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Old 09-13-2021, 08:38 PM #1
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RodrickHeffley's 1998 Limited Build

Hey guys, been lurking for a while and decided to finally do a build thread. I'm 17 and a senior in high school so money is tight but I'm doing odds and ends now and then to upgrade my 4runner slowly.

So I got it in June 2020 for 3700$.
It had 264k miles and a bald set of tires.



It came with another set of tires and an air filter.

Bone stock as far as I can tell.

I replaced all the fluids and did the rear brakes. The radiator has been done before so I don't need to worry too much.

The first real "Mod" I did was install a wii in the back (i'm kidding i took this out)


I really started getting into it after another friend of mine bought a 97 and we've worked together on them. We first really got started after doing an hour and a half drive for parts: my center console and steering wheel, and his grill and interior pieces

The second day we really worked together we redid my rear lights making them LEDs.


shortly after, i blacked out the grill, planning to tint the headlights in the hear future. (and make a satoshi when i find an xtra grill hmu)

I took off the running boards after because i don't use them.

I did the 99+ center console mod, which was my real "first" one, and installed a radio the guy i got my steering wheel from threw in for 10 bucks.



By far one of the harder parts of doing this mod is relocating the switches, but after some trial, I got it.



Then shortly after replaced all the LEDs in the dash with white leds:



I took the green cover off the key light too to make it more amber, then replaced my ratty 98 leather steering wheel with a pristine one from a 96. I also put on the plastic that goes behind the wheel and had to replace the clockspring to make the cruise control work.


Shortly after, I got some OEM floormats because the cheap AutoZone ones I had weren't cutting it.


As well as the floormats, I got myself a keyfob to unlock the car when I'm away. It only unlocks, no locking, but it works as far as I can tell, the alarm and everything.

Then, I decided to make it a turd. no i'm not kidding.


After I did this, I started on my hardest endeavor yet: fixing the rear hatch rust. I don't have a before picture because i'm dumb but trust me it was bad. I was quoted a price way too high so figured i'd do it myself.



During the process of the rear hatch fix, I painted the license plate bezel and replaced the lights above the license plate because they were stuck above the bezel. Also got a license plate cover to match.



However, I broke a clip off of the keyhole, so it was down to Pick N Pull for me.
I got one finally after breaking two, and also got a black upper center console plastic thing, a WORKING CLOCK (wut), a spoiler that I think I won't use and some interior pieces to 100% finish off my interior.

The clip I broke:


Bodywork tuckered me out. So, I did the next logical thing and went and bought two 2nd gen seats thinking they were 3rd!
This dilema led me to reupholstering the old 3rd gen seats with the foam and cloth from the 2nd gens, and yes it is hard as it sounds.



Finished passenger seat:


That leads us to today.

Now, I'm not sure if it's allowed but I have a thread advertising extra thingys I have for sale. I'd greatly appreciate if you checked it out, It helps me fund my build:
For sale: Misc 3rd gen items

Things I want to do but haven't yet:
Spacers
paint bumpers and fender flares
led headlights
roll window down from inside hatch mod thing
take off tow hitch
fix rust on front fender
DONE - satoshi grill
disconnect radio motor
finish replacing interior leds


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1998 4Runner Limited 4WD V6 3.4L 3378cc w/Rear Locker
269k Miles
Build Thread
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Last edited by RodrickHeffley; 09-29-2021 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:04 PM #2
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my 1998 Limited Build

On my last escapade to the pick n pull, I didn't get what I wanted but found something much better. A 1991 Mercedes 190e. Like many, I'm not fond of the stock "meep meep" horn but don't want to buy an expensive one.

Old german cars do just the trick. A bit of patience and one trip to the hardware store later, and I've got a loud "intimidating" horn.




