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Old 11-21-2018, 11:24 AM #1
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Tales of the Silver Beast: Bluesky 07's Long Overdue Build Thread

When I bought my 2007 Sport V6 in September 2014, it was the truck I had always wanted and I couldn't imagine anything I'd want to change. Then I started reading threads here.

I ended up doing a mod or two and have more plans in the works, so it seems a good time to finally start a build thread. Besides that, I've been blessed many times over with kind advice from this and other forums so please allow me to pay it forward if you have any questions or need an opinion on something I'm running.

So here are the mods I've done already, with links where they exist, followed by future projects and some on- and off-topic videos from my YouTube channel.

Mods
“Deep” Satoshi grille
BlueSea Systems console USB power ports
Fabricated eye-level phone mount bracket
LED door switch illumination
Weathertech front & rear mats (read this before buying WT for a 4th Gen)
Floor Armor cargo mat (from Sam’s Club)
Tinted front windows
TPMS bypass (jumper method)
LED interior, tag, & reverse lights + map light mod
Gentex 453 autodim mirror w/Homelink & compass
Kenwood DDX373BT HU + Audiovox backup camera & KAC-M1804 amp
Kenwood KFC-P709PS front door speakers (Install)
Kenwood KFC-PS509PS rear door speakers
Fumoto F-103S oil change valve
Bazooka tube subwoofer
Philips H9/9011 headlight bulbs (Update: have since switched to Auxbeam LEDs in the high beams.)
Rexing V1 Gen3 dash cam
Breather mod
Off-road Nav Setup
Power Stop Z36 brakes
OBD Fusion diagnostics
Faux-Retro Service Cart
Spidertrax wheel spacers
Extended A/C drain tube
HCF (hydrocarbon filter) delete + ECU reset
Sound deadening

Non-Mod Equipment & Accessories
Yakima ROC 2 Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack

Plans
C4 Fabrication Lo-Pro winch bumper
Winch (brand tbd)

Miscellaneous Useful Info
Correct crossbar orientation to eliminate wind noise on Sport-style (tubular) roof rack (and why it matters)

Videos
Images and video were captured either on my iPhone, dashcam, and/or my Canon 60D.
Australia's Condamine River Gorge (14 water crossings!) with my mates at Overland Bound Queensland
2018 Kentucky Toyota Trail Ride
Exploring North Georgia's Nimblewill Gap Road
North Georgia Overlanders FB Group Trail Ride from Blue Ridge, GA to Tumbling Creek Campground, TN
5313 Offroad Park, Calhoun, GA
The muddiest Easy Group climb at the 2019 Kentucky Toyota Trail Ride (Video by our group leader, Josh Walton of ECO-OHV Off-Road School & Guide Service.)
The 2019 Kentucky Toyota Trail Ride

Off-Topic Videos
Flying on a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor
My Epic Day at Lambeau - Traveled to watch my beloved Saints play the Packers in October 2017.
Life as a Business Traveler - Tried to capture some of the cool and special moments experienced while traveling.

More to come as the mods continue.






Last edited by Bluesky 07; 08-28-2019 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:40 PM #2
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Suspension Work

X-REAS Delete + New Suspension Install
I finally got the X-REAS swapped out and the difference in ride quality is night and day. Again, I thought it was still working as designed b/c the truck handled well and nothing was leaking, but the ride was pretty harsh. Much, much smoother now and it handles better too. Bonus: the new front springs added about 1.5" of height at the fenders and 2" at the front lower skid plate (right under the bumper) that leveled out the rake nicely even with the .25" the rear springs added.

Here's the new setup:
Bilstein 4600 shocks and front springs from a '15 Tacoma TRD Offroad ($130 from local Craigslist)
2007 FJ rear springs ($70 shipped from a FJ Cruiser forum)
Energy Suspension rear shock bushings (Model 9.8108G)



Parts are plug and play except for the rear shock bushings. Here's a thread about ways to change the bushings and my post showing how I did it.

Also needed a 22mm wrench to disconnect the X-REAS fittings at the appropriate place (not at the shock!) so that was $7 at Home Depot.

I bought new top mount nuts and lower bolts, washers, and nuts from Toyota for $42 including tax but returned it all as my original hardware all worked with the new gear.

Scrapped the old springs and shocks at a local yard and they gave me $4.20 for them. Woo!

Before


After


Happy to answer any questions, and I also put together a set of PDFs from the Factory Service Manual that provide a lot of useful info including torque specs, directions for removal of the entire system or shocks only, and so on. As with anything, this is for reference only and it's your responsibility to use whatever is helpful to you in a safe manner. Here's what is included:



Member @jcaino thoughtfully linked the files on his website so you can get them there or PM me your email address to receive a zipped folder.

Disconnecting X-REAS

I couldn't get the 22mm wrench on the fitting and turn it without bending the wheel well wall in a bit. Just tighten down a crescent wrench all the way and gently bend it toward you, then slide the wrench down a bit and do the next little section until you have enough room. About a half-inch in was enough. When you're done, just gently bend it back. I had some black spray paint handy to cover any spots where the coating got scraped.



It's slow going to disconnect the fittings b/c you can only move the wrench a fraction of a turn each time. Here's one of the rear fittings with the wheel well bent out of the way and the fitting partially loosened. The pic is a bit deceiving as it looks like way more room than it is. Bracket at left is where the rear sway bar link attaches. It has to be removed to get to the fitting.



This one's off and I'm ready to remove the shock.



The bottom spring mount is designed such that you rotate the spring until the end runs up against a stop as shown. This is the old spring before removal.



After installing the new shock and wrangling the spring for a while, success!



The front X-REAS fitting is tougher to reach and is easier to confuse with the brake lines. Be sure to follow the tube from the shock to the fitting and be sure you have the right one.



The FSM disposal instructions say to remove the banjo bolt and drain the shocks. That was only possible for the rears b/c it took 5-6 extension/compression cycles to empty them and I couldn't budge the fronts with the old spring on them. The fluid was amber and remarkably clear. It's just a trickle in this pic since I didn't have enough hands to compress the shock and take the pic.



Old rear spring vs. new-to-me 2007 FJ spring. They're sitting upside down; when installed, the rounded end is on bottom and the flattened end is on top.



On to the next project!

Last edited by Bluesky 07; 05-02-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:59 PM #3
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I'll be following along because I love how yours sits and how simple and clean it is, definitely an inspiration for what I'm looking to do when I pick up my 4Runner in the next week or so.

(even though I'm a Packers fan so we can agree to disagree about that one)
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Old 12-21-2018, 05:13 PM #4
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Thanks, I appreciate your kind words about my 4Runner.

As for the Packers, I may not be a fan of the team but I sure love the town. That was my second time to Lambeau and both were terrific.
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Old 12-23-2018, 01:18 PM #5
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Great to see you putting a thread together! Interested to see what you do next, after seeing you so active on the forum.
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07 V8 Limited 4WD - Natural White --> "Moby Dick" Build Thread
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:14 PM #6
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Audio/Video Mods

2016 Stereo Install Including Reverse & Parking Brake Wires
In 2016 I installed a Kenwood DDX373BT HU and ran wiring for a backup camera. Hope this info may help someone else. Others have posted re the parking and reverse wiring, but even with the pics in those threads, I was still having trouble locating the wires under the driver's side kick panel and the last thing I wanted was electrical problems from screwing up the taps. So I called Crutchfield (who I highly recommend) and the info they gave is below with pics.

First, here's the gear I used:

Crux SWRTY-61S Wiring interface - wire this to the HU wiring plug, then plug into the factory harnesses.

Metra 95-8202 Dash Kit - small trim pieces for each side of the HU.

Hosa Stereo RCA to Mini Adapter - Optional, use if you want to keep the factory Aux plug in the console bin. You'll also need a short (6" will do) female-to-male extension because this adapter is too wide to plug straight into the back of the HU.

T-Spec 20' Video Cable - yep, I overpaid, and others have probably used less than a 20' cable. But I wanted to run this once and once only forever and also wanted no question over whether I would have enough to reach the back regardless of routing, so I bit the bullet and bought this cable. I ended up going across under the steering column, under the door sill trim (there's even a little clip holding another cable there that this one fits right into), up behind the back door to the headliner, then working it underneath the headliner, then zip tying the extra cable in the space behind the driver's side convex mirror pending the camera install.

I had no need to bypass the DVD safety feature so I was looking for the parking brake wire, and needed to tap the reverse wire for the backup cam. Crutchfield's tech rep described the locations as follows.

The plugs described are side-by-side on the left side of the dash fuse box:



Reverse wire - red with yellow stripe, pin #10 on a 16-pin plug. (Note - "16-pin" means there are 16 places for pins; some may be unused & thus empty.) This wire is in pin 10, it's 2nd from the end in this pic but I'm holding it upside down and there are 8 pins across, so if you count from the top end of the plug, the blue wire is pin #9 and the target, the red w/ yellow stripe, is #10.



Parking brake wire - light green, pin #1 on the larger 24-pin plug. Note that the other light green wire has silver on it - don't use that one - you want the plain light green wire in the first pin spot on the end.



You have to work off some of the black protective covering before the wires can be separated enough to get a tap on 'em. I used Scotchloks, love those things.

Very happy with the finished product.




Front Door Speaker Install
In August 2016, I installed Kenwood KFC-P709PS component speakers in the front doors. They sound terrific, especially since I also got my trusty old Bazooka tube installed as well.

Some notes others may find useful. First, the following is stated in this thread:
==
3. Unbolt tweeter… and cut the single red/black wires soldered to the tweeter as close to the tweeter as you can.
** Coming out of the door, there are 4 colored wires going to the tweeter. At the point where the 4 colored wires (pink/purple/etc…) plug into a white connector, coming out the other side are 2 red and 2 black wires. Those wires are fused together to become 1 red and 1 black… which plug into the tweeter. If that white connector is not connected, the 2 wires that plug into the woofer have no signal. So unless you want to do some re-wiring of the wiring harness, just use the single red/black for the tweeter as the input for your crossover.**
==

I was wondering what to do here because the Kenwoods come with a crossover. The HU speaker wires go to the woofer, then you connect the crossover between the woofer and tweeter. I accidentally discovered that the wires from the white plug don't have to be connected to the tweeter; just the plug being connected is enough to send a signal through the woofer wires. So I left the plug in place and taped off the end of the red and black wires referenced in the thread quote above, and everything works fine.

The other thing is the underrated handiness of a seldom-mentioned fabbing material - sheet styrene. Learned of it in my aircraft model-building days. It comes in a wide range of thicknesses, and if I had my Satoshi grill to do over, that's what I would use to back the big gaps you have to cut away on the inside walls of the grill to do the "deep" style grill.

Anyway, I had some of a suitable thickness and was able to make both tweeter brackets from one 4x6 inch sheet.

It couldn't be any easier to work with. I used a hole saw drill bit to cut the space for the tweeter.



Side-by-side with the original tweeter:



Installed:


Last edited by Bluesky 07; 03-05-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:48 PM #7
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Good work on those speakers! I swapped my headunit with a Pioneer one and noticed a good increase in audio quality (as I have with other cars and adding an aftermarket Headunit). I've got some 5 1/4" 2-way Alpines on a shelf and some 3.5" Memphis "tweeters" sitting around as well that I was hoping to put to use in the 4Runner if I can but the more I look at it these aren't the right sizes to be useful.

Have you had any rattling/vibration issues with the better speakers? Any plans to sound deaden any of the doors?

Was yours a JBL set up that you bypassed in favor of the bazooka or was it non-JBL to start?
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:59 PM #8
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Thanks! No rattling, they sound great. Sound deadening is on my long-term wishlist. I had the non-JBL stock stereo before; I moved the Bazooka over from my Xterra when I bought the 4Runner.

Happy to answer any other questions.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:23 PM #9
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Creating and Installing New Wheel Well Splash Shields

Granted this is a pretty easy job but I always appreciate having a how-to with pics and others may as well. Note: anyone preferring to buy these instead of DIY them can't go wrong with Rad Rubber Designs' 4th Gen product. I was tempted but I don't mind DIY stuff and really don't mind saving $40 over the cost of that product + shipping.

I found lots of great info including these two threads. Special thanks to @Slowgoat for the original templates and @46runner for the version that can be printed on letter-sized paper.

PDFs for 4th Gen Fender Liners

Plastic "Splash Guards" Missing...

These are installed in the front wheel wells only, and there are 4 total. Each side has a large one and a small one. Important: the two large ones are the same pattern while the smaller ones are side-specific, hence the markings "FL" and "FR."

The old ones were brittle, had some holes, and there was also a huge crack that happened when I removed the top fastener to get to the engine block coolant drain a few weeks ago. Can't really complain though, they've been hanging out in the wheel wells since the truck rolled off the line in September 2006 so they had a good run. ;-)

I had already removed the top right fastener when I remembered to take this pic.



