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Old 02-28-2013, 09:26 PM #1
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Arrow Pre-Purchase Info, Modifications, Write-Ups, Quick Links, and FAQ's

New and prospective new owners
I just purchased an 04 Sr5, following is information I found before and after my purchase. I am posting this here because this forum had by far the most information I was interested in. Not having owned a 4Runner since my 88 years ago I wanted to know what these things were about and what could be done to them. I see many other people asking the same questions I was looking for answers to. Primarily this means mods, and that's why so many links below are to mods. I didn't want to ask a question that had been asked a hundred time so I searched the hell out of the forum, finding and reading tons of info. This isn't all inclusive, just the links I saved while researching and thought it might help others. Feel free to PM me if you have corrections or things I should add.

#1 Read this post or go directly to #2. My info is laid out Info, mods, retail sources.
#2 As on any forum, please use the search feature at the top of the page, or when you are on the main "4th Gen T4Rs" page use the "Search this forum" link just above the first post. The same questions get asked many times and people occasionally get irate about questions that can easily be answered by searching. Chances are someone has experienced your problem or done the mod you are contemplating.
#3 If you have searched and can't find your answer create a post and ask a question, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here.

FYI, this icon next to a post take you to your first unread post in that thread.

Let's get started...

Start here...
Toyota service records - sign up, enter VIN
Toyota owners manuals
Official 4Runner Brochure Topic - toyotareference
Info on changes every year of the 4th Gen 4Runner
4Runner history Wikipedia
4th Gen Suspension Options/FAQ - ARK_SWAMP_RIDER
4th gen 4Runner Secrets? must read - supraman215
4X4NOW 4-Wheeling "How-To" (good info)
Parts cross reference find out what other Toyota and Lexus cars use a particular part number. This link is the light sensor used in the auto headlight mod, which you should be able to pull from a Carolla or Camry and any junkyard.

Stickys, your forum friend
In case you missed the stickies on the most commonly asked about information
4th Gen Suspension Options/FAQ - ARK_SWAMP_RIDER
4th Gen Armor Thread - Sliders/Skids/Bumpers - Dusty Driftwood
...Lift and Tire central... (If you're thinking about it it's probably been done and is in this thread) - hammersc
4th Gen Build Thread (see what other have already done) - gaterose

Basic 4th Gen 4Runner information
4th generation 4Runners include model years 2003-2009. There are 3 basic models, SR5 (base), Sport Edition (has hood scoop) and Limited (more luxury oriented). There was a Urban Runner package available on the 2008-2009 Sport Edition v6. In 2009 a Trail Edition package was available, this was the only 4th ten with a factory locking rear differential. There are 2 engines, v8, it has timing belt that needs to be replaced at regular intervals and a v6 with a timing chain. All 4Runners feature a locking center differential. From what I have seen, silver is by far the most common color. And yes, if you maintain them they should go for over 300 thousand miles.

2005-2009 are equipped with VVT-I (variable valve timing) and have a 5 speed automatic instead of 4 speed. No manual transmissions are available in any 4th gen. The v6 gets around 20 mpg highway, the v8s slightly less. The 5 speed slightly better mileage that the 4 speed. This can go do with Mods of course. The v8 is full time all wheel drive while the v6 is selectable 4 wheel drive.

The X-REAS suspension standard on the Sport and optional on the Limited offers significantly better road handling, however may limit lift options. The X-REAS system links diagonal shocks to limit body roll during cornering.

Side air bags were an option from 2003-2007 and standard in 2008-2009. All years received safety ratings. Tire pressure monitoring was standard in 2004. In 2007 rollover sensor side curtain airbags were added as well as side torso air bags.

Third row seating was available as an option on SR5 and Limited beginning in 2004. From what I have read it is not feasible to add 3rd row seats to a 4Runner that did not come with them.

2006 brought projector headlights and LED tail lights. The tail lights are a direct swap to 03-05 4Runners. The headlights will swap, you will need to buy the pre-painted trim pieces that fit under the projector headlights. There will also be a small gap between the lower corner of the headlight and the grill due to changes made from 05-06. The 06 grill is not a direct swap to earlier year vehicles.

If you are buying a 4th generation 4Runner try to obtain service records from the previous owner. Any maintenance and repairs done at a Toyota dealership can be looked up online, see link in previous post under New and prospective owners. You simply create an account on the website and enter the VIN number for any Toyota. You do not have to be the owner of the vehicle to do this. You can find the VIN on the tailgate, doors, etc, see boondoggle's post below.

