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Swapping the 4.3Runner....IT RUNS!


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Did you have to use this thing to get out of Duluth? The flooding looks crazy there, hope you are ok.


I'm up the hill far enough, that things haven't been too bad. There's one spot at the end of my alley where the sidewalk was torn up to run a fiber optic line, and the water eroded it into a big hole. Other than that, things weren't too bad.



BUT, I definitely was wishing the 4runner was ready for commuter duty. I made a pretty nasty water crossing in my celica at the bank the night before (the same bank seen from a jet ski in this video)

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  • 2 months later...

So.....new job = less stress and more free time.....



Worked on it a bunch this week. Confirmed that I am getting WOT with the pedal.



Set the ignition timing. Had to advance it quite a bit from where it was. So much that I was pretty sure I had the plug wires on the wrong posts. So I fixed that, and reset it.


Then it died, and wouldn't restart. Messed with it for quite awhile yesterday, bah.



Tried it today, it fired right up, and purred like a kitten. Put it in gear and put some load on it (just holding the brakes....didn't feel like moving the jet ski and stuff behind it just yet), ran awesome. Then as soon as it hit operating temp, it died. Restarted once, but only ran for a minute. Then it wouldn't restart.



Then it threw a code for a CTS......So, I'll pick one of those up tomorrow, and try again.




Hoping to drive it to work this week....

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  • 1 month later...

Planning on taking the 4.3Runner camping this weekend, so some Camping mods were needed.


1st on the list when camping out of an SUV/Wagon, usually the rear hatch/gate is not designed to be operated from the inside, so I bought 2 momentary buttons, and mounted them to the inside trim panel (pics to come in the daylight), and wired them to control the rear window. Now I can roll the rear window up or down from the inside.


Then I needed the rear window to operate with the key off, so I made that mod too. I used 4Crawler's write-up on modifying the system to track down the necessary wires to do this.



The last step for today was lighting. I already had some LEDs in the stock dome and deck light fixtures from http://www.autolumination.com . But I needed to improve on that. So I got a pair of these LED light strips:



Ziptied them to the roll bar, and wired them in with the deck light:



Lights the thing up like crazy. I'll have to be careful not to hit this switch while on the road at night, as it could be very distracting to a driver behind me.

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Nice work man, your truck looks great. There will never be enough trimming and bashing to clear rubbing on the front. . . They don't make a bfh big enough. The only way to kill the rub is to move everything froward. So you get to learn how to not flex and turn too much to avoid rubbing. I know. ;)

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  • 6 months later...

So, since my last update. I was going to get supplies for the camping trip the night before I was planning on leaving, and it stalled again. Tried a bunch of things to get it running again, and it randomly started working just long enough to get it home. So I parked it, took insurance off it, and didn't really do much all winter.


I did do some planning. I bought a USB-ALDL cable to plug my laptop into the ECU, so I could datalog with TunerPro RT, and maybe catch it acting up.






I've been driving it to work all week this week, and yesterday, I went to head home for lunch, and it wouldn't start. I scoured through parameters on the computer, and couldn't find much more out. I confirmed my suspicion that it was not getting fuel, but couldn't find an indication on why. So I ran inside (I work at AutoZone) and grabbed our loaner fuel pressure tester. Sure enough, 45 psi, which is not enough to open the poppet valves in the spider injector. After playing with things, and cycling the pump a bunch, all of a sudden it jumped up to 55, and the truck fired right up.


The pressure did not drop at all when the pump was off....so it had to be the pump.


The pump I was running was a universal inline rated for 65 psi that I got on Summit Racing, that I then mounted in-tank. I had a makeshift strainer on there, but when I pulled the pump out yesterday, the strainer was floating in the tank.


So I bought a new Airtex pump designed for the blazer (rated for 90 psi!!) after lunch yesterday, and put it in. Along with it's matching strainer.






I also noticed that my VSS calibration (I just hooked the Toyota signal wire from the dash to the Chevy ECU) is off. The ECU thinks I'm going almost exactly double what the dash indicates. So I need to address that....



Hoping to get it on the trails in less than 2 weeks!!!

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Ya its not a matter of, if chevy fuel pumps fail..its when. Sorta like our head gaskets. I cant count how many chevy fp I have replaced. And I'm a chevy guy, so its not like I'm doggin them or anything. Nice call on the data stream though. 

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  • 1 month later...

Overdue for an update....


Bedliner 2-tone:





Interior mods. Kenwood MP3/CD deck and CB radio:



One interior handle moved up by the driver's seat (no more hanging on the steering wheel while climbing in), and Mag light mount in it's place:



Took it wheeling. Only got a few decent pics








And, sold my Outback, so I bought tires (as you may recall, I have a land cruiser rear axle, which has full float hubs, drum-in-disc brakes, and selectable locker. But requires 16" wheels to clear). 315/75r16 GoodYear Wrangler DuraTracs. Almost identical outside dimensions as the 35x12.5r15s, but narrower wheels and more backspacing suck them in under the body more.













