I bought my 1985 Toyota 4Runner in April 2006 because I wanted a dedicated trail rig. It was bone stock and fairly beat, but the price was right. And everybody told me they were awesome. (They were right!)
Crossover steering was installed with a new IFS steering box. 5.29 gears were installed in the 3rd members with a Lock-Rite in the back and a TrueTrac in the front. The suspension was replaced with Trail Gear’s 5” suspension lift in the back and some used Alcan 5” springs in the front with Rancho RSX9000 shocks on all four corners. Finally, a super deal netted me 4 34x10.5x15 Super Swamper LTBs which I had mounted on AWC Daytona 15x8 rims. The engine was treated to a tune-up and the brakes refreshed. Then it was off to wheel Lizard Gulch for its maiden voyage where the only casualty was the clutch slave cylinder.
Shortly after this I was sent to S. Korea for a year so the truck sat in my garage while I made plans for further modifications. During my mid-tour leave at home I had Discount Muffler replace my exhaust system. I also replaced the instrument cluster with one from an SR5, and finally got the cracked windshield replaced.
Once I was back from Korea for good I decided it was time to get busy on this truck. I replaced a blown head gasket, timing chain kit, added hood louvers, a Marlin Crawler rear bumper, Vorfab front bumper, KC HiLites off road lights, a Smittybuilt XRC8000 winch, Trail Gear rock sliders, and a Killer Toy Tops bikini soft top. The TrueTrac in the front axle was replaced with a Detroit Locker while I was replacing a broken birfield courtesy of the Rock Pile bypass in Pritchett Canyon, Moab.
2009 saw the front leaf springs replaced with Trail Gear 5” springs on Vorfab custom mounts to move the axle 2” forward. The busted transmission was replaced and the transfer case was doubled using Trail Gear’s kit. This was also the perfect time to replace the worn out clutch with an Exedy unit and a Marlin Crawler stepped flywheel. A Marlin Crawler long travel driveshaft kit was installed in the front driveshaft and the rear drive shaft was shortened. Worn out engine mounts were replaced and a new clutch master cylinder was installed. Unfortunately, after the Idaho 4X4 Association Trail Ride and Rally the engine started to blow oil out of the #4 cylinder so it was time for a rebuild. The motor was stripped down and taken to C&A Automotive for prepping. The engine was bored 0.020” over and the rotating assembly was balanced and installed in the block. The fuel injectors were sent off to RC Engineering for cleaning, testing, and flow matching. A 130 amp alternator was sourced to replace the wimpy 70 amp factory unit. In October 2009 a job opened up in Oman which I couldn’t pass up, so that has put a hold on the rebuild effort. Coming up in Feb-Mar I will be home on vacation and plan to complete the rebuild with an Engine Builders’ Street RV head with (oversized valves) and a 261C (Crawler) camshaft. I did manage to get the engine compartment done before I left.
Future plans for the 4Runner include wheel spacers, tube doors, an exo-cage, and larger tires. All in all, I love this truck and I usually refer to it as “The Tank” since it usually gets through just about anything.
My vehicle specs as it stands now:
Fairly stock 22RE
W56 5-speed manual transmission
Front Axle: Detroit Locker, 5.29 gears.
Rear Axle: Lock-Rite locker, 5.29 gears.
RF1A Gear driven transfer case X2 (2.28:1 in both cases) - Crawl Ratio: 108 to 1 in double low
Trail Gear 47" front leaf springs (5" lift) (axle moved forward 2")
Trail Gear 57" rear leaf springs (5" lift) (axle moved back 1")
Super Swampers TSL LTB 34X10.5X15" on American Racing Black Daytona 15X8" rims
Trail Gear Hy-Steer Crossover Steering with steering stabilizer
Rancho RSX9000 10" Front Shocks
Rancho RSX9000 12" Rear Shocks
Marlin Crawler rear bumper
Vorfab front winch bumper
Smittybuilt XRC 8000 Winch
Killer Toy Tops Bikini Top
Garmin eTrex Legend C GPS Navigator
Radio Shack 40 channel CB Radio
KC HiLites 100 Watt Daylighters