Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 313229 times)

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BigMike

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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (continued)

Impromptu dirt hill flex shots!



Close up... Perfect.

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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March 10 through March 27, 2020: Finalizing Front Up-Travel (concluded)

...and this is when I discovered I HAD A CRACK IN MY WINDSHIELD!!!!!!!!!! WTH

This is exactly where the factory Toyota GoPro mount is located. I have used this GoPro mount a few times with my iPhone 7 (138 grams) so I doubt that caused it.. There is that weird scrape visible across the "D" sticker so maybe it was some road debris... I don't ever recall a rock hitting the windshield before. At least the crack is out of the way and not growing...yet.



(Info from the future: On the way back home that day is when I took this photo we've been using in some of our marketing later in 2020, I even hunted down the original Dodge Neon font!)



Back at home for the first time with proper up-travel clearancing! Step 2 of 4 completed :)

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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Awesome seeing the suspension tuning and tyre clearancing work. Will work wonders out on the trail.

BigMike [OP]

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April 10, 2020: Fork Lift Flex

A couple weeks later I checked fork lift flex for the first time after updating the front bumper.

There actually is some up-travel room remaining: The tires aren't contacting the fenders, the cab, or the bumper. Could be the new coils are still breaking in, but more likely its the simple fact the truck is unloaded. I even made sure the unloaded rear tire was airborne as shown and it didn't make a difference. Once I get my gear in the bed I'm sure it'll gain a bit more. I'll comment more on this later



Compare this fork lift flex to that of last year (reply #946)



Another angle



That's gotta be a good half foot more up travel!! :o :o This is going to be h-u-g-e for the trail!



There's at least another inch remaining but I'll need to resist the urge to tweak it more until I get back on the trail

It may not look like it but fully compressed as shown achieves full lock-to-lock steering without any tire interference. It's a beaut, Clark!



Get crossed!



Really pleased seeing the stable geometry I've designed into these knuckles. Cross-camber and total toe looks consistent even at extreme opposite control arm angles.

I spent a lot of time in 2018 & 2019 designing geometries. I not only came up with never-before-done +2-inch forward arm geometry(1), but I also had the privilege of designing never-before-done knuckle geometry(2) and never-before-done steering geometry(3) thanks to the MarRack and our extended length steering arms that reduce driver steering effort. I'm rock crawling 40 x 13.5" wide tires aired down to 4 PSI with factory steering pump & lines and steering is better than when I had factory knuckles & steering parts with only 37 x 12.5" wide tires aired down to just 7 PSI.

This is why we claim handling, steering, ride quality, on/off-road traction is unmatched with Long Travel kits reusing stock knuckles. I drive this truck every day and it's without question the best handling Rock Crawler I've ever experienced despite having stupid-sized tires. This is gonna be an awesome kit once ready. I know, I know. We're working on it!

« Last Edit: Jan 22, 2021, 11:41:43 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

BigMike [OP]

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March 11 - April 15, 2020: Completed a 15 year project

Ok. So, it's time to jump on the BigMike Time Machine and ramble a bit. This is a moment 15-1/2 years in the making, a project I started at Reply #719 of my 1981 Hilux's original Build Thread back in 2004! "My god, has it been that long?" -Doc Brown

On. Board. Air.

I eventually did get an on board air (OBA) compressor mounted to the 3RZ-FE engine in my Hilux, as shown at Reply #290 of my "Return of the Project" thread, ...12 years ago. I went with the massive 12.5 cubic inch (205cc!! :o) RV-2 Twin V Compressor. Even made a custom clutch magnet adapter to fit a small 4" diameter serpentine pulley from a 5-liter Ford Mustang A/C compressor (the pulley shown below), a trick system that would have been one of the very best OBA ever. I'm talking close to 25 CFM free-flow flow rate :o



So why after all these years did I not finish my OBA? My short answer: I made it too complicated, as you're about to see. My more precise answer: I've been spoiled by having The Crawler Truck around to always air me up (Marlin's OBA is a long-stroke & over-bored custom 210L York compressor with a huge heatsink cylinder head and internal oil slinger).

Pffffffttt. Excuses.

Now that I've been driving solo to late model events half-way across the country without a spare tire, priorities have changed. But first, here is my philosophy for OBA that I've had (as mental baggage) since 2004:

#1: I refuse to purchase a limited-use air supply

This means, despite how much I love the company, no Powertank CO2 air system for me. I borrowed a Powertank once and it worked very well. But, I had to choose between helping others or conserving the limited CO2 in case I had a flat driving home. Not being able to help others was a horrible feeling I'd rather not repeat.

