Fender Liner Pushback and Bumper Cut on 5th Gen 4Runner
When you buy bigger tires, you may need to prepare for cutting and trimming. Although we wrote a previous article on cutting and trimming, we are still getting a few questions about how to cut and trim fender liners.
We also wrote another article on cutting the bumper, but this was after a few modifications, not directly from a stock 4Runner.
We heard a few questions recently from users looking for exactly where to put holes in the fender liners and exactly where to cut the bumper. Because of this, I thought I would throw together a quick step by step on pushing back your fender liners and trimming your bumper. Hopefully, this overview will help everyone with a stock 4Runner start the trimming process.
We just got new Treadwright Guard Dog MT (Mud Terrain) tires (285/70R17) and they were rubbing so we needed to make a few adjustments. This 4Runner is currently running the Falcon Tow Haul Suspension which gives us 2″ of lift in the front.
The tire size, 285/70R17 is a common size that many owners make the jump to on the 4Runner so this overview will work for many of you out there.
- What tire and wheel will fit without trimming?
- What is the largest tire I can fit without rubbing?
- Will XZY brand/model 285/70R17 fit without rubbing?
To answer all of these as simply as possible, almost all 285/70R17 tires are going to rub. And, pushing back your fender liners along with trimming your bumper is not that big of a deal.
If it’s resale you are concerned about, most people buying your 4Runner aren’t going to care about a 1″ strip of bumper you had to cut off.
If it’s the actual process of cutting and trimming you are concerned about, it’s actually really easy. All you really need is some tape and a Dremel.
Either way, if you want to run 285/70R17 tires, you are more than likely going trim. This whole process is really simple and as long as you are somewhat handy, you should be fine. The next common size down would be 275/70R17 and with that tire, you are probably in the clear but you still may have slight rubbing. If you go with a 275/70R17 and end up with trimming, this guide will work for you as well.
If you do not want to risk rubbing and trimming, 265/70R17 is probably going to be a good choice.
Tools & Materials:
- Utility Knife/ Exacto Knife
- Cordless Dremel kit
- Protective Eyewear
- Automotive masking tape
- Red Sharpie
- Plastic Pry Tools
- Metric Sockets: 10mm
- Ratcheting Drive 1/4″, 3/8″, or 1/2″
- Drill driver
- Drill bits: 1/4″ bit
Step 1: Remove Bolts and Bottom clip
Start by removing the two lower 10mm bolts that hold the fender liner to the bumper. Also, remove the plastic tab that holds the center bolt into place. This will help give you a better perspective of where to punch a new hole when you push the fender liner back.
Step 2: Drill the first new hole
Pull fender liner out and then push it back into the bumper as much as needed in order to clear the tires. For the 285/70R17 MT tires, we are pushing our fender liners back about 1.5″ – 2″ from where they sit at their factory location.
There is no exact science to this. Use your best judgment, punch a hole and then go for a test drive after everything is said and done. If you are still rubbing, go back to the drawing board.
Put your tab/bracket back in and attach the bolt into your newly punched hole.
Step 3: Drill the second hole further towards the front
Once you have attached the first bolt into your newly punched hole, you can measure and mark the second hole closer to the front of the 4Runner.
Mark a hole with your red sharpie, remove the fender liner, and drill your new hole. At this point, you should have two new holes in your fender liner.
Our new holes bought us about 1 3/4″ of clearance which was enough for on-road use, so far. We have not tested the truck off-road and may need to come back for some adjustments here.
Step 4: Fender Liner Push Final
Tighten all the remaining bolts into place. Your fender liner should now be sitting much further up in your bumper.
Step 5: Prepare Dremel for Cutting
The Dremel’s plastic cutoff wheel is great for cutting the body of the 4Runner.
Step 6: Tape Bumper and Trim with Dremel
Everyone will have a slightly different cut but there’s a consistent line I have followed on our last three 4Runners. I lined up the bottom tab in the foremost position to the first tab on the inner fender liner. This will take off about 1.5″ at the bottom and gradually work it’s way up towards the top which will give you a smooth transition line.
Whether you want to admit it or not, if you want to run bigger tires, you are going to have some trimming to do. This 285/70R17 (32.71″) tire is a great option for most 4Runner’s and it’s probably the max you want to go unless you are prepared to make even deeper body and wheel well adjustments.
So what can you expect for trimming?
- 285/70R17 (32.71″): Expect to trim (seen here)
- 275/70R17 (32.16″): Possible trimming (if any at all)
- 265/70R17 (31.61″): No Trimming (factory tire size)
You have another tire size you have questions about?
Go to Tacoma World and check out their tire size calculator. If your tire size approaches the 32.1″ area, expect to trim.
If you want to see what it takes to trim 34″ tires, check out this article.
If you want to see what it takes to trim for 35″ tires, check this one out.
Just installed 285/70/17 cooper STT Pro on my 4Runner. I did the fender liner fw mod on the drive side which I have plenty of room. However I tried on the passenger side and it Barely move forward due to the windshield fluid reservoir box behind the liner. Still rubs a little on full lock reverse only on that side. Planning to apply heat to it and push it backwards. Hopefully that works.
Dealing with the same problem! Found the passenger side addressed in the “fitting 34’s” article linked.
