Rebuilt Drivetrain: 1986 Toyota 4Runner – SOLD!

Jan 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

January 10, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The Toyota 4Runner is a perfect example of a truck that was used for years as a throwaway workhorse that seemingly became a collector’s item overnight. There was a time when all but the lowest-mileage and most virgin trucks commanded top dollar; now, seemingly any well-maintained 4Runner without rust is a five-figure investment. This 1986 SR5 model was originally listed in January 2021 on Craigslist in Queens, New York with a laundry list of recent mechanical and cosmetic improvements and an asking price of $8,000. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has priced his truck quite competitively, as a “Good” example is worth $12,300 and even an average truck in “Fair” condition is worth $5,100 – and this one seems way better than that.

The fact that the 4Runner formula has proven to be immensely popular with the rise in “rad”-era vehicles shouldn’t be surprising, as it captures so many of the details that make for a classic SUV. It’s two doors, with a removable hardtop. It features a roll bar so you can legitimately drive with the rear of the truck wide open, able to catch all of the sun’s rays. It looks fantastic with a lift kit and tube bumpers, not to mention some color-matched period wheels in the finest Back to the Future tradition. Throw in the fact that it comes with a bulletproof engine and a traditional manual gearbox and it’s practically a no-brainer in terms of why the 4Runner has become such a darling of fans of imported 4x4s. There was even a rare turbocharged edition if you want to max out all the requirements for making an 80s vehicle instantly desirable.

The MotorWeek Retro Review Channel features this test drive of a virtually identical 1985 Toyota 4Runner:

The main hurdle to buying one is finding a truck that hasn’t been ravaged by rust, or beaten to within an inch of its life. Despite healthy production numbers, survivors are hard to find and command top dollar when they are discovered (largely by flippers these days). The seller’s truck seems like the right kind to buy, as it’s not too nice not to use but also has had some smart money spent on it for projects the next owner won’t have to worry about. The 4Runner has a fairly staggering amount of miles, however, even for a Toyota, with an odometer reading approaching 345,000 miles. Fortunately, the tough-as-nails 22RE four-cylinder engine was rebuilt at 225,000 miles, so even though the chassis has seen some action, the drivetrain should be fairly bulletproof for years to come. Check out the full list of fixes and improvements below, and good luck with the purchase if you choose to bring this high-mileage 4Runner home!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For sale is my 1986 Toyota 4Runner. This 4runner is an SR5 model and is equipped with power windows, locks, factory AC and cruise control, which works. The back window also works with both the switch and key. It’s powered by the legendary 22RE which was rebuilt at 225k miles. Transmissiion is a W56 5spd manual. The odometer reads 344,571 miles. I have owned her for the past 3 years as my daily driver. I am the true second owner of the vehicle. This 4runner drives beautifully. I would gladly drive it coast to coast tomorrow as I have already done once before. Clean title in my name as well as every receipt since 1987. I truly love this 4runner and restoring her has been an absolute pleasure. My reason for selling is that I found another 4Runner and simply cannot store both. I’m asking $8,750. Spare parts will also be included in the deal. So please account this into the price. I am open to reasonable cash offers but no trades, please.

During the course of my ownership, I have made the following repairs and enhancements.

* New Carpeting installed
* All plastics repainted and repaired where necessary
* Seats replaced and cleaned
* Rear passenger door cards reupholstered

Suspension, Steering and braking
* New Steering Rack
* New Inner and Outer Tierods
* New Upper and Lower Ball Joints
* New Bilstein Shocks
* New Idler Arm
* New CV Axles
* New Front Wheel Bearings
* All new brakes and brake hardware

* All Vaccum lines replaced with silicone lines from LCE Engineering
* Valve Cover gasket replaced
* Head billets replaced with metal ones from 22re Performance
* PCV Valve replaced with OE Toyota
* Throttle Body cleaned yearly.
* Engline coolant lines all replaced. Small hoses replaced with OE Toyota parts.
* New Radiator
* New Aisin Water pump
* New Aisin Fan and Fan Clutch
* New Toyota OE Thermostat
* Replaced accessory belts
* New LCE Engineering Exhaust header with 4 wire 02 Sensor
* Exhaust pipes all replaced with stock setup from Advanced Auto Parts
* New Fuel Pump

Transmission & Drivetrain
* Replaced shifter bushings.
* New Clutch at 315k Miles (By previous owner)
* Rear diff replaced (By previous owner)

* Fuel line replaced with Stainless steel AN6 line.
* Brake lines replaced with stainless steel lines.
* Bluetooth Radio Installed
* New Ignition Lock Cylinder

While this 4runner is beautiful and will get you anywhere you want to, there are a few items to note while viewing the photos. The rear spare tire holder is quite rusty. This is spreading to the rear frame and will need to eventually be sorted out. Before I owned it the body was repaired and patched for rust holes and stuff like that. Whoever did the repair did a great job keeping the truck looking as stock as possible. The rear pinion seal drips gear oil and will need to be replaced. All fluids should be flushed as well. I haven’t done it for about a year. Please let me know on here if you have any questions. I will not respond to “Is this still available”..

Do you have a Toyota 4Runner story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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