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Old 04-03-2020, 01:19 AM #1
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Cool BEGINNING - Build on a Stock 4Runner! *UPDATED BUILD THREAD*

It's time! I bought a 1998 Black Limited 4Runner a few years ago with 167,000 mi. It's been my dream to own a 3rd Gen 4Runner, it felt unreal driving home after purchasing it. It's been my daily driver and forest road explorer. I have not yet been able to dive into any off-roading. For years, I've browsed this forum, ogling at all of your builds. I always thought "shoot, my 4Runner has 170k miles now, it's too late to start a build.... 195k miles, too late to start..." 215k, why wait any longer! I want to run my 4Runner till she can't run no more!

Current day: 215,000 mi. I've swapped the front/rear bumper, grille, wheels, and headlights out with 2002 parts, (as well as a sport hood, SCORE!) and added a 1.5" spacer lift. Besides this, its essentially a stock 4Runner and i'm ready to get going on my build!

Before I begin asking for opinions, I want to say I've looked extensively through posts
and once I begin believing I have found what is going to work for me, another guy responds
raging why the OP is an idiot and that we shouldn't listen to him.


SO, I've decided to just start a post for FRESH opinions. No more browsing through 7 year old discussions. I'm hoping this will be a fruitful thread full of current thoughts and options, that may be able to help myself as well as any others beginning a 3rd Gen 4Runner build. I'd love to hear what has worked for you/what hasn't worked for you. Here's a breakdown of what I'm after. I'll do my best to streamline any questions. And again, all opinions are WELCOME here!

A few photos of said Runner..








OVERALL
I would like a rig that will be used primarily for overlanding, possibly getting into some mild crawling, but will still give me somewhat decent road manners for long trips to trailheads.


ARMOR
I'd like to do anything I can myself to help save some mula, so i'm interested in these build kits.

3RD GEN 4RUNNER HIGH CLEARANCE FRONT BUMPER KIT
3rd Gen 4Runner High Clearance Front Bumper Kit - Coastal Offroad

3RD GEN 4RUNNER HIGH CLEARANCE REAR BUMPER KIT
3rd Gen 4Runner High Clearance Rear Bumper Kit - Coastal Offroad


SUSPENSION
Essentially, if i'm running the above armor..

-What would give my 4Runner decent road manners but still allow me to get into some noob off road wheeling?
-What would give me a decent amount of lift and able to slap 33" tires below?
-For your recommendations, would a panhard drop bracket or other modifications be needed?

*Note* A 1" ToyTec Body Lift is on the way.

This is where i'm struggling. Some swear by OME coils and bilstein 5100's. Others say it's trash and to go for LC coils/shocks and Tundra TRD 5100's. I'm overwhelmed.



EXTRAS
Winch: Any popular/affordable winches for simple recoveries?

Compressor: I am an avid Mountaineer and am hoping to get into the high altitude winter trailheads where the forest roads are covered in snow. Would getting a compressor to air down/up be too much of a trouble or have you found it's worth it for snow and other uses?

Roof Rack: Currently running Yakima Cross bars (3ea). I only carry a skybox or a 3man roof top tent. I also just got a 6' ARB Awning I plan to mount. I'd also like to carry some MaxTrax as well but haven't found a good method of mounting on cross bars. Would a full length rack be of much use? Do any of you who own these LOVE them and get tons of use?



I'll leave this here. All opinions welcome! You are the experts!

I will be sure to update this post with detailed photos and updates of the build as it progresses.

Last edited by bryanbgw; 11-14-2021 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-03-2020, 07:21 PM #2
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Bump.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:29 PM #3
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Nice lookin ride Bryan, all I can say is weight is a huge factor, only do what you find is essential. Others opinions are not relevant, build it your way and show us how it is going. The more weight the harder you work your motor and drive train and it affects your mileage. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out, c ya!
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:57 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanbgw View Post
It's time! I bought a 1998 Black Limited 4Runner a few years ago with 167,000 mi. It's been my dream to own a 3rd Gen 4Runner, it felt unreal driving home after purchasing it. It's been my daily driver and forest road explorer. I have not yet been able to dive into any off-roading. For years, I've browsed this forum, ogling at all of your builds. I always thought "shoot, my 4Runner has 170k miles now, it's too late to start a build.... 195k miles, too late to start..." 215k, why wait any longer! I want to run my 4Runner till she can't run no more!

Current day: 215,000 mi. I've swapped the front/rear bumper, grille, wheels, and headlights out with 2002 parts, (as well as a sport hood, SCORE!) and added a 1.5" spacer lift. Besides this, its essentially a stock 4Runner and i'm ready to get going on my build!

