Builds Steel City Racing: King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build Thread

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Steel City Racing: King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build Thread


Follow this build on Social Media at


Facebook: Steel City Racing

Instagram: SteelCityRacing (@steelcityracing4x4) • Instagram photos and videos



ADDITION FROM AFTER KOH 2019
I've had a ton of requests for a Full Build Sheet in the First Post, so here you go (warning, it's extensive):
• Vehicle: 2006 Toyota 4Runner V8 4WD Limited with 100K Miles and No Rust
• Engine: Toyota 4.7L V8
• Transmission: Toyota A750F with Toyota Transmission Cooler
• Tires: 35” Cooper Discovery STT Pros (315/70R17)
• Wheels: KMC XD222 Enduro 17” Beadlocks
• Front Suspension System: Marlin Crawler RCLT (Rock Crawler Long Travel) 3.5” Extended on each side (first set ever produced)
• Front Suspension Shocks: Icon Vehicle Dynamics 2.5” Coilovers with Remote Reservoir and CDCV (Compression Dampening Control Valve) and 2.5” Air Bumps
• Front Differential: Toyota 8” Differential with Marlin Crawler Upgrades
• Front Axle Shafts: RCV Performance Gen II Toyota Axle Shafts (first set ever produced)
• Front Gears & Locker: Nitro 4.56 Gears and ARB Air Locker from East Coast Gear Supply
• Steering: Marlin Crawler MarRack (second set ever produced besides BigMike’s own set) and 4x4Labs Custom Steering Cooler
• Transfer Case: Advance Adapters 3.8 Atlas II with Adapter Plate and RockSolidToys Speed Sensor Adapter
• Front and Rear Driveshafts: Drivelines Incorporated Custom Driveshafts
• Rear Suspension System: RockSolidToys Rear 4-Link
• Rear Suspension Shocks: Icon Vehicle Dynamics 3” Progressive Rate Coils with 2.5” Shocks with Remote Reservoir and CDCV (Compression Dampening Control Valve) and 2.5” Air Bumps
• Rear Axle: Dynatrac ProRock 60 with 4.56 Gears and ARB Air Locker
• Front Bumper: 4x4Labs 4th Gen 4Runner Front High Clearance Bumper made from AR400 Steel (first one ever produced)
• Front Winch: Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum with Factor 55 Prolink and 4x4Labs Hawse Fairlead
• Rear Bumper: 4x4Labs 4th Gen 4Runner Rear High Clearance Bumper made from AR400 Steel (first one ever produced)
• Rear Winch: Warn 9.0Rc with Factor 55 Prolink and 4x4Labs Hawse Fairlead
• Rock Sliders: 4x4Labs 4th Gen 4Runner Sliders made from AR400 Steel (first one ever produced)
• Skid Plate System: 4x4Labs 4th Gen 4Runner Skid Plate System (3 Parts) made from AR400 Steel (first one ever produced)
• Front Fenders: Fiberwerx 4th Gen Fiberglass 4.5” Bulge Fenders
• Air Intake and Thermostat: aFe Power Magnum Flow Pro System with Pre-Filter and URD 170 Degree Thermostat
• Headers: Doug Thorley 4th Gen 4Runner V8 Headers
• Exhaust: High Flow Catalytic Converters (2) and Flowmaster 50 Series Muffler with custom routing
• Engine Tuner: Underdog Racing Development (URD) Universal Tuner with AEM AFR and AEM Fuel Pressure Gauges
• Fuel Cell: Jaz Pro Sport 22 Gallon Tank with Alltech “No Foam” Baffles and Classic Instruments Fuel Sender
• Fuel System: Aermotive Apex Phantom System with Jet Siphon connected with Russell Stainless Steel Lines and Connectors
• Onboard Air Systems: PowerTank Race Ready 10lb Tank System with Triple Roll-Bar Mount and ARB HD Air Compressor for Locking Differentials
• Onboard Recovery Gear: BubbaRope 7/8”x30’ Power Stretch Recovery Rope, (4) Gator-Jay PRO Synthetic Shackles, and 3”x20’ Nylon Tow Strap
• Battery: Odyssey Extreme Series with Charger and Billet Aluminum Mount
• Seats, Harnesses, and Safety Nets: PRP Pro Series Ivan Steward Ironman Seats, PRP 5.3 SFI 16.1 Harnesses, and custom PRP Safety Nets
• Custom Roll Cage and Fabrication: 2” DOM Roll Cage and Tons of Custom Fabrication by Otwell Fabrication in Lucerne Valley, CA
• Navigation: LeadNav Pro Pack Software, iPad 10.5 Wifi+Cellular, LifeProof Nuud Case, 3.1Amp Onboard Charging System, and Dual xGPS160 Puck with RAM Mounts
• Vehicle Wrap: Syndicate Offroad Wrap Printing and Installation with Jeff Williams Custom “Old School TRD” Wrap Design
• Communications: Rugged Radios Desert Series 2-Place Race Intercom and 60-Watt Radio
• Onboard Jack: ProEagle “The Beast” Big Wheel Jack with Aluminum Mount
• Safety: Alpinestars Delta Fire Suits, Alpinestars Tech 1 Gloves, NeckGen Rev2 Head and Neck Restraint, Impact 1320 Side Air Wired Helmets
• Miscellaneous: Blue Sea 9002e Master Kill Switch, (3) Onboard Fire Extinguishers, Secondary Door Locks, Custom Brake Lines, 2” Fuel Filler System, Rear Race Light, Front View Rock Camera hooked to Pioneer Touch-Screen Head Unit, Front HID Headlights, GoPro with Roll Bar Mount, Race Ready Rear-View and Quick Disconnect Side-View Mirrors, (4) Roll-Bar Grab Handles, (3) Hunsaker 11 Gal QuickFill Jugs, HD Battery Terminals, Spare Alternator and Serpentine Belt, Etc.

