5th Gen Mods, Maintenance

How to Fit Bigger Tires on 5th Gen 4Runner? (Cutting & Trimming Guide)

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Fitting Larger Tires (34" Toyo Open Country) on 4Runner

How to Fit 33″ and 34″ Tires on the 5th Gen 4Runner – Areas for Trimming and Cutting the Wheel Well

Areas to look at:

  • Trimming the body
  • Push back and relocate fender mount point
  • Trimming front and rear fender liners
  • Trimming plastic rocker panel caps (valance caps)
  • Bending pinch welds
  • Body Mount Chop (BMC)
  • Optional: Bend pinch seam
  • Optional: Remove splash guards

Recently, we wrote an overview of wheel size. In that post, we slightly explained what the largest tire size was that you can fit on a stock 4Runner along with a lift or leveling kit. We also talked about going beyond 33″ tires with lift kits and leveling kits. In that post, we covered tire size, tire specs, wheel sizes, and how they work with tire sizes, and much more.

Today, we are looking at what it takes to clear larger tires, and more specifically, 34″ tires.

If you are looking to upgrade your factory 31″ tires with 33″ or 34″ tires, this post is for you. We have the 285/75R17’s (33.8″) on our 2014 TEP and had to trim quite a few areas to prevent rubbing.

With this said, there is a big difference in running 33″ vs. 34″ tires.

Moving up from a 33″ tire to 34″ tire

Fitting Larger Tires on 4Runner

34″ tires require much more trimming, bending, and cutting than a 33″ tire.

To run 34’s on your 4Runner, I would recommend an adjustable suspension or at minimum a 2.5″ lift or leveling kit. A Bilstein 5100, an Eibach stage 1 or a or something like the Falcon tow/haul kit would be good examples. For reference, we were able to run the 34″ tires with 2.5″ of lift in the front on one of our 4Runners.

Once you lift your truck prepare to trim/cut your body, fender liners, rocker panel caps, body mounts, pinch welds, pinch seams, and the splash guards. Keep testing the fitment until you are satisfied with the amount of clearance you have around the tires when turning your tires forward and reverse at full lock. Finally, make a run at stuffing your tires in an off-road scenario in order to prepare for the next trails ahead.

After going out a few times, we ended up doing little more trimming each time.

Let’s jump into exactly what area you need to trim in order to clear 34″ tires.

Recommended Tools and Materials

Trim 4Runner Body & Fender Liner

Body Mount Chop + Trimming 4Runner Body?

This was one of the first real modifications to the 4Runner that had us rethinking larger tires.

“We have to trim the actual 4Runner body?” I said. Anyway, we did it and it wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s like ripping off a bandaid. You will be much happier with 34″ tires than that missing piece of your body. You need to trim your body in order for the 34″ tires to clear all the way around at full lock, especially when stuffed.

Not trimming your 4Runner’s body will eventually lead to rubbing when your wheels are at full flex and wheel lock (when your tires are fully turned, driver or passenger).

Do your best to pick a good line using some masking tape and then proceed to cut that line with your Dremel or cutting tool of choice.

Here is a post on cutting the body and fender liners for reference.

Push Back Fender Liners & Trim

Squadron-R Fog Light Install Step #10 - Remove Fender Liner

Fender Liner Step #1 – Pushing the Fender Liners Back

The front fender liners will take some adjusting. To start, you need to locate the hole that your 10mm bolt is going through your body and into the fender liner. Loosen that bolt and push back your fender liner as much as possible. Literally, push the fender liner towards the front-end of your 4Runner.

Once you are not able to push any further (or, once you have gained desired clearance), mark the spot on your fender liner with a white sharpie at a new point where the body and liner meet. You’re just finding a new point on your body where you can attach the fender liners further inside the bumper.

After you have marked your spot, let the fender liner out again. Now drill a hole in your marked spot. Use a bit that is less than the width of your 10mm bolt for your bolt to feed through and catch on. After you have the hole punched, tighten everything up.

Note: There are two bolts that go through the body and into the fender liner, You may need to drill two holes for both bolts that secure the body to the fender liner, or just leave one bolt holding your liners in place.

Fender Liner Step #2 – Cutting unwanted section from front well Liner

Trimming Front Fender Liner 5th Gen 4Runner

After you have your new spots located, and mounted, turn your wheels and see where your tires are rubbing.

