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Old 08-10-2021, 08:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Eco taco - '21 Toyota Tacoma Sr access cab
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2021 Toyota Tacoma (3rd gen Tacoma) aka the money maker build

Hello it's been ages since I've looked or posted on here. Might as well get back into it a bit. I'm a bit of the odd man out in this forum due to not wanting to mess up the look of the car etc. But I'll try to provide entertainment, seeking some more ideas or slight help for people that have 3rd gen Tacoma that want to get better gas mileage while keeping it and using it as a truck and not lifting it. (hell maybe even lowering it... gasp!!! ). It seems like all the Tacoma forums hate the word aero, weight reduction and not lifting it.

So here I go. I wanted a good fuel efficient truck to help make me some money (I deal with parting out motorcycles and odd and ends) and since new was way more appealing then used rust buckets for newish prices (I live in north east pa where they use more salt on the roads then in the ocean). But also be able to function as a small family transporter also having a kid and such. So I ended up with the 2021 Toyota Tacoma 2.7 access cab 4x4 with no bells or whistles. Reason why? I hate turbos so ranger was out, and the Colorado was like 4k more starting and only got 1mpg better.

Now for the build stuff. Anything I do to her 1 can't remove the whole point of a truck or I would just have bought a small car. Also I'm not on a quest for max mpg for the environment, I'm on a quest for it to save money and improve the truck. Meaning I have to see the benefit worth the cost if that makes sense. I have the driving skills mostly down since I'm getting a average of 25ish mpg (19/22 EPA rated) with a more highway mix of highway and city ( I don't like mashing the gas and don't like braking for the most part). I'll focus on the trio of better gas milage: weight reduction, engine efficiency, and lastly powertrain efficiency and saddly non economy mods.

Non economy mods first. What I have done:
-OEM bed mat (to protect the bed since it is a composite bed.
-oem mudflaps
-came stock with fender flares
-trail fx plastic nerf bar or whatever you want to call it (mostly for my kid to get into the truck)
- OEM bed light
What I plan on doing:
- tow hitch and harness (bc unless you get the v6 you don't get a factory one)
- rav4 convex mirror swap
- adding fog lights (warrenty over)
- adding keyless entry (warrenty over also)

Aero mods I plan on doing:
-Lowering it (after warrenty is out due to drivetrain warrenty) currently there is only one company that offers a lowering kit for 3rd gen Tacomas and it's not a bad drop. Only 2 inches in the front and 3 in the back and doesn't mess with stock springs and shocks. Once lowered maybe delete the nerf bars.
- looking at more aero front grill/bumper (so far so bad as everything is off-road set ups and not really aero)
- clean up other areas like underneath.

Weight reduction mods planned on doing (yes I know I added some heavy stuff I more want to offset that and get back load capacity and such):
- look into aluminum/titanium bolts for bolt/scree replacements. body trim screws (alot of them screw into a plastic hole so strength and galling isn't a problem with those)
- looking into deleting some of the useless to me features (lane departure, radar cruise control etc)
- looking into lighter options of parts of the truck. Like body panels, bumpers, trim, etc.

And lastly powertrain:
What I have done:
- replaced all possible lights with led( turn signal is a no go since controlled by the instrument cluster)
What I have planned:
- led headlight swap or stock with hid bulb.
- LCE long tube equal length header(after warrenty) Now this one is interesting due to the fact it Dyno proven adds power across the power band. As for if it adds more efficency to the engine is a debate in itself since short tube headers appearly better for lower torque. There is another aftermarket header that is short but doesn't have really any power gains (even low end) compared to the lce one.
- replace drivetrain all fluid with redline equal (is slightly a hair better on paper so they say)

As you can see I have some starting points. Some may be worthless or non existent but I'm going to try. Lastly I know someone is bound to mention it a tonneau cover. Some people/ studies how it helps other say it doesn't etc. That isn't why I have it planned. Me it's one the added weight, lack of FULL usability of the bed if I need it, and saddly cost. Most of them will be adding 50-100 pounds which is why I think some people don't see gains if there truck is light. Alot of them fold or roll up which is good and prob work with most of the things I'll use them for but not most. And lastly the price. A simple vinal roll up one sets you back 300+ and go too cheap and you get noise, tears etc. And a fold up one are 700+. The best one I could find based off reviews is the back flop mx4 which is 1k. I currently don't need to store stuff in my bed and such with my back seat only having one kid rarely so I don't see the benefit compared to the cost.

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Old 08-10-2021, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ruint Taco - '19 Toyota Tacoma SR Double Cab
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I have a 2019 SR 2.7. Crew cab 2wd. I think you find these are very dependable trucks. The 2.7 is regarded as bullet proof.

Seems you’re getting pretty good mpg now.

I also did three mods to increase MPG
1. Increase air pressure in tires to 42 psi
2. Lowered the truck
3. Built a 40% tonneau cover ( I know you didn’t want hear it.)



I lowered it with this kit-
https://sosperformance.com/products/...ts-2016-tacoma

The kit is very well made and engineered. Customer service is top notch.

After I received the kit, I decided I wanted it even lower. So I contacted Tom at SOS and he sent me a different spring perch for the front. I also put a half inch block on the rear. As a result I have 2.5 front, 4 inch rear drop.

Lowering had a positive effect on MPG, but not enough to ever offset the over 600 price tag. You will have to have the front end aligned as the lowering is going to put it way out.

I also built the 40% tonneau cover. It leaves the front part of the bed open. I made it myself for under 60 bucks. It mounts on the bed rail for the cargo tie downs. It's worth about .75 mpg.

