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Tag: mechanical

Modifications to the truck's mechanical systems - drive train, brakes, etc.

Fixing up the Tacoma for Vegas, Baby

May 22, 2023 With the Tacoma living in Las Vegas now, it's harder to perform various maintenance tasks as they pop up and between trips. As such, with a few general maintenance issues - oil changes, tire rotations, etc. - and a few items in recent Rig Reviews needing attention, I drove the truck home from the Three Days of R&R trip for a little TLC (Tacoma Loving Care). On my list for a warm spring day were the following tasks: Routine maintenance - Change the oil, Rotate the tires Grease drive train. Check the new SPC UCAs for play in…

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Shop Day at Zane's | Timing Belt and Clutch Replacement

I guess you can say that I'm a little gun-shy after having two trips to Death Valley cut short due to mechanical issues. The first one - when my transfer case started making noise - was a surprise, but the second trip - when the main leaf of my leaf pack broke - was something I could have easily avoided with preventative maintenance. And so, I think it's time to stop putting off a bit more preventative maintenance work that I've been procrastinating: changing my timing belt (and the other associated components) and replacing my clutch. I've done the timing…

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Replacing All the Bushings

Squeaky bushings annoy a lot of people. I am not one of those people. And so, as my bushings have squeaked over the years, I've just let them do their thing - usually until I next wash the truck at which point the squeaking stops. And so, my bushings have "lasted" for 20 years. In fact, with the exception of the bushings in the rear leaf springs - which were refreshed when I got a new leaf pack from Alcan - I think all of them are still original. Oh, and the upper control arms (UCAs) bushings have been replaced,…

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Step-by-Step Front Diff Bushing Replacement

Over time, rubber bushings wear out and need to be replaced. This happened for me recently when I Replaced All the Bushings on my Tacoma, and I figured that others could benefit from a quick little guide that shows the entire process and lists all the necessary parts for the front diff bushings. Parts Durobump Front Diff Bushings are the only parts you need for this job. Tools Misc sockets (I recommend this set from Williams, a Snap-On brand) 12mm, 14mm socket - to remove the skid plate. 19mm socket to remove front diff brackets. 21mm socket - to remove lug…

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Step-by-Step Lower Control Arm Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner)

Over time, rubber bushings wear out and need to be replaced. This happened for me recently when I Replaced All the Bushings on my Tacoma, and I figured that others could benefit from a quick little guide that shows the entire process and lists all the necessary parts. Before getting started, I should note that when replacing the Lower Control Arm (LCA) bushings, one must remove the steering rack from its mounts. As such, this is also a good time to refresh the bushings that secure it as well, which is not a difficult process: Step-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a…

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Step-by-Step Steering Rack Bushing Replacement on a 1st Gen Tacoma (or 3rd Gen 4Runner)

Over time, rubber bushings wear out and need to be replaced. This happened for me recently when I Replaced All the Bushings on my Tacoma, and I figured that others could benefit from a quick little guide that shows the entire process and lists all the necessary parts for replacing the bushings in the steering rack. Parts One thing to be aware of when replacing the steering rack bushings is that 1st gen Tacomas have two different bushing configurations depending on the model year - with the change happening around the 2000 model. Earlier trucks - it seems - use a…

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A Front Diff Drain (and Fill) Plug that Doesn't Suck

Anyone who owns a 4WD Toyota and has dealt with the drain and fill plugs on the IFS front diff knows that they generally suck. They use either a 10mm or 12mm hex key, and that can be a problem for many reasons: The recess that the key fits into can easily get filled up with crud. If the recess isn't cleaned and the hex key doesn't fully seat, it's easy to round over. Hex key's aren't generally all that long, so it's hard to get the leverage needed to loosen the plugs. The plugs can get extremely tight, making…

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Clean Energy for My Tacoma - Time for a Fuel Filter

Well, the Tacoma got a new fuel filter today. It's a part I've had sitting around for maybe 18 months now or so, just taking up room in the garage. Because, who needs to install a new filter when the one that's on there seems to be working just fine. Right? Well, it finally dawned on me why they call it preventative maintenance, and I figured I might as well get it done. Interested in doing this yourself? Here is a handy little how-to that lists the tools and parts you'll need: How-to: Replace the Fuel Filter in a 96-04…

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How-to: Replace the Fuel Filter in a 96-04 Tacoma or 96-02 4Runner

This is an easy project, and one that I'd put off for way too long before doing for the first time recently. Personally, I'd recommend changing your fuel filter at the same time you do your timing belt - every 90K miles or so - just as preventative maintenance, and to keep your fuel pump and engine running as smoothly as possible. Of course, if you're in a very dusty environment, every 30K may be a better interval. The process is straight forward - remove the old filter and replace it with a new one - but there is one…

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I'm Too Late! - Rear Diff Breather Mod on 3rd Gen 4Runner

I have a confession to make: I procrastinated this job and it may have cost me. So let's back up for a moment. See, this was a mod that I knew I needed to do to the 4Runner as soon as I got it. Toyota has conveniently placed the rear diff breather right on top of the rear diff - pretty much as low as it can go. All well and good except that it's not at all well and good. In that position, not only can the breather can suck water into the diff when submerged in deep water,…

