Ultra4runner “the BeerRunner” Build


New member
Sep 3, 2022
Banning, CA
New to the forum so figured I’d share my current project.
I’ve had this 4runner since 2014 which initially started out as just a family vehicle to get up and down the mountain when I lived up there for a bit. Once I moved back down the hill it became the camping/exploring vehicle. Eventually, just like everything else, it escalated into “just a lift and tires”, to lockers and bigger tires, to a 4-link and better suspension, then a bigger motor and more suspension but before it got to that last part it escalated sort of out of control. I figured if I’m gonna do it, might as well go balls in. At some point in time it got nicknamed the BeerRunner and stuck.

The plans now are the following:

  • V8 (LM7 5.3L)
  • 4L80E trans
  • NP203/205 dual cases (eventually an Atlas or Hero case)
  • TT Motorsports (@85Yota) V2 4wd LT Kit
  • RCV Front Axles
  • Dual Triangulated 4-Link w/ Mezzanine Arm rear suspension
  • 2.5 Coilover/3.0 Bypasses all around
  • Full cage built to score rules (if I ever decide to race)
  • Full Float rear axle
  • Hollander Motorsports Front Hubs
  • Not sure rear hubs (depends which axle I get)
  • TT Motorsports Swing Steer w/ Hydro Assist
  • 4 seater
    • 2x PRP Podium Elite’s
    • 2x PRP Premier Lite’s (for the kids)
  • Method Beadlocks
  • 37” tires (not sure which ones yet)
  • 32 Gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell
  • Brakes (not sure yet)
  • Retaining A/C & Heat
  • Retaining Stereo
  • Lots of insulation and sound deadening.

The goal with this build is to go-anywhere and have fun with friends and family. I have lots of friends in both the rock crawling and prerunner types of wheeling so I want to do anything from Baja to Fordyce to Glamis while still being able to drive there on the road if I choose. Hence the “Ultra4runner” designation.

I’ll share some pics as I get a chance of the various stages.
Some of the early stages of owning the 4runner.
Started with 33’s, then a lift, then immediately after some outboard shocks using 12” Bilstein 7100’s. Built some bumpers and skids. Put some 35’s on after a year or so. Drove that for a bit and just basically beat the shit out of it.

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After a driving it like that for a while I realized how crappy the rear suspension geometry really was so I 4-linked it and moved the fuel tank to the rear, behind the axle and installed some hydro bumps. Drove like that for a bit until the core support basically crumbled. I cut all the sheet metal off and did an engine cage. While I was at it I hacked the frame back another 5” for more clearance and built an ultra high clearance front bumper.
Shortly after that I picked up some SCS F5 wheels that were converted to beadlocks by OMF in Riverside.


Started getting some more major body damage from playing in the rocks more than I should have.

New wheels


Last trip in this truck was Rubicon. Ended up having nothing but issues the whole trip. Had starter issues on the way up along with a slight misfire. Got like 3 miles into the trail when a CV stub shaft broke inside the diff on an easy obstacle. Tried to weld a bolt to it to pull it out and that didn’t work. Drove another few miles in 3wd, using the front locker when necessary. Eventually the ARB seal went out and left me in 2wd. I had to use a little more momentum to continue through the rocks and eventually blew out the steering rack. That ended the trip and I got towed back to the trailhead to drive home in shame lol
On the way home I was having much worse misfire issues due to a cracked head that got obviously worse. Changed the spark plug on cylinder 3 and made it home where it sat for months before I made a decision on what to do from there.


At this point in time I picked up the new powertrain from a buddy (LM7, 4l80e, NP203/205 cases, harness, & ECU). The plan at this point was just a basic LT setup up front and a new powertrain. Then I realized how many 8” rear diffs I blew with the stock motor and started building a junkyard 9”. Then I realized if I’m going this fast I need a cage. If I build a cage I need new seats. If I’m going to build a cage, might as well do better rear suspension. If I’m going to do better rear suspension, I need some better front suspension and bigger shocks than a basic LT kit. If I’m doing all this I need better hubs and a full floater rear axle. If I’m already this far in, might as well gut the whole thing and build it how I really want…
And that’s the current rabbit hole.
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I was slammed with work at that time and couldn’t justify taking the time to do the motor swap so I drove it up to my buddy’s shop, Hot Metal Fab and he did the motor swap and some other misc stuff. Both of our lives got really busy, and my build quickly escalated so the motor swap took a long time. I picked it up from him in Jan 22 but it sat in my trailer until May 22 because I was helping a buddy build back half his 4runner. (The green one Tommy posted about). Once I got that off my plate, I started tearing down the BeerRunner.

Current status as of Aug 2022.


Looking good. Excited to see this one progress forward and help you with the swing steering to ditch that factory rack.
No real updates. Life has been busy and I am moving in a couple weeks so I have let it sit until I can get the truck moved to the new house and finally inside a garage! Sucks I won't be able to install my lift at the new house but at least I'll be able to keep the truck out of the weather and work in a garage that's bigger and more room to work. The plan is to move again in another year so I don't want to do too much work to this house for the purpose of the lift being installed. (Trying to acquire more properties).
I have been riding my mtb a ton lately which has been a blast.