4Runner Phone Mount (Ram Mount)

 In 5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install, Reviews

4Runner iPhone/ Droid Ram Mount Solution

5th Gen 4Runner iPhone/ Droid Phone Mount

iPhone/ Droid Mount – Ram Mount Solution for 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

If you are looking for a solid iPhone/ Droid Ram Mount solution, we think we found one. This is a question that we received on the website a few times. We figured it was about time we dive into the Ram Mount ideas and possibilities. There are literally hundreds of Ram Mounts out there. There is not a specific application for the 5th Gen 4Runner, though.

Ram Mount Bracket for 4Runner?

Ram Mount does have a laptop specific mounting bracket and extension for the 4Runner and Tacoma. But, how many of us are running our MacBook air when we are on the trail. I sure as hell am not.  If you are, more power to you, but that seems like it would take up a ton of space. In any case, Ram Mount does have the laptop mount bracket and extension available if you want to go that route.

iPad Vs iPhone Ram Mount for 4Runner?

We will eventually do another post on the iPad mount but for now, we are talking about the iPhone/ Droid Ram Mount Solution. We wanted to find the best Ram Mount solution and set-up out there. With some research, we ran across Explore4R.com who has a pretty rad set-up for his 4R. This is a similar version to what Max did to his 4Runner.

  • Where exactly do we mount the actual base?
  • What extension do we need?
  • What connectors do we need?
  • What iPhone/ Droid Ram Mount holder to buy?

These were all questions that we have been searching for and experimenting with over the last couple of weeks. We bought about 20 different Ram Mount products to test out the best scenario for the best 4Runner iPhone/ Droid Ram Mount Solution. This is a solution that should work for just about everyone out there. Well, everyone who is willing to drill into their dash!

What we used for this install

Mount Location (Ram Mounts)

Our thought process here was initially inspired by @Whitecollar_T4r on Instagram, who was inspired by @Life.to.the.max. There are also a few guys who have done this in the forum, and one guy in particular who did this exact location.

We are going to mount a small female 1″ ball Ram Mount through the side of the 4Runner dash. We will need to pull the center dash off and drop backing, a spacer, and a small bolt on the other end. We can then reinstall the dash and then configure our Ram Mount set-up for our iPhone.

SnailTrail4x4 Video Install

Step #1:  Pull off lower 4Runner Dash

Ram Mount Install - Step #1:  Pull off lower 4Runner Dash

Start by removing the 4Runner dash. You want to start with the lower section of the 4Runner dash. Grab one side at a time and pull. Pull firmly until you pop the tabs out of their location. It will feel pretty sketchy at first, but this whole section is designed to pop off. Once you have one side free of the tabs, repeat this step on the other side.

You will see in the image below, there are two wire clips (the ones with blue tape) that you will need to unclip to completely remove this lower section of the 4Runner dash. Once the clips are free you can set the lower section of the 4Runner dash to the side.

Step #2:  Remove 4 Bolts on upper Dash

Ram Mount Install - Step #2:  Remove 4 Bolts on upper Dash

Remove the 4 bolts on the metal brackets seen above. These are 10mm bolts. Once you have removed the 10mm bolts, the top portion of the 4Runner dash will be free to remove. To remove the upper portion of the 4Runner dash, pull on each side, just as you did with the lower portion of the dash.

The top portion of the dash will not completely come off for this install. All you need is access to the backside of the top 4Runner dash. Once you have the dash off, you can start to line up where you want your female Ram Mount.

Step #3:  Line Up your 1″ Female Ram Mount

Ram Mount Install - Step #2:  Line Up your 1" Female Ram Mount

With the dash removed, you can get an idea of where the female Ram Mount will go and where it will connect on the backside. There is not much room on the inside of the 4Runner’s dash. So, you need to get pretty creative in wrenching it down. If you have a set of combination wrenches, that will help. You can used the close and open-ended side of the wrench to help you thread the bolt into place and through the 4Runner dash.

Step #4: Prepare Your Hardware

Ram Mount Install - Step #4: Prepare Your Hardware

You will have your 1″ ball female ram mount and then your hardware. This hardware does not need to be exact. I bought 1/4″-20 x 3/4″ Hex Head Bolts threaded male, that will go into the female 1/4″-20 Ram Mount thread. These are the bolts that I bought.

