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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My name is Ron and this will be my first build thread. I will do my best to be informative and post as many pictures as possible. I will edit this thread as I learn more about this site. I look forward to all the comments, advice, assistance and with most forums ... criticism. (Hopefully its constructive) :D

I have owned many vehicles and helped build a couple. I have never been able to settle on one vehicle and actually build it the way I wanted to, hopefully I have made the right decision to build this one and see it all the way through.

Vehicle:
-- 1998 Toyota 4Runner Limited, V6-3.4L, 4x4 - Non TRD locker edition (Damn right limited edition lol)
- Purchased price - $3,500
- Miles - 134,000 (Not sure if it was rolled back or cluster may have been swapped, Dealer reports 224,XXX)



Goal:
- My goal is to build a rig that I can take my niece and nephew exploring, camping and also go out with my buddies/family. I have a combination of friends with Rock Crawlers as well as desert long travel trucks, so this would be my happy medium.



------------------------- Purchased items-------------------------

- Used Total Chaos L/T kit - $1,800 (Good Condition) Thanks to MCM fabrication out of Las Vegas
- Extended Steel braided brake lines (Front and Rear)
- 8" Fox Coilovers with 600LB King coils, external bypasses
- (2) 2000 Toyota Tundra CV axles - Auto Zone re-manufactured - $65.00 each + ($75.00 Core)
- 2006 Toyota Tacoma TRD axle w/ E-Locker - $252.00 Junk yard
- Drive side Rack and Pinion boot (Replacement - $... ) Auto zone
- (6) KMC wheels (Black)




----------------------- Need to Purchase -----------------------
- Rear Springs (Looking at Land cruiser springs)
- 12" 2.0 Smooth body shocks
- Limit straps ( Rear )
- Pan head bar drop bracket
- Wheel Spacers (Until I swap the rear end and leaf it)
- Steel to build shock hoop (Rear)
- Tires - 33"
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is the runner the day I bought it-


I put factory wheels and tires on it for now- great friend price -


Fox coil overs -


Total Chaos kit -



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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have finally started to tear my Runner apart. I started by cleaning out the garage and making room. I really like a lot of free space while I work in the garage and really hate moving stuff to work on other stuff. Once the garage was cleared, I took a lot of factory measurements before placing it on jack stands. The key measurements that I was concerned with or just wanted to document were;



Frame height: bottom of frame to ground -

-15-3/8"

-- I wanted to know this measurement so I can use it as a reference tool when trying to tune my suspension and if I ever encounter ground clearance issues.

--- I toolk these measurements on the frame where the body mounts were located so I can easly remember where to measure after all this is completed.



Fender height: From the ground to the bottom of the fender (Cenetered) -

-PF - 34-3/8"

-DF - 34-5/8"

-PR - 34-7/8"

-DR - 34-7/8"



--I was curious to see wheel positioning and over all difference before installing fiberglass fenders.



Panhard bar height: Looking at the rear of the truck - Center of mounting bolt -

-DR-17-1/4"

-PR-17-1/4"



-- It was level and the mesurements were equal. I wanted this measurement so I can drop my panhard bar to its factory location. (I haven't done a lot of research, but the goal is to keep it level as possible, so the measurements were probably not necessary)



After taking all the measurements I started to slowly take off all the stock front suspension. It was fairly easy and striaght forward. The only hang up or delay I encoutered was when I was removing the lower A-arm bolt. The bolt that is on the lower A-arm hits the rack and pinon.:wife: I had to dismount the rack and pinon so I could move it out of the way. Once I did so the bolt came out without an issues.



Here are some pictures that I tried to take during this process. It sucks trying to take picutres while your hands are all greasy and one of them has a beer. :xbeer3:









This was my boxer/helper. You can see the driver side suspension.





Total Chaos retains the factory bumb stops, you have to tap the frame. it was fairly simply. The placement could have been better but this will work.





