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Advice on a 1st gen 4Runner for offroading

Discussion in '1st Gen 4Runners (1984-1989)' started by ac130kire, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Jun 21, 2016 at 5:53 PM
    #1
    ac130kire

    ac130kire [OP] New Member

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    I wanted to introduce myself. I am from California, specifically the SF North Bay Area. I am 16, turning 17 towards the end of July. I currently drive a 2004 Range Rover that my grandpa found too rough to drive and too tall of get in and out off all the time.

    Why I am here: I am here to ask advice about buying a 1st gen 4runner, I love the looks. I also want this to be my weekend offroading truck. I have a budget of around ~$2,200 for the car itself plus some extra for a lift and possibly bigger tires. I am looking to put in around ~$3,300 into this truck.
     
  2. Jun 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM
    #2
    Bob

    Bob Member Staff Member

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    SoCal
    Hey welcome from SoCal! Hopefully someone will chime in with some good advice for you on the 1st gen.

    Did you already find one in your price range or are you still looking?
     
  3. Jun 22, 2016 at 9:07 AM
    #3
    ac130kire

    ac130kire [OP] New Member

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    Thank you for the warm welcome, glad to be here. I have found a few on craigslist, going on a trip on the 28th so I might get it when I come back.

    So far this is what I have found to be semi promising. 1. A Red 1st gen, manual with 380k miles, needs brake shoes and possibly a engine rebuild soon. Also found some others, I allowed to link them?

    Slso should I get a V6 or an Inline 4? I have heard the V6's are more unreliable, but I think the extra power will help.
     
  4. Jan 23, 2017 at 4:45 PM
    #4
    BigRob48

    BigRob48 New Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Rob
    Vehicle:
    1987 Red 4Runner
    The 4 can b rebuilt and cammed up for extra horsepower and still remains super reliable. This is the route I went with mine.
    Purchase price $500
    motor work $2300
    33in tires and chevy rims $700
    having a wicked awesome 1st gen 4runner priceless
    In low lock power does not become a question it's only on the hwy. @70+mph that the power loss is . I run a 33in tire and still keep up in the hills of the Ozark mts in Missouri without to much down shifting.
     
    Bob likes this.
  5. Jan 23, 2017 at 6:35 PM
    #5
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 New Member

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    2001 4runner limited silver millenium
    welcome! I am not too familiar with the 1st genners, but they do look good.

    I suggest @RedRunner87 he knows his first gens.
     
  6. Jan 23, 2017 at 6:35 PM
    #6
    ramonortiz55

    ramonortiz55 New Member

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    Vince, get your ass in here.
     
  7. Jan 23, 2017 at 11:01 PM
    #7
    4x4Addict

    4x4Addict New Member

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    First Name:
    Owen
    Chico, Ca
    Vehicle:
    '96 4Runner SR5
    Magnusun Supercharger URD 7th Injector Yota1 Performance Rebuilt Motor OE Locker Suspension... Sound System... Bumper...
    I am also from the Bay Area. I just bought my first T4R '96. It's got 4x4 and I have the 3.4 v6. My dads '04 Tacoma has the same engine. Mine has close to 300k on it and my dads is running around 150k. neither of them have given us a problem. Im sure most of the 4R owners will agree that about the only thing that goes wrong on these trucks are the seatbelt reals.

    Especially for our area, I wouldn't spend your money on a lift or bigger tires yet. Put the money into getting 4x4 with a locking diff. These things have plenty of clearance as it is.

    Take a look at some of the 3rd gens! Good luck on your search!
     
  8. Jan 26, 2017 at 2:30 PM
    #8
    RedRunner87

    RedRunner87 Mall Crawler LVL Expert

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    Vince
    The Springs, CO
    Vehicle:
    16 4Runner SR5
    With that kind of budget expect a lot of maintenance to go into it. They are awesome rigs but even at a decent price they are pretty rough. The 22RE is a great motor, will practically last forever.85 is the most sought after since it was the only year with the solid front axle. 86-89 has a torsion bar set up.

    There are a couple cheap and easy lifts, first is cranking the torsion bars up. Cheap(=free) but you lose flex and ride quality. I ran a ball joint spacer and loosened the torsion bars and lowered it to stock height. More flex and be the ride quality. He best lift for the money is the blazeland kit. Best flex and lift.

    Do not get a 3.0...like avoid with the plague! The auto is also terrible, in the 22RE and 3.0.
     
  9. Jan 26, 2017 at 2:31 PM
    #9
    RedRunner87

    RedRunner87 Mall Crawler LVL Expert

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    Vince
    The Springs, CO
    Vehicle:
    16 4Runner SR5
    I wish it emailed me when I get tagged :(
     
  10. Apr 25, 2017 at 2:34 PM
    #10
    jbrandt

    jbrandt New Member

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    Sacramento, CA
    About a decade ago I sold my '86 with 300k miles and a blown 22RTE for $2,800. Sold it the day I posted it on CL for full asking price (still regret not asking more!). Actually, I regret selling it at all, but as they say: happy wife, no trail rig... :( Wife still talks about how it cost her a job when she was 22 because that happened to be when the motor blew.

    Anyway...

    If you can, find a mostly stock one as they can wheel just fine 100% stock. I basically had the torsion bars cranked up a bit in the front, and a custom redneck leaf pack (nissan+toyota frankenstein leafs) rolling on 32" BFG m/t's. This thing did the rubicon like that. I still remember pulling fully built jeeps with on-board welders (etc...) out of a hole with my rig.

    These things are old, so guaranteed you'll need to do a bunch of maintenance on them anyway. So I wouldn't worry too much about modding the crap out of it right off the bat. Just try to find one with good maintenance records. You're 16/17, so just drive the thing, wheel with it, and while you're saving your taco bell money you'll start getting a better idea of what kind of mods will suite you specifically.
     

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