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461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is what my current truck looked like when I bought it for 1k - '88 4runner, 4 cyl, 5 spd - windshield broken - trans shot - clutch gone - no RF rotor (brake pads were actually squeezing the cooling vanes) - rear drums seized - wheel bearings shot - interior mildewed & wet (rear window stuck open) - rusted fenders all around - god awful conversion van graphics down the side

graphics removed (heat gun & oven cleaner for the residual adhesive) - chrome grill epoxy painted Black Gloss - ford turbo coupe reversed hood scoops - ford focus antenna up on the roof - interior cleaned - new shifter boot sewn up (the old one was crusty mildew & mold)

a few months ago at Hungry Valley OHV - MarlinCrawler HD rebuilt W56 trans - Marlin rear diff armor - 4.56:1 V6 third members - home fab F & R bumpers - used 32x10.5-15 BFG A/T ebay tires on used ebay rims – Hanneman fiberglass fenders - 7MGE Supra swap - home fab lower control arm brace

some of my fancy exhaust work to route it down the driver side and into 2.5” pipes


Home fab front bumper - 2" OD tube ~.120" thick (just under 1/8") - I'm going to run 3 driving lights on the front & I may try to retro fit a winch tray on there yet - under the front bumper mounts I also have the Front Range Offroad front crossmember reinforcement welded on, it's 1/4" plate that'll prevent the crossmember from bending if hit and also prevent the bumper mount nuts from pulling through the factory sheet metal if

mounted with 3 bolts from the front on both sides + the 2 tow hook bolts under the front frame, all mounting plates are 1/4" - the verticles off the front bracket needed to be "squeezed" a bit then cut flat to fit between the 2 lower bolts, the front mount plate extends up and covers the body cross member (in a frontal collision the mount plate will hit the crossmember) - the bottom brackets are bent and the tubes welded on from the side to fit in the body mount pocket

Home fab rear bumper - 2" OD tube ~.120" thick (just under 1/8"), 1/4" mount plates (same as most receivers) - mounted with 3 bolts from the side & 1 underneath on both sides - future plans might include side guards and dual swing outs (one for fuel/water cans & one for an extra spare) - originally I copied the pattern for the mount plates from a tow receiver and just extended it to "capture" the main tube, after a 1" body lift to accomodate the radiator for the 7MGE I needed to raise it to get rid of the bumper gap - thats why the side plates are in 2 pieces now, when I get time I plan on welding some bar to bridge the 2 and prevent the whole thing from rotating downward when I tow

*5-25-08 - Got a bit of work done to the rear bumper to finish it off.
Added side hoops

linked both side plates with some small square tube

previously I had a 90* bracket bolted onto the side plates that bolted onto the bottom of the frame rail - now it's welded 1/4" with gussets at each end


Reverse lights wired up. I used a relay for the lights so that the reverse switch on the transmission doesn't burn out trying to pass too much current. The first pic explains the wiring, which was easy. For power, I tapped off a 12 gauge wire that I had run for my trailer socket adapter. The lights I decided to use were cheapo Pilot driving lights I picked up from some parts store awhile back for $20.

Mounting for these lights is pretty standard, so I just welded a 1.5"x5"x1/8" tab onto my bumper. I recessed them into the tube work fairly well, so I don't expect they'll break anytime soon.


I know Total Chaos sells one, but I wanted it flat on the bottom so I could bolt a skid on later (and link to a Budd Built cross member, which is another future mod). I know Sonoran Steel makes one, but it looks like major overkill (and I'm trying to limit how much weight I add). I had one from Front Range Offroad on a previous project, but they don't make them anymore & I didn't like the way it bolted on. I didn't want a weld on truss because I'd like the option of unbolting it to make dropping the front diff easier.

This is what I came up with, design is based on the Front Range truss, but with weld on mounts. Fab time + install was only ~4 hrs using 2" x 1/2" channel and 2" 1/8" flat bar.

installed and painted - everything was assembled & both mounts drilled & bolted with it off the vehicle. I tapped it into place between the lower arm perches & welded up the mounts. that way I know there is no slop in the mounts and everything is a nice tight fit. It's strong enough I can jack up the front of the truck with no visible deflection on the truss


Roof rack was swiped off an Isuzu Rodeo, the cross bars were shortened so it would fit between the rear windows. It's mounted with 8 6mm stainless bolts through the shell with brake line cut to length to prevent the walls of the shell from distorting when everything was tightened down. In addition to the factory rubber gasket under the side rails I used just a touch of RTV to prevent and water leaks, so far I've had none.


a bit more work on cooling for the 7MGE - I'm starting to suspect that I may have sized the radiator a bit small, but then again I wasn't really figuring on being in the South West and having to deal with that much heat. The issue now is on long steep grades at highway speed it'll start to get a bit too warm. the radiator fan doesn't come into play at highway speed, so maybe this is my problem . . .

Since I spent so much time on the radiator and fan getting them to fit, a bit of pretection was in order. I built and installed an expanded steel grill to keep the rocks out of my radiator. used 1/4" square rod on the sides to keep it from bending as easily, it's the gloss black bit under the factory grill


Another project presented itself when I found a Northwest Metal Products auxiliary gas tank on ebay for $170. These retail for $600 + shipping when new, so this was too good of a deal to pass up. It mounts above the spare tire and adds another 14 gallons of gas to the truck. Incidently the spare tire will sit ~ 4inches lower than stock, so until I plan and build a swing out tire carrier I'll have to be careful not to drop the rear end off a ledge

CARB legal, but not California legal (?!?) - so install will have to wait till I pass at the Smog Referee Station

The exterior of it was completely rusted, however the interior looked nice and clean (the only rust inside was where the side mounts were welded and the galvanizing was burned off). I was too excited to get started to take a before pic, but this is after I was done prepping the outside.

I got all the rust off first with a wire cup brush mounted onto my 4" grinder. When it was clean enough I painted the outside with POR-15, which is my favorite rust killer. After letting it bake in the rear of my truck with the windows closed for a week (90+ degrees outside), I layed on 3 coats of spray truck bed coating and put it in the back again to "cure" for a week in the So Cal heat.