This is after I tapped the frame and installted the bump stop. The bumps are labled for F_Front and R-Rear. Each one required a specific spacer from Total Chaos. They dont have to be specific, you could use washers but the ones they provide are nice.



Bumps with identifiers


Bumps installed - you can see the different size spacers.




This picture shows the drive side (Total Chaos) v. the passenger side.(Stock)





I was test fitting my coilovers.





Factory lower A-arms v. Total Chaos arms.





Factory 4Runner CV axle v. 2000 Tundra CV axle.





I placed the tire next to it to see what is would look like. This is the rear which I haven't started yet.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I was cycling the supsension to see if it hits any where. It really tucks up in the fender.





Once doing so I installed the 8" standard 2.5 Fox Coilover, without the coil. I removed all the nitrogen as well.















As you can see my shock is too long, which I was told this kit does run a smaller 8" c/o. I already bought the c/o and wanted to do this exercise any way. I was thinking of bumping the uptravel so I can use these c/o, but I decided to order the ones I needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This weekend I started to play with the rear suspension. The Old man emu coil came in- ordered them from Off road warehouse. I went with the heavy load coils, it sits way too high. Thought maybe it will settle but I think I have to go with the medium ones.



Sitting on its own weight - way too high.


Cycling the rear suspension. The 33" tire fits up there nice.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well yesterday I went to off road warehouse in Murrieta to exchange my "heavy duty" land cruiser coils for the Medium/stock coils- while I was there Aaron was nice enough to pull out some OME #890 coils that are direct replacement coils for the 4Runner. Here are some measurements and pictures / I ended up going with the L/C coils- medium duty.

Lc coils - medium duty next to stock 4runner coils #851



Replacement Runner coils #891


Both next to each other




I also started to modify the Tundra axles like everyone talks about - I opened one up and I couldn't find the lip or edge everyone talks about





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Discussion Starter #7
Has anyone had any issues with the total chaos kit and the new Napa axles binding at full droop?


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Has anyone had any issues with the total chaos kit and the new Napa axles binding at full droop?


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No long travel, but my Napa CV binds when my stock doesn't. That is when only the inner splines are in the differential and the knuckle still off.(Swapping CVs...)

It obviously had less range of motion. I don't think think there is a problem when it was fully installed and the knuckle back on. I did notice a difference from stock though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input- I have two different types I'm going to try out today- play install the diff drop and see if that helps out.

The two different types with the stock one on the far right.





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Discussion Starter #10

Two different style inners


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The stock looks normal and so does the Napa in the middle. Longer, Tundra I guess.

What is on the left? The inner and outer joint looks like an entirely different "seal" area.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Correct - the one on the left is a auto zone remanufactured,


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Discussion Starter #13
Finished pressing out the last ball joint out of the spindle tonight! I used a two arm puller and the top of the ball joint was not even so I had to cut off a little to get the puller centered again.
It was a pain in the rear but got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
So I made a lot of progress but haven't had time to post it. This weekend I got a lot accomplished.











I finally popped my head out of my rear end (lol) and figured out the cv axle modification. I ended up modifying the far left one in the picture below. It was pretty simple and clear once I took a moment and thought out the process.









This one is a Auto Zone remanufactured one. There are two styles - the one on the left and the center one. The one you want is the far left.











Once I took the factory boot off and removed the axle (There is a retainer clip), I didn't have to remove all the grease. I was able to remove the axle and trim the housing without wasting all the grease inside the axle.

You can see the retainer clip... barely.







You can see the piece that I cut off, I tried to be conservative when trimming the housing, with the axle out I was able to move the bearing around to see what is truly limiting the axle from dropping down all the way.







































The 930 cv boot fit on the half shaft perfect, the outer fit was a little big but it still works.



The left one is the factory one that came on the axle.

The right one is the 930 boot.









The measurement of the factory boot.







The measurement of the 930 boot.













