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Old 02-19-2007, 09:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tacoma strength????

I was thinking of picking up a 03 DC. I was wondering how are the taco's compare to the older trucks in strength/durabilty? My 85 runner is bulletproof, how are the taco's? I have heard about the frames cracking on the first tacos and the rear diffs breaking and frame section at the motor mount on the newer ones, is this normal or what. Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know if this has any bearing to what you are asking, but I recall reading that the frames on the Tacos are made by Dana, and are C-section frames versus fully boxed frames such as the one on your 85. I know that there are a lot of guys that build up Tacos so I guess that the frames are not too much of an issue. This is also something that I am interested in reading as my 87 and 94 trucks will not last forever.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well FWIW you will notice that alot of the built Tacos also have had the frames boxed in and strengthened in high stress areas.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They are tough. As said, the frames are not fully boxed on the rear section like the older trucks, it doesnt seem to be a problem for most things, but if you are really building it up some people box em. If you are getting a DC, it's probably a V6 which is a really good engine, way way better than the 3.slow was. The 4 banger is a great engine too, basically a evolution of the 22re so it pretty much runs forever. The problem with the diffs breaking is very rare. I've only heard of it happening a few times on TRDs. Non TRDs have the 8.4 ring gear that is supposedly a little stronger, but of course you lose out on the elocker then....
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, and I've never heard of a problem with a cracking frame on early tacos (I've got a 97)
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The frames crack about where the bed and cab meet on the up bend. This is because they switch from boxed to c channel at that point. If you are goign to build the truck anyways take the extra time to box in the rear of the frame. Thats one of the next things on my list to do.

The problems with the diffs were only on the 05+ trucks and I think there is a recall on them now.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The problems with the diffs were only on the 05+ trucks and I think there is a recall on them now.



That's because the diffs are built by Dana Corp.... not Toyota.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The frames crack about where the bed and cab meet on the up bend. This is because they switch from boxed to c channel at that point.
i'd like to see a pic of the frame cracked there. boxed section goes past the first bed mount and is a taper transition to channel.
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tacoma Strength

just to note:

I have worked with Toyota for quite a long time and I would have to add that the Tacoma has to be one of the most reliable trucks available to the public that I have seen. The 5VZ-FE 6 cyl is a great engine, in the dealer I have seen a few with over 400,000 miles on the clock. It is like any Yota you buy though, as long as it is maintained right it should last a long time. The most I have seen go wrong with the Taco's in my dealer experiences is the water pump starts weeping, but it is usually at the time of replacement for a timing belt anyway so the extra labor to change the water pump isn't a big deal. There is a TSB for ECM replacement due to a Oxy Sensor Circuit Malf. but I have only seen one come through and it was from another shop back-probing the ECM and they somehow fried it. It seems like most of the repairs have been O2 or Cat. related, but for the most part they are great trucks. I wouldn't worry about the opened c section of the frame, Toyota did this to reduce weight and vibration. The frame is said to be strong due to the cross section area being larger than the previous '95 and older Pickups even though they weren't fully boxed.

I hope this helps!
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Really tough. I got Tboned in mine 2 weeks after I bought it with 104k, and have been treating it like a truck commercial since then (4.5yrs/46k). Its a 97 4cyl 5spd 4wd reg cab. Over loaded, towed, set on its side, run to the lake 100mph loaded down with ice chests, jumped, pulled several fullsize trucks out with it. I was going to enter a tough truck competition with it, but got rained out. An EPT a week later made me settle down a little bit, and havn't gone back. 1 AC compressor/ac tube under dash, less than enough oil changes, one battery, 4 plugs, one set of used tires, inside door handle, cracked exhaust manifold and I broke a leaf spring 4wheeling, but I was wheeling hard (ie pedal to the medal, not gonna let a trail only jeep show me up), and the break had rust in it, so it was already cracked from prior abuse. Front end needs to be rebuilt, and the 3.58s need to go, but I've gathered most of the parts to make it look and ride better than new. Just need the time.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i'd like to see a pic of the frame cracked there. boxed section goes past the first bed mount and is a taper transition to channel.