#2: I cannot emphasize how strongly I prefer a belt-driven OBA system

Belt-driven is the only way to go in my opinion. Ninety-nine percent of every OBA that has helped me air up out Rock Crawling have been belt-driven. The few times I've been helped by someone with a Powertank I either felt guilty for their loss of CO2 or forced them to accept $5 towards their refill. I refer to belt-driven systems as an "unlimited OBA system", where you can leave power tools running, blow dust out of interiors, air up every mattress and inflatable raft in camp, air up rig after rig after rig at the end of the trail, and stop along the interstate to help strangers fix flats.

Electric compressors are also an unlimited OBA system, but they are eviscerated by belt-driven units. For example, the setup I was building in my Hilux was designed to put out 23.57 CFM at 2,000 engine speed which is over 10 X better than a good quality electric unit. Also, belt-driven compressors can be setup as nearly silent, a huge plus in my opinion.

Unfortunately, for the Tacoma, there ain't no way I'm installing a belt-driven OBA. Reasons include having less room around a 6cyl engine, huge MarRack and IFS goodies underneath, and these fandangled VVT-iW timing covers extend over the belt line. So I can't mount a compressor above, between or below the frame rails without serious fabrication. Below is a pic of available space on my 1981's 2.7L 4cyl. I miss having a four cylinder.



#3: Finally, the entire truck is to be plumbed

Inspired around 20 yrs ago by long-time customer Roger Brown and his 4Crawl Offroad's "4air Tire Inflator/Deflator System", the idea is to have four separate hoses, one per tire, and your OBA fills all four tires simultaneously.

Below is a pic of Roger's 4Runner showcasing his innovative 4air system. As you can see his system is separate & external to the vehicle. It's a collection of hoses that you unpack, unravel, and lay out around your rig.

This is similar to but not as good as what I've always had in mind ;)

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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March 11 - April 15, 2020: On Board Air System (continued)

So the time had come for me to shut-up or put-up and build an electric OBA system!

Prior to the Tacoma, I had only been aired up electrically 3 or 4 times in two decades. Back in the day the best choice had usually been the compact ARB compressor designed to run lockers. I once had my old 35" MTRs aired up by one of these at about 6,500 ft (~2km) elevation and it took something like 15 to 20 mins per tire. That's an hour plus, young Lassie. When I had 37" MTRs a good friend of mine (88pathy) let me borrow his impressive-looking Kragen Auto Parts compressor which was powered directly at the battery with alligator clamps, and by the time I pulled everything out, unraveled the hose, walked around to each tire, etc, it still took well over half an hr and my jump from 37s to 40s is much larger than that jump from 35s to 37s.

So what I've seen people with electric compressors due is air up just enough to drive back to town to find public-access air.

A final experience is in the late 2000s when we got conned into becoming a distributor for Viair. What a mistake that was, they were utter garbage!! Those Viair systems we tried selling were no better than cigarette-powered Walmart compressors. While preparing these replies I looked up modern Viair compressors and am happy to see they've improved a lot. :thumbs: Nevertheless, to beat the dead horse once more, their best 100% duty cycle compressor (appears to be the 485C Gen. 2) puts out 1.67 CFM @ 30 PSI compared to my RV-2 setup which I calculated to be 16.76 CFM @ 30 PSI. In other words, if the best Viair fills your tire in 5 mins, my belt-driven setup would do it 29.9 seconds or 10 tires in the same time Viair fills just one!

Despite my annoyances of air lockers, at least this required me to install an electric compressor by which time ARB had released a massively improved High Output Compressor that is 4.7-times faster than their compact unit. I'm sure you can guess which one I installed. Installed far enough from heat, this compressor can be ran at 100% duty cycle and is 1.29-times faster at 30 PSI than the above Viair. But one compressor isn't gonna cut it when I've got four hungry 40s.

So I need more.

Fortunately, as many know ARB offers a twin version of the H.O. dubbed the Maximum Performance compressor, which are two H.O. units joined side-by-side. They also have this in a Portable Version with integrated 1 gallon tank which our company uses as a community compressor for employees heading out for events.