On this video, the host says a 275/70r17 fits stock wheels fine, and says that to fit a 285/70r17, you only have to push the front fender liner forward a couple of inches nad screw it back in. And remove the bottom of the front mud guards with a screwdriver. https://youtu.be/69f_Z5QqZJM. But in your article, you say trimming is expected on a 285/70r17.
So many “experts” with so much “knowledge” out there. You will find these folks here are very reasonable and right about 98% off the time. You can go ahead and get the 285s and “hope ” they fit in easy (The wheel you choose has soooo much to do with this) but my money says you will have to do EXACTLY what this guy above told us. I was in your exact position and that is EXACTLY what happened to me.
What are your thoughts on trimming around a 255/80R17, 33″ skinnies. I’m considering the Cooper S/T Maxx around a 2/1.5 inch 6112 & 5160 lift. Stock Off Road wheels. You think the skinnier tire would clear without any fender modifications?
What came of this, Vince? Did it work out for you? Did you have to modify anything?
So, I’m looking to upgrade to from the stock tire to a 285/70R17 tire. On a 2006 4Runner, outside of the fender mod, is there anytthing i would have to do to accommodate the larger tire? Suspension lift? Leveling kit? i’m also planning to add a steel front bumper with brush guard, so front end weight will become a factor too at some point.
Any photos of how you did the passenger side? The fender liner is slightly different from the driver side. Passenger side is one whole plastic liner while the driver side has two parts making it easier to drill holes and move forward. As for the passenger side, it looks like I won’t be able to use the screw (in the bottom-front closest to front valance). Could you provide some photos on how you were able to accomplish that. Thanks.
Hi! I’m planning on to replace my stock wheels on my 2017 4Runner SR5, I’m planning on getting a 17×8.5 with a -10 offset my tires right now are Wrangler Dura Tracs 265x70x17. Right now i have a stock suspension but planning on upgrading that next. With this set-up, do you think i will have some rubbing, if so is pushing the fender liner be enough or will i need a BMC?
I have a 2019 SR5 4WD that I installed Bilstein 5100’s all the way around with 2.5″ in the front and 1.5″ spacer in the rear. This gave me 3.5″ on the front driver’s side and 3″ on the front passenger’s side of lift measured from the ground to the fender (I know not the best method, but it was measured with the same wheel and tire combo in the same location for both. I want to know how much I would need to trim with this lift combo to fit a smaller 285/70/17 tire (Falken Wildpeak or KO2). I don’t mind doing the fender liner pushback, but I do not want to have to cut on my bumper.
I am running the TRD Pro wheels that have 4mm of offset.
I have a 2020 trd pro. Has the 2.5” suspension lift built in. Just ordered 285/79/17 (32.71”). Will any mods be needed? Even the fender push back needed? Does anybody know if these simple mods would negate the toyota extended warranty?
Hi Kat. I was wondering how this turned out on your 2020 TRD Pro. Did you have to do any mods to the fender? I want to switch to 285/70/17’s – but not of I have to cut anything or add spacers or change the suspension.
hello, great article. I just bought theRR5-S 17X8.5 relations race wheels with -12 offset and 4.28″ backspace. Also getting the icon stage 2 lift, 2.5″ in the front and 2″ in the back. Do you think I can fit 285/70/17 KO2’s with only trimming and not a body mount chop? the guy installed them was recommending 275/70/17 because of the offset
I have a 2.5-3″ lift on my 2016 Trail Edition with SPC UPA’s. I just got 285/70/17 KO2’s installed and have zero rub.
I did some of the fender liner mods listed in this article. Basically just drilled 1 new hole in the liner and moved both up an inch or 2. I trimmed some of the mud flap where it was kinda poking out into the wheel well and wah-la! I’m good to go. Have only driven it for 10-20 miles so far and nothing off road, but I’ve pinned the wheel in both L-R directions, forward and reverse and haven’t heard anything. I’m stoked I didn’t need to cut any of the actual body. Most cutting was just to the mudflaps. (All this was done in just the front wheel wells, nothing in the back)
I want to run BFG KO2’s in 34×10.50 on factory TRD Pro rims with my 2″ lift. These tires run small…BFG specs say they are 33.5×10.60 but I had them on an LC and I think they are more like 33.1 tall. Essentially, they are an inch narrower and maybe .2 taller than the 285/70 commonly used. My question is will these fit (including full cycle off road use) with only minor trimming and fender/mud flap mods.?
I have a 2011 with 285/70/17 on her. Where mine rub are the rear of the fender liner. Any experience on trimming that area? It is a minimal rub but still surprises me when it does.
Hey Christien! I have a 2011 sr5. I have a 2.75” lift coming for the front. Did you have to trim the body at all and did you have to get a BMC? Thanks!
No trimming, I removed what was stated in the right up and then factory molded mud flaps. I have stock trd wheels with the 275s.
Chris, I just took those off. No trimming there. Just remove them.
Thank you for the write up. I did not previously read the post related to trimming/larger tires. I just wanted a clarification: in the above situation/pictures is the suspension stock or lifted in any way? Thank you in advance.
Gideon, sorry I should have pointed that out. We are currently running a 2″ Falcon Suspension lift in the front.