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Old 04-05-2019, 08:45 PM #1
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Brian's Maintenace and Mods thread

New to 4runners, but I spent 17 years with a 1997 T100. Made a terrible decision and sold it. My wife wanted an SUV instead of a truck, and ultimate plans are to move to Montana where this will be her daily (I'll probably still drive my RWD cargo van).

9/1/19


This is as it sits 4/9/19:



Overall objective: Want a dead reliable rig for my wife that's oriented towards performance on snowy roads. Secondary want something fun to explore dirt/forest service roads with.

Current Needs:
Unknown and undocumented history, so Everything

What I've done

4/1/19:
First of several interior cleanings

4/5/19:
Taco Whip mod ~ Taco Whip Mod
Antenna Mast 86300-35090
33" antenna mast 86309-0C020
Metra 40-UV43 Male to Female Motorola Antenna Cable
SCOSCHE MDAB 1988-05 GM Micro/Delco Antenna Adapter; Tip only

4/8/19
Installed repaired Auto Climate Control ~ Auto Climate Control Repair Services

4/9/19
Disinfected AC condenser ~ YouTube

4/10/19
Changed drivers door lock actuator so I could program keyless entry fobs
Driver Side Front Door Latch Actuator 69120-35050
You can just replace the motors though, for a Whole lot cheaper ~ Door Lock Motor Replacement - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum
And programming keyfobs ~ Programming Instructions for keyless entry remote?

4/21/19
New Champion CC1998 radiator and silicone top and bottom hoses (ebay had the best price for both) ~ https://www.championradiators.com/product/CC1998

6/1/19
Tinted front windows with 25% Llumar

6/20/19
DIY immobilizer reflash to make new Master keys ~ Keys and Remotes and Immobilizers, Oh My!, or...

6/27/19
StrongArm 6815 hatch struts with nylon bushings and new headunit. The struts are pretty stiff, you really have to watch out that the liftgate doesn't smack you in the face...
Lift Gate Strut hardware

7/21/19
R&R the headliner for cleaning, sunroof for repair... which failed, so it's now siliconed shut.

7/31/19
Shifter bushings and OEM fuel filter:
Loose Shifter? - Replace your shifter bushings! - Write up with pictures
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdDhXZIs6Lo

8/3/19
Whiteline upper and lower rear control arm bushings, OME 906 springs and Bilstein 5160 shocks (25-268362/25-268379)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq-lzK7CPKQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvBid-kIdiI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t015bRXd0QE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HJx6HH2yno

9/1/19
Whiteline lower front control arm bushings, OEM upper front control arm bushings, Energy steering rack bushings, Energy front and rear swaybay/endlink bushings, OEM lower ball joints, both O2 Sensors and Bilstein 6112 shocks (47-258624)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lZbAd1_EUM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmaZNBp1gZM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YywcR0E9bM4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfLvtEnX9qk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtngAVxJxkE

9/10/19
Alignment and final torque on all the fasteners (since the alignment place couldn't bother)

9/16/19
Stop-Tech braided brake lines front and rear, Valvoline synthetic brake fluid flush

11/21/19
Replaced the timing belt, crankshaft seal, both camshaft seals, water pump, thermostat, both idlers, tensioner, all 3 accessory belts (Ebay Kits, lots of different options, Actual OEM parts. I also replaced the valve cover gaskets, half moons, rear cam plugs, spark plug tube seals, Denso spark plugs, plug wires, and all other gaskets that go with taking the intake off. Also cleaned the MAF, throttle body and IAC and checked the valve clearances while I had the covers off (3 exhaust were just on the loose side, everything else was within spec).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5fAXAuGozI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHC46ypHxWc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mErd7xoBS9I

11/26/19
Replaced nearly all the rest of the fuilds, having already done the coolant and brakes above and leaving the power steering yet to complete. Also dropped the transmission pan to replace that gasket.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a81i1Cayf_I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RumPXivBlk8

11/30/19
Installed a Magnafine transmission filter after getting Chunks out of the system during the above flush. Also tackled swapping the dryed out, cracked and crumbling vacuum lines with silicone vacuum hose.