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Installing Tundra Brakes on a 3rd Gen 4Runner

If you're here looking for how to install Tundra 13WL or 13WE brakes on a 3rd gen 4Runner, you can read how I did it on this particular day, but the more useful page for you will probably be this guide: Step by Step Tundra Brake Upgrade on a Tacoma (or 4Runner) The guide shows step-by-step (with pics) how to do the upgrade, and has links to all the parts needed (at varying price points). You know that feeling when you've got a project to do that you're a little apprehensive of because you're not sure if it'll go well,…

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How-to: Rebooting a Tacoma CV Axle

If you own a Toyota Tacoma - and especially if you drive it off-road or with any kind of lift - you're likely to have a CV axle boot crack or split at some point, flinging grease everywhere and making a royal mess. I was lucky enough to have it happen on the first day of a two week trip to Anza-Borrego. Winning! Once this happens, you essentially have three options: Do nothing. This is the route a lot of people take, sometimes because they don't even notice the problem. For me of course, it wasn't an option. Buy an…

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Step-by-Step Install of SPC Upper Control Arms on a Toyota Tacoma

I recently installed SPC Performance upper control arms (25460) on my 2000 Tacoma, and it went great. In addition to the story of the install, I figured a detailed set of instructions for anyone wanting to tackle this themselves would be nice to put together, since it's hard to find that written down in one concise place with a list of everything you need to do the job. So let's get started. Gathering the parts and tools Replacing the upper control arms (UCAs) is a relatively straight forward process, and nearly all the parts you'll need are included from SPC when…

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Bye Bye Toytec, New UCA's and ADS Shocks in the Front

January 15, 2019. What can I say? It's the end of an era, sort of. Really, it's the end of a transition period for the Tacoma - a time when it was transitioning from daily driver and home renovation hauler to a more dedicated exploration vehicle. It was nearly three years ago that this transition started, one of my first modifications being a new Toytec BOSS lift in order to support the Relentless armor I was soon to install. Over the last three years, that @Toytec Lifts setup has done everything I could have asked of it. No, that's not right…

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Step by Step Toyota Tacoma Timing Belt Replacement for 3.4L V6 5VZFE (also 4runner, Tundra, and T100)

I recently changed the timing belt and water pump on my 2000 Tacoma, and it went great. In addition to the story of shop day, I figured a detailed set of instructions for anyone wanting to tackle this themselves would be nice to put together, since it's hard to find that written down in one concise place (maybe even impossible before now). This is of course based on the Factory Service Manual (FSM) description, but varies slightly (to make things easier) and doesn't require flipping back and forth between many different sections. And, there's a great YouTube video by Timmy…

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Yes We're Crazy Shop Day: Replacing the Timing Belt (and more) in Two Trucks At the Same Time

Well, the good news is that we were successful. It may have taken 14 hours, but the Dan's (@drr and I) were triumphant in our first attempt at a timing belt self-service to each of our 5VZFE's. But oh, how we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's back up say... six months. Just for a moment. Back in January, I was sure that I was going to have Toyota do my 90K mile service at the end of the summer, after this year's trips were in the books. I knew I'd be a little over 90K, but I figured it was…

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Chasing the P0171 Engine Light

I was ready for adventure - running solo, I was returning to Death Valley, having only just wet my appetite on our first trip back in January. With 2500 miles to go, I knew I had a lot of driving ahead - but I was ready - or so I thought - when, less than 50 miles in, the Check Engine Light (CEL) came on. I've covered the details of the first hours of diagnosis in my Back to Death Valley trip report, so if you haven't read that (and are interested), I'd recommend starting there. The plan here is…

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Front Diff Oil Change - Not an Ideal Situation

February 21, 2018. Not all that long ago, the truck got a gear change - from the 4.10 factory gears to 4.88's - meaning that it's now easier on the engine to turn the bigger tires as it climbs up hills, over rocks, and generally towards adventure. Within a couple weeks of the gear change, I'd driven far enough to get 500 miles of break-in complete on the rear diff and changed the oil - and everything there seemed A-OK, which was nice. And then on our trip to Death Valley, we ran as much as we could in 4WD…

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New Wheels and Tires, Again! (Stealth6 and ST Maxx)

January 12, 2018. The day has arrived, finally. For three months, I've had a set of SCS Stealth6 wheels stacked, in the boxes they arrived in, in the living room. @mrs.turbodb has not been happy. In that time, I've been trying to decide what tires I want to run on those wheels. I knew I wanted 33's, and I knew that I wanted as little rubbing as possible, but that left me with three options: BFG KM2's or KM3's @ 255/85R16 - these have the right profile (tall and skinny) for less rubbing, and a nice aggressive tread pattern, but…

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The First Rear Differential Oil Change (with the new gears)

December 24, 2017. Having travelled the requisite 500 miles to break in my new 4.88 gears (you may want to read "New Gears - 4.88's and an ARB front locker" and "the first 500 mile break-in" if you haven't already), it was high time to change the oil in the rear diff - hopefully uneventfully - to clean out any metal and other gunk that may have been present as a result of the break-in. Toyota conveniently calls for 90W oil in the differentials, and that's hard to come by - at least for me, locally - so I decided…

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