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1986 Toyota 4Runner - Black Beauty

Posted in Features on March 18, 2014
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At first glance Ian Arachy’s 4Runner looks like the typical Toyota trail rig. Dual transfer cases? Check. 63-inch Chevy springs in back? Of course. Dig a little deeper though and you realize that there is more to this rig than meets the eye. For starters, it uses a factory turbocharged four-cylinder that Ian upgraded with a TEC turbo kit for more power. And it doesn’t use a typical Toyota manual transmission, but the factory automatic. The vehicle started as a daily driver for Ian’s wife Natalie, but from the beginning he had plans for the 4Runner.

Beyond the dual transfer cases, instead of Toyota axles with Longfields and Six Shooter knuckles, Dana axles from BRC Motorsports were slung under the 4Runner. Toyota purists may gasp, but the axles are wider than factory Toyota offerings and have served Ian well—even when taxed with 40-inch tires.

While the rear suspension uses the common swap of 63-inch Chevy leaf springs for their combination of high articulation and low cost, the front suspension is decidedly more unconventional. Ian recently built a three-link to locate his Dana 44 and uses ORI struts to suspend the 4Runner. Why struts instead of coilovers? “Price is a factor,” Ian confessed, “but the packaging is a lot easier as well. And they work great on the trail.”

The result is a Toyota that has all of the flex and crawl ratio we have come to expect while retaining its own unique identity.

A bikini top intended for a Jeep provides shade for Ian’s to sons, Evan and Bryce. The factory hard top still fits back on in the winter. Rolling stock is 40-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs on Raceline beadlock wheels.

Tech Specs
1986 Toyota 4Runner
Engine: 22RTE 2.4L I-4
Transmission: A340F 4-speed automatic
Transfer case: Dual Toyota with JP Eater adapter and Advance Adapters Trail Tamer gears
Front Axle: Dana 44 with ARB Air Locker and 5.89 gears
Rear Axle: Dana 60 with Detroit locker and 5.89 gears

Springs & Such: Custom 3-link with ORI struts (front); 63-inch Chevy springs and Bilstein 5125 shocks (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x14.5R17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R on 17x8.5 forged Raceline beadlocks
Steering: Crossover with Parts Mike steering arms, GM tie-rod ends, hydraulic assist, and factory Toyota steering box
Other Stuff: Beefbuilt front bumper, Warn HS9500 winch, Masterpull winch line, Factor 55 ProLink, custom rock sliders and rear bumper, Shaffer’s Off Road tube doors, All-Pro rollcage, Bud’s driveshafts

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