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Old 01-11-2006, 11:13 PM   #31
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

Lockers

Here's an article on installing an electric locker:

http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/tech/electric_locker/

Here's one for an ARB air locker:

http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/tech/arb_locker/

Here's one for a Detroit Softlocker:

http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/tech/detroit_locker/

Here's one for a gearless locker:

http://www.4x4wire.com/reviews/gearless/
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:39 PM   #32
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

TRANSMISSION FLUSH PROCEDURE
Q: How can I flush my transmission fluid without bringing it to a shop?

A: Here is one way posted by popeye08:

(from http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/dir.../.ee9950e/4658 )

You can actually change virtually all the fluid in the system using the following method. We have 5 Toyota's in the family, and I have done this to them all at least once.
It takes about an hour. Use whatever fluid is recommended on the dipstick, or in the manual. Our Camry's and Corolla's take Dexron, but the Celica takes Toyota Type IV fluid, available only from Toyota, at about $3.50/qt. Use what's recommended, or you'll be sorry. It's still less expensive than having it done.
1. Drop the pan*, drain the fluid, replace the filter, and reinstall the pan as you usually do.
2. Add 3 quarts of fluid. (or however many quarts of fluid are drained from the pan).
3. Remove the fluid return line at the transmission (usually the upper of the two lines), and place it into a one-gallon milk jug or similar semi-transparent container. You may want to place the container in a box with rags around it so that it doesn't spill.
4. Start the engine, and let about a quart or so of fluid get pumped into the milk jug (about 10-15 seconds).
5. Stop the engine, and add a quart of fluid to the transmission.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you get new fluid out of the drain line.
You'll use about 8-10 quarts of fluid total, including the 3 you put in at the beginning, so you may need more than one milk jug.
7. Reinstall the drain line to the transmission, start the engine, and check for leaks.
8. With your foot on the brake, put the transmission in each gear, then into Park.
9. Let the car down and check the fluid level on the dipstick. Add fluid if needed to bring it up to the proper level.
10. Take it out for a test drive, and check the fluid level again.

(*One caveat is that it is not nessary to drop the pan. Removing and replacing the filter is not necessary. It is more or less just a screen that doesn't get plugged unless your clutch plates shread or something equally traumatic happens. Brian R.)
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:26 PM   #33
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

The Automotive Repair Industry and How Not to Get Ripped Off

Info thanks to Flatrater.

This is an article I found on the web. Now please read this as it impacts all of the car owners getting their cars worked on in a dealer or an outside shop. This is how it works use it to learn and to prevent getting ripped off by any shop.

"After working over 15 years in the auto repair industry, I have some insight I would like to share with everyone. The auto repair industry has changed quite a bit over the years as more complex automobiles have driven a new kind of mechanic into existence. Some of this has fostered smarter, better trained mechanics. However, it has developed the parts swapping business into enormous proportions. Part of the reason I changed careers was because I was so frustrated by working in such a crooked environment. Bad mechanics that lacked morals made the most money and honest ones lagged behind significantly. One key problem with the auto repair industry is the flat rate pay system which nearly all repair shops use. Basically it works like this: Labor time manuals are printed by the manufacturer for warranty repair time standards. These are times for a given job that are preset and are rounded to the nearest 1/10 of an hour. For instance, the replacement of an ignition module on a particular car may pay 1.1 hours in the warranty manual. That means that no matter how long it takes the mechanic to change that module, he still gets paid 1.1 hours. Aftermarket flat rate manuals are used for after warranty repairs. These manuals usually just take the warranty manual and multiply the time by 1.5. In some cases special times will be used instead. A mechanics flat rate time charge is usually referred to as a flag. For instance, the mechanic changing the module above will flag 1.1 hours for it under warranty or 1.7 hours retail.

Most mechanics are paid 100% commission based on what they flag. This is not always true but it is the overwhelming majority that are paid this way. For these mechanics, the motivation is to flag as many hours per day as possible. It is not impossible, or even that uncommon, for a mechanic to flag over 16 hours in an 8 hour day. The mechanic will make a given wage per flat rate hour. If he flags no time in a given day, he makes no money at all. Few shops guarantee a minimum income. There is no real maximum either. It is not unheard of for a fast, crooked mechanic to flag well over 80 hours in 5 day a week while working only a little over 8 hours per day. Thats not to say all mechanics that flag big hours are crooks though. The work load can be seasonal too. It was quite common to have a 50% or more pay fluctuation (flagged hours) from winter to summer.

