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Building a 1990 4Runner for offroad use. Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by USMC1345, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. USMC1345

    USMC1345 Gresham, OR Member

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    Like the title says, I am just starting this build. I have a 1990 Toyota 4Runner V6 A/T with well worn out 285/75/16 tires and I assume some sort of lift, but I'm not real sure. I've been out of the 4 wheeling hobby for ten years and thought this might be a fun way to get back to what I enjoyed so much way back when. Yesterday I got a used engine that runs great, and hope to install that this weekend. When I used to go offroading, I prefered playing in the mud and on technical trails, and not so much into hard core rock crawling.

    What I am hoping for in this thread is any ideas on modifications that you all have done that worked for you. Even better if the mods you have done are on a similar vehicle to what I have. I don't want to change the engine (again) or transmission anytime soon. Everything else is fair game, and would love to hear from those of you that know more than I do about the 4x4 world. A few examples of things that I might want to change are gearing in the transfer case or axles, tire size, replacing the interior with something more mud friendly, auxilary lighting, winch, roll cage, etc. I have access to a wire feed welder, torch, plasma cutter, and other various metal working tools, and some experience fabricating bumpers, brush guards, skid plates, etc. For now, I want to keep it street legal and maybe use my truck and trailer to tow it to trails sometime in the future.

    Thanks in advance for you ideas.:thumbup:
     
  2. krkruse

    krkruse Salem area Active Member

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    first thing ya got to do is get some pictures.
    also if you havent seen yotatech.com head over there for a ton of information on all sorts of toyota truck/suvs.
    Lockers are a must.
    Thats about all the advice I can give ya.
     
  3. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    You need to figure out what difficultly trails you will be running and go from there. Also, alot of the mods you do will depend alot on the tire size you want to go with. Bigger tires = more $$$$$ in mods to make them work.
     
  4. FatherHolyHoly

    FatherHolyHoly MN Active Member

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    Offroad.com. They have a forum just like the one here at NWfirearms, only it's dedicated to offroad. They also have truck specific sections. If that doesn't work, find a toy only board like the one mentioned previously. Probably get a wealth more info than from the gun site.
     
  5. greydog111

    greydog111 peoples repubilik of Oregon Active Member

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    trade it for a post 96 wrangler! LOL. Good luck on yhe build. see you on the trails.
     
  6. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Throw the IFS away and find a straight axle for the front. Either toyota or run fullsize Chevy stuff.
     
  7. USMC1345

    USMC1345 Gresham, OR Member

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    Thanks. That's the kind of advice I'm looking for.
     
  8. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm also not a big fan of the V6 either. 22re or smallblock chevy would be my preference of motors. What size tires are you planning on running?
     
  9. OR4X4

    OR4X4 Hour south of portland Member

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    Full lockers front and rear should be mandatory in your mind.

    SAS, will make it a much more capable rig, and SOA convertions keep that clearance up.

    min gear range of 4.56 to 5.29 (do at same time as lockers).

    Eventually (depending on tire size) you may want to swap out the transfer case. I put the Advanced Adapters Atlas II on my last project.
    With an automatic, don't go to the 4.3:1ish transfer cases, as the stock brakes won't be able to stop the rig at Idle. Stay in the 3.8:1 range.

    I suggest either heavily trussing, or switching to d44 or 8.8 axles.
    (full size axles only add 3" (iirc) to the width, backspacing of wheels can erase or add to that)

    35x12.5x15 tires are a decent compromise for a non trailer (daily driver) type rig.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    YotaTech

    Tons of info on um yotas?

    But PLEASE use the search feature BEFORE starting a new thread. Just a little anal over there on that one.
     
  11. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    If your not going to be doing much rock crawling you don't need to ditch the IFS. Low profile bump stops will gain you a bit more travel up front.

    A locker is going to gain you more off road capability then anything else. Don't use one in the front if you plan on driving in ice and snow.

    You have a welder....Make yourself some good armor. Bumpers and sliders will save you from a good deal of body damage.

    Your vehicle stock will fit 33's with a little trimming of the pinch weld.
     
  12. USMC1345

    USMC1345 Gresham, OR Member

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    @Redcap - I think I'll be checking on tires anywhere from what I have now which are approximately 33" up to 35". It just depends on what it will cost to make the larger tires work on my rig.

    @OR4x4 - Had to look up SAS but now that I know what you were refering to, I may go that route. As far as SOA, if I go with solid axles then I'm sure I would do the spring over as well. Done this on another rig so I should be able to figure it out on this one.

    @the4thshake - I was thinking the same thing about keeping the IFS since I don't plan on rock crawling. I think I would start with a different vehicle if I wanted to build a rock crawler. The tire size I have is basically a 33 when converted from mm to inches, and they seem to fit fine and don't look like they will rub anywhere. I'll have to get it running and out on the trails to be sure.

    Should I go with air lockers like ARB, or is that not necessary? How about doing a rear disc brake conversion? I've done that before, as well as moving the emergency brake to the driveline. Should I do either of those things on this rig?

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  13. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'd toss a Detroit in the back and some sort of selectable locker in the front. Are you looking for a tire with nice road manners that still performs well onroad as well as off or strictly gnarly deep-tread rubber? I still recommend a solid axle swap, as it is much cheaper to lift a leaf-spring vehicle than a IFS one, not to mention they are less prone to breakage. But, by the same token, I don't know what sort of driver you are and the IFS may very well work for you just fine.
     
  14. jer fly

    jer fly cottage grove Member

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    I've built several toyota's, and agree that a locker is the single best mod you can make. If you can afford a selectable locker like a toyota trd electric locker, or ARB that is the way to go, because sometimes locked up is not the best choice, and a locked up rear end will wear tires out quicker, and a locked up front end is difficult to steer. If your going to run 33 inch tires 4:88 gears will help ( your rig has 4:56 gears stock ) 5:29's will be better off road but you will loose some highway mileage. If it were me I would put a straight axle under it, and run 35 inch tires locked up front and rear with 5:29 gears. I've seen this set up go all kinds of places ( hauling four people)