2005 Tundra novice build - "The Rez"

Kpack

Adventurer
Project: Electrical upgrades

Purpose:

I got tired of trying to take wire after wire through the firewall and my engine bay was starting to look like a rat's nest. Also, once I installed my ham radio, I blocked my view of the ARB compressor and rear locker switches I had mounted low on the center console. I don't like not being able to see them. Also, with the lighting I was eventually going to be doing I wanted to try and find a way to organize the wiring a bit better and make things easier. I love the idea of the SwitchPro or SPOD, but with the SwitchPro over $500 and the SPOD not far behind it I had to start looking at other options.

I looked at various other offerings and even considered building my own system using a Bussman kit. However, I'm not great with electrical engineering and I didn't trust myself to get it right. Plus the time and work involved didn't appeal to me. So I came across Voswitch and was intrigued. After doing some reading and research I decided to try out the UV-100 (http://voswitch.com/pd.jsp?id=37#_pp=102_393). At around half the price of the SwitchPro I decided it was worth a shot.

Install
The UV-100 comes with most everything you would need for an install, including bar mounts if you were installing in a UTV. I opted to use their Ram Mount knock-off because I wanted it to be in the lower left corner of the windshield. I removed the A-pillar and drilled a couple holes, then mounted the ball. I found out afterwards that I should have mounted closer to the hard mount because the further away you are the more movement in the plastic. I solved most of it by using some thick 3M rubber strip to snug up the A-pillar and dash gap. It was too wide anyways, and now both pieces of plastic are firm and no longer creak like they did.


I like where I mounted it because it's easy to see and access. It jiggles more than I want it to though. I will have to see about resting it on the dash to see if that helps or not. There is a single wire that goes through the firewall to the fuse box. I tucked it in nice and clean so it is hardly noticeable. The panel is not blocking any of my view and is not distracting.


The switch panel itself is actually surprisingly decent. It's all metal and feels solid. The buttons have a nice click to them. The main power button is in the middle. There are four colors of backlighting to choose from: red, green, blue, and white. Backlighting brightness can be dimmed. An orange LED above the button signals that it is activated. It comes with generic buttons that you can add. They are not the same size as the SwitchPro buttons so they are not interchangeable.




The relay/fuse box is mounted in the engine bay. Voswitch provides a rather nice cable that goes directly to the battery. It is fused, and nicely done with braided sheathing and heat shrink wrap. The negative attaches to chassis ground. I mounted my box directly on top of the largest fuse box on the driver's side. I only used two of the mounts, because the other mounts were on separate fuse boxes and I would be unable to open them if I mounted the Voswitch box to them. I can still open and access the box that I mounted to. I would love to eventually make a dedicated tray to mount the switch box, fused battery cable, and a ground bus bar to. Also my engine bay is filthy.


The box itself is "waterproof", but I'm not going to test that claim. It actually seems like it might do a good job of keeping water out. The lid has a rubber seal, and all wires coming out of the box are sealed. User-attached wires go through rubber grommets that get squeezed closed when the nuts are tightened. If a wire is too small to seal that way, they include tapered silicone stoppers that you can shove into the hole with the small wire, then twist the nut. Seems like it might work.

There are 8 circuits, all rated at 30 amps, and all with relays. If your accessory doesn't require 30 amp fuses, then simply replace with a lower, more appropriate fuse. All fuses and relays are standard automotive parts so they can be easily replaced. You have the option of installing the box to be triggered by ACC or not. I prefer not to risk draining the battery so I have mine set to turn on with the key at ACC.


Initial impressions:
Time will tell how this product holds up. So far I've been impressed with what I've seen of it and hope that it works for my needs. Now I just need to figure out how to hook up the ARB compressor and rear locker switch to it.

Pros:

-Waterproof, or at least water-resistant, switch box
-Standard automotive relays and fuses. Easy to change out.
-Surprisingly decent instructions, given that it's probably made overseas.
-Comes with all mounting hardware
-Nice wiring included with the kit
-Switch panel seems well made
-Option to choose different backlight colors
-Able to control brightness of switch panel
-Switch panel 'remembers' it's last operating condition....i.e. if the panel was on when the truck was turned off, then it will turn on automatically when the truck is started next. If any accessories were on when the truck was turned off they will turn on again when the truck is turned on.

Cons:
-LED backlighting is uneven, and shows through the buttons
-Clasps on the switch box are kind of weird. I'm not really sure what to think of them.
-The finish on the switch box is a really rough matte black. It attracts dirt and grime like nobody's business. I expect that box to be completely caked in dirt within a month.
 

Series1Rangie

Adventurer
I’m not sure if it will work with this ram mount knock off, but I found a ram ball that was designed for motorcycles that I could use with the bottom mount of my grab handle. (I just replaced the bolt with one that was long enough). No jiggle at all.