I also completed my spindle gussets. I prepared the spindle and the bracket I bought from Total Chaos. I thought there would be a little less prep work involved, but maybe I didn't do it correctly. I found two different ways of mounting this to the spindle. (Underneath the spindle ball joint mount or on the side of the ball joint mount) I chose to place it on the side of the ball joint mount.



I really wanted to weld this myself, but I haven't touched a welder in years so I left it up to my friend who welds on a regular. He did a good job, didn't take that long either. His shop is set up very nicely (Wish my garage was like this)



Prepping the gusset











Burning in the gusset













Finished product









Finished product

Only welded one side of the gusset, I wasn't sure if we really needed both sides welded. The amount of heat on the bearings and baby spindle worried me.













You can see the diff drops my friend made for me. It took a 9/16" x 7-1/2". The factory bolt is a M14 x 1.50 (7" long)















As recommended by Total Chaos, I removed the two steering stops on the lower ball joint/steering arm. These hit the lower a arms. I assume the steering will be limited by the rack and pinion instead of the lower a arms and ball joint. I will add pictures this week.









After assembling everything, I installed my coil overs, brake lines, and made sure everything was tight!







I bent the brake line bracket up pretty bad trying to find it a nice home. I also played with the hard line from the caliper to the brake line. In the future I will make my own hard line so it is a lot cleaner. MAN! The fittings were so damn tight they would not break loose; I assume they haven't been touched since 1998.











I put the tires on and rolled it out of the garage, felt good to get this thing back on its feet. It took about a month to get my shocks in..... oh well.











Just took some snap shots of it while I was installing the wheels. I have a huge smile on my face... I am a happy camper. Progress...



















You can see most of the dirt left behind from pounding on this all month. I did clean most of it up before taking the picture, but I thought why not add a picture of the dirt.. LOL















In the rear I removed my sway bar and shocks. I installed the LC coils like mentioned above. I am going to make shock mounts on the outer side of the frame, it should turn out nice.









The only thing I am finding out conflicting information on is the pan hard bar for the rear. With the axle lined up straight, even (Side to side) the pan hard bar is short by 2-2.5". I know they make a drop bracket for the 2nd gen, but from what I hear these are not being made any more because they simply just dont work. I guess the roll point is increased due to this. I have also read numerous post about raised the axle mount.







I haven't really found a solid solution that seems to work across the board. I guess I have to truly understand the function of the pan hard bar to figure out what the best is.







Right now I think I will make a pan hard bar with bushings to square up the axle and do more research.











There has to be a "go to" solution that works for my application... Any advice? ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well after digging around many sites and doing a little drawing mixed with critical thinking i move past the pan hard bar conflict. The idea of the pan hard bar will not work unless I completely change the mounting locations, which I am not willing to do. My plans for next year was to convert the rear end to leafs. The plan toe leaf it will just come sooner now.
So I decided to extend the pan hard bar so the axle is centered, run this for a little bit and go from there.

I made some more progress this weekend, mostly on the rear suspension.

I don't have the majority of the tools to "fab" anything at my house so I was forced to drive it to my cousins house. He has the welder, pipe notcher, bender and more. I drove the runner around the block and checked everything before I took off on my 10 mile commute.

Here are some pictures from my house, playing with the suspension.








All ready to go under the knife -



I extended the pan hard bar with 1-1/2" DOM. I cut the stock bar in half and then centered the axle at ride height. Tacked the bar into place, removed the bar and burned it in. (I haven't touched a welder in many years, so be easy on my welds :) We drilled holes in the outer sleeve so we can make more contact welds. I believe these are called rosette welds.






The point of no return








I moved on to 12" smooth body shock hoop. Made these out of 1-3/4" DOM. I think it came out nice. We ran out of time Sunday, but I hope to have these tacked into place so I can cycle the suspension and burn it all in.











