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Old 02-04-2021, 10:45 PM #76
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Not usually a big photography dude, but I went a little adventure and thought the light snow on the trees looked nice. Shot on my dinosaur age Google Pixel 2XL, so not the greatest quality, but I liked them

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Old 02-04-2021, 11:21 PM #77
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Welp, so I accidentally got myself in a radiator hose pickle.

Two Sundays ago I tired to order them from McGeorge and they wouldn't be here until after I was planning to change the coolant last weekend. I was home helping my brother move in town, and was planning to use the driveway back in VA then. So I just said screw it, use the old hoses since I can't get parts in time. Ended up spending too much time on moving and it snowed the next day, so I didn't do it last weekend. Then I was shooting for this weekend.

This week, I did the same exact thing. Since I thought I was going to have the coolant changed that weekend, I didn't try and order them until the end of the weekend. Same thing, they wouldn't be here until the next week. On top of that, my no-spill coolant funnel is delayed in shipping. They were much cheaper on Amazon for the same brand at Advanced, $18 vs $45. Now, the plan is to just see if the McGeorge (who is also my local dealer in VA) or anyone else locally has them in stock, although I'm not hopeful. Its hard to be a dummy, but I make it look easy

I ordered them from Amazon, quick and easy and nice prices. Although apparently I ordered gates not OEM lol.

Gates 22845 Lower Radiator Hose Amazon.com: Gates 22845 Premium Molded Coolant Hose: Automotive

Gates 22844 Radiator Coolant Hose Amazon.com: Gates 22844 Premium Molded Coolant Hose: Automotive


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Old 02-08-2021, 09:41 PM #78
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Radiator Flush | Return to Directory
When I had my radiator replaced in the middle of nowhere (See Here), they refilled my radiator with green coolant and mixed it with whatever pink was still in the system. I wanted to get all that mixed coolant out and replace with pink.

I picked up 3 gallons of Toyota SLL pink, 10 gallons of distilled water, and a fancy no-spill coolant funnel. Unfortunately couldn't get any radiator hoses in time because of poor planning on my part. Because I live in an apartment without a good place to work, was limited on when I could work. I still would like to replace these in the future

I started by draining the old coolant into a drain pan, and emptying the reservoir with a turkey baster


After the reservoir was empty, I removed it to clean further. x3 10mm and it was out


Now this is where I made it more difficult for myself. I didn't want to try and remove the thermostat, so I had to wait for it to heat up on its own. This took much longer than I had anticipated

After filling the rad with distilled water, I monitored the temperature with TorquePro as it heated up, and periodically squeezed the rad hoses to release any trapped bubbles. As it approached 180, the clear slowly turned greenish


It was fun to watch the coolant in the funnel change colors, but it certainty took forever


To speed up the process, I blocked off the air flow with carboard. This helped, but still took forever to heat up. When draining the water and refilling, it would drop to around 160 and have to climb back up. I did it this way for about 3 gallons.


For the other 8ish gallons, I would fill the radiator, burp what I could for 3 minutes, ensure expansion tank was full, exchange no spill funnel for rad cap and button everything back up, drive a 10 mile loop with some hills to ensure temp passed 180 for thermostat to open and coolant to fully mix, return home and crack rad drain to relieve pressure and drain into pan, pop rad cap and refill, then repeat. Eventually, I got to these last two drains that I was satisfied with. The last one wasn't perfectly clear, but whatever was left had diluted enough and it was getting late


Then I did 3-4 drain and fills to get the Pink SLL coolant in. I still have a bit more, so I want to cycle those in soon.


The next day I laid out all of my drain samples next to each other for comparison. Its about one every flush, but sometimes not enough would drain to empty the 1 gallon jugs. I did maybe 12-15 flushes


It is interesting to see how it started out orange and diluted out to clear. I expected it to be more green, since thats all I could see from the radiator cap. I guess it makes sense green + pink = orangish


Not pictured, but I did use one of those little coolant temperature dials to ensure it would be okay for the local temps. I took samples from the expansion tank and from the radiator drain after driving about 200 highway miles. The highest freezing temp reading I got was -10 iirc, so that's good enough for my location.

