Builds Back In Business: Ferg's Tacoma Build

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Dec 22, 2002
Wandering the Wild West
NEW TACOMA - 08/2016 - current

I've taken over my old Tacoma thread with the new Tacoma. :D They're just about the same truck anyway, other than color and the new one (red one) came as a 4x4 so I didn't have to convert it. :D

Here's what it was like the day it arrived:
2003 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4, V6, TRD
86,666 miles
255/85r16 Cooper ST Maxx on factory TRD wheels. 3/4 life left.
OME lift w/ Nitrocharger Sport Shocks and 882 coils.
Rear OME Leafs with overload leaf
All Pro upper A arms
All Pro U bolt flip with Timbren bump stops
Weld in 3 degree rear axle shims
Front diff spacer kit to improve CV angle
Dakota Digitial speedo recalibrator has speedometer within .5MPH
Bud Built front skid plate
Tundra 13WL calipers and rotors with stainless braided lines
ARB front bumper
PIAA 520 driving lights
All Pro rear tube bumper with drop hitch
All Pro Bedrack with Hi-lift mount and custom water can holder (2x 3gal water cans and 48" Hi-Lift included)
Blue Sea Aux Fuse Box w/ Circuit breaker
Blue Sea Aux plug wired with 10 gauge wire to back seat for ARB fridge, etc
Uniden CB mounted in ash tray slot
Kenwood front door speakers
RAAM mat and ensolite sound dampening installed in all four doors, back wall, and floor

Jump to Red Tacoma build -

The day she arrived home (08/2016):


Currently (05/2017):


OLD TACOMA - 08/2012 - 06/2014


2002 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab PreRunner, V6, TRD
-100,600 Miles
-Fabtech 3.5 in. lift kit/ dirt logic racing shocks
-BFgoodrich 33 in. mud terrain tires (just about done for...)
-Dessert rat powder coated black 16X8 wheels
-K&N 77 series cold air intake
-Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system
-2x8 in. premier pioneer subwoofers
-custom subwoofer enclosure
-Alpine 500 watt amplifier
-Alpine CDA-9883 head unit w/XM satellite antenna

Immediate plans include:
-baseline fluids
-timing belt, water pump, etc etc
-pulling the K&N stuff and putting the stock air stuff back on (lucky for me he still had it all)
-New tires (and probably wheels too)
-keyless entry (why oh why is it so hard to find the rs3200 for the 2002 model?!?!?)

Long-term plans:
-rear frame plates
-tent/bike mount over bed
-roof tent
-replace fabtech/dirtlogic with OME all around
-4wd conversion (i may hold off on this until I go for my ultimate FJ80 axles conversion one day... [emoji14] )
-and snorkel and bumpers and whatever else it takes to pretty much make it the Tacoma twin of my old 3rd Gen 4Runner :D


*SPC/LR upper control arms​
*brand new OEM toy wheel bearings and seals​
*manual 4x4 hubs​
*manual hub lockouts​
*replaced CVs (Napa Autoparts)​
*all new seals for CVs​
*swapped in front 4.30 diff (93k miles--also swapped in a matching 4.30 elock rear diff)​
*new front driveshaft (93k miles)​
*resized rear driveshaft (Gaylons)​
*brand new OEM center shift console cover w/ correct rubber and nylon shifter boots​
*used matching year correct auto transmission and transfer case (114K miles)​
*Safari Snorkel​
*ARB bullbar​
*Old Man Emu springs and shocks​
*Alcan rear leaf springs​
*Front Range Off Road rear bumper​
*4.30 gearing front and rear (stock was 4.10)​
*Toytech diff drop kit​
*spray in bedliner in bed​
*Replaced both cat converters​
*Upgraded headlight wiring harness with relays​
*"Big 3" engine wiring upgrade (bat-alt, bat-ground, engine-ground)​
*New Diehard Platinum battery​
*OEM Toyota Keyless entry with 3 keys and 3 FOBs​
*Airaid intake tube​
*magna flow cat-back exhaust​



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Looks nice but unless you are sticking with pavement pounding, I'd move that 4wd requirement higher on the list. But if you've been looking for months then I'm sure you know what you want....
Nice looking truck. I also agree with above, but I've gone into some rough stuff in 2WD. But that was because I knew I had the 4WD if needed. If you will encounter snow, mud, gravelly ascents, etc., I'd move on that 4WD pronto.

And in my opinion, I wouldn't even bother with the solid axle.
Just a wee update...

*Installed the OME front setup
*Threw on some custom Alcans on the rear
*Picked up a Front Range Off Road rear bumper from a local dude that was moving to something else.
*Picked up an ARB for the front
*Found a killer local deal on some Limited 4Runner 5-star alloys
*After stewing over which tires for a month or so, decided on 285 Nitto Terra Grapplers.
*BAMF weld-on sliders (to be welded on this weekend hopefully)
*Mercer Fab rear frame plates (to be welded on this weekend hopefully)

I'm loving it all so far, though the wheels and tires have only been on a day. :p The 285s do rub a bit here and there and are pretty close to the upper arm so I'll be pinch-modding etc etc (though the truck already had 285s and had already been trimmed a bit beforehand).

I also have to say, I'm diggin the look a lot. I've always been a blacked-out wheel kinda guy, but I'm not sure I'll be going that route with this setup.

(Sorry, lame driveway poser shot for now.)
I was looking to put those rims on my Tacoma but had no luck finding a set at a decent price, thus I went with black steelies. I really like the way they look on your truck. I wouldn't change anything else.
Couple of updates....