Before I begin asking for opinions, I want to say I've looked extensively through posts
and once I begin believing I have found what is going to work for me, another guy responds
raging why the OP is an idiot and that we shouldn't listen to him.


SO, I've decided to just start a post for FRESH opinions. No more browsing through 7 year old discussions. I'm hoping this will be a fruitful thread full of current thoughts and options, that may be able to help myself as well as any others beginning a 3rd Gen 4Runner build. I'd love to hear what has worked for you/what hasn't worked for you. Here's a breakdown of what I'm after. I'll do my best to streamline any questions. And again, all opinions are WELCOME here!

A few photos of said Runner..








OVERALL
I would like a rig that will be used primarily for overlanding, possibly getting into some mild crawling, but will still give me somewhat decent road manners for long trips to trailheads.


ARMOR
I'd like to do anything I can myself to help save some mula, so i'm interested in these build kits.

3RD GEN 4RUNNER HIGH CLEARANCE FRONT BUMPER KIT
3rd Gen 4Runner High Clearance Front Bumper Kit - Coastal Offroad

3RD GEN 4RUNNER HIGH CLEARANCE REAR BUMPER KIT
3rd Gen 4Runner High Clearance Rear Bumper Kit - Coastal Offroad


SUSPENSION
Essentially, if i'm running the above armor..

-What would give my 4Runner decent road manners but still allow me to get into some noob off road wheeling?
-What would give me a decent amount of lift and able to slap 33" tires below?
-For your recommendations, would a panhard drop bracket or other modifications be needed?

*Note* A 1" ToyTec Body Lift is on the way.

This is where i'm struggling. Some swear by OME coils and bilstein 5100's. Others say it's trash and to go for LC coils/shocks and Tundra TRD 5100's. I'm overwhelmed.



EXTRAS
Winch: Any popular/affordable winches for simple recoveries?

Compressor: I am an avid Mountaineer and am hoping to get into the high altitude winter trailheads where the forest roads are covered in snow. Would getting a compressor to air down/up be too much of a trouble or have you found it's worth it for snow and other uses?

Roof Rack: Currently running Yakima Cross bars (3ea). I only carry a skybox or a 3man roof top tent. I also just got a 6' ARB Awning I plan to mount. I'd also like to carry some MaxTrax as well but haven't found a good method of mounting on cross bars. Would a full length rack be of much use? Do any of you who own these LOVE them and get tons of use?



I'll leave this here. All opinions welcome! You are the experts!

I will be sure to update this post with detailed photos and updates of the build as it progresses.
Harbor freight has some decent winches that are fairly affordable. Not the highest quality or anything but if you don't plan on using it every week you should be fine.
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Old 04-04-2020, 02:48 PM #5
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I bought my 4Runner when it had 240k and it now has 340k and supercharged. It is never too late to start!

One thing I did before lifting or was replace all of the bushings in the front end as well as rear end. The front got alll new bushings. The rear got all of the control arms replaced. That made it so when I lifted it, it felt really firm. It didnít ride terrible, but man what a difference all new bushings made.

As for the pan hard drop bracket. I did it on mine but now I wish I wouldíve went with Eimkeith kit. Itís a bracket for each side of the pan hard bar instead of a 3Ē drop on one side only

And weight will matter for the kind of springs you get. So you need to factor that in when selecting some


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Old 04-04-2020, 03:08 PM #6
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Your rig is already setup for over landing slash min to med off road. to make your overlanding experience more enjoyable., fridge, dual battery setup , drawer system, sleeping platform ,rock sliders., skids, led lighting etc and also recovery gear.

Last edited by spartacus; 04-04-2020 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 05:18 PM #7
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Tell us about the mechanical baseline. Have you done the timing belt, water pump, acc belts, pulleys, cam and crank seals, plugs, plug wires, etc... How about both sets of ball joints, the tons of bushings on all control arms (16 for just control arms, then there's the sway-bars, steering rack, and body bushings). There's a ton of simple upkeep work that's essential for an Overland rig you Must rely on to get you out of whatever it got you into.

It's all boring, you don't "see" any changes but it still chews through $1000 for parts, type work. If you've got that done, Great! If not, you might want to consider starting there before spending money on "looks good" stuff. "Looks good" doesn't help much if it's unable to move (or stop, or steer).
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:53 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian. View Post
Tell us about the mechanical baseline. Have you done the timing belt, water pump, acc belts, pulleys, cam and crank seals, plugs, plug wires, etc... How about both sets of ball joints, the tons of bushings on all control arms (16 for just control arms, then there's the sway-bars, steering rack, and body bushings). There's a ton of simple upkeep work that's essential for an Overland rig you Must rely on to get you out of whatever it got you into.

