Author Topic: New Member Intro Long-Term 1st Gen 4Runner Owner/Fan  (Read 525 times)

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  • Offline Dusty Trails
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New Member Intro Long-Term 1st Gen 4Runner Owner/Fan
« on: Oct 09, 2018, 04:34:41 AM »
Howdy! Ever since the summer of 1983, when my fraternity brother, who was now the Sales Manager for the Truck Division of Mid-Atlantic Toyota, showed up at our beach house in Ocean City, MD with the FIRST 4Runner on the East Coast, I have been in love with these hunks of soul-infused metal, plastic and rubber. We took the top off, and cruised around Ocean City with 6 of us in the truck, including standing up and holding onto the padded roll bar. With maybe a few drinks in the passengers, we had the time of our lives in the surf between OC and Bethany. I found out many years later Toyota had to write that truck off for frame rust-out from the salt water.....
As a poor college student, I saved and bought a used Rust-Colored 1984 4Runner in the summer of 1985, bone stock, no rear seats. used for $8000 with 22k miles. Next summer (1986) I see an ad for a Pristine loaded 1985 SR5, Black with grey interior, tach, efi, original stripes, 15k miles, for $10,500. Roll-up windows, fine with me. I jumped on it and sold the 84 for $8400 with 26k on it. It actually increased in value as there were so few 4Runners being imported at the time. I must say the extra 20hp with the efi (85) over carb (84) made a big impact. Making money now, I then outfitted new "Blackie" with $2k in Nak stereo gear, Alpine Alarm, Passport detector, CB radio, and ski racks. That thing then went skiing about 750 times, many trips to many girls houses, beaches, everywhere. I took it up to 365k miles in 12 years, stock engine, stock trans. It did like to blow front oil seals every 80-100k miles, and the first timing chain chain at 212k miles made it seem like a new engine again.
In the meantime (same-time) I owned a Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser Wagon from 85 for 2 years 1990-1991, bought for $5000. It was fun to go skiing with, strained that engine at highway speeds the way it was geared, but was great on winding country roads. I sold it for $5000, getting maybe 50 calls asking if it was the jeep version, me saying no its the wagon type, and hearing an instant hang-up. There were freaks back 30 years ago for those jeep versions....
After owning a 2001 BMW M5, and 2 Mercedes wagons (300TE and E320), I finally decided to buy a 1999 Green SR5 4runner 10 years ago, $8000 for one with 80k miles. It has served me quite well for 10 years, now at 195k miles. That 3.4L seems to be a big improvement over the 3.0L of the 2nd gen 4Runners. I have had to get under the truck a few times over the years to beat back the Maryland winter salt from getting to the frame and rusting it out.
SO, after being disgusted withe modern computers in cars (the BMW M5 went to hell after the awesome E39 series with computer modules), and wanting to work on my own cars, and still being in love with 1st gen 4Runners, I decided 6 months ago to find 2 '80s 4Runners, one mint/pristine, totally stock, no rust, with about 100k miles, and the other a driver, one I can oufit with all my electronics, gear, stereos, cargo basket, etc. I am here to announce that I have found both, one red pristine stock 1986, SR5, with a frame you can eat off of, with 115k on the odometer. Everything works great, it was an old man florida truck, garage kept. Nice find. The next find blew my mind - my "driver". A 1988 4Runner, that an young engineer built for himself over hundreds of hours, only to have a new fiance convince him he spent too much time on it, and not enough on her, and made him buy a new 4Runner so they would have more time together. Those women will get you every time....
This 1988 is special, instead of just finding a nice 4Runner with maybe 200k, good frame and body, nothing replaced, after looking at 1000 junk and modified vehicles, the shining jewel of them all shined it light on me. I jumped. Grabbed the cash and drove immediately 200 miles and bought it on the spot. WAIT TIL YOU SEE WHAT I BOUGHT - a teaser - New 22reperformance 22RE, new Marlin Crawler W56, 2 Trailgear 2.28 transfer cases, new tires, new stainless exhaust, welded steel all around bumpers, new exedy hd clutch, Tom Woods Drive Shafts, and the list goes on and on. The whole truck is rust free, new everything, new window seals, rear window like new, garage kept most of it's life, it is still blowing my mind. Full details and photos of old and new to come. Hope this has been good reading!


  • Offline Rock Crawl'n
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Man, sounds like you've got the dream scenario happening. Nicely done!


  • Offline The 1.5K Club
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