1st Gen 4runner Project: My COVID-19 Build

Smileyshaun

Observer
I didn’t read all the responses but a little food for thought . What would take in time and cost to do a motor swap you could likely do ,
*stock motor (upgraded of corse )
Go through all the Moving parts
in the suspension and drive train
Tires
And be out enjoying the rig .

a good rule of thumb when doing motor/drivetrain swaps is to figure out the time and money that will be involved then double the money and triple the time you would be amazed how quickly small items add up .
 

bkg

Explorer
I didn’t read all the responses but a little food for thought . What would take in time and cost to do a motor swap you could likely do ,
*stock motor (upgraded of corse )
Go through all the Moving parts
in the suspension and drive train
Tires
And be out enjoying the rig .

a good rule of thumb when doing motor/drivetrain swaps is to figure out the time and money that will be involved then double the money and triple the time you would be amazed how quickly small items add up .
normally, I would agree with this. But... I spent more $ rebuilding a 22re than I did installing a rebuilt 4.3 in a truck. Nice thing about a swap is that he can gather all the parts and have everything ready to go for a swap weekend/week/month/year...
 

Smileyshaun

Observer
Maybe it just depends where you live , I can pick up a super stock 22re for 1695$ with a lifetime warranty that they actually stand behind . Plus keeping it all stock really helps out if you break down in the middle of nowhere. But hey I’ve done plenty of motor swaps in my life and enjoy them I guess it really depends on what you want out of the vehicle.
 

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@Smileyshaun Thanks for the thought. Going with a 22RE is probably the path of least resistance to get this vehicle back on the road. But, I’d still have to find a transmission and t-case since the original A340H is toast. The 22RE installed is not original and with an unknown history. It also had a paint job at some point, and the gray paint and chrome siding were added.

Since its not original, I don’t feel bad modifying it to my liking. I’ve always wanted a 5VZ swapped 1st gen 4runner or Pickup, so I am going for it! Plus, I will get experience working on vehicles so when I break down, I’ll have a fighting chance of fixing it.
 
The Tundra arrived. Took some time to get it off the trailer with its rear end damage. It was the first insurance auction vehicle I’ve purchased, which was an experience itself. I got rid of the trash that came with it, power washed it and charged the dead battery. Checked all the fluids and inspected the engine bay. The engine is clean (no leaks) and started immediately with a charged battery.

Here are some pics.
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Attached a few pictures of it from the auction too.
 

Attachments

wiggilez

New member
i forgot that tundras had a V6 option and taught you were about to do a 2uz swap until I saw the picture of the engine bay.
 
@wiggilez haha a 2UZ would be sweet, but not going that route. I had no idea a 5VZ was even an option in the tundra until I started looking for a donor vehicle. With all that space in the engine bay, the tundra needs a V8.
 

tennesseewj

Observer
@wiggilez haha a 2UZ would be sweet, but not going that route. I had no idea a 5VZ was even an option in the tundra until I started looking for a donor vehicle. With all that space in the engine bay, the tundra needs a V8.
Even with the 4.7 the engine bay is weirdly spacious in those haha.

There are also a handful of first gen Tundras with the 4.0L V6 in them, which looks weird to see for some reason.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

wiggilez

New member
@wiggilez haha a 2UZ would be sweet, but not going that route. I had no idea a 5VZ was even an option in the tundra until I started looking for a donor vehicle. With all that space in the engine bay, the tundra needs a V8.
A V8 tundra was the first V8 I ever drove, and it took a few years before I got my own, still as awesome as younger me remembered. I kind of miss the simplicity of my old dodge 318, but my Toyota 4.7 is better in just about every other way :)
 
It has begun! With the help of some awesome weather, I started ripping the 4runner apart. After taking apart the front end, the passenger side headlight housing looks much cleaner than the driver side. Looking closer, the driver side was mangled from a fender bender.
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I also found some rust underneath the battery tray. The battery will be relocated, and the air intake filter will be placed here.
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Took off the flares. Discovered two rust patches underneath the driver rear wheel arch. There was even a little bondo underneath the rear patch. I will try and track down a replacement to weld in.IMG_1346.jpg

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I also got to see how deep the corrosion went under the passenger rocker panel. The rocker patches I have should be enough but will verify this week.
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I decided on a R150F transmission which originally came attached to the VF1A chain driven t-case. However, you cannot put a lower L (gear reduction) or go dual cases with a chain driven t-case. Not interested in dual cases for now, but it could be a cool option in the future. The other route is a RF1A, a gear driven t-case. I believe I will need an adaptor to attach it to the R150F and get the splines to match (21 vs. 23).

To my understanding, both the RF1A and VF1A have the same driveshaft output locations so both allow the use of factory driveshafts. The R150F should bolt up (no adapter needed) to the 5VZ but I am less certain about the attachment of the RF1A. Hoping to verify my transmission and t-case selections this week.
 
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Here is where I am at so far.

Transmission:
There are two versions of the R150F, one that came attached to the 3VZ (88-95) and one that came attached to the 5VZ (96-04). Apparently the newer R150F is 3/4’’ longer but is otherwise the same. I am going with the older R150F since it gives me a factory look and should mount easier.

