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Old 11-18-2013, 08:13 PM #1
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TheeMikeB Build Thread

Well it’s been about 4 years in the making and I owe a tremendous amount of my build to this site and its members. When I started out on this site I had one goal in mind and that was to build a 4Runner capable enough to wheel the Rubicon. Last week that goal was achieved and I decided that since I drew so much inspiration from other build threads on here, that I would give back and post up mine in hopes to inspire others out there.

My story to getting in a 3rd gen begins with a series of bad vehicle decisions including letting go of my baby; an 01 Thundercloud Grey Tundra V8 that I had since day one, it was setup Pre-runner style since I am originally from SoCal and was a river and desert rat. So I loaded bikes in her in the winter and towed my boat in the summer. It had tons of mods including SAW front coils, exhaust and it was paid off… uggghh That is and will forever be the one that got away.

Then I moved up to Nor Cal and decided I wanted a 4wd V8 for the snow, so traded in my Tundra and got a 07 Limited 4th gen V8… ummm hello super high car payment! That got old real quick, especially since I was taking BART to work every day and that thing basically sat in either my driveway or the BART parking lot. I think I put about 10K miles on it in 2 years. So I decided to ditch the car payment and sell that and get something I could pay cash for and have money left over for mods. Because in the back of my head I knew that someday I wanted to wheel the Rubicon.

So having lead with that… I ended up with this 100% stock 3rd gen back in Oct 09. 2001 4Runner SR5, 113K miles and I think I paid about $7500.

When I first got her:






How she sits today:


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Old 11-18-2013, 08:15 PM #2
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My first mod was the “poor man lift” and removed those heinous running boards.




BAM massive clearance increase! Lol
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:00 PM #3
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Like most others out there, I was at a crossroads with lift and tires. I needed tires and therefore had to decide on my lift. I spent countless hours on this site reading and searching in order to decide what the best solution was for me. At the time this was my DD but I knew that it wouldn’t always be and that since my ultimate goal was the Rubicon I decided to never compromise off road ability for on road ability.
After reading the stickies and all the ‘what size tires’ and ‘what’s the biggest I can put on there without rubbing’ threads. I decided on a 285/75/16 size tire and the brand I picked was the MAXXIS Bighorn MT.
As for my lift, I pieced it together and went with: OME 883 with 9004 Shocks from Toytec, I got some used LX470 8.25/8.75 wraps from iH8mud, Tokico Trekmaster Shocks from Autoparts warehouse, and an adjustable panhard bar from Sonoran Steel.
I didn’t get any install pictures of my lift install but I have some of the before and afters:

Before stock on 265/75/16s



Front OME883/9004s installed rear still stock:



Front and Rear



Front Closeup:



Rear Closeup:



From the back:



From the front:



The next day I picked up my 285/75/16 MAXXIS Bighorn MTs and got an alignment:


Front Closeup



Rear Closeup



From the back:




From the Front:


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Old 11-18-2013, 09:07 PM #4
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Man it looks great!! nice job with the lift and tires! just a couple things tho, Any rubbing with those 285s? and it may be just me but how are you measurements on all four corners? the front right and rear left look a bit lower compared to the other corners but it may just be me. Either way it looks great
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:15 PM #5
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Quote:
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Man it looks great!! nice job with the lift and tires! just a couple things tho, Any rubbing with those 285s? and it may be just me but how are you measurements on all four corners? the front right and rear left look a bit lower compared to the other corners but it may just be me. Either way it looks great
I did have some rubbing on the rear, it used to rub the stock rear bumper when stuffed and some on the gas filler nozzle inside the rear fender. The new CBI rear bumper fixed the bumper contact and the wheel spacers helped the nozzle contact.

I also had some in the front, still do sometimes but I have yet to pound in the pinch welds in the inside fender.

As for the measurements I would need to check, those pics are a few years old and the lift has settled some since then. Typically the driver sides sit a bit higher due to longer springs to compensate for driver weight and the fuel tank. Not sure which pic specifically you are referring to though. When I get some time I'll post my current measurements.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:25 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheeMikeB View Post
I did have some rubbing on the rear, it used to rub the stock rear bumper when stuffed and some on the gas filler nozzle inside the rear fender. The new CBI rear bumper fixed the bumper contact and the wheel spacers helped the nozzle contact.

