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1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yanman's 88 Hilux Pickup

Welcome to my build thread!

Everyone knows that alot of projects are a work in progress and this thread is no exception. Therefore, this thread will continue to change in the form of tweaking the existing posts along with posting new mod updates as my rig evolves.

I've had a lot of fun creating this chronological thread and going back and seeing the transformation of my rig from when I bought it to where it is now. Plus it's not a bad idea to do this incase something happens to my rig, so I can be compensated by my insurance company.

The opinions expressed in this thread are my own and in no way represent those of TTORA, its chapters, its members/users, or its vendor/sponsors. Nor should my opinions, what so ever, influence others with their builds. This includes doing what I've done and/or doing business with and/or purchasing products from the same vendor(s).

I am not responsible if a link I post up works one day then doesn't the next. I have no control over what other sites do and how they keep them organized or if they still exist. Nor am I in control if this site adds a random link to my posts sending you off to some irrelevant site. If there is any doubt, go to the home page of the area in question.

I do try to keep the information posted on this thread accurate, but things change over the course of time and I do make mistakes. Do not take the information I post on here as flawless. Please, please, please do your own research, and courteously let me know where my info is wrong.

I'm not trying to advertise for the insurance companies, we all know they make a killing off of us and then usually jack up our rates when we make a claim or a claim is made against us. However, I have seen to many times where someone has had their rig totaled and/or stolen and were SOL because they only had liability, basic full coverage, or worse no insurance at all on it. :scared: The insurance company I am with offers a policy for modified/restored vehicles and will insure the cost of EVERYTHING up to a set number ie: $20k, $25k, etc. So most of what I spent on parts and labor is all covered. So a word to the wise, if you can afford it and if your insurance company offers it, I HIGHLY recommend that you get your rig insured with some sort of modified/restored vehicle policy.

I may be able to understand and communicate with the English Language, but I don't have a college degree in it, nor am I a professional writer with an editor on retainer. So, there will be spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. :p

If reading this thread has helped give you some ideas for your build, and/or helped you learn from my mistakes, then I am happy to have helped out. Enjoy! :)

On to Business
Back when I first joined TTORA I was going to build up my 2003 Tacoma, and I have done a few mods between now and then with: Picture below does not represent the truck's actual appearance.

But my taco was just too clean and pretty to wheel and I didn't want to hack/chop/scratch/bash up such a nice truck. So, back in May of 2009, I decided to turn my taco into an daily driver/semi pavement princess and permanently retire it from wheeling. Then I got this truck:

A 1988 SR5 V6 5spd Xtracab Short Bed Hilux Pickup, aka my 88.

It had over 230k on it, and was in really good shape other than the typical 84-88 bed rust and some fading paint. It ran well, drove straight, didn't appear to have been wheeled on anything too nasty, and everything seemed to work except the AC.

Bone stock, except for:
  • upgraded Infinity speakers
  • a ton of speaker wire all over the cab
  • no radio
  • no tailgate
  • no jack
  • no spare tire tool kit
  • Classic Husky floor mats, which don't seem to be available anymore for this truck :rolleyes:
  • cloth seat covers
  • aftermarket rear bumper
  • bed mat
  • wiring for a camper shell
  • wiring for towing
  • peeling window tint
  • a ton of dog hair everywhere in the cab

So, why did I go with a pickup truck, specifically this generation, instead of a later or earlier truck, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, or a Landcruiser? Also what the hell possessed me to get a truck with the 3.slow?!?!

