Steve’s 2016 Toyota 4Runner Modification and Adventure Thread

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Steve

lost again...
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Traveler III

4,312
Lorain County, OH, USA
First Name
Steve
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202

(Cross-Posted to various forums. Please excuse any repetition.)

SOLD: January 26, 2021


First, a re-introduction: I’m Steve, and my wife Deb and I live in northern Ohio, west of Cleveland. We are retired, and as of September 2015, we have been empty nesters, and have started taking longer trips exploring the USA (and eventually Canada.)

On March 4, 2016, I put down a deposit on a 2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium with KDSS in Midnight Black Metallic. I ordered it via the local Costco participating dealer, Toyota of Bedford. My 4Runner was built on March 15, and I picked it up on May 5. Now the fun begins! Here’s my new ride.





My modifications to the 4Runner will be moderate, so this isn't going to be a typical off-road build thread. I'm not putting together a rig for rock crawling or getting muddy at the local off-road park. I am putting together a vehicle that will be comfortable for hours of Interstate at a time, and then capable of going on forest roads, gravel, dirt, and medium-difficulty trails wherever we happen to find them. It will be used as a daily driver, and driven hundreds or thousands of miles to get to wherever we’re exploring for days or weeks at a time. With that in mind, you will see more comfort and convenience oriented modifications than capability mods, as the TEP is already extremely capable off-road. I'm creating a vehicle that works for what I want to do. I’ll be moving all of my non-vehicle specific items over from my Outback, and I’ll be adding new items as my modifications progress.


Starting Point:
2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium (TEP)
- Build Date: March 15, 2016
- Midnight Black Metallic
- Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS)

Factory/Dealer Installed Options:
- All-Weather Mats/Cargo Tray

Interior Modifications/Additions:
- Fyre Flys 3014 Series 12 Piece Interior LEDs
- Salex Console Organizer
- Salex Glovebox Organizer
- 12V Power to rear storage area with Powerlet Port

Exterior Modifications/Additions:
- Prinsu Design Full-Length Roof Rack
- Gobi Ladder
- Nox Lux Blackout Kit
- Philips X-Treme Vision LED 921 T16 Backup Bulbs
- Fyre Flys LED Puddle and License Bulbs
- Xenon Depot H11 Xtreme HID Kit w/Philips 4300K Bulb

Suspension/Wheel/Tire Modifications:
- (5) BF Goodrich LT275-70-17 TA KO2 Tires

Mechanical/Suspension Systems:
- Stock


There are no suspension modifications on the list at this time. I want to wait to see how the 4Runner drives with the KDSS suspension system, first. Then I can decide if and when I want to make any changes.

@stringtwelve and @MTN4RNR have been big inspirations for this decision, and several 5th generation folks over on t4r.org have also contributed to the above list of modifications. (I'm Ohio_Steve over there.) Thanks guys!

This post will be continually updated as changes are made. I'm really excited to get started, but each time I drive the Outback, I'm a little sad to think of it being sold. I still really miss the WRX wagon, and I sold it this time last year. I'm sure that will change as I get started.

If you want to follow along on our adventures, follow or like one (or all) of these social media accounts:
Facebook: Steve and Deb Explore the USA
Twitter: https://twitter.com/exploringtheusa
Instagram: Login • Instagram


[EDIT]
4/4/16 Moved Husky Floor Liners from "Near Term" list to "Interior Modifications"
4/15/16 Added Carista OBD2 Adapter and Die Cut Window Stickers to "Cosmetic/Convenience Modifications"
4/16/16 Added Baja Design LED Fog Lights
12/19/16 Added MaxTrax traction pads, reorganized categories
1/1/17 Added Canvasback flap, BROG Attic, and Murderspork
2/23/17 Added Road Shower
7/14/17 Added Electrical section, National Luna Fridge and Slide, Solar, Powerlet
11/27/17 Added Raingler net, Removed BROG net
1/8/19 Updated recent additions
11/11/20 Removed a bunch of stuff to sell or trade
1/26/21 Traded the 4Runner on a new Toyota Land Cruiser
 
Last edited:

Steve

lost again...
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Traveler III

4,312
Lorain County, OH, USA
First Name
Steve
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[RESERVED FOR MODIFICATION DETAILS]

Here is design for a storage box with a sliding top for the Yeti. Once I know the dimensions, I can finalize it and start building. Height would be to make the top flush with the folded rear seat backs, but I modeled it based on some estimates and numbers searching the Interwebz.

