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Fafhrd the Wanderer...an (almost) Epic Tale.

Discussion in '1st Gen Builds (2000-2006)' started by Haggis, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:29 AM
    #1
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    While Old Man Winter tries to get his grips on our part of the world this year I find myself once again waiting for the return of spring and the start of another working season. So as I got some time to spare and a guy can’t go hunting all the time I thought I’d share the evolution of my Tundra Fafhrd.

    [​IMG]

    The story begins in the winter of ’09, my work truck/exploration truck was going through some hard times. After 8 years of running the salted roads of a lake effect snow covered countryside, rust was eating away at my “01 Dodge Ram Offroadster, affectionately known as Haggis.

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    Yes, the dreaded Dodge Rot had sunk its malevolent teeth into our beloved truck. All of the doors, the front fenders and the bumpers were showing signs of the rust belt cancer and something had to be done about it. It was a shame too as the truck was mechanically fine and set up just the way I wanted it. Factory 2” lift, Detroit locker in the rear, E-locker up front, 4:11 gears, 33” tires, Rhino lined bed and color matched Rhino lining on the rockers, this truck took us on many memorable adventures as well help build our house and our successful business. Was I attached to this truck? You bet, Haggis was family.

    The complication was that in my line of work, I’m a Log Home Restorer, having a presentable vehicle is a necessity. Not to many owners of high end log homes are going to trust a restoration of their prized cabin to some ridgerunner in a clapped out truck. Action was called for. At first I considered fixing the old boy up but when I went to find new doors I hit a stumbling block. Nobody made replacement doors for QuadCab Rams. Mother Mopar did, but they were very expensive. The only doors I could find within a 500 mile radius were in a salvage yard in Virginia and they wanted 2 grand for all four doors. The kicker…they were of a truck that was totaled in a fire. Then the realization came that even if I used these compromised doors it was going to cost me nearly 6 grand to repair the old boy, which was as much as the truck was worth. It was time to find a new ride.

    We looked at the new Dodges as I have been driving them for decades but just did not like the lack of room in the QuadCabs . Room is important when you have two teenagers growing way to fast, they hardly fit in the back seat of Haggis when we sold him. The 2nd generations of Rams, even with the full doors, weren’t that much better for rear interior room than the earlier QuadCabs. We test drove a few and I came away hating the Hemi motor. Excuse me but real Hemis have dual Carters on top the manifolds and not just a marketing badge on the engine cover. Add to that their miserable gas mileage and it was a deal breaker for me. And no…I did not want a diesel. What to do?

    Well my brother-in-law suggested a first generation Tundra like his. He had been driving around this ’03 Tundra Access Cab for the last six years and even after putting 150,000 miles on the odometer it looked and drove like new with no mechanical problems at all.

    James’ Tundra….you might see it around here as it's known as Queen Elizabeth's Revenge...

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    Something I definitely couldn’t say about the Dodge. We had done many trails together with my old Dodge and his Tundybird and that truck always kept right up with the Ram. Plus it was a whole lot more nimble when it came to turning radius. But his kids, pretty much the same age as mine, were a tight squeeze to get into the back. After pointing that fact out he said “Hey dummy, get a double cab.”

    Well I have always been a Jeep and Dodge guy (my muscle cars have always been Buicks) and never even considered a Toyota before. But what the heck we’d go look at one. And in a short time this followed us home…

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    And we introduced him to his new stable mate…the Grey Mouser.

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    Bought across the state line in Ohio, we drove home in a 2006 Toyota Tundra DC with just 21,000 mile on the odometer. Back at the clanhold it wasn’t long till the modifications began to turn this truck from suburban commuter to a ridgerunnerfied work and exploration truck.
     
  2. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:32 AM
    #2
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    It was time to begin and the first priority was to get the Tundra set-up for his work duties. Sorry truck, but work comes before play and all that…

    First thing to go was the factory plastic bed liner…I yanked the factory bedliner out, and gave it a toss.

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    Well it obvious that this truck had hauled at least one load in its pre-clan life. Looked like it was a load of high end double ground mulch.

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    This is why I dislike plastic bedliners. Stuff builds up underneath them and even empty they rub the paint to no good end.
    I then dropped it off at my buddy’s local Line-X shop and had him give it a spray. Turned out quite nicely.