  • Initial Personal Requirements/Preferences:
    • Fuel Injection: My first car, a 1980 Limited V6 Buick Skylark Sedan, had the biggest PITA POS carburetor on it. Ever since that experience I have refused to have a vehicle without fuel injection. Another reason is that most of the trails my rig will be on are high in the mountains with lots of elevation changes, an EFI system can better adapt the air-fuel ratio. I have wheeled along with vehicles with carburetors and they always seem to have trouble with the elevation changes.
    • Manual Transmission: Once I learned how to drive a manual tranny, I had more fun driving and I found that I had better control of what the vehicle was doing. There after manual trannys are what I prefer to have in my trucks and especially sports cars! ;)
  • Landcruisers:
    • The 2nd, 4th, & 5th gen Landcruisers are the ones I like and based my research.
    • 61-83 2nd gen FJ40s will always have a special place in my heart, but to get one in decent shape thats not a rust bucket is big $$$, and unless they have been modified they are not fuel injected.
    • 81-87 FJ60 / 88-90 FJ62 4th gens, IMHO, don't have enough power for that heavy of a vehicle. The 81-87 FJ60 Models are not Fuel Injected, but have a manual tranny. The 88-90 FJ62 Models are Fuel Injected, but have an automatic tranny.
    • 91-92 FJ80 / 93-97 FZJ80 5th gens are too $$$ and too wide for the trails it would be on. Also all of this generations transmissions are automatics.
  • 4Runners:
    • There are only 3 generations of 4Runners that I like, the 84-89 1st gen, 96-02 3rd gen, and 03-09 4th gen. The later year models just seem to get bigger and bigger.
    • The 1st gens, like the FJ60s and 2nd gen 4Runners, are heavy rigs due to all the glass in the rear and the stock engine is underpowered for a vehicle that is that heavy. Now it can be helped (only a little) by removing the stock topper. But I could not find one that I liked enough to buy.
    • The 3rd and 4th gen 4Runners were more $$$ than I wanted to shell out.
    • All 4th gen 4Runners come with automatics.
  • FJ Cruisers:
    • I had a chance to test drive a brand new limited edition all White TRD FJ Cruiser. They are nice, and probably very capable offroad, but they are so new that they are $$$, plus there is a HUGE blind spot on them and like the FJ80's they are too wide.
  • Trucks:
    • 79-83 1st gen 4x4 Trucks do not have an XtraCab option, and most of those trucks have worse rust problems than the 84-88 trucks, and they are not fuel injected.
    • 89-94 3rd gen Trucks came in at a VERY close second. My first Toyota was a 1991 Deluxe V6 5spd Xtracab 4wd Short Bed that I had for 12 years and loved it.

      But at the time when I was looking for my 88 I didn't find any that I liked well enough or were in my price range. Thinking back on it now, I should have kept my 91 and made IT my trail rig.
    • 95-04 1st gen Tacos, I already have an 03 so it seemed redundant, plus modifying the newer trucks is way more $$$ than the older ones, and there are more aftermarket and used parts available. The 01-04 DoubleCab option does not have a full bed, and at the time I wanted a full 6ft bed. Also, 01-04 DoubleCab Tacos only have automatic trannys, unless someone did a tranny swap.
    • 05+ 2nd gen Tacos are too $$$ and too big for me, plus they are so new that 95% are real nice and I would just be back in the same boat I was in with my 03 Taco. As mentioned before with the 01-04 DoubleCabs, I wanted a bigger bed, and yes, the 05+ Tacos have a full bed option available with the DoubleCab, but that is one long truck!
    • T100 and Tundras like the 05+ Tacos and FJ80s are too big
  • Wheel Base:
    The stock wheel base on this truck to me is at a nice sweet spot. At 112" it will make it less susceptible to end over rolls when going up or down steep inclines, compared to shorter wheel bases, and less susceptible to getting high centered, compared to longer wheelbases. Anyway, just for comparison here are stock wheel bases of other vehicles I was interested in:
    • FJ40s are at 90"
    • 1st & 2nd Gen 4Runners, 79-94 Standard Cab Pickups, and 95-04 Standard Cab Tacos have 103"
    • 3rd Gen 4Runners are 105"
    • FJ Cruisers stand at 106"
    • FJ60/FJ62s are closer at 108"
    • 4th Gen 4Runners and 05+ Regular Cab Tacos are even closer at 110"
    • FJ80/FZJ80s are the same as my truck
    • 89-94 XtraCab Pickups and 95-04 XtraCab/DoubleCab Tacos are sitting at 122"
    • 05+ Access Cab/DoubleCab Short Bed Tacos have 128"
    • 05+ DoubleCab Long Bed Tacos are 141"
    (Stat info provided by Toyota via
  • Drivetrain/Driveline
    I know, I know, the 3VZ-E 3.0 liter (183 in³) V6 is one of the worst performing engines that Toyota has made. It does have the most power out of the 3 engines available in the United States for that generation (145-150 hp at 4800 RPMs), OK torque, but only if you wrap it up a bit (180 ft-lb at 3400 RPMs), the gas mileage could be better (16 City / 20 highway), but as almost everyone knows the biggest thing that scares people away is it is prone to head gasket failure, and its a difficult engine to work on. Also it is the only non-DOHC V6 that Toyota made.