Wasn’t this one, but similar RAM Motorcycle Handlebar Clamp Base with M8 Bolts https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005J43I56/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_M8ScEb89DVPC8

I enjoy your thread. Keep it up


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Kpack

Adventurer
Lighting Upgrades

Purpose

With the new switch box I am finally able to easily add lighting and such that I've wanted to do for a while. All that I need to do to add lights or other accessories is ground the light/accessory somewhere, and run the positive wire up to the switch box and connect it.

Upgrade 1: constant amber running lights (aka Gen 2 wannbe)

The little lights on the 05-06 (I believe they are called clearance lights) were always the weirdest things to me. Almost 100% useless as they came from the factory. The only function they had was to blink when the alarm was turned on/off. I wanted them to be used as constant running lights instead. I removed the small insert for those lights and disconnected the wire loom for both. I cut the green wire on both, then soldered a wire to the passenger green wire. That wire went to the driver's side and was soldered to that disconnected green wire. Then I ran the wire to the switch box. I made sure to seal off the rest of the green wires so they did not short out. I replaced the bulbs with amber. I have the switch panel set to have these lights come on anytime the truck is on.

My cell phone washes the picture out. They are much more orange in person and don't bleed into the rest of the headlight housing.


Upgrade 2: Backup lights

The stock reverse lights don't light up anything until you've just about run over it. I can barely see when trying to reverse. Thankfully the Brute Force Fab rear bumper has cutouts and mounts for reverse lights built into it. I picked up a couple of cheapo LED pods off Amazon, because let's be real....these lights will be rarely used. No need to spend several hundred on nice lights for this function.

I mounted them both and connected ground to the license plate light ground. I ran the positive wire along the driver's frame rail up to the switch box in the engine bay. I protected all wires with braided sleeve, soldered all connections, and heat shrink wrapped all connections as well. I also used split loom over the wire next to the exhaust because I doubt the braided sleeve will hold up to that heat. So far the split loom has worked well for that.

Light output is acceptable and thankfully not overly blue.


I angled the light down and to the sides. No need to blind everyone. I ordered floods, but they look more like spots to me.


The view from near the driver's door. Much easier to see now.


Still working out what other lighting I'll be doing. Possibly a chase light (very dusty on the FS roads around here), possibly a camp/work light, and possibly ditch lights with Baja Designs S2's. We'll see.
 

BattleCat

New member
I know you already drilled your A-pillar, but this might be a more rigid mounting option for you. Nice write up.


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Kpack

Adventurer
I’m not sure if it will work with this ram mount knock off, but I found a ram ball that was designed for motorcycles that I could use with the bottom mount of my grab handle. (I just replaced the bolt with one that was long enough). No jiggle at all.

Wasn’t this one, but similar RAM Motorcycle Handlebar Clamp Base with M8 Bolts https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005J43I56/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_M8ScEb89DVPC8

I enjoy your thread. Keep it up


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I know you already drilled your A-pillar, but this might be a more rigid mounting option for you. Nice write up.


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Thanks for the tips. That mount sounds like a much better solution. I'll see what I can do about it. I'll likely just leave the ball I drilled in place so I don't have holes in the A-pillar.



On a totally different note, anyone know how to hook an ARB compressor and locker solenoid up to this type of switch box? When I originally installed the compressor and locker I used the ARB wiring harness and installed two switches inside the cab. I'd like to mothball those and just run two wires from the engine bay over to the new switch box. Any ideas what two wires those would be?
 

Baller

New member
My trans temps don't go over 200 with normal driving. When towing though, that is a different matter. I towed the boat a couple days back and my route back from the river requires about 15 miles of solid uphill the entire way. At 50mph and 3K rpm's my trans torque converter temp peaked at around 240, while the trans temp stayed at least 15 degrees cooler the entire time (with my new aux fan on). Engine temp got up to 210. 80 degrees out, no wind to speak of. I'm still evaluating the fan setup to see if it actually helps at all.
Here's my understanding. Fans won't help if traveling at speed. They will only help when the vehicle is traveling slower than the volume of air the fan can move, ideal for stop and go traffic or rock crawling. A fan rotates at a specific RPM and moves air at a specific rate. If the rate of air movement due to the speed of the vehicle is equal or is greater than that of the fan, the fan is worthless.
 

DzlToy

Explorer
Obviously, your tire vibration issue has been resolved by now, but for future reference and for others who may not know, tire shaving is your solution. You could have easily saved your Duratrac tires for less than $100.

NO TIRE is true when it comes out of the mold. I don't care what size it is or whose name is on it, they simply aren't true. In order to resolve this problem, you need to have your tires truly round. While it may seem counter-intuitive to take rubber off a brand new tire, the tire will actually wear better in the long run and tire life will be extended. You could also have your tires and wheels "match balanced". There are marks on the tire and the wheel, from good manufacturers, ameliorating this sometimes difficult process.



