Author Topic: Steel City Racing & Marlin Crawler: KOH 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build  (Read 4017 times)

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Charles4x4

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Steel City Racing & Marlin Crawler: King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build Thread

Follow this build on Social Media at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityRacing4x4/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steelcityracing4x4/

To start, let’s go back to this past February – specifically the Saturday after King of the Hammers 2018 ended.  This is the day when most teams begin dreaming about their 2019 KOH builds on their way home from the lakebed.

The two days before, like many of you, my wife and I watched most the 2018 King of the Hammers EMC and 4400 Main Event coverage live. And, like many of you, I wished I was there.

So, 4-months ago, I decided to do something about it…

My first thought was...we'll...hold that thought for now.

My second thought was honestly of the millions of reasons why it wouldn't work out:
- I have a day job, an amazing wife, and two awesome girls who all keep me busy
- I have a budget, but certainly not enough savings for all I'm going to need
- At the time, I had no crew, no sponsors, and no race vehicle to start with

But, more importantly, my first thought was...I CAN DO THIS:
- I believe that God gave me the gifts of being a creator, builder, and engineer who loves to learn new things and can envision the possible
- I have never backed down from a challenge. I am determined, passionate, resourceful, and love to work hard - I always finish what I start.
- I have never taken the conventional route and it has always led me to amazing experiences - why start now?
- I love offroading and vehicle fabrication. I can see the lines at high speed and envision unconventional lines in the rocks. I love staring at a vehicle and imagining what it can become.
- I believe life is a collection of experiences. The most amazing ones typically require a difficult question at the beginning: “Should I actually try this crazy thing?”  I have learned that the hardest part is always the same - Starting.

So, this is me Starting. What is my plan? Let's find out...


« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:54:54 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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From watching the 2018 KOH EMC, I knew I wanted to be in the 4600 Stock Class.  None of the other classes really fit what I love – seeing an OEM looking vehicle doing amazing things.  The Stock Class vehicles look like the vehicles I can relate to – those in the “Everyman’s” garage.  While there is no doubt that they are amazing, the 4400, 4500, and 4600 class vehicles just aren’t what I was looking for.

Next, like many of you, I'm a Toyota guy through and through. I have had a 1st gen Tacoma, a 3rd gen Tacoma, 80 series and 100 series land cruisers, and three 1st gen 4Runners.  So, I now needed to research the best possible 4600 class Toyota rig.
For pure budget reasons, a 1st Gen 4Runner was a no-brainer at first.  They’re cheap, reliable, and light – what else more could you want…  Well…how about power for one thing?  Or wheel travel for the desert?  Or the ability to survive KOH’s relentless abuse?

Many drivers have done amazing things with 1st Gen 4Runners at KOH and I certainly commend them.  But I quickly saw some pretty sizeable limitations and, when my back-of-the-napkin budget for my dream 1st Gen 4Runner went through the roof, I killed the idea.

After enough time and research had passed, I began to see that a combination of driver skill and patience, vehicle strength and reliability, and a build plan filled with elegant simplicity could be some of the keys to success at KOH.

So, in a search for elegant simplicity, I stumbled upon 2-3 different threads where industry experts and KOH legends were talking about 4th Gen 4Runners.  They all seemed to reach the same consensus – a 4th Gen 4Runner could actually do really well in the 4600 Stock Class.  It’s got an extremely reliable platform, strong 4.7L V8, stout transmission, IFS Coilover based front suspension, 4-link rear suspension, and an entry price that has dropped substantially over the past few years.  And of course, it’s built by Toyota – so it has to be solid.

But, when I kept reading in anticipation of a build thread, I was surprised to see that nobody seemed to be able to pull it off.

Well, as you can tell in my post above, I’m the type of person who can pull it off.  So I dove in with both feet.  I researched the 4th Gen.  Put together a rigorous budget.  And then, staring at the bottom line figure, sat in shock at the price tag necessary to build it right.

I went back to the Ultra4 rulebook that I have practically memorized and made a huge realization:
Dave Cole and the leaders of KOH intentionally invented the EMC 4600 Stock Class to be a product showcase and testing ground for offroad manufacturers, fabrications, and corporations.  I.e. it’s the ultimate class to attract sponsors.

So, now I had a vision.  I had a solid, but still seemingly unachievable plan.  And, most of all, I had the will to make it happen.  Now all I needed was a way.

