4Runners Make Great Wheeling Rigs, but No One Puts Much Effort Into the Bodywork—Until Now

Hand-Me-Downs

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

Toyota 4Runners are fairly common on the trail, in particular the 1984-1989 first-generation body style. They feature reliable 22R or 22RE engines and sturdy axles, and are relatively inexpensive. As a result they tend to be built more or less the same way. Alex Migdalski’s 4Runner is the exception to the rule. Not only is this 4Runner fitted with such unconventional components as a Cummins QSB engine and FJ60 axles (unlike most of the dinged and dented 4Runners we see on the trail), but this one is beautiful too.

Take for instance the fact that those retro graphics aren’t vinyl—they were actually painted on by Bob Anderson and Jeremiah Proffitt. This is level of detail we are accustomed to seeing applied to Land Cruisers, not Toyota 4Runners or pickups. So it’s not surprising to learn that Alex works as a fabricator at Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers, where they turn out collector-quality FJ40s and FJ60s on a regular basis. Alex fabs for a living, there were plenty of spare parts lying around for him to use, and he has a full body shop at his disposal. Does this mean we might see pickups and 4Runners rolling out of Proffitt’s in the future? If so, sign us up!

Tech Specs

1988 Toyota 4Runner
>Drivetrain
Engine: Cummins QSB 4.5L turbodiesel
Transmission: TH400 3-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Land Cruiser split case
Front Axle: FJ60 with 4.88 gears and ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle: FJ80 with 4.88 gears and ARB Air Locker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: 14-inch-travel Bilstein 8125 coilovers and Bilstein air bumps (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.50R17 Pro Comp Xtreme MT2s on 17x9 Pro Comp black steel wheels
Steering: Hydraulic assist with Toyota steering box and Trail-Gear ram, 1.25x0.375-wall tie rod with rod ends
Lighting: Rigid Industries LED headlights
Other Stuff: Grille narrowed 14 inches and fenders lengthened to match, custom front bumper, custom rollcage, Winters shifter, Vortex liner, custom paint by Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers, Optima RedTop battery, custom fan shroud
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