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I remember the first Toyota truck I was ever in. Technically it was a 4runner but still the same chassis. It was an ’86 Solid Axle 4runner and it belonged to my(now) Step Father. I thought this thing was the absolute coolest. The back roof came off like a jeep, it could go offroad, it was a manual, and if he dropped me off somewhere he would tell me to leave the door open and as he drove off it would shut. That officially made it the coolest vehicle I had ever been in – oh how easy it was to entertain a 10 year old.

The thing I liked the most though was this crazy device that sat on the dashboard known as an inclinometer.

4runner inclinometer
4runner inclinometer

I would love to just watch the truck rotate and roll along this analog gauge. I always told myself when I get a Toyota I’d be sure to have one of those.

Fast-forward many years and I’ve finally gotten my truck and researched what I have to do to get one of these treasures. I was let down when I learned that Toyota no longer produces these(along with a truck in the US with a solid axle!) and I would have to retrofit an old one into my truck.

For a while that was my plan, but it was just put on the back burner as more important projects popped up and the old inclinometers became more and more scarce.

In this day and age everything is digital, so why can’t one of these? Sure you can buy others from another vehicle but what is the fun in that. So I gathered materials and set out into development and prototyping.

It’s powered by an arduino uno, but if I decide to sell these that will change.
I just wanted something that would show my x and y axis, I wasn’t worried about much else right now.

Step one, get the accelerometer reading values.

First readouts
First readouts

I ended up breaking that micro OLED screen in the bottom left corner and it messed up the backlighting. luckily i had a spare one. I need to purchase more to test with anyways.

After a couple days of beating my brain figuring out rotation calculations i finally have something i can work with and prototype further. Currently it uses a 2nd gen double cab tacoma image but really i can use anything i want to.  The response time is fast enough for wheeling and is pretty accurate.

I’m writing this from my phone so i’m sure there are errors i need to fix but this is as far as it is working as of 8/25

more to come later tonight!

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