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Icentropy's $400 4runner build

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Old 07-07-2015, 07:54 AM   #1  
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Icentropy's $400 4runner build

Hi all, well a few years ago I bought a $1200 '87 4runner as a beater truck and then sold it as I decided i wanted something that was a bit more re-build-able (straighter body, less missing pieces, etc)...so a few months after that I found myself a $400 '85 (well late 85 with IFS). The catch was some missing parts and a bad engine.

few months later i found a complete engine for $500.

a year later i finally got sick of seeing the truck sitting by my shop and decided it was time to get it put together. So last week I took the plunge (never swapped an engine out before) and went at it. To my surprise it started! So now that i have a running $900 4runner (that's actually in decent shape) I figure it's time to get serious and fix it up.

Main issues is some rust (nothing too bad just needs to be knocked off and primed over), a new paint job (inside and out), tore up seats, needs shift boots (rubber and vinyl), missing bolts, clean up the engine swap (one was 22REC, the other who knows but the smog systems were very different so there's plenty of unconnected wires and plugged vacuum lines, new bumpers, rig up a roof rack so i can carry our 17' canoe and that's about it to start off with. Anyway It's gonna be a low budget build (within reason) and I have no idea where it'll end but if you're interested or you can lend some advice please subscribe. I'll be sure to update this thread with every change. I also have some plans to make some custom parts (I'm a machinist) so I'll be posting that up here as well. Thanks in advance for all the info and advice I know I'll be asking for in the next coming months (maybe years).

Here's the pics (after i removed the steps and installed the engine).

Me finishing up the engine install.


My boss....sitting around doing nothing as usual.


Son getting a better view























































Last edited by icentropy; 07-07-2015 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:47 AM   #2  
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Decent seats are available from a salvage yard for around $50 each, at least around here. Way cheaper than an upholstery shop.

Your apprentice obviously isn't afraid to get his hands (and face) dirty. Way to get 'em started early.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:38 AM   #3  
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Today's update. I did a test fit of the zuk mod. I don't have the rear bump stops so i just set the springs right on the leaf springs and they are mostly held in place by the compression as well as the two u-bolts and the little nuts sticking up out of the leafs. I'm still looking for lower bump stops and will throw them on but wanted to test out the mod and see how high it raised the back end and see if there were any other issues. Came up with some good info.

1. the rear was raised approx 2" from 13" to 15" (measurement taken with no shell)
2. add 200lbs and the rear dropped between 1/8-1/4" for every 200lbs thrown into the back. So basically with two full grown adults and a rear full of camping gear we're looking at the back end about 14.25" whereas i have my front set at 14".
3. spring noise! don't like it. I made the mistake of leaving the top tabs as long as possible and now have an irritating spring noise every time it goes off road on the bumps. I will be cutting the tabs down to 1" to try to alleviate that issue. If that doesn't work then I'll open up the tabs a bit more (right now they're a snug fit on the spring).

Over all it's a great mod and well worth the cost of the $80 springs and fully unloaded with no top the rear sits 1" higher than the front (versus the 1" lower sagging rear end) I thing fully loaded with everything on it and 4 people in it, we should be almost perfectly level, now just to get rid of the noise...
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:53 AM   #4  
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Red face

I have a set of those wheels.

I had a day off and tried sneaking up on those bump stops.

I did not find them but found 4 new shocks and a Clutch kit

You have your work cut out for you.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:10 AM   #5  
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I have a set of those wheels.

I had a day off and tried sneaking up on those bump stops.

I did not find them but found 4 new shocks and a Clutch kit

You have your work cut out for you.
Thanks for checking. Much appreciated.

In the process of installing the helper coil springs, I actually also found out I'm in dire need of shocks. I checked online and RS5000 shocks can be found for around $30 a shock on sale so sounds like a good deal. I can't justify the price of OME shocks for this truck (at least no time soon) but don't want to go economy shocks either. Should have some shocks ordered up next week and This weekend it's Homedepot for paint for the exterior of the truck. I've had very good look with rustoleum enamel when prepped and sprayed correctly. The last real project truck i did was all rattle canned and held up to some pretty serious use, plus easy touchup for the occasional battle scars.

