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Old 11-12-2023, 09:20 PM #1
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Squatty's mostly red 3rd gen

Hello all. I love the spirit of DIY and getting off the beaten path. Getting into a 3rd gen definitely isn't a unique choice, but I've done a few things here and there that may be worth sharing. Anyways, here's my 4Runner! I would be happy to answer any questions if they come up.

Current state:


When I first got it w/ 285k miles on 10/22:
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Old 11-12-2023, 09:25 PM #2
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A week after I bought it, I took it to MOAB. There were a few things that needed to get done before the trip.

-removed the sidesteps
-window rain guards/visors
-wide-angle mirror attachments for sideview mirrors
-install my double-din apple carplay headunit from my old CR-V
-threw on a Sherpa Equipment roof rack
-285/75/16 Falken Wildpeak AT3W. Love these tires!


Fitting these required a little big of fender liner trimming and pinch weld massaging. Otherwise, they fit and only rubbed on the frame at full lock. No lift yet.

Up Hell's Revenge:


My first camping trip in the 4Runner was pretty rushed in terms of equipment. Managed to secure the essentials and it all fit under the cargo cover. I slept with a window cracked under one of the window visors with a Kelty sleeping bag, and I survived through sub-freezing conditions and snow for the week.



I learned a lot about what I needed for the truck from this trip. The headlights sucked and I had a ton of ideas that would improve the camping situation.

Last edited by squatty; 11-12-2023 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 11-12-2023, 09:51 PM #3
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Over the past year (writing this 11/23), I've done a few lighting upgrades that help me cope with having stock 3rd gen headlights. I prefer the look of the OEM reflector housings versus installing projectors, and I won't put LEDs in the stock housings. I'm not a monster.

Baja Designs S1 in amber in the factory fog light spot. I made some custom brackets for them. These are not SAE so I only run these offroad or when I don't see oncoming traffic. These are a lifesaver in snow and heavy rain.


I love the classic safari look, and a common theme are the round spotlights with covers. I got these Hella 500FF spots for about $70 on Amazon. They are bright enough to help out offroad and look the part. I mounted these by bolting into the metal portion of the stock bumper.


I replaced the passenger side housing with a rep I found on Amazon. The beam pattern is definitely off, but the glass being clear and the reflective coating on the housing being intact still meant a solid improvement in output. I also added clear corner lights as an aesthetic upgrade.


For scene lighting at camp, I added some Heretic rock/dome lights to the handle cutouts in the Sherpa Equipment roof rack. Super slick, out of the way, and the output is good enough to light up the campsite before the fire is going. I run these with the truck off and haven't had an issue with the battery dying. 3rd gens don't have a gutter rail to run wiring down the A-pillar in a clean fashion, so I just double-sided taped the harness down the windshield.



I lucked out and was able to find a pair of clear tail lights made by USR (Unique Style Racing) in good condition locally, since the company stopped production of them recently. I added 7443R LED bulbs from Sylvania as brake lights to keep the tail lights as 'clear' as possible.



All said and done, I feel like I have plenty of light for most situations that I find myself in. The idea of having lights for every possible angle is enticing, but I found that my current setup is cost-effective and simple. Those BD S1s really put in some work in the dark.



All of these lights are ran through an Auxbeam 8-gang switch panel that I've added a toggle switch to so that I can use them with the truck off. This minimized the amount of harnesses being ran through the firewall and otherwise improved the user experience of the lights.


Last edited by squatty; 11-12-2023 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 11-12-2023, 10:02 PM #4
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Welcome! Looks like you're off to a good start. If you're gonna be offroading I'd recommend looking into the "Andy Mod" that allows you to disable TRAC/VSC on 01/02s.

I have a similar set of headlight housings on mine with a also "off" beam pattern. I hope to rectify it by getting rid of the little reflector the light goes behind and just getting a set of mini-projectors.

I would also recommend checking when your radiator and ball joints were last replaced, both of them if they fail or break can be catastrophic
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Old 11-12-2023, 10:28 PM #5
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ETC

Some other things that I have done:

Wheels:
I imported some SSR/Lodio Drive Cinq wheels with the help of Steve (@jdmwheels.co on instagram). I won them for 120,000 yen, or about $800 USD on YAJ. Steve took care of the exporting. I opted for the 3 month shipping option which added another $600ish USD. It was a long wait but well worth it.
16x8.5J -8 with 285/75/16 Falken Wildpeak AT3W. No trimming to the factory fenders or bumpers, just some pinch weld hammering and fender liner trimming. No rubbing with lift.





The front wheels studs are shorter than the rear, and the thread engagement on the lug nuts with these wheels weren't great. I have a set of longer studs that I will eventually install, but for now the wheels haven't fallen off yet... I'm using standard 'tuner' style lugs with a Gorilla Automotive wheel lock on each corner.


Lift:
I have a simple Bilstein 5100 + OME 881/890 lift. Frankly, I think the truck is a bit too tall, but it clears the tires without trimming and I have no rubbing. I also have JBA upper control arms, which were perfect to add some caster and have an oem-style ball joint (has a boot). The zerk fittings on each greasable item are also nice.



Fire extinguisher bracket:
I have access to a fiber laser, a CAD suite, and a press brake. So why not make a passenger-side 'molle' that I can mount a small fire extinguisher to? The seat can still move through its full range of motion, and the fire extinguisher does not affect passenger footspace in a significant way.


External trans cooler:
Nobody wants pink milkshake. I went ahead and installed the B&M 70268 kit. I don't have a way of monitoring the trans temp, but I'm sure it's running cool and there's no risk of the coolant and trans fluid mixing.



