Building, Driving and Adventuring the MTN4RNR

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MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

Things are noticeably more fun in thin air. It's where I tend to go to get away from everything. To help get me there, I picked up a 2016 4Runner Trail Premium on a recent trip to Bend, OR. I hadn't intended on buying a truck on the trip, but when the numbers add up sometimes its best to pull the trigger and enjoy it! The overall goal with this build is based on function. I want to make sure that everything added on to the vehicle has an intended purpose or use. This will not only keep my budget in check for the build, but really create something that works well for my intended purpose. Yes, it takes longer to "get there" but in the interim, I am still getting out and enjoying the adventures that the rig can handle under it's given build condition. So follow me on my adventures and take a look at some of the modifications that I do along the way. I'm in it for the long game!


As it sits: [08/20/2016]





Build Details:


Drivetrain: Stock


Suspension: Stock


Armor:

- 4x4 Labs Sliders


Wheels/Tires:

- Stock Trail Editions/Cooper Discoverer STMAXX 275/70R17


Vehicle Additions/Modifications:

- 1Up USA bike rack

- The MTN4RNR hatch mod

- Blue Ridge Overland Gear visor organizer

- RAM dash mount for iPad [Nav, weather, topos, etc.]

- Thule rack [transfer from old truck]

- Ruff Tough Kennel (home of the Maeve)

- Custom CA license plate

- LED back-up/license plate lights from [MENTION=12905]XenonDepot[/MENTION]

- HID low beam headlights from [MENTION=12905]XenonDepot[/MENTION]

- LED rear hatch lights from [MENTION=12905]XenonDepot[/MENTION]

- LED fog lamps from [MENTION=12905]XenonDepot[/MENTION]

- LED interior & puddle lamp upgrade from [MENTION=12905]XenonDepot[/MENTION]

- Gobi Ladder

- Differential/E-locker breather mod

- Baja Designs 20" s8 LED bar

- Ellis Precision aluminum transfer case shifter knob

- Baja Designs S2 Pro LED light - The "who needs a hand hold" ...mod

- ARB compressor

- The MTN4RNR 4Runner Platform


Recovery:

- ARB E-Z deflator

- ARB 30' 24K lbs. snatch strap

- 4-3/4T shackle, painted school bus yellow because spray paint

- Hitch shackle recovery point I transferred from my old truck

- Gloves, ear plugs, safety glasses

- Towel

- First aid kit

- All stowed away in an 8 gallon Action Packer Front Runner Wolf Pack

- MKI MaxTraxx (x2)


Communications:

- Amateur Radio License - Technician

- Yaesu FT-60r (X2)

- Diamond SRH77CA 15" antenna (X2)

- Yaesu MH-34B4B Speaker/Microphone


Mapping/GPS:

- Gaia GPS Pro


Long(er) Term List:

- Roof rack

- Mobile FM transreciever

- Suspension upgrade


Short(er) Term List:

- Get a bigger budget


Trip Reports:

- West Camino Cielo Road, Santa Barbara, CA - November 2015

- Crawl to the Top - January 2016

- Big Sur, CA - March 2016

- Hollister Hills SVRA - April 2016

- Big Sur, CA - May 2016

- Stanislaus NF, Highway 4 to 88 Adventure - May 2016

- Rattlesnake Road exploring - June 2016

- Ellis Peak/Tahoe National Forest - June 2016

- Lola Montez/Fordyce Creek - July 2016

- Downieville to Sloat - July 2016

- Slick Rock / Corral Hollow - August 2016

- Bald Mountain OHV - August 2016

- Labor Day Adventures in the Sierras - September 2016

- Niagra Rim Trail/Eagle Peak - October 2016




The day I bought it:




The day after I bought it:





I will be putting it to good use, and trying to keep up with additions and mods here as I can!


More to be added...​
 
Last edited:

Lifestyle Overland

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Navigator I

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Sweet rig! We love our '14 TE, it's been the perfect family setup.

What suspension are you considering?
How do you like the Coopers?
 

MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

That thing is really...really cool.
Thanks! It has been a lot of fun so far, with many more good times and adventures to come!

Sweet rig! We love our '14 TE, it's been the perfect family setup.

