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2011 Toyota Tacoma Gets New TX Limited-Edition Option Packages

Friday, July 30th, 2010
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Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling small truck in the U.S. has two new limited-edition trim packages for the 2011 model— both based on the Tacoma TX project vehicle shown at last year’s SEMA Show. tacoma tx

The T|X and T|X Pro packages build upon the Tacoma’s current Off-Road Package by adding new wheels, exhaust and appearance items from Toyota Racing Development’s accessory catalog. Accessory packaging is extremely popular with Tacoma owners.

T|X stands for “Tacoma | Extreme.”

The standard TRD Off-Road Package, at the foundation of both T|X editions, includes an electronic locking rear differential, progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a 28 mm front stabilizer bar and BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires. In addition the TRD Off-Road Package includes a 400-watt/115-volt power point in the bed, sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and unique fabric, plus an overhead console with a compass and outside temperature display.

The Base T|X trim adds beefy TRD 16-inch black alloy bead-lock wheels and 265/70R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires for extra capability off-road over the standard TRD Tacoma. It also features black tube side steps, a stainless-steel exhaust tip and unique exterior graphics. The MSRP of the T|X Package is $1,699, a savings of $754 compared with the package items ordered as separate options.

The T|X Pro Package adds performance flare with a TRD cat-back performance exhaust system that gives the Tacoma’s 4.0-liter V-6 a deeper note and slightly more power. Also priced at an MSRP of $1,699, the T|X Pro Package represents a savings of $720 compared with the package contents added as separate accessories.

Ordering for the 2011 Tacoma T|X Pro Package will begin in July, and the T|X Package will launch two months later in September.

In an unrelated announcement yet occurring at the same time, Toyota sources reveal that the 2.7 four-cylinder version of the  4Runner is being discontinued after just one model year. The main reason for the drop is the extremely low purchase rate, with the V-6 model accounting for well over 90 percent of 4Runner sales. One key reason could be that there is very little difference in gas mileage performance between the 4 and 6 cylinder engines.

2011 TOYOTA TACOMA RECEIVES FACELIFT CHANGES

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
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The Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling midsize pickup truck in the U.S., receives a few minor changes to its model lineup and a modest price hike for 2011.tacoma grille

The most notable update is a bolder cosmetically revised grille design that’s expected to change the current two-bar grille to a single bar.

All regular cab Tacomas will include air conditioning as standard equipment, and 15-inch styled steel wheels will be standard on two-wheel-drive regular cab trucks. Models with the available six-disc CD changer will also come with integrated Sirius-XM satellite radio. A new Convenience Extra Value Package for double cab models adds cruise control, a sliding rear window with privacy glass, remote keyless entry and steering-wheel audio controls. All exterior colors from last year carry over except for Black Sand Pearl, which has been changed to  Black.

Toyota has discontinued three low-volume manual transmission models and added five four-cylinder, four-speed automatic models. The new models are the Access Cab 4×2 PreRunner, Double Cab 4×2, Double Cab 4×2 PreRunner, Regular Cab 4×4 and Access Cab 4×4.

The entry-level regular cab 2011 Toyota Tacoma with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission will start at $16,365 before a $810 destination charge. That’s a $1,020 price increase over the 2010 Tacoma. A fully equipped double cab V-6 five-speed automatic Tacoma with four-wheel drive and a long bed will start at $27,525, up $275 from 2010, before $810 destination.

Toyota offers two engines for the Tacoma. The base 2.7-liter double-overhead-camshaft four-cylinder produces 159 horsepower and 180 pounds-feet of torque, and the powerful 4.0-liter DOHC V-6  makes 236 hp and 266 pounds-feet of torque. Certain V-6-equipped models can tow up to 6,500 pounds.

Production of the 2011 Tacoma is expected to start July 6 at the Tacoma’s new home in San Antonio, at the same factory that builds the full-size Toyota Tundra.

The first 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks should arrive at dealers by the end of July, first of August.

TACOMA DOUBLE CAB DRIVE IMPRESSIONS

Saturday, June 26th, 2010
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The Tacoma Double Cab with TRD Sport Package might be on every guy’s wish list. But lets face it, there are times when everyone of us could use a pickup truck to move some of our stuff. It reminds me of that classic George Carlin routine about always having to much stuff. Anyway, if you have a pickup sitting around during those times you’re glad you have it. If you don’t have one, you wish you did and dread having to borrow one or get a rental. Toyota-Tacoma-Double-Cab-V6-4x4-2010

For the small businessman, contractor, outdoorsman, or week-end gardener, the mid-size Toyota Tacoma may be just the right fit. Tacoma has long been known for its high build quality, reliability, longevity, and resale value;…and with it’s high popularity as a customizable personalized vehicle, Tacoma owns a 37 Percent share of the mid-size truck market.

