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Old 06-28-2021, 01:48 PM #1
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5th Gen T4R issues raised with engineers at 2019 FJ Summit

First off, a quick introduction. I moved to Colorado for offroading in 2011, with a 2011 FJ Cruiser. Helped start a big FJ club on Facebook in 2014, got married, became a bit of an expert on buying/selling FJ's, wife decides she wants to consolidate my FJ and her XTerra into a 2018 4Runner. Before 1000 miles we had an Expedition One front bumper, 33-inch Duratracs, BudBuilt armor/sliders and OME BP-51 suspension.



I've been attending FJ Summit in Ouray, Colorado since 2011. I've been leading trails at the event since 2013. At the last FJ Summit before COVID hit, I had an opportunity to talk with 3 Toyota engineers for several hours as we did Stony Pass in my 4Runner.



I raised a number of issues/concerns with them about the 5th gen, thankfully they were taking notes. I'm waiting to see how many of those issues influence the 6th gen.

1. Reusing the 3.5L V6 from the 3rd gen Tacoma. This is probably the most concerning thing about the 6th gen 4Runner, that it would get the same drivetrain as the Tacoma. I stressed this repeatedly, as I live at ~6100 elevation and regularly take my truck over 13K on Colorado passes. They obviously couldn't tell me anything, but they didn't ask a lot of questions like this was a new concern. As much as I'd love the power of the 3.5L TT V6 that will likely be used across their top-tier (LX, LC300, Tundra, Sequoia) vehicles, that's likely unrealistic. If I had to guess, the 6th gen 4Runner will end up with a 3.5L V6 hybrid from one of their Lexus vehicles. The 3.5L on its own isn't powerful enough, they know it and the V8 Wrangler / turbo Bronco options are going to start embarrassing our trucks.

2. Integration of TSS (2020) / KDSS (2014) were detrimental to modding / offroading the trucks. For as much as I miss my 2011 Army Green FJ and would have loved a 2020 TRD Pro 4Runner, the TSS sensor being just below the TOYOTA logo basically blocks most winch installs. Some of the lower / integrated winch mounts place the winch lower so it isn't an issue, but for my Expedition One bumper this is a problem. The KDSS issue is well known here, I simply showed the concerns that had been raised here. I think this spot has been up-armored on the factory trucks in the last year or two?

3. The 4Runner needs a full-length roof rack, like the GX and FJ have. I noted this about the other two models, they must have said "overlanding" 2-3 dozen times that day and I emphasized that a full-length roof rack helps for overlanding. I know the aftermarket has come up with solutions to this problem, but I'd rather have factory mount points on the next truck.

4. Spare tire space / fitment. I upgraded from the stock 32's to 33-inch Duratracs, and have heard (but have not tried myself) that fitting a matching spare under the rear is difficult / impossible over 32 inches. I recommended an FJ-style door with the spare mounted (the GX door already opens this way, but does not mount the spare), interestingly about a year ago I got a Toyota Owner's Intersection survey asking about the sliding glass window on the 4Runner. So I suspect that switching the rear door is something they are considering. Apologies for those of you who use it to keep out of the rain :-) but I need a matching spare. Buy an awning

5. The styling lines of the front bumper make building aftermarket bumpers difficult. Not to pick on the people that make bumpers, but the front of the 4Runner is complex and 3-dimensional and even my own Expedition One bumper -- in my opinion, one of the best looking 4Runner and FJ bumpers out there -- has gaps. It would be nice if they could figure out a way to make the front of the truck both simple and stylish, rather than complex and stylish or simple and boring.

One of the areas they asked me about, that I've seen expanded on since in Toyota Owner's Intersection surveys, is "factory approved mods". These are aftermarket parts that Toyota tests, then brands / resells as an approved mod. One of the mods they proposed in the last survey was a rear differential skidplate that still had the RCI (Loveland CO) logo on it.

Figured I'd throw all this ^^^ out here and start a discussion. I'll probably do another introduction thread but having even a small chance to talk to Toyota directly and possibly influence the 6th gen was a great opportunity that I was very thankful for. Seth, if you're reading this :-) thanks for setting that up.
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Old 06-28-2021, 07:40 PM #2
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Newbie here, so hopefully I am not too far out of my lane. :-)

Plenty of competitors have the side opening door.....I want the rear “awning”...lol

That read door keeps 4Runner unique, and aren’t there several mods out there to mount the spare on the trailer hitch?

Would a hybrid solve the issues you had with power/altitude?

Thanks.

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Old 06-28-2021, 11:43 PM #3
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Welcome.

My opinion. The roll down rear window is clutch. if they can put it in an ambulance door then fine but don't get rid of it just so you can mount a tire to the hatch door when you can put it on any rear bumper.
Didn't the old GXs have a rear door spare option? I thought I had seen that before.
FWIW I have a 33 in the stock tire space. the downside is that it does worsen your departure angle.
I don't see how the KDSS is an issue. It's not a required feature. Just buy without it if you do more aggressive off-roading. You probably don't need it anyway when you have the higher end suspensions like King and your BP-51s.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:22 AM #4
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Lots of great info you gave them . I would hate a side opening door unless the window still rolled down.


