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Old 02-08-2022, 05:24 PM #1
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Octanejunkie's T4R project - 99 SR5 4WD 5-speed

Well, I got tired of watching the big boys and their 4WD toys do things my rig could not. That, and the reality of converting my 2WD diminishing (time, space, etc) I got discouraged and antsy and after a few years of "faking before making it" I caved and bought one.

After skulking several sites for months, responding to ads, looking at overpriced rust heaps and talking to many sellers that weren't transparent over the phone or stopped responding when asked specific questions. I finally found exactly what I was looking for: my year and color 4runner in 4WD with fewer miles - and the best part, 5-speed manual transmission.



The truck was located in Santa Barbara, originally from Oregon, not registered in CA. I drove up with a buddy ready to buy if it panned out, and after a thorough inspection, test drive and "a serious conversation" with the seller I drove it home to LA (1.75 hours) without issue. My buddy followed behind me in my 2WD.

The good
Everything works. Like everything. Running the VIN I knew the factory equipment package and was able to validate everything on the truck was stock except for 1 thing...

I wonder what that button is?

The better
One of the pictures showed a button on the dash with orange letters right next to the interior light brightness knob - an e-locker switch! Yep, the previous owner's brother had an e-Locker installed for me. TBU, too.

Also, originally sold in Idaho, and being a 48 state vehicle it's federal emissions, only 1 catalytic converter. My OBDII scanner showed no codes, no pending codes and all tests complete. TorquePro showed nothing troubling either. With no trans cooler, there was no threat of a pink milkshake thanks manual transmission - but someone switched out the gear shift knob with something awful (it had to go ASAP)

The best
Although the truck was filthy, had mild surface rust on a few undercarriage items and several suspect oily/greasy spots, she cleaned up great. No leaks! No worn suspension components about to fail, and most importantly, no actual rust.
Test driving it we found a dirt road and I was able to test 2-Hi, 4-Hi, 4-Low and Rear Locked. All gears performed flawlessly. The clutch pedal bushings need replacing and the helical spring is probably eating into the pedal shaft, but we can fix that.

The obvious
Ball joints and radiator appear to be original. Timing belt was done but the sticker was bare, not noted when and mileage. Although the seller claimed to have done "all required maintenance" they had weak records to support that claim. Badly leaking VGCs and messy fluid changes made things look potentially troubling. The truck was filthy inside and out and all bushings are old and tired. There is work to be done but nothing major appears to be looming.

The bad
  1. The rear hatch was damaged in a rear-end bike rack incident that caved the rear hatch skin between the licence plate and wiper blade. The hatch seals and works, the wiper works but the rear window does not roll down more than 1/2".
    UPDATE: swapped hatch from 2WD 03/2022
  2. The license plate bezel and handle is smashed, but functional with "the right touch." The lock cylinder works to lock, unlock and activate the window in both directions. One of the license plate bolts is rust-frozen in place.
    UPDATE: self resolved will hatch swap w/ lock cylinders exchange
  3. Minor electrical gremlins; interior dome lights flicker. All 4 corners are out. The alternator was recently replaced and a new battery installed - TBD exactly why. The wire harness actually looks really good. No rodent damage or excessive aging found, yet.
  4. The power antenna "works" but no mast is present. Someone stuffed a manual conversion mast in and then it was broken off. Gear needs inspection.
    UPDATE: installed replacement mast 03/2022
  5. Out of state registration and title, plus, the truck had never been smogged; Oregon doesn't do emissions testing. With a signed title I went to the DMV website, downloaded and filled out the required docs and went to the DMV.


The DMV
I really expected a nightmare and didn't post about this truck before the title transfer and registration was behind me, but it was pretty painless. Only 1 form was required, and with a signed title and Oregon registration I started the process of transferring title and bringing the car into CA officially. Easy peasy, but I needed to pass a smog test, and a visual inspection, and then I would be home free.

Smog test & inspection
I scanned the truck for the days in advance of the test to make sure no codes popped up and on Saturday morning I was first at the smog test shop. She passed with flying colors before I did any work. The inspection went pretty much the same way on Monday. With both done, I finalized the title transfer, registration and moved my "specialty license plates" to the new rig.



Now comes the real work: repairs, maintenance and mods.

First order of business was figuring out some of the bugaboo issues: electrical, lights and the rear hatch. Parts for all maintenance have been ordered so time to address what I can while I wait for UPS.

I replaced all the bulbs on the exterior and interior except the headlamps. There are a few lights on the dash not working, like cruise control, so an LED dash kit is waiting to be installed which should resolve all but one of the lighting issues (the rear cargo light off the rear hatch latch).

Troubleshoot rear window. Well, it was getting hung up on the wiper motor. I decided to sacrifice the working wiper for a working window, so I removed the wiper arm and motor. Window now works 100% but a complete replacement hatch is needed.

All the door checks need to be serviced. @JZiggy to the rescue! I'll be sending my checks out for R&R soon.
UPDATE: installed rebuilt door checks 03/2022

Aside from the typical 245K maintenance items, the majority of mods from my 2WD will be transferred over with few exceptions. This will be mostly a swap-grade, as well as some of the typical 4WD upgrades like a body lift, rock sliders, bumpers, etc.