BACK TO THE STORY FROM EARLY 2018
To start, let’s go back to this past February – specifically the Saturday after King of the Hammers 2018 ended. This is the day when most teams begin dreaming about their 2019 KOH builds on their way home from the lakebed.


The two days before, like many of you, my wife and I watched most the 2018 King of the Hammers EMC and 4400 Main Event coverage live. And, like many of you, I wished I was there.


So, 4-months ago, I decided to do something about it…

My first thought was...we'll...hold that thought for now.

My second thought was honestly of the millions of reasons why it wouldn't work out:
  • I have a day job, an amazing wife, and two awesome girls who all keep me busy
  • I have a budget, but certainly not enough savings for all I'm going to need
  • At the time, I had no crew, no sponsors, and no race vehicle to start with
But, more importantly, my first thought was...I CAN DO THIS:
  • I believe that God gave me the gifts of being a creator, builder, and engineer who loves to learn new things and can envision the possible
  • I have never backed down from a challenge. I am determined, passionate, resourceful, and love to work hard - I always finish what I start.
  • I have never taken the conventional route and it has always led me to amazing experiences - why start now?
  • I love offroading and vehicle fabrication. I can see the lines at high speed and envision unconventional lines in the rocks. I love staring at a vehicle and imagining what it can become.
  • I believe life is a collection of experiences. The most amazing ones typically require a difficult question at the beginning: “Should I actually try this crazy thing?” I have learned that the hardest part is always the same - Starting.
So, this is me Starting. What is my plan? Let's find out...

4Runner Rendering v1 - 3-3-18.png
 
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From watching the 2018 KOH EMC, I knew I wanted to be in the 4600 Stock Class. None of the other classes really fit what I love – seeing an OEM looking vehicle doing amazing things. The Stock Class vehicles look like the vehicles I can relate to – those in the “Everyman’s” garage. While there is no doubt that they are amazing, the 4400, 4500, and 4600 class vehicles just aren’t what I was looking for.


Next, like many of you, I'm a Toyota guy through and through. I have had a 1st gen Tacoma, a 3rd gen Tacoma, 80 series and 100 series land cruisers, and three 1st gen 4Runners. So, I now needed to research the best possible 4600 class Toyota rig.

For pure budget reasons, a 1st Gen 4Runner was a no-brainer at first. They’re cheap, reliable, and light – what else more could you want… Well…how about power for one thing? Or wheel travel for the desert? Or the ability to survive KOH’s relentless abuse?


Many drivers have done amazing things with 1st Gen 4Runners at KOH and I certainly commend them. But I quickly saw some pretty sizeable limitations and, when my back-of-the-napkin budget for my dream 1st Gen 4Runner went through the roof, I killed the idea.


