5th Gen Mods, DIY, Gear, Install, Performance

Gibson Dual Sport Exhaust Install 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 4/7/20 / Read Time: 5 mins

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner

Gibson Cat-Back Dual Side-Exit Sport Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner

This is a pretty simple overview of how to install the Gibson cat-back dual sport exhaust.

I have a 2018 SR5 Premium with 20k miles. After reading many forums and watching multiple YouTube videos I decided to go with the Gibson exhaust system.

I was looking for the exhaust to give me that deeper/throaty truck sound. I also wanted one with the side exit so I can roll down the rear window and not worry about any fumes coming up into the cabin.

I also went with the black-coated tips as I have been blacking out the majority of my 4Runner. 

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner

I searched online for the best deal I could find. I was looking back around Black Friday and saw some great deals but ended up missing the deals. I found the best deal I could through google shopping and ordered it. 

I paid $485 shipped to my door. 

The total install was about 1.5 – 2 hours. I did it by myself and without jacking up the rear end. 

Tools Needed for Install:

  • Gibson Exhaust (#618816B): Check Price
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Glasses
  • WD40
  • Metric Sockets
    • 14mm socket
    • 17mm socket
  • 9/16 wrench

What Included with the Kit?

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: What Comes in the Kit

The package comes with everything needed. The kit includes an extra pipe for a V8 version as well. It has three “C” clamps to connect all the pipes and two 17mm bolts with washers and lock washers to connect to the factory front pipe. 

Step 1. Remove Factory System

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Step 1. Remove Factory System

The first thing you want to do is lower your spare and get it out of the way. The extra room is key and you will need it to wiggle the existing pipe out. 

Next, you need to unbolt the front pipe (which includes the two 14mm bolts and springs). These came off fairly easy for me. I sprayed some WD40 on the bolts on the exit part of the muffler near the rear axle. The Gibson instructions say to cut the pipe which you may have to do if your 4runner is a bit older. I was able to break them loose and unbolt them. I preferred this as I wanted to try and sell the factory exhaust system. 

I then sprayed all of the rubber grommets with WD40 so the hangers could slide out easier. 

I started at the back and took off the little aluminum heat shield so I could wiggle out the rear pipe over the axle. It took me a little longer as I didn’t jack the back end up. 

Lastly, I went back to the center of the 4Runner and laid down under the muffler. I then wiggled the muffler out of its grommets and had it sit on my chest. I then slid it off and out from under the 4Runner. 

Step 2. Install Gibson Exhaust

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Step 2. Install Gibson Exhaust

Per Gibson’s instructions, start at the front and work your way back. I started by bolting on the longer pipe which is for the V6 version to the factory cat-back exit. Gibson provides two 17mm bolts and four washers. I tightened them so the pipe was solid but not too tight.

Next, I laid down on my back and rested the Gibson muffler on my chest for easy positioning. Make sure the levers face the front of the 4Runner. You want them to catch the air going out. 

Put the “C” clamp on the first pipe and slide the muffler onto the front pipe. Then push the hangers into the rubber grommets. I did not tighten any of the “C” clamps until everything was connected.

Step 3. Connect the Last Section of Pipe

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Step 2. Install Gibson Exhaust

I then went to the back of the 4Runner and put the bent pipe over the axle. I let it rest there and went back to the middle and put the “C” clamp on. Next, I shoved the bent pipe into the muffler and put the hangers into the rubber grommets. 

Lastly, I went back to the rear and connected the last pipe that has the exhaust tips and put its hanger into the rubber grommet.

Note: The small heat shield does not go back on. 

Wrapping Up the Install (Final Steps)

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Wrapping Up the Install (Final Steps)

Now is time to twist the pipes and adjust everything to how you want it to be. Gibson instructions say to have the muffler exit sit at the 6 o’clock position. I was able to twist the bent pipe so it didn’t hit the cross beam or the upper heat shield over the axle. 

I started to tighten all the “C” clamps making sure nothing was moving around. 

Once the “C” clamps were tightened I finished with the bolts at the front. Be sure to double-check all bolts are fastened before the moment of truth, starting the 4Runner. 

I turned it on and heard the rumble. I went back to the 4Runner to make sure I didn’t hear any weird sounds. 

