Builds Truckasaurus - linuxgod's Build Thread

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
[I've been meaning to do this for years but I keep getting sidetracked. The longer time goes on, the more I change, and the more there is to document. Rather than try to write it all in one shot, I'm just starting the damn thread and I'm going to do it in pieces as time permits]

We'd owned an Acura MDX from 2009, but had started pulling a 5000# travel trailer with it in 2012. A few seasons in we wanted to do longer trips, but it was really too much trailer (and weight) for highway speeds. After about 6 months of searching, and debating between LC and LX (and almost buying a 2008 LX with 100k on it), we picked up a gold 2013 LC in January 2016. AutoNation in Libertyville, IL (just north of Chicago) shipped one from their dealership in Houston, TX for us for a $500 shipping fee. At the time the truck had ~25 months of use on it and arrived with 49k miles. Carfax was clean with good service records, and I scored it for $48k which included the Toyota CPO warranty - a price which was at least $3-4k less than ANY cruiser in the country at that time.

1620058281092.png
 

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
Forget tires and sliders, the first order of business was a roof rack. I'd already decided I loved the Gamiviti design, but they had yet to build one for a 200. I asked @nakman if the 100-series would fit he said he thought so with some adjustments. Tim used @Romer's rig to measure, IIRC, and fabbed up a test model. A couple months later and I had the first production Gamiviti rack for a 200.

Take yer top off!
1620058804889.png


And a fancy one goes on...
1620058838614.png


And then I immediately put it to use...

1620059052136.png


Ostensibly a cheap insurance policy in case I end up in water that's deeper than expected, but in the spirit of coolness, I put a Dobinson's snorkel on next.

1620060073503.png
 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
We did our first trip out west to the Badlands, Black Hills, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton in August. We did a light trail by Grand Teton, at which point I decided I'd need sliders and more aggressive tires if I was going to join the LCDC the following year.

White Knuckle sliders went on in the spring, and new tires soon followed. In the spirit of "everything worth doing is worth overdoing", I passed right over fitting 33s and went right to 34s.

1620059316855.png


Nitto Ridge Grappler 285/75R17 are a tight fit on stock suspension, and even after trimming I eventually decided to just bite the bullet and put on the lift that I eventually wanted to do anyway. TBH it helped that when I posed the "do I lift or do I take the truck back and get smaller tires" dilemma to my wife she said "why would you make it less cool?"


I spent a little time debating what I wanted. OME BP-51 were *brand new* in ~2017 and like Kings were quite expensive. Talking to Jason @TRAIL TAILOR a lot, I ultimately decided to go with the standard rate Tough Dog 45mm adjustable shocks all around. They were a bit more expensive than the OME Nitro shocks but far less than Kings or BP-51s and have enough adjustability in the compression to balance the ride depending on weight and whether I'm towing.

Lift went on (with some drama that I won't get into here), but ultimately I'm very happy with the result. One thing I found was that I was unable to get caster back into spec in my alignment without aftermarket adjustable UCAs (one side maxed out at only 1.3 degrees). YMMV, but the Tough Dog lift is pretty mild so I have to suggest anyone doing a lift really should do UCAs at the same time.

1620059843321.png


I'm also pretty happy with the tires - after ~45k (doing 5 tire rotations) I just bought a new set. The originals had 40-50% tread left on them but were noisy at highway speeds and my ears just couldn't take it anymore.

At some point early on after towing once or twice I added a set of Firestone airbags. When the lift went on, the airbags were too short, so I had to order a different set which was 1" taller. I'm still running those 4 years later.
 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
As much as I like wheeling with others, most of my exploration is alone with just our family. After doing some muddy forest trails in the woods of Michigan's upper peninsula in early 2018, I decided a winch was in order. I knew I wanted a bumper with bull bar, but I really didn't like how far the ARB bumpers stuck out. CBI had a nice one-off but wasn't doing mass manufacturing, and I liked the TJM but it's very heavy. Again Jason at Trail Tailor came through with a new-ish design that he modified a bit to meet my need.

1620060514813.png


For the winch I snagged a Warn VR-12S on sale. I don't plan on using it every day and the Warn VR series seemed like a good compromise between an expensive Warn Zeon and a cheap Smittybilt.

To get "DOT Approved" fog lights, I ended up swapping the mounting bracket for the non-SAE fogs with the lens/body of the SAE fog lights. They are WAY better than the Toyota factory fog lights, and still retain the proper cut-off to avoid blinding drivers. The TT bumper has a very slight angle on the front which when combined with the SAE cutoff helps aim these perfectly.

I went with the PIAA LED driving lights because of their SAE approval as well, though in hindsight I should've just bought ARB something as IMO these are OK but not significantly better than the factory high beams.

