It's been awhile since we have updated this build. Got really busy all of a sudden with good and bad things. Anyway, we have the front sitting on it's own now and just waiting on the new rear towers that will be inset into the frame to come in so we can finish this beast. I didn't like the way the other ones we had were working given the type of build this was going to be and so I had them changed up.
So lets see what we've done.
We needed to get the steering set and I didn't like much of anything that was out there. Some people have just taken out the fire wall plate and left it open while others tried to make it work with what is there. We found that the stock plate with a little modifications can work really well if you shorten the steering shaft coming out of the cabin.
In the picture below you can see what we have done before we cleaned it all up. I like this route because it keeps the sturdy stock firewall plate and keeps the elements out of the cabin.
Then we took the stock steering shaft and cut it up to make the shaft we needed. Everything was sleeved and then welded so that we have not butt welds.
Then once we had it all together with the collapsible shaft we installed it to see where we needed to put the support bearing.
I couldn't find a bearing that I wanted to use as the support so I had to make mine own.
Found a sealed bearing that would fit.
Then made a sleeve for it that I could weld to.
then found a bolt that I could use.
Cut the head off of the bolt and welded it to the sleeve to make my own joint.
Put the bearing in.
Then we mounted the tab for the bearing support and were then able to put the coil over towers in.
With these towers we don't have to cut into the fender wells. Since we are using 40" tires we won't have much up travel but with the 12" coilovers we'll have as much down travel in relation to the truck and the ground as we do with 14" coilovers that have to be pushed into the engine compartment. After spending a bunch of time researching winning trucks in ultra 4 and king of the hammers I've come to realize that huge amounts of flex do nothing really except to give you bragging rights and making you feel all warm and fuzzy with likes on Instagram.
I'd rather build a truck that can conquer some of the most difficult trails out there while still being able to have your wife drive the kids to school or driving across country, than having a truck that flexes till the cows come home but can't behave on the road. All those winners of the King of the Hammers can't be wrong!
Anyway..... Once we tacked it all up we placed the coil over into the tower and the axle mount to check that everything was all good.
Once we found that everything was good we welded it all up and then painted it and installed the coil overs again. We are going to change the springs on the shocks though.
Then we put the panhard bar in and set the truck down on the front tires to check where we were with the ride height. Just about perfect. We'll drop it down by 1/2" to get to 24.5" to the bottom of the frame which we have found to be perfect for these 2nd gen Tacoma's sitting on 40" tires and being either extra cabs or double cabs. If you have the long bed double cab you'll want the frame height taller to help with your break over angle.
Next we'll cover the fiber glass front fenders and the rear coil over set up and take off the bed to get the rear glass fenders on.