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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Post build thread 87 4runner 18yrs+

I say post build thread because it started in 1995 and has been ongoing ever since. I bought the truck just before graduating High school in 1992. It was my daily driver till 1999. As a kid I always wanted a cool "jacked up" 4x4. I don't have any pictures of the truck in original form, but it was a stock 1987 sr5 4runner all original, never wrecked and only 57,xxx miles. I, of course, had several combinations of large/loud stereos systems the first few years and swapped out the sr5 wheels for some modulars with 31x10.50s A/Ts. leading up to '95 I had been saving money and shopping in the ads in 4wheel and offroad for tyres and hopefully one day a lift. During this time I also frequented the local dirt roads and mud holes to experience the 4x4 glory. I also wrecked the truck twice, the worst of involved the rearend breaking loose on wet pavement and me sliding off a 15 ft embankment 1/2 sideways at approximately 50 mph, hitting a concrete culvert and tearing down about 40 ft of barbed wire fence. This resulted in the drivers front tyre and A-arms being torn from the truck and the frame bent, but $800 later I was back on the road and later after multiple trips to the alignment shop found the frame was not 100% straight. Now to the pics. I have literally 100s maybe 1000s but I'll keep it simple.

1995: First pic I have of the truck. stock, 31s and a light bar( I thought it was awesome at the time)


1996: Added a 2" body and the result of saving money from my grocery store job, the new Swamper Thornbirds 31x12.50s on 15x10 chrome wheels. They looked awesome but offroad not so great.


1997: Worked more and added a 4" procomp suspension and black light covers, these are not so great on headlights at night.


1998: As a result of the stock gears and swampers as well as burnouts with the swampers transmission had to be replaced and the thornbirds were almost slick(did get around 45,000 miles out of them). Bought new 33x12.50 Mud tracks and black rock crawler wheels, they were becoming popular on trail vehicles. Removed all the bolt on stuff and thought my procomp lift would look better yellow( I'm not sure why now). Started taking the truck out on more difficult tails and hill climbs.


1999: Got 4.88 R&P gears and a rear locker and bought a beater civic and retired the 4runner as daily driver. This would result in more freedow on the trails and extreme mods in the future.


2000: Had been itching to spray paint the truck after 4wheel editor David Freiburger painted the Scrambler in the mag so bought some tan/sand camo paint, sanded the truck and went to work. Also decided the yellow procomp lift clashed and repainted it silver again( I attribute this to to much free time and a brain that is constantly thinking of mods)


2001: upgraded tyres to some 33x12.50 TSLs, stripped all the carpet and started to get really serious about this rock crawling stuff. Also built my own copy of a canback top using canvas. Canvas faded after a while and I didn't like not being able to see with the sides down.



2002: repainted the truck, this happens a lot. If you can spray paint your truck for around $60 wouldn't you? Removed the tailgate, anyone ever pick one of those up? They weigh a ton.


2003: First trip to a real offroad park. Went to Gray rock for the May Madness( the decal is still on my windshield). On this trip we learned we were ill prepaired for the trails, torn exhaust, bent wheel, my brother lost a jeep windshield and frame on stump hill and wasted his steering and clutch linkage( he decided after a few more trips to rid himself fo the jeep and bought a 4runner . We were determined to come back with avengence. we returned in July after I had repainted the truck again( chevy redorange) and wheeled the trails with a little more success, but nothing over a 3 rating. got new 35x12.50s and new wheels and started work on a new top.


2004: Big changes. Cut off the front end and Swapped on an '85 front axle with a mix of All-Pro and Marlin parts, Replaced the rear springs and blocks and installed the new top I built with windows. All work was performed by me in the street you see in the pic. Swap took just under 4 days, I had already rebuilt the front axle( i got for free from a neighbor). Had a local shop set up the front ring an pinion and install a locker. Built my own front driveshaft using marlins kit and an 85 shaft. Wheeled gray rock and Gardendale several times in the fall and was amazed at the difference the swap made.


2005: The biggest year for wheeling for me, I probably went once a month. Also did a lot of home fab on the truck. Got a weld in Cage from Essentially Off Road, created my own half doors and soft uppers, ditched the soft top for a wind jammer I made, built my own sliders, got more body damage than ever before. Also repainted my truck pumpkin orange.




2006: not much wheeling this year, my brother and I bought new motorcycles and that occupied our time. Did bob the bed 15.5" and build a tire carrier for the bed.

