Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 F-150 Platinum 4x4

My new project is a 2012 F-150 Platinum Edition.  I traded in the 4Runner with 82,000 beautiful miles on it.  The F-150 has everything I wanted that the 4Runner didn't - a 360 hp 5.0 v8 and leather (heated & cooled) seats.  It also has a few other nice extras :)

I haven't modded it yet, but will start after the holiday season is over.  Will probably do a 2" leveling kit and put 33 or 35 inch tires on the factory wheels.  I'm really not a big fan of any aftermarket wheels.

I'm also looking into having the front grill color matched and adding rear fender-well liners.  Front windows will be tinted to match the rear.  Either 2013 Ford HID headlights will be installed, or I will do the Morimoto HID projector retrofit.  That is actually the worst thing about this truck - crappy halogen headlights!  Even the high beams are dim and in my opinion unacceptable on a 50k truck.

Anyways, here are some basic pictures.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Installed Besta Power Ceiling Mounted Compressed Air Distribution Rail


NONfactory's Garage

Oh yes.  Made in Switzerland.  The Besta Power Energy Distribution System is used in factories across the world.  According to their website, they've sold over 160 km of them.  9.54 feet now belong to me.

Granted, this is overkill, but I got a great deal on it.

The rail has two points at which the rolling "switch" (the box with the air line hanging out of it) will magnetically connect and instantly be pressurized/de-pressurized. To connect/disconnect, simply grab the hose and swing it.  The magnet will give and you can roll to the next station (in my case, the other side of the car).

This eliminates a lot of extra hose moving around and/or having to move a compressor around.

Speaking of air compressors, that is yet to purchased.  I'm still researching, but I plan on putting it above the garage and running the hose with an air pressure regulator to the rail.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Painted Over Plasti-Dip with Spray Paint

[B]UPDATE: 1/28/12[/B]

I was tired of the all black "murdered out" look since I got my front windows tinted.  I decided to painted over plasti-dip with Rustoleum Hammered Dark Gray Spray paint.  One can did all 4 wheels.  It's a close match in color to the nerf bars, but just a touch lighter.  Overall I'm happy with my new $4 look.

In my usual parking garage photo spot...

Outside said parking garage...

Up close so you can see color difference...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Budget Garage Makeover

My garage desperately needed a bit of affection and I figured if I keep the 4Runner looking so nice, I should keep the garage looking even better.  Since this was done after the Christmas holiday, I needed to keep this budget friendly (in this case under $500).

My total cost:  $300 (includes freebies and black spray paint)

Here are two pictures (Before and After).  I'll go into more details below.



So now that you've already seen the finished product, here are the details.

Step one, fill holes from previous owners and paint walls.  The only things that were on the walls were random hooks and couple cheap shelves in the back right corner.  The pegboard was already there but I painted it black.  The floor was already painted (I don't think it's epoxy because it's peeling like crazy).  

Walls painted with 3 gallons of the cheapest white paint.  Cost:  $25

I knew I needed a workbench but didn't have the money to buy one, so here are my budget, built-from-scratch 2 feet x 6 feet workbench.  I didn't want to waste any money, so my design wasted not a single inch of wood.  Total wood purchased (2) 12 ft boards and (2) 16 ft boards. Cost: $25

Here is the finished workbench.  It was built during a single lunch break.  The top is solid wood (very heavy) and was a freebie from my parents.  It was part of their old dining table.

Here is the garage in progress.  The workbench is now in place.  The fake plastic palm tree and fan were leftover from my college dorm and I refuse to part with them.  I finally found places to use them again!  Two Gorm shelving units from IKEA (I painted some of the wood black), some pegboard (also painted black) and supporting 1 x 4's, three industrial shop lights from Home Depot... Cost:  $225  

 Almost finished...

 So the shop lights needed to be wired together and I don't have much electrical experience, nor the money to pay an electrician.  My solution was a Stanley wireless remote controlled outlet.  It is basically a three, three-pronged outlet surge protector.  I ran all the wires through for the shop lights to the outlet where the garage door plugs into, and put double sided tape on the remote.  Cost:  $25

I painted the workbench black to match my color theme.

I hooked up some old, but still awesome, computer speakers which I can plug my iPod into.  I also painted the trim on them black to match.

The subwoofer for the speakers is hidden behind the fake palm tree.

The speaker controller and iPod hookup.

 And I'm finished.  Even hooked up my old fish tank and lava lamp (yes, they are from my college dorm too).

Plasti-dipped wheels with clear coat

UPDATE:  If you spray clear coat over the plasti dip, it will make it much more difficult to peel off.  Just wanted to save people some time as I didn't realize this until a few days ago.

Well I decided to plasti-dip the wheels black again, but this time I added a few layers of Krylon clear coat spray to give it some added shine and durability.  Since the plasti-dip is still the base layer, it will still peel off like before.

Here are the supplies (2 cans of each)

I chose to do two wheels on a side together so I could get them to match

Before painting

After first coat (see how light you want the first coat to be?)