12/12/19
Installed a pair of BMW F30 seats. While my stockers looked okay with a recover by the PO, they were torture devices after 30 minutes. More info in this thread:

BMW E90 3-series Seat Swap

Many thanks to Tim and Sean for their videos! I've really leaned on them, obviously.

Last edited by Brian.; 12-12-2019 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:46 PM #2
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So, the history on this truck is minimal. I'm apparently really bad at buying cars (only done it 5 times, 2 of those we had for 16 and 17 years, 2 more we bought new last year), and focused too much on getting a low(ish) mile, one owner truck to the exclusion of things like records and condition. This has ZERO records from Toyota, and only the yearly inspection from TN for carfax. The PO owned a marina, with hired mechanics, so they did the work. My impression is that the mechanical work is fine, but the cosmetic repairs were done with a BFH. On the plus side, the truck only has 192k miles on it, I couldn't find any rust, body damage is limited to a slight push by the passenger rear door and rock dings, belts look new (claimed to have been done 20k miles prior), oil was fresh, front brakes were claimed to have been replaced not 300 miles prior (yet to be confirmed), tires aren't in urgent need of replacement, no codes and it starts/runs/drives well. I think I overpaid at $6k (plus 10 hours travel and another $150 in fuel), but I'm sure opinions will differ.

For now, this is a 3rd vehicle and won't see much use. Actually, for the next month or two it probably won't see Any use as I start addressing the issues that were missed by me and undisclosed by the PO. I'm that a-retentive type guy who HAS to have everything function properly. If it's broken, it irritates me to the point of distraction. My wife is bothered by, for lack of a better word, "ick" ~ so dirty and smells. This thing had Plenty of those as it was used for the dog kennel, and had copious numbers of unknown drinks spilled all over. First course of action after getting it home was to pull the seats and clean the carpets.




My wife tackled wiping down all the interior surfaces with a disinfectant, then a cleaner and lastly 303 for a little protection. While this addressed most of the stench, there's still a lot in there. I'm guessing it's split between the headliner (not sure how those get dirty, I'm guessing big/wet dogs shaking) and the HVAC system. Headliner needs to come out to address the non-operation sunroof (actually disclosed, the only thing that was) so I'll clean that when it's out. The HVAC had to wait because this is a Limited with automatic climate control.... which means it didn't work either. Thankfully, and a large reason I like vehicles with strong community (I'm a motorcycle guy, have been through Hundreds of motorcycles and chatting about them online since the early 90's) is that there tend to be community fixes and support. So my dash is apart, CC unit mailed off to NJ and sitting like this.



I figured while that's all torn apart anyway, I'd go ahead and fix the broken power antenna. No need to spend money on a fragile thing that's prone for damage/breaking, so the Taco Whip makes more sense. I'm also trying to decide on a radio replacement since I live in a state with a hands-free phone law, yet another "while it's apart" thing.




The truck only came with one key, highly chewed and severely worn. Thankfully they wrote the key number down on the owners manual. After being lied to by my "local" (40 miles away) dealer about the key cost and availability, I opted to buy 2 online (claimed OEM) and see if I can find someone else to cut from code. I also have no key fobs, couldn't find the RS3000 unit and took the chance on the factory installed option. Of course, when I go to program it I run into the next issue... the drives door actuator is failing so the "lock/unlock" sequence doesn't work to get into programming mode.

I've also been reading, for several months now, about the other known issues and am working on my plans to resolve those. First up is the radiator, where I have the aluminum Champion unit arriving on Monday with new hoses. I'm going to run a couple coolant flushes through the current system first, to clean out the heater core mostly, before fitting the replacement. I opted to stick with the stock setup for the transmission cooler for a number of different reasons. After that, I'm torn between a functional "want" of shocks and springs (leaning towards OME 881/890 and 5100's) and the more practical/sensible LBJ/ITR/OTR/bushings/etc... I can do one or the other, but the 2nd will have to wait several months to a year (3~5k miles). I suspect that if it's more enjoyable to drive (suspension), I'll be able to talk my wife (CEO, CFO) into releasing some more money.

And talking about enjoyable to drive... these seats are Murder on my back. No idea how they can be SO terrible when I didn't have any issue with my T100 bucket seats (look Exactly the same to my eye). So, based on yet another thread here, I bought some BMW F30 seats to be fitted...


