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Old 01-31-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
Volcom
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Default 1st Gen 4Runner tailgate to pickup tailgate conversion

I'll start by giving CUBuff 4Runner a big thanks in helping me yesterday at his dad's sheetmetal shop. There's no way I could have done the tailgate conversion by myself in my garage.

The bonus for swapping tailgate is getting rid of the heavy 4Runner tailgate. You loose all the glass, elec. motor, and all the other stuff in the window to make it go up & down. You also gain 4" of clearance at the bottom of the gate. It makes connecting a bumper to the frame much easier. The negative, you loose the back window. I've only run the hard top 5 months out of the year and don't get much during that time. If it was a daily driver, I probably wouldn't suggest the conversion. I'll make a soft top window for the rear to keep some of the heat inside.

I took some heavy damage to the driver's side rear quarterpanel a couple of years ago running BV Carnage on 33's with no rear bumper. Wasn't the smartest idea I've had. Here's the result of that trip.



Instead of fixing the damage, I just cut out the damage and left it for a couple of years.



The conversion was a good way to get rid of that low hanging quarterpanel and to make it eaiser to connect a bumper to the frame. Here's the pics.


Last picture with the stock tailgate in place. You can see my orange test spots to see what color orange I want to paint it somebody. The passenger side rear quarterpanel has taken some damage over the years as well.


Here's the damaged area that I've covered with cardboard & duct tape to keep the CO fumes from getting inside while running it with the hard top. Nice & ghetto.


Here's the pickup tailgate test fitted. Notice how much trimming has be done on the bottom quarterpanels.


Jeff welding up the 1" by 1" sqaure tubing frame that we used to relocate the hinges. The hinges sit between the 2 supports on each side.


Hinge supports tacked into place on the rear 2" by 3" crossmember I've put in between the rear framerails.


Hinge supports welded in. This shows that rear crossmember better.


Pickup tailgate hung and quarterpanels trimmed.


We welded a bottom piece of sheetmetal to the quarterpanel.


Driver's side was worse since we had to weld in a filler piece of sheetmetal between where I had trimmed and the bottom cap.


Passenger side welded. Just need some seam sealer on the inside and it's done.


Amazing how well the pickup tailgate fits in there.


Just need some paint and a rear bumper.


Driver's side was hard to work on. The Toyota sheetmetal is sooooooo thin. It's hard to weld without blowing holes in it left and right. This side will need some grinding and some bondo to make it look OK (it's not a show car so I'm not worried about it )


Another picture of th driver's side. The exhaust pipe used to touch the bottom of the quarterpanel. It's now 4" low


The finsihed product.

I'll get some pictures of the sheetmetal work inside. With the conversion, I gained 4" of interior space as well.
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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that is a butt ton of ground clearance in the back. i'm just not fully understanding the frame thats under the tailgate attatched to the crossmember, but it still looks good and that ground clearance, you have to be happy with!
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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that is a butt ton of ground clearance in the back. i'm just not fully understanding the frame thats under the tailgate attatched to the crossmember, but it still looks good and that ground clearance, you have to be happy with!
The frame is what holds up the tailgate The truck tailgate hinges bolt to that frame (they are different than the 4Runner hinges).

The extra clearance will be very nice to have!
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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oh ok so it will still hinge up and down, it almost looked like it just help the tailgate there and didn't let it move. i understand now. now build you a high clearance bumper... correction its already high clearance. any ideas on the bumper yet?
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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any ideas on the bumper yet?
It will be a tube bumper. Just got a JD2 air over hydro bender built. I'm really wanting a swing down tire carrier (similar design they did on extreme 4x4 on their scout project).
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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haven't seen that but i'll check it out. this happening soon?
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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I like the tailgate trick, It looks really good. Seeing how it doesn't get cold here, I may consider this to add to the list of things to do.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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Here's the rest of the pictures to show the latches and the sheetmetal work inside the tailgate.


I just reused the stock latches from the pickup. Seemed easier than fab'ing up another solution.


Height difference between the pickup latch vs. the 4Runner latch. I'll just leave the 4Runner latch as another tie down point for the rear.


We used sheetmetal over the 1"x1" frame and just tacked it to the tub in multiple spots. It's plenty strong to stand on.


Close up of the pickup hinge location, sheetmetal, and the orginal hinge location for the 4Runner tailgate.


Just alittle gap that I'll close up. Once I seam seal and heculine the rear, it will look somewhat stock.


Here's the space I gained in the cargo area. It's not much but I'll take as much of it for camping gear as I can get. I've always loved the way 4Runner's looked bob'ed but I use all the cargo room when I go camping so it wasn't feasible for me to bob the rear behind the seats.


Couldn't see the rear frame rails before the trim. Now it's a straight shot. It will make building a rear bumper easier & stronger.


Just sits in the garage 98% of the time.
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:43 AM   #9
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Nice work, I would like to do this whenever a make a new bumper.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:00 PM   #10
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1 more vote for you to make those tail light fillers.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
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Have you considered using some sort of soft rear window along the lines of the jeep soft doors? Like you said, you don't use it much, but could be an easy fix to enclose the back.. just some snaps around the window and find a fabric shop to make up a vinyl window to snap in?

Just a thought, nice work.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #12
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1 more vote for you to make those tail light fillers.
I'll have to talk with my buddy & his dad to see if they would want to start making them.

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Have you considered using some sort of soft rear window along the lines of the jeep soft doors? Like you said, you don't use it much, but could be an easy fix to enclose the back.. just some snaps around the window and find a fabric shop to make up a vinyl window to snap in?

Just a thought, nice work.
Yeah, I've got a roll of clear plastic window material & snaps that CUbuff4Runner gave me. I will make a soft rear window to keep the heat in and the rain / snow out. It's a easy shape so it shouldn't be too hard to make.

Thanks for the idea though!
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #13
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I gained more room in the back of my 4Runner doing this to the tailgate:

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...ad.php?t=42013
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:34 PM   #14
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I gained more room in the back of my 4Runner doing this to the tailgate:

http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum...ad.php?t=42013
Nice mod as well!
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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:31 AM   #15
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Here's how my buddy Jeremiah said I should paint my 4Runner



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If you build an F-Toy it better be the Toyota motor home class, because your going to be living in it! Your wife would kill you if took on that big of a project!
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Yeah it needs more troyangulation
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #16
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Nice conversion. I say go for the pink.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:35 AM   #17
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You trying to be like that pink jeep behind yo runner or what!!?!?!
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:13 AM   #18
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Very nice, If I ever get a soft top I want to swap the gates out.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:49 AM   #19
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aww how cute, it matches the lil jeep.
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