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The 85' 4Runner Orange Saphhire

Home Forums TRUCK BUILDS The 85' 4Runner Orange Saphhire

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    Story time: I’ve wanted a first gen since I was 15 years old. A older friend of mine was a Toyota mechanic and he had an 85 Sr5 4runner on 36s that I thought was the coolest thing ever. That was what I learned to drive standard in. That was ten years ago.

    That dream never really panned out, I got a 86 Samurai project instead, I traded a dirt bike for it. It was way beyond my knowledge back then because the previous owner started a 1.6 efi swap. So I sold that forgot about wheeling

    Then it was time to buy my first vehicle so I could be a functioning member of society. So I bought a 2004 TRD Tacoma. I loved it, and it really got me started as a Toyota enthusiast.

    Fast forward to 3 years ago, I bought my dream, an SR5 85′ 4runner, 4 inch superlift (LOL) 33 all terrains, it had 4.88s and a rear lock right locker. That is what this thread is all about. I nicknamed it Orange Saphhire after I started dating my wife, because I always joked that I would have to sell it to buy her some fancy sapphire engagement ring… I didn’t have to sell it, andwe did get married.


    My first vehicle Tacoma, and my first wheeler

    Bringing orange saphhire home

    Testing the flex on my first solid axle toyota


    Orange Saphhire was so rusty, you know when you get way too excited purchasing something and don’t look it over well enough? Case in point, an Ontario 4runner with 560,000 kms




    Good start – I bet Finn has some parts you could use!


    welcome aboard this ship of fools toy-yota. yeah, slick is right, there might stuff in the shed.


    Thanks guys, I had a build on SONTT, so I’m just moving it over. The truck is nearing completion so I have a lot of updates to show from the last few years.

    Fixed the floor, sorry it’s upside down. Welded in sheet metal and bed lined it.

    Floor fixed


    Thumbs bs up for a fixed floor, now it can hold my camping gear. Took it up to Minden trails when I first got it. It was in the spring and really well, slid around and smashed up a lot of the body on that trip. After that I got a winch.



    Loaded up





    More Minden pics.






    By this time I was still trailering it to go wheeling, it didn’t really make sense to keep it on 33s if I was going to trailer it. I didn’t like the push pull steering, I was starting to crawl more, and I wanted some more flex. So this started the first phase, version 1.0. Truss the axle with Trail gear stuff and rebuild, highsteer, new hanger and boomerang shackles and RUF springs to move the axle a few inches forward. Build a square shaft and find some tires.



    Axle 2



    It sat too high, so I took a leaf out and then wheeled it without lifting the back more, because I’m impatient. Tires are 36×12.5 bias swampers. This trail is around Apsley.

    New axle in





    i wasn’t sure but i thought i recognized the 4runner n the tow pig from the old forum. are you sure you weren’t in australia for that 1st pic? way to get after it dude


    Haha I wish I was in Australia, my friend is there now for 8 months, he sends me a picture a day of quad cab Hilux!

    Continuation of version 1.0:

    Skys off-road rear hanger kit, and I did reverse F150 springs. Built a rear bumper.




    Go pro



    FlexWheeled, wheeled, and wheeled some more. I’ve had so much fun with this truck. I’m happy 4 or 5 of my friends built Toyotas too. I couldn’t think of a better truck to learn mechanics on.

    Oh and I painted the rims black too.





    I took these pictures for a kijiji ad. It was super rusty all over, it looked good in pictures. I decided that I wanted to sell or part out and build something cleaner that I could daily drive every now again. I’m a Landscaper so my red Ford is what i drive everyday, but I figured I could drive my wheeler around on the weekends or get groceries and stuff.


    The floor

    Then I realized that every time somebody inquired about my truck I would turn them away, or make excuses. I really didn’t want to sell it and I knew because the body was so bad that I would never get the money I wanted out of it. I put so much work into it and it had some sentimental value to me too.

    So I did this:

    88′ DLX, decent body, good top. Interior was fairly clean, dash wasn’t cracked. 22re was blown and the tranny was taken apart. I also bought a newer 22re from the same guy. He has some kijiji ads out in West Lincoln, great guy to deal with. Bought lots of stuff off him.


    Bought the 88, but the trucks were staying at my parents house where my shop and equipment is, so progress was pretty slow. I didn’t touch the 88 for a while but I kept wheeling the 85 for a few more months. Went on our annual trip with my buddies which was awesome. And used it for firewood.

    I do love this forum by the way, I hope it turns into what SONTT was.


    Tear down on the 88, definitely wasn’t as clean as I thought it was. I pulled the body, and brought it to my friends shop to clean up the body a little. Once I got into it, it was very time consuming, the floor needed to be replaced on the driver side, and some work on the rockers. But! It was way better than my 85 and in my opinion still worth fixing. Let me know what you guys think.


    Once the body was done it’s prep work, I had to get going on the frame. I wanted to put the frame back under it, and then move it to wear I was going to paint it. Old body was thrashed. POR-15 was my friend on this build.




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