Last edited by Brian.; 04-09-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:20 PM #3
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Put the 4R up on the lift today while doing a car bomb (AC/interior smells) and nosed around looking for issues. Just a bunch of random photos, but if you see anything that stands out as needing attention, I'd be grateful for having it pointed out.













Getting into some leaks here:












continued.....
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:22 PM #4
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Guessing these LBJ's are done (192k miles, all stock):



















Thinking the valve covers are leaking too...






All in all, about as rust-free as you'd expect to find on a SE vehicle. I didn't drop the spare to check under there, and I know there's rust INSIDE by the back passenger tie-down. The spare is rusty too, so I'm hoping to find a single Limited 5-star to replace it.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:38 PM #5
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Looks nice! Not sure if you put the seats back in it yet but you're not much more to just take the carpet out all together...center console and lower door trim...can steam it outside and get it as clean as it can be...head liners can be a pain to get clean...gotta be careful. I'm guessing you found out how to get the ac control fixed...he's got mine now too! Keep posting!

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Bought this 99 in 01 and haven't let it go since! Valve dropped at 195k so I rebuilt it with reman heads, new rings and one new piston...tough to find the correct numbered one but I did...still had the original hatch...I soaped it and did a light hatch to help the new rings seat...that was in 2015...since then I did a basic lift and put some VTX 18x9 inch wheels with 0 offset...Ive grounded the rear locker, ran a diff extension into the gas cap, did the hood piston mod...GM Alternator...13WL brakes..30 year ASE Master Tech with more tools than sense, so I quit everything and work at home now.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:08 PM #6
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Looks like a great base to start from. The oil leaks are probably valve cover gaskets. Oil on the rubber will eat away at it, so fix those soon.

Those look like original ball joints, but the truck is stock height and looks like it never even saw a dirt road - replace at some point but it isn't an emergency. OEM only, of course...

Make sure to keep that 4WD operation by running it for at least a bit once a month.

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Old 04-10-2019, 02:28 PM #7
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Thanks guys, seats are back in and a day after the "smelly bomb" + coil cleaning/disinfecting, seems like the smell is gone. Of course, it could just be covered up by the citrus, but at least the wife was willing to get IN the 4runner this time (previously she noped right on out of there).

I've done the valve cover gaskets before on my 97 T100, so those leaking are nothing out of the ordinary. I'm going to get the truck back on the lift and throughly douse everything with degreaser, scrub with my favorite disposable brush (dollar store toilet brush), and wash. Hard to know what's leaking when everything is covered.

Meanwhile, today I replaced the drivers door lock actuator (whole unit, didn't see the motor replacement info until after I'd made my order) and managed to get into programming mode so now I have 1 working fob. 2 more of those ordered, lets hope I can get into programming mode again next week and do all 3. Working on getting Techstream up and running to have a go at programming a couple keys as it seems like the one I got with the truck is a valet key. Not sure if the cable I have for my Ford and Mazda (those share how the diagnostic software connects) will work with the Toyota, but I'm giving it a shot.

Have some radiator cleaner running through the system too, trying to flush out the heater cores before I replace the radiator.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:04 PM #8
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Swapped out the radiator (and upper/lower hoses) today. Opted to go with the Champion 3-core instead of one of the cheaper options. Just a personal preference to have a fully welded unit instead of a crimped and glued unit.






Also took a peak at the timing belt, with no firm records/history, I'm basically just trying to prioritize what projects I do first. Belt looked old, but not on the edge of life so I'm going to put it off till the back end of what I know needs done currently.




No photos, but I got myself thoroughly mucky by degreasing and pressure-washing the underside of the T4R. No idea what's Actually leaking and needing priority attention when everything coated in a layer of dusty, oily goo. Absolutely leaking from the valve covers, but I think I have an issue on the drivers side of the front dif, the whole area took some major scrubbing to get down to metal.

