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Old 01-24-2018, 07:26 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Old School Rock Crawler's Off-road Impressions III
  • Holy crap this seat belt auto-latching mechanism is crazy sensitive! It is so bad that after having parked on a hill, I could not buckle back up! If you unbuckle while on any steep grade then the seat belt becomes unusable. I had to continue up the rest of Hollywood Hill without a seat belt on. :o Any 1995 and older truck I've been in would allow you you pull the belt out so long as you pulled it slowly. Not so on the Tacoma no matter how slow I pulled. This I do not like.


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Old 01-24-2018, 07:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Great weather for some wheel'n!



Elevation here is about 6,500 feet.



Continuing up towards Bald Mountain





Finally at the top! Elevation 7,838 ft.



Overlooking Shaver Lake, CA

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Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Misc pics from the Top











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Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The northern end of the trail is pretty dang easy and we skipped all the optional stuff the stock Taco couldn't do and bugged out. One last pic after airing back up and ready to return home.



We took some misc videos which I turned into a quick & dirty compilation with no music. It's nothing special. I remember my first time wheeling my 1981 Hilux (took it up Claw Hammer) and being crazy nervous to not even get a single scratch. I was overly cautious here too haha Hope you enjoy!


At the 4:03 min mark I wanted to try out the truck's "Auto LSD" feature so I got the Taco intentionally crossed-up and learned a very bad thing about the Auto-LSD. I discussed this in a rather long rant at reply reply #238 of my build thread. To sum it up here, Toyota's system requires the driver to apply increasingly large amounts of throttle the moment forward momentum is lost which is precisely the direct OPPOSITE of what you should ever do. Therefore, Toyota's Auto LSD system is teaching the next generation of off-roaders a horrible habit that adds stress to and increases the chance of breaking parts and damaging the environment (I.E. the same bad things that a Marlin Crawler TacoBox remedies).

And that was it for my first time with the Taco at Bald Mtn!
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:29 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The rest of 2016

At this point I have to share the sad news that before I knew it the summer had taken off and got away from me. Looking back it's understandable how this happened as Toyota promised and then shorted me 7 months of ownership & build progress before the wheeling season got going.

In addition, after the Bald Mountain trip my wife and I celebrated our 10 yr anniversary in Hawaii, we returned to southern Japan to visit relatives for the first time since the largest earthquake disaster in recorded Kyuushuu history, I upgraded the entire content management system (backend) of our Marlin Crawler website (replacing the prior system that had been in use for 8 years), restructured both our sales and warehouse crews, and my wife and I started the process of purchasing our first house.

For the remainder of the year Marlin Crawler sponsored and attended 40 additional 4WD events, Forest Service CPR/chainsaw classes/trail work parties, and led three Adopt-A-Highway clean-ups (HWY168/CenCal). Members of 11 different 4WD clubs, it's no secret as to how serious we consider community involvement and it takes time to get things setup/prepared. This is a core, fundamental difference that separates Marlin Crawler from other companies in that when Marlin invented Rock Crawling it was first a hobby that then grew into a company; Supporting the community is where our heart is.

Combined with the new Tacoma, 2016 was one of my most productive years. Other than the Moab trip I posted earlier, I only went to one other event: Our 15th annual Marlin Crawler Round-Up at the Rubicon... in my 1981 Hilux... where we eclipsed the $100,000 dollar mark in total donations to the Rubicon Trail.

I went from a "3rd Gen Tacoma forum pro-lurcher" to a complete off-line ghost. But at least I made our Round-Up, which since 2004 my Hilux has never missed. After I got home I remember telling the truck how this will be her last Rubicon trip for a while.



I actually almost missed this one because I didn't get my internal/company work done until Saturday morning the day of the event. I drove my Hilux straight up to Rubicon, wheeled in solo, made it to the Springs Campground in time to oversee the dinner & raffle, and returned home the next day. Six-hundred highway miles and the Rubicon Trail in about 40 hours total!