    Compare that to the 22RE 2.4 liter (146 in³) I4 which is one of the better engines Toyota has made. It lacks in power compared to the 3.0 (112 hp at 4800 RPMs), but made up for it with better low end torque (137 ft-lb at 2800 RPMs), better mileage (19 City / 22 highway), less susceptible to head gasket failures, and easier to work on. Plus there are TONS of aftermarket performance parts available for the 22R engines.

    But the overall drivetrain (R150F transmission, rear diff, rear axles) that comes with a truck that has the 3.0 is stronger. That was the primary reason why I got a truck with the V6. A side reason was that it would be a little easier to do a 3.4 swap, if I ever go down that route.

    Now some might say, "But what about the 22RET turbo that has the reliability of the 22RE and the drivetrain equivalent of the 3VZ-E?" That engine does have more power, obviously, than the standard 22RE but still less that the 3.0 (135hp at 4800 RPMs). Where this engine really excels versus the other two is low end torque (173 ft-lb at 2800 RPMs). But those engines were only available in the United States for two years (1986, 1987) in the Trucks and 4Runners. Believe me, if I could have found one that meet all the requirements listed in this post and ran well, that would have become my trail rig.
    (Stat info provided by Toyota via
  • Other Stuff:
    • I don't have a family to justify the need for an SUV or DoubleCab truck
    • I've always liked pickup trucks more than SUVs
    • Pickups are usually lighter than SUVs
    • I've always liked the body style of the 2nd gen Pickups and 1st gen 4Runners
    • I've always liked the extra room an XtraCab provides

Getting Organized
When I was in the process of modifying my Taco, I wanted to stay organized and focused on the modifications I wanted to do.

I applied the same practice to my 88. So I created an Excel spreadsheet and organized it accordingly:
  • Divide the modifications up into categories per areas of my truck, Drivetrain, Wheels & Tires, Suspension, Exterior, Interior, and misc.
  • List the description of the modification
  • Price of the mod
  • Date of the price of the mod when I got the quote or saw it on the net and/or ad
  • The vendor that was selling the mod
  • The vendor's web site link to the mod, or phone number
  • Date when the mod was purchased, specifically parts
  • Date when the mod was installed
  • Notes about the mod
The information on this list would change as I would change my mind, or find a better product and/or vendor.

I would highlight a mod that I wanted to focus on and get done to make sure I would stick with it. When a mod was complete I would highlight it in a different color, in a way of checking it off my list.

This approach was EXTREMELY helpful!

Performing Mods
Right now I don't possess the abilities or tools to do my own fabrication work, especially welding. Same goes with any major mechanical problems or modifications, ie: engine and transmission work. Fortunately this site has introduced me to lots a great people and shops that were able to lend me a helping hand.

Thankfully, I can turn a wrench and read a service manual and have been able to do a few minor to moderate mods and maintenance on my own. :D

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Begin the Mods!

The first few mods I did were:
  1. Remove the IFS Sway Bar
  2. Get a used bed toolbox from a private party off of Craig's List. This box was used as an overflow from the XtraCab.
  3. Remove the Mud Flaps and do the Pinch Weld Mod.
  4. Add a rear diff breather extension per this yotatech post.
Before I did any other mods I took it out for its first trip. Or rather my Dad drove it while I drove my Taco for its last wheeling trip. This will be the only time both of my trucks will be on the same trail:

Then I took off the 32x11.50r15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM1's with the ProComp Rock Crawler Series 87-5883, 15x8 w/ 3.75bs Wheels off my taco and put them on my new rig:

I got the tires used from a member from Colorado 4x4, and I got the rims from Performance Products.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Out with the Old, in with the New...

At this time, I was totally stoked and all seemed well, but I was totally unaware of the ticking time bomb...:scared:

All used vehicles have their problems (in some cases even new vehicles have issues too). This specific problem I could have fixed IF I payed attention to the warning signs, and it would have saved me a TON of money, time, and frustration!