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    One shot towards the rear.

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    Ahhhh…much better.

    I was over all happy with the Tundra. Even though it was just as long as the Ram, the cab is not as wide but it felt roomier inside the cabin. Gas mileage was great; I got a little over 17 mpg out of the second tank. The power dropping rear window was awesome in nicer weather. With the windows all down, it’s like running the bikini top on our Jeep LJ. Wish it had the powered moon roof like one of the Tundras we looked at had, but this truck was a much better deal. The kids really appreciated the extra leg room in the rear seat and all the cup holders that they didn't have in the Dodge. My only complaints were not having room to slide the truck gun under the rear seats and the wimpy worn out tires that were on it. The first I haven't solved yet, the second was taken care in a short time after purchasing it. Also with the design of the rear seats you can't stuff gear under them like you could the Ram. I did miss that old Dodge; its personality fit my persona so well. But we had plans with this Tundra to have it better reflect more of our ridgerunner sensibilities.
    When we purchased the Tundra the dealership had a used cap wasting away out in the storage building and they asked if we were interested in it. It was shade or two darker than our truck but it was in excellent shape so we ended up buying it on the cheap. Once home I had a buddy of mine that has a hot rod shop shoot some color on it. I traded him two cases of log home caulk that had been sitting on my inventory shelves for the work. I love the barter system. Once home I installed new rain gutter mounts and got my Yakima racks on. Good to go! Now it was time to for it to go earn a living.

    [​IMG]

    As winter slipped into early spring the weather turned around nicely so once again I was hard at it again making peoples log homes purdy. The Tundra became a mobile tool chest and was hauling gear and towing my construction trailer all about the region. Gas mileage averaged 17 mpg, though we when got some snow and I had to put it in 4WD gas mileage for that dropped to 16 mpg. One question...can anybody tell me why there is a tape deck in a '06 vehicle? I sold my entire tape collection back in '98 or there about. Who still has tapes? I wish it had an I-pod interface instead.
     
    Xray10 likes this.
  3. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:34 AM
    #3
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    The next item on the agenda was getting around to installing my old CB. This will be the third truck for it and it still works fine, I think I got it back in '97. I used a CB fender/hood mount for a T-100 to hold the 3' Firestick and then ran a Firering coaxial with the banjo ring fitting to the CB. I mounted it in the pocket of the lower dash just to the right of the steering column. To make it tuck up nicely and to sit flush with the edge of the dash I drilled a 1" hole in the lower dash valance and brought the cable and the power feeds through it. This allowed me to push the connections, once attached to the CB, back through the hole and get a nice position for the CB. I also made a spacer narrower in width than the CB mount so that the CB mount would sit flat as it was too wide to go all the way up to the top of the recess and sit square against the dash. The power leads went through the speedometer grommet in the floor and power was connected directly to the battery while the ground was hooked to the factory location on the inner driver's side fender. When powered up it was as quiet as could be, with no interference. I hooked up my SWR meter and as luck would have it, it was reading as good as gold.

    Here's a shot of the CB location...
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    It's easy to reach and see, it's out of the way of my long legs and Michelle's shorter ones and it's hard to see from the outside. The mike cord even reaches back to the rear passengers so the kids can gab with their cousins when we're riding a trail with a certain black Tundra AC.
     
  4. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:36 AM
    #4
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    A month after we got the Tundra I had gathered all the parts needed to put a lift on the truck and raise its long rockers a little higher off the ground. It just so happened I had a small log home job down in Virginia for my sister’s boss and as James (my brother in law) had convinced me to get this truck he offered to give me a hand putting the lift on. We use to wrench on each other’s muscle cars back in the day before my sister Elizabeth and hubby James moved south. So it was nice to tear apart and re-assemble one of our rides once again. I finished the log home job on Friday, so James (jim65wagon) and I got to work putting the lift on the Tundra Saturday.

    Everything went along nicely once we found a shop open to compress the springs for us. My compressors were not heavy duty enough for the job so we started calling around. Seems like Virginianites don't like to work Saturdays so the quest began to find someone open and willing to give us a hand. We finally found a Midas shop open and they were kind enough to compress the springs for us. They only charged $20 to do it and at that time I was desperate enough to pay 5 times that just so I could get back to PA faster. It was darn hot down here, in the 90s, and the work was hard and tedious....Jim is the one with the beard.