  • Had the bed sprayed with a nice liner.
  • Picked up a nice tent rack from a local guy that sold his built Tacoma (gotta repaint it still)
  • Swapped to 255-85/16 BFG KM2s on a set of 16-hole "spare" steelies
  • Added factory RS3200 keyless/alarm (my favorite mod so far :) )
  • @107K miles, Full timing belt kit done and new plugs and wires.

Also picked up a 4x4 auto tranny and j-shift tcase combo in preparation for 4wd conversion. :)



Looking good! Did you get that keyless entry/alarm at the dealer?
Looking good! Did you get that keyless entry/alarm at the dealer?

Thanks man.

The keyless setup is sort of from the dealer....its all Toyota and plugged right in.

Its basically 2 parts: the wiring kit and the ecu ("base") kit. The wiring kit has been out of production and unavailable for many years (I found threads dating back to 2006 where people mentioned it was no longer available).

I setup an ebay "saved search" for both and ended up finding the wiring kit on there. Then I called CruiserDan for the base kit--which by the way is also out of production now too, but Dan found a few of them.

This is only for the 2002. The 2001 is different and the 2003-04 is also different. And I think some of those are still around and easier to find.
That's a great looking rig for being a 2wd pavement pounder. :D

Once you get the 4x4 swap done it'll be perfect, and probably cheaper overall than just starting with a 4x4 truck.
nice looking rig...
tho' pre-runners offer little interest in muh book.

another thing...

K&N does not make, sell, nor distribute CAI's
they refer to their products as "high flow" or "performance kits"

I don't have the 77
but do have the fipk on muh '00

fipk means: " fuel injection performance kit"

the 77 looks to be the same with more bling.


sincere question...

Why do so many folk constantly refer/confuse the K&N intake systems as being a CAI ? :confused:
Will be following your progress. I really wanted a 4 door truck, but for what they were asking for a 4wd I could have bought 2 of my 4Runners. I thought about going the pre-runner to 4wd conversion route, but I know how my "plans" go and as the massive collection of parts will attest, it would have been a long drawn out process, so I just went for a 3rd gen runner.

And unless you are in the snow and ice alot and especially if you throw a winch in that ARB, the 4wd conversion can wait in my opinion.
Thanks jynx. I know what you mean. I have a big pile of parts and such waiting to go on/in my truck right now already....hopefully I'll be busting through them in the next month or so and getting them all done. Im really hoping the 4wd is sooner rather than later though...but I do have a nice winch here ready to go in too... :p
Thanks man. I really am digging them as well. I tried to find them locally but only found one or two used ones in the auto recycler yards and they wanted $50+ a piece for them in various conditions. I ended up getting a full set of reconditioned ones off ebay for $300 shipped. More than I wanted to pay, but worth it to me for the already reconditioned shape. Hoping I get a couple bucks of that back off the 4runner rims that I took off....
How much do those 16" steelies weigh? I know the 16" alloys are pretty light...
Im not totally sure. This tire/wheel combo is noticeably heavier than my old setup for sure. My steering is a lot lighter, but I can def feel the difference at highway speeds and on hills. I'm sure its a combo of both the tire and wheel being heavier.
Got that sucker torn down into some manageable size pieces tonight--2 spindle sections, the diff, and then the rest. Only problem is I was in such a hurry to bust it down and get it out of the back of my truck, I didn't want to wait the proper soak time of a week or so for the PB blaster to do its magic, so I ended up breaking 3 of the 5 bolts off that were holding the lower ball joints to the spindles (lucky for me some were already gone or I prob would have more broken ones to deal with...) So thats gonna be fun trying to get those damn things outta the spindles now.

Stoked at how easy to break it all down it really was though--even by myself. Helps that I've been in these front ends a few times before though. Should easily be able to get it all in the truck in one night/saturday with some help.
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So you now have the front drive train, so me being ignorant in the 4x upgrade, do you have to swap a different trans in or just change out the tail-shaft housing and bolt up a T-case?

On the broken bolts, are you talking about where they go thru the arm itself? Can you use a socket and a C-clamp or a press if you have one to just press the remainders of the bolts out of the arm with the LBJ still attached?

If my memory serves me, and it doesn't sometimes, but aren't the bolts thru the LBJ a stud that is pressed into the LBJ that then takes the nut after installed in the arm.
To the trans question, its sort of like what you said... First, it has to be from behind the same engine (V6 vs 4cyl--and i think that is mainly for the bell housing and torque converter...but im not sure) After that, the 2wd tranny is the same tranny but with the different shaft and tail housing. You can use the same tranny, but it requires the different output shaft from the 4x4 version, along with the 4x4 tail housing, then the case bolts right up. I found a smokin deal on a complete 4x4 tranny w/ tcase so that's what I'm using. If I run into any issues, I can always swap the 4x4 shaft into my original tranny.

As for the bolts I broke... unfortunately, they aren't quite like you're thinking. They bolt up through the LBJ and thread into the bottom of the spindle. So I'm gonna have to unthread them somehow (or drill and tap which I really really don't want to do). I'll be soaking them like crazy and hoping I can unscrew them somehow from the little ends that are protruding out. Might have to weld a nut or something on the ends of them...
Can you use a set of reverse drill bits to try and back them out from up top, other idea would be to cut a groove / slot in the bottom side and using a impact driver (the kind that you actually hit with a hammer) to try and break them loose. Otherwise, your welding a nut on sounds pretty easy if you have the welder handy.

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