5th Gen 4Runner Mods (Part 2)

 In 4Runner Mods, 5th Gen 4Runner Mods, Aftermarket Install, T4R Accessories

5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 2 – Whats Next?

CAI (Cold Air Intake) 5th Gen 4Runner

Jump to Performance Sections:

Next-Level your 5th Gen 4Runner with an advanced set of Mods

After reading our post on 5th Gen 4Runner Mods Part 1, you may be thinking about what’s next. After running the basic mods in our first post, Tint, Nerf Bars or Rock Sliders, Tires & Wheels, there is still plenty of room for improvement. With the addition of some accessories on your 5th Gen 4Runner, it is time to take a look at a couple other areas.

Today we are going to talk about adding a few basic performance parts to the 4Runner that will increase both HP (Horse Power) and fuel efficiency. For an increase in 5th Gen 4Runner performance, we are going to look at installing a Cat-Back Exhaust along with a Cold Air Intake (CAI). We are also going to take a look at two key elements that make every 5th Gen 4Runner stand out on the road; aftermarket grill and aftermarket roof rack.

Like part 1 of the 5th Gen 4Runner mods, we are going to stick with four mods you can do to drastically increase the overall look and feel of your 4Runner. And again, this is only what we would do. We are not saying that this is the best set of mods for your 4Runner. This is a combination of performance and exterior upgrades for your 4Runner.

Round 2 of the 5th Gen 4Runner Mods

5th Gen 4runner Mods Part 2

NOTE: It was really hard to not throw a lift into this section of the 5th Gen 4Runner Mods. A lift or at least a leveling kit has to go into modding your 4Runner the second time around. But, this is going to go in a post on its own.

Prices and Step by Step Installs on the example mods below

After running through your 4Runner with these mods, combined with part 1, you are sure to have an epic, original 5th Gen 4Runner on the road. Follow along and let’s explore what exact options you have for each of these sections. There are hundreds of options for each one of these sections.

The beauty of modding out your 4Runner is that you get to customize it however you want. Stride away from what everyone else has and find something original. Of course, there are a few items that are well known that are just too hard to pass up when it comes to 4Runner Mods that are widely installed.

4Runner Mod #1 – Replace OEM Exhaust

5th Gen 4Runner Magnaflow Exhaust

Replacing your OEM exhaust will give you a little bump in HP (horsepower) and an increase in fuel efficiency. If you know 4Runners, there are not a ton of options for increasing performance, other than a 4Runner Supercharger, which they now make for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Check out the 5th Gen 4Runner Magnuson Supercharger. This will set your 4Runner straight.

Flowmaster? If you go to the Flowmaster website and punch in anything 5th Gen 4Runner (anything from 2010-2014 says discontinued and everything from 2015-2018 says unavailable).

Best Exhaust Systems for 5th Gen 4Runner

  1. Flowmaster Single Catback Exhaust (DISCONTINUED)
  2. Flowmaster Dual Catback Exhaust (DISCONTINUED)
  3. Magnaflow Catback Exhaust
  4. Borla Catback Exhaust
  5. Gibson Superflow Single Exhaust

Each one of these has a different sound, Flowmaster being the loudest and deepest. The Borla and Magnaflow seem to sound similar compared to the Flowmaster (a nice medium rumble), although MagnaFlow is louder and deeper than the Borla. Do your research on these throughout YouTube and you are sure to find one that fits your style best.

4Runner Mod #2 – Replace OEM Intake with CAI

TRD Cold Air Intake 4Runner Mod

Let’s be real here, the stock intake on the 5th Gen 4Runner is pretty mediocre. The stock intake air box is big, clunky and restricts much-needed airflow to the 4.0-liter engine. Swapping out your stock airbox with an aftermarket CAI (Cold Air Intake) will give you a slight boost in performance and increase in fuel efficiency.

Replacing the stock airbox with an aftermarket intake should also free up some space around your engine for another mod (maybe another battery, air compressor, or something else). There are plenty of good cold air intake options available for the 5th Gen 4Runner.

