The Modding Has Begun

With my new 4Runner comes the many modifications that I will be adding to make this vehicle suit my needs and my personality. Some are cosmetic, but most are functional.

The first modification was LED lights. I swapped out the headlights, daytime running lights/high beams, and interior lights. The 4Runner comes with incandescent light bulbs and halogen headlights. These all have a yellow cast to them, and in the case of the headlights, are notoriously weak. My new bulbs are all much brighter, but not so bright that it blinds me or anyone outside the car. This was important, especially in the case of my headlights. I don’t want to be a nuisance or a safety hazard to anyone coming towards me in the opposite lane.

The second modification was the old TRD badge on the grill. It’s a splash of color on an otherwise all green and black vehicle, and I think it looks really nice there as well as being a throw-back to the old Toyota Racing Development days.

The third modification was mounting Rago storage panels inside the cargo area of the 4Runner. This process was very easy, and has added some much-needed storage capability for things like my first aid kits, an axe, a machete, and other items.

As I plan on taking this vehicle off-road with my son in his 4Runner, I added a bow shackle mount to the trailer hitch receiver to enable me to pull him or anyone else out of trouble if necessary.

Modification number 5 was the addition of an awning on the right side of the cargo rack on the roof. This will allow us to have shade or protection from the rain while out and about. As an added bonus, when I go flying my RC airplanes, it will give me a shaded area under which to store my planes while I’m flying.

The sixth modification was adding rock sliders to the vehicle (as can be seen on the grass in the previous picture prior to their mounting). Rock sliders differ from steps in that they are designed to protect the vehicle from rocks on a trail. Steps are not structurally strong enough to protect the vehicle; rock sliders are. They can support the weight of the vehicle and will keep the 4Runner from being impaled onto a rock from the side. They double as steps, however, and will be useful for Sherry to get in and out of the vehicle more easily.

This is how the 4Runner looks today. I had to remove the awning at the parking garage at work today, however, as the total height of the vehicle exceeded the safe clearance height in the garage. Fortunately, I had the forethought to bring the keys to unlock the awning’s mounts from the roof rack, and I was able to store the awning inside the cargo area of the vehicle until I get home. I’ll put the awning in the garage and put it on the 4Runner only when I will be needing it. It’s too bad. I rather liked having it up there.

By PaleoMarine

Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 328 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 130 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 20 lbs and is comfortably back in the 170 lbs range. He is a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard and writes multiple blogs about topics he is passionate about.

2 replies on “The Modding Has Begun”

I also got the TRD Pro in Army Green !!
What type of LED light did you get ? I’m slowly modifying my Sweet Pea. Did you do a leveling kit on it and if so what brand

Liked by 1 person

Hi Marianne! The light kit I used to replace the factory headlights and high-beams are made by Alla Lighting and available on Amazon. I recommend the combo kit they have for H11/9005 which covers both headlights and daytime running lights (DRL) and high-beams. Note that for the DRL’s, you may need a cambus adapter which costs $20 to reduce/eliminate flickering while in DRL mode. I did not do a leveling kit because I don’t find the stance to be too bad, and when I do tow a trailer, it will level automatically (as designed).


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