Moving to Vegas, and really interested in playing in the desert

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TheBFA

member
May 3, 2019
37
12
8
Las Vegas
Welcome to Vegas... What area of town did you end up in? If you want to pick some brains in person I'm always down to BS... I've got a little hands on experience in this scene.
I'm not there just yet. Waiting to hear back from UA525. Supposed to hear from them today. I'm planning on heading out next week, and probably going to do Air bnb until I find a place to rent. I'm kind of leaning towards the southern half of town, like Henderson or Enterprise. I found a house in Spring Valley with a 4 car garage I'd like to rent, but will have to see if it's still available in two weeks or so. I'm definitely down to make some friends that share hobbies.
 

TheBFA

member
May 3, 2019
37
12
8
Las Vegas
Kinds sounds like he wants to keep his 4x project a project, and get a multi use full size that can romp around the desert a little. Nothing wrong with that, just got to stop the ball before you're building a full size race truck lol.

I like fords, but couldn't recommend the older f150s lol. Slow ass v8s, suck on gas, meh trannys, likes to break core supports, boaty ass rigs, etc lol. Only trucks of those that I'd own is the one I do own, single cab 4.9 5 speed 4x4 short bed lol. I do hate on those trucks, and kind of my hang up with broncos too.

A mild 4x4 full size sounds like what your looking for since you have the other project. Can't really recommend a good full size 4x4 to build. I always liked the titans I have been in. Seem to tow pretty well. A member on here converted his 4x titan to ttb, thing was kick ass.

While we are on the subject of beams or arms, trophy trucks get use Center mounted a arms which is a different game than bolt on arms for stock suspension mounts. Center mount >I beams> most bolt on a arm kits, there I said it! We can finally end the great debate..... and beams win hands down for 4x4 long travel!


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I'm just thinking if I can tow my 4runner, then I'd have both to play with at the same time. I'm picturing my 4Runner to be my Moab rock toy, and whatever I get next to be a fast desert toy, so I'm really leaning towards 2wd. And I'd probably switch them out as daily drivers while working on them back and forth. We have the SHO that fits all of us fine, so I don't necessarily need a family truck, but it's just so much more convenient. I also have this pipedream of building a long travel 70's Challenger or Charger. I don't care if it's built off the original frame, I just want the body on there with not too much ground clearance. I have a header fabrication kit I want to put to use and build some turbo manifolds and twin turbo an LS motor to put in it. I know it's pretty big thinking, but I really want to have a go at it.
 

bri_man57

Need to Build
Jul 11, 2005
2,600
58
48
Ventura, California
Personally, I don't know if I'd put my desert toy up to the task of towing my rock crawling toy a couple states away lol. Might be my because my desert toy I'd slightly clapped these days! Ha ha.

I hear ya man, you got the 4x rig, build a 2wd one. My only hang up is (my desert toy is 2wd BTW) is the 4x is really the do all rig. If I ever build another one, it will be a ttb rig. You don't need 4x4 in the desert.....until you do lol. It just bothers me that my stock ttb f150s can get up things my full built off road truck cant, but that's me. I don't know if I would be building a full size 4x though, I'm super preferable to mid size trucks for off road vehicles.

Sounds like a cool project you got in mind! I got one just like it, really want to take a stab at it but it's daunting. Not as daunting as yours, but lots to think about.

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sirhk100

Racer
Feb 24, 2003
16,432
276
83
Las Vegas
I know you said you're anti ford but dollar for dollar when it comes down to a great all around platform that will wheel great and also go fast, it's really hard to beat the old Ford Exploders and full size bronco's with the TTB front suspension. You can set them up to do either really damn good or you can aim for middle of the road and have a really well rounded setup! My first hand experience though was simply the age of the vehicle and fighting old car type of gremlins from an era where Ford was trying to move into some of the 90's tech and trying to leave the 80's behind and well, now that tech is aging so that tech turns into gremlins to deal with.

I used to run this one through whoops pretty hard, used it to prerun race courses with, used it to "overland", used it to play with jeep friends, jumped it occasionally but kept it within reason. It had lockers front and rear and crawled great but it also had coilovers and was widened up front with hydro bumps, rear was on a heavily massaged set of custom leafs and some bypass shocks. Worked awesome when crap 90's ford parts weren't breaking!!!! LOL Best of both worlds, swap in that modern LS and replace all the crap inside the doors! Use the ford chassis and suspension with the new driveline basically. That would be a hot setup imo...



 
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dsrtrcr01

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2005
4,468
896
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I have the Toyota version of his old one /\
No gremlins though because it is an 80's Toyota. 4wd. Long travel front and rear. Takes whoops like a champ and goes up anything with it being locked front and rear. Except for that second pic above because I am a chicken. I have nto got my 4wd/crawling legs yet. All I have owned has been 2wd so no experience with that stuff. Seats all 4 of us.

http://www.dezertrangers.com/forum/threads/pre-runnin-4runner-1988.128262/




Just another idea for you in the mini/midsize market.
 

TheBFA

member
May 3, 2019
37
12
8
Las Vegas
I have the Toyota version of his old one /\
No gremlins though because it is an 80's Toyota. 4wd. Long travel front and rear. Takes whoops like a champ and goes up anything with it being locked front and rear. Except for that second pic above because I am a chicken. I have nto got my 4wd/crawling legs yet. All I have owned has been 2wd so no experience with that stuff. Seats all 4 of us.

http://www.dezertrangers.com/forum/threads/pre-runnin-4runner-1988.128262/




Just another idea for you in the mini/midsize market.
If I could get mine built up strong enough to have the confidence to get that rough with it, I'd probably do that. The previous owner put some kind of custom made pitman arm on the passenger side because he was breaking it often, but I ended up snapping the heim joint where the linkage connects once while out on trails in the mountains. Had to drive out 6 miles with googly-eyed steering. I have 5.29 gears, and Detroit lockers front and rear, and used to have Land Cruiser springs in the rear, panhard drop bracket, with the front torsion jacked all the way up with 2" UCA spacers. Those got replaced with the 4" ProComp lift, which I think sags lower in the rear now than the LC Springs. I didn't even gain much in the front for height. I almost feel like it was a complete waste if it weren't for all the drop brackets making the geometry better and lowering the front diff. My CV axels aren't at a ridiculous angle anymore. But the material thickness seemed a little on the thin side for all the brackets.

I don't know enough about the lockers to tell if I'm having issues with them. I know they're definitely locking. I'm always spinning out the inside tire when turning in parking lots. But at least once a week I'll get a binding feeling followed by a loud bang, scaring everyone around. I've heard that's normal, but it still seems a little sketchy to me, and not sure if it's supposed to chatter as much as it does at really low speeds when getting off the gas. I don't mind it, but just a little worried. My biggest thing is not knowing exactly what I want to do. I think I want to 4 link the rear. Almost for sure SAS the front. Everything electrical in the vehicle still works, aside from the windows being a little slow, so I don't mind dumping a bunch of money into it and have a decently dependable vehicle, which would still be less than buying a newer vehicle that isn't nearly as fun. I wouldn't have any qualms dumping $15k into the new engine, drivetrain, and suspension. I just need a direction to go in.

Here's pics of the pitman arm, or idler arm, which ever it's called. Don't mind the mess haha. I need to check out a steering pump leak, and my tie rod ends are actually brand new, but had an adventure with a wrong sized battery rubbing the AC pulley and misting acid all over. When I replace the motor, I'll see about reversing all that damage.
 

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dsrtrcr01

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2005
4,468
896
113
Your front suspension is identical to mine. You can run the exact same kit if you wanted to. The idler arm in your picture is probably breaking due to your drop bracket lift kit and the fact that you are really using it for off road purposes. Drop brackets are not meant for off road (My opinion). That would be my assumption.

I know a guy who has your same 4 runner and runs my front kit with some custom deaver F67 leaf's in the back and a truck rear end. Same rear end as yours just without having to cut all that 4 link bracketry off.

You could build your 4runner into a desert truck also and just use the same vehicle for desert and rocks. I know if you ran some better suspension front and rear that would only help you crawl. The added width may be a downfall??? Who knows.

They even make bedsides for your year:



Word on the street is a 3.4 swap is pretty easy for 3.0 based Toyotas. The 3.4 is an awesome motor and very reliable also.
 

TheBFA

member
May 3, 2019
37
12
8
Las Vegas
When I broke the steering linkage, it was with just the torsion bars cranked and the 2" UCA spacers on the front. But I was going downhill at the time on a rutted trail and I think I tucked it pretty hard into a rut in a turn, and wasn't taking it easy at all because it was new to me and I was acting like it was bulletproof. All the drop bracket stuff got put in last October and I haven't taken it offroad yet. I'm still rubbing the rear tires with moderate tucking and my tool box in the back. I haven't done any trimming back there yet though. I don't think I could remove my lift kit complete, so I'd have a hard time selling it to recoupe anything from it. I don't have sway bars and sold the links for that along with my LC springs and UCA spacers to a guy that wanted to add 2" to his. I'd like to get sway bars, and ordered some around Oct, but was told they were on an indefinite back order or something, so cancelled it. Only tried a junk yard once and the runner they had looked too rusted for my liking.

I love the spacers, and it feels noticeably more planted, so I'd try to do anything I can to keep them. But if I could do an axle swap and get the width without the spacers, I'd be all over that.

That rear side does look pretty nice. I'm going to make my own fenders and rear bumper relatively soon, and after seeing that, will probably follow that same line in the back. I think I'm going to make a tubular rear bumper and have it wrap around about a foot to use as a step. I'd like to make my own front bumper, but I kind of like the stinger bumper I have on it now, so will probably just leave it alone. Just need to put a plate under it.
 
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chewy0288

Mega Member
Dec 11, 2011
3,159
67
48
near sacramento
I second building the runner as a dual
Purpose rig. And maybe getting a daily driver/tow rig.

As far as the Detroit locker being clunky, and awkward. I can confirm. But you should be able to learn it’s quirks, and change your driving habits. Every now and then you would still get that disheartening “bang”. I beat the crap out of that Detroit and it never let me down, but eventually swapped it out for a more street friendly option.


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