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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am new to the crawler scene and know very little about the topic in general. I am reaching out to all members that could direct me in the correct direction. Hopefully I posted this in the correct section.

I have been searching for a rig and the 4 runner seems like it will fit me best, but I am flexible on what is out there. I recently found one for sale in my city but the guy just recently bought it and knows very little about it so I figured I would reach out to the TTORA experts. I will try and provide as much as information as I can and all the pictures I have. I am looking for feedback if this is a solid build, if they used the correct combination of parts, if its a bad idea, etc. Maybe someone knows who built it as well.

I understand that there are many different ways to do things and many different axles and combinations out there so all the advice/information and tips would be greatly appreciated. I am mechanically incline and know my way around the tool box, but the ideal way to build a crawler is still fuzzy to me.

For my first Rig I think this would be a good starter and foundation to build off of.

Here is the ad word for word so everyone can form their opinion:
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1992 Toyota 4runner
Power windows with power rear window and sunroof all work
Power door locks
tilt steering
Automatic V6 3.0
Interior in great shape
AC works great
CD player

Straight axle swap
37" Tires in good condition with spare
Bead lock rims
Warn xd9000 winch
On-board air compressor
30 spline chromoly axles
TRD diff locks front & rear
CB Radio
Hitch
Stainless steel threaded brake lines
Under mounted rock lights
Hid front lights

New brake rotors and calipers less than 30 miles on them
New front wheel bearings and complete axle seal kit front and rear all with less than 30 miles (have receipts)
All bolts have been freshly specd and torqued under chassis, transmission, engine, drive line, wheels, steering knuckles, shackles all freshly tightened and ready for trail.

Tires balanced and aligned less than 30 miles ago

Both diffs serviced less than 30 miles ago

All work done with receipts.


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So after a full inspection of it. There are a lot of minor things that need to be done before I would feel comfortable taking it on a trail run.

Here are a couple things I noticed or have questions about:

1. the rear leafs are separating and they do not have the U brackets that keep them inline and the pack together.(I am not sure of the name of these but I am NOT referring the the U Bolts that are used to secure the leafs to the axle) I am referring to the U shaped bracket that keep the springs together.

2. The rear has small blocks, I assume this is to correct the pinon angle but can't this be corrected with a shim or just leafs? Tires are 37"

3. How would I ensure the front hangers are mounted in the correct location, from what I read there are many different preferences.

4. How do I determine what axle was used from the front end or does that really matter? I assume its a Toyota axle from the first generation.

5. It looks like real bead locks - I know these are street legal, but what other disadvantages ?

6. I was told it has 5.29 gears - Decent for tire size? Thoughts?


7.What price tag would you put on this rig?



All the welds look pretty decent from the perches to the shock hoops.

Engine - 187K miles

What other things should I look out for? Suspension ? Motor ? Trans? Etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are the pictures



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How much money do the seller wants? But test out the 4Runner 4wd if get any problems. I see in info you regret buying 2003 Tacoma 4x4 with DB lift, may ask what the problem with it?
 

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Looks like a solid 4runner. How much is he asking?
To me it sits in the $5-8k range. 3.slows aren't that bad of an engine either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How much money do the seller wants? But test out the 4Runner 4wd if get any problems. I see in info you regret buying 2003 Tacoma 4x4 with DB lift, may ask what the problem with it?

I would rather not discuss what the buyer is asking but if I purchase it I would have no problem sharing that information. I will take it for a test run and a little off road trip as well. Thanks for the advice.
I have a Tacoma with the drop bracket lift and I regret it because it has limited me to baby steps to finally SAS. I like the idea of a full suspension lift, not just dropping everything down. I guess I'm not fully unhappy with it, just disappointed the cross members was cut out. My plans were to take the kit off and then discovered the cross member was cut.
There isn't any mechanical issues with the lift kit.


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Discussion Starter #6
Looks like a solid 4runner. How much is he asking?
To me it sits in the $5-8k range. 3.slows aren't that bad of an engine either.

Thank you- I am going to gather more information on this during the next visit. I was thinking of an offer around what you think it's worth. The 3.0 has had their issues but I guess I can't complain for what is out there during these years and for my price range.

Anything thoughts of the swap with the limited pictures I have?


