Stevo's '95 4BTRunner

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After living a few years down in Costa Rica, Selling the 6BT60 while we were down there, the heat got to be a bit too much for me so we ended up moving back to the states.
Shortly after coming back to the states we had to pickup some new vehicles and unfortunately there wasn't much available in terms of FJ60's for a decent price so I went with the next best thing, a 4runner.

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Got this one for a decent price, 1995 3.0 Auto, it had a bad valve cover gasket leak, the front rotors were warped bad and the steering was a bit loose so I handled right away so the wife could drive it too.

After getting that settled it of course was time to get a new bumper on it.
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Painted

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Installed

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Next on the list was some rear storage, as I needed a place for some tools for work and didn't want to have toolboxes thrown all around in the back of it.


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Base with two drawers

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Finished for now

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Joined
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Next of course I began to realize how much I disliked the 3VZE engine. The head gaskets started leaking so I needed to tear it down and replace them. A local shop quoted me $2,000 for the job, which was more than I paid for the truck so I went ahead and did it myself.

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Best trick an old farmer taught me when I was growing up for keeping track of bolts.

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All back together, cleaned up and painted. The red and black is going to be a common color scheme for this build.

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I got tired of the Automatic transmission too, fortunately that started dying on me as well. I think I might have bought the least reliable 4Runner on the market.
I did see one of my neighbors had a old toyota pickup that he wasn't using.

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$200 later and with the help of a buddy I had it over to a place I could tear it down.

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Pulled it out and scrapped the body, the truck was rusted beyond repair, it was sitting for over 10 years, otherwise I would have probably just fixed it up and driven it.
Out of the truck and ready for the 4runner.

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Had to drill a hole in the firewall for the clutch master cylinder and mount the new pedal assembly.

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And the manual was installed all the way.

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I had picked up a few skills while living in Costa Rica, one of which was distilling alcohol, so when a guy my family knew wanted to start a distillery and asked if I could help with the project I said sure thing. Got to making some samples right away.

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Was driving the 95 around for about a year and a half when I saw this on the side of the road, figured it couldn't hurt to see if he wanted to sell it. $700 dollars later I had a 1990 4runner too. This was the planned donor for the diesel swap. Manual as well.

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Unfortunately I had my best friend pass away around this time, he would have loved all the distilling I was getting into. But he did leave me something to remember him by, a 4'x4' Plasma Table.

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It has been an amazing help with the buildup so far.

The distillery was moving along so I got to play with some even more fun equipment. Another Still I designed myself and some commercial equipment.

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Things were really moving along.
 
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After another couple months things were going well. Distillery was winning awards for the spirits, built some ricks for aged products, and of course my 3VZE lost compression in a piston for some reason. A 5 Cyl 3VZE is no good, so due to the pandemic I decided to do a frame up rebuild on the other truck using the newer 1995 Body on it.

The Ricks
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The Rum

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Tearing down the 1990

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Reinforcing the frame

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Picked up a Cummins 4bt at a great price. A little rough but good for a rebuild.

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Joined
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Picked up some 1 ton Superduty axles, once again doing some craigslist searches really paid off.

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Needed to outboard the springs because the leaf spring mount is cast into the center section of the front axle.

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And the front is mocked in.

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I decided to go with some custom slider boxes to keep the height down a bit as well.

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Found a transmission to go with the combo, its 2WD but for $400 I couldn't pass on a ZF6.

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The next big project was getting the motor in better shape.
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Took it down to the long block, had the crankshaft and pistons balanced, it was 9 grams out so I am glad I did so.
There were no issues on the bores, they still had their crosshatching so I put all new gaskets in there and got it back together.

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While I had it on the stand, I tuned up the pump, installed a 3,600 RPM spring, put in some bigger injectors, 5x.012s, bumped the timing, and installed a high volume, low pressure lift pump. With the super hx30 I ordered It should be good for 250-300Hp

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I had to pick up a wild horse manufacturing adapter plate to go between the 4BT and ZF6.

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Got It in the frame.

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Leveled it up, it has a slight rake to the rear of about 2-3* just to give the shifter a little more clearance under the body.

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I should have plenty of space to have it not sticking up through the hood.

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The motor mounts are in! Just heavy tacks for the time being, but its back on its own feet.

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Its going to be wide but stable, that's for sure.

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With the motor positioned it was time for the old body to take flight.

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For the suspension I am also running slider boxes in the rear. The rear springs are 63" Chevy's, the front springs are 56" Dakota springs. I had to drop them quite a bit in the back due to the original suspension being coils, but its all tacked in while I rebuild the rear springs.

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In order to make sure the rear suspension was good and solid I welded in another crossmember connecting the rear drop blocks. I probably could have just ran some long shackles, but I really like the way the slider boxes work and keep the spring rate constant.

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The extra crossmember got me thinking about the fuel tank, the stock fuel tank on the 4Runner was 16 gallons, which was a little small for my liking, fortunately my buddy whose shop I have the truck at had something a little bigger so I cut out the unnecessary old suspension crossmembers and got it into position.

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Plenty of space for a 38 gallon F450 fuel tank. If I can manage 23 MPG I will be good for 874 Miles!
I'm going to be adding some additional corner bracing and crossmembers to sure up the frame as well.
I then pulled the front springs out, got them apart, added some leaves and drilled them all for tip isolators.
Painted the springs red and got them back into place.

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I also during the time of the buildup decided to leave the distillery I was working at and form my own consulting group. Spirits I had Distilled/Developed recipes for had won over 30 National and International awards and I have always had more fun during the construction/designing phase of a project so my helping people start and expand distilleries was a no-brainer.

www.KindredSpiritsCSG.com

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Back to the build-up things are pretty much caught up to date now, today I installed some Ford lower shock mounts and started the attachment of the steering box to the frame.

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I have the holes drilled through on the frame, but will need to space the steering box off slightly due to the frame being a lot taller than stock.
I will be sleeving the holes with some tube to make sure I don't have any issues with strength.
I took some measurements and pictures and will be coming up with a custom bracket I will cut out on the PlasmaCAM.

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So I just realized that my steering box isn't going to work, because I flipped the pitman arm around to face forward. If it turn my steering wheel right its going to steer left LOL.

Does anyone happen to have a FJ60 or FJ62 steering box they wouldn't mind parting with?
If so please PM me with what you are asking for it.
 

GLTHFJ60

Rum Runnin'
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@cruisermatt may have one. I'm fresh out.

Pick up a fzj80 steering box instead. Same bolt pattern as the late 60 boxes, same sector shaft spline count, but it has a larger power piston, that gives you a touch more assist.
 

cruisermatt

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Very elegant 2x6 lift blocks
 
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Things have been slow on the project due to some side projects.
I had to take a break to install this beautiful equipment for a client.

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a 500L whiskey/gin/rum still. Just needs to hooked up to electric and water.
 
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The shop I have been working on the truck at is getting rearranged too.

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but it found a new spot

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I'm hoping to get the motor mounts fully welded in next week along with getting the clutch and flywheel installed. I should have the first fire up soon.
 

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