Check out this 35-year old Toyota Rock Crawler with 19 times more torque than a 2016 V10 Dodge Viper at full throttle and still get'n it done overloaded up Cadillac Hill in the partial wet.
"I Love What You Do For Me, Marlin Crawler!"



edit:

Trip #6 - Valley Children's Hospital Toy Drive (Dec 3, 2016)

Hey guys!! I completely forgot about the 2016 Children's Toy Drive!! About five years ago, two of our customers got together to invite 4WD club members from various clubs in the area to get together and donate toys to the Valley Children's Hospital, the largest Children's Hospital this side of the Mississippi. It has since turned into a big event drawing close to 200 people from 4WD Clubs up and down the Central California Valley, a stretch of nearly 300 miles.

The event was covered by a local TV network as well as picked up in multiple valley Newspapers. Most of my pictures were of the actual event itself, which can be viewed on our website here https://www.marlincrawler.com/galler...rens-toy-drive, but here come a few pics of the Taco participating!









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Old 01-25-2018, 08:44 AM   #31 (permalink)
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edit: Here come the remainder of my missing Toy Drive photos!









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Old 01-25-2018, 08:55 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Trip #7 - Fins & Things (May 4, 2017)

Now the world's first Dual Case'd 2016+ Tacoma!


Event: Cruise Moab
Trail name: Fins & Things - Rating: 4/10
Location: Moab, UT
Special note 1: First trip for the new Marlin Crawler Dual Case setup! (28-speeds, 235:1 Crawl Ratio)
Special note 2: ARB Air Lockers installed F&R but not plumbed in yet. Truck is still open-open.

Cruise Moab is the largest annual Toyota-based Moab event, gathering over 200 in attendance, and is hosted by the Rising Sun 4WD Club. We have attended off-and-on since it's inception 20 yrs ago. It is an official TLCA event that is incredibly well ran by the Rising Sun 4WD Club of Colorado. If you've been wanting to run trails at Moab with extremely friendly and knowledgeable group of Toyota gearheads, then this is the event to attend.

This trip was discussed from reply #336 of my build thread, so I'll copy much from that here.

Knowing that my truck is still open-open with no (working) lockers, I signed up for some easier trails I've never done before. First day we did Fins & Things which has a difficulty rating by the Rising Sun 4WD club as a 4 out of 10. The first pic comes from about 6 hours into the road trip, stopping for lunch in Vegas



Brand new Marlin Crawler TacoBox Dual Case Unit looking great!



Arrived safely back in Moab!



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Old 01-25-2018, 09:24 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Morning Driver's meeting



Now on 33s I aired down to 12 psi. Before I got beadlocks under my Hilux, I had 35" tires and around 7 psi it would begin burping air out the bead. Knowing the Tacoma is both heavier and has a smaller tire profile with 17" wheels, I figured I'd try 12 and see how it works from there.

The day has officially begun!





This lil climb was fun because Marlin got into a wheelbase hole and struggled. It took him a while to finally get up it and then when I came along, beings I am a good twenty-inches longer, I walked right up this...



...and on the very first obstacle my very first time using the Marlin Crawler Dual Case TacoBox I performed my very first Walking The Crawler!

It was awesome. Sure, 235:1 is not as impressive as my Hilux's 511:1 nor anywhere nearly as impressive as The Crawler Truck's 1,148:1, it was still cool to see. I got out of the truck during the steep section but only have this pic from Marlin's camera....which for some reason has a weird hue filter enabled (sorry in advance for the strange colors)

The truck climbed up the ledge on it's own in gear with no throttle input and no engine stalling. Keep in mind, with the Marlin Crawler TacoBox, the Tacoma now has around 2,350 foot-pounds of torque.....at an 800 RPM engine idle!



Oh man what a night and day difference having the Marlin Crawler installed!! This truck has 1,000% been transformed and the same with my confidence level -- I feel like I could go anywhere, traction limiting. The invincible feeling you get from the Marlin Crawler. Man oh man how long has it been since I've felt this way. This is so awesome to be building a new truck!!
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:25 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Fins & Things has a few nice steep climbs. Moab slickrock traction combined with the Marlin Crawler meant that my Auto LSD was not used at all the entire day. I never got stuck and never had the LSD system kick in. The few times I lost forward progress were simply remedied by finessing the truck with the Marlin Crawler and letting the tires work and find traction. Honestly Moab is an amazing place to showcase just how much a difference the Marlin Crawler can make to a truck.

