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Old 03-02-2021, 08:19 PM #1
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first build - any advice?

hows it going yall, i got my 3rd gen fully situated (previous owner dogged the sh*t out of her without maintaining her) and i am ready to start building up my 3rd gen.

i am starting out with a 2000 SR5 2WD with an auto trans. i know that is not the greatest platform to start a build but its what i got. my goal is to give my 4runner better off road capability. nothing too crazy since i am pretty young and i do not want to build my 3rd gen for something i am not currently skilled enough for. i want to get into going off road and eventually work up to rock crawling in the far future but i gotta start somewhere.

i am not asking for recommendations on parts or anything (recommendations are appreciated though), i am asking about what the process was like and how you got through it. i have a good amount of mechanical experience and i have all the tools i could ever need, but this will be the first time i have tackled a build on one of my own vehicles and i do not want to start without at least understanding what i am getting myself into. thanks yall
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:24 PM #2
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Generally speaking, it's best to find a weakness in your use, and address that weakness. It's going to be different for everyone.

Or, you can just buy all the same crp that everyone else buys, it may or may not be useful, it may or may not address a weakness in your use, but it'll absolutely suck your money and time.

So, since you've got the 4R baselined and reliable, start using the thing and figure out what simply doesn't work out, what's annoying but functional, and form your plan from there. It should be really obvious what you need (and want) to address first.

Or, just buy whatever seems most popular... it's your truck (money, time)
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:02 PM #3
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I think that Brian gives good advice of use the vehicle first and find what weaknesses are most apparent. In your case, I anticipate that being the lack of 4WD.

A few tips for while you get comfortable with the platform and begin to identify your own needs:
- Get good tires. They don't need to be your end-all be-all but tires are extremely important on road and even more off road.
- Get some recovery gear and know how to use it before you need it. This looks different for everyone depending on your geography, intended use, particular vehicle, and personal preference.
- Go with friends who can help you out if possible
- As Brian said, don't just follow what everyone else does. An ARB air locker in the back of your 2WD won't necessarily help you, nor will loading up a steel bumper and winch on stock suspension. Often it's best to prioritize mods that protect your vehicles from harm such as external tranny cooler, basic underbody protection, secure recovery points.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:40 PM #4
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There is a limitation being 2wd but it can still be a surprisingly good rig. First - a locker will get you around much better. Second - watch weight. Heavier puts a lot of other stress on the vehicle and equipment that being 2wd you do not have the front traction to over come. Last - remember it is supposed to be fun.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:48 PM #5
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Just going to throw it out there but replace your LBJ with factory Toyota parts if they haven't been replaced and also check the radiator for color fading (brown) and replace it to avoid "pink milkshake." I would get all maintenance done before doing mods for satisfaction that everything will be alright for the truck.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:34 PM #6
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There are a lot of 2WD naysayers, but they are surprisingly capable if you do an e-Locker rear swap.

Enjoy the truck, and, if you learn how to wheel effectively with a 2WD, you'll be well positioned to move on to a 4WD one day and carry skills over
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:45 PM #7
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Buy the stuff that you need for your personal goals.

Don't buy stuff just because it's what everyone else on Instagram has. There are a lot of people out there that seem to enjoying blowing money on decorations just so they can fit in with everyone else.
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:57 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aontkos View Post
Buy the stuff that you need for your personal goals.

Don't buy stuff just because it's what everyone else on Instagram has. There are a lot of people out there that seem to enjoying blowing money on decorations just so they can fit in with everyone else.
Yes!! $1000 roof racks, $1k in baja designs lights, $1k retrofits.. sure, some of it looks cool, but don't try to mimic others on IG, thinking you need this kind of stuff. It's like the rice of the offroad industry.

You can do sooo much with a mildly modded 3rd gen
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:24 PM #9
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If a e-locker or ARB locker is too rich for your blood, look into a limited slip-differential. The Detroit TruTrac is a bulletproof clutchless LSD and significantly improves off-road and on-road grip. My 98 is way more off-road capable then I will ever use it for. I went wheeling with some friends on a surprisingly technical trail a few years ago and I had no issue with some spots that those with an open differential really struggled with.

The process is as fun, or not fun, as you make it. Take your time and don't feel like you need to have 'all the things' right off the bat. I've owned my 4Runner for 6 years now (other Toyotas before it) and I still have a list of things I want to do. All in good time.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:42 PM #10
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If a e-locker or ARB locker is too rich for your blood, look into a limited slip-differential. The Detroit TruTrac is a bulletproof clutchless LSD and significantly improves off-road and on-road grip. My 98 is way more off-road capable then I will ever use it for. I went wheeling with some friends on a surprisingly technical trail a few years ago and I had no issue with some spots that those with an open differential really struggled with.

The process is as fun, or not fun, as you make it. Take your time and don't feel like you need to have 'all the things' right off the bat. I've owned my 4Runner for 6 years now (other Toyotas before it) and I still have a list of things I want to do. All in good time.
well said, as well as a few up above.

build for you not the interwebz. Sounds like you want to actually offroad, so go with function over form.

i've seen great deals on e-lockers around and that would be my priority as a 2wd. lightbars and roof racks will never get you out of a pickle.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:15 PM #11
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I've run 2wd offroad stock in the Sierra for about 5 years in this rig and got stuck twice. Recovery gear got me out the second time, I lacked that equipment the first time. I started pushing harder off road. A lift and rear locker, I won't say a types so I don't influence your decisions, helped a ton. That's my own personal expierence I encourage you to go have your own and mod based off those expierences.




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Old 03-04-2021, 03:45 PM #12
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:34 PM #13
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The most important advice I can give is, don't have the vehicle you are building and wheeling be your only vehicle. Get a daily driver beater. Something dependable, it doesn't have to be cool, cause the 4runner is cool. This way if Monday comes and you have a stripped control arm bolt from working on it, or it's broken from wheeling it, you can still get to work or school. Mishaps like that are very common.

If the reason you want a 4runner is for off roading, get a 4x4. 4x4 > 4x2. Yes, you can still have fun in a 2wd. Yes, 2wd with locker is surprisingly good. But not as good as a 4x4. You won't be doing any crawling in a 2wd. A 4x4 unlocked is slightly better overall then a rear locked 2wd. When it comes time to upgrade, switching out a diff will be way easier then converting to 4x4.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:29 PM #14
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:49 PM #15
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Just get a set of all terrains tires and keep it stock. I had a 99 sr5 stock and now have a 99 Ltd with 285/75 tires and it sucks. The sr5 stock was way better. The front end of the 4Runner cant handle that big of tires and the lift makes it ride like shit. I regret buying this 4Runner and want to take it back to stock
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