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Old 03-10-2017, 06:15 PM   #1
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Project "Striper" Build Thread

Well,

It has begun. I'm not new to this form, I've read it for years, joined a few years ago and posted for the first time a couple of months ago when I bought my newest yota. Here she is:


I know this forum gets a lot of new posts from sparkly-eyed new members with ambitious plans but for me this has been a lifelong dream. I love these trucks. My first pickup was an 88 and I owned Hiluxes when I lived in Australia. I flew to Colorado to buy this truck a couple of months ago and drove it back to New Orleans. This 4runner is the same year as my first pickup and has the same gray metallic base-coat but with those crazy stripes. I've got a shop, tools and a big chunk of savings I've worked my ass for. Every penny stuck away has been for this build. Since I've had it, I've worked through some routine maintenance stuff, spark plugs and wires, cap & rotor, pcv valve, valve adjustment, a couple of vacuum leaks and a run-through of BG 44k. Now, I'm ready to crack into the bigger stuff.

Here's how I plan to sequence the build up:

Now until May - Suspension. It's got a half-ass lift. Someone welded in some coil springs on the rear that lifted it around 2.5" then just cranked up the torsion bars to level it out a bit. I've priced up a whole new front-end, sticking with the IFS. I would love some input here. The parts I have total $1200 and I'm weighing whether or not to jump on a SAS instead. I don't plan to do insane crawling but would like to do pretty aggressive wheeling. Also, I live in a city that has perhaps the worst streets in America. In New Orleans, on the rare occasion potholes are repaired, you'll often find the holes filled with gravel or sea shells (not even joking). If I'm not mistaken, the IFS is going to handle the Nola terrain more comfortably than a solid axle would. Am I right in assuming that? The plan with IFS would be ball joint spacers, new shocks, high-end torsion bars and an extra leaf in the rear to get around 2 - 2.5", roll and tuck as necessary to fit 33's. I'm also planning to re-build that leaky steering gearbox. The whole front-end will be new. Should I just be going for the SAS at this point. Below is a link to the spreadsheet I've compiled for pricing the front end. If anyone has any suggestions for parts I've left out or better options for each part, I'm all ears. I'd love to hear from solid axle and IFS guys.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

May/Early June - Exterior Accessories - I'm either buying TJM or ARB bumpers or having customs welded up. Rocker panel protection and maybe an exo rack around the shell and a ladder at the back. 10,000 lb winch in the front.

June - Paint. I've still got to get a build sheet on the truck to find out if it's a special edition paint job or just good aftermarket striping. Either way it's getting a brand new paint job and the stripes are staying. There's actually one color that's almost completely faded away, it was like a crazy fuchsia that the sun erased. It's all coming off and the body is getting a full restore. Lucky thing here, no rust. Literally none. Gray metallic base is going back on and so are the stripes.

July - Interior - The interior is the roughest part about this truck, it's going to get a full makeover. The dash is crap. The carpet has been mostly removed. The seats are okay but the fronts don't match the back. I actually intend to go with a stockish custom interior, including taco seats in the front. I've not seen any indication that this truck should be done up perfectly stock to retain value. It does have a lot of rarer options - wing window, rear defroster, interior gas door release, sr5 trim but stock resto or tasteful custom doesn't seem to effect resale. Restored either way we're only talking about a $10-15k truck.

That basically sums it up. I'd love any input on the front suspension as I'm going to start ordering those parts immediately. I look forward to getting to know some of you guys and being a contributing member of the community. I've made the commitment now to remember to stop and take photos. Hope y'all had a good week! Talk soon.

Heiro

Last edited by Terrys87; 03-11-2017 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Language
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:15 PM   #2
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i love this! good plan of action and a perfect case to start with. and i totally dig those funky stripes. most dont like them. i do. hahaha.

as for the suspension, if youre gonna drop that money into it, why not got full blazeland long travel. itd be much smoother than a SFA and i think itll come in right about the price you spec'd out. Those things can handle some serious abuse. Former member on here RedWagon has a build thread and he just beat the living hell out of that LT and other than the fact that he was running tires that were too big, it withstood the abuse pretty well.

also, are you planning on reselling it? if not, why not customize it to the way that you want it? who cares about a stock resto.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:43 PM   #3
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space-junk,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I love the stripes! It's what first drew me to the truck. I'm going to look into the long travel and RedWagon's build thread. Is blazeland the way to go or are there competing kits I should check out?

