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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Unevolved's 2005 V8 Build Thread

I bought my 4Runner in January of 2015. I had an F-150 of similar vintage, but since it was a single cab V6, it wasn't near useful enough for the towing and dog hauling I did regularly. I shopped around for extended cab pickups, before decided maybe I didn't really need a bed all that much.

I started looking around on various sites, and found this one about 9 hours away. 2005 V8 Sport Edition 4WD, with 53,000 miles. I called some family in the area to go take a look at it, and a few hours later they gave their approval.



I put down a deposit, drove the F-150 up there, and drove my new 4Runner back. I'd complained to no end the high cost of used Toyota trucks, but once I finally sucked it up and bought one of my own, it was clear why they deserved the higher prices. It's just so much better than an F-150, at literally everything except having a truck bed.

The goal of this truck is to get me to work every day, haul things that need hauling, tow things that need towing, and take me and my family exploring.



One of the first modifications I did was installing a Scion head unit. I need to listen to music when I drive, and there's no easy way to add an auxiliary input to a JBL-equipped '03-'05.



I was never able to get a bezel that fit well, given the odd shape of the JBL parts, but it looked just fine.

Early 2016, I decided it was time to upgrade to a real navigation system, and installed a Kenwood DNX892. The largest motivating factor was the onboard Garmin nav system. I'd had a few instances of being out in the sticks, trusting a cell phone, and losing navigation when we lost cell service. Not anymore!



February of 2016 the truck got it's first major blemish. I was picking up a Uhaul car trailer (couldn't borrow a "real" trailer in enough time), and you know how they won't let you hook it up, for liability reasons? Stupid me, this time I didn't double check their work. Went to load a BMW onto the trailer, and it popped off the hitch, swung on the chains, and slammed into the lift gate.





I still had to USE the trailer I rented, so I just rolled with the punches and drove across the state to sell one car, and haul a buddy's fatass CTS-V wagon back. This thing HAD to be approaching the 7,000lb limit, I wish I'd drove across the scales. Truck handled it like a champ, though.



I reached out to a friend of mine much more into offroading, and asked him what the minimum prep level should be. My background is in road racing and autocrossing, so I'm a total newb when it comes to offroading. I don't want to be the guy showing up with a bone-stock incapable truck, but at the same time, no one wants to be the guy with the expensive, super-modded rig that has no idea what he's doing. He gave me three things to do as a "base" prep:

-Good tires.
-Sliders.
-3" lift.

With that as a checklist, I selected a lift. After far too much research, I went with the OME package from Toytec, based on the awesome customer service I got when I bought my leveling kit. 885/895 springs, and 90000/60004 shocks.







The next big addition was a used roof tent. I picked up this one from a buddy who was upgrading. He claimed it was an early CVT, but it's hard to say. Similar to lots out there.





It's plenty durable, even as a hand-me-down, but more importantly, the wife and dog love it.



Took it on a quick outing to a nearby State Park with some family to test it out before we went too far. Passed with flying colors:



Gave it a much needed bath after that trip:





The previous owner of the truck kept meticulous maintenance records, so the other night I decided to plot out mileage over time, as recorded at service appointments. You can tell when I bought the truck.
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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:12 PM   #2
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Finally got started on the rock sliders I bought from 4XInnovations back in March. Took them to work, and a friend stayed late to help me out. Seem to be decently made, but there was still a good bit of fabrication work left. Definitely more of a "kit" than a finished product, but can't beat the price!

First step was to cut the legs to the same length. Two of them were a little longer, which must be for some other generation.



Next was to sandblast all the parts where they were to be welded.



Then they were mocked up on the truck to see exactly where the legs would go. We settled on a 10 degree angle.



Laid out and clamped.



One side welded:



Then the other.



After that, I took them home to paint them. It will be much easier to paint them off the truck rather than try and paint them properly when they're welded on.



I used Rustoleum Professional Enamel, primer and gloss black. Sure, powdercoat would be more durable, but when (not if) these get scratched, it'll be super easy to touch them up.



Two coats of each, then they're done.





Also got a new mountain bike, so I made a good mount inside the truck:



Reinforced it underneath the shelf with a 12" piece of 1" x 1/8" aluminum.



The bike BARELY fits. I'd like to raise the seat about an inch, actually, but I can't. The seat already rubs the headliner when putting it in or taking it out. But hey, it's much cheaper than a hitch rack so it'll do for now. Should work until I get a better hitch rack.

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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:14 PM   #3
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Went to Bridgeport, TX to an offroad park. Had a GREAT time, and I was really impressed with how the truck did, with nothing other than an OME lift.





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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:14 PM   #4
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After the Bridgeport trip, the front ball joints started making noise. I'd noticed the boots were a little torn, and I guess dunking them in mud & dirty water accelerated their wear. Surprise surprise. So I sucked it up and bought new LCAs from Toyota:



I love how the balljoint bracket design allows you to fight the balljoint on the bench. SO much easier than having to get it to release on the truck.