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From these pictures the swap looks good. Good drag link angle with the hi-steer and solid spring perches and crossmember. The tires look nice and centered in the wheel wells. Test drive it to see if it goes straight down the road. Get up to 25 or so and brake with your hand off of the wheel. If it keeps going straight then everything should be pretty much alligned. I highly doubt those are real bead locks. It's not a bad looking rig in my opinion.
 

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Not a bad rig IMO. About $6000 around central California.

Personally. My issue would be the automatic, but that's just me.
 

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I would rather not discuss what the buyer is asking but if I purchase it I would have no problem sharing that information. I will take it for a test run and a little off road trip as well. Thanks for the advice.
I have a Tacoma with the drop bracket lift and I regret it because it has limited me to baby steps to finally SAS. I like the idea of a full suspension lift, not just dropping everything down. I guess I'm not fully unhappy with it, just disappointed the cross members was cut out. My plans were to take the kit off and then discovered the cross member was cut.
There isn't any mechanical issues with the lift kit.


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Another thing, check the condition of engine oil and transmission fluid before taking 4runner for test drive, if engine oil is white or tranny fluid black, or has burn smell.;)
 

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Looks like a nice rig from those few pictures. I would say that any used crawler is going to need a few things and maybe some tweaks if for no other reason than just personal preference, it sounds like this one has had some good maintenance done recently.

From what you say everything works and I haven't heard anything that would make me think it's not trail ready right now. I wouldn't worry too much about the blocks in the rear if they are small, 4runners are heavy in the rear so they were probably just to level it out, not uncommon with these rigs. You can always buy new springs if you think the blocks are causing issues.

As for test driving it don't expect it to drive like a Camry, heavy rig, flexy suspension, large heavy aggressive tires, you get the idea. Maybe some wandering, body roll/sway, increased braking distance.

The prices mentioned above are probably about right, a couple things that bring the value down would be the un popular 3.0 and the automatic, also no dual cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for all the advice and tips- I didn't get to drive it today- we scheduled for tomorrow morning. I guess the rear bearings were making noise so he took it back to the company that did all the maintenance before. Tomorrow I will test drive it and hopefully make this guy an offer. I look forward to wheeling with the so cal chapter and many others! Thanks again guys!


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Discussion Starter #14
Update -

Well good morning everyone! I wanted to thank everyone for the advice and replies. I took the runner for a long spin yesterday. After fully looking over the entire rig from bumper to bumper there were the typical wear from a vehicle with 185K miles. Small oil leak form the rear of the Tranny, radiator fluid drips from a hose or two etc..

The two things that have me on the fence to purchase this is:

1. The motor felt weak, I understand it is old with high mileage, its the 3.slow and it has 37" tires. I just thought with 5:29's it would have a little more get up.

2. The alignment was just done, new brake lines, pads, rotors and bearings re packed. The Rigtracks left and upon breaking it really pulls left. As Davestaco recommended I did this test multiple times.

Would I have to cut the perches off and try and re-align this thing. Is it possible the leafs are bent/tweaked? The shackles?

What are your guys thoughts?
 

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I don't have much to say so take this as a bump for some info. When the alignment was done they would/should have brought up any issues in the front end. Another thought I had was a sticky brake caliper but that would have been found when the brakes were done.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks lunarmist02 - I know it's hard to troubleshoot something by going by someone's explanation. I just wanted to be as educated as I can before I buy something - or possibly buy someone else's problem. Again thanks everyone!


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Did the alignment shop give a printout of the results? If everything is in spec then the pull could be tierod related or even uneven tire pressure. I do know from experience that beadlock wheels tend to lose pressure over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Didn't buy

Did the alignment shop give a printout of the results? If everything is in spec then the pull could be tierod related or even uneven tire pressure. I do know from experience that beadlock wheels tend to lose pressure over time.

The seller didn't have as print out. He actually backed out of selling it. I am kinda bummed, but back to the drawling board. I think he knew he couldn't get what he paid for it or something along those lines.

Thank you everyone for your help! I appreciate it and look forward to wheeling with some of you guys one day.

Keep an eye out for me. I am looking for a 1990-2000 4 runner that already has the SAS.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How much were you willing to pay for that one? What's your budget?

Depending on the details - overall I would like to spend around 4-7k but depending on what it was I would be willing to go to 10-11k for a well built rig-

I wouldn't mind building one, but the time and garage space is limited so it would be my last resort -


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