Toyota 1995 Tacoma Build

Well I picked up this 95 Taco from seanpistol about two months ago and decided I better post up some of the stuff that I have taken it through and maybe get some ideas/advice what else it needs. I am going to try and "finish" the truck in the next few months. This will include hydro assist, bob the bed 12", twin case (2.28 or 4.7), rock sliders and possibly a revised front bumper. As the truck sits it has a waggy front axle, stock rear with 4.88's and arbs, trail gear lift and SAS swap, heavy belly skid, high steer, and smittybuilt 9500 winch. I haven't done too much in terms of repairs or maintenance since it was in pretty decent shape when I picked it up. To the best of my knowledge the truck is pretty solid and runs pretty darn good for a 21 year old truck. Picture time, I didn't realize that most of these pictures are basically the same thing......
Went and picked up the truck and had to install the lines and compressor for the arbs, then went wheeling.

Buddy slid off the road up Millville canyon.

Attempted to replace my ball joints on the driver side since they were super worn, gave up and took it to Big O and turns out the passenger side was also shot.

Went to Jeep Safari, ran rose garden hill, behind the rocks, fins and things, steel bender and hells revenge. Truck handled everything no problem. Even averaged 20 mpg on the drive down. Wheeling manual is a huge learning curve, and I think I need a dual case.

The truck has 10" less travel than my cherokee did, so I have some work to do.

My sled even fits in it! Was able to squeeze a few more rides out this season because the truck could make it closer to consistent snow.

Made it up to the second ridge in Millville canyon. Safe to say I was the first one up there in a truck.

I had to go to Albuquerque for a buddies wedding and I decided it would be smart to take the Taco instead of trying to borrow my dads car. I broke the trip up into two days, the first day I drove into Moab and hit Poison Spider, didn't really go very far. I slept in the truck and I can say that I hope I never have to do that again. I hit Negro Bill canyon in the morning for a quick hike and finished out the drive after that. The truck ran flawlessly, definitely needs some more grunt for the bigger hills or any hill.....averaged 16-19 MPG most of the drive.

Ran up Franklin Basin a few times, once by myself and the second time with a group of Jeeps. The first time I pulled 5 tires off the road and had to cut up a few.

Went to 5 Mile, smashed right behind the driver door on waynes world.....super pumped about it......

That should be about caught up as far as trips go. I really do like the truck, I feel like a got a decent deal on it. I am going to replaced the throw out and pilot bearing tomorrow. I am pretty terrible at taking pictures of work like that so we will see how that goes.
Yesterday I tore the truck down to replace the throw out bearing and the pilot bearing. Everything went fairly smoothly until I started to pull the pilot bearing. My buddy who is an instructor in the automotive program at Bridgerland came over to see how things were going and pointed out some things that I didn't really want to hear. So the pilot bearing has been seized for a very long time, long enough to cause major wear on the tranny main shaft. The new bearing race doesn't even fit on the shaft. So after that news I began pulling the clutch off since it was easier to put the bearing in without it on there. More great news, the clutch was completely burned up and would have been lucky to finish out the month. The pressure plate and flywheel had signs of burning and were worn. So now I am waiting to get a new clutch and the flywheel turned. The tranny main shaft needs to be replaced but I definitely do not have the money for that at the moment so I am going to throw it all back together and hope that it lasts another year.

The square drive shaft needs to go.

It started to rain and we were committed so my buddy grabbed the biggest tarp I have ever seen and we constructed fort kickass and continued.

New throw out, the old one was completely toast.

Old clutch assembly, clutch is almost worn down to the rivets.


RME Resident Ninja
Premium Member
West Jordan
At least you caught the bad clutch before it caused more damage!

For the transmission input, there are kits available to fix the pilot if it isn't fubar'd too bad. I have used one before, and it doesn't require disassembly of the transmission. It is simply a sleeve that presses on (with a hammer...) to the input shaft pilot, and a different (larger ID) pilot bearing/bushing to compensate for the now larger dia. pilot shaft. is where I got mine. I didn't look too close, so I don't know if they have a solution for your application, but at least you can see what I'm talking about.
Good to know that there is some sort of cheaper fix, I checked out fitzall and they didn't seem to have anything for my application. I will look around for something else but I looking for something quick, the truck is the only mode of transportation I have at the moment and I need to move back to Salt Lake some time this week so I need it running. Worst case scenario, I throw the tranny back in with a working pilot bearing and wait until I can figure something out. At least the pilot bearings are cheap......not that a new tranny I said, if I can make the drivetrain last one more year, I'll be golden.


