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2000 Tundra 4x4 SR5
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been looking to get into a Tundra for a reliable desert toy for some time, and after selling our last house and buying an older home that needs some work, the need for a pickup has grown tremendously. We have a handful of other "Toyotas", including a Lexus Gs400, Prius, and my Lexus Sc300 race car project, so I'm fairly familiar with the brand, love the known reliability of a properly maintained Toyota, and not afraid to get my hands dirty with them.

I found this 2000 AC 4x4 Sr5 with 212k miles cruising Craigslist one morning at work. It had no photos, but the price was right so I reached out to the seller to see if they could provide some. At first, I saw pictures and dismissed the truck altogether, but given the current market for trucks in my area I thought, what the heck, I can put in a little work, I'll just go look at it and see how it looks in person. It's a little rough around the edges, but after looking it over, seems to run well, and the price was right. It has also had the frame replaced under the recall, so while there is some rusting in a few areas, particularly the bed, the frame is in good shape. We decided to pull the trigger and took it home.

I'm really looking forward to getting this thing back into shape, and really just wanted to start a build thread so I can keep track of progress on it moving forward. As of now, I will be doing a minor lift/level, and will be replacing the whole front end on it so it's fresh. I've already ordered some OME front struts with 885 springs, JBA upper arms, Wheelers rear 3 leaf progressive AAL, bilstein 5100 rears, and all the regular maintenance stuff associated like LBJ, new LCA's and tie rod ends.

Here's how the truck looks as of today. I already threw LED's into all the interior lights because I couldn't see anything with the dim bulbs that were in there.

Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Car Automotive side marker light
Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Plant Window
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Car Land vehicle
 

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2000 Tundra 4x4 SR5
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Over the weekend I did the valve cover gaskets and timing belt replacement. I'm not sure if this one has ever been done, so after pulling a timing cover last week I parked the truck until I got this addressed. Replaced with a full Aisin TKT021 kit, and did the fan bracket and clutch while I was at it. I also replaced the accessory drive tensioner and belt.

The old parts were definitely showing their age
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Hand Rectangle Font Artifact Electric blue
Insect Wood Jewellery Pest Invertebrate
 

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2000 Tundra 4x4 SR5
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My rear window latch inner folding arms were broken, and one of the main latch handles was missing altogether so I swung by my local junkyard and found only one latch handle available. It was from a truck with a tan interior, and mine is grey. This would have left me with mismatched latch handles so I decided I'd dye them both black with RIT dye, then put everything back together, replacing the inner arms with black aluminum replacements I got online. It's a small item, but the repair resulted an an oem look, with improved function and security, so I'm happy.


Sky Hood Automotive tire Cloud Automotive exterior


Automotive side-view mirror Land vehicle Tire Automotive tire Wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I wasn't updating this because it took three weeks to get approved, so the next few updates are copied from another forum. If admins here need help, holler :giggle:

Did my plugs the other night and when I was done the truck sounded like it had a misfire. After tinkering I found that one of the welds on the resonator had cracked so it was leaking on one inlet. I knew the exhaust had been pieced together poorly, so I wasn't horribly surprised by this, just threw me off because I had just done plugs. It must have cracked when I pulled it into the driveway just before working on it. Anyway, I ran it up to the local muffler shop for a quote, then drove it home since they were booked for the day. As I pulled it in, the hanger broke, and the left pipe fell to the ground.
:censored:
Looking at it again, the other side of the resonator had cracked up as well so it sounded quite poor and too loud. It was obvious this needed immediate replacement.
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Derp.

Anyway, took it back to the muffler shop today and they replaced everything from the cats back, as it was a junky mess. I forgot to take pictures of the original mess that was down there, but it was pretty haggard, rusty, and poorly welded. New setup is a simple 2-1 with Flowmaster Super 40 and they threw some random tip on it. I'll probably replace the tip since it's not really my style, but otherwise it's a tremendous improvement. It sounds nice, welded nice, and hopefully won't fall off on me again
:rofl:

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Side note, if anyone in AZ has a tailgate in good shape, holler
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Threw my Bilstein 5100 struts in the rear tonight. I've taken the past couple days to soak everything in my favorite penetrant, acetone and ATF.
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I've read post after post about people taking hours fighting the upper nut on their rusted old struts, so I was dreading this a bit, especially since I have back problems and wasn't really thrilled about working the struts at an odd angle for an extended period of time. I spent about 5 minutes tinkering, realized this was going to take as long as I'd heard, and decided I wasn't going to torture myself with this any longer.

Enter my friend: ol faithful
:D

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With a 12" Diablo blade, I was able to easily reach the upper strut nuts and cut both sides off in about 2 minutes flat. This was the way to go, hands down. After cutting the uppers I undid the lower bolts, which came out easily, thanks to soaking in penetrant for days prior to this, and everything popped out as it should.
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The rest of the install was pretty straightforward. I greased the new strut bushings with lithium grease before install to avoid squeaking in the future, and tightened everything up. Done for tonight as its already later than expected. The AAL should go in tomorrow, replacing the Hellwig helper leaf. Just a quick drive with just the rear struts is a tremendous difference, as the old struts were not providing much dampening any more, so I'm really excited to get the rest of the suspension, front and rear, together this weekend.
Wheel Tire Car Automotive tire Light
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I popped out the inspection cover and banged out my tailgate dent as best I could.
Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle Wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the rear finished Saturday and started on the front, which is where the real fun began. There is quite a bit of corrosion on the front end components, so I knew I was in for a bit of wrestling. I also overlooked a few things, so burned up more time than I'd like to have, running around and getting the right tools to get everything done. In the end, most everything came out ok. I did use my Sawzall to cut out the lower control arm, and the bolt from the upper, and I had replacement bolts ready. I also ended up breaking one of the bolts that held in the lower ball joint, so that was fun drilling and tapping that.

At the end of my weekend, I have the rear completed, and only the passenger side done on the front. I'm pretty bummed I wasn't able to get this fully completed on both sides this weekend. I'll have to put the drivers side off for a couple days, or maybe until next weekend. Fortunately I have my GS to drive for work until I'm done.

Passenger side components together.
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It's nice to see it from this side so I can get an idea of how everything will look. Obviously it'll still settle a bit, so we'll have to wait until I can get the drivers side finished, get it aligned, get my new wheels onto it, and get some miles on it.
20211003_153445.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got the lift wrapped up last night after work. Fortunately the drivers side didn't give me as much guff as the passenger side, despite having more corrosion. The truck looks much better, and has a bit more clearance. Ignore my cam bolt alignment, it will go in on Friday for alignment and they're only a block away from the house, so the truck won't be driven until then.
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I also did my did my diff drop while I was at it.
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I'll be calling Discount in the morning to order tires for these TRD Pro wheels I got for a deal on Labor Day. Plan is a 285/70/17 BFG K02.
20210909_180740.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finally got the truck aligned on Friday, so that was nice. This morning I was able to get my tires mounted on my wheels, and I'm stoked on how it came out. Drives great and looks great. I'm pretty happy with how this truck is coming along.
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