FUNHOGN Tacoma

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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

FUNHOGN [fuhn] [hog, hawg, hawging] to take more than ones fair share. Have more fun hiking, biking, backpacking, kayaking or whatever floats your boat.

This is how I began my FUNHOGN build. First, some background. In 2015, my get of town truck was 97 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4 with a 255k on the odometer and my work truck was a 2001 Ford Ranger with more than 120k on it. Both ran well enough but I didn't want to put a lot of time and/or money in a vehicle that old and the Ranger was almost as old, only 2 wheel drive plus it was a two door and I needed a four door.
So a new rig had to serve three funtions: 1) my daily driver [at least for the time being] 2) my work vehicle 3) my camping/overlanding rig.
So that meant some compromises. For me, the trick was to make a few of them as possible by making smart choices for how I would use the truck. So I looked back on how I used my previous 4x4s on what worked and what didn't as my starting point. As a daily driver I wasn't going to build up a true rock crawler. Whatever vehicle that I eventually aquired was going to end up a better crawler than stock, but a dedicated crawler, no. As a work vehicle, any mods I made to it had to work for that too. Eventually I settled on a pickup truck over a SUV. After a lengthy search I settled on a three year old Tacoma Double Cab Sport 4x4 with 19,100 miles on the clock. I was lucky to find it. While not cheap, trading in both of my trucks plus some cash, made the payments doable.
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

Now for the build. As mentioned, the truck is a double cab short bed Tacoma Sport 4x4. Since the truck was going to serve several functions, the mods had to be as multi funtional as possible too. As a life long backpacker, light and multi-functional were the guiding rules regarding the coming build. That and not go broke building it either.
The first thing to go was the factory optioned 18 inch high chrome wheels and street tires. I bought a set of factory 17 inch sport wheels (less than two hundred miles on them for only $62 each. Hey, save money when you can) from a guy who took them off his truck for TRD wheels. I then painted the set Toyota Super White to match the truck. A little old school I know, but I was tired of seeing white trucks with black wheels. I wanted something different. 1102150917~01.jpg IMG_20190203_085236.jpg After that I put a roof rack and basket on the roof of the truck. About a year later I installed a drawer slide into the bed of the truck. That was one of the most useful and versitle mods I've done to the truck. Primarily I installed for work as I was tired of climbing into the bed of the truck to retrieve something but it's just as effective for camping/overlanding storing gear in the bed and having quick and easy access to whatever is required at the moment. More to come.
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

My next upgrade after some lengthy research was rear (stock) suspension assist. When I'm not working, my truck is my daily driver and an empty truck rides like crap. I stumbled upon a product called SumoSprings from SuperSprings (dumb name awesome product) that was originally developed for the Border Patrol. It's my understanding that most, if not all of their trucks are equipped with these. They replace the factory spring bumpstops, but the difference is the frame of the truck sits on the top of the SumoSprings. They look kinda like airbags (but made from a very dense polyethylene foam) however they only attach at one end so it doesn't interfere with axle articulation. In fact, it slightly improves it because it'll compress to less than the stock bumpstops. Here's my review from summer 2016.

Awesome. If I had only one word to describe SuperSprings SumoSpring product line that is the word. Fortnately, I can us a lot more words here in this review. I have made several upgrades to my 2012 Tacoma Sport 4x4 (stock suspension) and this is by far the single best upgrade I've made to my truck. As all truck owners know, trucks have poor ride quality unless they're loaded with a few hundred pounds of cargo. That's how and why they are designed. Most of us however, drive around with an unloaded truck. My Tacoma Sport has a firm but smooth ride by design but while the front is well behaved the back end is choppy going over pot holes, man hole covers, washboard etc. when empty. Until now that is. After the SumoSpring installation the truck feels like it's loaded even when it's empty. The rear suspention absorbs bumps and dips like the front end. They also stabilize the truck side to side when cornering hard similar to an anti-sway bar. The truck handles in a much more balanced and predictive way.
I just returned from a thousand mile road trip that covered freeway, city, and four wheeling in the back country. It didn't seem to affect the off-roading in any significant way that I could tell. It was the most comfortable drive of any pickup, SUV I've ever driven or been a passenger in other than a highend luxury boat not suitable for heavy hauling or off-roading. I can say with certainty that I will install SumoSprings on every future truck/suv I purchase.
One last thing, I took a friend for a five minute drive around his neighborhood in my truck. He was so impressed he immediately ordered a set for his Ford truck. If you do a lot of different things with your truck like I do, loaded, unloaded, road trips and off roading do yourself a favor and purchase a set that fits your truck.
sumo IMG_SSR-610-40.jpg
Jumping ahead a couple of years here. They work fine after lifting my truck two inches. A higher lift probably wouldn't do it though.
 
