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Old 01-07-2019, 10:40 AM #1
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JVC8790's Daily Duty Cruiser "Build" Thread

I recently picked up a 2004 4Runner Limited V8 for my new daily so I figured I would start a thread to chronicle its “build” (although I hesitate to truly call it a build). This is going to be my daily and is my entry into the world off of pavement.

My background is largely filled with Volvos. My family had Volvos as I grew up and I have had a few myself and love them. Earlier in 2018 I got bit by the SUV bug after a friend had me pick up an XC90 V8 for him here in Ohio and hold onto it until he arranged shipment back to Maryland. I drove it a bit and realized that I needed to “upgrade” my daily and acquire an SUV of some kind.

After a few months, I fell off the XC90 V8 train as I was starting to find it hard to find exactly what I wanted and inherently, they can be pricey to fix if you don’t buy the right one from the get go.

Right around this time, I made a last minute trip to SEMA with a friend of mine and then detoured home with him for two days to Denver. While in Denver, we took out his Jeep JK into the mountains to explore and ended up getting caught in a rather windy snow storm and had my first experience in offroading.

Side Story: This friend of mine owns a few cars that are rented out on Turo in Denver which include a JK, a Subaru STI and a 5th Gen 4Runner, when I came in town that weekend both the 4Runner and STI were already rented out, otherwise we probably would have taken the STI to Pikes Peak or not gone nearly as far off road in the stockish 5th Gen.

Later that day I sat at the airport and began my search for a new daily. Realizing that the JK had very little creature comforts, I knew a Jeep wasn’t going to be the solution. Then looking into 4Runners from the suggestion of my friend, I started to look at pictures and fell in love with 4th gens.

As usual with car guys, I got home and spent every waking moment looking online and reading forums, browsing Instagram, and searching craigslist for what I wanted in a 4Runner. After a brief chat with a friend who has owned a few 4th Gens in his day, he asked some questions and helped me come up with the list that I wanted as it came out below.

V8 4WD
Not Black Exterior (White preferred, red, blue, or sand acceptable)
Not Tan Interior (Black preferred, gray alright, preference to leather and heated seats)
Under 150k-160k
Priced under $12k out the door.
Frame in alright shape and not rotted through (okay with needing some light work)

I searched for a while, almost gave up, then test drove an Urban Runner priced at $11k, and realized that a V6 might not be that bad of an option. Knowing that my towing needs would be largely limited to a 1-2 place Jet Ski Trailer, and a car trailer once a year at most, I changed my search to include V6’s.

Within a week of test driving that Urban Runner, a friend of mine hit me up since he heard that I was looking for a white 4th Gen V8 and he connected me with a buddy of his who happened to have just the car I was looking for and was willing to sell it as he had planned to sell it anyways in the spring.

His price was fair, I didn’t feel the need to negotiate and the history of the vehicle was good because it was a 2 owner with him being the second owner and also a Toyota Technician.

2004 V8 Limited 4WD
White Exterior
Gray Leather Interior
156k – all fluids recently changed (oil, coolant, trans, t-case, diff)
Slight exhaust manifold crack and power steering whine when cold (neither of which have been that noticeable to me)

Picked it up yesterday and had to give it a quick clean up, here are a few pictures from Day 1!









Completed my first few “mods” this weekend which included LED Lighting throughout the interior from SuperBrightLEDs.com. I went with Natural white to avoid the typically blue hue of LED Interior bulbs. I am really happy with the color on these overall and they’ve got a really good brightness that’s not overwhelming but just perfect in my opinion. Next thing will be to do the Map Light Mod so that the fronts come on when the door is opened the same as the rears.



I also installed LED Reverse and License plate lights in “natural white” too. The Plate lights are perfect in my opinion, and the reverse lights are a tad warmer than the others. Also, I had some difficulty with one of the bulb holders for the reverse bulbs not wanting to make contact in the headlight. I might have to troubleshoot it a bit to see why it’s not working perfectly and occasionally flickers or doesn’t turn on from vibration of driving. (License Plate is from my other car for the time being, still looking at ideas for Vanity Plates for the 4Runner).





Popped in some Nokya Yellow Fog Light bulbs to hold me over until I pick up some Element LED Amber Cannons.





I also made a drive about an hour and a half north of Cincinnati and picked up a white sport hood! Here’s the best pic I have of it on the roof wrapped up from the drive home. It’s got a few more rock chips than my hood has currently so I’m going to address some of those before installation and before I have the whole truck detailed to bring back the shine on this single stage white paint.



