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T100 mods suggestions

13805 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Yota-t100
Hi I am new to the forums... just bought a T100 which I want to drive to Alaska. I was wondering what mods I should do before I go, (this is my first vehicle/truck). Basically what I want to do is drive up there with my brother and drive off-road some and find some wildlife and scenic scenery (my brother is a photographer). So I was thinking maybe a suspension and or tire upgrade. Maybe a light-bar.... does anyone have any recommendations for a cheap light bar? I have a sortof bull bar in the front to mount it to. Is there a way to wire it into the dimmer switch so when you turn on your brights the light-bar comes on? What else would I need/want? Any suggestions are welcome. Also I don't have much money to spend so everything has got to be kept as low $$$ as possible.:frown:
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1995 Toyota T100 DX
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Hi I am new to the forums... just bought a T100 which I want to drive to Alaska. I was wondering what mods I should do before I go, (this is my first vehicle/truck). Basically what I want to do is drive up there with my brother and drive off-road some and find some wildlife and scenic scenery (my brother is a photographer). So I was thinking maybe a suspension and or tire upgrade. Maybe a light-bar.... does anyone have any recommendations for a cheap light bar? I have a sortof bull bar in the front to mount it to. Is there a way to wire it into the dimmer switch so when you turn on your brights the light-bar comes on? What else would I need/want? Any suggestions are welcome. Also I don't have much money to spend so everything has got to be kept as low $$$ as possible.
Generally speaking the t100 if a pretty good off road beast, depending on what kind of offroading you are doing a shock upgrade would be great not only for your trip but for your ride in general, KYB seem to be the favorite around here but im personally a billstein guy but they are pretty pricey, if you have the 4x4 you wont necesarily need a suspension lift, mainly your just going for looks on that, you will loose towing and torque if you dont regear but thats your call, Best bet is drive it the way you are if you dont have a great budget, generally speaking if you have four wheel drive you'll be fine, as for the light bar their are cheep ones out their but you are better off getting something that will last, easy upgrade is go with some LED headlights, super efficient and really if you aim your headlights well enough their isnt a need for a light bar, possibly addi g a winch would help if you manage to get stuck, other than that i would get some decent offroad tires , nittos and kumho are dencent brands, not cheap though, another good tire if your going to be doing some offroading are the good year wrangler duratrac just my 2 cents
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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Welcome! Post up some pics of the new ride and some specs. That will help us to point you in the right direction.

As for long trips the number one priority is reliability so I'd suggest keeping modifications to a minimum, especially to important stuff like the suspension. I'd highly suggest spending the money on maintenance and baselining the truck. It's probably been somewhat neglected like many older trucks, so it would benefit greatly from some TLC. It's not as fun as mods, but it's way more important.

Honestly, I would be looking into the timing belt job (a biggie) if it hasn't been done and shoring up any leaks it may have. I'd also replace the shifter bushing with the white one from Marlin Crawler, which should ensure against shifting issues. I would also replace the diff, tranny, and transfer case gear oils, and ensure you grease all the zerks (there are like 14 of them) and slip yokes on both drive shafts. I would also look into possibly flushing the coolant (though this will likely be done if you do the timing belt) just to make sure it's fresh and happy. If it currently wanders or doesn't feel like the handling is tight, I would replace the shocks, the sway bar bushings and end links, and the steering damper, and then rebuild the idler arm. There are threads on here for all of these items with pics and part numbers. I would also inspect your clutch pedal bracket to make sure it's shiny black, and not grey. The grey ones crack and fail making shifting difficult or impossible. Also, make sure the firewall at the clutch master is solid and not deformed/cracked if you have the grey bracket. If you have the grey one, replace the assembly with the newer black version (again, in the name of reliability).

Less fun jobs include new pads/rotors if they are getting worn, checking/replacing ball joints of they are worn, and re-packing the front wheel bearings (a good idea if you do the front brakes at the same time).