Anyway, next project will likely be LBJ's and all the bushings in the front end. Steering is good/precise and it tracks well, but sure feels wallowy. Hopefully I'll figure out WTH I want to do about springs and shocks by then.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:42 PM #9
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Thanks for the hardcore frame porn. To all of us from the Northeast or the rust belt, that is a thing of beauty!
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:05 AM #10
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lol, you should see it now that I spent a couple hours with degreaser, some toilet brushes (best stiff and cheap brushes I can find) and a hot-water pressure washer.

I feel for ya though. I'm a Wyoming native, wasn't until my 20's that I made it into the DC area and a job that ran me to NYC and Boston that I understood it's VASTLY different snow/winters. It's so dry out west that generally the roads clear themselves within a couple days (provided sunshine), and they only really spread gravel/sand in the corners. It was a shock seeing couple year old cars that were more rusted than the '52 project truck my dad bought for my first car, we had to tow/snatch it out of a field where it'd been sitting for at least a decade.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:40 AM #11
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Brian,
I think $6K is a good price for that truck.
Re: carpet, Febreeze worked well for spot cleaning and deodorizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian. View Post
Guessing these LBJ's are done (192k miles, all stock):
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
...
Those look like original ball joints... replace at some point but it isn't an emergency..
The LBJ'S are an emergency waiting to happen on the 3rd-gen 4Runners, first-gen Tacoma and other trucks with similar suspension configuration. We need to spread the word among owners before it happens to them and to people around them.

It is easy to check (just google), and pretty sure easy to replace.

Ask me how I know.


Ask me why:
https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3175578-post169.html
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:06 PM #12
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I think I have an issue on the drivers side of the front dif, the whole area took some major scrubbing to get down to metal.
Sloppy oil changes, probably. Its hard not to spill oil right on the top of the diff there - right from new...

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Old 09-15-2019, 09:18 AM #13
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So I've done a gd-aweful job keeping this thread up to date.

Lets see if I can fix that. Left off with the radiator, so the next major thing was getting the damn key situation sorted. When you've been stranded because someone stole your jacket with your One key, and then you have to go through the process of finding a way home, then back to the vehicle, then getting the vehicle started and Finally getting replacement keys... all which takes up about 4 days of time where you get to do nothing else but spend money, you get a little antsy about having keys available. One doesn't do it for me, and paying ~$100 per key for a "clone" gets real expensive when you want 3 or more made. But I've already written about the process here:

Keys and Remotes and Immobilizers, Oh My!, or...

I now have 2 ECU's that have 3 registered keys each (the same 3 keys), just incase an ECU fails.

Next was looking into the sunroof and cleaning the headliner...





Sunroof was a complete loss, at some point there was a leak, so everything rusted in place. I sealed the stupid thing in place with silicone for now. I'm no lover of sunroofs to begin with, at 6'4" I appreciate not hitting my head, constantly, on that damn lump that's necessary for the mechanisim. Give me the extra 1~2" of headroom, PLEASE.

Then I replaced shifter bushings... which weren't so bad.



Of course the Bottom 2, that are more involved to access, were the worst 2



Not that it really made any difference as I didn't have much side-to-side play and the front-to-back slop is still there. Oh well, at least it was cheap and fast/easy.

Then I replaced the original fuel filter. Would have grabbed a photo but I got doused in gas, burned the crap outta my arm (chemical burn). Stupid flare nuts were essentially rusted in place. I did cut the filter open, was basically packed with mud at 194k original miles.

Next up was the rear bushings, shocks and springs.

Lower rear control arm bushings


Upper rear control arm bushings


OME 906 springs and some Bilstein 5160 shocks





I've got it nice, access to a lift just ~200 feet back up a driveway, along with most tools one could want/need (though most are geared towards Big trucks, my in-laws own/operate a water drilling company).





Man, I had a bear of a time with the upper control arm on the drivers side. Fought and fought that thing, then decided to just move ahead with the springs and shocks and hope that when the axle was dropped, I'd be able to line it up. Thankfully that worked out... still managed to destroy a ratchet-strap. lol, who'da thukn I'd need/use more than 500lbs of force. Bent the metal, had to cut the dang strap.

I also discovered both sway-bar end links are in need of replacement, the rubber boot over the ball joint is toast, and what little lithium grease left in there is essentially congealed.



