FourWheelForum  

Go Back   FourWheelForum > Truck Talk > Transmission & Other Stuff

Transmission & Other Stuff Drivetrain tech and other Taco build related stuff.

Reply
Thread Tools
  #1  
Unread 01-08-2011, 12:27 AM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default The Tacoma Rollcage Install

So I'm finally to the point to install a rollcage in my truck. I wanted one a long long time ago but I had to decide what engine I would use so that I could build the proper fitting rollcage and engine cage. Now that I have my engine swap complete it's time to strengthen the whole truck chassis up properly. Steve from Dirt Designs is located right here on the Central Coast and he's the man for the job. Judging from his past work I've seen he can do this sort of fab in his sleep. He's invited me to help speed up the process and be the shop monkey so I packed up some tools and rolled my truck down to Atascadero to get to the business!

Strip!


And then chop everything out to make room for a tight fitting cab.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 01-08-2011, 12:31 AM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

Chop Chop, Bend Bend, Plasmaaa CUT!!



We kicked some major butt getting a good start on this cage this afternoon. Talk about a well tucked in cage... this is going to be an incredible cage when it's done. The roll cage of my dreams.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 01-19-2011, 09:45 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And here we are making sure the welds go completely around the top pillars before the top crossbars are installed.



A shot head-on looking into the truck. Great pains were taken to have the rollcage hug the edges of the truck so as to be less obtrusive. It takes a lot more work to do this but it will be appreciated every single time the truck is used.


Last edited by Smithers; 01-19-2011 at 09:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 01-19-2011, 09:50 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

Must weld every single joint perfectly...



Welding on into the night. Heck the weather here in CA has been 70's this last half of January so why not?



Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 01-19-2011, 09:54 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

The light at the end of the tunnel.



And how about the bracing at the base of the pillars connecting the cage to the frame? Some gusseting please, thank you.

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 01-19-2011, 09:56 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

An X to tie in the final bracing for the rear of the cage making it the strongest point. Plus the tubing was recessed back a little allowing for even more room in the rear extended cab portion of the Tacoma. Very happy with the amount of room still available in the rear at this point.



And I decided to chop out the raised portion of the cab floor to make even more room! Don't lie, you've wanted to chop out that useless section as well. Cutting this hump out allowed for awesome access to the frame for welding in the roll cage. If this wasn't cut out then the fuel tank must be dropped instead. But the main reason I had to do this was to allow for a flat bottom floor thus, adding more room to the rear area. Every inch is crucial here. As long as you have the cab lifted off the frame a little it shouldn't be a problem but be most careful of the fuel lines. I nicked them with the cutoff tool while I was cutting this portion back!


Last edited by Smithers; 01-19-2011 at 10:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 01-19-2011, 10:06 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

Once the X was welded into place how about the crossbars for the seats!? Yep time to mount the seats and to stiffen up the cab floor a HUGE amount as well. The floors in these Taco's just sag over time the more you use them offroad. This causes the factory seats to rub and my bucket seats to moan and creek when going over various terrain. The mounts would move around on the unstable floor so the noise was annoying. We simply cut the crosstubes and made holes to go thrue the "transmission tunnel" hump in the middle. This effectively allowed me to jack up the cab floor back to normal and then the floor was welded to the cross members for a permanent fix. The cab no longer rests only on the body mounts. The whole cab will be welded to the roll cage and flexing will never be an issue again.





Here is a really nice shot of the whole front of the cab and the floor cross pieces adding much needed support for this Toyota. So that is it for now. We made a ton of progress on this ride considering how long all the detail work takes and the extra time spent on tucking the tubing into the walls.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 01-25-2011, 02:36 AM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

All I had was my cell phone to take some crummy pictures today. At least you can see a little of the progress.



More tubing being added to the front of the Tacoma frame.

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 01-25-2011, 02:40 AM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And along the driver side also. It took some time to think of the correct points at which to bend the tubing in order to be able to bend both sides accordingly. A bend on the passenger side might not be the proper bend when made in the same place to mirror over on the drivers side.





And this is all the shots from today. We added even more tubing going from the frame from the rear of the engine compartment to the upper supports you see here where the shocks will mount in the future.

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Unread 01-29-2011, 09:20 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

Nearly done with the engine crossbrace over the Lexus engine. Mr. Dirt Designs doing the business.



I can't wait to test the truck out when it's all buttoned up. I spent an hr or so welding the body to the frame but there's still a lot more to do.

Last edited by Smithers; 01-29-2011 at 09:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Unread 02-09-2011, 09:30 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And it was go time.... threw everything back in the truck to get it on the road the other day. Zip ties are king! The cage tubing just got in the way of most of the regular dashboard supports so I just cut the dash so it fit in roughly and just connected the basic controls so I could get it rolling.



.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Unread 02-09-2011, 09:33 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And don't forget the floor that I chopped out. I grabbed some thing steel from another friends shop and welded it in nice and flat. I just roughly cut it out with the plasma cutter and then tacked it on and hammered it down. When you get it close you just hammer the metal to close up the gaps and keep welding. It went faster than I thought but I'm also getting pretty good welding thing metal too.



So I bent the new piece of steel and made an educated guess where the cross bars would be located and but a couple strips out of it for that.


Reply With Quote
  #13  
Unread 02-09-2011, 09:34 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

Then I just simply cut the floor so the steel would sit flat on it and made sure that it was pretty close so then I could start welding it in from side to side.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Unread 02-09-2011, 09:38 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And another shot of how fast I threw the dash in there! He it runs! That's all I care right now. I have to tighten things up inside. Make things look nice again. Need to get new guages in at some point and mount my cheap little GPS inside since I'll be using that for a speedometer as well.



And a picture of the rear. Man look at all that room! The cantilever design is really paying for itself now. I got sick travel back there, rigid as hell and plenty of room for toys or tools. I couldn't be happier.

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Unread 02-09-2011, 09:40 PM
Smithers's Avatar
Smithers Smithers is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 3,237
Send a message via AIM to Smithers Send a message via Skype™ to Smithers
Default

And here we are... 4 hours after I thought I would have been done that day. Putting in all the windows didn't take all that long but damn that dashboard was just a little puzzle to get everything right and the steering column install of course. It all adds up and you can bet that if you do something like this for yourself just triple the time that you have estimated it will take you. But hell mines done!

Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.