Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 458422 times)

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BigMike

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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

We knew that one of our close friends would be there, and before long Fred Williams along with Dave Chapelle from Dirt Every Day stopped by to feature us on their Dirt Every Day Extra coverage of the event!!











That was AWESOME and a lot of fun! If you're a Motortrend subscriber, you can watch the episode here:

https://www.motortrendondemand.com/detail/the-new-marlin-crawler-rclt-suspension/130328/

Details from Motortrend:

The New Marlin Crawler RCLT Suspension (episode: #893, length: 9:17m)

"Fred Williams and Dave Chappelle run into the son of Marlin of Marlin Crawler, who has a brand-new suspension for late-model Toyotas. This is an IFS suspension designed for rock crawling. We're excited to see how it works on the toughest trails out there."

H-U-G-E Thank you to Clampy for helping us promote RCLT HD!!!



(Note: While preparing this post I tried the link and the page doesn't load. We currently don't have a Motortrend account so someone else will need to verify it)
Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

All thumbs up!



And officially endorsed by My. Clampy himself!! :o

"Marlin Crawler continues to innovate. What started with gearing has evolved into a Toyota IFS for the Rock Crawler." -Fred Williams, Dirt Every Day

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)







Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

I was able to slip away for a break and found our good friend Jason, who is a certified Denver-area Marlin Crawler Distributor and Product Installer at his company RSG Off-Road!! If you're from CO then check them out, they do amazing work: rsgoffroad.com.

RSG trailered their beautiful 5th gen SAS 4Runner on 40s out to southern CA and it was great to see it again



Supercharged dual-VVT-i version 4-liter :cool: If I'm not mistaken, they are Magnuson's largest 4.0-liter Supercharger vendor and have more experience with them than anyone else



No built rig would be complete without a Marlin Crawler Dual T/Case setup!! (Automatic 4-speed TacoBox Supreme setup, 4.70:1 reduction, 12.08:1 combined low range) Pretty sure this was the only other TacoBox at the event lol



Inside the main exhibition hall I found Radflo and got to chat with them for a while regarding technical details of a bypass shock for a, um, future project for the Tacoma. I am very pleased with my Radflo shocks! I like them much better than my old Fox shocks that were non-adjustable.

Inside booths did not seem to be as busy; I probably just caught a lull.

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

When I got back to our booth another long time friend was there waiting to greet me, Mr. Steve Sasaki himself, founder/owner of Powertank!! If you are EVER in need of a truly amazing portable air system, then definitely look no further than powertank.com!! While they market heavy in the domestic truck world, Steve is a long time Toyota gearhead and his personal wheeler is a fully-built red 1st gen 4Runer on 37s with a Marlin Crawler Dual Ultimate 4-speed 10.72:1 T/Case setup :wave:

Steve had not heard about RCLT and was very impressed, especially with the fact that the system can be removed and the factory IFS reinstalled. He compared RCLT HD to being an improved version of the old Solid Axle Swaps that got so many 1986-95 Toyota owners started with Rock Crawling back in the day, stating, "this is the new SAS for modern Toyota's."

Thank you very much for endorsing RCLT HD Steve! We are eternally grateful for having close family friends like you and all the history we have together.

Two big endorsements from two big off-road names. This has been a great event!

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

"Busy, busy!" -Misato











It was around this time Sunday when I first heard about some new outbreak happening over in China. I rarely follow the news and due to my position I stay off social media. I didn't think much about it. We've had outbreaks before such as Ebola, Zika, Swine flu, etc... Meh, probably it'll blow over. Back to the event!

Nice meeting ya @diesel__sam!! Love that vintage Trucker style Marlin Crawler hat! :love:

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

By mid afternoon Sunday it was finally starting to wind down.









This awesome couple is building up a blue 3rd gen Tacoma, and the next time I'm down their way I need to remember to meet up with them. They were a really nice couple and we chatted for a bit

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

My Recap of the event

You know, I have to say, I was pretty dang impressed with the overlanding crowd. Unlike how I envisioned them, these people actually do their own homework and asked intelligent questions. Even while explaining processes & designs for Rock Crawling, they had a good understanding and could follow along. For example, and no joke, while I was tied up helping others, I overheard on two separate occasions other people explaining the benefits of RCLT HD to their friends and others nearby. They had learned about RCLT HD online and were reciting our own key points of the setup to others. First time I had EVER experienced this!

