2nd Gen Toyota 4Runner Evolves Into Hardcore Off-Roader

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Toyota 4Runner

These days, many folks use their Toyota 4Runner to cruise parking lots. But this one has much more sinister intentions!

For most Toyota 4Runner owners, turning their beloved ‘ute into a hardcore off-roader is an unrealistic proposition. Mainly because the majority use their trucks as daily drivers, kid haulers, and mall crawlers. But the 4Runner’s legendary off-road capability makes it a more than suitable candidate for building a serious wheeling rig. So what do you do? Well, if you’re Yota Tech member CreeperSleeper, you get two. One for daily use, and one for off-roading!

“I unexpected sold my old Toyota 4Runner to a buddy of mine and found myself needing a new wheeling toy. Luckily Amy and I also have a 5th gen 4Runner that works very well as our adventuring vehicle. So I could focus on a more hardcore wheeling rig.

Before I even had the money from selling my old 4Runner, the Craigslist search was on! I had a budget that I wouldn’t go over and the goal was to find the best deal I could. After a week or so, I found this in Northern California. The seller was nice enough to let me put a deposit down on it. I bought it sight unseen based on a description, some pics, and a video.”

Toyota 4Runner

It was a ballsy move, no doubt. But one that ultimately paid off.

“After that a deposit was sent and a trailer was rented, Amy and I took a road trip to California. Caitlyn ended up be exactly what the seller said she was! We drove her up on the trailer (with the brakes not working) and headed home.

She is basically what I would have built if I had the money to build something like this. I have had some really nice wheelers, but nothing ever this built. I am beyond excited! The plan is to start at one end and work my way through it, completing all of the little things that are undone. All of the hard stuff is completed, it just needs to be dialed in. I will keep everyone updated on the progress here.”

Scoring a truck with these kinds of mods already completed is always a good way to save some cash. If you’re lucky and the previous owner did it right, of course. Thankfully, in this case, they did. But that doesn’t mean everything was perfect.

“So I have pulled the front clip so I can better see what I’m working with. It looks like the PO was in a hurry at the end, so there are wires all over the place. I’m having to do a lot of ‘where does this go?!?’ It is a tedious process, but I am taking it one step at a time and hope I don’t screw anything up.”

Toyota 4Runner

At this point, the OP is very early into building his ultimate wheeling Toyota 4Runner. But we’re just as excited as he is to see this awesome rig come together. You can follow along as it does just that by heading over to the build thread. And as always, feel free to chime in with any tips you may have for the OP, or just some words of encouragement!

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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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