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Old 05-21-2019, 11:08 PM #1
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Ser1 Build Thread

I have been lurking on this forum for quite a while trying to learn what I could to maintain my 2Runner (Reliable Bessie) and last summer I bought my first 4Runner after moving from Alabama to Idaho and realizing that rear-wheel drive will not cut it out here.
I sold my immaculately clean 2001 with 186k and bought a 98 with e-locker and 272k on the clock.
It has been a mostly great experience so far (meaning I've learned a lot) but that is mostly because there is not a good repair shop nearby to take my car when it needs work, so thank god for this forum and its members.

Maintenance Completed
272,000 miles
Air Filter
Fuel Filter
PCV Valve, PCV Grommet
Radiator Flush, Replace Upper & Lower Radiator Hoses
Power Steering Flush
Throttle Body Cleaning
Fuel System Cleaning (Sea Foam)
272,156 miles
Replace Front Brake Pads
Replace Headlight Assemblies and Bulbs
Paint Front Bumper
272,289 miles
Replace Lower Ball Joints
Out Tie-rod ends
Front Sway-Bar end links
Front Sway-Bar Bushings
Steel Front Brake Lines
Brake Bleed
Alignment
Oil Change
Tighten and Adjust Transmission Kick-down and throttle Cable
272,401 miles
Intake Plenum Gaskets
Valve Cover Gaskets
Spark Plugs and Wires
Rear Differential Fluid Change
Replace Passenger-side CV Axle (OEM)
Painted Rear Bumper and Valence
New Rear Bumper Brackets
"Fix" Rust Leak on Rear Differential
Replace Rear Differential Breather
Flush Transfer Case
Flush Front Differential
272,450 miles
Replace Upper Control Arms (SPC)
Replace Upper Ball Joints +
Replace Front Passenger-Side CV Seal on Differential
273,500 miles
Replace Driver-Side CV Seal on Differential
Replace Radiator and Flush
275,163 miles
Flush Coolant and Replace Upper & Lower Radiator Hoses
Replace Radiator Cap
Replace Thermostat (6 o'clock)
Replace Upstream O2 Sensor
Replace Vacuum hoses
Replace Air Filter
275,251 miles
Replace Rear Lower Control Arms
Replace Seat Track bolts
Replace Oil Pressure Sensor
275,271 miles


Modifications Performed
Front and Rear Speakers - Infinity Reference
Sound Deadening
AIRaid MIT Intake
RCI Ski Plates- Front and Transmission
Front Suspension- Tundra Bilstein 5100 with Eibach Coils
Rear Suspension- 4th Gen 4Runner 5100 with OME 890 Coils
Remove Front and Rear Sway Bars
Rust Repair- POR15 on frame
Reupholster Front Seats- Top and Bottom
__________________
"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights

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Old 05-21-2019, 11:25 PM #2
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The honeymoon phase

This is when I first got her





This is Bettie(98) parked next to Bessie(01)



And... it's time to get to work




This is how she looked going into Fall and Winter. Might not look like much, but I can assure you that I put in way more time than my fiance agreed to and I've come to the conclusion that there's no reason to ever get rid of this soon-to-be perfect hunk of metal

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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights

Last edited by Ser1clymb; 06-20-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:42 PM #3
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I immediately dove in to normal maintenance and prevention but kept find more issues or potential issues as I dug deeper. I reached a point where I was ready to go to the PO's house and shoot him in the kneecap. The car had spent some time on the east coast and hadn't been rescued quickly enough. I started with the advice of my friend and 4runner aficionado of what he saw as the main issues plus all the little things that I was comfortable doing myself.


- Air Filter
- Fuel Filter

- PCV Valve
- PCV Hose

- Radiator Flush
- Upper and Lower Radiator hoses
- Power Steering Flush
- Throttle BodyCleaning
- Spark Plugs and Wires- Not exactly wild about how they came out, and praying that it's just the gasket that is causing the misfire and oil


- Fuel system Cleaning (sea foam treatment)
- Front Brake pads
- New Headlight Assemblies
- Headlight Bulbs
- Clear Turn Signals


- LED bulbs throughout
- Painted the front bumper and valence



- Front and rear speakers- Infinity Reference
- Sound Deadening

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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:02 PM #4
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I decided I was confident enough to try and tackle some important maintenance. Ball joints and Tie-Rod ends. I borrowed a buddies garage and tried to knock them out in a day. I hit a HUGE snag. One of the 4 bolts that connects the lower balljoint to the knuckle broke off and was flush with the knuckle. I f*%#ing hate rust!!


I had someone attempt to "help" me with getting the bolt out, because I was using a friend's garage and luckily there is an auto shop across the street. His suggestion was to take the whole knuckle off and drill and tap it out. But after trying and failing to get the upper balljoint off and after completely destroyed it, his wonderful insight was to tow it across the street and have the shop fix it.

