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Old 09-29-2019, 03:10 AM #1
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Just bought my first 3rd gen

It is a 1999 SR5 3.4 auto, Horizon Blue Metalic 8N1, blue cloth, factory 16” alloys, 265/70/17 AT tires, rear heat, A/C, sunroof, electric locking rear dif. It’s got 285,000 miles on it. It has had timing belts done twice. The last time was at 199,000 miles. It runs strong and goes down the road straight. The brakes are a little weaker than I think they should be and the front suspension dives on hard braking. I am in Wisconsin but the 4runner is from Wyoming originally. So it has much less rust than a ‘99 would have if it had lived it’s entire life here. But it does have rust after six Wisconsin winters. The frame is very good and the body panels are all good except for the rocker panels which have a couple blisters and one 6 inch long section with more rust. There are also rust blisters around the windshield. And of course the chrome bumpers need to be replaced. As do the running boards. I have looked at the attachment points for the running boards on the floor pan and the backside of the pinch-welded seam where the floor pan is joined to the rocker panel, and it is pretty much rust free. The door sills, and particularly the rear door sills at the rear wheel opening are also rust free.

I would be willing to pour some time and money into this 4runner.I would like to tackle the front suspension, steering and brakes first off. Then, if I get through the winter all right, I am thinking about buying a low mileage JDM engine from an importer in Chicago next spring. That would also be a good time for me to tackle the rust issues.

The funny thing is that I just bought this for a winter beater, but now I’ve had it for a few days that I want to do all kinds of stuff to it. That ever happened anybody else up in here?

Last edited by WrenchTech; 09-29-2019 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:30 AM #2
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Congrads on the new purchase. So you bought it for a winter beater and now getting the bug to give it some non winter beater attention. Yeah that happens a lot. Lot of good info on this forum with every aspect of these gems. Far as the winter beating these things with rust, plenty of us on this forum avoiding rust with our methods. Read up, and best of luck on the hard core survivor rig.
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:01 AM #3
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I lost my 2001 to severe frame rust this year at 265k. As Dogtail mentioned, there is a lot of good info on here for dealing with rust. I personally would put that first - you want protection starting as soon as possible. I would recommend an oil-based fix versus a paint-based one, because paint over rust can hide and create problems. Fluid Film and WD-40 treatments come to mind as far as what guys on here use successfully.

Congrats on the new ride!
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:49 AM #4
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Welcome aboard!

The first thing you need to deal with this is rust and ball joints!!
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:05 AM #5
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Congrats and get some pictures for us!
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:36 AM #6
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Welcome to the club. :]

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Old 09-29-2019, 12:02 PM #7
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Welcome from Texas. 3rd gens are my favorite 'tough little multi-purpose vehicle'. Being from Austin where we get 30-90 days of 100+ degrees a year, A/C is a Must. These vehicles have the Best A/C I've ever come across, strength and the 3 level vents for the drive are superb, should be the standard on every other vehicle.

To sum up, its an awesome machine that takes me down to the river at deer camp thru miles of rock, mud, sand and fords a low lying Perdernales river then takes me in style and comfort to downtown Austin, sweet combination of a machine that can do that and be extremely reliable to boot, woohoo!
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:04 PM #8
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I have already deleted the rusty push bar and the KC off road lights. The running boards are next. Just trying to figure out whether I should replace them or not. Probably best to leave them off for now while I have rust repair work to do to the rocker panels. After that maybe some rock sliders would be in order.

First thing Monday morning, I will place a call to the local Certifit body supply warehouse and see if they have some chrome bumper pieces to replace The rusty pieces front and rear..

One of the drawbacks to the Horizon Metallic Blue exterior paint color, is that not many runners with that color made it to the mid west, so there is not much of a selection of body parts in that color in local wrecking yards. I could use a hood and a driverís door ASAP. The hood, because the paint is severely oxidized from its time in Wyoming, and the drivers door, because it has a freak rust spot in the middle of the door panel due to some chip or scratch was allowed to go without repair. So if anybody knows where I could find some nice horizon blue metallic parts like that, please let me know.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:23 PM #9
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Bumpers are really scarce unless your super fast when a wrecked one comes in a junk yard {in the south}. In the rust belt, they are all rotted out unless someone replaced them. I ended up using the rock auto replacements as the cost of OEM is quite significant.

