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magnet18 1986 build thread

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Old 09-06-2016, 08:03 AM
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magnet18 1986 build thread

build/restore/mod, I'll put it all here-

helloooo
I've been wanting an 80's hilux/4runner for a couple years now. (ever since that top gear episode on killing a hilux) Finally got me one!

Shelled out good money for one with minimal rust, unfortunately a lot more than some of you desert-dwellers can pick a nice one up for, but an almost rust free frame in Indiana is priceless

170k miles, needs a little tlc but it is solid through and through, apparently lived in cali until 2 years ago.


In Process-
•Troubleshoot roughish idle
•new bumpers
•Fix the horn
•swap the instrument cluster

Done-
•Fixed the windshield seal! (also the rain gutter over the doors)
•Exterior weather strip for all 3 windows (because all 3 were missing)
•New cylinders in rear drums, needed working brakes
•replaced belts, AC works, but desperately needs recharged
•bolted driveshaft back onto tcase after it started coming off going down the road... hope that was a one time thing
•New Rims!
•Fixed the heater resistor
•New Distributor Cap/rotor/plugs/wires
•Took slack out of steering box
•Clear turn signal lights (just cuz I liked the look)

Upcoming Work-
• wire brush and paint the frame. I don't want that frame getting any rust on it ever.
• fresh paint
• get around to replacing the timing chain and cover

Eventually-
•new carpet
•install a working EGR
•new seats
•rear disc brakes
•get a working ebrake
•nice sound system, do something with the rear panels, would like to be able to camp in it
•cruise control

Maintenance Log
2016-09-10 - 172000 miles
Diffs got amisol synthetic 80w90 gl5
Transmission and tcase got redline synthetic 75w 90 gl4
Engine got mobil1 full synthetic 10w40
Napa gold filter

2017-02-10 - 173500 miles
Coolant system flush
all belts are new <6 months
New O2 Sensor

2017-04-05
New starter

2017-07-08 - 176449 miles
New tires, cooper discoverer AT3

2017-07-11 - 176500 miles
New OEM radiator cap

2017-07-23 - 176869 miles
Oil change
Napa gold 1516 filter
Valvoline 10w30 synthetic high mileage
Note that I need a new seal/washer for the drain plug next time

Attachment is my other project, 1990 mustang GT that was my first car. No longer my daily driver, for obvious reasons
Attached Thumbnails magnet18 1986 build thread-217288d1472436796-magnet18s-86-4runner-build-thread-img_20160609_180608.jpg  

Last edited by magnet18; 07-24-2017 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:38 AM
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New Rims!
The old ones were really rusty, lug nut seats falling off






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Old 09-24-2016, 11:10 AM
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Hi, welcome to Yotatech!

I got my 85 4runner from flagstaff, AZ four years ago and wish I had protected the frame the way you're going to. A solid frame is a great place to start but I wouldn't say you've got a rust-free truck.

The chrome trim was probably pulled to try and seal the leak without removing the windshield. Any rust bubbles in the paint where the trim was? Also, it kind of looks like the PO stuffed butyl rubber in the channel, that's gonna be real fun to remove! There are good write-ups here on replacing the trim and original seal with a modern rubber seal. Helps the window frame from rusting out again.

Also those flares are hiding lots of rust. No biggie on the front fenders, but check the inside of the rear wheel wells behind the cargo panels and I bet you'll find plenty more rust. I'm gonna have to cut mine out and weld new metal in someday, ugh.

It's a nice looking runner though. How's the engine? Interior in good shape? Does the tailgate key switch still roll the back window up/down? Mine quit after a few years in Ohio.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:37 AM
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Thanks!

You mean back here?
I don't really see any

Definitely have some things i need to give a good surface treatment before painting, hopefully no holes though

And yep, key works!
Windshield will be a bear indeed though
Interior is pretty good, missing little bits here and there
Engine is real solid, changed all the fluids with full synthetic a couple weeks ago, gonna do the timing chain when it hits 200k

Last edited by magnet18; 09-24-2016 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:34 PM
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That's not too bad, but I can tell it's in there between the fender and the rear panel. Here's mine, same location This is just enough untreated rust to eff up the exterior.