No pictures of this stuff at the moment, but my next steps are to install the Pioneer headunit I removed from my Volvo Wagon, as well as the new reverse camera I bought from my friend’s shop here in Cincinnati. I also managed to pick up the tailgate trim from the 4Runner I got the hood from (it was being parted out) so that I could install the reverse camera in it ahead of mounting to the trunk.



Rough plans for this are as follows
- Wire Wheel and Rust Protect Frame
- Pioneer Head unit from my Volvo Wagon (aftermarket Clarion is dated and has some interference issues)
- Back Up Camera (purchased, not installed yet)
- Tacoma TRD Off-road Front Struts (Bilstein 4600)
- FJ Trail Team Rear Springs (already ordered)
- 8” JBL Sub Upgrade with Aftermarket Amp
- Wheel/Tire Package (Possibly 5th Gen TRD Pro, otherwise Rotiform or Fifteen52)
- Projector Retrofit (possibly facelift swap first?)
- LED Tail Lights (06-09)
- Black Carpet installation (gray is a bit gross and I want to do more black stuff in the interior)
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X - Wifes Car
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:27 PM #2
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Placed an order for the C4 Fabrication hood scoop light bracket. I like this solution as it will allow me to add a little bit more light without having it visible or accessible from outside the truck.

I'm not planning a ton of offroad travel with this ride so it'll be cool to have a bit of extra light available when I need it without it being visible and will be able to retain an OEM+ look that I love.

Instead of spending for the Rigid light, I plan to do some research and find another more cost effective option for those of us not looking to break the bank. I'll be sure to update and report back as I get it in and determine whats needed to use a different light bar.
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X - Wifes Car
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:02 PM #3
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Ordered a replacement 8" Subwoofer to go into the factory box with an aftermarket amp from my previous car (Soundigital 250.2).

Went with the Skar 8" Shallow, based on a suggestion of a friend who's a 12v installer, he has had surprisingly good success with Skar despite their lower price point and convinced me to give it a shot!

Skar Audio - VD-8 | 8" 600 Watt Max Power Subwoofer (Shallow Mount)



The project for this weekend was to install the Pioneer headunit (AVH-200) I had from my last car in place of the dated Clarion NX500 that was installed (if anyone wants the old one, free to a good home, just PM me)

Taking the old headunit out and getting an idea of what wiring was in there.



Turns out the steering wheel control module the previous owner had with the Clarion doesn't work with the Pioneer unit, oh well, I'll order the right one and install that when I go back in there to wire in my back up camera and sub RCA's/remote wire.

In the meantime I'm happy to have quality bluetooth connection back as well as this eliminated an interference whine that the old radio had. Might have been in the wiring job since some of it was pretty shoddy.

All finished up and adjusted the color on the buttons/display to "match" the OEM color.



No pictures for it, but while I was in there I replaced a few HVAC bulbs that were burnt out. Super simple process, I picked up 10 bulbs for $8 or so on Amazon and replaced all of them so that they would all match in terms of brightness.

Yesterday I also got a package in the mail. Lets just say the packaging job wasn't top notch, but it made it alright...





Picked them up off of Facebook for $170 shipped, 12k miles from a 2015 Tacoma TRD Off Road. I also picked up some FJ Trail Team springs from @Trashcatmotorsport that are not pictured here but will be installed as well. I'm going to order the bushings for the rear shocks and then these will be ready for install whenever I feel like it's time to rip out the Xreas and put these in.

We got some snow down here in Cincinnati today so I took it out for a few quick pictures. Only got like 2 inches so far and the roads are fine so it wasn't much of an adventure but I had to snag a picture or two!



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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X - Wifes Car
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:59 PM #4
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Installed a a grab handle on the drivers side that I bought from the same part-out that I got my sport hood from (not yet installed). My only guess as to why they didn't come with a grab handle in this placement on the passenger side was due to the fact that it sits a bit close to the drivers head (I'm 6' 2"). Although after re-thinking that logic it really doesn't make any sense since they install one on the passenger side and that seat doesn't raise/lower.



Another quick mod while we got some more snow over this weekend was that I picked up a small re-useable trash bag at the suggestion of @Carton on Instagram (not sure if he's on here or not).

It fits perfectly in the original housing and gives me a place for small waste (straw wrappers, etc). We'll see how long it lasts in this location and if I use it or not! ($7-8 at OReillys)






Also got an update from my friend who does side work at his house (and has a lift). He has me scheduled in for Feb 5th to install my suspension and delete the Xreas. I am also going to buy new Sway bar bushings, end links and the correct shock bushing for the rear and have him do a "refresh" on those other components while in there.