Upper Balljoint


You can see the end sticking out, but not enough to grab hold of and reverse. It took days (mostly because I could only work on it for 1 or 2 hours) of heating and lubing repeated and drilling before I got lucky enough for it to come out.


While I was working on all that I also decide to replace the UCA's since they looked terrible and why not. I think it was time



The SPC UCA's are awesome! I love those things. Immediately fixed the tire rub and I had and allowed me to keep running 285s easily.
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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:45 PM #5
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The main reason I got this truck was the 4 wheel drive. If my other 4runner had 4WD I would have never gotten rid of it, but it probably would not have run as well or been in as good of shape. Mainly because I'm sure I would have taken it off-roading and not have been as conservative as I was.
Once I moved to Idaho 4WD was something I needed especially in the winter. I will proudly claim that even with rear-wheel drive and pure highway tires I only got stuck once in the snow.

I originally planned to only keep this truck for a year or so, until I could buy a decent truck or until this thing died. But, I am growing more and more attached to this thing and as I keep replacing and repairing things it will be an almost new truck one day right...?
I figured I would try and make it look good while I was driving it.
I decided to try and paint the front and rear bumpers and hopefully get rid of all the nicks in them.

First I tried using filler primer to coat them, and after that didn't fill them in I went with Bondo putty


You can see that it started to fill in all the little things. I would liberally smear it on and then sand it off until it seemed smooth and then went back to the primer and paint. I would call it a one foot paint job.

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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:52 PM #6
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While I had the bumper apart I decided to replace the rear supports. They needed to go.


I also decided to free up some space in the engine bay, and installed the MIT. The engine is filthy and needs some love, along with valve cover gaskets and more rust removal.



I ended up tearing into the engine and valve cover gaskets while the paint was drying on the rear bumper.



Surprisingly after getting everything off, it looked pretty good, or at least not as bad as I had thought it would.
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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:35 PM #7
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Looking great!!


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Old 07-22-2019, 01:37 PM #8
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Quote:
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Looking great!!


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Thanks. Feels like I still have a long way to go.
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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:29 AM #9
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That's a lot of man hours wrapped into all of those collective part replacements - we've both been there. Kudos for taking it on and I'm sure you know this, but there's nothing like the pride and satisfaction in keeping one of these 20 year old rigs out of the yard. At 272k, Bettie's still young and looking' sharp!
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The "Iceberg" Build... Natty White 3rd Gen '00 SR5 w/ 225k, broight loights, 4xi armor, squish, tunes, eyes on the back of it head, a patched frame, and more, etc.
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From ye fellow @Konkordmusk... "The 4Runner does not drive. It simply rotates the Earth to your desired position."
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:44 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apohl17 View Post
That's a lot of man hours wrapped into all of those collective part replacements - we've both been there. Kudos for taking it on and I'm sure you know this, but there's nothing like the pride and satisfaction in keeping one of these 20 year old rigs out of the yard. At 272k, Bettie's still young and looking' sharp!
You're not kidding. I think my fiancé is a bit over it.
Honestly, it's happened out of necessity. Where I live is a bit secluded and there is not a good shop within 2 hours, so I've been forced to learn a lot (thanks to the help of this forum and Timmy). There's been some scary moments like misfires, missing coolant, and shifting issues where I thought it might be at the end, but luckily they were all small issues (so far) that I've been able to fix.
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"Bettie" - 1998 4runner LTD E-Locker Evergreen Pearl 250K+, Alpine HU, Infinity Reference Speakers, Airraid MIT, B&M Cooler, Light Racing UCA, RCI skids, Bilstein Tundra 5100 and 4runner Eibach Coils in front/ Bilstein FJ 5100 and OME 906 rear, LC80 wheels wrapped with MT Baja ATZ 285/75/16, 99+ overhead console, 99+ center console, sound-deadening, Ditch lights
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:28 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ser1clymb View Post
You're not kidding. I think my fiancé is a bit over it.
Honestly, it's happened out of necessity. Where I live is a bit secluded and there is not a good shop within 2 hours, so I've been forced to learn a lot (thanks to the help of this forum and Timmy). There's been some scary moments like misfires, missing coolant, and shifting issues where I thought it might be at the end, but luckily they were all small issues (so far) that I've been able to fix.
Right on. That's where this forums shines, lots of guys have done it before on our trucks, and it makes it that much easier to rip into a project by yourself.
Can't wait to see what else you have in store for your rig down the road!
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The AventuRunner Build '07 V8 Sport w/ 211k, DO armor, Fox squish, Falken rubber, IVD UCAs, BD lights, and more...
The "Iceberg" Build... Natty White 3rd Gen '00 SR5 w/ 225k, broight loights, 4xi armor, squish, tunes, eyes on the back of it head, a patched frame, and more, etc.
IG @apohl17
From ye fellow @Konkordmusk... "The 4Runner does not drive. It simply rotates the Earth to your desired position."
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