Very common for the steel running boards to look exactly like yours do. Is it just your outer rockers that are toast or are your inner ones rotted out as well?
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:25 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrenchTech View Post




I have already deleted the rusty push bar and the KC off road lights. The running boards are next. Just trying to figure out whether I should replace them or not. Probably best to leave them off for now while I have rust repair work to do to the rocker panels. After that maybe some rock sliders would be in order.

First thing Monday morning, I will place a call to the local Certifit body supply warehouse and see if they have some chrome bumper pieces to replace The rusty pieces front and rear..

One of the drawbacks to the Horizon Metallic Blue exterior paint color, is that not many runners with that color made it to the mid west, so there is not much of a selection of body parts in that color in local wrecking yards. I could use a hood and a driverís door ASAP. The hood, because the paint is severely oxidized from its time in Wyoming, and the drivers door, because it has a freak rust spot in the middle of the door panel due to some chip or scratch was allowed to go without repair. So if anybody knows where I could find some nice horizon blue metallic parts like that, please let me know.
Great color, sir! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Gen3 that color. Very nice, and congratulations again!
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:36 PM #11
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Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
Bumpers are really scarce unless your super fast when a wrecked one comes in a junk yard {in the south}. In the rust belt, they are all rotted out unless someone replaced them. I ended up using the rock auto replacements as the cost of OEM is quite significant.

Very common for the steel running boards to look exactly like yours do. Is it just your outer rockers that are toast or are your inner ones rotted out as well?
The inners are perfect. Looking at the back of the pinch welded seam from the underside, it is rust free.

How did you like the chrome bumper parts you got from rockauto?
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:47 PM #12
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Great color, sir! I donít think Iíve ever seen a Gen3 that color. Very nice, and congratulations again!
I am not complaining, but I just looked at 25 pages of search results on car-part.com, and of hundreds of used hoods for sale, I think I found only one with matching paint that is 1000 miles away. It is a dilemma because if I paint a hood in my color it will definitely not match because the rest of the truck is faded. Of course the hood is in Colorado and Iím in Wisconsin, but I donít need much of an excuse to go to Colorado.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:09 PM #13
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I am not complaining, but I just looked at 25 pages of search results on car-part.com, and of hundreds of used hoods for sale, I think I found only one with matching paint that is 1000 miles away. It is a dilemma because if I paint a hood in my color it will definitely not match because the rest of the truck is faded. Of course the hood is in Colorado and Iím in Wisconsin, but I donít need much of an excuse to go to Colorado.
Is your hood really bad?
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:05 PM #14
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The inners are perfect. Looking at the back of the pinch welded seam from the underside, it is rust free.

How did you like the chrome bumper parts you got from rockauto?
Well I looked for a month for a used OEM and gave up.. They are Ok.. Are they the same quality as OEM not quite. However, they work and are better then holes. I mostly paint the inside of the new bumpers and hit them with fluid film so they don't rust out again. I bought the premiums. Sometimes you need to tweak them a little bit to get them on.

My album Tentanus1 on my profile has the rock auto premium rear bumper on it if you want to see what it looks like. I lucked out that my parts runner had a good front bumper on it. So I didn't need to buy a front one.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:38 AM #15
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Well I looked for a month for a used OEM and gave up.. They are Ok.. Are they the same quality as OEM not quite. However, they work and are better then holes. I mostly paint the inside of the new bumpers and hit them with fluid film so they don't rust out again. I bought the premiums. Sometimes you need to tweak them a little bit to get them on.

My album Tentanus1 on my profile has the rock auto premium rear bumper on it if you want to see what it looks like. I lucked out that my parts runner had a good front bumper on it. So I didn't need to buy a front one.
Looking at your pictures reminded me that one of the first things I should do is clean up and repaint my trailer trailer hitch.
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