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Old 05-25-2021, 09:43 PM #1
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CBR's Build Thread

Introduction

This is a build thread for my 2004 Toyota 4Runner Sport Edition. It’s been in the family since 04’ used and I grew up with my dad driving this thing everywhere. It’s always been super reliable and now it has been turned over to me… not officially but I spend a lot of $$ on it. I started out doing easy mods to the car that were reversible just to make it last longer, but I slowly realized I wanted to do more than that. Hopefully I can keep this 4Runner around for a while… I am not a professional, I do not know how to weld, fabricate etc. but I can 3D design and print parts, a soldering/electrical magician (It just works) and I consider myself a spray paint expert. Follow along to see what I do next.
I hope in the coming days to add all of the projects I have already done, in the future I will document things with more detail. Plans for the summer weeks are to get new LCA and Axles and possibly a front bumper depending on $$$

What it looks like now:
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

Mod, Maintenance, and Project Directory

Oil Change Data:
  • 14k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 17k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 20k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 24k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 27k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 30k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 34k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 38k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 41k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 45k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 49k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 52k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 56k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 59k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 62k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 65k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 68k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 71k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 74k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 77k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 80k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 83k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 87k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 90k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 93k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 96k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 99k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 103k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 107k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 110k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 112k miles - 5W30 - 2k interval
  • 115k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 118k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 121k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 125k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 129k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 133k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 137k miles - 5W30 - 4k interval
  • 140k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 143k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 146k miles - 5W30 - 3k interval
  • 149k miles - 5W30 Synthetic - 3k interval
  • 155k miles - 5W30 Synthetic - 6k interval
  • 163k miles - 5W30 Synthetic - 8k interval (oops)
  • 171k miles - 5W30 Synthetic - 8k interval (oops again)
  • 174k miles - 5W30 Synthetic - 3k interval

Other Data:

Wheels, Tires, Suspension:
  • 155k miles - Bilstein 5100’s/X-Reas Delete
  • 160k miles - Discover Evolution Tires
  • 167k miles - 9808 T CV Axles.
  • 167k miles - TRQ Lower Control Arm's
  • 179k miles - Front and Rear Brakes Pads /Rotors

Lighting and Electrical:
Body/Frame:Armor:Performance:
  • HCF Delete

Shopping List:
  • Skid Plates
  • Fixing Rust
  • Exhaust cam gears with 3į retard
  • 06-09 Instrument Cluster Swap
__________________
2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 10-23-2022 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:35 PM #2
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Work That Has Been Done So Far
Going forward I’m going to have a lot more pictures but this is what I have done so far that I could find pictures on:
SubwooferReturn to Directory
Blew out the stock subwoofer a few months back and decided to replace it with a nice Rockford Fosgate P3SD4-8 Subwoofer. I stretched the life of the stock one by using silicon on the cone but it blew after one song.
CBR's Build Thread
Rust PreventionReturn to Directory
Next was the Rust Prevention. I did a lot of research on the best products for rust prevention/protection and a lot were saying POR-15 and then painting it. I ended up going with a marine grade product called Corroseal which is a Rust Converter and Primer. Easy application I just wire brushed the loose rust, and coated this stuff on with a foam brush. Then spray painted it with Rustoleum Black paint. I’ll post some pics later this year after 1 year with it to see how it works if anyone is interested in trying this. Here are some before and after pics:
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread
06’ Headlight ConversionReturn to Directory
I wanted to do the 06’ headlight conversion because my headlights were cheap off amazon that looked cool when new but they had a whole bunch of nonfunctional lights just for looks. Decided to go with Used OEM from eBay and they were filthy, broken tabs etc… I cleaned them up pretty nice, spray painted the housing black, and installed some Retrofit source Switchback halos. Tapped into the Fog Light relay with the Always on Fog Light mod. Very happy with the outcome, still haven’t decided if I like the orange DRL on with the halo’s but I like how unique it is compared to other cars on the road.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread
Ongoing Instrument Cluster IssuesReturn to Directory
My biggest job so far was replacing the instrument cluster. Started off just following a thread on how to replace the LEDs on the cluster and I ended up breaking something on the cluster so the fuel gauge did not work. Had to buy new Stepper motors and tried swapping them with no luck. Ended up buying a new to me instrument cluster off eBay for an SR5 which did not include the 4WD lights. Swapped the chip with the mileage over as well as the LED’s but I still can’t figure out how to get the 4WD lights to work. Fuel Gauge still refuses to go the the "F" when I fill my tank and it drives me insane. I will most likely continue to search until I can find a Sport Edition Cluster but for now it does the job.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread


This weekend i'll post some pics of my rusted LCA and Leaking CV Axles... Still deciding what brands I wanna go with for the parts as OEM is $$$ but worth it always. Probably cvjreman.com for the axles and Rockauto Moog for LCA.. Let me know what you guys think!
__________________
2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 05-26-2021 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 05-31-2021, 12:47 PM #3
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Weekend Post 5/31/2021
Not a lot of time this weekend to work on 4runner, rained all weekend and only had a few hours today.
Refreshing Stock Skid PlatesReturn to Directory
I wanted to get my skid plates off in preparation for the New LCAís and Axles that will need to be put in in the future, the mid skid plate came off like butter. The front one had one bolt that was a total pain in the a** and I am still unable to get off and is rounded out. I will probably take it to a shop before I lose my mind. No pictures for that until I can get it off and painted
Rusted out LCAReturn to Directory
I said I would post a picture of my LCA so the forum could see and here it is. Iím no mechanic but this bad boy is rusted just about all the way around and it has me concerned for overall safety while driving.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

Thankfully the forum came in clutch because I went on it and one of the new posts was on a thread asking about LCAís . So, I decided to go with the TRQ Front Lower 2 Piece Control Arm with Ball Joint Set for $179.99! Itís a solid deal and will give me time to source OEM parts if I want to go back that route in the future.
thread asking about LCAís
As for Axles itís most likely going to be from CVJ Axles - CV Axles & Steering Racks for all your needs as stated in the previous post. I don't have the down time to rebuild the axles myself in case of an issue.
CBR's Build Thread
Front BumperReturn to Directory
Now for the fun part. Iíve wanted a front bumper on my 4Runner for many years and now I am in a position where I can take the hit financially. Iíve been looking at a lot of different styles and Iím stuck on either the Demello Off-road or Shrockworks Bumper. *I will be getting it in white and Shrockworks is the only brand I saw that offers it in white* Not sure if I want 3 hoops, the middle hoop, or noneÖ I guess that all comes down to preference. Hereís some pictures for comparison. The only reason I would want hoops is for added protection in case of a collision but does it really make a difference? Please let me know what you guys think!
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread
__________________
2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 08-22-2021 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 06-27-2021, 03:41 PM #4
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New Axles and LCA's!!!
Finally got all the parts in to replace Axles and LCA's. No rain in the forecast... started working and it started downpouring, but I was determined.
CBR's Build Thread
AxlesReturn to Directory
Both of my boots were torn upon inspection. I followed Y=mx+b tutorial for axles and borrowed a fork from a friend to separate the axles from differential. Stripped the Drain plug so I stuck a pump in the fill hole and got as much fluid out as possible and filled a quart back up. I noticed driver side did not have a seal where it connected to the differential and it was not leaking either. The passenger was replaced a long time ago and did have a seal... very interesting. Got the Axles from cvjreman
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

New LCA'sReturn to Directory
The LCA's were the easiest part of all of this. The driver side was the side with minimum rust and the sleeve wasn't seized in the LCA so I was very happy... Again another discrepancy I noticed is that the passenger side, the side with more rust and a seized sleeve, had a different bolt for the front mount. I know that LCA was never replaced nor the hardware, I thought it was very interesting.. The seized LCA did not stand a chance against me and my Sawzall
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread
My dad snagged a photo of me hard at work, you can tell i just wanted this to be over
CBR's Build Thread
Final Result/AdviceReturn to Directory

I have never done anything this in depth with a vehicle, and I do not have a lift or anything special. I took my time, and it was worth it in the end. Took me about 8-10 hours... I lost count. Also had to buy a new jack, borrow a torque wrench, and a axle fork. The work speaks for itself. I really believe anyone with determination and time can get this done by themselves... I did. It really wasn't as hard as people made it out to be, plus the lessons learned will help me for a lifetime. And I got to take an angle grinder and Sawzall to my vehicle which was a bit of fun.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread




Projects Coming upReturn to Directory
- Bought some LED strips I'm going to wire into the door lights for under driver and passenger footwell.
- Also got the later model instrument cluster coming in within the next week, going to see if its possible to use on the 03-05 model 4Runners.
- Getting a front bumper soon to protect all my precious parts.. still cannot decide on one hoop or 3 hoops or brand... I'll figure it out eventually... oh yea and color. Black, Textured Black, Grey, or White. I don't want Black because everyone gets it. Leaning towards White on white with my truck or paint the Grey gunmetal grey to match my hood scoop, wheels, and grille.
- Possible Exhaust cam gears coming up
- Unrelated to my T4R, been trying to organize all of my tools in my tool chest
CBR's Build Thread