I bought some pry tools I can use on other stuff ($4.99 at Northern Tool) and a set of hollow punch bits to do the holes ($7.19 after 20% off coupon at Harbor Freight). Neither are mandatory, just helpful in removing the fasteners and having clean holes.



Here are the paper templates after cutting and taping. The sheet at left shows what they should look like. I used a standard office-type punch to do the holes. It wouldn't work on the rubber though.



I used this 1/16th inch material from Amazon (thanks @BagiMT ). Using a sharpie to outline them works as you can see the shiny lines against the matte material.



One 2'x2' sheet was more than enough to make all 4 shields. I lined up the straight sides against each edge so there were two less cuts to make. It's hard to make out but the other large one is outlined in the empty area.



A good pair of scissors easily cuts the rubber material. Here are the shields before making the fastener holes...



...and after. The 1/4" hollow punch bit was perfect for the job. Use a wood block under the rubber. A brief squeeze on the drill trigger was all it took for each hole.



It was definitely time to replace these. They're the same size; the new one looks a little larger but it's the perspective.



I used the old fasteners and all but one cooperated. The last one broke on removal but fortunately I had some extras in my miscellaneous parts bin. These are the new ones installed on the passenger side. Installation tip: poke the fasteners through all the holes in the shields before placing the shields and pushing the fasteners into the corresponding holes in the wheel well.





That's it. Happy to answer any questions.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:26 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesky 07 View Post
When I bought my 2007 Sport V6 in September 2014, it was the truck I had always wanted and I couldn't imagine anything I'd want to change. Then I started reading threads here.

I ended up doing a mod or two and have more plans in the works, so it seems a good time to finally start a build thread. Besides that, I've been blessed many times over with kind advice from this and other forums so please allow me to pay it forward if you have any questions or need an opinion on something I'm running.

So here are the mods I've done already, with links where they exist, followed by future projects and some on- and off-topic videos from my YouTube channel.

Mods
“Deep” Satoshi grille
BlueSea Systems console USB power ports
Weathertech front & rear mats (read this before buying WT for a 4th Gen)
Floor Armor cargo mat (from Sam’s Club)
Tinted front windows
TPMS bypass (jumper method)
LED interior, tag, & reverse lights + map light mod
Gentex 453 autodim mirror w/Homelink & compass
Kenwood DDX373BT HU + Audiovox backup camera & KAC-M1804 amp
Kenwood KFC-P709PS front door speakers (Install)
Kenwood KFC-PS509PS rear door speakers
Fumoto F-103S oil change valve
Bazooka tube subwoofer
Philips H9/9011 headlight bulbs
Rexing V1 Gen3 dash cam
Breather mod
Off-road Nav Setup
Power Stop Z36 brakes
OBD Fusion diagnostics
Faux-Retro Service Cart

Plans
Sound deadening
C4 Fabrication Lo-Pro winch bumper
Winch (brand tbd)

Videos
Images and video were captured either on my iPhone and/or my Canon 60D.
Australia's Condamine River Gorge (14 water crossings!) with my mates at Overland Bound Queensland
2018 Kentucky Toyota Trail Ride
Exploring North Georgia's Nimblewill Gap Road

Off-Topic Videos
Flying on a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor
My Epic Day at Lambeau - Traveled to watch my beloved Saints play the Packers in October 2017.
Life as a Business Traveler - Tried to capture some of the cool and special moments experienced while traveling.

More to come as the mods continue.


I enjoyed the off topic video of the Ford Tri-Motor. I have seen a couple fly, but have never flown one. I did fly several DC3's and a Beech 17 quite a few times. Loved the old radials. I once worked for an organization that searched the world for WWI-Korean Vintage warbirds, we would recover them, bring them back to the states and rebuilt them to fly.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:11 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardbird View Post
I enjoyed the off topic video of the Ford Tri-Motor. I have seen a couple fly, but have never flown one. I did fly several DC3's and a Beech 17 quite a few times. Loved the old radials. I once worked for an organization that searched the world for WWI-Korean Vintage warbirds, we would recover them, bring them back to the states and rebuilt them to fly.
Thanks, I appreciate that very much. That job sounds awesome. Those restorations are such a gift and so cool as a glimpse into history.