Well-Known Member
what a great rig. It's nice to see you driving is so much and using it for what it was intended. This thread reminds me of some of my favorite old toyota threads on Pirate. Keep up the great work!
Thanks guys! Finished up the new clutch and tranny install. I was able to get a deal on the clutch and had the flywheel turned at carquest. Things started off smoothly then went downhill fairly quick. So I had the six bolts for the pressure plate in my living room with the transmission, transfer case and old clutch assembly. So at some point of moving all the parts back to the truck I lost a bolt for the pressure plate. I looked for probably an hour an couldn't find it. The toyota dealership was closed so I gave up and found that the inspection plate bolts are the just 1/8 longer than the one I lost so I used that. When I was torquing the bolts down, one of the heads sheared off in the flywheel. I ran over to my buddies shop and borrowed some stuff to extract the bolt. Ended up buying 4 more bolts for the pressure plate. I was able to tap the threads out with a screwdriver and hammer. So round 2, same thing happens. At this point I think I threw my buddies torque wrench (mine was used in round 1) and found a different torque wrench to finish the job. The rest of the install went fairly smoothly. Ended up finishing in the dark so that kind of sucked but the truck drives much nicer now, makes way less noise but I can definitely hear that shaft bouncing around in the pilot bearing. I am going to keep my eye out for a replacement tranny since I think that will be more cost effective than replacing that shaft and paying someone to install it since I don't trust myself with that kind of stuff. Anyways, one less thing on the to do list.
Trip update!
My buddy and I went up left hand fork the other day and just kind of wandered around behind temple fork and right hand. We tried to come out of logan canyon summit but there was too much snow. Ran about 60 miles on dirt.

I am still trying to get used to crawling with the manual, really want a twin case. Ran down to Salt Lake to pick up a tacoma e-locker for my buddies little truck and got a tire from Bryson. Should have that mounted up tomorrow. The transmission is making a pretty loud whine at freeway speeds, I was hoping to make it through the next few months on the bad pilot shaft but I have to fix this. It sounds way worse than it did before the new bearing. So I need to find either a new pilot shaft or a new R150F tranny for the truck. Twin case might not happen this summer but I should be able to get a ton of maintenance and hopefully a few mods done this summer.


Tin Foil Hat Equipped
What's your gearing at now?

I got a twin case in mine, if you get a doubler for some reason they put a hole in the adapter where I don't think one should be and basically it just makes it leak. If I end up taking mine apart again I'm going to find someone that can fill a hole in aluminum and fill the hole.

My theory is in the pre-tacoma the transfer case and transmission share oil and in the Tacoma the transfercase and transmission are separate and the hole isn't needed.
I am geared at 4.88 in the diffs, I think I should be more towards 5.13 or something but because of the waggy front I can't get a lower matching gear. That is good to know, I have been thinking about just waiting for the twin and swapping to a gear driven case compatible transmission and a passenger drop axle. But I'd have to start all over with the front end so that is kind of a turn off.

Rock Taco

Well-Known Member
You could do 5.29 and 5.38 those are close enough for off road / snow conditions.

Do you wish you had the lower gears more for off road or on road?
I wish it was lower for crawling specifically. The truck gets up and goes fairly well on the street, my lack of experience with wheeling something like the truck might be the real issue. I mean I have really only rock crawled a hand full of times.


Tin Foil Hat Equipped
I don't see a huge advantage going from 4.88 to 5.29 or even 5.38, I think you would be far better off with a doubler, if you're driving down the street and RPMs are about right I wouldn't touch the axle ratio. 4.88 to 5.38 is about a 10% reduction vs 2.28 or overkill to a 4.7 in a doubler.

Rock Taco

Well-Known Member
I wish it was lower for crawling specifically. The truck gets up and goes fairly well on the street, my lack of experience with wheeling something like the truck might be the real issue. I mean I have really only rock crawled a hand full of times.
I don't see a huge advantage going from 4.88 to 5.29 or even 5.38, I think you would be far better off with a doubler, if you're driving down the street and RPMs are about right I wouldn't touch the axle ratio. 4.88 to 5.38 is about a 10% reduction vs 2.28 or overkill to a 4.7 in a doubler.

4.88 is return to stock for a 37" tire. I didnt see what size tire you have. The reason I asked is if its only for offroad then a doubler is probably all you need as Spork suggested. A second case with 2.28 or a single with 4.7 or 5:1 should work well.


Active Member
Logan, Ut
We almost made it to the sinks the weekend before. We were the only ones to had made tracks up to the point where you took those pictures! If I didn't have the baby with me, we would've pushed a little harder. Packing out a 1 year old didn't sound fun