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arlindsay1992's 1987 4Runner Build Up Thread

Old 10-20-2013, 06:17 PM
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arlindsay1992's 1987 4Runner Build Up Thread

Hey all. I probably should have started this thread a long time ago, it would have made things a lot easier since I've had this truck over a year now. But I guess it's better late than never, so here goes.

We might as well start at the beginning. At the end of my freshmen year at WVU, I was looking for my own vehicle. I was looking at F150's 1996 or older, and Toyota Pickups, 1995 and older. I ended up with a 1988 Toyota Pickup from my mom's boss for $1500 on May 13, 2011.

The day after I bought her.






Spring 2012.






Original dashpad.


It was a great truck. Reliable and cheap. Not too long after I found YotaTech, and not too long after that I discovered that 4Runners of the same vintage were awesome. All the same capabilities but 5 seats instead of 3. The search for a 4Runner began about December of 2011.

Spring break my sophomore year I bought my 1987 4Runner. I bought the truck in Pennsylvania for $2,900. It had 318,000 miles and a salvage title. Why did I even consider buying it? Garage kept, no frame rust, very, very minor body rust, a remanned engine with 20,000 miles, and a Can-Back soft top. The Can-Back alone is $1,400 so I jumped on it. The remanned engine will come back to bite me later but at the time I was considering it a plus.

Looking at it at the PO's house.


Basically fully loaded SR5. No Turbo or auto, but other than that, basically top of the line.


Rare picture of my Pickup and 4Runner together. I only owned both for two months.


Parts were slowly swapped between both trucks to allow me to keep the best of both vehicles.


Eventually, May 13 2012, I sold the Pickup, 1 year to the day after I bought it. Here she is leaving my street for the last time.


And here's where I'll stop for today. Obviously a lot has changed but I'm not about to type up a year of stuff today. I'll keep posting til I'm caught up then we'll keep going from there. I have lot's planned for the 4Runner so I look forward to ideas and feedback from all of you. Maybe you'll even pressure me into finally getting stuff done instead of dragging my feet.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:08 PM
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That last picture is very sad..I dread the day, if it ever comes. What all parts did you switch over between the two? I noticed the push bar/lights, but I couldn't figure anything else out..

Anyways, that 4Runner is clean! Looking forward to the next/previous year in the story..haha
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:32 PM
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Hey, cool thread! Do you do those youtube videos? I have watched quite a few of them and there're pretty cool.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:36 PM
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The last pic made me sad. They do come home sometimes though!!
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Duke View Post
That last picture is very sad..I dread the day, if it ever comes. What all parts did you switch over between the two? I noticed the push bar/lights, but I couldn't figure anything else out..

Anyways, that 4Runner is clean! Looking forward to the next/previous year in the story..haha
It was sad and sometimes I miss the truck, but I can say I like the 4Runner a lot more. It's more versatile, holds more people, it's fully loaded, and the top comes off. Before selling the Pickup, I swapped over a few interior parts, grill guard, front diff, CV's, Aisin hubs, transmission, and rear axle. The Pickup had 167,000 miles when I sold it and the 4Runner had basically double that. But with all those parts swapped, the 4Runner's age was pretty much cut in half.

Originally Posted by 84 yota dude View Post
Hey, cool thread! Do you do those youtube videos? I have watched quite a few of them and there're pretty cool.
If you're referring to TheAlexManVideos, then yes, that's me. I started the channel in 2007 to make Honda Z50R videos. I had a build thread for that bike on PlanetMinis.com. The channel has changed as my tastes have changed and you can see the progression in the videos. It used to be a bunch of Z50R videos but now I've been posting a lot of off-road lawnmower videos and Toyota stuff. Here's a little mower compilation video I made a couple months back. Fun stuff.


Originally Posted by HighLux View Post
The last pic made me sad. They do come home sometimes though!!
The truck was listed for sale last summer. I thought about buying it but I couldn't justify the cost.

So moving on, I guess we'll start with what I did with the 4Runner in the 8 weeks after I purchased it. Because it had a salvage title, Virginia made me wait a long time to get a new title. Since the salvage title was already issued, there was no salvage inspection necessary, but you can't just go to the DMV and get a new title printed like with a normal title, it has to be sent to Richmond and then you wait. So I waited.

The first thing I did was tear out the interior. It was complete but a bit dirty.