The increased amount of traction and control from the Marlin Crawler is simply incredible



Just idle on up. No gas, no clutch slipping. Point and shoot easy.



Very happy I got rid of that fake hood scoop



Thanks to the Marlin Crawler, my engine compression braking has been amplified by a factor of nearly 5 so I never have to touch my brakes no matter how steep or how large the drop-off is. Just focus on driving and let the low gearing hold the truck back naturally and calmly.



Cool pic from a Land Cruiser customer

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Old 01-25-2018, 09:28 AM   #35 (permalink)
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First time Rock Crawling and the 2GR-FKS

Ok guys! By this time we were a couple hours into the trail and I had a firm opinion on the new 3.5-liter engine and Rock Crawling.

I am extremely pleased to report that this engine is the best, low-RPM lugging engine I've ever experienced. I can get the truck moving so slow and steady at approximately 250 RPM and it not only won't stall but it doesn't even shake -- it is entirely smooth at sub-400 RPM engine speeds for as long as needed. I was most impressed by this. All I have to do is take a slightly steeper line and not give any gas and let the weight of the truck load the engine down for a continuous & steady low engine speed. This is the control I've been preaching about when you install a Marlin Crawler.

For comparison my Hilux's 2.7-liter 3RZ-FE can lug down to and sustain about 350-400 RPM before it gives up the ghost, but at this RPM it is shaking and rattling quite badly. The new 3.5 V6 is extremely impressive. A 6-cyl engine has a power stroke 30 fewer degrees of crankshaft rotation compared to a 4-cyl, but no doubt progress in modern engine's Noise Vibration Harshness (Wiki:NVH) is really shining here with the modern 2GR.
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:30 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Few pics from Marlin's camera (with the messed up hue)





Edit: Forgot to mention this is me playing around in Photoshop on a potential new windshield sticker







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Old 01-25-2018, 09:32 AM   #37 (permalink)
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First time ever wheel'n with All Terrains and I was impressed. They hook up very well here in Moab. I thought they were grabbing better than Marlin's IROKs, which are probably better suited for lose rocky terrain.





Stopping for lunch





Back on the trail!



Cool pic with the Toyota legend himself!

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Old 01-25-2018, 09:33 AM   #38 (permalink)
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With the front suspension loaded it seems the axle could have been designed forward a bit. No wonder these trucks have tire to body mount interference issues...



Got my very first low oil pressure warning light! Too cool!



And that was it for the Tacoma's first time now as a 235:1 bona fied Rock Crawler!

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Old 01-25-2018, 09:34 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Later that night the Tacoma enjoyed it's third time in a Marlin Crawler booth. It was way awesome now having the only Dual Case 2016+ Tacoma in the world right in our booth!



Feeling better and better for the future of this Tacoma



And that was it for the Tacoma's first day of it's second time back at Moab!
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:01 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Trip #8 - Flat Iron Mesa (May 5, 2017)

Event: Cruise Moab
Trail name: Flat Iron Mesa - Rating: 5/10
Location: Moab, UT
Special note: ARB Air Lockers installed F&R but not plumbed in yet. Truck is still open-open.

This trip was discussed from reply #344 of my build thread, so I'll copy much from that here.

The next day we ran Flat Iron Mesa. Like the day before the trail was new to me so I was eager to check it out. After gaining a lot of confidence from the Marlin Crawler TacoBox, I was eager for something more difficult. Rising Club rates this trail as slightly more difficult at a 5/10 rating.

Amazing weather, amazing turnout, gonna be another amazing day out wheel'n!





The trail started out pretty mellow





Nice views here and there



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Old 01-25-2018, 11:10 AM   #41 (permalink)
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After a while we got into some slickrock



This was a tough line because you drop in from a sharp right turn. The reduced driver visibility of the Tacoma not helping here.







This was a nice little climb. I struggled at first but then found my footing by Crawling it very slowly in Dual low range.

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Old 01-25-2018, 11:11 AM   #42 (permalink)
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On this drop off I was super tempted to run it hard driver because I love how the Crawler holds the vehicle back without using the brakes.



But because I'm still open-open, if one tire on each axle is able to unload, then you can still slide forward despite the engine maintaining a steady idle in gear.



That factor combined with the fact the front bumper sticks out a mile concerned me enough to stay a bit passenger.



It ended up being a very basic drop-off. No brakes needed. Just engage the TacoBox and let the engine hold you back.

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Old 01-25-2018, 11:18 AM   #43 (permalink)
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This climb was pretty gnarly for open-open. I could have taken a simple dirt-road line to the far right but took the hard line up the middle.



I couldn't climb it without lockers so I shifted the T/Case in High Range and the TacoBox (Crawl Box) into Low to use our 4.70:1 T/Case ratio, and in 8th gear (2nd gear + single 4.70) I was able to get enough tire speed to trigger the Auto-LSD computer. This was only my second time using the Auto-LSD since owning the truck. It did it's job, only had to bounce a few times and once I felt traction I let up in a smooth enough fashion to not lose forward momentum and was able to do the rest with just the single Marlin Crawler Crawl Box. One positive I learned here is that the Marlin Crawler amplifies the effectiveness of the Auto LSD. But... it's still a lot of bouncing and tire carnage.



This spot was even worse for the open-open Tacoma and I learned something I never knew before.



Because Auto-LSD worked above, I decided to run the same gear here: 8th gear with my Marlin Crawler in Low and T/Case in 4-High. It was a struggle. I revved the crap out of the truck and was spinning the tires so much that I was literally getting white smoke from my tires. (Such a dumb system Toyota.) Our Trail Leader was spotting me and he asked what gear I was in. He laughed when I told it was 8th lol

Rear tire stuffs nicely.



According to our trail leader, whose 200-series Land Cruiser is equipped with ATRAC, the computer runs a more aggressive VVT-i programming in Low Range. (I am very curious to know if this is true for the Auto-LSD system.)
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:20 AM   #44 (permalink)
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So I shifted out of the Marlin Crawler and put the T/C into Low Range and grabbed 11th gear (2nd gear + stock t/case). It still was not a pretty sight and at a higher final drive ratio I had more tire smoke and more bouncing. I probably should have given up but the Trail Leader was excited to see me make it and gave me the go ahead to keep trying.

White-smoke tire burnouts on the trail. If this is what Toyota wants new drivers to do then I am worried for the future of off-roading.

Finally made it! Sorry slickrock and sorry BFG tires. Man oh man this is so not my style of wheeling. I won't go out again without getting the ARBs plumbed in that's for dang sure.



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Old 01-25-2018, 11:22 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Next there was an optional long steady, sort of a narrow v-grove climb that leads up to a large & steep waterfall. At the base of the waterfall there was a ditch-out route so I went up as high as I could and then bailed. A few people in our group tried the waterfall and only one guy made it. I'd love to return here next year with lockers and larger tires and give it a go!

Here I am near the top of the v-grove section.



Stopping for lunch



Great day for some wheel'n!



At this point it was already close to 3pm and I had a mission that I was on and needed to get up to northern Utah for a business trip. So a few of us took a fireroad back to the highway (including Marlin who needed to get back in time to help at the annual Raffle).

Here we are airing back up. I am using a portable version of ARB's new maximum twin-compressor which works "decently well". It isn't as good as a York and certainly not as good as a RV2 (which I've got mounted to my 3RZ in my Hilux). But for an electric compressor it did well for my lil 33" tires. (I plan to install a similar setup with an under-the-bed aluminum air tank for on-board air and to operate my air lockers.)



Love that Moab red dust!



And that was it for me and Cruise Moab 2017!
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:03 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Now the world's first Dual Case'd 2016+ Tacoma!

Is that your guys' casting or aa?
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:40 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Is that your guys' casting or aa?
So the 2016 Tacoma uses the same adpater as the mc09 I put on my Tacoma back in 2008?
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:14 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by YotaAtieToo View Post
Is that your guys' casting or aa?
Thanks for the question! We have been using AA housings for quite some time now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gslander View Post
So the 2016 Tacoma uses the same adpater as the mc09 I put on my Tacoma back in 2008?
Hey good eyes! But no, it is using a modified MC11 (2005-2015 adapter) as well as our brand-new MC32 front adapter, both of which we do not have updated product pictures for at this time

Side note: The new MC3X line replaces the former XX-4GT adapters. For example, the 34-4GT front bolt pattern adapter that fits your truck is now called the MC31. We've re-engineered them to eliminate the need for the special Ford "D" bolt, no more clearancing of the transmission tailhousing, increased oiling & cooling, and finally an 8% weight reduction while also adding 25% strength across the face of the plate. All CNC Billet Aluminum parts made in USA and come anodized Marlin Crawler Red by default.

