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1988 4Runner Resto

Old 08-27-2018, 06:08 PM
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1988 4Runner Resto

Hey All,

So.. another project begins. I picked up what I believe is a decent 4Runner specimen for restoration. Maybe that word is too ambitious for my talents but that is the end goal. What we have here is a 1988 4Runner SR5 V6 GLX ( I believe this is the official trim package is, correct me if I am wrong) and my plan is to bring it back to life. I spent quite a while browsing around waiting for something to pop up that would be a good candidate for me to spend some time on. What I was looking for was a 1st gen 4Runner with no rust, most of the interior and a clean title. Hundereds of craigslist notifications later and I see what looks to be a promising listing down in Paso Robles CA. It didn't start (he thought a fuse was blown), was registered Non-Operational, had been sitting for almost 3 years and based on the tires looked very out of alignment. After talking with him I was able to get some more pictures and confirm that it still has a good body and interior.

I made plans to drive down (about 3-4 hours with a trailer) and pick up the 4Runner assuming all was well when I got there. After a fun drive down highway 101 and a precarious loading of a 4runner with no brakes on the trailer (no fluid..) I headed home with a new to me 4Runner. This is an exciting moment for me, I have always wanted a 4Runner, (1st, 3rd and 5th gen, they hit gold on those odd numbers dont they?) and I was finally on my way home with one. I am glad I got this one when I did, as the previous owner planned on stripping the interior and bedlinering the whole thing. I ended up paying an even $2,000 for this truck. I know many of you will think it is high, and it very well might be. For my plans and where I want to go with this, I felt very comfortable. You have to remember this was a long time California truck sitting in dry climate, after you see enough craigslist posting of average at best trucks trying to sell for 5-8k, 2k begins to feel a lot better when you know you can bring it back to life for much less than the difference while coming out even better.

Here is where we begin



I did get a few extra parts with this truck, a stock front bumper and lower valiance, as well as what looks to be a smitty built tube bumper for the rear. I will probably try to sell of the front tube bumper and the rear tube bumper as I am going for more of the classic look on this. Which is a good segway into my end goals.

What I want to do here is bring the truck back up a similar level of restoration as my 88 pickup. Luckily they are both the same year, and I already have the Toyota factory wiring/maintenance manuals for them both. The 4Runner definitely has more bells and whistles than I am used to, like power mirrors, antenna, windows, door locks and even a sun roof! Should be fun learning about all of these new but ancient pieces of toyota electronic history.

For those of you who would like to follow along with the most up to date progress, I decided to start a trello board so I could keep track of my progress on the various threads that will be pulling my attention around on this truck. There is a lot to do. For those of you who have not used Trello, it is basically a virtual stick note board where you can create and organize tasks into columns that you define. I will keep this pretty simple, there will be a backlog of times I know i need to get done in the "TO DO" column, once I start working on it I will move it to the "IN PROGRESS" column, and when done, well.. I will toss it into "DONE" Ill try to add notes as I go to these tickets as I thought it might be a fun way to track the project as I go.


Click here for the trello board.

Click here for my full picture album of the build.

Last edited by mbomberz1; 08-28-2018 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:20 PM
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After making the long drive home with the 4Runner in tow, I finally got it put away where it is going to spend the next few months while I work out the major problems such as..
  • Why would someone bypass the starter relay and use a push button starter?
  • Why doesnt the push button work now?
  • Fix the terrible alignment
  • Get it running
  • Make it smog legal and re-register it
  • Clean out the interior so i can drive it comfortably


I am sure other small things will pop up as I try to tackle the first list of things. So far i have started to dissect the wiring around the starting trouble. I was thinking the starter relay was bad based on how the previous owners spliced into the wiring, but it tested out ok. Next up is to re-run a starter trigger wire and see if the ignition switch is good, that is my next assumption, that the ignition switch was failing.

I could not believe how expensive these starter relays go for online..



As you can see the relay had been hacked into. Now that I have confirmed it is good, I am going to redress the split wires and seal it back up in hopes that it has a good long life ahead.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:10 PM
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Good start so far!

I am glad you were able to save another 4Runner from being hacked up (further).

Are you going to try to get the existing 3VZ-E working or are you going to jump into the engine swap?

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Old 08-28-2018, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by old87yota View Post
Good start so far!

I am glad you were able to save another 4Runner from being hacked up (further).

Are you going to try to get the existing 3VZ-E working or are you going to jump into the engine swap?