This is supposed to be a gravity feed system supplying the main tank through a fitting screwed into the main tank drain plug. However, I don't like the idea of having a fitting on the bottom of the main tank - the main tank is already low enough & I don't want to worry about hitting a rock and draining both tanks. So my plan is to use a cheap gas pump to transfer fuel from the aux tank to the main tank through the filler neck vent hose. The only downside to this set-up will be that I have to remember to turn off the pump when the aux tank is empty or I risk burning up the transfer pump which is not designed to run dry.


Had a good junkyard find a couple weeks ago - I was looking for a cylinder head to P&P, but instead found an '82 Celica Supra with an F303 axle code, which means it had a 7.5" LSD differential which would fit nicely on the front of my '88 (F=7.5" differential, the 3 at the end designates it as a 2 pinion LSD). This thread has all the pertinent info, except it fails to mention that you need to grind 1/4" off both stub axles before sliding them into the differential (if you don't, the passenger side won't seal and the driver side will push the bearing in the halfshaft tube out 1/4") - The *official* 7.5" Supra LSD into a IFS diff thread.

out of the Celica Supra housing - I ended up reusing the original Celica bearings, even though they had 205k miles on them they still looked good

Disassembled - I ended up shimming the LSD springs ~ .075" to add just a little bit more bite. Not shown, but the side gear clutch material still looked really good for the mileage on this unit

To me, this looks like it should have steel plates splined to the side gear for better torque biasing.

I didn't take any pics of the install and set up as that is covered in the link. I was able to get the same exact backlash as what it had using a combination of the Celica Supra shims and the shims that were in the 4runner housing. One word of caution, when I called a Toyota dealer to order a shim, they told me that the part number was good but has been discontinued.

I still need to test it out (maybe Hungry Valley this weekend as it's right up the road) and after I put a few miles on it change the oil.


After swapping engines I’ve had cooling problems pulling my trailer on long grades. The cooling system works fine the rest of the time in stop/go traffic or at highway speeds, I just needed a bit of extra cooling on long steep grades or in the desert. This could also work to help wash off the radiator for those who like to play in the mud (the washer motor I got really is that strong).

Hayden has a product called Rapid Cool Radiator Mist System, but it usually retails for ~$ 80 (click me-> Radiator Mist System). I built my system for $10 plus a few spare bits I already had collecting dust. It’s a pretty simple system and only took a few hours for a nice clean install. Now I won’t have to worry about desert temps or cross my fingers that the head gasket will last pulling a grade.

Here's the major components. A junkyard windshield washer motor that I swiped from a Mercedes, a “large” size universal radiator reservoir, 4’ 7/64” rubber tube, 20” 5/16” brake line - you'll also need a momentary switch and some wiring to run run the pump along with an anti-siphon valve to prevent the system from leaking down.

I had to modify the reservoir a bit to mount nicely where I wanted. Using a heat gun I heated the bottle where I wanted it to change until the white plastic turned translucent. Then I pushed in on the corner with a block of wood and held it until the plastic cooled and hardened (cools much quicker if you run water over it).

The spray bar needs to have a directed spray pattern so it doesn’t just shoot one solid stream at one part of the radiator. Using my mighty Dremel and a thin cut off wheel, I made 4 verticle slices in the brake line – 2 offset above centerline and 2 below centerline for more even water distribution across the radiator - if you use the heavy duty (thicker) cut off wheels, the spray may be weaker and use more water, the thin wheels keep the pressure in the spray bar up

Close up shot of the slots in the spray bar - I used a pair of vice-grips to pinch the brake line closed and just for kicks soldered the end on top of that

I mounted the spray bar in the grill behind one of the thicker horizontal sections by cutting 2 half circles and recessing it back in, this will help keep it from shifting around. I decided to use plastic zip ties to hold it in place, although a more permanent solution would be JB Weld (once you're happy with the spray pattern)

When I run the water without the fan on, you can actually see it coming out the backside of the radiator. The pusher fan whips the water around fairly well and completely saturates the radiator. Although it shouldn't be an issue, I made sure the water didn't spray directly onto the fan motor. I timed about 40 seconds of continuous use with the 2.5qt reservoir, but figure I’ll only need to use this for 1 or 2 seconds at a time, so it should last.

Washer pumps are not self priming, so they must be located slightly below or even with the bottom of the reservoir. Because they’re mounted below the water level, you’ll need an anti-siphon check valve to prevent all the water from just leaking out constantly. These can be found on most rear washer hoses near the actual rear washer spray nozzle. Locate it as close to the spray bar as possible to prevent having to refill the entire water hose every time.
- water flow needs to go in the direction of the arrow -

For wiring I’m running a push button momentary switch that supplies 12V to the pump. The pump ground goes to chassis. This little washer motor draws ~ 5 amps! but the biggest momentary switch I could find was 3A, as long as I'm only pressing it for a few seconds at a time there should be no issue.

That’s pretty much it. When I see the temps start to climb, I push the button for a couple seconds, wait half a minute and push the button again until the temps start to drop.

edit 6-19-2008 finished the install

finished mounting the washer motor - welded a bracket together and secured the motor to it with a hose clamp

bent a piece of lexan to mount the momentary switch to and wired it up

In my compulsive drive for new projects to accomplish every weekend I though I'd slap on some MSD lovin'. I already had 2 MSD 6A's, but needed the 8910EIS adapter (small red box) to make it work with Toyota's coil igniter. I got one off ebay for $20 and set out to mount everything . . .

