holidays, and free time from last September to January the 2nd to finish v1.0, and then from late January to the last day of April to finish v2.0. I put in just shy of a month of design work on v3.0 and then broke my ribs :smack:

Other than my lead fabricator doing the welding, I have been the only person working on this project. RCLT HD is far more complicated than a typical LT because least of all we have new HD Knuckles (which gave me the ability to engineer all-new suspension geometry), and far more complicated than the rare LT kit with custom knuckles because we have an integrated HD rack and pinion steering system (which gave me the ability to engineer all-new steering geometry).

The level of effort increases exponentially with each item, as not only are all parts designed in unison, but more jigs are required as well as extra specialized jig hardware. For example, I am on v2.2 prototype jigs currently, which I have not discussed because this is part of internal manufacturing.

On top of this, I've been promoting a brand-new Rock Crawling IFS market with unique features such as the combination of angled lower control arms with inset shock mounts and v-groove inner axle clearance with internally gussetted upper control arms both using horizontally-mounted ball joints modified for maximum steering angle with non-welded steering arms on knuckles that are moved forward in compatibility with steering system placement whose sector shaft does not interfere with frame or driver side engine mount.

By far the hardest part about RCLT HD has been making the MarRack a universal installation across multiple applications, the worst being under the stupid Toyota V8 (4th gen 4Runner & GX470). Compared to other companies, this isn't even part of a suspension kit yet it has by far required the most amount of my time. The MarRack is currently at v2.0 and has room for a few improvements, however, I am proud to say that installation is identical, from 4cyl to V8. I rarely use this phrase due to it's gravity, but Thank God that task is behind me.

Oh, I also created the HD LCA Frame Mount and Cam Tab Kit for 6-applications while recovering from broken ribs.

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: Aug 19, 2019, 01:39:01 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

Hilux_Max

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💪💪💪 keep up the great work Mike. I had air lockers in my previous model Hilux and despised them with constant issues. Current Hilux has front e locker to match rear factory locker and that setup has been very reliable thus far.

BigMike [OP]

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Current Hilux has front e locker

WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY??


Toyota of USA... plz kill me
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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WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY??


Toyota of USA... plz kill me

I should have clarrified....my current model hilux has a Front E-Locker (Harrop/Eaton) that i had fitted before i picked it up from the dealership. Not genuine front elocker from toyota. They would never warrant that with the way some muppets drive these things....LOL

79coyotefrg

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 :yikes:
been there.   only 6 months after getting out of the hospital for my heart surgery I was finishing up the rebuild for my friends suburban and my feet slipped and BAM right down on the core support on my right side.  :rivers:
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rapier46

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Not the first guy Iíve seen fall through their roof lately.    Jeez mike glad you werenít hurt worse.

swilson

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Good to see you're healed up Mike!

The Tacoma was looking fantastic at the Roundup Love all the new suspension
Scott Wilson - TLCA #5261
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montypower

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Incredible work on the RCLT!  Been enjoying watching your progress.  You're really pioneering the modern Toyota to be a viable option to Jeep for rock crawling.  Very cool. 

Have you attempted the soup bowl on the Rubicon?  I'm curious if the modern Taco has enough frame clearance for obstacles like this. 
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Glad you're healed up Mike.  I feel your pain!  I once fell head first down the stairs with a toothbrush in my mouth and ended up with two cracked ribs, dislocated shoulder and the whole side of my face bruised up.  Within the first couple minutes my roommate did the baseball trick to pop my shoulder back in but those cracked ribs were the worst!  I couldn't breath or laugh or sleep good for several weeks.
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Hilux_Max

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Mike,   what is the next stage in the development and/or release of this product/project?   Obviously KOH 2020 will be a great test of the V3.0 of the kit.   Seems there are many many people eagerly awaiting this product release.

How is your Tacoma going?   Any big trips planned in near future?

Hilux_Max

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Mike, looking at this photo below,  im surprised you have never considered upgrading the standard diff bracket? 

Here in Australia those that offroad their IFS Hilux's,  we replace the factory diff brackets with aftermarket ones, the RHF one braces between the front and second crossmember. they also drop the diff 32mm to both reprieve CV angle and provide additional durability.



Standard forged diff brackets have been known to bend under low in low rnage, this bending causes the CV shafts to dislocate alot easier and more frequently.

These are the diff brackets I run:




See how the bracket is braced between both crossmembers?   Given the huge torque your running, I would think this would be a good upgrade for your Tacoma.


Even the rear mount sits lower once changed.


For those that do not want a diff drop, there is simply a RHF diff braced diff bracket option to strengthen the front mounts to alleviate the torque twist I speak off damaging mounts.




just throwing some ideas your way that have proven to work here in Australia over the last 10 years!

 
 
 
 
 

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