The shop effectively makes a portion of what the mechanic flags so they too are interested in having the mechanic flag as many hours per day as possible. There is little motivation to be honest and quite a bit of motivation to rip off the customers. Most shops will not pay a mechanic to do a job twice. If a mechanic changed a water pump for instance, and the car came back with a leaking water pump gasket, the mechanic would have to replace the gasket and charge no time. The problem is that it is in the best interest of the shop and mechanic to blame the leak on something else that they can charge the customer for. Electrical and electronic parts typically have about a 30% to 60% no fault found rate on warranty returns. That means that about 30% to 40% were misdiagnosed in the field or the failure was not found during lab analysis.

Dealers/managers love those high speed guys because they make the company a ton of money. They figure what's a few blown out customers compared to a good profit. They're not going away, in fact, they are becoming all too common because that's what it's coming down too. Tech's haven't got a cost of living increase in years. When you ask a manager for a raise he says, "You want a raise, make more hours!" A few managers base their mechanics pay on hours produced. Techs working over 80 hours a week got a $2 per hour raise over a 40 hour tech. It is the exception to find a company giving a raise to the tech with the highest customer satisfaction.
There is not really a flat rate time for diagnosis in most cases. This means that a good mechanic that can troubleshoot a problem in 0.5 hours may charge significantly less than a clueless mechanic that spends 2 days swapping parts to figure it out. In the first case, an honest mechanic will flag 0.5 hours. Some may claim that since they are so smart, they will flag 0.8. In the second case, the same repair will cost the customer 2 full days plus any additional parts that were swapped as a guess. Again, there is very little incentive for the shop owner to intervene unless the customer complains.

Many mechanics will guess and swap parts until the problems are solved or the customer runs out of money. Only about one quarter of the mechanics out there can really troubleshoot problems accurately. Of those, only a portion can troubleshoot intermittent and more difficult problems. Most electrical and driveability problems on today's automobiles are intermittent. If you find a good mechanic you can trust, stick with him and tell all your friends.

On the other side of things, mechanics are often blamed for problems they did not cause. It seems all too often that a customer would claim the oil change we did caused their headlamps to flicker intermittently or some other bizarre problem that is in no way connected. Customers also seem to think that today's cars are smart and that there is some mystery machine hidden in the the shop that, when plugged into the car, will tell the mechanic everything that is wrong from low tire pressure to internal engine problems. This is far from accurate. Yes, modern cars do have sophisticated electronics on them and they do give the mechanic information such are fault codes and data values but they don't troubleshoot and they never will. On board software does have the capability of determining an out of range sensor or improper outputs. It can give the mechanic valuable information to help him narrow a problem down. It will never troubleshoot for him! An engine control for instance, which is generally the most sophisticated control on the vehicle, can only read values at the pins that connect it to the wiring harnesses. It can determine if a circuit is open or shorted or out of normal range but that is about it. It is up to the the well trained, smart mechanic to determine where the actual fault is. As I said earlier, most electrical and driveability problems are intermittent. That means that no matter what tests you run, chances are they will all pass. This is where data loggers and real smarts come into play.

It seems for the most part that bigger cities have more crooked shops than smaller ones. I think this is because a poor reputation in a small town will put you out of business whereas in a big city there are plenty of customers to go around. The strategy is usually to get all they can out of you when you do come if assuming you won't be back anyway. Also watch out for "mechanic of the month" award winners. These guys are usually the ones who flag the most hours to get a bonus on top of it. They are generally the most crooked as well.

Examples
I will now give a few real world examples of some of the things that go on in a shop. A new car dealer had a scam going that involved all the service personnel. They would bring new cars right in off the convoy truck and claim every one had alignment problems, driveability problems, and transmissions problems. Each of 3 mechanics would flag the maximum allowable time for work they supposedly did although no work was really performed on most of the vehicles. While these were all warranty claims, it is still fraud and the manufacturer was getting ripped off for more than a year. Some of these mechanics were being paid a 6 figure income by all the phony time they flagged. The dealership was finally caught and closed down but those same mechanics got jobs at other dealers. How would you like one of them working on your car?

