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Old 09-15-2019, 02:48 PM #46
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You learn something new everyday....
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:44 PM #47
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Little junkyard score today, complete set of skinny flares and a clean 99 console. Debating on whether to install the 3rd row seat or do a subwoofer setup.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 09-15-2019, 09:24 PM #48
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You getting her together ain't you boss! Great find

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Old 09-16-2019, 12:07 AM #49
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You getting her together ain't you boss! Great find

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Not my first rodeo so I've got the whole list of parts I need already thought out lol. Wasn't expecting to find the flares today but was sure happy to see em.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 09-16-2019, 12:22 AM #50
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Figured I'd share another cheap restoration trick with you guys since I found my skinny flares.

I'm sure everyone who's ever owned or even seen a 3rd gen with the skinny flares has noticed the chalky grayness of a faded set of flares. Is there any way to fix it other than applying back to black 3 times a week or covering them with trim paint that'll only look good temporarily?

I've got the answer. Fix it with fire.

Might sound crazy, but take the flares off the truck and grab your propane blowtorch. Get em nice and clean inside and out with something like a detailer spray or glass cleaner. Then you're ready to get to restoring. You're going to want to fire up the torch and hold it right where the tip of the flame touches the plastic. Make a quick pass and you'll instantly see results.

Do the entire flare and let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool down, you will notice that there's still light spots more than likely, so make another pass, rinse and repeat until they're a nice even color. Don't get carried away, they're still 20 year old parts made from bare plastic, so they'll never be pefect. They'll be a whole lot better though.

If you're wondering how well this holds up to the elements, take a peek at the second picture, I torched that mudflap a year ago and left the flare as is. That runner's been in the elements directly, rain, sleet, snow and a lot of direct sunlight, the flares almost as good as the day I did it. I only made one pass on it.

Then throw em back on and bask in the glory of your unfaded skinny flares.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 09-17-2019, 10:13 AM #51
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Awesome progress! I wish I was so mechanically inclined to take on a project like this, it seems like a fun journey in itself just putting the car together
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:26 PM #52
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Awesome progress! I wish I was so mechanically inclined to take on a project like this, it seems like a fun journey in itself just putting the car together
With time, tools and space anybody can do this. My mindset when it comes to tackling something I'm not comfortable with or have never done before is that if somebody, somewhere can do it, why can't I?

I make it look easy at this point because I've been doing this for 7 years now. I've done everything I've done to this runner so many times I can do it with my eyes closed. That wasn't always the case.

Here's a picture back from the start of my 4Runner addiction. I tore apart my daily driver and only vehicle at the time to swap from a gray interior to tan. The only prior experience I had at this point was taking the tan interior out at the junkyard.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 09-24-2019, 06:06 PM #53
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Broke down and ordered boring old push through caps. You wouldn't believe what a set of nice center caps for these old wheels go for. Looks complete with these at least.

I've been slowly cleaning up the runner, especially the undercarriage. Every time I knock crud off, I find crust, this is rusty compared to what I'm used to. I'll undergo the process of descaling and undercoating soon enough.

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Old 09-24-2019, 09:18 PM #54
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Looking good!
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:14 AM #55
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And another mod in the books today. Found out just how cheap these mirrors are when I had to order a replacement for my Tacoma.

I know this won't be a popular mod as the look I'm going for isn't exactly the "in" fashion, but it's a big part of it as far as I'm concerned. A quick little tidbit of 3rd gen history to start it off. For those who haven't ever noticed, have you ever seen a 3rd gen 4Runner with chrome side mirrors? Chrome mirrors were an extremely common sight on any 2nd gen 4Runner, and even made a resurgence on the 4th gen SR5 models, but interestingly enough are one of the RAREST pieces of trim you can find for a 3rd gen 4Runner.

Why on Earth would chrome mirrors for a 3rd gen runner be THAT rare? You might be wondering. Well, the answer is simple. Chrome mirrors were only ever an optional extra, on only upper model SR5's, only in the 2002 model year. The optional chrome package is something I've only seen twice in person, and I'm not one to miss a 3rd gen driving by. If you're wondering what else the package consisted of, you also got chrome door handles and chrome trim on the 01-02 taillights. Those are also only available with the package and therefore extremely rare.

So, history lesson over, I wanted chrome door mirrors on this build, instead of finding the needle in a haystack (which I did try to do..) We adapt and improvise. Parts interchangeability between the Tacoma and 3rd gens are very hit and miss, so any time you're doing something with no info it can be a risk. But these mirrors only cost me 50 bucks for a brand new pair so why not...



