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Old 12-30-2019, 01:56 PM #1
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Ryguytheman's SR5 Premium - Build and Adventure Log

I've been slowly building my 4Runner over the past couple of years, figured I'd start a thread to keep track of progress and photos, and also share/learn with anyone else. This is my daily driver. Write-up is below, but here is a list of my mods:
  • TRDOR Wheels
  • BFG KO2 tires - 275/70/17
  • Spidertrax 1.25" Wheel Spacers
  • Interior LED lighting Kit
  • AJC Running Light Bezels
  • Southern Style Offroad hybrid steel bumper
  • Smittybilt 10K winch with synthetic line
  • 20" Heise LED light bar
  • Shrockworks flat sliders with tread plate
  • Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" lift [700 lb springs, diff drop, bump stop drop, etc]
  • Beautified Rolla Rack
  • A bunch of other little stuff

Current Photo here, the rest will go in chronological order.







I bought my 4Runner early in 2017. I had a 2002 Chevy Silverado that I had been driving since I was 16, and the wife and I were expecting a little one. The Chevy has been good to me (still have it), but I couldn't imagine everyday life with a kid while driving that around. I wanted something capable, reliable, with enough room for a car seat, dog and everything else. I didn't realize then how much time, money, and effort would be going into this vehicle in the future (in a good way). There will be a few, "in hindsight" thoughts in here to help out anyone who is going down the same path I did.

Shoutout to my friends who helped me with some of these projects! Thanks Alex, Dustin, Trev

Here we are, bone stock, 24,000 miles on the clock. In hindsight, I may have bought new if I were to do it over again. You don't get much of a depreciation discount on 4Runners, and I could have bought one brand new with full warranty for a couple thousand more. That said, I don't really have any regrets, just something I think about from time to time.



The first thing I did was find a set of take-off wheels and tires on Craigslist from a TRDOR. I liked the look, and the price was right. In hindsight once again, I may have just tried experimenting with paint or plastidip on the stock SR5 wheels first to see how it looked... I have seen some members on this site go that route with success. Since the wheels came with brand new Dunlops, I figured I would ride those out until they needed replacement. I also performed the poor man's lift, AKA, running board removal. I'm 6'7", so I didn't need them, and my wife is tall too, so the running boards served little purpose other than to ruin aesthetics and decrease ground clearance.



The Dunlops didn't last long. I got a screw in the sidewall somehow after roughly 6 months of running them. I decided to just get a new set, and went with BFG KO2s in 275/70/17. I liked the aggressive look, they way the bigger size filled my wheel well, and I have had little to complain about both on and off road as far as performance. There is something to be desired when driving on ice or packed snow, but hey, they aren't full blown snow tires. At this point, we had just moved into a bigger house with a 3 car garage, so I had more room for modding.





Up next was a hybrid steel bumper. In hindsight, I would have gone with new suspension first... The weight of the bumper and winch caused my front end to sag about 1" below stock level, so it looked a little goofy to the trained eye. I went with the SSO bumper with a 20" lightbar cutout. I do a lot of night driving on backroads up in the mountains, and I have used that lightbar more times than I can count. Good for spotting deer in advance, much more effective than my stock high beams. I have been in 3 situations where the winch was needed, and it paid for itself after the first use (out in the sticks near Fairplay CO, stuck in a snow drift on Thanksgiving day). The winch is a Smittybilt with a synthetic line, and has worked as expected.









I needed to figure out how to get my licence plate mounted on the front end now, thanks to the wonderful laws of my home state. I didn't really like the flip-up winch cover plate holders. I searched around on this site and found exactly the solution I was looking for. A member here ( @Friggin Idiot ) had done the legwork on a magnet solution, which has served me well since I completed the mod myself. I really only pull it off when I'm washing the car, and it has stayed in place through some surprising conditions. I haven't had any trouble with the law regarding the downward angle of the plate, all good so far after over a year.