Edit: Did the coolant tester again, and looks like we're safe until a nice and frosty -20

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Old 02-08-2021, 09:49 PM #79
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Went through the same steps with the 1999 Tacoma I had before the 4runner. They had filled it with green coolant so I had to do the drain, fill, flush dance like you just did. PITA but worth it to know the right coolant is in there.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:58 PM #80
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Went through the same steps with the 1999 Tacoma I had before the 4runner. They had filled it with green coolant so I had to do the drain, fill, flush dance like you just did. PITA but worth it to know the right coolant is in there.
I've actually been slowly reading your Tacoma build thread on Tacomaworld during my lunch breaks at work. I do remember you had quite the sandy grit come out of there. It is certainly nice to know the right stuff is in, and not some orange smoothie mix. I also learned a lot about the cooling system during the process, so I enjoyed that
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:16 PM #81
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I've actually been slowly reading your Tacoma build thread on Tacomaworld during my lunch breaks at work. I do remember you had quite the sandy grit come out of there. It is certainly nice to know the right stuff is in, and not some orange smoothie mix. I also learned a lot about the cooling system during the process, so I enjoyed that
Yes, there was silicone build up that came out of that system. Never overheated on me and the radiator looked good inside from what I could tell.

Did you drain the block when doing the flush? There should be at least one coolant drain plug, possible 2, with one on each side. Toyota is famous for having coolant drain plugs (not a freeze plug, this is a bolt) to make doing a complete flush faster and more efficient. I know the 2UZ V8 has one on each side so the 4.0 V6 should as well. I just don't know exactly where or how easy they are to get to.

I should probably do a full flush on my cooling system at some point. It has the correct coolant at least.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:10 PM #82
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Yes, there was silicone build up that came out of that system. Never overheated on me and the radiator looked good inside from what I could tell.

Did you drain the block when doing the flush? There should be at least one coolant drain plug, possible 2, with one on each side. Toyota is famous for having coolant drain plugs (not a freeze plug, this is a bolt) to make doing a complete flush faster and more efficient. I know the 2UZ V8 has one on each side so the 4.0 V6 should as well. I just don't know exactly where or how easy they are to get to.

I should probably do a full flush on my cooling system at some point. It has the correct coolant at least.
The v6 has block drains on either side as well. I did a bit of reading and thought I remembered someone saying it wasn't worth it on the v6. I went back just now, and turns out it was just the driver side that didn't yield much, not both. Its hard to be dumb lol. I'm also traumatized from breaking my skid plate bolts as one of my early projects, so I'm always nervous to remove any hardware. Always a learning process, so now I know for next time.

I also redid the gimmicky coolant tester to see about how much the coolant was mixed in and get a pic this time. -20 is good enough for my area.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:30 PM #83
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Front Bumper Cover Filler Skid Plate | Return to Directory
Since my radiator decided to chomp on a big ice cube through this nice opening in the factory bumper cover, I wanted to build a little filler skid plate to go here. RCI sells and off-the-shelf piece for this area, but I wanted to make my own. Heres a nice before and after, I'll update this when I finish painting the filler. Also, this isn't the welding project I teased earlier on in this build thread, school got in the way and I still haven't finished that. That's a low priority, just for fun project.


Heres my basic drawing and materials. I thought the wide piece was long enough to cover the entire gap, but it wasn't, so I spliced the two pieces together


Once the basic shapes were cut out, I got them read to weld together. I beveled the edge to see how that would affect welding vs a straight butt on the opposite side, and it definitely made a nice place for the puddle to form. then a nice wire wheel to get rid of the last bit of scale, and it was ready to weld


I did little 1-1.5" stitches to try and prevent this piece from taco-ing on me. I also flipped every few welds as an additional measure


Some welds I thought turned out looking nice


And some welds were bad haha


Adding some tabs, so it can bolt on with the stock front skid


I then cut some triangle pieces to fill the open area between the two widths. I was pretty careful with the measurement of everything, so I was very satisfied when these fit without really any touch-up


Welded these solid too. Accidentally blooped a hole, but that was filled in. Other than that mistake, these turned out well


Now that everything was held together, I got to give its first real test fit. I hadn't bent the tabs yet, so this gave me a good idea of how much bend was needed. Grinding the tabs rounded at the head also helps it to fit nicely
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:31 PM #84
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Front Bumper Cover Filler Skid Plate (Continued)
As normal, I've got way too many pictures to share haha

Bending the tabs, so they fit the upward angle appropriately


And now one of the first real test fits with everything all bent to fit


I then drilled holes for these little tabs. They really aren't doing anything structurally, just holding the front edge of the skid up. I do worry about these popping off or bending, but I'm not doing any crazy offroading right now. Also the skid is long enough that the front edge sits under the crash bar. This just needs to deflect ice from hitting my 4runner in the crotch


After everything fit well, I ground down all the welds so it was smooth. I started with a rock wheel, then followed up with a flap wheel to smooth further. I also started grinding on the back, realized it would never get seen, then stopped halfway lol


And 2 welds that I was satisfied with, I actually left on the face as a reminder that I made it


I had some primer left over from painting the headlight fillers, so I used that here just to get rid of it. It was filler primer too, so it filled in the little scratches/sanding marks left from the flap wheel. Then black paint on top of that. No pictures of it installed yet since I scratched it on the drive from home to my apartment and want to painted fully. I know its probably going to get scratched up eventually, but I want to delay the rust as much as possible lol




Finished Pictures Go Here (sorry for the tease lol)

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Old 02-23-2021, 03:31 PM #85
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This build is awesome + very informative. Thanks so much for documenting these DIYs
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:47 PM #86
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True North Fabrication's Front Recovery Points | Return to Directory
Last Week, I ordered the TNF Front Recovery points so I would have a good place to get yanked from, or to yank from. This is something that I'm not sure I would trust my amateur fabrication skills on at this point, and I also didn't really have time to fabricate them before this weekend. I ordered them here: 4th/5th Gen 4Runner Recovery Points | TNF. I went with these over the Apex Overland Recovery points, because they were cheaper lol and @Drift Monkey got them first and they looked good

In the box came both recovery points, some bolts, and a sticker


Here is how the welds look.


Heres my paint setup. Put them in a box to reduce overspray and try to keep paint off of my welding table. Had only enough primer for the back lol, so the coverage on the front is only okay around the edges/contours. I'll repaint them when I can do it legitimately. I wanted them kinda bright color so they could be seen when needed, so I painted them safety yellow. I see a lot of recovery points red, and I'm not a fan of red, so yellow was a good alternative.


And here they are installed. I chased all the threads with a tap before installing the bolts. The kit didn't come with new bolts to the sway bar, so I picked up x4, m10x1.25 cap screw bolts to replace them. There's also an m8x1.25 bolt above, which was included and I installed. There is one more bolt that mounts to the front skid mounting crossmember, but the included bolt didn't fit the threads, and it was too late to go back to the store, so I left it out.


And here they are installed with my filler plate. I'm satisfied with everything and both the filler and recovery points did their jobs at AOAA this weekend.


AOAA
I went to AOAA this weekend for redemption, and I will type that up with pics tomorrow. Its already past my bedtime lol. Heres a teaser pic, it was snowy!

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Old 03-08-2021, 12:04 AM #87
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Really like the yellow!
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Old 03-08-2021, 12:16 AM #88
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Old 03-08-2021, 09:31 PM #89
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Redemption at AOAA + Making Friends through T4R.org/TacomaWorld! | Return to Directory
This weekend, I was planning to head up to Rausch Creek with a FB group, but their communication/planning was terrible and Rausch Creek is really expensive ($22 for a 1 yr "membership" + $56/day!!!). Instead, I met up with @Broke_Runner to head up to AOAA for the day Saturday.

