5th Gen Mods, Accessories

5th Gen 4Runner Mods (Part 1)

Updated 3/1/20 / Read Time: 7 mins

Stock 2016 SR5 4Runner No Mods

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

First thing’s 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.

In the lighting department, you can go with upgraded fog lights and a set of LED low beams and high beams? Why not just go all out and buy a new bumper with a light bar and winch?

You can always go straight for an Icon or King suspension and pair it with a Total Chaos long-travel suspension.

After all, that’s all we really want right… a slightly lifted 2″- 4″ 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.

This post is about starting small and working our way up.

This is only my opinion and is not exactly how I modded my 2014 Trail, 2016 SR5, or 2016  Trail. You can start however you would like. I do 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
  6. AJT Key Fob – 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 and everything else.

What are your Goals?

I think the most important questions to ask yourself relate back to the end-goal.

What is your end goal?

And seriously think about this one for a minute. Take a look at the next 5-10 years of your 4Runner’s lifecycle.

  • Where do you plan on driving?
  • Do you have a 2wd or 4wd?
  • Do you want 20″ wheels or 17″ wheels?
  • Do you plan on light or deep exploring?
  • Do you have a family or is it just you?

It’s easy for many drivers to think:

“I want 4″ of lift with +3″ long-travel, 35” tires, full front/rear bumpers, and a roof rack with RTT mounted. Then after all that, why not go with a Goose Gear drawer system loaded with camping and recovery gear. Finally, let’s add a Dometic or ARB fridge set up in the rear cargo area wired to a solar system running off a second onboard AGM battery.

Keep in mind, this all adds weight and can get pretty damn expensive. And, three years down the road you might realize you could have gone without this or that really expensive add-on or accessory.

My best advice is to buy what you need as the time comes. Buy it when you need it, not because it’s cool, trending or that’s what everyone else is buying.

In any case, here is where I would start.

Where to start with Mods?

Wheels are completely subjective and likely the least functional part that goes into a build. The factory 17″ wheels Toyota supplies us with are actually very capable wheels, so you don’t “need” to replace your wheels. It’s all about personal preference and looks here.

We have a clean slate to work with this SR5, so here is my take on where to start with some basic, every day 4Runner upgrades.

Everyone 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

5th Gen 4Runner Fuel Anza - Icon Stage 2

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 $800 shipped and powder coated. Your budget should play a role in this one, but wheeling and off-roading with nerf bars are only going to go so far.

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.

(Edit: MS) 20% tint means to let 20 percent of the light through. Putting 20% over 20% would be letting 4% of the light through ( 20% = 0.2 0.2 x 0.2 = .04 = 4% ) Thanks Steve for the addition to the article!

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

If you can wait for the 40k-60k mile mark it takes to wear down the stock OEM tires, then wait until you run your tread down to 10-30%.. whatever you are comfortable with.

If you are impatient and want some beefier, more capable tires now, then do your research and find a set of All-Terrain Mud-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

Spidertrax Wheel Spacers 5th Gen 4Runner

When it comes to wheels, the options are endless.

This is an exciting part when it comes to changing the look of your 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 many drivers have them.

Throwing a set of TRD wheels on a stock SR5 would never be a bad thing, it’s just nice to know there are literally hundreds of options to choose from out there.

For ideas on wheel inspiration, check out this wheel post and graphic or this updated overview on wheels we put together.

There are quite a few brands to choose from in this category.

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 wheel inspiration is throughout the forms.

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.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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June 25, 2020 4:11 pm

Hello all New to this forum and looking to pull the trigger on a 4Runner later this year and looking to get some advice on the Limited (AWD) vs OffRoad edition. I live in Reno Tahoe area. Drive 95% on road, 5% on light to medium off road (dirt, gravel, gnarly rocks, washes, mud, whoops, washboards etc) When I am on road during winter I drive to work or play on potentially windy roads with patches of snow/ice or just straight snow 1-3” and occasional 1-2ft in bad conditions if trying to drive over a pass. would the Premium AWD… Read more »

