What would you add to New 4 runner?

Neosapian

Member
@Boatbuilder79

Congrats on your 5th Gen purchase!

I challenge you to honestly assess how you're realistically going to utilize your new 4runner. Bare with me here...

What part of the country and how frequently do you plan on scraping and dragging the bottom of your $50k vehicle across the ground? Where do you intend to "Wheel" and how frequently will you encounter rock steps, hills, washed out ruts, and mud bogs where a locker will benefit you? Are you willing to void any factory warranty that you may have? Are you willing to subject your truck to the gnarly stuff where all of the awesome off-road mods actually become necessary? How do you feel about broken CV Axles, tie rods, tire failures, or worse? Truthfully there's a very high likelihood that skid plates, sliders, and lockers will prove to be utterly impractical and useless as early stage modifications.

If you've got a bottomless wallet and you want to add the extra capability, weight, and bling to your rig and you don't care if, how, or when you'd ever use them to their full potential, I don't blame you. Overland gear is a helluva drug! If you're interested in a more practical or functional early-stage approach. Consider my list of basic Stage 1 mods:
  • Light Truck Rated AT or MT Tires
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • Recovery Boards
  • Shovel
  • Snatch Strap or Tow Rope
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • SPOT Beacon
  • Rear drawers
  • Group 31 deep cycle battery
  • Fridge
  • Awning
  • Roof Rack
  • Solar Panel
  • Water Heater and 12V Shower solution
  • LED Lights
This base level Outfit will cost $3000-5000, and will comfortably and safely take your 4runner out for multi-week trips to 80% of destinations you'd ever commit to taking a daily driver. However it won't win you any Instagram followers. Wanna step it up with a lift and 33's, get into upper control arms, armor, winch, roof top tent, chain saw, dual batteries, Rigid Industries lighting... Gucci it out? Go ahead man the sky is the limit!

Just gotta soul search and be real with yourself: are you building it for Instagram or for actual real life commuting and camping duties? Maybe a combination of both? Either way I guarantee you that your priorities will change rapidly after a couple thousand road trip miles are on the odometer. I drove my 4th Gen across the country twice within my first year of ownership - bone stock - before I started my Expo build.

Cheers!
 
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Boatbuilder79

Active member
@Boatbuilder79

Congrats on your 5th Gen purchase!

I challenge you to honestly assess how you're realistically going to utilize your new 4runner. Bare with me here...

What part of the country and how frequently do you plan on scraping and dragging the bottom of your $50k vehicle across the ground? Where do you intend to "Wheel" and how frequently will you encounter rock steps, hills, washed out ruts, and mud bogs where a locker will benefit you? Are you willing to void any factory warranty that you may have? Are you willing to subject your truck to the gnarly stuff where all of the awesome off-road mods actually become necessary? How do you feel about broken CV Axles, tie rods, tire failures, or worse? Truthfully there's a very high likelihood that skid plates, sliders, and lockers will prove to be utterly impractical and useless as early stage modifications.

If you've got a bottomless wallet and you want to add the extra capability, weight, and bling to your rig and you don't care if, how, or when you'd ever use them to their full potential, I don't blame you. Overland gear is a helluva drug! If you're interested in a more practical or functional early-stage approach. Consider my list of basic Stage 1 mods:
  • Light Truck Rated AT or MT Tires
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • Recovery Boards
  • Shovel
  • Snatch Strap or Tow Rope
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • SPOT Beacon
  • Rear drawers
  • Group 31 deep cycle battery
  • Fridge
  • Awning
  • Roof Rack
  • Solar Panel
  • Water Heater and 12V Shower solution
  • LED Lights
This base level Outfit will cost $3000-5000, and will comfortably and safely take your 4runner out for multi-week trips to 80% of destinations you'd ever commit to taking a daily driver. However it won't win you any Instagram followers. Wanna step it up with a lift and 33's, get into upper control arms, armor, winch, roof top tent, chain saw, dual batteries, Rigid Industries lighting... Gucci it out? Go ahead man the sky is the limit!

Just gotta soul search and be real with yourself: are you building it for Instagram or for actual real life commuting and camping duties? Maybe a combination of both? Either way I guarantee you that your priorities will change rapidly after a couple thousand road trip miles are on the odometer. I drove my 4th Gen across the country twice within my first year of ownership - bone stock - before I started my Expo build.

Cheers!
On further reflection we think the stock suspension is good enough for our uses until it wears out so that is off the list.

We have added some Yakima crossbars to carry all the crap we have. We Will be getting some better floormats very soon but wouldnt really call those mods.

Air Lockers are still at the top of the list. I have had cars without lockers and with lockers and cannot go back. I do worry about the warranty but Toyota axels are not hard to Rebuild.

A set of skid plates are number 2.

That will be it for mods.

I have a 2015 4x4 f150 and a 1969 Jeep cj5 And have all the time recovery and camping stuff we need for now.
 

Neosapian

Member
Sweet Dude, sounds like you’ve got it all figured out.

