1986 4Runner - Daily Driver/Project

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Jul 31, 2005
Honolulu, HI
Hey there, just bought a 86 4Runner. Body is pretty decent for being a Hawaii truck. My goal is to have a clean daily driver that can do some wheeling too but by no means a trail monster (we don't have much here on Oahu anyway). I'm trying to keep it pretty close to stock, but with subtle touches here and there to make it trail worthy. To that end, I'm trying to ID everything that the PO has done, so I can assess what direction to go in.

Anyway, looks like the PO changed a few things here and there, the first that I noticed being the giant lift shackles in the rear and the body lift. Since I'm only planning to run 31x10.5x15s, I don't think I need the 2" body lift, nor 3" worth of shackles (what I was told by the PO). The torsions will love me for turning them down a bit, as it appears that's all that was done to lift the front (and the CV boots show it).
With the limited space in Oahu, there are a lot of parking structures, so a massively tall truck isn't gonna cut it. Some Energy Suspension polyurethane body mount bushings will be on order shortly so I can replace them when I remove the body lift. Still debating which shackle to put in the rear, thinking about the Daystar 1" lift non-greasable. While the body lift is on, I'm gonna tackle the rust on the chassis and hit it with some Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and some Rustoleum Flat Black.

After I brought it home, I noticed it didn't seem like 4WD was working. Locking the hubs and engaging 4WD and driving in a figure 8 didn't result in any driveline binding or tires skipping, so I took a look under the truck. With the passenger side hub locked and the transfer in 4WD, the driver side axle shaft can turn freely, meaning the axle shaft isnt engaging the differential for some reason. Perhaps a blown diff? In any case, an closer look revealed the following:

Well dayum, maybe that had something to do with it. Everyone says I should go SAS, but being a daily, I don't want/need the lift that comes with the SAS, and the budget is pretty tight at the moment. Gonna look for some used parts (front housing and 3rd member) and get it put back together with new CVs, and that should take care of the front drivetrain.

While poking around the front suspension, I noticed several things that didn't look stock. One was the upper control arm. I'm familiar with Toyotas having stamped steel arms, so this seemed out of place.

Anyone know who might have made this? I'd like to see how it is supposed to be installed, as the backside of the passenger side mount looks a little suspect. Here is a shot of the mounting brackets:

I guess the factory bushings wouldn't fit, so I'd need to order those from the arm manufacturer.

Also, the lower differential mounting bracket looks aftermarket, judging by how the factory hole is cut off. The upper diff mounts look newer than the rest of the frame as well, so I assume this is a diff drop bracket kit. Who might have made this? How were the stock brackets attached, so that I can revert to stock? I don't think I'll need a diff drop with the modest lift I'm planning, would just make it easier to hole the diff, again.

Thats all for now, I'll try to get a few pictures of the whole truck up tomorrow! Thanks in advanced for helping me ID these mystery parts. Stay tuned for more, I'll try to do a "build log" of sorts, even though historically I've been horrible with taking pictures (I forget until its all done)!


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