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Discussion Starter · #421 · (Edited)
I ended up deciding that there was no way I was about to sand down that entire grill. Instead, I decided to follow my original plan of making the headlight buckets and lower area by the mesh a flat or satin black. So, I sanded all of that down and hit it with rust reformer by Rustoleum. It dries a nice, satin black. Not sure how it will hold up in this area, but it looks really good. Best of all, it's an extremely subtle difference that you don't catch if you aren't looking for it.

Here is the grill all taped up
20211203_142400 by Jose, on Flickr

Post spraying with rust reformer
20211203_143203 by Jose, on Flickr

The final result, very subtle and just looks fantastic to me
20211203_151211 by Jose, on Flickr

I also prepped my 3D printed scoops by giving them a vapor polish in a massive rice cooker I have for that purpose
20211203_155929 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #422 ·
From there, I assembled the scoops and the mesh to the grill. Don't mind the mess that is my dining room- that's another project we are working on lol.
20211203_180536 by Jose, on Flickr

Here is the completed grill, mounted up to the truck. I was unable to get all of those stupid clips to line up perfectly and quite a few either broke or got deformed (the aftermarket ones that came with this grill are definitely not as nice as the factory Toyota ones)
20211204_154742 by Jose, on Flickr

I can't wait to have the hood clear coated and the hood latches paint matched to the grill. The truck is going to look sick!
 

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Discussion Starter · #423 ·
It turns out that the bolts I got for attaching the valence to the bumper were too short. I ordered some 30 mm long ones in order to get this together and I am pretty sure they actually sent 40 mm ones instead. Oh well, they did the job so 40 mm it is.

As you can see, Christmas decorations are also going up, so I have a ton of boxes down from the attic lol
20211205_193351 by Jose, on Flickr

I know that no one will see these, but I just had to do it like this. I will know they are there and that makes me happy!
20211205_194459 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #424 · (Edited)
I got the two grill filler pieces painted and installed.
20211209_090101 by Jose, on Flickr

I then painted the back of the bumper with Rust Reformer for added protection. I love the contrast it gives vs the outside of the bumper
20211210_170905 by Jose, on Flickr
20211210_170913 by Jose, on Flickr

I also did a couple coats of Plasti-Dip on the lower valence in order to make it a nicer black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #425 ·
I also painted the bumper mount brackets in the same paint and then installed the bumper. I have to say, this is the worst paint match in the history of paint matches rofl! I'm not sure if it's because of the color of primer I used, the age of the can of paint (like 10 years), the oxidation level of the paint on the rest of the truck, or all of the above lol! However, the bumper has a noticeably bluer tone to it. In any case, I do need to repaint the entire truck as it is peeling up top, so this may be a good excuse to get going on that project.
20211210_191559 by Jose, on Flickr
20211210_192216 by Jose, on Flickr

You will notice that I haven't reinstalled the bumper lights. This is because I did not like how they looked against the painted bumper. I am thinking of making a black brake duct with an LED ring around the perimeter in order to fill this all in.
20211210_192221 by Jose, on Flickr

Paint match aside, I do love how sinister it looks now!
20211211_183239 by Jose, on Flickr

It will look awesome once I clear coat the hood
20211211_183859 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #426 ·
Here's some more detail on the front end build. There are still some adjustments to be made, but I am pretty happy for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #427 ·
I recently decided to get a decorative front plate (we don't require front license plates in Florida). The Tacoma valence has two divots on it to indicate where you can drill it out for the license plate bolts. There are two plastic tubes behind, likely with the idea that you can tap them and thread a screw in. I don't like anything that involves threads in plastic; it's simply a bad idea and plastic threads ALWAYS fail. So, I ordered up a rivnut tool so I could do this properly.

