RLLC-PROJECT: 2007 Toyota Tacoma aka #2GTaco
We’ve recently purchased a 2007 Toyota Tacoma for the shop, as a project to get ourselves into the 21st century of Toyota four wheel drive vehicles! If you’re reading this and your first time and just hearing of Red Line Land Cruisers, this is not our first Toyota rodeo! We have been servicing the Toyota Land Cruiser community here in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 2007! We are not just talking oil changes for FJ40 Land Cruisers… We have been modifying, restoring, revitalizing and mechanical restorations of FJ40’s, FJ55’s, FJ60, FJ62, FJ80 and FZJ80 Land Cruisers, with an occasional 70-Series passing through town needing mechanical assistance! We personally own FJ40’s, FJ55’s, FJ80 and FZJ80 Series Land Cruisers. Now we own a second generation Toyota Tacoma from 2007.
GEAR PATROL stated, “Toyota sold 237,323 Tacoma’s just in 2022 alone, making it the eighth best-selling vehicle in America” in their “The Toyota Tacoma: Why Does Everyone Love It So Much?” story. And Motor Biscuit stated, “the Tacoma has been the best-selling small truck in America for 18 years” in there “Why Is the Toyota Tacoma the Best-Selling Small Pickup?” story.
Even with all this “TACO GREATNESS,” we feel it is going to be hard pressed to beat our Land Cruisers! Same time, we must explore this new era of Toyota vehicles. The Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner are basically the modern version of Civic’s and Integra’s of yesteryear, “they are all the rage!” We say this as that those were the cult vehicles of the early 90’s generation tuner cars. That generation has now grown into adulthood and are yearning to explore beyond the pavement. We get to say “all the new kids are driving them!” as an additional generation or two has joined the fold and Toyota (aka A Japanese brand) has a 4WD offering to quince the thirst to roam. Like us old geezers, Toyota offered two levels of 4WD vehicles back in the day, with FJ40 Land Cruisers and Toyota SR5 4X4 PickUp Trucks. Toyota has a global reputation for it four wheel drive vehicles, so the big question today, is Toyota living off the vapors of reputation or are they still delivering that Land Cruiser “trickle-down” quality. Everything has to evolve and can not always stay the same as we love and remember it, so we will open our minds, wallets and take on the adventures of Taco! Now we just need to come up with a good Instagram hashtag for it! How about #DoubleOH7Taco or better yet, short and sweet for the win: #2GTaco
Next Up: Where to start… #2GTACO NO SHELL!
Let’s start with getting rid of the camper shell! ALREADY LOOKS BETTER! We get it, a camper shell is a functional item, just not our “cup of function!” We have something a little different planned.
Mechanically inclined to dissect the Tacoma!
Have no fear little #2GTaco, just a bunch of your grandparents in here! Your related! Guess it is a little embarrassing to prop your hood up in a room full of grandfolk! They just love to pinch cheeks and squeeze the hoses in a fit of “cute aggression.”
First things first, the stock fan clutch is toast after 204,000-miles! We toss on a new one and we have another on the bench for R&D purposes as we typically modify these as we do for FJ62, FJ80 and FZJ80’s. We modified OEM Aisin Fan Clutch to engages at 95 degrees as we change the CST Fluid formula and adjust the temperature springs to achieve a long term solution with a higher “lock up” rate. This is also known as the “Blue Hub Fan Clutch Mod“. This modification is very popular because it correctly matches the fan engagement to the water pump rotation dynamics. See our fan clutches here: https://redlinelandcruisers.com/?s=fan+clutch&post_type=product
Why are we so particular about all this? ELEVATION! Give this a read, “Elevation Doesn’t Care! Keeping Land Cruisers Cool!” We like to ask a lot of our rigs, thus they need to be given a lot of that TLC! Funny how TLC has double-meanings for us, Tender Loving Care – Toyota Land Cruiser.
Next up: Tacoma Safety Recall E02
Word on the street is.. There is a leaf spring recall on these Taco’s!
We check ourselves in at the clinic. The dealership informed us that the leaf springs are in stock and we should be done and out by end of day. BOOM! NOPE! Sorry sir, we can not work on your 2007 Toyota Tacoma due to the aftermarket airbags that are installed and impede our removal and installation of the new springs. We can not warranty the work due to the aftermarket parts thus we can not work on your truck at this time. THE END! So we go back to the shop to asses our situation. We will bring it back sans-airbags! We want those new leaf springs!