[Continued]
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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 02-18-2020 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Images - WTF?
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:59 PM #2
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After that, I did a couple of cosmetic mods. I used a heat gun to remove the chrome emblems and replaced them with black ones, so I could be part of the cool kids club. It matched the steel bumper and wheels better than the chrome (in my opinion), and I got a deal on them from someone in my office who bought them by mistake thinking they were overlays. I thought about leaving the SR5 badges off, but the paint underneath the removed badges looked so shiny and new that you could still see the "SR5" outline after removing the goop, so I slapped the black one on. Wear it loud, wear it proud!

I also ordered (and waited 9 months for) an LED switchback running light bezel kit from Aiden James Customs (BEWARE OF THIS GUY, my experience is documented here Aiden James Customs - LED Running Light Bezel Kit). I like the look, but it was not worth dealing with the BS from the vendor.

In addition, I took a dremel to the front end and did my own "high clearance" cut. It looks fine, and increased my clearance a little prior to upgrading suspension. I added some weather stripping to the edges to give it a more finished look. At this point, I still like the look, but I could probably take it or leave it. But you can't uncut your bumper.









Next, I decided I had put off replacing the suspension for long enough. I decided on the Toytec BOSS Aluma series, after considering other options like Bilstien, Old Man Emu, etc. This kit came with everything needed for the diff drop, sway bar relocation, bump stop relocation, UCA replacement, etc. And the Toytec physical shop was only about 30 minutes from my house, which made it easy to shop and compare. Until this point, I had done all of my mods myself, but I have no experience with suspension. I had Toytec install the lift to make sure it was done right the first time.







The lift turned out fantastic, I'm very happy with the results. I got rid of my bumper-induced droop, road manners are dramatically improved, and I have no regrets with my decision. My 275/70/17 tires did look a little dinky afterwords, but I wasn't willing to buy bigger tires while these still had life on 'em. I purchased a set of Spidertrax wheel spacers from a member here ( thanks @jk24runner !) to push my wheels out and fix my stance. We met up at 5:00 AM in a Popeye's parking lot, stood around in the snow for 20 minutes talking about mods, and I left with a gently used set of spacers. Looks great!

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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-06-2020 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:00 PM #3
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Last -for now- I wanted to get some sliders. There is a trail (Wheeler Lake-- Alma, CO) that has an obstacle that has taunted me for a while now. With the clearance I now had, I just needed sliders to feel comfortable tackling it. I tracked down a set of Shrockworks sliders on Facebook Marketplace, which showed minimal wear and saved me some dough. I was a little concerned with the design of the sliders, seeing as there are only two legs to bolt to the frame, but my research also showed that people were happy with their performance, and the craftsmanship is fantastic. Lightly used 5th gen sliders are very hard to come by, so I snagged them.



If my motives were purely performance based, I probably would have kept looking for a set with the upward angle, but with a 1.5 year old now in tow, I know he will be needing a step to get in the truck sometime down the line, so I purposefully looked for flat ones with a tread plate. I ordered a new set of hardware from Shrockworks so I didn't have to reuse the old stuff, and I needed new stick nuts anyways (those seem like a one-and-done deal). Once the hardware arrived, I rattle canned the stick nuts, as they tend to rust like crazy based on what I have heard.





Sliders bolted on, ready for the next adventure! Roughly 75,000 miles on the clock now, 50K since I purchased it in 2017. We've been all over Colorado adventuring in this thing, and there's still so much more to see. Looking forward to a MOAB trip in the future.
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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 12-30-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:21 PM #4
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Next on my list of mods:
  • New Skids (My factory ones are beat to hell)
  • Roof Rack (Eyeing SSO)
  • Rear Bumper (Love the SSO Tailgator)
  • LED Headlights
  • Factor 55 Ultrahook
  • Diff Locker (Any advice on these? Have heard mixed reviews on aftermarket)
  • Fog light upgrade

This truck may be delaying my retirement a bit...
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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-06-2020 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:13 PM #5
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Bought a Rolla rack off a member here, (thanks @ColoradoToyota ). I went the cheap route for now. I was tired of my Hi Lift jack rattling around in the back, and the mounts don't fit the OEM rails. I considered mounting it on my bull bar, but that was a fleeting thought... It would look pretty stupid and cover my headlights.