I think that's all for now, will update in a week or two on the updated instrument cluster and maybe more projects, Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!
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2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 08-22-2021 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:04 PM #5
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The Little Things
Trying to work on taking more pictures on my projects.
Sway Bar End Links Over the past week I installed new front end sway bar links. They were cheap $26.99 from Amazon. I was worried about the price but the ball joints on these were strong compared to the worn out and torn boots on the originals. Link to links: Amazon.com: (2) Front Stabilizer Links Fits Lexus GX470 Toyota 4RUNNER FJ Cruiser: Automotive
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

Throttle Body CleaningReturn to Directory
Also cleaned the Throttle Body. Was amazed at how much carbon build up there was, also reset EFI and now car idles a bit higher on start but settles down. No noticeable difference other than that.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

06-09 Instrument Cluster on 2004Return to Directory
I made a separate post for this Here. After putting in my stock cluster my car started idling very low and it ended up stalling in the road once I came to a complete stop. Since then has been fine. I'm sure one of the switched pins caused a short when I started the car and it fixed itself after a few miles added to the odometer.
CBR's Build Thread
Still super curious about this and what ill have to do to make it work on the 03-05 4th gen models.

Also Ordered front bumper from Demello Offroad with their July 4th discount, excited to see my front end transform!
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2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 08-22-2021 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-06-2021, 12:54 AM #6
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Hard to tell from the pics but looks like one of your removed axles has the seal still attached, maybe it came out with the axle? Did you replace it or just leave it?

Youíll love the DO bumper, itís a very good product. Post a photo with what color you decided to go when itís all done!


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Old 07-06-2021, 10:13 AM #7
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I did not replace the seal, have not noticed any leaks but ill keep an eye on it... maybe ill have to go back in and fix it. I reached out to the company and they said there was no seal attached on the axles they received... For bumper I'm trying to get white, still in talks with them but ill definitely post pics!
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2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 07-07-2021 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:52 PM #8
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Small Projects 1
The past couple of weeks have been spent trying to figure out my rear bumper rust, and thankfully its all finished now. I am so happy with how it came out. Also worked on some other little things.
Rear Bumper Reinforcement ReplacementReturn to Directory
Found the part off a front end damaged 4Runner in Texas and snagged it for about $180. Was a little rusty but not nearly as bad as mine, so I wire brushed it and POR-15'd the outside and most of the inside. When welding we had to reinforce the drivers side since it was badly rusted. Used some heavy duty old military plates so now I can say my 4Runner has Military grade steel in it XD. I will come back to it next year to see if an spots are collecting water from factory welds and make some holes if needed.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread
Also got some new parts from McGeorge... I got to say I hate OEM prices but I'm always so happy to see rust free brand new parts come in the mail.
CBR's Build Thread
Also Drilled and Tapped most of the existing bolt locations with M8... I think this is my favorite bolt size. Used on skid plates as well. Now I am just waiting on new tow hitch bolts and then i can put the rear bumper back on.. been off for a month now.

Footwell LightingReturn to Directory
This was pretty easy with Top4Runners.com Tutorial. I had a problem initially that took a few days to figure out, my splice was not puncturing the 12v power so I had no power to any of the lights. Very happy with the result it makes my car seem luxury and now I can finally see at night if I accidently drop something
CBR's Build Thread

Bad Spark PlugsReturn to Directory
Thought this was going to be an easy spark plug change but I could not for the life of me get the plugs loose. Took it to a shop so they could deal with it if anything broke... these bad boys were crusty.
CBR's Build Thread

Unrelated to my truck but I also managed to mount a HNT antenna on my roof... Hopefully this will pay for my car parts soon enough
CBR's Build Thread
Still waiting on that Demello Offroad Bumper..
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2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures
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Old 10-16-2022, 02:38 PM #9
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The Long Awaited Return

A years worth of updates in one post
Hey everyone, I am just about to pass 180k miles on my 4Runner. Last time I posted I did not even have my front bumper yet. So lets start there

Demello Offroad BumperReturn to Directory

I waited until the 4th of July Sale in 2021 to order this, and got $160 off. Since I knew I wanted to do the later revision grille in the future, I decided to get the 06-09 version of the bumper with a single hoop, all in with shipping cost me $1690.00. Took about 5 months to show up, mostly due to COVID delays, the owner of DO was super cool and actually called me to give me updates. Looks like they don't sell this style anymore so I won't be able to link it.
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread

Toyota GrilleReturn to Directory
Got the 06-09 TRD "Toyota" Style Grille and modified it to fit on my 04. Just cut the original reinforcement bar on the bottom of the original grille and drilled new holes to make it work. Using a Strong hanger for the hood latch.
CBR's Build Thread

Rust Prevention 2Return to Directory
Next was the Rust Prevention.. again. I just started going for my Masters at a new University that is right on the beach, so naturally I am exposed to salt 24/7, 365. When I say on the beach, I am 200ft from sand when I step out my door.

