Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rebuilding my 1985 Toyota 4 Runner PART 1

The day I bought her, May 2014
 Average 3:00 Minute Read


     Hey everyone since this has been a pretty big project to take on for myself with really no car mechanic experience prior, thought I would share a bit about my 4 runner rebuild. First off I bought her (sheila) for $2100 in Chula Vista, California. I had been looking for a solid few weeks for a car since I came home from a few month trip to Australia carless. I always liked the look of these older 4 runners and when I found out how reliable there are it was a no brainer. I also knew what I was getting into buying an older car, and that is exactly what I wanted, a project I could be proud, gain some knowledge, and have a hell of a time in!

     First things first I put some proper floor mats in :) got this idea I had seen in my buddy from Australia's van. I started with little things like the a rack I found on craigslist.org from a newer 4 runner, I just bolted and sealed mine onto the roof. I also bought some bumper ends to finish out the front bumper worked out great. After a few months I took a bit of a hiatus and did some more traveling but always thought about her and the vision I had to turn her into an expedition vehicle.

     When getting back home from a trip to Europe in the Spring of 2015 I was determined to get a lot more work done. So I bought an 11' x 17' carport tent and through it down in the front yard as my workshop, yes my parents are very understanding and supportive haha. The plan was to get the engine all tuned up and make sure it was solid first. I started with replacing all the necessities like spark plugs, spark plug cables, cap, rotor, fuel pump, air intake hose, battery, starter, belts, alternator, and anything in the engine compartment that looked a bit sketchy. During the work I did in the engine compartment I also replaced the fuel filter and moved the location of it which I recommend to any owner since its really located in a bitch of a spot! The fuel filter is just above the starter on the passenger side of the engine, when replacing it I moved it to the top of the wheel well with one bolt much easier to access now!

     After all of that I got finished in a few weeks I started looking at the front axle steering and suspension situation. I had a mate come by that knows a lot about all of this stuff, he promptly made a list of all the parts I would need to get her feeling good. I used amazon for a lot of my parts for this rebuild for a few reasons, they have literally everything on there I've looked for, fast shipping, great reviews which really help for parts like this on an older car. Also there return policy is great in case something doesn't fit which only happened few times to me fortunately. For the front end I replaced my tie end rods ( both sides), all shocks, brake pads, rebuilt my 4wd locking hubs with new grease and gaskets, and got my rotors turned.

     The shocks were next after I repainted the front end with undercoating, after a bit of research I ended up picking a Rancho setup. They aren't to expensive and have a good reputation and reviews. The front's are RS5115 and for the back I used the RS5143, the install is super easy. Took lil over an hour to install all 4 shocks, I also used hose clamps instead of the zip ties that come for the boots of he shock. I'd noticed since I bought the truck a rattling sound that kept getting worse and finally came to the conclusion it was the because the bottom of the muffler was rusting away. Found a shop nearby and it was about $150 for a new muffler, exhaust pipe, and a few new hangers, all good now! That portion of a few months about wrapped up the first part of  the rebuild that I finished in June 2015. The next blog post will pick back up in March 2016 a few months before departure of the epic trip.
Here are a few more photos of the project!

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