So early on with 33" tires I used our portable ARB Max system by itself. This setup outputs 4.63 CFM @ 30 PSI and worked great with 33s. Here it is in action at Moab



Once I moved up to 37s and quickly after that 40s, I installed a T-fitting atop my H.O. compressor that runs my lockers so I could bridge a hose from there to another T-fitting at the portable ARB Max system, running all three High Output compressors together. Now you see where I'm going here ;) This increased output by roughly 50% bringing combined CFM to an estimated 6.79 CFM @ 30 PSI. Here is that setup in use near Bass Lake, Central CA. The blue line is a 3/8" push-fit setup running up to my H.O. compressor behind my driver side headlight. (Both the hose and push-fitting were not rated for this and would burst roughly every-other-trip lol So I kept cutting the hose shorter each time. More details on this shortly)



Now this electric setup is something I can live with. It's right in the middle between the best Viair and the RV-2 belt-driven setup, or 4.07-times faster than the best (single) Viair & 4.12-times slower than belt-driven. Sure, 4-times slower sucks but at least electric options are improving. There is another electric option I haven't mentioned that is the Oasis Compressor. The Oasis uses the York compressor popular in belt-driven setups but drives it using essentially an electric winch motor at 2,500 RPM to output a whopping 10.67 CFM @ 30 PSI. I did consider this option, and while it's certainly the Bee's Knees of electric compressors, here are reasons why I didn't go this route:
  • Price: The Oasis costs 2.4-times more and has a worse dollar-per-CFM output. The Oasis retails around $2,000 which converts to $187/CFM @ 30 PSI whereas 1 x ARB H.O. + 1 x ARB Max is only $123/CFM or 34% cheaper. (Also, we are an ARB dealer so I get a bit of a discount extending this $ advantage.) Moreover, by this time I already had one ARB compressor installed so I only needed the Max Compressor to finish the job which is nearly 4-times less expensive
  • Space: Least we forgot the York is a piston-and-rod air conditioning compressor designed in the 1950s, the Oasis unit is H-U-G-E and I don't want to lose precious cargo real estate. The ARB compressors, however, are smaller & lighter and can be installed to discrete out-of-the-way locations
  • Practicality: I don't need an Oasis just to run my lockers, so having 1 x ARB H.O. allows me to only use that compressor for the lockers, only enabling the Max compressors when I'm airing up extending service life
  • Load on system to run Lockers: Lastly, related to the above, 1 x ARB H.O. compressor only draws around 30 amps to build enough PSI to run the lockers whereas the Oasis would require 100 AMPS!!
Here is one more pic of the trio High Output compressors filling one 40 at a time.

Finally the stat everyone is waiting for!!

At 3,500 ft elevation, this setup filled 1 x 40" tire from 4 to 33 PSI in 2 mins and 58 seconds! Hey that's not too bad! 3 minutes each.

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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March 11 - April 15, 2020: On Board Air System (continued)

It was nice having that portable setup, but carrying it around was a bummer and I often kept it in the cab taking up a lot of space. Knowing how much traveling I originally scheduled for 2020 before Covid-19 hit, I committed to getting my own Max Compressor & mounted it to the Tacoma.

But I didn't only just do that.

First, I installed a seamless 1.75 gallon air tank from SeamlessTanks.com. I went with their 6" OD 12" tank version (1.75 gal) and probably could have gone with the 18" version (2.5 gal) but it works great and I probably won't change it.

Mounted the tank directly beneath the bed using M6x1.00 x 50mm C10.9 bolts double-nutted between bed and tank bracket. I placed the bolts within concave sections of the corrugation so they won't get knocked off by my gear or when I load 1,000+ pound pallets of metal and billet aluminum parts I frequently use the Tacoma for for work.





OBA is a nice trade for a spare tire ;)



I then mounted ARB's Maximum Performance compressor in the same manor using M6x1.00 x 25mm C10.9 bolts neatly above the fuel tank. There is much more room to mount it behind the cab on the passenger side frame rail but I need that space to relocate my main battery under the bed for a future project. This turned out to be a really smart use of space and it's a nice, cool area away from the engine and opposite the exhaust. I plan to run a Solberg 1/2" inlet silencer with serviceable filter element (P/N PS-04-050, to replace the brass screens ARB uses) mounted way up in the wheelwell forward the gasoline fuel neck but haven't gotten that far yet.

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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March 11 - April 15, 2020: On Board Air System (continued)

I then used High Temp FEP 3/8" chemical tubing with High Temp 3/8" Push-To-Connect fittings at both compressors with a matching High Temp Tee connector. (As you'll about to see over the next series of updates I'm in :love: with push-to-connect fittings.)



I've been filled-up by OBA systems that don't have moisture separators and have never liked water going inside my tires. So I mounted a 1/2" Ingersoll Rand ARO (P/N F35341-400-VS) to the passenger side frame rail for moisture control. (If curious, the rail is boxed from the 3-link setup.) (I'm using the 1/2" version for a larger bowl size; airflow is not a concern.) These ARO separators work great, I've always liked them. I run a smaller version on my Supercharged MR2 as a PCV oil separator. They are rated for 150 PSI which is what the ARB Max Compressors run. I'm likely exceeding their relatively low temp rating of 125-degrees F, ...but update from the future: I have almost a year's worth of use with zero issues.