What suspension are you considering?
How do you like the Coopers?
I am undecided with the specific set up, but something in the 2"-3" range. Many on T4R have the ICON setup, which is great, but with OME coming out with their bypass coilovers/shocks, I will definitely give them a look too. Toytec also has their stuff too! So many choices, but honestly, the bank account needs a little R&R before I go out and get a suspension upgrade.

As far as the Coopers, I just had them put on the 4Runner last week, but I have had a set on my work truck for the last 33k and they have been great! Wear like iron, tough as nails, and STILL relatively quiet for an MT/AT hybrid with 30k+ on them. I will be pushing them off road with the 4Runner much more than the work truck, and I will update my finding on here once I do! Be aware that they are heavy as a mother with the E rating.
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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Navigator I

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I'm running the ICON stage 2 on our '14. It's been a great setup... but for the money, I would have hoped for better quality. It's almost impossible to get the front-end to not squeak on trails with lots of travel required. To be fair, I haven't called and complained because it's just annoying and doesn't affect the ride.
Also, I also had to send in a rear shock for complete rebuild after only 6k. Maybe I'm just the exception... but if I had to do it over again I'd look into other options. The new OMEs may be just the ticket.
 

Overland-Indiana

Overland Bound - Midwest Regional Ambassador
Member

Influencer II

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Kokomo
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I'm a Jeep man at the moment, but those 4-Runners get me weak in the knees..haha Nice rig, keep on exploring and building. Make sure to keep us posted and updated on how it progresses.
 

Cappy410

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1,836
Okotoks, AB
First Name
Stephane
Last Name
Fortin
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I really like the 5th Gen 4Runner. If and when Jeep ever dies, it might be my next Overland Rig.


Keep on Jeepin' On!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Cappy410

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Advocate II

1,836
Okotoks, AB
First Name
Stephane
Last Name
Fortin
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*my Jeep. lol. Jeep will NEVER die!!!!


Keep on Jeepin' On!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I'm running the ICON stage 2 on our '14. It's been a great setup... but for the money, I would have hoped for better quality. It's almost impossible to get the front-end to not squeak on trails with lots of travel required. To be fair, I haven't called and complained because it's just annoying and doesn't affect the ride.
Also, I also had to send in a rear shock for complete rebuild after only 6k. Maybe I'm just the exception... but if I had to do it over again I'd look into other options. The new OMEs may be just the ticket.
That is what I was looking at originally. But I have heard about issues with shocks needing to be rebuilt frequently. Everything else, UCA's/Rear links/coils, I have heard are solid. I might end up piecing together a Frankenstein suspension system with some ICON some Old Man Emu, etc.
 
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MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I'm a Jeep man at the moment, but those 4-Runners get me weak in the knees..haha Nice rig, keep on exploring and building. Make sure to keep us posted and updated on how it progresses.
I was on the Tacoma path originally, but like you said, the 4Runner made me weak in the knees whenever I saw one. Knew I had to have one! I will keep updating as often as I can!
 

MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I really like the 5th Gen 4Runner. If and when Jeep ever dies, it might be my next Overland Rig.


Keep on Jeepin' On!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So far I can say that it is very capable and comfortable! Might be a while before your Jeep dies, but I would recommend you take a look at the 4Runner!
 

MTN4RNR

Rank V
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Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

A closer look at the 1up rack I have for my bike. I have really liked this rack since I got it earlier this year. Very functional, simple and well built. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the market. I have the single, and one add on that I use as needed. The single makes parking easy, and allows for the lift gate to open without lowering the rack.

 

MTN4RNR

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Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

When you bring the new truck home, and the lift gate doesn't clear the overhang... Custom limiting strap, installed. Uses a Nite-Ize CamJam XT on the d-ring in the corner, and a carabiner attached to the lift gate strap.
Function>Form​
 

MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

Quick to add to the truck was this visor organizer from Blue Ridge Overland Gear. It has Molle paneling on one side, velcro on the other and a zipped compartment for vehicle documents, cash, etc. The velcro works perfectly with their pouches they sell, which I am soon to order for being able to zip small items into. Very well made in the USA. You'll get a tag on any/all of their products with the cutter and the sewer's name on it. Little details like that from products and manufacturer make me very happy and very brand loyal. I also have one of their Hydroflask sleeves, and have a list going for a bigger order from them in the future. If you like to organize your stuff in a very cool way, give these guys a look.
Visor Organizer
Blue Ridge Overland Gear
 
