Overland Tacoma: Stage 3

Stage 3 is all about adding functionality, ease of adding future mods, and replacing old and worn parts. To begin, I wanted to add electronic capacity via an external fuse panel. While I was at it, I figured I’d do some upgrades and modifications. I had ordered a blue sea fuse box, 100A circuit breaker, new battery terminals, Anti-Dark kit, and a few other bits a while back and have just been waiting for a mod day!

I bought a Paranoid Fabrications Bussman relay holder to put in the upper corner of my engine bay to house all the electrical. However, come to find out not all 1st gens are made alike and I had a bunch of evap system nonsense in the way. So I had to spend a good part of my time devising a way to make it all work. After debating options with some fellow TW members, I decide it would be easiest to simply make a small 6″ bracket to mount the relay holder to a stock mount point for the evap system. We happened to have a piece of flat stock lying around that I cut and bent to fit.

Next came all the wiring, replacing old hack jobs, and adding in shiny new sleeved cables. If I could do it again, and I may adjust this later, I would alter the position of the breaker in relation to the fuse box since the positive terminals are so close together it makes create a patch connector very difficult.

And so hours later, with the breaker open, the Anti-Dark kit installed, and everything finished, it just happened to be dark out when I reset the breaker and the power came on illuminating the engine bay and the day’s work!

With the electrical finished…for now…I changed the oil and installed a Fumoto drain valve. No more oil mess…hopefully.

Now onto possibly the longest and most frustrating mod session to date! I went over to a friends house to get started on new Lower Control Arm’s (because my bushings were fused to the cam sleeves and its cheaper and easier to just buy new LCA’s than bushings), Tundra brake upgrade, steel braided lines to go with the brakes, and rear axle relocation plates.

The brake lines were frozen solid and took a couple days of soaking in PB blaster and a flare wrench to get them undone. Take your time with this step, otherwise you’ll be off to the auto parts store to buy a new hard line. And to add to that, the cam bolts had to be cut because they wouldn’t come out. So, a week later, I had everything reassembled including a new driver’s side brake hard line, tie rod ends, and new cam bolts and adjusters all as unplanned mods.

The axle relocation plates were much easier! Simply unbolt the U-bolts, jack the truck off the axle, insert plate, and reassemble (don’t mind the rust).

The last two mods that I did were for convenience on the recent trip to Plumas National Forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. My truck fridge was a bit of a pain to get into with the lid opening vertically, so I bought some igloo cooler hinges and latch and made it open horizontally.

And the day before we left on the latest excursion, I added an elastic cargo net and D-rings to the underside of my camper shell.

More to come, including a report from the Plumas trip!

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