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AxleIke
05-29-2013, 07:50 PM
Been a long time now since I had the motivation to work on the truck, so I thought I'd post up a little progress.

I bought Crash's tires and wheels from him (great deal), but the wheels weren't doing it for me. So, I swapped back to my factory alloys, which required a little more effort, but fit the truck better, IMO.

They are a 285 75, which is really all the tire I want to run on this truck, for now at least. Any bigger requires more work than I want to do, or can afford at the moment.

I like the ride of these over my MTR's and the AT suits my needs better. This is a DD, and goes wheeling on the weekends.

AT's never really held me back on my old truck, so I doubt I'll have any issue with these.

In addition, I did some side work and got a new ARB bull bar in payment, which I picked up from slee a week and a half ago. Easy install, and less fab work for me.

Here is how the truck is sitting now with the Toytech lift, and 33's.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0408.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0409.jpg

AxleIke
05-29-2013, 07:59 PM
Then, two weekends ago, I regeared the truck to 4.3 from the 4.1 that was in there. I found a good elocked third for the rear, so I have a 4.1 elocked rear third for sale. This is about perfect. It can cruise from Denver to Bailey up 285 in 5th the whole way, and I can drop to 4th when I need to accelerate quickly.

So, last weekend, I started on the rear bumper. I removed the factory hitch, and cut the receiver out with the plasma, to save time. I fabbed a new hitch portion, which will serve as the skeleton for the rear bumper.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0399.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0400.jpg

Still working on the speed and stickout length. Getting too erratic here, but practice makes perfect.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0401.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0402.jpg

Here is the finished product

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0403.jpg

I had some other pics but they didn't come out. I cut the frame off just behind the rear body mounts, and re did it in 1/4" plate, extending back along the inner part of the frame. Here is a shot of the back end, but nothing was done in this pic

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0397.jpg

More to come.

baja1d
05-29-2013, 08:24 PM
Looking good

Rezarf
05-29-2013, 09:21 PM
Awesome Isaac, glad to see you building a little again.

What are your plans for your rear bumper/tire carrier?

AxleIke
05-29-2013, 11:07 PM
Looking good

Thanks man

Awesome Isaac, glad to see you building a little again.

What are your plans for your rear bumper/tire carrier?

Its a tire carrier. It will have some provisions for a propane cylinder, my CO2 tank, and gas cans, but all will be bolt on, and built later.

I didn't get pics, as the camera died, but the top and front plates are on, and the spindle is in. Its a nice unit: Poly Performance spindle with dual roller bearings. The new 211 did a nice job burning it in even though it is a solid 1 3/4 thick machined piece. I'll get some more pictures soon.

I still need to plate the forward section, and build the mounts for the front of the side wings to attach, and then fab up the wings.

Uncle Ben
05-30-2013, 06:52 AM
Its a tire carrier. It will have some provisions for a propane cylinder, my CO2 tank, and gas cans, but all will be bolt on, and built later.

I didn't get pics, as the camera died, but the top and front plates are on, and the spindle is in. Its a nice unit: Poly Performance spindle with dual roller bearings. The new 211 did a nice job burning it in even though it is a solid 1 3/4 thick machined piece. I'll get some more pictures soon.

I still need to plate the forward section, and build the mounts for the front of the side wings to attach, and then fab up the wings.

Oh you made that? I thought it was a Smittybuilt. :p:

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 09:58 AM
Hey now, smittybuilt is high quality stuff. Probably better made than this will be! :D

I would have just had you come build it, but I knew you wouldn't be seen near a mini :p:

Of course, had I known what I know now, I would have kept the cash and I'd be going to rubicon, rather than having a bumper and some steel. Thought I could pull them both off, so I have to take some consolation that I might actually get THIS truck out to wheel this summer.

Its been helping to lift my spirits a bit.

Jacket
05-30-2013, 10:25 AM
Lookin' good. What about sliders?

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 11:28 AM
They are on the list. Got lots to do.

baja1d
05-30-2013, 01:32 PM
You're welcome to come over & use the bender anytime. Die sets in 1", 1.5", & 1.75".