I already had the MSD Blaster 2 coil installed previously (another $3 junkyard find), but thought I'd mount it on the passenger side since everything else was getting upgraded.

a little bit of exhaust work this weekend in preparation for the smog ref - It's 2.5" all the way back with the pipes slid together and 3" wide band clamps sealing everything (antiseize on the pipes where they slide in so I can take them back apart and band clamps because I like them better than u-bolt clamps)

old exhaust and tiny MagnaFlow cat - it has so many flanges because originaly the cat was further back, but everything got moved around after the first smog visit to get the cat closer to the engine

old tailpipe

new cat - looks much bigger, so hopefully the increased capacity and surface area will scrub the last remaining bit of bad exhaust gas

new pipe from the cat back to my FlowMaster Delta 50

new tailpipe - I made the tailpipe before throwing the 32" spare underneath and before the new cat and pipe was installed, now I have to move the tailpipe a bit further away from the spare . . . who knows, I might have to redo the tailpipe when I put my aux tank on.

a little bit of cylinder head work this weekend to correct a coolant leak between cyl 1 & 2 on the exhaust side, there wasn't any fluid mixing and I didn't find any signs of cylinder leakage on the gasket when I got it apart

but before the actual work there is much prep. I sourced a Pick-A-Part 7MGE cyl head to prep so the whole job would be just swapping parts

after a thorough cleaning this is what I was left with on the intake side

originally I just wanted to smooth out the air flow a bit (take out some of the sharp edges by the valve seats, ect)but it turned into this with the help of my trusty Dremel

exhaust before

and after - the exhaust side was a PAIN because it's so much tighter

combustion chamber
valves all cleaned up and organized so they go back into the same holes

most of the power you can get out of an engine will come from the cylinder head, and being who I am, I pay attention to the details. after getting a cylinder head surfaced it will have these ridges or burrs along any opening . . .

which need to be cleaned, or it could lead to preignition from glowing hot metal fragments. I used 200 grit sandpaper. to give a nice round edge. the combustion chamber has "squish" all around the circumference, so I wasn't worried about undercutting the headgasket. I also cleaned all the head bolt holes and coolant passages

all back together and ready to go, the exhaust valve seats were touched up at the machine shop to remove some minor pitting but the valves were all perfect so I left them alone

this is kinda neat. the 7MGE cams and sprockets each have 3 holes and a removable dowell pin. when you get the head machined the distance from the crank sprocket to the cam sprocket is reduced, so if there is no cam adjustment the intake and exhaust timing actually become retarded. these holes are spaced slightly different from cam to sprocket and allow you to advance or retard the cam timing as needed. I didn't mess with it at this point because I lost my degree wheel . . .

I also found my vacuum leak, which I am pretty sure led to high NOx readings and my failed smog (likely did that one myself when I installed the EGR last year)

any repair is an excuse to upgrade, right? the 7MGe weakness is low head bolt torque (58 ft/lbs) with the ARP studs it is recommended to torque to 80ft/lbs using ARP lube or 120 ft/lbs using 10w-30 oil

the biggest pain of the whole job was valve adjustment. I had shims from 3 different engines to choose from and was able to get everything in spec except 1 exhaust valve (.001" too tight, all other exhaust valves are on the tight side). I'll need to go back through valve adjust again once everything settles in

I did have a problem starting it once everything was together, and I spent 1-2 hours going through distributor set-up, ignition, and everything else . . . until I saw the vise grips on my rubber fuel line that I had put there to prevent gas from siphoning out of the tank while I worked. After that though it started right up. a wide open throttle test drive up the I-5 Grapevine will have to wait till this weekend

Everyone's seen those cheap utility lights mounted to the side of a semi or on a tractor, doing a bit of research I found out how to make one of these into a decently bright driving light just by swapping in a new sealed beam. This will provide a cheap, light weight and vibration resistant light to help me avoid all the deer just waiting to jump in front of me when I'm bombing down country roads at night.

The heart of this is this sealed beam, NAPA p/n LMP 4509 (~$15). It's listed as an aircraft spotlight beam, and is rated for 100W at 13V producing 110,000 candlepower - if you can get a full 14V down to them expect a bit more

The rear of the 4509 bulb has screws to secure the wiring

Here's the utility light I'll be using for this (Harbor Freight <$10)

Start by getting the old light out of the rubber housing. Be careful not to chip the light when you pry it out by sliding a screwdriver as far behind it as possible. After you pop one out, you begin to realize that these lights will NOT fall out on their own going down the road.

Here's the light taken apart (note that this one isn't a sealed beam, but uses a regular H3 bulb).

Snip off the black ground wire going to the rivet on the inside, it doesn't provide a good ground and will eventually will fail causing the light to go out.

Here's the new bulb wired and ready to be popped back into the housing. I used 14 gauge wire to connect to my pre-existing light harness which uses 12 gauge from a 40 amp relay. The black ground wire goes to the mounting bolt into the 'runner's frame

It even says "AIRCRAFT" on the back of the bulb

Mounted up with a simple 90 degree bracket to the bolt hole on top of the frame just inside of the body mounts

All finished

from these you can see that the headlights don't even compare to the spotlights . . . in fact, I could hardly tell when the headlights were on except the headlights have a wider beam and filled in the sides a bit

low beam headlights

spot lights only (ignore the poor aiming on the right side, I need to modify my mount a bit to get it up a bit)

low beams + spots

high beams + spots


I made a junkyard run the other day, and for lack of anything better decided to snag a new pair of bucket seats. The 'runner already has buckets, but, being the American I am, I wanted something a bit sportier with more bling and adjustments.

Here are the old seats -- FOR SALE

and the new seats, neither has any tears and are pretty mint for being nearly 20 years old. The passenger seat has the pretty standard recline & slide and also headrest height/tilt, but the driver side also has electric lateral and lumbar adjust along with seat bottom angle adjustments. The car I got them out of rhymes with 1st gen Cellica AllTrac Turbo (I felt so bad for that car . . . it was in good shape and I hated to tear it apart, but it looked like someone already took a ball-peen to the turbo)

In order for the seat to slide forward far enough for anyone to get in the back I had to match the rear seat mounts. The Cellica sliders are longer than the 4runner's, which meant I had to pull off the front mounts (make them semi-custom mounts) and also remove 2 bracket that were hitting the floor pan (just the bracket that held the spring which pulls the seat forward). I also removed the seat mounted belt buckle, preferring to use the factory belt buckle mounts on the body of the truck.

