Overland Tacoma: Stage 2

The trip to Eagle Lakes was insightful and the mod bug bit hard. I think I might be allergic to it because it brings out such an auspicious reaction! The first symptom was rock sliders…prepped and painted, then professionally welded onto the truck by the man who built them.

That man can weld like nobody’s business…good thing its his business! Those sliders are beefy enough to stop a Honda…literally.

That was the car after we hung his bumper back on.

Continuing on, I had been deciding what to do about my front bumper since the year of road debris had chipped rusted holes all over my awful paint job. Then I noticed that the Rola roof basket was already fading under the California sun. No surprise there. So I made a few calls, removed the basket and bumper and had them powder coated satin black. They are, and will likely be, the only parts I will powder coat. Spray Technology in Santa Clara did the work for a great price and damn fast too!

This gave me the chance to clean up behind the bumper, grind down one of the mounts that made it difficult to position the bumper, and touch everything with a coat of black paint. Then, while the camper shell was still off, I sourced an undented tailgate access panel from a fellow TacomaWorld member before having Mike’s Truck in Santa Clara give my bed their Line-X treatment.

Before I remounted the roof basket, I added a cosmetic touch to it after sanding down and repolishing the plastic air deflector.

Now that I had all the armor (minus the Honda Civic scratches) freshly coated, it really brought out how much the faded fender flares ruined the look. I had tried using Magic Erasers and heat guns to bring back the luster but they are always temporary fixes and I was tired of messing with that. So I took them off, sanded them down really good, didn’t mind the larger scratches since I figured it added some character and painted them a satin black with Valspars Paint+Primer rattle can. This stuff is really great and only $3 a can at Home Depot. I highly recommend!

Since I took them completely off, I had to get all new fender clips and rubber gaskets. But the rubber needed replaced anyway. While I was on the binge of fixing all the little neurotic things that bothered me, I ordered another grille and corner lights since both were a bit broken. I got both on Amazon and was skeptical about the fit and finish but I am pleasantly surprised and very impressed with how satisfied I am with the products, especially for the cost.

And finally…finally, I complete the mod I should have started with but waited until the end because I didn’t want to buy new tires! I paid a visit to Vin at SCSPerformance since he was 20 minutes away and he delivered!

Unfortunately, these sat in my living room for a month while I tried to source my tires. In the down time, I spent my time on TacomaWorld and wandered into the GroupBuy forum and came out with this.

…because truck fridge.

I finally got the tires mounted and balanced though!

One down…also testing the sliders with the hi lift. Another success! I also had some corner armor welded onto my rear bumper to complete the second phase of it.

One step closer to Overland Adventurer!

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