AxleIke
05-30-2013, 05:22 PM
Thanks, but got the skinny on one already. I appreciate the offer!

rover67
05-31-2013, 10:07 PM
looking good man!! I have steel for sliders if you need it. Too much in the pile so it'd be nice to use it. Lemme Know. tube, square stock, and flat.

AxleIke
06-01-2013, 09:51 PM
Thanks man, I may have to give a holler about that steel!

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 02:49 PM
Got another day and a few hours to work this weekend (the Mustang is waiting on parts).

Here is a crappy shot of the frame mounts. Not sure why I couldn't get it to focus?

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0430.jpg

This is where I started (essentially where I got last time). Plus you can see a few shots of my old mans Taco with the 4WC :D

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0425.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0426.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0427.jpg

I finished up late last night, so I didn't get final pictures, but you can see most of the progress here. Since these pics, I have plated the bottom, and changed the area around the hitch a bit, as well as smoothed some welds out (got a new belt sander, but its still very slow going).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0428.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0429.jpg

I have to give credit to Scotty at Addicted for the inspiration for the side pieces. They are getting plated over, but the plate and tube design he came up with is strong, and one of the easiest ways to do the curved section of the bumper. Its always important to cite references for material that isn't your own :D

J Kimmel
06-09-2013, 03:12 PM
Looks good, when are you going to take it off some sweet jumps?

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 03:30 PM
As soon as I get some pegs and shocks

Rezarf
06-09-2013, 08:33 PM
Looking GOOD Isaac. Tell your Pops I am first in line if he lets the Taco/4WC go. ;) There could be a nice FJ40 trade. ;)

AxleIke
06-09-2013, 10:06 PM
LOL. He's got it pretty tricked out.

I did up his taco for him: OME front and rear with load packs for the camper, SC, ARB bull bar with an M8000 up front, I built the rear bumper. It came locked rear, and he is getting an ARB put in the front, and considering a doubler for it, to keep things slower for the rougher roads with the camper.

Plus, he went whole hog on the 4wc. Solar panels on the roof to charge the batteries, dual batt, (so he has 3 now), fridge runs on batteries or propane, propane heat and stove, winter package (extra insulation that attaches in when you want it for the pop up walls, hot water set up with a shower attachment for the outside, plus yakima bars for a canoe.

We hunted in it last year, and it was NICE, but cramped. The heated cabin was awesome, and nothing beats a warm place to cook, wash dishes, and eat.

Hes pretty tickled with it, which is to say, I think the FJ40 would need some friends to sweeten the deal (lots of friends, Named benjamin perhaps) :D.

Actually, you might want this when the kids are grown, but it is NOT a family friendly set up. 2 people is CROWDED. It works, but its really set up for 2, and no more. At least not the models that fit in a Taco. If you got a 1 ton dodge with the Mega cab, you could probably fit the family in the truck and in the camper. In an extra cab taco, 2 people is about it.

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 10:55 AM
Making more progress. Took time to go out camping on Fathers day and had some Mustang work to do, but I've moved down to a shop in C City so I'm able to work after work some nights, and on weekends too.

Here is last week and Sunday's progress.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0440.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0441.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0442.jpg

It sticks out a hair farther on the sides than I'd like, but its not horrible. Nice and even side to side, so that works for me. I'll just have to add a cap to the top of the wings.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0443.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0444.jpg

Sorta can kind of see how the bottom is capped.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0445.jpg

Still a lot of finish work to do. I'm honestly considering fiberglass on the outside of the wings. It takes a TON of wire and gas to fill the gaps and sides in so everything is smooth and pretty. Not sure its worth it. That would eliminate powder coating, so I'm not totally sold, so we'll see.

Jacket
06-24-2013, 12:34 PM
It's finishing up nicely! It's hard to see the issues you are dealing with from the pictures - maybe a break will do you some good to assess the finishing touches you need?

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 12:51 PM
Yeah, it is hard to see, but essentially, on the side wings, all the area that has been ground is uneven, with little pin holds, weld irregularities, etc...Doesn't look like much raw, but as soon as it gets paint, it will stick out really obviously.

My issue with it is, it takes hours of weld, smooth, weld, smooth, and in this case, requires multiple passes to be make on each one of those wings, which is a lot of wire and gas for cosmetic finishing.