Steps for trimming your fender liners:

  • Back out of your driveway and turn your wheels, passenger and driver, you will start to hear rubbing.
  • If your driveway doesn’t work, find a spot where your front tires are higher than the rear tires, allowing them to “stuff” into the wheel well.
  • As soon as you start to hear your tires rubbing, stop.
  • Get out and mark the location on the fender liner.
  • Pull back into your garage and cut off the desired amount of that section.
  • Repeat these steps until you don’t hear rubbing anymore.

We had to cut off a good six inches of fender liner before we stopped hearing our tires rub.

Trim Plastic Valance Caps (Rocker Panel Caps)

Rocker Panel Caps After – And, they were still Rubbing at flex

4Runner Body Mount Chop - Valance Caps

You will need to trim your plastic valance caps.

Some people call them rocker panel caps, and some people call them valance caps. Either way, you will need to trim these pieces of plastic that interfere with your larger tires.

You don’t need to leave the inner bolt connected as the rocker caps are held in place by two small clips on the inside. You can actually take the entire inside of the rocker caps off, and just leave the face (the outside) showing so it looks factory.

How much you cut off depends on your goals and tire size but this area will need to be addressed as it does cause rubbing, even on 33″ tires.

Body Mount Chop (BMC)

Body Mounts: Before

Body Mounts on 5th Gen 4Runner

Chopping The Body Mounts, Welding on New Plate: After 

Body Mount Chop Process 4Runner

This one goes without saying.

You will absolutely need to chop your body mounts.

Toyota extends the housing around the body mounts into the wheel well quite a bit. Most of this housing is just wasted space. You can take quite a bit of this housing off and give yourself plenty of extra space in the wheel well.

Companies like Metal Tech 4×4 have body mount chop kits, but any reputable 4×4 shop should be able to cut the ends of the mounts off and weld a new plate on.

If you don’t know how to weld, take this to a shop that can do it for you. The cost is pretty cheap ($100-$200), and any good shop should have a body mount chop done in a couple of hours.

Remove Splash Guards & Rear Fender Trimming

It might look gnarly at first, but trust me it’s not. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

If you make marks with a hammer or a cutting tool, you can cover this up after sanding down, then applying primer, flat black paint, then finally some 3m undercoating or rubberized flex seal.

The splash guards and rear fender liner are located in the rear housing of the 4Runner wheel well. Some 4Runner’s might have the actual mud splash guards. If you have these mud splash guards, you have the option of taking them off.

The inner fender liners on the rear wheel well are thick plastic pieces of plastic that prevent mud, dirt, and grime from hitting your firewall. But, the firewall is well covered by a thick layer of undercoating, so dirt and grime hitting this surface area can be washed away.

Removing and cutting these inner plastic pieces is not that big of a deal.

Pinch Welds – Hammer or Bends or Cut?

Pinch Welds on 5th Gen 4Runner (Hammer or Bends or Cut?)

It really depends on how bad your tires rub with this area. We thought we solved all our rubbing problems, but then we added the wheel spacers. After the spacers, we started rubbing more on the fender liners and these pinch welds.

There are two points of the pinch weld that stick out a little further than the rest of the area (top image circled). In the top image, you can see the portion that we simply bent in. I just grabbed two pairs of vice grips/ clamps and peeled it back.

After Bending the Pinch Welds in

34 Inch Tires on 4Runner

Pictured above is the lower area of the pinch weld. After rubbing at flex, I went back in and hammered both sides all the way back in towards the wheel well.

Be careful not to hammer this area too hard as you may risk setting your door jamb line off-center. Take your time and be precise about how you handle this area. Bending the metal is usually a safer option but sometimes you just need the force of a large hammer.

If you do decide to hammer these pinch welds back in or “fold them over” and end up with off-centered door jambs, you can always hammer the door jambs back into place from outside in.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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FADY
FADY
June 6, 2020 6:10 pm

I think the Rim offset plays a role in how much to trim.

Mike
Mike
December 9, 2019 4:02 pm

Installed 285/70/17’s on my 2016 4Runner TRD Pro. Only had to push in fender liners to stop the rubbing when at full-crank in reverse. No suspension work done. Haven’t gone crazy off road and have had no rubbing.

SYH
SYH
October 11, 2019 8:54 am

I have a 2016 4runner SR5 4X4 with Rough Country’s 3″ front and 2″ rear spacer lift with stock TRD PRO wheels and no wheel spacers w/ factory backspace. I want to get 285/75R17 tires which is 33.8″ tires. I know I probably will very likely need BMC and removing mud flaps and trimming the front fender liner. Besides that, do you think I will need to cut into the body of my 4runner as well? If yes, I think about getting Toytec’s 1″ body lift to help minimum rubbing on the body (if it does rub on the body)….