The lower drain has a rubber guard with side-to-side operation: Simply reach in front of the passenger rear tire and push the rubber drain sideways and a ton of pressurized water vapor hauls out. The bowl itself never needs to be removed. It's mounted up out of the rocks, plus sort-of guarded by suspension parts.



I next purchased 4 x DeWalt 3/8" x 6' lead-in hoses, 4 x Heavy Duty clip-on air chucks, and Milton T-style fittings. (I know V-style fittings flow more air but they far exceed my OBA system and all the air tools we use at work and for trail recovery are T-style so the Tacoma is compatible with all of Marlin's recovery tools and vice versa.

I later swapped out the couplers shown for the improved ColorFit version because they have 4 interlocking balls instead of 3 and they are blue and look better :)



Next I warmed up the 3D Printer bed and made some of these. :cool: This is version 1.0 made from PLA. I'm currently running stronger v1.32 design and using PETG+. The fittings are 1/4" NPT through-wall connectors.



Here is one assembled. This is a 3/8" x 1/4" male NPT push fitting along with the blue ColorFit 1/4" air chuck mentioned above.

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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March 11 - April 15, 2020: On Board Air System (continued)

And finally something I've been wanting to share with everyone for sometime now: Here is one assembled & mounted to a front shock tower!



This is using a 3/8" swivel elbow, high temp version shown but I also am using lower cost nylon-plastic types elsewhere.

Here it is plumbed & finished! :cool:



Driver front :cool: :cool:



Driver rear :cool: :cool: :cool:



And finally, Passenger rear :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:



Back at the tank I used these pricey but really nice dual 90-degree 3/8 x 3/8 NPT push-fittings on each side, running same-length tubes for the front and rear chucks which is why there are excess tubing wrapped above the tank.

I didn't use the expensive high temp FEP chemical tubing for the entire system, as that was only needed near the compressors. Instead I used this much less expensive Polyethylene 3/8" tubing for everything else. The protective sleeving used through-out the system is 3/8" Alex Tech wire looming. This looming has an impressively high melting temp exceeding even the FEP tubing!

Below shows one of the dual 90-degree fittings visible at left, and the High Temp 3/8 x 1/4 NPT swivel push-fitting at center is the inlet coming from the ARO moisture separator through medium-heat & medium-cost Hard Polypropylene 3/8" tubing.

So the tubing break-down is:
  • 400-degree F FEP Chemical Tubing (clear) about 4-foot running out of both compressors,
  • 200-degree F Hard Polypropylene Tubing (clear) from there to the moisture separator then air tank, and finally
  • 140-degree F Polyethylene Tubing (black) for everything else downstream out of the air tank
All are 3/8" push fit tubing, links provided in previous paragraphs. Finally, the change in tubing type is connected with 200-degree F medium temp brass and 170-degree F lower temp nylon-plastic straight connectors where applicable.

As a fail safe should any line get ripped or something else occur, I carry a couple extra ft of tubing, extra straight couplers to repair sections, and these 3/8" push-to-connect plugs in case I need to plug off a fitting somewhere so I can still have other fittings operational.

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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March 11 - April 15, 2020: On Board Air System (concluded)

And here's what it looks like with all four tires plugged in!!



So all I have to carry are those four short lines and my OBA is complete. Also, I now have air access points at all four corners of the truck, can air up other rigs no matter where around me they are, or could even air up four rigs simultaneously!

For daily driving I keep one of the short yellow air lines under the passenger seat in case I get the opportunity to find someone in the city with a flat



And here come the results!!

Drum roll pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! :hyper:



From 5 to 30 PSI in all four 40" tires simultaneously in a grand total of ONLY 7 MINUTES AND 52 SECONDS!

You can see how I connected the driver front tire first and made my way around clockwise. That first tire got most of the blast from the air tank so it finished well ahead, and by the time you're unplugging each tire the last one fills up exponentially quick!