The second generation Tacoma, like the one pictured, was introduced in 2005 and hasn’t changed much since then, except for a minor styling update in 2009. Engine options are a 2.7-litre, DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder with VVT-i that generates 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and a 4.0-litre DOHC 24 valve V6 engine with VVT-i good for 236 hp and 266 lb-ft. Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is advanced technology that pumps maximum power from minimal fuel.  Transmission choices are a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic with the four-cylinder engine, and six-speed manual and five-speed auto with the V6.

Tacoma is available in Single Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab models, Access with two small, rear-hinged rear doors, and the Double Cab with four, full-size, front-hinged doors. There are two bed lengths, too: a six-footer that is standard on most models, and a five-foot bed that is only offered on Double Cab models. The four-cylinder engine is standard in the Single Cab and available  in PreRunner Access Cab models. The V6 is an option and is standard in Double Cab models. The backbone support for the Tacoma is forged massive one-piece frame rails, eight equally strong cross members and a fully boxed front sub-frame.

In this article lets take a look at a 2010 Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab V6 model ($31,845) with the TRD Sport Package ($5,110).  The Sport Package adds conveniences like steering wheel audio controls, sliding rear window, cruise control, keyless entry and variable intermittent wipers,17″ wheels and tires and Bilstein shocks. More importantly, perhaps, are functional additions that include transmission and engine oil coolers, upgraded alternator, trailer wiring harness, and Class IV hitch all boosting the Tacoma’s towing capacity from 5,000 pounds  to 6,500 pounds. There is also a 400-watt cargo bed power outlet and a backup camera that shows up in the rear-view mirror with the transmission in reverse.

Unencumbered, the V6 motor is strong, bringing brisk, if not fast, acceleration. The five-speed automatic does its job well, though its shifts are rougher than what you’re treated to in a typical family sedan or crossover. We can thank the gearbox’s heavier-duty nature for that. It responds with prompt downshifts when the gas pedal is prodded, though the engine generates enough torque in its low- and mid-range that a downshift is rarely required for moderate acceleration.

The 4×4 system is a driver-selectable part-time setup with low-range gearing, operated electronically via a knob on the dash. Unlike many full-size pickups, the Tacoma’s system doesn’t have an automatic mode that allows the truck to remain in four-wheel drive all the time. There’s no centre differential, so the truck must be driven in two-wheel drive mode on paved surfaces. Access Cab V6 models can be had with a locking rear differential and skid plates for the transfer case and fuel tank as part of the TRD Sport Package, but these items aren’t included on the Double Cab model. All Tacomas however, get an automatic (electronic) limited slip rear differential and come standard with the Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC),Traction Control (TRAC), that helps reduce wheelspin and prevent traction loss while cornering, Anti-lock Brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution(EBD) and Brake Assist.

You don’t equip a truck with all of the gear above if the worst it’s going to see are speed bumps and shopping carts. You expect that it’s going to be put to the test in all kinds of go-for-broke situations where the roads look like the surface of perhaps Mars with everything in the path ahead filled with sand, mud, or snow that will have to be out muscled or out maneuvered. the Tacoma ride is firm and the truck is maneuverable with a quick turn diameter of 40.7 ft. The Tacoma is

  • Built To Beat The Heat – Bilstein Shocks keep their cool for consistent performance under pressurre as do the ventilated front disc brakes.
  • Powerful And Strong – the Tacoma V6 engine puts the spark plugs in the center of the combustion chamber. the pentroof combustion creates a cleaner, more efficient burn and increases both performance and efficiency.
  • Built With Backbone – the trucks frame is the source of its strength. Tacoma is built on a rugged frame strengthened with 8″ cross members, beefed-up center side rails, and rear inner channel reinforcements with a rear suspension geared toward handling the truck’s (1,150 lb) payload.

Besides hunters and recreational enthusiasts who else might buy a Tacoma? How about small contractors or week-end project warriors. What can you do with this truck on say a home improvement adventure? A Tacoma like we’re talking about recently hauled a pre-fab toolshed home from the store and handled a loaded down bed of weighty lawn sod and garden compost. 

