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I'm In Love - Sunrader 4x4 on the line


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Hey Folks!  I've recently fallen in love with an '86 18' original 4x4 for sale.  It's got a lot of bells and whistles but its pretty expensive.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to even share what I'm considering paying for it.  I can get a LOT cheaper and newer RV for the price.  I just need a sense of the market from experienced folks.  30K is the ask.  The guts and bones seem real strong but the inside is ratted out and would have to go.  Please share candidly.

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I guess it depends on the reason you want it? Collectors value, cool factor, usability? Being a 4x4 gives it some advantages but these things are by no means off road machines. It’s still going to be expensive to fix and maintain no matter how clean, it’s old and things are gonna break. It’s gonna be super slow as well! 

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more info would be good but I shure don't think I would pay                  anybody 30 g for that .inside rotted out hardly seems worth that . I have two Toyotas 1987 dolphin cost 7500. and 1988 xtra cab4wd cost around 5 grand 17 years ago or so . dolphin had 7 years I think had 67 000miles                   on it

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Thanks y'all.  Suspension has all been done over, new tranny and turbo.  Pretty low miles for a 22re.

Really thinking this through.  The reasons listed above are all true for me:  collectors value (can resell ...at a loss but still maintain increased value with reno), cool factor (i'm guilty)...and usability.  i love the versatility of it..the offload capability, the smart design...i could go on.  Still tho...30k and the inside is ratty.  It would take a lot of effort to get it usable and...I don't have the skills or tools.  I also love that its a reliable motor, more fuel efficient too.  I just can't live in a van man.

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IMHO 30k is far too steep.
Because, as you say, you don't have the skills or tools, it is going to cost lots of time and far more money to get it livable than you may be willing or able to invest. And for what?
It's a 40 year old rig and there is a lot of work to be done, and you don't even know the half of it.
Be patient. You can find a stellar Toyohome in great condition for under 20 and be up and running in it the minute you sign the papers.

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For that kind of money I would think long and hard. Renovations are going to be expensive. If you’re planning on living in it full time, all the systems (heat, air, toilet, refrigerator) all have to be working correctly. This could easily add an additional $10K to the cost.I know the excitement factor is there. Time to take off the rose tinted glasses and become an informed consumer.

Just noticed someone on this site is looking to sell a 1986 Sunrader. Not 4WD, but bigger and probably half the cost of the one you’re looking at.

Edited by fred heath
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Yes, y'all are right.  I DON'T know the half of it.  It is I think a more emotional than practical attachment.  I'm going to poke around on the site for the one for sale that you mentioned.  I missed out on a really nice dolphin cause I've been in a haze over this sunrader.  The previous owner has done A LOT of detailed improvements to it though.  

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30 grand is a fair price for a 4x4 turbo Sunrader. As far as work on the ratty interior that depends on what you mean by ratty. I am not a fan of gutting Sunraders. I have a friend who has one of the nicest interiors out there that cost him very little. Paint flooring and re-skinned the cabinet doors with nice wood panels. More important is the rear axle. Has it been upgraded. There 4x4's came with the same fake dually's, prone to breaking, as the early other ones. Toyota never made an upgraded axle for the 4x4 trucks. An upgraded axle on a 4x4 also requires that custom 15 inch dual wheels be ordered and they are only available one place that I know of. If there in an add for this rig online show us. We can often see flaws just from pics. 

Linda S

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We'd all love to see this rig for a better idea. I checked country wide craigslist and didn't see it! The only 4x4 sunrader I've been able to find for sale is this beauty. 

 

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/rvs/d/south-san-francisco-1987-toyota/7110507461.html

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Hey Folks...

   Here's the link for the beauty:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOnEGx5PuXjAt1sNL4M0toqhlDVfAVHkYwrkGh_ChIINywNj65RqsIdXME54bge-A?key=M2tTRDdjXzJfLWkwTWRyd3FhY1o0S2l4cjcxS013

 

Guy selling it has done a lot of work to it.  Lots.  I'm awaiting the tranny and turbo installs and planning to get it in July if all goes well.  In the meanwhile, I have a lot to think about.  But ...what say y'all?

   

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Ah okay, i'm familiar with that rig from its internet past. Honestly, if I were you, I'd pass. This is a straight up project rig for the mechanic hobbyist and gear head. AKA high maintenance and lots of work to keep her going and maintained. Highly custom and one of a kind means that you are going to have a hard time finding anyone to want to work on this if you don't have the mechanical skills yourself, and when you do they're gonna charge ya. Also, the high center of gravity from the custom lift looks pretty sketchy for any type of speed!