Here are reasons why this result is much faster than the time previously discussed:
  • Most importantly, my garage is only 350 feet above sea level which means air compressor performance is much better. At 7,000 ft elevation the 8mins will probably turn into 12 or more, but still that's for all four tires!! :o
  • For this test I filled slightly less: 5-30 PSI in my garage vs 4-33 PSI when I was at 3,500 ft elevation with the portable unit
  • I'm now using a 1.75 gal tank instead of the smaller 1 gal unit in the portable, so the initial blast into the first tire is better
  • Finally, the inlet fitting of the 19-foot hose ARB supplies only has a 5mm ID, so most of that system is restricted whereas my system is mainly only restricted at each valve stem.
So that's it for getting my first OBA system working. As Marlin said, "Well it's about time!" :yupyup: I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out.

There are a few tweaks I'm aware of that will improve performance a bit more. For example, the idle voltage drops from 13.6v to 12.8v with all three compressors running so I'll be working on a way to idle up slightly to help the alternator get more compressor RPM. I'll be posting progress on that plus a couple other tweaks as I get to them in my 2020 updates :thumbs:

Oh, right before posting this I realized I didn't cover electronics. I'm running CH4X4's Single Compressor Switch to run the single H.O. compressor and their Twin Air Compressor Switch to run the twin compressor. The Single H.O. turns on below 70 and off at 100 PSI, and the Twin 135 off and 150 PSI on.

So when I'm just out wheel'n, I only have the single compressor switch engaged and the air pressure stays between 70 to 100 PSI. Then when I'm nearing the end of the trail I'll turn on the twin to get the tank charged up to 150 PSI prior to airing up. **I've tweaked and improved this configuration since and will be discussing it soon

This is the only "recent" pic I have of the switches that show their current layout of | Rear Locker | Front Locker | Single Comp | Twin Comp |. This is a different layout from when I first installed my custom switch panel back at Reply #906, with the locker switches moved to the far left which feels more natural to use.

I can't show a present-day photo because I have something incredible installed in that lower-left shiny corner (the reason why I even took this pic) that I am dying to post about. I have 8 more topics to get updated and then I'll be sharing something incredible :thumbs:

I still have not installed the Rock Lights :rofl:



Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
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

emsvitil

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You need to 3D print some caps for your air outlets...............




 :yupyup:
Ed
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BigMike [OP]

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You need to 3D print some caps for your air outlets...............
:yikes: Forgot all about the caps!!

To keep dirt out of the air chucks, I picked up these 1.5" tall vinyl caps and they work great. I also carry a few extras of these with the other spare parts mentioned in case I lose them. I don't have any original pics so here is a pic from the truck just now:



Regards,
BigMike
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
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 24, 2020: Balanced New Tires

The next week I decided to get the new shoes balanced. They hadn't felt as smooth as the outgoing ones, or, maybe I had become complacent.. The moment I realized something was amiss was when I carried about an 800 pound load of metal across town. The return drive on the highway was instantly smooth!

So I had them balanced and... well.. I can't tell a difference? A little better maybe? Bent rear axle? No leaks from the rear end and the truck rolls very smooth at surface road speeds. I've had a project planned for the rear end so I'll check out the axles and wheelbearings when I've got them torn apart again.

Anyway, looking at the number of weights the shop installed the tires definitely needed this. That, or, the shop didn't do a good job? That's possible. For the first 15,000 miles or so of my first set of 40s I never even balanced them, they felt great the moment I put them on. Has Cooped lowered QC since these tires have become popular? I'll know if my fuel mileage increases if the balancing worked or not.

Lastly, I should plan to rotate the tires which would also tell me more about the situation







Not saying these aren't a lot of weights, but it may look worse for those living outside California as lead weights became banned here some years ago, replaced with Iron that requires about a third more for the same affect.

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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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BigMike [OP]

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June 6, 2020: Installed Cab Air Pressure Gauge

About a month later I finally installed an OBA air pressure gauge. I spent extra time trying to hunt down a white faced 40mm 0-160psi gauge that had an LED backlight and finally gave up, settling on this el cheapo gauge from Amazon. I've always liked white face gauges plus its color-keyed with the truck. (I'm also one of those weirdos who writes code without using dark mode :yupyup:) I wanted the small 40mm (~1.5") formfactor to keep it out of the way.

After a lot of deliberation I decided to place the gauge to the center console, forward-left of the shifter



The install went smooth. The gauge has a center rear 1/8" NPT male output so I drilled an undersized hole and force-threaded the taperd NPT in, continuing to rotate until it became both firm and the gauge was upright.



Happened to bottom out onto the console nicely. It is very stiff and held firmly in place.



Here is the backside detail. Before installing I Dremel'd space for a Female 1/4" tube X 1/8" NPT push-fit fitting.



Here is that fitting installed with teflon tape and verifying it's sealed with soapy water.



Look'n good!