 

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Discussion Starter #16
I haven't posted much of my progress on here, but the build is done for now. I have completed the front and rear suspension. The rear suspension I am not too happy with the axle shock mounts. I ordered a longer shock than I should have, being stubborn and on a time crunch I used the 12" shock. A 10" shock would have worked out perfect, but using the 12" left me with a huge shock mount that hangs way too low.

In the next couple of weeks, I plan on installing leaf springs and putting a wider axle under, hopefully fixing the shock mounts at the same time.



Here are some pictures of it flexing and testing the bump stops. I was making sure the shocks did not hit the frame.

















I am going to Pismo this weekend and will try and post pictures.
 

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Nice progress so far. I am interested in the rear shock hoop setup. I'll eventually be doing something similar with my 3rd gen. I'm particularly curious about the clearance between the 2.5" shocks and the tire & frame. Does it really require a 2" spacer or could you get away with a 1.5"? I don't have flares on my runner, so the tire would stick out a bit far for my liking. Seems like everyone uses 2.0 dia 10" shocks for ease of fitment, but I figure why not use a 2.5 since you're going through the trouble of fabbing up something custom. Looking forward to more pics/ progress on the leafs & wider rear end.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Clearance

Nice progress so far. I am interested in the rear shock hoop setup. I'll eventually be doing something similar with my 3rd gen. I'm particularly curious about the clearance between the 2.5" shocks and the tire & frame. Does it really require a 2" spacer or could you get away with a 1.5"? I don't have flares on my runner, so the tire would stick out a bit far for my liking. Seems like everyone uses 2.0 dia 10" shocks for ease of fitment, but I figure why not use a 2.5 since you're going through the trouble of fabbing up something custom. Looking forward to more pics/ progress on the leafs & wider rear end.


01dblkab

The clearance between the shock and the frame is really slim upon full articulation. I could have moved the lower shock mount towards the outer axle side about 1/2" which would have helped this situation, but at the time I was trying to split the difference between frame contact and tire contact.

I am currently running 305/65/17 and during the worst conditions the tire clears the shock by 1"-1-1/2".

I spaced the shock hoop off the frame 3", I would imagine you can accomplish this with 1.5" or 1.25" wheel spacer with the right tire size and offset wheel.
 

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01dblkab

The clearance between the shock and the frame is really slim upon full articulation. I could have moved the lower shock mount towards the outer axle side about 1/2" which would have helped this situation, but at the time I was trying to split the difference between frame contact and tire contact.

I am currently running 305/65/17 and during the worst conditions the tire clears the shock by 1"-1-1/2".

I spaced the shock hoop off the frame 3", I would imagine you can accomplish this with 1.5" or 1.25" wheel spacer with the right tire size and offset wheel.
I'm planning to do outboard shocks too. When I was checking for clearance between the tire and the inner wheel well there was almost no room for shocks at full articulation. Which meant I had to keep the upper mount a little lower than I wanted and keep the lower mounting points about the same length below the axle as stock. I'm also running 285/75R16 tires on stock rims. Its crazy that you don't have any rub issues with the shock and tires.

I saw you had Chris Mazzulla do some welding for you. I actually worked for him for about a year back in 2013. Small world
Good looking runner man!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm planning to do outboard shocks too. When I was checking for clearance between the tire and the inner wheel well there was almost no room for shocks at full articulation. Which meant I had to keep the upper mount a little lower than I wanted and keep the lower mounting points about the same length below the axle as stock. I'm also running 285/75R16 tires on stock rims. Its crazy that you don't have any rub issues with the shock and tires.



I saw you had Chris Mazzulla do some welding for you. I actually worked for him for about a year back in 2013. Small world

Good looking runner man!

Hey dude if you're local stop by and check it out... Nothing special but feel free to see what I did... I haven't rubbed anything and have put it through the test many times, even with low (8psi) tire pressure...

Yeah I have know Chris since high school, he's such a good dude! I would trust myself back then to weld it, but now I'm like fuck it.


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