Blackout 5th Gen 4Runner Front Bumper Valance
Step by Step Install (Process) for Blacking out your Front 4Runner Bumper Valance – 5th Gen 4Runner
If Brenan’s 4Runner has caught your eye, here is a DIY for the front lower valance. In my opinion, it gives it more of the “Stormtrooper” look, especially for the trendy black on white 4Runners.
Buying a Front Valance First
First thing’s first, you need to have a front bumper lower valance to the color of your liking. It comes in two stock colors, a glossy silver, or a satin black. Both valances are plastic. Both of these valances are not a matte finish. If you are looking for matte, you will have to paint/wrap them yourself.
You can buy the front lower valance on eBay, or your local Toyota dealership. I bought two, one to play with in silver, and one in black. These bumper valances typically do not come with the bumper clips, so you need to purchase these separately. There are 17 total clips that hold the 4Runner front bumper valance in place.
I will show you how to install a valance on your stock front bumper if you do not already have one on first, and then we will jump into blacking out the valance with viynl, finally, we will show you how to cover the little white strip with vinyl just above the front bumper valance.
Adding a Front Bumper Valance to 5th Gen 4Runner
What you Need for Adding Front Valance
Note on the Valance. This seller does have multiple years for the 4Runner. So, if this Valance link does not “fit” your 4Runner, just search his products. You will find your year eventually.
- The Valance – Silver Version (Needs to be wrapped)
- Matte Vinyl Wrap – 3’x5′ roll of vinyl (Check Price)
- Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap – 3’x5′ roll of vinyl (Check Price)
- Metric Socket Set
- Basic Tools
- Dremel – THE Dremel (Check Price)
- Plastic Pry Tools – The best set (Check Price)
The front bumper valance is held on by 17 clips which fit through the bumper. Yes, this means you need to drill holes in your bumper. This might be painful to think about, but very easy to do.
First, let’s take off the bumper
- Step by step instructions to remove the front bumper. You can find that here.
After you have the Bumper Removed
The holes that you have to drill are already indented on the back of the bumper, which you will see after you take the bumper off. There are 17 indentations, as there are 17 clips. I would recommend using masking tape to guide around each hole so that you can use them ask markers for drilling the holes.
You will drill/dremel the holes through the back of the bumper as you can see the indentations only on the back of the bumper.
Two people are recommended to remove and re-install, however, it is not impossible to do with one, as I did it myself. Here is my front bumper removed.
If you look closely, you will notice my less than amateur experience at drilling into the bumper. I used an entry level dremel and a small spinning saw bit.
The bit I used is the same as the one in the bottom left of the picture. After drilling the holes, you can fit the lower valance.
In the end, I used the black valance, and used black vinyl behind the valance to close the white gap, as you see above the black valance on my above fitting. Before we go into closing the white gap, let me show you my first option.
Blacking out Front Bumper Valance on the 4Runner
I tried a dry carbon vinyl on my silver valance first. Youtube the skills and instructions regarding vinyl wrapping and it is an easy trait to master. I purchased the dry carbon vinyl from Amazon. Search carbon fiber vinyl, and there are many to choose from. For 3×5 foot wrap, you shouldn’t spend more than $25.
Now, after you drill your holes, customize your front valance, it is time to clip them onto your bumper and re-install your bumper to your car. This is as simple as removing it. The most difficult part is reconnecting the fog lights, which are probably at a beginners level for install at about 2/5 in difficulty. Here is the end result for a dry carbon front valance.
Blacking Out White Strip on 4Runner Bumper
I loved the look, however that white gap between the top of the front valance and the bottom of the lower grille mesh bothered me. Fear not, that white gap is easy to close. I went with black vinyl behind a black valance, as installing a dry carbon vinyl would give my OCD self a headache trying to align the front bumper’s dry carbon pattern with the front valance’s dry carbon pattern.
Appropriately drill the bumper enough that the front lower valance will fit well. After the holes are drilled and fitting is finished, It is time to add black vinyl BEHIND the valance, and ON the front bumper.
Next is a little tricky. I used a piece of vinyl 1 foot wide (vinyl sticker measures approximately 3 feet tall. Now, it is only 1-2 feet of vinyl that will show after this all is finished. You have the choice to install all of the front bumper vinyl now or later.
Now, to add the black behind the valance. All you need is vinyl.
Remember, vinyl is very forgiving, so no matter how you screw it up (as long as there are no holes on the vinyl), you may remove and reinstall the vinyl as many times as you like. Just remember, you “shorten” the life and strength of the vinyl, the more you heat it up (with a blow dryer or a heat gun).
Now, to vinyl the bumper, which in my opinion is the most difficult part of this install. Simply remove the screws on the rear/inside of the front bumper.
There are 6 screws, and they are located on the bottom of the lower grille mesh. After you remove the screws a metal plate behind the grille will come off as well. After this, you can easily pop off the grille mesh afterward.
*I apologize for my lack of pictures in this DIY. Now that the grille mesh is OFF, you can turn the bumper over, facing the painted area. We will be working on the part of the bumper above the drilled holes and below where the grille mesh sits. First, clean the area with soap and water.
This will allow the vinyl to stick on properly and withstand your off-roading adventures along with the unpredictable weather. Next (after properly researching DIY car vinyl wrap guides and videos online and on Youtube), you may begin vinyl wrapping.
I have yet to master the tricks of vinyl wrapping, however, I will say that patience and a heat gun (or blow dryer that can push hot air) will do the trick to avoid bubbles and creases.
Remember, we are only vinyl wrapping a small area of the bumper, approximately 6 inches from the bottom of the lower grille mesh downward. Expect your bumper to look weird at first, as only 1/4 of the lower bumper will be wrapped black, but remember that nobody will know what is below, once the valance is installed.
Now, after laying on the vinyl and cutting it to try to match the shape of your bumper, I recommend purchasing this white pinstripe tape.
There are different colors of this pinstripe, and this example is obviously for a white 4R. This pinstripe is an excellent tool to outline your uneven cutting edges of the vinyl you laid down. If you do not perfect the outline of the vinyl to your bumper, don’t fear. You may run the pinstripe down the edge and it will appear as if it is a straight cut.
Finally, install the lower valance and reinstall the bumper. Here is the end result.
This install may take 2-3 hours depending on your level of expertise in vinyl wrapping. It takes about 20 minutes to remove the front bumper, and probably 30-45 minutes dremeling in the holes, then another 20 minutes to reinstall the bumper.
Trimming OEM Plastics Under Bumper
I custom cut the plastic piece that sits in front of the stock skid plate so that it would fit between my TRD skid plate and the front bumper. Here is a DIY on that.
Firstly, I used masking tape to guide the area to cut. I went ahead and cut through the indented piece with a pair of medical shears. Medical shears can cut through a lot of tough material. Next, I made another cut through the piece I already cut through. I did this so that debris would not get trapped between the radiator and this plastic skid plate. Instead, the debris would fall through and into the TRD skid plate and hopefully out onto the ground.
Next, you must remove the TRD skid plate completely to install this plastic piece. What I did, was I inserted the front of the plastic piece through in between the front bumper and the front bumper lower valance so that it is “sandwiched” between the black valance and the white bumper. It allows less to no room for debris going into the bumper. Simply drill the piece of plastic with the 3 stock bolts. Then install the TRD skid plate and voila!. You closed the empty gap between the skid plate and the front bumper!