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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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June 6, 2020: Installed Cab Air Pressure Gauge (concluded)

Here is detail of the routing. Used the same looming as before, this time their 1/4" version and flexible 1/4" push-fit Polyurethane tubing.

Once the console is reinstalled the angle of the tube is greatly reduced from what you see here.



:thumbsup: Routed up high over the top of the steering column and through the main driver side firewall hole



Once in the engine compartment it was a simple path to the driver front shock tower, premeditated in advance using a 3/8" main line X 1/4" Tee push-fitting tapped into the OBA. There's probably some delay and/or % error between here and the tank, especially if that chuck is in use, but no problem for the intended purpose.



All done! This turned out really well. The gauge is nice & small and out of the way from everything. My leg doesn't touch it nor obstruct the view, and the gauge doesn't get in the way of moving items to the storage tray area. The only bummer is no backlight, but I have good cabin LED lights that illuminate the gauge just fine if needed



The Max Compressors are designed to shut off at 150 PSI and it looks great from here!



And that's it!
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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June 12, 2020: Longer Lower Coilover Eyelets

The following week I was on to Step 3

Front end suspension tuning progress
Step 1 of 4: Softer rate coils, completed
Step 2 of 4: Body & bumper tire clearancing, completed
Step 3 of 4: Longer Lower Coilover Eyelets

Quick background: RCLT HD V1 prototype had uptravel limitations which I resolved in V2. V2 had downtravel limitations which I resolved in V3. Now that I'm running V3, back in April while flexing with the forklift I discovered my limit straps could be lengthened, but if you noticed in some of the above pictures (ie. Reply #1,118) I had ran out of adjustment at my upper strap clevis mounts so it was time for longer straps.

With longer straps fitted I found out I had reached the full extension of my Radflos! :o :o So I could either add a shock tower spacer, which is goofy, or extend the lower eyelets. The original eyelets measured 2.50" long and are much shorter than the ones on my old Fox coilovers. I really like Radflo's design of a shorter eyelet with longer coil, in my case, 18".

Removing original Radflo eyelets. Man those suckas were on there!



I found out that Radflo only offers eyelets in 1" increments -- which equates to a ton of suspension movement at the hub -- so I spent some time working with them to get just +0.50" longer eyelets made...but in the end they wouldn't do it so I settled on a pair of 3.50".

As expected one-inch longer made a huge difference: Just fitting the coilover positioned the LCA so far down you'd need to drop the front diff like 3" to get the CV angle to jive. So my coilovers are now definitely too long and discovering if I already had a spare 1" of remaining shaft compression to begin with, unlikely, remained to be seen.

New one-inch longer 3.5" lower eyelet at left, original 2.5" on right



I guestimated how much spring tension to remove and started with 0.30-inch. This ended up not being anywhere near enough so I had to remove & pull both coilovers apart and removed another 0.80-inch on the second go-around for a combined total of 1.1-inch less coil compression which ended up being about right. I studied forces in college including Hooke's law. I was surprised how much coil tension had to be removed -- the compounding angle change of the LCA makes a big difference. It was good news: It improves Step 1 of 4!!



Before the second reassembly I measured the Radflo shaft bumpstops and was happy to see they're nearly the same length lost by the new eyelets! (Side note: They are made from an incredibly high durometer material)

There actually is some up-travel room remaining...I'll comment more on this later

...I'll need to resist the urge to tweak it more until I get back on the trail

Ahhh phooey, off they came without hesitation! :rofl: This is a Rock Crawler and I'd love to retain the original uptravel :D



Finally back together with longer straps, adjustment remaining at my clevises, and slightly more downtravel! :thumbsup: (My RCV shafts were reinstalled before I finished; I was measuring clearance of factory outers in this pic)

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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June 16, 2020: Fork Lift Flex

With Step 3 of 4 completed it was time for some :muscleflexing:

I've had a few people ask me for updated RCLT HD suspension travel so here ya go! This is per each front tire:

Uptravel from ride height: 10.5"
Downtravel from ride height: 4"
Total front end travel: 14.5"


Not too shabby for only a +2.75" LT setup :cool:

This is why we are stating our "industry-first +2.75" kit "out-flexes & out-performs wider +3.50 kits."

Flex like a wider desert race kit but in a more narrow package that won't get you jammed and screwed up in tight technical trails.





The uptravel is a 1/2" improvement from before, despite having the longer eyelets. Removing that shaft stop and less coil compression work'n their magic!!



The coils are very close to but not quite full bind yet and I can't see how much stroke length is remaining. So either it's already fully bottomed out as shown or my fenders are gonna get one hell of a massage next trip. I don't have plans to install the Air Bump yet so we'll have to find out!





