5th Gen 4Runner Mods (Part 1)

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install

Where to Start with your 5th Gen 4Runner Mods (Part 1)

Stock 2016 SR5 4Runner No Mods

Where to start with your 4Runner? 5th Gen 4Runner Mods – Overview

Ok, first thing is first, when you get a new 4Runner, you want some mods. Where do you start? There are hundreds of options when it comes to customizing your 4Runner. If you are looking for performance, you might want to look at an intake or exhaust system.

Or, should you go with a roof rack and a set of LED low beams and high beams to start? Why not add a new bumper with a light bar and winch? You can always go straight for an Icon or King suspension, or a Total Chaos long travel suspension. Afterall, that’s all we really want right… a slightly lifted 3″- 4.5″ 4Runner with some all-terrain tires and a custom set of wheels.

We could all go broke in a day buying all the items we want to install. Most of us have a budget in mind we would like to consider before buying all these parts. Let’s start small and work our way up.

This is only my opinion and is not exactly how I modded my 2014 Trail or my 2016 SR5. You can start however you would like. I think this is a good starting place for many owners, though.

The Basics on Mods (Small but Important)

  1. Rain Guards – Check Today’s Price
  2. Center Console Organizer – Check Today’s Price
  3. Floor Mats – Check Today’s Price
  4. Rear Cargo Mat – Check Today’s Price
  5. Blackout Emblem Kit – Check Price

That should wrap up the initial “simple” set of mods. These are the basic interior and exterior mods that we would do before we actually start with the next-level performance and armor mods. You can start in any order you want, but it is always nice to start small and work your way up.

That way, you can get a feel for your 4Runner inside and out. Once you are comfortable playing around with the little mods here and there, you can jump into the bigger installs, like roof racks, rock sliders, intakes, exhaust, bumpers or anything else.

Where to start with Mods?

We have a clean slate to work with on this SR5, so here is my take on where to start with mods. Keep in mind, this is our vision for step 1 of mods. Everyone’s is going to be a little bit different, so we would love to hear your comments at the bottom.

Mod #1 – Replace OEM Running Boards with Nerf Bars

Trail 4Runner N-Fab Hooped Nerf Bars - 5th Gen

I put this as the first item on the list for mods because the OEM running boards scream soccer mom. Even if you mod out any other area of your 4Runner and keep the running boards, it will still have that “basic” look. There are a few options that come to mind for replacing the running boards with rock sliders or nerf bars. Check that post out for good ideas on sliders for the 5th gen.

If you plan on wheeling, skip the bars and just buy a set of high-quality rock sliders. But, it is important to note that nerf bars are around $300 and good sliders are around $1000 shipped and powder coated. So budget should play a role in this one.

Best Options for Nerf Bars

Options for Rock Sliders

Mod #2 – Window Tint

5th Gen SR5 Window Tint Tinted

Not really a “mod” but it sure does help the look of your 4Runner. 


  • Front Window: 50%
  • Front Side Windows: 35%
  • Rear Windows: 3% over factory 20%

Tinting the 4Runner is a must. The only thing I dislike about tinting the windows all the way around is looking in the rear-view. If you go with 20% tint on the back window and all the way around, you will be fine. But, the 4Runner already comes with a factory window tint at 20%. So, if you are going to add another layer of 20% tint film over the factory tint, you would be at 10%. I think that is how it works, correct me if I am wrong.

Mod #3 – Replace OEM Tires with AT (All Terrains)

5th Gen 4Runner All Terrain Tires

If you can wait the 2-4 years it takes to wear down the stock OEM tires, then wait until you run your tread down to 20-30%.

If you are impatient and want some meaner looking tires now, then do your research and find a set of All-Terrain tires that will stand out and perform under the harshest winter and off-road conditions. Budget is always an item on the table, so I am going to break down my top selection of AT (All-Terrain) Tires by price range.

Based on the stock tire size: 265/70r17

$50-$100/ per tire (265/70r17)

I personally do not recommend anything under $100 when buying all-terrain tires. Either they will be made in China with some off-brand name or underperform when you need them the most. Try heading down to the next bracket.

$100-$200/ per tire (265/70r17)

A perfect range for anyone looking for a fresh set of all-terrain tires. Any worthwhile AT tire is going be in this range.

