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Old 05-21-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Project 1984 4Runner Build

Hey Guys, I finally figured I'd post up my 84' 4Runner build. I've built a few older toyota pickups, ( and various other 4x4's and muscle cars over the years). Back when I was a kid growing up, my father had a sweet 1984 solid axle 4Runner that I was in love with but he ended up selling it before I could get my hands on it, so I was out of luck trying to find a nice shape 4runner for a real long time. Well being a native New Englander, trying to find anything older around here in descent shape especially with all the dam road salt is virtually impossible. They say sometimes its better to be lucky than good - I came across a newly listed ad on Craigslist from a guy over in New York, and he had this pretty much bone stock, super clean (and virtually rust free) 84' solid axle 4runner that he wanted to sell before he cut it up to build a crazy backwoods wheelin' machine (Lucky for me he really wanted a pickup instead !!!). I shot him an e-mail as quick as I could, and after a few responses back and forth the deal was done, and then a buddy and I went down with a trailer and brought home my new toy.

Heres the day it came home..( also notice the 86' Parts truck peeking out from behind the shed in the background..)









The body of this truck is in excellent shape for its age and who ever previously owned it took pretty good care of it. Its got a lower mileage 22R motor which I have since installed a Weber carb, new cap, rotor, wires and ignition set-up on.

As previously mentioned, I've built and wheeled' a few other older yotas in the past, and I just so happened to have an 85' solid axle shortbed pickup that I had just entirely rebuilt the suspension on, that a buddy of mine wanted to buy from me. I told him I wanted to switch out the suspensions on both trucks, and he said lets get it done..! SO after a few long hours and lots of beer, everything got switched from the pickup to the 4Runner.

Heres where we started in the morning....



I had already done all of the "hard" work to the pickups front axle and suspension ( New Trail Gear 4" leaf springs- with one leaf removed for softer ride and lower stance, U-bolt flip kit, new TG drop shackles, shaved and trussed housing, new chromoly axleshafts, freshly rebuilt stock AISIN hubs and new seals throughout, new brakes, and brand new high-steer setup complete with brand new steering box and pump.) It was literally as simple as unbolting the 4 leaf spring bolts on both trucks, rolling the axles out into the driveway, and switching them truck to truck.





By the end of the weekend, this is what I had. The rear axle was previously built up as well. It came out of an 87' pickup ( which is 3" wider than the 84' and 85" 4runner axles). It was already locked and had new brakes when I put it under the pickup, so switching them was the same deal as the front.



Then came the countless packages from Trail-Gear, Marlin Crawler, Bilstein and various other Toyota specific parts vendors.. ( The UPS guy must really hate me by now..! LOL).



I also built the Willys jeep on the right a few years ago. Its an all steel 1951 M-38 , with a ported and polished small block ford 302 V8 ( hence my screen name..!)



Test fitting...



The TG bumper was fine from the factory, but I went ahead and added a few plates to square up the front fairlead mount, and also added a few extra down tubes just to continue the tubing line thru the bumper from the stinger, all purely asthetical, but just something I wanted to add.

I also went ahead and got a set of TG sliders, and matching rear tube bumper, all of which were welded up, painted and installed.

Then it was time for some new sneakers. I picked up a set of brand new 35" BFG KM2 Mud Terrains, and mounted them on some 15"x10" Pro Comp Black steelies. Much better ( and much quieter) than the 33" Swampers that were on the truck.



Here is everything freshly installed before the first wheelin' shakedown run.







Everything worked great, and this thing wheels like a champ.







I had also been on the hunt for one of the ever elusive original "Can-Back" soft tops for my truck for as long as I can remember. Since they went out of production 10+ years ago nobody that has one wants to sell them, or If they do they ask a ridiculous amount of money for them. I had looked into the "best topper", or had even thought of fabbing one up from scratch, but I really liked the overall look and functionality of the Can-Back and have held off with the other options all this time hoping to eventually find one.. Then recently (purely by accident no less) I came across a newly listed complete one on Ebay and before I knew it,the deal was done and it showed at my house. ( again my UPS guy hates me by now..!! LOL).



