Specter: 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium

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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

My 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium was purchased in late March, 2019. Here it is 48 hours later with tinted windows.
 

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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
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Pukish
Member #

18919

When I purchased Specter, I had ordered with it TRD wheels, a TRD skid plate, new sidesteps and the black-out Toyota logo package. Below is a picture of Specter after getting all of its TRD equipment from the dealership. The thought process behind the original purchase of the TRD equipment was to make the rig more trail worthy while using it a a daily driver and gradually transitioning it to a designated overland vehicle over a year or two. It sounded good, but my plan didn't work. It turns out that the height of the 4runner is just under the height of the parking garage where I work, so any adjustment or modification to the vehicle would inhibit me from parking in the deck. Bigger tires? Can't do it. Lift? Can't do it. Roof rack? Can't do it. With that realization, my plan of a gradual build fell apart.

I was left with a choice: drive an extremely capable TRD Of Road 4runner 'as is' for a while and forego any modifications, or say the hell with it and go all out, to include the purchase of a daily driver.

So, naturally, I said the hell with it.
 

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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
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Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

I spent all of May and June provisioning equipment and outfitting for recovery, camping, storage, etc., researching my next steps for the build and identifying an off road shop that will soon be my best friend.

My vision of the build is clear - I want my 4runner to be an optimized version of itself. I decided on the 4runner because of its ruggedness, capability, reliability and comfort. My build will be centered around enhancing each of those characteristics.
 
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Specter

Rank V
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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

What I love about the build process is the same thing I love about overloading itself - it's about the journey. While you may have an idea in mind, you're never really done even after you arrive at your destination. No matter where you end up you always wonder what else is out there.

July was an expensive month. Armor, winch, wheels, tires, lift kit and lighting systems have all been ordered. I expect, in mid August, I will be posting a picture of Specter with some new kit. As for the armor, however, it's being fabricated and I have no idea when it will arrive.

One thing is for sure, I'm heading out to the Outer Banks, NC (OBX) this weekend to put those TRD rims and tires through hell before I give them up!
 
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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

Today I did the best thing I could have done for my rig - I bought a daily driver. To preserve and protect the investment of the 4Runner and all of its modifications, I purchased a small used car that gets great gas mileage to mitigate unnecessary mileage and wear and tear on my rig. Of all the investments into my build, this is the only one that will pay for itself over time, and even save me money in the long run. While my new daily driver isn’t the sexiest thing on the road, I look forward to driving it with a smile on my face knowing I have Specter back home in the garage.
 
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Ghost

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North Bonneville, WA, USA
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Trever
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M
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Today I did the best I could have done for my rig - I bought a daily driver. To preserve and protect the investment of the 4Runner and all of its modifications, I purchased a small used car that gets great gas mileage to mitigate unnecessary mileage and wear and tear on my rig. Of all the investments into my build, this is the only one that will pay for itself over time, and even save me money in the long run. While my new daily driver isn’t the sexiest thing on the road, I look forward to driving it with a smile on my face knowing I have Specter back home in the garage.
I just recently went the other direction with my commuter. After running a 2006 Toyota Carolla for the past 10 years, 220K miles I just bought a 2019 Tacoma as a daily driver. My wife currently has a 2018 4runner and was driving an FJ before that. I was ready and needing something more. For my 40 mile a day commute that “requires” chains regularly in winter and closes altogether about once a year. I also have a couple 20+ mile back county routes that I like to take home. I’m now running them weakly since I have a vehicle capable. While mileage isn’t nearly as good as the old commuter the fun factor, four wheel drive in winter, and getting off road much more regularly is a great trade off for me.
 
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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

I just recently went the other direction with my commuter. After running a 2006 Toyota Carolla for the past 10 years, 220K miles I just bought a 2019 Tacoma as a daily driver. My wife currently has a 2018 4runner and was driving an FJ before that. I was ready and needing something more. For my 40 mile a day commute that “requires” chains regularly in winter and closes altogether about once a year. I also have a couple 20+ mile back county routes that I like to take home. I’m now running them weakly since I have a vehicle capable. While mileage isn’t nearly as good as the old commuter the fun factor, four wheel drive in winter, and getting off road much more regularly is a great trade off for me.
Makes perfect sense for you, and I would have done the same. I live near DC, and between running the 58 miles into the city, the short parking decks, the doors dings and horrible road conditions I thought it best to get something I just don’t care about. When I’m not commuting, my daily driver is in the elements at the airport, with no cover (I mostly fly out of a private FBO with clients). Finally, I have two small boys tearing my daily driver apart. For me, I want my rig stowed when not in use and my daily to take the daily beatings. If we get snow, I’ll gladly take Specter out of the garage for some play time.