Only the weighty compost proved much of a challenge for the drivetrain, which worked noticeably harder to get the truck up to speed when loaded down at or a  little over payload capacity. The transmission’s shifts were a little harsher, especially in downshifting, and the rear end wallowed a little over large bumps, but the cabin provided a comfortable drive during the transport. Tacoma proved to be just enough truck for all the tasks. Payload-wise, in order to carry any more than we did, you’d most likely have to move up to a full-size truck.

Despite the Tacoma’s firm ride when not loaded, it proved otherwise to be a very comfortable vehicle to be in. The front seats are very supportive and comfortable, and very little wind or road noise gets into the cabin at highway speeds.

The Tacoma’s cabin puts function before fancy. The gauges are large and easy to read, and the controls simple, but there’s not much here in the way of luxury items. Headroom is generous, but the door openings are short, so getting in requires a slightly awkward manoeuvre involving stepping up to the high floor while simultaneously ducking down to avoid hitting your head on the door frame. The rear seat offers similar headroom, with adequate legroom.

The Tacoma comes with a composite cargo bed that eliminates the need for a bedliner and the oxidation that can occur between the bedliner and a metal bed, four tie-down cleats that live in tracks running the perimeter of the bed and  small cubbies in the sides of the bed for stashing small items. The 400-watt, 115-volt power outlet mounted in the bed is an option on most models (in the SR5 Power Package in the 4×2 Access Cab and with the TRD Sport Package in V6 models).

The vehicle’s shortcomings are only that you could buy the wrong one for your needs. Tacoma proves it’s decent at hauling both people and stuff within it’s specifications. 

If there’s any wisdom to be taken away with this article , it’s that one should shop carefully when buying a pickup. The Tacoma’s options, drive-train and body configurations are relatively staightforward, but larger trucks are available with a dizzying array of combinations of engine, drive-train, cab and box choices that make it very easy for a casual truck buyer to wind up with too much or not enough truck for what they want to use it for.

BALANCING OFF ROAD TIRES

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
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Balancing off road tires can be a challenge. The tires on Tacoma, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, and Tundra can be heavy and the tread easily damaged. For Example, when the tires are aired down they can sometimes slip on the rim so the balance point moves. In wet muddy conditions, mud can adhere to the inside of the wheel throwing  the tire out of balance.counter act bead application

The traditional way of balancing tires uses static mounted weights on the rims to counter balance the heavy points in the tire/rim combination.  With the ever changing condition on off road tires and rims these balance points can change very quickly.

Bead balancing systems have been used on over the road truck tires for some time and they are now finding there way into off- road applications. So when planning to mount custom Wheels and specialized Tires it may be wise to give balancing beads a try. There are companies such as Counteract Balancing Beads, that will send you bags for this installation.

The beads can be added during the tire mounting so no additional balancing need be done on the wheels. Off-Road enthusiasts who take lengthy off-road trips report feeling no balance vibration from the tires. The application seems to have worked very effectively.

An added benefit of the balancing beads is there are no weights mounted on the outside of the rims which leads to a much cleaner installation.

TOYOTA TUNDRA AND TACOMA POPULAR MODIFICATIONS

Saturday, March 14th, 2009
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Here are some Tundra & Tacoma Popular Modifications that Owners like to add to their vehicles…

A recent study by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) identified the most popular aftermarket modifications for trucks. The results were based on a survey of more than 3,000 enthusiasts who subscribe to automotive magazines or online forums.

SEMA has crunched the data even further and identified the 10 most popular modifications for Tundra and Tacoma owners. Here’s that list:

Air intake – performance filter replacement 47%Custom Wheels  41%                                                                                                                                                                    
Battery 38%
Plus-size tires 38%
Suspension lift kit 35%
Exhaust kit 32%
Performance fluids – oils, lubricants 32%
Brake caliper/rotor upgrades 29%
Bedliner – spray-on or drop-in 29%
Suspension – springs, shocks, sway bars 29%

Toyota owners have slightly different tastes than other truck owners….

Here’s a sampling of sought-after items for competitive models in order of popularity:

Chevrolet Silverado: exhaust kit, cold-air intake conversion, polish/wax, plus-size tires and custom wheels
Dodge Ram: exhaust kit, cold-air intake conversion, trailer hitch, polish/wax, bedliner
Ford F-Series: exhaust kit, polish/wax, cold-air intake conversion, performance air-filter replacement, performance fluids
Nissan Titan: window tinting, alarm system, polish/wax, stereo speakers, custom upholstery

In general, exhaust kits were the most popular for truck owners followed by polishes and waxes, air-filter replacement, cold-air intake conversions and performance lubricants. The next five were bedliners, plus-size tires, trailer hitch, window tinting and finally suspension modifications.