New vs. old.



Old LCA removed. Weld-on sliders make great jackstand locations.



All done.



Wash, rinse, repeat on the other side. Whole job only took 2.5 hours or so, including a trip to Harbor Freight for some cotter pins.
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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
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I think I finally found the largest dog kennel that will fit in a 4th gen with the rear seats up.







It actually compresses into the back seat a little bit when the hatch is closed. Definitely a snug fit, but it fits!
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Unread 01-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #6
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I've been fighting off a cold for the past two weeks, and today's the first day I've felt semi-normal in a while. I ordered some new upper control arms to get caster back into spec, it was somewhere between 0 and 1 degree with the factory control arms and OME lift.



MacPherson strut conversion.



They came with these bright stickers, which had to go.



First one installed! Much better without the stickers, IMO. The flat black finish played more of a role in the selection process than it probably should have, I'm not a fan of bright colored suspension parts on my daily drivers.



Wash, rinse, repeat on the other side.



Add a Camburg sticker to the Stickered Cabinet of Justice™, and throw away the other five that came with the control arms.

Put it all back together to go for a test drive, start it up, and...



Dammit. Wheel speed sensor wiring got damaged somewhere.



Poked around with a DMM and some test leads, and found breaks in both sides of the right front harness. No sign of any damage from the outside. Man, people arent exaggerating when they say these things are fragile.



Decided to drive to work in my wife's car and fix it right. OEM replacement is $50, and I'm not super impressed with how it held up. So I took both connectors, crimped on some milspec M22759 22ga wire.



Twist the pairs togethers, cover it in DR-25 heat shrink, and close it all up with ATUM glue shrink. Better than new!

It's now 0.0005% more milspec.



All in all, not a hard job. I'm disappointed in how fragile the wheel speed sensor wiring was. Easy to see why those are so commonly damaged. I can already tell it's handling much better, the wandering tendency at speed is all but gone. Hopefully over the next week I'll find time to put it on the alignment machine at work.
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Unread 01-16-2018, 08:36 PM   #7
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Back in October, I finally got around to installing an E-locker out of an FJ Cruiser. I bought it used and had it rebuilt locally (Tandem Automotive, highly recommend) with a Yukon Gear & Axle "Master Rebuild Kit" that replaced all the bearings and seals, and replaced the crush sleeve with a solid spacer. This post isn't really meant to be a thorough DIY write-up, but hopefully it will still be helpful to those considering this sort of swap.

Removed the axle from the truck:



Removed the studs that were in the way. Second set of hands is required, small dog not necessary.



Use the new gasket to trace out the new clearance cut you need to make, as well as the approximate location of the new threaded holes.



Using your metal removal tool of choice, cut out the previously marked area. I used a 4" grinder and a dremel since my air compressor was/is broken:



Good enough:



Not many pictures of this step, but I would HIGHLY recommend using transfer punches to mark your hole location. Something like this from Harbor Freight is only $11, and worth every penny. I didn't have any alignment problems using this method.

Also, make sure and get some GOOD size H drill bits and M8x1.25 taps. I didn't plan ahead, and had to settle for the Irwin drill & tap set at Lowe's. Since they're high speed steel, I went through four drill bits and three taps for just these four holes, even with appropriate speeds and lubricants.



Side note: Before you reinstall the axle in the truck, make sure it's in the "unlocked" position. Mine was still locked from the shop testing it. I'm going to have to wire mine up at a later date, so it's imperative I don't install a spool in my daily driver.

There was a little bit of clearancing required around the actuator side on the housing, but it was easily remedied with a grinder and flap wheel. Because of this, though, I elected to use some black RTV instead of the OEM gasket since the surface was no longer as flat as the OEM one used to be. Almost a thousand miles later, I've still got no leaks. Fingers crossed. You can also see the Low Range Off-Road actuator guard I installed. For only $40, it's pretty cheap insurance.



I would recommend removing the bracket from the motor connector. Clearance is pretty tight against the swaybar at full droop, but once that's out of the way it works fine:



Victory shot reinstalled in the vehicle:



The Sticker Cabinet of Justice is coming along nicely, too:



Stay tuned for updates on the wiring & controls. I've got a couple ideas to keep it as OEM-esque as possible.
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Unread 01-16-2018, 10:45 PM   #8
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Nicely done!!! You going to build your own control unit for the locker?
Wonder if a full FJ axle won
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Unread 01-27-2018, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Nicely done!!! You going to build your own control unit for the locker?
Wonder if a full FJ axle won
Probably not, I got a controller out of a 3rd gen on eBay for $50. I thought about making one myself with an Arduino, but I can't do it for cheaper and there's not much benefit, you know?

Planning on ordering wire soon to make a harness.
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