I got to try out the winch a month later at the next LCDC

 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
We were in the market for a new house and I was trying to save $ to cover the moving costs so for the next couple years I really just enjoyed the truck but put off mods. Now that we're moved and all settled, I decided re-gearing was in order. "While we're in there", since everything was apart already why not add lockers? Nitro 4.88s and Harrop e-lockers go in, OEM 3.90s go to @CharlieS for his 2016. A bit of drama on the front diff but that's all sorted out now.

(No interesting pics to add here so I'll just throw on up from LCDC VI last summer)

1620067547113.png


For those on larger tires (*cough*@markuson*cough*), you need to re-gear. Go ahead, I'll sit here and wait for you to finish... *twiddles thumbs*. I went from feeling the need to always use the ECT PWR button just to make driving on 34s feel close to stock off the line to running in ECO mode all the time and still having more power in reserve. Best explanation for power I can give is on 34s it feels like I added at least 50HP off the line, possibly more. Also despite having almost 25% more gear over factory, my mileage has gotten better. Suburban driving seems to get about 15-16, pure city seems to be 12-13, and for the ~25 miles I ran on the highway at 50-55mph I eeked out 20 MPG. Keep in mind the best I'd ever seen was 17MPG back when I was stock.

I have not gotten any long highway stretches at ~75mph to monitor mileage yet, nor have I done any significant towing. (I did do three 15 mile stints with the 6000# trailer on suburban roads to finish the gear break-in where I saw about 9-9.5mpg depending on whether I ran in 4th or 5th). But my initial experience is that at least in my case this is going to help with mileage quite a bit. I'll do a separate post for that once I have a few thousand miles under my belt.
 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
After the probably 100th time I've had to move my tool bag, air compressor, recovery ropes, Li battery pack, etc around the trunk to make space for Home Despot runs, the dog, my kids, etc I finally decided I'd had enough. I had been eyeing a Reef drawer for a few months, as I wanted a single-drawer platform, but they'd been on backorder. That was January. By March ordering hadn't opened up yet, so I decided to use a ~$125 rebate I had from Menards to buy some baltic birch plywood and build my own. Of course the day after I ordered the plywood the Reef was back in stock for ordering. Ah well, it was a fun project in any case.

My drawers are about 85% complete. I started building the actual drawer this weekend but I was short a few t-slot nuts, so completion is on hold until later this week. I'll add final photos later. Top of the drawer frame is 40" deep, bottom is 42" deep. In the meantime here's a shot from the front...
1620067149259.png


And here's one from the back. The rear cabinet is about 4" deep at the top and 6" at the bottom, just deep enough to mount the bottle jack and some other rarely-needed gear.
1620067183060.png


For those interested here's the parts list. TBH if you're thinking about building your own, just buy the Reef and start with that. Even benefitting from having seen their design, as you can see below it's not much cost savings, and unlike the Reef which can be built in a day, mine took probably 40 hours to complete.

Reef-equivalentSellerCost
(2) 4x8 sheets Baltic Birch BB/CP plywoodMenards$ 139.97
20-series and 10-series extruded aluminum railstnutz.com$ 81.95
1" UHMW tapeAmazon$ -
countersink drill bitsAmazon$ -
60 tooth circ saw blade and 20 TPI jigsaw bladeAmazon$ -
(2) 270 degree hingesAmazon$ 30.58
1/4"x4"x48" UHMW sheetAmazon$ 22.52
(2) M6 x 60mm, (1) M6 x 50mm flat head torx boltsBelMetric.com$ 10.00
Husky 600# cargo tie-downs, flanged 6mm T-nutsHome Depot$ 10.00
m5/m6 screws and t-nutsAmazon$ 45.66
$ 340.68
ExtrasSellerCost
(2) paddle latchesAmazon$ 20.04
tie downs/boltsAmazon$ 15.00
2yd x 80" Carpet (Superflex medium neutral SF2015)Albright's$ 52.72
DAP Weldwood contact cement + 4" brushHome Depot$ 44.32
$ 472.76
 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
*reserved for future*
 
Last edited:

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
*reserved for future*
 

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
Glad to see you formally documenting your build. Nice truck!
Thanks. I wish I'd taken better photos and notes along the way. For as methodical and organized as I am at work about projects, planning, checklists, execution, documentation, etc all that goes out the window at home.
 

grinchy

SILVER Star
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
6,702
Location
The Emerald City
After the probably 100th time I've had to move my tool bag, air compressor, recovery ropes, Li battery pack, etc around the trunk to make space for Home Despot runs, the dog, my kids, etc I finally decided I'd had enough. I had been eyeing a Reef drawer for a few months, as I wanted a single-drawer platform, but they'd been on backorder. That was January. By March ordering hadn't opened up yet, so I decided to use a ~$125 rebate I had from Menards to buy some baltic birch plywood and build my own. Of course the day after I ordered the plywood the Reef was back in stock for ordering. Ah well, it was a fun project in any case.