I might also have him install the 1.25" Spidertrax spacers I picked up on Facebook Marketplace (before I bought the truck!), otherwise those might wait a little longer until I find a new wheel/tire package.
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:45 PM #5
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Installed a a grab handle on the drivers side that I bought from the same part-out that I got my sport hood from (not yet installed). My only guess as to why they didn't come with a grab handle in this placement on the passenger side was due to the fact that it sits a bit close to the drivers head (I'm 6' 2"). Although after re-thinking that logic it really doesn't make any sense since they install one on the passenger side and that seat doesn't raise/lower.



Another quick mod while we got some more snow over this weekend was that I picked up a small re-useable trash bag at the suggestion of @Carton on Instagram (not sure if he's on here or not).

It fits perfectly in the original housing and gives me a place for small waste (straw wrappers, etc). We'll see how long it lasts in this location and if I use it or not! ($7-8 at OReillys)






Also got an update from my friend who does side work at his house (and has a lift). He has me scheduled in for Feb 5th to install my suspension and delete the Xreas. I am also going to buy new Sway bar bushings, end links and the correct shock bushing for the rear and have him do a "refresh" on those other components while in there.

I might also have him install the 1.25" Spidertrax spacers I picked up on Facebook Marketplace (before I bought the truck!), otherwise those might wait a little longer until I find a new wheel/tire package.

Can you post a link to the HVAC bulbs you got? They still light up amber? LED?
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:10 PM #6
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Can you post a link to the HVAC bulbs you got? They still light up amber? LED?
Here they are! They're still incandescent, just replacements for those that were burnt out. They were pretty quick and easy to replace once the HVAC control was out.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The bulbs in the HVAC have a tiny little green rubber cap that you peel off and put on the new bulbs, this is what maintains the color of the HVAC control being right. I have since been reading up on some LED conversions and may do that in the future, but for now it was just nice to be able to see the controls in the car as I do not know the locations of the controls well enough by hand since I've only owned it a few weeks, I still have to look to be certain I'm making the right adjustment.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:59 PM #7
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Here they are! They're still incandescent, just replacements for those that were burnt out. They were pretty quick and easy to replace once the HVAC control was out.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The bulbs in the HVAC have a tiny little green rubber cap that you peel off and put on the new bulbs, this is what maintains the color of the HVAC control being right. I have since been reading up on some LED conversions and may do that in the future, but for now it was just nice to be able to see the controls in the car as I do not know the locations of the controls well enough by hand since I've only owned it a few weeks, I still have to look to be certain I'm making the right adjustment.

Thanks. Did you have to solder these on?
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:27 PM #8
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Thanks. Did you have to solder these on?
Nope, you unscrew the bulb housings with a small flat blade screw driver (1/4 turn or so) and then I just used a very small flat head and a small pick to "un-hook" the wiring from the housing then fish it backwards through the housing.

Basically, the bulbs have two long contacts that thread through two little holes in the bulb holder and then they get wrapped around the base so they contact with the circuit board. It may sound a little goofy but you'll get it once its taken apart!
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:38 PM #9
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Nope, you unscrew the bulb housings with a small flat blade screw driver (1/4 turn or so) and then I just used a very small flat head and a small pick to "un-hook" the wiring from the housing then fish it backwards through the housing.

Basically, the bulbs have two long contacts that thread through two little holes in the bulb holder and then they get wrapped around the base so they contact with the circuit board. It may sound a little goofy but you'll get it once its taken apart!
Sweet, going to order these soon. Dealer wanted $8 a bulb....
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:40 PM #10
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Sweet, going to order these soon. Dealer wanted $8 a bulb....
Yeah, I forget where the thread was on here that someone mentioned them but for $8 and 30 minutes of my time (admittedly while watching football) I was able to resolve all of the burnt out lights and still have 4 or so extra bulbs. I need to see if these are similar bulbs to those in switches since my hatch window switch doesn't light up which I only noticed once I put the dash back together.
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:29 AM #11
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Installed my Vehicle OCD organizers from Salex Organizers yesterday.

Salex Organizers - Center Console Organizers

Honestly, I'm not sure why the 4Runner didn't come with the top one of these, it seems so logical compared to all the other cars I've owned or been in. The lower one is a bit more of an aftermarket upgrade (although just as easy to assemble/install). I'm sure I'll reorganize these a few times before a final, but it's nice to have things like small tools, cords, miscellaneous items in a "home" rather than just all tossed in there.





And here's a pic of my 4Runner next to what I thought I wanted when I started my new daily search. I had the opportunity to drive a friends XC90 V8 for a few weeks and fell in love with the sounds and comfort, but after really analyzing the pros and cons, it didn't present any huge benefit over the wagon that I owned at the time. It was going to be able to tow, but wouldn't trust it with anything truly heavy, it wasn't going to be too capable off road, so ultimately I decided against it and started looked for a 4Runner.



