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Discussion Starter #1
The 1st gen 4runner was always my favorite, maybe its the old-school boxy fenders, or the 2-door & removable top...i just like them.
but hands down, the 3rd gen 4runners have the better suspension & drivetrain.(atleast for my needs)

it was always my dream to put a first gen body on a 3rd gen chassis, with the 3.4l.

well i already have a tried old 87 4runner....


And my lucky day came when i found a complete 99 4Runner rolling chasis -& i mean frame, suspension, axles (with E-locker), steering, & everything...also got the drive train 3.4, automatic, w transfercase, wire harness & ecu, & driveshafts.





I have done nasic research myself, my only real question is if anyone knows anyone who has done this before? referance pictures would be awesome. Also, is there any major reason that you can think of that i wont be able to do ths ? im prety sure i got every angle cover, but you never know. thanx!
 

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I always thought the 3rd gens where a bit bigger? Is it just the body? Would the body even fit on the frame? I would start with making sure you can safetly even get the body on the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I always thought the 3rd gens where a bit bigger? Is it just the body? Would the body even fit on the frame? I would start with making sure you can safetly even get the body on the frame.
the first gen is 175"long & 67" wide with a 103" wheel base

the 3rd gen is 183" long 70"wide with a 105" wheelbase

I think these #'s are close enough to work with, my biggest concern was wheelbase, and its only a 2" increase, if i ceter the body, that would only be offf 1" in front & 1" in back, hardly a noticable differance. i realize the body mounts wont line up, but they are all within inches, thats somthing i could fix with some minor fabrication. just cutting & rewelding the mounts on the frame. ever seen this done?
 

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Why not just stuff the 3.4 in the 1st gen? Are you going to do all that work (obviously it CAN be done, but SHOULD it?) and then SAS it? Just seems like an enormous project for no "REAL" reason?
 

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Why not just stuff the 3.4 in the 1st gen? Are you going to do all that work (obviously it CAN be done, but SHOULD it?) and then SAS it? Just seems like an enormous project for no "REAL" reason?
I dont think the OP has any intention of SAS'in this rig. I another post you can see that it is a simple show truck used for stunts and smaller jumps. Basically I would say go for it. The 3rd gen frame should give you better options as far as coils front and rear and with the 3.4 drivetrain in its natural habitat maintenance should be a lot easier.

With that, I say build it and post pics I'm subscribed!
 

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When I stuffed a 3.4 into my 84 I had to cut a hole in the hood since I didn't have a body lift. Not sure if it would be an issue for you or not, but you could probably account for that when you relocate the body mounts so you don't have to do the same.

The 3.4 moves real good by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I dont think the OP has any intention of SAS'in this rig. I another post you can see that it is a simple show truck used for stunts and smaller jumps. Basically I would say go for it. The 3rd gen frame should give you better options as far as coils front and rear and with the 3.4 drivetrain in its natural habitat maintenance should be a lot easier.

With that, I say build it and post pics I'm subscribed!

you read me like a book. putting a 3.4 in an 87 4Runner would only give me half the benefits i want....I hate torsion bars !
leaf springs in the rear aren't my favorite either...i want everything the 3rd gen has to offer, but with the classic kick-ass 1st gen looks!

I have no intention of solid axle swapping, its going to be used for "tough truck racing" and some weekend wheeling. A massive lift & big tires are no good for what I do with my 4Runner. i never run larger than 32" tires, and a lower center of gravity is best for high speeds. independent suspension coil springs & a four link rear handle better around a track, & take jumps better.

I thank all of you who found pics! i was hoping there was somthing out there to go by!

my concern @ this moment is that i dont have the 99 4Runner steering column....i never even thought of how i may need that due to the extreme difference in steering shaft angles. ill worry about that when it comes, im sure i can just weld a steering u-joint in there somwhere...steering shafts aren't exactly rocket science.
 

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you read me like a book. putting a 3.4 in an 87 4Runner would only give me half the benefits i want....I hate torsion bars !
leaf springs in the rear aren't my favorite either...i want everything the 3rd gen has to offer, but with the classic kick-ass 1st gen looks!

I have no intention of solid axle swapping, its going to be used for "tough truck racing" and some weekend wheeling. A massive lift & big tires are no good for what I do with my 4Runner. i never run larger than 32" tires, and a lower center of gravity is best for high speeds. independent suspension coil springs & a four link rear handle better around a track, & take jumps better.