After enough time and research had passed, I began to see that a combination of driver skill and patience, vehicle strength and reliability, and a build plan filled with elegant simplicity could be some of the keys to success at KOH.


So, in a search for elegant simplicity, I stumbled upon 2-3 different threads where industry experts and KOH legends were talking about 4th Gen 4Runners. They all seemed to reach the same consensus – a 4th Gen 4Runner could actually do really well in the 4600 Stock Class. It’s got an extremely reliable platform, strong 4.7L V8, stout transmission, IFS Coilover based front suspension, 4-link rear suspension, and an entry price that has dropped substantially over the past few years. And of course, it’s built by Toyota – so it has to be solid.


But, when I kept reading in anticipation of a build thread, I was surprised to see that nobody seemed to be able to pull it off.


Well, as you can tell in my post above, I’m the type of person who can pull it off. So I dove in with both feet. I researched the 4th Gen. Put together a rigorous budget. And then, staring at the bottom line figure, sat in shock at the price tag necessary to build it right.


I went back to the Ultra4 rulebook that I have practically memorized and made a huge realization:

Dave Cole and the leaders of KOH intentionally invented the EMC 4600 Stock Class to be a product showcase and testing ground for offroad manufacturers, fabrications, and corporations. I.e. it’s the ultimate class to attract sponsors.


So, now I had a vision. I had a solid, but still seemingly unachievable plan. And, most of all, I had the will to make it happen. Now all I needed was a way.


First, realizing that I couldn’t pull this off alone, I started seeking out sponsors that both had amazing products that were a perfect fit for this build and could really benefit from KOH exposure. I shared my vision of how I believed a well-engineered IFS Coilover Based 4th Gen Toyota 4Runner, backed by an amazing team and sponsors, can strongly compete in the KOH EMC 4600 Stock class. And to my surprise, many got it and jumped on board.


Here is my vision for this build, written back in February and it still holds true today:

As many of you know, solid axle Jeep or buggy based rigs have dominated KOH EMCin the past. Therefore, this build will garner a lot of attention simply because of how different it is – I will most likely be the only modern IFS Coilover based vehicle in all of EMC and will turn heads.


I personally believe the vast majority of consumers honestly cannot relate to a 4400 rig, which is where all the IFS coilover exposure has occurred to date. This build is our chance to grab the consumer’s attention!


And we’ll be doing so in a modern Toyota 4Runner that matches or at least resembles the vehicle most consumers can actually relate to. To me, watching a 4400 rig is intimidating and far from achievable for the “Every Man”. This build will change all of that. And that is what gets sponsors excited – it’s pure marketing gold!
 
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As an aside – and for reference as we progess through the build – here is my quick highlights summary of the KOH 4600 Rules:


4600 Stock Class Restrictions (Summarized from Ultra4 Rulebook v4.4):

Body:
- Complete Unmodified stock frame
- Complete stock body (can cut holes for roll cage and rocker panel protection)
- Half doors are acceptable but must open and close
- Stock glass not required
- Front/Rear inner fenders must be complete
- Fenders can be trimmed to no more than 2" gap from tire at full compression
- No more than 1" body lift
- Factory Headlights are required
- Aftermarket bumpers are fine or can be eliminated

DriveTrain:
- Stock engine (no forced induction) required but performance mods allowed
- Stock transmission required
- Any transfer case is permitted
- Any axles are permitted
- Any driveshafts are permitted
- Mechanical steering required but hydro assist okay

Suspension:
- Wheelbase cannot be lengthened more than 3"
- Suspension configuration must remain consistent from stock (leafs must stay leafs, coils must stay coils, coilovers must remain coilovers) and no fancy leaf configurations (quarter eliptical not allowed)
- Suspension linkage can be changed in any configuration
- 1 shock per tire/wheel at max of 2.65" diameter and 14" stroke with no air bumps allowed
- No bypass shocks and shocks must connect axle to chassis

Other:
- Max 35" tire
 
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Messages
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Now, back to the build: My outreach began in earnest in mid to late February. Since then, each day I have been blessed to find more and more friends, sponsors, and partners ready to jump in and join our team.


We created a team name: Steel City Racing

(please follow us on social media by clicking the links at the top of the first post)


I spoke with sponsors – some bought in instantly. Others waited to see if others would sign up first. Some told their friends and the word began to spread. One by one, the vision, and honestly my own personally bucket-list level dream, started to became a reality.


