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Old 08-25-2008, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mild 4runner Build

Well first off I am relatively new to pirate haven't posted to much, but I have a 1997 4runner I got about a year ago and have been building for my expedition needs.


It started out completely stock, owned by an older guy. Didn't even have a scratch on the skid plates.


Second day I owned it I got it stuck in 3ft of snow up at the Fordyce staging area


I took the running boards off and put on some KC Daylighters


Next came the sliders from Trail Gear and they have served their purpose really well, they are welded to 1/4 angle iron and then welded to the frame.




I ran the 4runner like that for a while until I sold my old truck a 91 pickup, and when that happened i had some cash so i lifted it with a Toytec 3inch lift using OME springs. And I put bling wheels on there which I still regret to this day I don't what I was thinking.

Now I plan on putting in an E-Locker in the rear, and some tube bumpers on it. I plan on doing some work on the interior to make it more convenient for camping and putting a rack on the top for storage.

Let me know what you think!
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice. 4Runners are good because they start out with a lot of ground clearance, so 3" lift is a lot. Does your lift involve dropping the crossmember?
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The lift consisted of putting new shocks and springs in the struts, dropping the differential 1 inch, and just bigger coils in the rear.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A 1" body lift will do you right if you want to fit 33"s and not have to do much trimming. 2 hour install by yourself, faster if you got help. Really easy to install.

The Tundra 231 mm caliper and tundra rotor is a great upgrade too. bolt on and makes a good difference.

You can squeeze in 2 Odyssey pc1200 batteries into the factory battery space for dual battery setup with a little lite fab work on a battery tray.

If you put a rack on top and want to load it up, get another set of factory luggage bars and double them up on the rails to support the rack better. Easy.

lots of mods you can do with a 3rd gen to make a better expedition vehicle.



4runners are cool cause you can sleep in the back.



Last edited by Robb_In_AZ; 08-25-2008 at 11:23 PM. Reason: forgot stuff
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input rob, believe it or not those are 33's. My next brake job i plan on switching to the the tundra brake, also doing a deckplate mod , thats an interesting thought on the roof rack tho.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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IMO, this is a great truck to start with, especially for expedition type wheeling. Granted, I'm more into the rocks...but you should be fine.

I bought mine new in 2000 and have been modding and wheelin' mine for the last 5 years or so.

I have wheeled all over Moab, CO, AZ, & NM.

Some specs:
  • Rear Axle - E-locked, Cryo Gears, Poly Performance Axle Shafts
  • Front Axle - ARB Locker, Manual Hub Conversion
  • Rear Bumper - Custom Sonoran Steel
  • Front Bumper - ARB Prado with Warn M8000
  • Lift - Sonoran Steel 2.5", Shaved A-Arms, Lower Links, 1" 4Crawler BL
  • Tires - 315x75R16 MTZ's
  • Transfer Case - Dual Ultimate Marlin Crawler (200 to 1)
  • Armor - Full Belly Skids, Gas Tank Skid, Rear Diff Armor, Rock Sliders
  • Much More...



For an IFS truck this will go most anywhere I have the balls to go and not take body damage...

Have fun with it!
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Look into getting a bumper that will except a winch. I think this is a must for an expedition vehicle. I just bought the York bracket for the 3.4l. OBA is great to have for air tools, air matteress' and tires. Bugs weren't bad this summer but I was thinking about making some screen window covers. This will allow you to sleep inside with the windows open and keeps the bugs out.
Check out 4runners.org. Bob has a list and write up of great mods. Some are basic and pretty cheap to do, it's worth a look.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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this thread rules! i originally planned to put 33's and an fj80 front suspension/axle on my tacoma extra cab with stock gear driven dual cases..it had the factory elocker and all it needed was some bumpers, sliders and a campershell to sleep in...i got carried away...but the truck is still great fun and gets 'decent' mileage
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Go SAS:

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Old 08-26-2008, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The lift consisted of putting new shocks and springs in the struts, dropping the differential 1 inch, and just bigger coils in the rear.
Good. I hate how the dropped subframes look! They are as bad as a frame lift. Plus they give up ground clearance.