I am not building it to resell, I'm building it for me and my wife to go camping in but there is a good chance that we may be moving back to Australia in a few years time and I don't want to sink a bunch of money into something that I'm not going to get back. I've also never been a strict stock resto fan either. The only reason I've even thought about it is that there's a few clues that this might actually be a rare factory truck, though I haven't confirmed that.

Heading to blazeland now to check out their products. Thanks so much for the reply.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:02 AM   #4
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I like the stripes myself. As far as the SAS, that is going to determine why and what you have plans to use it for. I have had solid axle and IFS. I prefer IFS and it will do what I need it to do and can take more abuse then you think. Solid axles have their advantages too. You need to see why you are wanting a SAS. Great looking truck.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:52 AM   #5
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Nice looking 4runner, I like the stripes as well, I haven't seen another one like that! It would be cool if that was some sort of limited edition paint scheme, but either way I like that your planning to retain them when you repaint it.

I've done a sas in the past on my 86' 4runner. I thought the ride quality was good comparing it to my current stock 87' ifs 4runner. I think it depends on how much lift you go with, Trail Gear has a 3" 4" and 5" lift spring for the front, they also have heavy duty lift springs for those that have done a engine swaps, so depending on which spring you go with the ride quality might be rougher. There is no comparison in wheel travel, but that being said, I never really took my 86 sas'd 4runner any place that my 87' stock ifs hasn't been able to go (yet)...but I'm not heavy into the rock crawling scene either.

The price for a SAS kit is in the $1200-$1400-ish range, not including the cost of the 79-85' front axel that you will need to find/buy. I was on a tight budget, and by trading and looking for deals on CL I was able to do my sas for under $800 (not including the front axel). The axel can cost you in the 300-$500 and up^ range (in my area) on Craigslist. I would be leary of buying a front axel that someone has already welded an axel truss on, or at least talk to the person and inspect it closely. If they welded the truss to the axel housing in long drawn out welds instead of short stitch welds chances are it may have warped the housing, also who knows what kind of abuse the PO has put it through.

For the SAS kits you can look at Lowrange Offroad, Addicted Offroad and a few others that are TG (Trail Gear) dealers, sometimes you can get parts cheaper from them then going directly through TG. I like AllPro Offroad, but their kit doesn't come with an axel rebuild kit, so you would have to buy that seperately. The last thing is if you don't have the tools or ability to weld and do the fabricating, then that will cost more having to pay someone to do the sas for you. Hope this info is helpful, Im sure there is a few things I left out (like lengthening the front driveline and/or adding a long slip spline). I'm not trying to sway you one way or another, just thought I'd list a few things to consider from a sas point of view, lol. Look forward to seeing which direction you go with your build thread, good luck!

Last edited by rustED; 03-11-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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I like the stripes myself. As far as the SAS, that is going to determine why and what you have plans to use it for. I have had solid axle and IFS. I prefer IFS and it will do what I need it to do and can take more abuse then you think. Solid axles have their advantages too. You need to see why you are wanting a SAS. Great looking truck.
Thanks dude. I don't intend to any serious crawling, just your run of the mill wheeling with the ability to do some pretty aggressive trails when need be. I will be knitting the truck out with some serious recovery gear so I don't need it to make it anywhere on its own. I'm starting to really like the idea of a long travel setup and because I have no intention of doing an engine swap, I'm not worried about carrying extra weight up front. Thanks for the input man!
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:38 PM   #7
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Nice looking 4runner, I like the stripes as well, I haven't seen another one like that! It would be cool if that was some sort of limited edition paint scheme, but either way I like that your planning to retain them when you repaint it.

I've done a sas in the past on my 86' 4runner. I thought the ride quality was good comparing it to my current stock 87' ifs 4runner. I think it depends on how much lift you go with, Trail Gear has a 3" 4" and 5" lift spring for the front, they also have heavy duty lift springs for those that have done a engine swaps, so depending on which spring you go with the ride quality might be rougher. There is no comparison in wheel travel, but that being said, I never really took my 86 sas'd 4runner any place that my 87' stock ifs hasn't been able to go (yet)...but I'm not heavy into the rock crawling scene either.

The price for a SAS kit is in the $1200-$1400-ish range, not including the cost of the 79-85' front axel that you will need to find/buy. I was on a tight budget, and by trading and looking for deals on CL I was able to do my sas for under $800 (not including the front axel). The axel can cost you in the 300-$500 and up^ range (in my area) on Craigslist. I would be leary of buying a front axel that someone has already welded an axel truss on, or at least talk to the person and inspect it closely. If they welded the truss to the axel housing in long drawn out welds instead of short stitch welds chances are it may have warped the housing, also who knows what kind of abuse the PO has put it through.