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

Somewhere along my build process I put a factory roof rack and a cargo basket attached to that. Next came a Rhino Rack aero bar for my bed shell so I could put Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform on that. In turn that holds the awning and four lights. Two face to the rear for backing up or setting up camp. Also works awesome for hitching up trailers in the dark too! The other two face forward and out about 30° at the front of the rack just behind the cab. This is my version of ditch lights, only they are almost three feet higher and five back from the "normal" position of ditch lights. 0916161643.jpg0304181804.jpg0122190944_HDR.jpg0122190940.jpg
Around the same time I upgraded the springs, struts and shocks with a OME 2in suspension kit. I also upgraded the UCAs as well. Since I doubt that I'll put a heavy steel aftermarket bumper on the front end I opted for the OME 2886 front coils with the NitroCharger struts. That'll allow for up to 230 lbs over stock for a front hitch mounted winch. The rear setup is the OME Dakar heavyweight spring pack as the combined weight of the shell, tools, or camping gear, trailer, etc. required more support. While the truck was up on the rack For suspension upgrades I had an ARB Air Locker and on board air compressor installed too. For me, the setup is perfect.0916161643.jpg0304181804.jpg0122190944_HDR.jpg0122190940.jpg0213191029_HDR.jpg0214190950.jpg0214191003a_HDR.jpg0202192126.jpg0123191833a.jpg
 
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

While the truck will never be "done", I'm mostly done with the big purchases for the truck. The next reasonably big purchase is a full set of skid plates. Probably from RCI in Colorado. All in all, I've done more than 50 mods and/or upgrades to the FUNHOGN Tacoma so far.
 
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

Finished up some electrical mods today. Multiple USB charging ports in the dash. A 12v plug up under the dashboard next to the kick panel for powering window mounted stuff. Like a dash camera and or an action camera. I can now run the power cords under my dash mat and down behind the doors seals to the plug keeping the cords neat and out of sight. Also installed is a 12v plug mounted to the bottom of the B pillar for a backseat cooler or fridge. I also modified a jumper cable to work with my grill mounted Anderson plug that powers the hitch mounted winch. Included the pictures below is a photo of the rear diff breather mounted behind the driver side taillight.0808191713.jpg0808191712.jpg0808191712_HDR.jpg0808191713a.jpg0729191151.jpg0808191712.jpg0808191713.jpg0808191712_HDR.jpg0808191713a.jpg
 
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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

Today the project of converting heavy steel steps to true rock sliders welded to the frame was completed. My truck was not built for rock crawling but there's always the possibility of that "oh crap" moment coming down off a ledge or something. This will definitely save the rocker panels.View attachment 128591ACH]
 

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FUNHOGN (aka Maurice)

Rank IV
Member

Member I

933
Prescott Valley, Arizona
First Name
Maurice
Last Name
Guinouard
Member #

13162

So it's been awhile since I posted. A lot of things happen unrelated to 4x4 rigs and overlanding. But I do have a another mod show you guys. I have two dogs that take on almost all my trips. So my back seat is always folded flat for them. Which is great for them but it really cuts storage down for a lot of things I want handy for them and other items that don't really have a home anywhere else. Because of the dogs, my four door, five seat Tacoma is really just a two seater. So I went al the way and removed the seats and built and and installed a platform system that's essentially the same height as the stock back of the seat platform but with loads of storage underneath now that the seats are gone.

The platform is split 60/40 as before because I used the original rear mounting hardware to allow for raising the platform if required to access below the seat storage combined with reach through access points. The front of the platform is also mounted to the original location using brackets I made from slotted angle iron. On the left side I moved the refrigerator from the truck bed to behind the driver's seat. Below that is water and other items for the dogs. The right side is for electronics and other miscellaneous gear. Didn't keep tight track expenses but it was less than $150.6894.jpeg6937.jpeg6938.jpeg6846.jpeg
 

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