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Chris in Milwaukee's "CheeseRunner" build

Discussion in '5th Gen Builds (2010+)' started by Chris In Milwaukee, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:14 PM
    #1
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    This is the beginning of what I hope to be a continual string of fun building on my 2019 4Runner Off Road Premium. I'm starting small and working my way up through an orchestrated series of events so I can minimize having to "undo" anything to move on to the next step of the build.

    The first step was putting some nifty graphics, OB badge, and blacking out the bumper facia. After that, upgrading from street tires to KO2s. Seemed like an easy first step, especially given they were on sale.


    After that, lighting. I started with Morimoto HIDs, but I ended up removing them and replacing them with Xenon Depot Xstreme LED Pros. It's a long story, but the short story is although I liked them, I had to adjust them down so far that the high beams were ineffective. So LEDs went in, and I was able to adjust the lights back up to normal. High beams are also the same LEDs with DRL module. Lastly, fogs were replaced with yellow versions of the same LEDs. Really happy with their performance so far.


    Suspension is next.
     
    jgcaps, teamred100, rkwfxd and 2 others like this.
  2. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:44 PM
    #2
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    After a lot of research (which consisted of a *lot* of YouTube videos watching Australian 4WDers), I consulted wit @Crikeymike from Exit Off Road and opted for a Dobinsons suspension system. Using the typical 2.5"/1.5" lift with UCAs, I built myself a fine ride. Here's how that turned out today.

    Started off with 20" up front and 22" outback from hub center to the wheel well.


    Mike turned around an order that I placed on Sunday and it was on my door step on Thursday! I must say, the FedEx guy wasn't happy moving that box. :militarypress:


    Package consisted of:
    • C509-302 2.5" front springs +110-150lbs
    • GS59-700 twin tube standard height struts
    • C59-505 1.5" rear springs stock weight
    • GS59-705 twin tube comfort valved rear shocks (*very* comfortable)
    • Dobinson UCAs
    • Shocks are black, springs are classic teal
    If you haven't seen Mike's video on how to change out the front suspension on a 4Runner, you should watch it. It made my life *so* much easier.



    So, as in the video, I started off with the stock suspension (mine is 4WD, while the video shows 2WD -- not much difference, really).


    Removed the two bolts from the lower ball joint, loosened the bolts a bit from the LCAs at the frame, and swung the whole assembly down.


    Loosened the top three nuts holding the strut to the tower, and the whole thing just fell out the bottom (well, I held it).


    After inserting the new struts (Mike assembled them before they left his facility -- well worth the extra bucks!), I used a floor jack to raise the LCA back into position. I lined up the lower strut mount, bolted it up, then bolted the lower ball joint to the spindle. Then torqued the LCA bolts at the frame.


    Now that the lower part is done, time to replace the upper control arm (again, Mike assembled them with the new ball joint before they left his facility -- time saver!). I detached the brake lines behind the UCA nut so I could get in there later with a torque wrench.


    The UCAs came out and went back in fairly easily. Just the expected futzing with that really long bolt. But the process went smoothly without any wrecked knuckles. There was only one thing that caused me to have to rethink some things, and that was because the antilock brake bracket mounting point on the new UCA was in a different spot than the factory one. So much so that I had to remove the cabling from the factory bracket, wrap it with a fair amount of electrical tape to pad the wiring and protect it from chafing, and then wire tie it to the bracket in a different configuration than stock. I have no doubt it will be fine, but there was a bit of head scratching on that one.


    Got it all put together and torqued to spec (the UCA bolt gets torqued when the weight of the vehicle is on the wheels) and it looks fabulous.