In a nut shell, the engine was overheating. Most of the cooling system was shot, particularly the radiator and fan clutch, and the temperature gauge on the dash only works half the time. So, when the engine was overheated the gauge said everything was fine.

The results of my ignorance was the infamous blown head gasket. :(

Luckily the gasket(s) blew sometime after I came back from a day long wheeling trip and had it safely parked. The next day I go out there to start it up and it would not turn over. About a week later my Dad and I got it running again, but for only a short time. After that I couldn't get it running again.

So for the moment it looked like my rig would be doomed to sit and be parted out.

The point of no return! ;):D

I was not willing to give up on my dreams of having a rockcrawler. So, I thought it out and decided that if I were to get another used truck I would be faced with the unknown all over again, ie: not knowing all the problems with the vehicle, granted probably not to this magnitude.

So I stuck with this truck and decided to fix it up so it would run again.

I removed the BFG MT tires and put the stock tires and rims back on and stored it away at a storage unit for almost a year.

In the mean time, I did a lot of research:
  1. Doing the 3.4 swap, reading threads, calculating costs, trying to find a shop that could/would do such a project.
  2. Then I compared the 3.4 info with just replacing my old 3.0 with a remanufactured 3.0.
  3. I also looked into the cost of fixing the existing engine.
I went with option 2, and started saving up the money to get a remaned 3.0.

Yes, I would still have the same gutless engine, but it would be brand new, and would be a direct replacement of the old one, and it would get me back in action quicker.

So I started looking around on the internet trying to find a shop that sells remaned long block 3.0s, and I found APR Auto Care.

I chose APR Auto Care because they are a Colorado company that was a two hour drive away. So no shipping charges. And I bought into the propaganda on their web site.

However, I should have done more research into the customer satisfaction and quality of work on APR Auto Care. But I didn't, and I cringe everytime I hear about something bad about this company and/or something going wrong with the engines they sold.

Those issues were from earlier engines and customers. Hopefully I bought my engine at the right time and they were making a quality turn around.

Looking back on it now I should have sucked up the shipping cost and got an engine from TCR Automotive and Performance, who at one time had a parts upgrade to the 3.0, which according to them got the horsepower up to a stock 3.4.

Or better yet, go with the 3.4, as many have said "There is no replacement for displacement." But, I was growing impatient and wanted my rig back. So, it is what it is, and I can't turn back the clock. So, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. If this engine goes, I will be going 3.4 all the way.

Anyway, I contacted ToyCrawlers again and asked if he would be interested in helping me install a new engine. He was, and we made arrangements when to do the project, plus he agreed to let me help with the install.

Later, I towed my 88 over to his shop, then the next day I went down to pickup the new engine.

In addition to the long block we needed other parts for this job. Fortunately at the time the owner/operator of ToyCrawlers was a Toyota Technician for a local Toyota Dealership, and I was able to take advantage of his discount.

He and I spent an entire weekend, before Thanksgiving 2010, pulling out the old engine and putting in the new one.

Old engine out and ready to be stripped of all the reuseable parts.

New engine fresh out of the box.

New engine assembled ready to go back in.

During the engine swap, we found coolant in the oil and in the exhaust. My guess is that both head gaskets were blown and I had zero compression which was why the engine refused to turn over.

Along with the long block we replaced multiple bearings (Toyota OEM), clutch (Toyota OEM), radiator (aluminum aftermarket), fan clutch (NAPA aftermarket), thermostat (Toyota OEM), belts, and several other misc small parts. The new long block came with a new water pump. So basically along with a new engine my entire coolant system got replaced.

I also decided to install some headers while we were doing the engine job, the headers are from Northwest Offroad. They are the only emission legal (Except for California) headers I've been able to find for the 3.0. Meaning that these headers have a hookup for the EGR valve. If you get the Y-pipe that has a hookup for the O2 sensor. The installation of this system was fairly easy. We did have to do some prying to mount the Y-pipe up to the rest of the stock exhaust.

We also ditched the Air Conditioning system, which didn't work, to reduce weight and help keep the engine cool.

One final thing on this project, the steering box was beginning to leak. So we got a replacement from Trail-Gear.

Other than those deviations it was a direct engine replacement.

At the end of that weekend my truck was back on the street running under its own power. :D :xozzy: :xbeer1: :kewl: :woot: :dancing:

Thank You ToyCrawlers!