It's all boring, you don't "see" any changes but it still chews through $1000 for parts, type work. If you've got that done, Great! If not, you might want to consider starting there before spending money on "looks good" stuff. "Looks good" doesn't help much if it's unable to move (or stop, or steer).
absolutely fabulous advice for an old high mileage 3rd gen 4 runner. If the truck can't move, stop or run won't matter how the truck looks or functions
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:42 PM #9
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My ‘97 is stock, like yours but without the body lift. Everything I’ve read says address the high-failure items first. So add a radiator cooler to prevent the pink milkshake, timing belt & water pump, do a fluid flush everywhere you can, and consider the tundra brake upgrade. That’s my plan as well. Then and only then am I going to spend money for other upgrades because a broken 4Runner is no fun, especially when it could’ve been prevented.

Last edited by zcostilla; 04-11-2020 at 11:39 AM. Reason: I can’t spell
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:04 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majkmichael View Post
Harbor freight has some decent winches that are fairly affordable. Not the highest quality or anything but if you don't plan on using it every week you should be fine.
I have had the Harbor Freight Badlands 12000 lb winch on my rig for a few years and use it regularly. I have not had any problems with it. It has gotten me out of more than a few tricky spots especially weekends I am up in the snow.

For what you pay for a similar Warn brand winch, you can replace your Harbor Freight winch 2 or 3 times.

One thing I did do was go to New England Ropes and bought my own dyneema synthetic rope and made a winch cable out of their 10mm HTS90 (breaking strength of 25000lb and less than <1% stretch)

Half the fun of these vehicles is all the DIY stuff you can do.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:42 PM #11
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Opinions vary but you asked!

I'd leave it alone. It'll never be more reliable or economic to run than it is today. Spend your time getting all the maintenance up to date.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:49 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian. View Post
Tell us about the mechanical baseline. Have you done the timing belt, water pump, acc belts, pulleys, cam and crank seals, plugs, plug wires, etc... How about both sets of ball joints, the tons of bushings on all control arms (16 for just control arms, then there's the sway-bars, steering rack, and body bushings). There's a ton of simple upkeep work that's essential for an Overland rig you Must rely on to get you out of whatever it got you into.

It's all boring, you don't "see" any changes but it still chews through $1000 for parts, type work. If you've got that done, Great! If not, you might want to consider starting there before spending money on "looks good" stuff. "Looks good" doesn't help much if it's unable to move (or stop, or steer).
Great advice. I'll take it.

I have ordered the Coastal Offroad High Clearance bumper, so while I wait for it to come in i'll make a check list of the things you've listed and start knocking them out. Once I finish off the list THEN i'll get to put on the bumper.

Seems like these should be my priorities!

Quick question on the Body Bushings. Since I am doing a body lift soon this may be a great time to replace those. Do you have any you could recommend? Some i'm finding are going for $200, while other sets are $50. A bit confused here.

Thanks man.

Last edited by bryanbgw; 04-06-2020 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:50 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majkmichael View Post
Harbor freight has some decent winches that are fairly affordable. Not the highest quality or anything but if you don't plan on using it every week you should be fine.
Can you recommend a specific lbs capacity I should look for? Smittybilt has a 9500lb that people seem pretty happy with. Any reason to go for anything more or would this suffice in your opinion?

Thanks for the post!
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:55 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smog-guy707 View Post
I bought my 4Runner when it had 240k and it now has 340k and supercharged. It is never too late to start!

One thing I did before lifting or was replace all of the bushings in the front end as well as rear end. The front got alll new bushings. The rear got all of the control arms replaced. That made it so when I lifted it, it felt really firm. It didnít ride terrible, but man what a difference all new bushings made.

As for the pan hard drop bracket. I did it on mine but now I wish I wouldíve went with Eimkeith kit. Itís a bracket for each side of the pan hard bar instead of a 3Ē drop on one side only

And weight will matter for the kind of springs you get. So you need to factor that in when selecting some


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Interesting. Are you talking about the PCK (Panhard Correction Kits)? I'll look into them! Any downside of going this route vs the more common route of only doing 1 side?

Thanks for the post!
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:57 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcostilla View Post
My Ď97 is stock, like yours but without the body lift. Everything Iíve read says address the high-failure items first. So add a radiator cooler to prevent the pink milkshake, tim8ng belt & water pump, do a fluid flush everywhere you can, and consider the tundra brake upgrade. Thanks my plan as well. Then and only then am I going to spend money for other upgrades because a broken 4Runner is no fun, especially when it couldíve been prevented.

Good stuff.

I'm compiling a list of your post combined with Brian.'s

Once I tackle these items i'll get to the more "fun" part of adding armor and such.

Thank you!
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