1986 Toyota 4Runner Beach Toy Project Proves Deja Vu Is Real

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1984 Toyota 4Runner

Beautiful 4Runner restoration may not be this YotaTech member’s first rodeo, but it’s certainly his finest.

One of the many unique characteristics we notice about most YotaTech members is that they’re usually seasoned Toyota vets. And typically, the builds they show off in the forums aren’t their first by any means. Most members have built several Toyotas over the years, in fact. That includes Melrose 4r, who began showing off his incredible 4Runner resto nearly two years ago. But as he explains, his plans for this 4Runner seem eerily familiar.

“Just bought my 4Runner and towed it back to Connecticut from Maryland on a Roadkill-inspired road trip. I then installed a new battery, plates, and slave cylinder. Then I proudly drove it from CT back to Boston under its own power for the first time since the previous owner garaged it 6 months ago in Maryland. The P.O. is in the Army, and the truck was brought over from Korea about 6 years ago. 

Back in the 90s, I had an ’84 4Runner that I resurrected from the dead. And today I’m doing the same with the help of my 13-year-old son. He calls it my ‘deja vu’ truck because I keep talking about doing the same repairs on this one that I did on the other many years ago.”

The OP’s plan for the 4Runner resurrection began rather humbly. He just wanted to get it running reliably enough to pass state inspection and provide him with a fun beach toy. But unsurprisingly, those plans escalated to the point where this old Toyota became much, much more than that.

1984 Toyota 4Runner

The refresh began with fixing all the things that didn’t work and replacing a bunch of worn out parts. Which includes things like a complete front suspension overhaul. Once that major mechanical work was complete, the OP began to focus on cleaning up the crusty interior and he installed a new chrome front bumper for aesthetic purposes.

The OP continued tackling little jobs, which included undoing some of the questionable work performed on this 4Runner prior to his ownership. But the Toyota was running good enough at this point that the OP could drive and enjoy it, so he certainly took advantage of that. Improvements kept coming along the way, including fresh shocks, front brakes, and new tires.

1986 Toyota 4Runner Beach Toy Project Proves Deja Vu Is Real continued…

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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