 

MTN4RNR

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[RESERVED FOR MODIFICATION DETAILS]

Here is design for a storage box with a sliding top for the Yeti. Once I know the dimensions, I can finalize it and start building. Height would be to make the top flush with the folded rear seat backs, but I modeled it based on some estimates and numbers searching the Interwebz.

This looks really cool!
 

MTN4RNR

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Awesome man! I remember you just going to sit in one shortly after I started posting mine here on OB. Sitting leads to buying when it comes to these things, it's almost a disease. The next symptom when you get it is that you're bank account will start getting sick and throwing up money in the form of new part all over your new 4Runner. I have tried cleaning it off, but I just drive it and leave it as is :P
 

Steve

lost again...
Founder 500
Member

Traveler III

4,312
Lorain County, OH, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
.
Member #

202

The next symptom when you get it is that you're bank account will start getting sick and throwing up money in the form of new part all over your new 4Runner.
I've already got a pile of parts in the garage thanks to you, String, and some group buys on T4R.org: Xenon Depot HID lights, Nox Lux blackout kit, interior and exterior LEDs, backup camera dongle w/AOB switch, and more. I'm quite eager to get started!
 
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Steve

lost again...
Founder 500
Member

Traveler III

4,312
Lorain County, OH, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
.
Member #

202

When considering replacing the Outback, I didn't really have a wide ranging selection. For the past year, I've been looking into and reading about Land Rover LR4 and Toyota Land Cruiser. I was looking at off-lease 2012-2013 models. Plus, another hard look at the VW Toaureg, which is what I almost got when I bought the Outback in 2008. Back then, the Touareg had a V10 Diesel and real off-road suspension, with automatic sway bar disconnects and pneumatic suspension. It was a beast, but wasn't selling, so they were being discounted about $25k. I was working toward retiring then, so I went with the Outback.

The certified used LR4 and LC200 are in the $55-$60k range with around 50k miles on them. Lower mileage vehicles are over $60k, with some at full retail for a new one! More miles doesn't drop the price much, either. Right now, there are 13 2013 land Cruisers available nationwide according to cars.com

We went to the Cleveland Auto Show early March, and I looked briefly at many other manufacturers' offerings. The Yukon is nice, but huge, and hard to get one fitted out under $60k. Nothing else offers the off-road capabilities of the LR4, LC200, or 4Runner. Well, Jeep does, but I didn't want one after all the trouble my brother has had with 30 years of Jeeps. He loves 'em, and hates 'em.

If this is something we are going to continue touring the country in, on-road comfort and most of all, reliability are paramount. So long Land Rover... :wink: We hope to drive to Alaska one of these years. We've also considered buying a trailer. (Side note: We went to the Cleveland RV show in January, with the intention of deciding what sort of Sprinter Van we were going to buy. We left totally confused, leaning toward a lightweight trailer, or continuing motel traveling.) The LR4 has a 7700 pound tow capacity, the LC200 has 8100 pounds, and the 4Runner has 5000.

If I'm being entirely honest with myself, (and don't tell Deb), but I'm really thinking of the 4Runner as a temporary/transitional vehicle. In a few years, I'll be in a better financial position, and then I'm buying a certified off-lease Land Cruiser, probably a really low mileage 2015. (In 2016, they moved the rear seat entertainment screens from a roof console to the backs of the front seats. Every time you tumble the rear seats forward, the hard seat back smacks into the entertainment screen. And the screen is not an option, nor is it removable. (well, it is, but it leaves a gaping hole in the back of the front seats...) That'll be my Alaska vehicle!



Here's the long-term goal. :sunglasses: