ROTM WarDamnEagle's 85 4Runner

WarDamnEagle

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Maybe just a bit of background to begin with. We bought this 4Runner in mid 1986 with about 6000 miles on it. We had been wanting a 4Runner ever since they were introduced but they were a bit hard to find at that time. This is a Deluxe model and as far as I could tell only had a couple of options: a digital dash clock and the vinyl rear bench seat (the rear bench seats were port installed on the Deluxe 4Runners). It also had a dealer installed cruise control which has never worked since I have owned it.

A few months later we bought a new 86 fully loaded, SR5 4Runner (red with grey interior) and for several years drove his and her 4Runners. When it eventually came time to get rid of some cars (my company was moving me to Germany for a couple of years), I decided to keep the straight front axle and we sold the 86.

It was daily driven upon our return to the US for quite a while but eventually was retired to my in-law's property. We collectively own around 1000 acres in the absolute middle of nowhere on the Alabama River in Clark County Alabama. We used to spend a lot of time there during hunting season and this 4Runner was used more or less as a heated 4 wheeler.

The first pic shows it's primary purpose, hauling game out of the woods. This is a feral hog that my daughter and I shot about 3 years ago.

We have 4 children, my daughter is the oldest and we have 3 boys behind her. For the last 5 years we have lived in England and just rented a Suburban or something similar anytime we were back in the US. However, a year or so ago, I realized that I needed to have some vehicles back in the US as my daughter and oldest son were or would soon be of driving age (and they couldn't drive the rental cars). Thus began my quest to "fix up" the 4Runner.

I include a couple of photos of how she sat about 1 1/2 years ago. The hood looks funny because it wasn't fully closed in these photos.
Heathers pig.JPG
front view small.JPG
Side view small.jpg
 
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WarDamnEagle

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I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to something that I'm interested in and my engineering background often comes in handy when researching a project. Needless to say I spent a lot of time on enthusiast and vendor websites. By far, Ih8mud is absolutely the best source of information that I have found.

Last summer (August 2007 to be precise) was my first opportunity to work on the 4Runner. I had it sent to a friend's shop near my mother's house. He runs a repair business in a small town and has a very large 4 bay shop. He was kind enough to let me have everything delivered to him and then he spent the better part of a week or so either working on the 4Runner or helping me work on it. The :princess: was kind enough to allow me a few days to work on it before we headed to the beach. We have a condo on the beach at Gulf Shores Alabama (affectionately known as the Red Neck Riviera) and normally spend a few weeks there during the summer.

I decided the first year to try to do the following modifications:

DOA Racing, 150 HP 22RE long block
OME suspension, heavy front, medium rear with springs, shocks, shackles, etc.
ARB front bumper
Warn M8000
Kennesaw Mountain rear bumper
LC Engineering ceramic coated stainless header and stainless, CAT back exhaust
LC Engineering poly bushings (complete set: body, torque rod, etc.)
SR5 Instrument cluster swap
Bushwacker extend a flares
Marlin heavy duty tie-rod with FJ80 tie-rod ends

My engine probably only needed a timing chain but it had 150k on it and was getting pretty weak. I thought about just rebuilding it but after much consideration I decided to go with a new engine. It came down to LC Engineering or DOA and in the end I went with DOA. The engine has ran very well but I only have about 2500 miles on it so far.

At some point during this work, we decided to throw on some BFG 10.50x31-15 Mud Terrain KM's. I thought about going with 33's but in the end decided that that the 31's were the way to go (for me). I could easily fit 33's under it if I ever decide to go that way. I can't say enough good things about these tires. They are so much quieter than the earlier version of this tire (I've had lots of BFG's over the years).

I should also mention that at some point several years ago, I installed those NWOR nerf bars. That's more or less the only modification this 4Runner had ever had.

A few "after" photos:
Engine small.JPG
Front Corner View small 5.JPG
Rear View small.JPG
 
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WarDamnEagle

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We got everything on the list done and drove the 4runner to the beach where my daughter drove it while we were there.

Upon our return to England I started researching next year's modifications (August 2008). The first thing on my mind was regearing to 4.56 ratio and maybe installing some lockers while the differentials were out. I thought about all kinds of combinations from Detroits to Tru-trac but finally decided the most cost effective way to get from point A to B was to install two TRD elockers in 4.56 ratio.

I won't go into the entire debate here about why I chose those but if anyone is considering regearing and adding lockers I would ask them to compare their estimated spend against the $900 or so price for the TRD elockers. Of course if you're going 4.88 or higher then the cost effectiveness kind of goes out the window.

There are lots of ways to control these elockers and I looked at most of them. Somewhere in the middle of this research I decided that I had to have a 1997 Land Cruiser with elockers. Long story short, I finally found the one that I wanted in Portland Oregon. I bought it via photos, service records and conversations with the owner and had it shipped to Alabama. I was able to see it in February when I had to fly to the US on business and I wasn't disappointed.

About this time I had a 4Runner, elocker epiphany. I wanted to control the elockers with an FZJ80 elocker ECU and switch. It took a while but I finally sourced the ECU, switch and pigtails. It also took me a while but I finally sorted the wiring out between the Land Cruiser ECU and TRD elockers. Thanks to everyone for their patience and help with my earlier threads on this subject! :beer:

Here is a link to the elocker install: https://forum.ih8mud.com/79-95-toyo...ng-trd-elockers-fzj80-elocker-ecu-switch.html

My list for this year's work included the following:

Install two TRD elockers
4X Innovations sliders
Budbuilt cross member and skid plate
Rebuild front and rear axles
Paint axles, sliders and axle parts with POR15
Install SR5 rear seat, seat belts, and side panels
Install SR5 map light
IPF 968 driving lights (installed on the ARB bumper)

I again performed this work in my friend's shop over 3 or 4 days before heading to the beach.

A few photos:
4Runner on rack small.JPG
elocker switch 1 small.JPG
front birfield 1 small.JPG
 
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WarDamnEagle

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Luckily this 4runner has no body rust and only some very minor surface rust here and there. I did take the fender flares off while I was painting and painted inside and outside of fenders with POR15 even though there was no sign of rust anywhere.

I also installed a Blue Sea, 6 circuit fuse panel under the hood as part of the elocker modification. So far I only have two circuits coming out of it: 20A elocker circuit and 25A circuit for the IPF lights.

I have bought two 100 series Land Cruiser 12Volt outlets that I plan to install front and rear. I also plan on adding a roof rack to the fiberglass top and using the last two circuits for front and rear lights off the rack.

What else. Well I have an SR5 center console but the color needs changing to brown (it's grey). I also have some SR5 front seats but, again, the color is wrong on them and the frames are a bit rusty. I will install some SR5 front seats but I'm still weighing my options. I also have an upper plenum and throttle cable from a 1995 22RE that I wanted to install this year but didn't get around to it. It is on the list and I've already sourced the gaskets.

I want to install this Wilderness roof rack:

Truck Cap Wilderness Roof Rack (Off-Road Series)

I plan on bolting it through the fiberglass roof.

That's pretty much it for plans for now. Maybe cross-over steering at some point but I have mixed feelings about that. I have also been researching undercoatings. I will probably use some 3M Body Schutz but that's down the road.

When we move back to the US, this 4Runner will most likely go back to my in-laws place and be used for hunting. I've never been stuck in it but I guess with the lockers and winch I won't have to be quite as careful with my excursions.

One last thought. After 2 years of searching, mainly on ebay, I finally found a brown original 4Runner cubbyhole to go in the spot where the stupid dealer installed cruise control switch panel was mounted. It cost me a whopping 99 cents plus $4.95 shipping. No photos but for some reason I find that modification extremely satisfying!