Flying a DC-3 is on my bucket list and getting a chance to ride the Tri-Motor was amazing. Those radials are sweet indeed and there's nothing like the sound.

American's first C.R. Smith Museum theater film Dream of Flight has a nice DC-3 startup, takeoff, and flyby starting at 2:30 in. While sappy here and there and arguably just a 15-minute commercial, it's fun for avgeeks to watch. If you like that one, also check out its successor Spirit of American, which has DC-3 and DC-6 scenes including the -6 in formation with an MD-80 and 757.

I was at AA 1987-2001 and had the privilege of working on the latter film.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:47 PM #12
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Content Moved to Audio/Video Mods Post Above

Content moved to the Audio/Video Mods post above.

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Old 03-11-2019, 05:49 PM #13
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Tires & Wheels

I recently bought 4 Spidertrax wheel spacers, p/n WHS007 (thanks, @JONBOY345 ).

Decided to paint them with Rustoleum High Heat paint as I like the black look better behind the wheels, however they are now available in black (p/n WHS007K) if you prefer that and plan to order some. Prep included:
- brush washing with Simple Green & Dawn
- scuffing with a sanding pad
- taping off the lugs
- wipedown with DupliColor Grease & Wax remover
- cloth dry
- blast of high pressure air to take care of any remaining moisture or dust.

Note - didn't prime since the high heat paint specifically recommended no primer.

Before


Back sides after painting


Finished


I then installed the spacers. Our forum member J.A. has an excellent write-up and I also highly recommend downloading Spidertrax's directions from this page. I used the version listed first as 4th Gens have M12 lugs. Torque for the Spidertrax nuts onto the wheel hub is 90 ft lbs with red thread locker. The instructions also call for a check using your torque wrench set to 80 ft lbs once you’ve driven 50 miles after installation.

You are (obviously) responsible for properly completing work on your vehicle, following the Spidertrax installation instructions, and observing all appropriate safety precautions.

It's pretty straightforward. For the fronts, you’ll need to keep the wheels from spinning (parking brake works for the rears). J.A. explains one method on his page; I just applied the brakes using a 23” board with a towel to protect the seat where it was wedged.


Tip: Because the nuts attaching the spacers to the hub are recessed, using a short extension with the 19mm socket makes it much easier to get the bolts started and spin them down to the surface during the initial install.

Today I did the 50-mile torque check & fender liner adjustments b/c the tires rubbed when backing up. Waiting to see whether I want to do the slight bumper edge trim as J.A. did. As expected, some of the paint has worn off the mating surface. Doesn't matter as this part won't be visible. Probably should have skipped painting the front.


Adjusting the fender liners is necessary in the front only. This is the passenger side front fender liner before adjustment, viewed from directly underneath. Note how the (really dirty) black liner overlaps the silver edge of the lower bumper.


Remove the screws (2 on the driver side, 3 on passenger side) and the nutserts (you do not reuse the nutserts). You will use the same holes in the bottom of the bumper. Push the liner forward, line it up with the existing hole, and drill a new hole in the liner for at least two of the screws (I did use the 3rd one on the PS too to prevent any movement or rattling.) Some kind of plastic or rubber washer is recommended.


Here's the same view from directly underneath and the liner no longer overlaps the bumper.


This is the adjusted liner from the wheel well, now a couple of inches forward of the bumper edge.


For a basis to compare how this might look on your truck, mine is close to leveled with a very mild lift (the small amount afforded by my new-to-me TRD Offroad setup). Tires are SE stock size (265/65/17) Michelin Defenders and obviously it’s on stock SE wheels. You wouldn’t think 2.5” of additional width would be that big a deal, but I really like both the look (this stance is how 4Rs should come from the factory) and the driving characteristics.

Last edited by Bluesky 07; 03-11-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:26 PM #14
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Looks great with the wider stance!
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'09 V8 Limited | Dobinsons Lift | Front: 3" - C59-302 + GS59-220 | Rear: 2.5" - C59-675V + GS59-701 | Tires | Ridge Grapplers 275/65/18 | Wheels | Method Standard Machined Finish 18x9 -12 offset | SPC UCAs | DT Y-Pipe |Magnaflow Cat Back | 2.5" Vibrant Ultra Quiet Resonator
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:08 PM #15
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Originally Posted by JONBOY345 View Post
Looks great with the wider stance!
Thanks, I really like it too.
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