This picture/angle makes the 4Runner look way bigger, but based on measurements available online it's within 1-2" in any direction (height, width, length).

I have a few more boxes expected to show up between now and the weekend so I'll post up a bit more when I unbox them! Also hoping to get around to installing my back up camera and routing the microphone for my headunits bluetooth this weekend.
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:59 AM #12
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Scooped up a $11.07 curved 32" Light Bar made by AutoFeel from WOOT thanks to @blackjackck I actually ordered two of them since they were so reasonably priced.

ORIGINAL THREAD FOR LIGHT BAR DEAL
Light Bar deal for anyone looking for one

Got 1 of 2 of mine in yesterday. Interestingly enough one of them is shipping from Jacksonville, FL and this one came out of Chattanooga I believe?

The box looked like it had been opened before, but it was taped closed again.



Everything in the package laid out, comes with a harness and brackets/hardware.



Brackets



The switch feels cheap so more than likely I will cut this off and wire in something that fits better to the dash. It does have double sided tape on the back though if you wanted to just stick it somewhere and run the wires in behind some trim.



"waterproof" connector on the light bar to the harness.



More up close pics of the bar itself.









30a Fuse and a Relay on the harness, ultimately for $11, its not too bad of a pre-wired harness even if the light bar is junk as we discussed.



I'm going to try to light it up in the backyard tonight to get an idea of light output, I'll use my DSLR so that I can maintain the shutter speed etc to get the best comparison of dark vs light.

The other idea that I had if I don't decide to mount it in the bumper is to make two suction cup mounts (with Harbor Freight suction cups) and then arrange all the wiring so that it could be temporarily "hooked up" to the battery and then suction cupped to either the hood or roof. This might be a good option for me as I don't have to havev it on the car all the time and can just bring it with me if I'm going offroad or somewhere I might need it. Of course then I don't have it all the time unless I leave it in the car, but I don't find myself unexpectedly offroad ever given my normal schedule/travel route.

If not a temporary solution for mounting, I'll make some brackets similar to those from Rago Fab to mount it in the front bumper once its a bit warmer out!
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2004 4Runner V8 Limited - TRD Exhaust, LED Interior Swap, Pioneer HU, Tacoma TRD Front Suspension, FJ Rears w/Dobinson 15mm Lean Spacer, 10" + 32" Light Bars, Prius Shift Knob, 275/65R18 Falken Wildpeak, 18x9 Level 8 MK6 Et0, GOBI Ladder Build Thread
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - Custom Airlift Suspension, Mercedes Alphard Wheels, Brada Seats, Engine Bolt Ons - StanceWorks Build Thread
2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X - Wifes Car
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:03 AM #13
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Well, it was cold and snowy here in Ohio this weekend, so I didn't get as much done as I would have liked. I played around with some LED strips in a spare domelight housing but ultimately it wasn't going to be bright enough to be worth doing over the drop in LED bulbs I got from superbrightleds.

I did however assemble my 3d printed cupholder insert I got from @Macallan

I sanded the top plate smooth so that the 3d printed castings were gone, then I wrapped it in some leftover silver vinyl I had kicking around.

I used 5 minute epoxy to assemble the two pieces together with a few clamps holding it tight.


I'd give it a 9/10 on functionality, it's by far better than the factory "cup holder" especially when using smaller bottles, cans, or cups.

As far as fit and finish go, it'd give it a 6/10. The top plate has a nice height, but it doesn't actually fill the opening in the trim, it's close but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of looks.





Whenever I decide to deep dive into an interior overhaul this spring I will likely re-wrap this or paint it to match whatever I decide for the rest of the trim.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:19 AM #14
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C4 Fabrication Hood Scoop Bracket showed up yesterday. Unfortunately it wasn't packed the best on the corners (shrink wrap, then inside a FedEx padded envelope). It has a small ding but I'm not nit picky or perfect enough to worry about it, I'll probably scratch or ding it when doing the install anyways.

Time to order a 10" Light Bar now I guess!



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Old 01-25-2019, 09:42 AM #15
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Fired up the 32" in the backyard last night just to see how it looks.



(tipped it up a little bit to hit the trees further)



and for what it's worth, here's a picture of the yard with no lights on and with an over 10x slower shutter speed. (The picture at the same settings as the lit up picture just looked black)



It has a nice amount of flood light near by and the spot seems to have a good amount of light. Overall, I'm pretty impressed and happy with the $11 I spent, I just want to get another switch to put in the cabin since the stick on one is cheap.

I also went ahead and ordered a 10" for $16 from the same seller on Amazon, that should be here today and I'm hopeful to mount it into the hood bracket on the Sport hood this weekend (sport hood not yet installed on the 4R).
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