1998 Toyota 4Runner TRD Crawler

    Launched in 1984, the Toyota 4Runner continues to have one of the biggest enthusiast followings to date. Originally offered with a removable hard top, solid front and rear axles, and two doors, the 4Runner was the one of the best off-road–ready platforms of its time. Despite the rugged SUVs early success, the much-desired solid front axle was discarded in favor of IFS for the ’86 model year. While the 4Runner remains a staple in the off-road world, enthusiasts have been looking to recreate the magic of the early platform for decades with the late-model offerings.

    Casey McGoun’s ’98 Toyota 4Runner is a perfect example of combining this off-road legacy platform with modern wares. We first ran across McGoun’s 4Runner at East Coast Gear Supply in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the then 20-something employee was working part time in the shipping department. Like many of us have done, the full-time college student had been picking away at his 4Runner between school and work.

    Over the years, McGoun had taken advantage of the 4Runner’s ever-growing aftermarket support and created a wheeler that could easily remain reliable for his commuting needs. Once his wheeling progressed to even harder terrain, McGoun made the smart decision of removing the independent front suspension in favor of a more durable solid front axle. While there are a few conversion kits offered in the aftermarket, McGoun (along with the help of some friends) decided to build a custom kit.

    Using coilover shocks, along with a radius control-arm link suspension, McGoun was able to create a rig that could handle all of his needs. We got a chance to catch up with him and his 4Runner at the Flats Off-Road Park in Marion, North Carolina. McGoun was even nice enough to tote us around while our rig was disabled. Experiencing how well the rig performs both on- and off-road got us itching to build something similar! We’re definitely fans and glad to see another example of the 4Runner torch being carried in such a solid way.

    At A Glance

    Vehicle: ’98 Toyota 4Runner
    Owner: Casey McGoun
    Stomping grounds: Raleigh, North Carolina
    Build Time: 2 Years

    Engine: 3.4L, V-6, TRD Supercharger
    Transmission: A340F automatic
    Transfer case(s): Stock
    Low range ratio(s): 2.56:1
    Crawl ratio(s): 34.98:1
    Front axle/differential: Dana 44/Yukon hubs, chromoly axleshafts, ARB Air Locker, 4.88 gears
    Rear axle/differential: Toyota 8-in/TRD E-Locker, 4.88 gears

    Front: Custom 2-in, 0.250-wall radius arms, Ballistic Fab joints, 2 1/2-in, 12-in-travel Sway-A-Way coilovers, PAC 200/300 springs
    Rear: Custom control arms, Old Man Emu 850J springs, Old Man Emu 12-in-travel shocks
    Steering: Trail-Gear tapped Toyota gearbox, Reid Racing knuckles, Crane high-steer arm, 2x6-in hydro-assist ram

    Tires: 16x8 SCS F5 Alloy
    Wheels: 315/75R16 Goodyear MT/R

    Miscellaneous Armor: Addicted Offroad front bumper, CBI rear bumper/tire carrier, Stubbs Welding HD-SKO sliders, modified First-Gen 4Runner interior rollbar
    Cool Stuff: Satoshi grille, ARB 50qt. Fridge/Freeze, Smittybilt winch, Oliver’s Custom Drive Shafts