The seat itself sits just a hair lower, but that's OK to me. I took the seat back off and unbolted the seat bottom to make lining everything up much easier - it won't slide right unless the rails are parallel. If I decide later to raise it, the front mounts will get custom mounts (2 diagonal verticles and mount tabs bolted on) and the rear mounts will just need a spacer

Here's how I did the front mounts - I basically removed the mount, flipped it 180 degrees and drilled a new hole in the verticle section (the hole was originally in the 45* angle part). When I drilled out the rivet and spot weld that held them on I was left with (2) 6mm holes on each side, so I just used these holes with 2 grade 8 bolts

I reused the outside rear seat mount, but the inside rear mount didn't line up at all. I didn't really feel like welding a bracket on to use the original hole (not mention I would then have to worry about making the seat side-to-side level)so I drilled the floor and used a nice wide washer on the outside of the floorboard to prevent the nut from ever pulling through the sheet metal.

Both done. I didn't really have to worry so much about the driver side being able to slide all the way forward so install was a bit quicker. These do provide alot better lateral support and are very comfy, but I'm gonna hold off on my final impressions till I get some seat time on the driver side.

*edit* much better for distance driving and better support for the fast stuff

Here's the power lumbar and side wing adjust switch in its new home


time to make a stronger CB antenna mount. the old one worked fine, but after the fiberglass whip got bent over and shoved into the rear window to give enough clearance to drive into a parking garage (not me) it was too broken to fix. I did try removing the old mount and filling the backside with JB Weld, but the cracks would still open up whenever the antenna moved (with winter coming, I could just imagine water getting in there and breaking it up more)

this is what I came up with. it's 2" x 1/8" flatstock with a small piece of 90* angle for the actual mount. I snagged the antenna mounting stud and plastic insulator from an extra "trucker" style mirror mount that I had laying around. from the point where it mounts to the truck it has a zig in it for extra tailgate clearance, and all the corners have been rounded to prevent any scratches or snags from happening. I bent the 90* angle to a bit tighter of an angle to better follow the rear sheet metal and give an evenly spaced look

finished and mounted with (4) 6mm bolts & washers on the backside to distribute and minimize any bending force the factory sheet metal might get - you can also see where I ran the antenna feedline, a small notch in the sheet metal behind the taillight and some plastic trimming with my dremmel on the taillight housing did the job perfect

I filled the holes from the old mount with JB Weld and used some touch-up paint to make it look semi-pretty again


461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
update on some minor projects I've been working on lately

Rear window switch to be able to lower or raise the window when I'm in the back. It's wired into the tailgate key switch wires, so the key doesn't have to be on

*edit* No real details on the wiring - I figured out most of it out from here

not sure since it's been awhile, so don't blame me if you pop a fuse, but it looks like:
2 wires in the dash switch are for the little light, ignore these 2 - the other 3 got tied into the harness back by the spare tire jack
Green/yellow from dash switch to Blue/white in harness
Red/yellow from dash switch to blue/black in harness
last wire from the switch goes to ground, I used the bolt on the jack bracket

Added a slight tint to the tail lights, but not on the reverse light part and not enough to make the local cops worry about it. VHT is self leveling, but I switched the spray nozel so it would come out in a spray and not a stream. I lightly sanded the lenses with 1000 grit, wiped them down with rubbing alcohol, taped off the clear lens and back side, hit it with the VHT, wiped it off and spread it even with a paper towel and clear coated it after it was dry.

My home made idler gusset, you can probably guess where I got the design idea from, but like usual I had to change it a bit. I also tapped the idler body (6mm x 1.0) and added a grease zerk on the front of it (the gusset doesn't travel far enough to hit the zerk)

note the wrap-around part does not hit the steering stop and limit the turning radius

(just have to add a 1/4" u-bolt to snug it all down, though there is no side-to-side slop anyway)

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
time to upgrade the Master Cylinder in preparation for my T100 caliper swap - the bigger pistons on the T100 calipers need a slightly bigger MC bore. The '90s T100 1 tons have a 1-1/16" MC bore vs the popular 1" bore found in many mid 90's 4runners and LandCruisers - bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to the MC bore. A bigger bore moves more fluid, but produces less hydraulic pressure with the same amount of force on the pedal. In this case, I wanted to match what was available on the T100.

here's my $50 ebay master cylinder, brand new - note the 1-1/16" cast on the side

out with the old 7/8" bore MC

in with the new (and the aluminum looks much prettier than rust :D)

it was a simple bolt on swap, no drama. The front brake line needed to be bent a bit to match up with the T100 MC port. I didn't bother to bench bleed it, prefering to do it on the vehicle with a rag under the lines. Initial driving impressions are good with pressure building and the pedal firm very near the top of it's travel, though when I get the T100 calipers on it should soften up a bit. I would not recommend this size MC with the stock 1st gen calipers as it could get tiring to drive with the extra firm pedal. On a 2nd gen with the "S12W" calipers though, it might be a nice upgrade that would give a better pedal feel.

I cannot personally vouch for this cross reference:

Brake Master Cylinder for the following 1 TON Models:
1994 Toyota T100 Pickup : 4-2694 2.7L DOHC
1994 Toyota T100 Pickup : V6-2958 3.0L SOHC
1995 Toyota T100 Pickup : 4-2694 2.7L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1995 Toyota T100 Pickup : V6-3378 3.4L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1996 Toyota T100 Pickup : 4-2694 2.7L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1996 Toyota T100 Pickup : V6-3378 3.4L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1997 Toyota T100 Pickup : 4-2694 2.7L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1997 Toyota T100 Pickup : V6-3378 3.4L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1998 Toyota T100 Pickup : 4-2694 2.7L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS
1998 Toyota T100 Pickup : V6-3378 3.4L DOHC - Notes: w/o ABS

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

rear suspension height (rim to wheel well)

the old and the Old Man Emu - the original spring pack was 3 mains + 1 overload - the OME pack is 4 mains + 2 overloads (main leaves are about the same thickness as the originals)