You may also want to look into the battery...all the mods in the world won't help if the truck won't start! :) This is especially true if you add lights. If you're on a budget, I'd skip the light bar all together and throw some generic off-road lights on there if you feel you need them. Just make sure you wire them through a relay...NOT directly through the cab switch (fire hazard).

And then I would look into tires, as these T100s sit very high. I don't think a lift would be needed, and may decrease reliability. Good tires and a reliability will get you *way* farther than you might realize. These trucks are great off-road stock. Grab some good 31" Ats and you should be good.

Make sure the rear axle isn't cracked near the spring perches...it's a failure spot on some of these.

Otherwise, I'd spend some money on a nice used shell so you don't have to cram everything in the bed, and get some good recovery gear in case you get stuck.
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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Oh, and I would highly recommend getting a manual (Toyota, Haynes, Chilton) and some tools to keep with you just in case. It would be a pretty expensive tow if you get stranded off-road in Alaska! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input guys, My truck is a 95 xtracab 4x4 manual with just over 176k. When I said suspension upgrade I only meant shocks not a lift. I have no clue as to what maintenance has been done on it so what would you recommend doing first? I do have brake pads and rotors for the front and tie rod ends that I will probably install before I leave. What kind of recovery gear do you recommend? Just after I got it the clutch bracket broke so I had it welded and I got a spare (black) one from a junk yard for $5 so I should be fine as far as that goes. I also got a basically brand new rear bumper for $30 at the same time (my old one is totally rusted out). I will try to update my garage with pictures soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You may also want to look into the battery...all the mods in the world won't help if the truck won't start! :) This is especially true if you add lights. If you're on a budget, I'd skip the light bar all together and throw some generic off-road lights on there if you feel you need them. Just make sure you wire them through a relay...NOT directly through the cab switch (fire hazard).

And then I would look into tires, as these T100s sit very high. I don't think a lift would be needed, and may decrease reliability. Good tires and a reliability will get you *way* farther than you might realize. These trucks are great off-road stock. Grab some good 31" Ats and you should be good.
About the lights what do you mean by generic off-road lights?
About the tires which ones do you recommend?
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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I have no clue as to what maintenance has been done on it so what would you recommend doing first?

I do have brake pads and rotors for the front and tie rod ends that I will probably install before I leave. What kind of recovery gear do you recommend?

Just after I got it the clutch bracket broke so I had it welded and I got a spare (black) one from a junk yard for $5 so I should be fine as far as that goes. I also got a basically brand new rear bumper for $30 at the same time (my old one is totally rusted out). I will try to update my garage with pictures soon.
Awesome! And you got the best deal on the country on that rear bumper FYI...great find.

I would do the shocks, sway bar bushings and end link, and rebuild the idler arm first. That will get it handling almost like new.

When you do the tie rods, you'll probably need an alignment. Have the ball joints and wheel bearings checked before, so if you need new ones, the work can be done all at once and you only need an alignment once.

Recovery gear: I'd just make sure you have some tow straps, gloves, a shovel, and a a winch (like one of the mechanical ones that aren't very expensive). Just make sure you know the rules and safety when using them (a snapped cable or wire can be deadly).
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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About the lights what do you mean by generic off-road lights?
About the tires which ones do you recommend?
I just meant some cheap round off-road lights from the auto parts store that you can mount to the bumper. Light bars are a couple hundred dollars, and have to be mounted to the roof or pillars (that always makes me cringe a bit). That money would be way more effective being put into tires and maintenance, with little light performance given up by going with the cheap off-road lights.

As for tires, I haven't used many, but there are a few threads on here about some tires that people like. I would personally go for a quality A/T tire. The Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revos are good (my father and a good friend of mine have them and love them). I think one member here has some Falkens of some sort and likes them too. Just don't go too aggressive...most of your trip sounds like it'll be highway and M/Ts would make the drive less enjoyable (in my opinion).