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    The lift consisted of Bilstiens 5100s set at the 2.5” notch and a set of Wheelers rear 1.5" AALs), 285/75/16 Dean Mud Terrain SXT tires on a set of Eagle Alloy wheels (16x8 with 4” backspacing).

    [​IMG]

    We thought the lift and tire combo looked great. The ride is just as good as stock and it motored down the road real nice. Here’s the before and after photos…

    [​IMG]
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  5. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:47 AM
    #5
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Over the Memorial Day weekend of ’09 we met up with some of our friends for a Mini-Mon and got to enjoy rutted, rock strewn roads, scenic vistas, firelight flickering in the dark of night and some good times with some good friends. This would be our first foray with Fafhrd out in the boondocks as we headed down to the Monongahela National Forest near Thomas, West Virginia were Fafhrd got to stretch his springs on some washes, stream crossings and some mud holes. After 13 years of running Dodges it took a little getting used to the new manners of the Toyota, but it preformed quite well. I just had to stick my head out the window a few times just to check on tire placement and it was nice not to worry about dragging a front diff. Any ways here are some shots of Tundrabird 2 on the WV forest roads near Thomas...

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  6. Jan 13, 2014 at 7:54 AM
    #6
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Those tires/wheels really added a whole new look to the rig.

    As for the tale deck- who knows...unless the previous owner put in, I'm not sure why ...then again it appears they spent less $ on the Tundra stereos, but spent more on the Tacomas stereos. Go figure.
     
  7. Jan 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM
    #7
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Yeah its the factory unit, but as long as it plays is all the matters to me. I'm not much for doodads and farkle and concentrate my attention to modding or adding only those things I feel I really need. So the factory radio stays.
     
  8. Jan 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM
    #8
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    We do a lot of vehicle based camping, what the hipsters call “overlanding” and when you’re out in the sticks for an extended period of time having an easily accessible and useful source of water for general clean-up and showers makes for a better experience...especially when you have a couple of womenfolk in tow. Here’s was my solution for onboard water for showers and kitchen clean up...

    [​IMG]

    As usual it will serve multiple purposes but it is mainly be used to transport water to log home chinking/caulking jobs (I’m a log home restorer by trade) where there is no water supply and as camp water supply for washing/cleanup duties. I got this 25 gal ATV sprayer from Tractor Supply for $119.00 complete with tank, 30# psi pump with auto shut-off, power leads (with switch, inline fuse, and battery terminal clips), 5" fill hole, out feed hose and sprayer. I took the sprayer head off, used a 3/8 barb x 1/2 MPT brass male adapter then a CPVC Union to attach a 6 position garden hose sprayer. On the Jet position it shots water a good 40'. I mounted it on some scrap 1/2 pressure treated plywood and added strengthening cleats and casters. Then I built a top shelf (with an 8" hole in the middle to access the water fill cap) so our travelling cooler can ride on top. Sprayed the "structure" with Duplicolor rattlecan bedliner and called it done.

    The water tank rides back by the cab in the bed and gets strapped in and having the flat top allows me to pile gear on top when there is a need to haul extra gear out into the woods. Having running, pressurized water can spoil you a bit on a camping trip.
     
  9. Jan 13, 2014 at 9:48 AM
    #9
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    About this time we pressed Fafhrd into our first extended boondocking trip with our "new" truck...a trip into the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We hooked up our Fleeteood E1 offroad pop=up trailer and spent a week exploring the outdoor goodness that area provides. Here's some random shots of that trip...

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    [[​IMG]
     
  10. Jan 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM
    #10
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    I ran the cap on the truck for a while and though it was great for camping trips, it can be a pain when you need to haul tall things or want to have full access to throw in firewood, dump in a load of gravel or the like. I also needed a set of racks to throw my ladders, scaffolding boards and canoes on. I have a universal truck rack, one of the contractor styles with the 2" tubes and cab overhang, but it's ungodly heavy and rusts to no end. Plus when I first had it on the Dodge I almost tore it off on a low slung Hemlock branch while on one trail ride. I didn't want to mount it on the Toy.