A little old lady brought her car into a shop. A mechanic sold her over $2000 worth of parts and labor and the car was still not fixed. After all of that, it turned out there was a bad spark plug wire causing an intermittent misfire. The customer was still charged the full amount and none of the unnecessary parts were removed.

One mechanic was charging for piston ring replacements on certain vehicles under warranty on a routine basis. Few of the engines were ever taken apart. He would work at a dealer for a year or so until others would start to suspect and then go to another dealer to do it again. He rarely worked a full day but typically got paid over 12 hours per day.

During the 1980's, before detergent gasoline and deposit resistant injectors, the injectors would periodically need professional cleaning. The process typically pays about 1 hour but really only takes about 15 minutes of a mechanics time since he can connect the machine, start the process, and do other work while the injectors are being cleaned. Starting in the late 1980's, deposit resistant injectors were introduced and detergents were added to gasoline to prevent clogged injectors. Some mechanics will still try to sell you an injector clean as maintenance. There are cases where injectors may need to be cleaned to correct poor running but it is really not a maintenence item anymore. Another similar situation arises with the throttle body. Throttle bodies will sludge up, especially if you use natural (non-synthetic) oils. It was common in the 1980's to periodically clean the throttle body. In the early 1990's, new measures were taken to eliminate the need to clean the throttle body. In fact, some throttle bodies come pre-sludged with a special coating to allow proper idle speed. If you remove the coating, your idle may be too high. Some mechanics still sell throttle body cleaning as a maintenance item. It generally takes about 5 minutes and they will charge you an hour. In some cases it will actually cause an idle problem where one was not previously present.

