"The Border Runner" build thread: '87 4runner built for epic PanAm journey

Toyotero

Explorer
Those chrome Toyota rims are pretty classic, I'd never seen a set like that before that image.

Yeah, the 3rd gen 5 spokes look good no no matter the truck. That white 1st gen 4R looks great with them. Maybe I should just get two sets, one for the Tacoma and one for the 4Runner :-D ha ha ha!
 

ab1985

Explorer
Great to see your updates. I'm in head scratching mode right now and will be scouring this thread and others for ideas. :D

Do you remember where you got your mattress?
 

toyobaru

toyobaru
Nice work! One of the more minimalist yet functional builds I've seen. After backpacking for a few months in the Andes, I agree there is really no need for a fridge, and it's always perplexed me that they are viewed as "essentials" for overlanding.
 

tanglefoot

ExPoseur
I'm on a set of those SR5 wheels like in the picture but I don't have the center caps. I really like the wheels. They have a good coat of chrome on them so they polish up nicely with balled-up aluminum foil and water. They were also available in white, which look great. I've considered painting mine white but the chrome is so much more durable than paint. That wheel came on SR5 '84 and '85 4runners, FJ-60s, FJ-62s and SR5 4wd pickups from '82-'85. The wheels have less backspacing than IFS wheels, so on an IFS truck, they may widen your track a bit. They're also only 6" wide, so the overall track may remain the same if you go from 15x7 IFS wheels.
 

Ruined Adventures

Brenton Cooper
Great to see your updates. I'm in head scratching mode right now and will be scouring this thread and others for ideas. :D

Do you remember where you got your mattress?
We actually used our 2.5" memory foam mattress topper that has been on top of our mattress for years. That wasn't quite enough, so we bought a gel-foam 2.5" mattress topper from Target. We cut them both so they were the exact width we needed (around 37" wide), then we slipped them both in a zippered mattress protector together, giving us a 5" mattress. The end product is ridiculously comfy, although since I prefer sleeping on my stomach it's a bit too soft but I manage. It's a little awkward to move to/from the vehicle, but luckily that rarely happens :sombrero:
Nice work! One of the more minimalist yet functional builds I've seen. After backpacking for a few months in the Andes, I agree there is really no need for a fridge, and it's always perplexed me that they are viewed as "essentials" for overlanding.
Thanks Toyobaru, even in Central America we didn't feel the fridge was necessary...there's always a corner store with cold beer within 5 minutes walking! Of course most the folks who claim a fridge is necessary usually sleep in a RTT or they have much more room than us.

Everyones preferences are different and what I might say is essential, another person will say is completely stupid and unnecessary. You gotta decide what works for you, whether it's "overland-popular" or not. Unfortunately that takes a lot of time in the field gear testing...I know, I know, NOBODY enjoys getting out there in the field but I suppose it has to be done. :coffeedrink: Have fun out there.
 

austintaco

Explorer
I didn't realize that there would be so much wheel discussion going on here. I have a partial set of those chrome wheels, but I thought I read that the Cruiser and the mini truck wheels had different back spacing. They look the same, but be careful if you are buying from different sets. I have an 85 parts truck that has 2 chrome ones, and my 84 has a chrome one as the spare.
As far as 3rd gen 4runner/1st gen Tacoma wheels, my favorite is the Limited 4runner wheels:

I have a set on my Tacoma painted black, and I have another set that I would like to use on my 84. I already have spacers, but I just need to decide if I want to go with a narrower rim when the 35's wear out.
I finally got the winch installed for the Moab trip. It's an Engo 9K with synthetic rope.
 

Attachments

ssapach

Adventurer
Thanks Toyobaru, even in Central America we didn't feel the fridge was necessary...there's always a corner store with cold beer within 5 minutes walking! Of course most the folks who claim a fridge is necessary usually sleep in a RTT or they have much more room than us.
I love to hear the opinions of those who have actually travelled the distance, such as you have done! I would agree with you on the fridge, but of course I'm the kind of person who doesn't even drink cold liquor.....and so a fridge would be a bit of a burden for myself more than a saviour.
 