    So the search began for a cover and rack system that met a few criteria...
    *It had to be flexible with removable racks and the ability to have a roll up cover that was always accessible.
    *It had to be lightweight and easy to handle.
    *It shouldn't rust.
    *And it shouldn't cost an extra arm or leg to buy.

    So after a lot of searching and digging around I settled on a Agri-Cover Access Cover and Rack System. This system has a bed-top mounted extruded rail which supports the two uprights and has provisions for the cover. The upright stanchions come in two heights, the shorter one for mounting a basket rack or ski and bike racks at bed rail height or the taller more tradition over cab height. I chose the taller ones. The stanchions are powder coated aluminum, like the rails, and mount on sliding hardware that travel in a channel. The stanchions bottoms rest on the rail and spread the load along the rails.

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    Though I wasn't sure of the racks rigidity because of their thinness I have found them to be surprising stiff with little to no flex. Once you strap some ladders or whatever up there everything is really rock solid. The crossrails are rated at 200 lbs. each which is more than enough for my needs. And, No, I have absolutely no desire for a RTT so that wasn't a concern. I've been using them pretty heavily the last month and am really happy with this set-up. The stanchions can be set anywhere along the support rails and really easy to move, adjust or take off entirely. Plans for the future call for me to make a couple of brackets for an additional low mount rack utilizing the Yakima bars on my cap and then building a wood and aluminum lower carrying rack for gear, sort of a marine/boat style rack.

    Here's a shot of the system from the rear...
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    And an open shot...
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    The cover is totally watertight, even in driving rains the bed stays dry. Something I could not say about the Truxedo roll-up cover that was on my Ram. So far it's been a good investment and does its job well. Me likey.
     
  11. Jan 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM
    #11
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    A few months later we went from traipsing in the north to being beach bums down south. We headed on down to Cape Lookout at the southern end of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We hooked up with my sister and her family and Fafhrd and Queen Elizabeths Revenge ran the tarmac together as we headed towards the shore. Cape Lookout is accessible by ferry only and is an undeveloped island where just a few fishermen roam. There are few places on the east coast that feel as secluded as that island.

    And another set of pics of that trip…

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  12. Jan 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM
    #12
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    Very nice build. I like that toneau cover with rack system. Perfect combo.
     
  13. Jan 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM
    #13
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Why the jeep front plate?
     
  14. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:34 PM
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    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Its been a great addition to the truck. Unfortunately Agri-cover only made this style of rack and tonneau for a single year before dropping the line.
     
  15. Jan 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM
    #15
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    I was waiting for that...See I've always been a Jeep guy when it came to my trail rides. The group I run around with is a mixed brand bunch, though mostly Jeeps and Toyotas, and I knew that when I got the Tundra there would be a bit of friendly ribbing from both the Jeep and Toyota contingents. So I threw that Jeep plate on front to get 'em riled up first. Its been fun with it on the truck and over the years has become sort of a trademark of Fafhrds. I've bumped into a bunch of people over the years that recognized ole Fafhrd from that front plate and havemore than few laughs over it.
     
  16. Jan 16, 2014 at 5:32 AM
    #16
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    So I have this rack and tonneau cover that lives on the truck the vast majority of the time. For work its way more convenient than the cap and I don't have to deal with mucked up windows come winter. But sometimes we can't fit all of our gear under the tonneau and the cap has to go on for a short time. Switching between the two is a pain. What we needed was a secondary level rack . I could buy the lower height rack system off Agricover but I'm frugal and don't like to spend money if I don't have to. So the pondering began...

    Well, I had an extra set of Thule artificial rain gutters laying in the garage and the Yakima load bars off from the cap....all I need is to fab some brackets to get the load bars high enough for the tonneau to roll up under. A quick run down to Warren Steel (our local metal depot) and I picked up some aluminum plate drops for cheap. They were a little thicker than the factory uprights...

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    But with some creative redneck milling techniques...

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    ...I got them to fit in the rail's slot. I had to notch the brackets to allow the Yakima clamping system to work as the angle of the plates cause the clamps to hit the brackets when tighten. I mounted the Thule load plates on to the backside to hide the notches and so I had spare metal stock on hand if I need some for trail repairs. Here are some bracket shots...

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    And the finished racks mounted. You'll notice that I didn't bolt the brackets to the rail as I was just going to set them in the garage anyway when I was done anyways.