I thank all of you who found pics! i was hoping there was somthing out there to go by!

my concern @ this moment is that i dont have the 99 4Runner steering column....i never even thought of how i may need that due to the extreme difference in steering shaft angles. ill worry about that when it comes, im sure i can just weld a steering u-joint in there somwhere...steering shafts aren't exactly rocket science.
You could have achieved the same thing with a long travel kit. Eliminate the torsion bars, run race-proven coilovers and strengthen the A-arms all while doubling the your wheel travel. You'll get much more wheel travel this way than with the frame swap (if you keep the stock 3rd gen suspension). This would also be easy as these kits are basically bolt on except for shock hoops. Not knocking your project, it's really interesting, but there are other ways to achieve your goal.
 

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You could have achieved the same thing with a long travel kit. Eliminate the torsion bars, run race-proven coilovers and strengthen the A-arms all while doubling the your wheel travel. You'll get much more wheel travel this way than with the frame swap (if you keep the stock 3rd gen suspension). This would also be easy as these kits are basically bolt on except for shock hoops. Not knocking your project, it's really interesting, but there are other ways to achieve your goal.
yes but consider the older frame is probably :shiner: so instead of :saw: the frame to hell and back to build it up(not to mention the rust and crap). A frame swap is as easy as a frame off resto minis the downtime for beefing the frame up.
+his rear is prob. leafs right now and the 3rd gen is linked and there for the frame will be stronger near the link mounts for better setups later
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll be watching this if you decide to do it !

Oh no worries, i have already decided to do it... i decided to do it many years ago. I just never had a complete 3rd gen rolling chasis & drivetrian untill now- " craigs list made my dreams come true"

so the decision to do it is made, & i have nearly all the parts i need (atleast all the major ones)

so now during the dark & cold winter months of ohio, i shall take this time to do the super important research & development process....it helps in making the term "measure twice, cut once" a reality. nothing is better than when a well-developed plan actually comes together as planned!

since some of you kick-ass & linked me to actual pics of the swap, i have a very possitive attitude & nothing will stop me from doing the same! no one can honestly deny that this is anything but a great idea.....just kinda alot of work. i have alot more parts & trucks than i have money....this makes perfect sense to me! i like having unique things & new ideas. I Love classic old looks with modern-day technology & performance....its a hit in the muscle car world...

so as i dream, i am still trying to think of a way to actually take the body off the 87 & set it on the new frame. worst case, i can ask my boss if i can trailer both of them to the shop over the weekend & use the lift....but i hate to do large personal projects there, because it has to be out of there by monday @ 8am...so if anything takes longer than plannedI woulld have to trailer them both back home & do it all over the next weekend...WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS. i have a garage @ home & lots of equipment....but no car lift. i have engine-hoist & a front-loader john deere....but im scared of how that redneck shit could result.
 

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The wiring will be the trick. (unless you do a dash/cluster swap too)

I would use the lift to do the body swap. All you really need is to figure out where the body mounts need to be and get them tacked in place.

When Nate did his extended cab swap, we had all that done in a day, without a lift. You should be able to easily do it in a weekend, even with some issues.
 

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y
so as i dream, i am still trying to think of a way to actually take the body off the 87 & set it on the new frame. worst case, i can ask my boss if i can trailer both of them to the shop over the weekend & use the lift...
..WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS. i have a garage @ home & lots of equipment....but no car lift. i have engine-hoist & a front-loader john deere....but im scared of how that redneck shit could result.
My mind clicky clicky when you wrote this one out plus the post after made it SO much better.
Now this will only work if the frames are nearly the same width.
But here...
When prepping the frame for the body, measure it out and if the old mounts are the same width or slightly narrower you can simply take the whole thing down.
1.Put it on the lift and before lifting it cut the mounts off the old frame.
(support the body with the lift near the pinch welds)

2.Then lift the old body off with mounts attached.

3.Roll out old chassis and in comes the new

4.Lower body to new frame and tack mounts to new frame
(having some pre-cut plate handy to extend/gusset would be a good idea)

Once done you have a rolling set minus the motor/tranny.
*You could even Pre-weld supports on to place the lift arms under

I'd bet that with 2 guys and an afternoon you could have it mounted solid if you measure and mark where the frame and body should meet.

BTW: pull the top off and it will be lighter and easier
 
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