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1998 4Runner Limited 4WD V6 3.4L 3378cc w/Rear Locker
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Last edited by RodrickHeffley; 09-13-2021 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:46 PM #3
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I think your off to a good start. Good job on seats. I would definetly look into age and condition of lower ball joints....tons of info on this, its a failure in design on these and can ruin a good car .
I find it funny you want to get rid of tow hitch...my current one came without and I need to get one on. Few things....its a good anchor point when/if you get stuck and you need to be pulled out from behind....its a anchor point if you need to pull someone out....its another "bumper" if you get hit from behind...bike and even small dirt bike rack...cargo carrier if you want to go really out and need to haul extra gas cans or firewood. Plus the bolts nearest the diff can be a nightmare...why I dont know who designed it....but the ones nearest the bumper have nuts welded in frame , the ones nearest diff are not welded in and can just sit there and spin....why... most likeley you will have to cut the bolts off. the guy who came up with that idea is prob the same guy who decided where to put the turn signal flasher realy....
headlight tinting.....these rigs have poor headlights as is...tinting could make worse

led's...dont forget the dome lights....makes a big difference when its dark out...outside camping etc.....led turn signals and parking lights are nice and make you more visable....however you will need to change your turn signal realy to one for led's....thats when you will discover the rotten location for the turn signal realy....its not terrible....but in all the cars I have owned...not a easy one. And if you do your brake lights in LED, dont mess with the 3rd one up in tailgate....well unless you get the right kind of LED....switching that one to an LED can make your ABS light kick on ....strange and write ups on that too. So I left mine not LED for that one.

I see you have a diff lock....is it working....they can freeze up if not used..mine get used often up here.. so like the 4wd...exercise it on occasion...i think the manual says one time a month.....but with the locker you might want to look into the "gray wire mod". Allows you to kick in the locker in 4hi as well as 2wd. For me, on some back roads, being able to kick in the locker and still be in 4hi has been helpfull. However driving with the locker on can be a little more tricky esp on pavement or at speed. I only use mine when im on gravel, mud or snow and at low speeds....but speeds high enough I dont want to be in 4low...and some back roads ive been able to drive with just the locker and not in 4wd at all.....better mpg and less wear and tear on 4wd system.

wheel spacers....well there are good brands and bad ones....and remember....the more your tires stick out from the fender flares....the more rock chips and dirt your gonna throw on the body. Id put money elsewhwere unless you need them for clearance like doing the TBU with early wheels or some off brand wheelswith the wrong offset

best of luck on your new adventure....these 3rd gens are great
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:17 AM #4
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Good start, sounds like you are pretty dedicated to cleaning up your truck. You should do the LBJ's as 3bears said and please go oem, I went with moog and am regretting it. I have spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers and then US wheel adapters 1.5" ones as well if you're interested. One thing to think about with them is that it will kill your wheel bearings so I would get some wider rims instead.

For tinting headlights, you will NEED led's before going on the road at night. I have 6k lumen bulbs which I think work well and don't piss of oncoming drivers, but I also use my fog lights on my bumper.





For painting bumpers and fenders, I did that on my first 4runner. It's either you like it or you don't kind of thing. I liked it then, but I also had massive amounts of rust I was trying to hide as well.



When you'll be looking for lift and tire options (trust me you will) I run bilstein 5100's on OME coils and it works for me. I'd go with 2.5"/3" F/R because you can still get away with stock UCA's. If you want a rear lift cheap I'll be ready to sell my rear "long travel" 5100's and OME springs to you for cheap. 285/75r16 is a good max for auto/stock gears. Wildpeaks are solid and relatively cheap for A/T. Kanati Mud Hogs are really cheap decent M/T tires...along with Milestar Patagonia M/T.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:28 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron duke View Post
Good start, sounds like you are pretty dedicated to cleaning up your truck. You should do the LBJ's as 3bears said and please go oem, I went with moog and am regretting it. I have spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers and then US wheel adapters 1.5" ones as well if you're interested. One thing to think about with them is that it will kill your wheel bearings so I would get some wider rims instead.

For tinting headlights, you will NEED led's before going on the road at night. I have 6k lumen bulbs which I think work well and don't piss of oncoming drivers, but I also use my fog lights on my bumper.





For painting bumpers and fenders, I did that on my first 4runner. It's either you like it or you don't kind of thing. I liked it then, but I also had massive amounts of rust I was trying to hide as well.



