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Old 01-06-2014, 04:44 PM #1
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my slow build/wheeling/everything thread.

going to start this now, so I have a place to put everything.
it will be slow, and all over the place, until I get things gathered.

edit: i'll apologize here...there will be a lot of text to follow, sorry for that. as im trying to compress about 16 years worth into this thread...

I don't have many pics of the mods or wheeling ive done, I didn't have a digital camera, and never really stopped to take pics.


ive wheeled an 85 Toyota truck for a long time, but most of what ive done is applicable to the 4runner...which I will get to later.

it started all stock, then I added a 3" body lift, both for tire clearance, and because I knew I eventually wanted to swap in a v8.

this is the best "stock" pic I found. this is actually a picture of a picture.



its not stock, it has a 3" body lift, and a set of 35" bfg's I borrowed from a buddy. with 4.10 gears, it was terrible to drive, I went back to my 33's not long after.

I wheeled it that way for a lot of years, then decided I needed bigger tires. so I ordered up a set up 36x12.50x15 super swamper TSL SX's and a skyjacker 5" lift to fit them.

*insert stock photo I pulled off the net*




as you can imagine, it didn't do so well with 4.10 gears.
so I put a call in to randys ring and pinion, they are semi-local to me, and awesome to deal with.

after talking to the salesman for a bit, we decided on 5.29 gears. but, I also wanted more traction. he mentioned a spool...hm, intriguing, tell me more!

another stock photo..



it was a NEW product being offered by Yukon, for Toyota's, they currently had some test units out, in some of their employees rigs. they weren't even in the system yet as far as pricing goes. so he tossed me a price, it sounded great, so I ordered a spooled/5.29 3rd member for the rear, and an open 5.29 for the front.

quite possibly I had one of the first Toyota spools sold to the public. maybe not THE first, but id bet there were less than 5 before me.

WOW, what a difference! I went "wheeling" for the break in run. what torture! watching my buddies have fun, while I had to sit there and let the gears cool off. I just spent a ton of money, and didn't want to ruin them the first 20 miles.

after a year or so(cant remember) I decided one locked end wasn't enough so I called up randys, and ordered another for the front. as it turns out the price he gave me was wrong, way wrong. in fact according to him, it was a few dollars below their cost. but since he already gave me that price, he would sell them to me. I ended up ordering 3 more spooled/5.29 3rds, as my dad wanted a pair aswell.

so now im locked and geared in both ends. DOUBLY wow with the traction, but man...steering sucks....lol.


oh, time for lunch..i'll get back to this in a bit.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Last edited by nevada; 01-06-2014 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:43 PM #2
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ok lets see...

I wheeled like that for a long time.
somewhere in there I added an air tank, and converted a AC pump to be used as an air compressor.
I bobbed the bed, and built some bumpers. bought a milemarker 8k winch when they first came out. man, was that thing SLOW!
but, it never stopped pulling. I used the SHIT out of that thing. it paid for itself the FIRST trip out.

I just looked, its so old, I cant even find a pic online. lol.

i had an old motor we pulled from our farm truck. a 1968 ford 302. it was sitting in the corner of my shop just calling to me. it sat around for about 10 years, as i slowly collected the parts i needed to swap it in. i didn't have much of a budget, so it was difficult.

on a wheeling trip, my water pump started making some noise. i checked, it was loose, the pulley was just flopping, but not leaking...
the other guy i was with over revved his engine and locked it up...great.

so i had to tow him off the trail, and home. we were about 35 miles away. mind you my WP is basically gone..

about 10 miles into the trip home it blows, and sprays coolant across the windshield. we did an emergency stop to the shoulder, since i couldn't really see where i was going...

as luck would have it, i was towing another Toyota. we busted out some tools, we also had to flag some people down(other wheelers that were in the area) and borrow a 10mm wrench, and swapped water pumps right there on the side of the highway. in fact, i think. refilled it with water from the creek and finished the trip home without any more problems.


but, that was the last trip with the 4cylinder. bad waterpump? that's a good enough reason to swap in a v8 right? lol. got the motor put in, and dealt with all that it entails. after a bit of "tuning" and adjusting it was working pretty good.

after a year or so, the 36's weren't big enough, I sold them, and picked up a used set of 38.50x14.50 SX's. nice and WIDE, perfect for how I like to wheel. DEEP snow.

i ended up getting 2 sets of wheels custom made, just basic steel black D window. the first set was for the 36"s, they were 8" wide, with a 2.5" backspace.
then i ordered some 10" wide, with 3" back space for the 38's.

sorry for the lack of pics...i'll be surprised if you're still reading lol.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:30 PM #3
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somewhere in there I was given a heavy metal rack that someone had made for a roof rack. this thing was HEAVY. but it was just about the right size for a flat bed. so I ditched the bed and mounted it. it worked out very well. I added some side bars, to helped slide past trees, and act as fenders of sorts.

oh yes, I also mounted my EXTRA DEEP tool box. that thing is GREAT.

until you're upside down, and you need a snatch block out of it...



but that story comes later...