AxleIke
06-24-2013, 10:28 PM
Got a couple more hours in this evening and some tubing bent. Starting to mock in the tire carrier. Needs to be braced up, but this is where it will end up I think.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0447.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0446.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0448.jpg

Rezarf
06-24-2013, 10:29 PM
Looking really nice Isaac, where is your garage at? Looks like a nice work space.

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 07:58 AM
Its down in commerce city. Its not mine, just a place I am able to use after hours and weekends through a friend.

Uncle Ben
06-25-2013, 10:25 AM
Its down in commerce city. Its not mine, just a place I am able to use after hours and weekends through a friend.

You have a friend? When did this happen? Congratulations! ;)

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 11:42 AM
I use the term loosely.

Uncle Ben
06-25-2013, 12:30 PM
I use the term loosely.

:lmao::beer2:

BournID
06-25-2013, 01:47 PM
It's looking good.... Only way it would look better is if it were on my 99'!!! Especially after Spring Creek left a big dent in my driver side wing two weeks ago.

AxleIke
06-25-2013, 02:35 PM
LOL! Thanks! I had big dents in my stock wings too, and they were annoying. Shouldn't have that problem now!

nakman
06-26-2013, 12:06 PM
Man you're good... :bowdown:

but do you ever pull trailers or haul stuff in the receiver? I'd consider shortening the swing-out if so, fwiw.

AxleIke
06-26-2013, 01:02 PM
Huh, I hadn't thought of that.

Good call there. I'll have to think on that a bit here, but I'm thinking that will have to happen. This is definitely designed to handle towing.

Rezarf
06-26-2013, 01:16 PM
Nakman is right, you'll bump the trailer when you swing it out. However, if you remember to park at an angle (turning towards the hinge of the swing out) you can open your swing out 90* no problem. I have ambulance doors... so I can usually pop one open without parking at an angle. YMMV

AxleIke
06-26-2013, 02:37 PM
Hmmm, That could work. I'll have to see how I want to go. I'm thinking cutting it down still might be nice, as it would involve less of a "step aside" as I get into it.

AxleIke
08-06-2013, 12:16 PM
Been plugging away at it slowly, but a lot of other crap kept getting in the way, so I haven't had as much time to work on it as I'd have liked.

Most of the time I've been spending doing finish weld/grind/weld/grind to smooth out the surfaces, as well as a lot of little fixes here and there.

Here is where I'm at right now. I'm getting a different latch as the 90 deg one is just too hard to use efficiently.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0470.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0475.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0473.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0471.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0474.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0476.jpg

Still have a few braces to put in, and I need to do finish sanding which will take a long time.

Rezarf
08-08-2013, 08:46 AM
That looks great Isaac! Wow, I'm impressed.

Uncle Ben
08-08-2013, 10:45 AM
Not certain that I like the patina finish....should be black or charcoal! :p::lmao:

wesintl
08-08-2013, 10:48 AM
i'm not going to say what that looks like WO a tire on it.. lol

pretty soon baby beast will be regular beast #2

AxleIke
08-08-2013, 05:26 PM
Well Wes, I have to compensate somehow. So, I drive a lifted truck, but then I saw some huge fords, so I needed something that was a little more direct. :D

Kev, I figure I might as well go rat rod. Not really, it'll go black once its done.

Thanks Drew!!

AxleIke
08-13-2013, 05:45 PM
Some more progress as I move along. It is almost finished now

The hitch in the carrier is for a bike rack, or other hitch mounted rack that would be a pain to deal with if it was in the bumper hitch. Most of the time it will have a cap in it. I will build a rack that bolts into it for jerry cans as well, so that I can carry gas.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0478.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0481.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0479.jpg

I braced the tire mount and the main hoop some more. The tire mount now has tube welded behind the plate as well, so that the entire structure is fully welded to the main hoop.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0480.jpg

Lastly, I upgraded my latch to a 2k lb one from McMaster Carr, as well as I got the option for a secondary latch to keep the handle from rattling open on washboard roads.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0482.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0483.jpg

Rezarf
08-13-2013, 09:03 PM
Dig it, dig it, dig it... Looking good.

