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    Thread: Tales of a $1400 4Runner

    1. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      03-23-2016 06:04 PM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by Jimbow View Post
      I've been following this thread.

      I'm picking up a 99 limited 4Runner this weekend. I wanted to get a land cruiser but the deal on the 4Runner was too good to pass up. 1 owner with 207k, Tons of maintenance, picked it up for $2300
      Ill be posting pics this weekend
      Congrats! If the truck is in good condition, then you really made out on that. And it's a Limited so you've got the multi-mode transfer case....and it's a coveted "99". I like the land cruisers as well, but the 4Runner is a nice size and does 95% of what a LC can


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    2. 03-23-2016 07:18 PM #52
      Quote Originally Posted by toneloc914 View Post
      So the "Natural White" paint was struggling a bit on the white part, but that was never a priority for me with this truck. Today, I had enough time on my hands to attempt to revive the paint a little. The results are dramatic, given this was all done by hand.
      ...
      Not bad for 18 year old paint
      Looks great!

      I'm loving this project. I feel like I'm really accomplishing something even though I'm really just sitting in the backyard drinking wine.

    3. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      04-10-2016 11:04 PM #53
      4Runner update! So we hit a milestone this weekend.....she crossed over 275k miles somewhere in Pennsylvania on the way to NY. This was our second big road trip in the rig. I'm still currently in NY, but documented some of the drive up here. She did awesome, easily keeping up with traffic on I-78 in NJ.



      This was taken near York, PA



      Outside of Lancaster, PA



      In NJ crossing into NY



      Jersey City, NJ



      Manhattan, NY



      And parked for the night in Astoria, Queens, NY



      As far as work done, I took her to the dealership prior to the trip to have the alignment checked. I knew it would be off by a bit due to the suspension/steering work, and my suspicions were confirmed. The toe angle on both sides were off by a wide margin, which affected stability at highways speeds. It felt like the truck would easily get blown all over the road by winds, or a larger vehicles passing by. The alignment corrected that problem.

      While I was there, I had the oil changed as well. Did I mention before that oil changes on these kind of suck. It's not so much the oil draining, but moreso the filter location. The filter is located on the drivers side of the motor, and in order to access it, you have to turn the wheel all the way to the left, remove the splash guards in the wheel well, and hope that the filter is not on too tight. It's at an awkward angle that makes it a pain to use any sort of filter removal tool to assist. Thus, I'll likely have the dealership do it from now on. The cost ends up balancing out for the most part, as long as the dealer has a special going on. And those services as documented on the Toyota owner vehicle history website, which helps if I want to sell it in the future.

      Other than that, I also repainted the air deflector in the rear, which was heavily oxidized and stained from years of weathering.

      Before



      After



      And while I'm at it, I'll mention another good reason why I got this rig. The 4runner works well as a dog carrier, and I don't have to worry about getting dog hair, slob, and other nonsense in my GTI. The OCD in me appreciates this. Here's my Boston terrier, Mowgli, on his first trip to NY


    4. 04-11-2016 07:23 AM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by toneloc914 View Post

      While I was there, I had the oil changed as well. Did I mention before that oil changes on these kind of suck. It's not so much the oil draining, but moreso the filter location. The filter is located on the drivers side of the motor, and in order to access it, you have to turn the wheel all the way to the left, remove the splash guards in the wheel well, and hope that the filter is not on too tight. It's at an awkward angle that makes it a pain to use any sort of filter removal tool to assist. Thus, I'll likely have the dealership do it from now on. The cost ends up balancing out for the most part, as long as the dealer has a special going on. And those services as documented on the Toyota owner vehicle history website, which helps if I want to sell it in the future.

      Take the skid plate off and it's easy as pie.

    5. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      04-11-2016 12:29 PM #55
      Quote Originally Posted by Nicefeet View Post
      Take the skid plate off and it's easy as pie.
      Yes, if the filter is put on with the correct amount of torque. Whoever last changed the filter before I took ownership of it put it on with such kung-fu grip that it completely soured my experience with changing the oil on this 4Runner. I imagine some of that is also the fact that the truck must have sat for a little before I got it, and we all know what that does to vehicles.

      I'm also comparing this to my current and previous vw's, which are easy as pie (the filters are on the top of the motor in an easily accessible location). Even my fiancées Elantra is easier.

