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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I am in the market for a 2nd vehicle and have been reading pretty heavily on purchasing a 1st gen 4 Runner. I have a 3/4 ton 6spd 4x4 Ram Cummins as my DD/tow rig, but I want a little trail rig/grocery getter to run around in also. It will actually be replacing my yamaha rhino. I figure something with more room and road legal will be more useable. Anyways, I was thinking about getting a K5 blazer, but honestly gas prices/mpgs have ran me off. I also was considering a CJ5 but I feel like a 4runner will be more comfortable with AC here in florida. Also there is more room in them for a couple friends and the wife to ride around in the back hog hunting at night rather than a CJ. I figure the 4 runner is the best of both worlds...

So on to my question... I want a 5 speed no matter what and I know the 22re is a great little motor... but should I avoid a clean V6 4 runner? will it be as good on fuel as the 22r? Anything to look out for on either engine as a known problem? Also, I know after 85 they killed the solid front axle and that is clearly what I would rather have... but for my trail duties (mild) is the IFS a terrible decision? Are there any horror stories with them eating tires? ball joint or steering problems? Should I absolutely only look for a solid axle version? I will probably only run 33's max on the 4 runner... probably 31 or 32's for better mpgs.

Also, any other known problems I should look out for when searching for a 1st gen 4runner? I hope I didnt just throw myself to the wolves asking these questions! Thanks for any info or links to info I can read for myself! :D
 

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ifs v6 33's

shortly after this photo, I broke a cv axle . did a solid axle swap, 3.0 ran fine knock sensor failed, major loss of power. did a 3.4 swap.
always go with solid axle efi if you can
 

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www.yotatech.com
 

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Nothing wrong with IFS. We've ran them for years. Unlike most of the guys in here, the local terrain here is fairly flat with no rocks. For most of what you will see (mild), it will do fine. Slap on a set of 33's, throw a locker in, and enjoy. You would be further ahead with a 22re (cheap, easy to fix, better on gas), unless you do a 3.4 swap. Then, a v6 will be fine. Just watch for frame rot, and you'll be fine.

Stay away from 3.0's with cooling problems or needing head gaskets. Money pits.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Awesome thanks for the help man! You mean locker in the rear or lock the front IFS also? Whats a good choice for one? I put a detroit true trac in a chevy pickup I had and it worked pretty good for mild offroad stuff. Also, yeah I think ill stick with looking for a 22re VS a V6. I remember my sister had a 94 runner with the 3.0 back in highschool and she wasnt the most frugal driver... but I remember it getting pretty bad mileage... more around 13-14. With 32's or 33's, 5 speed and a 22re will an 80s runner be able to get 15 or better? Maybe 18 on the highway? I only ever drive about 60-65mph anyways in my dodge trying to get good mileage so Im no speed demon while cruising.

Lastly, I've read of a good many 22re's being rebuilt here and there is that just because they are freshening them up or because they need it once they hit 150-200k miles? What all do most people do on a simple rebuild? do they just usually need new rings, head gasket and valve work or do people usually tear em all the way down and put new pistons, bored out etc?

Thanks for the help guys!
 

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Locker in the rear, at the very least. I'd go Aussie locker. Good stuff. I had a Quik-Lok in mine. It worked fine, for a while. Now, it just kind of locks when it feels like it, and thinks about unlocking when you wish it would. Wish I would've ponied up the cash for an Aussie. But, hey. Hindsight is 20/20.

Most of the ones I've seen, are just getting their routine service around 200K (timing set). After that, mainly just trying to squeeze more power out of the little thing. Realistically, you should be able to see the 20-30 range from a 4Runner. Provided the emissions crap is in place, and functioning. There are a few tricks you can do to the 22RE to squeeze more MPG out of them (AFM adjustment, cam timing, base time, intake, exhaust, etc, etc, etc). I've pulled 32MPG out of an X-tra cab, with 4.30's, on 33's. Comes down to how you drive too. Mileage is nothing but a number on 22RE's. Mine has over 315K, on original internals. Only things I've done, was the timing set and guides. Changed the water pump and oil pump while I was at it. Were in my hand, might as well change them. Just keep the oil changed, and don't let it get hot, and you will be fine.
 

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My bottom end just gave up at 150k (stock 22r) . I am paying someone else who knows what they're doing to rebuild it but I'm putting it back in the truck. Still gonna set me back 1300 but its new everything. Yeah I know....." spend that money on a 2rz, 3rz, 3.4...etc" but for what I do with the truck and where I drive it id rather stick to stock
 

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i have had two different 22re's lose rod bearings at 228k. if taken care of they will last a long time. as far as what you want/need 85-88 runner with 22re will be just fine. my pops used to wheel the rubicon and fordyce with just a 4" ifs lift and 33's with verry little problems. only problems were bending ifs lift brackets. our terrain is rock trails. with ifs i would look at blazeland for suspension.
 

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You would be fine with ifs . If you go to 33's run a 10.50 tire on a stock sr5 rim will put less strain on the ifs when you pound on it plus you get clearance under the diffs and minor fender trimming , so no lift . It seems like one out of 10 3.0 v-6 are any good ( actually make power and stay together) so I would look for the 4cyl.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the help guys!!! These have the torsion bars right? How do they take to a little cranking to get more height? can you get an inch or two out of them and the CV angles still be ok? can you turn up the stock bars or do you need to replace them? i remember on the chevys that they took "keys" to get more height out of them. thanks for the help.
 

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Don't do it. You lose any flex, and it rides like a hay wagon. I actually took a turn out of mine. It tends to travel the full extent of what's available now, and keep the tires planted. Granted, it kind of steers and rides like a canoe. Especially with a 2nd gen 4Runner chassis grafted in the rear, and no anti-sway bars. You can gain 1-2", but you lose more in capability. It's not worth it.

Last week, we spent some time at Bundy Hill in Michigan. My buddy took his BONE STOCK 93 pickup standard cab short bed (same WB as a 4Runner). We were able to go everywhere, with the exception of the level 4's (full tilt, stairway, etc), on just a set of generic 31's. They're very capable as they sit. He had no lockers, no suspension mods, no winch, nothing. He kept step with me. I was in a 1000cc SXS, locked rear, 4WD, beadlocks, sliders, the whole 9 yards. A set of 33's or lockers, and he would have done better on some of the obstacles. But, some skillful driving, and they'll go virtually anywhere. The only real reason to lift one, is just to fit bigger tires. You can fit 31's without lifting (minor rubbing). But, just trim out the fenders, and fit some 33's, and you're golden. You'll give the moderately built jeeps a run for their money, on typical trails. More hardcore (i.e. rocks), you'll have to break out the welder and torch.
 
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