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Old 06-01-2021, 07:27 PM #136
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Originally Posted by y=mx+b View Post
lol thankfully its warmed up, so we won't have to worry about mystery water crossings under the ice for a while. Theres a few other marylanders on here @DriftwoodDaddy and @indoyota , so we'll have to get a gang together and get back up to AOAA or someplace once you get that diff in and now that the weather is nice
That sounds good y=mx+b! I'll look forward to it.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:12 PM #137
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I haven't posted much on here in a while. I guess I'm kinda getting burnt out on my current internship since its not as hands on as I am wanting for my long term career goals. I've been talking to been talking to a few of my connections both from this current internship and past to try and figure out a career path that really makes me passionate about my work. Essentially my main gripe is that the past two Mechanical Engineering positions I've been in involve a lot of desk work, looking at process data, and managing projects, etc and while I understand these are important tasks, I don't really like sitting down all day and trying to figure out an issue from a graph/data, or just watching someone else do work and "managing" the project.

Hopefully I can find a more fulfilling position for next summer. This was a tad on the personal side, but if anyone has some advice for long term career advice, I'm all ears.

On a brighter note, I got my Class B Commercial Driver's Learners Permit to start driving for the school and town bus system this upcoming semester. I've always really liked buses and have been saying since my first year that I'd like to drive the bus.

I've also been snooping around TacomaWorld, since its not blocked at work like T4R.org is lol, so I met up with a local group for some off-roading and camping:

Off-Roading with the Local TacomaWorld Group | Return to Directory
Met up with guys from the Northern Virginia Roll Call TacomaWorld group, since MD is kinda close the NOVA lol. I was the only 4runner, but not the only stock guy. There was a variety of vehicles there from my stock 4runner, a stock TRD PRO Tacoma, a Bobbed ACLB, a Linked DCSB with tube bed, and everything in between.

Shortly after entering the trail, there was a pretty big ditch that we had to go down and up again. Everyone else did alright through there, but being stock height, I knew I was going to drag some. With a little bit of skinny pedal and some help from ATRAC, I made it right on up!


A little sploosh is always fun. Currently my diff oil is in a schrodingers cat state: If I don't open it to see, who knows if its either good or bad lol. I've had all the parts to do the extension for almost a year, just haven't gotten around to it. I probably should soon


This was a tricky area with a deep hole/fallen log on the right, which forced us left through a more off camber area. I was really worried my stock suspension wouldn't be able to keep all the wheels on the ground through here, but it was no problemo


Just after the previous tricky area, there were some deep ruts. Being stock height, I got stuck here from dragging my belly. EatSleepTacos from TW helped me get through one section with some traction boards, but I got stuck again. We tried the traction boards again, but without any luck, I got a tow out. Thankfully I had the legit recovery points on the front, or my front crossmember mighta gotten yanked off. We did use a kinetic rope, which was very pleasant. Regular straps are so harsh, but this was a nice gentile pull as the rope stretched and pulled


More ruts, this stuff I actually made it through without trouble!


I was really bad about taking pictures on this trip. Heres the only one I took on my phone of my 4runner and Betty White (EatSleepTacos' bobbed ACLB). An also a side shot of the bobbed bed.


When I got back, I decided that I like the look of the muddy tan wheels vs the Dorado Gold, might have to get fancy and paint my wheels as an experiment



SNEAK PEEK!!

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Old 06-25-2021, 12:39 AM #138
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I'm right there with you on your feelings towards interning and finding a good career path. I'm majoring in electrical engineering and I've always loved engineering but so far with my internships and with the other work out there it seems like it's mostly desk work behind a computer, which definitely has its place and is undoubtedly important to engineering but I too want to do something a little bit more hands on and I've been trying to figure out where I want to take things. So you're definitely not alone!

