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Old 12-20-2018, 12:12 PM #1
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Nantucket Rust Bucket

I was reluctant to make a build thread as I dont currently plan on doing anything crazy to this vehicle (atleast until I have it back running) but I though having some expert eyes look at what I am working with and a place to bounce ideas off of people who have been here before might be a good idea. (unlike impulse buying a truck off of craigslist)

A few months ago a picked up this 4Runner on a whim because it was being sold for so cheap and the owner didnt know what they had or didnt care what they had, the guy just needed some quick cash and the truck was just sitting.
This is a 97 5spd with the factory eLocker. Im calling this the Nantucket Rust Bucket because of the beach pass on the bumper. The beach pass theory helps explain why from rockers up its practically flawless but rockers down needs a good bit of attention.


So a synposis of the condition of the vehicle. The truck is just shy of 220,000 miles. But seems to run well, although after doing a compression check, i have decided to rebuild the engine as some of the numbers were less than awe inspiring



But the insides of the engine look very clean. So i think really just the piston rings need to be redone.

The truck had weak brakes when i got it, basically there were no brakes until the pedal was matted, so I havent taken the truck over 25 mph. The previous owner had stated that he had in on the highway and you just had to give enough stopping distance.
The reason it didnt have brakes was because they were broken. The hardline going to the passenger side front brake caliper had snapped off of the caliper



So within 24 hours of towing it to my house, it had taken over the garage as I started tearing it down.

The good news is that except for a few minor rust holes that I have currently found in the frame, it is in surprisngly good shape. Its just that pretty much all of the ecoat on the frame has fallen off. I've been wire wheeling the flaky coating and surface rust off and been treating the frame with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator.

My current plan for the truck is to get it back roadworthy by the June. A guy at work gave me the stock suspension off of his 99. I have picked up the big brakes from a Tacoma. I have been ordering replacement parts for the wear items and been restoring everything I can.

I have almost finishined taking apart the engine and will send the block and heads to be inspected and decked by a local recommended machine shop.

My biggest hindrance right now is that my job keeps sending me out of town for months at a time.

I have already tested the most important feature. The dog really likes the truck.

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Old 12-20-2018, 02:20 PM #2
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following... looks like fun project
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:34 PM #3
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Rare find, as this one has the elusive 4.10 e-locked rear end because of it having the 5-speed. A rear end that I and many others are on the hunt for! Good luck on the rebuild!
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:23 PM #4
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New Engine

So after researching for a while, it seems like just buying a lower mile engine is a better solution then trying to rebuild the one I currently have.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I should look for or places to buy them that are reputable?

Thanks,
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:41 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateJon View Post
So after researching for a while, it seems like just buying a lower mile engine is a better solution then trying to rebuild the one I currently have.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I should look for or places to buy them that are reputable?

Thanks,
Are you looking at JDM used motors? I would start by searching your local CL for vendors that sell the imported motors then research them for a good one.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:33 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateJon View Post
So after researching for a while, it seems like just buying a lower mile engine is a better solution then trying to rebuild the one I currently have.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I should look for or places to buy them that are reputable?

Thanks,
I have been thru this recently.

you will have to look a couple of places.

#1 keep your eye on Craig list local. these trucks are getting long in the tooth and it seems quite a few show up as part out adds. a lot of the time it's a transmission failure and the engine will still be good. shoot for less than 220K for sure and don't pay more than $400-$500. I have purchased entire trucks(also $400-$500 range) that were rust buckets with bad frames/transmissions just for the engine. salvage the rest. yes this can be risky but... so far it's worked out well for me. your going to have to do valve covers/timing/seals on these engines.

#2 local salvage yards will have running trucks and want to unload the engines but will want a lot more for them... seems like $700-$900 around me is the going price. I kind of don't like this route because they pull the engines like gorillas and I have seen some crazy stuff. like actually grinding off the engine mounts and yank up! done!

when I first read your user name I was like "dead pirate Jon"?
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:45 PM #7
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Wow. Someone optioned it right. That's actually a sport package truck too.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:30 PM #8
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At some point someone really took care of this truck. Which is a shame that the last few years saw it fall into such a state if disrepair.

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Old 12-31-2018, 12:38 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepydad View Post
I have been thru this recently.



you will have to look a couple of places.



#1 keep your eye on Craig list local. these trucks are getting long in the tooth and it seems quite a few show up as part out adds. a lot of the time it's a transmission failure and the engine will still be good. shoot for less than 220K for sure and don't pay more than $400-$500. I have purchased entire trucks(also $400-$500 range) that were rust buckets with bad frames/transmissions just for the engine. salvage the rest. yes this can be risky but... so far it's worked out well for me. your going to have to do valve covers/timing/seals on these engines.



#2 local salvage yards will have running trucks and want to unload the engines but will want a lot more for them... seems like $700-$900 around me is the going price. I kind of don't like this route because they pull the engines like gorillas and I have seen some crazy stuff. like actually grinding off the engine mounts and yank up! done!



when I first read your user name I was like "dead pirate Jon"?
I'm leaning towards a jdm engine if I can find one. Just because this truck only had 220k on it but had some low compression on it.

The other idea I have right now is just replace the Piston rings and slap it back in to run for a year or two.

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Old 12-31-2018, 02:17 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateJon View Post
I'm leaning towards a jdm engine if I can find one. Just because this truck only had 220k on it but had some low compression on it.

The other idea I have right now is just replace the Piston rings and slap it back in to run for a year or two.

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I also had this line of thought but.... by the time you buy new head gaskets, new TTY head bolts, piston rings.... and who knows what else your going to find once your in there?

so far I have compression tested 4 of these engine with the gauge.

220K 170-180 good engine
240K 150-130 not so good engine but still runs fine just lacks power
180K 170-190 good engine but I destroyed it
150K 140-150 range - this was a low mileage engine the salvage yard claimed was in terrific condition. passed on this one.

it's kind of crap shoot no matter what?

I know the JDM's take a bunch of work to get them swapped over and to me it's still a crap shoot so... I can actually tell now how good the compression is on these 5VZ's by loosing the belts and turning them over with a breaker bar off the crank pulley. it's pretty obvious to me now but that learning curve can hurt a bit. maybe a technique you can learn off your new old trucks?

just trying to give you food for thought?
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:16 PM #11
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99 Talls or FJ springs

So I am planning on running Bilstein 5100s, and have been given both a set of 99 talls and a set of stock FJ springs.

Does anyone know anything about either option? It seems like either one will give me a 1.5 to 2 inch lift, but I dont know much on spring rate, or how they handle.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:50 AM #12
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I haven't posted an update in a while, but here is where the truck currently is at. My job has me working in Chicago this month, but I am back for the weekend and plan on doing nothing but jamming on the 4runner.

Im almost done stripping down the engine bay and front suspension.


I've been cleaning up the surface rust on the frame and recoating it with Eastwood products.

I had to cut out the LCA and then chisel off the adjustment bolts. The bolt heads and rusted to the bushing washers like a rivet.

Last night I finished tearing down the block. Even at 220k miles everything looked really clean, the only marring was the front main bearing, and it was minor.



For the rest of the weekend my plan is to finish cutting out the driver side LCA. Clean up the frame, and hopefully be able to start reassembling the front suspension.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:33 PM #13
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Spent Monday recoating the frame with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on the outside and their internal frame coating on the inside.

Outside


Inside


I think I like this new color scheme. There was one final coating I was thinking of spraying on the Frame, but I may leave like this.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:38 PM #14
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Hold on... THAT is rust?! Nice ride, man!
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:05 PM #15
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Was it from Nantucket? Nantucket is FULL of what we call, F**k you money!
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