First Foray into 4Runners - My 1st Gen Build

My dad and I knocked out some solid work on my 4runner and cruiser this weekend. I’ve got the cruiser torn down enough that it will probably need another day of work before it will be road worthy again. The 4runner now just needs the fluid changed in the transmission, transfer case, and diffs. I am also going to be rebuilding the front end and putting in a new radiator, thermostat, and water pump. Driving into a 40mph headwind yesterday holding 4th gear around 70, the temp gauge started to climb to the half way point which shouldn’t have happened considering how much air flow was going through the radiator.

The 4runner got an oil change with synthetic 10w-30 and a Napa platinum filter
Brake fluid flushed
Clutch fluid flushed...the slave cylinder started spewing in the process.
New clutch master cylinder as I noticed it had been dripping onto the old carpet last weekend
New clutch slave cylinder
New AC drier
New AC compressor
New belts
New fuel pressure regulator
New o rings on all ac fittings except for fittings under the dash.
EGR block off plates on the back of the intake and one on the rear passenger side of the block. One line had to be removed to replace the FPR and the threads quite literally had rusted away.
511824

Nasty fluid all the way around.
511826

511827

AC system held a vacuum for several hours. After charging up, it blows cold to about 38-40 degrees. When I say blows, I mean drafts out of the vents. I’m gonna need to look into a better blower motor or something because it almost isn’t worth even having it blows so little.
511829

And a nice evening out on the trails. Unfortunately it’s about the end of mountain biking in Oklahoma with overgrown trails, ticks, and sand.
511828
 

battleaxe

Captain Obvious
It's fantastic honestly. I did it on one of my S13's, and it turned out great. I bought a kit online, and just took my time with it.

As for cleaning, just use a lint roller!
 
It's fantastic honestly. I did it on one of my S13's, and it turned out great. I bought a kit online, and just took my time with it.

As for cleaning, just use a lint roller!
Did you remove your dash pad material completely or just flock over everything? My concern is how lifted off the metal base my dash is and I really need to get rid of the cracked vinyl and foam underneath.
 

battleaxe

Captain Obvious
Did you remove your dash pad material completely or just flock over everything? My concern is how lifted off the metal base my dash is and I really need to get rid of the cracked vinyl and foam underneath.
I scuffed it all up pretty good, and filled a crack with kitty hair bondo, and then flocked right over it.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but you'd probably want to do some repairs to yours to make it all solid before doing the flocking.

Ultimately, if you found a better condition red or brown dash, you could always replace with that, and flock it.
 
Installed a new radiator, thermostat, and radiator hoses this weekend. Temp gauge is lower than its ever been and it’s been running great. I drove it about 450 miles this weekend, slept in the back, and raced mountain bikes in Ponca City. All while getting 16-17 mpg doing 75.

513122

513119

513117
“Quality that lasts” It is a large single core radiator, and it was only $50. The shroud has to be trimmed slightly on the bottom as the lower radiator hose wasn’t in the exact same place but that’s a minor issue.
513121

Before leaving, I added two closed cell foam camping mats underneath the carpet in the rear. They’re 40” wide and 2 made a perfect fit once I trimmed them to length. Definitely helps. I also removed one of the seat bottoms and had plenty of space. While I was at it, I replaced a ton of random crusty trim panel screws with stainless screws.
513118
 
Does anyone know where to source new sliding window seals for the bar that goes between them in the center? The ones that have been facing the sun are hard as a rock and I worry about them scratching the tint to the point where I probably shouldn’t tint them.

516108

516109

516110

516111

I’m currently right in the middle of redoing the original top. I’ve got all the windows out, butyl tape cleaned off, fiberglass fill primed, etc. I took all the hardtop windows in for a quote the other day as it would be easiest to have them done now that they’re out of the top and sliders. For starters, I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to do the rear fixed windows as they have this dotted pattern on them.

Second off, I started thinking I’d just have the sliding windows tinted to maybe 15% to kind of match the dot pattern. Or go darker and use lens tint on the dotted pattern windows (seems ghetto though).

I soaked all of the rubber seals and bars that go between the two sliding windows in a dawn dish soap and water mix. I read somewhere that it made rubber softer. Maybe it helped but they still feel a little stiffer than I expected.

Buffed all the glass while it was out too.

516112

516107
 

tennesseewj

Observer
Regarding the dried out window rubber, there are quite a few threads on ih8mud regarding rubber seals on Cruisers since so many of them are hard to source replacements for.

