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Old 10-06-2020, 11:59 PM #1
MoonGoon762 MoonGoon762 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: NOCAL
Posts: 16
MoonGoon762 is on a distinguished road
MoonGoon762 MoonGoon762 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: NOCAL
Posts: 16
MoonGoon762 is on a distinguished road
2012 4Runner DIY Journey

I thought Iíd write this to show my appreciation for the community for all of the support and information regarding our beloved 4Runners and the hobby of working on them ourselves. I hope that through my trials and tribulations- someone will benefit.

I bought a 2012 4Runner SR5 in Northeast Ohio after crawling under MANY 4Runners in a 100 mile radius paying attention to frame rust. I purchased my ride from a Toyota Dealership, 130,000, 1 owner (who traded it in for a new 4Runner), dark gray color (my favorite after the flat earth models), and pretty decent price. However, I didnít know that there was as big of difference between the early models and current 5th gen 4Runners. Some of the mods that are available for the later models arenít available/as abundant for mine. Anyways; below is a kind of journal on the upgrades and problems Iíve dealt with since I decided to dive into the dark endless tunnel of DIY auto work.

I wanted a ride with enhanced off-road capability in the event I needed it or wanted to flirt with it. I live and work in National Parks so Iím usually near awesome opportunities (lived in Moab for 7 months!). After researching the community, it seemed the most important upgrades were 1. Tires 2. Suspension 3. Patches.

Well I started with number 2. I went with Wheelers T1 and T13s (10mm space drivers side front), with Bilstein 5100s at the lowest setting all around. I was looking to improve the ride, eliminate the forward rake, and give it a slight lift. I had access to a garage with MOST of the tools I thought Iíd need + a family friend in the area with ALL the tools- so I opted to DIY. The weather was wet, cold, and miserable throughout this entire upgrade. I should have went to the family friendís heated garage with a lift- but I hate asking for help.

The first problem I encountered was RUST. The bolts to remove the sway bar links (hex socket) were rusted into a nice smooth circle. I ended up loosening them then decided I didnít really need to remove them to get the new springs in. I used multiple bottle jacks, jacks, and blocks of wood 4x4s to safely drop the lower arm to decompress the spring. Upon unboxing my nice new springs from Wheelers, they decided to roll down the driveway damaging the protective coating, SWEET! The rest of the install was pretty straightforward. Damn near every nut and bolt needed PB Blaster to get going. The rear was definitely easier than the front. To this day I still havenít found a decent jack point to the get the front up easy. After I got the springs and Bilsteins in, I took it in to get an alignment- all satisfactory!

However, I noticed something sounded loose going over bumpsÖ and the problems begin. The sound wasnít so much a clunk but more like a loud ďbasseyĒ tick. I envisioned the spring being loose, but the sound didnít seem loud or violent enough for that to be the case. The ride and appearance definitely improved though! I was pretty happy after my first DIY. That damn noise though.

My next project was putting a roof rack on. I popped the protective caps for the roof-rack risers? Broke 2 of them (should have used something plastic to get under there and/or not done it in freezing weather). Superglue has held them in place for months now. Since I already had Thule feet and Yakima stuff- I played the craigslist game. I met a guy to get the extension to my Yakima Loadwarrior, after driving 45min- it ended up being an extension to the MegaWarrior. Upset, I told the guy nevermindÖ He ended up selling me the extension + a Megawarrior basket for 100 bucks.

Now it was time to move. I drove from Northeast Ohio to Northern California with all my belongings in the back and on the roof of the 4Runner (so much nicer than my old little Corolla!). However, I heard that damn clunky/tick noise the entire way.. every bump..

Can anyone guess what that noise was? Is anyone interested in reading about all the damage I actually did when I installed my lift/ suspension?
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4runner , diy , pretty , ride , springs

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