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Hmmmm.  Can you explain more about the center of gravity/speed concerns?  Im sure its a physics thing but...what are the practical things I should be concerned.  Its important for me to have eyes wide open.  I do have a local mechanic obsessed with older japanese engines but...he's not been around because of covid.  if i can get his read on whether he thinks he can do the ongoing maintenance that could work.  What other ongoing maintenance concerns might I have beyond regular fluid/hose changes?   Not trying to be dense here...I just really don't know.

  Perhaps I may be better off getting a fifth wheel and a used toyota truck.  I do love the toy homes tho.  

That sunrader in cali is nice but...5ok seems really crazy.

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I’m with Odyssey. The rear axle is 8 lug. Don’t believe Toyota used 8 lug axles. Either that, or the owner installed 6 to 8 lug wheel adapters (hard to tell from the picture). I’d definitely check the rear axle closely.  If they did an axle swap to a non-Toyota 8 lug, finding parts could be difficult.

The problem with heavily modified drivetrains is obtaining the correct repair parts when something breaks. 

Edited by fred heath
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Hey again folks,

   Here is the text that answers the Q's about the axle and other.  I asked specific questions about the axle separate from this and was assured that the axle has been appropriately addressed.  I'm hoping this makes sense to someone with knowledge.  Seems to me like the seller has been very meticulous in his attention to detail.  Thoughts?

 

"I installed a Blazeland Long Travel kit on the front. It includes longer control arms, pushing the front tires three inches wider on each side. New Toyota T100 CV axles, new Heavy Duty torsion bars, new MOOG ball joints, new MOOG inner and outer tie rod ends, new drilled and slotted brake rotors, new ceramic brake pads, new longer steel braided brake lines by Skyjacker, new Bilstein shock absorbers, and I re-greased the front wheel bearings. Overall, the kit provided approximately 4.5” of lift and a much, much smoother ride. I’m very happy with the ride quality.

For the rear, I installed 4” taller leaf springs by Pro-Comp and added some of the original leafs including the massive 1ton overload spring. New Bilstein shock absorbers, new brake wheel cylinders, new brake shoes, new brake drums, new steel braided brake line for the rear, and I re-greased the rear wheel bearings.
The wheels are 17” aluminum dually wheels off a 2015 Ford F350 wrapped in brand new Iron Man AT 245/75/17s with approximately 100mi on them. I had custom adapters made by Motorsport-Tech out of Nevada. The rear adapts the Toyota 1ton full float axle 6x7.25” lug pattern to the Ford 8x200mm lug pattern. The front adapts the Toyota 6x5.5” lug pattern to the Ford 8x200mm lug pattern. Originally, the truck had 14” dually wheels in the rear and standard Toyota pickup 15” wheels up front. This didn’t work for a 4x4. The rare 6x7.25” rear lug pattern didn’t leave any options for larger wheels unless they were custom made. 17” wheels provide a lot of tire options, unlike the stock 14” wheels. With adapters, all 6 wheels have matching lug patterns so they can be easily rotated, or in the case of a flat, a rear tire can be placed on the front to get to a tire store. The E-rated Iron Man tires can handle the weight of the rear with just two, so even without carrying a spare, the camper can continue to drive even after two flats."

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Also, ...the response from my questions about the axle:

 

"About the axle, rest assured. Atlas has the proper full floating 1 ton axle and not the dangerous "foolie" axle. The proper axle can be easily identified by the 6" cylindrical shaped metal protruding from the middle of the lug nuts. This cylinder has bolts showing. The weak axle doesn't. The "foolie", or fake dually, is also called a semi-full float axle. It is common to 1/2 ton pickups of all makes and models. Many Toyota motorhome manufacturers simply put dually wheels on the 1/2 ton axle. The danger comes from too much weight for the axle and too much pressure being placed on the axle shaft where it rides on the wheel bearings. True "full float" axles, like the one Atlas has, and all 1986+ Toyota motorhomes have, are designed to take a lot more weight. Just as a precaution, I took the rear axle apart when I purchased Atlas and re-greased the wheel bearings, installed new brakes, and gave everything a thorough look over for peace of mind. 

 
I have attached some pictures. One diagram. One close-up of Atlas's axle, and one of a semi float axle I found online.  More info, videos, etc, can be found if you google "Full float vs semi full float axles""
 
Displaying 20191221_140913~3.jpg


 
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Yes it does have the correct axle but 4x4's need matching wheel diameters front and back. The rig needs the custom 15 inch ones made or it needs 17 inch wheels on the front. Custom wheels cost over a thousand . This rig is a hot mess. Makes the 50,000 one in California look like a better deal.

Linda S

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I have also seen this rig be sold "uncompleted" or being worked on multiple times, this is usually for a reason. Did they state why they're trying to sell? 