http://www.tankota.net/Misc/Bentframe/framebent.htm
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's a very cool writeup, you should definitely be fine then with a '03 model, as all the significant changes happened in '01. I am going to keep an eye on older model Tacoma's when they come through the shop to see if they have any signs of bending. I am sure though if it has any bending it would be very noticeable just like in the writeup between the cab and the bed. It would be interesting to see a comparison test between the older taco frame and the newer one to find out what it's limits really are.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not to highjack, but I would also like some real-world ideas on the strength of the taco frame versus the early ('85) frame. I have access to a straight '97 tacoma frame or a straight '85 pickup frame and I am still trying to decide which would be best for me to use a platform for a mostly DD, Moab rig (SAS either way, of course).
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That's a very cool writeup, you should definitely be fine then with a '03 model, as all the significant changes happened in '01. I am going to keep an eye on older model Tacoma's when they come through the shop to see if they have any signs of bending. I am sure though if it has any bending it would be very noticeable just like in the writeup between the cab and the bed. It would be interesting to see a comparison test between the older taco frame and the newer one to find out what it's limits really are.
I have a 2000 that has the factory reinforcement. I believe 2000 was the split between fawked frames and Toyota deciding to own up to it and fix it.
Want to clarify not all 2000's got the fix, it was in the middle of the 2000 production that they began adding the plates. But its easy to tell if the plates are there or not. So all taco's 01+ will have gotten the fix, and some 2000's.

Ive towed all kinds of junk including 5000lb cable reels. Yeah I regret that. Wheeled it pretty good too, and @ 130k no probs at all with the frame.

However I do have some of Demello's reinforcements in the garage waiting to go on for peace of mind.

Last edited by 4-lo; 03-02-2007 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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that link is what looks like a bend at the transition from boxed to channel, not a crack at the "up bend".
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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that link is what looks like a bend at the transition from boxed to channel, not a crack at the "up bend".
Sorry I dont have any crack pictures for you.
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Old 03-03-2007, 03:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sorry I dont have any crack pictures for you.
next time, take the pics before you smoke it.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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next time, take the pics before you smoke it.
I contributed what I had, frame failure pics. Sorry it wasnt what you wanted.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I hate to be the devil's advocate here - but you're fortunate (pic link poster) your ins co covered you at all. More than one adjuster would have taken one look at your 'rock armor' and said "nuh-uh" - frankly I couldn't blame them. You might not drive like a complete tool but plenty of people with aftermarket add-ons do. I can see Toyota, in this case not doing anything about it.

Too, I'm not sure what the 'fix' really does for this issue. You don't have to believe it but when you beef up the part that bends, the bending force still goes somewhere. Normally right to the edge of the reinforcing part.

Well-glad you got covered anyhow. Better ins rates all around FTW...
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm gonna guess that the frame previous to the latest generation has to be stronger....the 05+ frames suck. Of course, they suck for wheeling impacts, but they serve the purpose for the general public involved in collisions....they fold up like a limp dick and dissipate energy. Two 10 mph collisions and ca#r@ax's verdict is I'd have to pay someone to buy my truck.

Take a peek sometime at the 05+ POS aluminum front bumper and you'll see why the POS frame doesn't stand a chance.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:57 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The older truck frame served as a base for up to one ton trucks and still does in other areas of the world. The north america taco frame was not meant to be able to do that.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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i have a 96' 3.4 and sofar the only problems that i have had is that one of the bolts in the ring gear backed out and crushed the spyder gears. i also have had to replace the rear axle housing cause i was running blocks and the axle rap caved the spring perch into the housing (5.29 welded and 4" blocks is where i went wrong) Far as that i still have the stock IFS stuff and i run 38" TSL's, but i am on rack and pinion #2
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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That's because the diffs are built by Dana Corp.... not Toyota.
Because Dana doesnt make good diff's right?
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Because Dana doesnt make good diff's right?
Not in the case of the '05 Tacoma rear.
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:14 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Not in the case of the '05 Tacoma rear.
And everything ever made by toyota is just the bomb. Thats toyotas fault for using it if its so "crappy"
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