1987 Toyota 4Runner DLX - purchased with 237,000 miles for $2,500
22RE 2.4L engine - previous owner rebuilt it at 203,000 miles because it needed a new head gasket "Why not?"
W56 5-speed transmission
4.10 geared differentials
I bought this vehicle from the 2nd owner and it was impressive how detailed the records were between them and the original owner. Everything was well detailed and whenever there was a strange sound or noticable problem, they didn't hesitate to take it in for repairs.
After a few cross-country test runs in bare bones stock mode with a simple sleeping platform, we had a few ideas for what we wanted to change. Our focus was on making it more efficient to setup camp, more reliable, and as comfortable as possible. Our plan was to try and sleep inside the vehicle as much as possible during our journey so we wanted to turn the 4Runner into a micro-RV. Many nights we figured we would want the ability to sleep inside incognito, when it's not possible to find a proper place to camp or if we're just trying to save money in larger cities. This vehicle is purpose-built, as we are driving it from the US thru Central and South America over the next year (or longer).
The 4Runner had 237,000 miles when I bought it. We headed south with about 260,000+ miles, but we planned to add another 30,000 over the course of this adventure. EDIT: as of March 2013, we now have over 282,000 miles when we left the vehicle in storage for six months in Uruguay. We'll be back in October to put another few thousand on the clock in Patagonia, before we ship the vehicle back to the states for some R&R.
Door pockets recycled from bucket storage
"The Anti-Sleeping Platform" rear storage solution (still enough space for "upgrades")
Interior bungee net to hang objects from roof
Homebuilt steel safe for security and to flatten the sleeping area
Locking ammo-can console and Tuffy cupholders
Library space for travel books
MV50 Air Compressor wedged under hood
5 gallon Scepter water can behind pass. seat for drinking water, cooler spigot added to bottom for easy pouring
5" thick twin sized gel-foam matress (37" wide)
Removable mosquito netting
Seats salvaged from an SR5 UPDATE: I've already worn thru my seat and I can feel every peice of metal I'm sitting on. I REALLY need to have them restuffed!
Butchered our perfect body panels to install Hockey Puck Locks
Locking fuel cap & tinted windows
Dual Odyssey PC1200s in extended battery tray UPDATE: 200A continuous duty solenoid fried in Costa Rica, replaced with Guest 2111A manual switch...still going!
Added multiple 12v charging stations, 300W inverter for charging laptop while driving, and lots of efficient LED lighting
Fantastic Fan installed in hardtop
DLX gauge cluster replace with full gauge cluster from SR5 for tach and tripometer
Viper Alarm installed by a stereo shop before departure UPDATE: rebuilt the Alternator in Guatemala after shoddy alarm installation caused an electrical short
Steering, Suspension, etc:
OME suspension with Zuk mod in rear
245/75r16 (E) Treadwright AT's on Tacoma steel wheels UPDATE: These tires have been wearing great! Not a single flat so far, though I did wish they performed a little better on slick surfaces (wet pavement, mud)
Replaced all brakes, rotors, and drums UPDATE: rebuilt the calipers in Ecuador after the pistons were starting to leak
Replaced steering: tie rods, idler arm, pitman arm UPDATE: replaced the idler arm in Guatemala after the road to Semuc Champey annihilated it!
Replaced ball joints UPDATE: replaced the same ball joint two more times on RH side (found out the OME t-bar was torqued down too tight, allowing excessive travel)
ARB 2500 awning purchased in Panama, broke during 1st week of using, thanks to freak Colombian HAILSTORM!
Ghetto craigslist bumper guard
Rear Swingout for mounting waffleboards, jerry cans, and additional cooking surface
Super special overland stress-relievers
Misc. Repairs on the road:
Replaced fuel pump in Panama