Our naming convention is as follows:
MC0X = Historic Dual T/Case for 1979-95 Hilux/Hilux 4Runner Gear Drive applications
MC1X = "TacoBox" Dual T/Case for 1988-2018+ Chain Drive applications
MC2X = "ToyBox" Dual T/Case for 1967-1989 single and split case Land Cruiser FJ40/FJ45/FJ55/FJ60/FJ62 applications
MC3X = Front Bolt Pattern Conversion Adapter for 1988 and newer Chain Drive applications

As you can see the MC09 is an outlier here but as the very first Tacoma Dual Case in history, it is too iconic to change

Information on our website is out of date and instructs customers to call for details. We have been building and shipping these updated TacoBoxes every week since last summer. Currently we are working on improving the installation of the shift mechanism. This is because the TacoBox is versatile and we build them for Tacoma, 4Runner, T100, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, Sequoia, and Lexus GX470, 4cyl/6cyl/8cyl, manual/automatic, so the sheer amount of console configurations across all models is far more complicated than the Hilux and Hilux 4Runners of yesteryear. We are working on a universal kit that will simplify installation. Once finished we will direct our attention to a proper installer and update all info on our website.

Regards,
BigMike
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:19 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Trip #9 - Moonlight Madness (June 24, 2017)

First trip with the bed bobbed! (6" removed from the back of the bed)

Event: 31st annual Moonlight Madness (https://sites.google.com/site/clovis...nlight-madness)
Trail name: Bald Mountain
Location: Central California, east of Shaver Lake, CA
Special note: ARB Air Lockers installed F&R but not plumbed in yet. Truck is still open-open.

This trip was discussed from reply #411 of my build thread, so I'll copy much from that here.

The next month I was able to attend the 31st annual Moonlight Madness, which is a local 4WD club's event that has become so successful that it is recognized by the California Four Wheel Drive Association. The main event is unique due to it taking place from sundown to about 3am (moonlight!). Because Bald Mountain can literally be done in an AWD family car with ample ground clearance and a skilled driver, the event attracts all makes and models of every imaginable configuration which makes for some interesting times in the dark to say the least.

Usually we miss this event because it coincides with the Toyota Land Cruiser Association's annual Rubithon event, but as previously mentioned we had a great winter and the Rubicon trail was still closed. So off we went to Moonlight Madness!

Here I am with my first return to the Dinky Creek Trail Status Board since last year!





Any day back in the mountains is a great day



I forgot to mention what tires I'm running: 33" BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2, specifically a 285/70R17 which converts to 32.7" x 11.2" x 17" :thumbs: Stock tires were 265/65R17 or a 30.6" x 10.43" x 17".
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:40 PM   #50 (permalink)
Marlin Crawler, Inc.
 
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We were invited to do a Vendor Appreciation run of which there were about 10 rigs. Mine was the newest, most stock, and the only one with no lockers, but thanks to the Marlin Crawler it was quite capable.



The confident feeling you get when you have the World Famous "Crawler Truck" in your group is so impressive. To know that no matter what happens, no matter what brakes, you've got one of the best trail recovery vehicles and person on the planet in your party.



Basic, exposed terrain of our pretty High Sierra Nevada mountains. The elevation for this trail ranges from about 6,500 to 8,000 feet.



It wasn't long until I got a chance to REALLY APPRECIATE just how awesome the Bed Bob is!!

Check this out! The factory bumper's trailer receiver cleared without contact!



The best thing about this with a Marlin Crawler: NO BRAKES, just let the greatly magnified engine compression braking hold the truck back while idling. The Marlin Crawler adds massive vehicle control to the driver. Amazingly smooth, slow, precision Crawling, without any of the bucking, popping, jerking, and 12-minute brake overheat issue of Toyota's gimmicky "Crawl Control" system.

The young new kid Tacoma showing some of the older trucks how to CRAWL.

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