  1. Yokohama Geolandar A/T: $120 (Light tread depth)
  2. Firestone Destination A/T: $120-$150
  3. General Grabber A/T: $120-$170
  4. Nitto Terra Grapplers A/T: $150
  5. Toyo Open Country A/T: $150
  6. Cooper Discoverer A/T: $150

$200-$500/ per tire (265/70r17)

Stepping it up in this range of tires will get you some serious rubber, tread pattern options and tires that will push through anything you throw at them.

  1. BF Goodrich KO2 A/T: $250-$350
  2. Toyo Open Country A/T 2: $260
  3. Nitto Trail Grapplers A/T: $300
  4. Goodyear Duratrac A/T: $400+
  5. Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Off Road Tire A/T: $400+ – Top Choice
  6. Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac A/T: $400+

Mod #4 – Replace OEM Wheels with Something Epic

Spidertrax Wheel Spacers 5th Gen 4Runner

When it comes to wheels, the options are endless. This is the most exciting part about modding the 4Runner. Most of the TRD pros are coming off the lot with the aftermarket TRD Wheels, which are awesome. The only problem with these wheels is that everyone has them. Not a bad thing, just every TRD Pro you see, they have a set of the TRD wheels.

Throwing a set of TRD wheels on a stock SR5 would never be a bad thing, I would just like to see a little more originality in today’s late model world. For another idea on wheel inspiration, check out the Fuel 20″ Vapor Wheels with KO2’s we put on our 2016, or this wheel graphic we put together. I would rather go for an option that is not often seen. There are quite a few options to choose from when it aftermarket wheels.

Common Aftermarket Wheel Options (17×8.5 wheels & 17×7)

  1. TRD SEMA Wheels
  2. TRD Beadlock Wheels
  3. SCS wheels – stealthcustomseries.com
  4. blackrhinowheels.com
  5. Fuel Off-Road
  6. VTX Wheels
  7. level8motorsports.com
  8. kmcwheels.com XD Series
  9. ultrawheel.com
  10. atxwheels.com
  11. Method Race Wheels
  12. Iconalloys.com
  13. fnwheels.com

Or, just Amazon search 17×8.5 off-road wheels or 17×7 wheels depending on your tire

I could go on for hours about wheels. Another great place to check out inspiration for wheels is the forums. But I thought this list above is a nice go-to list of options and inspiration. I have never seen this list put together but I think it should help some of you out there looking for some actual websites and all product lines. If you have any other wheel recommendations, please let us know in the comments below.

This is just part 1 of the Mods section. Stay tuned and check back often for more installs and mods.

Stay Crawling, or Mall Crawling my friends. 

Please comment below if you have any questions, we would love to hear your thoughts on any of the mentioned topics above!

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Showing 20 comments
  • angel gomez

    Please help me buy the supercharger for the 2017 4Runner. Thanks.

  • ian

    Any suggestion on the size of AT tire if you leave the stock rims on the vehicle? This is a 2018.

  • William

    Love this post. This is exactly where I got started when I bought my truck new. Too many mods and don’t know where to dump my hard earned money! Before anything I took my truck out to drive on and off road for a few k miles with the stock set up to see which path of mods I wanted to take and how comfortable you feel with the stock set up. I feel that is the easiest way to decide while not spending money on mods you may potentially not use or need.

  • John

    Hi. Love your site. I live in Truckee, great Castle Peak story. Buying a new 2018 4runner trd offroad. I have a question about wheels. I see a fair amount of info on the trd sema wheels that come on the pro (17×7 offset 4). The offroad comes with 17×7.5 offset 15. If I want to put 285/70/17 on, is the stock wheel going to work? (17×7.5 offset 15) Obviously will be adding leveling/lift. Or should I go with the 17×7 offset 4 (trd sema), or get yet another rim. Assuming looks are not considered.
    Thank you,

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      For sure, the 285/70/17’s will fit the stock wheel for sure. Just make sure whatever tire shop you are ordering your 285s’ from that you give them your wheel specs. They will be able to match an exact 285 to those wheel specs. Also, a deeper offset is going to be much better. If I could have gone with a deeper offset, I would have.

      • Randy

        I have a 2018 with the level kit installed. I just put fuel 17×10 rims with -16 offset and Nitto Ridge grapplers on. Had to adjest the wheel wells and a small bit of trimming on the under pinning. Rides great and sticks out about 2-2.5″ tires increase lift 1″ and it is noticable.

  • George Ryan Connor

    what do you recommend for a hood protector?

