In no order of importance and just off the top of my head at the moment:
For the Tacoma:
• Bumpers. Front for sure. Rear would be nice as well as much to carry extra Jerry cans and another spare as anything else. I like the ARB and its price but not its weight. There’s always the Aluminess which is half the weight but twice the price. It’s amazing how many suicidal deer there are in the world. It only takes one ending it all against the front of your vehicle at highway speeds to put a huge damper on your adventure, a sizable dent in your wallet and quite possible kill you as well. A stout bumper is (relatively) cheap insurance. This is actually first on my list funds permitting. UPDATE: We now have an aluminum front bumper from CBI Offroad and winch installed.
• New suspension/lift. The original leaf springs in the rear are beat and sagging and the original Toyota/Bilstein shocks up front have seen better days as well.
The original owner installed a Toytec spacer lift which helped the front look better and the rear look like it was sagging less but did nothing for load carrying capacity or ride characteristics. UPDATE: When up in Oregon we purchased the Old Man Emu lift kit as well as the add-a-leaf and differential drop kit from Wheeler’s off-road and had it all installed as well.
Substantially nicer ride and load-carrying capacity in the rear without sagging and seemingly just as cushy a ride as before (we were kinda dreading the stiff ride we thought might come with the new setup).
The only thing we are unhappy about this new setup is the noise it generates. LOTS of squeaking, chirping and clanking. We have since found numerous mentions online that this is just how the OMEs are and that, when under a load they, will eventually “break in” and shut up. We can only hope. UPDATE: One year later and we figured out the high-pitched chirps (which were, by far, the more annoying of the two types of noises this new set up made) and fixed those but the rubbery squeaks are still present. Those come from the bushings Wheeler’s Offroad sells with the Old Man Emu kit and there is apparently nothing you can do about it but replace the bushings with the actual OME yellow bushings or with the original Toyota bushings. That will happen a.s.a.p.
• Winch. Not yet decided on a permanently mounted one on the (new) front bumper or a portable one that would sit in the truck, out of the elements and be able to be attached to front or rear points for much more versatility. Probably something like this. UPDATE: When we had the CBI bumper installed we also had them install a Warn VR10-S winch at the time as well.
• Rock sliders. Don’t do much rock crawling but it is good to have the option and they are great as a hi-lift jack jacking point. UPDATE: Got a set welded on when we were up in Washington recently. We chose the extra body-protection hoop and had them powder coated in the only color they offered (satin black) as well. Made by Badland Bumpers. They are so new they are not even listed on their website yet.
• Tow bar. No real need to tow anything but again, it’s good to have the option. Can also be used as a winch mount. I expect one of those Curt bolt-in options will meet this need.
• Snorkle. No, we don’t want or expect to be doing deep water crossings but a snorkle is more about getting cleaner, cooler air into the intake and we spend a lot of time playing in hot, dusty desert environments.
• Lights. Besides a retrofit of the headlights to something LED and actually bright (the stocks headlights are the weakest part of this truck) I am looking into some LED driving lights, fog lights as well as a couple of light bars. UPDATE: Got some cheap Chinese made LED lights from Amazon. They work fine so far. For the front a 20″ spot/flood combo bar situated in the Tacoma’s front plastic fascia connected to my high beam circuit.
For the back a pair of 3″ cubes mounted in the rear underside of the Tacoma connected to my reverse lights circuit so we can see much better now when we are in reverse at night.
If and when they die or we kill them we will consider spending the big bucks to get something made by Rigid or someone comparable in that same quality and price category.