AxleIke
08-19-2013, 11:13 AM
I finally got it done enough for now. I have a couple things to add down the road, but this is where it is at, and I need a break for a while. I painted it, but i think I'll add in a few things in a week or two and then get it powdercoated. The paint has already chipped in a few spots :mad:

On saturday I removed my old man emu rear springs, and installed a set of FJ80 fronts to regain the height loss in the rear from the weight of everything. It sits about perfect right now, just a very slight forward rake, which will sit level with a full load of camping or hunting gear, and not butt sag (I hope).

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0495.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0496.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0497.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0498.jpg

MountainGoat
08-19-2013, 11:40 AM
Looking great Isaac. Which 80 Series springs (color code or # of wraps) did you use? And I take it you have OME shocks back there?

I am looking at 7 1/2 wrap 80 series front springs with OEM Toyota 80 series rear shocks for the rear of my 3rd gen when I get around to it. :hill:

wesintl
08-19-2013, 11:48 AM
looks good. Nice truck

AxleIke
08-19-2013, 02:43 PM
Looking great Isaac. Which 80 Series springs (color code or # of wraps) did you use? And I take it you have OME shocks back there?

I am looking at 7 1/2 wrap 80 series front springs with OEM Toyota 80 series rear shocks for the rear of my 3rd gen when I get around to it. :hill:

Huh, not too sure, I didn't look. I did see some paint on them, so I'll see if I can check on that. One was longer than the other, which was perfect, because I stuck it on the driver side which has the fuel tank, me, and the hinge and everything is on that side, so the truck sits nice and level.

looks good. Nice truck

Thanks Wes!

MountainGoat
08-19-2013, 04:39 PM
Huh, not too sure, I didn't look. I did see some paint on them, so I'll see if I can check on that. One was longer than the other, which was perfect, because I stuck it on the driver side which has the fuel tank, me, and the hinge and everything is on that side, so the truck sits nice and level.

I ask because apparently there is a wide swing in how much lift you get depending on which spring you use:

"The FJ80 Landcruiser Spring (http://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-gen-t4rs/66976-3rd-gen-4runner-lift-information-faqs.html)
a cheap effective way to achieve a good amount of lift and flex is to install FRONT springs from a FJ80 (1991-1997) Landcruiser in the REAR of the 3rd gen.

7 wrap is about 3-3.5" of lift
8 is about 4"
9 is about 5"

Height of spring/color code/wraps

21" Blue Pink White 9.25 wraps
21" Grey Orange White 9.25 wraps
20.25" Blue Yellow White 8.75 wraps-one of these is a confirmed LX450
19.5" Green Yellow White 8.25 wraps-one of these is a confirmed LX450
19.5" Purple Green White 8 wraps
19.25" Double Purple Dark Blue White 8 wraps
19" Double Pink Light Blue White 7.5 wraps
18.5" Double Pink Grey White 7.5 wraps
18 7/8" Orange Orange White 7.75 wraps

you can also use the OME 851, which is a lift spring for the FJ80. that usually gives about 6 inches of lift.

Pros: Cheap, lots of lift, flexes really well.
Cons: Will sag under load. ... "

The springs I took off my 80 are 18.5" Double Pink Grey White 7.5 wraps which will supposedly give me about 3" of lift (unloaded of course).

Also, good call on putting the longer one on the driver's side. That is the correct orientation. :)

AxleIke
09-04-2013, 02:50 PM
I added a safety pin just in case the latch fails. This also helps with movement on washboard roads, as the carrier slides back a bit, making releasing the latch difficult.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0514.jpg

And, I finally got around to getting an extender for the bike rack and starting fitting all of that up to the carrier. Here are a couple shots of it closed and open.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0512-1.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0515.jpg

Rezarf
09-04-2013, 06:07 PM
Looks great Isaac, nice job.

Corbet
09-04-2013, 08:12 PM
I like the carrier. The receiver tube in the swing arm was something I was planning for my version 2.0 and the jerry can attachment is brilliant :thumb: I too need bikes to swing out of the way as well.

AxleIke
09-05-2013, 10:44 AM
Thanks guys!

