Author Topic: DC Custom Fab FAMILY TRUSTER "JK KILLER"  (Read 3112 times)

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« on: May 30, 2016, 09:25:19 AM »
I've been gone from this forum for quite some time.  In the recent years I've started DC Custom Fabrication in Cashmere WA. I haven't had a reason to be on the Toyota based Marlin Board but I'm back to share this very cool build with you guys.

Little background on this build.  I've owned and built many different vehicles over the years from tube buggies to a very built JK that my wife drove for the past 6 years.  After last years EJS I made the decision that the JK needed to be sold and a more capable family wheeler/expedition rig needed to be built.  The JK had coilovers, long arm suspension, fully built axles, full drivetrain skids and custom bumpers.  As great as the JK platform is, it left me wanting so much more in terms of a pitiful engine/trans combo which gets horrible fuel mileage and cant get out of its own way.  I just couldn't justify a supercharger upgrade form RIP or a V8 Swap.

About 2 years ago I came by a cherry 1987 SR5 4cyl 5sp manual that was totally unmolested and unmodified.  I have owned about 15 Toyota's over the years and have a weakness for the 1st Gen 4Runners especially.  My wife took no convincing to buy it since she has a found love for them as well.  We drove it for about a year and both fell in love with it as a occasional run around rig.  I didn't know if our how I'd ever build it and just enjoyed the simplicity of the rig in stock form.  My wife many times would steal it from me and threaten that I should never ever think about selling it (I know she's a keeper!)

Well about a year ago we took it on a trip to the mountains for her birthday and it got a horrible wobble in the front end on the way home.  I drove it to the shop the next day for work and found that the spindle was completely shot.  I did have a 85 Toyota axle laying around at the shop and planned to just do a SAS on the truck.  Well my business was really busy so the project just started collecting parts for the build at some point.  So that brings us back to EJS 2016.  My wife drove her JK through all the trails in Moab including Pritchett Canyon.  I could tell that with her driving the JK as a DD and our needs to have room for the kids who are now 4 and 6, we would be doing more trips as a family and need a very capable rig we could enjoy as a year round wheeling rig.  The JK was going to either need a power upgrade and some hardcore axle mods, or we could sell the JK and buy her a more usable family rig like a Yukon.  We then could build a streetable hardcore wheeler that we could take to CO, and UT without needing to be trailered. 

SO.....The 4Runner now comes back into the picture.  The engine was going to need some attention as some point sooner than later and I knew that if I'm going to do this, it was going to be done with all the bells and whistles I've always wanted in a 1st Gen 4Runner.  V8 Power, strong axles, linked with coilovers and armor.  I've developed a number of 2nd gen/1st gen Toyota products over the past few years so armor is already taken care of.  I also have built enough SAS'd Toyotas trucks to know the limitations for linked setups and leaf setups in these rigs so I know what frame mods I'd need to make.

I had some Trail Gear Rock Assault axles that I purchased from a customer when he went to 1 tons on his rig a few of years ago.  My plan was to use those, along with the 5.3/4l60 from a 04 Tahoe that I picked up from a rollover.  The 4l60 would be mated to a Toyota gear drive case from the original 4Runner with an upgraded Longfield ouput shaft.  Now I know the 4cyl case isn't amazingly strong but I wanted to use as many parts that I've had laying around the shop as possible. 

I will be showing what I've changed from the original plan as I go through this build thread and explain why these changes have been made.  The goal for completion is July 4 2016 for a Rubicon trip with friends. 

Specs for this build is as follows:
-1987 1st Gen SR5 4Runner 
-SAS with Trail-Gear Rock Assault axles (later changed to 04 SD HPD60, 60 Rear)
-Linked Suspension 3 Link Front, 4 Link Rear
-Radlfo 2x12" Remote reservoir w/compression adjusters
-New front frame from firewall forward
-04 GM DBW 5.3/4l60/toyota 4cyl case (later changed to D300 flipped to drivers drop)
-Relocated fuel cell to behind axle
-Stretched WB (TBD length)
-DC Custom Fab front/rear bumpers, sliders
-Warn 9500I winch

Here is the rig before the build started.

Donor Rig

Lets just say this was a super greasy pig.

After a lot of de-greasing, the engine got completely torn down, inspected and regasketed.

All mocked up and bolted to the 4Cyl Toyota case

gotrocks [OP]

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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 09:26:20 AM »
With the new drivetrain all ready to go, it was time to tear into the 4 Runner and get it all prepped and ready for the transformation.  As I can said before, I know what does and doesn't work for getting these frames to work for a linked setup.  My former business partner and very good friend Brandon did a linked setup with a FJ80 front axle on this 4Runner a few years ago.  I took what he learned from his swap and decided I didn't want this build to require a ton of plate work to the frame and notching to clear the panhard, and steering.  It would also need some beefing up for the motor mounts for a v8.  So making a a new front frame was a no brainer.

Doing this saved a ton of time not having to break out the grinder to clean off all the IFS mounts.  Not to mention pulling the drivetrain was a breeze.

After getting all that out of the way I designed up a template for the new front frame section.

Here's the BEFORE


gotrocks [OP]

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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 09:30:19 AM »
With the new Frame now in place it was time to gusset the new section in to the original frame.  The front frame section is 2x3 .190" rectangular tubing.  This allowed me to mount straight to it for shocks, motor mounts, and panhard.  Weight different between .120" and .190" was only 15 pounds or so and it seemed worth while for such a small weight increase. 

The 2 sections of frame blended really nicely.  Hard to tell where the factory frame ends and the new one starts.  The beauty of the 2x3 is that it fits into the factory frame inner dimensions and makes a really clean transition.  If you notice the large circle on the top of the gusset plate will be used for the shock mounts when they get built.

While I was doing fish plates, I cleaned off the mid section of the frame of any factory tabs and prepped it for link locations and drivetrain mounts.

gotrocks [OP]

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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 09:31:10 AM »
Now that the frame was ready. I rolled the axle under to look at what kind of clearances I'd be working with.  This shot is with the 40" tires touching the uncut fenders.  Clearance for steering and panhard will not be an issue now that this new frame is made.

Before I put the drivetrain in, I shot a coat of clear on the cleaned raw aluminum.  I've painted my drivetrains the past, but decided to keep it raw looking this time and just put a coat of clear to help keep grease and dirt out of the pours of the metal.  I hate dirty engine bays and like to keep an eye on any leaking components when they start.

For the T-Case mount I made a rear mount plate similar to Front Range Offroad that will be part of the rear drivetrain support.

Time to start slinging in the engine.  Don't know how I ever lived without a fork lift.

Its a close fit... really frustrated I dinged up the firewall.  We had to modify a section back to get another 1" out of the setback.  This will get touched up during final assembly.

Here's Cody my intern having fun while getting the motor mounts welded in. 

Rear Tcase Mount.  This mount would have had more plate work done but will be removed for the D300 coming in a later post.


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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 09:37:26 AM »
Very nice! :popcorn: Can't wait to see more  :thumbs:
Where are we going? And why are we in a handbasket?

My friend is goin to moan this weekend - RockcrawlinJK


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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 09:59:32 AM »

The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.

~ John F. Kennedy ~


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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 12:59:04 PM »
Wow is exactly what I said "wow" out loud. 
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.


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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 05:27:43 PM »
Nice work on the frame mods!
If you see it, its for sale.


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