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1990 Toyota 4Runner- Midnight Oil

A Long "Run" from Dream to Reality

Mike Alexander
Oct 31, 2015
Photographers: Team Truckin
Building the ultimate custom truck takes a lot of time, effort, and pure dedication—especially for those who do most of the build themselves. For Mark Ratkovic of Alberta, Canada, that timeline has run through three winters now and as he shared with us, still continues on (since nothing is ever really finished, right?). But as they say, good things do come with time and this truly radical 1990 Toyota 4Runner is certainly putting new standards to that claim.
Photo 2/9   |   1990 Toyota 4runner Vinyl Red Interior
Having purchased the SUV for just $2,000 in 2012, Mark has transformed this ride from his daily to a full-on custom showstopper, and he's still not 100 percent finished with the plans he has in store for this wild build. Just like his previous builds, which include a 1990 Mazda B2200, a 1989 Ford Ranger and numerous VWs, this Toyota is well on the path to excellence, but he’s stopped for a breather to complete the build in its current form.
What really makes this 4Runner so killer is undoubtedly the pavement-scraping stance, which comes from the combination of the body being channeled 2.5 inches (compliments of the previous owner), Air Lift Dominator 2 ’bags on all four corners, and 18-inch Dcenti wheels that tuck up oh so nicely into the fender wells. Of course, the fiberglass hood, which gives the front fenders more of a rolled-in appearance and doubles as the inner fenderwells up front, helps add to the already mean look of Mark’s pride and joy.
Photo 3/9   |   1990 Toyota 4runner Driver Side View
In addition to the fiberglass hood, other custom body modifications done by Speedy Collision give the truck defining flair, including the shaved cowl, rear bumper delete, and the massive 3x6-foot sliding ragtop, one of Mark’s favorite modifications of the build. Glowing from the light let in by the giant ragtop, red vinyl race seats act as driver and passenger havens behind a painted red dashboard and a custom wrapped billet steering wheel. Between the seats sits a custom-built center console, which houses not only the window switches and cupholders, but also the AccuAir air management controller. Adding to the appeal of the interior is the full JL Audio stereo system, complete with onboard DVD player.
Originally equipped with a four-cylinder engine, the 4Runner now boasts a 4.7L 2000 Toyota 2UZ-FE V-8 backed by a 4Runner driveshaft with the Tundra Yolk, and an automatic transmission. It was actually the transmission behind the four-banger originally going out that prompted the engine swap and the full rebuild of the truck. With so much work put into the build by Mark in his own garage over the last three years, this one definitely holds a special place in Mark’s long list of accomplishments.
Photo 4/9   |   1990 Toyota 4runner 2uz Fe V8 Engine
As Mark told us, a build of this magnitude would not be possible without his understanding wife, Patricia, and the kids being patient with him while he was working in the garage, along with his fellow members of Forbidden Fantasy to help give him the drive and much needed push to get the truck finished and on the road. Though no project is ever completely done, Mark’s 4Runner will soon be as close to done as it's ever going to be. And you can guarantee when that day comes, there will be no stopping it from hitting the winner’s circle at shows all across the country!
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 1990 Toyota 4Runner
Owner and City/State: Mark Ratkovic from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Club Affiliation: Forbidden Fantasy
Chassis
Front suspension: Air Lift Dominator 2 'bags, Monroe shocks, KBS upper and lower tubular control arms, AccuAir management
Rear suspension: Homebuilt triangulated 4-link with 'bags on lower bars, Air Lift Dominator 2 'bags, Monroe shocks, AccuAir management
Photo 8/9   |   1990 Toyota 4runner Accuair Air Management System
Drivetrain
Engine: 4.7L 2000 2UZ-FE V-8, wire tuck, Optima Yellow battery, wrapped and modified stock headers, custom 2.5-inch exhaust with MagnaFlow mufflers
Body
Channeled 2.5 inches, billet grille, rear bumper deleted, shaved cowl, firewall, and wipers, fiberglassed hood, 3x6 sliding ragtop; bodywork and black paint done by Wayne Murray of Speedy Collision
Interior
Vinyl Red racing seats, painted dash, red carpet, wrapped billet steering wheel, custom center console with cupholders, window switches, and AccuAir controller
Stereo: MDF subwoofer enclosure, JL JX 360/4 and two JL JX 1000/1D amps, four JL 10-inch WXV2 subs, JL 6 1/2-inch component speakers in front doors, DVD player.
Photo 9/9   |   1990 Toyota 4runner Driver Side Front View
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 18x8.5, Dcenti
Tires: 215/35/R18, Durun Sport One
Special Thanks From Owner: Steve Woodward at BagBarn.com, Wayne Murray at Speedy Collision, "My wife, family, and club for the support and push to get it finished."

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