It's highly curious why this younger generation isn't in to increases (traction, torque, control, capability, safety) and decreases (bouncing, breakage, trail abuse, risk) that results from drastically lower transfer case gearing. Is it because the average overlander only keeps a rig for a year and gets out of the hobby?

In contrast, of the many generic off-road expos I've vendored at, such as the nearby Pomona Off-road Expo, you get the Monster Energy flat-bill hat wearing types who are just there to see chicks and get free swag. This is especially true at the SEMA Show. Four Wheeler definitely did their job at marketing this event towards people who actually own and use their vehicles off-road. Genuinely great off-road enthusists from start to finish. We will for sure be back in 2021!!

A few pages back I posted "future photos" from this event that were shared to me by Instagramer 4runningmutts and I'd like to re-post them here. Thank you @4runningmutts!





Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

Another event in the books! Time to tear down, pack up, and head home. Thank you to my trusty 17yr old "Farm Jack" ;)



All loaded up & ready to drive home



Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

Before returning to the highway I wanted to say goodby to RSG and got some comparison shots of two late model Yotas on 40s.







Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

HOLY GROUND CLEARANCE BATMAN



I put together two animated comparison images... This first one is 2.58 MB, hopefully the forum loads it correctly. If not, here is the direct link.



And this second one is 2.80 MB, direct link. I removed shadows and driver side rear tires to isolate purely the front ground clearance difference.

A couple points I'd like to make are
  • Jason is running a custom low profile Dana 60 axle housing that gains a lot of ground clearance over a factory housing (made by our good friends at Diamond Axle), and
  • We're both running Dana 60 axles: The SAS has Dana 60 U-Joints and my IFS has RCV's 35-spline Dana 60 CV Joints. Believe it or not my IFS axles are stronger than his. (When used in a live axle, RCV guarantees the same joints I'm running will not fail with up to 46" tires!)
I asked Jason what RSG charges for a late model Toyota SAS and he said point-blank without hesitation, "RSG won't do a front SAS for less then $25K". That's what I was expecting and is the third shop I've seen charging over $20,000 for SAS.



While RCLT HD is not meant to replace a SAS, here are its benefits from our booth flyer:



And if I may side track a bit and inject a quick future photo drop, short of portals no other SAS -- or any IFS for that matter -- can do what we're accomplishing with RCLT HD.

I'll be discussing this later in more detail, but RCLT HD has taught me an entirely new way to Rock Crawl that I've never done before. While I've been complaining about the massive size of the new Tacoma, how it's the same size as the original Tundra and how it can't fit through lines I grew up driving Toyota Hilux pickups through, RCLT HD has enabled me to intentionally straddle objects rather than being forced to climb over them, which has opened up entirely new lines on every trail I've been to so far that I never could have done before in a live axle rig.



For example, we encounter many corners in our densely seeded Sierra Nevada Mtns where you have to maintain a straight-ahead line through rocky corners so that your rear tires take the same line as your fronts to avoid being high centered on the rear diff. In other words, if you try turning in early, whatever object you undercut will simply get high centered at the rear. So you delay your turn-in, cranking the wheel at the last moment and hoping you don't jack your headlight or fender on trees at the outside of the turn. Now with RCLT HD, this is not a problem any more and you can shift your focus solely to your rear tires and undercut many obstacles clearing corners easily without body damage. As a bonus, because you'd have to be drunk to try the new line in a different rig, there are fewer large holes to fall into since you're pioneering your own path that others can't follow.

For my wheeling style this has been such a revolutionary concept that when I'm loading up for the next event I'm already thinking of what new line I'm gonna try out now that I have such massive ground clearance from RCLT HD.