I'm due for tires this year, and I'm looking to get the Revos, or the Cooper AT3s, which I have heard good things about. A decent budget tire would be the Firestone A/Ts as people seem to like them as well.

Just make sure the spare matches...a spare that's a different size will cause binding and potential driveline damage in 4WD. In 2WD it would be fine, but you might need 4WD off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok thanks for all the info I looked at the tires and for the price it loos like the Firestone Destination A/T s are pretty good. I also found some Goodyear wrangler radial that are considerably cheaper... By mechanical winch do you mean one with a crank on it? Thanks
 

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He means a come along, which is a very good idea to have with you if you're going offroading up there (or anywhere far from help).

Head the reliability advice please - get your truck baselined as has already been said. It needs maintenance first and foremost. Cooper AT3 is a great tire, as are 4-5 others that I'd easily purchase too (and have in past). I'm not a fan of destination AT personally. And what I always tell everyone on tires - if you can afford the cost up front than do yourself a favor and buy some Michelins. They will pay for themselves in mileage if you rotate them. That being said they're not a serious offroad tire - problem with that is everyone that offroads envisions themself as a "serious" offroader
 

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1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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I just was looking at our local Rural King and I saw this . Could a person attach that to the front of your truck and use it as a winch?
Not really! It's a strap ratchet that slides on the side rails of commercial trailers to tighten load straps. It would keep tension on a strap being used to say pull your truck out of a mud hole or something but someone would have to stand there with a break over bar and continuously be manually tightening the strap while the cogs on it lock in place. If the strap lets go your in the "dead zone" or if the truck lurches forward then all the tension is released at once!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I just ordered the marlin crawler shifter bushing! Also replaced the alternator belt and put on the new bumper. Planning to redo the whole front end soon shocks, idler arms, tie rod ends, rotors, repack bearings, etc.
 

· Toyota Master Technician
95 T100 4X4
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scT100 i can get 52" light bars for 75$ all day long :D
and for lights setup leds you dont need relays now for my old lights zeesz i had 10 relays.... so glad to be getting rid of them :D

my lights

LED Chip, Power: CREE Chip, 6*3W

Current Draw: 1.4A @ 12V, 0.7A @24V

Operating Voltage: 10-30V DC


( a good rule of thumb is to only run 75% load on a switch/fuse

example; if your switch is rated for 100 amps, dont run more then 75 amps continuously through it

i live by this and have never had a problem or a fire, this goes with both AC and DC )
 

· T100 a trucks truck:0)
1995 T100 ExtCab
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I know it not too sexy but doing a good, thorough, check out of your windshield seals. The ones in my 95 leak (but only in rain and car washes :lol:). Reason I suggest this is it do rain in Alaska-'specially in South West panhandle. Also a good check of the AC and Heater as it can get hot and cold -on the same or very next day/night.
Camper shell for your "stuff' and to sleep in. Bears are real and wolf packs do run about at night.....in the mornings...the daylight hours...the evenings. :surprise: Plus all the other wildlife that can see you and smell your food. Be aware it ain't Disneyland in the wilderness.

p.s. I'm jealous of your trip, it sounds awesome.
 

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1997 Toyota T100
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Does anyone have any recommendations for shocks and where to get them? Part numbers maybe?
The KYB Gas-A-Justs are a great performing budget shock. Do a search on here and the part numbers are all listed.
 

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Did you drive up this summer? I'm curious on where you're planning to go, and as far as wildlife I wouldn't say you need to do much off road driving. The most valuable things you can bring is spare tires and a gas can, especially if you're headed up where the trees don't go. The Dalton Hwy chews up tires all day long, and by highway I mean gravel road that people drive 75mph on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No I didn't get a chance to drive up this summer and I Wrecked my truck so now I am afraid that truck will never see alaska:( I do still plan to go tho maybe next year I don't know.
 
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