A guide to the V6 vs V8 debate by rcebowl

Maintenance
Parts cross reference (Toyota and Lexus vehicles by part number)
07 V8 4x4 Zerk Fitting Pics UPDATED with all 6 - Buckfever
2007 4Runner SR5 V6 Front Brake Job (youtube) - JASON16V
My 4th Gen Front Brakes walkthrough - Ducman
Front brake caliper & pad replacement - Kmvreter
Check Engine, TRAC, AND/OR VSC On? Read Me! - @BlackWorksInc

Good build threads - not all inclusive, no favoritism, just some I liked
blk-4runner's build thread - blk-4runner
DawgRunner's Build - DawgRunner
daPitbull's 4Runner build - daPitbull
gaterose build thread - gaterose

Lighting - Interior
Take apart the A/C controls - A/V1
Footwell Led Lighting Mod
LED lighting on door locks....!!!! for Taco, might work on T4R
DIY: Interior LED swap (cluster, HVAC, switches, window, *steering wheel) - darkie3495
Detailed how-to to swap Steering wheel control LEDs

Lighting-Exterior
OEM Automatic Headlight Install - Asmara
Daytime running lights - sharp4runr
LED Courtesy Lights Write up - 2007toyota4runners
Running Boards - Painting / Lighting DIY - Pennywise
2010 4Runner Mirrors Worked! - Blacked Out TRD
Auto Dimming Mirror Install w/pictures - 4RunnERD
06 Headlight wiring - mario552k
projector head lamps - mlopez61
using fog lights as daytime running lights - wasc007
[pictures]...TSX Retrofit On Lexus SC300 - icantsee
Tail Lights LED Project - AlexJet
Headlight Projector Mod vs. Buying OEM 2006+ Headlight Assembly - triguy74
Independent use of Fog Light Mod
Rear Foglight mod (bumper reflectors) bryancos
Rear foglight Mod - My LED Bumper Light conversion - cdoyle
LED Tail Lights installed - cdoyle
LED 3rd Brake Light DIY - 004Gunner
LED 3rd Brake Light DIY (Taco)
Exterior LED Lighting:- exterior lights to LED
aftermarket Projector Housings for 03-05s basic info - lovemybadkitty
Morimoto xb led angel eyes - 2007toyota4runners
Auxiliary Reverse Light Question: What do you recommend? - jbmccul
another blacked out headlight thread...DIY lots of pics. - leftyguns21
Blacked out Headlights 06' Sport DIY - magert54
OEM LED tail light Install w/ pics (06-09 to 03-05) - CookieRoe
projector head lamps - (06-09 to 03-05) - mlopez61
30" LED Bar Behind Lower Grill - ARK_SWAMP_RIDER
bulbs.com - Find out what bulbs go in your truck.


Electrical
4Runner Homelink Garage Opener - add it to your T4R - DOORZ
Full Time 115V Power Outlet Mod
Installed a simple 375wt Power Inverter *PICS*
Dual Batteries on the Cheap - Titanpat57
"VSC OFF" mod for 4th gen 4Runner
Back Window Up Hack with Factory Key Fob - dpodo
DIY Built-in iPod Charging USB Port (Lots of pictures and detail) From a BMW forum, but good write-up
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/4th-gen-t4rs/157159-diy-mod-how-add-rear-heated-seats.html DIY MOD: How to add rear heated seats - gshadow35 - Great idea!

Audio/Video/Navigation
Remove head unit from 2003 T4R
best way to hook up ipod to stereo? - ALHazlewood
Ultimate Scion Headunit (stereo) thread - drbiii

Wheels/Tires/Suspension
4th Gen Suspension Options/FAQ - ARK_SWAMP_RIDER
The Hot Sheet: 33 Off-Road Tires Tested - Jeep Magazine
Plasti Dip Rims w/ lots o' pics - A_HuL
Painting stock wheels. Plastidip?? - STRRAYNGE
BFG T/A KO vs Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac link providede by 03_4x4Runner
Duratracs, BFG All Terrains, or your input link providede by 03_4x4Runner
DuraTracs vs. All Terrain's link providede by 03_4x4Runner
Blacking out FJ Wheels (Lots of Pics) - BlairB
Swaybar Bushing Upgrade - CJ3Flyr
Tire Tech Information/Light Truck Tire Information - Tire Rack

Armor (sliders, bumpers, skids, etc)
4th Gen Armor Thread - Sliders/Skids/Bumpers - Dusty Driftwood
Sliders - Emman

Winch/Recovery
BillaVista's Recovery Bible - good info
Four Wheeler Magazine - Winch Shootout
Cheapest winch options - spnce

Interior
Leather install - macoyle

Satoshi Grilles
Compiled: Satoshi Build, Help & Picture Thread

Body/Paint
Mytoy4 Satoshi Grille Mod -) Mytoy4
'03 & '06 Retrofit Satoshi Grille Writeup (Picture Heavy) - gaterose
4th Gen: How did you plug the holes in the wheel well? (great idea) - yabedude

Engine/Powertrain
Tailpipe Mod Complete! (4th gen) - CJ3Flyr
Internal Snorkel Mod 4th gen - aha2988

Misc
How to make spare chipped keys - nicolachel
Keyless Entry Programming ... (key fob remote) - LBC99
Driver door autolocks when in drive? (change auto locking options) - mattstuder1
Door Locks (auto relock) - rnjoe1
Remote control doorlock reprograming guide, I have it - rdrunner
Onboard Air - 2000 T4R
air compressor installed - zimm
J.A.'s Toyota 4Runners Info on nearly every topic
DIY Mods: Post Write-ups HERE (links to many MODs) - AlphaQup
How did you plug the holes in the wheel well? Keep your engine compartment cleaner, yabedude.
4th Gen Helpful DIY Videos 4th Gen Helpful DIY Videos - Stuck CAPS
My collection of DIY and MOD threads My collection of DIY and MOD threads - gshadow325