Fast forward to today – June 2018 – and I can tell you with extreme confidence that this build is going to happen. We will be on the starting line next February at KOH 2019. We will be in an amazing 4th Gen IFS Coilover based 4Runner. We will stand out. We will compete.


This is the start of an amazing adventure.


Please follow us on social media. Please subscribe to this build thread. Please support us with your comments, ideas, and prayers. Please join us!
 
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Messages
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Now that the vision is laid, let’s get into the actual build:

Phase 0: Buy a solid 4th Gen 4Runner that fits our build plan!


Requirements:

’06-09 4Runner, Low Miles (~100K), V8, 4WD, Sport or Limited Trim - it has to both race and look good while racing


I’m pleased to announce that Phase 0 is now complete. How?


Over the past 12-months, I have been buying, restoring, and selling 1st Gen SR5 Turbo 4Runners on the side and putting the profit aside for my KOH build. As an answer to a prayer, I was able to post and sell my latest 4Runner and my fully built 80-Series Land Cruiser – both the same week.


The proceeds from these sales allowed me to:

1) Buy a daily driver for me (another 1st Gen SR5 Turbo 4Runner – for some reason I just love them)

2) Buy the KOH Base Vehicle ready for transformation

3) Build the Budget for Phase 1 and 2 KOH Parts


It’s pretty amazing how God can align the stars. Selling the 4Runner and Land Cruiser in 1 week and then concurrently buying another DD 4Runner and the KOH 4Runner all within a span of less than 2-weeks was amazing, and a great reaffirmation that this KOH build is meant to be.
06 4Runner 1.jpg
06 4Runner 2.jpg
06 4Runner 3.jpg
06 4Runner 4.jpg



So, here it is – along with a picture of it towing my 1st gen SR5 Turbo home that will serve as my daily driver.
 
Joined
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Next, we are already underway with:

Phase 1: Engine Performance Upgrades!


Based on all of my research and assistance from fellow forum members, there isn’t a ton that can be done to the 4.7L V8 without pursuing forced induction. And unfortunately forced induction, unless OEM factory equipped, isn’t allowed in the 4600 class.


The stock 4.7L V8 is rated at 260 @ 5,400 rpm Horsepower and 306 @ 3,400 rpm Torque. Our goal, which may never been fully verified, is to get above 300 Horsepower and around 350 FtLb Torque.


How?


Well, let me introduce our first round of sponsors:

aFe Power:

Their 54-82502 Magnum Force Stage-2 Si Pro 5R Cold Air Intake is a no brainer:

https://afepower.com/afe-power-54-82502-magnum-force-stage-2-si-pro-5r-cold-air-intake-system


It’s got great reviews, has the Magnum Shield pre-filter option for all the dust we’ll encounter at KOH, and their customer service is second to none.


Doug Thorley Headers:

These guys are awesome. For those who own 4th Gen 4Runners, you already know them. Their headers are really the only proven, reliable option for the 4.7L V8 and therefore the only thing we’d run on this race build:

2005-2009 Toyota 4Runner / Lexus GX470 4.7L Short Tube Headers


URD – Underdog Racing Development:

Gadget, who runs URD, is a legend in the Toyota enthusiast world. I’ve known of Gadget since I was building up my ’98 tacoma in the early 2000’s. URD products are second to none. I reached out to Gadget and asked him for recommendations for this build. Here’s what he suggested:


- URD “Offroad” Y Pipe for 2005-2009 4Runner V8:

URD "Off Road" Y Pipe for 2005-2009 4Runner V8 - Underdog Racing Development


- URD MAF Sensor Calibrator – Universal:

URD MAF Sensor Calibrator - UNIVERSAL - Underdog Racing Development


- URD 2005-2009 4Runner Fuel Pump and Filter Upgrade Kit:

URD 2005-2009 4Runner V8, Fuel Pump/Filter Upgrade Kit - Underdog Racing Development


- URD 170 Degree Performance Thermostat for 4.7L V8:

https://www.urdusa.com/170-degree-performance-thermostat-for-2uz-fe-4-7l-v8/


And in order to make sure our MAF Calibrator is used most effectively, we also purchased a UEGO Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge from AEM:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N3VGPYS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1


Magnaflow Exhaust:
I’m still waiting to see if our Magnaflow sponsorship will be approved which included high-flow cats and a race series muffler. In the interim, we have a Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust that should close out our performance mods nicely:

https://www.magnaflow.com/products?partNumber=15781
 
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And that brings us up to speed to today. I have some amazing sponsors yet to be revealed. And together, we’ve got some amazing plans in store for this build. For now, I’m planning to wait and reveal our sponsors, and their amazing products being utilized on this build, as we progress through the phases between now and the end of the year.