Wire-wheeled, acid-treated and repainted only one year ago!

Don't know what method of attack I'll try next time, but I know eventually I'll have to cut it out and replace the metal. Or I could bolt on some fender flares and sell it as 100% rust-free!

Kidding, I just don't want people to go through the same hassle I went through just to have to do it again a year later.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:46 PM
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Darn, probably right then

Did you treat the inside? Looking like it's coming from the inside out, might try phosphoric acid or some other rust neutralizer on the inside

I really like the fender flares for cosmetic reasons anyway, lol

At least I don't feel ripped off, he was honest with me and there's obviously surdace rust in there, frame is what I was really after
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:04 PM
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I sanded, sprayed acid on, then brushed primer. Never painted, cause I ran out. You can paint over POR-15 so that'll be my last attempt this fall before cutting and welding.

Flares aren't a bad look and for wide tires they serve a good purpose. I'd remove them and silicone-grease the contact surfaces so it doesn't rust out then put them back on.

Here's my long 4runner story, for comparison purposes:

I had zero wrenching skills when the lady and I bought ours so we looked for one that didn't need any work.

Advertised as "Excellent condition, rust-free, no leaks, professionally-rebuilt engine, rebuilt knuckles, new header, new bfg at's on new alloys, fluids changed, needs nothing would drive cross-country, only selling cause another baby on the way, $4500".

I'm guessing you got a similar deal?

I didn't notice all of this right away, but half the undercarriage was coated in oil, the new cheap header knocked and rattled against the tranny, it had a decent amount of body rust, dents and scratches all over, only some fluids were new, had a beat-up interior missing some trim and it had become a cat house for their 3 long-haired cats. I wanted to ask for some of our money back, but at the time we agreed to pick it up, dude "got called into work" so only his wife was home and new nothing about it.

Why did we buy it? Emotional decision cause our dog got real sick as we drove down to get it and after a pricey exam and terminal cancer diagnosis, we had to put him down the next day.

Lesson: Don't make emotional decisions that involve lots of money and/or time!

Contradictory lesson: Learning how to fix it has been
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gsp4life View Post
I sanded, sprayed acid on, then brushed primer. Never painted, cause I ran out. You can paint over POR-15 so that'll be my last attempt this fall before cutting and welding.
Did you try acid on the inside of the wheel well?

Flares aren't a bad look and for wide tires they serve a good purpose. I'd remove them and silicone-grease the contact surfaces so it doesn't rust out then put them back on.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks

Here's my long 4runner story, for comparison purposes:

I had zero wrenching skills when the lady and I bought ours so we looked for one that didn't need any work.

Advertised as "Excellent condition, rust-free, no leaks, professionally-rebuilt engine, rebuilt knuckles, new header, new bfg at's on new alloys, fluids changed, needs nothing would drive cross-country, only selling cause another baby on the way, $4500"

I'm guessing you got a similar deal?.
LOL nope. First one i looked at was similar, "new paint no rust", apparently meant if you spray paint rust it's not there, walked away from that one

This one was "truck was in cali till 3 years ago" i believe that, frame is indeed quite nice, followed by 3 years of being more or less uncared for. Really burns me up to think that someone brought one gere from cali and then proceeded to begin ruining it
"Engine untouched" perfect just what I was looking for
"I smeared rust stop stuff all over the rust it had as soon as i got it" definitely so, and a good thing too
Everything else is cosmetic, i was in a bit of a hurry cause I needed a daily driver, instead of waiting for a perfect one to come along

I didn't notice all of this right away, but half the undercarriage was coated in oil, the new cheap header knocked and rattled against the tranny, it had a decent amount of body rust, dents and scratches all over, only some fluids were new, had a beat-up interior missing some trim and it had become a cat house for their 3 long-haired cats. I wanted to ask for some of our money back, but at the time we agreed to pick it up, dude "got called into work" so only his wife was home and new nothing about it.

