Again this year we went to Matco Tools to fill our grubby paws for when carnage struck. We outfitted the Taco with standard and metric ProSwing ratcheting wrenches, a full assortment of screwdrivers and pliers, 1/2-inch ratchet and impact sockets, prybars, a circuit tester, a tool bag, and the ever-needed 20-ounce ball-peen hammer. We also had plans for mounting a 2-ton aluminum jack like the prerunner trucks we often see in Baja, but eventually decided that our chosen trails were more conducive to a standard Hi-Lift.
In the bed of the Taco we mounted two PT-10 Power Tank CO2 tanks. Since we already had a bunch of power-sapping electrical components, we felt the sure-fire option of a CO2 tank over an electrical compressor would keep our air tools and tire chucks working the whole trip. We opted for two small tanks, and barely used one by the end of the week, and that was after many days of airing up and down and running power tools on multiple vehicles for repair. We usually pay between $10 and $20 to fill the tanks, and the lockable bed mount held them firmly in place over the harsh terrain.
Yes, it was excessive, but we wanted to be able to sit at camp and watch last year's Ultimate Adventure DVD to make sure we were having more fun, so we contacted Pioneer Electronics and soon had our hands on the most outrageous and awesome stereo system ever put in a 4x4 by 4-Wheel & Off-Road. The Pioneer AVIC-N1 system comes with a GPS navigation, DVD and MP3 player, XM satellite radio, CD player, and tons of other options including a reverse camera and vehicle dynamics display. Not only can you type in the address of where you want to go and the sexy GPS lady will tell you where to make your turns, but the system can also tell you your exact speed in case your tire changes have the stock speedo confused by using information from speed sensors, GPS, G-force, and gyroscope sensors. Plus it can measure cornering g's, battery voltage, slope angle, and angular velocity.
The navigation system in the AVIC-N1 is really pretty amazing. First you must load a CD with either the eastern or western part of the country on it, and then you just follow the directions to your destination. But it gets even better. You can also search for businesses by name, or set the map to show points of interest including all the restaurants or gas stations along your desired route. This was particularly handy when on unknown roads during UA. One warning, though: The system is not fond of dust, and we now give it a thorough vacuuming as often as possible.
The stock steering wheel had some weird funk on it from the previous owner's sticky fingers and didn't quite fit into our race-truck theme, so we contacted Kartek Off Road and ordered a Dragster wheel from the race line of Momo wheels. This Italian-made wheel is urethane-textured like leather, but it won't stain or be affected by liquids like leather, plus it is about half the price of a leather Momo. We also ordered up the Toyota wheel adapter, and did some custom column work to keep the cruise control for the long over-the-road hauls.