Warning signs?
There are a few warning signs you can watch out for:
  • Does your mechanic claim you need more than one part to repair a given concern? If so it is questionable. While it is possible to have multiple failures contribute to a symptom, it is more likely a single part or condition is at fault. Occasionally you could have one component failure cause another component failure but that is also less likely. Always ask for a detailed explanation of what the root cause of the failure was. Beware of the parts swapper who wants to change every part that he thinks may be causing the problem. A typical example would be an EGR system. Many mechanics will claim that the EGR valve and sensor should both be changed if either is faulty. This is generally not true. There were cases in the 1980's when redesigned valves would not work without a redesigned sensor but generally either one or the other is the problem, not both. Sometimes the mechanic will recommend several parts but only 1 may be associated with your original concern. That is OK as long as he explains what all the parts are needed for. Often times he is trying to sell you maintenance work or has found worn parts that do need replacement. There should be a reason for every parts that is replaced.
  • Do they claim that you need "maintenance" work that does not show up in the factory maintenance guides? Like I mentioned above in the examples section, there are many maintenance procedures that are no longer needed but are still sold as required. The injector cleaning and throttle body cleaning are 2 examples. Most late model vehicles require very little maintenance compared to those of 10 years ago. Today's cars will never need a tune up. Most cars will need spark plugs replaced at 100k miles but no adjustments are ever needed. The timing and idle adjustments and other things that were part of a tune up are history. None of that is adjustable anymore. All you need is spark plugs, drive belts, brakes, oil, and filters for maintenance on most cars. Most wheel bearings are not serviceable anymore either. Always check your factory maintenance guides to see what is really required (that is if you can find a good one).
  • Are they trying to sell you brakes? In many cases poor driving habits will lead to premature brake wear. I have seen poor drivers destroy brake pads in less than 25k miles. However, upselling brakes is one of the most common scams some mechanics will try. Typically, you should be able to run your brakes down to about 15% remaining before you need to consider replacement. It is too common for some mechanics to try to sell brakes at 50%.
  • Are they spending too much troubleshooting time? This is really difficult to determine if you are getting a fair deal or not. I found that people would generally rather pay to swap out parts than to properly troubleshoot a problem. Generally, any hard failure, one that is always occurring and not intermittent, should take less than a couple hours to troubleshoot but even that is a rough estimate. Intermittent problems are the hard, and more common, ones. If the problem is only an inconvenience, such as a hesitation, lack of power, or intermittent problem with a non-essential electrical system, it is best to let it get bad enough that it can be easily duplicated before bringing it in to a mechanic. Things such as the yellow "check engine" or "service engine soon" light are best to wait until they are on constant as long as no other symptoms exist. It is not a bad idea to have a quick checkout of 1 hour or so to see if it is something simple but spending much more than that on a real intermittent problem can be futile. If it is a significant problem, like dying, then you had better get it fixed. This means determining the actual root cause of the problem, not just swapping parts until it seems better. In some cases if there is a significant problem that happens so rarely it can't be verified by the mechanic, educated guesses may be your best option. However, that decision should be made by you and your mechanic should have already checked TSB's and recalls to make sure it is not a known problem with a fix, and done a thorough inspection and basic testing to see if the root cause could be determined.
  • Are they selling you a tune-up? Vehicles built in the last 10 years or so do not need tune-ups. They do need spark plugs and filters but that is it. There are no adjustments or other maintenance required. You don't need to scan for codes either. Even on vehicles with adjustable timing, it no longer needs any adjustment unless you are having a problem. It will not vary a significant amount in the first 100k miles. If your vehicle is due for spark plugs, get them replaced. You need to change air and fuel filters too but that is about it. Again, consult your factory maintenance guides.
What Can You Do?
  • Whenever possible, use a specialist. Today's cars are too complex for one person to be expert on everything. Generally the categories are: driveability, electrical (although driveability and electrical are about the same thing today), transmission, alignment, heavy line, light line, and maintenance. A good mechanic may have a couple categories he is strong in. It is important that a mechanic is well rounded and have knowledge of the complete vehicle. He could probably perform tasks other than his specialty but his specialty area should be by far his strong point and it should also be what he concentrates on. Compare it to a doctor. You do not want a skin cancer specialist doing heart bypasses. The same is true in the automotive field. Dealerships have the best tools and training and usually have enough mechanics to have specialists. Many times however, independent shops will be more honest.
  • Avoid the "mechanic of the month" award winners. These guys usually get there by flagging the most hours. That is a warning sign that he likely has the least morals and will try to get all he can out of you. That is not always the case but it is a warning sign to me. This can be a tough call. There are times when this guy is just fast and good.
  • Explain your problem in as much detail as possible. Don't just say "it runs bad". Explain exactly when it does it, how often it does it, when it started, how you are driving it when it happens, etc. Don't try to diagnose it! I used to have customers say things like "I think it's the carburetor" all the time. That does no good. I got the worst problem descriptions from men who wanted to appear knowledgeable rather than just describe the problem in plain language. Women were usually better about just describing the symptoms. If the problem is intermittent to any degree, say so. The absolute best thing to do is to take the mechanic for a ride in the car and show him exactly your concern. Make sure you are driving so you can show him exactly what your problem is, then let him try to duplicate it.
  • Use word-of-mouth to find an honest mechanic. Beware however that some people don't know a rip-off even after it has happened repeatedly to them. If they recommend someone, ask for details. Was more than one part required for the repair? If so, why? What other work was sold to them at the same time? Once you find an honest mechanic, stick with him. Get his name and request him every time. Tell all your friends. There are still many good, smart, honest mechanics out there and they deserve all the good business they can handle. This too may be difficult to determine word of mouth since some people think they are getting ripped off when they are not at all.
  • If you get ripped off, tell everyone you know, fight it with the shop owner, and make as much of a stink about it as you can. Don't let them get away with it. Report it to the Better Business Bureau. It is time to send a strong message to crooked mechanics and shops. Shut them down.
Lacking knowledge of modern automobiles can really open you up to rip off artists. ASE certification does not mean you have competent techs, although it is a step in the right direction. I passed the heavy duty truck brake tests and I had no idea how the systems even worked and had never worked on one. I also passed the transmission tests with little knowledge or experience on transmissions. The tests are generally too easy and they give no indication of how honest the mechanic is. While ASE may attempt to better the repair industry, and they do help, they can't fix the root cause of the problems. I would, however, recommend ASE certified mechanics over those that are not. I want to make it clear however that there are some very sharp and honest mechanics out there who are underpaid for their ability. Sadly, it is the parts swappers and mechanics that do maintenance that really bring home the most money despite lower pay per flat rate hour in many cases than specialists. Training usually pays actual time at best. Some dealers don't even pay for training. The affect is that mechanics have less motivation to attend classes.