Always enjoy your dialogue, Ghost, thanks for the reply!
 
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Ghost

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Pathfinder I

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North Bonneville, WA, USA
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Agreed two totally different needs for a daily driver. Closest I get to the City is Portland and while I work on the fringe I steer clear of down town. I get the kid thing also, two young daughters that are primarily hauled around in my wife’s 4Runner. I gave up on trying to protect the leather. The joke is if the seats are folded down we could live for a week on the food that has dropped behind them.

Being someone that is totally into doing the research, making the modifications , and then shaking out the gear to figure out what works and what doesn’t I’m really interested In seeing how your build works. My wife being a 4runner owner is all about armoring up her rig. Even if it’s only for when Bambi springs out into her lane @ 55mph . (Wife 2 - deer 0)

Hope to see some more pics.
 

Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
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Michael
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Pukish
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18919

Picked Specter up today from getting some mods! Here’s the rig with ICON stage 2 lift, ICON 3” overland series rear coil springs, ICON adjustable track bar, ICON Six Speed wheels and Nitto Grapplers 285x70x17 tires.
 

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Roam_CO85

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Influencer I

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Casey
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Barch
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Specter thats a really neat build so far! I dont know to much about icon stages. Is the stage two a 3 inch lift? Heard someone mention a icon stage 9 front and rear before. Love the color!
 

Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
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Michael
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Pukish
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18919

Thanks! Stage 2 is 0-3.5”, adjustable. But I upgraded the package a bit, with 3” Icon overland springs in the back in anticipation of the weight of my rear bumper/tire carrier, Hi-lift carrier, etc) which is being fabricated. The rig is off to a good start. Front, rear and side body armor should be done in a few weeks - so hopefully I’ll be posting more pics soon!
 

Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

Ordered a Gobi Ranger Rack today, with the sunroof insert and Hi-lift holder. ETA is 10-12 weeks, but I know better than to get my hopes up. Hopefully all of the armor, my winch and the rack will be installed by Christmas - just in time for snow!
 
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N8rhino

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Courtland
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Keith, D.C.
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Picked Specter up today from getting some mods! Here’s the rig with ICON stage 2 lift, ICON 3” overland series rear coil springs, ICON adjustable track bar, ICON Six Speed wheels and Nitto Grapplers 285x70x17 tires.
You’ve got a great looking rig coming along! Did you have to do a BMC when you added the larger tires? I’m impatiently waiting on the 2020 version and looking to go a pretty similar color and build as yours. Looking forward to watching your progress.
 

Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
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Michael
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Pukish
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18919

You’ve got a great looking rig coming along! Did you have to do a BMC when you added the larger tires? I’m impatiently waiting on the 2020 version and looking to go a pretty similar color and build as yours. Looking forward to watching your progress.
Thanks for the comment. I didn’t have to do a BMC. It’s basically sitting three inches higher than stock, with a little less rake. This is in anticipation of adding the weight of the armor, wheel carrier, etc. When it’s all done, I think it will be about level and be up just over 2”. Here’s a recent pic. Front bumper, slider and winch go on Oct 7th!!
 

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N8rhino

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Thanks for the comment. I didn’t have to do a BMC. It’s basically sitting three inches higher than stock, with a little less rake. This is in anticipation of adding the weight of the armor, wheel carrier, etc. When it’s all done, I think it will be about level and be up just over 2”. Here’s a recent pic. Front bumper, slider and winch go on Oct 7th!!
It’s really a nice looking build. I’m glad to here you didn’t have to go with the BMC. It seems that depending on what you read determines the need for the BMC or not. Have a great weekend!
 

Captstout

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I love watching this thread. My wife and I are currently looking (making forever) at a Trail premium/TRD-offroad.

I will be doing upgrades as well, just a bit slower than this. I am loving this. Seeing how it is going to work out.
 

N8rhino

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Looks like my 2020 is gonna be here in the next 2 weeks? 2nd color choice (1st was the grey) white is available ... the fun should begin soon.
 

Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

I love watching this thread. My wife and I are currently looking (making forever) at a Trail premium/TRD-offroad.

I will be doing upgrades as well, just a bit slower than this. I am loving this. Seeing how it is going to work out.
Much appreciated. The next few months should be pretty interesting as items that were being fabricated start arriving.
 
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Specter

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Pathfinder I

1,493
Northern VA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Pukish
Member #

18919

Looks like my 2020 is gonna be here in the next 2 weeks? 2nd color choice (1st was the grey) white is available ... the fun should begin soon.
If I had to do it over again I think I would have gone with the lighter silver, but I do love the dark gray and white. You’ve got to be stoked for its arrival!
 
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