Jonovision's 5th gen Backcountry Assault Vehicle

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2012 Toyota 4Runner SR5 w/ Upgrade Package (Canada)

delivery day, july '12...

and it didn't take long to for things to go sharply downhill from there. As it sits today (Nov/16)...

mods to date...
Total Chaos UCA's -poly bushings
Total Chaos LCA's - stock length, dual shock compatible
Total Chaos alignment tab gussets
Radflo extended travel coilover, 2.5” body, Overland Warehouse valving
Eibach 650lb extended travel spring
Offroad Solutions high angle inner CV boot
sway bar delete
MetalTech 4x4 adjustable 4-link, with adjustable panhard bar
MetalTech 4x4 3” bump stop drop bracket
MetalTech 4x4 extended stainless brake lines
Radflo long travel shock, 2.5” body with remote reservoir
MetalTech 4x4 medium progressive rate long travel springs
sway bar delete

(sorry, we spell words funny here....and apologise lots. sorry!)
Outpost Offroad Trail Edition sliders
Hefty Fabworks single swing out rear bumper
Addicted Offroad front hybrid plate bumper
Hefty Fabworks full steel skid plate package

wheels and tires
FN Wheels Countersteer X 17x8
Ultra Wheels 198 Bolt 17x9
Goodyear Silent Armor LT285/70/17 E range
Goodyear MTR LT285/70/17 D range
Goodyear Duratrac LT285/70/17 D range, studded

offroad and expedition equipment
Camelback Metalgear full length roof rack with additional cross member
Warm VR10000-S
Warn wireless controller
Air Zenith OB2 air compressor
Viair 2 gallon remote tank
Gobi ladder
incorporated rear storage drawers
Wild Coast roof top tent
ARB awning
Axia universal mounts
Koplin chainsaw mount

OTRATTW auxiliary switches
Blue Sea ML-ACR #7622
3x Blue Sea Mega fuse holder #7721 w/ 100 amp MegaFuse
Blue Sea ST blade fuse block #5026
#1 gauge cable, Thomas&Betts crimp on terminal lugs
Pelfrybilt group 31 battery cage
Optima BlueTop D31M house battery
Optima YellowTop D27F starting battery
Stanley 500 watt inverter
2x Raptor LED battery terminals R5BTDMP

1x Seward Offroad 40” LED bar, combo pattern (forward facing roof top)
2x Rigid Industries D2, flood pattern w/ amber lenses (ditch lights)
CBI Offroad Fab ditch light brackets
2x Rigid Industries A-Series, low power cool white (under hood)
2x Lightforce 240 Blitz, 50 watt HID, yellow spot/combo, crystal blue combo, clear spot lenses (grille)
2x Rigid Industries A-Series, low power, amber (drl/turn indicator)
6x Rigid Industries A-Series, high power, cool white (rock lights)
2x Rigid Industries D2 flush mount, fog pattern (fog lights)
Morimoto Mini bixenon projector, “gatling gun” shrouds
Morimoto white 55 watt ballasts
Phillips 55 watt ds2 HID bulbs, 4300k

TRD cold air intake
Magnaflow 18” muffler

Mangowalk 4” FM antenna
Kenwood DNN990hd
Kicker 12” sub, enclosed box
Concept 600 watt mono amp
Uniden Bearcat 880 cb
u40 4' antenna
Diamond Mount k-540 antenna mount

gone but not forgotten
Bilstein 5100
OME 885 springs
Bilstein 5160
OME 889 springs
ARB skid plates
SuperWinch LP8500 with wireless
Viair 275c
Rigid Industries 20” SR spot pattern
Last edited by a moderator:


new OME 885 next to the stock springs for reference

make use of the stock bottle jack to flex out the rear axle, after disconnecting the rear sway bar end link in order to help seat the new springs

Bilstein 5160 rear shock installed with optional billet reservoir clamp

New Total Chaos upper control arms next to the stock units


ride height with the 5100 set to 0” shortly after installation

next to a Ford Raptor at work some time later, IIRC the 5100's were set to 1.75”

before too long, I began to reach the limits of what the Bilsteins could handle and I had found that the OME springs sagged quite badly.
new components were ordered for version 2.0. a few parts were delayed shipping for whatever reason, but eventually things started arriving

new vs old OEM/OME/Bilstein

after a few months of use, I found the Johnny Joints MetalTech uses on their rear 4-link kit difficult to access for the purpose of greasing. The straight oem zerk fittings were replaced with 90° fittings. I'd suggest for anyone who has this kit to switch these prior to installing the arms as it makes maintenance much easier.