Most vehicle manufacturers now require at least some degree of training which is helping to drive the right behavior. Modern mechanics working on high-tech systems require a significantly higher skill set than mechanics of yesterday. Vehicles have become very complex. Most of the problems on these high-tech systems are intermittent making it even harder. Some manufacturers don't seem to understand what it takes to troubleshoot problems on these modern systems and believe that the mechanics out there simply don't have the aptitude to learn what they need to so they don't give the detail of information required to really understand these systems. This adds to the challenges a good mechanic faces. Modern vehicle troubleshooting requires many of the techniques a doctor would use to troubleshoot problems with humans. The real frustration comes when these vehicle doctors take home less money than a mechanic that just swaps parts. I would guess that only about 10% of the mechanics out there fit into the vehicle doctor category. Another 20% have some skills for troubleshooting. Many of the rest just swap parts and their skill is the speed at which they can change these parts. Often it is the doctors who really end up troubleshooting most of the problems for the others but he does not make the money for it. That should be improving as vehicles become more complex.

Modern vehicles are significantly more reliable than older ones. The newer the better. Modern vehicles require very little maintenance and very few repairs compared to those just 10 years earlier. Generally, any of the larger automakers make a better quality product today than the best cars of 10 years ago.

I blame most of the problems with the repair industry on the flat rate pay system. It can drive the wrong behavior throughout the organization. It gives clear incentive to go for speed and not accuracy. How would you like your pay cut in half because business was slow. Go home and tell your family that and see how it makes you feel. Upsell becomes easier to justify. It can be a very stressful living. Now work in those conditions and watch the guy next to you cheat the system and rake in the money with bonuses and praise from management to boot. Mechanics are no more dishonest than anyone else by nature, flat rate pay is to blame. "
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Old 07-05-2006, 09:11 PM   #34
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

ENGINE VACUUM HOSE ROUTING DIAGRAM

Q: I'm having trouble isolating a vacuum problem. I've checked the egr - good, replaced ALL vacuum lines, but car still misses at 20-25mph and 45-50mph. with egr vacuum line d/c'd the miss is gone. while trying to make sense of manual, i came across pic of egr and vacuum lines as they are connected in the pic - they don't match my cars egr vacuum lines although the pic is supposed to represent same. if anyone can direct me to an appropriate manual, or even better, if someone can send me a diagram it would be much apprieciated.

A: Give your VIN to a Toyota parts department and they should be able to order a vacuum routing diagram for you to stick under your car hood (if there isn't one already there). This is the best diagram to follow for your car. They have to have these available for cars who have to have their hoods replaced.
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Old 07-08-2006, 08:42 PM   #35
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

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Old 07-08-2006, 09:02 PM   #36
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

WHAT GEAR RATIO SHOULD I USE WITH OVERSIZE TIRES?

Q: i got a '95.5 toyota tacoma. It's a 2.7L 4X4 Auto and I'm not sure what kind of gears it has in it. I put a 6-in lift with 33-in tires and i need a little more power and the trans needs some help. What size gears i should put in it and what brand is a good one?

A: Here is a chart for the axle codes and a link to a gear chart. There should be a tag in the drivers side door jam. Find your gears and match them up for an exact match. I would recommend a 4.56 or a 4.88 if you wheel it.

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/...php/Gear_Codes

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/...php/Gear_Chart

Here is another link with information about how to identify your vehicles gear ratio. Within this article are additional links about gearing.

http://www.brian894x4.com/Gearratiosanddiffs.html

I would recommend Yukon gears. Be prepared regear is not cheap. You will need to buy master install kits for both diffs.