First, realizing that I couldn’t pull this off alone, I started seeking out sponsors that both had amazing products that were a perfect fit for this build and could really benefit from KOH exposure.  I shared my vision of how I believed a well-engineered IFS Coilover Based 4th Gen Toyota 4Runner, backed by an amazing team and sponsors, can strongly compete in the KOH EMC 4600 Stock class.  And to my surprise, many got it and jumped on board.

Here is my vision for this build, written back in February and it still holds true today:
As many of you know, solid axle Jeep or buggy based rigs have dominated KOH EMCin the past. Therefore, this build will garner a lot of attention simply because of how different it is – I will most likely be the only modern IFS Coilover based vehicle in all of EMC and will turn heads.

I personally believe the vast majority of consumers honestly cannot relate to a 4400 rig, which is where all the IFS coilover exposure has occurred to date. This build is our chance to grab the consumer’s attention!

And we’ll be doing so in a modern Toyota 4Runner that matches or at least resembles the vehicle most consumers can actually relate to.  To me, watching a 4400 rig is intimidating and far from achievable for the “Every Man”.  This build will change all of that.  And that is what gets sponsors excited – it’s pure marketing gold!
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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As an aside – and for reference as we progess through the build – here is my quick highlights summary of the KOH 4600 Rules:

4600 Stock Class Restrictions (Summarized from Ultra4 Rulebook v4.4):

Body:
- Complete Unmodified stock frame
- Complete stock body (can cut holes for roll cage and rocker panel protection)
- Half doors are acceptable but must open and close
- Stock glass not required
- Front/Rear inner fenders must be complete
- Fenders can be trimmed to no more than 2" gap from tire at full compression
- No more than 1" body lift
- Factory Headlights are required
- Aftermarket bumpers are fine or can be eliminated

DriveTrain:
- Stock engine (no forced induction) required but performance mods allowed
- Stock transmission required
- Any transfer case is permitted
- Any axles are permitted
- Any driveshafts are permitted
- Mechanical steering required but hydro assist okay

Suspension:
- Wheelbase cannot be lengthened more than 3"
- Suspension configuration must remain consistent from stock (leafs must stay leafs, coils must stay coils, coilovers must remain coilovers) and no fancy leaf configurations (quarter eliptical not allowed)
- Suspension linkage can be changed in any configuration
- 1 shock per tire/wheel at max of 2.65" diameter and 14" stroke with no air bumps allowed
- No bypass shocks and shocks must connect axle to chassis

Other:
- Max 35" tire
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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Now, back to the build: My outreach began in earnest in mid to late February.  Since then, each day I have been blessed to find more and more friends, sponsors, and partners ready to jump in and join our team.

We created a team name: Steel City Racing
(please follow us on social media by clicking the links at the top of the first post)

I spoke with sponsors – some bought in instantly.  Others waited to see if others would sign up first.  Some told their friends and the word began to spread.  One by one, the vision, and honestly my own personally bucket-list level dream, started to became a reality.

Fast forward to today – June 2018 – and I can tell you with extreme confidence that this build is going to happen.  We will be on the starting line next February at KOH 2019.  We will be in an amazing 4th Gen IFS Coilover based 4Runner.  We will stand out.  We will compete. 

This is the start of an amazing adventure. 

Please follow us on social media.  Please subscribe to this build thread.  Please support us with your comments, ideas, and prayers.  Please join us!

Now that the vision is laid, let’s get into the actual build:
Phase 0: Buy a solid 4th Gen 4Runner that fits our build plan!

Requirements:
’06-09 4Runner, Low Miles (~100K), V8, 4WD, Sport or Limited Trim - it has to both race and look good while racing 😊

I’m pleased to announce that Phase 0 is now complete. How?

Over the past 12-months, I have been buying, restoring, and selling 1st Gen SR5 Turbo 4Runners on the side and putting the profit aside for my KOH build. As an answer to a prayer, I was able to post and sell my latest 4Runner and my fully built 80-Series Land Cruiser – both the same week.

The proceeds from these sales allowed me to:
1)   Buy a daily driver for me (another 1st Gen SR5 Turbo 4Runner – for some reason I just love them)
2)   Buy the KOH Base Vehicle ready for transformation
3)   Build the Budget for Phase 1 and 2 KOH Parts

It’s pretty amazing how God can align the stars. Selling the 4Runner and Land Cruiser in 1 week and then concurrently buying another DD 4Runner and the KOH 4Runner all within a span of less than 2-weeks was amazing, and a great reaffirmation that this KOH build is meant to be.

« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:57:06 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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Next, we are already underway with:
Phase 1: Engine Performance Upgrades!