Here is the official word from Toyota
Title: Safety Recall E02 – Remedy Notice Certain 2005-2011 Model Year Tacoma Pre-Runner and 4×4 Vehicles Rear Leaf Spring
Description: The subject vehicles’ rear suspension system contains leaf springs that are constructed of either three or four leaves. There is a possibility that a leaf could fracture due to stress and corrosion. If this occurs and the vehicle continues to be operated, the broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank.
Recall Date: September 29, 2014
Dealer Reference ID: E02
NHTSA Recall ID: 14V604
Word On The Street: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/leaf-spring-recall.566090/
Lets Get Those Leaf Springs!
No, this is not our version of a Method Race Wheels / Rotiform AeroDisc wheel Collaboration… Remember, we are attempting to have this 2007 Toyota Tacoma’s factory Safety Recall E02 completed! But we have a slight issue at hand. The dealership we purchased the pickup truck from, did not supply us with the wheel lock nut. We could drive up to Denver from Colorado Springs, but that would be a wasted day! And too, that’s like driving from Orange County, CA to DTLA – NO THANK YOU! We will take matters into our own hands!
Justin fashioned up our “RLLC-AeroDisc” with cardboard and yellow tape. We will not be attending Bonneville Speed Week to test the aero efficiency of Our “AeroDisc,” it is simply for the protection of the finish on the Method Race Wheel. With the “protection disc” in place, Justin welded a standard nut onto the wheel lock nut – AND DONE! Now we can get down to the business of removing the aftermarket airbags in order for Toyota to perform the E02 Leaf Spring Safety Recall.
But “SinceYouIz” Yellow Taping
Justin does a quick visual marking indicating that he wants to “blackout” the silver area in between the two windows. Yes, it’s visual thing! The #2GTACO has to look good!
REMOVE AIR BAGS
These are the aftermarket air bags that is impeding our progress of having Toyota perform the E02 Leaf Spring Safety Recall. We will simply remove them and and take our happy Taco’ back down there!
Passenger side airbag is missing the rubber bumper that rides on top of the leaf springs. Of course there is a “clacking noise” being emitted from under the truck due to our bumpy street! With Colorado Springs sitting at 6,200-ft of elevation, it is a mountain town, complete with the pothole riddled streets as expected from a mountain town that has overgrown tremendously over the past few years!
Poor Bilstein’s have seen better days! No telling what abuse these have seen! We will give these a proper respectful burial. Upside to what is underneath! We have a full size matching Method Race Wheel complete with matched size BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A! But only if they knew the rules! 5-Tire Rotation please! With the airbags out of the way, we have our appointment set to revisit our local Toyota dealership in hopes of having the E02 Leaf Spring Safety Recall performed!
DEALERSHIP VISIT Round-2
With the aftermarket airbags removed, round two at Toyota Of Colorado Springs went much smoother. The the E02 Leaf Spring Safety Recall has been completed! ☑️🏁 Now we can get on with the next-next!
KICK’EM IN THE GRILL PETE!
It’s “stanky,” it’s clanky, it’s plain Janky! The factory push-pin connectors are very plastic, as typical with all these new(er) vehicles. Look at us calling this 2007 Tacoma “NEW!” But we are use to 1960 – 1997 Land Cruisers.. nuff’ said.
Anyone have any suggesting on the best “bug resistant” way to black out the front grill? Leave a comment here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CusQuBNJvr9/?img_index=1
Megamouth or catfish?
204,000-MILES OF STREET GRIME?
New Toyota Tacoma to us, but we inherited a box of dust bunnies! This owner was obviously not doing the “every oil change – change the air filter” routine. Or at least, inspect it!
While we was in there, we deleted the Post EVAP Charcoal Screen Filter as it was clogged due to the previous owner not changing the air filter often enough. Yes, we know removing this is not going to give us any “increased” benefits, but when it is clogged full of grime, our conscious is on our dime.
CARPET OUT – SOUND DAMPING IN
The Tacoma had a bit of a musty smell to it and in true Justin fashion, interior gets pulled out and we find the culprit with a bit of black mold on the back end of the carpet where it meets the rear of the cab. While we are in here, we apply sound damping material for additional creature comfort in preparation for those long dirt roads!