I'll keep things updated as I go with the Jerry Can build.

I picked up a pin hold out from TMR customs, but I'm still unsure how well that is going to work. I may also go with a gas strut, but I may not have room.

Corbet
09-05-2013, 11:52 AM
I must have missed where you plan to use the gas strut but I assume on the swing arm similar to the 4x4Labs design? One thing that I have noticed with mine is that the struts under the swing arms are a PITA in the winter. You have to be careful of ice buildup on the bumper as to not destroy the struts. I have to always close mine during storms or be sure to clean the bumper off good right away in the morning. Then wash it more often in the winter to melt off ice. Long road trips can pose issues occasionally too during storms.

Jacket
09-06-2013, 10:20 AM
Nice work Isaac. That tire looks huge on the back of the Runner.

I had/have the same issue with my carrier walking on the back of the bumper and locking up the latch. I have a pin on mine but there is still enough room to allow for movement of the carrier. I've tried different adjustments from super tight (locks up) to super loose (why bother...) to try and compensate, but I've never dialed it in perfectly. For now my latch is moderately loose and I have to give the tire a shove toward the truck each time I want to open the carrier. It's a nuisance for sure.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 10:35 AM
I must have missed where you plan to use the gas strut but I assume on the swing arm similar to the 4x4Labs design? One thing that I have noticed with mine is that the struts under the swing arms are a PITA in the winter. You have to be careful of ice buildup on the bumper as to not destroy the struts. I have to always close mine during storms or be sure to clean the bumper off good right away in the morning. Then wash it more often in the winter to melt off ice. Long road trips can pose issues occasionally too during storms.

Yeah, it would be to hold the sing arm open, but with that review, I think I'll pass. I hadn't thought about ice build up having issues, but that makes total sense.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 10:36 AM
Nice work Isaac. That tire looks huge on the back of the Runner.

I had/have the same issue with my carrier walking on the back of the bumper and locking up the latch. I have a pin on mine but there is still enough room to allow for movement of the carrier. I've tried different adjustments from super tight (locks up) to super loose (why bother...) to try and compensate, but I've never dialed it in perfectly. For now my latch is moderately loose and I have to give the tire a shove toward the truck each time I want to open the carrier. It's a nuisance for sure.

Hmm, my pin is working great. There is really no movement of the arm at this point, and the only thing I have to do is open the latch first, to take pressure off the pin, and it slides right out. The latch is now nice an easy to open.

I'm not following what you mean by adjustments? Are you talking about the pin or the latch?

Jacket
09-06-2013, 11:03 AM
The latch. By adjustments I mean loosening and tightening the ubolt in order to try and control how tightly and where the latch holds the swing arm in place.

AxleIke
09-06-2013, 11:53 AM
Ah! Yeah, I played with that too. I have it so it is tight, but still easy enough to undo and relatch.

How is your pin done?

Romer
09-21-2013, 06:05 PM
Nice Job Issac!

Been looking on line as Rachel got another 4runner and its lacking sliders and a bumper. Yours looks great.

Did you consider mounting the tire a bit lower to increase visibility out the back window?

AxleIke
09-22-2013, 09:55 PM
Nice Job Issac!

Been looking on line as Rachel got another 4runner and its lacking sliders and a bumper. Yours looks great.

Did you consider mounting the tire a bit lower to increase visibility out the back window?

Thanks Ken!

Yes, I sure did. However, I just couldn't get that to work with the hitch set up, and the desire to have other attachments mount back there (at least how I was envisioning things). It took a bit, but I'm pretty used to using just the side mirrors now.

AxleIke
12-31-2013, 10:29 AM
Small update. Pictures later though, as I was trying upload and it won't go for some reason.

Anyway, received my first winch ever for xmas, and got it installed. Warn M8000.

I'm staying with the steel cable for now. Over the years I've read all of the pros and cons of synthetic rope, and while it is certainly a much easier material on the hands, and won't kink, it does abrade more easily, and, according to the interwebs, is pretty susceptible to UV damage.

So, I may go that route in the future, but for now, I'll probably use the winch a bit first before dropping the coin on the new rope.

I now need to get out and use it!!! LOL!