Under the TRD Tacoma seat covers, the original seats were still in pretty nice condition. Score! The flash messes with the colors a bit but they cleaned up real nice with some upholstry cleaner.


Here you can see some carpets, the Can-Back frame, the back seats, and the huge sub.


The PO gave me all the reciepts for the 4Runner since he bought it for $1200 from the junkyard. All the reciepts for the engine rebuild, and then, the engine replacement. Yes, he rebuilt it and then I guess it blew up or something because he replaced it shortly after. Reciepts for the new Michelin 31's, the Can-Back, all sorts of stuff. I added it up one day, he spent over $17,000 on this 4Runner in the 4 years he had it. I got it for $2900. His wife was probably mad. He also had the reciepts for the sub and sound system he installed, over $600. I sold it on Craigslist for $200. Deal for me, sorry Stefan. Here's the picture from my craigslist ad.


I also sold the Taco seat covers to a member on here. I think I got $80 or $90 for them.

So there's a small update. Basically cleaned up the truck and sold off some of the stuff I didn't want. I'll post more tomorrow.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:38 AM
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sub'd, I love the looks of these 1st gen runners, I bought an '86 back
in July. I really should start doing a write-up for both of my 4runners soon.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:47 AM
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That was a sad pic of the truck leaving. Ive been there too many times.

Great looking 4runner for being from PA. I grew up npt far from WV. Just outside of Washington, PA. Miss it there bad. I went to CAL U and had some buddies that went to WVU. Spent alot of time there and late nights ordering food from DP Dough. HAHA
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by MaltDisney View Post
sub'd, I love the looks of these 1st gen runners, I bought an '86 back
in July. I really should start doing a write-up for both of my 4runners soon.
Me too. They are awesome trucks. In regards to the build thread, do it! I love reading build threads.

Originally Posted by Gizler00 View Post
That was a sad pic of the truck leaving. Ive been there too many times.

Great looking 4runner for being from PA. I grew up npt far from WV. Just outside of Washington, PA. Miss it there bad. I went to CAL U and had some buddies that went to WVU. Spent alot of time there and late nights ordering food from DP Dough. HAHA
Thanks. It was apparently a New Jersey truck until it went to the junkyard. PO bought it from there and kept in in Pennsylvania. Now I have it and it's either in Virginia or West Virginia depending on whether classes are in session. DP Dough is awesome but I'm partial to Sandwich U for the late nights.

So on to the next update. Once the pickup was sold, the slow process of building up the Runner began. Being a new 4Runner owner in the summertime, I was obligated to take the top off.

Here's my dad helping me.


Hardtop off.


Stored on the 4post lift. I built a hoist system to lift the hardtop to the ceiling in the garage. We have 10 foot ceilings in the garage.


And then put the soft top on, of course.


Next it was time to work on the suspension. The rear had add-a-leafs already, but the passenger side leaf was broken and missing the front leaf section, the rear was cracked but not broken in half. The front had all stock parts. The balljoints were all OEM Toyota but were either original or very old. I replaced all the parts with Moog and threw in some eBay BJ spacers. The rear got a set of ToyTec add-a-leafs.







So here is a video update I made at the time.



Took it out to a local spot. Just some nice pictures.






So this all took place over the summer of 2012, right before my junior year at WVU. Everything was going well with the 4Runner reliability-wise except for a small misfire upon cold starts. But then literally the day before I was going to leave for college I was driving my little sister to school and I noticed a rattling noise whenever the engine wasn't under load. Once I get home I open the oil cap and stick a screwdriver down into the timing chain galley. The chain was very loose, like a floppy... you know. So I'm obviously pissed. I assumed that it was the notorious timing chain guides. At this point I was fed up. I contemplated selling it. So much that I actually installed the hardtop, washed it, and took pictures to put in the ad.



You can see the California style mirrors I had grabbed from a Toyota junkyard. I like the way these look a lot more, the top two holes are the same spacing, and you get more view out of them. They aren't power operated, but that's not something I really care about.

















I didn't end up selling it, or even listing it for sale. So the day before leaving for school I am tearing down my engine. It ended up being the timing chain tensioner. There was no evidence of using the wrong oil pump bolt; it seems that it just stopped working. While I had the engine apart I discovered the cause of my coolant loss; a cheap head gasket blew between cylinders 1 and 2, and betwen 3 and 4. There was also some damaged to the mating surfaces on the head.