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    The tonneau rolls up right under the rails real sweet like. I was going to paint the brackets black but I kind of like the aluminum accents; it matches the Yakima hardware.

    Now I just needed to decide on what kind of rack to mount to the rails. I was leaning towards fabbing up a flat rack as it's a bit of a lift to set gear to that height. Than, lo and behold, as I was driving home from the work site one day I passed through a bunch of community yard sales and I spotted a tri-fold aluminum ATV ramp leaning up against a tree at one sale. Sweet! A few minutes later and $40 less in my pocket I had the base for my secondary rack. A few clamps and a couple of braces for the Hi-Lift and we gave it a go test in Bald Eagle State Forest here in Pennsylvania.

    Unloaded…

    [​IMG]
    Loaded up…

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    This set-up worked great, it was light weight and easy to load up. Bouncing along the drivable trails of Bald Eagle it was stable and quiet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jan 16, 2014 at 5:50 AM
    #17
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Than the winter snows set in and the trips came to a stop as we focused on hunting seasons and moving the building snow out of our way...

    [​IMG]

    Towards the end of winter the factory battery was dying...need more power...life support on yellow alert...Tundrabird 2 wounded...

    And so the Jeep, in a heroic quest to save it's partner, was sent to Sears to fetch a new power source and if your ifin' yer goin' to get one buy the biggest that fits...

    [​IMG]

    Sears Diehard Platinum Marine series 31​

    It was tight and the factory cables just stretch enough to fit, but it fit in there. It even fits in the factory plastic tray, though I did have to modify the bend on the factory hold down to make it work. With the auxillary terminals I can make connections much easier for future mods...

    [​IMG]

    Well after a year or so those AALs were settling to much for my taste and as I had come to the conclusion that this Tundra was going to be a member of the family for quite some time. If I was going to keep it I had to address the rear spring issue. after consulting with some folks I trusted on a couple of differnet forums I decide to buy a set of custom Deaver springs to get Fafhrd better set up for work. Springs are 11 pack Deavers; 600 lbs +; 2.5 " lift (suppose to settle to 2"); Baja bushings and all the hardware. with the springs I also picked up some Timbrens that were barely used units I bought of Tundradrenaline over on Tundra Solutions for a good price. He's a heck of a nice guy, even sent me a bunch of TS stickers when he shipped them out.

    Finally getting the time to swap the factory springs with AALs for the new Deaver 11 spring pack units took some doing. Last time James and I messed with this truck’s suspension it was practically new (22,000 miles) and adding the AALs was easy-peasey. Throw in even one PA salt encrusted winter, numerous mud slogged excursions and 30,000 more miles and it becomes a little more work. Thank the gearhead gods for PB Blaster and air tools cause those nuts were abit stubborn. Once everything was broke lose the swap was pretty easy. Here’s a shot of the springs installed along with the new Timbren units…

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    With wheels mounted back up and the truck back on the ground the difference was very noticeable. Before the Deavers I measured the height from the garage floor to the bottom of the center part of the rear flare at 37 7/8”. After the swap the measurement was now at 40 3/8”, so a gain of 2.5”. Here’s a couple of comparison pics.

    Before…

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    After…

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    There is a definite difference ... No more stink bug and now a nice gentle rake in its place.

    Impression so far…The ride is of course a little stiffer though the truth be told is way preferable. The Tundra now feels more like a truck and less like a suburban commuter. The ride is still great and it handles the twisting goat paths that pass as roads around here with more vigor and aplomb than before. Michelle stated she like the way the truck handles now much better than the stock setup. I hooked up my equipment trailer as it was sitting fully loaded (I just finished up a log home job) to see how Fafhrd handled it and there was a night and day difference from last Saturday when I hauled the trailer home and yesterday with the Deavers installed. The last time the poor Tundra was dragging it’s rear and now it was hardly settling . I’m very happy with this set up as the weak factory springs were my biggest complaint with this truck. Now it’s a Tundra Heavy Duty model, something Toyota should have offered from the factory.
     
  18. Jan 16, 2014 at 6:01 AM
    #18
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Right after the springs were installed we loaded up our Fleetwood E1 and headed down to the southern portion of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. What a fun trip it turned out to be with added sense of adventures as the area was overrun with bears...