Rezarf
12-31-2013, 02:58 PM
That's cool Isaac, what a nice gift!

I agree, once my wire wears out il switch to synthetic but until then I'm gonna stick with steel... It's not like I wheel anyway ;)

One factor is the synthetic takes a nice chunk of weight that is pretty far forward of the front tires, all the weight of bumpers, winches etc can start messin with your plush handling. But I drive a 40 and there is no plush handling!

RockRunner
01-03-2014, 01:30 PM
Looking good, very clean lines hugging the body. Like the bike carrier and the fact that you can interchange it for other items. Have something similar but it is in the hitch so have to remove it to open the rear door. Very good idea, may have to borrow it.

AxleIke
07-02-2014, 12:32 PM
Been a little while, but I've made some more progress on the truck.

I found with the factory cup holders, the shifter did not allow for a full water bottle to be in the forward cup holder position. Fortunately, Marlin Crawler has a solution for that:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0557.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0573.jpg

I very highly recommend this product. Really shortened the throw (as they claim), and it makes a huge difference in the usability of the center console area.

Second, I installed an M8000, and a set of Rigid Dually lights.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0568.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0579.jpg

I have these wired to my high beams, so when the switch is on, they will turn off when I go to low beam. This way, I can use them out on the highway with ease, which is my primary use for them. I find the stock high beams to be lacking when out on long stretches of highway, especially in Utah. These improve the range quite a bit, and the color really helps to highlight the eyes of animals far in advance, which gives me more time for braking.

This spring, after several years of saving Amazon gift cards, I was able to get a fridge for my truck, something I've wanted for a very long time. To accommodate the fridge, I put in a shelf/slide system. Sadly, I am not wild about my first attempt:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0740.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0762.jpg

The idea was to make the truck able to both carry camping gear safely, and make it quick to pack/unpack.

While this does allow for everything to be safely strapped down, I find the hassle of getting this in and out of the truck to be a ROYAL pain. It takes 20 minutes just to get the whole thing in and assembled, and same for the reverse at the end of the trip.

I've had it out twice now, and while I like the overall idea, this just isn't cutting it. Besides, as it stands, I am still going to have to put things on the roof if I take more than one other person with me (my wife and I have to put our day packs in the backseat next to the dog).

I also used rather low grade plywood. This is not ideal, as it was warped, and very rough. I plan to make version two, once I have decided how best to correct the shortcomings of this design.

Lastly, I fabled some sliders up. They are at the powder coaters as of now. Very simple, and fairly low profile. I did not want them to stick out very far, as this truck is still a DD, and I also don't like the look of large sliders standing out. My old 4runner had every more tucked in sliders, and they work very well.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0765.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0768.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0770.jpg

More on those when I get them back.

Jacket
07-02-2014, 12:46 PM
With 6 pages of rear bumper coverage, I'm wondering where the documentation is on the custom, 1st gen 4Runner grill mod? I dig it!

Of all the things you do to the truck that your wife will care less about, she'll love the fridge. It's an incredibly handy camping tool....

AxleIke
07-02-2014, 02:32 PM
LOL. Yeah, I guess I thought I'd just keep the old thread alive, rather than start anew.

The grill is just the Satoshi mod with a nod to the first gen with the cross braces and the first gen emblem.

If you notice, I also have the first gen "4Wheel Drive 4Runner" badge on the back, and first gen shift knobs too. I miss my old first gen.

Yeah, I think she'd like a RTT better (comfy), but thats a ways off. She does like the chilled wine that isn't soaked in water :D

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 10:13 AM
A couple of other modifications that I've found are really very useful, and may help others:

The first was my quest to stop the "wobble" in my front end. After lifting the truck, the steering wheel would vibrate horribly, especially on braking.

The PO had installed some crappy "lifetime" brake pads, which, as we all know, are perfect for warping rotors. So, I replaced the rotors, and pads, with OEM stuff. This fixed the braking problem, but not the wobble on the highway when driving normally.

So, naturally, the next thing I thought of was the rack. I replaced it with a Toyota rack, though I'm pretty sure they have these remanufactured these days. I also replaced the outer tie rods at this time, as the new rack comes with new inners. In addition, I bought a polyurethane bushing kit from Toytec lifts for the rack, and installed all of those at the same time.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0788.jpg

Not a very good picture, but the bushings are all poly now.