      For the most part, everything else on the truck seems well thought out, and basic maintenance is easy. And I appreciate the fact that I don't need to use a jack or jack stands to swap fluids.

    6. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 05:07 PM #56
      Hard to believe that I'm over 18+ months into ownership of this thing. It's been a while, and a lot has changed personally, since I've last updated this thread, but the 4runner is still around and doing well. Sorry for the long post ahead of time.

      Current Mileage:



      Looks like i've put 13k miles on it in 1 year. Not bad!

      Pic's taken today:





      What's been done

      First things first, i spent a couple of days getting the interior in order and deep-cleaning the carpets, seats, headliner, etc. 18 years of dirt and dust made this thing unbelievably dirty, and this has been by far the most challenging interior to get back in order. The amount of crap that came of out of the carpet was unreal:











      After







      Headrests (rear) Before and After:







      Water from Seats:



      Seats after cleaning:








      When I bought the 4runner, the drivers seat would not move back and forth. It wasn't an issue for me, since the position the seat was stuck in was perfect for me and my 5'11" frame, but my 5'4" wife could not drive the 4runner. When I took the seats out to clean them, I discovered that one of the springs/wires on the bottom of the seat had come undone. I jerry-rigged the wire so that it would catch the mechanism, and to this day, we have been able to move the seat back and forth with not problem. If you are someone that can't handle rogue animal and other human hairs, skip over this section:










    7. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 05:08 PM #57
      So what has gone wrong since the last update? Not much, to be honest, but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to work on the truck. I mentioned before that my WIFE couldn't drive the 4runner due to the seat issue. Well, the biggest update I can give from a personal standpoint is that I am now a MARRIED MAN. We are now a little over 4 months married, and happier than ever.

      But back to the 4runner. For my bachelor party, we spent a long weekend in the Pocono Mountains, and I took the 4runner there (along with 2 of the groomsmen). This was in the middle of July, when temperatures were near or at 100 F. While sitting in traffic on I-495N in Maryland, maybe 30 minutes into the drive to the Poconos, with the A/C at full blast, I looked down at the temperature gauge and saw it slowly start to creep up. I immediately shut down the A/C, cranked the heat, and rolled the windows down. This allowed the engine temp to drop down to "normal". The temp never creeped up while moving over ~10mph, and I had already replaced the radiator, cap, thermostat, etc. previously, so I knew that the issue had to be the fan clutch. Luckily, the rest of the trip there and back was smooth sailing without traffic. I ordered the parts while in the Poconos, and installed them the morning after I returned.

      Place we stayed at during the long weekend:





      New Fan Clutch:





      Old Fan and Fan clutch:



      On the 3.4 4Runners, the fan clutch is driven by a part that Toyota calls the "Fan Bracket". It bolts tp the block and is driven by the PS Belt, and while removing the old fan clutch, I realized that my old "Fan Bracket" was missing a bolt, and one was stripped. In order to install the new fan clutch, I would have to replace this part as well. So...

      New "Fan Bracket" (came in 1 day, thanks Amazon Prime). I also installed a new fan, since i was already in there. This resolved any overheating issues, and she has run cool ever since then.





      Soon after that, she turned 280,000 miles. To celebrate, I bought more presents for her. I took a week off of work for my birthday and did everything over the course of 3 days.



      New Presents:

      - Genuine Toyota Fuel Filter
      - Genuine Toyota Transmission Mount
      - Genuine Toyota Motor Mounts (not installed yet)
      - KYB Monomax Rear Shocks
      - Moog Rear Spring Set
      - Moog Front Spring/Shock Assembly


      Old and New Transmission Mount:





      Old and New Fuel Filter:






      Old Rear Shocks (that I had to violently tear out of the upper mounting point because the upper bolt was rusted beyond removal). That was fun:



      New Rear Shocks:



      Old Rear Springs:





      How it sat after the rears were put on (old front suspension still). A slight front rake:



      Sketchy setup to get the rear axle to drop on the drivers side to remove the springs. That's my GTI there in the background:



      Then it was on to the fronts......which the 3 top bolts that held the shock/strut assembly were rusted beyond belief. After trying nearly everything, including a reciprocating saw, a small torch, and excessive hammering, I (very begrudgingly)gave up and had it towed to Toyota dealership down the street so that they could get the old shock/spring set out. They did the alignment while it was there.





