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Old 12-17-2022, 07:35 PM #31
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Do you ever roll the hatch window down and shove longboards in? My rear hatch has some rust and the window felts are absolutely shot from that, but I can't find new ones to replace them.
Yes, all the time. But we pretty much always put towels down or have the boards in a bag, so the felt isn't too banged up. Drove like this from San Diego to San Francisco, not sure why we didn't put them on the roof, probably didn't have enough straps.


Probably all the lumber has been worse for the felt...


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I finally got around to doing this. What a great little mod!
Awesome! Just a little pricey at $35/bag.
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Old 12-17-2022, 08:51 PM #32
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Would this help prevent the salt damage to your cargo area?
1999 Toyota 4Runner Cargo Mat & Trunk Liner - Custom Fit For Cars, SUVs, Minivans | WeatherTech

If this works its a fairly inexpensive way to keep from having floor panels rot. That is if it will work for your application of the surf boards. Maybe its not a solution. Just a thought. :-)
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Old 12-17-2022, 10:41 PM #33
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Yes, it absolutely would. I built a dedicated wetsuit/bootie drawer a couple years ago that has plastic bins, has kept the cargo area much dryer and cleaner.


Thinking of getting the driver/passenger front weather tech though, they seem like a good fit.
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Old 12-17-2022, 11:31 PM #34
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Yes, it absolutely would. I built a dedicated wetsuit/bootie drawer a couple years ago that has plastic bins, has kept the cargo area much dryer and cleaner.





Thinking of getting the driver/passenger front weather tech though, they seem like a good fit.
Lots of folks swear by those mats. Very nice rig and making it your own.

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Old 12-19-2022, 02:07 AM #35
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From the same junkyard 99 I pulled the rear quarterpanel trim, I grabbed a scuff plate replacement because I had snapped the tabs on mine. Interesting to see that they added foam around the connectors in later years, wonder why?


When I had the hole in the floor, it made me notice a metallic rattling noise at the lower end of each gear coming from the exhaust. Poked at all the heat shields until I found the culprit: some of the welds on the aftermarket catalytic converter (stolen in 2011) came loose. Slapped a hose clamp on it and no more rattle. I still get pretty strong vibration in the exhaust still at times, not certain what the cause is.


Replaced the fan clutch, which felt like it had seized. The new one feels very similar, so I'm guessing it was fine. at 305k, it was probably closer to the end of it's life than the start, so I'll just tell myself it was preventative.


With the rear heater out, I riveted in the fire extinguisher holder. Has been loosely bungeed to the passenger seat for the last year. In my VW Squareback
the brake master cylinder caught on fire once—I luckily was carrying an extinguisher.


During our last trip the fridge overheated, so I added in two computer fans to the electronics cubby. If you are wondering what that stain is—I spilled a gallon of orange paint back there ~15 years ago in college.


Originally I was thinking to have them turn on when the compressor was running, but that was outside of my skill level. So I hooked up the switch from the rear heater to a relay that turned them on. Means we'll need to manually control when they turn on, but at 0.4w each, I think it is fine to keep them on continuously when we're on a trip.


Had to increase the height of the platform by 3/4" to fit the fridge, but it was really snug, and I needed to remove the rubber feet to make it fit. Increased it another 1 1/4" to allow for additional airflow and reinstall the feet. Will need to build a fascia around the fridge and rebuild the drawer fronts to clean up the look.


Almost ready for the next trip!
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Old 01-09-2023, 02:57 AM #36
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Another successful Baja trip!

This time, the fridge was great, no overheating, and no food poisoning, just cold Tecates. Installed the Renogy BT-2 bluetooth module to monitor the 50a MPPT charge controller. Was nice to be able to understand what the Solar/alternator was charging at.


My calculations had the daily usage around 40Ah, but was pleased to find it only needed to charge ~20Ah/day. I'm sure that would be more if it was cooling in the heat of summer, but there would also be more sun available. Really would like to get the solar panel permanently installed, having the cable snake out from the door is a pain.






Another last minute upgrade was replacing the rear hatch latch and strike plate. The rear hatch had to be slammed to fully close and the door function of the cargo light wasn't working. Old strike plate was fairly crusty:


Coated the new strike plate and hatch with cosmoline—CRC Heavy Duty Rust Inhibitor. Really like this stuff, but I did have some of it flake off the latch when I cinched up the bolts.


Installed, looks way better, and now the hatch completely closes without effort.

