Tire review: Road Venture SAT KL61


The Kumho Ventire SAT KL61 is an all terrain tire designed with a combination of off-road looks and on-road manners.  I picked up a set, sized 265/70/16, for my 2005 Toyota Tacoma after realizing that my Firestone ATs were not going to make it through another winter.  The tires are designed with a ‘flame inspired’ tread pattern, which sounds lame, but allows the tires to easily disperse water and stay clean when traveling through gravel, dirt and mud.  As an added bonus, the tires are also rated for severe weather and include the ever-important ‘snowflake’ which alerts people to this rating.

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How to lift your Toyota Tacoma

There are lots of options for lifting your Toyota Tacoma.  I know it is a cliche, but you often get what you pay for with lifts.   While most people ask, “what are you going to be doing with your truck” I always start with, “do you like how your truck rides” because that’s what matters most.  If you like a soft, plush ride, then don’t lift your truck.  No matter how much money you spend, your truck will never ride as smooth as it does when it is stock.   My next questions are more important:

  1. How much money are you willing to spend?
  2. Are you going to do the work yourself?  If not, you’ll need more money.

So if you really want to lift you truck, here are the right and wrong ways to do it.
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Info on the 1995.5 through 2004 Toyota Tacoma frame recall for rust


Toyota Tacomas are ultra-reliable trucks, but one serious issue that has plagued them is rusty frames.   When I say ‘rusty’ I mean rusty, with frames literally falling apart and collapsing.   You can see photos of the damage on the TTORA.com board if you are worried about your frame and to read other people’s experiences with getting their frames fixed and their trucks bought back.
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Tire review: Nitto Terra Grapplers

5-nitto When it came time to update the tires on my 2003 Toyota 4Runner I spent countless hours researching the various options on forums, Web sites and magazines.   The first question you should ask yourself is how you plan to use the tires.  Since my 4Runner saw plenty of highway use and was my primary vehicle, I decided to go with an all terrain tire (AT).   Next, I looked at the options in the 265/70/17 P-Metric range and narrowed my search to a handful of trusted brands.  Based on reader reviews, a high ranking from Consumer Reports (subscription required) and a great price (all four, mounted and balanced for $620 from Farr Family Tires in Camp Hill, PA) I went with the Nitto Terra Grapplers.

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Off-roading toys that last forever (sometimes).