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    Soon after that trip a day came when it was raining and I couldn't work, soI took some time to install a front hitch mount on Fafhrd.

    [​IMG]
    It's a Hidden Hitch brand that I bought of a fellow ExPo member a few weeks back. Barely used with mounting hardware still sealed in the bag. The install didn't take that long though I did have to trim the flange off both sides of the radiator skid to allow it to fit cleanly within the mounts side plates. It will make getting the front bolts in and out on that skid a bit harder when it comes time to change the oil. It's main purpose is to give Fafhrd a good recovery point as the front factory hook is hard to access and is marginal in design. One of these days a winch and mounting plate will occupy the receiver. I just don't want to mess around with a custom bumper or have a winch mounted all the time. I like the stealth "work truck" look and don't want to add any extra weight other than when it's needed. In addition I want to be able to have the option of mounting a winch either fore or aft depending on what recovery situation I find myself in.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  19. Jan 16, 2014 at 6:07 AM
    #19
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Well if you recall I fabbed up a secondary rack for Fafhrd utilizing stuff laying around my garage including some old Yakima towers and bars. It ended up looking like this...

    [​IMG]

    I mounted up a used ATV ramp I bought cheap and had a pretty good rack for just a few twenty dollar bills. It's worked great but with the large span the round Yakima bars would flex some under loads when combined with rough driving conditions. While the flex was minimal and was never a problem I kept thinking of how to improve the set-up.

    Then I got this rack for my Jeep from RockyRidge products and really loved the slotted, extruded rails that make the spreader bars of the rack. They are light but really strong and the slotted rails make mounting stuff easy. I determined they'd work great as cross rails for my low-rise rack. Here's the Jeep's rack....

    [​IMG]

    I gave David over at RockyRidge a call and he set me up with a pair of rails to play around with....So here's the new and improved Secondary Rack...

    [​IMG]
    Then I aligned the ATV ramp where I wanted it, drilled a few holes and using some capture nuts and stainless round button headed Allen bolts mounted that sucker to the rails. No Clamps, no dangling thread ends, just a solid mounted storage surface...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is a way stronger set-up. With me and my wife standing on the rack there was no flex at all. I need to make up some 1/4" spacers, but for now I'm just stacking washers between the Yakima risers and the RockyRidge rails as the Yakima bolt is too long to not use spacers and is not really removable. I'll pick up some aluminum stock when I get a chance and fab a couple up. It would be a great rack for an RTT if one was interested in going that way...

    Here's the racks all loaded up for a weekends float trip. Worked awesome!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Boats on top: Paddling gear on lower rack; camping gear in the bed, fridge in the back seat storage shelf.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  20. Jan 16, 2014 at 6:16 AM
    #20
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    After 49,000 miles of exploring, working and doing those daily living things the Dean Mud Terrain SXTs tires that had rolling under old Fafhrd were ready to be set aside for spare tire duty. As Cooper tires discontinued the Dean SXTs I had to do some researchin’ and head scratchin’ to determine what tire was going to replace them. What I settled on were a set of Cooper ST Maxxs still in 285/75/16 size....

    [​IMG]

    These are some heavy tires, around 60 lbs. unmounted, but they are also some luggy ATs with a lot of tread meat available. I like the full depth siping, the stone kickers, the stepped lugs and the aggressive side biters. Why these tires? It all came down to price on return. I know I can get great tread life from Copper brand tires where other brands struggle to get past the 35,000 mile mark. These were $210 mounted, balanced, and on the truck and out the lot per tire, which is fairly good in today’s tire market. How many of you a short few years ago would think that $200 bucks a pop per tire was a decent deal? Anyway here they mounted up on Fafhrd...

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Jan 16, 2014 at 7:14 AM
    #21
    csuviper

    csuviper Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    Those rails of your come in handy i see.
     
  22. Jan 17, 2014 at 4:20 AM
    #22
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Having a secondary load level makes packing the truck with enough gear for the four of us much easier and a whole lot more organized. I hate having a jumbled, stuffed to the brim load-out as it makes camp set-up and tear down more chaotic.
     