Energy Suspension bumpstops, Marlin U-Bolt flip (note the excess trimmed off the top of the u-bolts)- this pic was with the weight of the axle pulling on the springs, I need to get a longer rear brake hose yet (just a slight pull on the hose like this, but add the weight of tires though and it'll probably get pulled on too much) I'm also not sure how I like the bumpstop placement, I think it might get destroyed by the u-bolt nuts. I may end up welding a shallow platform on top of the u-bolt plate for the bumpstop to bolt to and let it contact the factory strike plate. I'm also not ecstatic about how the e-brake cable is being pulled on (maybe a transfer case e-brkae in the future?)

shock mount welded on, while doing the install I measured and mounted everything for 11.5" stroke Bilstein 5150's.


new height - I guess my old springs were really sagging, the OME springs should have only given me 2" (+ my shackles from the old springs give another 1.25") - I got about 5.5" total

Well, this is more height than I wanted, it looks downright goofy like this. I don't have the shocks on the back yet either, the dumpy Rancho's will bolt up to the mounts, but I'll have 0 down travel. Once I get the Bilsteins on, the back end will come up a bit more too (gas pressure). So I'm thinking I need to put some stock length shackles back in to drop the height a bit and hope the springs settle.

made a new set of shackles - 4" eye to eye out this "muscle car" shackle kit ($15)

took the bottom overload leaf out - it didn't look like it would do anything anyway, just acted like a spacer or 3/8" lift block - I left the top overload leaf in to help control axle wrap. You can't really tell it, but I also added an extra gusset to the lower shock mount to get more surface area on the axle tube (probably wraps just under 1/2 way around now)

moved the Energy Suspension bumpstop down to the bottom by welding a perch onto the u-bolt plate (left over 1/4" flat from shortening the shackles)

and lost about 2" . . . which means I gained 3.5" from the OME's

This I can live with, a little bit of rake and it doesn't look nearly as goofy anymore :D

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
upgrade to T-100 calipers

Got my T-100 calipers on today. I already changed out the master cylinder, so I don't know how the brake pedal would feel with the bigger calipers and stock master cylinder. Here's the rundown:

Here are the original calipers, note the S12+8 casting mark in the second pic. Toyota uses standard calipers on several different models, the cast mark identifies which ones are identical (no difference in the cast mark to indicate left or right side though)

Here's what happens if you try to use the T-100 (S13WB cast mark) calipers with the stock rotors.

BTW, when I was getting parts I told the parts guy it was a '95 T-100 4wd.

So I got a pair of T-100 rotors to go with the new calipers and pads - the only thing that needs to change for the rotors is to push the bottom of the backing plate away from the rotors about 1/8" to keep it from rubbing - otherwise everything just bolts on

Here are the '88 4runner rotor specs:
# of Bolt Holes:6
Bolt Circle Diameter:5"
Maximum Lateral Runout:.004"
Thickness When New:.79"
Discard Thickness:.709"
Vented / Solid:Vented
Center Hole Diameter:3.942"

here are the T-100 rotor specs:
# of Bolt Holes:6
Bolt Circle Diameter:5"
Maximum Lateral Runout:.004"
Thickness When New:.985"
Discard Thickness:.905"
Vented / Solid:Vented
Center Hole Diameter:3.942"

So the only real difference is thickness and overall diameter - if you saw the "height" is also different, that's only because the rotor is thicker and the height needed to change to keep the rotor centered in the caliper.

The calipers are a simple bolt on affair, the only thing necessary is little bit of trimming to the backing plate

Finished product (kinda finished, I didn't have the rotors on yet in these pics)

for some other caliper options look here
Here's the thread where I did the master cylinder upgrade

Got it rolling this afternoon and burnished the pads/rotors nicely on some back roads . . . it's an improvement, but I think I need to go after the rear brakes now. The pedal feel with the bigger calipers is better, before with the stock S12+8 calipers and the 1 1/16" MC the pedal was rock solid. It's just not stopping the way I want it to and I have my doubts about the rear LSPV (I did move the rod up when I did my lift). I may have to spend $30 on a manual proportioning valve and ditch the LSPV in the near future - here's why: I got back from my hell ride breaking in the new pads, the fronts were definately toasty with some very slight discoloration on the fringes of the rotor (i.e. not in the swept area of the rotor) and the rear drums were only luke-warm, my coffee from this morning was still hotter than the rear drums. I know the rear drums don't get smokin' hot, but they should have been a bit warmer than that.

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Wilwood manual brake proportioning valve - the shiny fittings are SAE standard for 3/16" brake line, the only metric (Toyota) fittings are the rusted ones that I re-used on the master cylinder, the Toyota fittings worked perfectly with the 3/16" line and mixing them on the line made it easy to adapt
(note: all brake lines were bent with a tool, brake line doesn't bend very nicely by hand - it has a tendency to kink)

Took the LSPV off. The line that needs to get bent down to the flexible brake line is the one at the top of the LSPV - there is an -> next to the brake line on the LSPV. The line with an "F" next to it ties into the front brake line and can just be bent back or cut off . . . .

. . . . once you plug the front "T" I just took a fiting and put a big puddle of weld in the middle of it to make my own plug.

Speedway Motors has manual valves for $33 here. Summit Racing or Jegs also carries them and you can probably find them in any respectable hotrod or racing equipment store. Just look for the knob style like I have in the link - they're all the same and brand name doesn't matter much with a simple part like this.