For the SAS kits you can look at Lowrange Offroad, Addicted Offroad and a few others that are TG (Trail Gear) dealers, sometimes you can get parts cheaper from them then going directly through TG. I like AllPro Offroad, but their kit doesn't come with an axel rebuild kit, so you would have to buy that seperately. The last thing is if you don't have the tools or ability to weld and do the fabricating, then that will cost more having to pay someone to do the sas for you. Hope this info is helpful, Im sure there is a few things I left out (like lengthening the front driveline and/or adding a long slip spline). I'm not trying to sway you one way or another, just thought I'd list a few things to consider from a sas point of view, lol. Look forward to seeing which direction you go with your build thread, good luck!

This is all such good info. I wouldn't trust my own welding for the job, I'd have to pay a friend, making the $1300 plus axle plus fabrication labor for an SAS far more expensive than an IFS rebuild and I don't intend to crawl the thing. I really am liking the idea of a long travel kit like the one space-junk suggested from blazeland. It ticks a lot of boxes - all bolt-on, affordable, increased lift with lots of articulation and widens the stance which means I wouldn't need hub spacers, something I haven't really liked the idea of. Unless someone talks me out of it, I think this is the route I'll go.

one of these days I'll get to the dealership to get a copy of the build sheet and I'll find out once and for all if this is a limited edition paint scheme. Doesn't matter either way, I'm keeping it.

thanks again for the good advice!
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:42 AM   #8
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Pics of Parts

Here are the pics I told you I'd send. Couldn't figure out how to post them in a PM.
Attached Thumbnails
Project "Striper" Build Thread-cap-1.jpg   Project "Striper" Build Thread-cap-2.jpg   Project "Striper" Build Thread-cap-headliner.jpg   Project "Striper" Build Thread-interior-trim.jpg   Project "Striper" Build Thread-tailgate-trim.jpg  

Project "Striper" Build Thread-sr5-wheels.jpg  
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:14 AM   #9
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Charchee, you're a legend. Arkansas is one of the few states I haven't been to and now I've got a reason to make it up there! Looks like a lot of interior stuff is going to help me out a heap and the SR5 alloys are sexy. See you Saturday!
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
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Charchee, you're a legend. Arkansas is one of the few states I haven't been to and now I've got a reason to make it up there! Looks like a lot of interior stuff is going to help me out a heap and the SR5 alloys are sexy. See you Saturday!
Looking forward to it! Send me a list of anything else you're interested in and I'll go lay eyes on it. I have a disassembled third gen runner in that same shed that has kind of messed up my storage system. May take some time to locate / remember where I put some of it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #11
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I'll try to snap some photos of some other parts. Otherwise I'm coming up in the runner, so we can take stock of what's FUBAR in mine and rummage your parts.

Did you sell the dash already?
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:38 PM   #12
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Time for a build update. I wish I had some photos for y'all. Next time I promise.

So, I've been toiling over this front-end rebuild and under Space-Junk's advice, I checked out the blazeland long-travel kit which sent me into a wormhole researching other much more expensive long-travel setups like Total Chaos, Mojo Racing and JD Fabrications. In the end, I've decided to go with Blazeland who has been very helpful as I've made this decision. I also really like that he reuses the factory control arms while making them significantly better and the price is phenomenal. I'm doing a full resto on this truck, I don't want to drop $3k into the front end at the beginning of this build. We haven't worked out a final order but it looks like I'm going to be ordering his weld-up kit and some other odds and ends.

I've got a lot of other parts I'm putting into the front. The truck makes a super gnarly metallic creak at full lock in both directions. I've tried to identify where it's coming from but don't know for sure. I suspect it has something to do with the steering being tweaked as a result of the half-assed lift a PO did. I'm replacing all the bushings in the front and am considering replacing all the tie rod ends. I'm definitely doing all new MOOG ball joints with the Blazeland Long-Travel and I've priced up Cardone T-100 axels. I'm also hoping to get the tie rod adjustment sleeve/extensions from Blazeland and I'm hoping all of this will get rid of that god awful creak that I'm getting at full lock. Truthfully, I need to get under the thing and do a much more stringent inspection, it's possible I don't need to replace all the tie rod ends.

I'd really like to beef up the steering along with the suspension upgrade but don't want to spend insane money doing it. Is anyone aware of a steering upgrade that won't cost me an arm and a leg? Also, if anyone is in or near the Gulf Coast and has a steering gearbox they'd like to sell, hit me up. I'd like to rebuild one off the truck to minimize downtime. There's a bunch on car-part.com but I'd rather buy from a YT member.