So I packed my bags and borrowed my dad's Honda Accord to get to school. We had 5 cars for 4 drivers so it wasn't a big deal. I know of a good machine shop in Morgantown so I brought the head with me to school. I dropped it off to get machined and about two hours later they call me back. Way fast service, whoohoo! But it wasn't good news. The head was cracked in 5 places. Between the intake and exhaust on every cylinder, and into the coolant jacket on one of them. ˟˟˟˟˟ing aftermarket casting. Remember this motor had less than 25,000 miles. Blown head gasket and cracked head?

So now that head is junk, but no worries, I have a spare head at home from a 22RE I bought off of a member here. He was doing a 7MGE swap into his 89 Pickup, pretty cool. He had it just about ready to drop in when I met up with him. The motor I bought from him had 142,000 miles and had spun some bearings. He had never heard it run, bought the truck cheap with plans to swap in the Supra motor. Probably not the greatest option but I wanted my truck working and this seemed like the only choice.

So Labor Day weekend I drive home. Friday I see a couple friends and have fun since the day is pretty much over. Saturday, I get the spare head out of my basement and clean it all up in the parts cleaner at work, I buy new valve seals from the parts store, lap the valves, and this head looked good. I bolt it all up and start setting up the timing chain. The chain is not long enough. I fight the damn thing for 4 hours. Eventually I get to thinking, is this the right head? It wasn't. It was an 84 and older 22R head. Crap! All the markings showed it was an 85-95 block and pistons, but it had an 84 and older head. Stupid PO! This truck must have had really low compression with that combination. So this is late Saturday night. I have basically given up.


Sunday morning, junkyard run. One Pick-A-Part is 0.75 hours away. I get there as they open at 8:30 AM. No 22RE's, not one. The next yard is another 0.75 hours farther. All second gen 4Runners, all 3VZE's. There was one 2nd gen Pickup but the motor was gone. Figures. I saw an old Celica with a 20R, but I've had enough with bastard engines for one weekend. So I drive home.


Sunday afternoon I'm searching Craigslist. I find a guy selling an OEM Toyota 22RE head about an hour away. I call him, he has it, I tell him I'll be right there. So I buy the head for $125, drive home, and do all the same cleanup, lapping, and seals I had just done to a different head. Sunday night I bolt the head down over my OEM gasket, and quit.



Monday morning, Labor Day, I fit all the intake and exhaust stuff. I route the 37 vacuum lines, and do my final check-over. I fire the truck up around 1 PM, bleed the cooling system, and drive it around town a bit. I clean up the garage, do another once over, and at 4 PM I left on my 3.5 hour drive back to school. The truck hasn't skipped a beat since. That was a hell of a weekend.


So as you can imagine with a story like that, I didn't have much time to take pictures. The only one I have is of the valve cover I had painted a while back which I was finally able to install. The intake plenum is painted to match, black, bare letters, and red inset.



And with that I'll stop. This is actually a lot of work going back through old pictures and trying to remember all the details and the order in which I did things.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:30 PM
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Great work!
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:50 PM
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Nice thread! I like the valve cover paint
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:59 PM
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Looking good! That weekend sounded definitely rough. I've had a few like it, myself..
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kornhuskerwizard View Post
Nice thread! I like the valve cover paint
Thanks. I put a good amount of work into the valve cover. It's been holding up good.

Originally Posted by Mr Duke View Post
Looking good! That weekend sounded definitely rough. I've had a few like it, myself..
It was pretty rough. There were a lot of times I thought I wasn't going to get it back together.

Now we're up to September of 2012. I took the 4Runner wheeling for the first time. A buddy of mine knew of a public place where a bunch of people take their Trucks, Jeeps, and ATV's. It overlooks Cheat Lake and is a really fun time. Not very technical and a bit muddier than I like, but a lot of fun.








The 4Runner never stopped as well as my Pickup did. The 31" tires probably didn't help but I didn't feel like replacing them. I ended up buying a 92 V6 4Runner dual diaphragm booster, a 1" bore master cylinder, V6 calipers, drilled and slotted rotors, 80 series LandCruiser wheel cylinders, and stainless braided soft lines. She stops great now.









My LSPV was leaking at the time so I removed it and plumbed in a manual prop valve. Bad idea. It caused me all sorts of weird issues with brake shoes not adjusting correctly, and the rear brakes sucked. A few months later I grabbed a non-leaky LSPV from the yard and plumbed it all back in. It sucked because I had to bend a custom line to replace the old one that I cut multiple times to remove. Word to the wise, you don't know more than the Toyota engineering team. They have a much higher budget than you to figure out the right way do things.