As you can see from above I only have 4" of downtravel, so my final step, Step 4, will be improving this but it won't be for a while. If I had smaller tires I'd lower the ride height a bit. With things coming along nicely on the front I began second-guessing the rear setup...

The coilovers are 12s and if you recall from the last pic of Reply #946, I lowered the axle mounts to gain (a lot) more up travel as shown in the animated GIF image of Reply #1,006.

The thing is, the mounts are now at the axle centerline and could drop another 2 inches without altering ground clearance. This would then allow me to fit 14" shocks without any change to uptravel for a net gain of +2" drop. :idea:

I still advocate for up-travel being more important than down-travel, but my rear up-travel is already maxed by the bed which I don't want to cut (very happy with the body line) so if there is an easy way to get more down-travel that doesn't alter up-travel then whynot? :dunno:

Might be something to look into in a year or so.

Regards,
BigMike
« Last Edit: Jan 22, 2021, 10:05:35 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

crawlerdan

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hey mike! have yall considered a locking hub for these newer trucks?i imagine gas mileage would increase a little, and less wear on expensive shafts.

Wainiha

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You need to make an additional shop on Kauai.  I'll buy in and work for free if I can get a RCLT kit.
2000 3.4L xtra-cab Tacoma.
Icon C/Os
Marlin 1200lb. clutch
Marlin short shifter
FLOODED...GONE

2005 4.0L xtra-cab Tacoma
King Resi C/Os and Total Chaos UCAs
Waiting on Marlin for the RA60 Short throw shifter...Hint Hint
FLOODED...GONE

2012 4.0L xtra-cab 4x4 Tacoma
Automatic...Don't shoot...
 King resi C/O
and Total Chaos UCAs

^ Who let Wainiha into the mainland?? :yikes: - Big Mike

BigMike [OP]

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hey mike! have yall considered a locking hub for these newer trucks?i imagine gas mileage would increase a little, and less wear on expensive shafts.
Hey Dan!! Yeah.... I regret not designing this feature into the knuckles. I had some designs drawn up in Solidworks using tapered wheel bearings, but the reality is this project has taken waaaay too long and we have to get something released so we can finally start recovering from all the time and money we've invested so far. We may still do it, maybe after a couple of years perhaps, just redesign the knuckle. It would also require commitment from RCV to make custom outer shafts with additional snap ring grooves...
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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June 17, 2020: New Improved Silicone Boot!

While my truck was still in the shop I _finally_ got one of RCV's new Heavy Duty thick-walled Silicone boots installed!!

Myself plus many other RCV customers have been waiting for this for a long time!

Quick recap with RCV and their outer CV boot issues:
  • RCV comes out with their Patented "Spherical Sealing Technology" boots for Dana 60 CV joints providing greater resistance to punctures and tears than rubber CV boots
    • These innovative design extends over/engulfs the CV bell leveraging suction effects to maintain a seal without the need of clamps
  • RCV tries unsuccessfully for a long time to get this technology to work with their Ultimate IFS Shafts which use their same Dana 60 outer joint design
  • RCV gives up on their patented boots and as an interim solution supplies ordinary rubber boots with their IFS shafts
  • RCV finally releases their own IFS boots made from much thicker walled and more durable Silicone material!


Kudos to RCV! I am excited to finally have a durable CV boot option! I think I've had four of their rubber boots fail and cleaning up all that moly CV grease has been annoying. Hoping that can finally be a thing of the past now!



Woohoooo!! Let's go baby! New Heavy Duty boots!

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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

crawlerdan

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fantastic! yall make beautiful stuff. ive been buying things from your dad since 1996.

i wonder if early tacoma locking hubs, could be worked in some how.

anyway- keep up the good work

BigMike [OP]

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fantastic! yall make beautiful stuff. ive been buying things from your dad since 1996.

i wonder if early tacoma locking hubs, could be worked in some how.

anyway- keep up the good work
Yes, I've heard of two different individuals (privately financed) who have created conversions to run 1st gen Tacoma outer CV joints and 1st gen Tacoma locking hubs. One guy is in SoCal and the other I believe is out on the Island.
The problem of course is that they are using 1st gen Tacoma outer CV joints and 1st gen Tacoma locking hubs!! :rofl2: :outtahere:

First gen Tacoma IFS axles and hubs are much, much smaller than the Land Cruiser Prado platform which the late model US-market 2003+ IFS systems are built from. As such, AFAIK no one makes aftermarket Chromoly replacement axles or CVs and I wouldn't risk running anything larger than 35s if I had that setup.