I think the IFS is good, especially since you got 3" lift. You're at least at the same height as most Jeeps with 6" lift, and all you lose is some articulation.. But I bet a 4Runner since it has coil springs in the rear has better articulation than a leaf sprung solid axle Toyota
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I bet a 4Runner since it has coil springs in the rear has better articulation than a leaf sprung solid axle Toyota
Guess again, the Tacoma has Orbiteye spring bushings.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Guess again, the Tacoma has Orbiteye spring bushings.
I was talking about the old full solid axle trucks. Does a Tacoma with the leafs really have better flex? I didn't even know the 4Runner had coils in the back until this thread.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Probably not stock, especially considering stock Toyota leaf springs have a bad habit of breaking but when you build one you have a lot of chances to improve on the design.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Go SAS:
Why? He's building a camping and expedition rig.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would love to sfa it, u got the 3-4 grand to give me I wheel this thing pretty good. It has seen some fordyce, moonrocks, and will be on Rubicon this summer. But in all reality I drive it 50 miles a day and would prefer to keep it nice to drive and i like to go fast through the desert to and ifs just works for me. I need lockers bad tho!!!! Albuquerque Jim has it right I think with his rig, just build it as mild as you can makes it more fun anyway
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think the IFS is good, especially since you got 3" lift. You're at least at the same height as most Jeeps with 6" lift, and all you lose is some articulation.. But I bet a 4Runner since it has coil springs in the rear has better articulation than a leaf sprung solid axle Toyota
My articulation in the rear is about the same as my buddy with a Tacoma, same lift with Deaver springs in the rear. I have more up front though cuz he has a spacer lift.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Actually the Wagoneer D44 was $75, custom springs were about $300, if I remember right, $150 for a new front driveshaft and we probably have another $75 in the steel for all the brackets and so on. I don't remember what we paid for the junk steering box, steering linkage, and GM master cylinder but I feel sure it can all be done for under a grand. Gears and lockers would be extra and we put 8 lug hubs on to match the D60 in the rear.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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re: articulation

are you disconnecting the rear sway bar when wheeling ? Id leave the front one connected to proctect from over extending. but disconnecting the rear ought to help out.


SAS is bad-azz no question, but for an "expedition vehicle" Id think he has some other potential challenges to tackle first. When hes maxed those out, and still feels "the urge to mod" a SAS would be more relevant.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I took an IFS truck to offroad with never again will i do that SAS is the way to go
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I took an IFS truck to offroad with never again will i do that SAS is the way to go
me too, but these guys are talking expeditions, not rockcrawling or mud boggin....the tacoma pictured above would be a horrible expedition vehicle(do to the tires mostly), even if it totally kicks ass on the trail...

thats not saying an expedition vehilce shouldnt have a solid axle, but the 4runners pictured up at the top of this post look to be more than up to the task of exploring baja california, arizona desert, old mining roads, etc...really nice rides!!!! im willing to bet albequerque jims 4runner can complete practically all the trails i go on, just bypassing some of the 'stupider' obstacles
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It's a toss up to a certain extent but I personally prefer a solid front axle and for the purposes of a expedition vehicle, I think a solid front axle with leaf spring suspension is idea since there are fewer things to break and is much easier to repair in the wild as compared to IFS or linked suspension. It's also probably the most durable suspension design.

Others may disagree, and anything is better than nothing. I'm not saying there is anything specifically bad about IFS, just that it's design leaves a few things to be desired when traveling offroad, not just rock crawling.

And yeah, the 'Coma would be a horrible expedition vehicle, lol. I just posted it as food for thought and that a SAS is not that expensive or difficult to pull off with leaf springs. A lot of people questioned our choice of suspension, but it works a lot better than they, and even we, ever imagined.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:17 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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re: articulation

are you disconnecting the rear sway bar when wheeling ? Id leave the front one connected to proctect from over extending. but disconnecting the rear ought to help out.

That's a farce. The extension and compression are governed by the bump stops. NOTHING will be damaged by no sway. In fact the rear is more likely to have damage from no sway bar then the front. Solid axle will twist control arms and leaf springs and wear out bushings. IFS is still operating in its travel parameters when stock.

The sway limits travel. It may help keep the front up a little when loading one corner becasue the sway will transfer from the extended wheel to the compressed wheel but a skid is for dragging and if you make a decent skid who cares if it drags a little.