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Old 07-12-2021, 10:44 PM #139
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I've been really bad about updating this build thread recently:

Finished my internship in MD and moved out of my Annapolis apartment. I then brought everything back to my Blacksburg apt to get everything ready for school and my new job. I'm really glad to only have one rent to pay now lol, and this place has a much better place to wrench and weld. 4runner was loaded to the brim inside, I had to use a hitch carrier to get my last totes, and I strapped my welding table to the roof. Really glad I kept the rake, otherwise it would have been super squatted. Suspension did also ride a bit better with some added weight vs empty


Things I've done that I still need to writeup for the build thread and/or an additional writeup. I've got lots of pictures as always
  • Suspension Install (Build Thread + Stand Alone Writeup)
  • Rear Brake Hard Line Replacement
  • Rear Pad Replacement (nothing really fancy with this one, but just for documentation)
  • Skid Plate V2 (Made improvements to the weld-together aspect. May make plans for this, but might not. I'm kinda burnt out on skid plates right now)
  • Testing the New Suspension

Things I'd like to do in the near future (not in any particular order)
  • Trans Cooler (Already have the part and fluid, just need some free time)
  • Panhard Correction Kit (Already have this too, just need to weld on)
  • Bigger Tires (I've already acquired these, size will remain undisclosed at this time lol)
  • Fix leaks at Driver side CV (The one I fixed was passenger) and Transfer Case Rear Output
  • Transmission skid and fix some of the frame weld nuts with RivNuts
  • Front and Rear Bumpers (Really wanting to make some hybrid/tube bumpers since I don't really like whats out there, but need to buy bender rip wallet)
  • Finish the "mystery" welding project from last summer (low priority)
  • 4.88 Gears (Need to decided on lockers air vs electric vs Torsen, etc)
  • Fab New Front Crossmember, since mine is swiss cheesed
  • Plasma out frame hole near driver side cat and weld in new metal
  • Cut out rear frame from body mount back and weld in all new. Would fab new rear frame sections, body mounts, and rear crossmember. Its getting pretty bad, somehow passed inspection just this month, but I want to get rid of all the crusties. Probably integrate into rear bumper somehow and try to improve clearance

A few of these probably need to think about upgrading my welding situation, but that little Titanium Welder is an absolute champ

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-13-2021 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:53 AM #140
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Looking forward to seeing the Dobinsons suspension posts! They just came onto my radar and will probably be added before years end. How do you like them so far?
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Old 07-13-2021, 07:56 PM #141
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Looking forward to seeing the Dobinsons suspension posts! They just came onto my radar and will probably be added before years end. How do you like them so far?
I've got the basic nitro shocks with the "long travel" rear, and I like them so far. They ride well, although I couldn't tell much difference in the dampening and rebound feel from OEM. My 230k mile stock shocks were actually in really good condition surprisingly, so that could explain it. Either that, or my butt shock tester is out of calibration. However, I did notice it rode better when full of crap, so possibly the stiffer rear just needed extra weight to feel better.

Articulation is awesome with the LT rear, and I was able to stuff the 265/70/17s all the way into the wheel wells on both front and rear wheels, so will definably have to do a lot of clearancing for the larger tires. I'll get the pictures uploaded and posted here in a bit

The parts I have are:
  • Front Spring: C59-300
  • Rear Spring: C59-677V
  • Front Shock: GS59-220
  • Rear Shock: GS59-575
  • Apache Offroad Extended Brake Lines

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-13-2021 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 07-21-2021, 06:15 PM #142
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At 231k, I've got my first real signs of a HG leak today

Installed an UltraGauge about 500 miles ago to help keep an eye on trans temp and coolant temp and such. It randomly got hot in traffic about 2 months ago, and cleaning all the mud and dirt out of the radiator seemed to fix in. Then two weekends ago (~550 miles give or take) coolant and trans temps quickly spiked up to 230 as I was pulling into my house after a 220 mile trouble free trip. Thats what prompted purchasing the UG for monitoring.

Fast forward to yesterday, the UG alerts me of a pending (but not yet faulted) code P0304 for Cylinder 4 misfire. I didn't notice a miss, so it must have been quick on startup or something. Of course, 4 is one of the cylinders known for HG leak, so I'm a little skeptical

The 4runner then sat from around 1pm yesterday to 4pm today, since I was off today. Before starting, I took a peek at the coolant level and it looked fine. I popped the rad cap for fun, been sitting now for ~27hrs, and theres enough pressure to make a good hiss, and squirt a little coolant from under the cap. Definitely weird it help pressure for this long, makes me think of leak only when up to temp puts combustion gas in cooling system, then when cools down the leak closes up. So then on startup, it misfired pretty bad for about 2-3 seconds and then smoothed out. No CEL trip or fault codes, still just the pending CYL 4 miss.