I don't do too much of the Pinterest type stuff, but I wanted to clean up the worn plastic look of the wind faring. I scuffed it up with a sanding block and removed the "Rolla" logo. I tried making some stencils of the older 4Runner font, but paper stencils and spray paint didn't work out so well. I ended up using my chrome badging from the tailgate, painted them, and glued them on. I think it turned out pretty well.

Plastic, prior to spraying on Plastidip.



A few coats of Plastidip, looks good so far.



Nice and smooth.



First attempt at applying a logo, the paper stencils were not the way to go. I would have had to tape everything down and go one or two letters at a time, waiting for each to dry. I didn't have the patience for that... The result was not very clean, so I decided to reapply some plastidip and try again.



I spray painted the tailgate badging that I replaced with black, I decided on Silver for now. The silver matches the OEM rails (which I may or may not paint later), so it doesn't look out of place. Glued them down with some badging adhesive. We'll see how well it sticks to the plastidip, so far so good. I played around with the "4" and the "R" with white paint first before applying the silver, and that kind of shows through and highlights them in photos with the flash on. Doesn't really bother me, and it's not noticeable without shining a bright light right at it. Might fix it at some point.



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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-06-2020 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:37 PM #6
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Took a trip out to Yankee Hill near Blackhawk over the weekend. Great time in the snow.

Started the day off right, finding a parking buddy at Cabelas before heading up.

The drive to the trail was pretty fun itself, following Clear Creek up behind Golden.

I now know what it feels like to make it 90% up an icy hill, then lose all traction and slide back down backwards at 40 MPH. Momentum is your friend!

Met some great people, including several other 4Runner owners. My own group was mostly Jeepers, with a LR4 thrown into the mix.

















Earned this one on the obstacle shown below with the Jeep.


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2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:50 PM #7
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Yankee Hill - Continued






Left some red paint behind on this one.



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2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-13-2020 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:29 PM #8
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Went back to Yankee Hill to explore some more, got a lot further than when I went with a big group. Everything was great, until it wasn't.

Incredible views, challenging obstacles, and lots of snow/ice. I ended up following someone else's line into a tree due to icy ruts that had been established under fresh powder. Trail damage shown below. Overall, it was a great day that would have been better had we turned around at the top. The loop back down was on the side of the mountain that gets little sunlight to melt the snow, so it was much more hazardous. Winch, traction boards, tow straps were all needed at some point. Wishing I would have gotten a full steel bumper with hoops!















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Build Thread
2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-21-2020 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:21 PM #9
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Welp, it's finally time for some TLC, I'm taking the truck in for some body work next week. There have been a lot of small-medium scrapes here and there, but I finally dinged her bad enough that it can't be ignored (Deep snow + narrow trail = Ouch). Really glad I did the DRL switchback mod, so I still have a functioning blinker on the passenger side. Headlight still works somehow. So I can limp along until my appointment on Tuesday.

I'm going to leave the rear bumper unfixed for now, planning on replacing with steel in the next few months. A word of advice for those who crush their tail pipe... If you cut the exhaust tip off, you may experience some melting of your rear bumper!

I'll be getting new headlights, a new tail light, new bumper cover, new paint pretty much all the way around, new fender... We'll see what else as they pull it apart.















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2015 SR5 Premium | SSO Slimline Bumper | 20" Heise LED Lightbar | 10K LB Smittybilt Winch | 275/70/17 KO2 | Shrockworks Sliders with Tread Plate | Toytec BOSS Aluma Series 3" Lift with 700 lb Coils

Last edited by ryguytheman; 01-30-2020 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:35 PM #10
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MY GARAGE
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Nice battle scars. It's nice to see a 4R in the wild doing what it is made for.
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2019 SR5 Premium 2WD - TRD PRO Front Struts & Coils w/ Toytec 1" Perch Spacer / Dobinson's C59-505 Rear Springs / ICON VS 2.0 Rear Shocks / TRD PRO Grill & Valences/ TRD CAI /URD MAF Calibrator / TRD PRO Sema Wheels / BFG KO2 275 70 17
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