The ground was covered in snow, which was cool! I've driven in snow on pavement, but never offroad. Certainly a fun experience, and certainly gained some slippery driving skills that may come in handy on the road as well. Some pics from my Dino age GoPro, can click the pic to see larger in Imgur


Pretty early on, we hit a pretty icy hill, and I didn't give it enough beans to get up. I got to where you can see the icy tracks, and slid backwards down the hill. Thankfully, it was pretty controlled and I just guided it down the tracks we made coming up. Other than this which was partially driver error, the Falken Wildpeaks did not let me down!


We took the Scenic Route, which was a little misleading lol. The scenic Route on a hike is usually the easy route, but this was definitely more tricky+snow than the last time I was at AOAA on greens. Here was also passed into the limited recovery area, which was daunting at first, but not too bad. Hard to see b/c the pics are low quality, but there were rocks all over the place that felt like landmines to my stock 4runner. Broke_Runner also taught me about using Low gear in 4LO to make descending down rock and slippery hills, like this one, more controlled


We arrived at the Scenic lookout place, which was a nice view!


Shortly after, some crazy dudes on ATVs showed up and crashed the party. If theres one thing I've learned about other riders from Dirt Biking and 4running, is that ATV riders are the worst lol


Some surprise water features made me scared for my new radiator. I was scarred from last time, and always checking my temps. Thankfully my filler plate blocked anything from getting up in there


Some more rocks, which may not pose an obstacle to most, made me fear for my undercarriage and tires. I tried to drive over all the big and safe looking ones to avoid dragging the bottom


Then all of a sudden we were driving around, and Broke_Runner dipped to the side really quickly.


This was my first recovery, and I feel bad that it took me forever to get everything hooked up. Reviewing the video, it was about 3-4 minutes, but felt like forever since I had to move up twice to get situated. I'm glad I impulse bought those TNF recovery points, because my swiss cheesed stock tie downs would have ripped right off. Reverse recovery also not the best in hindsight, but I wanted to get him out


After he was out, we went back and there was about 4" thick ice that covered the ground, hiding the water


Navigating some trees is always fun. Not overly difficult, but I like wiggling through
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AOAA Continued
We ended up circling back and went where the ATV drivers had come from. They had been spinning their tires and revving their engines at us by the scenic outlook, so it was no surprise things were more torn up. Some wet rocks uphill as well added a fun challenge.


Of Course, we ran into some more ATV drivers that saw us and stopped in the middle of an icy hill - the worst place they could have stopped. Thanks to Broke_Runner's quick thinking, I didn't run into him/them at full speed, but I slid down the whole hill and bonked his rear bumper just as I was stopping.


We finished for the day and took some pictures at this big scoopy thing. I assume it was used for mining Coal in the area, as the first A in AOAA is for Anthracite, which is Coal.


Unfortunately, we ran into some issues shortly after leaving. Broke_Runner's truck stopped running suddenly on the side of the road. We scrambled around to find a U-Haul to bring it back on, and they gave us a 20' truck to tow our 2011 Honda Civic with. Kinda overkill, but thats the only one they wanted to give up for one-way


The next day, we unloaded it off the trailer, and removed the interior. It was a bit difficult to get it into the driveway, and we even contemplated running a strap through the house to a grassy area in between homes. After deciding neighbors might not like a 4runner in their backyard, we pushed it up front to front bumper


Seat Jackers
I also bought one pair of the DesertDoesIt seat jackers, as I've been feeling my legs are kinda unsupported by the stock seat. Since moving to MD in January, I averaged about 95 miles/day. My daily commute is 50 miles round trip, but doing weekend exploring has really increased my overall seat time. The seat jackers are kinda expensive, but I spend enough time in the car for them to hopefully be valuable. They should be here in the next week or so

Last edited by y=mx+b; 03-08-2021 at 10:24 PM.
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