So that sucks. I'm going to keep it and fix it eventually, but kinda in a pickle with school about to take up a lot of my time.

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-21-2021 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 07-21-2021, 06:33 PM #143
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Originally Posted by y=mx+b View Post
At 231k, I've got my first real signs of a HG leak today

Installed an UltraGauge about 500 miles ago to help keep an eye on trans temp and coolant temp and such. It randomly got hot in traffic about 2 months ago, and cleaning all the mud and dirt out of the radiator seemed to fix in. Then two weekends ago (~550 miles give or take) coolant and trans temps quickly spiked up to 230 as I was pulling into my house after a 220 mile trouble free trip. Thats what prompted purchasing the UG for monitoring.

Fast forward to yesterday, the UG alerts me of a pending (but not yet faulted) code P0304 for Cylinder 4 misfire. I didn't notice a miss, so it must have been quick on startup or something. Of course, 4 is one of the cylinders known for HG leak, so I'm a little skeptical

The 4runner then sat from around 1pm yesterday to 4pm today, since I was off today. Before starting, I took a peek at the coolant level and it looked fine. I popped the rad cap for fun, been sitting now for ~27hrs, and theres enough pressure to make a good hiss, and squirt a little coolant from under the cap. Definitely weird it help pressure for this long, makes me think of leak only when up to temp puts combustion gas in cooling system, then when cools down the leak closes up. So then on startup, it misfired pretty bad for about 2-3 seconds and then smoothed out. No CEL trip or fault codes, still just the pending CYL 4 miss.

So that sucks. I'm going to keep it and fix it eventually, but kinda in a pickle with school about to take up a lot of my time.

Youll probably be able to drive it for a while before you actually have issues. My first symptoms were like yours after a long drive getting off the interstate the temp spikes up. Additionally if I filled up the radiator and overflow the pressurization would push coolant overboard from the expansion tank.

Eventually I quit driving it long distance and quit trying to fill the radiator. It never actually overheated. It also always passed the block test with the fluid that changes colors.

Anyways, my buddy and I replaced the head gaskets this past Saturday in 13 hours. New timing chain too. We didnt drop the front diff or oil pan. We also checked the heads with a straight edge and no warping so we just sent it and slapped the heads back on. Fired right up first try when we started and Ive put about 80 miles so far with no problem.

As for the gasket there was just a very small leak between cylinders 4 and 6


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Old 07-22-2021, 03:35 PM #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y=mx+b View Post
At 231k, I've got my first real signs of a HG leak today

Installed an UltraGauge about 500 miles ago to help keep an eye on trans temp and coolant temp and such. It randomly got hot in traffic about 2 months ago, and cleaning all the mud and dirt out of the radiator seemed to fix in. Then two weekends ago (~550 miles give or take) coolant and trans temps quickly spiked up to 230 as I was pulling into my house after a 220 mile trouble free trip. Thats what prompted purchasing the UG for monitoring.

Fast forward to yesterday, the UG alerts me of a pending (but not yet faulted) code P0304 for Cylinder 4 misfire. I didn't notice a miss, so it must have been quick on startup or something. Of course, 4 is one of the cylinders known for HG leak, so I'm a little skeptical

The 4runner then sat from around 1pm yesterday to 4pm today, since I was off today. Before starting, I took a peek at the coolant level and it looked fine. I popped the rad cap for fun, been sitting now for ~27hrs, and theres enough pressure to make a good hiss, and squirt a little coolant from under the cap. Definitely weird it help pressure for this long, makes me think of leak only when up to temp puts combustion gas in cooling system, then when cools down the leak closes up. So then on startup, it misfired pretty bad for about 2-3 seconds and then smoothed out. No CEL trip or fault codes, still just the pending CYL 4 miss.

So that sucks. I'm going to keep it and fix it eventually, but kinda in a pickle with school about to take up a lot of my time.
Given your mileage and symptoms, it sounds likely. To get a definitive answer before you commit to a job like that, you could pressure test your cylinders.

Along with G-Man, I also just replaced the 1GR-FE HG on my '03 at 263k miles, so if you have any questions I'd be happy to help.

EDIT: Personally, I would be hesitant to drive it much if you're overheating. It doesn't take much to warp these aluminum blocks and heads. A HG job without having to resurface the heads is obviously much preferred.
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:55 PM #145
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Given your mileage and symptoms, it sounds likely. To get a definitive answer before you commit to a job like that, you could pressure test your cylinders.