I then went back in the cab and revved it up a few times. I fell in love with the sound.

Gibson’s instructions say to drive it for 25-50 miles and then go and double-check all the fasteners and tighten if necessary.  

After driving for about 30 miles everything was good but I started to notice a slight rattle. I looked and saw the bent pipe had twisted and was resting on the cross member. I tried tightening that “C” clamp more but I could not get it tight enough to hold it.

I do not have access to a welder so I went to a muffler shop and had them do two tack welds on the pipe so it wouldn’t twist. It fixed the problem, I have had no issues with rattling and everything sounds great!

Final Thoughts

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Final Thoughts

I’ve had the exhaust on for about a month now and love it. I love the look and receive many compliments. You can hear it a lot more when you get on the throttle or under load.

To me, it isn’t obnoxious but you do hear the exhaust almost all the time when driving. 

Gibson Dual Side-Exit Exhaust Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner: Final Thoughts

I would still choose this exhaust system after further review.

I think the value is great and I really like the side exit with black tips. An added bonus is that the last section of the pipe is black too so from behind all you see if black, not metal.. just black tips. 

Comments or Questions? Leave them below!

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January 5, 2021 4:57 am

Hey Jeff,
I recently installed a single pipe system on my 4runner. I was wondering if you had any pics of the the front pipe connection (with the two 14mm bolts and springs) after having used the system for a while now. I want to make sure everything in order on mine as I noticed a bit of a gap there.

Jamey Digrazio
Jamey Digrazio
July 8, 2020 9:26 am

I read this prior to purchasing. I like the exhaust from looks to sound. I was prepared to encounter the rattling problem and i did indeed. I warned the shop too and told them to do the tac weld if they needed but did not. Right away i had the rattle on the cross member. I decided just to wrap it some wrap from Amazon. It essentially rests on the cross member. I feel no vibrations from it and with the oversized at tires and tire carrier, its not a quiet rig so all good.

July 17, 2020 3:57 pm
Reply to  Jeff

My solution was to buy an adjustable rubber hanger with 4 holes (rather than the stock 2 hole) from Amazon and drilling out the closest holes a bit to make them a bit bigger, then installed it on the hook right before the cross member, managed to get it to sit around 1cm off of the cross member.

Red area of the photo is what I drilled out.

May 29, 2020 8:55 pm

Any idea why this shows not compatible on amazon? Maybe because I have KDSS?

Brenan - @Trail4R
Famed Member
Brenan - @Trail4R
May 30, 2020 10:40 pm
Reply to  Charlie

KDSS and exhaust usually have nothing to do with one another. KDSS hydraulic lines run on the driver side frame rail and the accumulator assemblies are tucked on the driver side, away from the exhaust. It may have something to do with your year and the seller not updating their listing as “compatible” with your 4Runner year.

May 25, 2020 3:03 pm

Would reversing the muffler so the direction of the louvers is toward the back give a bit more exhaust note?

June 2, 2020 2:58 pm
Reply to  Jeff

Great! Thanks for the feedback.

May 12, 2020 1:48 am

Do you have any idea if this would fit above the RCI full skid plates without rubbing?

April 11, 2020 10:40 am

I was looking for an exhaust system that’s so loud the local police debate on killing you and planting a gun afterwards that’ll also be extremly easy to install. Haven’t found anything yet, any ideas? 2016 4runner SR5 premium.

April 12, 2020 10:22 am
Reply to  Jeff

I was only kidding but neighbor has 2015 4runner TRD that has deep growl to it, sounds like my old 93 5.0 Stang. Really just wanted the air intake but folks in forum say K&M draws air from engine bay not wheel well which’ll run you warm and defeats purpose so gotta keep reading. Coming from a 500k mile 22 years of ownership XJ it blows my mind the mods for the 4runner. I gotta say though this vehicle stock is just amazing and the wife all the sudden doesn’t wanna drive her new MDX anymore she’s stealing the 4runner… Read more »

April 9, 2020 1:10 pm

Any audio or video of the sound?

Ryan Gibbons
Ryan Gibbons
April 8, 2020 9:12 am

Solid write-up. Been looking at this kit!

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