I am going to try and get it running/see how good of shape it is really in. Eventually I try to find a solid 3.4 to swap in, but the timeline depends on how good of shape the 3.0 is in. I might let it stay in there and push the swap back towards the end if it is in good order and can let me drive it for a while.

Thanks buddy!
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:57 AM
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congrats on the new baby!
I saw that truck online. I look at them all across the country. I think the price is great for one that straight and rust free.
Will be looking forward to your improvements.
It seems somewhat like mine...first, undo the hackery.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Melrose 4r View Post
congrats on the new baby!
I saw that truck online. I look at them all across the country. I think the price is great for one that straight and rust free.
Will be looking forward to your improvements.
It seems somewhat like mine...first, undo the hackery.
Thanks Melrose! That is good to hear you saw the same things in it as I did. It will be a good journey, just gotta tackle one problem at a time
Undoing the hackery.. yup that is the name of the game right now! Do you have a build thread? Would love to take a look at your progress.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:01 PM
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Guess the pickup is all good to go now? Haha
Awesome new project! I totally know what you mean on the pricing, 2k for a mostly stock project rig is a solid price. Makes me appreciate how clean my interior is after seeing some of that hackery.
Some 3.0s are reliable, I hear, but I would never know about those head gaskets. Factory repaint?
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 84 yota dude View Post
Guess the pickup is all good to go now? Haha
Awesome new project! I totally know what you mean on the pricing, 2k for a mostly stock project rig is a solid price. Makes me appreciate how clean my interior is after seeing some of that hackery.
Some 3.0s are reliable, I hear, but I would never know about those head gaskets. Factory repaint?
Hey Yota Dude! Glad to see you stopped in the new project thread. The truck is running awesome, that's why I haven't been around much, nothing to do! The end goal is still a little bit of a moving target, but I keep imagining repainting it the Cement color from the newer 4Runners with blacked out trim and bumpers.. Probably will do the top color matched as well. Time will tell!

Progress might be a little slower at times, I currently live about an hour away from where I am keeping the truck, so it will be an interesting mix of weekend battle sessions while bringing small projects home with me to tinker on during the week. Hoping I can tackle things like repairing the electric mirrors during the week at home.

What has been keeping you busy these days?
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mbomberz1 View Post
  • Why would someone bypass the starter relay and use a push button starter?
poor factory wiring eventually causes problems. there are documented flaws in the factory wiring of the starting circuit, the headlight circuit, and others. re: starting circuit, current flows from the battery via a long path to the column key switch, passes through the switch contacts, then travels back via a long pathway to the starter relay (incorrectly wired to take advantage of the functionality of the relay), and then travels to the starter/solenoid. over time, the key switch contacts become pitted after passing high current through them. in addition, the solenoid plunger contacts do wear out, even in a correctly wired system. these are easy to replace (and the replacement parts are readily available).

wally

Last edited by wallytoo; 08-29-2018 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:55 AM
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Looks to be pretty straight! It appears to have been spray painted? Any plans to remove the spray paint down to original paint? That's my plan for my '83, and so far it looks like it is a decent possibility
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wallytoo View Post
poor factory wiring eventually causes problems. there are documented flaws in the factory wiring of the starting circuit, the headlight circuit, and others. re: starting circuit, current flows from the battery via a long path to the column key switch, passes through the switch contacts, then travels back via a long pathway to the starter relay (incorrectly wired to take advantage of the functionality of the relay), and then travels to the starter/solenoid. over time, the key switch contacts become pitted after passing high current through them. in addition, the solenoid plunger contacts do wear out, even in a correctly wired system. these are easy to replace (and the replacement parts are readily available).

wally
Thanks for the heads up Wally, I remember reading about this issue but have not personally experienced it on my 88 pickup yet. I feel like I remember also reading something about the later models having an update to the starter wiring to address this? It is a vague memory though, very well could be something else I was misinterpreting. My plan right now is to get the starter relay wiring fixed up and looking new, then move onto the ignition switch.

Originally Posted by jakey poo View Post
Looks to be pretty straight! It appears to have been spray painted? Any plans to remove the spray paint down to original paint? That's my plan for my '83, and so far it looks like it is a decent possibility
You are not seeing thinks Jake, there is a nice drippy coat of flat black spray paint mottled all over with factory silver underneath. I am thinking that it would look good repainted in the 2017 4Runner/Tacoma "cement" color, with the top color matched as well.