anyway, back to the flatbed...



i'll see if I can find a pic.



that's the best one I could find, but if im ever home when its light, I could take more. also in that pic you can see my custom cut tires, and my buggy springs. a lot of people rag on them, but they have worked well for me for a lot of years.

as you can see, I also added some expanded metal to the rear to help hold things inside on long climbs.

heres another pic you can see it from the back




after one too may trips with this happening.






there was ice packed into the back of the valve stem, it was clogged. I used a tiny screw driver to clean it out. I dropped said tiny screw driver into the tire, and I couldn't fit my hand between the tire and wheel to get it out.

so out came the tire spoons,



I pulled the outer bead to retrieve it.

got it reseated and continued on without issue. but, that was possibly the last trip before I got some weld-on bead-locks.
so now I have 10" wide wheels, with weld-ons. so basically 11.5"-12" wheels.
once aired down to about 1psi or so, it has a VERY wide footprint.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:53 PM #4
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some random wheeling pics for a break from all the reading












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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:06 PM #5
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more random pics.




















I was VERY stuck there^^. we ended up having to winch me backwards.



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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:52 PM #6
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as can be expected with the v8, I ran into cooling issues. mostly because I didn't have a lot of money to buy what I needed, and had to use what I could come up with. old crusty radiators from the wrecking yard, whatever I could find that fit, and crappy electric fans.

I couldn't afford a serpentine belt conversion, so I didn't have room to run the fan as a puller. a pusher fan isn't nearly as efficient at cooling, but its what I had, so I used it.

I don't remember where I got it, but I got a nice hood scoop. I think its from a gran torino. as seen here..




yes, that is reposted from above. again, I didn't stop to take pics of mods.

anyway, underneath that hood scoop is a 10" electric fan. this helped a lot to cool things down under the hood. it also pretty much eliminated ice on the windshield.

I have the hood scoop mounted backwards, so it pulls the hot air out from under the hood and blasts it onto the window. it works great.

so yes, it is a functional scoop.


remember the mile marker winch I mentioned earlier?

it finally died, after a few years of hard abuse. I think it was overheated one too many times. one day it stopped working, just clicked. I figured the solenoids died, so I ordered some new ones. that didn't fix it. time to tear it apart and see whats up.




its hard to tell in that crappy pic, but one of the magnets is broken.

lets get a closer look,





I think I see the problem. lol.




the pieces I dug out.




something is missing..



oops. its done.

even tho is was the slowest winch ive ever seen, I feel I got my money out of it. we used the crap out of that thing for $350.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:07 PM #7
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Keep the pics coming! Ran that same spool for many years. Nothing says cool like a spool!
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:18 PM #8
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one wheeling trip, we were close to the end of our loop, my steering arm broke. anyone who has wheeled a straight axle Toyota for any time knows what arm im talking about.



not my pic.

mine actually broke a little closer to the ball.

anyway, at that point I was leading, and now my truck was disabled, and blocking the trail. we had just gone down a slick hill climb. there were 3-4 other vehicles that we had to get turned around, and back up that hill. then backtrack the entire way we came.

I didn't have another steering arm, and had to leave my truck up there for 3 days until I could get the part, and a ride back up there.
changing that arm on the trial, in the dark, while it was snowing was fun...

before I had the chance to break another one, I upgraded to crossover steering. but, at the time the kits that were readily available used a MODIFIED stock IFS pitman arm. they were punching the joint out, welding up the hole, and then tapering it to accept an FJ TRE.

there were a LOT of failures, I think due to the welding. but id already been stranded due to broken steering, I didn't want to take the chance of that happening again with the NEW parts.


then I found skyjackers crossover kit.


Toyota High Steer Kit - Sky's Off-road Design

the price hasn't changed much, I think I paid $410. they use the same FJ TRE's as the other kits, where they differ is at the steering box. they just have a big block with a tapered hole, that accepts the stock pitman arm. perfect.



I don't know exactly, but id say its been close to 8-9 years with that steering set-up. ive had ZERO issues. it just plain works.

the other companies no longer use a modified stock pitman arm, they are all new parts built to spec. because of that, im not sure if the sky kit is really all that much better anymore.

but I still like the fact that I can just go into any autoparts store anywhere in the country and order a stock IFS arm., and not have to mail order a custom/special part.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:11 PM #9
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i guess I can talk about this pic now...




it was on our annual memorial day trip. the first run of the weekend. we were about 30 minutes from camp. making our way through a clear cut to the more difficult trail section.

