1985 4Runner still considered a good platform? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1985 4Runner still considered a good platform?

I’m looking at a 1985 22re 4Runner for $2800 (lowest he’ll go) with a rebuilt engine but realized I don’t know much about old yotas. Back in the day I know these were considered the glory year, although I always did like the looks of the 1983 and earlier ones slightly better.

Is this still considered a good platform to build a cheap mild/medium rig or is everyone just SASing newer 4runners now? I’m also looking at an 82 pickup with more mods and LCE 22R for 2500 but it needs work to be driveable.

I drive a newer Tacoma, always wheeled old jeeps, never owned an old Toyota or driven a 4 banger.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would. Reliable drivetrain. Solid axle front. I think my biggest concern would be rust. I’d actually like to find a similar vehicle to build for my son in the near future.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That’s a decent deal, I’d go for it.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Check the rear wheel wells for rust. Sounds like decent deal. Those frames have more arch than ifs frames so easier to keep it low.

For that price on Craigslist you could sell just the front axle!
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The platform is still a good one. The only thing that has changed is the availability and price of used parts. All those cheap mods 15 years ago are basically non existent or are too expensive to make any sense. Body parts are even worse.

It used to be a stock 3rd member was free-$50 last time I needed one people were asking $250

The only somewhat available parts are 2nd and 3rd gen 4runner parts. Most of which are not of much use on the older trucks.

Like I said, it's still a good platform, just expect to spend a lot more than you would have 10-15 years ago.

On the flip side, some of the aftermarket parts have gotten more affordable.

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Old 02-01-2020, 11:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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depends on what you are doing with it.

I think they are cool, so i'd buy one

certainly wouldn't buy it "because wow, great deal" if you don't have a use or strong desire for it
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would have loved to have bought a 4runner. They tend to be a little heavier than the pickups but like everyone said, there are better aftermarket parts out there for them. One plus is you have room for family and storage, but where do you want the spare? There are alot of options you have with 4runners so you do what your budget will allow.

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Old 02-02-2020, 09:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You basically need ifs donor vehicle to build it up too.

For the steering box, rear axle, extra tcase, front wheel hubs, rear springs (to swap in the front)

plus spare drive shaft parts and misc items.



I want another decent 4runner body to build.

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Old 02-03-2020, 03:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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$2800 for a California 4Runner is a good deal, you would not lose money in the long run. They are a good platform build on, depending on how much your "mild/moderate" build up you need. I build my daughters '85 as a moderate build, and I still replaced the Steering box, replaced the front spring hanger, 3" front springs (TG), Moved the rear spring hanger forward (longer Allpoo 4" springs) and a single 4.7 Transfer case. Lunch box lockers front & rear and 33" tires. That set me back decent amount of time & money, it's the little things that add up. The good news is it can do some of the Hammer trails, all of Big Bear trails, Dusy Ershim , Rubicon etc.

The first modification I would do is put armor on it before the body turns into a Raisin. just my .02$

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Old 02-03-2020, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I probably should have updated my profile, they salt the roads where I live now. The 4Runner definitely has some rust in the rear fender wells, but has less rust than most 4x4's its age out here. I also found out that it has a slow/small leak where the oil pressure sending unit it is, the owner thinks the threads might have been damaged.

I'm still on the fence on this one, but deep down I know I want it. I just don't know if I'll get bored of the 4 banger, having always had 200-300hp at my disposal in the past.

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Old 02-04-2020, 03:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you get bored good chance you'll be able to get $2600 or more back out of it.
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