Thanks to TcmaBoy and Flash75 for the above information.
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Old 07-08-2006, 09:19 PM   #37
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

PROCEDURE FOR REPLACING WATER PUMP IN 3.4L V6

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/wiki/...mp_Replacement
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:18 PM   #38
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

Tacoma/4Runner Differential References
Thanks to Flash75 for the following information:

This links covers differential information for most Toyota truck applications. If covers ratios and how to determine your ratio, the various types of differentials and their applications. Also covered are axle widths and Toyota electric locking differentials.

http://home.4x4wire.com/erik/diffs/

Here are instructions for changing and setting up Toyota gears. The information should apply to all Toyota trucks. Great information for those who wish to change their gears.

http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/tech/gear_setup/

Tire Size and Gear Ratio Chart
It lists the best combination for near stock, fuel economy and performance.

http://toyota.off-road.com/toyota/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=186404
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

Good Exhaust System Information

http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/Miscellaneous/exhausttheory.htm

Thanks to Flash75
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:20 PM   #40
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

Bleeding Brakes

How to bleed brakes. Link covers Toyota pickups and 4Runners.

http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/maintenance/bleedingbrakes/

Thanks to Flash75
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:55 PM   #41
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

WINDSHIELD SCRATCHES

Q: My windshield has 2 wiper marks from crappy wiper blades. how can i get rid of them? Is there some kind of cleaner that wil bring them off?

A: If you can feel them with your finger nails they will not come out by cleaning, If not too deep you may be able to get the out with some very fine rubbing compound, some people use tooth paste. Do a Google search and see what come up. Be advised, it will require lots of time and effort and still may not work.

Q: Thanks for the reply. The marks are very light. I have some stuff called Plastix from Meguiers. It does an excellent job on plastic getting scratches and oxidation out. Do you think that will work?

A: It shouldn't hurt anything to try the Plastix. If that doesn't help here is an article that describes how to polish out scratches in windshields.

http://www.valvoline.com/carcare/art...0101wp&print=1
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:57 PM   #42
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

HOW TO MAKE MY TRUCK LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE

Q: My 4Runner has 189,998 miles on it and it is running like a charm; all the things that I believe need to be replaced have been. I'm not going to be able to invest in another car for a while since I'm in college. Therefore, I'm going to need this car to last close to forever until I get a good job with some formidable income. I was wondering if there are any tips you could suggest for me to keep this thing running like the energizer bunny..?

A: Add an auxiliary transmission cooler. Pick a core up at a junkyard for $5-15usd, two 5/16" brass T fittings, 8 small hose clamps, zip ties, 5/16" oil hose.

Flush the transmission fluid every other year, or drain the pan every other oil change.

Change the oil every 5,000 miles - 6 months for dino oil, 7500-10,000 miles - 10 months for good synthetics. If your engine is one that is prone to sludge, shorten the above intervals appropriately (see first post in this thread).

Clean oil pan & screen, transmission pan & screen & change transmission filter every 5 years.

Rotate tires every oil change, twice if you're using a long life synthetic.

Clean the inside of the upper portion of the intake manifold, throttle plate, ISC/IAC valve(idle valve), and EGR valve yearly.

Change differential fluid every four years.

Flush the brake system with fresh DOT3, DOT4, or DOT4+/DOT5.1 every three years.

Change the fluid in the power steering reservoir every year, or flush the power steering system every other year.

Flush the cooling system every other year, or drain yearly.

Change radiator cap<s> & thermostat every 5 years.

Change PCV valve every 5 years.

Change O2 sensor<s> before 100,000 miles accumulates.

Change cat convertor before 100,000 miles accumulates.

Change distributor cap & rotor every other spark plug change (120,000 miles).

Check belts yearly, change belts when needed, change all belts (including timing belt) every 90,000 miles. Replace the water pump every other timing belt change.

Otherwise, just keep track of things. Like CV boots, things you need to grease, seals that can leak etc.

Use only NGK, or Denso spark plugs. Might as well be the generic $1 versions, as they last over the specified change time.

If spark plug wires ever become damaged, only replace with OEM wires, or high quality wires.

Lightly spray your CV boots with silicone lubricant when you're under the car for each oil change. Get as much of the surface shiny as you can. They will last a long time.

Pay attention to the body lube points and check the torque the chassis bolts as recommended by Toyota.

Make sure you use a high quality air filter. Some are very coarse and let in alot of abrasive dust. They do this in the name of high-performance, but other real hp filters are much better. Oil-wetted elements are the best (AMSOIL, TRD, etc). They actually trap the dust in the oil and prevent it from bouncing off the filter element.