Retail - Toyota parts
1aauto.com
rockauto.com
villagetoyotaparts.com - with parts diagrams
toyotapartsoverstock.com - with parts diagrams
Auto salvage search - Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Retail - Accessories
autoanything.com
Variety od offroad gear - TJMUSA
You can save a lot on Husky floor liners at Advance Auto using coupon codes, usually 30 or 40%. Liners are expensive, about $115 for the cargo and $75 for each front and rear. This is how to save, find the best coupon deal, often it is at the $100 spend level. In this case make one order for the cargo liner and another order for the from and rear liners. This should save you $60-80. Sometimes adding a small filler item can get you a better discount. This also works well for batteries.

Retail - Armor/Winches/Bumpers/Skids
Sonoran Steel
Budbuilt
Shrockworks
DeMello Offroad
Engo winches
Amsteel Synthetic winch line
Viking Off-Road Synthetic winch line
Marlin Crawler
CBI Offroad Fab
Trail-Gear Inc
4x Innovations
WabFab Offroad

Retail - Lighting
Angel Eyes
LED - and other truck and outdoor gear
LED - Vleds
LED - Superbright LEDs
- Superbright LEDs replacement bulb guide - JustSomeName
TheRetrofitsource Xenon/lighting, see 2007toyota4runners's post below.
DDM Tuning LED
HID and LED by Vehicle - Toyota 4Runner
Master List of LEDs Bulb Sizes & DIY/Tutorials for Interior/Exterior Lights
Bean LED Industries - Good selection of lighting products

Retail - Misc
OEM type switches
DEI 530T window control module (Amazon)
DEI 545T Nite Lite Nite-Lite System
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.: READ IT! :.
Pre-Purchase Info, Modifications, Write-Ups, Quick Links, and FAQ's
Tons of info on 4th gens for new and prospective buyers with links to the best topics.

Last edited by iBison; 04-11-2017 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:31 PM #2
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Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuup !!
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:45 AM #3
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Why isn't this a sticky yet?
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:53 AM #4
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Very nice list, props to you for putting in the work and searching so much. Enjoy the new truck!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:59 PM #5
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Thats is a great post!!!!! Please add TheRetrofitsource for Xenons I support them 100% over DDM There quality is jaw droppping but just a suggestion
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:21 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007toyota4runners View Post
Thats is a great post!!!!! Please add TheRetrofitsource for Xenons I support them 100% over DDM There quality is jaw droppping but just a suggestion
I added them (just above DDM). Thanks for the info, I hadn't seen them.
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Pre-Purchase Info, Modifications, Write-Ups, Quick Links, and FAQ's
Tons of info on 4th gens for new and prospective buyers with links to the best topics.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:42 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007toyota4runners View Post
Thats is a great post!!!!! Please add TheRetrofitsource for Xenons I support them 100% over DDM There quality is jaw droppping but just a suggestion
agreed, I've been doing business with TRS for about 10 years now, and morimoto is top notch
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM #8
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Thank god someone finally did this.

I've only been a member of the site for about 10 months and have thought about writing up something like this because you're right. Everyone always has the same questions and the answers are always the same.

Something else that might be worth mentioning for a prospective buyer is to check the VIN stickers on all the fenders/doors/liftgate to make sure they match up. If not, there may have been an unreported accident.

The laser etching in the door windows should match up too.

Every other vehicle I've been a forum member for, the forums always have something like this.

Make it a sticky mods!

Now if there were some way to help people pick which tires they should getÖ. ;)
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:19 PM #9
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lots of people always seem to forget with forums that if all answers were in stickies and no need to post new threads. Why would anyone return?
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:21 PM #10
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This REALLY needed to be done...Excellent job sir.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:30 PM #11
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Just bookmarked. Thanks for your effort.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:33 PM #12
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Great post. You might want to add BFG all terrain vs. Duratrac. This gets asked about once a week.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:39 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTDSC View Post
lots of people always seem to forget with forums that if all answers were in stickies and no need to post new threads. Why would anyone return?
I'm sure the people making money off the forum love this. They get new members every time someone signs up and asks 'what they should look for' when buying a new 4Runner.

Personally, I think there are plenty of things to talk about besides seeing a couple of new 'pre purchase' questions popping up every few days. I know after about the fourth time I quite even replying.

It will probably be more helpful to people to have all of their answers in one place, than one or two half-assed answers (because people are sick of answering the same questions over and over).

Also nice that iBison posted links to a lot of common maintenance FAQs. Always good to have those easily referenced.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:47 PM #14
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So.... you've done some research....
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:14 PM #15
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Amazing post!
Here's the first correction though: Side curtain airbags were available in 04 (I have 'em in mine!); not sure about 03.
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