If I was replacing nice color matched factory mirrors I might've thought twice. I'm not though, base models and low option SR5's got these unpainted plastic mirrors. They're excusable on black runners like mine, but still kind of an eyesore.



To my relief, they fit perfectly, I didn't even have to do an electrical guess and checking. Exact same colors of wire on both sets. Only 2 differences, the plugs are different, and the Tacoma mirrors use studs with nuts instead of bolts.





And just like that they're installed. Much easier and quicker than I anticipated, but it looks as good as I'd hoped.



Now to decide what I want to do with the front bumper. A chrome OEM bumper seems like an obvious choice, quick, cheap and easy. I really would like to build a prerunner inspired tube bumper with an aluminum skidplate though, sounds like a lot more work to me.



Side note, thought I'd found a nice clean hatch for the old runner, but it ended up not working out... The hunt continues.
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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 09-26-2019, 08:10 PM #56
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Quote:
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Im parting out 3 4runners right now. Hit me up if you need any parts. All have tan interiors.
You got a climate control bezel for a 1999 Limited?
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:37 AM #57
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Bit the bullet and decided to tackle a little issue on the 4runner today. Had an iffy conta t in the starter since I picked it up. Already did the footwork and narrowed it down to a definite internal issue.

Decided to try slapping in a used RZ starter I had laying around in unknown condition, problem is that it was from a manual truck and therefore different.

While I had it out though, I decided to diagnose the issue. A worn contact is all it was. Did some digging through the parts hoard and found a 3.4 starter that I'd likely never use. Took it all apart and found that the contacts are the same. Bingo. Out with the old completely shot contact, in with the new less shot contact. Cranks right up.

I have another issue that I'll need to take care of soon. The truck runs rich for sure, not as rich since I replaced the gunked up front O2 sensor, but still rich, I can smell it in the exhaust and am getting a measly 13 MPG. I suspect the MAF may be an issue, sadly the MAF off of my 97 Tacoma is actually different than the 97 4Runner. So I'll have to find one elsewhere.

I also suspect the cat is clogged up, I was slowly regaining power as I drove the truck the first couple hundred miles, but it's leveled off and I feel there should still be a little more there, especially in the low end. Realistically a full new exhaust from the header back may be in order.

The truck also does burn a little more oil than I'd hoped for. I switched to 10w30 with Lucas additive when I changed from the oil I used to clean out the system to calm the smoke a bit, after 300 or so miles it still went from the full line to just under though. There's no leaks that I've seen, and the valve seals are new and valves adjusted, so I think the rings are just worn on the 270k mile bottom end. Nothing I'm gonna do to fix that any time soon. Fingers crossed it doesnt get worse.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 10-24-2019, 06:43 PM #58
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Considering taking the welds off and either storing them over the winter so they don't get trashed, or possibly selling them to get the set I really want. (3 5/8 backspace weld sidewinders....)

Ended up picking these wheels up, well, trading a set of stock 17" trail edition wheels for them, I don't love them, but I don't hate em either. Problem is they're 17's and I'm not certain I want to be spending another 800 bucks on new 295/70r17's since my MXTs have all of 700 miles this far. I also don't like that I'd have to run spacers again.

Considering trying to trade em off for a set of 16x8. I'm liking the American Racing AR23 (though I've already had those), the Mickey Thompson Classics, or maybe just a plain old set of steel wheels.

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'97 3RZ 5 Speed "FrankenRunner" (Build Thread) - Tundra TRD/5100's/LC 8 Wraps Lift | 1" BL | 4.88's F/R | 35x15 Toyo M/T on 15x10 AR23's | 4WD Conversion | Manual Hub Conversion | NWTI Front Bumper | Tan Interior Conversion | Infiniti QX4 Seat Swap | 99+ Upgrades | OTRATTW Switches| Yakima rack setup | 42" LED Bars F/R | 2x Lightforce Genesis 210 HID's

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Old 10-25-2019, 01:15 AM #59
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Awesome thread!! It makes me wish I did this!!
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:35 PM #60
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Starting to tackle the dog hair infused headliner situation. Ordered a Lilly brush online and am happy with the results I got, it performed exactly how I figured it would on the headliner fabric, pulling any loose strands of hair right out with a little elbow grease, but leaving the super deeply planted hairs behind. Did a little half and half to show the difference.

The headliner is not only infused with dog hair but also super grimy. The second Pic shows my hand after rubbing around a bit on a dry section of headliner before using any cleaners. Yuck.

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