Come wintertime the 4Runner is still running great, but the weather is getting cold and my heat doesn't work. I tried flushing the heater core one weekend and it worked about 40% as good as it should. I figured if once helped, another flush would be great. Well, I was right, and I was wrong. The heat worked well but something popped. There was a really bad coolant smell in the cab with the heat on and it steamed up my windshield. So I ordered a heater core from RockAuto and waited a week for it to arrive to my apartment at school. The weather during that week? Not a day out of the teens.

So living away from home means I don’t have access to a garage. Replacing a heater core in a parking lot in sub 20 degree weather is not very appealing. Fortunately, my boss at the marina was kind enough to unlock the shop so I could work there overnight. The shop was well lit, and a cozy 66 degrees.




The culprit.


I figure that’s a good amount for this update. I keep remembering small details and little things I’ve done along the way that I don’t have pictures of. I think what I’m going to do is film a walkaround video of the 4Runner as it sits currently, then continue on.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by arlindsay1992 View Post
Me too. They are awesome trucks. In regards to the build thread, do it! I love reading build threads.
Build threads started. see signature. workin on adding more pics
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:57 PM
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Hi ArLindsay,
Thanks a lot for sharing your videos on youtube (
).

I did my idler arm this week and found that the loaner puller from Autozone has claws that are too thick, it would not fit well between idler arm and tip of relay rod. May I know which puller do you have? A link would be appreciated

TIA and regards,
RAD
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:43 AM
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Well, I'd like to pick this back up. Not going to be as detailed as before because it would take a while tocatch up on 3 years of work on this truck. Anyway...

Since the last post (back in2014)...

Ordered up some OME CS009R springs.


Welded in a 3/8" rod to replace the bolt on the passenger side spring. This is to prevent the bolt from contacting the tank at the pinch weld.


Seems to work.


Also installed a U-bolt flip kit.




Needed a 4į axle shim from 4Crawler to fix the pinion angle. No vibes after this.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

BudBuilt single case skid.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

4Crawler Hi-Lift mount plus my own home brewed secondary mount for security.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

Bought a remanufactured compressor.Itís not just a remanufactured Denso compressor, itís remanufactured by Denso. Hopefully it lasts a while. The original one is in the background. All the green stuff is dye that leaked from every seal on the compressor.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

On a 90į day.
[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

Then this happened. This is a remanufactured engine the previous owner installed. It had 30,000 miles when the head gasket blew and the head cracked. I replaced the head with a used OEM head. Then this happened with about 50,000 on the rebuilt bottom end.

Piston #2. No compression. All other cylinders were fine.
[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

My dad shown right before we yanked out the crappy remanned engine.
[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

Rolled the dice and bought a Craigslist motor without ever hearing it run. Had 145,000 miles and came out ofa 1993 auto 4x4 Pickup. A year later and itís still running better than the remanned engine ever did.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

Bought a set of BFG A/T KOís for cheap before the KO2ís came out. 33x10.5R15. Mounted them on some Cragers I bought a few years ago.

[img]file:///C:/Users/Alex/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.jpg[/img]

So thatís how it looked until about a month ago. I skipped a lot of little details but that pretty much catches usup on the big stuff. Wanted to pick this thread back up because Iím finally getting into what I really want this truck to look like.

Last edited by arlindsay1992; 07-22-2017 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:13 AM
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FYI brother, I'm not seeing any pics...
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:29 AM
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I don't know why, they all show up for me. If anyone else can't see them I guess I'll look into it more.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:58 AM
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Nice build! How do you like the OME rear springs?...I'm jealous of the Soft top, I want one bad!

PS: your pics show up fine for me.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:44 AM
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The OME springs are a nice setup. I'd say they flex about the same as the stock springs but they don't leave you riding on the bump stops. The soft-top is great. I'm just happy the previous owner bought it, not me. It's a Can-Back brand soft top. Of the few companies that make them for 4Runners it's the most expensive. $1600.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:20 AM
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I was living in RVA... moved up to Northern Maryland now. nice progress on the 4Runner. Mine's pretty similar, but I think I'm going the Blazeland LT route. I get some bad rubbing at full lock, not even talking full tuck with 33" and no T-bar crank.
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