Doc's 05 Tacoma Build Thread

Dave Bennett

Doc's Toyota Tacoma Build Thread

I am a big fan of Toyota trucks - Hilux, Tacoma, 4Runner and Land Cruiser.

the fifth element.jpg
Overland Journal article and photo by Chris Marzonie

My first experience with Mr. Toyoda's legacy came in the form of a used '79 Toyota Hilux 3/4 ton long bed with a 20R/4 speed tranny, an old school Timberline shell, and some rust. That thing ran like a swiss watch and never complained through almost 200,000 miles of abuse from me with nothing but routine maintenance and tires. So began my love affair with all things Toyota.


My second Toyota was a 1988 4Runner 4WD SR5 with the 22RE, R151 5-spd, and all factory options. That thing could go anywhere I pointed it with ease so long as I didn't try to go fast uphill on a long highway grade! 1st Gen 4Runners are solid machines and excellent off road in all conditions.

My third Toyota was a 2002 Toyota Tacoma TRD PreRunner Xtra-Cab with the V6 in Lunar Mist which my wife sold when I was in Iraq in 2003. I came home to my fourth Toyota, a brand new 2003 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4WD SR5 Xtra-Cab in Lunar Mist. We quickly outgrew the cab size which brings us to my fifth and "final" Toyota, a 2005 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4WD Double Cab in Silver Streak Mica with all available factory options.

The 2005+ Tacoma was based on the international Land Cruiser Prado 120 chassis and came the 1GR-FE 4.0 Liter V6 gasoline engine that produces 236 horsepower (176 kW) and 266 ft·lbf (361 N·m) torque. This Tacoma is the North American version of the Toyota Hilux pickup sold in international markets.

The project vehicle was purchased new in February 2005 at Toyota of San Juan Capistrano, CA, with a build date of January 2005. It is one of the very first trucks of this generation built at NUMMI in Fremont, CA, USA and was a dealer trade from Reno, Nevada.

My buildup is an ongoing strategic process of parts selection and vehicle modification focusing on reliability, durability, and comfort in the field. The end result of all the time, money, sweat, and busted knuckles has been all the great memories made while enjoying the wonders of Overlanding in North America with family and friends!


Make: Toyota
Model: Tacoma Double Cab 4WD SR5 TRD Off Road
Year: 2005

Engine: 4.0 1GR-FE
Trans: 5 spd Auto A750F, 3.35 low ratio: A750F
T-Case: VF2A, low ratio 2:57:1
Front Axle: Stock Toyota IFS, 4.88 Nitro Gears, Icon Tubular Upper Control Arms, Icon 2.5 Remote Reservoir Coil-Overs
Rear Axle: Stock Toyota E-Locker, 4.88 Nitro Gears, All-Pro "APEX" Expedition HD leaf springs with Timbren bump stops.
Tires: BF Goodrich MT KM2, 255/85R16
Wheels: Stock Toyota TRD Alloys
Brakes: Brakes: Slotted front rotors by Stop Tech, Power Stop Z36 pads (extreme truck and tow)


3.0 inch lift via Icon Vehicle Dynamics Tubular Upper Control Arms, Icon 2.5 Remote Resi Coilovers, & rear Icon 2.0 Remote Resi's and All-Pro Offroad "APEX" Expedition HD leaf springs with Timbren bump stops.
BFG MT KM2's, 255/85R16's, Stock Toyota TRD Alloys
4.88 Nitro Gears from East Coast Gear Supply
All-Pro Offroad APEX aluminum front bumper with Rigid Industries D-2 LED's
Warn M8000 winch w/Viking hawse fairlead
Warn wireless winch remote
Viking 3/8 synthetic winchline (80ft) w/Safety Thimble and Winch Saver
Rigid Industries grill and SR-20 LED light bar
Rigid Industries SR-50 LED light bar mounted via SoCal Super Trucks brackets
Bentup square rock sliders
Demello Offroad custom rear swingout bumper
Trimmed Rear Bed Quarters
Rhino Lined fenders, rockers etc
Cobra 75 WX ST CB
iPad Mini navigation mounted via Bird Dawg Industries Tech Deck
Hella air horns x3
TRD Sport hood/grill
Rear Diff breather extension
TRD neoprene seat covers
Weathertech floor mats
Kenwood Excelon KDC-994 Head Unit, Bluetooth and iPod
Kenwood KAC-7202 Amp
PAC SWI-X steering wheel audio control adapter for Kenwood
Image Dynamics IDQ10 v.2 D2 Subwoofer
Alpine Type-S Door Speakers
Total Sound Deadening - eDead v1 SE2 - Fatmat
Quick Fist 4-D Mag Light mount
Sears Die Hard Platinum P5 Group 35 Battery (main)
Blue Sea Systems negative bus 12 circuit fuse block (cab power)
National Luna Power Pack w/remote dual battery monitor and Odyssey PC1700 MJT Battery (house)
Blue Sea Systems negative bus 6 circuit fuse block (house)
80W Solar Panel
Power Tank CO2 system
Safari Snorkel SS135HF
Console Vault
On board hard mounted First Aid kit and 2.5 lb ABC fire extinguisher
Full trauma kit
Full recovery kit
Frame and sliders corrosion proofed with full POR-15 treatment
Engel MT-45 Fridge W/New Gen Engel fridge slide & Engel remote thermometer
Adventure Trailers FlipPac, color matched w/AT LED lighting upgrade and Goose Gear custom interior module
Fiamma F35 Pro awning w/custom enclosure made by SLO Sail
Magnaflow CAT back exhaust system with high clearance crossover pipe. Wrapped and heat shielded.
LED lighting upgrades: Tails, markers, rock lights. Custom interior lighting by Anti-Dark
Stop Tech slotted rotors and Power Stop HD disc brake pads

Yaesu 2M Radio

View attachment 261002

My complete Hilux Safari Snorkel install write up for 05+ Tacomas featured at Cruiser Outfitters:

Feature Vehicle, Overland Journal Summer 2010 issue:


States, Destinations and Events visited so far in this vehicle:
-CA, OR, WA, NV, AZ, Baja California
-Grand Canyon NP, Death Valley NP, Anza Borrego SP, Mojave NP, Joshua Tree NP, Olympic NP, Crater Lake NP
-Parque Nacional de Constitucion de 1857, Mexico
-Expedition Trophy 2006; 2nd Place finish on the Sand Course
-Overland Expo 2010, Amado, AZ
-Overland Rally, Hollister Hills SVRA, CA - Expedition Trophy 2010
-SoCal Desert Rendezvous 2011
-Overland Expo 2011, Amado, AZ
-Overland Rally, 4W Ranch, Ellensburg, WA - Expedition Trophy 2011
-SoCal Mountain Rendezvous 2011
-Expoberfest 2011, Julian, CA
-Overland Rally, Hollister Hills SVRA, CA - Expedition Trophy 2011
-SoCal Desert Rendezvous 2012
-Overland Expo 2012, Mormon Lake, AZ

Trails and Destinations completed in this vehicle:

Wynoochee River Valley
Quinalt River Valley
Chehalis River Valley
Humptulips River Valley
Columbia River Gorge
Upper Columbia River
Lake Quinalt
Olympic NF
Olympic NP
Okanagan NF
Wenatchee NF

Rogue River Valley
Siskiyou NF
Crater Lake NP
Columbia River Gorge

Big Bear
John Bull
Holcomb Creek
Gold Mountain
White Mountain
Rattlesnake Canyon
Bradshaw Trail
Coyote Canyon
Johnson Valley
Saline Valley Hot Springs
Panamint Springs
Darwin Falls
Death Valley NP
Teakettle Junction
Ubehebe Crater
Mengel Pass
Striped Butte
Geologists Cabin
Stellas Cabin
Briggs and Stone Cabins
Titus Canyon
Panamint City
Mesquite Springs
Furnace Creek
Toro Peak
Anza Borrego
Ocatillo Wells
Bailey's Cabin
Hauser Geode Beds
Joshua Tree NP
Salton Sea
Lake Shasta
Lake Tahoe
Pickle Meadows
Mojave Desert
Colorado Desert
San Bernardino NF
Cleveland NF
Sierra NF
Inyo NF
Angeles NF
Tahoe NF
Lassen NF
Sequoia NF
Kern River
Lake Isabella
Thomas Mountain

Las Vegas
Hoover Dam
Valley of Fire
Lake Tahoe

Colorado River
Hassayampah River Valley
Coronado NF
Kaibab NF
Coconino NF
Grand Canyon NP

Sierra de Juarez Mountains
Laguna Hanson
Puntas Cabras
Parque Nacional de Constitucion de 1857



tacoma pre vinyl.jpg

BryonDorrAAValleyOfTheGods 1.jpg

Rack and Eezi-Awn version

Coyote Creek, Anza Borrego, CA

ExPo trip with HMR's rig and ours, Anza Borrego, CA, 2006/7-ish

ExPo Death Valley trip

Camped near Striped Butte with the new FlipPac, Nov 2009

Joshua Tree NP, rarely seen snow-capped Idyllwild in the background, photo by Chris Marzonie


New BFG MT KM's at 56,500 miles (21JUL09)
POR-15 corrosion proofing project on sliders and frame completed (23JUL09)
OME Dakar HD rear springs and OME Nitrocharger shocks at 57,500 miles (28JUL09)
Nitro Gear 4.88's from ECGS at 58,200 miles(30AUG09)
New cataytic converters x2 and new MAF under warranty at 80K (20OCT10)
Icon Vehicle Dynamics 2.0 rear remote reservoir shocks at 102K (20OCT11)
Icon Vehicle Dynamics 2.5 front remote reservoir coilovers and Icon billet upper control arms, front end alignment at 102,000 (25NOV11)
New BFG MT KM2's at 102,11 miles (29NOV11)
New OEM rear 2 piece drive shaft (SEP12)
Magnaflow CAT back exhaust with high clearance crossover (DEC12)
Disc brakes upgraded to Power Stop slotted rotors and extreme HD pads at 112k (DEC12)
New All-Pro Expedition rear leaf springs & polyurethane bushings w/Timbren bump stops. Front end alignment at 113.6k (JAN14)

- 60,000 Mile Service (12OCT09): Front and rear diff fluids changed. Transfer Case fluid changed.
Engine Oil and filter. Transmission fluid flushed @ dealer. New OEM front brake pads, rotors machined @ dealer. OEM air filter, new wiper blades.
- 72,500 Mile Maintenance (5JUL10): Denso spark plugs, OEM engine air filter, OEM cabin air filter. Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased.
- 77,000 Mile Maintenance (10OCT10): Engine oil change, Bosch filter.
- 80,700 Mile Maintenance (6NOV10): Engine oil change, OEM filter. Tires rotated. U-joints greased.
- 85,420 Mile Maintenance (22FEB11): Engine oil change, OEM filter. OEM engine air filter. New wiper blades.
- 86,500 Miles (26MAR11): New OEM rear drum brake shoes (replaced early, 30%+ remaining on old shoes). Tires rotated.
- 90,700 Mile Service (21MAY11): Denso spark plugs. Engine oil change, OEM filter. MAF cleaned. Front and rear diff fluids changed. Transfer Case fluid changed. U-joints greased.
- 91,500 Mile Maintenance (3JUN11): New OEM front brake pads. (only had 31k on this set...) Topped off coolant with OEM Toyota pink engine coolant.
- 93,768 Mile Maintenance (17JUL11): Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased. Brake fluid flushed and replaced at dealer.
- 98,500 Mile Maintenance (18SEP11): Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased. OEM engine air filter.
- 103,000 Mile Maintenance (15DEC11): Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased. Brake fluid flushed.
- 106,817 Mile Maintenance (10MAY12): Transmission fluid flushed, Cooling system flushed, Power steering fluid flushed, new serpentine belt.
- 110k Mile Maintenance (DEC 12): Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased. OEM engine air filter.
- 112k Mile Maintenance (OCT 13): Engine oil change, OEM filter. U-joints greased.
- 113.6k Mile Maintenance (JAN14): Denso spark plugs, MAF cleaned. U-joints greased. Tires rotated.


Spark Plugs: If it's your first time changing the plugs, you will notice that the Driver Side has NGK, and the passenger has Denso Plugs. Toyota has been doing this for eons, and I really cant confirm why they do this.

Using 6 identical Denso plugs is what I recommend, gapped @ .040 to .041. OEM does not use iridium so I recommend non-iridium plugs per OEM engine build specs.

1GR-FE Spark Plugs:

1GR-FE Throttle Body Cleaning:

Great Electrical Reference:

Hypoid gear oil APL GL-5
Above -18 °C (0 °F): SAE 90
Below -18 °C (0 °F): SAE 80W or 80W - 90


Transfer Case:
API GL-4 or GL-5
SAE 75W-90

Rear Diff - 3 QTS, APL GL-5 SAE 90 (torque fill and drain plugs (24mm socket) to ONLY 36 ft lbs per OEM specs!)
Front Diff – 2 QTS, APL GL-5 SAE 90 (same as above, 10mm allen socket)
Transfer Case - 1.1 US QT, APL GL-5 SAE 75-90 (same as above, 24mm socket)

Engine Oil – SAE 5W-30, OEM recommended. 5.5 US QTS, 4.6 Imp QTS


ONLINE TOYOTA TACOMA FSM! files/repair.html


Resetting the "Maintenance Required" light on 2005+ Tacoma:
1. Turn ignition key to 'ON' and press the odometer button until the display reads actual mileage... not Trip A or B.
2. Turn ignition key to OFF.
3. Hold in the same button you used in step 1.
4. While holding the button in, turn ignition key to 'ON'.
5. The 'Maint Reqd' light should blink and go out!
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I have an '06 with the factory shell. I'm getting it ready for some light off-road camping and the like. One day when I have Scott's budget I'll go a bit further. :rolleyes:

For now, I have some Thule rack parts to install on the shell, various tools/axe/shovel/rope and the like in the back, some Hella Rallye 4000s on order, and will also buy a Kenwood dual-band transceiver soon.

This weekend, I'm going to remove the front mudflaps. :ylsmoke:


Expedition Leader
Now I Can't wait to see this build up. What cab config do you have how bout a good pic or two.

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Scott Brady

After visiting SEMA this year, the parts are coming... There were more 05 Tacos on display than any other model, and the bumpers, caps, lockers, suspension, etc. is all coming out.

ARB has released the new 05 Bull Bar, and the front locker can now be sourced. Deaver and Donahoe have released suspension systems as well.

You are doing the right thing, focusing on the camping equipment. This type of fourwheeling puts an emphasis on camping and passenger comfort, as so many days and nights are spent in the bush.

I am really looking forward to following this build.


Doc, I think you have a great starting point for you with your 05. However, I really like the RPK, Well, except when they were pointed at me. Anyways, welcome Doc, and remember "If you ain't CAV you ain't Sh@#". Glad to have ya here, Semper Fi. Tu Compadres, Suty. 3/2 Cav

Dave Bennett

Suty said:
Doc, I think you have a great starting point for you with your 05. However, I really like the RPK, Well, except when they were pointed at me. Anyways, welcome Doc, and remember "If you ain't CAV you ain't Sh@#". Glad to have ya here, Semper Fi. Tu Compadres, Suty. 3/2 Cav
Prepare to mount!

Did I forget to say I'm a former reserve Tanker (19K, TC) and Cav guy myself? :D


05TACODOC said:
Prepare to mount!

Did I forget to say I'm a former reserve Tanker (19K, TC) and Cav guy myself? :D
Well I'll be... A closet DAT, I was a 19D and Airborne , but I also held 11B and 91C MOS's I got those 2 in the Reserves. My love was Scout so I stayed in the Cav or in a Scout Plt until I got out in 98. I had 5 active and the rest in the Reserves and left as a SFC. 3/2 Cav in Germany (Always Ready, Sir) , 2/7 Cav (Garryowen, Sir) here stateside . A spell in a LRRP Company with 5th ID. Welcome and Enjoy our Fiddler's Green. Tu Compadre, Suty


Hey guys with 05's.

If you are looking for something small to do, and you have the factory tow package, you probably want to remount the 7 pin connector. I nearly ripped it off on the first real 4wd trip I took the taco on.

The connector plate unbolts from the tow subframe. I cut out a section of the rear bumper and then remounted it next to the license plate.

Nice cheap mod that prevents you from ripping the thing off of the tow hitch.

I have the SnugTop XVision shell on mine which works out really well.

I also mounted my Kenwood D700a and my Garmin 276C, they are hooked up so that I can broadcast APRS Packets (position reports). Check out

So electronically at least I am on my way.

I am waiting for more options on the lifts, although it seems like either the Donahoe or Camburg COs are the way to go in front, I don't want to go with the Deaver 10 pack as it is only 1.5" and the between the shell, rock sliders, gear and any bumper I get, I want to get more payload capacity if possible.


Hey, Chris, do you have any pictures of your Kenwood installation that you would share? I'm probably going to get the same radio. I was thinking of puting the display in the center cubby hole, under the HVAC controls.


Sure thing.

Here is a picture of where the body is mounted behind the rear seat. There are three keyhole slots back there that you can slide a bolt into.

The other is a cockpit view. I got the aftermarket Scosche kit for the stereo. I put the mounting bracket for the Kenwood in the empty space and mounted the display there. I zip tied the cables together and ran them under the floormats and console up to the front. I need to do some work behind the dash to bury the wire to the display yet.

On the right of the console I have an angle bracket that has the 276c mounted on top and my CB unit hanging underneath against the console.

Let me know if you need any more detail. The cubby would be nice, but I really like where I have it because I can flip through repeaters without really taking my eyes off the road. The other thing the D700 lets you do is list who's making APRS broadcasts, so you can see who is on the road.

Also note the convenient place for the garage door opener and the mike holder........



I like it, Chris. My other reason for considering the lower mounting location for the display is that it's a bit les visible from outside, which might keep some theives away. I suppose you can just take the display down when you want with some Velcro, but that would be a bit less solid.

I'm also curious about your seat covers and those heavy rubber mats. Very nice!

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Thanks guys!

The rears are wet Okoles, dog hair added by Elsa the Ridgeback. The fronts are the TRDs, which are not as functional as the Okoles. The Okoles are as expensive as the the TRDs but are put together much better.

I got the husky floor mats. I had them in the XJ and really liked them. I walk the dog every morning before work in the fields around Gilroy( a little 4 pawin action) The dog likes to get off the pavement and play in the dirt. The huskies have always been able to keep the mess contained, whether it is the summer dust or the winter muck, so I am quite happy with them.

In the Taco, there is a minor coverage issue, but I think a little motivation and a hair dryer could probably fix that.

The cool thing about the husky rear is that it covers the hump, so I have my harness coming from the Radio body underneath the mat and then into the console.


Very nice, Chris. We'll have to get together for coffee sometime, seeing as how you're not too far away. :)

Where can I find these Husky floormats?