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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't recall which shuttle it was where a friend told me they had to throw in the towel and turn around (cargo van). I think it was Gunnison Gorge.

What kind of clearance would you want to be able to shuttle pretty much everything in CO or neighboring rocky mountain runs? Assuming there's at least a designated 4x4 trail, etc (no rock-crawling!).

Planning the eventual lift/shock upgrades to my new pickup.
 

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I've driven the Gunny Gorge put in road in a stock 2wd F-150 as well as a '90's Ford van with 2wd on a dry day without difficulty, needs 4x4 when it rains, but still doesn't need a lift kit.
Maybe someone else knows of something burlier, but IMHO that lift is for looks and a way to suck more gas rather than getting more access.
 

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Jared
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What kind of truck did you buy? If it's a half ton Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota, then you can do a simple level kit. They are typically in the 2 inch range, and will provide space for a 1-2 inch taller tire. You will gain 3 inches or so of extra clearance under the front suspension, usually the lowest point on newer trucks.
If you go any taller, the lift prices go up a lot and you really don't gain much more in clearance. The 4-6 inch lifts drop all components down as much as the lift is advertised, so you only really gain clearance by the size of tire (Under the differential)
You will gain more capability with a smaller lift and going more prepared. You can take a stock truck a lot of places with experience and ingenuity. I've been stuck a few times, but have always made it out. I install lifts as part of my job and I was a recreational four wheeler for a while.
 

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Cheat canyon, wv shuttle is brutal. Many of Subaru have swiss-cheesed their oil pans on that "road".

We always joked that its a class 4 run with a class 5 take out.
 

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Jared
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Bruneau Canyon came to mind. We took out there in May one year (Jarbidge trip) and it had been pissing on us for 4 days straight. Even the road on top was bad (out of Bruneau) I've heard some of the Owyhee's roads can get like that too. We came out of Leslie Gulch when I was 13, but it was dry. We only had to worry about overheated vehicles and flat tires.
I took my Legacy on a kayak trip last Sunday and I kept dragging the undercarriage in the gravel on the roads. I think I need to upgrade to a Suburban soon LOL. Those have the favorites of my group of paddlers. The aren't perfect at anything but they do a lot of things. (tow, 4wd, haul people, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got a 2nd Gen 2wd Manual Tacoma.

Yeah, I would probably like to avoid the mud, but I know from experience 2wd isn't necessarily excluded from 4x4 roads.

It already has more clearance than my Corolla did. I think stock clearance is 6". But the stock shocks would probably put the pickup even lower to the ground if I had my friend(s) and boats packed in.

I definitely don't want an over-the top lift for looks. I secretly also want to be able to do oil changes without the need for a jack, so 2-3" might just be enough. Slightly bigger tires may also help or be all I need.

Thanks for the first-hand experience and help.
 

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Shapp
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Bruneau Canyon came to mind. We took out there in May one year (Jarbidge trip) and it had been pissing on us for 4 days straight. Even the road on top was bad (out of Bruneau) I've heard some of the Owyhee's roads can get like that too. We came out of Leslie Gulch when I was 13, but it was dry. We only had to worry about overheated vehicles and flat tires.
I took my Legacy on a kayak trip last Sunday and I kept dragging the undercarriage in the gravel on the roads. I think I need to upgrade to a Suburban soon LOL. Those have the favorites of my group of paddlers. The aren't perfect at anything but they do a lot of things. (tow, 4wd, haul people, etc)
This is the best Owyhee Rig around (not mine)


Chains are sometimes a lot more important than lift:
8 Jason belly crawl putting on chains - YouTube

11 Muddy drive - YouTube
 

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If you're kayaking then definitely the SF of the Crystal. Access is every bit as bad as the books make it out to be. Shuttle is walkable once you're there, but it takes two hours to travel 5 miles.
 

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If you're kayaking then definitely the SF of the Crystal. Access is every bit as bad as the books make it out to be. Shuttle is walkable once you're there, but it takes two hours to travel 5 miles.
This road was the reason we went the way we did with a shuttle truck.

The road to the crystal kicked the shit out of our astro van, and it was then I vowed to get a better rig.

We bought that truck you saw. and I will never take it to the crystal or to obj.

Our new approach is to take a 4wheeler with us for roads like that.

When we go up to crystal this year, the truck will stay parked at a buddys in marble and we will ride in on utvs and dirtbikes.

1. It is hard to drive 200 road miles and then subject your truck to a rough 4x4 road, if you hook a brake line or bust a drive shaft you will not be going home that night

2. We came to terms with; yes, we want to huck our stuff, but we need to get home, and it was the crystal that put it all in perspective.

3. use truck to get there, then use quad or dirtbike to get back there.

Stoked for you on your new truck!!!! take the scooter and lets go to gore this weekend and break it in, no pun intended!!
 

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Jared
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I got a 2nd Gen 2wd Manual Tacoma.

Yeah, I would probably like to avoid the mud, but I know from experience 2wd isn't necessarily excluded from 4x4 roads.

It already has more clearance than my Corolla did. I think stock clearance is 6". But the stock shocks would probably put the pickup even lower to the ground if I had my friend(s) and boats packed in.

I definitely don't want an over-the top lift for looks. I secretly also want to be able to do oil changes without the need for a jack, so 2-3" might just be enough. Slightly bigger tires may also help or be all I need.