Your front and rear bumpers as well as the rocker panels will get beat up way before your driveline and fuel tank are ever in danger. I dont follow your logic on prioritizing skid plates over sliders or bumpers, but l sure look forward to seeing pictures of your build!

You’re right about how expensive new cars are these days. I didnt know 4runner’s priced up that high! Puts you right in slightly used Land cruiser territory, Aye?

0% financing and a warranty is the only consolation. Thats how my lady and I could justify a loaded VW GTI. Otherwise it would have been a used Golf R + the cost of financing.
 
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Neosapian

Member
My better half wanted to help me change the oil in the GTI one day... she stomped on the gas pedal and darn near spooled the turbo trying to drive up on to the ramps, over shot them and high centered BOTH rocker panels, crushing them like a beer can... 🤬 $30 oil change turned into a $3000 of body work.

Ya i guess you never know when skid plates could come in handy. I sure wish i had them that day in the garage. :)
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
@Boatbuilder79

Congrats on your 5th Gen purchase!

I challenge you to honestly assess how you're realistically going to utilize your new 4runner. Bare with me here...

What part of the country and how frequently do you plan on scraping and dragging the bottom of your $50k vehicle across the ground? Where do you intend to "Wheel" and how frequently will you encounter rock steps, hills, washed out ruts, and mud bogs where a locker will benefit you? Are you willing to void any factory warranty that you may have? Are you willing to subject your truck to the gnarly stuff where all of the awesome off-road mods actually become necessary? How do you feel about broken CV Axles, tie rods, tire failures, or worse? Truthfully there's a very high likelihood that skid plates, sliders, and lockers will prove to be utterly impractical and useless as early stage modifications.

If you've got a bottomless wallet and you want to add the extra capability, weight, and bling to your rig and you don't care if, how, or when you'd ever use them to their full potential, I don't blame you. Overland gear is a helluva drug! If you're interested in a more practical or functional early-stage approach. Consider my list of basic Stage 1 mods:
  • Light Truck Rated AT or MT Tires
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • Recovery Boards
  • Shovel
  • Snatch Strap or Tow Rope
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • SPOT Beacon
  • Rear drawers
  • Group 31 deep cycle battery
  • Fridge
  • Awning
  • Roof Rack
  • Solar Panel
  • Water Heater and 12V Shower solution
  • LED Lights
This base level Outfit will cost $3000-5000, and will comfortably and safely take your 4runner out for multi-week trips to 80% of destinations you'd ever commit to taking a daily driver. However it won't win you any Instagram followers. Wanna step it up with a lift and 33's, get into upper control arms, armor, winch, roof top tent, chain saw, dual batteries, Rigid Industries lighting... Gucci it out? Go ahead man the sky is the limit!

Just gotta soul search and be real with yourself: are you building it for Instagram or for actual real life commuting and camping duties? Maybe a combination of both? Either way I guarantee you that your priorities will change rapidly after a couple thousand road trip miles are on the odometer. I drove my 4th Gen across the country twice within my first year of ownership - bone stock - before I started my Expo build.

Cheers!
The Spot is crap, Garmin InReach/Mini is the only way to go.

While I agree with the majority of what you’ve listed I don’t think that 95% of people will ever need solar or a road shower. Unless you’re boon-docking for more than three days those items are a waste of time and money and let’s be honest here, the mass majority of people are lucky if they can even get a weekend away let alone a week or more out in the sticks with the need to be self-sufficient.

Tires, sliders, and a roof rack are major upgrades that most can utilize right away, everything else is dependent on your needs and the manner in which you intend to use the vehicle.
 

teotwaki

Excelsior!
I had a 2005 4Runner for 13 years and now have a 2018 TRD ORP. The 2018 is about 19 months old and roughly 20K miles.

To save money on mods watch Craigslist and the T4R.org forum for sell-offs. Lots of 20-somethings max out credit cards on truck gear and later have to get money back with panic sales.

If you don't get a lift right away then the stock skids can get beat up so pedal control and route selection will avoid damage. Getting a lift also means a less squishy car-like ride and better load handling capability as well as lifting the stock skids up higher. One budget approach is to buy suspension pull-offs from a late model TRD Pro.

Air compressor is super useful because airing down tires is super useful. My compressor is under the hood.



Pack a decent shovel, not one of those army surplus folders.

Better interior lighting is a must. The silly filament bulbs in the various lights are pathetically dim so go for LEDs.


I ran the 2005's ATRAC to the limits which primarily is the fact you need some wheelspin for ATRAC to function well. A locked axle is locked at any speed and avoiding wheelspin makes for better traction. I installed an ARB on the 2005 and enjoyed the benefits and drawbacks. That is why I bought the 2018 with the factory e-locker. An e-locker can engage just as fast and reliably as an ARB. Having said all of that either type of locker is not a must have if you choose your routes well. That can include avoiding some routes and weather conditions. Traveling with other vehicles and recovery gear is a good thing.

Get out and enjoy the 4Runner for the rest of the year and re-assess the need for mods based on what you do and where you go.

My mods are all described here: http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-expedition-vehicle-trailer.html
 
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