Anyway, the wobble was still there. After lots of reading, and a trip back to the alignment place, I found that my caster was at about 0, which is out of spec, and that this was a common problem with lifted 3rd gens (and it seems, newer tacos, as much of my reading centered around the 05+ taco's).

So, I started to look at upper control arms. I initially purchased a set of light racing arms, as they seemed perfect with their adjustability, stock style ball joint, and the price is pretty good. However, once I got them, I decided I didn't like the adjustability after all. The problem was, everything is held in place with a large nut and bolt, which seemed to me would need constant supervision to ensure that it didn't move. I didn't want to hassle with it, so I returned them. Instead, I went with the Icons.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0773.jpg

I chose these over other uniball style arms because of the ability to add the top cap (seen in the picture). In my reading, I noticed that many folks were concerned about dirt building up in the uniball and causing premature failure. The top is the place where dirt collects the most easily, so these seemed perfect with the caps providing protection and keeping dirt from accumulating in the well of the uniball. Time will tell if this works or not.

At the same time I did the upper arms, I also replaced the lower ball joints with OEM. They were not loose, but I've seen enough horror stories that I thought it was worth doing.

The upper arms have 2 deg of castor, enabling all alignment specs to be set to factory, and this, thankfully, fixed the wobble! The steering wheel is smooth and solid like it was when the truck was stock. Finally.

The second modification I found helpful I found online. This was for powering my fridge. Later model third gen 4runners started coming with a power outlet in the cargo area. However, this is accessory switched, and the fridge needs full time power. Someone online had the quick, cheap, thought of simply removing the relay under the hood, and putting a jumper on the hot leads:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0785.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0782.jpg

This works great. So far, I've only had the truck off for about 24 hours with the fridge on and keeping food cold, but there has been no issue with power drain. This ARB unit is very efficient.

The last mod is pretty basic, but we'll see. My M8000 came with steel cable. After seeing lots of info from Bill Burke, and talking to others, I decided to give synthetic line a go. I got the Warn Spydura rope, 100ft, so we'll see how well it does. I used the wire cable several times this past winter, and it was already kinked in several places. I have not used the synthetic line yet, but we'll see how it holds up over time compared to something like Viking or Masterpull.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_0786.jpg

The rope does fill the drum completely, though I think when wound under load, it will compress more. I also weighed the difference between the wire rope with roller fairlead, and the synthetic line and hawse, and it was about 22 lbs. More if you get a lightweight thimble instead of the hook. Still, not a huge weight savings, but certainly nicer to handle!

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 10:13 AM
The last "fix" I don't have any shots of.

Like many IFS drivers, once the truck was lifted, the front CV boots tore. I, like other third gen 4runner/first gen taco owners, replaced the axles and had a bad, leaking passenger side diff seal.

I replaced with OEM remans, and put in probably 5 different seals, all to no avail. After reading online, I tried the Two Seal approach, essentially putting in two of the passenger side diff seals in, as there is plenty of room for them. This worked, and I no longer leak gear oil from the passenger side tube.

I know others have been able to get brand new axles, instead of remans, but, 1. they are pricey, and 2., it seems to be very difficult to get a hold of a new axle any more. Most dealers will tell you they don't exist. This fix seems to work well, and saves the hassle and expense of having to track down a new axle.

simps80
07-03-2014, 10:45 AM
great thread and updates!
The truck looks awesome!

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 11:06 AM
Thanks!

Rezarf
07-03-2014, 02:42 PM
Man, I wished I had crawled all over it this morning now Isaac, looks really good man. Everything is thought out and well executed. Stoked to see you sliders on... are you going to weld them in place or ???

AxleIke
07-03-2014, 02:46 PM
Well, the rear is empty right now Drew, the slide and shelving is designed to come in and out to facilitate use of the back end for hauling stuff (house projects, whatever). So, you didn't miss anything :D

Yup, the sliders will weld on. I asked the powdercoater to not coat two inches up on each leg, so I can weld them to the scab plates, and gusset them.

Thanks man!