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Old 01-11-2021, 08:11 PM #1
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Scary freeway incident

I was driving home from a great day of skiing on Friday when something came out of the darkness and hit the front of my 4Runner on Hwy 80. It looked sort of like a green apple or a tennis ball, but I don't think it was either of them. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but I'm missing the lower valance to my front bumper, so the lower half of the radiator is completely exposed.




Exposed Radiator



I have an OBD2 reader that has a display screen below my radio, so I turned it on and watched the temps for a minute, but it looked fine so I kept going. I got home and the only thing I could see was a very small mark on the radiator that could honestly have been there before.



Anyway, this got me thinking that it's high time to buy a bumper if only to protect my radiator. I've been meaning to for a while, but I like the look it has now, and I wasn't super eager about any of my three main choices:



1. TNF Alpha Bumper

I know it isn't super popular because there isn't any way to mount a winch, but I really like the low profile look and the way it really hugs the lines of the 4Runner. I've never needed a winch, but I can't help thinking about the possibilities in the distant future and wondering... (plus if I ever wanted to get rid of it, it would probably be more difficult for that reason. $995.95 shipped to me



2. 4xInnovations front plate bumper

In contrast, this one seems to be super popular. Winch possible, hi-lift jack points, beefier but still a pretty good look. I think that my main issue with this one is that it's 20 lbs heavier than the TNF at ≈100 lbs, and I think it's probably beefier than I'll ever need. Plus I don't think I'd mount a winch anyway for a very long time. edit: I also saw that the 4x bumper has had some issues with protecting the front end in a collision $914 shipped to me



3. OEM lower bumper valance

My 4Runner is a '99 but the PO didn't like the fat lip bumper so he swapped it for a '96-'98. I could buy the '96-'98 lower valance from a supplier near me for about $100, but I'm not sure it would fit, given that mine's a '99. It also doesn't seem like it offers the greatest protection since I think it's pretty much just a thick piece of plastic. pn: (53911-35909)



I have the CBI rear hybrid bumper from the PO (he cut off the hitch though), and I do really like it.



Any suggestions, input, thoughts, ruminations, etc. are welcome.
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Last edited by 5VZ-FE; 01-11-2021 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:17 PM #2
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The radiator-like item you see in the front is actually the A/C condenser. Does your A/C system still work? I don't see any obvious damage from the photos, looks like your lower valance took the brunt of the hit.

Your radiator is tucked in there behind your skid plate and well protected.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:33 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamefreakgc View Post
The radiator-like item you see in the front is actually the A/C condenser. Does your A/C system still work? I don't see any obvious damage from the photos, looks like your lower valance took the brunt of the hit.

Your radiator is tucked in there behind your skid plate and well protected.
Ahhh thanks. I had a suspicion it might be something else because of the way it would have to jut out to be in that space. Yeah, I think the A/C is fine. I've only used it for the defroster since, but it seemed to be fine.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:36 PM #4
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Also, on a totally unrelated note I can't believe that in the history of these forums the username of "5VZ-FE" was not taken. Well played!
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:53 PM #5
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Haha thanks. On the forum I used for my T100 it was taken, so I used just 5VZFE, which felt kinda cheap. But I did make sure that the guy who had 5VZ-FE was inactive so thered be no confusion. When I switched over here I got lucky.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:43 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5VZ-FE View Post
I was driving home from a great day of skiing on Friday when something came out of the darkness and hit the front of my 4Runner on Hwy 80. It looked sort of like a green apple or a tennis ball, but I don't think it was either of them. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but I'm missing the lower valance to my front bumper, so the lower half of the radiator is completely exposed.




Exposed Radiator



I have an OBD2 reader that has a display screen below my radio, so I turned it on and watched the temps for a minute, but it looked fine so I kept going. I got home and the only thing I could see was a very small mark on the radiator that could honestly have been there before.



Anyway, this got me thinking that it's high time to buy a bumper if only to protect my radiator. I've been meaning to for a while, but I like the look it has now, and I wasn't super eager about any of my three main choices:



1. TNF Alpha Bumper

I know it isn't super popular because there isn't any way to mount a winch, but I really like the low profile look and the way it really hugs the lines of the 4Runner. I've never needed a winch, but I can't help thinking about the possibilities in the distant future and wondering... (plus if I ever wanted to get rid of it, it would probably be more difficult for that reason. $995.95 shipped to me



2. 4xInnovations front plate bumper

In contrast, this one seems to be super popular. Winch possible, hi-lift jack points, beefier but still a pretty good look. I think that my main issue with this one is that it's 20 lbs heavier than the TNF at ≈100 lbs, and I think it's probably beefier than I'll ever need. Plus I don't think I'd mount a winch anyway for a very long time. edit: I also saw that the 4x bumper has had some issues with protecting the front end in a collision $914 shipped to me



3. OEM lower bumper valance

My 4Runner is a '99 but the PO didn't like the fat lip bumper so he swapped it for a '96-'98. I could buy the '96-'98 lower valance from a supplier near me for about $100, but I'm not sure it would fit, given that mine's a '99. It also doesn't seem like it offers the greatest protection since I think it's pretty much just a thick piece of plastic. pn: (53911-35909)



I have the CBI rear hybrid bumper from the PO (he cut off the hitch though), and I do really like it.



Any suggestions, input, thoughts, ruminations, etc. are welcome.
In regards to the rear you can always re-fab bumper mounts if that's the problem - hell, most of us chop off the front mount and replace it with something sturdier (the OEM cross member is paper thin and weak as a twig). It might take some planning (especially if you dont have experience with fab work) but it's absolutely possible with some basic pieces of steel. Just has to function doesn't have to look perfect, since it will probably be out of sight (mostly)
I too am a big fan of the CBI Hybrid bumper and plan on getting one in a couple months I don't see many, if any other users rocking them, strangely enough. A tube bumper up front would match the look wonderfully, something like Addicted Offroad's
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Last edited by Devbot; 01-11-2021 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:52 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamefreakgc View Post
Also, on a totally unrelated note I can't believe that in the history of these forums the username of "5VZ-FE" was not taken. Well played!
Thought the same shit when I first saw him. Something to be said about simplicity
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:54 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devbot View Post
In regards to the rear you can always re-fab bumper mounts if that's the problem - hell, most of us chop off the front mount and replace it with something sturdier (the OEM cross member is paper thin and weak as a twig). It might take some planning (especially if you dont have experience with fab work) but it's absolutely possible with some basic pieces of steel. Just has to function doesn't have to look perfect, since it will probably be out of sight (mostly)
I too am a big fan of the CBI Hybrid bumper and plan on getting one in a couple months I don't see many, if any other users rocking them, strangely enough. A tube bumper up front would match the look wonderfully, something like Addicted Offroad's
I meant he chopped off the hitch on the CBI hybrid. Better departure angle, but I'd rather have the hitch :/
I hadn't really been looking at tube bumpers, but I will because I think you're right about the two matching well. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:46 PM #9
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I'd recommend using those 2 holes to bolt a piece of heavy-gauge mesh across the front to protect the condenser from flying objects while you enjoy the front bumper-shopping process.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:53 AM #10
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Quote:
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I'd recommend using those 2 holes to bolt a piece of heavy-gauge mesh across the front to protect the condenser from flying objects while you enjoy the front bumper-shopping process.

Thats a good idea. Other than that I think I might just drive up and get the OEM valance this week. Well see
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