Along with G-Man, I also just replaced the 1GR-FE HG on my '03 at 263k miles, so if you have any questions I'd be happy to help.

EDIT: Personally, I would be hesitant to drive it much if you're overheating. It doesn't take much to warp these aluminum blocks and heads. A HG job without having to resurface the heads is obviously much preferred.
Yeah thats what I'm afraid of. Its not really overheating frequently, just two seemingly random occasions, and one of them was probably a due to the radiator fins being plugged. Today I drove it to work in 85* weather and temp always stayed around 185*. No pressure in under rad cap after sitting for 13hrs, pending code is gone and no misfire on startup. I'll continue to monitor.

I appreciate the help, I'll definitely reach out when the time comes

Rad was pretty dirty for the first temp increase lol

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-22-2021 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:42 AM #146
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Yeah thats what I'm afraid of. Its not really overheating frequently, just two seemingly random occasions, and one of them was probably a due to the radiator fins being plugged. Today I drove it to work in 85* weather and temp always stayed around 185*. No pressure in under rad cap after sitting for 13hrs, pending code is gone and no misfire on startup. I'll continue to monitor.

I appreciate the help, I'll definitely reach out when the time comes

Rad was pretty dirty for the first temp increase lol

Why is there a picture of the titanic wreck in your build thread?!


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Old 07-23-2021, 08:04 AM #147
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Why is there a picture of the titanic wreck in your build thread?!
Haha, It gets muddy here lol
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:30 AM #148
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Dobinsons Nitro Shocks with Rear Long Travel and Flex Testing! | Return to Directory
Installation Writeup: Pending
My suspension finally arrived off backorder a late May, and I got it installed late June. Here we are late July and I am just now getting around to writing this up for my build threat and the install writeup. Took me two fully packed weekends to install after running into issues with the rear brake lines, but it is all now back together and better than ever

I went with Dobinsons Nitro Shocks with the rear long travel and SPC UCAs. The lift amount is supposedly 3", but I still have to get the lifted hub to fender measurements. The suspension parts I got were:
  • Front Spring: C59-300
  • Rear Spring: C59-677V
  • Front Shock: GS59-220
  • Rear Shock: GS59-575
  • KYB Top Hats
  • Apache OffRoad Extended Stainless Steal Brake Lines
  • SPC UCAs - These are the half forged, half tube versions so not the newest entirely forged version. I read about the cracking, but seems that was mostly on the very first all tube versions. Picked these up for $400 BNIB, so I was really pleased with that
  • Eimkeith PCK - Still need to install this, just need free time on a nice day to do it


Flexy Pics
I'll skip right to the flexy pictures, since thats what everyone wants to see!

Rear was definitely all the way flexed here, the low tire was barely touching the ground beneath the water


All the way drooped, and all the way tucked. The baby tires certainly extenuate the wheel gap lol


A few more misc pics




Measurements
I took a variety of measurements of my stock height 4runner and they're below. Everything is accurate to 1/4". When I get around to taking the lifted measurements, I'll update this as a chart with before and after

Hub to Fender (on Wheels)
  • LF: 18-1/2"
  • RF: 18-1/4"
  • LR: 20-3/4"
  • RR: 21-1/4"
Hub to Fender (Drooped)
  • LF: 23-1/2"
  • RF: 23-3/4"
  • LR: 25-1/4"
  • RR: 25-1/4"
LCA Angle
  • L: 2 (Angled Up Towards Outside)
  • R: 2 (Angled Up Towards Outside)
CV Angle
  • L: 9 (Angled Up Towards Outside)
  • R: 8 (Angled Up Towards Outside)
Panhard Angle: 2 (Angled Down Left to Right)

Frame Angle
  • L: 1 (Up Towards Rear)
  • R: 1 (Up Towards Rear)
Frame to Ground
  • LF: 12-1/2"
  • RF: 12-1/2"
  • LR: 12-3/4"
  • RR: 13"
Tank to Ground: 10-1/4"

Install
The actual writeup will cover everything in detail, this is just an overview

Front
No real issues up front, except the top hats were crusted to the coil buckets. I needed to air hammer them for a decent amount of time for them to break free, but the rust didn't look that terrible. Cleaned that area up, and on the new top hats, I covered them in anti-seize