So it's great for people who don't Rock Crawl but that's about it. :thumbs:
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

crawlerdan

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makes sense !

BigMike [OP]

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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test, and first time taking the Tacoma to Coyote Lake

We have what I believe to be the best network of destination off-road trails in all of California, with 14 trails within an hour and a half drive from our building. Thirteen trails are over 7,500 ft elevation, 11 trails have lakes (one trail itself has 8!!), and many were established over 50 yrs ago.

Despite all this, since having my own rigs I'm rarely found on local trails and always complain how I need to wheel local more often. So when the opportunity came to take the Tacoma to Coyote I jumped, especially as many events were cancelled due to C19.

I was invited to join a group of long time wheel'n friends who had already been camping up at Coyote Lake since the previous weekend. This is a group of locals who each year spend back-to-back weekends vacationing at Thompson Lake on the Dusy/Ershim trail. This year with everyone having cabin fever from strict California lock-downs, the group decided to get out before Dusy opened and picked Coyote Lake.

Quick desc. of Coyote:
I'd argue this is our 3rd most difficult trail and as an extra bonus is only accessed after first completing our Red Lake trail. Both trails combined is just over 4 miles. Coyote is nice and quiet because 1) most people will turn around at Red Lake and 2) the hardest part of Coyote is the gate-keeper at Red which prevents yahoos in Ford Rangers and Nissan Pathfinders from getting in. :yupyup:

Nice trail write-ups and info from TrailsOffroad:
Red Lake: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1185-26e212-red-lake-trail (rated Difficult)
Coyote Lake: https://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1184-26e213-coyote-lake-trail (rated Difficult to Severe)

Topping off before leaving Fresno



Last minute grocery shopping up in the foothills



This is the Hwy168 turn-off near Huntington Lake and I took the photo because it was the furthest the Tacoma had ever gone up the highway. I've had this truck for 4 yrs... Unacceptable!!



Pulled off to air down a bit before jam'n the fireroad into the Sand Flats.



Final Prototype ready for it's first shake down!

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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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test (continued)

This was around noon on a Friday and there was no one out here





Made it to the Sand Flats in incredibly short order because this truck STRAIGHT UP RIPS IT ON FIREROADS!! It feels like my MR2 transformed into a Rally car. High RPM powerband + 6spd manual like my MR2, and 0-40 MPH in 2WD stock low range is an absolute blast rolling through the gears! I need to take video of how surprisingly quick this truck is on dirt roads!



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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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test (continued)

I remember the first time here in my 1981 I stopped on this same rock to inspect flex so I had to do the same with the Tacoma :)





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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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test (continued)

This rock is about halfway through the trail and I still hadn't seen another vehicle. :o

I can crest this if I'm a truck-width over to the passenger side, otherwise only short wheelbase rigs can breakover this one







It was too good a position to not do an impromptu video:


I thought I would take many more pics and videos but ended up just kicking back and enjoying the relaxing solo day on the trail.
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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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test (continued)

This is a fun uphill rock squeeze that high centers a lot of rigs.... including the 130-inch wheelbase Tacoma :yupyup:



Red Lake was absolutely empty!



Cruised through Red campground and proceeded towards the Coyote Gate Keeper. This was my first time attempting the Gate Keeper without anyone around and the Tacoma went straight up it without any struggles.

About half way up the trail turns to the left at a large tree. There is a very difficult line on the far left, a medium-difficultly line up the center, and a much easier line to the far right around the tree. I took the middle line which involves climbing over a large boulder with loose sand and rocks while making a sharp up-hill left turn to clear the tree. The front suspension loaded a lot and the Tacoma crawled right up it like a champ. These 40s hook up well at 4 PSI. Man this truck works good!

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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June 19-21, 2020: Final Prototype's First Test (continued)

Not too far after the Gate Keeper there is one section on Coyote that concerned me which is a tight rock squeeze that larger rigs struggle through. I wasn't sure what I was gonna do. I knew I had my Farm Jack and I knew I could stack rocks, but with careful tire placement I was able to squeeze through with room to spare on both sides. I definitely went slow and took my time here





Later down the trail I got a chance to inspect rear tire clearance



Looks like I should lengthen the rear links a bit



This is the same stop looking down at the truck. Even through I've reduced both front spring rate and spring compression, I'm still seeing areas where the rear is fully stuffed yet the front isn't. It's hard to complain about it here since the front is unloaded facing uphill, but it's hard not to wonder if the 50 lb-ft spring rate drop I just did was enough, or should I have dropped 100 lb-ft...

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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