Balancing rings, such as those from CentraMatic are life savers for those running larger or aggressive tread tires. I have talked to people using them with 60 to 70 thousand miles on a set of All Terrains. Due to the near perfect balancing, the tires wear less and very evenly.

Like most things in life, it takes a bit of effort to achieve a great result, and don't be surprised if the $8 an hour high school kid at your local tire shop doesn't know any of this. Find a reputable shop that knows how to shave, match balance and align your truck and you will be astonished at the difference you see.

EDIT: I have now read all 36 pages and see that you had multiple issues to fix along the way. The shaving advice still applies, but obviously will not correct for driveshafts out of balance or worn suspension. :D

EDIT #2: Your truck suspension seems to be very stiff, based on what you have described. For a lightly loaded fire-roads and camping vehicle, this setup will ride very rough. Lowering your tire pressure is not a solution, as tires are undamped springs and are not part of a properly tuned suspension system. If you don't need to carry heavy loads, you should be able to replace your #700 springs with 600s or even 500s. An "overland" spring is meant to carry a decent amount of weight on a long trip over rough terrain. Freeway driving and some gravel roads, nearly empty, requires a completely different setup, IMO.
 
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Kpack

Adventurer
Here's my understanding. Fans won't help if traveling at speed. They will only help when the vehicle is traveling slower than the volume of air the fan can move, ideal for stop and go traffic or rock crawling. A fan rotates at a specific RPM and moves air at a specific rate. If the rate of air movement due to the speed of the vehicle is equal or is greater than that of the fan, the fan is worthless.
Yes, after I installed I tested at speed and otherwise and it's obvious that the fan will have no effect at anything over say 40-50mph. In fact, if it's on at those speeds I wonder if it will actually inhibit free airflow across the radiators.

For slow speed trail running and rock crawling, this fan should help out. My power steering fluid was consistently overheating and the pump would be whining like crazy about halfway through a trail. Now with the larger PS cooler and the fan on top of that I should be able to keep temps down to where they need to be on the trail. Larger tires aired down puts a lot of stress on the PS fluid and pump.
 

Kpack

Adventurer
Obviously, your tire vibration issue has been resolved by now, but for future reference and for others who may not know, tire shaving is your solution. You could have easily saved your Duratrac tires for less than $100.

NO TIRE is true when it comes out of the mold. I don't care what size it is or whose name is on it, they simply aren't true. In order to resolve this problem, you need to have your tires truly round. While it may seem counter-intuitive to take rubber off a brand new tire, the tire will actually wear better in the long run and tire life will be extended. You could also have your tires and wheels "match balanced". There are marks on the tire and the wheel, from good manufacturers, ameliorating this sometimes difficult process.



Balancing rings, such as those from CentraMatic are life savers for those running larger or aggressive tread tires. I have talked to people using them with 60 to 70 thousand miles on a set of All Terrains. Due to the near perfect balancing, the tires wear less and very evenly.

Like most things in life, it takes a bit of effort to achieve a great result, and don't be surprised if the $8 an hour high school kid at your local tire shop doesn't know any of this. Find a reputable shop that knows how to shave, match balance and align your truck and you will be astonished at the difference you see.

EDIT: I have now read all 36 pages and see that you had multiple issues to fix along the way. The shaving advice still applies, but obviously will not correct for driveshafts out of balance or worn suspension. :D

EDIT #2: Your truck suspension seems to be very stiff, based on what you have described. For a lightly loaded fire-roads and camping vehicle, this setup will ride very rough. Lowering your tire pressure is not a solution, as tires are undamped springs and are not part of a properly tuned suspension system. If you don't need to carry heavy loads, you should be able to replace your #700 springs with 600s or even 500s. An "overland" spring is meant to carry a decent amount of weight on a long trip over rough terrain. Freeway driving and some gravel roads, nearly empty, requires a completely different setup, IMO.
Thanks for the input. I still have my Duratracs....just sitting around waiting for me to figure out what to do with them, lol.

Between all the fixes I did, I think the one that made the biggest difference was road-force balancing. It rode noticeably smoother after that. Of course I've also noticed that some of the tires have actually rotated on the rims after some tough wheeling (the clock marks on the tires from road force are now 1/4-1/2" off from the valve stem on 2 of my tires). But it's still smoother than it was.

I do agree that my suspension is probably stiffer in the front that what it should be. It helps keep the truck stable (not running a sway bar currently), but it's pretty harsh on washboard. Small and abrupt bumps/variances in paved roads can be very harsh also. What I don't fully understand is how swapping to a lower spring rate will affect my ride height. If I drop to a longer 650 lbs spring, will I be able to keep my ride height? Or will the front drop? I need to keep the front of the truck where it is for the trails in my area. Some of them have deep ruts that would have me scraping my underside or high centering if I loose my clearance in the front. I believe I'm running a 14" 700 lbs spring at the moment, with 1.00-1.25" preload.
 