Saturday, a mate and I are heading up to Charchee's joint in South Arkansas to snap up a bunch of parts from his parts rig so I'll be the proud new owner of a pretty clean and unmolested factory shell, SR5 alloys and a few other bits and bobs. Weather permitting we're going to take my top off and make the 5 1/2 hour road trip convertible. I'm looking forward to it and I'll definitely snap off some pics for y'all.

Thanks for reading. Hope y'all had a killer weekend.

Josh
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:40 PM   #13
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I'll try to snap some photos of some other parts. Otherwise I'm coming up in the runner, so we can take stock of what's FUBAR in mine and rummage your parts.

Did you sell the dash already?
I used the dash in mine. That's actually how I found the parts truck. Went to the guys house for the dash and bought the whole rig.

Man I'm pumped about y'all coming up, and in the Runner at that. You're brave. Call me if you have trouble along the way.

Talking about your tie rod ends, I had a bump in mine a few months ago and found a worn out tie rod end. I could buy one Moog end that particular day for like $50 at the parts store but looking on Amazon and some other sites, I could buy pairs or even sets of them for about $20 or $25 each. If you are investing heavily in your rig, I recommend finding a deal on a whole steering linkage set when you do your front end and replacing all of it before you have it aligned. I had to have a joint that day so I opted for a $15 store brand end with the intention of doing all of mine together in the near future. There are many good steering components out there but I do like the Moog parts. That's all I put in my log trucks at work. They are heavily built and are greasable.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #14
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Oh, here is a pic of the parts rig when it was together and then stripped.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:38 PM   #15
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I used the dash in mine. That's actually how I found the parts truck. Went to the guys house for the dash and bought the whole rig.

Man I'm pumped about y'all coming up, and in the Runner at that. You're brave. Call me if you have trouble along the way.

Talking about your tie rod ends, I had a bump in mine a few months ago and found a worn out tie rod end. I could buy one Moog end that particular day for like $50 at the parts store but looking on Amazon and some other sites, I could buy pairs or even sets of them for about $20 or $25 each. If you are investing heavily in your rig, I recommend finding a deal on a whole steering linkage set when you do your front end and replacing all of it before you have it aligned. I had to have a joint that day so I opted for a $15 store brand end with the intention of doing all of mine together in the near future. There are many good steering components out there but I do like the Moog parts. That's all I put in my log trucks at work. They are heavily built and are greasable.
We're pumped too, should be a proper adventure for sure! Let's hope it doesn't come to it but I do have roadside with USAA!

What's the word on the control arms? I can always send you my cores back if you want to keep the truck on a rolling chassis. They would really help me out as I'm fabbing and installing the blazeland kit.

I'm going to try to find a steering set. I found a hy steer setup for $429 but don't really want to spend that much either! Moog stuff is fantastic, that's what I currently have priced up for my tie rod ends. I'm going to do some more research. Good news is, steering linkages can be installed after I've finished the rest of the suspension work. On the subject of steering, I'm also trying to find a gearbox that I can rebuild and swap in. Doesn't matter if it leaks like hell. Let me know if you'd be willing to sell the one out of the parts truck.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:54 PM   #16
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The truck is actually gone. Just have all of the parts I stripped. Had to leave enough of it together to roll it up on a trailer. I know two places where I might be able to come up with some. I'll get you a quote. Do this for me though. Research which pickups have the parts you need. They are thick around here but the Runners are a little more rare. I'm betting any IFS up to at least 89. Maybe all the way up to 95. You are talking about the upper control arms aren't you?
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:06 PM   #17
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I was just doing some looking at front end kits and I'm seeing a big jump from a $110 no name greasable kit to the $400 Moog kit. I'm about half a mind to do the best cheap kit I can find. I don't drive my first get more than a thousand miles a year. I would definitely drop the $400 on the Moog kit or go OEM if I were driving it daily..
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:32 PM   #18
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:31 AM   #19
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Best upgrade for the steering, if you want to spend the coin, is total chaos' idler arm. Other than that, get the 4crawler bronze bushings and a weld uo Brace from blazeland.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:17 PM   #20
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I was just doing some looking at front end kits and I'm seeing a big jump from a $110 no name greasable kit to the $400 Moog kit. I'm about half a mind to do the best cheap kit I can find. I don't drive my first get more than a thousand miles a year. I would definitely drop the $400 on the Moog kit or go OEM if I were driving it daily..
This is a daily driver in a city with more potholes than anywhere else in the industrialised world and I hate when crap breaks on the trail so I'm definitely inclined to go higher end.
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