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Custom Front Winch Bumper

The next change to my rig was adding a front bumper.

wakkjobb was selling his bumper, and was offering to install it as well. So, he and I made arrangements to get it done.

But before I went down there I picked up an old style Warn M8000 winch from Street Side Auto.

I also had some 130 Watt ProComp Explorer Stainless 6" Driving Lights that a friend gave to me before moving off to Cali.

When I got these parts collected, I went down to wakkjobb's shop and He and I spent the weekend :saw: and :welder: so that bumper would fit nicely on my truck and could accomidate the winch and the offroad driving lights:

Then when I got it home I added the finishing touches, some OEM fog light switches, one is for the offroad driving lights and the other will be for a future rock light install:

Then wired and installed everything else:

It came out real well, thanks again wakkjobb.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
A Little Toolbox Bling

I thought that my toolbox was a little too bland so I decided to add a little character.

I wanted to put the tailgate logos on, so I started by looking around for places that sold Toyota OEM body decals and found James Dean Creations.

I then used the decals to make some stencils:

Then painted the logos on to my Toolbox:


1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
SAS/Lift and Dual T-Cases

I sold the Budbuilt IFS Skid Plate and Belly Pan off of my Taco to put toward my SAS/Lift fund.

Then around December of 2010, Sammity Sam posted up in the Colorado Chapter that he was selling his 85 Solid Front Axle off of his truck, and would be in Colorado for the holidays.

So, he and I made arrangements to meet and I took it off of his hands:

Next I waited to get my 2010 tax refund, and contacted ToyCrawlers again to see if he was available to do a SAS/Lift project.

He was, and when my refund came in, he started ordering parts from Trail-Gear.

Here is the list of parts from TG:

Other Parts:
In addition to the SAS/Lift & Dual T-Cases project we needed to replace the recently replaced steering box from Trail-Gear. The first replacement was leaking worse than the original. :rolleyes:

In April 2011, he and I both took a week off from work and started at it.

We first started with the rear lift:

Removal of the stock leafs

Rear lift almost done, needed to cut off and weld on the rear shackle mounts:

New shocks and diff armor in:

Up next was removing the IFS stuff:

Then cut off the IFS frame bracketry:

Now grind off what was left:

Now rebuild the SFA with new rotors:

Add the new front leafs:

Mount up the SFA:

Put everything back together.

We also ditched the rear bumper and took the tow receiver off my taco and put it on my 88 so I would still have a rear recovery point.

SAS/Lift all done! Just waiting for the T-Cases and the drive shafts!

Now I do hear complaints that my rig, as well as others who went with Trail-Gear lifts, are too high. But remember those tires are 32s. So, I'll have to see what things look like when the springs get a chance to settle and with 35s, maybe 37s.

If I do decide to lower it I will remove the HD leaf from the front and order some 3" rear leafs.

The T-cases came in about a week later, as well as the rear drive shaft:

Then it was off to the exhaust shop to get the custom exhaust installed.

When it got back from the exhaust shop, I was able to drive my rig away, but I still had to do some finishing touches with the center console and install the front drive shaft:

There you are! :D


1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Chromo Front Axles

Shortly after the SAS/Lift project and before I went out and wheeled it, I upgraded my stock front axles and birfs.

So, I went to Trail-Gear again:

I spent the entire 2011 4th of July weekend taking apart, cleaning, and rebuilding my SFA and installing the Dirty 30 axles.

The rebuild went well, the only thing I would caution is that the bearings in the rebuild kit from Trail-Gear are from China, so your probably better off finding some Koyo or Timken bearings.

Here are the Koyo Bearing part numbers:
  • Trunnion/Steering Knuckle Bearing: TR0305A (old) TR0305AF4 (new)
  • Inner Wheel Bearing (Large): LM102949
  • Outer Wheel Bearing (Small): JLM104948
A great option is to get the Wheel Bearing Kit from Marlin Crawler. Marlin sells actual Koyo Bearings. This kit does not come with Trunnion/Steering Knuckle Bearings.

Here are the Timken Bearing part numbers:
  • Trunnion/Steering Knuckle Bearing: 30303
  • Inner Wheel Bearing (Large): TBD
  • Outer Wheel Bearing (Small): TBD

Around this time I also added a diff breather extension to the front as I did with the rear.