I finally pulled the hard top off and started getting ready for the soft top to be mounted up ( after a thorough cleaning and new re-paint on the cross bars and bows).



And here it is all freshly cleaned and installed. All that is left is to install some snaps onto the tailgate for the rear window section, and then I can start fabbing up some sort of roof rack cross bars to mount my cargo basket, Hi-Lift jack and shovel. I'd LOVE to find a set of original "Can-Back" cross bars for this, but I've got a feeling that won't happen.





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Old 05-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Sweet build! My bro just picked up this '85.



Yours looks worlds cleaner though.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

It's so rare to find a rust free 1st Gen 4Runner. Or really any early Toyota for that matter. Take excellent care of it man! They will become priceless before too much longer.

Here's mine:

Body lift and bumpers have been removed and Hy-Steer have been installed since this picture**

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xFord View Post
Sweet build! My bro just picked up this '85.



Yours looks worlds cleaner though.
Dude, Your Bro is HOT..!! LOL..!! jk Yeah, good 84's and 85's are SUPER rare and hard to find because they've got the solid front axle from the factory, and most of them have usually been beat to death from wheelin'. Your bros truck looks sweet though, I love the boggers..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lentsnh2012 View Post
It's so rare to find a rust free 1st Gen 4Runner. Or really any early Toyota for that matter. Take excellent care of it man! They will become priceless before too much longer.

Here's mine:

Body lift and bumpers have been removed and Hy-Steer have been installed since this picture**
Thanks man. Wow, yours is super clean as well..! I wish mine had the factory sun roof, I've always loved that feature. Any more pics ? I do wheel it occasionally, and I try not to smack it up too bad, as its still in pretty good shape overall. In fact I am planning on doing some bodywork in the fall and will be re-painting it in the spring.

Last edited by 51WillysJeep; 05-22-2013 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

very nice!
We're going to have to start a RCC 1st gen 4Runner section!
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

That thing is sweet!
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51WillysJeep View Post
Thanks man. Wow, yours is super clean as well..! I wish mine had the factory sun roof, I've always loved that feature. Any more pics ? I do wheel it occasionally, and I try not to smack it up too bad, as its still in pretty good shape overall. In fact I am planning on doing some bodywork in the fall and will be re-painting it in the spring.

Thank you very much brotha! It just rolled over to 315,000 miles on the odometer today. Original motor and transmission from 1985.

I was doing some researching on my 4Runner and apparently my 4Runner was on the 1985 brochure. I'm still trying to find the VIN numbers to confirm that.

From the factory:
SR5 package (Seats, tach, cruise control, A/C, Rear defroster and more)
Chrome package (Chrome wheels and door handles)
Factory sunroof

I'll snap a few more pictures tomorrow and post them up for you and everyone else to drool over.

That's awesome to hear you're restoring it to it's original glory!! Sticks you are so far away or else I would have you fix my trail damage.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

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Originally Posted by johnnyh66 View Post
very nice!
We're going to have to start a RCC 1st gen 4Runner section!
Do it if you're bad.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build











That's the only rip in the lining

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Old 05-23-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Looks very nice, super clean!

I'd say the UPS guy is more than likely envious. Only reason he'd hate you is if you were away from the house every time he comes by with a delivery.
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Small update of sorts !! Over the summer, I finally ended up buying a set of high clearance fiberglass front fenders for the truck (which I've always wanted for it), and also scored a KILLER deal on this set of 36" Super Swamper IROK's mounted on real beadlocks. I'm going to change out the trim rings on the rims soon, as well as the get the entire truck ready for bodywork, and then a fresh coat of paint. (Its going to be red...eventually..! ) Heres a few pics




Last edited by 51WillysJeep; 12-07-2014 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Heres a few more





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Old 04-26-2015, 06:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

Loving the rnr! Who makes those fenders?
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

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Originally Posted by Bananaclip View Post
Loving the rnr! Who makes those fenders?
Thanks ! I believe I got them from "Toyota-Fiberglass.com". They are from Canada, but I believe they have distributers here in the states now too.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Project 1984 4Runner Build

I know that Downey offroad used to sell them.
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