Shop owner Mike Caskey rolled his ’85 4Runner and needed a new truck. In comes “Baby,” a ‘92 4Runner. This ‘92 4Runner was built for hard-core rockcrawling and received the full meal deal. Upgrades include a 3.4 liter Tacoma motor, custom 4-link suspension front and rear, swaybar, 17″ travel Bilstein coil overs, custom front FJ80 Landcruiser axle, custom rear T100 axle, 42″ TSLs with HD beadlocks, R151F turbo transmission, dual 23-spline Toyota transfer cases with 4.7 gearing, dual ARB air lockers and 5.29 gears, full float axle, custom body modifications, a rear tube frame, crazy exo cage, ORS bumpers with a stinger up front, and a Warn winch.
The front and rear suspension were designed to allow more travel. 17″ travel coil overs on full width Toyota axles were used to achieve ridiculous amounts of suspension travel. The front section of the body was removed and replaced with a completely tubular front clip that mounts the front coil over shocks. 1.75″ .281 wall DOM control arms were fabricated to locate the axle. All brackets on the axle and frame were hand fabricated for this application. The front axle was moved 9″ forward & a FJ80 steering gear was used. Custom steering links w/ FJ80 ends were fabbed up to finish off the steering.
Due to the desired coil over angles, the rear half of the frame was ditched in place of 2″x.120 D.O.M. tubular frame rails. The rear frame incorporates the upper shock mounts, rear bumper, and was tied into the exterior rollcage. The rear uses a simple triangulated 4-link control arm set up with 1.75″ .281 wall D.O.M. tubing control arms.
This project was used as the prototype for our 3.4L swap. Custom brake lines and hoses were routed. Once the details are worked out, look to see this 4Runner cruisin’ the streets with a fresh coat of paint.
One of the finishing details included the custom body work. We removed the roof behind the rear doors before a rock was given the opportunity to do so. The rear portion of the roof was grafted into the fresh body cut for a very clean finish. There was a very large hole in the rear floorboard due to tire clearance issues. Custom tubbing was done to patch these holes.
The cage was designed for optimum strength and safety. The main hoop was built around the rear doors, which were permanently welded shut. Directly behind the rear doors you can see where the rear part of the roof was attached back onto the body. The fuel cell was mounted in the bed, bolted to the frame rails. The fuel cell and coilover mounts were covered with a custom tub job for a cleaner look. If you examine the front of the 4Runner, you can see the custom grill. We took a Toyota grill and cut holes to make room for the Hella headlights. It was also shortened to allow the marker lights to be closer to the center.
At this point we did a little more work. In order to gain some stability, a Currie anti-rock sway bar was added. This has been working well so far. Also, some more interior work was finished. Just because rocks may mangle the exterior doesn’t mean the interior can’t look good. Turning 42 inch tires is no easy task, so a pair of chromoly birfields from CV Unlimited and chromoly inner axles from Poly Performance were installed in the front axle, which has also been working well so far. The rear axle housing has been upgraded to a full float, and as you can see from the pic below, this runner received a shiny yellow paint job. If you look even closer, you can see how some rocks have already added some custom panel work.
This 4Runner made it’s way to 2 magazine covers in it’s time: 4Wheel & Offroad and Crawl. We are sad to say that Baby is no longer in our possession. We wanted something a little lighter that was setup around larger tires. We parted out the vehicle and will be re-using some of her parts in a full-tube chassis. The body/frame was sold to a gentleman in TX. We hear she is being resurrected.