Hot Toy : Mike Fox's '86 4Runner
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Owner : Mike Fox Equipment and Modifications:

Vehicle: 1986 Toyota 4Runner SR-5
Location: CT
Favorite Trail: Paragon Adventure Park

Walking through Pick Your Poison - Paragon
Rounding the corner on Voodoo - Paragon
Cresting a muddy ledge somewhere in New Hampshire
  • 1985 22R converted to fuel injection with stock 86 EFI, LC Engineering cam, Downey header, catalytic converter, and 2.5” exhaust
  • 1985 Toyota G-52 5 speed manual with Centerforce I clutch
  • Marlin crawler dual transfer case with Advanced Adapters 4:1 gears in the rear case
  • Long travel thick walled front and rear driveshafts - by Tom Woods
  • 1985 solid front axle with Land Cruiser FJ80 high pinion electric locker and 5.29 gears
  • 1986 8” rear axle with late model 4Runner electric locker and 5.29 gears
  • Vented Land Cruiser FJ-40 front rotors, V-6 front calipers and V-6 master cylinder
  • 2” Roger Brown body and drivetrain lift
  • Alcan 5” lift springs (54” rears)
  • NWOR greasable shackles
  • All-Pro shock hoops and u-bolt flip kits
  • Doetsch Tech shocks
  • Warn HS9500I
  • Hy-steer from Marlin Crawler
  • All-Pro front bumper, rock guards, front diff armor, transfer case crossmember, custom rear bumper

Possible Future Modifications:

  • Tire carrier addition to rear bumper
  • Bobbed Body and Top
  • On-Board Shower
  • Underhood Welder
  • Redline Birfield Eliminator
  • 5.0L Engine

Harry Wagner writes:

I first met Mike Fox about eight months ago not long after I moved to the East Coast. Mike can only be described as a complete Toyota fanatic. He owns or has owned an ’85 pickup, a ’99 RAV-4, a ’96 Land Cruiser, and two ’87 turbo 4Runners, and that is just in the past year! In addition to these Toyotas, it is not uncommon to find someone else’s truck in Mike’s driveway. It seems as though every weekend that Mike isn’t out wheeling he is home wrenching with his fellow Yankee Toy members.

Mike’s current rig of choice is an ’87 4Runner, which is both his wheeling rig and his daily driver. Living in Connecticut, Mike sometimes has to drive several hours to reach the trails that challenge him and his Toy, so he needed a vehicle that can both comfortably drive down the freeway and still traverse the most difficult terrain. Mike already had a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t, having extensively wheeled an ’85 flatbed pickup. When the pickup’s frame finally succumbed to rust he started looking for another Toyota to replace it. He soon found a clean, unmolested ’87 4Runner with a stock turbocharged motor and automatic transmission. The turbo motor never did run right, so Mike pulled it out along with the automatic and put in the 22RE motor and G52 transmission from his ’85 pickup. Not one to leave well enough alone, Mike also torched (his favorite tool) out the front independent front suspension and hung in its place the solid axle from his pickup. At the same time he transferred over a number of other components and took the opportunity to make further modifications.

The most notable of these are the 2 inch body, drivetrain, and gas tank lift and the 5.29 gears housed in third members with Toyota factory electric lockers. The drivetrain lift required the “horseshoe” crossmember to be modified to remedy interference with the rear driveshaft, but allows for a completely flat skidplate under the vehicle. Mike reports that the gears help the 22RE turn the 35 inch tires without too much problem, and the electric lockers keep him from chirping tires on the road while offering the ultimate in traction off road. Unfortunately the 35s aren’t enough to satisfy Mike and he is already talking about trimming the fenders to fit 37 inch tires.

If you see Mike and his big red 4Runner out on the New England trails be sure and say hello. He is one of the friendliest wheelers you will find and a definite ambassador of the sport.

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