While I had the bumper taken apart I installed the four cam engineering cabin air vent. And liberally applied fluid film everywhere.

Last edited by chapolito; 01-09-2023 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 02-12-2023, 10:22 AM #37
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Nice truck!
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90% of the build threads in the 5th Gen section consist of Fuel Wheels, Plastidip, Duratracs and window tint.
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1997 4Runner "Becky" - Camping Rig - 3.4 Auto (for now), Armored, Cable E-Locked, Coastal Bumper, Sleeper Deck, 255/80r17 AT3Ws (185k+ Miles)
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Old 02-13-2023, 11:15 PM #38
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Nice truck!
Appreciate it!
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Old 02-14-2023, 05:56 PM #39
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Nice truck!
Agreed - one of my favorites on this forum!
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Old 02-15-2023, 11:03 PM #40
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Agreed - one of my favorites on this forum!
Very kind of you, thanks!
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Old 02-16-2023, 01:39 AM #41
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The last month has been taking care of the usual post-baja maintenance—cleaning, wash, oil change. The only broken part during the trip was both headlight buckets failed. It was the little clover clips that retain the adjusters that broke, because I disassembled them incorrectly, and cracked the clips.

Unfortunately, those are only sold as part of the whole bucket, fortunately Toyota still sells those, so I picked up a set:


At this point it would have been better to buy new TYC replacement headlights.

I know the front mudflaps are a pain to get off, so I've been avoiding putting cerrakote on them, but Took the rear mudflaps off and got them cleaned, already looking a lot better:


Applied Cerrakote:


Reinstalled, you can see how much better they look than the front:



Developed a coolant leak and found a bulging upper radiator hose. Once I got it off there was a clear split:


I have no record of this being replaced, so not sure how old the hose is. I do recall replacing the radiator around 2010 (and again in 2021), I'm guessing it is from then—13 years old. Hose attachment on the block was very crusty, took a while to clean it up.


I was in a rush to order the replacement hose [PN 16571-75180 | 3RZ specific] and I didn't fully think it through, but I wish I would have replaced both the upper and lower hoses since I needed to drain a lot of the coolant. Maybe I will replace all coolant hoses at once if I do that. Got it put back together with new clamps [PN 90467-37005] and bled the system:
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Old 03-10-2023, 11:08 PM #42
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I now have a new deadline—spending the month of October working remotely and driving the whole peninsula. Will get a lot of surf, but also hoping to spend time exploring the sea of cortez.

Between all the rain we've gotten, I haven't been out working on the rig much. Lots of time for planning, researching and purchasing...the first parts arrived today:


I've been chasing vibration at low RPMs for a couple years now without success. Did a compression test and am happy to find it within spec:
cylinder 1: 168psi
cylinder 2: 180psi
cylinder 3: 168psi
cylinder 4: 170psi

Next idea is to try engine restorer prior to the next oil change and see if I can bring them higher/close together. If that does not affect it, I plan to replace both motor mounts + trans mount.

Fixed the rear hatch wiring, a total of 5 wires were severed.


Nice to have a rear defroster, cargo light, and reliable roll down window.



And I've had a hell of a time getting it smogged, I keep going to picky tech. First time they required me to remove the oil catch can, and today they failed me for having a the taco mini header, I called the state ref to weigh in, but I'm just going to try a few more places tomorrow to see if anyone will care. I did learn that the catch can was capturing a milky oil froth, just shy of 1/4 cup after 3.5k miles:

Last edited by chapolito; 03-10-2023 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 03-13-2023, 03:39 PM #43
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Catch can would be a problem, but the mini-header shouldn't be. Does it have a heat shield over it? Maybe just the exposed pipes are a red flag in a 'careful' smog tech's mind?

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Old 03-13-2023, 08:42 PM #44
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Catch can would be a problem, but the mini-header shouldn't be. Does it have a heat shield over it? Maybe just the exposed pipes are a red flag in a 'careful' smog tech's mind?

-Charlie
Yes, has the heat shield. Tech accused me of trying to hide an aftermarket header with a "piece of metal".

I spent 4 hours this weekend trying to get it smogged, and finally got it tested and it passed. In total, I visited 8 smog places. Apparently the machines for 99 and older isn't made any more and they break all the time.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:18 AM #45
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Apparently the machines for 99 and older isn't made any more and they break all the time.
Oi. I have TWO '99 and older vehicles due for a smog right now.

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