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

4Rescue

Expedition Leader
...The meat in most of Latin-America rarely looked edible anyways, so we eat much healthier now...
Say WHAT!?!?!?!?! I'm sorry but that statement makes zero sense to me...

Nice build though, it looks a lot like our 1st Gen that we've taken to AK and across the country several times. I'm sadly (well I'm not "sad" about the new truck but...) going to be moving to a Turbo-diesel 2nd Gen but I sure am gonna miss my 1st Gen if I end up selling it. Lovely trucks aye. Slow, but amazing and built like few 4x4's on the planet.

Cheers

Dave
 

4Rescue

Expedition Leader
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. ...
Um.. NO, YT strikes again... The "biggest pitfall" is having an aluminum head on an iron block so watch your temps and NEVER let the thing get near the red on the temp gauge. Make sure your radiatior/cooling system is in tip-top shape and running an inline coolant filter is never a bad idea esp. since with a 22RE you're pushing the motor harder then with a bigger engine (although the 3.slow has the same problems) It's also an interference motor so when the aftermarket metal guides let go and sever the T-chain, you're looking at a complete top-end rebuild to get back on the road (bent valves = No bueno).

FYI, the metal guides can be as much of a problem as the "plastic" ones and really it's more an issue of the T-Chain cover getting a hole worn in it leading to failure then anything. mostly it's poor maintenance that leads to failure and the STOCK guides will get you over 100K if the engine's maintained properly. MORE then enough to go down and back several times and more reliable then the aftermarket guides... if/when they fail they cause a LOT more damage with the metal bouncing around in there. I've run through 3 22RE's in different trucks that get hammered off road and frankly... NO problems with the stock guides. Toyota built on of the most reliable motors and it wasn't on accident. I had my current engine rebuilt by Engnbldr's brother Ted (they;re both from Portland) and frankly he did a HORRID job... The Timing chain snapped after a week leaving me stranded and what was it that failed??? The metal guides from Engnbldr that then led to the chain being severed.

Another bit of advice... take everything on Yotatech with a grain of salt (or just ignore it all together). You REALLY have to pick and choose your information off that site (I'm a long time member there) and really I'd do my own research and not use it as any form of "hard fast fact". Roger Brown (4Crawler.org... or .com???) is a great resource for the 1st Gen trucks and MUCH more reliable then YT. Sorry, but I've been using Toyotas around the world for years (including living in Australia for a fair few years on a cattle station where we worked our trucks HARD) and I'm constantly amazed at the ridiculous "information" that could have been easily fact checked against the Factory service manual but get's taken for "gospel truth" on YT. marlin Crawlers boards are also a LOT better source of actual CORRECT info from guys who know Toyotas.
 
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lndhark

Adventurer
FYI, the metal guides can be as much of a problem as the "plastic" ones and really it's more an issue of the T-Chain cover getting a hole worn in it leading to failure then anything. mostly it's poor maintenance that leads to failure and the STOCK guides will get you over 100K if the engine's maintained properly. MORE then enough to go down and back several times and more reliable then the aftermarket guides... if/when they fail they cause a LOT more damage with the metal bouncing around in there. I've run through 3 22RE's in different trucks that get hammered off road and frankly... NO problems with the stock guides. Toyota built on of the most reliable motors and it wasn't on accident. I had my current engine rebuilt by Engnbldr's brother Ted (they;re both from Portland) and frankly he did a HORRID job... The Timing chain snapped after a week leaving me stranded and what was it that failed??? The metal guides from Engnbldr that then led to the chain being severed.
They key to chain longevity (and the guides) is the tensioner. The guides don't grenade on their own...it's the slap created by a weak tensioner that leads to the guides' death, and ultimately, a hole in the t-chain cover, water in the oil, and a world of poop. Keep the engine oil clean and oil pressure within specs (use the correct oil filter with an anti-drainback valve). IMHO, having worked on these things for years (before a 180-degree career change) as a Toyota/ASE Master Tech, the proliferation of cheap, sub-standard aftermarket parts has been the weak link (LOL...pun intended?) in the early demise of these awesome tractor engines. In the mid to late 80's and 90's, lots of 20/22R, RE-RE-T engines surpassed the 300k mile mark without drama even with factory suggested (gasp) 10k mile oil change intervals.
 

Ruined Adventures

Brenton Cooper
Say WHAT!?!?!?!?! I'm sorry but that statement makes zero sense to me...
Statement was in reference to "fresh" meats in most of Central America and parts of South America. We never got used to the open-air meat markets, where big slabs of meat had been hanging for god-knows-how-long, with a rank smell and flies all around it. Your mileage may vary.

Of course, Uruguay and Argentina will completely change how you look at meat. We definitely gained some weight from meat overload there.
:Wow1:

In regard to the timing chain, guides, tensioner, flux capacitor...I don't claim to be an expert, but that was supposedly the source of problems in Guatemala. To be honest though, it was during our wedding so I had to farm out the work and I wasn't present for any of it. There's always the chance that there could've been a translating error since my Spanish was still pretty basic then.

Oh yeah, did I mention we've wrapped up our journey?



...Yes. The Irish-man behind us pedaled there, and he actually started from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Go figure.​


We decided to hold on to the 4Runner and ship her home. By the time us and the rig left South America, we had stretched our journey into 711 days and over 31,000 miles! The container that we split with another well-known Toyota should be on US soil in the beginning of March. I can't wait to get our rig back and do a proper cleaning!

Just had to spend a few hours explaining to our new insurance agent, why our 4Runner isn't immediately available for her to take photos of the "modifications" made. Looked thru most of our photos and had a hard time trying to find photos that didn't show us abusing our Toyota and taking it places we shouldn't have. The underwriter outta have fun with this one! :sombrero:
 
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Ruined Adventures

Brenton Cooper
Wow our build thread is seriously dusty. A lot has changed in a few years. Maybe I'll post some updates one of these sleepless nights that our little ones keep us awake...:coffeedrink:

In quick summary, we moved to NC (Asheville area). Got sucked back into "the daily grind". Had two kiddos. The 4Runner is still my daily driver, so I had to gut the PanAm sleep/storage system and source rear seats, belts and a roll-bar to make it as safe as possible for rear passengers. SLOWLY rebuilding the 4Runner for easy adventures with 2 adults and 2 children.
 
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