My drawers are about 85% complete. I started building the actual drawer this weekend but I was short a few t-slot nuts, so completion is on hold until later this week. I'll add final photos later. Top of the drawer frame is 40" deep, bottom is 42" deep. In the meantime here's a shot from the front...
View attachment 2664192

And here's one from the back. The rear cabinet is about 4" deep at the top and 6" at the bottom, just deep enough to mount the bottle jack and some other rarely-needed gear.
View attachment 2664193

For those interested here's the parts list. TBH if you're thinking about building your own, just buy the Reef and start with that. Even benefitting from having seen their design, as you can see below it's not much cost savings, and unlike the Reef which can be built in a day, mine took probably 40 hours to complete.

Reef-equivalentSellerCost
(2) 4x8 sheets Baltic Birch BB/CP plywoodMenards$ 139.97
20-series and 10-series extruded aluminum railstnutz.com$ 81.95
1" UHMW tapeAmazon$ -
countersink drill bitsAmazon$ -
60 tooth circ saw blade and 20 TPI jigsaw bladeAmazon$ -
(2) 270 degree hingesAmazon$ 30.58
1/4"x4"x48" UHMW sheetAmazon$ 22.52
(2) M6 x 60mm, (1) M6 x 50mm flat head torx boltsBelMetric.com$ 10.00
Husky 600# cargo tie-downs, flanged 6mm T-nutsHome Depot$ 10.00
m5/m6 screws and t-nutsAmazon$ 45.66
$ 340.68
ExtrasSellerCost
(2) paddle latchesAmazon$ 20.04
tie downs/boltsAmazon$ 15.00
2yd x 80" Carpet (Superflex medium neutral SF2015)Albright's$ 52.72
DAP Weldwood contact cement + 4" brushHome Depot$ 44.32
$ 472.76
I like the forward facing angled drawer. That's a nice use of space!
 

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
I like the forward facing angled drawer. That's a nice use of space!
Thanks. I could've added 1-2" to the depth but I didn't want to block the vent on that side. I'll take some photos but the front-facing side isn't actually a drawer, it's just a cabinet door

Similar to the Reef I actually cut some extra birch plywood to use as a "table". Mine isn't bamboo, but for a table/work surface (not a cutting board) I think it'll work nicely. It fits underneath the drawer in the space between the rails. I notched the front of the drawer so it can slide in/out as well. I'll get some real photos once it's complete later this week (waiting on a few T-slot nuts as I miscounted and ran short....)
 

teambell

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
421
Location
Colorado
When I saw the thread title, I thought you did decide to start again! Saw your comments about the 16+ redesign and you were not going to do it... :)

Great build and thread!
 

linuxgod

SILVER Star
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
5,207
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
When I saw the thread title, I thought you did decide to start again! Saw your comments about the 16+ redesign and you were not going to do it... :)

Great build and thread!
Thanks.

Once I did the winch bumper I felt pretty committed to keeping my '13. Now that I just re-geared and triple-locked, the cost was significant enough that I wouldn't want to start over anytime soon. About the only things that would cause me to start over would be an accident, a 300 series actually getting released in the US, or one of my kids really getting into 4-wheeling when they get their license in a few years. And honestly the only significant mod left for me is a rear bumper, which I might attempt this winter.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
377
Location
Boise, ID
We were in the market for a new house and I was trying to save $ to cover the moving costs so for the next couple years I really just enjoyed the truck but put off mods. Now that we're moved and all settled, I decided re-gearing was in order. "While we're in there", since everything was apart already why not add lockers? Nitro 4.88s and Harrop e-lockers go in, OEM 3.90s go to @CharlieS for his 2016. A bit of drama on the front diff but that's all sorted out now.

(No interesting pics to add here so I'll just throw on up from LCDC VI last summer)

View attachment 2664203

Anymore pictures of your rig and the Trail Tailor front bumper? It might the only full guard full replacement bumper for the pre-2016's that I don't hate. I appreciate the stoutness and air bag compatibility of the Aussie stuff but man those things are just ugly and stick out way too far.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
130
Location
Kuwait
Nice build!
Question on your e-locker setup: Did you face any issues with the momentary disengagement when switching from forward to reverse? It seems to be a thing for all e-lockers, but not sure if it's seamless or bothersome when your using it.
 

CharlieS

GOLD Star
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
6,110
Nice build!
Question on your e-locker setup: Did you face any issues with the momentary disengagement when switching from forward to reverse? It seems to be a thing for all e-lockers, but not sure if it's seamless or bothersome when your using it.
@borfoo3 Somebody smarter than me will know more, but my understanding is that the delay (rotation) behavior is unavoidable.

The design of the Eaton/Harrop has an integral v shaped ramp in the engagement parts that causes this delay when engaging or switching directions. It is simply a feature of the design.

Ben from Filthy Motorsports has a really great video on YouTube that explains this well and shows the internal parts that cause the behavior.

Check out around 15:30:
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom