"Uno" the 2015 Tacoma

#1
Well, let's do this again.

1599528214605.png

Meet "Uno", my 2015 Toyota Tacoma. Uno is short for Uno Dei Tanti, which translates from Italian to "One of Many". :D I seem to be on a never ending search for the perfect vehicle as evidenced by my constant purchasing, selling, trading and swapping of 4 wheeled steeds. My friends and family recently scheduled an intervention, so maybe this one will stick around awhile. :rolleyes:

There are tons of Tacoma builds out there on the web by folks that are far more skilled, far more intelligent and far better funded than I am. Maybe this thread will give a few new tips or tricks to those that come after me. We'll see. First let's talk about the truck.

Uno is a 2015 Tacoma Double Cab SR5 4x4 finished in Silver Sky Metallic with 64,000 miles on the odometer. The dealer was able to provide a fair amount of past service history and the details of what they did to qualify her as a "certified" used vehicle. During the test drive and initial inspection she appeared to be *almost* flawless. We'll get into the flaws in a bit. When test driving a used vehicle never leave your route up to the sales person. They're taking on you the easiest and safest route around the block and you typically don't get a real feel for the vehicle. I told my salesman that we weren't going around the block and instead we were going to hit the interstate and possibly find some dirt to test out the 4 wheel drive system. He seemed uneasy but agreed. In the end we returned to the lot with another 25 miles on the odometer and mud caked up the sides of the truck. The 4wd system worked and the salesman was nervously eyeing the used car sales manager as we pulled back into the lot. The only thing the test drive revealed was a bit of a rattle coming from the passenger side bed area. I was fairly sure I knew what that was and wasn't concerned. It helped in the price negotiation though as they'd had several other interested individuals who had passed on the vehicle due to the rattle.

The deal done I headed home to sort out some of those flaws that caused other buyers to walk past this truck.

First up were some paint flaws. Based on the condition of the interior of the bed Uno has seen some trips to Home Depot in her past. While that didn't deter me I did identify some surface scuffs in the paint. There were several on the tailgate, the roof above the third brake light and down the bedside. I think some of them might have been from straps rubbing on the paint where something was secured in the bed? A little time with some detail solution and a clay bar and I had them gone.

Before:

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After:

1599529527079.png

Next up it was on to that rattle that showed up in the test drive. I went to the storage behind the rear seats first and found several of the plastic organizers laying in the bottom of the tray. Those were the first culprit. Another lap around the truck identified that not all the rattling was gone and something was still coming from the bed area on the passenger side. Time to move on to a well documented problem with Tacoma composite beds. On many trucks that see off road use or haul loads in the bed the mounting points on the bed where they meet the frame will begin to wear. This causes the mount to break down and expose the metal collar that the bolts in the bed seat against. This tiny gap is enough space for the bed to now rattle as you drive and this usually starts with the forward most bolt on the passenger side. A sure fire way to diagnose this is to pickup on the front corner of the bed on that side and then push down. You can typically replicated the rattling noise. The second thing to look at is the metal collar the bolt runs through. If it's exposed and above the surface of the bed then the mount has worn down. I was able to wiggle my bed and pulling the bolt revealed the collar was indeed above the surface:

1599529981802.png

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That collar is there to act as the set point for leveling the bed. Many folks will grind it down, reinstall the bolt and claim the problem fixed. Unfortunately the problem isn't at this end, it's where the mount of the bed makes contact with the frame. That's the end that's wearing down and grinding down the collar is a temporary fix. Underneath you'll see something like this (It's important to note this gap is present when the bolt is tightened down to spec):

bed.jpg

A better solution, from what I've read, is to put some sort of shim in that gap to raise the bed back up to be even with the top of the collar. A lot of folks suggest rubber to make up the difference and prevent the composite on metal rubbing that started this entire mess. I resorted to a used motorcycle tire tube and created a couple of shims:

1599530443552.png

After tightening the bolt back down a quick trip around the block revealed that this had solved the rattling problem. A couple of quick google searches don't reveal any aftermarket solutions for this, and I'm not a huge fan of this tube fix as a permanent solution. I might look at trying to create some sort of better designed shim out of some rubber washers. If I don't find an aftermarket fix I'll probably pull the bed to install whatever I come up with on all the mounts. For the time being though Uno doesn't rattle.

While I was hovering around in the wheel well I took the time to pull off the factory mud flaps. There were only two left on the vehicle, both on the passenger side. To be fair I might have taken one off from the driver's side during the test drive. The fourth one was laying in the bed of the truck with tire rash across it. I'm on the hunt for a more flexible replacement for these rigid stock parts.

A quick run through the engine bay didn't show any surprises. The dealer had installed a new battery and Uno is a clean little truck!

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#2
Today a 225 mile commute for work was the perfect excuse for a shake down run for Uno.

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Through Atlanta she was composed and rattle free. I split away from interstate 20 and headed into the north side of the Oconee National Forest and Scull Shoals. This provided me with miles and miles of dirt roads and ruts that I could use to shake any further gremlins loose in Uno. All told I didn't find any other issues and I got to checkout a part of the state I don't visit often.

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#3
The Lift

For wheels and tires I'm looking at some stock takeoffs from an Offroad trim Tacoma paired with new 265/75r16 BFG KO2s. I've run the BFGs, Nittos, Goodyears, Michelins and General Grabbers in the past, and the BFGs have been my favorite. They strike a good balance of longevity, road noise and grip across various surfaces and conditions.

There's way too much information on the web to sort through about lift kits. For my intended use I think I've settled on OME with the 885s up front and the standard Dakar leaf pack in the rear.

I'm planning on adding the ARB Front bumper in the future, but it'll be a bit. I can run the 885s for now and then swap on the 886 Coils when the bumper/winch is added. The standard Dakar leaf springs should be fine for my intended use, this is a daily driver first and an adventure toy second. The heavy duty version is rated for 600lbs of constant load in the rear, and I'll rarely be hauling that. I like the idea of a completely new pack vs just an add a leaf.

I'm going with the rear carrier drop initially and if there are driveline vibrations I'll look into a Woods one piece driveshaft.

  • Front Shocks:
    1 x OME-90021-P - Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport Front Shocks - Softer Valving

  • Front Coils:
    1 x OME-885 - Old Man Emu Front Coils

  • Upper Control Arms:
    1 x UCA0005 - Old Man Emu Upper Control Arms - 05+Tacoma

  • Rear lift:
    1 x EL111R-P - OME Rear leaf springs 2005+ Tacoma (SET)

  • Rear Shocks:
    1 x OME-60091-P - Rear Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport
  • U-bolts:
    1 x UB-75 - 7.5" U-Bolt Kit

  • Rear Carrier Bearing Drop Fit Kit :
    1 x FK29 - Old Man Emu Driveshaft Carrier Bearing Drop Kit (05 & UP Tacoma)
 

Scott B.

Adventurist
#4
Well, let's do this again.

View attachment 53006

Meet "Uno", my 2015 Toyota Tacoma. Uno is short for Uno Dei Tanti, which translates from Italian to "One of Many". :D I seem to be on a never ending search for the perfect vehicle as evidenced by my constant purchasing, selling, trading and swapping of 4 wheeled steeds. My friends and family recently scheduled an intervention, so maybe this one will stick around awhile. :rolleyes:

There are tons of Tacoma builds out there on the web by folks that are far more skilled, far more intelligent and far better funded than I am. Maybe this thread will give a few new tips or tricks to those that come after me. We'll see. First let's talk about the truck.

Uno is a 2015 Tacoma Double Cab SR5 4x4 finished in Silver Sky Metallic with 64,000 miles on the odometer. The dealer was able to provide a fair amount of past service history and the details of what they did to qualify her as a "certified" used vehicle. During the test drive and initial inspection she appeared to be *almost* flawless. We'll get into the flaws in a bit. When test driving a used vehicle never leave your route up to the sales person. They're taking on you the easiest and safest route around the block and you typically don't get a real feel for the vehicle. I told my salesman that we weren't going around the block and instead we were going to hit the interstate and possibly find some dirt to test out the 4 wheel drive system. He seemed uneasy but agreed. In the end we returned to the lot with another 25 miles on the odometer and mud caked up the sides of the truck. The 4wd system worked and the salesman was nervously eyeing the used car sales manager as we pulled back into the lot. The only thing the test drive revealed was a bit of a rattle coming from the passenger side bed area. I was fairly sure I knew what that was and wasn't concerned. It helped in the price negotiation though as they'd had several other interested individuals who had passed on the vehicle due to the rattle.

The deal done I headed home to sort out some of those flaws that caused other buyers to walk past this truck.

First up were some paint flaws. Based on the condition of the interior of the bed Uno has seen some trips to Home Depot in her past. While that didn't deter me I did identify some surface scuffs in the paint. There were several on the tailgate, the roof above the third brake light and down the bedside. I think some of them might have been from straps rubbing on the paint where something was secured in the bed? A little time with some detail solution and a clay bar and I had them gone.

Before:

View attachment 53007

After:

View attachment 53008

Next up it was on to that rattle that showed up in the test drive. I went to the storage behind the rear seats first and found several of the plastic organizers laying in the bottom of the tray. Those were the first culprit. Another lap around the truck identified that not all the rattling was gone and something was still coming from the bed area on the passenger side. Time to move on to a well documented problem with Tacoma composite beds. On many trucks that see off road use or haul loads in the bed the mounting points on the bed where they meet the frame will begin to wear. This causes the mount to break down and expose the metal collar that the bolts in the bed seat against. This tiny gap is enough space for the bed to now rattle as you drive and this usually starts with the forward most bolt on the passenger side. A sure fire way to diagnose this is to pickup on the front corner of the bed on that side and then push down. You can typically replicated the rattling noise. The second thing to look at is the metal collar the bolt runs through. If it's exposed and above the surface of the bed then the mount has worn down. I was able to wiggle my bed and pulling the bolt revealed the collar was indeed above the surface:

View attachment 53009

View attachment 53010

That collar is there to act as the set point for leveling the bed. Many folks will grind it down, reinstall the bolt and claim the problem fixed. Unfortunately the problem isn't at this end, it's where the mount of the bed makes contact with the frame. That's the end that's wearing down and grinding down the collar is a temporary fix. Underneath you'll see something like this (It's important to note this gap is present when the bolt is tightened down to spec):

View attachment 53011

A better solution, from what I've read, is to put some sort of shim in that gap to raise the bed back up to be even with the top of the collar. A lot of folks suggest rubber to make up the difference and prevent the composite on metal rubbing that started this entire mess. I resorted to a used motorcycle tire tube and created a couple of shims:

View attachment 53012

After tightening the bolt back down a quick trip around the block revealed that this had solved the rattling problem. A couple of quick google searches don't reveal any aftermarket solutions for this, and I'm not a huge fan of this tube fix as a permanent solution. I might look at trying to create some sort of better designed shim out of some rubber washers. If I don't find an aftermarket fix I'll probably pull the bed to install whatever I come up with on all the mounts. For the time being though Uno doesn't rattle.

While I was hovering around in the wheel well I took the time to pull off the factory mud flaps. There were only two left on the vehicle, both on the passenger side. To be fair I might have taken one off from the driver's side during the test drive. The fourth one was laying in the bed of the truck with tire rash across it. I'm on the hunt for a more flexible replacement for these rigid stock parts.

A quick run through the engine bay didn't show any surprises. The dealer had installed a new battery and Uno is a clean little truck!

View attachment 53015
Words escape me ........................
 
#7
Just completed my trip from Augusta to the Atlanta Airport. Even with the detour off the pavement yesterday and some time spent idling at a construction site the truck pulled in over 23 mpg... or roughly double the fuel economy of my former F250. I'd forgotten what it's like driving past gas stations ...
 

Scott B.

Adventurist
#8
I'm sure there's appropriate words... or inappropriate ones. :p I think I need to pick your brain on your suspension setup before I pull the trigger on the OME setup.
Seeing as run Bilsteins, I don't know much about OMEs. But, I can help you with Billys!

You might not want to look to closely at my truck - it will end up costing you lots of money! ;)
 

Scott B.

Adventurist
#9
Just completed my trip from Augusta to the Atlanta Airport. Even with the detour off the pavement yesterday and some time spent idling at a construction site the truck pulled in over 23 mpg... or roughly double the fuel economy of my former F250. I'd forgotten what it's like driving past gas stations ...
23??? I've never had that good of mileage. Of course, my truck has been heavy since about day 2......
 

java230

Adventurist
#11
The Lift

For wheels and tires I'm looking at some stock takeoffs from an Offroad trim Tacoma paired with new 265/75r16 BFG KO2s. I've run the BFGs, Nittos, Goodyears, Michelins and General Grabbers in the past, and the BFGs have been my favorite. They strike a good balance of longevity, road noise and grip across various surfaces and conditions.

There's way too much information on the web to sort through about lift kits. For my intended use I think I've settled on OME with the 885s up front and the standard Dakar leaf pack in the rear.

I'm planning on adding the ARB Front bumper in the future, but it'll be a bit. I can run the 885s for now and then swap on the 886 Coils when the bumper/winch is added. The standard Dakar leaf springs should be fine for my intended use, this is a daily driver first and an adventure toy second. The heavy duty version is rated for 600lbs of constant load in the rear, and I'll rarely be hauling that. I like the idea of a completely new pack vs just an add a leaf.

I'm going with the rear carrier drop initially and if there are driveline vibrations I'll look into a Woods one piece driveshaft.

  • Front Shocks:
    1 x OME-90021-P - Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport Front Shocks - Softer Valving

  • Front Coils:
    1 x OME-885 - Old Man Emu Front Coils

  • Upper Control Arms:
    1 x UCA0005 - Old Man Emu Upper Control Arms - 05+Tacoma

  • Rear lift:
    1 x EL111R-P - OME Rear leaf springs 2005+ Tacoma (SET)

  • Rear Shocks:
    1 x OME-60091-P - Rear Old Man Emu Nitrocharger Sport
  • U-bolts:
    1 x UB-75 - 7.5" U-Bolt Kit

  • Rear Carrier Bearing Drop Fit Kit :
    1 x FK29 - Old Man Emu Driveshaft Carrier Bearing Drop Kit (05 & UP Tacoma)
Go straight to the 886. The ride isn't much worse without the bumper, saves a lot of effort breaking it down. That's what I ran on my 4r in the front.
 
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