      How it sat after everything done. I'm not sure why, or how, but the front sat MUCH lower than it should have. Of course I was pissed, after noticing that after all the work had been done at the dealership. I did some research and figured that I could try a 1.5" strut spacer to even out the front, since it seemed liked the front was sitting about an inch lower than it had.





      http://i.imgur.com/GaSCVmn.jpg

      I ordered the Daystar 1" Strut spacers and threw them in.





      How it sits after they were installed:



      Then, literally the day after all of the suspension work is completed, the starter began to give me issues. When turning the key from "ACC" to "START", the truck would just click once, and then complete silence would ensue. It did this every morning for 2 weeks, and would start after I cycled the key and attempted to start it again. It began to get worse and would do it anytime I turned the car off. I knew the started was on its way out, so I order a rebuild kit and rebuilt the started one morning that I had free. This fixed the starting issue.
















      A couple of days later, I took it on its longest trip yet, a 740 mile round-trip drive to Rochester, NY (from Norther VA). It was a very uneventful trip, and the truck drove amazing and returned a high of 20.1 MPG's (with the A/C going at times). The only pic i took the entire trip is below. This was taken in Naples, NY. Probably the best pumpkin pie I've ever had.



      I'm looking forward to getting this thing across the 300k mark, and deciding what I want to purchase next. I drive it almost every day at this point. The seating position is better for me while in traffic (compared to the GTI). My GTI is lowered on VW Racing springs, so the ride is a bit stiff (although not terrible at all, by any means), and its also a manual, so the 4runner just makes for a more relaxing drive in the day-to-day grind. It also keeps me out of trouble with speeding (GTI also has a Neuspeed Power Module).

      I've been looking at the 4th gen 'Runners and, ideally, would love to pick up an 06-09 Limited with the V8 once this one crosses 300k. I don't think I'll get rid of this one though....maybe I'll just use it for "dirty" trips to Home Depot, or during the winter.
      Last edited by toneloc914; 11-20-2016 at 06:06 PM.

    8. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 05:13 PM #58
      Considering the rust on the seat metal, they have probably been steamed cleaned before.
      I must admit- the seat fabric looks amazing for the age/miles.
      removed because realized just as annoying as the people that refuse to turn off their phone app's auto-spam with every post.

    9. Member yeayeayea's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 05:21 PM #59
      I fastened my trucks carpet to a tree with some screws and fender washers and then soaked it with detergent and pressure washed it. The water that came out of it at first was filthy. Amazing how much a clean carpet makes a difference.

    10. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 06:10 PM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Considering the rust on the seat metal, they have probably been steamed cleaned before.
      I must admit- the seat fabric looks amazing for the age/miles.
      I noticed the rust on the bottom of all of the seats, and that had me thinking about the history of this truck. It really makes me think that one of the previous owners "wheeled" it at some point and maybe got sick or forded through water a little too high. Your theory could also be correct. Very strange to see rust there.


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    11. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 06:13 PM #61
      Quote Originally Posted by yeayeayea View Post
      I fastened my trucks carpet to a tree with some screws and fender washers and then soaked it with detergent and pressure washed it. The water that came out of it at first was filthy. Amazing how much a clean carpet makes a difference.
      I really wish I had access to a pressure washer, as I would have done precisely that. I still think there are improvements to be made with the carpet in the truck, but the shop-vac I have can only do so much. I've been following your truck project, btw, and I'm really impressed with how thorough you are with restoring it. Awesome job with that, I wish I had the time and skills to dive in like you have.


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    12. Member Fettes Brot's Avatar
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      11-20-2016 07:07 PM #62
      Yay! Update! Looks awesome

    13. 11-20-2016 07:14 PM #63
      Disagree on the seat rust, untreated steel will do that. My year old Volvo has a steering shaft with surface corrosion because it's untreated and doesn't matter.

    14. Member windycityvdub's Avatar
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      11-21-2016 12:09 PM #64
      Looks good!

      Ever take it offroad in the GW National Forest near Front Royal?