Our plan is to have an amazingly well built, one of a kind, revolutionary 4th Gen IFS Based 4Runner ready for testing in Johnson Valley by Thanksgiving, or Christmas at the latest. That should give us 1-2 months for acclimation to the desert and Hammers trails, on location testing, custom suspension tuning, and weak-link identifying – we will not be showing up 1-2 weeks before the race having just completed the vehicle.


More to come soon. Until then, check out the pics we’re posting to our social media pages (links in the 1st post). We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and support!
 
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Wow, great write up so far and really looking forward to following your progress. I'm in Vestavia too, so if you ever need an extra hand to help out let me know!
 
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Thanks. I promise it'll be an amazing adventure!

Wow, great write up so far and really looking forward to following your progress. I'm in Vestavia too, so if you ever need an extra hand to help out let me know!
Awesome. PM me - I can always use a hand!

Totally Subscided!!!
Thank you for all the details!
Good luck!
Absolutely. And please follow us on FB and IG - it's the currency of racing sponsorship today! While we just launched our social media efforts, we are starting from scratch and need followers!
 
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More pics of Phase I will be posted later today or tomorrow to FB and IG. Our first set of sponsor products have officially been installed and more packages just arrived today!
 

Pacer

SILVER Star
 
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Absolutely. And please follow us on FB and IG - it's the currency of racing sponsorship today! While we just launched our social media efforts, we are starting from scratch and need followers!
Roger that, seems like a worthwhile exception, thanks for the breakdown.
 

matzell

SILVER Star
 
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Looks like you have the power figured out. Care to spill the beans on the rest of the drivetrain? t-case, rear axle, hopefully upgraded? RCV's? I look forward to seeing your car out there. Make sure to double your budget, you will need it. I just had an expensive weekend in Oklahoma.

Keep us updated.
 
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This rig sounds better than sweet butter on fresh corn
Love it!

Looks like you have the power figured out. Care to spill the beans on the rest of the drivetrain? t-case, rear axle, hopefully upgraded? RCV's? I look forward to seeing your car out there. Make sure to double your budget, you will need it. I just had an expensive weekend in Oklahoma.

Keep us updated.
Yes, I think power upgrades and gauges are set. Still waiting for the URD package to arrive and we'll be able to do the remaining installations and tuning for Phase I.

For drivetrain, I'll put it this way. If the 4600 class allows an upgrade, it'll be upgraded :). Long travel, high strength, reliable, etc. I have 80% of sponsors locked down, but am still working on 3-4 critical ones. And some parts are not available on the market today, so I have limitations on what I can say (legally) at this point. I promise it'll be good.
 
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Pirate was not friendly to this question, so I'll post here instead :)

Suggestions needed: What fuel cell should we be looking at? Recall it'll be mounted in the cargo area just behind where the rear seat is today.
After 5-mins of Google Searching, I found:
JAZ Pro Sport II 22 Gal Fuel Cell (JAZ28012206)
https://www.kartek.com/parts/jaz-pro...4w-10-12h.html

What size is right? What about internal baffles? I've heard nightmares of foam disintegrating and being sucked through the filters, pumps, and lines. Is there an alternative to foam?

KOH Rules state:
d) Safety fuel cells shall consist of a bladder enclosed in a smooth-skinned container. The container shall be constructed of 20 gauge steel, 0.060” aluminum. Magnesium is strictly prohibited. Container must be securely attached to vehicle with bolts or steel straps. All fittings must be built into the container skin and bonded to the container skin as an integral part of the tank or mechanically sealed by a ring and counter-ring system by either flat joint or an O-ring. Internal baffling is mandatory in all fuel cells. Foam is an acceptable form of internal baffling.
Bladder construction shall be of nylon or Dacron woven fabric impregnated and coated with a fuel resistant elastomer. Rotary molded polymer cells are acceptable when encapsulated in a container constructed of 20 ga. Steel or 0.060” aluminum.
 
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