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Old 05-22-2019, 12:14 PM #1
Alex3rdT4R Alex3rdT4R is offline
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Alexís Golden Pearl OEM+ 3rd Gen Build

Hey all,

I picked up a limited 4wd golden pearl 3rd gen a couple of months back and have been loving it so far. My dad had one in the early 2000ís and sold it and Iíve been wanting one ever since.

I got it with 238,000 miles at an auction sight unseen and a lot of service records (non paper, only through the Toyota owners website). Once I bought it, i found that it had a couple of ARP stickers on the windows, which is a major plus because that points to an older owner who would not have abused it. It drives wonderfully aside from a hum while driving.

The suspension feels very tight, engine feels strong, and most importantly the body is very clean with all matching VINs on panels, and ZERO signs of rust underneath or on the body. The interior is also very, very clean, which I am very happy about. The limited options such as electronic climate control, and heated seats have helped out this past brutal winter.

I am planning on keeping this build OEM+, meaning that I want to keep it looking stock, but I do want to improve a number of things that will improve off-road ability, and that will ensure I keep the engine running strong to 500,000+ miles (one can dream, right?)

Here is a crappy photo that I took once I got it. I will update with more pics soon.

To do list:
1) BFGoodrich KO2s
2) Bilstein 5100s
3) 99 tall coils
4) OEM E-locker retrofiT




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Old 06-17-2019, 10:30 AM #2
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So Iíve been debating on what to do first in terms of tires/suspension.

Right now my 4Runner has the common Costco Michelin tires on it with decent tread left. My suspension doesnít sag and sits very level actually. I replaced the rear struts with Gabrielís back in October for the time being. The front struts are oem and ride nice.

Iím planning on heading to Colorado for a little road trip soon but want to make sure that my 4Runner can handle a decent trail. Nothing too crazy, but I want to test out itís stock limits.

With that said I have two options right now. I can either buy some KO2ís but leave my suspension stock. Or I can buy Bilstein 5100ís and 99 tall coils (most likely will go MOOG) and then keep the Michelin tires.

What do you all think is the better option for me right now, tires or suspension?


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Old 06-17-2019, 01:47 PM #3
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If you aren't planning to add bigger tires after the lift, then put the tires on first. Tires will do a lot more to improve the off-road capabilities than a more inches of ground clearance. You can't go anywhere without traction!
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:58 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow247 View Post
If you aren't planning to add bigger tires after the lift, then put the tires on first. Tires will do a lot more to improve the off-road capabilities than a more inches of ground clearance. You can't go anywhere without traction!
Agreed. Stuff the biggest ones you can find on it. Biggest thing with trails is going to be clearance. Even in stock form you'll find you can go more places than your running boards and front bumper agree with.

What trails are you thinking of running in CO? Unless you are real late season most of the higher passes are going to still be closed after the winter we had this year.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:06 PM #5
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If it is a 2000 limited, someone swapped (and painted) an 01-02 grille onto it. Obviously not a big deal (and I personally like the looks of that grille more), but it is a potential flag for an area that may have had some previous damage.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:39 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepar View Post
If it is a 2000 limited, someone swapped (and painted) an 01-02 grille onto it. Obviously not a big deal (and I personally like the looks of that grille more), but it is a potential flag for an area that may have had some previous damage.
Its actually a 2002, the only year that they made the Golden Pearl. It's pretty rare from what I've read, and it has a lot of paint matched parts like the rear license plate bracket and front grill like you mentioned. Its no accident verified through carfax and a visual inspection. All VIN stickers are in place and match.

Its a unicorn in its own way, yeah its not a 5 speed with an elocker, but its a very good looking 4runner. The pic I added doesnt do the color justice. I'll have to add some more later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMach View Post
Agreed. Stuff the biggest ones you can find on it. Biggest thing with trails is going to be clearance. Even in stock form you'll find you can go more places than your running boards and front bumper agree with.