    Moving to the back, I spent some time figuring out how to get my big hands in the tiny spaces required to remove the stock suspension. Not to mention how I was going to get the new stuff in. But I was able to grab the old shock with a pipe wrench to hold the body steady while I removed the top nut 1/4 turn at a time with a box wrench. My son came to help me with the rear suspension. Since it was filled with teaching moments (what 20yo shouldn't know how to tear apart a 4Runner suspension?), I was making sure what he was doing was safe and not photographing the rear suspension part of the project. Just know that it looks as cool as the front. :cool:


    The after pose:


    My son and I took it for a ride around town, looking for the rough roads to feel things out (they're not very hard to find in Milwaukee). This is a whole new vehicle. No more Boaty McBoatFace. It's firmly planted, not floaty. Cornering feels great with a lot less body roll (sway bars are still stock). The comfort springs out back really are great. And the nose dive upon braking is no longer there.

    I can't say enough good things about the Dobinsons suspension at first impression. Now it's time to get it on the trail to see what kind of shenanigans we can get into!
     
    jgcaps, DrewMan, 4runGirl88 and 9 others like this.
  3. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:48 PM
    #3
    SR5 Limited

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    That looks GREAT!!! I like the look with the factory rim/tire size. Just looks more to scale and like it has more lift....
     
  4. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:50 PM
    #4
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Next project... Winch bumper from @victoryrunner !


    Coming soon...
     
    jgcaps, Crikeymike, scottalot and 2 others like this.
  5. Apr 18, 2020 at 7:52 PM
    #5
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Thanks! It was a lot of fun to work on. My back and hands are telling a different story, but my brain really enjoyed it! :muscleflexing:
     
    nimby and BornLate58 like this.
  6. Apr 18, 2020 at 8:03 PM
    #6
    ForRun

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    Looks great! Does the dobkins get rid of the runner lean?
     
  7. Apr 18, 2020 at 8:06 PM
    #7
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    I haven't really checked. I'll take a gander in the morning. If it does lean, Dobinsons/Exit Off Road have a thin shim that will correct it that goes on top of the strut mount, not unlike a spacer.
     
    ForRun likes this.
  8. Apr 18, 2020 at 8:18 PM
    #8
    SR5 Limited

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    Also, I wouldn’t want to go more than a 2 inch lift. Then your raising the center of gravity too much. In case of evasive maneuvers, I’ve had a couple......
     
  9. Apr 18, 2020 at 8:31 PM
    #9
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    RSG sliders, Yakima offgrid basket, Pro-Comp wheels, SOS Streamline bumper and skids, Warn VR EVO10S winch + Ultimate Sidewinder, Bilstein 6112 + 5100 + rear lift coils, Rigid Dually SS ditch lights w/Caliraised brackets and OEM style dash switch
  10. Apr 19, 2020 at 3:57 AM
    #10
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    I agree. That’s as tall as she’s gonna get.
     
  11. Apr 19, 2020 at 6:58 AM
    #11
    BornLate58

    BornLate58 New Member

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    Falken Wildpeak AT3s, Cornfed 2/1, YODA decal
    Hey nice job Chris! Looks nice! They are kinda neat to work on, simple, I agree. That's the same as I have for height but with the Cornfed 2/1 pucks. And yes, my back, shoulders and hands got a work out to! hahahaha My brother sat and watched me the whole time too, the fucker! But I do that to him.:argue: There as support if something bad happens.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2020 at 7:06 AM
    #12
    nimby

    nimby in the drink

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    Nice!

    Looks great!
     
  13. Apr 19, 2020 at 7:16 AM
    #13
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Looking good, Chris!

    I'm looking forward to seeing it at the next shindig. Hopefully things will get better soon and we can go for a trail run!

    When are you doing the bumper?
     
  14. Apr 19, 2020 at 7:27 AM
    #14
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Hoping next weekend, but my back is pretty pissed at me this morning! But after a suitable dose of Motrin and some movement, I’m loosening up. :)

    Paint for the bumper arrived yesterday. Time to see what kind of respirator I need for this stuff so I don’t, you know... die. :stirthepot:
     
    BornLate58 and Thatbassguy like this.
  15. Apr 19, 2020 at 10:23 AM
    #15
    Ironguy

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    Looks great, nice narrative.
     