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MTN4RNR

Rank V
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Advocate II

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Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I picked this piece up from bhicks22 [t4r.org] on his website: Products | BH3D Printing
Fought for a while on where to put it, and settled on the lift gate, passenger side, FJ40 style. Backed with 3M adhesive in CNC "channels" to make the emblem as flush as can be, this aluminum emblem is a well built piece.
bhicks22 also makes the forum infamous TEQ replacement emblems featured on this thread: http://www.toyota-4runner.org/5th-gen-t4rs/207207-interest-teq-badges-5th-gen.html
I am hoping to work out something a little more custom in the coming months to stay tuned!​

 
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MTN4RNR

Rank V
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Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I followed a bit of guidance from balistikboy's [t4r.org] RAM mount addition [ http://www.toyota-4runner.org/5th-gen-t4rs/175655-balistikboy-14-toyota-4runner-trail-premium-build-thread.html#post1779403 ] and added my own. Removing the panel was easy but nerve racking because this was the first thing I had to do where I needed to pull something apart, drill something, and put it back together.
Parts used:
RAM 2.43" x 1.31" Diamond Ball Base with 1" Ball Unpackaged - RAM-B-238U | RAM Mounts
RAM Long Double Socket Arm for 1" Balls (Overall Length: 6") - RAM-B-201U-C | RAM Mounts
RAM 2.5" Round Ball Base with the AMPs Hole Pattern & 1" Ball Unpackaged - RAM-B-202U | RAM Mounts
iPad mini Car Mount & Cradle from LifeProof | LifeProof
Nuts, bolts, backing plate, loctite, beer.
1. Open your beer of choice, IPA for me
2. Remove passenger panel around the climate control knob using a bit of encouragement
3. Line up and drill holes in both the plastic and on the metal backing plate (mine was a piece from a hangar bracket I had laying around)
4. Install the ball mount with cap socket bolts, loctite and backing plate.
5. Throw 'er back together
6. Finish said beer
I didn't take any progress photos this time, but I will for upcoming additions. The mount holds up really well day to day, doesn't rattle or show signs of stress from the plastic panel it is mounted to. Now I can run nav, music, topos, and radar conveniently!​


[Additional updated photo from 11/28/2015]
 

MTN4RNR

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I had a set of Coopers installed yesterday. I have the same set on my work truck, and have really liked them. I have 33k miles on them on the work truck with 9/32" remaining out of the original 18.5/32". Not bad for a full size GMC truck that tows a few times a week. Needless to say, I was impressed. Load range E with a 10ply tread. These tires are heavy as a mother weighing in at 58lbs a piece. After debating C vs. E rating, I went with the E rated mostly because if you are going to add some weight, having a heavier tire that is more resistant to pesky roots and rocks might help down the road. After driving home with them, I can't say that they are much "rougher" than the Dunlops that came off. But when you drive a work truck during the week, it doesn't take much to be comfy on the road, the 4R with the new tires is still mighty smooth. I will update the tire review as I put more miles on them in different conditions. Thanks [MENTION=66316]1engineer[/MENTION] for the tire fitment guide! Spot on with no rubbing on the 275/70R17 thus far.​
Before:

After:

 
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MTN4RNR

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Member

Advocate II

1,750
Bay Area, CA
Member #

0614

I finally got a chance today to get the Coopers a bit dirty. I headed north on HWY 101 out of Santa Barbara to connect with West Camino Cielo Road thru the Refugio road entrance. Click this link for the full GPS track:
https://www.gaiagps.com/public/L1CKjE35J31jpq3AMAIcYeVX//
I started at the Refugio State Beach entrance​

I found myself in the Coast Live Oak forests in the lower elevations​

After about 6-7 miles, I found my favorite sign​

Gaining elevation​

Then I found some side tracks that offered a bit more diffculty​


Tucking the Coopers​

View of the road​

Then, we stepped it up a notch​



In the end...​

Overall a great drive, 28 miles of mixed paved mountain road, and unpaved service track. I was able to get a bit more in tune with my 4WD system on the 4Runner, as well as discover more of it's capabilities. I swear, the Coopers are part velcro, as I was able to crawl up some ascents that were hard for me to walk up when I was checking out the trail before driving it. I am very much looking forward to testing this truck again, soon hopefully.
More to come...​