View Full Version : 85 4runner Pickup Tailgate Swap and Spare Tire Carrier/Rear Bumper Build.

01-06-2012, 06:05 AM
Well I think it is safe to say that I am never as happy with my truck as I am when I am working on it...that being said I decided to tackle two projects at once: 1. Pickup tailgate swap 2. New rear bumper to mount higher and tighter under the pickup tailgate. My plan for the rear window is to make a camper shell style rear window out of 1/4" plexiglass. (Eventually I will go to a soft top...) All in all the project is about 95% done as of now.

I will let the pictures do the talking:

How the original set up was with old bumper and stock 4runner tailgate.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/390047_10150384281281356_561751355_8717520_1828883 101_n.jpg

Mocking up the truck tailgate...lots of clearance gained!
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/375486_749625203279_35802160_36322014_1583773298_n .jpg

Pic of the tailgate in. I used a piece of 1x2, welded in between the body where the stock tailgate would bolt and then welded the hinges from the tailgate to the 1x2. I could have spent the extra time to make everything bolt on but for what it is I was fine with welding everything. Last thing to do here is to make a filler plate from the 1x2 to the bed.
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/394831_749625128429_35802160_36322012_1735592363_n .jpg

4runner under the knife and making the filler plates to cap the fenders. Hit it with the grinder, coat of bondo and some paint.
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/380117_749625153379_35802160_36322016_1739542153_n .jpg
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/381296_749625208269_35802160_36322025_813711819_n. jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/389380_749625148389_35802160_36322013_525436736_n. jpg
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/396050_749625198289_35802160_36322022_1055884093_n .jpg
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/407499_749625143399_35802160_36322010_1939064876_n .jpg
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/383695_749625138409_35802160_36322008_1389935891_n .jpg
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/409502_749625133419_35802160_36322009_320059468_n. jpg

For the bumper I picked up some scrap 2x3 1/4" and then cut it up to wrap around the rear quarters for protection. (On the passenger side it is now protecting a dent!)
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/373897_749625123439_35802160_36322015_29254009_n.j pg
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/376106_749625188309_35802160_36322020_459738612_n. jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/407138_749625118449_35802160_36322007_1145335573_n .jpg

Built some brackets that slide in between the frame rails and bolt to the stock locations. Also welded 1.75" tube from the wrap around corner protection to the frame. Figured if I ever take the bumper off I'll cut the tubes and make a sleeve that enables them to be bolted together.
Also picked up a new trailer spindle for the swing out carrier, hole sawed and then welded top and bottom.
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/384995_749625916849_35802160_36322028_1600166488_n .jpg
Roughly mocked up.
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/403675_749625183319_35802160_36322023_1959445609_n .jpg

I needed to modify the tire carrier because now that the bumper was raised, the spare tire was moved way too far upwards along with the top toggle latch (ordered a new toggle latch instead of cutting the old one off). I cut and spliced new tube to make it work. After all that I think I would have rather started from scratch as I can see a few things in the old carrier that I would like to make better...maybe a project later on.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/389423_749631750159_35802160_36322084_625578096_n. jpg
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/408973_749631969719_35802160_36322089_1356350709_n .jpg
http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/379413_749631755149_35802160_36322085_1025211570_n .jpg
Found the round plate that the studs are through in the scrap baskets outside of sims. I saw that and knew right where it was going!
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/402708_749631770119_35802160_36322088_598353871_n. jpg
http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/401004_749631730199_35802160_36322082_924190464_n. jpg
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/384985_749631765129_35802160_36322087_2089097544_n .jpg

Well thats it for now. Will post up more as everything gets finalized and finally buttoned up.

01-06-2012, 01:47 PM
Wow, fantastic. I would LOVE to have your '85. Very interested to see what you come up with for plexi hatch on the hard top.

01-06-2012, 02:10 PM
Nice work! Cool mod.

01-06-2012, 09:48 PM
Nice work! It's good to have those tools and skills to use them.

01-08-2012, 12:12 PM
when i did away with the power window in my 89, i used the frame out of an old cmper top that came off of a nissan that i used to have. i took the old glass out of the frame, shaped and cut it to fit, and used self-tapping screws to secure it to the metal channel in teh top where the rear window would sit when rolled up. i put some gasket makeer around the edges to seal it up. i'm no body man and it shows, but it is definetly functional and doesn' t leak. i'll try to get some pictures today if the weather is nice.

01-08-2012, 03:58 PM
This is awesome! My 87 needs a new tailgate and everybody around here want too much $$$ for a 4runner gate. This also reminds me of my old Taco that I chopped the rear quarters on.


Looking forward to seeing pics of the plexi window.

02-21-2012, 10:09 PM
I dig the mod. The soft top I got from softtopper was one of the best buys I have made so far.
Once it went on it never came off.

03-04-2012, 02:30 PM
Nice work. That looks really good.

10-02-2012, 03:12 PM
just wondering what kind of driving you do and if you broke that trailer spindle yet???? I was going to build one using a spindle but heard bad things and just wondering how yours has worked out?