As with any lifted truck that sees regular trail use, alignments can be a spot of major contention. Getting stock alignment specs back after changing suspension components is challenging, and offroading and even potholes can knock everything back out of spec in a hurry. To aide in keeping my truck in spec, I added the Total Chaos alignment tab gussets. Install was straightforward, but requires TIG welding.

One of the issues with IFS in a lifted application is premature boot wear caused by the fins on the OEM plastic boots rubbing as a result of the altered suspension geometry. Running at or near 3” of lift puts the cv boots at the limit. Offroad Solutions offers high angle boots with a revised fin design and are constructed of sillicone, which is soft and very flexible relative to the OEM boot, or even the neoprene boots found on some generic NAPA cv shafts. In order to install these new boots on a tri lobe tulip, the inner mounting surface must be retained from the original boot, and the new unit is mounted over top of it.
The best way to properly space out the fins after installation of the boot on the shafts seems to be to completely install the cv and new boot back into the differential and wheel hub with the outer clamp on the inner boot loose, space the fins so that they do not touch, and then tighten the clamp. This is done so that the boot does not hold vacuum as you adjust the position of the outer clamp.
Toyota cv with new boot installed, but notice that the fins are too close together. This is before the boot was adjusted on the truck.



removal of the OEM skids after a recent trip. The effects of the lack of adequate drainage holes quickly became evident

freshly installed ARB skid plate package

first impressions of the ARB setup were positive, and they served me reasonably well for a couple seasons of offroading, but before too long it was apparent that the ARB's were not up to the task of more strenuous trips.
Relatively minor impacts to the skids produced some significant deflection, and required a BFH to fix.

Like many others who run the ARB's, my crossover pipe on the exhaust contacted the skids

I initially spaced the plates lower using a few washers, but as this is a low hanging spot, I found that the rear mount ARB uses bent easily and necessitated a different solution. I traced the shape of the ARB bracket on to 4x4x1/4” angle iron, which solved the crossover pipe problem, but exacerbated the bending in the trans skid.

Outpost Offroad sliders arrived from MetalTech 4x4

for whatever reason, there are several differences in each trim line between US and Canadian models. Chief among these, in my model year Canadian SR5 trucks have colour keyed door handles, but black plastic trim, and Trail Edition style rocker panels. After taking some measurements, I determined with the help of MetchTech that the TE sliders would fit perfectly on my truck.
Rather than powder coat these, I decided to use a spray on bedliner product. Results were poor, and I ended up redoing the coating with industrial enamel paint.
Mounting was straightforward and made easy with the assistance of a set of jack stands

since installing, these have served me very well, and I use them regularly as a hi lift point without issue. I would absolutely suggest against bedliner products or expensive powder coating if you plan to wheel your truck however. Sliders get banged up quickly, and rattle can is the least expensive and easiest repair.

Front and rear plate bumpers were always part of my long term plan, it was nearly three and a half years before I ordered them however. When I bought my truck, the only aftermarket front bumper option was from Shrockworks, and rear bumpers were not yet available. I'm glad I waited though, because in the interim great offerings from companies like CBI, 4x4Labs, Renegade, Pelfrybilt, and many others have come to market, allowing anyone to pick an option for their personal tastes. I decided on an [MENTION=93260]Addicted[/MENTION] Offroad hybrid front, and Hefty Fabworks single swing out rear. Due to some delays in production on my rear bumper, Chris from Hefty Fabworks also offered me a full set of their skid plates at a reduced cost, which proved to be too good a deal to pass up.

After getting everything home and unwrapped...

completing the installation alone was challenging, but manageable with a set of jack stands

and a 4wd badge from a 40 series Land Cruiser for good measure...