Brent
Brent
August 8, 2019 1:03 pm

For the pinch weld that is circled, did you bend it inward all the way (180 degree)? I need to do this on mine, just that little piece. I was thinking just to bend it a little more than 90 degrees.

Brandon Boomershine
Brandon Boomershine
March 16, 2019 2:47 am

With a 3″ ToyTec lift and optional UCA’s, mine clears 34×10.50 r17 BFG AT’s on the Sema Pro wheels with no rubbing at all once the mud flaps were removed.

Martin
Martin
March 12, 2019 10:18 pm

Here is what I have done so far. 3″ Toytec Boss lift Front Swaybar Relocate Kit for Non-KDSS Diff drop. 700lb Front Coil Overs 200LB Constant Toytec Superflex Heavy Duty Rear Coils Total Chaos Uniball Upper Control Arms Toytec Rear Aluminum 2″ bump stops Toytec Boss Rear Shocks 305/70/17 KM2 kept Trail Premium Wheels and it looks amazing. I have had very slight rubbing on my front mud flaps no body or inner fender rubbing. This issue I am having is that the tires look to inset. I am contemplating the spacers as I have no idea if rubbing will… Read more »

Martin
Martin
March 15, 2019 7:48 am
Reply to  Martin

Spacers are on. The rubbing increased on front mud flaps and ever so slightly on the front fender liner. To alleviate i went ahead and cut out the bubble area of front mud flaps, pushed fender liner back and did a slight cut to inner and fender plastics. You can’t see this from the side or front of the vehicle as the cuts was needed underneath. After the modifications were done there is absolutely no rubbing at full turn right or left going forward or back. I hope this will help anyone looking to add spacers with a similar setup.… Read more »

Alex M
Alex M
December 21, 2018 10:40 pm

Hi guys,

I got my hands on some BFG 305/65/17’s and I would like to use them because well….they were free…I will be installing the ICON stage 2 lift before that, and they will be mounted on stock SR5 2018 rims that I self customized…I am assuming BMC, fenders and valance caps will need attention and should work after that…or is 305/65/17 going to be way more work than just buying something smaller???

Brenan…great site dude!!! keep it up, I have used your site as a reference for alot of my mod decisions.

Jack
Jack
November 28, 2018 2:57 pm

I just got my 2016 SR5. At the dealer they have a 2018 SR5 on the floor with black factory wheels and Wildpeak 265/70/17 and they said no lift was installed and no rub. I’m doing Daystar spacers and Bilstein 5100’s – the spacers are advertised to “Lift the front 2 1/2 Inches and the rear 1 1/2 inches.” I’m on the fence about what tire size I can use without trimming on OEM-sized/offset wheels?

chris
chris
October 22, 2018 6:46 pm

Hello,

I recently traded my 2012 taco with 3″ toytech suspension lift and was running 275/70/17R with no rubbing. Switch the taco with a 2018 5th Gen off road premium and kept the rims and tires. Have an extreme rubbing issue, what can be done to solve? 3″ lift.

Thanks

Phillip
Phillip
October 12, 2018 3:51 am

I have a 2016 with a 3” suspension lift and have a set of 17 by 9 wheel with a -6mm off set can I fit a 285/70/17 bfg k02 A/T

Rick
Rick
September 3, 2018 3:44 pm

This is an awesome thread. Did you have to install bump stops with the 285/75/17 for off-roading? I really want this tire size and am willing to make the necessary cuts, but want to crush nasty trails without doing damage. I’m looking at the ridge grappler in load c that is 33.8”, I have a 2017 TRDPro with icon stage 5, and a 1” Toytec body lift.

Syed
Syed
August 7, 2018 2:36 pm

I am running 275/70/17 BFG All Terrain KO2s on my ’16 4Runner Limited. It also has a ProComp 3″ level kit and am planning on adding SPC UCAs to correct the caster and alignment. However, I am experiencing some rubbing on full lock turns and reversing. So will getting a body mount chop (BMC) along with fender liner trimming resolve the rubbing issues completely? Is the BMC a tough mod to do? Do you think, if I take the vehicle to a good 4×4 shop would they know exactly what to do in terms of BMC and trimming so the… Read more »

Nick Kaufman
Nick Kaufman
July 11, 2018 2:50 am

Before you did this mod, did you notice the rubbing while on-road driving or just off-road driving?