I don't see much weight savings removing the TSS and lane departure. these components only weight 2 or 3 pounds. I do see a liability if you ever sell the truck and those saftey features are disabled.

I wanted correct you on the LCE header and defend them a little. I have researched, experimented with and have published articles on exhaust headers. You could say I’m a bit of an expert. Longer primary tubes produce a torque peak at a lower RPM. Shorter tube headers produce peak torque at a higher RPM. Short tube headers are mostly seen on full race engines, because past the torque peak, the long primaries become a restriction and hurt peak HP. On engines that are rarely ran below their torque peak, open primaries are used, such as a top fuel dragster.

On a street driven truck you want longer primaries. I have also looked at the LCE headers. Looks to be a great product and the primary lengths are good for a street driven truck. I would like to see the primaries even longer, around 28-30 inches. But it would be hard to package.
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Old 08-10-2021, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Eco taco - '21 Toyota Tacoma Sr access cab
90 day: 22.72 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
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Thanks I couldn't remember the name of the company that sold the only lowering kit of the top of my head. But I am glad you like the lowering kit. I just have a question about it. Did you do it yourself and how easy was it to do if you did.
As for the radar and such they honestly go for a pretty penny and from what I see online in the Tacoma forums have a tendency to go in the earlier 2018+ models hence why they did software updates to turn them off and such. Saddly I would hate to have the error messages all over if I was to remove them so they will stay til someone finds a permently delete option. I live by every penny helps but prob will never be removed.
And lastly in my head, long headers seemed to be better for lower but everything from articles from hot rod mag and other decent sources said short were. My logic on my longer was better for lower rpm is bc the exhaust pulse at lower rpm would take longer to get to the part of the header where they joined. Exactly like the intake with longer runners. But everything I was reading and seeing was saying I was stupid and short was good for lower and long was for higher.
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Old 08-10-2021, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Four cylinders? Four into one isn't as good as four into two into one; at least for flat fours.

Also, there're anti-reversionary headers.
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Old 08-10-2021, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Geo XL1 - '94 Geo Metro
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Boat tails and more mods
90 day: 72.22 mpg (US)

Big, Bad & Flat - '01 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT
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.

A partial grill block would help.

Partial or full belly pan.

In lieu of a tonneau cover you could increase the top surface of the tailgate.

Pay attention starting around the 1:40 mark.



Hereís a aftermarket spoiler for a Ford to give you an idea.

https://www.autoware.com.au/shop/for...lgate-spoiler/

I didnít see one for a Taco. But you could make one fairly easy.

Oh and extra brake pad return springs. Toyota normally has OEM springs but a extra set wonít hurt.
(brake drag)





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Old 08-10-2021, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Geo XL1 - '94 Geo Metro
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Another possible idea.

https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthre...tml#post653968



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Old 08-11-2021, 04:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Eco taco - '21 Toyota Tacoma Sr access cab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Four cylinders? Four into one isn't as good as four into two into one; at least for flat fours.

Also, there're anti-reversionary headers.
Saddly there is a very few apount of options in the header department. Combined with how small of an area the headers are given I would think a 4-2-1 would be next to impossible with using the ready of the stock set up (a full custom exhaust with cat moving would require way more research)
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ruint Taco - '19 Toyota Tacoma SR Double Cab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnathanf1lm View Post
Thanks I couldn't remember the name of the company that sold the only lowering kit of the top of my head. But I am glad you like the lowering kit. I just have a question about it. Did you do it yourself and how easy was it to do if you did.
As for the radar and such they honestly go for a pretty penny and from what I see online in the Tacoma forums have a tendency to go in the earlier 2018+ models hence why they did software updates to turn them off and such. Saddly I would hate to have the error messages all over if I was to remove them so they will stay til someone finds a permently delete option. I live by every penny helps but prob will never be removed.
And lastly in my head, long headers seemed to be better for lower but everything from articles from hot rod mag and other decent sources said short were. My logic on my longer was better for lower rpm is bc the exhaust pulse at lower rpm would take longer to get to the part of the header where they joined. Exactly like the intake with longer runners. But everything I was reading and seeing was saying I was stupid and short was good for lower and long was for higher.
I installed the lowering kit myself, takes about 6 hours. The radar sensors are pretty expensive, I haven't bought one, but have heard prices as high as 3K. What have you heard?
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Four cylinders? Four into one isn't as good as four into two into one; at least for flat fours.

Also, there're anti-reversionary headers.
I don't want to go Julian Edger on you but.

I built,and raced aircooled VW engines from 1999 to 2009. I had access to a dyno, and different measuring equipment, etc. The four into one header is the best design. Gene Bergs extractor exhaust when properly sized will pull a VACCUUM at the exhaust port when matched with the correct stroke, bore, ETC. It will literially suck the exhaust from the cylinder. There is no need for anti reversion cones on a well designed header. This one subject I have extensive expertise in. I have built NA asperated VW engines that produce over 100 hp per litre. you can google my name "James Beahm" and "hot VWs".

Trust me when I say a long tube 4 into one header is best for low end torque. The problem is the packaging it all , plus the further you move the cat from the head, the lower exhaust temps, and the cat doesn't work as well.
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Geo XL1 - '94 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Boat tails and more mods
90 day: 72.22 mpg (US)

Big, Bad & Flat - '01 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT
Team Cummins
90 day: 21.13 mpg (US)
Thanks: 220
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Quote:
you can google my name "James Beahm" and "hot VWs".

For the Lazy...

https://www.cbperformance.com/Articles.asp?ID=285

Nice job representing the East Coast...

Old school rocks. I have a mid 1980ís 2275cc Bernie Bergmann motor sitting in my shop waiting for me to put it into something...😈




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