Dream 4Runner Build Is an Enduring Inspiration

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Toyota 4Runner

Multiple moves and even a tree falling on his house isn’t enough to keep one YotaTech member from building his dream 4Runner!

While we’re certainly all unique folks with our own traits, we all share a common love of Toyota trucks. And that means we’ve all dreamed of owning one at some particular point in life. Maybe you’re lucky enough to own your dream truck now, or perhaps you still have your eye on one. For YotaTech member stovetop36, that dream came true many years ago when he obtained a high-mileage but promising Toyota 4Runner.

“A 4Runner has always been my dream truck. When I was in high school, I had a Ford Bronco with 33s and a lift. All the Toyotas with no lift would out-wheel my rig, every time. Six years ago I started looking to sell my Ford Ranger so I could find myself a 4Runner. After talking to my mechanic uncle about it, he told me a family friend had one for sale. It was a white ’86 4Runner with about 420k miles on it. Which sent up red flags, but my uncle swore I had to see it.”

Toyota 4Runner

As every Toyota fan knows, high miles aren’t always a deal breaker. And in this case, they seemed to be gentle miles, at least.

“Yes, it had a boat load of miles on it, but so many things were RIGHT about this rig. First being how well such an old and well-run motor ran. All the interior parts were there and in decent shape for their age. The fiberglass top had NEVER been taken off, a rarity with these rigs. I am only the third owner and the original owner drove it almost all highway miles from Sacramento to San Francisco. I have a stack of records the size of a book.”

With dream truck finally in hand, the OP laid out his plans for the future.

“After driving it for 5 years (being a broke ass student) I only fixed what had to be done and mostly with JB Weld. I finally have a few bucks in my pocket and I am working on fixing all the things that aren’t broken but aren’t up to par, either. This truck is bone stock so far. The next year or two will see a small lift, gears, a locker, trail armor, and 33s. Oh, BTW, my rig has 515,xxx miles on the original motor, never been rebuilt. I drive it everyday for work and it still runs like a champ!!!”

Right away, work began on replacing some worn out parts. That included the wheel bearings, rotors, piston sleeves, and CV boots. As the OP began tearing into things, the problems started racking up. But the good thing about it was that he learned a lot in the process.

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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