Why did we buy it? Emotional decision cause our dog got real sick as we drove down to get it and after a pricey exam and terminal cancer diagnosis, we had to put him down the next day.

Lesson: Don't make emotional decisions that involve lots of money and/or time!

Contradictory lesson: Learning how to fix it has been
Sorry to hear about your luck man, lost a couple dogs myself, that sucks


Last edited by magnet18; 09-25-2016 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:02 AM
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Pretty sure I got phosphoric acid in there, but will be more thorough next time.

Sounds like you got a really good one, shame that the p/o just let it sit but oh well. Hopefully you used that to get the price down some.

Will stay tuned to see how it all shakes out.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:54 AM
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Nice looking runner you have got. I seen you asking questions about removing the body https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f199...l#post51693382 It is not as bad as it seems. I did a frame off on my 85 pickup and most applies to runners as well if you want to look at the link in my signature.

Windshield is held in with glue. You will probably want to replace the glue when you re install it.

Welcome to Yotatech and looking forward to your build.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:03 PM
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Replaced the blower motor resistor!

Definitely found the problem, look at that old thing! Will be good to have heat this winter!

Thanks for the windshield tips, I saw rad4runners posts on it, will probably do the same thing as it's the only for sure posts I've seen that work/look good.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:33 PM
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To keep things up to date

Took slack out of the steering box, back to the Toyota spec 1" steering wiggle


Replaced the distributor cap and rotor. Looks like it was original, nice and black and worn.

Realized I didn't have an O-Ring, ordered one from LCE, along with a new idle adjust screw, the old one had loosened it's way up above 1250 RPM.

When those get in I'll finish up the job of swapping the plugs and wires


Also presently just pulled the windshield out, working on getting that cleaned up
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:01 PM
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There is an O-ring between the distributor cap and distributor that usually needs replaced. Not very much from Toyota. I also like to replace the O-ring on the distributor shaft. It will stop leaks at the head. Not sure which O-ring you were talking about but just to make you aware of them.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:36 AM
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Thanks, yea, i meant the cap
the shaft doesn't currently leak so i figure I'll get that one when i eventually get the timing chain
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:09 PM
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Update!

The truck has been out of commission for a couple months now, as I march forward with the windshield work
(upside, truck has yet to be driven on salt this year)

For info on that, see this thread here - https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f116...ld-out-297857/

Got new clear lights!




And while I have the dash disassembled, I cleaned out the squirrel cage fan, and pulled the heater core. Probably doesn't need replaced yet, but while I have everything apart, I figured I'd get it now and hopefully never worry about it again.
There's a few sizes on rock-auto, so I measured the old one before ordering the new one.


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Old 01-26-2017, 08:44 PM
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Nice rig man. Good to see another one getting taken care of. Here's a pic of my 86 with an 81 grill conversion. It's hands down the best truck I've ever owned and has over 900k on the clock.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by flg8r22 View Post
Nice rig man. Good to see another one getting taken care of. Here's a pic of my 86 with an 81 grill conversion. It's hands down the best truck I've ever owned and has over 900k on the clock.
Thanks! Yours looks nice, the grill conversion looks good, I like it. I also noticed you shaved the lock off the gas cap, that looks slick!
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:09 PM
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I need to shave the lock off mine. My key doesn't work in it anyway. Looks good like that
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:05 PM
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Wish I could take the credit for that, but it came from the factory with a fuel door release lever in the truck. Kind of a pain sometimes when I'd go to get gas and forget to open the fuel door.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by flg8r22 View Post
Wish I could take the credit for that, but it came from the factory with a fuel door release lever in the truck. Kind of a pain sometimes when I'd go to get gas and forget to open the fuel door.
Mine has both.
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