Based on all of my research and assistance from fellow forum members, there isn’t a ton that can be done to the 4.7L V8 without pursuing forced induction.  And unfortunately forced induction, unless OEM factory equipped, isn’t allowed in the 4600 class.

The stock 4.7L V8 is rated at 260 @ 5,400 rpm Horsepower and 306 @ 3,400 rpm Torque.  Our goal, which may never been fully verified, is to get above 300 Horsepower and around 350 FtLb Torque.

How?

Well, let me introduce our first round of sponsors:
aFe Power:
Their 54-82502 Magnum Force Stage-2 Si Pro 5R Cold Air Intake is a no brainer:
https://afepower.com/afe-power-54-82502-magnum-force-stage-2-si-pro-5r-cold-air-intake-system

It’s got great reviews, has the Magnum Shield pre-filter option for all the dust we’ll encounter at KOH, and their customer service is second to none.

Doug Thorley Headers:
These guys are awesome.  For those who own 4th Gen 4Runners, you already know them.  Their headers are really the only proven, reliable option for the 4.7L V8 and therefore the only thing we’d run on this race build:
http://www.dougthorleyheaders.com/2005-2009-toyota-4runner--lexus-gx470-4.7l-short-tube-headers_15793

URD – Underdog Racing Development:
Gadget, who runs URD, is a legend in the Toyota enthusiast world.  I’ve known of Gadget since I was building up my ’98 tacoma in the early 2000’s.  URD products are second to none.  I reached out to Gadget and asked him for recommendations for this build.  Here’s what he suggested:

-   URD “Offroad” Y Pipe for 2005-2009 4Runner V8:
https://www.urdusa.com/urd-off-road-y-pipe-for-2005-2009-4runner-v8/

-   URD MAF Sensor Calibrator – Universal:
https://www.urdusa.com/urd-maf-sensor-calibrator/

-   URD 2005-2009 4Runner Fuel Pump and Filter Upgrade Kit:
https://www.urdusa.com/urd-2005-2009-4runner-v8-fuel-pumpfilter-upgrade-kit/

-   URD 170 Degree Performance Thermostat for 4.7L V8:
https://www.urdusa.com/170-degree-performance-thermostat-for-2uz-fe-4-7l-v8/

And in order to make sure our MAF Calibrator is used most effectively, we also purchased a UEGO Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge from AEM:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N3VGPYS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

Magnaflow Exhaust:
I’m still waiting to see if our Magnaflow sponsorship will be approved which included high-flow cats and a race series muffler.  In the interim, we have a Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust that should close out our performance mods nicely:
https://www.magnaflow.com/products?partNumber=15781
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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And that brings us up to speed to today.  I have some amazing sponsors yet to be revealed.  And together, we’ve got some amazing plans in store for this build.  For now, I’m planning to wait and reveal our sponsors, and their amazing products being utilized on this build, as we progress through the phases between now and the end of the year.

Our plan is to have an amazingly well built, one of a kind, revolutionary 4th Gen IFS Based 4Runner ready for testing in Johnson Valley by Thanksgiving, or Christmas at the latest.  That should give us 1-2 months for acclimation to the desert and Hammers trails, on location testing, custom suspension tuning, and weak-link identifying – we will not be showing up 1-2 weeks before the race having just completed the vehicle.

More to come soon.  Until then, check out the pics we’re posting to our social media pages (links in the 1st post).  We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and support!
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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300k

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WOW! This is going to be awesome, can't wait to see the build!
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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WOW! This is going to be awesome, can't wait to see the build!

 :yesnod:
-1987 SR5 4runner, 1KZ-te turbo diesel with custom 3" S.S. dump pipe, R-151f transmission, marlin dual ultimate transfer cases w/ triple shifter, SAS, 35's
-1984 SR5 Tercel 4wd wagon bone stock - given to my nephew
-1:10 scale RC 4wd crawler w/yota axles, R2 2 speed enclosed dig tranny and 1st gen 4Runner body by BigBird
-My build thread http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=98969.0
-My front axle service write-up http://board.marlincrawler.com/index.php?topic=97311.0[/ur

:)bestgen4runner

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I am 1/5th of Perfect Fit
SqWADoosh [04:19 PM]: *sigh* I guess Chris is right and I just need to wait until I'm in a place where I have a tow rig and trailer before I get this caliber of truck
Mudder [08:28 PM]:   not try to be a jerk, but are you serious bestgen?
Prismo [06:11 PM]:   Done, time to relax or as Bestgen says....FREEDOM!
HogCanyonHopper [06:54 PM]:   I like my little rod. it gets the job done
H8PVMNT [03:30 PM]: I can go both ways.

