CreeperSleeper's '85 Xtra-Cab


Looking for bigger rocks.
Isn’t it funny how life changes and flows…?

In the last two years, my wife and I got married, bought a “forever home”, built her 5th Gen 4Runner for adventuring, acquired a really cool rock buggy, bought my “dream” Tundra, picked up some quads, and got a couple trailers to haul everything around. We were having a blast playing with our toys and finally being in a spot that we had dreamed about. However, God had other plans and answered a long-forgotten prayer. Amy, who was told that she could never have kids, got pregnant and we are expecting our little boy to be born in March!

With a new baby on the way, our lifestyle and finances needed an overhaul. (Child care is expensive!) We sold the buggy, then the car hauler, then the Tundra, then one of the quads… We were able to get out of some payments and pay down some debt to get ready for the next chapter in our lives. However, that left me without a truck and that wasn’t going to work. I made a list of what I needed a truck to do for me in this stage of my life and figured out how much we could spend. This truck is the result of that and I hope that it will be a member of our family for quite a while.

I was looking for a pre-1992 Toyota pickup or 4Runner. I wanted a truck that was mostly turn-key as I wouldn’t have time (or extra money) to build anything. I needed a truck that I could wheel pretty hard but still drive 4 hours on the highway to take me elk hunting. Long term dream would be something I could load up, drive from Portland, OR to Rubicon Trail, wheel the trail, then drive home… Oh, without spending a bunch of money on it. That is not a small order! After shopping for a while, I ended up with this:

She is a 1985 Xtra-Cab with an ’87 SR5 body swapped on at some point. The bed is bobbed and the fenders are cut at least 4”. She has a 22RE that has been supposedly rebuilt with an intake, cam, header, and exhaust. It feels strong and doesn’t make any noises it shouldn’t. The 5-speed shifts great and it is currently running a stock transfer-case. The front axle has high-steer, 3” Trail-Gear springs with a leaf removed, 14” Fox remote resi shocks, 5.29 gears, Detroit locker, 1.5” spacers, and 30-spline RCVs. The rear is an IFS housing, f150 springs, 14” Bilstein 5100s, 5.29 gears, and a spool. She is currently running 36” radial Iroks on 15” fake beadlock wheels. Other stuff it has is rock lights, heated Mini Cooper seats, a homemade DOM tube front bumper, projector headlights with LED bulbs, and almost everything works! The PO drove the truck daily, so it drives very nicely.

I will be making small changes as I go along, so this thread is just to document the changes and the adventures. Hope you enjoy it!


Looking for bigger rocks.
I was able to order some parts for the truck to make it a little more pleasurable. The window runs were shot, so I ordered a new set for both windows along with the inner and outer "wipers" or weatherstripping. I was also able to find a NOS full lock cylinder set, so that is being shipped to me as well. (The doors were not keyed the same as the ignition and I didn't have the door key.)

This weekend I will put the Iroks and wheels up for sale, so they can be replaced with 37x12.50r17's on my 2015 4Runner Trail Premium wheels. To make that work, I may have to move the 1.25" spacer in the front to the rear and buy 2.5" spacers for the front. I am also planning on running 10oz of DynaBeads for balancing just in case I spin a tire on the wheel up wheeling. The big decision I will need to make is what tire to run! I've had really good luck with Kanati Mud Hogs and would consider them again. I am also very intrigued by Milestar's new Patagonia M/T, but there isn't much out there on them. The last tire on my list is Cooper's STT Pros. If anyone has any insight, I would be more than happy to hear it!

Also on the to-do list this weekend is see if I can fix the dome and cargo lights, install my Ham radio, and start planning storage both in the cab and bed. I also may get working on the shifter bezel if a stock one doesn't show up for sale. My interior is clean enough that I would rather have a nice stock one, but cup holders would also be nice.... LOL!


Looking for bigger rocks.
I got some work done on the truck Saturday: The tires and wheels are for sale. I fixed the dome light and the cargo light. I built a battery tie down to replace the ratchet strap. I de-stickered the interior. I added floor mats...

Of course, like any new toy, I found a few more things I need to adjust or fix. But, I did get to take her out for a little bit on Sunday and get her muddy. :)

Side note, does anyone have a set of the factory stereo brackets they would be willing to sell? Mine are missing...
i remember seeing that for sale (or one really close to it), someone did the same thing to my 4runner too 87 body on an 85 chassis but its nowhere near as built as your is.