  16. Apr 19, 2020 at 10:48 AM
    #16
    ItsJustJ

    ItsJustJ New Member

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    Looks good! Can't wait to lift my sr5. I live near the IL/WI border.

    Will the 302 springs be able to support the bumper and winch? Will it go from 2.5" to 2" up front once added? I'm also considering the 302/505 springs
     
  17. Apr 19, 2020 at 4:35 PM
    #17
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    That is the intent and what those springs were designed for. I only got 2” out of them though. We’ll see how the do when the winch goes in.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:26 PM
    #18
    Crikeymike

    Crikeymike Exit Offroad, Dobinsons Specialist Vendor

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    Excellent write up Chris, and great photos with the progress along the way too!!
     
  19. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:28 PM
    #19
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Thanks! I’ll call you this week to discuss the ABS line attach point. It was a great installation!
     
  20. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:41 PM
    #20
    nimby

    nimby in the drink

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    Yeah, it's interesting that you were pretty close to 1/2" lower in the front and 1/2" higher in the back than advertised.

    I would drive it around for a few days and take another measurement......just to see if it changes.
     
  21. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:44 PM
    #21
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, I took it out for a nice drive through the countryside today. We’ll see how things settle out.
     
    nimby likes this.
  22. Apr 19, 2020 at 5:50 PM
    #22
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Quick check shows the front remains the same, but the back settled in to about 1.5”. Mike said it takes about 500 miles for the springs to brake in. I doubt the front springs will raise up, but I am hoping they stay put with a bumper change. That’s the hope anyway.
     
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  23. Apr 20, 2020 at 1:53 PM
    #23
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Hey @nimby ,

    Following up on this, I had a call with Mike this morning, and he mentioned that my vehicle was already 1/2" higher up front than it normally would be stock. He mentioned that it's normally about 19.5" from hub to wheel well, where mine was 20". He said mine is pretty much exactly where he expected it to be. Apparently there are variations in vehicle height from car to car. Go figure!

    Just wanted to close the loop on the discussion. :)
     
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  24. Apr 20, 2020 at 1:59 PM
    #24
    nimby

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    So long as you're happy with the results, that's all that matters. :cheers:
     
  25. Apr 23, 2020 at 3:47 PM
    #25
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Cleaning this dude up tonight.


    And the Amazon man dropped this guy off this afternoon. $300? What could go wrong?

     
    rkwfxd, nimby and Thatbassguy like this.
  26. Apr 23, 2020 at 6:36 PM
    #26
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    What are you using to cut the bumper?
     
  27. Apr 23, 2020 at 8:16 PM
    #27
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Probably a fart saw for the vertical parts and Dremel for the horizontal.
     
  28. Apr 23, 2020 at 8:28 PM
    #28
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Oscillating saw? Or...?

    We used a little air saw to cut around the steel bumper, and it worked ok. I used an oscillating saw on the high clearance cuts and it was beautiful!

    Either way, i suppose whatever you're comfortable with is best. Just remember that it probably cuts easier than you would think. It's easy for the saw to get away from you!
     
  29. Apr 24, 2020 at 4:04 AM
    #29
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Yep, little air-powered body saw. Sounds like a fart when you use it. :D

    Yeah, I’ve had my share of saws get away from me. You only get one shot!

    The ambient temp isn’t real high yet, and PPE is fairly scarce right now. Not sure if I’ll get the paint done this weekend or not. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve been pondering whether I should have just gotten the dumb thing powdered from the vendor. At least I know of a couple local if it comes to it. But going to try to do this myself. Man pride and all that!
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  30. Apr 26, 2020 at 2:27 PM
    #30
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Well, the weather is great for painting today, but due to pandemipocalipse, there is zero chance of finding a respirator to safely paint the bumper. So I’ll be calling a local powder coater in the morning to get ‘er done. Doing my part to help the local economy.
    :spending:
     
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