Rago Fabrication Modular Storage Panel Installation Guide, Overview, and Review
Rago Fabrication’s Modular Storage Panels have been around for a while now. They take pride in making a quality product, although the company doesn’t have the best reputation in the world when it comes to customer service, they still make a solid product. That said, there have been many complaints as well as general problems with the hardware that they sell. Many people on the forums have complained about the hardware stripping out.
All of these companies offer a really good storage solution for the 4Runner. And all of them can be customized with MOLLE gear in whichever layout and direction you want. After making the jump on one of these panels, you will not be disappointed.
With that said, you have many options to choose from when it comes to aftermarket molle panels for the 5th Gen 4Runner. If you do make the jump on these panels just go through a 3rd party retailer with solid customer service like Runnin4Tacos. If any issues do arise, they will help you out.
Find it online:
- MOLLE Panels: Check Price
- Optional Center Console MOLLE Panels: Check Price
- R4T MOLLE Mounts: Check Price
- Size: 1″x1.5″ or 1″x0.75″
- Fits: Rago Fabrication Panels
- Fits: Cali Raised Panels
- Cali Raised LED Molle: Check Price
- Cali Raised LED Molle Panels and Shelf: Check Price
Here is a little overview of the tools you need.
- 10mm Socket and Ratchet
- 10mm Wrench
- 5mm Allen Head
- Pocket Flat Head Screw Driver
- Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Trim Fastener Molding Tools (Optional)
- Dremel w/ Cutting Wheel & Sanding Band (Optional)
Here are the items that come shipped with the kit.
- 2 Stepped Spacers (Rear Nearest to Hatch) with hardware
- 2 Large Spacers (Front Nearest to Back Seat) with hardware
- 2 Modular Storage Panels
- 2 Slim Hanger Brackets
- 2 Hanger L Brackets
- 14 Stainless Steel Bolts
- 14 Nylon Locking Nuts
- 28 Washers
- Stainless Steel Bottle Opener
Below is an overview of the installation. If you have any questions or comments about the installation of the MSP panels, please leave your comments at the bottom of the page.
Please note, there are a few ways to install the panels and one of the options requires modification of your 4Runners OE parts or simply discarding your OE parts. Trail 4Runner is not responsible for you breaking or damaging any of your OE 4Runner parts.
Step 1. Prep Rear Hardware
Remove the rear covers on each side using a flat head screwdriver (or Trim Fastener Molding Tools) exposing both bolts (closest to back seat). Upon removing the covers, use a 10mm wrench to remove both bolts and set all pieces aside.
Next, grab the 2 large spacers and make sure the threads are screwed in all the way to the spacers. Upon tightening all threads, put a little Loctite onto the exposed thread and screw it into the hole.
Once the spacer is hand tight, grab your pliers and tighten the spacer so that it is snug (do not over tighten or you will strip it out). Repeat for the other side.
Step 2. Prep Front Hardware
Remove the covers nearest to the hatch by twisting them counterclockwise (righty tighty, lefty loosey) and they should pop out. Next, grab your Phillips head screwdriver and remove the screw that is holding in each cover frame.
Upon removal of both screws, be vigilant as this next part is a little tricky. Inside of the cover frame, there are two small holes that the cover locked into. Put your flat head end of your screwdriver into the hole closest to the backseat. The removal of these frames are not easy, so slowly pry them out.
Step 3. Remove Plastic Insert Frames
Upon removal of both frames, grab both stepped spacers and make sure that the threads are screwed in all the way to the spacer. Apply a little Loctite to the exposed thread, and screw it into the hole of the frame you just removed until it is hand tight.
Do the same for the other side, grab your pliers and tighten each spacer (do not over tighten or you will strip it out).
Step 4. Coat Hook
Pinch the bottom half of the hook (on the roof above each window) or use a flat head screwdriver to open the cover and expose the bolt. Using your 10mm socket and ratchet, remove each bolt and hook on both sides, set the bolts aside as you will be reusing them.
The hooks and bolts do not align with the L Bracket so if you do not want to use the hooks with the panels then trash them.
Step 5. Reuse Coat Hook
- Using your Dremel, cutting wheel and pliers (or vice if you have one), grab onto the hook with the pliers (or vice) and cut the cover of the hook off at the bend (doesn’t have to look pretty as you will clean it up later). Next, using the cutting wheel, cut out the plastic triangular gusset. Repeat for both hooks.
- After you have cut off the cover and gusset, take the cutting wheel off and replace it with a Sanding Band. Use the Sanding band to clean up and flatten out the hook. Remove any and all excess plastic until it is flat.
- Slide the hook bolt into the Slim Bracket, and the hook behind the Slim Bracket and check to see if it seats correctly. If it is not properly aligned, remove plastic as necessary.
Step 6. Attach Brackets
Place the Slim Bracket over the L Bracket and bolt them together using 4 stainless steel bolts, 8 washers, and 4 nylon locking nuts. Do not tighten any nuts, leave them loose so you can find their proper place.
You will then attach the brackets to the Modular Storage Panels using 2 bolts, 4 washers, and 2 nylon locking nuts. Do not tighten these either as we will need to do some adjustments when we install them.
You will then remove the bolts that are screwed into each spacer (total of 4 bolts and 4 washers) and set them aside.
Step 7. Attach Panel to Coat Hook
Using your original hook bolt (and hooks if you did the modifications), slide it into the bracket (add the bracket behind it) and slide it into the hook hole (Do not tighten yet). Then use the spacer bolts to attach the Modular Storage Panels to the spacers.
The panels should now be hanging and in place, ready for tightening and adjustments. (Lift the rack to avoid damaging threads on the spacers when tightening.) Start with the bottom two spacer bolts, remove one spacer bolt, apply Loctite and screw it back in (Do not tighten yet).
Remove the other spacer bolt, apply Loctite and screw it back in (Do not tighten yet). Remove the hook bolt, apply.
Loctite and screw it back in. Lift up on the Modular Storage panel, adjust it to the left or right and start by tightening the bolt closest to the back seat.
Follow up by tightening the bolt closest to the hatch, and tighten the hook bolt last. Make sure that all bolts are snug.
Step 8. Secure Panel in Place
Next, grab your 10mm wrench and 5mm allen head and start tightening the remaining 6 bolts on the Slim and L brackets. Repeat Steps 4 – 6 for the other side.
Lastly, Rago throws in a complimentary bottle opener that bolts onto the Modular Storage Panels. It can be bolted on anywhere, there should be 2 bolts, 4 washers, and 2 nylon locking nuts left.
It is best if the bottle opener is attached to either end closest to the hatch for easy use (both ends have the holes drilled for it).
Exercise judgment when adding weight and items to the rack. Rago has a video on their website that shows a couple of kids hanging off of them! But, there is no traditional crash or weight test that has been done, so please use and mod at your own discretion.
Lastly, Molle and Quick Fist sell an abundant amount of clamps and attachments for the Modular Storage Panels. Buy what suits you, get creative and enjoy!