I also had some in the front, still do sometimes but I have yet to pound in the pinch welds in the inside fender.

As for the measurements I would need to check, those pics are a few years old and the lift has settled some since then. Typically the driver sides sit a bit higher due to longer springs to compensate for driver weight and the fuel tank. Not sure which pic specifically you are referring to though. When I get some time I'll post my current measurements.
That would make sense as the springs and shocks weren't settled and makes sense for the weight of driver. I just noticed and wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:42 PM #7
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Well finally! haha Glad to see you're getting this going because it has changed a ton since the first time we went wheeling. Do you still have that dent on your rocker panel from the rock?

I'll post these pictures up just for fun...




It was such a baby back then.


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Old 11-19-2013, 12:00 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRunner12 View Post
Well finally! haha Glad to see you're getting this going because it has changed a ton since the first time we went wheeling. Do you still have that dent on your rocker panel from the rock?
Ha hey Robert, yeah I really did mean to start this thread a loooooong time ago but it just didn't happen. Life has been crazy busy the last few years and I'm finally settled enough to contribute.

I do still have a small dent there and I have a few more after Rubicon last week, my armor for SURE has dents in in now but that's what it's for.

Seeing those wheeling pics make me laugh now, you said it right it was such a "baby" back then. But then again you were in that 2nd gen 3.slow too. We both have come a long way!
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:28 AM #9
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looks good!
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:44 PM #10
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looks good!

Thanks, I have a bunch more to post, I'm trying to organize all my pics and try to remember everything that I did. Stay tuned
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:07 PM #11
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My next mod ended up being an ARB front bumper that I scored off Craigslist for $400. It was used but complete. Had to drive out to sac to get it but it was still about 1/2 of new so what the hell.

Here is she is before the install:



Front Bumper removed:


A bit better pic with more flash:



Here are the removed parts. I ended up selling these for a few hundred bucks so the ARB was just about free!



Impact bar removed and front tabs already cut off. I thought it was funny that my frame had dried mud in there. And this is exactly why I HATE mud. (no ref to 1h8mud lol)




Here it is all bolted on. I didn’t bother to do write up as it’s been done several times before.


Total install took me about 2 or 3 hours all by myself.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:04 PM #12
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That old bumper went on my 97...
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:30 PM #13
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Originally Posted by TheeMikeB View Post
Ha hey Robert, yeah I really did mean to start this thread a loooooong time ago but it just didn't happen. Life has been crazy busy the last few years and I'm finally settled enough to contribute.

I do still have a small dent there and I have a few more after Rubicon last week, my armor for SURE has dents in in now but that's what it's for.

Seeing those wheeling pics make me laugh now, you said it right it was such a "baby" back then. But then again you were in that 2nd gen 3.slow too. We both have come a long way!
Yeah we've both come a long way, but yours has grown up quite a bit more than mine. The 4runner is looking so sweet and I'm super jealous you made it to the Rubicon. Unfortunately I don't see my 4runner heading there anytime soon, but hopefully I can pick up a 1st gen and build it how I want.

You thinking of bumping up to 35's at some point?
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:36 PM #14
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That old bumper went on my 97...
Yup! It sure did, do you still have it and is it still working out for you? I have yet to get to the part when I explain my accident and new ARB bumper but I may leave that part out.

Quote:
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Yeah we've both come a long way, but yours has grown up quite a bit more than mine. The 4runner is looking so sweet and I'm super jealous you made it to the Rubicon. Unfortunately I don't see my 4runner heading there anytime soon, but hopefully I can pick up a 1st gen and build it how I want.

You thinking of bumping up to 35's at some point?
At this point i'm not sure which direction I want to go. Part of me just loves modding and building so I'm constantly looking at parts and things to change. But my rig is really 'done' for the most part. But I search CL everyday for SAS'd rigs and crawlers for ideas and to see what's out there.

I considered 35s but I built and geared it with 33s in mind. I still like the fact that it's capable of long road drives with good manners. So for now no plans for 35s. Unless I SAS
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:05 PM #15
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Yup! It sure did, do you still have it and is it still working out for you? I have yet to get to the part when I explain my accident and new ARB bumper but I may leave that part out
let's hear it...
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