You don’t need to buy a set like I did though. You can always go down to home depot and buy a single, although some box stores only sell them in a bulk box of 50 or 100. And, it’s always nice to have extra bolts.

For washers, we found a couple washers laying around the shop. We actually ended up using one larger diameter washer for the install as it gave us a little more surface area support on the backside of the 4Runner dash.

Step #5: Prepare Your Ram Mount Configuration

Ram Mount Install - Step #5: Prepare Your Ram Mount Configuration

You can configure your phone mount set-up anyway you want. This is just how I configured mine. The links for the exact items should be at towards the top of this page. You can get creative and come up with something a little more dynamic or keep it simple like this. I wanted to keep mine as simple as possible, so this is what I came up with.

Step #6: Drill Hole in Dash (pilot and then size of bolt)

Ram Mount Install - Step #6: Drill Hole in Dash

The scary part! Mark your location and make sure you are 100% about this location. There no going back after this one. Drill a pilot hole or just drill your main hole. Either way, just make sure you are certain about the location for your phone mount.

We found our location to be about 1/2″ off the base of the 4Runner dash (just below where the ball will sit), so that it does not touch the dash. This will give you plenty of room to add a Ram Mount connection to the ball without touching the main 4Runner dash below.

Step #7: Mounting the 1″ Ball from the Back

Ram Mount Install - Step #7: Mounting the 1" Ball from the Back

Once you have the hardware on the back side and the Ram Mount tightened down, this is what you should end up with. Something like this. Again, the washer does not need to be exact. Just get a washer that fits over your 1/4″ Ram Mount threads. You can brace this up hoe ever much you would like, but with a wide diameter single washer, you should be fine.

Step #8: Putting Everything Together

5th Gen 4Runner iPhone/ Droid Phone Mount

After driving with this for a couple days. WOW, so impressed.

This is a great little addition for on-road and off-road use. I really can’t wait to get this off-road and see how it handles over some rocks. I will keep the page updated as usual. Thanks, everyone. Hopefully, this phone mount for the 5th Gen helps you figure out how you want to mount your set-up. Let us know if you have any questions.

Comment Below and let us know what phone mount you are using in your 4Runner. If there is another location that you think might be better, let us know below. If you are using a different mount that everyone should know about, comment below!

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Showing 23 comments
  • Philip

    How has this held up off-road? Does the bolt and washer provide enough force to hold the ball shaft from spinning on bumps? Do you have more pictures of the final setup? Maybe from the side?

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Good call. I will get some additional final shots on this mount and the brackets. So far, it has held up just fine. It has only been a couple of weeks but I LOVE this set-up. The ram mounts are built rock solid, so there is little to NO sway at all. Especially because we have a very short connection on the set-up. We are only using a 1″ ball short double socket to the actual Ram Mount X Grip so everything is locked down pretty tight. I have not taken the runner out yet so we will see how it holds up off-road. From the initial experience though, I don’t foresee any problems in the future.

  • James

    Thanks for a great write up. Built up the nerve to drill my dash today and love the outcome. Should come from the factory with at least the ball mount. Your site is such a great resource!

  • Rick

    it would seem to me that while you have this all apart, you’d have very stealthily run an iphone charger cable behind dash and have it exit just beneath the origin ball. Could probably drill in bottom of one of the 2 useless cubbies down low on console and snaked over to charging station.
    Adding to the clean look of the install, unless of course you guys only run on battery.
    Great site,great info, keep content showing up

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Good call!! That would be clean. I am working on something right now to replace that whole lower cubby section. Replace it with a flat face and multiple switch blanks (8), another double USB port for sure and keep the current USB/Jack & cig lighter. We for sure need more than 1 USB ports up front. I saw something similar on a 4th gen and it looked clean so we will see how it goes. I like the always there, hidden iPhone cable idea. All the extra blanks for getting creative and just always having options. Always nice to have blanks open.