DzlToy

Explorer
Stiffness should not be confused with the proper length spring.

If you want a lift or a certain ride height, that is set by the free length of the spring, less what is loaded onto it just sitting still. So a 20" long spring may compress 4 inches when installed (I just made that up). Then based on your shock (damper), you may have 6 inches of down travel and 6 inches of up travel in a 12 inch travel shock, for example. Your bump stop will limit uptravel and a limit strap or control arm stop, will limit droop or down travel.

If you have a really stiff spring, it will be very difficult to compress the spring and the damper cannot do its job. As you have seen, this setup does not perform well over small bumps, such as those found on wash board roads. The dampers are not the problem, IMO, the springs are.
 
There has to be a better solution for our trucks with a steel front bumper and winch.

Mine has the BFF like you with a Smittybuilt 9500 and syn line. Also have skid row plates front to back (another 150 lbs). The 700s were too soft and I was extremely close to coil contact. 800s now with collar completely extended and too stiff. Need to find a 750 option or get it custom. Lance Hansen also having problems with his 700s sagging over time. Worth noting we are both running Kings vs Icons, have not measured the 2 side by side to compare adjustment collar to coil bucket distance.

see attached pic for reference w the 700 springs at full stuff/compression during some flex tests.
 

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Kpack

Adventurer
There has to be a better solution for our trucks with a steel front bumper and winch.

Mine has the BFF like you with a Smittybuilt 9500 and syn line. Also have skid row plates front to back (another 150 lbs). The 700s were too soft and I was extremely close to coil contact. 800s now with collar completely extended and too stiff. Need to find a 750 option or get it custom. Lance Hansen also having problems with his 700s sagging over time. Worth noting we are both running Kings vs Icons, have not measured the 2 side by side to compare adjustment collar to coil bucket distance.

see attached pic for reference w the 700 springs at full stuff/compression during some flex tests.
Crazy that your 700 lbs springs were too soft. I have 14" 700 King springs on my Icon shocks and they feel pretty harsh. I'm running the BFF bumper+winch+sliders, and my truck is a double cab, so it should be overall heavier. I'd love to go to a softer spring rate, but I can't loose ride height.

I have plenty of up and down travel with the preload I have the springs set to now. I have at least 3.5" of down travel and I guess the minimum recommended is 2.0".
 

toyotech

Expedition Leader
My truck doesn’t live it’s life on highway paved roads. Any true tune will be lost the first time I air down and spin on the rocks lol


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toyotech

Expedition Leader
There has to be a better solution for our trucks with a steel front bumper and winch.

Mine has the BFF like you with a Smittybuilt 9500 and syn line. Also have skid row plates front to back (another 150 lbs). The 700s were too soft and I was extremely close to coil contact. 800s now with collar completely extended and too stiff. Need to find a 750 option or get it custom. Lance Hansen also having problems with his 700s sagging over time. Worth noting we are both running Kings vs Icons, have not measured the 2 side by side to compare adjustment collar to coil bucket distance.

see attached pic for reference w the 700 springs at full stuff/compression during some flex tests.
You guys need to run fox 2.5. They are loaded with 16” coils.

Kings and icon both still using 14”. While spring rate is the same. The longer spring allows for less bind.

Icon alone is a stiff ride even with no springs. They are a cheap coilover imo. Digressive valving. Same valving as your 5100.

I’m running 700lbs and my front bumper is heavier they both. But I’m also running a rope winch. No steel cable.


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Kpack

Adventurer
You guys need to run fox 2.5. They are loaded with 16” coils.

Kings and icon both still using 14”. While spring rate is the same. The longer spring allows for less bind.

Icon alone is a stiff ride even with no springs. They are a cheap coilover imo. Digressive valving. Same valving as your 5100.

I’m running 700lbs and my front bumper is heavier they both. But I’m also running a rope winch. No steel cable.


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I'd love to run Fox at some point. Especially with the option to add a remote reservoir with adjustable clickers. I guess I don't fully understand how a longer coil benefits. Lots of conflicting information out there.

My Icon's were rebuilt a year ago and the valving adjusted, but they weren't changed from digressive to progressive. I do like my rear Icon's though. Digressive I know, but they do have a remote reservoir and adjustable clicker on them. It's nice to be able to adjust the ride within a matter of seconds. Firm it up for towing or heavier loads, soften for street driving, and somewhere in the middle for trails.

At this point my truck is mostly on the road. At least until the trails open again and then it'll be on the trails at least every other week.
 
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