I used the no spring compressor method to install the springs, and it was simple enough. My recommendation, which is covered in the writeup, would be to run the jack under the 4runner and jack from the opposite side, just makes packaging easier and the angle the LCA hits the jack more safe


Rear
Rear is where I ran into trouble, specifically with the brake lines. The first weekends I had to call it quits when I ran into this sight. Only wet because I sprayed it with penetrating fluid, but the crusties on the right side brake line near the connection were enough for me to stop and order all new hard lines


Rear Brake Hardline Replacement | Return to Directory
I ended up ordering the hard lines from mid frame and over the tank, the lines down the rear axle to each caliper, and both flex line brackets. Wasn't too bad at around $120 for everything. This is what I ordered:
  • TUBE, REAR BRAKE, NO. 4 (Top Line Along Mid-Frame)
    • 47324-35310
  • TUBE, REAR BRAKE, NO. 5 (Bottom Line Along Mid-Frame)
    • 47325-35390
  • TUBE, REAR BRAKE, NO. 6 (Passenger Side Along Rear Axle)
    • 47326-35130
  • TUBE, REAR BRAKE, NO. 7 (Driver Side Along Rear Axle)
    • 47327-35100
  • Frame Side Flex Hose Bracket
    • 47355-35130
  • Axle Side Flex Hose Bracket
    • 47356-35010
  • Brake Hose Clips (need 4)
    • 90468-A0007

Fast forward to the next weekend once I have all the parts. I am needle scaling the rear frame and coil buckets to paint while everything is out of the way, and that crusty ass rear line broke on its own. I wasn't even in the area or touching it!


To replace the lines, instead of actually trying to use a flare nut wrench to loosen the crusty connections, I just clipped everything and used a 6 point socket on an impact


Surprisingly too, all the line clips along the axle came out easily with an impact, and so did the lower flex line bracket


Not as lucky with the upper flex line bracket, this head rounded. The perks of having a welder, is that you can weld a new nut on the head of just about anything. I used one of the older ball joint nuts and it fit right over the head. One big ol' weld booger in there, and it came right out!


Dont have any pics of replacing the hard lines, especially over the tank, but dropping it about 3/4 by backing out the strap mounting bolts really helped to get a little extra clearance. Also, the best way to feed the lines over the tank was from the rear forward

And once everything was back together, I was much more happy with this. Fresh lines and a little paint cleaned up this pig

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-27-2021 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:30 AM #149
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Continued: Dobinsons Nitro Shocks with Rear Long Travel and Flex Testing!
Ran into 20 pic limit whoops

The last little hiccup was with the rear shocks. They're so long, that when all the way drooped, the body was contacting the lower shock mount and bending the shock itself and having the bushing wrenched to a pretty wack angle.


I pretty much could not get the upper mount on at all, otherwise it would banana the shock


To fix the contact, I put a little washer in as a spacer to get the shock body off of the lower mount bracket. This brought the shock body off of the lower mount at full droop. I'm happy to report that after my off roading and flex testing, I didn't observe any contact between the shock and the lower mount


I also made my own 2" bumpstop extensions, since I couldn't justify $75 for an off the shelf part that I could make with $10 in parts an an hour of time. I made two hole positions as I've seen on some aftermarket extensions for extended rear links, but for now its just setup in stock position


Did some wire wheeling and painting. These areas of the frame were pretty clean with just some surface flakies, so after knocking those off and getting them smooth, I sprayed with some rust reformer and a top coat of paint


Tires
I did also select some tires to pair with my now lifted 4runner, because these tiny ones look kinda ridiculous lol


Sooooo, I got some 35x10.5 Kenda Klevers Theres probably going to have to be a lot of cutting, trimming, and hammering lol. I do still have the original wheels and tires, so I'll probably be swapping back and forth until I have these at least fit properly for road driving. I also want to build a front bumper, so this may motivate me to get on that too

Last edited by y=mx+b; 07-27-2021 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:13 PM #150
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Painting my Skid Plates
Is this a skid plate?
No, this is Patrick


I got bored, so I painted it lol









Its likely going to get torn up the minute it goes off road, but I find it pretty amusing for the time being. Its setup so Patrick's face will show from the front lol. I'll get pics when it gets mounted up to share too
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