You might be able to get a plug, but I don't know where. I think the plug threads are 10mm - 1.0. Or you can forget about messing with the "T" and try to find a 90 degree brake line adapter from the same location on another toyota truck, like the one on the left in the pic below

Another option, if you can flare a brake line:
- cut the original Toyota ends off at the "T"
- slide new 3/16" SAE sized nuts over the bare ends
- flare the line and use a male-male adapter like I had to do in on vertical part next to the brake booster to adapt the proportioning valve to the stock lines (but do this at the "T" in the pass. wheel well)

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Since I got my 1" body lift years ago I've been embarassed by the gap between the gas tank and the body. Actually no, but I was bored today so I raised the tank 1" to match the body lift. Originally I had 17" from the ground to the bottom of the tank skid plate and the tank hung ~4.5" below the frame rails. So I dropped the tank and spent way too long cutting off the front mount. This is what it looked like originally

then after much effort, mostly with my Dremel because that was the only thing I had that could get in there to cut the metal next to the welds - it is of course welded to the top sides and bottom (before I painted it)

the rear mount was much easier. I cut it on an angle to get more weld between the 2 halves. I also used a 90* square to mark the 1" I was cutting out to make sure I didn't change the mounting angle

I still need to cut and remount the tank skid plate, but here's where the tank is now

giving me a bit more ground clearance (should be 18" by the time I get the skid back on)

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I decided to bomb through some water at way too fast speeds and got about an inch of water covering the spark plugs. On the 7mge, the spark plugs sit between the two valve covers with no where for water to go so I developed a massive misfire (took ~10 minutes for the water to leak past the plug wires though). Massive misfire dumped gas into the exhaust and cat, cat got hot. Actually the entire exhaust system was glowing bright orange from the cat back (including the entire muffler).

this crappy cell phone pic was taken ~ 5 minutes after I shut the engine off :eek: I'm lucky the cat didn't completely melt down and clog the exaust

Since I can't make a drain for the "valley" and the original cover worked just as well and not having anything, I thought I'd seal off the engine bay from the wheel wells a bit better.

I started with an old racing slick my roommate had from his racecar and cut the sidewalls off with a utility knife (pattern already cut out in this pic)- I also thought about using a truck tire innertube, but the one I found had too much "memory" in the rubber and wanted to curl up too bad to use + the rubber is too thin and flexible

just over 3/16" of nylon belted high speed soft compound rubber (should suit my driving style)

since I have a 1" body lift I left the original fender rubber in place and marked the distance from each edge I wanted to extend the new rubber guard. I took off the original, traced it to the slick, extended the edges where I wanted to and cut it out with a utility knife. I also used the original to mark and punch the hole ("hammer" type hole punch set from HF for <$10). Original one on top, new one on the bottom

A few weeks ago I got a "Riv Nut" set from HF also. I used the 10-24 thread Riv Nuts in the original holes in the inner fender, they fit perfect and let me use stainless machine screws w/ fender washers to attach the rubber guard - I plan on tucking the the front in on top of the frame rail in front of the idler arm and using an empty bolt hole to secure it

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ron Davis 2 core dual pass

Finally got around to REALLY upgrading the cooling system. A few months back I found a double row, dual pass Ron Davis radiator at a flea market for $25 (too good of a deal to pass up). Though I wasn't sure if I could use it, a few weeks of staring at it got me going on how to fit it into an already tight engine bay.

(2 of the fins were previously repaired, but they look solid)

Here's how it works. A dual-pass horizontal-flow radiator moves coolant across the top half of the radiator on the first pass, then directs the coolant across the lower portion of the radiator face for a second pass. One reason this works is because the velocity of the coolant roughly doubles when the coolant is forced to travel across half as many tubes per pass. This creates turbulence in the tubes, exposing more coolant to the radiator tube walls and improving heat transfer. It also provides a bit of a restriction to coolant flow, reducing the overall flow rate of the cooling system and allowing the coolant to spend more time in the radiator. I think one of my problems with the single core Griffin was that it flowed too fast with this engine - the coolant didn't have enough time to really cool as it passed through the radiator (but that's just speculation).

I enlarged the radiator opening a bit so I could move the radiator as far forward as possible.

Here it is all mocked up in its final position. I already had the lower brackets made (just a "J-hook" to cradle the bottom of the radiator, bolted to the body crossmember), so I just needed to bend and fit the brackets to their final position.

The top hose/inlet is a simple 1.5" neck that the hose slides on to. The lower hose/outlet though is a 3/4" NPT bung . . . so I got a copper 3/4" NPT fitting, trimmed the overall length down and soldered a "street elbow" on to it. I also tapped the bung a bit deeper so that the copper fitting would thread all the way in (no threads showing). The outlet on my fitting is now 1.25" - the stock lower radiator hose is 1.375" - so there sohould be no real restriction that I need to worry about.

top view of it mounted with the plumbing all connected - I found a formed hose that I could cut/splice onto the stock lower radiator hose and used a universal flex hose for the top

Home Depot pipe hanger to hold the long lower radiator hose away from anything it might rub against

** started to fill the radiator with water to flush everything out of it and noticed water puring out of the bottom/front core tube . . . I don't know how I didn't see it split and spread 1/8" open. I tried to silver solder it but couldn't get it to stick, so I filled it with as much JB weld as I could push in and then squeezed the core closed. I pressure tested it to 20psi and it's held, so I'll consider this a permanent repair.

Previously I was using a 14" fan on my single core Griffin radiator. I could fit one 12" or 2 9" fans with the new setup (not enough room between the radiator and the front cross member for the 14"). I did some math on how much coverage the fans would give on the radiator:
1x14" fan = 153
1x12" fan = 113
2x9" fans = 127
So 2x9" fans it is then - combined they pull 22 amps when they first start spinning, but settle down to 10 amps at full speed. Even though I'm stepping down in fan size I should be golden since the overall cooling capacity is increasing (won't find out till I have to pull the trailer again).

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
NWMP aux fuel tank

I've been lugging around a NWMP fuel tank for the last 14 months and I finally got tired of moving it around to different locations, so I decided to finally install it today. It's supposed to be a gravity feed system with a hose running into a fitting where the main tank drain plug is on the bottom. Problem with this is I don't like the idea of having something hang even lower off the main tank, especially a brass fitting that could drain all my fuel if it gets hit hard enough.

So I thought of putting a shut valve on it (elec or manual) and have the aux tank drain into the filler neck vent tube for the main tank, but the filler neck is too high and I don't want to put a hole lower than that in the side of the main tank because I'm afraid it'll leak.

My final option is an electric fuel pump, but fuel pumps can get damaged when they run dry from heat build up and I would have no way of knowing when to shut off the extra pump. I can't find anything saying they are safe for short periods of dry running and likewise nothing about how they work except that they do not use a diaphragm.