  23. Jan 17, 2014 at 4:31 AM
    #23
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Well, around this time period in Fafhrd’s story, my wife decided to go back to school and further her nursing career and because of this our travel time was severely curtailed. As we were not going to be using it we sold our E1 trailer. Ever since we had been pondering out next traveling set-up would be. And we were going to do it based on being a travelling couple instead of a roving family of four, though we will always leave some wiggle room for extra gear if the kiddos tag along.

    Well after looking at all the camping options for overlanding (or whatever you want to call it), Michelle said she’d like to try out a RTT also known as a roof top tent. And since we had a trip at the end of April 2012 planned for a tour of the Mid-South she wanted me to procure one to use on that trip for us to try out. My plan was to pick up a used budget RTT like the Camping Lab, Tepiu or Mombosa, try it out for the week and if we didn’t like it we’d just sell it again. Even if we lost a little money it would be cheaper than motel rooms for a week. A fabric folding tent would work well on my secondary lower rack and be able to flip up between my tall stanchions so that was an advantage. But I’ve seen folks rip their covers, tear straps and I’ve listened to tents flap in the breeze as I was following others down the highway not to mention tent’s rustling in the wind once they’re set up. So I put an ad over on the Expedition Portal and lo and behold I got a quick response…but not the type that I was expecting.

    Opening a PM from fellow ExPo member Endo I found that he had in his possession a practically new Autohome Maggiolina Extreme RTT. Here it turns out Endo (whose real name is Clint) is a principal at JPFreek magazine and JPF's gear editor (John) had a demo Maggiolina sitting in his garage after doing a magazine review on it. It had only been slept in twice, so it was for all intents and purposes brand new. Autohome really didn’t want to ship it back to their factory if they didn’t have to, so they asked Clint if he could find a buyer for it and if so they’d offer a good deal on the tent. Well along comes Haggis…
    I never even considered one of these tents as they are a high end tent, but I was really attracted to its design. Mainly the hard cover construction. Here in the East I’ve seen tent covers ripped by hugging trees so having a hard sided tent offers some advantage. Also the big bonus for me was storage. We live right next to a trout stream and critters run amok everywhere. You can’t let anything sit for a couple of days without some critter getting into it. I had visions of opening a tent in the woods only to find it chewed to bits and the interior covered in pellets. So after discussing the advantages and disadvantages of hard side and soft sided tents Michelle and I decide to go for Maggiolina.

    Clint had us contact Mike at Autohome US to arrange a deal. Mike was great to do business with. He answered our questions and our concerns with good info, did everything he said he was going to do and offered us a deal on the tent that was way too good to pass up. Next I had to make arrangements with Clint to pick up the tent. And as luck would have it, the Maggie was located just a little south of my sister Elizabeth’s and my brother in law (jim65wagon) house in Virginia. Sweet…I had a base camp for my tent retrieval expedition. As my wife and kids had too much going on to make a run south I found myself hitting the highway all by my lonesome.

    So over a couple of days I mooched of my brother-in-law and ate his food (crab cakes, potato pancakes, roasted chicken with all the works…good stuff); met Clint who took time out of his busy schedule to help me mount the tent (Thanks Clint!) and talk trucks and stuff; drove the backroads of Virginny thanks to some suggestions form Clint; and finally dodged rozzer speed traps on the trip home.

    So here’s the end result…a virtually new “used” tent on the back of Fafhrd…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are some more photos with the tent deployed…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Impressions so far…

    *Driving with the tent mounted on the lower racks you don’t even notice that’s it is back there other than the blocked view out the rear window. On my trip down my gas mileage averaged 16.8 mpg and on the way home I averaged 16.6. So no real discernible difference and some of that might be due to the crappy gas they have in Virginia. This is way better than the three or four mpg loss that would happen when we hauled our E1 trailer around.
    *The materials used in the construction of the Maggiolina are top notch. The tent fabric feels hefty and d substantial and is of better quality than the fabric used in our old E1. The zippers are heavy duty and work fast and well with no snag ups. The roof has a headliner in it that has a nice feel and the mattress is really comfy.

    [​IMG]

    * Set-up is fairly quick. It takes me 45 seconds to spool up the top and just a couple of minutes to set the ladder and zip up the doors. Ingress is fairly easy, though I have plans to make it easier. Take down is just a bit slower as you need to see that the fabric folds down nicely.