When you'll be looking for lift and tire options (trust me you will) I run bilstein 5100's on OME coils and it works for me. I'd go with 2.5"/3" F/R because you can still get away with stock UCA's. If you want a rear lift cheap I'll be ready to sell my rear "long travel" 5100's and OME springs to you for cheap. 285/75r16 is a good max for auto/stock gears. Wildpeaks are solid and relatively cheap for A/T. Kanati Mud Hogs are really cheap decent M/T tires...along with Milestar Patagonia M/T.

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely keep that in mind for sure, right now i'm trying to save up enough to get what i need instead of a bunch of small things so i'll be in touch if/when i need that rear lift

for the headlights, did you swap out the bulbs or take apart the whole headlight? I've seen people do both but not 100% sure


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Old 09-14-2021, 11:20 AM #6
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Originally Posted by RodrickHeffley View Post
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely keep that in mind for sure, right now i'm trying to save up enough to get what i need instead of a bunch of small things so i'll be in touch if/when i need that rear lift

for the headlights, did you swap out the bulbs or take apart the whole headlight? I've seen people do both but not 100% sure


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Just swapped the bulbs, literally plug-n-play. For tinting the headlights I just taped around the truck and just spray evenly. Pretty simple, just make sure you shake well, prep the surface, and I've found out it goes on a lot better in like 70-80 degree weather.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:24 AM #7
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Just swapped the bulbs, literally plug-n-play. For tinting the headlights I just taped around the truck and just spray evenly. Pretty simple, just make sure you shake well, prep the surface, and I've found out it goes on a lot better in like 70-80 degree weather.

good to know, thanks! for prep did you just clean it or sand too?

also, one or two cans?


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Old 09-14-2021, 11:40 AM #8
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good to know, thanks! for prep did you just clean it or sand too?

also, one or two cans?


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You'll barely use 1/4 of a can. Just wiped the surface down really good and used wire wool, but you could just wipe it down and be good.
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:06 AM #9
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Okay, the homie who had the steering wheel has an extra grill, so i'm going down there today to get it, in turn allowing me to make my satoshi grill.

I need to find the metal I'm going to use as the mesh, probably will look when i go to get the grill.

I already have the toyota logo off a 2nd gen that I'm going to use, so all I really need is the mesh.

I ordered the tint and LEDs today, so I'll get everything installed at once likely.

Once I have the satoshi mod done, I'm going to install some amber lights above the logo as such:


Does anyone have advice for making the grill suitable for the satoshi?
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:22 AM #10
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You lost me at headlight tinting..
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:01 PM #11
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You lost me at headlight tinting..
yeah, i get that.
personally, I think the darker headlights will look cool in combo with the satoshi grill, something like this:



For a bit more context, you could look at iron duke's build thread. I really liked how they looked:
1999 4runner build highschool/college edition
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:54 AM #12
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I finally got the satoshi grill made, got some raptor lights in it and everything, just need to install it now.

so the grill was 20$, the mesh was 15, logo was 5, leds were 10, and the paint was 10.
Grand total for the satoshi is 60$. not bad for diy lol
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:02 PM #13
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Nice rig, looks like you are jumping right in. I'd skip tinting the headlights and running LED's in the factory halogens. The picture you posted has custom built HID's, that's the way to do it if you want to change the looks/performance.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:15 PM #14
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Quote:
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Nice rig, looks like you are jumping right in. I'd skip tinting the headlights and running LED's in the factory halogens. The picture you posted has custom built HID's, that's the way to do it if you want to change the looks/performance.
yeah, honestly, i think i'm just gonna return those for now as well, it'd be easier when i make custom ones in the future.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:30 PM #15
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Nice rig, looks like you are jumping right in. I'd skip tinting the headlights and running LED's in the factory halogens. The picture you posted has custom built HID's, that's the way to do it if you want to change the looks/performance.
This^

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yeah, honestly, i think i'm just gonna return those for now as well, it'd be easier when i make custom ones in the future.
Good call.. Check out Bxbuilt. A bit pricey for custom built ones but you have the option to DIY also. I would say it was definitely worth the cost. DIY is not super difficult but very tedious and time consuming..
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