Backcountry Vehicles

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ROKTAXI

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Sep 17, 2012
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94
DAA said:
...It's a 5.7 liter - a 350. Not a fire breather by any means, with only something like 395 HP and 410 ft/lbs of torque, it feels like pretty weak sauce compared to my last couple of trucks. But, it is what it is...

They have a 6.? also. Thought you may have had that one.

...It rides so much nicer than my last couple trucks it isn't even funny though...

Gonna take it out in the dirt and get it all filthed up good and proper on Sunday :D.

- DAA
Dave, and I thought my '06 Overland (Princess) GC had *some* factory bells 'n whistles. o_O Not even close. My Hemi's spuncky but I don't like the throttle sensitivity. I do like the QD II t/c & LS at both ends (3.73) tho. It ain't no Atlas and Detroit's, but they work respectably well. BFG KM2's help a little more with the traction also.

I also put the same type Bilstein's and air bags, 2"+ lift (spacers). But IFS lacks articulation. :cry: Couldn't find room for OBA so I carry the "air compressor bag".


Sure wish I had a built-in Garmin Nav. system.

Do you have to pry yourself out of the seat when you get out?
 

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Artemus

I walk
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While I have not had time to mess with any of the electronics, I have already installed Bilsteins on all four corners (adjustable leveling fronts), 3/4" spacers above the rear coils and Airlift 1000 airbags with onboard compressor and wireless controller. Busy day today...
- DAA
Shocks. That is normally the first component I change out (after tires) too. My Taco is due for new shocks as well. Can you give some details/advice on these Bilsteins please? Adjustable leveling fronts? I do some small trailer towing but don't really need to beef up the spring rate in the back since I don't carry a cab-over nor load it up much or often. I do want to greatly improve the off-road AND highway ride which after market shocks almost always do. Used to be a Rancho devotee but it seems like that brand degraded and near disappeared. My Taco came with factory Bilsteins but they were nothing to write home about.

Thanks!
 

ROKTAXI

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Dave can chime in when he gets back from his " filthed up good and proper..." maiden voyage, but mine are the 5100 series and I'm real happy with the ride / off road handling. Much better than the Rancho's 9000 series I had on another Jeep ... and Bilstein makes their own products.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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I've heard good things about the 5100's on some of the taco forums. People talking about how they swap them out right off the bat. I liked the shocks in my Taco TRD Off-Road but apparently I just didn't know what I was missing! I'm slightly tempted to put them on the new tundra and do that little trick to level it out and take out the factory rake.
 

DAA

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Jun 14, 2012
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715
I'm running the 5100's also. Now on both my Jeep and the new truck. Have had them on other rigs in the past too. Have also run the Rancho 9000's on previous rigs and agree with the assessment that they seem to have slipped a bit. Either that, or the Bilsteins are just better and make it seem like the Rancho's have slipped by comparison.

Drove the new truck about 60 mile of dirt across the North Slope road yesterday. I'm in love... I'm sure it isn't anymore plush of a ride, or even as plush as something like Marty's GC, or perhaps a Taco or other newish half ton. But compared to my old 3/4 ton diesel, it was like floating on a cloud. I loved, loved, loved it! The Bilstein 5100's performed admirably as they always have - firm without being harsh, excellent damping control which is especially noticeable and appreciated on washboard at speed. Not being a reservoir shock, they will fade if you pound the rough stuff long enough, but being monotube, and gas, they go longer without fading than any twin tube I've ever run. And the aluminum mono body dissipates the heat quickly if given half a chance to cool.

Art, you asked about the leveling fronts... I would guess they are available for the Taco application too. They are a replacement front shock, that allows a couple inches of ride height adjustment via the coilover spring seat. I raised the front of my new truck 2" with them, to give a little more room for the tires and get the front air dam a couple inches higher off the ground. Some guys just don't like the look of the factory rake on a truck and use them simply to get a more level stance. I see rake as being functional, not particularly interested in what it looks like, so used rear spacers to add some rake back to the new truck after the leveling shocks went on the front.

But you mention wanting to do some towing, while not wanting to actually beef up the spring rate. I'd look into an airbag kit for the Taco. I just installed those in the new truck too. Since the Taco has rear leafs and the Ram has rear coils, the type of air bag setup will be different, but I'd bet there are kits for the application out there. The air bags allow you to effectively add spring rate and rear ride height only when you need and want it. Then deflate (or mostly deflate) them when you want the factory ride back. They are pretty robust and foolproof, well proven solution to what I think you are describing.

Of course, I'd do both - the Bilsteins and the air bags.

- DAA
 

DAA

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Jun 14, 2012
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So it's not mine, but it's what I've mostly been riding in offroad lately. My buddy Tim bought a new 2014 Tacoma a few weeks ago. Pictured below on the second night of it's maiden voyage.



It's a double cab TRD Offroad. Nice little rig! On the trip two weeks ago pictured above, he had only had it a few days and it only had 150 miles on it when we started. We put about 800 miles on it that weekend, with about 250 of those miles on dirt. The skid plate package that came with it got a pretty good workout, but we did find the one vulnerable spot underneath - the exhuast cross pipe is totally exposed and basically the lowest point. It got re-shaped just slightly... I'm going to try and fabricate a simple skid for it at some point this winter. Multiple deep scratches (won't buff out...) down the full length of both sides of the truck. Had to use 4Lo quite a bit, had to use the locker in one spot. I had to get out and spot him through a couple particularly rough patches and saw that it has a decent amount of wheel travel and flexes pretty good for what it is. At one point crossing a small river it drug the rear bumper coming out of it hard enough to bend the hitch up just slightly though. We were both somewhat amazed that none of the mud flaps broke off. They are more flexible and better attached than the ones on his 2006 Tacoma - two of those broke off on it's first trip. He's thinking about just removing them though because they make so much irritating noise when they are dragging, and they hang so low that they drag pretty often.