Wash off the bottom of the verhicle, wheel wells, bottom of engine compartment, etc a couple of times after salt exposure in the winter. As long as it's really cold, the salt is not too harmful. Once it has warmed above freezing, wash it off as soon as you can, at least once.

Wax your paint at least once a year before winter. More often is better. Use a good quality wax (I like Meguires, but there are alot of good ones).

Get the carbon out of your combustion chambers periodically - maybe every 100k or so. SeaFoam is quite good for this. Adding some to the gas (or Techron) once in a while is a good idea to minimize deposits on the injectors.

Watch all your fluid levels often. Even if they never change, if one of them suddenly start dropping, it is much better to catch it now than when something starts making noise.

To state the obvious: Drive your car like you want it to last. Everything else being equal, the harder you drive it, the less miles it will have in it.

(Thanks to Toysrme for alot of the above recommendations)

See also hints in http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=449003
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:15 AM   #43
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

HOW TO ADMINISTER SEAFOAM TO CLEAN YOUR ENGINE
(Thanks to Toysrme for the following discussion)

Seafoam makes the world go round!
Not really, but at $5 a can it's a steal.
A can is 1 pint.
You need 2 cans.

Pour 1/2 a can in the gas tank when you stop to fill up. (This ensures it mixes well)

Pour the other 1/2 in with fresh engine oil.
At the least you will notice that the engine will idle noticeably smoother.


Here's where most people get confused. Using it down the intake to clean the combustion chamber & parts of the head.


1) Drive the car around the block until it comes up to temp
2) Pour 1/3 of a can into a separate container (1/4 of a can for 4 cylinders)
3) Crank the engine
4) Pull the brake booster hose off & put your finger over the end so the car doesn't lean out & stall.



5) Drop the hose in the bottom of the container & let your finger off the end. If the engine doesn't stall out completely SHUT IT OFF ASAP.
The fluid will near instantly disappear & the engine should stall from being too rich to run, or being too lean from the hose letting air in afterwards. This will not break your engine. You're not using enough fluid to hydrolock it.
6) The engine should sit for 5 min.
7) Crank the engine & let it run until the smoke dies down
Normally you will get an ungodly amount of smoke.
8) As the smoke dies down, drive the car around. Be sure to make liberal use of 1st & 2nd gear to get to the higher portions of the RPM range a few times. That would be 5000-6850rpm..
You are not breaking your engine by running it at those rpm... All of the computers on all of the engines will cut the fuel to slow the RPM down before the engine is damaged. Yes, they are built for it...






Why someone would want to do this?
To clean gunk, sludge, & misc. heavy buildup out of the oil system. Pump, passages, bearings, walls.
To clean the fuel system.
To clean carbon out of the combustion chamber.

Now some people ask why you want to go to the trouble of cleaning carbon out of the engine.

Because as it builds up on the valves, they don't seal as well - causing poor compression while the leaking gas superheats parts of the engine that are not designed for it.

Because carbon in the combustion chamber is bad. mmmm kay? Any carbon becomes superheated. Superheated carbon / metal will cause the incoming fuel & air to ignite earlier than it should be. This (Detonation, pinging, kocking - all just names for pre-ignition) is very derailment to many aspects of engine life.

This is what a 3vz-fe looks like @ 95,000 miles.
(Forget the fluids, fluids spill look at the black carbon build-up)




Here's what it looks like 6 months after the last 3 Seafoam treatments.







Seafoam = Good. It's cheap & versatile, while working at least as good as anything else; regardless of the cost.

Brian R. note: GM Top Engine Cleaner is another useful additive for the above purpose.
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:08 PM   #44
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

BUYING A CAR/TRUCK - WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Q: I'm about to purchase a mint vehicle, is there anything I should know about it before I purchase it. it only has 60k original miles. and great body.

A: Timing belt may be due to be changed at 60K (or 90K), an added expense.

Check the CV boots and see if they are torn - or grease has been thrown over the underbody in the area of the CV joints. Expensive repair.