T-Case:
I can use either the VF1A (chain driven) or RF1A (gear driven) t-case with the R150F and retain the original driveshaft positions. Both options will need to be the 23-spline and top shifter version. The gear driven RF1A does require an adapter to attach to the R150F but is considered tougher. Again, its biggest advantage is the ability to increase the lower gear ratio from 2.28 to 4.7 or run dual t-cases! If I can source a RF1A locally, I will rebuild it with a 4.7 gear.

Here is a useful link to specs: http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/faq/parts/

I was planning on a solid front axle swap and dual t-cases to make this a crawler. This weekend I drove our FJ40 and came to the realization that I wanted better road manners. Now the plan is to keep the IFS and go long travel! I also came across the photo of the famous Baja wining Ivan ‘Ironman” Stewart in a 1st gen (body only), so it only seems right to go that direction!

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Autoweek’s “A one-man desert storm” PDFs link: https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f116/ivan-stewarts-4runner-pre-runner-autoweek-296545/

Long Travel:
I am only aware of Total Chaos, Blazeland, and JD Fabrications that offer kits for the 1st gen 4Runner. All require T100 CVs and shocks and allow for 3”-4” of lift, 12” of shock travel and increase the front track by 6”-7”. I am leaning towards Blazeland as it is more budget friendly, and I have a welder now so I could do the weld-it-yourself kit. I am sure Total Chaos and JD Fabrications are great, but I am not sure the step up in cost will get me performance I will notice. I could be wrong, but money spent on shocks over control arms is a better ride formula.

Flares:
I need flares to minimize debris thrown by the tires with long travel. I considered Bushwhacker flares, but I am not a fan of the exposed mounting screw look. Toyotafiberglass.com offer flared front fenders and rear quarter panels but the wait time takes it off the table. The other options are flared front fenders from Advanced Fiberglass Concepts (AFC) and Hannemann for the rear flares.

I ordered the AFC fenders (should be here in 3-4 weeks) and Hannemann flares (should arrive next week). I’ve heard not-so-great things about Hannemann, but I will find out for myself. Hopefully I can get away with cutting the rust on the rear wheel arch and not need to weld replacement panels on.

Paint:
Once I get all the rust patched and the rear flares fitted, I will paint the 4Runner. I haven’t picked a color scheme but, played around on photoshop. I virtually painted the 4Runner blue, purple, orange, tiger stripes, desert tan, army camo etc. and can’t settle on a color/scheme. My 80 was resprayed a newer Toyota green at Maaco in 2014. I think it is Imperial Jade Mica (6Q7) from the 96-02 4Runner or Woodland (6R1) from the 00-02 Toyota Avalon. It could be cool if they were both green, if not matching. It will be taken back to Toyota white (033) if I can’t settle on something else soon.

Moving forward:
Now that I’ve got a better idea of what I want out of my 4Runner and the direction I want to go; I can continue my parts search. I want to minimize my project downtime, so I am trying to get engine swap parts ordered this week. I will probably get most of my engine swap parts from Off-Road Solutions as they have been very helpful when I contacted them about engine swaps.

The project order is still body, paint, engine swap, drivetrain, interior before accessories like lights. I’d like to run 33” (maybe 35”) KO2s so I will re-gear to 4.88 and maybe a rear locker. I know @Summit Cruisers Jr is doing the same flare combo, Blazeland long travel and swapping a 4th gen 4Runner rear axle so that is something I am watching. A wider rear axle that plays nice with the wider front track is appealing, so that will be something I might do too. I’ve got plenty to do before getting to that point though. Hopefully I can get the body done and painted in a month.
 

Summit Cruisers Jr

Active member
Awesome! I think you’ll be happy staying with the IFS vs going SAS. Having an 80 with solid axle is great and SAS runners have their place, but then having the nimble ifs 4runner is like the best of both worlds.

There was another flare option brought to my attention the other day on insta. This eBay seller has some or will soon have some first gen extend a flares like the no drill bushwacker extend-a-flares, but they don’t net you any extra clearance in there. I wish ADV could be pressured into making something for the rear of the 4runners.

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Recommended books for Overlanding

Awesome! I think you’ll be happy staying with the IFS vs going SAS. Having an 80 with solid axle is great and SAS runners have their place, but then having the nimble ifs 4runner is like the best of both worlds.

There was another flare option brought to my attention the other day on insta. This eBay seller has some or will soon have some first gen extend a flares like the no drill bushwacker extend-a-flares, but they don’t net you any extra clearance in there. I wish ADV could be pressured into making something for the rear of the 4runners.

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I hope so! I haven't driven the 4Runner yet so it is hard to know what to expect as a driving experience. I am sure it zips compared to a 40 or 80. A crawler would be cool, but we are thinking of doing dual cases on the 40 and make that a crawler. After buying my first insurance auction vehicle, its got me thinking that the way to get a crawler platform, maybe another 80 haha

Didn't know about those, but they look nice for stock. I also wish AFC made matching rears, especially since the Hannemann rear flares don't off too much tire coverage. I asked AFC if it was they were considering making rear flares and didn't get the impression they ever would.
 
Swap over the tundra front brakes and master cylinder as well, should be a good upgrade.
I actually thought about that! Not sure how involved that would be yet.

I am thinking about rebuilding the Tundra as a tow vehicle/parts hauler/tire-slayer with a V8 (LS or 2UZ). I couldn't grab these parts if we did that but I gotta finish the 4Runner first.
 
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