dtc81's Do-It-All 3rd Gen 4Runner Build

dtc81

Observer
After lurking here for quite a while, I think it's time I post up a condensed build thread of my 1999 4Runner SR5 manual. I have a build over on t4r.org as well. This is a bit picture heavy, but there's carnage, lots of fabrication, wheelin', campin', and a well-loved Toyota...so feel free to scroll around!

Current state:



History:
I started with a 98 Regular cab Tacoma that I had for a few years in college until Toyota bought it back under the frame recall. The day Toyota cut the check I went and bought this green 99 manual 4Runner. It already had a 3" OME lift and I quickly caught the mod bug. I used this truck as my DD and bike hauler. I still wish I had this truck, but pictures will tell the story better.



Along the way I tackled my first fabrication project; a rear bumper.




I also fabricated a bike rack to carry all my different bikes (modeled after a North Shore rack)



Then I wrecked it! Black ice coming back from an ex girlfriend's house caused me to roll it a bit, but the bumper and I survived!




I grabbed all the parts I wanted from it, then sold it. The engine and trans went into a SAS'ed, dual case, dual locked, 2nd Gen Runner on 37s.
A local guy built it, it's been a bunch of different colors since the cow-mo paint.


I'll fast forward a bit...I bought another 1999 manual 4Runner (current silver one) and swapped the lift, rear bumper, and wheels/tires over to it. During that time I did a bunch of preventative maintenance on it etc. The fun stuff begins:

Fabricated a new style bike carrier.



Built a window storage system for MOLLE bags. A spare tire carrier I built out of wood can be seen in the corner as well.



Fabricated a low profile roof rack and switch panel that fits under the radio. Couldn't resist adding a light bar either...






Next was a front bumper, and with the help of my friend Carl, we built one. (That's Carl)




As far as the build goes, that's pretty much where it sits now. The most recent shot shows the 285 duratracs which are current. It has a bunch of the typical interior mods like LED lights, CB radio, storage, floor mats, etc. Expo seems to be a good fit for my rig, because that's what I've built it for. It goes almost anywhere I want it to, gets me to work, and hauls bikes and buddies like none other!
 

dtc81

Observer
Here are some random photos.

Vermont


Mount Beacon with some friends




Plattekill Downhill Race


Playin' in the snow last winter


Solo camping set-up while on a biking trip in Pisgah National Forest, NC last May


My friend Mike's FJ absolutely gettin' it!
 

djtc

Adventurer
Nice truck! I had a 5spd 3 rd gen prior to my pickup it was great but a gas hog!how much can you travel on a tank?
 

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dtc81

Observer
Nice truck! I had a 5spd 3 rd gen prior to my pickup it was great but a gas hog!how much can you travel on a tank?
Thanks! In the summer I normally see about 240 miles per tank, and the winter about 220. I do let it warm up for a few minutes extra in the winter though, so that's a factor.
 

Thrash Unreal

New member
Roof rack

I've got to know more about that roof rack. I currently have a Defender rack, but it is still taller than I wanted, and yours is exactly what I envision. I was actually thinking about fabricating one with my buddy (he's a licensed welder).

Can you give me some more details and specs on that thing?

Your bumper is exactly what we are thinking of making as well. I am trying to keep the truck subtle and a "sleeper", if you will. I just got back from Uwharrie this weekend, and that was on stock tires (I do have full suspension and E-locker...), and I love seeing the look on the Rubicon guys faces when I crest the top of Daniel in my stock looking 4Runner.
 

dtc81

Observer
I've got to know more about that roof rack. I currently have a Defender rack, but it is still taller than I wanted, and yours is exactly what I envision. I was actually thinking about fabricating one with my buddy (he's a licensed welder).

Can you give me some more details and specs on that thing?
I say fire up your buddy's welder and make one! I built the rack out of some Uni-Strut channel that my friend gave me, expanded metal mesh, and some 3/4" square tube as the cross bars. I can't remember exact dimensions, but the rack is just wide enough for me to have welded some short "legs" down to small rectangular plates with a hole in it for mounting to the factory roof rails. I used regular square tube for the front of the rack behind the light bar to cut down on some wind noise. I put 45 degree cuts on the corners to soften the look a bit, and notched in the crossbars so I could keep the rack low and still give it some strength. The front mounts are actually just rubber bumpers that have a nut on them attached to the rack with some threaded rod. The rubber just rests on the roof.

The Uni-Strut has its plusses and minuses though. It's VERY handy when it comes to strapping loads down, and it looks cool too...BUT, it's an absolute pain in the neck to paint, and it does whistle at 30-50mph. I have since bought a tube bender, and would have made the rack out of tube rather than Uni-Strut, but it serves its purpose well, and was a cool project.
 
Great looking truck! I like the wooden spare carrier - I might build one as well as for occasional use.

Quick question: what did you use for the window storage system, and how did you attach it to the interior? Can you post some details and some pictures of this?
 

dtc81

Observer
Great looking truck! I like the wooden spare carrier - I might build one as well as for occasional use.

Quick question: what did you use for the window storage system, and how did you attach it to the interior? Can you post some details and some pictures of this?
Thanks! The wooden carrier works pretty well. I built it because it was quick and cheap. I just used a few turnbuckles to hold it in place, but I would recommend strapping the tire down because it rocks back and forth a little. I put some cloth in between the tire and wood sides as well so it didn't squeak.

Unfortunately I can't find the pictures I took of the window mount, but it's just steel grate that I cut out of a cab partition from a work truck. I welded a few flat tabs onto it so I could bolt it to the window pinch weld. I used 5 self tapping screws to fasten it. (It sounds hokey, but is very strong). Just make sure to measure the grate with the interior panel in place because it takes up quite a bit of space. I just trimmed the interior panel to clear the tabs afterwards. Hope that helps. I can snag some pictures if I get time this weekend.
 

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