Not directed at you just a general statement about the difference between goals of Expedition over most other segments of off road:
SAS for expedition is a waste. Expedition is often long distances of higher speed 2 track and not rock crawling. A Stock IFS with good shocks will be able to travel faster with less of a beating on the truck and occupants in 95% of the situations that a expedition rig is used in.

When I decided to abandon solid axles with my 4Runner that replaced a K5 I often got sideways glances from my club mates that I was going to be the boat anchor on the rides. So far I have had no issues with it and NOBODY in the club can run a wash board road anywhere near as easy as me. Speed that would have been rattling my fillings out in my K5 I am sipping my coffee on in the 4Runner with two fingers on the wheel like I am on a Sunday drive.

My runner with NO LIFT, set of helper springs on the rear (Neapolift) to help with gear weight, 4.88's, Electric locker and 33x12.5 is a joy to drive on road, off road and anywhere in between. It has gone anywhere I was interested in taking it (I'm not much for rock crawling these days). It has amazed some where it went without spinning a tire and being beat on. It easily follows a stock Rubi Unlimited's and stock has more ground clearance. It rides great and is happy doing 70mph on the hwy and handles just fine on curvy roads. Off road I find that I enjoy it much more then I ever did in the K5. Little bumps and cobble stone is hardly noticed. It feels a lot less top heavy when off camber. It actually does better at following ruts then the K5 did with the extra width. The low CG from no lift is a MAJOR reason. You cannot do a SAS on most rigs without huge lift so it makes it a bad idea for a loaded expedition rig.


Expedition truck is minimal lift, Mostly Stock parts to ease repair, harden the known weak points, Some well thought out under belly protection keeping an eye on weight, traction aid in the rear and leave the rest alone. You start doing big mods it usualy ends up specialized one off parts, a lot of weight added and a loss of road manners and a loss of speed on wash board roads.

Start looking at how it is done in Europe and Australia. Tall skinny tires 2 inches of lift is about the standard build. These are the people that actually do around the world trips and huge events Like Dakar, Rally raid's. They might just have some insight.

Don't let the US rock crawler mentality (SAS or you suck) screw up your build goals. Yes there is some fine factory solid axle trucks out there (FJ80 and Patrols) but don't think IFS is going to stop you for a respectable back country traveler/camping rig.

US idea of off road.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpjj5ow9gs4

The rest of the world.
First three are great
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJLP-R_-4_c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR0fY...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tss09...eature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmVhr...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGSc0...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqbOaZQyiaE
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:53 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm willing to bet albuquerque jims 4runner can complete practically all the trails i go on, just bypassing some of the 'stupider' obstacles
Thanks!

I'm building a buggy to do those 'stupider' obstacles...
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well said Grim.. That's what I've always thought, that IFS is good for an expedition type truck.

What blows my mind though is that people will swap from IFS to a leaf sprung solid axle. The only reason I can think of for that is to satisfy your SAS ego. The simplicity thing is bogus too. There is nothing simple about a leaf spring, or even a 4 link, compared to A arms.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well said Grim.. That's what I've always thought, that IFS is good for an expedition type truck.

What blows my mind though is that people will swap from IFS to a leaf sprung solid axle. The only reason I can think of for that is to satisfy your SAS ego. The simplicity thing is bogus too. There is nothing simple about a leaf spring, or even a 4 link, compared to A arms.
You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. As for IFS, sure it can be done, but not for what I want to do. IFS is generally too weak for lockers in the front to be reliable. And you can argue about what is necessary and what is not, but I prefer to be prepared for a variety of terrain. I'm not saying that a big lift and Rockwells are needed, but with all the problems I have seen from IFS like busted joints, broken arms, busted steering racks and blown struts, I'll stick with something that has been reliable in the US and around the world for more years than IFS has been in major use. If you have IFS and you plan around that limitation, fine, roll with it. But don't claim that a solid axle swap with leaf springs is "bogus" just because you know nothing about it. I've had both and wheeled both and about the only IFS that has impressed me was on the HMMWV and Oshkosh MTVR trucks. I doubt seriously if there is a IFS system stronger than my tried and true leaf sprung, king pin, Dana 60 in a stock light duty truck.
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