Looking for bigger rocks.
It's possible. I found it on FB Marketplace. The guy was originally only looking to trade for a 4Runner so he could wheel with his kids., so there was no price on it.


Looking for bigger rocks.
I guess it's time for a quick update. I haven't had much time to actually work on the truck, but I need to get my butt in gear since we are doing an annual snow camping/wheeling trip the first weekend of Feb. (Hopefully we will actually get some snow!)

The NOS lock cylinders apparently were non-existent and the company cancelled the order. Guess I will be buying aftermarket cylinders and getting them re-keyed. Not a big deal, but I wish I would have know that two weeks ago!

I'm not getting any real bites on my tires and wheels, so I may just keep them. I may end up pulling the wheel weights and running balancing beads to see if that helps smooth things out. Another thought of where the vibrations are coming from is the driveshaft. It is a 1 piece, non-CV shaft, so I will make sure that the angles are good and it is phased correctly.

"vikingsven" on Pirate was kind enough to mail me some stock stereo brackets and my BIL gave me an old CD player. That will be installed at some point along with my 2 meter radio. The ham needs to be in for the trip, so that is somewhat a priority. LOL

I have decided to build my own bumpers and sliders, but I need to get steel. Hopefully I will have them done for the trip, but I have to find time to get the materials. I see a lot of late night fab time in my future...

Georg at Valley Hybrids is the man and has 4.7 gears for me! He mostly deals in Land Cruiser stuff, but if you need anything I would recommend asking him. He is definitely one of the TLCA greats and I'm honored to have him as a friend. As soon as I can shuffle some cash around, the gears will be on the way, however, I won't install them until I can get a twin stick set-up. I'm torn between Dave'z or FROR...

Lastly, I figured out how the PO mounted the Mini seats. He bolted the Mini sliders to 1" square tubing and welded it to the floor. Totally not the way I would have done it, but it is what it is. The problem is the left front weld punched through the floor... That is my priority fix! I think I'm going to seal everything up and brace it with angle under the floor. I will probably do that to the passenger seat too before it breaks through.

With a little luck I will be able to start working on it tonight and I will update with pics as soon as I have some!


Looking for bigger rocks.
I spent the day Saturday in the garage working on the truck. It was a beautiful day, so it was pleasant, but I would have much rather been wheeling!

The first order of business was to see why the front left driver seat mount ripped through the floor. I pulled the seat, trim, and carpet back to find whoever installed the Mini Cooper seats cut the front support out. Then in their infinite wisdom (*sarcasm), they welded 2" chunks of 1"x1" square tube to the floor as the new seat mount. No other reinforcement at all...

Needless to say, I was not impressed... The fix was to use more square tubing to brace both front "mounts" the entire span of the floor and up onto the trans tunnel. I welded it in, then used JB Weld to seal up any holes and give it a little more strength.

It's not going to win any beauty contests, but it is nice and strong now!

After that I pulled mounted the stereo and my 2m Ham to the factory stereo brackets I got, only to find out they were the wrong bracket. I messed with them every way I could think of but they just aren't going to work. So back on the hunt for the factory stereo brackets... If anyone has a set, please let me know.

Lastly I put my new Special Interest plates on (no more registration ever!) and helped my neighbor install a spacer lift on his wife's 5th Gen 4Runner. It was a productive day!

Now I need to order some steel and a few other misc parts to try and get this thing set up for the 1st. The likelihood of snow is looking pretty slim, so I better get some protection on this thing!


Looking for bigger rocks.
yotadude520 on IH8MUD is the man and was nice enough to send me some door lock cylinders. I got them re-keyed and installed yesterday so I could drive the truck to work and the Cascade Cruisers monthly meeting tonight!

Also this week I was able to order everything else I needed to get the truck to "stage 1" (i.e. I spent all of my money, so this will be where it sits :ROFLMAO: ):

All the steel and winch plate for bumpers and sliders
Stereo brackets
4.7 transfer case gears (Thanks again Georg!)
LED reverse lights
FROR twin stick

I pick up the steel tomorrow and plan on gluing some sliders and the rear bumper together this weekend. If anyone is in the neighbor, stop on by. The hope is to get everything done except the front bumper and TC gears before my trip on the 1st.