This is what I came up with, though it may be a bit over engineered it should save the pump from running dry, and if the rest of the system wiring fails a jumper wire across the load side of the relay will still turn on the fuel pump (actually changed it a bit from the first idea, now I have the switches working on the ground side with the relay at the passenger side rear of the engine bay)

Red: fuel lines
Dk Blue: wiring
Parts: low pressure nitrous fuel safety switch (adjustable 2-5psi), fuel pump, momentary & toggle switches, relay, slight fuel line restriction (small crimp in steel fuel line to main tank)

- the toggle switch turns on the system, but the relay won't turn on the fuel pump until there is ~3psi at the low pressure switch
- press the momentary switch to bypass the pressure switch and turn on the relay and fuel pump
- pressure builds behind the restriction and makes the pressure switch close, the momentary switch can be let go now as the relay will stay on
- when the aux tank runs dry the pressure switch opens deactivating the relay and fuel pump

if I really want to get fancy, I was thinking I could run a wire from the + side of the fuel pump back up to the switch panel through an LED and on to ground as a "fuel pump on" indicator light

Installing the tank is easy, so I'll leave out the bits about drilling holes and bolting it up. It's the details that'll make it trouble free in the long run . . . like an exhaust heat shield so the gas doesn't get too hot (excessive vapor/boiling)

view from the wheel well - before I fill it for the first time I'd like to replace the rubber hose with steel braided to help deter thieves from thinking it would be easy to cut the rubber hose and steal my gas - I was also thinking a steel hard line would work, but I'd have to find another fitting first

transfer pump (universal, for a carb'd car) - I used 1/4 riv-nuts to attach it to the frame rail (still need to put a fuel filter inline to pretect the pump)

a bit of protection to keep the hoses from chaffing against the frame rail, it also keeps them tied together nicely so they don't move around much

a few months ago I had to repair the main tank fuel pump bracket because the metal line on the outside finally rusted through, while I was at it I added an extra line to dump the fuel from the aux tank into the main tank, I had actually extended that fitting down to the bottom of the tank in the hopes that it would work like a siphon once fuel starts flowing (in case the pump fails/doesn't work out I could still use the aux tank w/ pump removed)

I tossed my spare tire back under there and noticed that the tank didn't affect my departure angle at all, though if I drop off an obstacle the spare will definately take the hit. If I know I'm hitting any rough trails I'll just take the spare off and toss it in the back. I am planning on making some kind of spare carrier for the rear bumper - I always liked the idea of being able to carry 2 spare tires for longer trips.

rear view

Switches installed - turn the toggle on, press the momentary switch till there's enough pressure to trigger the pressure switch, let go of the momentary and the pump runs till the toggle is switched off or the pressure in the line drops (aux tank empty) - the blue LED is wired to the transfer pump V+ wire so it is on any time the pump is running

With the extra fuel on board I should be able to get a range just shy of 600 miles normal driving
(17 gal factory tank + 14 gal aux tank) x 19mpg = 589 miles

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
With the aux fuel tank I lost a bit of ground clearance in the rear, so time to relocate the spare. I also like the idea of being able to carry 2 spares on longer road trips, this will let me do that. Wet weather stopped me from working on the property in Wild and Wonderful (WV), so a perfect opportunity to change up the rear bumper a bit and get it ready for a spare tire carrier.

this was what I had when I started

trim the wings off . . . .

1/4" plate steel upright + piece the wings back together

all done

here's the hinge brackets for the spare tire carrier - I got the idea of having the spare swing up and to the side from Scotty at Addicted Offroad

Here's the delrin hinge I plan on using, now I just need to get some steel to make the arm . . .

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
new shoes - 33x10.5x15 BFG KM2's on 8" wide black steelies with 4.5" backspacing + took off the dumpy looking JCWhitney universal rubber flares since the tires are inside the wheel wells again. I still don't have any lift on the front and don't plan on any, I do have a 1" body lift - I might have to tap the body seam at the rear of the front wheel wells a bit, but it doesn't have to get hammered flat. The rears fit fine after I bent the mudflap brackets a bit to angle them rearward.

initial driving impressions on road:
- I can break the rear loose exiting a tight corner once again in 1st or 2nd (2nd gear only does it if I'm in the power band).
- definately a bit "looser" mid-turn through the twisties than my well worn 32x11.5 BFG A/T's w/ 3.5" backspacing, but I kinda expected that. I'm hoping they'll stick just a tad better once the new tire smell is gone and they get scuffed in
- I'm pleasantly surprised with the level of road noise - I can only hear them if I'm off the throttle, and even then it's minimal

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
front cross member plating

I don't want to lift the front of my 'runner any more than it already is, but last trip out I found that I kept bashing the front crossmember and it got dented up fairly well.. I consider skid plates to be "consumables" when offroad, so I'm not worried that the front skid also got a bit thrashed.

So this is the shape of my reinforcement. You can see the score lines where I was going to bent it to wrap around and under

I cut the top off so it would conform better to the front crossmember

all done :D 1/4" steel to help guard my front crossmember

the next part of this will be a skid extending from the front crossmember to the one I made tying the lower-rear control arms together. This way, any hits I take to the front will be spread out a bit - I try not to slam around that hard anyway

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Part of my engine swap had me remove the steering stabilizer since it would interfere with the oil pan. I recently picked one up at a junkyard in the hopes that it'll cure a slight vibration/wobble that I have when turning at higher speeds. A few days thinking about it and I figured out what I needed to do.