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      11-21-2016 01:30 PM #65
      Quote Originally Posted by toneloc914 View Post
      I really wish I had access to a pressure washer, as I would have done precisely that. I still think there are improvements to be made with the carpet in the truck, but the shop-vac I have can only do so much. I've been following your truck project, btw, and I'm really impressed with how thorough you are with restoring it. Awesome job with that, I wish I had the time and skills to dive in like you have.


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      For what it is and the price, probably the best purchase I could've made for house/car cleaning:

      https://www.directtoolsoutlet.com/br...yobi/ZRRY14122

      I got mine from here, bought it actually at the Rehoboth outlets in Delaware, but comes with factory warranty. Mine looked like it was never used at all.

    16. 11-21-2016 02:04 PM #66
      I have owned an 89 and a 98. The 3rd gen is my favorite. One thing my 89 had that I have not seen in many was an option for a "sports seat" for the drivers seat. The bolsters were adjustable as well as lumber and seat tilt. That seat was the most comfortable even over very long road trips. Here is a pic of mine at work being a kayak hauler. Still have regrets with having sold it in 2006.


      http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~walpole/pics/kayak/aoc/17.jpg

    17. Member tip's Avatar
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      11-22-2016 08:23 AM #67
      Love the upgrades. Those seats look great, I would kill for cloth in my 3rd gen.

    18. Member huvGTI's Avatar
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      11-22-2016 09:14 AM #68
      I recently did the suspension and had the same problem with the strut mount nuts/bolts. They were rusted so badly that when trying to remove the nut, I actually broke the bolt free from being embedded in the rubber strut mount. I had to use a dremel + abrasive discs and cut all of the nuts off. Took forever.





      Dealership was probably worth the $$ for how much of a pain it was.

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      11-22-2016 09:18 AM #69
      Nice! I love a durable vehicle that can driven to high miles.

      There's a 3rd gen 4runner at a local dealership around here that's got 371,000 miles on it, and it surprisingly looks damn clean:
      http://www.hollingsworthautosales.ne...2/Details.aspx



      I kinda wanted to buy it just so I could have the experience of rolling a vehicle past 400,000 miles, but they want almost 4 grand for it and its 2WD...so not really worth it in my opinion.

    20. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-25-2016 02:26 PM #70
      Quote Originally Posted by windycityvdub View Post
      Looks good!

      Ever take it offroad in the GW National Forest near Front Royal?
      The most "off-roading" I've done in this so far is driving to and from work during the peak of the Blizzard this year (and it got around very well in that). Really didn't want to try it out on a trail until I replaced the suspension. Now that I've got that checked off......


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    21. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-25-2016 02:29 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by huvGTI View Post
      I recently did the suspension and had the same problem with the strut mount nuts/bolts. They were rusted so badly that when trying to remove the nut, I actually broke the bolt free from being embedded in the rubber strut mount. I had to use a dremel + abrasive discs and cut all of the nuts off. Took forever.





      Dealership was probably worth the $$ for how much of a pain it was.
      You worded it better than I did, but the exact same thing happened to me on the passenger side, on the rear-most nut. I tried a small reciprocating saw, and larger one, and then thought about the Dremel. At that point, I made the decision to save time and just have the dealer do it. I had already spent a 2-3 hours trying the various tools. Definitely frustrating trying to get any power tool wedged into that small area.


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    22. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      11-25-2016 02:32 PM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by mrothwell View Post
      Nice! I love a durable vehicle that can driven to high miles.

      There's a 3rd gen 4runner at a local dealership around here that's got 371,000 miles on it, and it surprisingly looks damn clean:
      http://www.hollingsworthautosales.ne...2/Details.aspx



      I kinda wanted to buy it just so I could have the experience of rolling a vehicle past 400,000 miles, but they want almost 4 grand for it and its 2WD...so not really worth it in my opinion.
      Definitely not worth it, but that is certainly a testament to how long these things last. There's a guy on t4r.org that crossed 600k on his with the original motor and trans.

      Thank you all for the compliments!


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    23. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      03-19-2017 08:37 PM #73
      U


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      03-19-2017 08:39 PM #74
      R
      removed because realized just as annoying as the people that refuse to turn off their phone app's auto-spam with every post.

    25. Member toneloc914's Avatar
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      03-19-2017 08:41 PM #75
      A


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