I really like driving over things. rocks, stumps, cars. whatever.

so, when we saw a bigass stump, attempting to drive over/onto it was a given.

to this day, I still say it was my buddy that suggested it. and it was done as a joke, it was a BIG ass stump. way too big, theres no way id have enough traction to climb up it.

or so we mistakenly thought. I eased up to it, and gave it a little gas(this is after the v8) that thing has a LOT of torque.
also, I think at the time, my throttle cable was too short, and there was a bit of movement in the cab, and possibly the engine flexed on the mounts.

the left front tire bit into, and then it sort of throttled itself up the stump. by the time I realize what was happening, it was too late. we were on top.

not a big deal...except we teetered on 3 tires, and being an automatic, it just kept driving!
so, while I should have thrown it in neutral to stop, I hit the brakes.
that sudden STOPPING was just enough enertia to tip us over. it was SLOW. so slow. thinking back, if I would have stabbed the throttle and steered to the right, I could have saved it.

but, I was shocked. just so surprised of what was happening.

at the time, my pup was in the back of the track, on his leash, attached to the bed. luckily he just stepped onto the ground and was fine.
my buddies had him unhooked before I ever got out of the truck.


which, for anyone that hasn't been upside down in a vehicle before, its very disorienting.

you would think, since you're still sitting in the seat, that everything would be just as it was. not so much.

the truck didn't die, not sure how, but it was running. but, oddly enough, it took me at least 5 seconds to find the key switch and turn it off. it may have died on its own by that time, I don't remember. but, it was strange, not being able to find the key. I was in fact still belted and sitting in my seat, albeit upside down.


unfortunately, I had the only winch in our group. it was that 8k mile marker mentioned above. in fact, that may have been the first trip out, I cant remember..

also, my snatch block was IN my truck box, which was packed to the lid, and also upside. DOH!


luckily another buddy had an old-crusty-questionable block. so we ran out some cable, hooked the block to his truck, and ran the cable back to my truck.

I winched myself back over.

it was upside down about 30 minutes. i checked all the fluids, everything was good. only lost a tiny bit of PS fluid out the cap. it started right up! it did smoke a bit, but otherwise, all was fine. except...


if you look close in that pic, i landed squarely on a log. it creased in the top of the cab, and wiped out the window. damnit! we carefully kicked the window out, it was snowing before we finished. awesome.

then it turned to rain. it rained for 5 days straight. it was the wettest, most miserable most FUN wheeling trip ive ever been on.

im not sure what it was about being drenched in a down pour, without a window, but me and my buddy laughed ourselves silly. all weekend. it was great.


also, id like to add, i did have an interior roll cage...of sorts. it was some crap we scabbed together. it was pipe, not tubing. NOT good for a cage. we also had no idea what we were doing...so it wasn't even a good design with inferior materials. but, im POSITIVE it prevented more damage to us and the cab than if we didn't have it. the main upper hoop bent in pretty good.

even tho it bent, im glad it was there.


whew! that was a lot of typing.


if you are still reading, thanks. im sorry there aren't more pictures to go along with my stories.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:16 PM #10
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i haven't gotten to it yet, but that truck is no longer my wheeling rig, and i just need to say..

reliving these memories, and looking at these pictures..im having an emotional reaction. im going to miss that truck. i have a LOT of good memories with it. lots of blood, sweat, and tears into building and wheeling it. im sad to see it go.

personally, im sorry i didn't take more pics over the years.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:00 PM #11
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more random wheeling pics.












my 3 legged dog, he loved the snow.









the group trying to follow my tracks.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:36 PM #12
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after a few of these...



*not my pic*

i broke one(short side) while playing in the rocks, when it was still a 4 cylinder. was climbing a small ledge, got a little bounce, and POP. it must have been weak/cracked already. it shouldn't have broke when it did.

broke another one(this time with the v8) trying to pull a buddy out, i turned the wheel, and backed up a steep bank. that was a more violent break. i think that was a long side.

i broke a 3rd one(another long side) with the v8 on a slick muddy hill climb. i think there was some bounce involved there as well.

i finally had saved up enough money to order up some 30 spline chromo longfields.

30 SPLINE 4340 CHROMOLY SUPER SET - Longfield Super Axles



mmm good stuff there.

also, while i was waiting for my axles to come in, i was working on my marlin crawler.

i do have pics of this part



actually, i converted a forward shift to top shift. something, at the time was said to not really be possible. at least not without buying a conversion kit.

i do have a more in depth write up on pirate, if someone is interested, i can bring it over here as well. it turned out very well, better than expected.
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:43 PM #13
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I finally got an old monitor, so I can access the files on my desktop. there should be some pics on there.
I lost a bunch a few years ago with an unfortunate reformat incident

because really...even im tired of reading. bring on the pics!
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1985 pickup: EFI 331/4r70W-Dana 300-42 TSL SXII's/raceline beadlocks-30spl longs-5.29's-spools-sky Hi steer-OBA/4g tank-10.5k RR winch-dual blue tops-200 amp alt-flatbed.
1985 4runner sr5: 22RE/5spd-6" pro-comp suspension-37 BFG at's-5.29 gears-Badlands Basher bumper-8.5k RR winch.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:59 PM #14
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I'm loving the pics, the stories are cool too. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:10 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevada View Post
i do have pics of this part



actually, i converted a forward shift to top shift. something, at the time was said to not really be possible. at least not without buying a conversion kit.

i do have a more in depth write up on pirate, if someone is interested, i can bring it over here as well. it turned out very well, better than expected.
Got a link? Forward shifts go for a lot less than top shifts around here.
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