YotaTech Member Brings Neglected 1995 Tacoma Back to Life

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1995 Tacoma

The story of a 1995 Tacoma resurrection might seem obsessive to some. But to us, it all makes perfect sense.

One of the most enjoyable things about belonging to a community like YotaTech is watching its members bring various downtrodden trucks back to life. It’s pretty inspiring, really. As in it inspires us to get up off our butts and get wrenching in the garage. Not only that, but these build threads also provide us with tons of creative ideas and techniques we might not have thought of otherwise.

Take TacoTank and his 1995 Tacoma build thread, for example. After drifting away from the world of Toyota for a while, he rediscovered his love for these tough trucks by breathing new life into a Tacoma that had certainly seen better days.

“Hey guys! Since I am just about done with bringing this truck back to life, I figured I would make a thread about it with all sorts of pictures. If anyone wants any directions on how to do anything you see in the pics, go ahead and ask! I started out as a Ford guy, but went back to my roots as I had grown up with a 1994 T100 and Landcruiser as a kid.

Vehicle is a 1995 Tacoma 4×4 with the SX package, pretty basic, but I prefer that. Bought this rig from a used dealership near me with 217K and only a four year old frame. The interior was shot, almost like someone had taken a screwdriver and stabbed everything they could. Luckily the floor was nearly rust free. The paint was awful: dents, scratches, gouges, worn off decals, you name it. The only thing it had going for it was an excellent 2.7 motor and the newer frame. Originally I had bought it as a beater, but I fell in love with it, sold my showroom condition Ford, and went to town in making this thing bulletproof and beautiful!”

1995 Tacoma

“I did the majority of the work myself, everything except the lift, wheels, paint and rust repair, and harmonic balancer and some other odds and ends I didn’t have the tools for.


I started out as a Ford guy but went back to my roots,
as I had grown up with a 1994 T100 and Landcruiser as a kid.


First thing I did was new brakes, CB Radio, 31×10.50 tires, and a 2.5” Spacer/Leaf Spring lift to accompany the 2″ body lift that was already there (before I decided on it NOT being a beater!) Then I decided to restore the interior with new carpet, trim, dash lights, plexiglass, seat covers, everything I could replace I did.”

With the interior sorted, it was time to address the mechanical side of things.

“The next step was to improve how it runs, not that it did not already run alright. As I said before, the harmonic balancer and some belts had to be replaced, I paid someone to do that. New oil pan as well and a radiator flush coupled that.

First was the exhaust, fresh piping from the manifold back. No cat, don’t need one anymore where I am located. This involved a URD O2 Simulator. Initially went with a Thrush welded muffler, but it did not last. Something inside it blew out, so I replaced it with a Flowmaster 40 and have not looked back”

Here is a list of post exhaust improvements under the hood:

Interstate High Crank Battery
NGK Plugs and Wires
Clean out the air box (had a mouse nest in it under the filter!)
K&N Drop In Filter
Deckplate Modification
New PCV Valve
Starter Rebuild
Throttle Body Cleaning
MAF Cleaning
Seafoam Treatment
Injector Cleaner
(Cleaned out the bay the best I could)
Sealed a hole in the firewall”

To bring the exterior of the truck back to life, a new toolbox and rear bumper went on. The underbody was relieved of its surface rust, and on went some protective undercoating. Rolling stock was upgraded to 33×10.50 BFG KO2 tires mounted on 15×8 American Racing Baja wheels. But then came the biggie: total rust repair and a new paint job.

1995 Tacoma

With the body looking might fine, TacoTank turned his attention to the little details. Namely, repainting the grille and other trim parts. He also went ahead and swapped out all the lights and added some new ones. But while most folks would call it a day at this point, he hasn’t stopped working on his beloved 1995 Tacoma. From upper control arms to refreshed brakes, no stone is being left unturned. And you can follow along with the latest on TacoTank’s awesome build here.

1995 Tacoma

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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