Now I just need a caliper, gear oil, and leaf spring perches to put my new leaf springs and rear axle under this thing!!

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Nope, I hate how much they hang down. Front spring hanger is a crucial location for ground clearance, so I didn't want to push it any further forward.


I got a deal on a set of brand-new Skyjacker 3" lift springs, stock length. I might take a leaf out of them before I use them...but I'm not sure yet.

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Nope, I hate how much they hang down. Front spring hanger is a crucial location for ground clearance, so I didn't want to push it any further forward.


I got a deal on a set of brand-new Skyjacker 3" lift springs, stock length. I might take a leaf out of them before I use them...but I'm not sure yet.


They do hang down some if you mount the hanger to the frame, theres always the option of frenching the hanger into the frame, keeps the truck lower too, while still giving AWESOME flex. I had skyjacker springs on the front of my 84. They were pretty stiff, but that is also pretty common on most leaf sprung rigs anyway. 

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That is literally the next mod I might do. (French the hanger),Because I like the way the springs work now, they look like they're gonna flex really really well.

So, I want to keep the springs as they are.


If I had stock springs, I might run them. I have thought of going to stock springs up front too.



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Also... I looked at mine yesterday.... The hanger does hang down about 3" or so, but it is still significantly higher than the driveline. If your draggin hangers your ridin d-line too.... Jus sayin....

Yea, if you're trying to drive straight up a loading ramp or something  :P



When picking a line through the rocks, you want to line your tires up with the tallest obstacles, I've seen many rigs (usually Jeep YJs) get all lined up so their tires are up on top of the rocks, keeping the vulnerable stuff in the middle up out of it, just to get hung up on spring hangers.



I also have zero ability to fab at my house. Not only do I not trust my own welds, but I have to run a 75' extension cord to get power out to the parking slab. That's ok for a drill or even grinder, but I'm not running a welder out there. And I don't want to take on that kind of project in someone elses shop space. So bolt-on is a huge plus.

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Well, there IS a reason that the spring hangers are shaped like they are... LOL

To help slide over stuff. :)

But bolt on is the way to go with no fab time.ALTHOUGH.With the skills of others around you it could take like less than a day to weld on new pieces.

Cheers, either way it is an upgrade.I would just stay as low as you can for as long as you can.

Nobody likes a weeble wobble :) lol

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  • 1 year later...

Some wheeling pictures from this last weekend....I was with a pretty large group, but we kept moving most of the day. So really the only pictures I have are from this one obstacle when everyone was out watching....









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  • 1 year later...

Well, long time without update. Didn't do any wheeling in the 4.3Runner this summer. I got married in Alaska in June, we drove the 4.3Runner to our Reception barely into August here in MN which was really fun.

There's a 1/8 mile drag race run on a public street right in the heart of town every year. I put the 4.3Runner in the car show with my buddy's Jeep on 35's. That was pretty fun, and the first time I had the topper off in a couple years.

Over Labor day weekend, some good friends and I took a mountain biking trip to visit another friend near Breckenridge, Colorado. We spent 2 days riding downhill at Keystone, and then drove out to Moab to ride some cross country. Unfortunately, I took a nasty tumble early in the first day at Keystone, and broke my collar bone. While that took me out of riding for the rest of the trip, I still had a blast. First time in Moab.

We did some dispersed camping for a couple nights. Our group was 2 Tacomas, a WJ Grand-Cherokee and a Ford Focus. The Focus got a little beat up getting to our first campsite. The second night, we set up camp closer to town, left the Focus and the bikes, and explored further out. It was a blast, some of the most fun I've ever had offroad. We made our way up along the side of a canyon, and watched the sun set from the top of the pass into the next canyon.

This made me realize something. While I love the 4.3Runner, it would have been miserable on the road, and bored on the trail... I could tow it out, but then I'd be stuck setting up camp somewhere, and then making day trips. I'd really like to have more of an expedition rig, and while this rig could do it, I think I'd rather trade some sheer offroad capability for something with better street manners, more seats, more doors, Air-Conditioning, and towing capacity.


Long story short, I've decided to sell the 4.3Runner, looking at likely getting a Sequoia. Maybe an FJ100 cruiser if I find a deal, but I think I'd rather have the space of the Sequoia than the aftermarket support of the cruiser.

With that said, I've put together a plan of projects to wrap up some of the issues that have shown up, finish the projects I've started, and get it ready for a new owner. I'll document most of that here this winter, and hopefully be starting a new build thread next spring

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