Something like in this video i found:

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Old 08-30-2018, 07:28 AM
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I've had that same thought myself in regards to my 4R. Actually most of the new colors offered would look great on one of these.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:49 AM
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What a pain in the ass the toyota part diagrams and websites are for actually finding parts you need. I wish we had access to whatever the guys behind the counter at the parts department have because nearly 100% of the time i get up the courage to go digging around all of the different 'toyota parts' websites, I get frusterated that nothing is organized in a logical way. Add onto that, just plain missing information and often times no way to link out to a closely relates part makes it just an over all awful experience. If you guys have any special tricks please pass them on. It has been a while since I had to go digging for part numbers and I forgot how much of a pain in the ass it is.

Here is a test for anyone willing.. I am trying to find the toyota part number for this:




The little rubber grommet that the hood pole locates into in the top radiator support... I tried all kinds of sites and their 'categories' relates to body, trim, hood, grill and none that I have found point this little sucker out.

Thanks in advance if anyone cant tell me how to find it!
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:13 PM
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Challenge accepted!

The diagram for the grommet is found in the BODY section and is called: HOOD LOCK & HINGE



Diagram source: https://parts.villagetoyota.com/showAssembly.aspx?ukey_assembly=342083&ukey_make=1 021&ukey_model=14403&modelYear=1987&ukey_category= 19376&ukey_driveLine=6066&ukey_trimLevel=14034

The name of the part is called: GROMMET (FOR HOOD SUPPORT)
Toyota Part Number: 90480-15012

I have looked through enough of these diagrams that I can usually find what I am looking for and can predict what section or category the part will fall into. Once you look up enough parts, you can see how the parts are organized.

I have not found a single parts website that has both diagrams and complete parts listings.

I usually go to Village Toyota or Toyota Parts Overstock to look for parts diagrams and then go to Toyota Parts Deal for the most complete parts listings.


Last edited by old87yota; 08-30-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:36 PM
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Ouch! $10 shipping on a less than $4 part!
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jakey poo View Post
Ouch! $10 shipping on a less than $4 part!
Well, if ordering online, it would be best to buy this grommet with a bunch of other parts.

If I were only buying this grommet, I would pay the full $4.68 MSRP at my local dealer.

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Old 08-30-2018, 12:52 PM
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Group buy?

Sorry bombz - done thread jacking now
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:34 PM
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Those are some great recommendations above. Parts.toyota.com is the official toyota parts site and they have the diagrams too and a pretty good search bar. One more thing is often there are additional images with part diagrams that don't show up with the first picture.

Back in school for fall semester so I will be plenty busy with that. Excited to follow your updates!
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by old87yota View Post


Challenge accepted!

The diagram for the grommet is found in the BODY section and is called: HOOD LOCK & HINGE



Diagram source: https://parts.villagetoyota.com/show...rimLevel=14034

The name of the part is called: GROMMET (FOR HOOD SUPPORT)
Toyota Part Number: 90480-15012

I have looked through enough of these diagrams that I can usually find what I am looking for and can predict what section or category the part will fall into. Once you look up enough parts, you can see how the parts are organized.

I have not found a single parts website that has both diagrams and complete parts listings.

I usually go to Village Toyota or Toyota Parts Overstock to look for parts diagrams and then go to Toyota Parts Deal for the most complete parts listings.

You are the man! I had not been using the 'right' toyota parts websites that offer as many diagrams apparently. I owe you one.

Originally Posted by jakey poo View Post
Group buy?

Sorry bombz - done thread jacking now
Lol no worries, glad you guys are here to keep me motivated

Originally Posted by 84 yota dude View Post
Those are some great recommendations above. Parts.toyota.com is the official toyota parts site and they have the diagrams too and a pretty good search bar. One more thing is often there are additional images with part diagrams that don't show up with the first picture.

Back in school for fall semester so I will be plenty busy with that. Excited to follow your updates!
Dang I had no idea parts.toyota.com was that useful. Using the vin search pulled up every diagram I could hope to find it seems. Thanks very much for sharing!!

Thanks for coming through guys, this will help make it that much easier to make some good progress. The best prices I have found so far are on www.oemgenuineparts.com , the only downside so far is for some reason one of my items I was going to purchase ( a new heater/ac faceplate bezel thing) added a $250 freight shipping charge I called them up, and its just an error with the automatic part shipping estimate that they will fix. I am going to hold off ordering anything for a few weeks to see if any other small bits pop up I know I will need to get to save on the shipping.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:49 PM
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I ordered through toyota parts overstock recently and their prices were very fair and the shipping was reasonable too. Found another website toyotapartsdeal.com but they had some bad reviews, I'd stay away from that one.
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