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The $4K 4Runner: Part 1

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on May 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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Toyotas have a reputation for being tough and reliable, and they command a premium price as a result. Our newest project, the $4K 4Runner, is the exception. Its torsion-bar front suspension and bloated body make it less than ideal for trail use. But this Toyota only cost us $1,000 since it came with a blown head gasket when we bought it. This is a common problem on these 3VE 3.0L engines, which has earned them the nickname 3.slow. A few clicks on RockAuto.com and we had the parts we needed to replace the head gaskets and were back on the road for another $800. Not a bad initial investment for a clean wheeling rig, but we still aren’t going to try and make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Once we got the 4Runner running the first order of business was to gain a little chassis clearance without breaking the bank.

Why call it the $4K 4Runner? The goal is to make this Toyota more capable on the trail without sacrificing road manners, and to do it with a budget of $4,000 for aftermarket modifications. That means we don’t have the cash for a solid axle swap right now, and we don’t want to invest a bunch of money into IFS lift either, knowing that it will likely get cut off in the future. So we used a variety of products that moderately boost the 4Runner to make enough room for 33-inch tires without breaking the bank.

View Slideshow

Part Price
4Crawler 1-Inch Body Lift: 78
4Crawler Ball Joint Spacers: 99
Daystar Low Profile Bump Stops (3 pair): 27
Daystar Rear Coil Spacer: 85
Rancho RS90000XL Shocks: 445
BFGoodrich 33x10.5R15 Tires (5): 745
Samco Fabrication Tire Mounting and Balancing: 50
Sunshine Service Alignment: 99
Total: 1628

Don’t be the guy driving around with big ol’ mudders and a dinky donut for a spare. Even with our tight budget we sprung for a fullsize, matching spare tire, and it fits in the stock location under the body.

Measuring Up

Approach Angle (°) Departure Angle (°) Ground Clearance (at rear diff, in)
Before 42 27 9.25
After 52 35 10.50

Sources

Daystar
Phoenix, AZ 85043
800-595-7659
www.daystarweb.com
BFGoodrich
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com
RockAuto
Madison, WI
866-762-5288
RockAuto.com
Samco Fabrication
775-856-4101
http://www.samcofabrication.com
4Crawler Off Road
www.4crawler.com
Rancho Suspension Products
Monroe, MI 48161
800-574-6257
www.gorancho.com
Sunshine Service
775-358-5486
http://www.sunshineservicealignment.com

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