  • Chris

    Hey Brenan,

    Not to beat a dead horse but I’ve read a couple threads stating that tire manufactures don’t recommend running 285/70/17 on 17x7s (such as the TRD Pro wheels), and that it’s dangerous to lower the pressure with that setup.
    I ask cause obviously if we did everything the manufactures recommended we’d all have stock 4Runners, so in your experience, what’s the negative impact with running this set up if any??
    Thanks in advance!! Love the site and all the great info!!!

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      From everything I have read, you can run 285/70/17 on 17x7s and be fine. It really depends on how you intend to use your 4Runner, though. There are people out there that gone above the 285s have mounted 295s+ on 17x7s. These situations might be where the driver has not considered airing down or general offroad use. And, maybe they never intend on wheeling at all. Who knows. If someone were to mount 285-295+ on 17x7s, I would say just don’t off-road or take corners hard at all. The thinner rim will make the handling kind of floaty I would think. There’s going to be a big difference in the way the steering/sidewall reacts on a smaller rim. I personally would not go that route but to each their own. I have no personal experience with this set-up, though. These are just my thoughts and I would suggest everyone do their own research. Why not just buy a new wheel? Budget? Then find a new hobby.

      • Chris

        Point taken. Thanks for the quick response, and keep up the great work!!!

  • Esau I Merino

    I have a question will Magnuson SS work with the TRD CAI?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Esau, It will work but it will void your warranty. You want to follow up with Magnuson about this, though just in case.

  • Karl

    Brenan, I’m really impressed with the comprehensive breakdown of everything TRD here. Great job. I’ve been looking to buy a new Toyota (I think it’s time to sell my T-100), and this site confirms what I’m looking for. After reading your section about TRD Pro vs. OR Premium, I’ve decided to look into buying a used TRD Premium… And as you suggest — using the extra savings, and taking some time to make my personal upgrades along the way. Forgive me if this was already addressed somewhere — but what is the standard lift height that comes stock with the Pro? I really like the look of the wheels and lift that comes ” stock” with the TRD Pro. I’m not looking for an aggressive lift and mean tires, since my typical commute involves only short city miles, with seasonal road trips to the snow, and fire roads to remote fishing locations. Basically — what would I need modify on the stock Premium to achieve the look that comes stock with the Pro? Advance thanks.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      The Bilstein Shocks are 2.5″ in diameter and offer a stock lift height of 1″ with no options to adjust the height. I would buy an upgraded suspension for the Off-Road Premium, not a spacer kit. With a spacer, your ride quality will feel a bit more floaty. With a suspension, ride quality will get tighter. There are plenty of options to achieve the look of the Pro but the Bilstein 6112s are an affordable option. If money is no issue then ICON/KING/Radflo are good options as well. Most adjustable coilovers will range in adjustable height. Anywhere from 0″-3.5″. What do you need? Coilovers, Rear Springs, Rear Shocks, and maybe UCAs (upper control arms). If you stay at 1″ of lift, you do not need UCAs. If you reach 2.5″ – 3.5″ of lift, I would say buy UCAs.

  • DragonRunner


    Thanks for the time and effort you put into the blog and comments!

    I put a BILSTEIN adjustable shock into my 2008 Tundra, to level it. Got just under a 2″ on the front. With that I was able to put KO2s on the stock rim with a nice gain in height and no trimming. I just picked up a 2018 T4R ORP and I’m curious if something similar will work. I have a pair of Eibach front coil springs for the 4Runner sitting around. Any idea what tire size I can get away with on the stock rims without major trimming? What would I need to lift to get 33″ in there? And I do plan to air down… what’s the widest I can go before I need to upgrade the rims?

    Thanks again!

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Good choice on the 2018 Off-Road Premium. Not sure if you saw this Bilstein 6112 post but it’s a pretty solid option for most drivers and sounds like a similar situation to what you might run? You are probably looking at 33″ tires being the largest option without much trimming. You need a lift to get 33″ tires inside the well.

      A good all terrain 285/70R17 is a really popular choice in the 4Runner world. With this size tire and a 2.5″-3″ lift, you are looking at minimal rubbing. If you want little to no rubbing, go with a 275/70/17. For the largest tire width, you may not want to go over 295, although I have seen people run 305 and 315 tires on the 7″ wheel. Enter at your own risk here

  • Jeff Bonner

    What does everyone use for leather clean up and care for interior? Thanks in advance

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