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1987 Toyota 4Runner - Rock 'Runner

Posted in Features on March 1, 2001 Comment (0)
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Jon Bundrant, the driving force behind All Pro Off Road in Hemet, California, builds and repairs 4x4s for a living, but for fun he spent years circle-track racing. That was until one of his rockcrawling customers convinced him to attend a Toyota Land Cruiser Association event being held in the Southern California desert.

Jon, Tracy, and their daughter Tori all piled into Tracy's 4Runner, headed to the event, and had a great time. They especially enjoyed the family aspect of four-wheeling. Everyone could not wait to go to the next event the following month. In the meantime, John convinced Tracy to let him install a lift kit and a set of 33-inch BFGs on her grocery-getter before the next outing.

Tracy knew that Jon had caught the bug when he opted to take the family to the High Desert Roundup instead of participating in a big dirt-track race. However, she was not too pleased with Jon when they came home from the event with a broken taillight and a scratch on a rocker panel. She realized that her family wagon was turning into a race car replacement. So while Jon was napping one day, she took his dualie to the Toyota dealer, traded it in for a new Camry, and passed the 4Runner on to Jon.

Jon decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to build the ultimate 4Runner and showcase the custom fab work and products that All Pro Off Road offers. For starters, John installed one of his straight-axle conversion kits with a Marlin Crawler FJ-80 reverse-rotation pumpkin, a Detroit Locker, and 4.88 gears. While he was raiding the shelves in his stock room, he opted to install one of his crossover steering kits with a Marlin Crawler heavy-duty tie rod. While he had the front apart, Jon hand-bent some steel tubing and fabbed some very custom shock mounts for a pair of Rancho RS 9000 shocks. He then wrapped up the front with a set of All Pro springs that provided 5 inches of lift.

Moving to the rear suspension, Jon installed a set of All Pro 56-inch springs and a set of All Pro shackles that measures 1-1/2 inches longer than stock for more articulation. To put a little damping on the rear, Jon went with a pair of Doetsch Tech shocks. Both axles were treated to an All Pro U-bolt flip kit for good measure. For rolling stock, John went with a set of 15x10 Eagle wheels with 3-1/2 inches of backspacing and a set of 36x12.5R15 Super Swamper radials for added traction and additional ground clearance. With the suspension complete, Jon's truck now ramps a cool 1,000.

With the Toyota coming along well, Jon gave his good friend Marlin a call and ordered an Ultimate Crawler transfer case setup, which consists of a transfer case with Marlin Crawler 4.7:1 gears and a second box with 2.28:1 gears. Altogether, it produces a crawl ratio of 206.5:1. That should be enough to crawl up a cliff.

In order to skirt the tough California smog laws, Jon decided to keep the engine stock, but he did install an Optima battery and a Premier Power welder to fix up broken Jeeps on the trail.

Ready to put the finishing touches on this impressive rig, Jon gave his hydraulic tubing bender, MIG welder, and fabricators Pete Bitto and Charles Arroyo a workout by building a custom rollcage with a quick-release roof rack. He also created a set of nerf bars that is not only a work of art but will protect the body from the woes that the Sledgehammer and the other hard-core trails in his area can deliver. The front winch bumper and the rear bumper were created in the halls of the All Pro facility as well.

Jon will never admit to completing his project - an enthusiast's mind is never at rest. And as good as it looks now, it performs even better. So keep an eye out and maybe you will get to see it do a little boulder ballet out on the trail.

SpecificationsVehicle: '87 Toyota 4Runner

Owner/hometown: Jon Bundrant/ Hemet, California

Engine: Toyota 22R-E

Transmission: Toyota Turbo R151FTransfer case: Marlin Crawler Turbo Ultimate

Frontend: Straight-axle conversion with an FJ-80 reverse-rotation pumpkin; a Detroit Locker

Rearend: Stock axle with Detroit Soft Locker

Ring-and-pinion: 4.88:1

Suspension: All Pro 5-inch lift with All Pro springs and shackles; Rancho RS 9000 shocks (front); Doetsch Tech shocks (rear)

Tires/wheels: 36x12.5R15 Super Swampers/15x10 Eagles

Added features: Hy-Steer crossover steering; Marlin Crawler heavy-duty tie rod; custom front shock mounts; All Pro U-bolt flip kit; Optima battery; Premier Power welder; custom All Pro rollcage, roof rack, and tubular bumpers; Warn winch

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