Front Runner Slimline II 3/4 Low Profile Off-Road Ready Roof Rack: Quick Install Guide For the 5th Gen 4Runner
I decided to upgrade the roof rack on the 4Runner and decided to go with Front Runner.
It was a close call between Front Runner and Prinsu Designs. Out of all the 4Runner roof racks out there, I went with the Front Runner because I liked the look and functionality of the wider slats. I also chose the ¾ length for a couple of reasons.
First being this is a non-drill roof rack install. The full-length FR rack requires two rivet nuts to be installed via drilling into the roof, and I wanted to avoid doing that to the 4Runner for now.
Second, I don’t need a lot of roof rack room. The ¾ length gives you plenty of real estate to mount your gear.
Lastly, I wanted to keep the roof wind noise minimal. I have heard some people complain of wind noise with certain full-length roof racks, in which I wanted to preserve the highway comfort. There is ZERO wind noise with the 3/4th length.
Find It On Amazon:
- 3/4 Length Roof Rack: Check Price
- Plastic Pry Tools: Check Price
Front Runner Roof Rack Install
Step 1. Remove 4Runner’s OEM Roof Rack
Front Runner does a great job packaging all of the supplies included for assembly.
I always like to start an install by laying all of the parts out to see how things will go together. I started my install by removing the 4Runner’s OEM rack.
You want to start by using a pry tool to remove the black caps covering the bolts. I invested in some plastic pry tools which I highly recommend.
Once you get the covers off, you will need to remove the bolts.
Be sure to take your time removing all 8 bolts to ensure the receiving end doesn’t fall into the headliner. I alternated loosening the bolts until I could use my hand to back them out. I did not have any resistance getting the bolts out.
Step 2. Prep Area For Silicon Application
Next, you will need some rubbing alcohol to prep the area for silicon application in order to avoid any water leakage.
Be sure to get any dirt out of the channel so the silicone will have maximum effectiveness.
Step 3. Apply Silicon & Add Spacers
After cleaning, you will need the 4 spacers and some marine-grade clear silicon.
Front Runner instructions call for putting silicon directly around the bolt holes on the roof and putting some on the bottom of the spacers.
Once you have your silicon applied, just set the spacer into the channel, making sure they are straight and even. Once you have installed the spacers, you are ready to install the footrails.
Step 4. Install Rack & Loosely Attach Bolts
The Front Runner logo on the foot rails will be installed toward the rear of the 4Runner. I installed the 4 bolts the same way I uninstalled the OEM rack – slow and steady, alternating sides in screwing them down.
Once I had all 8 bolts semi-tightened, I went back and made sure they were all tight. Now you can start to assemble the actual rack.
Step 5. Assemble Each Side of the Rail
Honestly, this was kind of a pain to get together.
The FR rack is made extremely well; it is tight going together which means it will hold tight once on your roof for years to come. All of the nuts provided are locking nuts, so these bolts are not backing out anytime soon. I found it best to start with one side.
Start with the front/end piece, then install one side of the rails into the side rail, using every other bolt hole.
The instructions call for the rack to be assembled upside down.
CAUTION: Do not make this mistake I did. In the pictures, you can see the locking nut inside the slot facing up. They need to be facing down during install. This means once you install the rack, they will be on the top.
If you make the mistake I did, you are going to have a horrible time trying to screw the Allen screws into the wrong side of a locking nut. It’s zero fun. I ended up stripping a couple of Allen screws and eventually ended up disassembly the rack and restarting the rack assembly to make sure it was done correctly.
Now, let’s assemble the other side rail.
Once you have one side of the rack completed, grab the opposite side rail, starting with the front/end, and work each rail into the groove until the rack is basically holding itself together. It is a really strong design in my opinion.
Once you have everything tightened down, you will see why so many people love Front Runner; this thing is SOLID.
Step 6. With a friend, Mount Roof Rack On 4Runner
For the final major step, phone a friend to help you get the rack up onto the 4Runner.
There are 8 bolts you will need to slide into the rack slots which will match up to the foot rails to mount the rack.
Make sure to flip the rack END OVER END and not side over the side to avoid those bolts from falling out of the slots. There is no “front” or “back to the rack; it will go on both ways.
Note: I did not take a specific picture but make sure to install the provided wind deflector to the rack while it is still upside down during the assembly process. It is extremely difficult to install on the bottom of the rack once mounted to the 4Runner.
The only item left is to install the corner pieces. Super easy and they look great.
I couldn’t be happier with this rack. It is made so well, and I cannot tell that it is up there while I drive.
There are TONS of accessories for these racks, so the sky is the limit in being able to carry gear.
My advice is to be patient with the install; maybe plan about 2-3 hours install including removing the OEM rack.
I currently have the rack Andrew I’m struggling to figure out how I would put a thule snowboard rack in it.
The front runner snowboard rack is kind of pricie so I was looking to go that route.
I recently picked up the Yakima Fat Cat Evo 6s. They use a wrap around strap type thing and fit the Front Runner rails PERFECTLY. I actually have an old set of Thule snowboard racks. I believe you would have to remove the bottom inside rubber of the Thule rack, then find some bolts that will go into the slots of the FR rack, then put your bolt on the inside of the Thule rack. Side note, I almost bought the Front Runner Snowboard racks, but opted out because you can only carry 2 snowboards, and one board HAS to have the bindings removed. I love the Yakima Fat Cats. My buddy has a set he has had for 10 years; they are still looking strong.
What is the height of the rack above the roof? I know the rack itself is 2″ high from the frontrunner website but how tall are the foot rails?
From the top of the 4runner to the top of the Front Runner rack is right around 5.5 inches max depending on where you measure.
Did the rack clear the antenna?
I have the full length front runner rack and yes it does. Doesn’t interfere with the signal either.