Jose C.
Jose C.
May 24, 2020 7:21 am

I own a 2015 4Runner Limited. Yes, “the soccer-mom” version…but I’m a single father. I’ve been reading several blogs and many of them of T4R. I haven’t been able to find any brave souls to admit (like me) that they have one, and the mods they’ve have accomplished and their satisfaction. I live near the OBX and have driven my luxury off-roader on the beach, but would like to begin the process of making my 4runner an extension of my personality – “cleans up nice, but built for rougher roads”. I have sent out a few emails to several companies… Read more »

Rob Hoffman
Rob Hoffman
April 10, 2020 10:53 am

I have a 2013 4Runner Trail with CBI Rocksliders and now want to add a 3” lift, CBI front & rear bumpers, Warn winch, 33” tires etc… the problem is, I’ll need heavy springs front and back as I add the bumpers but at least one site cautions running heavy springs not under load. All of this kit is to expensive to buy at once, (at least for me). Do I need to spend a year stockpiling hardware and then do the build at once or can you add suspension & tires one year, bumpers 6 months later? What is… Read more »

Garrett SC-CA
Garrett SC-CA
May 2, 2020 8:13 am
Reply to  Rob Hoffman

Stock pile the money and get that stuff all at once and install it that would be best. But, if your gonna piece it together I would do the front bumper and winch first then the rear bumper and then finally do the suspension. The extra weight is what you need for upgraded springs and if you do those first you will be driving a stiff ride which won’t be very comfortable and potentially not safe at speed. I have seen people do the bumpers first on stock suspension and its fine temporarily, maybe not ideal but it will work… Read more »

Pamela Twyman
Pamela Twyman
April 1, 2020 12:19 pm

Hi, Which wheels are on this white 4Runner posted? Is this 4Runner a TRD Off-Road Premium model?

Gabriel OWENS
Gabriel OWENS
August 27, 2020 1:37 pm
Reply to  Pamela Twyman

Those are Fuel Anza wheels.

Brent Chronister
Brent Chronister
January 18, 2020 3:22 pm

What is a rule of thumb for airing down tires? We don’t do any high speed wheeling. Normal deep ruts and other normal trail issues. I run 15 psi in my 4 runner with 10 ply mud terrain tires. Some of my friends run only 10 psi but have had the tire break free from the rim. I know that there is not a set pressure for airing down but what is considered the lowest pressure that will get you by with minimal issues.

July 16, 2019 8:13 am

Tires. I have a 2018 TRD off road. with the TRD black rims. I would like some wider looking tires to give the truck a meaner look while keeping my TRD rims. What tires can u recommend that are thicker and wider , without affecting driving and not having to change my TRD wheeels

JOhn G
JOhn G
August 22, 2019 1:38 pm
Reply to  JOSE RIVAS

You might try some thin spacers as well to give the wider look you are after!

May 28, 2019 11:58 am

i have a 2013 4runner limited was curious if it was possible to switch to a 14 and up sr5 bumper?

Steve Hunstad
Steve Hunstad
May 20, 2019 6:28 pm

Love your site. Looking at purchasing a 4Runner and I’m getting great information on what to do, different options and who some good vendors are.

Mod #2

20% tint means to let 20 percent of the light through. Putting 20% over 20% would be letting 4% of the light through ( 20% = 0.2 0.2 x 0.2 = .04 = 4% )

Max Sheehan - @life.to.the.max
Active Member
Max Sheehan - @life.to.the.max
May 23, 2019 9:26 am
Reply to  Steve Hunstad

Thanks for the clarification, we will change the information in the article to reflect this!

Jeff Bonner
Jeff Bonner
November 20, 2018 1:13 pm

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

October 8, 2018 1:59 am

Brenan, 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… Read more »

May 7, 2018 2:36 pm

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… Read more »

Esau I Merino
Esau I Merino
March 15, 2018 4:18 pm

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

February 19, 2018 12:45 am

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!!!

February 19, 2018 7:41 pm

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

George Ryan Connor
George Ryan Connor
January 10, 2018 4:58 pm

what do you recommend for a hood protector?

November 28, 2017 8:40 pm

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,

July 31, 2018 5:15 pm

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.

November 18, 2017 7:32 pm

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.

November 16, 2017 10:52 pm

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

angel gomez
angel gomez
October 5, 2017 4:18 am

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

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