It's good to have things to look forward to and RCLT HD has made trails I've spent my life wheeling such as the Rubicon and Dusy/Ershim now re-born mentally as I plot new lines and angles around rocks and trees I never could have done before.



This isn't just because I'm on 40s.

RCLT HD + Stock tires = More ground clearance than a typical-style LT + 40" tires:

If you haven't seen the following from our RCLT HD announcement thread, then now is a great time to include it. This is a 2006 4Runner with our original RCLT HD Prototype (V1) & stock tires being compared to my Tacoma with a typical Long Travel arm design & 40" tires.

The stock vehicle with RCLT HD has more ground clearance with stock tires than a truck on 40" tires with typical LT. And that was only Version 1; Version 3 onwards has more ground clearance due to an additional bend in the lower plate.

Also note the ground clearance advantage of RCLT HD is 82% the length of the arm (84% on our +3.50 LT version) whereas other control arms on the market are designed with a downward slope losing ground clearance starting at the frame. We even offset our lower arms more than half an inch above the frame mounts themselves! It's no contest.

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (continued)

Can't be a wrap up without a few pics from the trip back home! We stopped for dinner at my favorite State-side Okonomiyaki restaurant (お好み焼き), Chinchinkurin! I have emailed this company probably a dozen times in both English and Japanese begging them to open a location in Fresno and so far nothing >_< A man can dream!



I would drive to LA just to order another one of these. やさいお好み焼きは私の一番すきなわしょくですよ‼



A quick stop one more time for fuel...



...and after a 128 mile stretch we got an even 20 MPG with cruise control set exactly to 70 MPH.

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 6-8, 2020: Four Wheeler Adventure Expo (Costa Mesa, SoCal) (concluded)

And last but not least, throughout the event I posted random Instagram Video Stories which I later compiled into one 5 min video for your viewing pleasure

Description from YouTube: Last week we placed @SlowestTacoma with our final RCLT HD prototype on display at the inaugural Fourwheeler Adventure Expo. It was our first time as an exhibitor at an Overlanding Event and we were quite impressed with the informed and intelligent questions and feedback received from the many people we met.

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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

RUGER

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 :thumbsup: im impressed bigmike. keep up the good work. :thumbsup:
RUGER :usa:
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I know what you mean when you say that there's less holes when you're taking your own unique line.  When I got my '85 truck back in 2000 (I think) I was able to run quite a few trails in Colorado with 32 inch tires and open differentials because I didn't fall in the same holes that the much more common Jeeps left in the trails.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

Moab Tested & Rubicon Approved

BigMike [OP]

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:thumbsup: im impressed bigmike. keep up the good work. :thumbsup:
RUGER :usa:
RUGER! Thanks bud!! :beer: It's been too long! Happy New Year and hope you've been well!


I know what you mean when you say that there's less holes when you're taking your own unique line.  When I got my '85 truck back in 2000 (I think) I was able to run quite a few trails in Colorado with 32 inch tires and open differentials because I didn't fall in the same holes that the much more common Jeeps left in the trails.
This really helped Marlin out back in the day. Sure all the FJ40 and Jeep owners made fun of his longbed which was a limousine back then**, but, when nearly every other rig is either a short wheelbase FJ40/Jeep or a short wheelbase pickup/4Runner, a longbed will walk right over double-wheelbase holes that others get badly hung up on. I mean, who wheels a long bed? Idiot! haha


** You should ask Marlin about the time he got voted in to the Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno. This is a 99% Jeep club and during the voting process they literally asked Marlin, "How many times do you have to back up on the Dusy/Ershim?", and no joke a few old timer Jeepers wanted to deny his membership because he couldn't do the entire trail without backing up. Marlin describes this as a really heated topic back in the day which has clearly trickled down to me and you're about to see more of this in my next posting :D
Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel

When I fit 40s the first time I was mainly concerned with turning clearance, so I only trimmed fore and aft both tires. Now that I'm finally at the point where I'd like to start tuning the suspension, the first step is to set the up-travel