Chris
Chris
January 9, 2020 10:40 pm

Hey Brenan-have you been able to figure out how to fit 35″ tires and what else needs to be cut? I just had the BMC to prevent my 28570R17 Cooper MTs rubbing, but I understand that I will need additional body mount cutting w to fit 35s. I see photos of guys running them on instagram. What i am told is that you have to cut out the fender liners and to prevent too much up travel, you should install front and rear bump stops. What has your researched revealed?

Ryan
Ryan
January 10, 2020 3:07 pm

Hi Brenan! – I have the TRD SEMA wheels but I’m looking at the BFG KO2 – 285/75r17 tires, do you know of any issues mounting the tires on wheels a hair under the recommended width? (7″ wheels for 7.5-9″ width tires) I love these wheels and I wanted to avoid buying wheels AND tires if I could because I’m going to be doing a 3″ king lift and along with the cutting and trimming to fit the tires, just wanted to avoid that expense if I could.

Pete
Pete
June 28, 2020 7:46 pm
Reply to  Ryan

I’m considering the same setup. I’ve spoken to several 4wd mechanics and tire shops, and they do quite a few 285 width tires (both 70 and a few 75 series) on 17×7 trd pro wheels. Its pretty common. I’m debating 70, or 75 profile tires. I am scheduled for a 2.5f/1.5r Bilstein 5100 lift with body mount chop and SPC ucas. Brenan, did the on road drivability suffer going to 34s from 33s so much, that you thought you would need to regear. I can tolerate a some sluggishness, but I want to avoid having a severe problem. I think… Read more »

Jorge
Jorge
June 11, 2018 3:23 pm

Hello, I just get all terrain Bfgoodrich ko2 285/75r17 and 3′ lift kid icon stage that you recommended. I will do the body mount chop but im wondering if I have to get wheel spacers also. any idea?

Nick
Nick
August 29, 2018 8:13 pm
Reply to  Jorge

Jorge, how did this work out for you? I am considering the same exact setup.

Paton
Paton
June 8, 2018 3:53 am

I just ordered the readylift sst 3″/2″ kit for my 2017 4runner offroad. What kind of modifications will I need to fit 285/70/17 BFG AT KO2s? Also, is there an optimal wheel width and offset to maximize tire size on 17″ wheels? Thanks!

Joe
Joe
February 25, 2018 6:59 pm

I just put 285/75r17 on my 5th gen 4runner. 3” suspension lift and body mount chop. Going to mod the fender liner, but as you pointed out in the rocker panel cap photo, mine rubs past that and onto the exposed metal. Any thoughts on solving this? Cutting it down to as close to th bolt possible? Great write ups though. Thanks!

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown
April 15, 2019 6:48 am

I need info on this trim as well, about to mount 285/75/17s and I need my rig to be ready for it.

Jay
Jay
February 5, 2018 4:57 am

I have BFG AT KO2s 285/70/17 on my 2012 4Runner trail with Icon stage 2 Suspension lift and it rubs. I trimmed away some access plastic in the front wheel wells but even so this weekend I got flexin and my front tire swallowed up my passenger side mud flap. Brrrrrraaaaappppp snap goes mudflap, lol. I did not see any rub marks on the frame however so I’m still hoping no body chop is needed.

William
William
January 25, 2018 10:49 pm

On the side note, if you run 285/70/17, then you won’t have to worry about rubbing or body chop. Just run a 2 inch lift and it will be fine. Hope that helps decide when going for 285/70 or 285/75

Mtnmn
Mtnmn
July 26, 2018 2:55 am

Very accurate! I just put a 3″ lift on my 2017 ORP and have rubbing issues on the passenger-side body mount and driver-side fender with 33″ Cooper Discoverer STT Pros. They’re measured @ 33.03″ on a 8.5″ wheel, but im using stock 7.5″ with 1.25″ spacers. My alignment put the driver-side @ 3 degrees caster and the passenger at 3.8. It could be the extra caster, but I’m working to trim and clear as needed.

Ty
Ty
January 5, 2019 4:47 am
Reply to  William

100% false….this has been beaten to death on the forums. Not all rigs are the same, and tire and wheel size/offset/backspace etc. are all factors. I’m running 2.5” lift with Bilsteins, 285 Falken Wildpeaks, SCS Ray 10s, with high clearance fender chop, mud flap removed and still rubbing significantly on the body mount.

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