Here's my decorative tag. It's common to see custom cars in Florida owned by people who are of Puerto Rican or Cuban heritage rocking decorative tags that represent that heritage. Same for Texans actually lol. So, being that I am of Dominican heritage, I got a plate that represents that.
20211219_131100 by Jose, on Flickr

It actually sat on my truck like this until the rivnut tool arrived
20211220_175835 by Jose, on Flickr

However, it will obviously go like this
20211219_200550 by Jose, on Flickr

This is the rivnut/nutsert tool I got from Amazon. This one was affordable and had pretty good reviews. Note that it comes with rivnuts but I ordered some stainless ones to match my stainless M6x1.00 mounting screws.
20211222_125020 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #428 ·
I drilled the holes out to just below the diameter of the rivnuts and then pressed and crimped them in
20211222_125026 by Jose, on Flickr

Then, I installed the plate
20211222_142732 by Jose, on Flickr

Of course, generic hardware would not do, so I used stainless Allen head bolts with finish washers. I burnished the washers using a micro torch in order to get one to a bluish tone and the other to a purple.
20211222_142713 by Jose, on Flickr

I may move the plate off to the side in the future, since it looks a little like a bucktooth there in the middle. For now, I'm happy with it and think it looks good.
20211222_142801 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #431 ·
Well, I headed down the highway toward the in-laws and the truck would not exceed 60 mph in 5th. I pulled over and called a tow truck, but it took so long I called it off and just drove in 4th till I got home. It worked just fine in 4th, heck I even stopped to eat at a restaurant as the wife was starving. No matter how I slice it, my clutch is on its way out. As I remember it, one of the pressure plate bolts damaged the threads in the aluminum flywheel back when I redid the clutch, so I will also need a new flywheel. Man has this truck turned into a money pit lol. I wish I had put all that money in bitcoin, I would be replacing the clutch on a Ferrari instead rofl.
 

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Do you have any other signs that point to clutch slippage or poor engagement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #433 ·
The question now is, LC Engineering clutch combo or Spec Clutch? The reality is that they are all the same 11 lb aluminum flywheel and LC offers a better price. However, are the Spec clutches better than the LCE? Will it even matter with the power goals I have for the near future lol?
 

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Discussion Starter · #434 ·
Well, I ended up going with the LC combo. It included the aluminum (11 lb) flywheel, clutch, pilot and throw-out bearings, all bolts, and the rear main seal for less than it would have been to get it through Spec. This clutch is only rated for 300 hp, but that is more than I plan to make for a while- especially with these gas prices!!!

Here is the flywheel
IMG_20220303_193613104 by Jose, on Flickr

Here is the clutch
IMG_20220303_193702369 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #436 ·
Well, I got the clutch in last night. It was a long process since I took the time to film it for youtube. That should be of use to anyone who takes this on afterward, you can learn from my mistakes.

Here's the transmission on the ground
IMG_20220311_111339512 by Jose, on Flickr

That Competition Clutch smoked itself and dirtied the bellhousing pretty good
IMG_20220311_133842988_HDR by Jose, on Flickr

It also managed to crack the clutch fork
IMG_20220315_105233099 by Jose, on Flickr

No biggie, it's under $30 at Toyota
IMG_20220315_113239640 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #437 ·
It's always fun to look in here with the transmission out
IMG_20220315_200822877 by Jose, on Flickr

This process is currently making my garage into a big mess lol
IMG_20220311_144850499 by Jose, on Flickr

Old flywheel vs new. The wear surface was mostly gone, one of the bolts that holds the wear surface was already being shaved down
IMG_20220315_201744131 by Jose, on Flickr

New Hotness from LCE
IMG_20220315_201806149_HDR by Jose, on Flickr

Old Fidanza
IMG_20220315_201817536 by Jose, on Flickr

The designs are slightly different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #438 ·
Here is the flywheel once installed
IMG_20220315_213209233_HDR by Jose, on Flickr

I used brake cleaner to clean the flywheel and the pressure plate (surface that contacts the clutch disk only). The cleaner that dripped off caused some of the paint to come off the front. That paint is not really adhered all that well. Not like anyone will see it I suppose.
IMG_20220315_215226421 by Jose, on Flickr

The paint process is kind of sloppy, I found some oversprayed on the clutch fingers
IMG_20220315_221448944 by Jose, on Flickr

Here it is in the truck
IMG_20220315_230732508_HDR by Jose, on Flickr

Now I just need to put everything back together and take it for a spin
 
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