Trail radio/coms will be added as well as a field monitor/inclinometer and finally my winch!

Another super significant mod will be the @eimkeith fuel tank crossmember, F-150 fuel tank and PCK finished off by a rear-swing out bumper. Jury is still out on which bumpers will be used, but it's happening. A new front bumper will be ordered, the ARB is staying on the 2WD.

Cosmetics will be addressed, too.
I really like the Jade Mica Green, but the paint has seen better days. Lots of rock damage but ZERO clear coat hazing. The hood and roof paint is actually in better condition than my 2WD's paint. I will have some decisions to make regarding paint, but it looks good from 5 yards.

The truck came with those steel wheel well liners that I would dare to call flares. I found a set of SR5 flares identical to my Sport flares and they will go on the truck with the tacoma flare liners ala @phattyduck and many others.
The steel flares and running boards were the first things to go!

Rims and tires are on the agenda. The truck has 285/75 R16 Cooper Discoverer tires that are actually not in bad shape, I'm sure they will rub under full stuff but they do not appear to have. The 6-spoke rims the truck came with are in terrible shape so I will replace them with my 17" Sequoia rims and fresh rubber, maybe pick up another set of 5-star rims and move the Coopers over. Either way, spacers are happening.

Here are a few NOW pics taken after passing the smog test, and before any 'serious work' begins



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1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD, V6 5-Speed e-Locker-> 4WD 4runner Journal Thread
1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Un-Sported 2WD, V6 Auto ->2WD 4runner Journal Thread
1959 Chevy 3100 1/2 Ton Pickup EVERYTHING done 'cept paint and body
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Last edited by octanejunkie; 04-01-2022 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:24 PM #2
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One month update

Before updates/mods


March 2022


April 2022


June 2022


August 2022


Updated suspension (moved from 2WD)

Bilstein Tundra 5100 Shocks (BSN-24-261425) front
Toytec/Eibach 112-620 springs (on 1st notch)
1/4" top hat spacer (driver side)
Tokico shocks 48531-69417 rear
OME 2861 rear springs
-B (taller) on driver side, no trim packer
-25-1/4" driver (fender to hub center)
-25" pass (fender to hub center)
LC rear springs
-19.5" Purple Green White 8 wraps (driver)
-19" Double Purple Light Blue White 7.5 wraps (pass)
10mm OME trim packer (driver side)[/s]
TBU
MStudt Extended Sway Bar End Links, front and rear w/poly bushings
-upgraded from heims to forged ball studs

Driveline:
Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX 255/85 R16
on Factory 5-star wheels
-installed July 2022

Aisin Clutch replacement
-installed July 2022

Driveshaft lube
-performed July 2022

Lighting:

Retrofit DDM D2S V1 3 projectors w/35watt 5000K
Panamera V1 Shrouds w/Cree LED Halo Rings wired to side markers
2002 Tail Lights
Projector LED Rear Reverse Lamps
LED license plate bulbs
All LED internal bulbs
QDY 21 Inch 100W Single Row Led Light bar CREE LEDs Spot Flood Combo (on roof rack)
40W Amber LED fog lights (in 4XI bumper)
54W Amber LED ditch lights (on True North A-Pillar brackets)


Updated comfort and cosmetics
SR5 wheel well flares
BH3D Mud Flap End Caps
Leather Re-Wrapped Steering wheel (moved from 2WD)

Miscellaneous:

Toytec Extended SS Rear Brake flex line
Wheelers SS Braided Tacoma Brake flex line, Front
-removed caliper hard lines
WeatherTech front mats, Tan
WeatherTech rear mat, Tan
Husky cargo liner, black
Hardwired DBPOWER 2.7" Dash Cam, 120 Wide Angle 1080P Dash Cam
Single DIN Pioneer BT head unit with hardwired mic at map light
Antenna mod (switched)
Subaru Field Monitor/Compass
AnyTone AT-779UV Dual Band radio (GMRS)
AnyTone AT-778UV Dual Band radio (HAM)

Full length roof rack
Ironman 6.5" Awning
Added a roof basket, Harbor Freight (used)

Painted marker lamps orange
Tamiya X-26
Tamiya TS-13 Glossy Spray Lacquer

Armor:

RCI Skids
-front/engine
-transmission
-transfer case
-LCAs

4X Innovations Front Plate Bumper with Grill Guard
-installed June 2022

Smittybilt SMT-97495 - 9,500 lbs Gen 2 XRC winch (upgdaded to synthetic line)
-installed December 2022

Lil Skips Gas Tank Skid
-installed May 2022

1" Body Lift w/Energy 4.111G Poly Bushings
-installed June 2022

XO Fab Sliders
-installed June 2022 w/body lift


Updates and upgraded factory part numbers:

