Since Dad already owned a "locked and loaded" '87 4Runner before he bought these, he planned on getting them running and selling them for a large profit. This is where my dilemma arises. I want one of them so badly I could die. He has told me that if I can come up with $400, I can have the one of my choice. I am taking one-time jobs to come up with the money. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I live on borrowed money these days, so I pinch pennies in my sleep. Either one would need many parts to meet my standards for a sweet trail rider. My question to you is which one should I work toward buying?
Please help me! I desperately want to show all of the local yokels at Wheelin' in the Country that "foreign s**t driven by a chick" isn't something to laugh at.
We replied: Get the '85. It has a solid front axle and is a much better project to start with. Check stuff like the doors, hood, and tailgate and see if any of them are rusted. If so, get those good parts off the '87. The '85 might have fuel injection (22RE engine), but could also have had a carburetor (22R engine).
Catherine replied: I'm going to choose the '85, it has a 22RE and an automatic transmission! All the reviews I've read of the A340H have been pretty good. I know, I know: Most of the wheelers say that is a no-no, but I'm really pretty horrible with a five-speed. I've already looked into some stuff and I've found that lifts for the '85 are much, much cheaper than for the '87. Yay for solid axles!
We replied: The best advice for Toyota buildups of this type are dual transfer cases such as those from Advance Adapters (www.advanceadapters.com), Marlin Crawler (www.marlincrawler.com), or Inchworm Gear (www.inchwormgear.com). A dual transfer case is basically two low-range gearboxes stacked to give you very low gearing. The low gearing makes crawling much easier in rocks and stuff, while still allowing you to have higher gears for mud, sand, and street. Because you have just a four-cylinder you need as much gearing as possible.
Then it's a set of leaf springs and shocks (All-Pro Off Road, www.allprooffroad.com; ARB, www. arbusa.com; Skyjacker, www.skyjacker.com; and so on) and lockers. Add a winch for extraction and some mud tires, and you're golden. A small Toyota shop, Toy-Soldiers (818.731.0125, www.toysoldiers1.com), in Atoka, Oklahoma, could also help with your truck if you need a hand.
Catherine replied: I took the photo of the '85 just today. What you can't see in the picture is the two explosive detonators in the front seat!
As I was removing old beer bottles, about 20 moldy pairs of socks, and random light lenses not even for a 4Runner, I found an old KC light cover. I figured if I kept digging I would come across some lights! A little more prying and-a-ha! Some electrical wires! I began pulling on them to get my prize at the other end, only to keep pulling and pulling. Finally the end came out. What emerged was a small silver cylinder. Having no idea what it was, I brought the thing close to my eyes to read the words printed on the side: "Danger Explosive Detonator." Not one, but two. I set it down, slowly backed away, then ran.
After first calling my dad, I then phoned the local sheriff's department (since we live so far out in the boonies there is no police service). A deputy came out to inspect my findings. He had no clue what they were either. By this point, he and I had messed with them. He called his boss, who immediately told him the bomb squad would have to drive all the way down from Nashville to either detonate them or remove them.
Two hours later a dark Expedition rolled up. Out jumped a G.I. Joe with a "bomb squad" hat. He pulled out his frag bag and put the detonators in it more carefully than putting a sleeping baby to bed.