2007: The return to wheeling. In the Spring I installed a Crawler box from Marlin and got a set of Iroks( these tyres are the best I've owned). rode Gray rock and Morris Mountain a few times. Painted new rally stripes on the truck.


2008: beefed up the interior cage a bit and removed the stereo(didn't work anyway), A/C(didn't work either), center console, all lights except tail lights. extended the front driveshaft. Got a new timing chain.


2009: Not much yet, other than body damage, installed a Hot Shot starter relay to solve the starter clicking issues I've had for almost 2 years. here's a few pics from this spring.





That is it so far, I'll add to this as time goes by. Hopefully another 17 years to go.
 

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that is cool that you have had your rig for so long. hope you have it for a long time to come. i hope mine lasts that long
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Wow! Haven't seen this thread in a while. I had forgotten I started. Got some updates since last year. dovetailed the rear, installed a set of trail gear rear springs, put some rock rings on my wheels, cut the fenders, destroyed my half doors on some trees and had to recut them and weld'em back up Then destroyed the driver door when it flopped onto its side. here are a few recent pics.

 

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Dude you have got a sick ass runner. Mine idolizes yours!!!
 

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Kudos for the truck and bumping the thread. I missed this the first time, but a nice truck and great to see the real world transition to its present state.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the compliments. I hope to keep this thread going for many years to come. My big delima was, What Next? I have been thinking of Tubing out the rear like a truggy or F-toy. I think I am headed in the truggy direction from here, just ordered a tube bender and have been sketching out some ideas. hope to have some new pics in a few months.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Been working on some mods the last month. First Doved the front about 10" after crushing the passenger front end on a dirt embankment.
The Damage:


Doved Front:

then Built a front bumper using 1.5" tubing. The stinger turned out taller than I had planned but otherwise I like it.

Next: Cutting off the bed and Tubing the rear section.
 

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yeah you're not allowed to close this thread. i enjoyed the timeline and now i see another reason why people regret selling their 1st gen 4runner
 

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Nice build nice runner.:saw:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Cut off the Bed sides and began the tube work.

Took about three weekend but got most of the tube work done and welded up.

Painted all the tubing black.

View from the rear.


Then decided to paint all the tube work aluminum matte, I thought the back looked a little plain with it all black.

Next to narrow the rear seat, mount all the tool/spare parts boxes, taillights, install new front springs and swap in new front housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Little update:

wheeled the truck a few times and worked out some of the bugs. First trip, blew a fuse because tail light grounds were not connected, but otherwise great trip.



2nd trip learned 5 psi wasn't going to keep the beads on, blew two beads within 20 feet on one trail. Only time I've ever blown a bead, now I've been running 7.5psi.

My third trip at the end of March the engine started running on just 2 cylinders. I checked over everything and the plugs were firing but it appeared the 1st and 3rd cylinders were not getting fuel. I put it in a local shop and after almost 2 weeks and several phone calls I just went and picked it up and paid the guy $48 to tell me exactly what I told him when I dropped it off, as well as do some minor damage to the wiring. After that I decided to go ahead and put propane on it. I bought the propane kit from Gotpropane.com. the kit comes with almost everything you'll need, except Mounting bolts for the tank brackets, mounting bracket and bolts for the mixer, new flexable upper radiator hose, 22r Distrib. and coil. The web site states you can instal in 2-5 hours, I must not be very skilled cause it took me much longer. Overall I'd say it's a good kit, everything did go together fairly easily. I think the directions could be a little more detailed, but it had some decent photos that helped. I picked up two tanks on ebay for about $100 each including shipping and an extra tank bracket for $40. I had to ditch the spare tire to make room for the tanks, It's been back there for almost 8 years and the only time it was used was on a friends tacoma, hopefully I won't need it but with my luck I probably will the next trip out. Anyway here are some pics. I'm posting several because finding detailed pics of a 22re on propane is easier said than done, maybe this will help someone else doing the conversion.
Before Propane.

After installing the kit. Still need to remove some of the EFI stuff but at this point it is running.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Having doved my front about 10" made squezzing everything in difficult. I had to relocate my battery to the floor behind the passenger seat. I also replaced the filter that came with the kit with my K&N that was already on my intake, it's a little smaller and better quality.


Tanks mounted in the bed. One on the left is alluminum and the one on the right is steel. the steel weights more, about 15lbs, but did come with a gauge.

So far I've taken it wheeling twice and everything worked great. If you're curious the grand total for the swap was just a little over $1300 using all new parts except the 2 tanks, which were lightly used.
 
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