My road to the 4Runner began in October 2016 when I began planning for my cross country move from Dallas, TX to Bozeman, MT. My plans are to drive the 1,500 miles in at the beginning of 2017 hauling a 12' cargo trailer with my belongings.
I don’t own a vehicle because the company I work for provides a car for my personal use. I will be turning that car over at the end of the year and would need to secure a vehicle for the move.
I had owned a lot of Toyota pickups over the years and knew how reliable they were, so I began searching for a four door 4x4 Tacoma in the 15K range. I searched for a couple of weeks and never found anything I was willing to pull the trigger on.
My biggest selling point when shopping for a new ride is the interior and the condition of it. My sensitive sense of smell can’t handle the slightest trace of smoke, mildew, or pet odor. Rips and tears in the seats and upholstery are out too.
Since I was planning on putting a topper on the bed of the Tacoma, I began looking into the 4Runner, since it was similar.
It took me two weeks and probably 12 hours of searching online before I settled on one.
I went with a 2007 SR5 4x4 in Titanium Metallic with 123,000 miles that had one previous owner. And I kid you not, the previous owner was a “little old lady” that lived in Arizona (which eliminated all rust).
The interior was in pristine condition and there were no odors inside the cab to speak of. To my surprise, the dashboard had been covered with a carpeted protector for the life of the vehicle to guard against the blazing Arizona sun.
The two front seats were also covered to keep the seats looking brand new, which was reassuring.
Again, all stock. Original running boards and new Bridgestone Dueler 265/70/R17 tires on five-spoke SR5 rims.
Familiarizing myself with the vehicle, I started a small to-do list of improvements and accessories: remove the running boards, replace the windshield wipers, and pick out some all weather floor mats.
I was curious how it would look without the running boards before I removed mine and was searching Google Images when my whole outlook on my 4Runner changed.
That’s when I discovered T4r.org, an incredible community of fellow 4Runner owners that gave me all sorts of ideas on ways to improve my 4Runner.
Remove Running Boards
Satoshi Grille Mod
Spidertrax Wheel Spacers
Front Lift 1.75"
De-chrome Door Handles
Hydrocarbon Filter Removal
Weatherproof Floor Mats
Blind Spot Mirrors
This is the slimmest set of mirrors I could find.
Camping in 4Runner
DIY: Roadside Emergency Kit
See full contents here.
The “back door garnish sub-assy” is the technical name. I replaced my existing chrome piece from the SR5 with a matching titanium metallic piece from a Limited model. I had to go in from the inside of the hatch to access the bolts, but it was worth it. This post was a good guide.
Upgrade Towing Package
My V-6 4Runner came with a lighter duty towing package and I added the heavier duty package that attaches to the sides of the frame rather than just the rear. See helpful post here for full story.