      • Tim

        The lower cubby will require you to drill holes in both the cubby, and the inner plastic frame that the bezels attach to.
        I have already drilled the holes in the lower cubby to try and run the cord for my iPod that stays in the lower cubby, but the fit between the cubby and the plastic support is to close to give any slack to the lightening cable.
        Also, you will need grommets that are slightly bigger than 3/8, but still smaller than the next bit size up. I destroyed 2 larger grommets because the 3/8 holes are still slightly undersized. You need at a minimum a 3/8 ID grommet for the lightening connector to fit through.

  • Snegs

    What a great site. I recently got a 4R. I am going to try this and add a wireless charger to the RAM Mount. If Ram Mount was smart, they would start production on them. I will let you know how it goes.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Awesome, let us know how it goes!

      • Snegs

        So, this turned out great for my iPhone X! Debating on whether or not to install a wireless charger or not. If you want to see the pics, admin, please email me. Thanks again!

  • Kate P.

    Love this idea. Finally got the courage to do this install and I love it.

  • Jeff S

    Nothing against Ram, but ProClip is the way to go, no drilling and can hold an insane amount of weight. Not to mention the overall rigidity off-road. There is also charge cord options. I have one in every vehicle I own. Decide to sell the vehicle no problem, easy non marring removal. I use the center dash mount for easy access to USB, and no issues with blocking vision.


  • Kristen

    Does this mount work with your side buttons? I read a lot of reviews saying it is not the best mount for an iPhone.

    • Brenan - Trail4R

      Yes, there is plenty of room. The mount does not get in the way of anything. Where did you read bad reviews on this mount? Where were all these bad reviews you speak of?

      • Kristen

        I read reviews on amazon specifically regarding iPhones and this mount. Many people stated that the X grips will press the buttons on the side of the iPhone while it is in the holster. So it will turn the phone off or turn up the volume and things of that nature. Just wondering if you had the same issues. Nothingnin regards to the mounting position or anything.

        • Brenan - Trail4R

          Ahhh gotcha, yeah if you have the phone lower in the RAM mount, the outer clasps will clamp down on the silence button. It happened a few times to me. Once you get an idea of where it clamps, it becomes routine to place it properly on the mount to not let this happen. Maybe an iPhone 4-5 would have more of an issue as they are smaller? I have an iPhone 6s and it fits great. We are going to grab a ProClip and see how it stacks up but from what I have read on the ProClip, it’s awkward and clunky, no first-hand experience, though. I love the RAM mount where it is in the 4Runner. LOVE IT! It makes communication and viewing emails and texts easy while viewing the road. It is mounted in a great location on the 4Runner. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

  • Nick

    I used this almost exact setup in my 2108 4R OFP and instead of drilling used 30LB tape. It holds everything very well. I can adjust up and down with no problems. I didn’t have the balls to drill so I found another option.

  • Jorge

    What did you use instead of the female Ram mount? a link would be great. Thank you!

  • Nick

    Here is a link to the video that I saw. I didn’t come up with this myself, but it works amazingly. All the links to the parts are in the video. Credit to Tactical Expedition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jquxYaCYA

  • Ben

    I just completed this install on my brand new 2018 4runner! It was nerve-racking when I was drilling the hole, lol. This write up and the SnailTrail4x4 video were awesome resources. The hardest part for me was actually getting the bottom portion of the center dash off. So happy with the results and the adjustability of the mount.

    The RAM mount works great with my iPhone X as long as I have the mount gripping the phone as low as possible. It’s definitely possible to position the phone so the RAM mount grips right on the buttons. If that happens just move the phone up so the top mount grips are right below the left and right edge buttons. There’s still plenty of phone for the mount to grip and it stays solid.

    Thanks again for this great resource!

  • Daniel

    Great Mod… great links to buy… installed this in maybe 10 min. Solid mod.

  • Software guy

    Nice mod, would like to install it on my 4Runner. Drilling is bit difficult, mentally 🙂

  • Jared Johnson

    Beware, when I ordered the kit from amazon it came with a medium length double socket arm and while driving >60 mph it shakes like crazy. Granted, I have an iPhone Xs Max which is heavier than a normal sized phone, as well as STT Pros (mud-grips) that cause more vibration than less aggressive tires. I’ll be ordering a short arm to see if that solves the shaking issue. Does anyone have any recommendations as far as aluminum vs composite arms?

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