Natural selection a first gen 4runner build

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Charles Darwin came up with the thory of natural selection. I will horibly over simplify it. Natural selection is about how a species would adapt and change to its evironment in order to survive. One may say it was the survival of the strongest and smartest. We all know how weak trucks and parts don't survive for long.

This is my attempt at a build thread, where I by natural selection have built my first gen 4runner into what I have today. I should of started this many years ago. So this may be alot of back story. I will do my best to recal and find pictures so please be patent.

So here it is in all its glory shortly after bring it home. I Found this lovly 86 4runner DLX on craigs list. The owner was asking 1,000 Molly and I drove to National Park NJ and after looking at it offered $750 and he accepted. It was interesting driving it home. It was late November and had already snowed. The rear window was stuck down and there was snow in the back and the carpet was soked. In fact the rear window was actually stuck up. It had fallen off the track due to rust and fallen through the bottom of the tail gate and was resting on the hitch. Like a dumb ass I used the parking brake during my test drive. after 10 or 15 min of driving I had to pull over and beat on the drums with a lug wrench to free the brakes. I also wondered why it kept bouncing every time I drove over a bump. It turned out to have 3 rusted out shocks. On the bright side, it ran, drove, stopped, the ac worked and the heat worked!

Here it is in all its glory

rear flex in garage.jpg
 
Joined
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I had to move it inside fast. I came home from work like 3 days after I got it and found a big orange sticker on the windshield calling it abandon and saying I had 10 days or it would be towed. I knew I couldnt put it in the street with no inspection or insurance but it was in my driveway! It had alot of rust that I intended to remove for tire clearance. I borrowed a 35 from @jtaco1 for mock up and cut to stuff 37's with no lift. I took 3" out of the rear fenders all the way around and a bunch from the firewall.
rust 1.jpg
rust 2.jpg
rust 3.jpg
rust 4.jpg
rust 5.jpg
 
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So, some of you have known me for a while. @jtaco1 @shmukster @YotaFun @surfishjoe @crawyota Will remember I had a early tacoma before the 4runner. In fact that is why I have the 4runner. It was one of the buyback trucks with the swiss cheese frames. Mine was a 98 extra cab. I had built it over 5 years to have a 2.5" lift sliders, bumpers, skidplates, crawlbox, rear locker, and a m8000 warn winch.

As part of the buy back we received 1.5 times kbb retail value in excelent condition. Regardless of actual condition. We were also aloud to remove any aftermarket assocries we had put on the truck. It simply needed to be able to move under its own power. Any of us that had them bought back ran with this. When I turned it in I had to have it towed to the dealership. I removed the rear axle, lift, rear shocks, bumpers, tail lights, front diff and drive shaft, I removed the CV axles and manual hubs too. The air box even got sold to a guy in CA. The 4runners wheels and tires got put on it and they hit the brake calipers as it they went around. It was accepted in this condition and I got to sell off the parts and reuse some of the others. All in all I drove the truck for 5-6 years and put 45k on it for the low price of $500 and if you factor in the parts I pulled I made $ on the deal.

shifter linkage 011.jpg
 

Crusha

Self-censoring my mud posts...
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Damn, that thing was rusty! It's come a long way.

My Taco frame story is pretty funny. I'll edit it down to just the bare details.

I sold a bike to a guy. On his way to pick it up, the new rear diff he had just put in self destructed (all the gear oil leaked out). He was so pissed with the truck that he gave it to me. Had the title with him, and just left it in my driveway. Drove him to the local truck rental place and he was on his way ( I gave him the bike).

I sold it to one of my employees for dirt cheap, said it was his favorite truck ever. When inspection time came around...rusted out frame.
I forget how much he got for it, but I think it was over $3K.

He said he'd rather have the truck.
 
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One of the most common mods that gets done to these early mini trucks are putting in a crawl box and a aftermarket t-case crosmember. My build would be no exception.
The dual case adapter choices at the time were Marlin Crawler, Inchworm Gear, and Trail Gear. I have experienced problems with MC being out of stock with their parts for nearly a year before. They also use a fancy propritary double roller bearing. It is said to reduce shaft play and reduce coupler strip out. I decided on Inchworm because it reused the OEM t-case bearing. Somthing I knew I could get if need be.

In the rear case went a set of TG 4.7 gears. They carry a bomb proof liftime warranty. I had also won a Advanced Adapters gift certificate and that was one of the few things they had I could use.

The crossmember I had my choice of Budbuilt, TG and SORD. I decided on Sky's Off Road Designs. The crossmembers were all 3/8" thick. The bud built had a piece of 3/16" that made a little extension and the TG left a corner of the t-case unprotected. SORD's was neat because it was 3 pieces and could be used to lift the drive train in the future. It also has a brace over the drive shaft.
 
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So a funny thing about the winch. I bought it off eBay to use on my Tacoma. From the pictures I knew it was a multi Mount that had the carry handles mangled and had no hook on the cable and no remote either. I may not have been paying enough attention at the time but when it arrived it had a police evidence sticker on it. I guess maybe the police were clearing out the evidence Locker for cases that had finished and decided to sell it on eBay.
 
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