Followed the rear end up with similar service on the front end suspension, bushings, lbj. Decided to work from the top down, so I started off with the upper control arms. Couldn't follow Timmy's method with the bearing splitter as mine is just too chunky at the edges, so I took to the metal lip with a hacksaw (sawzall) and just pushed the buggers out normally...



Replaced with OEM, which went in great. The hardest part was having to be stretch armstrong to reach into the engine bay to move the bolt while holding the UCA from the wheel well while installing.

Then I moved onto setting up and installing the new Bilstein 6112's. Didn't order a new tophat (don't know why), not that it's necessary but it would have Looked nicer and I wouldn't have had to disassemble the OEMs. Be Warned!! This spring compressor ~ https://www.amazon.com/Powerbuilt-64.../dp/B001OC5QJS ~ which is what Advance Auto loans, does NOT fit the Bilstein 6112 well. I don't know if it's the extra 1/2 inch body difference or what, but it Barely had ahold of the spring. No photos during because it was so sketchy.



Then it was time to get the truck up in the air so I could comfortably sit under it and do the steering rack bushings. These were a Lot easier than I had anticipated. Not sure if it's because I've only been doing control arm bushings, or they were excessively rotten (they were, IMHO), but they about just fell out. Replaced with some Energy Performance units, also did the sway-bars and end links with the same.




This feels a little ghetto, but when the truck is on a lift about 6' in the air, a jack support just isn't going to cut it. It's stable and secure though. Looped the ends around the frame rails:




And that's all in getting ready for doing the lower control arm bushings, lower ball joints (with new bolts) and getting the truck back on the ground for a final torque of everything.




Ah, spent a solid hour just at the wire wheel cleaning corrosion off fasteners and brackets. Truck spent its whole life in Nashville, TN so not a salt state and there's next to no rust anywhere... but the fasteners show significant corrosion. Actually, I was shocked at just how back the LBJ bolts were when I zipped them loose. Painted anything that was previously painted, coated the rest in either anti-seize or grease, depending on the location/application.


Pulled the LCA's, popped the bushings with the "bottle-jack" method:



Then cleaned them up and painted the small rusty spots (bleh, I just hit the whole thing with rattle-can) before popping the new Whitelines back in place:

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Old 09-15-2019, 09:18 AM #14
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And the thing that started me down this path... LBJ's. Yup, they needed to be replaced... 20 years, 194k miles, stock vehicle with road tires and was "Grandmas" car. Doesn't mean the boots hold up though:



Go ahead and make that one bigger, glory in the rust-pit within. Photo just doesn't do it justice. The other side wasn't Quite as bad with the boot tear and I didn't bother digging further:




Buttoned up the front end as much as could be done before dropping it on the ground, and tackled the rear swaybar bushings since I hadn't bought those back when I'd done the back end a few weeks ago:



And somewhere in there I smashed my thumb, which gushed a bunch of blood.... happened to be a thumb I nearly amputated with a table-saw, so the nerves are wonky... dead in some spots, unbelievably sensitive in others... and where did I smash? Of course, a freaking sensitive spot. About made me pass out. I relay this because it threw me for a loop and is the reason I have some more work (maybe?) tomorrow. I hit every bolt on my checklist, but had to remove the front wheels because I didn't do the LBJ bolts or castle-nut and those aren't possible to do with a wheel on, at least with my tools. I also couldn't properly torque the rear adjusters on the LCA because I'd already installed the steering rack... but I'm going for an alignment soon, so I'll just get them to do it (or will check it After, more likely). I'm wondering what else I might have forgotten or skipped...

So, maybe there's a day 3... I donno, gonna think on it later. Of course, I'll Probably have to pull the dang front struts, compress those springs, disassemble and move the clips.... the nose on this thing looks Really high right now (I know it's not settled, going to drive it first). Use Bilsteins recommended 6 and 7 clip positions, which should have given me 1/2 inch rake.




There ended up being a day 3 where I changed the Bilstein 6112 clip positions... And right now I'm waiting on some SS braided brake lines as I noticed this which checking the cam bolt torque after alignment:






That brings me up to current, I think.
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Oh yeah, the fun "yuck" in the rear ABS ring area...







Nothing on the rear wheel, or in the drums... yet... So I'm just going to play it by ear.
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