Best 5th Gen 4Runner Intake Options

  1. TRD Cold Air Intake
  2. AFE Cold Air Intake
  3. Volant Performance 387401 – Cool Air Intake Kit
  4. K&N Performance Intake Kit

We opted to install the TRD Intake on the Trail 4Runner. For the new 2016 4Runner, we are probably going to install the AFE Cold Air Intake. They all do pretty much the same thing (increase airflow). The difference in the intakes is design, price and some performance highlights here and there.

4Runner Mod #3 – Replace OEM Rack

BajaRacks 5th Gen 4Runner

There are quite a few options for your roof rack. You can either go with a rack delete (remove the 5th Gen 4Runner roof rack rails) or go with an aftermarket roof rack like the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Roof Rack or the 5th Gen 4Runner Baja Rack. Roof racks are always nice to have on a 4Runner as you never know when you need to throw something big on top of your rig. Aftermarket roof racks are great for camping, traveling or for general storage.

There are a few industry standard roof racks available for the 5th Gen 4Runner that everyone seems to love. I want to share some of the most installed rook racks for 5th Gens as well as a few that are not installed as often, but still very cool.

There are a ton of options for roof racks as well. You can opt for ladders, sunroof opening, tool accessories and so much more.

Best 5th Gen 4Runner Roof Rack Options

5th Gen 4Runner Roof Racks Overview

  1. The Gobi Rack: $1500+
  2. The Gobi Rack with Rigid Lights
  3. 5th Gen 4Runner Baja Rack: $900 – $1300
  4. Nfab Modular Roof Rack: $500+
  5. ARB Roof Rack: $200-$1000
  6. Yakima Rack: $400
  7. Rola Roof Rack: $180 on Amazon
  8. Rhino Pioneer Rack: $650 on Amazon

There are so many other manufacturers for 5th Gen 4Runner Roof Racks out there but this should give you a good start when looking into options. The Gobi rack is by far, one of the most expensive. About $1800+ shipped. And, everyone has one. Also, the Baja Rack is a widely installed roof rack and they have a bunch of options.

For a slim/small design, we installed the Rhino-Rack, as it is incredibly easy to install and packs most of what “we” needed for the time. We will likely go another direction as our gear starts to stack up. For now, and for most applications, the Rhino-Rack works incredibly well.

Most of these full-length roof racks are overkill for the average 4Runner owner. Unless you are mounting rooftop tents, large kayaks, and oversized camping gear, you may not need a full-length rack. Just do your research and find the best 4Runner roof rack for your situation.

4Runner Mod #4 – Replace OEM Grill

TRD Pro 4runner Grill Swap Final

There are a bunch of options when it comes to replacing the OEM grill. The stock 5th Gen 4Runner grill is bad ass by its self. The front-end of the 5th Gen 4Runner really set the bar for 4Runner design. The new look of the 5th Gen 4Runner is really distinguished by such an aggressive design. You really could leave this area alone and still have a mean looking 5th Gen. If however, you want to pursue some options, there are plenty out there.

Keep in mind, we are not talking about aftermarket bumpers with winch mods, only smaller grill mods. The aftermarket bumper mods will have to go to another post.

5th Gen 4Runner Grill Replacement & Addition Options

  1. TRD Pro Grille Swap
  2. Rigid Industries Grill with Lightbar
  3. T-Rex 3-Pc Horizontal Billet Grill Kit
  4. T-Rex X-Metal Series Mesh Grill

There are a few more options out there when it comes to aftermarket grill kits for the 5th Gen 4Runner but this should get you started. With the addition of a new grill, you can start getting a ton of options for lightbars and single LED light kits. We will leave these topics for another post.

Love the 4Runner Lifestyle?


Join the 5th Gen 4Runner community and get access to new gear, specials, free stickers, free decals, step by step installs and much more. Get access to manufacturer discounts, sales, coupon codes and so much more.



Recent Posts
Showing 2 comments
  • Paul Fraser

    Hey there, well done on this page!!! Excellent work !! I am wondering about brake upgrades, do you have any articles or posts related to brake systems? Thank you again.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Not yet, we are doing brakes right now. That post should be coming up here pretty soon.

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search