Battery Hold Down
74404-35140
-installed 3/20/3022

Cigarette Lighter Light Bulb
84999-10250
-installed 3/20/3022

Clutch Pedal Bushings (2)
90386-13007

Clutch Pedal Spring
90507-14030

Lexus GS350 Front Diff Drain Plug
90341-24016
-installed July 2022

Lexus GS350 Front Diff Fill Plug (why not)
90341-18060
-installed July 2022

Honda Wiper Sprayers
76810-TK8-A01
-installed May 2022

Switch Assy, Headlamp Dimmer
84140-20560
-installed June 2022

Hose, Oil Cooler
15777-62020

Valve Assy, Heater Water
87240-35070

Radiator
16410-AZ011

Cabin Filter
62940-35010

Installed Aisin Master Clutch Cylinder
CMT-093
-installed Labor Day Weekend 2022

More stuff inbound. Stay tuned
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1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD, V6 5-Speed e-Locker-> 4WD 4runner Journal Thread
1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Un-Sported 2WD, V6 Auto ->2WD 4runner Journal Thread
1959 Chevy 3100 1/2 Ton Pickup EVERYTHING done 'cept paint and body
.

Last edited by octanejunkie; 01-26-2023 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:24 PM #3
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Reserved #2



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1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Sport 4WD, V6 5-Speed e-Locker-> 4WD 4runner Journal Thread
1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Un-Sported 2WD, V6 Auto ->2WD 4runner Journal Thread
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Last edited by octanejunkie; 09-08-2022 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:25 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octanejunkie View Post
I finally found exactly what I was looking for
Excellent. I've been seeing your posts and noticing you parts list grow... Excited to follow the new build!
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:26 PM #5
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How dare you start a thread without pics! J/K, congrats!
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Old 02-08-2022, 05:35 PM #6
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Congrats. All I own are 4wd..

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Brillo's Bucket Fluid Ex changer: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-g...ml#post3358086
Sparks Plugs Wire and Coil Information: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-g...on-5vz-fe.html
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Old 02-08-2022, 06:08 PM #7
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In the rustbelt it would be dumb to not buy the 4x4 addition if it was available! The 4Runner loves the snow lol. Held up great on the recent winterstorm in Ohio while the minivan I attempted to drive first got stuck. Nothing but good luck on the build!
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Old 02-08-2022, 07:10 PM #8
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Congrats on the score! It's hard to admit but, in the last few years the CA DMV has gotten a lot better in the few complex dealings I've had (deceased owners, resurrecting long off-the-grid vehicles, etc.). I do most everything DMV through the AAA office, but getting my kid's drivers licenses, RealID's, etc., they have also been very efficient. Crazy upside-down world.

Looking forward to details!
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Old 02-09-2022, 08:24 PM #9
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Congrats! That's an honest looking truck, which is rare to come across now. Should make for a great roommate with your other IJM.
I would monitor LKQ and also Car-part.com for a replacement hatch.
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Old 02-09-2022, 08:59 PM #10
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Nice truck! Relatively low miles too.

I've been wanting to find a 5 speed 4x4 one near me as well, just because it sounds like fun.
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Old 02-10-2022, 12:08 AM #11
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Nice truck! Relatively low miles too.

I've been wanting to find a 5 speed 4x4 one near me as well, just because it sounds like fun.
Can't wait to get it on the trail, but I've been having so much fun with it since I replaced the shifter knob, funny how big a difference that little change made lol



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1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Un-Sported 2WD, V6 Auto ->2WD 4runner Journal Thread
1959 Chevy 3100 1/2 Ton Pickup EVERYTHING done 'cept paint and body
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Old 02-10-2022, 05:33 PM #12
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Can't wait to get it on the trail, but I've been having so much fun with it since I replaced the shifter knob, funny how big a difference that little change made lol



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you scored a great vehicle, i know because its just like mine! same color, same trim level. i bought mine new in 1999---i've seen the original shift knob on ebay for about 100 bucks, mines still in good shape but i just happened to notice it. congratulations!!!
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Old 02-11-2022, 02:27 AM #13
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I get why Toyota made a 2WD 4Runner, but it just seems like you only get half of the deal. These things were meant to be driven on dirt, mud and snow. Have fun building this one up!

PS rear hatches are very easy to swap out, just need a buddy to do it as they weigh around 150 lbs.
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Old 02-11-2022, 12:55 PM #14
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Originally Posted by gamefreakgc View Post
I get why Toyota made a 2WD 4Runner, but it just seems like you only get half of the deal. These things were meant to be driven on dirt, mud and snow. Have fun building this one up!

PS rear hatches are very easy to swap out, just need a buddy to do it as they weigh around 150 lbs.
Honestly thinking about just swapping tailgates between my 2 trucks and sell the 2WD for $500 less

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Old 02-11-2022, 01:14 PM #15
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Originally Posted by octanejunkie View Post
Honestly thinking about just swapping tailgates between my 2 trucks and sell the 2WD for $500 less

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I’ve been thinking about doing that same thing but with a leather seat swap. Buy one on Craigslist and sell it for 1k less. Seems like a win win to me.
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Last edited by 5VZ-FE; 02-11-2022 at 02:35 PM.
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