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Old 01-17-2020, 02:28 PM #1
rexassian rexassian is offline
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'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build

Sup y'all, I've been mostly lurking and reading build threads over the last year and finally decided to document my own. I've also watched probably 20 hours of videos from @mtbtim & @infamousRNR so thanks for the wonderful resources to enjoy these awesome trucks.

Starting out, I really wanted to get back into rock crawling and have always loved 3rd gen 4runners. I've previously owned a 4th gen 2wd daily and a 1st gen 4cyl daily that was in my family so I wanted to get back into a 4runner and build it up this time. I was also adamant on getting a manual transmission to make life a little more challenging and hopefully eventually use it to teach my kids to drive stick, it's a dying skill after all. So after a few months of searching, I found one on craigslist nearby and got it. It was a theft recovery from Cali that was driven to Texas. PO changed out timing belt, water pump, rad hoses, CV axles, and a rear axle seal so it was in good running condition. One thing it needed was valve cover gaskets but that's not an immediate thing so it was no big deal to me. The only thing missing was rear locker but that's OK, I'll re-gear and lock eventually. Also missing, thankfully, was a sunroof, I didn't want that extra complexity.

Being that it's a theft recovery, it had some "irregularities" like a new steering column with a key that doesn't match the doors. The thief had painted a purple fade on the bottoms of the doors and rear hatch so the PO replaced those but couldn't get the rear hatch key to match the door key so I lost the awesome roll down with the key feature. Also, no remote locks, just manual key. But whatever, it drove fine, shifted smoothly, and was comfortable.




I'll start adding mods below and link the posts here in a table of contents.


Next plans are to get 4.88 gears and e-lockers - coming soon...
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'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-00e0e_2ijbegqbnpt_1200x900-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20181229_2-jpg 
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:37 PM #2
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Step 1 was remove the side steps and do some preventative maintenance. The idle got a little rough at times so I replaced the spark plugs w/ OEM set and new plug wires as well. That helped but didn't solve it.

Then it started dying at traffic lights at idle and I got a code about TPS so I replaced that and it helped, but still it was dying occasionally. So some searching and reading and I thought why not clean out the IAC.

Sure enough, the IAC was dirty AF and had a small chunk of RTV stuck in it. Cleaned everything up including the throttle body and put it all back together and it ran like a champ and idled great, right around 700 RPM.

Awesome!

At this point, I wanted better sound so I went to crutchfield and orderd up a Pioneer double din unit with carplay & android auto and 4 new speakers. Sorry, no pics but it was straight forward. I added a wireless steering wheel controller to make it seem like this car was somewhat modern...
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:44 PM #3
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Sicmods bro! Keep the updates coming!
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1998 Desert Dune Toyota 4runner Limited 4x4 w/ factory e-locker
1999 Imperial Jade Mica Toyota 4runner SR5 4x4 - SOLD
2000 BLACK Toyota 4runner Limited 4x4 w/ factory e-locker. . .Build Thread//
2002 Thundercloud Metalic Toyota 4runner Limited 4x4
ARB Bumper, TOYTEC ultimate w/ 9 wraps, TRD Supercharger, e-locker retrofit, TBU, GOBI rack. . .Build Thread//
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:23 PM #4
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Talking

next I knew I wanted to run 35's so I went ahead and ordered them.

17x9 (4" back space) Vision Nemisis wheels and 35x12.5" Cooper Discoverer MTP tires. UPS guy didn't even want to drop them close to my garage and left them out on the street.

I mocked one up to see what I'm in for...
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'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190329_1-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190331_114941-jpg 
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:29 PM #5
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Now to make room I started with a 1.5" body lift from 4crawler. Simple enough...

Also, I wanted to make room early to ensure easy access to bolts and the stupid rear shock upper mounts so I could install my suspension lift with more ease...

And instead of worrying about the rear bumper, I got rid of it until I can build one.
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'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190512_175137-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190512_162926-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190512_162900-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190512_162915-jpg 

Last edited by rexassian; 01-17-2020 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:41 PM #6
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Next I noticed the rear axle seals are leaking...so, 5 hours of watching Toyota time and researching online and I got my axles taken apart and old seals removed. I didn't have a press so I opted to take the axles to a local shop to have them press on the new bearings, etc. However, and I should have insisted or taken it elsewhere, they refused to swap the inner seal ring direction as was suggested. At the time, I thought fine, I'll just not press the new seals in all the way (give or take a mm).

The seals held for 3 wheeling trips but are leaking again...
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:11 PM #7
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Finally it was time to put the lift on. I got the system1.2 with 2.5" long(er) travel radflo's. While I was in there, I wanted to change out all the other bushings and such so I added:

lower control arm bushings
new OEM lower ball joints
upper arms from SPC
new steering rack bushings from energy suspension
diff mount bushings from DuroBumps

I took the whole 3-day weekend over July 4th and got it all done thanks in large part to using my buddy's shop with two-post lift. I probably raised and lowered 20 times so it was VERY handy!
Attached Images
'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190706_180819-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-4runnercoils-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190707_142349-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190707_161435-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190705_175013-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190707_165653-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190707_165719-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190713_131117_stripped4-jpg 
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:13 PM #8
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I started with the SPC arms in the C position and that rubbed badly, as you can see. After more tinkering, I set it all the way back at G as recommended in the SPC alignment thread : SPC UCA Alignment Sheets

and set my lower cam bolts to max caster to offset. Took it to Firestone for alignment and it drove great.

Maybe later I'll get those nice lower arms which move the ball joint forward 1" for more caster...
Attached Images
'99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190713_132150_stripped-jpg  '99 manual SR5 occasional daily driver and weekend crawler build-20190714_203216_stripped-jpg 

Last edited by rexassian; 01-17-2020 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:15 PM #9
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I took it wheeling a few times to a local place here in central texas called Hidden Falls. There's lots of easy-ish trails there and it's great for beginners. Everything was working fine...until it wasn't. See here:

Coolant valve broke / engine overheat

basically the combo of 20 year old plastic, 1.5" body lift, and still some flex from off-roading caused the plastic nipple on the heater control valve to break and I didn't notice it in time. You can check the thread, but I added about a 1" drop down bracket to the heater control valve to keep the hoses from flexing the plastic nipples and eventually causing this valve to break like the original. I would highly recommend for anyone running a body lift to do this, even if you don't have a problem, as it's cheap and easy insurance.

Yea, yea, don't have a body lift and this won't be a problem. I definitely took the easy way out to try and not have a bunch of fender hacking to fit the 35's. Now I paid for it...
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:25 PM #10
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I thought I got away easy after the coolant leak but a few months later (early december), I started having issues again : bad head gasket, fix or motor swap, want to keep manual trans

after a lot of reading on rebuilds and looking for swaps, I decided for now that I can't let it sit while I rebuild the motor as I know myself (and my wife) and it will end up on jack-stands forever. I usually like to get into the work but a motor swap or rebuild will take it out for too long and that is not what I want. I want it back to running a quickly as possible. So for now, I put some Blue Devil stop leak in it and thankfully it sealed up. Of course, there's no telling how long it will last or what other issues it will cause but I was willing to take the risk.

Back-up plan, keep looking for a low millage insurance auction car to swap the motor over in a (long) weekend. For instance, here's one that I'm waiting to start: https://www.iaai.com/VehicleDetails?...oadRecent=true . We'll see what it ends up going for but as of now, I think this is my best option if/when the stop leak lets go.
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