EDIT January 2017:

I needed to get my front end rebuilt and Scotty from Addicted Offroad told me that Marlin Crawler offers a Knuckle Service Kit, much like Trail-Gear's, but the Marlin kit contains Japanese Trunnion/Steering Knuckle bearings. When this kit it arrived it was in Yukon Gear and Axle Packaging and I tracked down the Yukon part number for the kit: YP KNCLKIT-TOY which is the Toyota '79-'85 Hilux and '75-'90 Landcruiser Knuckle kit.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
OEM Clinometer

I wanted to add some cool factor to the interior of my rig. So, I went to Yoda Jims, aka Jim's Used Toyota Truck Parts, a local Toyota salvage yard, and got one of these:

Installing one of these is a snap! There is already wiring for the back lighting and the dash has pre-existing mounting holes that just need to be drilled out. The hardest part was dis-assembling and re-assembling the dash for the first time.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
K&N FIPK Cold Air Intake

In a never ending (yet almost pointless) quest to squeeze more horse power out of that 3.slow, I installed a K&N Cold Air Intake from Street Side Auto, in October 2011.

Yeah I know, these don't give you much in the way of more horsepower. However I have noticed a slight improvement in throttle response. Then again that could just be from the headers.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Spare Tire and Hi-Lift Jack Mounts

At this time I had a chain and pad lock loosely keeping my spare tire in the bed of my truck.

Well while going on a trail run in October 2011, the spare shifted all over the place and dislodged the bed mat. So, I went to and got a Fabtech flush spare tire mount:

Around the same time I decided for safety reasons to move my 48 inch Hi-Lift out of the cab and mount it to my toolbox. I got the jack from Performance Products back when I had my 91 Pickup.


1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Engine Update

December 2011.

I am 95% happy with the remaned engine so far.

There were some initial quality issues that came out shortly after we got it in and during the break in process. APR Auto Care didn't properly seal the passenger side head toward the camshaft housing rear plate so there was a bit of an oil leak that needed to be fixed. And the middle freeze plug on the driver's side was leaking coolant and that got fixed too.

Other than those issues it has been trouble free.

Power wise It does OK out on the flat, it doesn't like inclines, so I have to do a lot of downshifting. At a dead stop it takes a bit to get up to speed, but not too bad. The power band on it seems to be between 2500 to 4000 RPMs.

It also needs to be good and warmed up for it to perform well, and thats due to it being an 88 engine. I talked with a Toyota Tech and he told me that 88 3.0s have poor logic and do not perform well when cold.

I have to keep reminding myself, after I get spoiled driving my supercharged taco with the 3.4, that my 88 is not a powerhouse and never will be. This truck was not built for speed, hence the name "RockCRAWLER".

As far as mileage, with the 32s and stock gearing I got around 12-15 MPG.

I did re-gear my diffs and that did help power wise but not so with mileage.

I have found that annually running a can of Seafoam through the throttle body, then a can of BG 44K through the gas helps.

What really helped with performance was resetting the timing. Almost the difference between night and day. So much so it has pretty much mitigated most of the issues previously listed. But it is still no 3.4. My guess is that the timing was set to sea level at the time of the engine job.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
86 SR5 4Runner Seats

My Dad has an 85 4Runner with the nice SR5 seats. Naturally I wanted some more comfy seats for my rig too. At first I was thinking of some Recaro or equivalent racing seats but decided to go a different route and save some money.

So, In December 2011, I went down to the Toyota salvage yard again and picked these up:

The stock Driver's seat did not roll back far enough for me to comfortably drive. So, I drilled out the hard stops on the adjusting tracks.

The Driver's seat went in no problem, but the 4Runner Passenger seat's tracks are shorter than the pickups, no biggie, two drilled holes in the floor board, done.

I eventually went with a different set of seats, so these seats are now gone.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
33x10.50r15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KOs

In January 2012, firestormtrooper started to part out his 85 4Runner, and sold these tires to me:

As an extra bonus, thefatkid wanted to buy my 32x11.50r15 BFG MT KM1s. However, I still wanted to keep my ProComp Steelies.