Charles4x4 [OP]

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WOW! This is going to be awesome, can't wait to see the build!

Thanks!  In addition to this build thread, please follow us on FB and IG as well.  We'll be posting more pics there later today!

:popcorn:


 :yesnod:

Thanks!
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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More pics of Phase I will be posted later today or tomorrow to FB and IG.  Our first set of sponsor products have officially been installed and more packages just arrived today!

« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:57:34 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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aFe Intake and Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust installed! Doug Thorley headers just arrived!  See all the pics on FB and IG!







« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:53:24 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Rockcrawlintoy

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:)bestgen4runner

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didnt you say these things cant wheel?
I did say that.
Still waiting to see it happen.
I am 1/5th of Perfect Fit
SqWADoosh [04:19 PM]: *sigh* I guess Chris is right and I just need to wait until I'm in a place where I have a tow rig and trailer before I get this caliber of truck
Mudder [08:28 PM]:   not try to be a jerk, but are you serious bestgen?
Prismo [06:11 PM]:   Done, time to relax or as Bestgen says....FREEDOM!
HogCanyonHopper [06:54 PM]:   I like my little rod. it gets the job done
H8PVMNT [03:30 PM]: I can go both ways.

Charles4x4 [OP]

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I did say that.
Still waiting to see it happen.

Ooh, it will happen :shades:.  And needless to say, KOH is a whole different level from "wheeling", so if it survives KOH, you can definitely say it can wheel hardcore!
« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:36:31 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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If you see it, its for sale.

Charles4x4 [OP]

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:worthless:
I'm working to find a way to post pics.  All of mine are too large to attach for some reason.

In the interim, there are a ton of pics here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityRacing4x4/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steelcityracing4x4/
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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300k

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I'm working to find a way to post pics.  All of mine are too large to attach for some reason.

In the interim, there are a ton of pics here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityRacing4x4/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steelcityracing4x4/

Bleh, any picture taken from a camera that isn't 15 years old is too big to upload to the forum. I think you can host stuff 3rd party from facebook?

Edit: yes, yes you can
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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Ooh, it will happen :shades:.  And needless to say, KOH is a whole different level from "wheeling".

Yes it is. I have wheeled the trails there and been to the race a few times
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Yes it is. I have wheeled the trails there and been to the race a few times


Dude i've been to a few races too!
If you see it, its for sale.

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Charles4x4, let me know I'de pimp down and help pit for ya! at KOH.
If you see it, its for sale.

Charles4x4 [OP]

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Bleh, any picture taken from a camera that isn't 15 years old is too big to upload to the forum. I think you can host stuff 3rd party from facebook?

Edit: yes, yes you can
Thanks for helping.  Pics now inserted!!!
« Last Edit: Jun 20, 2018, 11:57:52 AM by Charles4x4 »
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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Charles4x4, let me know I'de pimp down and help pit for ya! at KOH.
Awesome - thank you!  We'll definitely be staged in the Marlin Crawler area and can use all the help we can get! 

We still need skilled hands on our pit crew on Thurs in addition to general support Wed and Thurs!
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Awesome - thank you!  We'll definitely be staged in the Marlin Crawler area and can use all the help we can get! 

We still need skilled hands on our pit crew on Thurs in addition to general support Wed and Thurs!

I would be down to help as well. Maybe Bestgen would be down to go
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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I would be down to help as well. Maybe Bestgen would be down to go

Awesome!  When you all get there, come find me and BigMike at the Marlin Crawler area.
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Awesome!  When you all get there, come find me and BigMike at the Marlin Crawler area.
Where is that at
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Charles4x4 [OP]

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Where is that at
No clue yet.  We'll know more closer to time and a Hammertown map is usually sent out weeks before the race.

I'm coming from AL and dragging as many friends with me as I can.  But I know most will bail (it's a long way to JV), so I'll need all the friends like you all that I can get.
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No clue yet.  We'll know more closer to time and a Hammertown map is usually sent out weeks before the race.

I'm coming from AL and dragging as many friends with me as I can.  But I know most will bail (it's a long way to JV), so I'll need all the friends like you all that I can get.

Zippo and I will be coming from Washington
Resident Jeep Guy
2007 JKU All Stock
ECV 7-11

Charles4x4 [OP]

  • Offline Rock Crawl'n
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Zippo and I will be coming from Washington
Awesome.  I know that's a long drive too.
King of the Hammers 2019 Toyota 4Runner IFS 4600 Build
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