Check the color of the ATF. If it's really dirty, it may have never been changed and you may have a potential problem there. If it's mud, don't buy it. If it's just reddish brown, get it flushed as soon as you can. Make sure it shifts smoothly, quietly, and without a jerk. May indicate a problem.

You should actually flush (not just drain & refill) all fluids ASAP after buying the car. Oil change, Transmission, Coolant, Brake lines, Powersteering fluid. Keep this expense in mind.

Pull the oil filler cap and see if there is bright shiny metal visible or are there extensive black deposits, indicating a lack of maintenance. If there is alot of black crap visible, don't buy it. Check for oil leaks under the engine and transmission.

Have the brakes checked and see if they need to be changed. That will be an added expense after you buy it. Tires are costlly also.

Make sure there is no smoke or steam coming out of the exhaust, either when just starting it or after it is hot. May be a sign of having been overheated or other serious problem. Don't buy it.

Check the coolant to make sure it is pretty red or green. No foam, bubbles in the overflow tank when the engine is running, or discoloration. If there are foam or bubbles - don't buy it.

Engine should run smoothly and quietly, no jerking, hesitating, or "Check Engine" light showing. Check recent emissions results if available.

Car should have no vibration at any speed. If there is any vibration, see if there is a bump in one of the tires. Anything else - don't buy it. If one of the tires has a bump, get it replaced as soon as possible. Take the cost of 4 tires into account if they are pretty used. You don't want one new tire on a set of badly used ones. On the test drive the vehicle should steer straight with no excessive side pull and the steering wheel should not be off center when driving on a straight road. Make allowances for an alignment and maybe front-end work if you find these indicators. Could be expensive.

Bounce the car hard, front and back separately. If it doesn't stop bouncing immediately, you may need to buy a set of struts. This can be expensive. As a general rule, there should be nothing wrong with the struts at 60K. If the car is a relatively new model, it may indicate that the car has been abused (or the speedometer has been rolled back). If the car is really old, the struts may be shot due to age alone. Mileage is not the only indicator of the expected strut condition. An old car doesn't have to have been abused to have bad struts at low mileage.

Along these lines: regardless of whether or not it has been driven hard, or sitting still, any car, regardless of make, can be expected to get around 10 years on the factory struts, springs, and rubber type mounts (i.e. strut mounts, bushings, engine mounts, etc.). And that it is fairly downhill quickly from there.

Check under the car for shiny welds or a lot of new parts that may indicate the car has been extensively fixed because of a collision. Also check the dashboard and see if it has a VIN in front of the driver, no VIN number indicates it has been replaced - check the VIN against the title. Don't buy it if anything is wrong.

Check the body panel fasteners. Example - Fender, Hood, Door, Trunk bolts, etc. Signs of chipped paint, disturbed mating surfaces, and tool usage may indicate that the vehicle has had body damage and been repaired. Run your fingers along the seams between the body panels. Wavyness or uneven spacing in the body panels indicates the presence of collision damage. Likewise, check the shock towers for welds, indicating repairs.

Check all the lights, turn signals, cruise control (may be designed to work only above a certain speed), and other electrical components for proper operation. Also check that the air conditioning blows cold air and the heater works.

If you don't know the car's history, check CARFAX.com for history. Only buy it if it has a squeeky clean history.


There are other cars available that don't have potential serious problems. Don't take chances if there are unknown costs after the purchase. Don't buy it if there is any doubt about it's condition. Have a mechanic look at it - it is worth the money.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:12 AM   #45
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Re: Tacoma FAQs and Information

WHEEL BOLT PATTERN, LUG NUT THREAD SIZE, AND OFFSET

Q: I need some rims for the winter time and I came accross these. They came off a 06' Ford F150. They are 17's and the size he gave me was 6x135. Will they fit my '97 Tacoma 4WD?

A: No, the F-150 wheels won't fit. Not only do the bolt patterns have a different diameter, but the offset is wrong.

F-150 6-135 and +44 offset
Tacoma (1995-2004 4WD) 6-139.7 and +22 offset
Tacoma (1995-2004 2WD) 5-114.3 and +50 offset

Here is a link for any vehicle bolt pattern, thread size, and offset:
http://www.racingdimension.com/RD_Wh...gnut_Chart.htm
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