    [​IMG]
    *Michelle likes all the interior storage pockets as there are two pockets to each side of the walls and a big gear storage loft at the low end of the hardtop. She also liked the rotating LED light.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    *I won’t be able to deploy the tent with the tall stanchions on. But it only takes five minutes to put them on and off. If I’m bringing along the kayaks it shouldn’t be a real problem. The Extreme model of Maggiolina has provisions for a rack also and I did mount up my Thules mounts to see how they fit. But I don’t think I can mount the ‘yaks on that rail as I believe the Maggie rack is only rated for 20 kilos or 44 lbs.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Jan 17, 2014 at 7:36 AM
    #24
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Former Mayor

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    Nice truck man :) I always liked those 1gen Tundras
     
  25. Jan 18, 2014 at 1:49 AM
    #25
    PcBuilder14

    PcBuilder14 New Member

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    Maud, TX / Whiteman AFB, MO
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    Suspension: Front - Bilstein 5100's/Eibach coils Rear - Procomp AAL & 5100's Wheels & Tires: - 33x12.50x15 KM2's - Summit Racing 85 Black 8 Series Wheels/15x8/3.75" Backspacing Armor: - Relentless Fabrication Front Bumper - 4XInnovations HREW Kickout Sliders Exterior: - BetterBuilt Lowpro black tool box - Satoshi'd Grille (Made by 03tacoman) with M1 Homertaco mesh - 15% window tint Interior: - Weathertech floormats - Locking Glove Box Latch from a 4Runner - JVC-KDR840BT stereo - Orion C0700.1M2 amp - 10" Kicker CompVT10 subwoofer Lighting: - Philips Crystal Vision Ultra Headlight Bulbs - LED Reverse Bulbs - LED interior lights Other: - Rustoleum Bedlined Bed Rails - Grey Wire Mod - Rustoleum Bedlined Fender Flares - B.A.M.F. BPV Bracket - 14" Magnaflow Muffler Dumped - 1" Diff. Drop Kit - UltraGauge - 20lb CO2 Tank - Trailhead Auto Tire Deflators - Uniden 520XL PRO CB - Diff. Breather Mod
    Makes me want a Tundra! :thumbsup:
     
  26. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM
    #26
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Thanks fellers!
     
  27. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM
    #27
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    With the Maggie loaded on the truck I found that with the way it sat on the rack the ladder was at an odd angle. Also as we travel through the soggy, muddy part of the east coast we were wanting an easier way to remove mud encrusted shoes easily before entering the tent. My solution....Porches!

    [​IMG]
    They're made from consumer grade aluminum scaffolding planks made by Werner mounted to thick walled 2” aluminum angle. Than attached to the rails using stainless fasteners with capture nuts that slide in the rails slot. Their pretty stout and don’t flex at all under my weight. Slots cut into each outboard side of the porches allow the access ladder to mount up to either side or to have a ladder on both sides at the same time. They are painted with Dupli-Color bedliner to give the porches some extra grip on the surface.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG].... [​IMG]

     
  28. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:39 PM
    #28
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    With porches and tent mounted up my wife and I headed south to the mountians and east to the sea as we explored our way around North Carolins for our 2oth wedding anniversary. Here's some shots of Fafhrd on our run to the mountains and us cruising the beach.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  29. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM
    #29
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    Despite my introduction of Fafhrd as a work and exploration truck I’ve yet to have posted any pics of ol’ Fafhrd at work. Probably because that would be very, I don’t know, boring. Here’s the truck after hauling my butt and all my gear back from the log home restoration job way down by the West Virginia border.

    [​IMG]

    Ooh…here’s a before and after shot of the house I restored…

    Before…(though it was covered in three layers of siding, clapboards, asphalt and then aluminum)

    [​IMG]

    After…

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Jan 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM
    #30
    Haggis

    Haggis [OP] New Member

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    The next trip we found ourselves on was in the summer of 2012 when we and Fafhrd joined up with the renowned overlanders of the Appalachian Ridgerunners Supreme Expedition Squad for a weekend of fun and adventure. This one was of the waterborne variety and the weather was perfect. Here’s’ our set-up for the weekend…


    [​IMG]

    And here’s a few teaser pics of the river run…

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    What a awesome time with some great people!
     
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