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So...it is not a hot mess?  These 17" wheels do have the adaptors that make all tires interchangeable in case of flat.  

 

"The wheels are 17” aluminum dually wheels off a 2015 Ford F350 wrapped in brand new Iron Man AT 245/75/17s with approximately 100mi on them. I had custom adapters made by Motorsport-Tech out of Nevada. The rear adapts the Toyota 1ton full float axle 6x7.25” lug pattern to the Ford 8x200mm lug pattern. The front adapts the Toyota 6x5.5” lug pattern to the Ford 8x200mm lug pattern. Originally, the truck had 14” dually wheels in the rear and standard Toyota pickup 15” wheels up front. This didn’t work for a 4x4. The rare 6x7.25” rear lug pattern didn’t leave any options for larger wheels unless they were custom made. 17” wheels provide a lot of tire options, unlike the stock 14” wheels. With adapters, all 6 wheels have matching lug patterns so they can be easily rotated, or in the case of a flat, a rear tire can be placed on the front to get to a tire store. The E-rated Iron Man tires can handle the weight of the rear with just two, so even without carrying a spare, the camper can continue to drive even after two flats."

 

From what I've read...all of y'alls concerns are addressed within the build.  Am I reading correctly?

I guess that's the seller's other rig?  Super pretty. :)

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Hey Sally.
If you have fat stacks to spend, certainly a rig like this is attractive.
As others have said clearly here, this is the type of recontructed 40 year old motorhome that can be great for a mechanic/carpenter/electrician possessing myriad skills and a lot of tools.
The Sunrader is a difficult beast at the best of times in its stock state.
One that has been modified like this one will require a lot of TLC and it doesn't sound like you are prepared to this. So that means cash, and lots of it.
Also, this rig looks to me to be water damaged inside. This means pulling things apart to investigate and repair. Again, this means cash.
I would politely pass, and keep your eye out for something better. There are lots of great choices for someone patient enough to just wait for one.

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OK I missed that and the wheels should be fine. I still think it's a hot mess. Are you a mechanic or a cabinet maker. Your looking at many thousands more to spend if not. Pretty sure to add the turbo you need your computer reprogrammed or you need a engine control designed for the turbo engine. That will cost you 700 bucks. Maybe if you have a mechanic inspect it and find out what else it needs. Cause I know it needs lots of stuff. 

Linda S

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I agree with the advice given above, pass on this one unless you are looking for a project rig that you can work on yourself.  Modified cars can end up being a pain to maintain.  I own a 4x4 sunrader and love it, but older cars are constantly needing TLC.  I luckily have access to a full fabrication and repair shop at work so we can do the work ourselves, otherwise I would have never bought it.

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It looks like a very well cared for camper and I would say that's a fair price. Only one thing you need to know. This vehicle qualifies for the Toyota special service campaign under which they replaced faulty head gaskets. If these are the original owners ask them if they ever had it done. If they don't know you can go to a Toyota dealership or call the corporate customer service and give them the vin and ask if it's been done on this vehicle. You have to specify " Special Service Campaign" It was not a recall so they can't find it that way' The vin shows in one of the pictures in the ad so save it. Here are the official docs on that repair from Toyota. The mileage is so low that it could still have the bad one and just not blown yet. The Service Campaign never expires but the docs also show " Special policy adjustment" , that one is expired. I checked and this camper in comes under the forever one

 

http://www.google.co...hUlCd3_VgILtC3A

 

Linda S

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Whoa Linda!  Thank you!  I'm still shaking my head how you would have such breadth of knowledge around Toy Homes but gosh...I am grateful for the benefit I receive from that knowledge.  I went back to the pics and wrote the VIN# down and will call customer service if the owner doesn't know.  I believe he is the 2nd owner.  Truck is in Missouri so I definitely wouldn't want to run into any problems heading back East.  

   In looking at the pics, this model indicated a "V6 3.O EFI"...the engine listed on the recall/warranty info you provided was "3VZ-E".  Is this a different engine altogether?

In either case, beyond the head gasket issue how 'bulletproof" is this engine compared to the infamous 22re?  

Thanks again for your help...it's priceless!

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50 minutes ago, Sally said:

... this model indicated a "V6 3.O EFI"...the engine listed on the recall/warranty info you provided was "3VZ-E".

 

Same thing. 3VZE is just a bit more 'gearhead/geeky'. :)

 

[Toyota also made/sold a 'V6 3.0' in the Camry. A completely different engine with it's own 'problems'.]

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one thing the v6 has a rubber timing belt . it needs to be replaced at recemend interverls. I cant say what that is I have never had a six.

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