Where it gets better is thefatkid is a Toyota Technician at a local Toyota dealership where we could swap tires and rims, and get them balanced. Just to clarify, thefatkid is not the same guy as the owner/operator of ToyCrawlers.

thefatkid also had an old 33x9.50r15 BFG MT to give me as a spare!

So, I went down to his dealership where we played musical chairs with the tires and rims.

Then it was back to my rig to get my slightly bigger tires mounted up:

So why did I go from MTs to ATs and only go up to 33s?
  1. Our emission test facilities around here test vehicles with a dynamometer and cannot test vehicles with tires 34 inches or larger.
  2. In my opinion, during the winter ATs have better traction on icy roads than MTs.
  3. I wanted some in-town off-season tires and ATs usually have longer wear life than MTs.
  4. The ATs will save wear and tear on my newer, bigger MTs I plan to get and run in the summer.
I eventually went with a different set of wheels and tires, so these are now gone.

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Bed Bob

:saw::welder: On to the next mod! :welder::saw:

I still needed a place and the right tools to do this project. So, I sent out a feeler to my chapter members and minerdude1 stepped up.

So, we made arrangements to work on it during the month of January 2012. We started shortly before I got my 33s.

But before we started I needed to get some paint and bondo:
  • minerdude1 already had some rust inhibitor, some Rust Tough Rust Fix.
  • The primer I picked out was some RustOleum Stops Rust Automotive Gray.
  • To appeal to the Home Owner's Association (HOA) Nazis :rolleyes:, I wanted the base coat to match the cab of my truck. Luckily my Dad recently repainted a side mirror for a 98 Camry and told me about Microfinish aka I looked at their site to see what colors they have and compared their prices along with other touchup sites. They had the lowest prices I was able to find. So I ordered a few aerosol cans of Toyota Color 138.
  • Next was some undercoating, enter some 3M Proffesional Grade Rubberized Undercoating.
  • Finally I went over to a NAPA auto parts store and got some clear coat and the body puddy.
First off, take all the stuff out of the bed including the inner bed walls and brace the bed walls:

Next mark the the first cut:

Then cut off the end cap:

Next cut off a backing strip:

Next make the final cut and trim down the frame:

For the sheet metal, we used an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel to keep all the cuts clean and reasonably straight, which helped when it came time to welding.

Then we ground off all the paint on places to be welded, then welded on a new rear crossmember and bed mounts:

Next weld on the back strips:

Then weld on the end cap and grind down the welds:

Next apply and sand down some bondo:

Then take the bed off and:
  1. powerwash every surface, top and bottom, on the bed
  2. soak the rust with rust inhibitor
  3. prime every seam and weld, top and bottom
  4. undercoat every seam and weld, top and bottom, and any other place where water could possibly get in on the bed
  5. add a new LED plate light on the bed, insuring that my rig will be street legal
  6. weld on some new rear recovery points on the frame and ditch the tow receiver
  7. prime and paint the new frame crossmember, bed mounts, and recovery points

Then cut down the inner bed panels:

Next put the bed back on, bolt in the inner bed panels, and apply a few base coats:

Next check to make sure the LED plate light works:

Next add some custom stripes, several clear coats, put all the stuff back in the bed, take it home and admire the view: :D

Over the course of the month, the project pretty much took most of mine and minerdude1's spare time, to cut out the 12.5 inches and put it back together, but we got 'er done!

I am very pleased with how it came out! Better than I had imagined.

Thank you minerdude1! :kewl:

1,288 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Wet Okole Seat Covers

I know, I know, this is a 4wheeling forum, not a show truck forum, and that these seat covers are usually considered show truck type of equipment.

However, I still want to document every change I've done to my rig.

So, I present to you, Wet Okole seat covers:

The main reason for this mod is I want to save some wear and tear on the fabric of those seats and that I was not too crazy about the color of those seats. I also sold the cloth covers along with my original seats, so I needed replacements.

Later I took off the red plastic trim and paint 'em gloss black.

The down side to these covers:
  • These covers are expensive! (Duh)
  • Because these covers are made from wet suit material they don't breathe well. After going on a long trip your back and butt will get sweaty.
  • The method on how these covers stay attached (specifically the seat section) to the seats is not real well designed. I had to constantly keep pulling them back into place after several times of me getting in and out of the vehicle.
If you keep reading, you will find that I eventually got rid of these covers and the seats, but only partly for the above reasons.
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