The front bumper from Addicted Offroad required quite a bit more work, since I intended to mount different lighting options than those offered. Because of the angles of the OEM bumper skin, I found the front plastic significantly more difficult to measure prior to cutting than the rear. Mocking up the Rigid flush mount D2 and A-series was not especially challenging per se, but since this bumper ships unpainted, it had to be put on and taken off the truck a couple times during the process, and then again to be painted.
Getting it mounted up for the first time. Minor cutting of the lower headlight support bracket is necessary on the 2010-13 models, but not on the '14+

test fitting the winch and Lightforce 240's

and the finished product

The new skids were painted a close approximation of TRD red, and the installation – although devoid of instruction from Hefty Fabworks – was uneventful. The only issue I ran into was that the rear mounting hole on the transfer case skid did not have a corresponding threaded hole on the frame. I'm not sure if this was unique to my truck, but I managed to get a nut inside the frame rail and threaded onto the bolt using a pair of medical foreceps.
I did have a few reservations about my colour choice, but it is relatively subtle from every angle except for perhaps under the truck.

Finished installation


Offroad and Expedition Equipment
I was given a SuperWinch LP8500 for Chrismas long before I ever had the plate bumpers, so this necessitated a creative solution to mount it. I started with a SuperWinch plate, but after pulling off the bumper skin, it was clear that the plate wouldn't fit as is, so minor modification was required. I was able to re-purpose some c-channel brackets to tie the plate back to the frame rails, then had the brackets gusseted. I also made use of 2x 5,000 axle u-bolts around the aluminum bumper structure.

Everything bolted up perfectly and it looked nearly like a factory option after getting the bumper skin reinstalled

my version 1.0 air system consisted of a Viair 275c compressor and a 2 gallon tank. With the small foot print offered by the compressor, it was an easy job to find space under the hood to mount everything up

while this setup served me pretty well for a couple years, other under the hood mods eventually demanded more space, and I had to move the tank and compressor elsewhere. It was at this point that I decided I also wanted the option to run air tools, which would mean either a bigger tank, or a bigger compressor. I opted for option 2 and picked up an Air Zenith OB2, which proved to be significantly larger than the little Viair 275c it would be replacing

This time, I mounted the compressor vertically in front of the air box in the traditional secondary battery location

it was a tight squeeze

the tank was relocated to the rear, where I had recently removed the 3rd row seats in preparation for another project

presently I have the compressor pulled out again, and my intention is to put it in the back with the tank to free up space in the engine bay for a washer bottle relocate kit. Pics to follow...

Next came the storage drawers. There are a lot of cool options on the market for drawer systems, a few are only ridiculously expensive (instead of ludicrously expensive). I may go that route eventually, but we had undergone a kitchen reno here at the farm, and I had drawer boxes sitting around from that which I decided to utilize to make my own drawer system.
I had previously taken out the 3rd row seats, and put down Dynamat and a base of 3/4” mdf

the whole thing was kept fairly simple. I used heavy duty drawer slides from the hardware store, and ordered paddle latches from Essentra Industrial Supply (If I were doing this again though, I'd get larger latches), some aluminum angle, a rubber treadmill mat from wal-mart, plastic roadie case corners off ebay, and then painted the inside with Krylon stone finish. It was all put together using construction adhesive and 3” deck screws, and several metal corner braces, no squeaks at all. Plenty of space for my recovery gear, some safety equipment, essential tools, and my sticker collection. Much more useful than the 3rd row seats

the air tank resides in a stash compartment (opens with a piano hinge under the rubber mat) in front of the drawers and behind the seats, the compressor will go here too eventually

I added a Gobi ladder after breaking a tail light while using it as a step to climb up to the roof. The ladder is also a perfect spot for a Koplin chainsaw mount that I acquired at Cabela's. A word of warning though, only add bar oil to your saw immediately before use, since they seem to leak when left in a vertical position in the mount, and you're going to have a bad day cleaning bar oil off your truck if you fill it right full before even leaving home (Koplin also makes a saw boot which can be used in conjunction with this mount, and would catch leaking oil or fuel and protect the blade if you didn't have a guard already)

One of the memebers in our local club here turned me on to Axia Alloys mounts. These little things solve all sorts of problems, and I use them to mount my roof top tent and awning to my roof rack, and they are certainly robust enough for mounting light bars or just about anything else as well