I do not have a lot of photos of this but I spent about a week cleaning the frame and applying POR-15 to every part that I was able to reach. After that dried, I put fluid film over everything. My main concern was a reaction that would hinder both, but others have done it and it worked fine. If anyone is going to do this just make sure you are 100% done with the POR-15 before putting fluid film on, as it is oil and is difficult to get off. This double barrier has done very well in the month and a half I have been at school, and I check it about every 2 weeks just to see if there is any rust building up.

In addition to this, I noticed clogged drainage holes in the frame, where rust has now built up. I took an air compressor and blew out the holes and then went back through with a magnet to get the rest, it was insane how much rust came out, but after coating the inside and outside with Fluid Film, I'm not worried
CBR's Build ThreadCBR's Build Thread


Instrument Cluster FixedReturn to Directory
For those that have been following this thread or have seen my posts, I tried changing the LEDs on my instrument cluster a few years back, and have had problems with the cluster motors ever since. I decided to buy a hot air station, and went to work. I now have 4 4th gen Instrument clusters laying around, and in retrospect I probably should have just sent it in to get repaired. The biggest issue I was having was that the "new" used clusters I got off eBay were not the same model, missing certain lights etc. I finally figured out how to transfer all of that from one cluster to another and got a functioning lights only board. I then realized that the only motors that were consistently breaking/not working for me were the Fuel gauge and temperature motor. So I decided to transfer the extra cluster speedometer motors into the Fuel and Temp gauge and it finally worked. The only thing I have to do now when I fill up the tank is disconnect and reconnect the battery to get proper reading on the fuel, but it is way easier than not knowing how much gas is in the car.
CBR's Build Thread
I made a diagram with all of the parts of the board labeled for anyone in the future but cannot find it, I will update the thread once I find it.


Possible Head Gasket FailureReturn to Directory
The past few oil changes I have sent out to Blackstone for analysis and I am waiting to hear on the latest change that was just sent out. They found coolant and other unusual substances in the oil that is raising concern. Once I hear back from them on this latest change I will decide how much longer before I need to get the head gasket changed. I saw several users recommending a top end gasket kit vs the headgasket kit as it will all have to come off either way. I need to find the time to do it or find someone that will do it for the right price.
CBR's Build Thread
Bonus Picture
CBR's Build Thread

In other news, I just started my own business with a few friends which has been a lot of fun so far. Slowly moving up in the world! Hope everyone has been doing well
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2004 Sport Edition v6 4wd, 180k+ miles
My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures

Last edited by chrisbagnell; 10-16-2022 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 10-18-2022, 11:36 AM #10
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I love this thread. Keep up the posts.
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Old 10-23-2022, 11:40 AM #11
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Headgasket - Well this does not look good Return to Directory

I knew my vehicle was plagued with the headgasket issue due to the model year, and it was only a matter of time. I have been monitoring it closely for years and no mechanics could determine any headgasket leaks, however it was clear to me that I kept having to fill my coolant (very minor fills). I tried to run the 4R around 3k miles each change, and sent my past 4 Oil changes to Blackstone to get tested and just got the latest results.
They are suggesting I do not run the vehicle much longer on these gaskets, however the only sign I have had for years is a very slow loss of coolant, no overheats, no smoke in exhaust etc. For reference I am right about to hit 180k miles (about 300 to go).

I saw a post on this form HERE, that said to go for the engine overhaul kit vs the headgasket kit as it covers all top-end gaskets and is not much more.

CBR's Build Thread
The concern I have, is if I were to replace this all myself, what the odds would be of having a warped head or something else go wrong along the way.

However, If I do decide to go to a shop and pay $$$, would a Toyota dealership be ideal due to their warranties?

Looking for some guidance/experience on this.
I am unsure what the costs are for these today, as everything is inflated so anything helps!
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My Build Thread: CBR's Build Thread
My Write-ups: How to Manually Release Rear Hatch with Pictures
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