Thanks for the first-hand experience and help.
Did you get a Pre-runner style Taco, or is it a regular low slung 2wd? Fabtech Motorsports makes a 3 inch lift that should accommodate a 29-30" tire for a 5 lug 2wd. Toyota started building 2wd Tacomas on the 4wd chassis at around the turn of the century and they call them pre-runners. They stand just as tall as the 4wd models, just sans a transfer case and front axle. Another thing you might look into is a set of rock rails and a limited slip rear differential.
Rock rails are essentially small diameter "Nerf bars" that are welded or bolted to the frame that can support the weight of the truck. You can then carry a hi-lift jack and use the rock rail to lift an entire side of the truck at a time to change a tire or get unstuck.
Both rear tires spinning can be a huge help, especially in a 2wd. However, it's a pretty big expense. You can buy and install an automatice locking differential for cheap, but they make driving in snow and ice flat scary. A limited slip typically has enough give that you can drive safely in snow and ice.
You can go with a selectable locking diff, and those are the best of both worlds. Hope this helps
 

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Save your money, burley Off Road vehicles aren't needed in co where 90% of the paddling is road side. If we were talking about The sierras the story would be different.
If you want some big stupid tires that will destroy your gas mileage checkout treadwright.com, you can get a set of BFG all-terrains or mud terrains for around $500. They are retreads but there are a lot of dirt bags rocking them with zero issues, myself included.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stoked for you on your new truck!!!! take the scooter and lets go to gore this weekend and break it in, no pun intended!!
Your plan makes a lot of sense. And yeah, I forgot which trip it was that gave your Astro trouble. I don't currently have the means to easily put the scooter or any bike really in the back of the truck. Did you mean your truck? We'll talk!

I'm sure my kayaking will take me further from Colorado eventually, but I'm not too worried about 4x4 ability for that at the moment. Mainly just looking to have "just enough" truck for just about everything in Colorado, given the right choice of tires/chains-when-needed, etc.

It's not by any means my work commuter, so I am not super concerned about fuel mileage. But I'm always fuel-conscious anyway, probably more than I should be, so I probably wouldn't ever completely throw that concern out the window; especially because having the windows rolled down causes drag. ;)

Did you get a Pre-runner style Taco?... *snip
Well it's a second gen regular cab 2wd drive taco. I think all Tacomas that fit that description are the same. If I recall correctly, the stock clearance is already 6"; nothing to write home about, so probably not "pre-runner style". Either way, whatever clearance it currently has, it loses some just by adding 100-300+ lbs.



Save your money, burley Off Road vehicles aren't needed in co where 90% of the paddling is road side. If we were talking about The sierras the story would be different.
If you want some big stupid tires that will destroy your gas mileage checkout treadwright.com, you can get a set of BFG all-terrains or mud terrains for around $500. They are retreads but there are a lot of dirt bags rocking them with zero issues, myself included.
Saving money is the plan regardless. I want to avoid dumping a thousand or more in aftermarket parts if I don't have to. I already did that with the scooter and I think I've had my fill of that game for awhile. I want to do all my own work on this truck and avoid over-priced crap if I don't need it, or could make it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I found with a simple tire upgrade and no aftermarket stuff, my 5-lug Tacoma can gain about 2" using the highest-recommended tire size of 235/75/15. Should be plenty! Definitely would like some rock-sliders and stuff at some point, just to help protect my investment, but that shouldn't cost much if I throw them together myself. Having chains for back-up in case of mud or snow is always a plus. I honestly didn't think of that for mud.

Thanks for the feedback and help. Tires aren't cheap, but need replacement regardless. Will probably upgrade them when it comes time to replace the stock 215/70s, but possibly sooner, depending on the need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Edit: I meant 1" gain in height. With some free modding, can go a little bigger, probably plenty of clearance for my needs. Anywho thanks again.
 

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I have to say, the Bruneau, for the fourth time, was probably the toughest shuttle for me. The worst part was the old local dude drove my 4runner back out with the windows all open and we had 1/4" of dirt coating everything.

The Crystal gorge shuttle is a piece of cake for any stock truck based vehicle or SUV. The north fork of the Crystal is a little tougher. The worst part is crawling along behind others and dealing with passing opposing vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh yeah, the dreaded traffic on a single-lane dirt/rock road. Isn't it uphill drivers that yield to downhill? Or is "he who has the most lug nuts wins"??

So I did the math, and with a simple "black box mod" on my truck (deleting some dead bulging weight added to my particular truck), I can fit it with 30x9.5r15 tires, for 1.57" extra clearance over stock. When it comes time to get said tires, I will probably go with the more street-friendly type and just have chains for the really bad terrain.
 

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Yo k-chill, hit me up when you are ready to build rocker gaurds and such.

I was an avid wheeler years ago and can build any kind of gaurd bumper or whatever you want to do.

I can show you how to modify the bumper to get more apprach angle front and rear.

Also we could build som differential cover protectors, and upgrade your brake lines to stainless steel.

so much fun stuff!!!
 

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Abron Cabron
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So at the risk of giving you another interweb mind vacuum... lol.
you should to check out tacomaworld.com its is an invaluable resource for all things taco..... From lifts to tires to floormats, ljghts and used stuff. Like the buzz for your truck. With classifieds and eerything. Also Look for a section called free and cheap mods. There are bazillions of useful mods for toys. Like adding extra d-ring tie downs for the bed.. Or the hose-clamp tailgate mod to prevent your tailgate from getting stolen. Thats a $.75 mod....
Or the diff breather mod. Thats important for water crossings..
Beyond that i wont get into it now, but i geeked out on my toyota for 3 yrs, got a good start on how i wanted to get it... and then stopped fixating on improving it.(we also had a baby, and had no more spare $$$ for extracurricular shit) i also dont go on tw as much because i would rather go kayakjng then wheeling... Trucks are there to get you to the river... :)
 
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