EDIT - just found some RS5000 series shocks for $20 a shock delivered so snatched them up. should have 4 new Rancho shocks installed next week!

Last edited by icentropy; 07-09-2015 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:53 AM   #6  
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Update?
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:51 AM   #7  
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Looking forward to progress reports!
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:18 PM   #8  
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Sorry, I completely forgot about updating this thread. So since the last post I've done some work but not too much. Again it's a budget build (my hunting/fishing rig that i can leave unlocked and unattended in the forest without worrying someone will bust a window or steal something off of it) so keeping all costs low.

$150 paint job (Rustoleum primer and paint)
$150 bumpers (front and rear together for $100 plus $30 in primer and paint and $20 for a hitch i welded to the back bumper)
$0 radio (friend gave me an old CD head unit they had rolling around
$15 straps for canoe tiedowns (they stay attached year round and tuck out of the way during the winter)

I think that's about it for now but here's some pics I took yesterday right after I got back from the lake.







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Old 05-14-2016, 04:45 AM   #9  
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Oops wrong thread...
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:21 AM   #10  
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Oops wrong thread...
What? you weren't blown away by my attention to detail?!
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:30 PM   #11  
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I think he was near speechless. I have a boss like yours.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:40 PM   #12  
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Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
What? you weren't blown away by my attention to detail?!
Hehe, yes your build is nice as well. I was using the mobile app and it puts a random thread below the thread you are browsing, so i thought i was replying to someone else. Sorry about that.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:29 PM   #13  
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I kinda like those bumpers... where'd you get?
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:12 AM   #14  
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I kinda like those bumpers... where'd you get?
A guy in town was selling them. Got em for $100 for both if i remember right. needed to derusting, prime and paint, I also welded a tow hitch to the rear bumper just for light trailer pulling around town and camping. I believe they're old 80's smittybilt bumpers.
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:24 PM   #15  
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Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
Today's update. I did a test fit of the zuk mod. I don't have the rear bump stops so i just set the springs right on the leaf springs and they are mostly held in place by the compression as well as the two u-bolts and the little nuts sticking up out of the leafs. I'm still looking for lower bump stops and will throw them on but wanted to test out the mod and see how high it raised the back end and see if there were any other issues. Came up with some good info.

1. the rear was raised approx 2" from 13" to 15" (measurement taken with no shell)
2. add 200lbs and the rear dropped between 1/8-1/4" for every 200lbs thrown into the back. So basically with two full grown adults and a rear full of camping gear we're looking at the back end about 14.25" whereas i have my front set at 14".
3. spring noise! don't like it. I made the mistake of leaving the top tabs as long as possible and now have an irritating spring noise every time it goes off road on the bumps. I will be cutting the tabs down...now just to get rid of the noise...
Yes, cut them down to just enough so u can install "keeper" bolts like I did. My thread is here:
https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f199...0/index35.html
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:43 AM   #16  
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Ranchos

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Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
Thanks for checking. Much appreciated.

In the process of installing the helper coil springs, I actually also found out I'm in dire need of shocks. I checked online and RS5000 shocks can be found for around $30 a shock on sale so sounds like a good deal. I can't justify the price of OME shocks for this truck (at least no time soon) but don't want to go economy shocks either. Should have some shocks ordered up next week and This weekend it's Homedepot for paint for the exterior of the truck. I've had very good look with rustoleum enamel when prepped and sprayed correctly. The last real project truck i did was all rattle canned and held up to some pretty serious use, plus easy touchup for the occasional battle scars.

EDIT - just found some RS5000 series shocks for $20 a shock delivered so snatched them up. should have 4 new Rancho shocks installed next week!
where did you find rs5000 for $20/each? I want some
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:04 PM   #17  
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where did you find rs5000 for $20/each? I want some
OP hasn't been around for 9 months...good luck
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:38 PM   #18  
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OP hasn't been around for 9 months...good luck
good point
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