It averaged just shy of 19 MPG for the whole trip (hand calc'd). Most impressive to me about the MPG, was that it did just about as well on the offroad portion as it did on the highway.

All in all, it got broke in correctly and I'm fairly well impressed with it. Good little desert wanderer!

We're taking my new little red truck this weekend. Have had it on dirt roads in the Uintas quite a bit already, but this will be it's first desert trip. Hoping not to put too much desert Von Dutch on it...

- DAA
 

Cool Danish

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Jan 13, 2013
Messages
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I am running a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a 2.5” AEV DualSport suspension with the stock 32” tires.
Zion_001.jpg


Zion_002.jpg


The ride on- and off-road is awesome, especially when you take its off-road capabilities into account. Since I live in southern California it’s important to me that my vehicle rides well on the highway as I have about 450 miles to my favorite playgrounds in southern Utah.
I have slowly been improving the Jeep to allow me to be more self-sufficient when out on the trail and camping.
Beside suspension, bumpers, winch and extra skid plates, I have made my own dual battery tray and wiring.
IMG_1359.JPG


My latest additions is a AEV JK roof rack, Awning and Maggiolina AirTop Tent.
Pictures is from a recent camping trip around Zion with my 6 year old son. :) Thanks to Udink for the great campsite location on Sand Mountain outside St. George.:twothumbs:
 

Artemus

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We were both somewhat amazed that none of the mud flaps broke off. They are more flexible and better attached than the ones on his 2006 Tacoma - two of those broke off on it's first trip. He's thinking about just removing them though because they make so much irritating noise when they are dragging, and they hang so low that they drag pretty often.
- DAA
He WILL break one or more off. I did - as soon as I backed up and dead ended it into a not-very-tall rock. It is a big complaint from many owners at Taco World as well. I finally bought a replacement flap and then dremeled them all off about 3 or more inches higher. I matched my previous Tundra's flap height which had never dragged. I contoured them to match the contour of the factory length and polished them up a bit with some fine grit sandpaper and they look stock. And they never drag again and make that awful sound. Easy Peasy. You really want to keep them on to reduce the "overspray" on the sides of the truck. Course I call that red dirt my "red badge of courage" and don't like to wash it off.:moses:
 

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DAA

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I like the idea of trimming the flaps - I'll pass it along!

Von Dutch is like ONLY the greatest pin stripe artist who ever lived! He was more than that though, hugely influential artist whose early canvas were all motor vehicles. He almost single handedly created the whole Ed Roth/Kustom Culture phenomenon.

So, anyway... "Desert pin stripe" is common slang for the kind of sage brush and pinion/juniper scratches that my buddies new Tacoma got a couple weeks ago, and of which my Jeep has them over pretty much ever inch of it's sides. I've just always called it Desert Von Dutch, because, you know, those aren't just scratches man, it's experiential art manifesting itself :D.

- DAA
 

DAA

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P.S... On Von Dutch pin striping... I see guys almost every day sporting ink they call "tribal", but which is actually just the kind of pin striping Von Dutch was famous for. And, nothing like an actual tribal tat...

- DAA
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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x2 on the Taco flaps. I lost nearly all of mine at some point. Eventually just left the two in the rear off.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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If I'm doing any 'good' wheeling getting places I just take my flaps off.... 3 screws each, about 15min job.
 

Artemus

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I've just always called it Desert Von Dutch, because, you know, those aren't just scratches man, it's experiential art manifesting itself :D.
- DAA

Now that makes my entire BCP subscription worth it!

I will now have to a) convince my wife that the scratches I put on her truck are works of art and b) go learn how this man Van Dutch influenced the world.

These are the reasons most important I have to come back to read my friends at BCP. Thanks bros! :thumbsup:
 
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DAA

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:D We're always glad to help!

Little Red Truck got through the weekend without much Von Dutch. These will almost all just wash off:






Still in love with the half ton/IFS/rear coil ride on washboard and two track. Like I've said before, not as plush as what many of you drive and you'd probably ride in this truck and wonder what on earth I'm going on about. But, COMPARED to the 3/4 ton, solid front axle, leaf sprung trucks I have been driving for the 30 years prior to this one, it is just soooo much more smooth and comfortable. And my spine has really been acting up lately too, significant pain, 24/7 going on 3 solid weeks now. Made the soft hits on the bumps even that much more noticed and appreciated.

Loving the new truck!

- DAA
 

steve

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Dec 11, 2013
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Nick, how are you liking the size of the tundra for your adventures? Obviously you need a big truck to tow the pontoon boat, but aside from that, any regrets with the tundra? I'm in the market for a new rig and I'm torn between the tundra and the tacoma. I'm a small guy, and the tacoma is plenty big enough inside, but I'm curious if the Tundra would be a step in the right direction or if it'd be too big.

I'm done with rock crawling, but I still want 4wd and a truck bed. Thoughts?
 

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