Nitinat

Adventurer
Thanks for sharing valuable information, found your blog today and now this tread. Truly great info - will start to read you blog entries soon!

We are planing to go on similar trip some time next year (yeah I know it's kind a far away, but $$$ needs to be saved...) and I am currently trying to find a best vehicle for us... Can you please shed the light what would be the maximum height of person that can sleep in 4Runner like yours?

Cheers!

P.S. Why Ruined Adventures?! :)
 

Ruined Adventures

Brenton Cooper
Thanks for sharing valuable information, found your blog today and now this tread. Truly great info - will start to read you blog entries soon!

We are planing to go on similar trip some time next year (yeah I know it's kind a far away, but $$$ needs to be saved...) and I am currently trying to find a best vehicle for us... Can you please shed the light what would be the maximum height of person that can sleep in 4Runner like yours?

Cheers!

P.S. Why Ruined Adventures?! :)
Great to hear. Unfortunately our blog has become quite stale after Central America...to be honest, updating blog posts from the road became such a waste of our time that we quit doing it. We'd much rather enjoy our location, then spend two days in front of a computer writing and loading blog posts!

Response to "Why Ruined Adventures?"

To answer your other question, I'm 6'0" tall so with the driver's seat left the way it is, it's too uncomfortable for me to sleep because I can't extend my legs all the way out...maybe if I were 5'9" or shorter. Shannon sleeps on that side since she's 4'10" and I sleep behind the passenger seat. When we're in the back, we always have the passenger seat against the dash so we can easily enter and exit the vehicle. I suppose if I were another 8" taller, I could still comfortably sleep there although I'd have to rig up a padded foldout sleeping extension so that my feet wouldn't hang off the edge of our sleeping area (we sleep with our heads towards the tailgate). If our table is inside the vehicle, it takes up another two inches because it serves as a headboard.

Thanks for posting the thread RA! I'm constantly using it as a reference during the planning/build process!
Great to know! Let us know if you ever need someone to throw ideas around with...I've put a lot of thought into our setup, and it's an ongoing process for me. There's a few things I could have done differently for more storage or more comfort. Looking forward to seeing how your build goes.
 

hikinout

New member
Hey RuinedAdventures,

Just got myself and 86' 4Runner for an upcoming trip south of the border. I'm not nearly has adept as you are at making mods, but will definitely be going to school off your build out! Thanks so much for sharing all and keeping such good records.

Looking forward to sharing the progress.

Here she is.

1010253_10101360863859738_37927984_n.jpg
 

austintaco

Explorer
I might have that bumper piece too. I have bin full of 4runner stuff that I have stashed through the years, and I used to have a set of those. I'll check.

Welcome back to the States!
I dug up a bumper corner. I'm just not sure which side it goes on. It's yours if you want it.
 

Ruined Adventures

Brenton Cooper
Hey RuinedAdventures,

Just got myself and 86' 4Runner for an upcoming trip south of the border. I'm not nearly has adept as you are at making mods, but will definitely be going to school off your build out! Thanks so much for sharing all and keeping such good records.
Congrats! She's a beaut. That rig should be ready to go right out of the box, just top off the tank and go! Which engine/trans does it have?

If it has the 22RE, I highly recommend doing the timing chain and replacing the plastic chain guides with metal ones, since that's this engine's big pitfall. Do a search here, on Yotatech, or Ih8MUD and you'll find plenty of advice for the task. If it's the 3VZE, read this informative thread to get the down low about everything you should know about that drivetrain. Also check out Roger Brown's site, 4Crawler Offroad for great cheap tricks and budget upgrades you can do. No matter what, if you take good care of that rig it'll take care of you.

How far south are you planning on going? Let us know if you need any info specific to Latin America. Also, there's some great builds of 1st gen 4Runners by Home on the Highway (goes by "defrag" on Expo Portal) and Tranquilo Adventures.

I wouldn't call myself "adept" at making mods, but where there's a will there's a way! Just ask plenty of questions here on Expo or the other sites and you'll be alright. Maybe start a build-thread so you can start getting feedback...let us know when you do, and we'll subscribe for sure.
 
Last edited:
Top