Again, here's to everyone on Mud...you guys are great! :cheers:
 
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Man, that thing is straight! Im not feeling the rims, but they really dont offer any function unless you go beadlock, so why waste money on them that can be used for other things.

DO you have the stock roll bar? Are you going to put an better cage in?

Are those 33's?
 

WarDamnEagle

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Man, that thing is straight! Im not feeling the rims, but they really dont offer any function unless you go beadlock, so why waste money on them that can be used for other things.

DO you have the stock roll bar? Are you going to put an better cage in?

Are those 33's?

I kind of like the rims personally. They are cast aluminium, hub-centric Westin rims that were on it when I bought it. I may have them redone (powdercoated or something) at some point but they are very good quality rims.

Edit: Maybe they were Western rims? Can't remember anymore but they aren't made anymore and lots of the early 4Runners had these rims as an upgrade from the dealer.

I do have the stock roll bar and no plans to add anything different. I did recently buy an SR5 roll bar pad off ebay which was a nice and cheap upgrade.

They are 31x10.50-15. I have edited an earlier post to include that information.
 
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WarDamnEagle

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Very cool!!! :D I do like the blingy wire loom..... :cheers:

Any thought on Marlin T-case gears, or are you happy with the 31's and 4.56's crawl ratio?

I have thought about it but I don't think I need it for what I typically use this 4Runner for which is a game retriever. I get into very tight spots sometimes but low range has always been more than adequate and now, with the lockers, I should be fine. Now if I ever move to Colorado or parts beyond then I might consider something more radical.

The 4.56 ratio is pretty nice with the 31" tires as the speedometer is back to being dead on. It also helps with highway travel as the 22RE is in a better place on the powerband curve in 5th gear. I can cruise at 80 mph as long as the road is relatively flat.

Very nice indeed.

How do you like the OME suspension?

Dan

Its fantastic. I used heavy springs up front and medium in the rear with the heavy shocks all around. The 4Runner sits very level and the ride is very nice. I don't feel like it's too stiff at all. The only trouble that I had with it is the factory draglink would not clear the U-bolts, even though I installed the "special" flattened OME U-bolts. I had to install a Procomp drop draglink. I might go with cross-over steering sometime in the future and then it wouldn't matter.
 

pappy

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I forgot that I also installed new LC Engineering wires and wire loom. Why? I think it was purely for the bling effect!

Bling my hide! That loom keeps your wires out of the headers. They are functional ... the bling is a side benefit.

Nice truck.
 
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HOLY SH*T Very nice work on the runner... Your patience is far superior to mine on your build. GREAT JOB. THAT IS ONE HELL OF A NICE JOB.
 

WarDamnEagle

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Very nice 4runner, love what you've done with it. :cheers:

HOLY SH*T Very nice work on the runner... Your patience is far superior to mine on your build. GREAT JOB. THAT IS ONE HELL OF A NICE JOB.

Thanks and Thanks. I was in the US a couple of days ago and took a few more photos. Thought this one looked pretty good.
Front.JPG
 
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very nice 4runner im super jealous u got no rust my 85 has been on chemo for years and im losin the rust battle but im thinking bout puttin all my bumpers,axles and suspension under a newer 4 door 4runner anyways.......my one piece of advice is crossover steering it really makes the truck better to drive and i broke that stock steering too many times......goodluck and nice truck
 
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Wow that's the truck I've always wanted my 87 to be! I just put my ARB bumper on the other day. I'd really like to see how yours mounts into the frame up front. I've been going over a SAS convert sooner or later and am now concerned over how it will effect the bumper I've just put on. I had a real hard time finding pics of the mounting for the 86 and up. Seeing your machine make me think of dumping the FJ-40 and moving along with the 4runner! Seriously thinking about going down that road!!!! Maybe just buy another runner but an 85!!
 
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I've been wanting a clean 83 truck to mess around with. Your 85 just expanded my view to include the 84-85's too. Very nice looking.
 

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