Here's my bracket for the frame side attachment using 2 driver side front cross member bolts

I borrowed this idea from the universal fit steering stabilizers - 1" exhuast clamps from NAPA work perfect with a piece of 1/8" flat stock between them

ready for install - this stabilizer doesn't have any brand names on it, but I'm pretty sure it's not OEM. I liked how wide the body of it is (compared to the thin OEM ones), so I plucked it out of a mid 90's Limited 4runner

installed and ready for testing on some high speed fireroads - the stock bolts were long enough once I ditched the washers that were on them

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finally warm enough to get some minor work done - pair of used 25mm SwayAWay Torsions, painted blue because some of the red had been sand blasted off (from AZ) and blue was the only spray paint I had nearby

the guy I bought them from had left the adjuster arms on, but the adjuster arms on my '88 were a bit narrower so they wouldn't work. I fought getting the adjuster arms off for 1.5 hrs, the ones on my OEM torsions slid right off - good lesson on why the factory used little dust boots to seal the splines up (I added a healthy dose of grease to make sure future disassembly goes smoothly)

also removed the driver rear grab handle and mounted my 3D Maglight there

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
cheap interior rear LED lighting

I found these overpriced LED strips from Autozone and decided to upgrade the interior lighting in the rear since the “Deck Light” is all but useless. These cost $15, but 1/2 the price is probably due to the “TRY ME” switch and battery on the package. The same type LED strip lights can be found online for about $12/foot and can be cut into 4” sections – then it’s just a matter of soldering 2 wires onto each separate section. Measured current draw on both is 20-30mA and best of all it’s an easy connection as these run straight off 12V (no need for a LED regulator).

Mounted them in the rear corners & drilled a 1/8” hole for the wires to pass through. These have 3M tape already on them, so just clean the shell and stick ‘em on (if you’ve never used 3M tape before, make sure the lights are where you want them because they won’t move once the tape makes contact).

The upper rear section of the shell is hollow and connects to the “d” pillar, but I still had to use a stiff piece of wire to run my LED wires into the pillar. Here’s the wiring at the base of the “d” pillar – I used a spare 2 pin Toyota connector that I had lying around to connect the shell to the body.

All that’s left is to run two wires straight to the Deck Light itself – connect the LED wires to the wires going to the bulb and you’re done. I tried taking some night-time photos, but anyone who’s tried that before knows that night pics don’t work very well. Suffice it to say that now there’s plenty of light in the back, but not so bright as to be blinding (I could comfortably read a book by this light, even up by the front seats).

Here's 4crawler’s Deck Light Mod for some more info

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got my E-Locker in today :D

I prepped for awhile before the actual install.
made a tap and drill jig so everything is done on a 90* angle

made an actuator guard

Made a "cut-out" template

and finally got my 4.88 gears set up by a semi-local Toyota tech Mark / 86 Toy (on TTORA) - price was right and I like the pattern, professional all the way. Here's the drive side (coast and pinion also dead on, only .001" variance on ring gear backlash measures at 4 spots)

I'm not going into detail as this has been done many times before - except I did mine without removing the axle (because I'm a masochist like that)

forgot to get the MIG from my roomie before he left, so flux core to the rescue

here's the tap jig in action - I used a cutting wheel for the piece that needs to be cut out, less sparks that way

the hardest part of the install was drilling the holes, but got everything together in a reasonable amount of time. I'll wire it at some point in the near future

I just pushed all my mess into the garage for tonight, I'll clean it up tomorrow.

I took the 'runner for a gentle 15 minute drive around town to start the gear break-in process, plenty of gentle accel and long downhill coasting. I'll repeat a few more times this weekend and probably change the diff fluid in 100 miles (cheap gear oil) and again at 500 (synthetic) just to be on the safe side

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the wiring part, I decided to keep it relativel simple, I used this wiring from - easy to wire, 2 relays, uses a momentary switch that gets pushed in one direction to lock & the other to unlock. Instead of a momentary on-off-on toggle, I picked up a regular single pole double throw toggle - it doesn't have a middle "off" position, will let me use a toggle guard, and unless I'm missing something in the diagram, should work just as well as the momentary (once the limit switch goes open, the relay turns off and everything stops anyway)

soldered, assembled and bench tested with a test light instead of the locker actuator as load - just enough wire to pull both relay boards out of the box

ready to go - just have to JBWeld the connector to the box once I'm sure there are no glitches - I used my trusty dremel to scribe the connector pin-out onto the lid for future reference

the rear harness mounted up nicely using pre-existing holes in the tank bracket

I used the step drill to make a huge hole for the e-locker connector to go through and used a spare grommet I had to seal it all up

wiring run and the controller just about ready to be mounted

The only problem I ran into is that the rear diff locked but now it won't unlock electrically - the voltage is switching the way it's supposed to, so I'm thinking the actuator is either jammed or stuck on a "dead spot"

*edit* took the actuator off and found out the 3 "fingers" for the lock and unlock limit switches weren't making contact well enough, bent them out a bit and everything works perfect :D

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I hate rust. About 4 years ago, before moving to AZ and So Cal, I fixed both wheel wells - grind, primer, bondo, primer, paint. This is just from this recent winter:

So I fixed some of that again, all rust spots were wire wheeled and primered before having some bondo thrown in. There are more big holes than I remember under that paint - I really just need to bite the bullet and get Toyota Fiberglass fenders, but shipping from the far side of Canada costs as much as the fenders themselves :(.

also got started on another project - time for better filtration. During a recent junkyard safari, I figured out a Subaru Forester airbox would work with a bit of tweaking.
here's the adapter I used so I can mount the VAFM to it (cut up a bit and redrilled)

all adapted, JBWelded and ready to go

ditched the cheese cone filter and installed and plumbed up the Subie box - I used 2 nutserts going into the stock battery tray to hold the bottom of the filter box in place

now, what to do with the 3" diameter hole facing the inner fender . . . .

461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Time to work on the Comms a bit. I finally got around to installing the NMO mount on my roof for my 2M Ham 1/4 wave whip antenna. Here it is with the NMO cover on it

and the 1/4 wave 2M antenna, just small enough that I don't think it'll be bothered by low branches. Now I just need to find a center console to stuff the 2M Yaesu into.

Last winter during one of the snow storms I figured out that my CB squelch was messed up - it'd only open up if I pressed on the dial. I tried taking it apart, but everything is solid state and resistant to component replacement. So I got rid of the 10M/import CB and picked up a slightly used Cobra 18ST WX. There are no power mods for these radios, but they do have WeatherBand and are one of the only ones with a forward facing speaker. I started by modding the radio bracket with a fender washer to mount the CB (I hate welding sheet)

simple enough install
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