When I built my 1981 Hilux, I ran 14" shocks up front (leaf sprung). The typical design on these trucks is to only run 12s, but being in my early 20s I wanted that "mad flex, yo". It ended up being a bad decision because the up-travel was greatly limited and I discovered that when a truck is heavily loaded, up-travel is more advantageous as you can maintain a level body when it's needed the most. Having a ton of downtravel isn't always useful anyhow: Just because a tire can drop doesn't always mean it'll have weight acting on it to convert into sufficient tractive force. In contrast, the tire which is stuffed the most by definition has the highest force acting on it which is precisely when you want the suspension to work to maximize a tire's ability to use traction

Here is an old pic of my Hilux with 14s in the front. As you can see the driver front shock is nearly at it's bumpstop yet there is a large amount of clearance over the tire



Limited front up-travel will result in things like this. If there was more up-travel on that driver front tire then the body would be more level and we'd have less of a load on the passenger rear tire
There is no reason to be this sideways, or for the poor rear to be maxed out, or for this to look so difficult



Finally, perhaps not the best pic, but this is many years later where I've switched to 12" front shocks providing something like 4 or 5-inches of more up-travel at the tire when articulated. Note how level the body is despite being crossed-up. This wouldn't be possible if that driver front didn't have sufficient up-travel

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Case in point, here is my Tacoma last year on the Rubicon. This is towards the bottom of the Big Sluice and is one of my favorite spots of the entire trail:





Because the front bumper was built prior to moving the front knuckles forward two inches, my up-travel is limited by the bumper...



It also prevents full steering lock to the side opposite compressed



Even without the bumper, more turn-in will cause interference to the cab



At this position, here is what that passenger front shock looks like. It's hard to tell from the pic but there is a good 3-inches of compression I'm missing out on, and 3-inches at the shock equates to nearly double at the tire, so we have an abundance of tasty up-travel waiting to be realized. The only question is how much cutting of the cab do I want to do...

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Here is a head-on comparison of this same obstacle with my '81 and it's tuned front suspension vs my untuned '16. The lines aren't the same and the dumb Tacoma has a behemoth wheelbase (106" vs 130"), but it's a decent comparison. The Tacoma has both more front up- & down-travel yet to be unlocked. If it wasn't for the rear 3-link, that driver front on the Tacoma would be hanging in the air due in part to a lack of passenger side up-travel.

My plans should put the Tacoma at roughly +5" more up-travel and about the same gain in down-travel than shown here:



Side note as to why I love this section on the 'Con:
It's right after a nasty tree & rock squeeze that greatly limits your entrance angle to this section, and if you use a cutting brake such as what I have installed to both my Hilux (hydraulic) and Tacoma (mechanical, info @ Reply #737 onwards), then you can juuuuuust barely make this corner wide-right around the boulder as shown without backing up and it's a great feeling when you nail the line just right without backing up!

Without cutting brakes, most long wheelbase rigs will have to make a 3-point turn to get repositioned for the standard center line shown below. (The large boulder shown above is the rock at far left below, left of the second tree.)

Compare the angles between my Tacoma and the blue 4Runner (Hi Larry! :wave:) -- It's like 120+ degrees of vehicle rotation :o If you try to take the corner without backing up you'll add a significant amount of off-camber to the hard-left steep-drop where I've seen people roll. The line shown below was before I had cutting brakes and resulted from a four-point turn to get the rear end over before the drop. Thank you Amanda for the cool photo!

One more thing is that this corner is made worse due to often needing at least one locker engaged where the 4Runner is at. So you're screwed if you have an automatic locker (Detroit, Grizzly, lunchbox, welded) and you're screwed if your selectable locker won't disengage (Toyota E-Locker, Air Locker, etc). You'll have no choice but to reverse. Therefore, I always challenge myself to try this section with no locker and no backing up which is a lot of fun! :D

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

So on to Step 2 of 4 of my plan to tune my front suspension: Extra body clearancing!

