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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I guess it's time for a build thread.

GOAL: Rig capable of mild to moderate trails but maintaining it's usefullness for general camping and occasional errand running and trailer pulling.

So, no, I have no plans for SAS (at least not now :D) and it's not going to be a show rig but I am trying to upgrade it's trail-worthiness. I know there won't be anything ground-breaking or really even that spectacular here; this is as much about a way for me to document my own progress and hopefully a little public pressure for progress will keep me going.

Starting point: Essentially stock 1988 4Runner except for the TG sliders and diffs; currently already those have been upgraded to a Detroit spool rear locker and Detroit Truetrac (LSD) front locker, geared to 4.88.

My general plan at this point:

  1. Get aftermarked radio mounted and re-locate CB below (brackets for this are in progress).
  2. Upgrade rear springs, building a mutt pack is the plan for now.
  3. Larger tires, trying to decide between 255 85's and 265 75's. I've aquired Tacoma stock alloy 16" rims to mount them on (mostly as a weight-saver since I'm a bit under-powered).
  4. Minor body work for repair and tire fitting. I've got a little bit of body rust in the fenders I need to take care of and some minor trimming may be involved for fitting the tires.
  5. Rear bumper including a tire carrier.
  6. Front bumper.
  7. U-Bolt flip for rear springs.
  8. Rear diff armor.
  9. T-case skid upgrade, maybe crossmember here too.
  10. Front skid upgrade.
  11. Boxes for tools, spares, recovery and camping gear that can be mounted in the back but removed with some amount of ease.
  12. Rebuild center console.
  13. New rear springs. Thinking Alcans but that may change by the time I get here. I want to make sure I get my weight somewhat stabalized with the armor upgrades and such before spending money on springs.
So here it goes... :cool:
 

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Pictures or it didn't happen.
 

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GOAL: Rig capable of mild to moderate trails but maintaining it's usefullness for general camping and occasional errand running and trailer pulling.

So, no, I have no plans for SAS (at least not now :D) and it's not going to be a show rig but I am trying to upgrade it's trail-worthiness.
I think my build thread for the 85 started out like this :lmao:
 

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I think my build thread for the 85 started out like this :lmao:
Mine too! That's why I didn't bob it right off the bat. I wanted the room for camping gear so I could load it up and take off. The bed of my Dodge is now where the camping gear lives :lmao::lmao:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mine too! That's why I didn't bob it right off the bat. I wanted the room for camping gear so I could load it up and take off. The bed of my Dodge is now where the camping gear lives :lmao::lmao:
I've gotten the impression that a lot of rigs started out this way; I seem to remember Ike was concerned with not making any mods he couldn't remove to return his truck completely to stock for a year or so too.

Well, make note of this so in 2-3 years when I start talking about Diamond axles and 39" you guys can throw it back in my face. :rofl:
 

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Ive stuck to my plan of not going too big! havent bobed the bed yet and no plans for a SAS for a long time. granted, Im locked f/r on 35s now. but I can still haul 2 bikes, all my camping gear, and DD my truck :D
 

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Ive stuck to my plan of not going too big! havent bobed the bed yet and no plans for a SAS for a long time. granted, Im locked f/r on 35s now. but I can still haul 2 bikes, all my camping gear, and DD my truck :D
mine started like this. The IFS steering wasnt strong enough so i SAS'ed....I wont ever need a front locker i said...Got one, Hydro assist? Never! Well i have it. and once it was done then i said it was on the axles it was keeping...No chromo shafts or anything...Well now im building 2 new wider axles out of the truck so i can replace the ones in the truck with stronger wider units and adding beadlocks that i never thought i would buy.

So yeah start your not so built build thread;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mutt packs assembled for now, added 1 leaf from a used pack of Dakkar's. It fit really well into the middle of my current pack.

Pictures or it didn't happen.
Yee of little faith...(but sorry for crappy quality; my phone's camera is poor)

Before pic:


After pic:


I measured about an inch gain of clearence on the wheel well (about 19 1/4" from wheel well to hub center). I seem to be sitting just shy of 19" to the frame in the rear and about 17 1/2" to the frame in the front (on tires that are measuring about 32")

One progress picure for fun (the add-a-leaf is in the top of the group on the ground).


I need to torque down all of the suspension bolts and work on closing up the keeper brackets a little better but I'm pretty happy with the look, I'll just have to see how it rides.
 

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Difference is more noticable in person. Now its time to driver it and decide if ya want that secon leaf or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Apparently I'm even slower at this stuff than I realized.

Finally made some progress with the radio brackets:







Test fit of the head unit:



I actually got it to sit just about where I wanted it. I need to get a couple of U-shaped brackets made to mount the CB below the head unit, but that should be the "simple" part of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Had some :saw: fun on Sunday:





Now I need to spend time staring at it and figure out how I'm going to attach a bumper. Thinking at this point I may just leave the 2x3 that someone else welded into the end of the frame; I think the rust is mostly surface that I can clean up at least some and paint over, and the welds look decent and thorough enough cutting those out will be be a PIA.



 

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Now I need to spend time staring at it and figure out how I'm going to attach a bumper. Thinking at this point I may just leave the 2x3 that someone else welded into the end of the frame; I think the rust is mostly surface that I can clean up at least some and paint over, and the welds look decent and thorough enough cutting those out will be be a PIA.



I'd try to remove those 2x3" pieces and then buy a new piece of 2x3" and weld it in as a crossmember. Gives you a great place to mount a new bumper.

Here's mine


 

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Test fit of the head unit:



I actually got it to sit just about where I wanted it. I need to get a couple of U-shaped brackets made to mount the CB below the head unit, but that should be the "simple" part of this.
That's a great way to make some radio brackets! Nice work. I'm going to steal your idea :D I've been trying to figure out how to install my deck & CB radio. Thanks for the idea.
 

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Arron, I think I have some stock ones with the pocket under it. I will look.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd try to remove those 2x3" pieces and then buy a new piece of 2x3" and weld it in as a crossmember. Gives you a great place to mount a new bumper.
That's a good point. I was contemplating bolting/welding legs along the inside of the frame and then putting a 2x3 crossmember in behind those, but I'm not sure if there's enough room for that.


That's a great way to make some radio brackets! Nice work. I'm going to steal your idea :D I've been trying to figure out how to install my deck & CB radio. Thanks for the idea.
Glad you like it.
 

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nice work on the radio brackets.

I have to agree with cutting out those 2x3's and reworking the rear frame like Volcom mentioned. That looks pretty sketch if you ask me. Swing by and take a look at what I did with stealth4x4's.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Been slowly making progress.

Radio is totally set, really happy with the final result. Even though the speaker is more enclosed in the current location, it seems to be easier to hear than when it hung from the glove box.



Followed sage advise and cut out the ghetto-fab 2x3 blocks:



Decided to clean up some rust at the bottom of the body since that will be coverd up by the bumper shortly. I was honestly amazed as how much better it looks with just rattle can white. Kinda inspired me to clean up the rest of the body when I have more time.









Made new pieces to sleave the inside of the end of the frame:



Pounded in and ready to weld up:





And burned in.









I've got the new cross member painted and ready to be put in as well. Tomorrow I plan on finalizing how my bumper legs will attach and sit, may weld the crossmember in depending on how everything looks to be sitting.
 

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Nice work for your first welding project. It's starting to come together.


As for the radio, you might check radio shack for the external speaker, they were super cheap if I remember right (like $15)
 
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