What trails are you thinking of running in CO? Unless you are real late season most of the higher passes are going to still be closed after the winter we had this year.
I'm aiming for BFGoodrich KO2's in 265/75/16. I'll hold off on the Bilsteins and 99 talls for now then.

Thanks for the heads up. Not sure on the trails yet, but I will be staying near Fort Collins, so most likely anything near there that will be open. I'll be headed there in mid-July.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:09 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex3rdT4R View Post
Its actually a 2002, the only year that they made the Golden Pearl. It's pretty rare from what I've read, and it has a lot of paint matched parts like the rear license plate bracket and front grill like you mentioned. Its no accident verified through carfax and a visual inspection. All VIN stickers are in place and match.
Yeah, I realized I glanced at the 2000's comment and took that as the year of your rig. And the front bumper is painted too. Just an FYI. Hopefully your vin # doesn't end in 71399.

I'd reconsider the 265's in the BFG's. They only come in an E load and that tends to be overkill on these rigs.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:16 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex3rdT4R View Post
I'm aiming for BFGoodrich KO2's in 265/75/16. I'll hold off on the Bilsteins and 99 talls for now then.

Thanks for the heads up. Not sure on the trails yet, but I will be staying near Fort Collins, so most likely anything near there that will be open. I'll be headed there in mid-July.
I'll echo what @Hepar said. E range will be brutal. Its brutal even with more sidewall. You can get duratracs in load range C and that will be much more comfortable.

Lived in Fort Collins for almost 7 years. Great place with lots of stuff to do. Like you said, should be good around there snow wise too.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:40 PM #9
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This should help you decide- my 02 golden pearl running KO2s with 2 inch lift in front and 3 in rear



My vote is to go with the tires in 265/75/16
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:00 PM #10
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I may be taking back what I said about the grille. Been curious about that color and it looks like all of them were color-matched over the entire rig! I think that makes it the only one to have that across the entire vehicle. Learn something new everyday.

But I stick by my statement about the front bumper being painted. That should have black accents in the middle of it and not entirely white.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:04 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMach View Post
I'll echo what @Hepar said. E range will be brutal. Its brutal even with more sidewall. You can get duratracs in load range C and that will be much more comfortable.

Lived in Fort Collins for almost 7 years. Great place with lots of stuff to do. Like you said, should be good around there snow wise too.
You’re correct on the rough ride with e rated tires on street, IMO it’s worth it if you wheel for puncture resistance, sidewall strength and ability to air down low with no issues. You can also get them with 3 mountain peak snowflake rating for snow driving
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:06 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepar View Post
I may be taking back what I said about the grille. Been curious about that color and it looks like all of them were color-matched over the entire rig! I think that makes it the only one to have that across the entire vehicle. Learn something new everyday.

But I stick by my statement about the front bumper being painted. That should have black accents in the middle of it and not entirely white.
Youíre correct, the lower grill in the center bumper is black
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:20 PM #13
Alex3rdT4R Alex3rdT4R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepar View Post
I may be taking back what I said about the grille. Been curious about that color and it looks like all of them were color-matched over the entire rig! I think that makes it the only one to have that across the entire vehicle. Learn something new everyday.

But I stick by my statement about the front bumper being painted. That should have black accents in the middle of it and not entirely white.
Yeah the front bumper was repainted because it had a ton of rock chips in it. The shop who painted it just painted the whole bumper by accident. I'm going to paint that middle part black eventually I just havent had time yet.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:21 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepar View Post
Yeah, I realized I glanced at the 2000's comment and took that as the year of your rig. And the front bumper is painted too. Just an FYI. Hopefully your vin # doesn't end in 71399.

I'd reconsider the 265's in the BFG's. They only come in an E load and that tends to be overkill on these rigs.
Whats up with that VIN?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:24 PM #15
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Quote:
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This should help you decide- my 02 golden pearl running KO2s with 2 inch lift in front and 3 in rear



My vote is to go with the tires in 265/75/16
Nice, my soon to be twin of my 4runner aside from the lift! I'm definitely going to get the tires now!
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