A quick spotlight on the brake pads: I chose StopTech's autocross pad, the Sport. The main reason for this is that my truck is used for autocross and street driving. I do not require the heat tolerance of a track pad, nor do I desire the lack of performance while cold (it rains in Florida...a lot) or the noise and dust. These will probably still dust a good bit, but not on the level of a track pad. I also require a pad with very good initial bite (what a autocross pad should provide) due to Florida drivers who love to suddenly pound the brake for no good reason. In the event that I do decide to track, pad changes on these are very easy and I can just have a spare set of track pads.
Besides working on a new brake upgrade, I've been fixing up my interior bit by bit. The latest project involves wrapping my visors in the same microsuede I used on my door panels. I started by tracing the visors onto the back of the material and cutting two covers for each visor. I cut each pattern a little wider than the visor such that I would be able to compensate for the thickness of the visor. From there, I had the only person I know that can use a sewing machine, my dear mother, sew the bottom and sides. I also asked that she fold over the excess up top and sew it down (while still leaving material over to compensate for the thickness of the visor).
From there, it's just a matter of putting the visor in the cover...
Followed by stitching together the top by hand. I did the first one with a single needle stitch and didn't like the end result, so I used a double needle stitch the next time around. The results were way better, just much more time consuming.
The one drawback to the way I did this is that I did not shape the ends of the fabric around some of the features on the top. As a result, I had to cut the fabric to shape once my stitch reached these features and then continue stitching. This left these edges quite fuzzy looking.
Here's a closeup for reference
However, I easily eliminated the fuzz in the same way I did on the doors, by passing a torch near it and melting it off. Here is the finished product:
My truck survived the Hurricane, despite the door to my yard getting blown open such that it swung around and slapped the area of the front fender. It's good to have wheels so wide they stick out of the fender lol! The wheel saved my fender and only took a small chip to the powdercoat. I drove around this morning so you guys can see what the damage in my area(Miami-Dade) looks like.
I also put the carbon fiber hood back on and sold the steel one in an effort to force myself to finish the GT500 vent. Here it is with the vent just sitting in there. I love how it matches the aerocatch hood pins.
Other than that, I did a poor job of vinyl wrapping the roof, a learning experience which taught me tricks to make the next attempt perfect. I got some new vinyl ready to go on later. I threw an LED 3rd brake light on there as well.
After doing some dress up bolts in the Miata's engine bay, I tried one of the leftover bolts on the Tacoma. As predicted, the fender bolts for the Tacoma and Miata are the same thread (M6x1mm). So, I ordered some slightly longer bolts (20mm as opposed to 12mm for the Miata) with matching finish washers. I then replaced most of the bolts in the engine bay.
I also ordered new bolts for my Aerocatch latches, as the hardware that comes with them is normal steel and rusts out after a while. All of the bolts I've ordered are 316 stainless steel, so I don't foresee corrosion being a problem. The bolts needed to replace Aerocatch hardware are M4x0.7mm in 14mm length (or longer).
Not much has happened with the truck lately, mostly on account of me getting the Camaro and ramping up my Miata build. I did switch out to nicer bolts on the LED 3rd brake light lol. Then, I hit some extra 316 stainless steel bolts (they come in a pack of 50) with a micro torch and got them looking like this: PF213 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Alright, time to breathe some life back into this thread! Now that I have a house, a truck is a necessity, so I had to get the old girl reliable for the many trips to and from the hardware store! My steering felt absolutely terrible, so I hit Rock Auto and ordered all the top of the line stuff. All new upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, and inner and outer wheel bearings. They didn't have the lower ball joints from Moog, so I went with Proforged. Unfortunately, this took longer than necessary to install due to not having the proper tools and Rock Auto sending me the wrong inner tie rods... which I would only realize upon taking off the old ones...lovely. Luckily, I was able to send them back for a refund and my local Pepboys had the correct Moog units in stock! SO1 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
The balljoints were real easy and both sides got done in a day.
Here is the suspension disassembled. Sway bar bushings have seen better days smh (swap coming soon) SO2 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Here's the new upper ball joint from Moog. Oh, how I love Toyota for choosing a bolt-on upper balljoint instead of a stupid one that I would need to push out with a press! SO3 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Here it is, installed with all its fancy hardware and grease fitting. Moog parts are pretty nice, made in Japan too. I would have never guessed. SO4 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
The lowers from Proforged are pretty nice too. Unfortunately, they don't have grease fittings like the factory ones and the Moogs. SO5 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Putting these on is cake. Taking them out too. The lower ball joints and outer tie rods can be removed by tapping the side of the control arm with a mini sledge, as well as hitting their bolts directly. You aren't reusing them, so their center bolt doesn't matter. SO6 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
In order to remove the inner tie rods, you NEED this tool. I tried simply undoing the bent lock washers and trying to turn the inner tie rods with a wrench. It is impossible, do NOT try it, you will snap the steering rack out of its mounts before you manage to remove them this way. The tool and a breaker bar makes this cake to do and won't torque your steering rack! SO7 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
With that, I could easily get my new tie rods in, with their loktite, and bend their new locking washers (requires a tiny hammer to hit them in the reduced space available) SO8 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
From there, I locked the outer tie rods into place using the supplied nuts and cotter pins. I marked the location of the holes for the cotter pins with white nail polish. This is so the orientation of the holes would be easy to see, such that I could align the gaps in the nuts properly. This makes getting the cotter pins in a breeze. You can see me bending a cotter pin here SO9 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
At this point, I attempted to get an alignment. However, the local shop wouldn't do it because they said I had play in the wheel bearings. Oh well, I had them anyway, so it was time to install them. You can't simply install the bearings as is, they need to be packed with grease first.
Here is everything that is required to pack the bearings before install. First and foremost, GLOVES! You will have a terrible mess on your hands after this and you really don't want that grease on your hands. Beyond that, you need the bearings themselves, a grease gun, wheel bearing grease (I chose Mobil 1), and a bearing packing tool. SO10 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
You fill your grease gun with the bearing grease and prepare the bearing packer to receive the bearings. SO11 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Then, you place your bearing in the tool and get ready to make a mess lol! SO12 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Here are the completed bearings safely sealed in zip loc bags to keep debris from sticking to them SO13 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
From there, I removed my old outer wheel bearings, followed by the hubs and the inners. To remove the seal holding in the inner bearings, just put the retaining nut back on after removing the outer wheel bearing. Then, tug the hub toward you such that the nut pushes on the inner bearing and knocks out the rear seal. It should come out with ease.
and install your new bearings/replace the rear seal. Note, I did not have access to a press and was generally in a hurry to get working on my house. For this reason, I did not press in the new races that come with the bearings. I reused the old ones and everything came out nice and tight/smooth. Your mileage may vary. If at all possible, do the races as well. SO15 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Then, clean up your spindle and apply new grease SO16 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Reinstall the hubs to the spindles using the assorted retaining washer and nuts and replace the cotter pins with new ones SO17 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Finally, add some new grease to the inside of the cap and reinstall the cap to seal off the hub. Check for play(mine had none) and follow the service manual procedure to set the bearings. Then, relax for a while and admire your work. SO18 by Jose Matos, on Flickr
Once you are over that, don't forget to clean any grease off your rotors! I did and also hit them with some sand paper to clean off the rust from a year of mostly sitting in a backyard.