Cup holder extension:
Quick print out of PETG to hold a larger sized water bottle like my RTIC bottle. Also holds my phone charging cable


Apache 9800 storage case:
Drilled holes in the bottom of the case, bolted directly to the roof rack. Low profile, lockable, and weatherproof. Holds some recovery gear and fluids. I also have a ROAM 83L case that I throw on when camping to hold stuff like my camp chair, firewood, and leveling blocks. Between these two cases and what fits under my cargo cover, I'm pretty set on storage.

Last edited by squatty; 11-12-2023 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 11-12-2023, 10:29 PM #6
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ETC II

Some things I would like to do:

I picked up a KZN185 fender mirror the same time I won the wheel bid, and Steve packaged it in with one of the wheels. It's going to take a little bit of custom work to mount it, and it will only be for the ability to pose as a Hilux. I won't be able to see anything out of it, but that's ok!


Dash redesign:
At some point, I'd really like to relocate some things on the dash with the main goal of mounting the headunit at the top of the assembly. This would make controlling music and looking at maps via carplay significantly easier. I plan on 3D printing the dash bezel and reinforcing with metal brackets as needed. Ideally I would print it out of PETG and be done with it, but I've had a cup holder warp already so I will likely need to set myself up to print ABS or treat/coat the PETG print in some way to resist heat. The other option is to make it out of fiberglass or something, but I do not have much layup experience. Likewise, I will need to redesign and manufacture the HVAC header because the vents will be moving. It's a straightforward project (mostly) and I just need to do it. I scanned the empty dash using Scandy (free!) on my phone.



Eventually, painting or wrapping this truck would be awesome. I think I'd keep the silver two-tone to match the rack/wheels/bumper/lights, but the primary color would definitely change. The red has grown on me but I think I'd still prefer black or something.
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Old 11-12-2023, 10:38 PM #7
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Trips:

I don't plan on wheeling this thing super hard. It's my daily driver, and I'd hate to put some dents in the Lodios. I'm totally fine with being a mall crawler. Either way, here's some trips its gone on (I'm located in north Colorado):

MOAB - the maiden voyage a week after being purchased


Buena Vista - Now on film!


Montana - This thing couldn't keep up with traffic in the 80MPH zones


Misc BLM land around CO -




Target parking lot!

Last edited by squatty; 11-12-2023 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 11-12-2023, 10:41 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodrickHeffley View Post
Welcome! Looks like you're off to a good start. If you're gonna be offroading I'd recommend looking into the "Andy Mod" that allows you to disable TRAC/VSC on 01/02s.

I have a similar set of headlight housings on mine with a also "off" beam pattern. I hope to rectify it by getting rid of the little reflector the light goes behind and just getting a set of mini-projectors.

I would also recommend checking when your radiator and ball joints were last replaced, both of them if they fail or break can be catastrophic
Good call! The P/O supplied a ton of service records. The LBJ were recently replaced, and I've verified that they are in good condition. The radiator is definitely due soon, as the plastic is beginning to turn an olive color. Andy mod is also on the list!
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Old 11-12-2023, 11:15 PM #9
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Always nice to see another sunfire red build!

CRV table for the win! I have one that lives under my roof rack at all times. Never know when you need to deploy a picnic table in 15 seconds.
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Old 11-12-2023, 11:39 PM #10
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Always nice to see another sunfire red build!

CRV table for the win! I have one that lives under my roof rack at all times. Never know when you need to deploy a picnic table in 15 seconds.
Only a keen, knowledgeable eye would be able to pick out a CR-V table. Had to keep it after my old 1st gen needed to retire. Your under-rack mount is great!
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Old 11-13-2023, 03:08 AM #11
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Love the mall crawler photo with the red target carts haha. Nice build simple, functional seems well thought out and looks great. I might have to steal your ideal on the Baja S1's. Been looking to improve the lighting from the stock bumper as I'm not a fan of most of the boxy off-road bumpers that don't match the body lines of these trucks. I'm jealous of the clear tails too, hopefully I can get as lucky and find a set locally or second hand. I want to picked up some clear tails but also saw that they were discontinued recently. Welcome!

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Old 11-13-2023, 09:24 AM #12
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Quote:
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Only a keen, knowledgeable eye would be able to pick out a CR-V table. Had to keep it after my old 1st gen needed to retire. Your under-rack mount is great!
I use my 1st gen table around the garage but currently rock a 2nd gen CRV table -- they are bigger and thinner!

I still drive my 1st gen CRV to work, about to hit 250k
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Old 11-13-2023, 10:27 AM #13
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Welcome squatty!

Your 4Runner is coming along nicely. Looking forward to your dash build.
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Old 11-13-2023, 03:03 PM #14
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Truck looks great! Love those wheels.

Do you work at Sherpa?
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Old 11-13-2023, 03:04 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver.T4R View Post
Love the mall crawler photo with the red target carts haha. Nice build simple, functional seems well thought out and looks great. I might have to steal your ideal on the Baja S1's. Been looking to improve the lighting from the stock bumper as I'm not a fan of most of the boxy off-road bumpers that don't match the body lines of these trucks. I'm jealous of the clear tails too, hopefully I can get as lucky and find a set locally or second hand. I want to picked up some clear tails but also saw that they were discontinued recently. Welcome!

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Thank you! Yes, the BD S1s fit perfectly in our stock fog location. I have seen a few pairs of clear tail lights for sale since picking these up so they are definitely out there. @All_be_clear_custom_lenses on instagram also still produces a version of clears that looks more like the Hilux frosted lenses. It would be worth checking them out if you have no other options.
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