When I had my Cruiser I stumbled across a suggestion for this product:


I ended up using it on my Tundra. The driver side window was so dry and stiff that the window wouldn't roll down without sticking and chattering and sounding like the whole thing was going to fall apart. After one application of the Gummi Pflege, I haven't had another problem in 2 years. I was really surprised how effective it was.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
Regarding the dried out window rubber, there are quite a few threads on ih8mud regarding rubber seals on Cruisers since so many of them are hard to source replacements for.

When I had my Cruiser I stumbled across a suggestion for this product:


I ended up using it on my Tundra. The driver side window was so dry and stiff that the window wouldn't roll down without sticking and chattering and sounding like the whole thing was going to fall apart. After one application of the Gummi Pflege, I haven't had another problem in 2 years. I was really surprised how effective it was.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Ah I didn’t even think of Gummi Pflege on the rubber. I actually have some of that for the plastic end caps on my front bumper. I still need to figure out something for the felt runs that go between the sliding windows on the center bar. I probably will just forgo tint.

you get more done in a weekend than I do in a year.... :eek::)
Hahaha I’ve got 6 or 7 more days (and I’ve got a biking trip planned this weekend with friends) to finish the projects on my lists before moving for the summer so it’s crunch time. Seems like lately, one project spawns 2 or 3 more. Not to mention I’ve also got a day scheduled next week for a swing out install.

The top is about 75% ready for paint. Hopefully I’ll be spraying everything in the morning and reassembling on Friday. Most of it is smooth as glass whereas previously fiberglass splinters were poking out everywhere.

B pillar trim and badges are now off. My machines Bhicks badges should be in this week. I’ve got new clips on order from Napa as I had to break off the top two on each panel to get them out. Balkamp 655-2849 are supposedly the correct replacements $5 for 7.
516184

Pulled out our huge trailer that has my top on it to let the fill primer finish curing in the sun and it started leaking coolant from a hose under the intake manifold. Just another project...in addition to changing fluids in diffs, transfer, and transmission and redoing front wheel bearings and brakes.

516188

516185

I’ve also removed the couple of crusty spots on my sliding window L tracks and treated the traces of rust in the sliding window tracks with Ospho. I’ve also managed to clean off the butyl tape on everything but the solid rear window glass. That sucked.
 
Last edited:
Last Friday, I tore into the hubs and regreased the bearings. It was pretty wild seeing the original paint marks where everything had been originally lined up and finding clean gold grease inside. I also changed the fluids in the diffs.

517784

517791

Bhicks machined b pillar badges looking so fresh. I thought about doing bronze on the inside as the finish was a little light in spots, but ultimately decided not to waste precious time on it. Maybe sometime down the road.

517785

Once the 4runner was back together and a friend got off work, we hit the road with our sights set on NWA. We met up with a couple of other friends who had driven out earlier that morning. With two bikes on the back doing pretty much 70 the entire way, it did 17mpg which was really nice. The drive back was a little faster (and had 4 bikes) and more rushed and fuel mileage suffered to just over 15. Still not bad though. The soft top was awesome and I’m glad I got to take a trip with it before the summer heat sets in.

517790

I just finished putting the windows back in my hard top tonight. Glad this project is finally over. The repaint isn’t perfect but considering how there was raw fiberglass poking out and faded paint, it’s a drastic improvement. I’d say it’s probably a 7/10 overall with a few imperfections and places that could have used more work, but it is a great stepping stone to full gloss respray down the road to match the body.

517789

Clean window tracks slide so nicely after all my work on them. There were so many creepy crawlers that had made their home in the moist dirt clogging the tracks it was disgusting. I also reinstalled the interior trim after thouroughly cleaning it (not pictured in this picture)
517788
 
4runner is dialed in. Freshly cleaned interior and I also installed some new lights and bussman ATC fuse block. The P.O. never fused the stereo or anything in so this feels good to get done.

Pretty cool. If a fuse pops it illuminates an LED making it very easy to diagnose possible issues without even pulling the cover off of the block. I also mounted my relay for the lights right next to it.
518261


Aesthetically, I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the front end. I’ve been enjoying the output of the 7” round head lights, but the fit and finish has been bugging me. I’m not sure I want to devote a ton of time to building new headlight buckets since it will be difficult to build a surround that cleanly matches up with this old pick up grille and the OEM 4runner corner lights/trim. Kind of tempted to find an older 4runner grille with the 6 rectangles in it instead of my dodge looking one with 4 rectangles in it and go back to rectangular headlights. Maybe I’ll get around to building a bumper after my summer internship and then decide on a final set up. I’ve also seen some cool hilux or hilux surf front ends.

518262

518263
 
Top