TacoMaria – 2000 Tacoma v6 4×4

After selling the 2007 FJC (Negro) I bought a 2000 Tacoma v6, SR5, 4×4, manual hubs, automatic, and in great need of some TLC. The plan is to use it as my daily driver (a lot cheaper then the FJC was, or so I though it would be at first got it for about half of the listed NADA value at the time), but I also plan to take it off-road a few times a year on some moderate trails.

I knew from my initial inspection that the suspension need to be replaced, the tires were cheap but appeared usable, the windshield had to be replaced, the engine needed a tune up, and the exhaust was a bit rusty (and missing the cat).

I didn’t take long before realizing that the engine was bad; it kept consuming coolant and over heating after about 30 minutes of driving. It turned out that one of the cylinder walls was cracked, so about $3k latter for fix up, and another $3k for suspension, wheels and tires, I was finally ready to start building up the truck during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday.

Things I’ve done:

  • Suspension – Toytec coilovers, Blistin rear shocks, Wheelers Off-road Leaf Springs and accessories, Downey Shackles, new break lines, and some other miscellaneous accessories.
  • Electrical – Aftermarket Taillights, Stereo, HAM & CB radios, and wiring for an extra fuse box to run all the extra electrical add-ons.
  • Wheels & tires – Wheelers off-road black steal wheels, and some slightly used Goodyear MTR’s 285/75/16.
  • Got an alignment, finished Hooking up the CB and HAM radios, Hooked up the GPS mount, and re-attached the factory skid plate. All just before heading out to the 2010 Lonestar Toyota Jamboree.
  • Got it another tune-up and a bunch of maintenance done on the replacement engine.
  • Trimmed the front Bumper.
  • Flattened the Pinch Weld
  • Installed a Carsound/Magnaflow Cat I purchased from 4wheel Parts, thanks to their Blue Ribbon Coalition membership gift card I got. Then replaced the missing “Check Engine” light. The Cat only lasted about 4 months.
  • Spend a bunch more money getting things fixed so I could pass inspection after owning it 1 year (don’t ask me how it passed when I first bought it – I’m sure the guys who sold it to me didn’t get it done legally).  Turned out the fuel system was rather dirty – almost as if someone had put dirt in the gas tank.
  • Replaced one of the inner tie-rod-ends.
  • The drive shaft fell out of the truck, and had to be “re-threaded”, what ever that means.
  • Replaced Front Brakes with 2002 Sequoia Brakes.

What it needs soon:

  • Fix the Heater.  I think it’s leaking, and the temperature selection knob wont turn.
  • New Catalytic converter to get the Check Engine light to turn off.
  • The seats are torn up and hard on the back, so I’ve been keeping my eyes open for options – probably end up pulling something out of a sporty luxury type car to give myself some nice comfortable seats.  Of course I’ll probably need to get some assistance with customizing the mounting brackets.
  • The steering and front end might still need a little more fixing up, but it seems to be working well enough for now. It could probably use a full set of new bushings, and a proper alignment.  I’ll get around to some day.
  • The HAM radio still isn’t functioning properly. I may need to relocate the antenna and make sure it’s grounded properly.
  • Finish the install on the cheap Alarm system I bought with Keyless entry (I’m not used to having manual locks) just need to purchase and install the power lock modules.

Here’s my current wish list:

  • Replace the rear bumper and tow hitch as they are really quite worthless as they are right now anyway.
  • Secondary battery so i don’t run down the primary with all the extras lights and stuff I want to put on it (and maybe a winch some day).
  • Rock-rails, tube bumpers, and in-bed (or tail gate replacement) tire carrier (maybe a tool box in the bed as well).
  • Off-road Lights
  • Re-gear & re-build the axles (4.56s, limited slip in the rear, selectable locker in front, wheel bearings, armor, etc).
  • Someday I’d like to supercharge it if I ever find myself with a bunch of extra money to wast. Or just drop in a newer bigger and more efficient engine and tranny in it.
  • Hopefully the transmission will hold up for a while, though it was way way over due for a fluid change when I first got it. It seems to occupational have problems downshifting when I come to a complete stop. It probably needs a power flush.  We’ll see.
  • Maybe a gear reduction box some day.
  • More stuff as I think of it….

4 Comments on “TacoMaria – 2000 Tacoma v6 4×4

  1. Just updated the post again today. Getting it to pass inspection this year was a bit of a challenge, but hopefully it will now work well for a few years if I just keep it maintained.

  2. we have a 99 Tacoma my husband is always working on! I'll have him read your post and see if he can offer any helpful tips!

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