After the 3rd coat (before clear coat)

After 4 thin layers of clear coat

Back on the car (full-afternoon-sun pictures)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Plasti-dipped whole center section of front bumper

Plasti-dip added to front bumper (not just lower section), as well as more pictures!

Well... I had today off work and naturally found myself pacing in the garage. I noticed a can of plasti-dip (always have one handy) sitting on the shelf next to the T4R and I decided to kill some time. As some of you know, I've experimented with all different kinds of front end looks, as well as painting the wheels, with plasti-dip. I digress. So I started spraying...

The latest painting is that of the center section of the whole front bumper, not just the lower part. My reasoning: it had all kinds of scratches and rock chips from my frequent highway driving and plasti-dip hides imperfections phenomenally well.

Anyways, it consumed about an hour of my time (most of that spent sitting with a cold beverage waiting for the paint to dry between coats).

Tip for plasti-dipping on partial flat surfaces:

To make a straight edge with plasti-dip, apply electrical tape as your guide line. Then apply masking tape outside of that (newspaper beyond that if you tend to be loosey-goosey with rattle cans). Paint. When done with all coats, find a small flat-head screwdriver. With just enough pressure to break the rubber seal of the plasti-dip, but not enough to scratch the paint underneath in case of future removal, trace the edge of the electrical tape with the side of said flat-head screwdriver. Every couple inches, clean any excess plasti-dip from the screwdriver to ensure a smooth cut. Remove tape and wal-lah... clean edge.

On to the pictures...  As it sits before the slotted/drilled rotors (see the post below this one)...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cross Drilled & Slotted Rotors added to the 4Runner

...Ceramic pads as well.

Here are some pictures of the new brakes.  A brief write-up is below.

With about 70,000 miles on the 2007 T4R and the original brakes still in place, I decided it was time for an upgrade.  There wasn't too much noise from the brakes yet, but there was a lot of steering wheel shake when applying the brakes at just about any speed.  This meant that I need to either resurface or replace the rotors, and whenever that is done, it is highly recommended to go ahead and replace the pads as well.  I am against having the rotors resurfaced because they will just warp faster the next time since there will be less metal on the rotor itself after the machining process is over.  So anyways, I decided on brand new everything.

I got a quote from the dealership for about $1000 ($700 from a local shop) out the door to change the rotors and pads.  Needless to say, I started surfing the web.

I found some cross drilled & slotted rotors and ceramic pads from a reputable online brake store for less than $200 shipped.  Ordered on a Saturday and they were at my door the following Thursday.  During that time, I read as much as I could about replacing brakes, since I've never messed with brakes before.

Here is what I learned... The front is easy, the back is a pain.

Y'all can easily go find write-ups and youtube videos for replacing the front pads and rotors.  Its pretty basic.

1.  Remove wheel
2.  Remove the 2 pins that hold the pads in place
3.  Remove the tension spring
4.  Compress caliper pistons by wedging a screwdriver between the pads and the rotor
5.  Slide pads out
6.  Unbolt 2 bolts holding caliper to hub.  Hang caliper from front A-arm by a bungee cord.  Be careful not to put stress on brake lines when hanging caliper out of the way.
7.  Remove rotor by hitting it with a hammer, hard.
8.  Install new stuff by reversing the process.  Clean the rotors with brake cleaner before installing.  Don't get your greasy fingers on the pads either.

I know that sounds simple, and it may not look like it when you first glance at the brakes, but just stare at everything for awhile and it'll begin to make sense.

Now the hard part, the back...

I ran into trouble because I didn't really understand what the star wheel adjuster for the e-brake was or how it affected the removal/replacement of the rear rotors.  I'll try to explain that a little more below.

1.  Remove wheel
2.  Unbolt two bolt/pins holding the "hat" onto the caliper.  The hat is what the brake line is connected to, and also contains the single brake piston.
3.  Remove hat by pulling away from caliper.  The piston doesn't need to be compressed.  Lay the hat on top of the axle to keep it out of the way.

4.  Unbolt the 2 bolts holding the caliper and set that down out of the way.
5.  IMPORTANT:  DON'T START BANGING AWAY AT THE ROTOR YET.  More than likely, the emergency brake has some tension on the rotor which will prevent you from being able to just hammer it off.  It make break loose of whatever rust is holding it there, but it won't come off unless you adjust the star wheel adjuster first.  For those of us who haven't seen the e-brake assembly before, its hard to get a good idea of what the whole e-brake assembly looks like behind the rotor.  Here it is...
Notice at the 6 o'clock position, there is a hole in the hub (and in the brake rotor itself too).  Inside this hole is the starwheel adjuster, which increases and decreases the e-brakes tension on the rotor.  You will want to turn it both ways and until you figure out which way allows the rotor to come off (because I forget).  Here is a picture inside that hole of the starwheel adjuster...
You will want to stick a flathead screwdriver in that hole and push that wheel up or down.
Here is another picture of the adjuster...

6.  Put all the new stuff on.  When you put the new rotor on, make sure to retighten the e-brake a little.