When it finally came time to install my new bumpers, I ran into problems with my SuperWinch LP8500. It is possible to run an integrated solenoid winch with the Addicted Offroad bumper, but you would have to cut up the grille to do so, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice my Satoshi to make it work. I suspect something like a Warn Zenon 10 – with the solenoid located above the spool instead of directly on the motor - would work as well, but I opted for a Warn VR10000-S, since it will only see use sparingly. My one beef with the new Warn is that they did not include grade 8 mounting hardware, and I broke a bolt installing the damn thing. The other minor piss off is that the hawes fairlead from Warn will only fit on this bumper upside down.
Solenoid mounted to the lower grille support
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***a word about dual battery setups and wiring in general: I am an industrial electrician, and while the concept behind designing and wiring a dual battery system is not complicated, if you plan to do it yourself be sure that you thoroughly research every aspect before you undertake the design. Incorrect connection and/or incorrect use of a dual battery system can lead to serious shocks, and damage or destruction of your vehicle. If you are certain that you need the extra power, but are not completely confident, purchase a manufactured kit rather than piecing together your own, and be sure to read the instructions completely and carefully. Proceed with caution and do so at your own risk.***

to construct my dual battery setup, I relied heavily on components from Blue Sea Systems, who manufacture electrical components for marine environments that are much more harsh that what I am likely to encounter off road. At the heart of the system is a ML-ACR (#7622)

this unit offers automatic voltage sensing and charging control, with the ability for local and remote control of connect/disconnect functions, as well as the ability to lock the system in a disconnected position. It is also capable of safely handing an intermittent 700 amp draw in 5 minute intervals, which is important during a difficult recovery using a winch – though the rest of the system is set up to cut out long before I get to that point. The interconnects between the charge relay, batteries, and power distribution are handled by Blue Sea 100a mega fuses, and 1 gauge extra hard usage welding cable, with everything wrapped in split loom for a near factory appearance. Version 2.0 will see this change to re-settable circuit breakers, and possibly 0 gauge cable with an additional parallel connection to a new high output alternator. Down stream from there, I am presently using a 12 circuit Blue Sea ST blade fuse box (#5026) to distribute power.

I have made use of OTRATTW Contura Vswitches throughout my built, but this is one place where I would be inclined to go a different route if I were to do it all over again. There is nothing wrong with the OTRATTA switches, but some of the newer Toyota-style push buttons or even touch screens are way cooler. Anyway.....

the last component of the dual battery setup would be the batteries themselves. Here, I chose an Optima Blue Top marine grade group 31 and a Yellow Top group 27. these are topped off with Raptor LED terminals from ebay. Here is how the engine bay sits now (nov/16)


installation of my lighting setup has been accomplished progressively since I bought my truck. I have not encountered any major hurdles, with the exception of using the Rigid A-Series ambers as drl/turn indicators. In this application, the OEM flasher relay from toyota is not compatible with LED's. Because the internal resistance of the LED's is lower than that of the 2 amp bulbs that Toyota uses, it is necessary to use a resistor to raise the resistance of the flasher circuit back up to a level where the truck does not think there is a bulb is burnt out. Failing to accommodate this will cause hyperflash (double time blinking of the turn indicators). A 6 ohm resistor wired in parallel with each A-Series LED accomplishes this. The standard is to use a 50 watt wire wound resistor, but these have been reported to get quite hot, to the point of melting plastic. I opted to go with 100 watt resistors, since they are physically larger, and capable of dissipating heat more effectively. I chose to mount them on the inner surface of the lower headlight support, which puts them in the air stream of the radiator, and ensures plenty of cooling airflow. Note the high temp wire used to connect them into the flasher circuit. Each connection is cut, soldered, and heat shrunk, rather than using t-taps – which could melt, should this circuit get hot.

other lighting...
retrofit in progress

...and the outcome, minor horizontal misalignment which is more noticeable with the hi-beams on

Rigid 20” SR, spot pattern

Rigid A-Series high power, cool white. Rock light mock up on front/back of transmission cross member

Rigid D2/20”SR/lo-beam

Underhood lighting – Rigid A-Series low power, cool white, controlled with a pin switch wired in series

Seaward Offroad 40” bar on the front of my Camelback Metal Gear rack (before the faring went on)

Rigid A-Series low power amber drls and D2 flood pattern (amber lenses) on cbi ditch light brackets

and the big Lightforce Blitz 240's, 50 watt HID wearing yellow combo lenses

...not shown – Rigid D2 flush mount fogs, don't seem to have an output photo

plenty more build and wheeling photos can be found on my photobucket


Amazing transformation
not sure how much more one could do