My 2007 Toyota 4Runner Build

Stock Image of Sport Edition

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).

Original title from “little old lady” in Arizona


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.

Notice the dashboard protector
Front seat covers
So fresh
Kid-free backseat
Cargo area with original carpet mats


Again, all stock. Original running boards and new Bridgestone Dueler 265/70/R17 tires on five-spoke SR5 rims.

Build Sheet


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, an incredible community of fellow 4Runner owners that gave me all sorts of ideas on ways to improve my 4Runner.

4Runner forum that changed me for the better

Remove Running Boards

with running boards
with running boards
sold running boards on eBay for $150
without running boards

Satoshi Grille Mod

with grille removed
grille emblem from Land Cruiser BJ70
grille emblem from FJ Cruiser
side by side comparison of FJ Cruiser and Land Cruiser emblems
FJ Cruiser emblem only comes attached to grille, cannot buy separately
used soldering iron to detach from grille
Hexagon XXL Aluminum Mesh installed
FJ Cruiser attached using 3M adhesive tape
close up of finished grille

Wheel Upgrade

Standard 5-spoke SR5 rims
5th Generation Rims from 2016 Trail Edition 4Runner
brand new rims with 10 miles off craigslist (sold tires separately)
Installed 17" TE rims with 265/70/R17 Bridgestone Duelers
Better look at TE rims

Spidertrax Wheel Spacers

Spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers
Spidertrax 1.25" wheel spacers
before wheel spacers
before wheel spacers
after wheel spacers
after wheel spacers

Front Lift 1.75"

Bilstein 5100s for front and rear
after Bilstein installation — 1.75" in front added for leveling

De-chrome Door Handles

original chrome door handles
taped for overspray
Plasti Dip (black)
three coats


Fishing line worked best to remove chrome letters
so much glue residue
glue residue with letters removed
side letters
glue residue
with pinstripes
rubber wheel eraser used to remove pinstripes
heat gun for glue removal
glue removal

Hydrocarbon Filter Removal

with hydrocarbon filter
without hydrocarbon filter


some essentials

Weatherproof Floor Mats

Blind Spot Mirrors

This is the slimmest set of mirrors I could find.

Camping in 4Runner

Gutter Filter for window screen
Cabela’s Deluxe Cot Pad (Regular) 77" x 28" x 3"

DIY: Roadside Emergency Kit

See full contents here.

De-Chrome Continued

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.

Before with factory installed V-6 hitch
Two of six bolts holding V-6 hitch
Rear bumper removed as well as tires
Left side was a breeze
Right side was trickier with exhaust in the way