Removing bumpers on these 3rd gens really showcases why over the hood visibility is so horrible







But at least we have a nice view of RCLT HD :D

I don't think I've expressed this in the build thread before, but if I wasn't building this truck to feature commercially viable products then a lot would be changing starting with that horrible lower radiator support. If I was building this truck only for myself then I would have cut that stupid crossmember off years ago and designed a lower profile front bumper with a much better approach angle. It even gets in the way of my split-screen dual rock crawling camera system. When you undress things these sore thumbs really stick out and glare at ya. Approach and departure angles were not a priority for Toyota :talkingn:

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Next I dropped my truck off with a good friend and local customer Bryce, aka TimberlineBryce (formerly: TaroVr6) at his new self-employed business called Timberline Offroad and Auto Body in Clovis, CA.

Bryce is a domestic and foreign collision repair and restoration expert with almost 25 yrs body & paint experience. He worked at one of the largest collision centers in the Central Valley and voluntarily quit to pursue the American dream. Best thing is that he is a fellow off-roader -- wheels a fully built 2nd gen SAS V6 4Runner, -- and is amazing at repairing trail damage. So if you're in the Fresno area then I highly recommend giving Bryce a visit!

Bryce's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bryce.anderson.7921
Instagram: http://instagram.com/timberlineoffroad
Phone number: (559) 704-0830 (accepts txt msgs)

This was Bryce's first time working on @SlowestTacoma and I was impressed because its not everyday you find a body guy who understands wheeling and what needs to be done relating to off-road performance. I didn't have to haggle or continually explain "why" I wanted the body cut in such a way to clear the tires in a downhill sharp turn because he's been in that situation on the trail and knows what it'll take to make it work right. Even all of these pictures were sent to me by Bryce so special thank you for taking the time to take pictures for the build thread Sir!



First step was to cut into the cab and then check for tire clearance

"So let's go" -Zohan



It's becoming less and less painful each time the truck gets cut. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing :D



Made extra supports for the fender mounts



Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

With the inner fender walls cut some it was time to check for clearance



Special thanks to Billy at Brute Force Fab for letting Bryce borrow his forklift!



Marlin happened to be nearby and walked over, handed Bryce his phone, and then texted me this pics hahah Too funny





No fork lift flex is complete without a couple RCLT HD pics!



I should just drive around with no fenders all the time!! :love:

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

After marking and doing extra trimming here and there it was time to start on new panels







Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Looking great Bryce. Nice 40" curve!





Weather seal & paint matched to Toyota's paint code



Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Detail work on the passenger side :D







Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Weather seal & paint!







All done!

Bryce also took extra time modifying my K&N air filter bracket assembly to take up the extra space needed. As a bonus I got rid of the factory inner fender wall air intake hole which had been at risk of throwing dirt, dust, rocks, and water up at my K&N filter. Win-win

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

While Bryce was working on the Tacoma I was busy with this!

That's right, time for a second set of 40s! I _really_ love these Coopers, and so does one of my employees, so I traded out some parts with him while the tires still had about 40% life left.



Same tires as before, 40" x 13.5" R 17, Cooper Discoverer STT Pro



I had 25,637 miles on them and had used up 8.1 lbs of rubber :eek:



I have to thank Wyatt again from Rock Solid Toys for turning me onto this tire & wheel combo. By far the best setup I've ever used for mixed Rock Crawling, City, and Highway use. I forget the number, but with wheels they're somewhere around 145 lbs each.

New shoes once again!!

« Last Edit: Jan 19, 2021, 06:37:27 PM by BigMike »
Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

First flex after the body work!





WOW! I've never had this much up travel before!!



The front bumper still needs to be trimmed so I can't straighten the tire while compressed yet

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Close up of the new cab contour... looks perfect! Great work Bryce! :beer:



Check out how compressed the coil is now! :o I've never seen the Radflo use this much of it's stroke. Step 1 of 50 lb lighter rate coils & Step 2 of making room for the tires to move has been a massive improvement



Make'n good progress



Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

The final step was to address the tire to bumper clearance



I was in a hurry and didn't get as many pics as I'd like, but here is the only side view photo I have (after Bryce's work but before new tires) detailing the bumper overhang



...and in the foreground is where the side support tube used to be
So we took nearly a half-foot off both sides as well as angled the side support forward



All done!



Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Instagram: @SlowestTacoma
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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