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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hopefully this is the right forum....

im looking to start a new project and i am wondering what the best platform for me needs would be. the truck will be used as a dd(around 20mpg), go to the snow(4wd) and take a few friends with me(suv??) and be able to go to pismo and take a beating, and have enough power to be fun(around 300hp). so what suggestions do you have? i have narrowed it down to 2 choices...
89 4unner with the total chaos caddy 2 kit and a ls1 or 4.8l in there
or
1st gen explorer with a 5.0 and pre-runner suspension kit.

ive dont most my research on the 4runner, but i am open to any suggestion. let me know what i should be researching. ive tried the xterra but it doesnt seem to fit the bill as well as the 4runner.

thanks for any help
 

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If you are in california, I would look for a vehicle with an OEM v8. Possibly a 2nd gen Explorer. Because they are so similar to Rangers, parts should be pretty available.

A better choice might be a mid 90's Bronco. Again not real hard to build.

Engine swaps are harder every year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are in california, I would look for a vehicle with an OEM v8. Possibly a 2nd gen Explorer. Because they are so similar to Rangers, parts should be pretty available.

A better choice might be a mid 90's Bronco. Again not real hard to build.

Engine swaps are harder every year.
yes i do live in cali...the reason i think the 4runner/ls1 would work is if i swapped all the smog stuff from the ls1 over it would work. how do explorer's do mpg wise? what about broncos? i thought broncos have sfa
 

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A fullsize Bronco with a 5.0 in it seems like it would fit the bill nicley. The 4x4 Bronco has a TTB front end so it's still plenty "desertable" and with the 5.0 you won't need to deal with the hassle of a swap, get a couple bolt-on parts and you're at 300hp easy. Most people tend to build them as 3 seat pre-runners, but it's fully possible to use a bench in the rear so you can hold 4 people and still have room for a full cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A fullsize Bronco with a 5.0 in it seems like it would fit the bill nicley. The 4x4 Bronco has a TTB front end so it's still plenty "desertable" and with the 5.0 you won't need to deal with the hassle of a swap, get a couple bolt-on parts and you're at 300hp easy. Most people tend to build them as 3 seat pre-runners, but it's fully possible to use a bench in the rear so you can hold 4 people and still have room for a full cage.
im a semi newbe when it comes to bronco's. what is a ttb??? also where would be a good place to start looking for some info on pre runner bronco's and where to get suspension bits from? also, any experience in mpg wise what the broncos get?

thanks for all the help!!!
 

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There are a few Bronco builds going on here on Pirate and more of them over on Race-Dezert and DezertRangers, they're essentialy a shortened f150, the shorter wheelbase kinda sucks, but depending on how fast you want to go it may not really matter. As for suspension and what-not, Camburg, Blitzkreig, Giant, pretty much everybody either has something or can make you something that will work great.
 

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im running an 88 bronco. just got it a few weeks ago. they are pretty cheap mine was only $500. it doesnt have alot of power but the motor was on its last leg when i got it. but in the next month it will have a totally rebuilt motor with a few upgrades, a little lift, and new 36"s and i wil only have about 3,000 into it including purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ive been doing some research on the bronco and all seems like it would work, the only thing deturing me is the mpg that ford engines get... i need something somewhat decent if its a dd
 

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A bronco will chew up gas on road and off. As Beat said you will have a very hard time getting descent millage and being happy offroad.
A bronco or V8 explorer is a pretty good choice, but depending on your skill, knowledge, and budget i do really like your idea of an ls1 4runner. You will have a bit of a struggle fitting the motor in, but it has been done. Scrap the back floor and shove some shocks through it, 5 speed, deavers, total chaos(or fab your own depending on skills) up front, 33 to 35" tires. It would be a blast.
You can still do a motor swap if you have ALL smog equipment off of the donor vehicle. And this means everything. For an LS you may even need to fit the whole evap system and fuel sending unit out of the gas tank. And for sure get the whole stock exhause and make it fit. That part is problematic since camaros didt have front drivelines.
I know engine swaps are getting harder in this state, but a good friend of mine just put a taco motor in his 89, with all the smog stuff. While i know it is almost the same motor as his 3.0, he got it to referee cheaper and easier than a normal smog, and now he is set.

Ian-
 

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You're going to have a hard time getting 20mpg with anything on 33" tires. I've had 3 4.0L TTB Explorers with 31x10.50s and all of them got 20mpg on a regular basis. One of them was equipped with 16" travel kits and 2.5" shocks front and rear and worked incredibly well.

I don't know what kind of fuel economy the v8 Explorers are netting.
 

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Your 20mpg and 300hp numbers don't really fit eachother expecially with 4x4 and be able to take a beating at pismo. I'd really decide what you need, gas milage, or power then go from there. my 4cyl toyota could go everywhere at pismo and it had maybe 100 hp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A bronco will chew up gas on road and off. As Beat said you will have a very hard time getting descent millage and being happy offroad.
A bronco or V8 explorer is a pretty good choice, but depending on your skill, knowledge, and budget i do really like your idea of an ls1 4runner. You will have a bit of a struggle fitting the motor in, but it has been done. Scrap the back floor and shove some shocks through it, 5 speed, deavers, total chaos(or fab your own depending on skills) up front, 33 to 35" tires. It would be a blast.
You can still do a motor swap if you have ALL smog equipment off of the donor vehicle. And this means everything. For an LS you may even need to fit the whole evap system and fuel sending unit out of the gas tank. And for sure get the whole stock exhause and make it fit. That part is problematic since camaros didt have front drivelines.
I know engine swaps are getting harder in this state, but a good friend of mine just put a taco motor in his 89, with all the smog stuff. While i know it is almost the same motor as his 3.0, he got it to referee cheaper and easier than a normal smog, and now he is set.

Ian-
i wouldnt need 35's. 33's should be good enough for me. my dad and i are pretty handy so i think we would be able to tackle the job of shoving a ls1 into a 4runner. i was thinking of doing the shocks through the floor and have them be sealed from the elements.


You're going to have a hard time getting 20mpg with anything on 33" tires. I've had 3 4.0L TTB Explorers with 31x10.50s and all of them got 20mpg on a regular basis. One of them was equipped with 16" travel kits and 2.5" shocks front and rear and worked incredibly well.

I don't know what kind of fuel economy the v8 Explorers are netting.
how did you like your explorer? anything you would have done different?

Your 20mpg and 300hp numbers don't really fit eachother expecially with 4x4 and be able to take a beating at pismo. I'd really decide what you need, gas milage, or power then go from there. my 4cyl toyota could go everywhere at pismo and it had maybe 100 hp.
i need mpg, but i have a liveable area where hp and mpg equal out. when i say i want 300 hp, im basically getting at i dont want the truck to be a gutless wonder. i want it to be able to tackle any hill, be able to get out of its own way on the highway and just be fun to drive. i have no problem sticking with a 22re and turboing it if that would net me closer to the results im looking for. i just havent found much info on what the power limit of a 22re is?
 

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how did you like your explorer? anything you would have done different?
In general I like TTB Explorers. I really liked the one with long travel kits. It handled great on rough terrain but still maintained good road manners and had all the normal creature comforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the 3rz might be a possibilty, how big is the aftermarket for them? also ttb exporers, how was the power in them with v8's? thats what you got 20mpg in correct?
 
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