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Old 06-29-2021, 05:27 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryin2decide View Post
Plenty of competitors have the side opening door.....I want the rear “awning”...lol

That read door keeps 4Runner unique, and aren’t there several mods out there to mount the spare on the trailer hitch?
There are also swing-out rear bumpers which will hold a spare tire, none of them work as well as the FJ swing-out bumpers that attach to the door but that's simply a difference in how the door works. This is definitely a personal preference item, the rear door as an awning is only big enough for ~2 people anyway so the aftermarket solutions are better. Maybe Toyota will resell the ARB awning with custom mounts?

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Originally Posted by Tryin2decide View Post
Would a hybrid solve the issues you had with power/altitude?
When the battery is charged, absolutely. I do worry about the battery on water crossings, it will be another thing we have to armor on the trails. And I'm not sure how quickly it would charge on a trail where I'm driving uphill for ~3 hours. A 3.5L V6 is the most likely powertrain that I think we'll get, hopefully Toyota figures out how to make it compatible with what many of us use the 4Runner for.

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Originally Posted by mscot View Post
My opinion. The roll down rear window is clutch. if they can put it in an ambulance door then fine but don't get rid of it just so you can mount a tire to the hatch door when you can put it on any rear bumper.
Didn't the old GXs have a rear door spare option? I thought I had seen that before.
FWIW I have a 33 in the stock tire space. the downside is that it does worsen your departure angle.
Agreed on the rear window, I like it and if we can get it in a side-opening door that's fine with me. I'm not aware of a GX with a spare on the door. I know the fitment on the 33 underneath is pretty tight, and having it scrape on departure angle isn't great for tire life anyway.

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I don't see how the KDSS is an issue. It's not a required feature. Just buy without it if you do more aggressive off-roading. You probably don't need it anyway when you have the higher end suspensions like King and your BP-51s.
Agreed that it's an option that we don't have to buy, but they're putting it on the 200/300/GX/LX standard, it's only an option on the 4Runner. I didn't choose it on mine because of the poor implementation -- both lines running under the frame right where you'd drop off an obstacle, and woefully under-armored -- but with a good implementation, through / over the frame? Better on-road handling and sway disconnects in 4L? I'm not against the technology, just the implementation of it on the 5th gen.

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Lots of great info you gave them . I would hate a side opening door unless the window still rolled down.
The FJ had a side opening door, the glass could open but not automatically. Some people made power opening kits for the FJ, here's hoping Toyota figures out how to do both at a price point they can accept.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:12 PM #6
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KDSS makes it run rough AF on washboard roads. I would prefer a way to disconnect it above the 8 or 12 mph that currently disconnects on. Up to 20mph should be fine.
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Old 07-01-2021, 01:39 PM #7
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Originally Posted by Tryin2decide View Post
aren’t there several mods out there to mount the spare on the trailer hitch?
Newbie here myself, waiting for the 6th gen 4Runner.

I saw a nice looking trailer hitch spare tire carrier from 4Wheep Parts:

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Old 07-12-2021, 03:49 PM #8
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KDSS makes it run rough AF on washboard roads. I would prefer a way to disconnect it above the 8 or 12 mph that currently disconnects on. Up to 20mph should be fine.
They could even just give us the option of a sway bar set that's the standard sr5 size bar with KDSS. Then you could choose to have it the same sway bar rate as the other 4runners, but still have the off-road benefits at low speed. Or the fixed side could be built with a different spring rate in the bar. There's a lot of ways to make KDSS better and still keep the benefits.

I do see that the lc300 dropped the complex linkage of the lc200 front and mirrors the 4runner design, but has two front cylinders making it symmetrical in front. Rear is still one side, but the LC version has maybe 3 times as much travel. So Toyota's still improving at each generation... Or each millennia, whichever comes first. Lol.
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:05 AM #9
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The 4runner must have a roll down back window, that is a central feature that has been a part of the 4runner since the beginning. They could add and optional swing out spare like they did on early 2nd gen 4runners, but that would not be a popular option and I don't see Toyota doing it.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:31 PM #10
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Keep your spare deflated and carry an inflator. The spare on the FJ blocked visibility which was one deal killer for us.
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:18 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy-buffett View Post

3. The 4Runner needs a full-length roof rack, like the GX and FJ have. I noted this about the other two models, they must have said "overlanding" 2-3 dozen times that day and I emphasized that a full-length roof rack helps for overlanding. I know the aftermarket has come up with solutions to this problem, but I'd rather have factory mount points on the next truck.
I hope they took really good notes on this. Can't understand how they haven't figured this out in 20+ years....
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Old 07-26-2021, 02:40 PM #12
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I am glad i got my 2019 before they started listening to everyone's crazy ideas. lol

Last edited by Ripper238; 07-26-2021 at 02:44 PM.
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